Blue Light: The Good & The Bad

Every sort of screen emits blue light and how many hours do we spend sitting in front of a screen every day? We are looking at screens every day whether it is watching shows, scrolling through social media, or doing office work. By the end of the day, we probably spend a good 12-15 hours on a screen. As a result, we will definitely be affected by blue light somehow. So today we’ll break down some of the effects of blue light.

 

Pros

  • Blue light helps regulate our circadian rhythm. Blue light can be found in the sun. Every day we are woken up by blue light. It is what triggers us to wake up. Without it, we will be in hibernation most of the time.
  • Blue light stimulates alertness, memory and cognitive function. This is because blue light increases the speed of neuron growth and strengthens neuron connection in the hippocampus. As a result, we become more focused and retain information a lot easier.
  • Apart from brain growth, blue light also stimulates eye and vision growth. Children at a young age needs to be exposed to a moderate amount of blue light in order to for their eyes to grow. The key work there was MODERATE. Too much blue light can also be bad but we’ll touch on that later. Some studies show that too little blue light can actually stunt growth and can cause near sightedness.

Cons

  • Blue light decreases sleep quality. While blue light keeps us up it decreases melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone created in the pineal gland that controls sleep cycles. Due to the shorter wave lengths from blue light, the body becomes more sensitive to it as a result, delta brainwaves which is induces sleep is also supressed.
  • Too much blue light can lead to eye strain. Human eyes are not very good at filtering out blue light due to the shorter wave length. Since the wave lengths are shorter, it scatters more than other colours making it harder to focus. At the same time it reduces contrast in other colours. As a result, our eyes need to work extra hard to filter out this out unnecessary colours thus leading to eye strains.
  • Finally, too much exposure of blue light may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. Again due to the shorter wave length of blue light, it is easy for it to penetrate the retina (the inner lining at the back of the eye). This is where most of the light sensitive cells are located in the eye. Too much blue light can actually damage these cells. As these cells degenerate further, it can lead to permanent loss of vision.

 

Blue light is a natural source of light that can be found anywhere. This light is very important since it helps with waking us up, increasing brain function and growth. But due to technology and lifestyle we may be being overexposed. Too much of anything can be bad, with blue light it decreases sleep quality, lead to eye strains and may increase the likelihood of macular degeneration. There are a couple of ways to decrease the effects of blue light. One, spend less time in front of screen. Especially 30-60 minutes before you go to sleep so you can increase sleep quality. Second, wear glasses that filter out most of this light. This way your eyes will be less stressed. Remember blue light in moderation is good but too much of it can worsen your health.

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Blue Light | djmicromix.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/blue-a-tech… | Flickr

 

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

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

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Bedtime Stretches Part 6: Rag doll stretch

BEDTIME STRETCHES: forward bend/rag doll (6/7)

A rag doll stretch will help to relax the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and hamstrings. I recommend it for everyone, but especially those who suffer from low back pain, since the stretch lengthens the hamstrings to relieve tension in the low back. It’s really important to keep a micro-bend in the knees to protect the hamstrings, and as always work within a pain-free range.

STEPS

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Place right hand on left elbow, left hand on right elbow.
  • Bend over from hips, letting arms and head hang down.
  • Hold this rag doll position for 8 to 10 breaths. Gently roll back up.

 

In addition to stretching the spine, ragdoll pose:

  • Relieves stress and calms the mind
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Helps to drain the sinuses
  • May ease lower back and neck pain
  • Improves digestion.

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

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Rag doll stretch

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[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VZPpRjJtKA[/embedyt]

 

my bedtime stretches | Pseph | Flickr