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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Happy people live longer | When Bobby McFerrin sang his most… | Flickr

 

Guide to Choosing Your Proper Pillow

Pillows plays a bigger role in our sleep than we think. But with so many choices out there, it’s difficult to make the right choice. And seeing as you’ll spend about one third or your life sleeping, it’s a choice worth pondering over.

A pillow that doesn’t fit your properly or doesn’t provide enough support may lead to discomfort while sleeping or waking up in pain. It’s would be far more beneficial for you to wake up refreshed and energized for your day. And to do that we need to find a pillow that’s not only comfortable for you to sleep on but also provides the proper support to your neck structures.

Three criteria that you must consider:

First, you must consider the size of the pillow. Basically, if you have broader shoulder, than you’d need a thicker pillow to support you properly.

Second, consider the material that the pillow is made out of. If you have allergies, than it would be wise to go with a hypoallergenic. Pillows can be made from many different materials so be sure to check the details on the packaging to ensure that it’s what you’re looking for. Also, be sure to wash your pillow cover regularly. They must be replaced every year or two on average, but this depends on the quality of the material.

Third, look at your sleeping position. There are 3 types: back, side or stomach.

  • Back: you’ll need a pillow with medium thickness and a bump (called “cervical pillow”). Make sure that it holds your head in a neutral position
  • Side: You’ll need a pillow that more firm. Depending on the width of your shoulders you’ll want to pick the size of your pillow accordingly. Ideally, you want your nose in line with the centre of your neck when sleeping on your side.
  • Stomach: You’ll want a pillow that’s soft and flat. Sleeping on your stomach is not ideal in the long-term as it can lead to more spinal issues. Talk to one of our structural chiropractor for advice around this.

Extra pillows:

A second pillow may be sued for side sleepers as it can be placed between the legs to keep the pelvis alignment in neutral throughout the night. A second pillow is also a good idea for stomach sleepers to hug so that they avoid turning onto their stomachs. If you’re suffering from low back pain and you sleep on your back, try placing it underneath your knees to take a bit of pressure off.

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge to go out there and make an informed decision about the pillow you sleep on. Not only will it help you achieve a good night’s sleep, it may also prevent or reduce neck pain, back pain, headaches and, in certain cases, snoring. Sleep soundly!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Best Pillow For Neck Pain | There are more options to choose… | Flickr

Consistency Is Key – Movement

Perhaps you have been to a Chiropractor before for one or two visits but you didn’t really feel like it did anything.

And you are probably right.

The thing is, Chiropractic isn’t exactly supposed to “do anything” in one or two visits.

I can hear you thinking “but I thought chiropractors fix people…”

Think of it this way, what do you do when you go to the gym or exercise? You move your body, sometimes in strange ways. And what does that movement do? It stimulates the muscle to strengthen and build endurance.

But you don’t get much change from one or two sessions. Or even from one or two weeks or months. Building strength takes a consistent and calculated approach.

Unlike pain medication and other pharmaceutical drugs, the goal of the work we do as chiropractors is not to take away your pain. The goal is to find the areas of your spine that aren’t moving optimally (called a subluxation) and then to help those areas move better with adjustments, which will in turn strengthen your weaknesses and reduce the spasms. This equilibrium will keep your body maintained well and healthy and without wear and tear.

In reality the only thing powerful enough to heal you is the remarkable power built into your body. Healing takes time, which is an important point that can be hard to deal with when you are recovering from an injury or a health problem, especially a chronic one.

Our focus is to correct structural shifts in your spine by improving movement quality

(adjusting subluxations) so that your body can regain it’s strength and become more resilient. This is why we design care plans that span a few months to allow deeper change to movement and strength to occur because unfortunately there are no shortcuts!

Chiropractor Auckland

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Important Habits To Keep The Weight Off

There is a lot of information and weight loss programs out there claiming to help you rapidly lose weight that say something like “how lose 20 kilos in 3 days”. Losing extreme amounts of weight in a short period of time will often require unsustainable habits.

If you are serious about weight loss the most important thing isn’t to lose it quickly but to keep it off once you lose it.

There are a few key behaviours and habits among people who have shed body fat and kept it off. None of them should be surprising!

1) Cognitive restrain:

this means you must have a way to help stop you from overeating. This can be things like: restricting the amount of time you eat during the day (known as intermittent fasting), limit intake of a food group (usually fats or carbohydrates for example).

To keep you on track it will be useful to use a food journal, weighing yourself to monitor weight change (keep in mind that most people will fluctuate up and down couple of kilos throughout the day so you want to look at long term trend over weeks) or taking body measurements. Keeping regular tabs will help you adjust what you are doing so you don’t get too far off track.

2) Regular exercise:

Regular exercise will increase the energy you use in a given day so you aren’t storing excess bodyweight. Exercise also helps your brain better recognize satiety signals so you don’t eat as much!

3) Long term focus:

like anything worth having in life, financial independence, a university education or mastering a trade, maintaining a healthy body takes short term sacrifice for long term gain. From time to time you can have a treat, but when treats become the norm they are no longer a treat.

4) Social support:

Having someone supporting you on the journey will hugely help you in reaching and maintaining a healthier weight. Such as joining a boot camp type training facility or sports team or even an online forum can help give you outside support to reach your goals

-Karfopoulou, E., Anastasiou, C., Avgeraki, E., Kosmidis, M., & Yannakoulia, M. (2016). The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: Results from the medweight study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39(3), 511-8.

-Kraschnewski et al. (2010). Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. International journal of obesity (2005), 34(11), 1644–1654.

-Kruger et al. (2006). Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 3, 17.
Nicklas et al. (2012). Successful weight loss among obese U.S. adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 42(5), 481–485.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Should I Warm Up Before & Cool Down After Exercising?

Throughout any intense exercise session, the body is handling stress and has a risk of injury. This can be minimised by warming up and cooling down before and after your workout.

Before getting into your sport or strength training session, you want to get a warm up. This is going to prepare your body for exercise and increase your heart rate and breathing. Ideally, your warm up routine will consist of two-parts: a general warm up and specific warm up.

The general warm up

consists of jogging, biking, rowing or any other cardio exercise followed by dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is not your typical “touch your toes” stretching. It consists of movements that take your joints through their ranges of motion to warm up and stretch the muscles. For example, you can perform leg swings, shoulder circles and bodyweight lunges. The bodyweight lunges serve as a nice stretch for your hip flexors while also adding a little resistance exercise for your quads and glutes to warm them up.

The specific warm up

consists of specific exercises that closely resemble movements that you’ll be performing in your actual sport or training. For example, jumping exercises before getting onto the basketball court or some lightly weighted squats before your leg session in the gym.

The warm up is essential for your performance as it increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles, increases neural impulses to wake up your muscles and, most importantly, decreases the stiffness of connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) to avoid any muscle tears. Studies have shown that a structured warm-up can reduce your chance of injury by more than 50% and that’s on top of helping you perform better!

The cool down

is also important as it helps flush out any lactate (waste), prevent dizziness from blood pooling. It also decreases muscle soreness after your session. It consists of gradually decreasing your heart rate and stretching out your muscles. This also has two parts: general cool down and static stretching/foam rolling.

The general cool down

is similar to the general warm up since you can use jogging, biking or any activity at a progressively decreased intensity. Your aim should not be to sweat and go fast at this point, you just want to go through the motions and let your body slow down to a relaxing stop.

Following your general cool down you can get into some static stretching, which is the basic stretching where you hold stretches for around 15-30 seconds. You can also choose to use foam rollers or massage balls after your exercise to restore length in the connective tissues. The stretching and foam rolling helps reduce muscle soreness, increase muscle flexibility and stimulate circulation to flush out the lactate.

Be sure to hydrate well and eat a healthy meal after your workout to keep your body fuelled and recovering well!

Stay tuned next week for when we’ll take you through our ideal general warm-up and cool-down routine to cover all your bases!

Chiropractor Auckland

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File:Man Doing Warm Up Exercise Cartoon.svg - Wikimedia Commons

 

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!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Whiplash – A Quick Guide

 

What is it?

 

Whiplash is caused by sudden hyperflexion (forward) and hyperextension (backwards) movement of the neck. This kind of quick movement stretches the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments, in your neck beyond their usual normal limits, resulting in damage of these structures.

 

How is classified?

 

The Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) grading system

WAD I: Neck pain + stiffness or tenderness only. No physical signs.

II: Neck pain + musculoskeletal signs (reduced range of motion)

III: Neck pain + neurological signs (numbness or tingling, weakness, decreased or absent reflexes)

IV: Neck pain + fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae in the neck.

It can be difficult to tell which grade you have, but the most common grade of whiplash is WAD II

 

How does it happen?

 

Most people associate whiplash with car accidents, but it can also happen in contact sports, rollercoasters and even head banging too hard at concerts. It can basically happen in any situation where abrupt head movement is involved.

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

 

The following are some signs that you are experiencing whiplash.

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Vertigo

 

How long does it last for?

 

This answer is different for every person, but typically the average human recovers within 6 months. That being said, it may take years to recover for those with prolonged symptoms.

It depends on the severity of the injury, how soon your you start treatment, how well you stick to your treatment, if you’ve had a whiplash injury before and whether you have any pre-existing conditions.

 

How do you treat it?

 

Easy, the 10-10-10 Protocol.

Initial treatment of whiplash should consist of 10 minutes of ice application, removal for 10 minutes and reapplication for another 10 minutes. Then repeat.

A structural chiropractor can provide the proper treatment and exercises to restore function and get you back to your normal daily activities sooner. Delayed treatment may hinder overall recovery time, so the sooner you start treatment, the better!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Whiplash Monster Truck Backflip Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

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!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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HD wallpaper: boy sitting on plane seat while viewing window, human, person  | Wallpaper Flare

Don’t Get Sick This Winter

It’s coming into winter, often called flu season, and if you don’t want to get sick then follow this advice…

Okay, so there isn’t really a cure for getting the common cold but there a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick and to improve your recovery time if you do fall ill. Improving your body’s ability to fight sickness is how we look at things at Revolution, not just medicating symptoms.

Keep your nutrition high

This is important year-round but keeping your diet full of vitamins and minerals will help your body put up the good fight. Stay topped up with fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal.

Vitamin C heavily associates with immunity so up your intake to 5000-10000 milligrams a day. CAUTION: increase to this amount over a few days as high vitamin C doses can increase the frequency that you’ll need to sit on the porcelain throne if you catch my drift. Start with 1000-2000 milligrams and up it from there.

Vitamin D is another key player for your immune system and since we tend to spend a lot less time out in the sun in winter it’s harder for our body to make enough of it so you should look into supplementing it. The Vitamin D council recommends 5,000-10,000 IU per day.  Check out their website for more great information on vitamin D.

Avoid sugar: Sugar has been shown to reduce the ability of your neutrophils to attack invading pathogens. Neutrophils are white blood cells that essentially chase down and eat invading bacteria and other bad guys that can make you sick. We know sugar has many other negative effects on your health to so it’s definitely best to avoid. Yes, fruit has sugar but fruit also has vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body requires whereas a can of fizzy drink or a piece of cake has nothing to offer you except momentary pleasure.

Rest

The immune system takes a lot of energy to run which is why you get tired when you are sick, your body is slowing you down so it can put maximum resources into fighting off invaders.  Last winter I had a sore throat coming on and I knew I should take it easy but I went to the gym instead. I ended up very sick for the next few days.  I spent my energy lifting heavy barbells and I didn’t have enough in reserve.

Lesson learned, take it easy if you feel something coming on, dose up on vitamins and vegetables, stay hydrated and you might lessen the impact of the storm.

Sanchez, A. Et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Improve Your Sleep and minimize insomnia

Introduction

We all know the frustration that comes with insomnia: watching the clock, counting the hours till morning, and flipping through late-night channels. If you suffer from frequent insomnia, you’re not alone. Approximately 30% of people suffer from insomnia each year and even more struggle in one way or another with sleep, such as grogginess, poor concentration. But apart from these frustrating symptoms, poor sleep habits can result in long-term medical issues, including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, with some small changes in your habits and sleep routine, you can take control of your sleep and boost your chances of getting better rest.

 

Limit Your Screen Time

Despite the urge to watch Netflix in bed, try leaving your computer, tablet, or television anywhere but the bedroom. Doing so can improve your sleep, even if you don’t suffer from full-fledged insomnia. Using electronic devices, including your phone, just before bed has been linked to irregular sleep patterns and poor sleep habits. So if you find yourself waking up exhausted or tossing and turning before falling asleep, switch out your laptop for a book.

Limit your screen time

Move Your Body

An aerobic workout may be enough to tire out your body and promote deep sleep. After all, regular exercise has resulted in improving patterns of insomniacs. But even a single moderately paced exercise session may help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, at least for that night. Exercise may help with insomnia because it regulates your body temperature, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps to normalize your circadian rhythm.

Move your body

 

Change Positions or Your Pillows

No matter how tired you are, you may find it difficult to get into a comfortable position and stay asleep. If neck pain or headaches are keeping you awake at night and worsening insomnia, you may want to reconsider your sleep position or even your pillows. After all, an individual’s reported pillow comfort correlates with sleep quality. Aim for a position and pillow that prevents your neck from staying in neutral while you sleep. I would recommend THE Theraputica pillow or the complete sleeperrr.

A good night of sleep is irreplaceable.

Change positions or your pillows

 

Address Pain

Aches and pain not only make it difficult to fall asleep but lead to frequent awakenings, painful mornings, restless nights, insomnia. Unfortunately, pain and sleep may work in concert; pain can lead to poor sleep quality, and poor sleep quality can further exacerbate pain. To break free of this frustrating cycle, address the primary cause that is leading to a secondary condition of pain.

Address pain

 

Get Checked For Sleep Apnea

If you are a snorer, wake up gasping for breath, or struggle to stay awake during the day, do yourself a favor and get checked for sleep apnea. It is a condition characterized by cessations in breathing during sleep and it is devastating to your health. Short periods of oxygen deprivation lead to numerous subsequent micro-awakenings, ones that you may not even remember. Although between three and seven percent of adults suffer from sleep apnea, very few get treatment for this potentially dangerous condition.

Get checked for sleep apnea

Consider Supplements

If all else fails to minimize insomnia, you may find yourself desperate for a good night’s rest. Hopefully, you are not drawn to television advertisements for sleeping pills. Before you ask your doctor for a prescription, consider nutritional or herbal-based remedies that may help you get a better ZZZZZ’s. Look for foods that contain melatonin, including cherries. Some studies have found that melatonin supplementation reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases quality sleep time.

Consider supplements

 

Replace That Old Mattress

8 years old, stop! Take a deep breath, and imagine waking up in the morning without aches pains. I have tested, discarded, and been very disappointed MANY times over the years. There are two mattresses that I can recommend without hesitation. Intellibed or Sleepyhead Chiropractic beds. Do yourself a favor and put this in your shopping cart now and get some much-needed rest.

Replace the old mattress

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Sports Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here!

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