Have Sugar But Not Too Much

Introduction

A week or 2 ago we mentioned diabetes and ways we could help prevent it. The best and most effective way is to cut sugar out. The recommended amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis should be no more than 9 teaspoons. Just a can of soda has 8 already. So you see for the sweet tooth’s out there (including me) we should really watch out how much sugar we consume every day as it can be very easy to consume more than recommended. There is no doubt that sugar can definitely give us more energy instantly every day and make us feel happier but there are more serious side effects apart from diabetes when consuming too much sugar on a regular basis.

 

Sugar and the issue of weight gain

Sugar has been shown to lead to weight gain. This is because sugar is an empty calorie. Despite it having so many calories it is not high in nutritional value at all and is not very filling. A higher calorie intake equates to more weight gain. Another reason why sugar leads to weight gain is that it is the first source of fuel the body uses. As a result, they do not offset hunger for very long in the stomach. This leads to more regular eating thus increasing the calorie intake. Sugar also has the ability to affect biological pathways that regulate hunger. Our body produces a hormone to regulate hunger depending on energy output. This hormone is called Leptin. Studies have shown that excessive sugar intake disrupts the function of Leptin in our body by making our body more resistant to it. This means we end up consuming way more calories than we need in order to meet our body’s fulfillment.

 

Sugar and the issue of obesity and heart diseases

Consuming too much sugar on a regular basis increases the likelihood of some sort of heart disease. One reason as to why it increases the chances of heart disease is that excessive sugar causes obesity. Sugar leads to obesity due to the increased intake of calories. Obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease. Sugar also stops triglycerides from breaking down. This puts more pressure on the heart as there would be more blockages. This will cause the heart to pump harder leading to high blood pressure. Another reason why sugar leads to high blood pressure is that it increases LDL while decreasing HDL. LDL is known as bad cholesterol. This is because it sticks to your arteries leading to narrowing of the artery. While HDL is known as the good cholesterol and it removes all other bad fats such as triglycerides and LDL that’s floating in the bloodstream. As the artery is narrowed there will be less blood being able to flow through thus leading to increased blood pressure.

 

Sugar and the issue of oral and dental health

Finally, too much sugar leads to poor oral and dental health. As you’ve probably heard every mother says ‘stop eating sugar it’s bad for your teeth. There is plenty of bacteria that live inside the mouth. Some of the bacteria are good and protect your oral health but some are not. These bacteria thrive off sugar. They love it as much as you do. But as these bad bacteria grow out of control they release acids. These acids released can dissolve the enamel of your teeth leading to cavities. This acid also causes bad breath. This is why it’s important to brush your teeth and decrease the amount of sugar to stop these bacteria from taking over your mouth.

 

Conclusion

Sugar is great, it tastes great, makes you have more energy, and helps you out mentally. However, they have so many side effects if over consumed. Weight gain, heart disease, and poor oral health are just some of them. Make sure to cut out as much sweet food as you can and try to keep under the recommended daily amount!

 

Negative effects of sugar on kids

 

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Health… Expectations Vs. Reality

What is health? What is perfect health? Is it possible to achieve perfect health? If so, how long does it take? Are these all expectations that social media has set or is it the reality? These questions are often questions I ponder about as a well-being practitioner. Some people ask me that too, but it’s just such a long answer. I think people should read this instead of me answering it verbally.

Health according to the World Health Organisation, is “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This is completely true; many people think just because they do not have pain they are in good condition. The definition also includes ‘mental and social well-being’. I feel too many people in the world now only focuses on the thing that they can see or feel when exhibiting physical health. The expectation is because someone has rock hard 6 pack or has an amazing body they must be in perfect health. In reality, it does not necessarily reflect their state. The person with an amazing body may have reached peak physical health but that same person may always be conscious about their own body image that it causes mental disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This neglects the aspect of mental health.

 

Cont.

 

So to answer the question is it possible to achieve perfect health; the short answer is yes but there is always a catch to it. In my opinion, being physically perfect is to be in a balanced state of ‘physical, mental, and social well-being’. Some may be already in that realm if you are I congratulate you. However, if you are there already, are you taking it for granted, or are you actively trying to improve or maintain it? This is where the wellness model comes in. To achieve even a higher state of health is to actively pursue maintenance. We can accomplish this through regular chiropractic care, a continuation of healthy habits (mentally, physically, and socially) and self-reflection. Unlike the allopathic model of health where we seek help or therapy after if a breakdown occurs. The reality of perfect health is for us to maintain the standard, this way, we can enhance our own body’s ability.

If you are not in ‘perfect health’ how long will it take you? You might expect it overnight just by suddenly going to the gym, quit smoking, or stop drinking excessively? Unfortunately, it does not work like that, otherwise, everyone would have perfect health in no time and there would not be a profession in health. The famous saying: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, is particularly applicable in scenarios like these. The reality is that good things take time, our body takes time to change. Research has shown that even working out consistently at the gym, results will not be seen until 3 -6 months later. Additionally, a healthy diet is just as important as working out! You must include all aspects to actually see results! Health is the same, consistent social, physical, and mental habits are the right way to go to develop perfect health. Be patient, trust in the process and everything will fall in its place.

 

Concl.

 

The expectation these days for health is focused on physical appearance. However, having a visually pleasing body doesn’t equate to being on top of things. Being healthy is achieving a balance between social, mental, and physical health. In this modern society, we are expected to do things in a flash and be successful right away. However, in reality, things take time. In the end slow and steady wins the race.

 

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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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Royalty free breathe photos | Pikist

How Poor Posture Is Destroying Your Health & 2 Posture Tests To Try At Home

Why is proper posture so important? Is it for the way you look? Sure, people definitely look better when they fix their posture. But regardless of esthetics, your posture is actually key to how your body functions in more ways than one.

Take muscles for example: when you’re sitting with your head forward, your posterior (back) neck muscle are working way too hard to support your head, while your anterior (front) neck muscles switch off. This leads to muscle imbalances and over time may very well develop into neck pain which can be stemming from degeneration, disc disease, muscle strains and so on.

Now your organs: when your body gets used to a slouching position and makes it a long term problem your intestines get compressed and digestion can become difficult. Poor posture also reduces lung capacity by up to 30%. As you can imagine it can compress the heart and reduce the flow of blood to vital organs thereby making them work less efficient and create disease within them.

Not only does posture affect you physically, it can also be detrimental psychologically. Studies have linked poor posture to increased depression, stress and fatigue.

The overall effect can become global and when those issues persist long term they can take away from your quality of life and even longevity.

 

“How do I know if I have a possible posture problem?”

 

Luckily there are 2 tests that you can try at home to see if you have any possible posture problems. All you need is a wall and/or a floor!

 

The Wall Test

 

Stand with the back of your head against the wall with your heels 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall.

If you can slide more than 3 fingers behind your neck or the small of your back then it indicates poor posture.

 

The Floor Angel

 

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Lower your rib cage so it’s in contact with the floor and your arms are out and bent at the elbow by 90 degree like so:

If your hips, rib cage, head or wrists and arms can’t maintain contact with the floor then this may indicate possible postural issues.

Try these out and see what your posture is like! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your structural chiropractor.

 

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Image from page 29 of "The posture of school children, wit… | Flickr

5 pieces of Fruit and/or vegetables a day!

Introduction

We always hear that we should be consuming at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day. Have you guys ever stopped and wondered why? They are vital in keeping a balanced diet. Studies have shown that consuming 400g of either fruits or vegetables can have significant benefits for one’s health.

 

Here are 5 top reasons why you should be eating at least 5 pieces a day.

1) Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all contain high fiber.

Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy guts can prevent constipation and many digestive problems. Consuming a high fiber diet can also reduce the chances of bowel cancer. AWESOME!

 

2) Fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight.

They can help fill up your stomach quick. But, because they are low in fat and calories it can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy

 

3) Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits has shown a decrease in blood pressure.

They contain many important vitamins and minerals. One important mineral that directly affects blood pressure is potassium. Potassium has shown to negate the effects of salt which has a direct correlation to high blood pressure.

 

4) Fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E.

These all help to ward off degenerative problems in the eye. Foods such as kale, spinach and oranges can help prevent eye disorders that arise from degenerative processes.

 

5) For pregnant women 5 a day is just as important.

Folate, which is a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables such as; broccoli, beetroot, citrus fruits and bananas have shown to decrease birth defects in newborns

 

Conclusion

There are so many other benefits that come from consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits. Different fruits and vegetables contain different sources of vitamins and minerals. To get the most out of 5 a day, you should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables

 

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Forward Head Affects Your Mood & Brain function

Introduction

Unfortunately, our obsession with our smartphones has made many of us develop forward head posture. Why is this bad? Every time we lean forward 60 degrees, the stress on our necks increases by approximately 30 kgs. In fact, every time you move your head forward an inch (2.5 cm), an extra 10 pounds (5 kgs) of weight is added to your neck. As a result, forward head posture leads to chronic pain, numbness in the arms and hands, improper breathing, and pinched nerves.

That’s not all. It turns out, forward head posture doesn’t just affect us physically. It affects our mood as well. Thanks in no small part to our smartphone addiction, most of us are constantly putting undue strain on our necks and spinal cords, which has adverse effects on our emotions.

 

The effects of Forward Head Posture on Mood and Brain Function

That’s right: Not only do asthma and heart disease can begin in your neck, but so does your brain health. For instance, posture has an impact on feelings of stress, mood, memory, and even behavior.

A 2010 study from Brazil examined posture and body image in people with major depressive disorder. Over 10 weeks, 34 participants with depression, and 37 healthy volunteers had their posture assessed. Researchers found that patients’ posture changed, including instances of forward head posture, during episodes of depression. There was also a “mild dissatisfaction with body image.”

Further, the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Hildesheim in Germany gathered 30 depressed inpatients to “investigate the effects of sitting posture on the tendency of depressed individuals to recall a higher proportion of negative self-referent material.” The findings showed that posture can affect memory.

The participants were randomly assigned to sit in a slouched or upright position. Those who sat upright showed no bias in word recall while those who slumped recalled mostly negative words.

In addition, poor posture has been shown to affect stress response. In 2015, Health Psychology: The Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association published the results of a randomized trial on how posture affects stress responses. Seventy-four participants were randomly assigned to either upright or slumped seated posture. For the experiment, participants’ backs were strapped to hold the assigned posture.
The “upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower fear, compared to slumped participants.” In addition, those sitting in a slumped position “used more negative emotion words, first-person singular pronouns, affective process words, sadness words, and fewer positive emotion words and total words during the speech.”

Researchers concluded that good posture in the face of stress maintains self-esteem, improves mood, increases the rate of speech, and reduces self-focus. Meanwhile, poor posture actually resulted in more stress, potentially leading to chronic stress.

 

The ways to improve it

A lot of the poor posture out there, whether it’s slumping or forward head posture, is the result of the devices we use. From computers to tablets to smartphones, they all require a different angle to utilize, all of which throw our posture off. And it turns out, the size of device matters — but it’s not what you may think. Instead of larger devices causing more problems, the opposite seems to be true. That’s because the smaller the device, the more we must move our heads or necks forward.

The good news is there are many steps you can take to correct your slumping or forward head posture. Structural Chiropractic corrects your underlying structure that all muscles and ligaments attach to, which will help you feel and function better. It will also help relieve joint pain, stiffness, and improve muscle balance.

Posture seems to influence behaviour. A study in Japan worked to correct elementary students’ posture, focusing on all four major components of posture: feet, buttocks, back, and the entire body. After practicing and promoting good posture in class, not only did posture increase roughly 20 percent to 90 percent in students, but students’ classroom performance improved as well.

Of course, you can always incorporate posture exercises to correct that pesky forward head posture and improve your mood and mental health but these won’t CORRECT the underlying structure. These include:

  • Arm circles
  • Arm closes
  • Chin tuck
  • Thoracic extension stretch
  • Push up
  • Cats and dogs
  • Lateral raises (straight and bent)
  • Rows
  • Pull-ups.

 

Conclusions

• Forward head posture leads to chronic pain, numbness in the arms and hands, improper breathing, and pinched nerves. But that’s not all. It can also affect our mood.
• Poor posture also has been shown to affect depression, memory, stress response, self-esteem, body image, and even brain function and behaviour.
• You can improve posture through chiropractic adjustments, and posture exercises like chin tuck, push up plus, thoracic extension, arm circles, cats and dogs, lateral raises, rows, and pull-ups.

 

Extra pressure put on your spine by Forward Head Posture

 

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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