4 Natural & Effective Ways to Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels is something that effects around 31% of the human population. Having a cholesterol levels can lead to high blood pressure, angina and kidney diseases. In more serious cases it can lead to strokes and heart attacks. This is because cholesterol builds up in our arteries and blood vessels. Due to this build up, it leads to a narrower vessel hence the increase in blood pressure and the increase likelihood of blockages. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, today let’s discuss 4 ways for you to lower your cholesterol.

 

  1. Reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet. This is because it contains high amounts of LDL. This is a type of cholesterol that is harmful for the body as it leaves build ups and is easily solidified in room temperature. Thus leading to narrower blood vessels in the body. We find saturated fats in many unhealthy foods such as pies, cakes and different types of pastries. This is because they are all made from some sort of animal products like butter and margarine. Another way to avoid food that contains high amount of saturated fats is to consume less processed meats. This is because it is often mixed with cuts of meat that contains high amount of animal fat.
  2. Consume food that is high in omega-3. Even though omega-3 is a fat it does not build up in the body as it is classified as an HDL. Think of it like this, omega-3 is the oil that keeps the mechanics well oiled. If everything in your body is well oiled, it’ll function smoothly and be kept in a better state. By keeping the arteries better oiled, it decreases the amount of plaque and fatty builds up from the LDL. As a result, even if you do have high cholesterol, it’ll lower your blood pressure. Leading to a lower likelihood of heart diseases.
  3. While we are sticking to recommended foods, it is highly recommended for people with high cholesterol to consume soluble fibres like beans, oats, citrus fruits and barley. This is because our body is not able to digest these foods. This create a small barrier where these soluble fibres are then attached to the cholesterol, preventing it from getting into the blood stream. In addition, soluble fibres helps your gut bacteria (probiotics) function better. So start consuming more fibre right now!
  4. Do some exercises. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between exercise and lower cholesterol levels. This is because exercise stimulates a higher production of HDL levels. As we have mentioned it above, HDKL decreases the amount of plaque and fatty build ups in the arteries. As a recommendation, exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It can be anything from brisk walking to playing a sport that you enjoy.

 

Here are 4 tips on how to reduce cholesterol. Remember, it won’t be decreased overtime. Try these tips for a couple of months and retest your levels after. Sometimes it may take even longer. But I guarantee that if you stick to it, results will show over time!

 

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Morning Exercise Benefits

We have mentioned many times about the importance of consistent exercise. However, most of us just exercise whenever we want and do not have a set routine. But for results to show, it is best to be consistent. So is it better to work out in the morning or the evening?

Well in this first part, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of working out in the morning.

 

Positives:

  • Working out in the morning can give your day a kick start. Most of us are a bit slow in the morning. However, if we exercise first thing when we wake up, it’s a natural way to boost metabolism. It can be even more effective than coffee and it will provide you long lasting energy for the rest of the day.
  • You are more concentrated during the workout. When we exercise the first thing in the morning, we have no thoughts in our minds. Additionally, most people may not even be up by then so it is less likely that you will have distractions going on. This could be emails that you need to reply, text messages and phone calls. You will be more in the zone as many people are still asleep at that time during the day
  • Morning workouts have shown to improve the quality of your sleep. This is because your body will have had the whole day to settle down from the adrenaline and the endorphins. Additionally, it’ll help the body to release melatonin (a hormone that helps sleep cycle) earlier in the evening. Thus it will allow you to go to bed early and wake up early.
  • It burns more body fat than working out in the evening. This is because you are working out on an empty stomach. Our muscles need fuel for it to function. If we don’t have food in our stomach, our bodies will feed off what we have stored first. That first fuel source is fat.

 

Negatives:

  • Increase likelihood of injury. In the morning, your muscles and ligament are at its stiffest point. This is because while you were asleep, everything in your body would have been still for at least 6 hours. The best way to counter this is to do a thorough warm up before you start your work out. This way, you muscles will be able to function at its best.
  • You might to be able to perform as well as you would like. Again this relates to the point above being that your body is still in a rested states and joints aren’t functioning properly. Research has shown that the optimal muscle output is during the evening or late afternoon. This is due to the fact that your body has had the entire day to acclimatise to proper tension and movement. Again, to counter this problem is to do a very good workout to get everything functioning as well as it can in the morning.
  • Burnout may happen if we push ourselves way too hard. This is because the body is functioning at a high intensity on an empty stomach. I know it can be more effective at burning fat but pushing it over the line may be harmful. Your body may not be able to take it. So the best way to counter it, is to work out at 80% rather than 100%. This way, your body will avoid burnout but it is still effective.

 

This blog talked about the positives of doing an early workout. There are many great things about it such as more energy throughout the day, less distractions, improve sleeping quality and more effective in fat burning. However, if we don’t warm up properly working out in the morning can lead to more injuries and a decrease performance during the work out. Additionally, it may even cause fatigue and burn out if pushed too far. Next blog will be about the benefits of working out in the evening. Hopefully by then you’ll find the most suitable time for you to do your exercise.

 

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Evening Exercise Benefits

 

Whether exercise is done first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day or late in the evening, it should be a staple in your daily routine. We have previously discussed about the positives and the negatives of working out in the morning. So I thought I should do the same but later in the evening.

 

Positives:

  • Your muscles are already at prime function. During the day your body would’ve had time to warm up and lengthen the muscles to optimal tension. Once we prep the muscles , the output would be much more. As a result, you will be able to lift heavier, sprint faster and jumper higher. In another word, you will be at your physical peak in the late afternoon/evenings.
  • Exercising in the evening can help you build muscle faster than working out in the morning. Firstly, this is because you are getting the most out of your workout as mentioned in the point above. Secondly, research has shown that working out in the evening stimulates more testosterone production compared to working out in the morning. Testosterone is one of the key hormones for building muscles.
  • It is a great time to relieve stress. At the end of the day, we are often very tired from our daily chores such as work and tasks. Most of us will have a lot of stress built up, a great way to release stress is to work out. Studies have shown that exercise is great for mental health because it releases endorphins and dopamine. Both hormones are responsible for metal positivity.

 

 

Negatives:

  • Although it is a great way of releasing stress, it is also very tempting to skip evening workouts. This is because by the end of the day most of us are very tired and we would just rather go home, curl up and watch Netflix. The best way to get past this hurdle is to force yourself to go to the gym before you enter the house and once you enter, you can treat yourself with something good.
  • Intense exercise late in the evening can cause a spike in heart rate and adrenalin. This may alter your sleep quality in the evening. We can see this in competitive sports or any high intensity work out. This is because your body will be in a fight or flight response and it has not settled down yet. To counter this problem, the best way is to try do something relaxing before you sleep to allow your body to calm down. Stretching is one of the best ways to calm your nervous system down and it is a great way to warm down your body.
  • Distractions may occur. This is because it is during this time when people are usually free. This means there will be plenty of gatherings, hangout sessions or some recreational activities. Due to these social aspects, we may forget or prioritise those events before exercising. To work around this issue, try set specific days and time dedicated to your exercise program. Those days will not be altered against most events. This will help you to create a healthy habit for you to get into.

 

There are many positive and negatives when it comes to working out in the evening or morning. Personally, I’ve always been an early bird, so I like to exercise in the morning leaving the rest of the day free. I understand that not everyone is like me so I would say as long as you set yourself a specific time to exercise and stick to it, it is the most important thing.

 

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Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Static vs Dynamic Stretching

There two different forms of stretching; Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Both of them have their benefits but which one is for you? Check out the advice from Dr Samineh Baktash at Revolution Chiropractic in Auckland.

Static vs Dynamic Stretching – What’s the difference?

 

Dynamic stretches involve motion. These are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. Whilst static stretching involve no motion. This is when a joint is at the end of it’s range of motion, and held there for a certain period. Both forms of stretching are beneficial to you and depend on the goals or needs of the body.

Benefits of dynamic stretching:

  • Performance temperature – Dynamic stretching work the muscles up to their functioning temperature gradually. Muscles in the body require a certain temperature in the body to function at optimal state. To illustrate, take a like a glass, if it’s suddenly filled with boiling water the glass will crack and shatter, however if it’s warmed up gradually, it does not break. This example correlates well with the human body. If the muscles are suddenly worked without warming up, they are more likely to suffer from injuries. It is important to raise the muscles to working temperature through dynamic stretching.
  • Sports Preparation – Dynamic stretching prepares the muscles and joints by going through movements that will be required. This equates to the body being engaged and ready for sports-specific response. Research has shown that combining dynamic stretching and plyometric training during warm-ups increases performance. This was noticeably seen in the vertical jump height in basketball players.
  • Improves flexibility – Varying flexibility is needed for specific sports. This is very important for athletes as the range of motion around the joint will increase gradually over time. For example, sprinters will increase the length of each stride gradually, which will allow them to travel for a greater distance for every cycle of their legs. This is important for development in becoming a more successful athlete.

Benefits of Static Stretching

  • Reducing stiffness – This is great for the body, especially which can be very tight after being idle for long periods, an intense workout, or sports game. During any intense sports or workout sessions, micro-tears are formed in the muscle. When recovering from these micro tears, the body lays down new muscle fibre which will result in growth. However, not all the new muscles are healthy new muscles, some are of the new tissue laid down is scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that causes muscle stiffness. Static stretching can mobilise the restriction caused by scar tissue and lengthen tight muscles. This is critical to improving the range of motion and performance.
  • Increasing blood circulation –  Blood flow is important for healing, the higher the blood circulation, the faster the body heals as the muscles can receive more oxygen and nutrients. It also helps the body recover faster by removing waste products in the muscles. These waste products are often inflammatory residue left in the body after an intense workout.
  • Mindfulness – Static stretching is excellent for calming the mind. This can lead to less stress in both mind and body. This is because when you are stretching, your nervous system triggers the release of a hormone known as ‘endorphin’ and slows down the production of stress-inducing hormones. Endorphins help relieve the body from stress and pain.

static vs dynamic stretchingConclusion

So there you have it! Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Which type of stretching is more suitable for you? Dynamic or static stretching? In summary, dynamic
stretching helps increase body temperature gradually, prepares the body for specific movements
and improves flexibility. Static stretching has many advantages for the body too; reducing stiffness, improving blood circulation and calming the mind, to name just a few. As a professional NZ Chiropractor and health care advocate, I would say a combination of both is important if you are constantly working out, or a high-performance athlete. However, if your excercise is light, static stretching would be enough. I hope this brings clarity as to which type of stretch you should do. Both are amazing and both should be included in your routine.

When to see a chiropractor?

It is often worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your Chiroprator before beginning any stretching routine, especially if you have strained muscles or existing injuries.  A good Chiropractor is uniquely qualified to assess which form of stretching should be used and when. It is our job to both prevent injury to the muscles as well improve range of motion.  When combined with a regular routine of care, stretching can be one of the body’s best defenses to maintaining proper function.

If you are searching to optimise your bodies health and functionality, consider chiropractic care to get and keep you in the best possible shape.

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Are Adjustments Painful?

Are Adjustments painful? Myth!

One of the most common mistruths about seeing a chiropractor is that adjustments are painful. Ok, let’s bust this Myth! The truth is – getting adjusted by a trained Chiropractor is holistic, safe and comfortable.

There are many techniques available to adjust the spine, the classic dynamic thrust, to very light forces or contacts. The delivery of adjustments come from the Chiropractor themselves, or via instrument assisted delivery. And your position can be sitting, standing or lying on a cushioned table.

At Revolution Chiropractic we utilise an array of safe and effective procedures suitable to the patient’s age, condition and comfort levels.

Chiropractors don’t just ‘Click’

What may come as a surprise is that some of the most effective changes to our nervous systems are made using the lightest techniques. For instance, the upper cervical area there is no ‘clicking’ of the joints. To clarify, ‘Clicking’ is not required to create changes in our nervous system. This is because the upper cervical techniques are so specific that they can change the biomechanics of your whole body and change your structure completely.

Are adjustments painful? chiropractor

After a spinal adjustment, often a great sense of relief can be experienced. However, on some occasions with certain injuries or issues, it may feel slightly awkward momentarily as your body adjusts to it’s optimum position. To illustrate, this experience can be similar to the sensation of tender muscles after starting an exercise program. Of course later, as your nervous system integrates the effects of the adjustments, most people feel a continuing sense of ease and enhanced relaxation.

So this is just one reasons many people make chiropractic treatment a regular cornerstone of their wellness lifestyle.

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Stress And The Common Cold

Stress, colds, chiropractors

Stress And the Common Cold

Stress has a major influence on the function of your immune system. For instance, have you noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold when under a lot of stress? This is true both for acute stress, such as preparing a big project for work, and chronic stress, such as relationship troubles or grief. Both can deteriorate immune systems and leave us less able to fight off infection.

Researchers have now revealed that the hormone ‘cortisol’ may play an intricate role in stress and sickness. Concluding that high levels of stress can have such a detrimental impact on our immune systems.

The Perfect “Recipe” for Avoiding Colds

Chronic stress and vitamin D deficiency can be described as the perfect ‘storm’ for developing colds. If you’re facing these two scenarios and are exposed to a cold virus, then you guessed it! There’s a good chance you’re going to get sick.

Cold viruses can live almost anywhere. On pens, computer keyboards, coffee mugs, handbags.. so it’s easy to come into contact with such viruses in daily life. The important key to remember is that just by being exposed to a cold virus doesn’t have to mean that we catch a cold. If our immune system is operating at it’s peak, it should be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.

If you want to join the ranks of people who rarely get sick, start with strategies listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does give you a general idea of how to live healthy and avoid getting frequent colds and other infections. Other factors, like getting high-quality sleep and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins, are important too. Here are a few simple starters to boost your immunity straight away:

  • Reduce and Eliminate Stress in Your Life.
  • Optimise Your Vitamin D Levels.
  • Optimise Your Insulin and Leptin Levels by Avoiding Sugar, Fructose.

Eating sugar, fructose and grains will increase your insulin levels. This is one of the fastest ways to get sick and experience premature ageing. Leptin is another key hormone associated with disease and the ageing process. Similar to insulin levels, leptin levels can also become consistently elevated. If they do, our bodies can develop resistance to this hormone, which may wreak havoc in your body.

Exercise

If you are exercising regularly, the likelihood of acquiring a cold or other viral illness is significantly reduced. In one study, staying active cut the risk of contracting a cold by 50%, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31% among those who did catch a cold. The researchers noted that each round of exercise lead to a boost in circulating immune system cells that could help ward off a virus.

Did you know that exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood? The job of these cells is to neutralise pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and other pathogens that may opportunistically overrun the body.

Eat Plenty of Raw Food

One of the most important aspects of a healthy diet that is frequently overlooked is the issue of eating uncooked, natural raw food.

Unfortunately, over 90% of the food purchased by most New Zealanders is processed. When we consume these kinds of denatured and chemically altered foods, it’s no surprise we have an epidemic of chronic and degenerative diseases. Not to mention way too many cases of colds and flu. Ideally you’ll want to eat as many foods as possible in their unprocessed state. Typically organic, biodynamic foods that have been grown locally, and are in season. Even when you choose the best foods available we can destroy much of the nutrition if you cook them. Try to eat RAW as much as possible!

When to visit your Chiropractor?

A common question that chiropractors often hear: Should I get adjusted when I’m sick? My answer is almost always YES! The body’s ability to heal quickly and efficiently, are made up of many moments of positive choices. Healthy alignment of the spine is an extremely important factor to strengthening immunity.

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Kids Balance Exercises: One Leg Stand

Kids Balance Exercises: One Leg Stand

Chiropractic care for your kids can greatly benefit their physical and mental development including improving their balance. Kids Chiropractic care is gentle, precise, and effective. Here’s a tip on how you can help your kids improve their balance with One Leg Stand.

 

Steps for One Leg Stand:

  • Stand on one foot and place your hands on your hips and balance for 5 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.
  • Focus on looking straight ahead at the wall, not at the ground!
  • Be able to do this for 10 seconds without wobbling or falling over

 

LEVEL 2: Do this with your eyes closed

The ability to stand on one leg is important. When walking, you spend about 40% of your time with one foot on the ground as the opposite leg is moving through the air. The single-leg stance is a simple, but very effective exercise for improving balance.

One Leg Stand

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAOWeqdQ3S8[/embedyt]

 

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Health Advice – How To Live Longer

It seems like every few years we have to unlearn some health advice that experts have come up with.

“Fats are bad… No, they’re good!”

“Carbs are the enemy! No wait, sugars! What’s the difference again?”

You’d think that after all these years of experimentation, documentation and research that they would have the answer by now. Well they have… But it’s no surprise fountain of youth or berry found in some remote location. In fact, the answer is no surprise at all. It’s really quite simple and attainable by the vast majority of people (even those that can’t afford organic bananas).

  1. Sleep well

Ever since we were young we’ve known that sleep is an important part of being healthy and energized throughout the day, but chances are that you’re overestimating the amount of sleep you get! Sleep affects pretty much everything, from your mental state to your digestion, so if you’re doing everything right but still not seeing results, take a closer look at your sleep habits!

  1. Eat better

Ever hear the saying “You are what you eat”? Well there’s some truth to that since the foods you eat literally make up your body. When you’re missing important nutrients, your body is more likely to get damaged or fall ill. Which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re in the habit of getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates (vegetables, rice, quinoa, fruits), protein (tofu, legumes and so on) and healthy fats (nuts and seeds). Bacon, sausages and deli meats are not a part of this list as they are not healthy in any amount and regarded as a Class A carcinogen (cancerous) which is the same level as smoking cigarettes.

  1. Move more

Exercise signals the body to use nutrients and balance blood sugars, build and repair bone and muscle tissue, and circulate blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body, including your brain! It’s one of the most incredible things you can do for your health. Its not optimal to sit around and watch Netflix all day (although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional binge), we were designed to move. So start moving! Whether it be a leisurely walk around the block or an intense Crossfit session, you’ve got to make it a lifestyle. If you’re looking for a community focused gym that you can get all your needs (cardio, strength, boxing, weights, body weight, running, rowing etc) that’s not full of posers then you should try https://www.priorityfitness.co.nz/.

  1. Stress less

Everyone has their own unique way of getting in the zone and escaping from the world for a little bit. Whether it be painting, meditation, having a coffee with friends or cuddling on the couch with your hubby, always make time for yourself to take it slow and really enjoy life as it comes. It’s easy to get caught in the riptide of the fast paced lifestyle and forget about the little things like personal time and health. So always schedule some YOU time and never forget one of the most powerful medicines of them all – laughter.

These 4 pillars have stuck as health advice clichés for as long as anyone can remember… but they remain so for a reason. Lifestyle habits have a powerful impact on quality of life. Granted, there are many things that we don’t have control over, but we DO have control over our habits. Going over how to make these habits stick will take a whole other article, but you can get started by ditching the mindset of being perfect and starting when you’re “ready”, and instead become PROACTIVE by starting now (no matter how small the step). We’ll visit each of these pillars in future blog posts to make sure you’re on the right track!

Chiropractor Auckland

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The Daily Happy Feet Routine

Your feet are the 2 things that take you everywhere throughout your day. Imagine if they were in pain all the time and you couldn’t use them… Ask anyone who’s had plantar fasciitis or any other foot injury – it’s no walk in the park (pun intended).

Whether you’re an avid runner, working on your feet all day or even if you just enjoy the occasional stroll in the park, tension can build up in your feet that may lead to pain, discomfort or even injury. This is especially apparent in people today since more and more people are being put into shoes at a young age and the musculature in the foot begins to waste away since they’re not being used. This leaves the foot susceptible to injury

Getting in the habit of mobilizing your feet for less than 10 minutes a day can help prevent the pinch points in your feet from developing into problems. All you need is a ball and some space to stretch. The ball should ideally be hard like a lacrosse ball or yoga ball, but a tennis ball will do the trick too.

Ready? 3 simple steps.

  1. Start in a kneeling position and stretch the tops and bottoms of your feet.
    Focus on your breathing and go deeper in the stretch on your exhale.
    Do about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each stretch.
  2. Lift your big toe while keeping your little toes on the ground.
    Then reverse and lift all your little toes while keeping your big toe on the ground.
    If you have trouble doing this then you know you’ve got some tight feet. Try mobilizing your toes by separating them with your fingers but putting your fingers in between your toes. Spend about 30 seconds to a minute on each foot.  Watch this video.
  3. Take your ball and start rolling it under the bottom of your foot.
    Start with the ball at your heel and work your way through the arch to the toes.
    Spend extra time on the spots that feel more tense and alternate the pressure and speed. Spend about 1-2 minutes on each foot. Watch this video.

By doing this simple routine every day or as often as you can, you can help prevent overuse injuries in your feet to make them mobile and happy.

Chiropractor Auckland

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