Whole Foods

 

This era has unlimited food on the supermarket shelves. We’ve got plenty of meats, vegetables, grains, oats, dairy products etc. However, not everything on the shelves is safe to eat in the long run. But there will always be one part of the supermarket that’s always going to be reliable and delicious; that’s whole foods.

 

So what are whole foods? Whole foods are a group of foods that has not been processed or went through minimum processing before being put on the shelves. Previously fresh meat and oils were also considered in the category. However, now that some meat contain antibiotics and hormones while we now know that even some oils are heavily processed before distributed. So nowadays, whole food are mostly fruits and vegetables that have not been processed or refined. Oats, legumes, beans are some of them.

 

cont.

 

So why are whole foods recommended so much? Firstly, they are not processed. This means, there are no additives in there. This means that everything is natural. The human body is made for digesting natural foods. Due to these additives and extra processing, it causes gut inflammation. Since out gut is inflamed, it’ll slow down any other healing process and make it look like there is a belly. Secondly, it decreases the chance of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and other health problems.

This comes back to it being unprocessed again. When processing food plenty of chemicals, MSGs, fats and oils are added to a product. This chemical mixture is like a time bomb that is going to explode in your body. A build-up of these may causes unhealthy reactions in your body leading to cancers. Finally, they overflow with healthy nutrients. These food were literally designed for the human race to keep us going! They are filled with everything we need. Don’t get me wrong, supplements are extremely useful when used correctly. But most of our daily nutrition is already lie in whole foods!

 

So next time you pick up something from the supermarket, think bigger picture than is it yum? Whole food can be just as tasty if prepped right! So make sure you read the label carefully and choose what’s best for you body!

 

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Whole Foods | Herry Lawford | Flickr

Slow Twitch vs. Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers

Every living animal on this planet has muscle fibers. There are some animals who can move for long distances like birds migrating through different seasons and there are some animals that can be very fast and explosive like a lion. That’s the same with human beings, some human beings are very good at long distance sports while some are 100m speedsters. This is because there are two types of muscle fibers in our body; slow and fast twitch fibers. They serve very different purposes.

 

Slow twitch fibers, also known as Type I muscle fibers, are muscle fibers that contract slowly. Due to the slow contraction, they do not generate a lot of power. Slow twitch fibers are a lot more efficient at using energy and due to that, they are fatigue resistance. This is because these fibers tend to be a lot smaller and are surrounded by capillaries. Many capillaries surround them, so they support aerobic metabolism as there will be more oxygen supply. This results in muscles that can work for a longer period of time with less energy output. This type of muscle fiber is most ideal for people who do long distance or stamina based sports such as marathons and triathlons. They grow through similar types of training over a period of time.

cont.

There are two types of fast twitch muscle fibers; moderate (Type IIA) and intense (TypeIIB). Type IIB being the larger one. However, both these fibers are larger in comparison to the Type I slow twitch fibers. Due to the larger size, they are able to produce more force however they need more oxygen to sustain them. Unfortunately, these large twitch muscle fibers are not surrounded by as many capillaries as the slow twitch fiber which makes them easier to fatigue. These muscle fibers are more effective for people who often do more explosive movements such as sprinters, weight lifters and jumpers. These muscles grow through resistance training.

 

What’s very interesting is even though if the sport demands mostly slow twitch fibers, small amounts fast twitch fibers are also recruited. This is because in the action of each movement a small amount of explosive strength comes out. In sports that require plenty of fast twitch fiber, once the primary fiber fatigues, your body will naturally push the small twitch fiber to do carry on the job. This is why it is important to train both types of muscle fibers.

 

The amount of fast twitch and slow twitch fiber is predetermined by genetics and at a young age. However, it is not said that they cannot be changed. Many of this is determined by the amount and type of training done. That being said changing between the two types of fast twitch fiber and from fast twitch to slow twitch can be achieved with much more ease compared to altering from slow to fast twitch fiber. However, this does not mean it cannot be done. As long as hard work reigns supreme, and by being consistent with the type of training.

 

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Muscle icon,muscle,anatomy,muscle fibers icon,muscle fibres icon - free  image from needpix.com

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

 

Nervous System & Chiropractic

Chiropractic is so much more than ‘cracking’ backs!

Contrary to what most people think, Chiropractic care is not just for neck and back pain. I suppose when we become sick, we don’t tend to say, “I think my nervous system needs fixing.” Although, this can exactly the case. To apprehend how powerful chiropractic care can be, an understanding of the importance of the nervous system is crucial.

The nervous system is so vital and central to controlling functioning of our bodies. Without it, our hearts would stop beating, our lungs will collapse and the body will be at a halt.

The two main parts of the nervous system are the brain and the spinal cord. Without the brain, we would not be able to give commands out to other areas in our body (eg limbs and organs.) And we would not be able to receive, process and interpret messages from the rest of the body. The spinal cord acts as the main pathway that delivers the messages from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa.  If we think about it, the spinal cord is just like the main highway and the messages from the brain leave the main highway to different parts of the body. The nervous system is what powers and governs the body. Without it, our bodies would not be able to function.

The Spinal Cord

So how does this relate to the spine? Well like we just mentioned above, the nervous system consists of two main parts; the brain and the spinal cord. It’s common knowledge that the skull protects the brain and spine protects the spinal cord. This means that the spine and the spinal cord have a very close relationship with each other. Sometimes life’s physical (repetitive movements, staying in one position too long, etc.) and mental (financial, relationships, anxiety, etc.) stressors can alter the spinal structure. This alteration in the structure will act as a roadblock for the nervous system in the spine. This is why achieving the best functioning spinal structure, is our goal at Revolution Chiropractic. We know that by having a healthy spine and good structure, we minimise musculoskeletal problems as well as maintaining a healthy nervous system.

So there you have it, Chiropractic is so much more than just pain. Only 10% or the nerves that run through the spine are related to back and neck pain. The other 90% is all about the information from the brain to and from the rest of the body. Hopefully, you are now aware that the nervous system governs every part of the body and how a healthy, well-structured spine is central to improving the brain-body connection.

Keeping your Nervous System at its optimum state

Chiropractic care helps keep the nervous system healthy. When your spine is misaligned, the messages that are carried through the spine aren’t firing properly, throwing the body out of whack. This can wreck havoc on daily life but also increase chances of developing various diseases later down the line. Having regular visits with your chiropractor can assist you in maintaining a healthy functioning nervous system and thus – healthier brain and body!

For treatment and a check up you can visit our Revolution Chiropractic and wellness clinic in Auckland, North Shore. 

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Neck and Upper back pain: The Chin Tuck

The Chin Tuck: An Excellent Exercise for Neck and upper back pain

After visiting your Chiropractor, one of the most effective postural exercises for combating neck and upper back pain is the chin tuck. Chin tucks are recommended for keeping the head aligned above the spine and maintaining good posture. When done regularly and with the correct form, chin tucks can help improve the neck’s strength, flexibility, and function.

This exercise not only helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders but it also stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles.

This exercise is simple, effective and easy and can be done without interrupting your day. For instance, while sitting in the car or at the desk at work. The repetition of this exercise also helps develop good postural habits.

The Chin Tuck : Steps

  1. To perform the exercise for the first time it is often recommended that you stand with the spine up against a wall or door frame.
  2. Next place the feet out about 8 cm from the edge of the wall or door frame.
  3. Keeping the spine against the wall, pull the upper back and head back until the back of the head touches the surface. It is important to make sure that the chin is down so that the head is pulled straight back and is not looking up.
  4. Hold your head against the wall for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat this ten times.

After performing this exercise about ten times, you can start doing the exercise standing or sitting without a wall.

• The exercise can be done 5 to 7 times per day.
• When in the car, use the headrest as a point to aim for when pulling the head back.

You may feel some stretching of the muscles on the side of the neck that go down to the collarbone. These are the scalene muscles. These muscles along with the muscles at the top of the neck at the base of the skull are generally the tight muscles. The muscles in the front of the neck and of the upper back are generally the weak muscles that need to be strengthened.

In cases of extreme forward head posture, you may not be able to pull their head all the way back to the wall when you first start. In these cases it is advisable to pull the head back as far as possible without pain.

chin-tuck-neck and upper back pain

When to see a Chiropractor?

Chin tuck exercises have been well documented for many years to reduce neck pain, headaches, stiffness and much more. However although these exercises are effective, we must address the cause of the misalignment in the beginning. It it important that the correct spinal alignment is in place. By removing stress on your joints and neck muscles and putting your body into a state of ease.

If you are experiencing neck or upper back pain of any kind it is highly recommended you visit your Chiropractor. As a leading chiropractor in Auckland, we see hundreds of patients per year at our clinic – Revolution Chiropractic. A great posture starts with a great spine!

Neck and Upper back Pain – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Risks of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a standard class of drugs. They are used chronically for persistent pain due to osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders in older adults. Specifically, an estimated 40% of people age 65 and older fill one or more prescriptions for an NSAID each year. Exposing themselves to serious risk. Considering that NSAIDs are also currently available over the counter, it is clear to see that even more significant numbers of older adults expose themselves to NSAIDs in the United States.

NSAID use causes an estimated 41,000 hospitalizations and 3300 deaths each year among older adults.

Some specific ADRs of concern with chronic use of NSAIDs include:

  1. Gastrointestinal (GI)
  2. Renal
  3. Cardiovascular (CV – heart attacks or heart failure) and cerebrovascular (strokes)
  4. Central nervous system (CNS – dementia, cognitive impairment)

Although I only discuss ADRs affecting these four organ systems in this review, it is crucial to recognize that NSAIDs can cause various other adverse effects (e.g., hepatotoxicity (liver damage), cutaneous toxicity).

GI Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use

The spectrum of potential NSAID-related GI adverse effects is extensive, ranging from dyspepsia to life-threatening gastric bleeding. A nested case-control study showed that NSAIDs increase the risk of fatal peptic ulcers by nearly fivefold in older adults. Other studies show that the risk of peptic ulcer complications increases by three- to fivefold in older adults using NSAIDs. This risk higher in those taking concomitant systemic corticosteroids and warfarin. In addition, the risk is increased as early as within the first month of treatment and sustains over time. Often, these peptic ulcers are asymptomatic but can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.

Renal Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use

Similar to NSAID-related GI adverse effects, NSAID-induced renal dysfunction has a wide spectrum of adverse effects, including decreased glomerular perfusion, decreased glomerular filtration rate, and acute renal failure (ARF). While it is important to recognize that ARF can develop at any point during long-term NSAID therapy, the risk may be highest among those who have recently initiated therapy.

Specifically, in a nested case-control study of older adults, the risk of ARF increases nearly twofold for all NSAIDs within 30 days of initial use/prescribing. This risk is greater in those older adults with pre-existing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and in those who use long half-life NSAIDs.

Cardiovascular/Cerebrovascular (heart attack/stroke) Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use

NSAIDs worsen/increase the risk of various CV and cerebrovascular outcomes.

NSAIDs =also cause or exacerbate heart failure (HF) in older adults. Specifically, a cohort study of older adults found that rofecoxib and nonselective NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen, and diclofenac), but not celecoxib were significantly associated with an increased risk of admission for HF as compared to those not taking NSAIDs. Another cohort study found that among patients who had survived their first hospitalization because of HF. Subsequent use of any NSAID (including celecoxib, as well as ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, and other NSAIDs) led to a significantly increased risk of death.

CNS (Central Nervous System) Risks Associated with Chronic NSAID Use

NSAID use is associated with several CNS effects, including aseptic meningitis, psychosis, and cognitive dysfunction. Studies to date have not consistently shown a benefit from chronic NSAID use in reducing the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment. Interestingly, though, several studies have shown that high-dose NSAIDs (i.e., anti-inflammatory doses) may increase the risk of cognitive impairment. In particular, indomethacin appears to cause more CNS effects than other NSAIDs in the elderly.

Conclusion

This review has summarized the potential risks associated with chronic NSAID use in older adults. Including GI, renal, CV/cerebrovascular, and CNS adverse effects. Although I only discuss ADRs affecting these four organ systems in this review, it is important to recognize that NSAIDs can cause various other adverse effects (eg, hepatotoxicity, cutaneous toxicity). Moreover, it is important to note that nonpharmacological approaches (weight reduction, increasing physical activity) may also help patients who are experiencing musculoskeletal pain.

As the aging population rapidly grows over the next few decades, the risks associated with chronic NSAID use will remain a significant public health issue.

 

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Painkillers

Painkillers

Painkillers, are they bad, or are they good? Yes, they are great for masking pain, but do they do anything? Long term use of painkillers can cause many problems. Taking strong painkillers or just regular painkillers frequently for a long time can cause liver and stomach damage. Additionally, it may not even help the underlying problem. Perhaps after this blog, there will be more awareness about the side effects of pain killers.

Overuse of painkillers can lead to both liver and stomach damage. Let’s start with the most common painkillers that we can find over the counter; Paracetamol. The recommended daily allowance of Paracetamol is 4000 mg, which is equivalent to around eight tablets. However, many other medications already consist of Paracetamol in the formula, so this makes it hard to keep track of the amount that the body is intaking. Going over the recommended daily allowance can lead to long term liver damage or even liver death as well. Even if you stick to 4000 mg daily and do not exceed it, the daily or frequent use of this amount of painkillers is detrimental to your health.

Painkillers cont.

Another common painkiller are NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); iburoprofen, asprin and diclofenac are only a few that falls into this category. This category of painkillers can damage the stomach if it taken for long periods. These should only be taken under the recommendation of a GP. NSAIDs interfere with the production of mucus in the stomach. The mucus in the stomach forms a mucosal layer to prevent gastric acid from eroding and damaging the stomach. With a decrease of mucus production in the stomach, it becomes more susceptible to gastric ulcers. Study has shown that even taking NSAIDs just once is enough to cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach.

Finally, painkillers serve a purpose, but do they get to the root of the problem. By masking the pain, you may make the original problem worse. This is because pain is a way for our body that something is not right and should be looked into more thoroughly. If the painkiller covers the pain, we would have no idea that the area is injured or has a problem, and we would continue our activities. This may further aggravate the injury leading it to become a long term problem. Taking painkillers is like temporarily covering a leaky roof rather than repairing the problem. It will always keep coming back, and over time it’ll just get worse and worse.

So it’s up to whether or not you want to fix the problem and for your body to heal from the inside, or just mask the symptoms.

 

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Prenatal Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a wonderful, exciting time! There are so many changes that happen – physically, emotionally, and hormonally.  It can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride. One of the best things we can do as expecting moms is to take care of our ever-changing bodies and spine structure with chiropractic techniques so that we can enjoy our pregnancy.  Paying attention to your spine during pregnancy will also set us up for a quick labor, delivery, and recovery. Prenatal chiropractic care is safe, gentle, and effective for you and baby.

It aims to restore proper movement, function, and alignment to the spine and pelvis.

Here are some of the common reasons you should seek out chiropractic care if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or a new mom.

  1. Weight Gain

A necessary, and often dreaded, part of pregnancy is the weight gain that accompanies it.

The increased weight gain will be everywhere, but obviously concentrated in the abdomen.

This increases pressure on the abdomen and on the joints and discs of the spine overall.

The tendency here is to pull the low back forward.

Prenatal chiropractic care relieves the extra tension in the joints and discs allowing you to better adapt and get used to your growing belly bump.

  1. Increased Curves In The Low Back

As mentioned above, the extra weight through the abdomen will pull the low back forward, and cause more grinding and compression through the joints of the low back.

This often will cause the classic low back pain experienced by pregnant mothers.

Interestingly, the rest of the spine will change its shape due to the increased curve in the low back.

The mid-back for example will increase its curve, and the neck will straighten out. This can lead to mid back pain, and neck discomfort as well.

  1. Changes in Walking Patterns and Pelvic Movements, how prenatal can help

We all have heard and seen the classic pregnant “waddle”.

This tends to be most noticeable in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, as baby descends into the pelvic inlet (sometimes called “engagement”)  but the spinal and mechanical changes start as the baby occupies more and more space in the uterus, around the 2nd trimester.

As baby grows, it will limit the ability of the sacrum, to freely rock back and forth.

What we typically see is the mom will gradually (and most noticeably) increase her base of stance (or distance between the feet) as she walks to compensate for this lack of rocking motion in the pelvis.

This is something we can identify quite easily and, through prenatal adjustments, gently encourage the normal motion of the sacrum.

  1. Round Ligament Pain

This is what tends to bring a lot of pregnant woman into our office.

In and around the second trimester, a ligament that attaches the uterus to the abdominal wall (the round ligament) tends to get spastic, and with that, getting in and out bed, turning in bed, and twisting can cause a sharp stinging pain along the side of the belly.

We train our chiropractors to relieve this spasticity and allow for proper tension and balance to return between the two ligaments.

One of the problems that can arise if this is not corrected is a difference in tension between the round ligaments on either side of the uterus.

This is one of the many ways intrauterine constraint develops which can reduce the space for baby to grow.

Keeping balance between these 2 ligaments is good for mom (pain relief!) and good for baby (more room in the womb)

  1. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction / Pubic Bone Pain

Towards the end of pregnancy, as your body begins to prepare for labor, the pubic bone will start to separate (to allow the passage of the baby through the pelvic inlet).

However, if you have not been under prenatal chiropractic care, and there is abnormal pelvic mechanics, what can happen is the pubic bone will separate unevenly.

This often causes excruciating pain getting in and out of bed, cars, chairs, and walking.

It also can potentially interfere with the baby passing through the area.

Complications that can arise include baby’s shoulder getting stuck (called shoulder dystocia), which can slow down labour, and lead to unwanted interventions.

Allowing the pubic bone to separate evenly, and having it monitored in the third trimester is one of the easiest ways to avoid the pain and discomfort while pregnant, and reduce dystocia during labour..

  1. Decreased Labour And Delivery Time

Getting adjusted, keeping the spine and sacrum aligned, flexible and moving ahead of labour is a great idea.

Research has shown that moms under chiropractic have decreased labour times, and decreased interventions required during delivery. [The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31]

Most moms for this reason alone will choose chiropractic care.

Giving birth is like a marathon!

Prenatal chiropractic care is the training and fine tuning before the big event.

  1. Postpartum Recovery from pregnancy 

As you heal after delivery, this is a wonderful time to work on your spinal alignment.

With continued elevated circulating levels of relaxin following pregnancy, you are more “malleable”. We can also work on your alignment as you come back together.

Working on core strength, pelvic floor strength, and of course the new mechanical challenges of breastfeeding while you are healing will help your transition to motherhood as pain free and seamless as possible.

Want To Get Started On Having A Pain-Free, Enjoyable Pregnancy And Labour?

Chiropractor Auckland

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Brain Health

The human brain is the organ that controls everything in our body. It acts as our engine and provides vital messages to different parts of our body to keep everything moving. Just like the engine in our cars, we keep it oiled, regularly serviced and well maintained. But how well do we maintain the health of our brains? There are several ways we can keep our brains well-groomed. This can be done through regular stimulus and healthy nutrition.

Improving the brain with stimulus

Just like other muscles in our body, our brain grows with constant stimulus. When we exercise our brain becomes stronger, smarter and better. We can stimulate our brain through many means such as reading, solving puzzles, playing challenging board games and regular exercise. Study has shown that if we do some sort of physical mental challenge it can help reinforce brain cell connection. This means we are less likely to suffer from mental diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Physical mental challenges involve your hands, eyes and brains; this means that these activities should not be done on our devices. In fact, research has shown that due to the amount of time we spend on our devices, our concentration span and our ability to recall information has decreased. So as a recommendation, it is good to stimulate our brain for 30 minutes a day. Whether this is reading a book, enjoying a puzzle or playing board games with family and friends.

Diet and mind

Another way to keep our brains well maintained is through a healthy diet. There are some foods that should be avoided if we want to keep our brains well maintained; sugary drinks (eg. fizzy drinks), artificial sweeteners, highly processed foods and alcohol just to name a few. Instead we should be consuming nutrients that are good for the brain such as omega 3, antioxidants, unsaturated fats and magnesium. All of these can be found in natural food sources such as berries, legumes, nuts, seeds (flaxseeds, linseeds, hemp seeds) and vegetables. A healthy diet can help your brain just as much as helping the rest of your body.

In a technological era that we are in right now, we have now lost the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and recall information that we have just read or seen. It is important to keep our brain well-conditioned at all times as this is the master organ of our body. This can be done through regular stimulus and a healthy diet. So please start taking care of your brain and give it what it needs so you can start excelling in your life.

 

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The Importance of Exercise: Cardiovascular Training

In our blog ‘Strength Training’, we talked about the importance of strength training and as a recommendation, 40-60 minutes of strength/weight training every week is needed. These exercises could be from something that we can just do with our body weight such as push ups, plank, squats, pull ups and many more. This week, I would like to explore cardiovascular training and how you can include it into your exercise routine.

Please be aware, when I say we need to do endurance training. We are not going to run a marathon or do a triathlon. We actually include cardio/endurance in our daily lives most of the time; when we walk, do chores at home and even while we are doing our weekly grocery shopping. Cardio training are just exercises that challenge our heart and lungs. As a recommendation, we should be doing around 150 minutes of cardio every week. That comes down to around 20 minutes a day. If you include 2 days of weight training exercises, it makes it 30 minutes a day over 5 days.

Cardiovascular training is just as important as doing weight training. There are many benefits from cardio training; increasing strength of heart muscles, lowering blood cholesterol and many more.

Cardiovascular training helps us build and increase the muscles of the heart just like how weight training help us build muscles. By increasing the strength of our heart muscles there will be less pressure in our cardiovascular system. This is because cardiovascular training can increase the efficiency of transporting oxygen around our body. Due to the increase in strength, it can also increase the stroke volume with each beat, which means that with each beat of the heart more blood will be pumped out. As a result, this can help you lower your blood pressure.

Another benefit of doing cardiovascular training is lowering blood cholesterol levels. There are two types of cholesterols; low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as bad cholesterol because it causes fatty build ups in the arteries which leads to narrowing of arteries. With the arteries narrowing, it is harder for blood to flow through causing an increase in blood pressure. HDL on the other hand is the good cholesterol in our body. HDL absorbs the bad cholesterol in your body and stores them in the liver. The liver then flushes the bad cholesterol out of your system. Cardiovascular training raises HDL in the body which induces the decrease of LDL. As a result, the arteries will be less narrow which will also bring down your blood pressure.

Some people think cardio is really boring but you can make if fun. If doing long walk or jogging isn’t your thing, you can try some high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT), go play a sport you enjoy or even go dancing with someone. The great thing about cardio is that it can be done anywhere, it is also a good opportunity to start a new hobby too!

Now you know the benefits of cardio, go out there and move your body. With this, it wraps up our 3 part series on why we should exercise. I hope now you know the importance of exercise and will take out some time from your busy day to keep your body healthy!

 

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