All posts in Chiropractic

Vegetables and fruits are good for you

Vegetables and fruits are good for you

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy eating pattern. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may lower your risk of heart disease

Vegetables and fruits have important nutrients such as:

fibre
vitamins
minerals
Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your meals and snacks. Try making half of your plate vegetables and fruits.

Choose different textures, colours and shapes to fit your taste. From apples to zucchini, choose plenty of vegetables and fruits.

Try a variety of vegetables and fruits such as:

pears
apples
berries
broccoli
peaches
cabbage
leafy greens
Fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates are high in sugars. Replace juice with water. Choose whole or cut vegetables and fruits instead of juice.

Choosing and preparing healthy vegetables and fruits
Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruits can all be healthy options.

Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits:

take little time to prepare
are a healthy and convenient option
are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables and fruits
Frozen vegetables and fruits
Choose frozen vegetables and fruits without:

added sugars
added seasonings
breading or rich sauces
You can add frozen vegetables and fruits to soup or chili.

Canned vegetables and fruits
Choose canned vegetables with little to no added sodium.

Drain and rinse canned vegetables to lower the sodium content.

Choose canned fruit with little to no added sugars.

Use the food labels to help you compare canned vegetables and fruits.

The % daily value helps you see if a food has a little or a lot of a nutrient.

Dried fruit
Dried fruit can be a part of healthy eating but it can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. If you choose dried fruit, eat it with meals.

Preparing vegetables
Try healthier cooking methods like:

baking
roasting
steaming
stir-frying
Enhance the flavour by adding:

olive oil
lemon juice
flavoured vinegar
fresh or dried herbs or spices
Snack ideas
Vegetables and fruits make quick and healthy snacks. There are lots to choose from and many healthy ways to prepare them.

Vegetable snacking tips
Keep cut up fresh vegetables in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack. Try:

broccoli
cauliflower
carrot sticks
celery sticks
cucumber slices
Fruit snacking tips
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter as an easy snack to grab.

Add fruit to whole grain cereals or lower fat yogurt. Try:

bananas
mangoes
frozen berries
canned peaches packed in water
Freeze seedless grapes on a tray and enjoy them as a snack.

How to eat more vegetables
Here are some easy ways to eat more vegetables:

Add canned pumpkin or squash purée to any soup to make it extra rich and creamy.
Wash, chop and refrigerate or freeze extra vegetables when preparing meals so you have extra for meals the next day.
Use pre-bagged vegetables that can be quickly tossed in a salad, stir-fry or casserole. Try:
baby carrots
green beans
leafy greens
Serve raw vegetables with your meals. Try:
cucumber
cherry or grape tomatoes
red, yellow or green peppers
Try new recipes that call for different types of leafy greens such as:
kale
spinach
bok choy
Swiss chard
mixed salad greens
How to eat more fruits
Fruits are a delicious addition to your day. Here are some easy ways to eat more fruit:

For dessert, choose:
oranges
fruit salad, with little to no added sugars
Add fresh fruits to salads. Try adding sliced:
pears
peaches
strawberries
Add frozen fruits to baking.
Wash, cut and refrigerate extra fruit so you can have some on hand for meals and snacks.

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Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Recreational activities to minimize stress and prevent back pain

Going to the chiropractor can help relieve pain and prevent injuries, but being active is also a great way to help keep your spine healthy. Just going for a brisk 10 minute walk each day is enough to help improve your health and prevent conditions of the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body. But there are also a few other recreational activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent back pain and reduce stress.

Here are a few suggestions and why you may benefit from them:

Yoga and Pilates:

Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that typically focus on moving the body while focusing on breathing and body awareness. The poses are purposeful and usually work a few areas of the body at once, including the back and leg muscles to build a stronger foundation for other movements. Also, the poses often focus on balance which can be important to prevent falls and injuries as we age. Compared to higher impact activities that cause added strain to the body, Yoga and Pilates are known to be ‘safe’ for healthy and even injured individuals. Yet, with most practices being keenly aware of your body is important and adapting movement to your skill level. However, regular practice has been shown to decrease back pain1. The great thing about Yoga and Pilates is that there are several types of classes catered to your specific skill and comfort level.

Aquafitness

Aquafitness is a dynamic, low impact activity that usually involves the entire body in movement, including the abdominals, gluteal, and leg muscles. Since the movements are done in water, the water adds extra resistance to strengthen muscles but also minimizes impact on your joints. Aquafitness has been shown to be an effective management tool for those suffering from certain MSK injuries allowing them to keep active. Notably, people suffering from low back pain2 may particularly benefit from aquafitness or gently swimming in water. Contact your local community centre or gym to see if aquafitness is part of their regular programming.

Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art focuses on meditative, deep breathing combined with methodical practice of slow movement enhancing mobility and balance among those who practice the art. Tai Chi is known to have major health benefits – even for those with back pain. Tai Chi can improve pain and function, while decreasing likelihood of chronic pain. It is a safe and effective activity for those experiencing long-term back pain symptoms3.

Other activities you may want to consider are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking or striding on the elliptical machine. There are always alternatives to staying active, even when you experience pain. Some of these can even help relieve the pain.

If you’re looking for ways to stay active and relieve pain, meet with our team to discuss more options.

Sourced from CCA

1Sherman K,  Cherkin D, Wellman R, Cook A, Hawkes R,  Delaney K, Deyo R. A Randomized Trial Comparing Yoga, Stretching, and a Self-care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Dec 12; 171(22): 2019–2026.

2Ariyoshi MSonoda KNagata KMashima TZenmyo MPaku CTakamiya YYoshimatsu HHirai YYasunaga HAkashi H,Imayama HShimokobe TInoue AMutoh Y. Efficacy of aquatic exercises for patients with low-back pain. Kurume Med J. 1999;46(2):91-6.

3Hall AMMaher CGLam PFerreira MLatimer J. Tai chi exercise for treatment of pain and disability in people with persistent low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Nov;63(11):1576-83.
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10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

10 Chiropractic Research updates you need to know

What impact is research having to advance healthcare, the chiropractic profession and patient care?

For the last decade, the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation was working to achieve one goal—to place chiropractic researchers in Canadian universities for the first time in history. With the help of generous donors, this goal was successfully achieved in 2017.

Check out for yourself how donations are making a difference!

University Affiliation

  • 13 CCRF Research Chairs placed in universities across Canada—seven are tenured; two are tenure-track.
  • Chiropractic researchers are working with multidisciplinary health teams, educating medical students, breaking down barriers and building inter-professional networks.

Disease & Disability Prevention

  • Discovery of a therapy halting the progression of Degenerative Disc Disease, a condition that creates significant disability, expense and the highest number of disability-affected years globally.
  • Evidence-based treatment protocols developed for mechanical, degenerative and inflammatory spinal disorders.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration

  • Working with healthcare teams in Denmark, U.S, Switzerland, Australia, Cuba, Hong Kong, UK, South America and more.
  • Industry collaborations with CCGI, CCA, Provincial Associations, Research Manitoba, World Federation of Chiropractic, World Spine Care Research Committee, Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) and more.

Healthcare Integration

Patient Care and Practice Development

Sourced from CCA Blog

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High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

High- and Low-Impact Activities for Everyone

It is no secret that at the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) we often promote the benefits of regular physical activity as a way to stay healthy and happy. In fact, the CCA thinks it’s so important that we’ve created a free app: Straighten Up Canada! The app is currently available for download via Apple StoreGoogle Play and Blackberry World. Featuring easy-to-follow exercises, it helps to improve your posture and allows you to stay active during your day!

Investing time to do activities or sports that you enjoy is key to healthy aging and an active lifestyle. Being physically active is often a good way to prevent and manage musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries as well as helping maintain strength and mobility. Varying your routine between high- and low-impact activities is a great way to modify your workouts and challenge the body. We’ve outlined some great suggestions for both so you can get up and get moving!

High Impact

High-impact exercise is typically described as an (often aerobic) activity where both feet leave the ground at the same time1. Often, high-impact activities may include exercise classes which involve jumping, leaping, or jogging in place. Doing high-impact exercise can put you at greater risk of injury if your body is not prepared, especially if you’re just starting out. Be cautious and adapt to a lower impact version of the activity if in doubt. Otherwise, before starting high-impact exercises make sure you have warmed-up.

Good examples of high-impact exercises are:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Running or jogging on a treadmill (or outdoors)
  • Performing plyometric exercises

High-impact exercises tend to be more intense and expend more energy, so it’s important that if you’re doing high-impact exercises that you’re well-prepared. For some, high-impact exercises are not appropriate: they may increase the risk of injury, commonly to the ankles, knees, hips, and even the back. That being said, high-impact exercises can have a lot of great benefits too2:

  • Improves bone density
  • Increases an individual’s heart rate more quickly, thereby burning more calories
  • Improves a person’s stability, balance, and coordination
  • Strengthens the heart and lungs

Low Impact3

Low-impact exercise tends to be less jarring on the body and joints, and less intense overall. According to the American Council on Exercise, keeping at least one foot on the ground at all times also reduces your risk of musculoskeletal injury. Some examples include4:

  • Working out on an elliptical machine
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Using a rowing machine
  • Home exercise
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Nordic walking

It’s important to realize that low impact doesn’t mean low intensity (unless purposely designed to be so) because you can still get an intense workout keeping both feet on the ground. Low-impact exercises are great for beginners, people with arthritis or osteoporosis, older adults, individuals who are obese, pregnant women, and people with bone, joint, or connective tissue injuries.

Whichever form of physical activity you choose, make sure you do it safely.

Provided by the Canadian Chiropractic Association

References

1Amy Gonsalves, “High Impact versus low impact.” Diabetes Outside blog. April 19, 2011. https://blog.diabetesoutside.com/?p=1060

2Paige Waehner, “High Impact Exercise—Is High Impact Exercise Right for You?” VeryWell.com. May 2, 2016. https://www.verywell.com/is-high-impact-exercise-right-for-you-1230821

3Nicole Nichols, “low impact vs. high impact exercise: Which is right for you?” SparkPeople.com. April 14, 2010. https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=fitness_defined_lowimpact_and_highimpact_exercises

4NHS, “Easy exercises.” NHS Choices. Page last reviewed: 01/03/2016. https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Lowimpact.aspx
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The top 6 common myths about chiropractic treatment

The top 6 common myths about chiropractic treatment

Many Canadians continue to have questions about the role that chiropractors play in the healthcare team, and what benefit chiropractic care may have to their health.

1. Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back

This is false. When seeking care from a chiropractor, we will perform an assessment including a history and physical examination to determine the cause of the pain or dysfunction. From these observations, a diagnosis will be made and the treatment plan developed in collaboration with the patient – according to their needs and goals. The treatment plan will recommend a number of initial visits to see if the patient responds to care and scheduled re-evaluations. Depending on the patient and the condition, the recommended course of care may vary. Ultimately, the decision to continue care is yours. As a patient, if you have questions or concerns about care, you should feel comfortable to ask the chiropractor for more information on the recommendations made and address any concerns. The care plan should be part of a shared decision-making between the patient and practitioner.

 2. Chiropractors are not ‘real’ doctors

Chiropractors are regulated in all 10 Canadian provinces, and are designated to use the title “doctor” similar to physicians, optometrists and dentists after completing the extensive Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. Those professions who are recognized to use the “doctor” title have extensive training in their area of expertise that allows them to be diagnosticians – to provide a diagnosis.

Chiropractic care in Canada

 3. A medical doctor must refer you to a chiropractor

In all provinces in Canada, chiropractors are primary contact providers, which means you can access them directly. Due to the extensive training of chiropractors as diagnosticians, chiropractors will perform a comprehensive assessment to help determine a diagnosis or clinical impressions. Depending on the outcome, the chiropractor can discuss a course of care or refer to another healthcare professional, as needed. However, in some cases, you may need a referral to access coverage depending on your benefits provider.

4. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of chiropractic care

Chiropractic treatment is at times questioned on its effectiveness. Yet, the chiropractic profession and others have invested significant resources to build a robust body of evidence studying the impact of manual therapies on MSK conditions. For example, spinal and joint manipulation has been shown to be effective treatment for acute and chronic MSK conditions, like back pain. In fact, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is recommended as first line intervention for back pain in numerous clinical practice guidelines including the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force1, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society2 as well as Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence3.

 5. Chiropractors can only treat back pain

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal (MSK) experts and are trained in assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing biomechanical disorders that originate from the muscular, skeletal and nervous system. In addition to the evidence that supports chiropractic care in managing musculoskeletal complaints of the spine, there is also evidence that it supports chiropractic management of the extremities, headaches and even TMJ pain,5,6. Chiropractors are also able to provide lifestyle counselling about nutrition, fitness and ergonomics among others that may be useful in managing or preventing a variety of health conditions. The health of your MSK system doesn’t just start with a healthy spine, you need to be fully aware of your health to maintain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle!

 6. Adjustments are painful

In general, adjustments or joint manipulations do not hurt. In fact, many patients report immediate pain relief. Patients may be nervous about the ‘cracking’ or popping sound that may occur during an adjustment. The sound is believed to result from the release of gas bubbles from the joint – similar to cracking your knuckles!

Asking questions about your health and treatment options are very important. You are a partner in your care and your participation is critical to helping us provide the best care to meet your goal. To do so, as a profession, we strive to better understand what information you need to make those important decisions. We want to hear from you! If you have any questions beyond this blog about chiropractic treatment, visit a chiropractor in your area. To learn more about what to expect at your first chiropractic treatment, you can take a look at our online videos.

1Haldeman, S., Carroll, L., Cassidy, J., Schubert, J., & Nygren, A. (2008). The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Executive summary. Spine, 33(4S), S5-S7. 

2Chou, E., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491. 

3National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2009). Low back pain early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. Londres, Angleterre. 

4Hoskins, W., McHardy, A., Pollard, H., Windsham, R., & Onley, R. (2006). Chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions: a literature review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 29(8), 658-671. 

5McHardy, A., Hoskins, W., Pollard, H., Onley, R., & Windsham, R. (2008). Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 31(2), 146-159. 

6Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Reugg, R., White, E., & , (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.
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Your smartphone could be causing your neck pain

Your smartphone could be causing your neck pain

Do you ever ask yourself why your neck is so stiff, or why you have that nagging headache that doesn’t seem to want to go away? Neck pain is a common complaint for Canadians that can range from mildly inconvenient to completely debilitating. You’re probably aware that poor posture, hunching over a computer, or falling asleep on the sofa can cause your neck pain. But did you know your smartphone might be to blame?

How prolonged use can cause strain

According to a recent poll by Forum Research, more than a quarter of Canadians use a mobile device at least two hours a day.1 Over the span of a week, that’s 14 hours spent texting, calling and swiping.

So what exactly is happening to your neck while you’re staring at your smartphone? It all has to do with the angle of your head. When you’re sitting or standing in a neutral position, looking forward, your head weighs between 10-12 lbs. As you begin to tilt your head forward 15 degrees, you put stress on your neck, increasing the pressure to 27 lbs. By the time you angle your head 60 degrees to stare at your smartphone, the pressure equates to a whopping 60 lbs. That’s a lot of strain on your neck and spine!

Tips to relieve pain

What can you do to protect your spine and relieve neck pain? We know you can’t completely disconnect from your smartphones – many of us use our devices for work, to stay connected with distant friends and family, and as a source of entertainment after a long day. But there are small changes you can make to reduce the strain over time.

Dr. Sean Lamasz, DC, recommends the following tips to manage “Text Neck:”2

  1. Lift your phone up to eye level

“A simple way to help prevent neck pain associated with these devices is to avoid bending your neck forward,” advises Dr. Lamasz. “Looking at your phone while sitting at your desk? Lean on your elbows, bringing your phone to eye level, allowing you to keep your neck in its neutral position.”

  1. Take a break

Dr. Lamasz suggests implementing the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes on your mobile device, take a 20-second break and look 20 feet ahead, which will neutralize your spine.

  1. Stretch it out

If you’re looking for something you can do to instantly relieve neck pain, try these eight simple stretches:

Illustration of a woman performing 8 neck stretches

SOURCE: www.drseanlamasz.com/blog/2019/2/14/text-neck

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Shoulder Blade Motor Control & Strengthening and Shoulder Strengthening Exercises for Slipped Ribs

Shoulder Blade Motor Control & Strengthening and Shoulder Strengthening Exercises for Slipped Ribs

All these exercises are excellent at assisting with creating endurance, control and strength around the shoulder.  From our experience, these exercises will assist with preventing slipped rib dysfunction.

Multiple scapular motor control exercises

Scapular retraction (sitting)

Scapular retraction with weights (inclined position)

Shoulder abduction (standing)*

Biceps strengthening (standing)*

Alternative shoulder elevation (sitting)*

Pectorals strengthening (supine)*

Shoulder flexion (supine)*

Front raise shoulder flexors strengthening (standing)*

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How to fix a slipped rib?

How to fix a slipped rib?

What is a slipped rib?

Costovertebral Joints

Costovertebral Joints (where slipped rib occurs)

A slipped rib or in other words slipping rib syndrome occurs when the joint(s) that form between your ribs and spine and/or between your sternum and ribs move out of proper alignment.  The condition can also be referred to as tietze’s syndrome or Chostochondritis (usually referring to the joints between the sternum and ribs located in the chest wall). After this injury occurs, the ligaments that hold the joint(s) together get stretched.   This “stretch” creates irritation, pain, discomfort or “pinched nerve feeling” in the upper back (and sometimes down the arm) and the opportunity for the rib to slip out of place again and again. Often times, it can feel as if a dagger or sharp object is digging in between the shoulder blades and can cause shortness of breath (appearing like a heart attack or panic attack).

What causes a slipped rib to become slipped?

Slipping Rib Syndrome or slipped ribs occur frequently in life.  Often slipped ribs go misdiagnosed and thus under-reported. They are caused by various reasons.  Bending, twisting, lifting, reaching, pulling can cause the rib to slip. Furthermore,  they may be caused by trauma to the body such as being tackled from the side in sports, jumping, or getting hit in a car accident, prolonged or forceful coughing, uneven lifting of heavy objects (furniture, heavy backpacks, luggage, lifting winter/summer tires, etc).

How Can I Treat my Slipped Rib(s)? 

There are many approaches to treat a slipped rib: anti-inflammatories, chiropractic care, physical therapy and strengthening, and sometimes prolotherapy (Prolotherapy, also called proliferation therapy or regenerative injection therapy is an alternative medicine treatment of tissue with the injection of an irritant solution into a joint space, weakened ligament, or tendon insertion to relieve pain).

How does Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor) treat a slipped rib using Chiropractic care?

Slipped ribs can be treated by various techniques.  One technique is to relax the musculature with heat, interferential current (muscle stimulation that assists in pain reduction), acupuncture, and registered massage therapy.  Recently, I have also been exploring the using of shockwave therapy to treat this conditions (I will comment more about this in an upcoming blog). These techniques may assist in soothing the pain or realigning the rib(s) and vertebrae.  A second technique and the one preferred is to adjust the rib(s).  This will also assist in realigning the rib and vertebrae into a ‘normal’ or more comfortable position.

What is an adjustment?

The Ontario Chiropractic Association defines an adjustment as a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body.  Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about. Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor.

How is a slipped rib adjusted by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto?

One technique is to have the patient lie on his/her stomach on a chiropractic table.  The adjustment is applied by the chiropractor to the area where the slipped rib(s) is/are irritated.  The adjustment to the area is very quick.  Following the adjustment, the patient usually knows whether or not that rib(s) is/are still irritating them.  Most of the time the pain goes away.  Sometimes, the muscles around the slipped rib remain tender to the touch.  Another techniques is to have the patient sit at the end of the chiropractic table.  The patient sits facing away from the table.  The patient is lowered onto the table and will usually feel the pop or click once he/she reaches the table.  A third technique that is is to have the patient lay on their side facing the practitioner.  In this case, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, will apply his hand along the area of concern.  While in this position, patient will relax and take a deep breath.  A small and quick amount of pressure/force is applied and the rib should adjust into alignment.  Following these adjustments (only one maybe used), the patient should feel relief and be able to take a deep breath without the sharp dagger like pain in the back.  After the adjustments, it is always good practice to use a heat pack to soothe the muscles in the region. Trained Chiropractors and other trained practitioners can perform these rib adjustment procedures in various ways.  Always consult a trained health practitioner when contemplating treatment.

Please note that I have NOT exhausted and/or discussed all the options for dealing with a slipped rib.  I have only touched on a few that I find work for my patient’s.  Do your  own research and if you have any questions, please send them along and I will do my best to address them.  Look forward to comments.

Hope you found this information on the slipped rib syndrome interesting.

To make an appointment to see Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor & Acupuncture Provider), please contact the office at 647.873.4490. 

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates

Chiropractor & Acupuncture Provider

www.fitforlifewellnessclinic.com

—–

Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates, please contact us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The following information is my personal notes about this subject matter. It is intended for informational purposes only. Consult a health practitioner to help you diagnose and treat injuries of any kind.

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Keeping Our Youth Heart-Healthy Through Movement

Keeping Our Youth Heart-Healthy Through Movement

Exercising the heart makes it stronger. It’s a lesson we all know in adulthood, and it begins with good habits that are ingrained within us over time. If we want to make the general population more heart healthy, it’s important to start the lesson early.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), a voluntary organization that focuses on the scientific study of exercise physiology and biochemistry, fitness, and health, came up with a new plan to get our young people moving. The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, aimed at those 5 to 17 years in age, is the first evidence-based set of guidelines to address the whole day of a person’s activity, including rest and sleep.1

The rationale behind taking into consideration a whole day of active and passive activity is that the body is always active. It’s about more than concentrated physical workouts—all physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep are necessary in a fine balance for overall well-being.

The categories of movement are broken down into “Sweat, Step, Sleep, and Sit,” and the guidelines encourage youth to achieve high levels of “sweat,” low levels of “sit,” and the right amount of sleep each day depending on their age group1:

SWEAT: When it comes to sweating, the CSEP recommends a total of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the day, including some aerobic activity. Strengthening activities should be part of that “sweat time” at least three days out of the week. 

STEP: “Step” activities can come in many forms of structured and unstructured physical activities, as long as they are light intensity. One clear example would be walking. Several hours of light movement are needed throughout the day.

SLEEP: Of all the activities, this is the one that should take up most of your time. For those aged 5 to 13, nine to 11 hours of sleep per night are needed. For those a little older in the 14 to 17 year age category, eight to 10 hours of sleep per night are recommended. Along with this schedule, it is recommended that bedtimes and wake-up times stay consistent. 

SIT: One of the next-most recommended pieces of advice is to avoid being sedentary. In the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, it’s built into the plan: no more than two hours per day of recreational screen time, and limited sitting for extended periods.

Following these guidelines can have a significant, positive impact on the body, improving “body composition, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness, academic achievement and cognition, emotional regulation, prosocial behaviours, cardiovascular and metabolic health, and overall quality of life.”2

These guidelines promote building extra movement into your day without being overwhelmed by one specific category. By promoting regular activity and sleep schedules, it’s a practical beneficial framework for youth (and adults) to apply to their daily lives.

Sourced from CCA Blog

References

  1. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. CSEP announces new Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and youth: the world’s first evidence-based guidelines to address the whole day. 2016. Available at: http://www.csep.ca/en/guidelines/24-hour-movement-guidelines. Accessed December 5, 2016.
  1. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and youth: an integration of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep. Available at: http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/24hrGlines/Canadian24HourMovementGuidelines2016.pdf. Accessed December 5, 2016.
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7 Tips to Add Mindfulness to Your Routine and Reduce Stress

7 Tips to Add Mindfulness to Your Routine and Reduce Stress

Mindfulness; it’s become a popular topic for mental health and well-being, but what does it actually mean, and where does it come from? Mindfulness, a form of meditation, has its roots in Buddhism. It is one group of many meditation techniques that originated in Eastern religious or spiritual traditions. Today, it is often practised to help with stress reduction.1

Most commonly, mindfulness meditation is used to help modify a person’s response to stress. A growing body of research shows that the practice is effective in reducing stress and improving mood, and may even help to improve cognition in older adults.2 It has also been shown to improve anxiety, sleep disturbances, stress, and chronic pain.

There are a few other reasons why mindfulness meditation is gaining in popularity: it involves low physical and emotional risk, is easy to implement, is not expensive, and it has the potential to empower people to be more actively engaged in their mental health.2

Many mindfulness exercises involve practising just that—being mindful. It involves focusing on breath, posture, and the space you occupy at the present moment. Often, even just adding a few minutes of meditation to your routine per day can make a big difference in your overall sense of mental well-being. Here are some tips to help add meditation to your daily routine3:

  1. Choose a time. Morning is a calm time in many people’s days, but choose what’s easiest for you and stick to it.
  2. Choose a place. Consistency of space can be helpful to ground your practice. Preferably choose a place that’s quiet and where you can sit quietly and relax for a few minutes each day.
  3. Choose a duration. It’s good to decide before you start how long you’re committed to. Start with five minutes, and slowly build upon it.
  4. Set an intention. At the beginning of each meditation, remind yourself why you are meditating that day.
  5. Set your posture. This is about more than spinal health: having a healthy posture increases alertness in your meditation, and it helps keep you focused. (There are more posture tips below.)
  6. Take a few deep inhales, and a few deep exhales, allowing your body to unwind. As you breathe out, focus on relaxing different muscles and areas of the body with each breath, moving in one direction up (or down) the body.
  7. Choose an object of attention. Not necessarily a physical object, but a point of focus, such as the breath as it flows in and out of the nostrils, or the chest, as it rises and falls with each breath. With a relaxed body and an open posture, this keeps your meditation focused on the present.

Remember, concentration involves placing your attention on one thing or in one place. Mindfulness is noticing everything in its purest form, moment-to-moment. Neither of these things come easily. Meditation is a practice, not just an activity, so it takes time to develop it as a skill unto itself.3

Here are a few tips for setting your posture: try sitting on a chair or cushion. When you first start each meditation, it’s best to find back support in a chair or sit with your back against a wall to maintain a straight-back position. In this position, let the rest of your body hang freely. You can rest your hands on your knees or lap. When you let your eyes close, you allow yourself to bring the attention inward to the body, and to the present moment.3

If you’re able to sit a little bit each day and be mindful of the present moment, not only will you experience noticeable benefits like the ones listed above, the practice will become easier. Commit to what’s possible for you, and stick with it. Happy meditating!

References

  1. Horowitz S. Health Benefits of Meditation: What the Newest Research Shows. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2010; 16(4): 223-8. doi:10.1089/act.2010.16402.
  1. Morone N, Greco C, Weiner D. Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study. Pain. 2008; 134(3): 310-9. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2007.04.038.
  1. How to Meditate | New York Insight Meditation Center. Nyimcorg. 2016. Available at: https://www.nyimc.org/how-to-meditate/. Accessed November 4, 2016.

Source: CCA Blog

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