Tag Archives: Physiology

Good Posture: A Stance for Better Health

Healthy posture is important for your well-being, but achieving it can be an uphill battle in a high-tech, high-heeled world, experts say.

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“People who have better posture tend to appear more confident and knowledgeable to others. It makes them feel confident internally as well,” said Alynn Kakuk, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minn.

Simple exercises and stretching can help your posture, she said.

One way to practice healthy posture is to stand with your upper back, shoulders and bottom touching the wall, with your feet a couple of inches away from the wall, she said in a Mayo news release.

There should be a slight space between your lower back and the wall, just large enough to fit your hands. Then, step away from the wall and try to see if you can maintain that posture.

It’s also important to remember that strengthening your muscles will make it easier for you to maintain that healthy posture, Kakuk noted.

Frequent use of cellphones and keyboards can sabotage posture and place stress on the upper back and neck, leading to rounded shoulders and a lowered head. Try to keep your cellphone at eye level so that you’re not bending forward, she suggested. Also, do exercises that strengthen your upper back and shoulders, such as chest exercises that strengthen your pectoral muscles and diaphragm-centered breathing techniques that release tension, she added.

Kakuk said maintaining good posture can help you walk, sit, stand and lie in positions that cause the least stress on your muscles and ligaments.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, September 2015

Click here for a handout: Good posture and spinal rolls
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Popping Knuckles

If you are a patient of mine, this is old hat.  But check out this short video from Vox on what happens when you pop your knuckles…

 Popping Knuckles Video

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With that being said, as your chiropractor I would recommend not twisting joints to “pop” them, you are just as likely to damage the surrounding soft tissues as create the vacuum in the joint.  And that’s bad.  Leave the adjusting to a professional.  Chiropractors are trained to focus on the singular problem and apply a very specific amount of force to that particular joint for a therapeutic benefit.

12 Reasons to increase Water

  • Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.
     
  • Calorie control. Forget other diet tricks—drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds . The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories.
     
  • Muscle fuel. Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired . So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats.
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  • Clearer skin. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne . While science saying water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
     
  • Kidney function. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need  enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let’s drink to that!
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  • Productivity boost. In order to really focus, a glass of water could help people concentrate and stay refreshed and alert.
     
  • Fatigue buster. Move over coffee—water can help fight those tired eyes too . One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.)
     
  • Hangover help. If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache.
     
  • Pain prevention. A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated .
     
  • Keep things flowing. Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Luckily, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly.
     
  • Sickness fighter. Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather. Just beware—drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beat colds in one swoop, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.
     
  • Brain boost. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out! 

neuronFrom Greatist

July 11 – National Rainier Cherry Day

In 1952 at Washington State University, Harold Fogle created a new cherry by cross-breeding the Bing and Van cherry varieties.  This new cherry was named after Mount Rainier.  Now, each year on July 11, it is National Rainier Cherry Day.

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Not only are cherries delicious they are so good for you!

Everyone’s favorite Bing cherry can significantly decrease concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers in the blood. And decreased biomarkers may reduce risk or modify the severity of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cancer.

So that beautifully sweet, fat-free, cholesterol-free northwest cherry can benefit your body as well as your taste buds.

Study demonstrates that cherry consumption selectively reduced several biomarkers associated with inflammatory diseases.

October in National Spinal Health Month – The basics of Posture

Posture is the way you hold your body while standing, sitting, or performing tasks like lifting, bending, pulling, or reaching. If your posture is good, the bones of the spine — the vertebrae — are correctly aligned.

4 steps toward good posture

You can improve your posture — and head off back pain — by practicing some imagery and a few easy exercises.

  • Imagery. Think of a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be even and line up vertically). Now imagine that a strong cord attached to your breastbone is pulling your chest and rib cage upward, making you taller. Try to hold your pelvis level — don’t allow the lower back to sway. Think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, increasing the space between your rib cage and pelvis. Picture yourself as a ballerina or ice skater rather than a soldier at attention.
  • Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of five; relax. Repeat three or four times.
  • Upper-body stretch. Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other. Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Relax.
  • Arm-across-chest stretch. Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side. Hold for 20 seconds; relax both arms. Repeat to the other side. Repeat three times on each side.

Practice these imagery and posture exercises throughout the day. You might try to find a good trigger to help you remember, such as doing one or more of them when you get up from your desk, or right before scheduled breaks and lunch. Soon it will become a habit.

Adapted from Harvard Med School’s newsletter, HealthBeat

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METs for Formal Exercise

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METs for Sports and Leisure Activities

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