Magnesium – don’t overlook it!

Introduction

There are so many supplements and nutrients out there up for grabs nowadays. From Vitamin A to Zinc, there are just so many. Each of them has its own benefits and could help the body in many ways. But I feel there is one nutrient that we often overlook and that is magnesium. The team at Revolution often recommends you take magnesium and today we are going to discuss why.

 

The effects of magnesium and why to take it seriously

We chiropractors work with the spine and the nervous system. This is why the team at Revolution Chiropractic highly recommends magnesium. Magnesium preserves the health of the nervous system by having the ability to calm it down. This is because it works as a depressant. When magnesium levels are below the standard range, we lose control of muscle function, mental processes, and sometimes respiration. This can result in examples likes muscle twitches, cramping, irregular heartbeats, nervous fatigue, insomnia and irritability. This is because your nervous system will constantly be firing thus causing contractions and interactions continually being made.

Magnesium controls and limits the interactions in your nervous system by binding to gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptors. GABA is a hormone that helps calm nerve activity. Once restoring an adequate amount of magnesium in your body everything will be in under a lot more control; getting better sleep, decreased muscle tightness and less cramps are some of the changes.

 

Conclusion and recommendation

Magnesium is a versatile nutrient that we often overlook. It can help with many things such as sleep, cramps and pain. This is because it works with the nervous system. Many of us are magnesium deficient. Thankfully, the supplements aren’t expensive and plenty of food contains high amount of magnesium such as leafy greens, legumes and seafood. So start consuming more magnesium to help you and your nervous system out!

 

The effects of magnesium deficiency

 

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 2 How?

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: How? Take an audit.

Whenever we want to set ourselves a new goal we have to know where we are starting. This allows us to look back in 6 and 12 months time and celebrate how far we have come. It’s hard work being a parent and it’s harder again to a parent who’s committed to healthy habits and rituals. So, it’s important to take stock and appreciate your efforts.

So let’s begin how to audit.

Q: How Much Sugar Do You Each Consume Daily

Without realizing it, most adults and children eat refined sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner via processed cereals and grains. Most of us consume an average of 53 kg of sugar each year (approximately
29 teaspoons of added and natural sugar each day), and 75 percent comes from the packaged and convenience products we eat and drink.

I’d encourage you to investigate the health risks associated with eating too many sugars (in Lunchbox Solutions I discuss the dangers of sugars and outline what are healthier ways to sweeten recipes, so that’s a great place to start).

There are several reasons should we should avoid sugars, including that they raise our insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone
that our pancreas produces and its main function is taking up blood glucose (sugar) into the cells for energy. High insulin levels are thought to contribute to multiple health issues but for this post where we are focused on raising the health status of our children — let’s keep to three main issues.

Key issues with sugar

1 High insulin levels can depress the immune system weakening our ability to fight disease. This occurs because white blood cells need stacks of vitamin C to kill bacteria and viruses. So our white blood cells work to accumulate
and store vitamin C within the cell. The problem is that vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structures so they then compete to enter the white blood cells. Guess what happens when we have lots of glucose in our blood from eating lots of foods that contain processed sugars? Glucose wins and our white blood cells become deficient in vitamin C compromising our ability to fight bugs.

2 Too many sugars also upset the integral balance of good and harmful bacteria in the gut. When we consume too many sugars we can create an overgrowth of harmful yeasts and bad bacteria which override our helpful “disease fighting” helpful bacteria — hindering our immune system.

3 Refined sugars also provide us with no vitamins or minerals. In order for them to be metabolized, they draw on the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals, depleting our body’s nutrients.

ACTION: Start a food diary and observe just how much sugar find there way into your daily diet. Here’s a tip for when looking at products and packaging — sugars tend to be any ingredient ending in “ose” — sucrose, fructose, dextrose, lactose etc. Try it — it will shock you!

Drastically reducing sugar (initially this is not an easy task) not only lightens the load on your child’s immune system it also allows your children to get off the ‘blood-sugar rollercoaster’.

Here’s another tip — cutting back sugar … life just gets better. Sugar highs and lows, make us all irritable and grumpy.

Audit Cont.

Q: How many processed foods are in your pantry, fridge and child’s lunch box?
-Literally count the number of packaged items and take an audit. If a food item has more then 5 or 6 ingredients you can bet it’s refined, altered and damaged. If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients in the food item, mostly likely it’s full of chemicals. I’d encourage you to become a food critic and learn what all those numbers and complex sounding ingredients really mean. Please see “Become a Food Critic” and the “Poor Choice, Better Choice and Fabulous Choice” Table in “Empower Their Choices” in Lunchbox Solutions.

Q: How many pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables are you all currently consuming each day?

-Daily consistency is key here.

Q: How many glasses of water do you drink?

Q: What sort of water do you drink?
-And I don’t mean the wet kind. One of the simplest and most important things you can do is invest in a water filter to protect your family against chemically-treated water. Most of our drinking water today contains chlorine and chlorination by-products, as well as numerous other contaminants. Drinking good quality water via a high quality filter system — promotes detoxification, enhances nutritional uptake and ensures optimal hydration.

Help your children develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than juices and soft drinks. A mere two per cent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Many children are frequently dehydrated, suffering with concentration issues, constipation and digestive problems.

Q: How many prescriptions has your child had in the last twelve months and over their lifetime?
-With regular chiropractic care and addressing these other tips for raising healthy children, many parents delight in no longer relying on antibiotics and instead being able to rely on their child’s own immune strength.

Q: How many sessions of sweaty exercise would each family member perform each week?
-Ideally each of us should be raising our heart rate 5 times a week.

Q: How many harmful chemicals are in your personal care and cleaning products?
-Source brands that are genuinely wholesome — free of nasty chemicals and toxins which are readily absorbed through the skin and tax our body and its defence system.

It can be a “reality slap” to take an audit and look at where you currently sit along the “healthy” and “not so healthy” scale. Where you sit on the “fresh” and “disastrously preserved” scale. Remember though that every moment we make choices and have the opportunity and capacity to influence both our child’s — short and long-term health.

 

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Desk Mobility

Here’s something that may come as a surprise to you – your body wasn’t designed to be in one position for more than 15 minutes. With many people working office jobs where they’re inside sitting for prolonged periods of time, 15 minutes of sitting isn’t even a warm-up, taking your body to the furthest point from mobility.

Ideally you want to be getting up every time to keep it moving and do what’s ideal for our body, but realistically, getting up every 15 minutes for a walk would make you wildly unproductive. Therefore, 30-60 minutes is a more reasonable goal. Even doing a short mobility routine or walk to get water whenever you become conscious about it is better than nothing.

Here are a few mobility routines that you can try out the next time you realize you’ve been in the same position for way too long:

Mobility routines

  • Standing Back Extension
    • Stand up straight and place your hands on your hips.
    • Bend backwards (extend your back) to your pain-free end range.
    • Hold that for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Scapular Retraction
    • Squeeze your shoulder blade together like you’re trying to hold a cup of water.
    • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Neck Extension
    • Ensure proper posture and form (slightly extended low back and retracted shoulder blades).
    • Look up at the ceiling while relaxing your jaw (to get maximum ROM) and hold for 5 seconds. Then look down at the floor and keep it there for 5 seconds.
    • Repeat this about 8-10 times.

 

These mobility exercises were made to open your body up and work the opposite way that your office desk posture does. Now you know why you should stay moving and you have some tools under your belt to support this. Happy desking!

 

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Stress Management – 3 Ways

Mindfulness and stress are on the tips of everyone’s tongue nowadays. Large corporations are investing millions on mindfulness rooms and practices for their employees to reap the benefits and increase productivity. Meditation and stress-reduction taught in school curriculums now, because they also know the effectiveness.

It seems the hustle and bustle of everyday life is getting to our heads. It’s not natural for our circuitry to be firing constantly for so long. So how can we help support this new way of life, or at least reduce the amount of stress that affects us?

Here are our 3 top tips:

  1. Exercise/Yoga: Studies have shown that regular exercise or yoga can decrease stress, pain, and even your risk of injury. Aiming to do either one of these 3-5 times a week is ideal and does wonders to support your mind by increasing blood flow to the brain and having your focus set on something other than a screen for at least half an hour.
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing): this kind of breathing calms down the nervous system and reduces the noise that goes on by getting you to focus on your breathing. Studies have demonstrated breathing exercises can reduce fatigue and anxiety. To actually benefit from the practice, it must be performed 3-5 times a day for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meditation: once thought of as a hippie ritual, mindfulness meditation is now common practice used to help people reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, headaches and depression. It’s widely accessible as there are many online guides as well as apps that can help guide you through a session and all you need is yourself and a peaceful environment.

Stress is just a part of life and how you choose to manage it is up to you. Keep these tips in mind to take care of your mental health and keep your mind sharp. If you have any questions or would like more tips on stress management, please consult with a health professional.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Stomach, reflux, heartburn, indigestion Remedies

Reflux, heartburn, indigestion, these are all names for that discomfort and sometimes burning feeling that comes after meals. At Revolution Chiropractic we like to address the cause of issues rather than focus on symptomatic relief. Reflux is often caused by a reduced ability for your body to digest and break down food so it makes sense to focus on optimising digestion rather than just suppressing the feeling of heartburn.

Start to implement the following things into your daily life and remember that it can take time to get your body back on track, this isn’t an overnight fix! (although it might be for some of you.

Eat easily digestible foods

The first and most obvious step is to improve your diet. If you are eating foods that your body is struggling to digest then this is probably the biggest cause of your symptoms. Food sources like dairy and gluten are fairly inflammatory to most people so you should cut these out for 3-6 months and see how your body responds. Replace carbohydrate sources like bread and pasta for more tolerable plant-sourced foods like:

– Rice

– Potatoes

– Kumara (sweet potato)

– Pumpkin

Other things that stir up inflammation and disrupt the digestive process are smoking, alcohol, coffee, chocolate and spicy foods. So cutting down on those will definitely improve your reflux, heartburn or indigestion.

Prepare the stomach for digestion

Contrary to what it may seem at first your reflux may be due to too little stomach acid. Low levels of acid in stomach will mean you can’t digest food properly. Ten minutes before each meal put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a small glass of water and drink it. The acid and enzymes will assist your stomach’s digestion.

Make the first few mouthfuls of your meal the protein source (meat, fish, chicken, tofu). This will prompt your body to produce pepsin and increase the acidity of the stomach for digestion.

You may be eating too much at once

Cramming too much food into your belly in one sitting will make it much harder for your body to break it down! Pay attention to your portion sizes, you may need to have 4-5 smaller meals through the day for a few months to let your stomach recover.

Slow down!

If you are eating too fast then you may not be adequately chewing your food. Remember that digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach! Your teeth are perfectly designed to break down the food and saliva starts the digestive processes The more you chew, the more the food is broken down before it hits the stomach.

 

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Digital Minimalism

.The Internet has brought many benefits to my life as I’m sure it has yours, however, if you are like most of this generation you probably find yourself spending (wasting) a lot of time digitally. How often do you reflexively check your phone for a message or to see how many reactions your last post is getting?

Excessive use of digital devices can cause poor posture, which puts strain on the nervous system and can lead spinal issues. Constantly being plugged into social media, email and receiving messages can create a sense of anxiety and impact your mental wellbeing. Constantly switching tasks from productive work to social media and emails is a huge waste of efficiency in your day too.

If you want to take more control of the time you spend on the Internet and your phone then put some of these boundaries into play. Depending on your job you may have to modify these to suit you:

Do not check social media or email until noon

 

You may select a different time that suits your life. But putting off checking emails and messages at the start of the day can allow you to have a more productive morning. The main goal here is to get away from your phone being the first thing you look at each morning.

Do not check email, social media or messages while in bed

 

This one is key when it comes to improving your sleep quality. It is important  to create boundaries around not only when but where you use your digital devices, especially the bed. You want your brain to wind down ready for a restful night not to be on alert thinking about what is happening on your social media, email inbox or the world news.

Put your phone at the other end of the room, not right by your bed so you create a physical and mental boundary.

If you do keep your phone by you at night then switch it airplane mode. This will prevent an alert waking you at night with the light or sound and also helps create a mental boundary that you are done with being connected to the world for the day.

Don’t use your phone while eating

 

Instead of being online or checking messages take time to unplug and focus on your meal.

Make a no phone rule when you are at the dinner table so you can connect with family and friends and interact on a real social level and not social media!

 

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How To Flight Proof Your Body

Going on a long flight? Bus ride? Car ride? You may have experienced the unpleasant experience of being crammed in a seat for hours. You get agitated, your muscles begin to ache, and there’s nowhere to hide from the pain.

We came up with these tips to reduce the physical stress on your body that comes with travel. This applies to all situations where you find yourself stuck sitting in one place for hours.

  1. Pump your ankles.

    • Sitting for long periods means that the muscles that are used to pump blood and fluid up your legs aren’t active. This leads to swelling and blood pooling over time. While the swelling isn’t dangerous, blood clots can form a deep vein thrombosis, which can be a dangerous and life threatening condition. So be sure to keep your ankles moving!
    • Fully extend your legs out in front of you (if you have the leg room, if not, extend out as much as you can) and move your ankles side to side as well as up and down. This can help with ankle stiffness, swelling and pain.
  2. Keep hydrated.

    • Especially if you’re in an airplane, the cabins have very low humidity and can lead to accelerated dehydration.
    • Drink plenty of water the day before your flight as well as during your flight.
    • Avoid drinks that tend to dehydrate, such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, before and during your flight.
  3. Move as much as you can!

    • It’s a bad idea to be sitting for long periods of time in any context. On top of that, you’ll end up in uncomfortable sleeping positions if you decide to doze off.
    • This can lead to pain and dysfunction in your hips, back, shoulder and neck, so it’s a good idea to address this by getting up and walking around every 30 minutes if you can.
  4. Stuck sitting? Try some Pandiculation.

  • Pandiculation is basically stationary stretching. You’ve already done it naturally upon waking up when yawning and stretching your body.
  • It can be done to every part of your body.
    • Reach your hands upward to the sky.
    • Extend and stretch your legs.
    • Move your neck in every motion. Look side to side, up and down. Bring your ears towards your shoulders side to side.
    • Expand your chest while bringing your shoulders back.
    • Move your body in all directions where you feel restrictions.
  • Do these movements slowly and feel where your tension lies and focus on stretching out those areas. Just be careful not to bump your neighbour.

Movement is medicine, so just remember to do what you can with what you’re given. Happy and healthy travels!

 

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How To Make More Time For a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone already knows what to do to be healthier. For starters, eating less processed foods and moving more is what you’ve heard since you were young. And guess what… It’s true! But then come the fancy diets and elusive theories that cause confusion. On top of that, you’re busy with work and kids and LIFE.

If you’ve been meaning to eat healthier and exercise more for a while, believe me, you’re not alone.

What’s required is a system of thinking, prioritizing, strategizing, and planning that identifies what’s important to you as an individual and the steps to get there without them being too overwhelming.

Of course, it’s not easy, but it’s highly rewarding once you start reaping the benefits. Let’s get started.

  1. THINK: Ask “why” 5 times.

  • Understanding why you want to achieve the goal you want to achieve is important because it digs deep to find your inner motivation to keep you going.
  • All you have to do is keeping asking yourself why until you end up with a reason that’s worth your time.
  • Here’s an example:
    • Why do I want to eat better and move more? Because I want to lose weight.
    • Why do I want to lose weight? Because I’ll look better
    • Why do I want to look better? Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.
    • Why do you want to feel good about yourself? Because when I feel good about myself I’m more confident and in control.
    • Why do I want to be more confident and in control? Because when I’m confident and in control, I won’t be scared to go for it and live out my dream.
  1. PRIORITIZE: Fill in the big rocks first.

  • Stephen Covey, the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” gave the best analogy for prioritization: Think of your time as a jar that you can fill with rocks, pebbles and sand.
    • Your big rocks are the necessary things in life, like friends, family, health, career, and sleep.
    • The pebbles are the fun things in life that aren’t completely necessary but you love doing them, like playing piano, competing in sports, and discovering your passion for baking.
    • Your sand is all the bonus activities that are enjoyable but not at all important to your survival and fulfillment, like checking Instagram, playing video games and going out drinking.
    • Now if you fill your time with sand first, it wouldn’t make sense because then it’d be way more difficult to fit your rocks and pebbles in. But if you place your rocks first, and then your pebbles around them, and finally fill in the rest with your sand, then you’re good as gold!
  1. STRATEGIZE: Increase your activities 15 minutes at a time.

  • No one ever got everything done at once. When you find out the important activities that you want to do more of in your day, pick ONE of them. Replace 15 minutes of low-value activity with 15 minutes of that high-value activity.
  • For example, instead of 15 minutes of scrolling through Instagram, do 15 minutes of meal prep for the next day. You can even put in headphones and listen one of your favourite podcasts while you meal prep to keep it interesting.
  1. PLAN: Schedule it in your diary.

  • If you wait until you “feel like it”, a lot of your time will be spent doing less important things. Schedule it in and more importantly, stick to it!
  • BONUS: Review how you spent your time at the end of the week.
    • If you did a lot of low-priority stuff, reduce any triggers that make you want to do them. This may require you to move the TV to the basement or limit your screen time with an app. Or you can get an accountability buddy, such as a friends, colleague or partner.
    • If you simply didn’t have time, look into hiring out some of the tasks like getting a healthy meal delivery service or arranging a nanny so you can go to the gym.

Don’t get distracted, stay focused and you will get $%@& done 😉

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Taking Control of Stress

Control? Why?

 

Work, kids, school, money, exercise, eating… What do these all have in common? Well, they can stress you out to the point of ripping your hair out OR inspire and motivate you to get out of bed and do what you do every single day. The KEY is to find your stress sweet spot and use it to fast track your goals, and potential.

Too much stress can get in the way of you and your goals… Maybe even lead to you crashing and burning. However, too little stress can slow down your progress because you’ll get bored. Let’s find out how to hit that optimal point of stress to keep you at the top of your game.

First, let’s go through the difference between a positive and negative stress response. Stressors aren’t necessarily good OR bad, it depends on your response. A positive response means you’re feeling energized, focused, pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone, balancing stress and rest, and learning and growing through the process. A negative response leads to you feeling weak, distracted, in need of rest, not challenging yourself, and can even lead to weight gain and metabolic, hormonal, and immunity disruptions.

 

How do I deal with this?

 

How? Well first you’ve got to recognize what factors are out of your control and more importantly, which factors are IN your control. Also, if you’re stress resistant by nature and have had lots of practice at handling stress growing up, your view on stress may be that it is a challenge to tackle. But if you’re stress prone and have had little practice dealing with stress, you may find yourself looking at stress as a problem to avoid. If you’re having a hard time changing your attitude and view on stress, look at building a strong support network and changing your environment to have more time outdoors in nature or with loved ones.

It’s important that you look at your current stress load and ask yourself “does it have to be that high or that low?” Think about your goals and how your actions align. Find out what’s worth taking out or adding in.

 

What does it feel like?

  • Too low: bored, unfocused, purposeless
  • Too high: anxious or obsessive, panicked, stuck
  • Just enough: energized, engaged, actively moving towards goals

 

A great way to address inspiration and energy is to learn how to set effective goals. We’ll be releasing a blog post diving into this topic further in the near future. But until then, go read up on the last blog titled “How NOT to set goals”. Do this too get started on the perspective you should be taking when approaching goals.

For rest and recovery, there are many things that you can do! A lot of it depends on personal preference, but here are 4 examples to get you started.

  1. Practice relaxing activities: Walking, massage, deep breathing, laughing, yoga, meditation, and even (especially) sex, which is not always relaxing.
  2. Get outside: take your walk outside for improved mood and lower stress hormones and heart rate. Getting moderate sun exposure is ideal and helps increase mood and vitamin D levels.
  3. Adjust your exercise routine: the most effective way to approach this is with a mix of strength training (weights), conditioning (cardio, intervals) and low-intensity recovery (walk)
  4. Practice self-compassion: ask for help when you need it. Get counseling if you’re feeling helpless, know your limits and unplug regularly.

If you follow and apply these recommendations you’ll be well on your way to taking control of your stress. Stay tuned for more valuable blog posts!

Your Trusted Chiropractor Auckland

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Breathe Deep

In a given day how often do you breathe deeply? In a stressed out world you can unconsciously end up breathing short and shallow breaths, this can reduce oxygen intake and further drive the stress response.

Breathing is an interesting function of the body and arguably the only one that is both unconscious and consciously controlled. Think about it, until you start dreading this you were breathing without paying attention to it. It happens automatically. But you can also slow down or speed up your breathing pattern at your own will.

Rapid, shallow breathing is a natural response to a stressful situation. Deeper, slower breathing is a natural response when you are relaxed. Taking conscious control of your breathing during the day, especially when you are stressed, can help calm your nervous system so it can focus on healing, digesting and creativity.

Try this simple breathing exercise each day to calm you mind and body.

4-7-8 Breathing

This technique was developed by Dr Andrew Weil as a great technique to calm your body when lying in bed at night to assist you falling asleep or to calm your mind and body during the day.

  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth
  • Close your mouth and silently breathe in through the nose as you mentally count to 4
  • Hold the breath for a count of 7
  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth for a count of 8

Do this a total of four times and repeat twice daily to maximise the benefits of the technique. The ratio of the inhalation to exhalation is more important than the overall length of time. At first you may not be able to hold your breath very long so count faster but as your body becomes more efficient over time you will find that you can really slow the process down.

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