All posts in Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre

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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5 Things You Should Know About Concussions

5 Things You Should Know About Concussions

Participating in sports is a great way to stay active and in some sports, a level of physical contact is required. However, this physical contact can sometimes result in injury. Although we hope that you are able to play safely, concussions are a common traumatic brain injury that can occur in high-contact sports. This injury can be serious, and it’s important to know what steps you should take in the event that you suspect that you or someone you know has suffered a concussion.

Here are five things Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor) would like you to know about concussions: 

  1. A concussion may be caused by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or impact elsewhere on the body that transmits force to the head.1
  1. There are multiple ways to get a concussion such as from falling, or a car or bike accident. When it comes to physical activity, concussions have a greater risk of occurring in sports that involve body contact, collisions, and/or moving at high speeds.2
  1. A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because clinical symptoms and signs can change and may evolve over time. The diagnosis of a concussion is based on the assessment of a range of symptoms (i.e., headache, difficulty concentrating, feeling like being in a fog, or emotional lability), signs (i.e., loss of consciousness or balance disturbance), cognitive impairment (i.e., confusion or slowed reaction times) and neurobehavioural changes, such as irritability.2
  1. Recovery: When properly managed, 80–90% of concussions resolve in a short period of about 7–10 days, although the recovery time frame may be longer in children and adolescents.1
  1. The most important factor in concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until the symptoms resolve. From there, a step-by-step guideline is followed that slowly increases physical and cognitive exertion before returning to one’s regular active lifestyle.1

Many chiropractors with first responder training commonly work with other healthcare professionals to support sports teams. Part of their role is to manage cases of suspected concussions and refer for additional medical attention as needed. Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor) & Associates can also help to co-manage the recovery and return to play of athletes.

If at any point you believe someone may have a concussion, contact medical staff immediately to assess the situation. Concussions should never be taken as a light injury and must be attended to. For more information on athlete-related concussions, take a look at our blog post on Returning to Sports after a Concussion.

Source: CCA Blog

References

  1. McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 4th international conference on concussion in sport held in Zurich, November 2012. Br J Sports Med. 2013; 47(5): 250-8. doi: 1136/bjsports-2013-092313.
  2. Makdissi M, Davis G, McCrory P. Updated guidelines for the management of sports-related concussion in general practice. Aust Fam Physician. 2014; 43(3): 94-9. http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2014/march/sports-related-concussion/. Accessed August 29, 2016.
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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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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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13 Activities to Exercise Your Brain

13 Activities to Exercise Your Brain

As a society, we’re constantly reminded to exercise our bodies, but when was the last time you were reminded to exercise your mind? Part of a healthy lifestyle involves exercising your brain. Your brain can be trained like a muscle, and without a good workout now and then, it can eventually shrink over time.1

Sedentary activities are not only bad for your physical health, they can also be detrimental to one’s brain.1 Engaging in more stimulating leisure or social activities are a great start to keeping your brain in shape.2 This is because when you actively engage the brain, more cells can be produced, as well as the connections between them. When the body has more brain cells on reserve, research suggests that this may be able to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.2 While more research is needed in this area of study, there are other health benefits to keeping your brain active—like boosting your memory and cognitive function—that are worth keeping in mind.2

What Types of Activities Can I Do? 

Any type of stimulating mental activity can help exercise your brain. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re on the right track2:

  1. Does it incorporate new learning?
  2. Is the activity reasonably complex?
  3. Is the activity varied and interesting?
  4. Do you engage in the activity frequently?

Examples of Brain Exercises2

  1. Reading
  2. Listening to the radio
  3. Visiting museums
  4. Taking a course
  5. Learning a new language
  6. Playing musical instruments
  7. Artistic/other hobbies
  8. Participation in leisure activities such as sports, dancing, or gardening
  9. Cultural activities and conversation
  10. Board games, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other puzzles
  11. Doing simple calculations
  12. Storytelling
  13. Imaginary exercises to stimulate the senses (e.g., recalling a peaceful nature scene)

These are just a few ideas of things you can do to stimulate your brain. When you’re considering your overall brain health, you can also look to your diet, ensuring that it is well-balanced, low in fat and cholesterol, and high in antioxidants.1 Having the right nutrients in your body helps maintain cognitive function and stimulate proper brain function and development.3,4 You can also look to your physical exercise regime—regular physical activity can improve cognition,5 help memory and thinking processes, improve mood and sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety.6

Chiropractors care about your overall health and can help point you in the right direction if you have any questions or concerns about this topic.

Whatever activity you choose, remember that brain health is just as important as physical health, so keep finding new and creative ways to keep those mental juices flowing.

 

References

  1. Melone L. 10 brain exercises that boost memory. EverydayHealth.com. 2016. Available at: http://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/mental-fitness/brain-exercises-for-memory.aspx. Accessed November 1, 2016.
  1. Alzheimer’s Australia. Mental exercise and dementia. 2016. Available at: https://www.fightdementia.org.au/files/helpsheets/Helpsheet-DementiaQandA06-MentalExercise_english.pdf. Accessed November 1, 2016.
  1. Lim S, Kim E, Kim A, Lee H, Choi H, Yang S. Nutritional Factors Affecting Mental Health. 1st ed. Seoul, Korea: Department of Food and Nutrition; 2016.
  1. Rathod R, Kale A, Joshi S. Novel insights into the effect of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids on brain function. J Biomed Sci. 2016; 23(1). doi:10.1186/s12929-016-0241-8.
  1. Chang Y, Chu C, Wang C, Song T, Wei G. Effect of acute exercise and cardiovascular fitness on cognitive function: An event-related cortical desynchronization study. Psychophysiology. 2014; 52(3): 342-51. doi:10.1111/psyp.12364.
  1. Godman H. Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills. Harvard Health Blog. 2016. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110. Accessed November 7, 2016.
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How a Lack of Sunshine in the Winter Can Impact Your Bone Health

How a Lack of Sunshine in the Winter Can Impact Your Bone Health

Vitamin D, often known as the sunshine vitamin, plays an important role in your bone health.1 It is mostly made by the body through exposure to sunlight. This is unique to vitamin D since most vitamins come from the foods you eat.1 Having too much or too little vitamin D in your body can affect the amount of calcium in your bones and can take a toll on your overall bone health:

  • Low levels of vitamin D can lead to decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) which can increase your risk of fractures.1
  • Too much vitamin D can lead to calcium deposits in the kidneys (kidney stones), or calcium build-up in other soft tissues like the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.2

More than 90% of a person’s vitamin D requirement tends to come from casual exposure to sunlight.3This poses some unique challenges for those whose environments limit their exposure to the sun.2 For example, in Canada and other countries in the northern hemisphere during the winter months, people are exposed to less ultraviolet light. This means in the winter in Canada our bodies produce little to no vitamin D.1 Statistics Canada reported that, in the winter months, 40% of Canadians had vitamin D levels that were below the recommended range.1 In the summer, that number is much smaller, but still a whopping 25%.1 This means that as a northern country, we often lack the exposure to ultraviolet light that is needed for enough vitamin D to be made in the body year-round.

You can get vitamin D naturally from a few foods, including egg yolks or fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel.1 In Canada, some foods are fortified with vitamin D by law to prevent the risk of vitamin D deficiency in the general population, including milk, soy milk, rice beverages, and margarine.4

This winter, increase your vitamin D intake and keep your bones strong by reading nutritional labels and seeking out products during your regular grocery shop that are fortified with vitamin D. It also never hurts to add a little bit more sunlight to your day!

For questions about keeping your bones (and the rest of your spine, muscle, and nervous system) in good health this winter (and throughout the year), you can ask Dr. Luciano Di  Loreto & Associates.

 

References

  1. Vitamin D blood levels of Canadians. Statcangcca. 2015. Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm. Accessed October 17, 2016.
  1. Vitamin d and calcium: updated dietary reference intakes – nutrition and healthy eating – health Canada. Hc-scgcca. 2016. Available at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/vitamin/vita-d-eng.php. Accessed October 17, 2016.
  1. Holick M. Vitamin D: important for prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. Southern Medical Journal. 2005;98(10):1024-1026. doi:10.1097/01.smj.0000140865.32054.db.
  1. Food sources of vitamin D. Dietitians of Canada. 2014. Available at: http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vitamins/Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-D.aspx. Accessed October 17, 2016.
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3 Easy Core Exercises to Support Your Low Back

3 Easy Core Exercises to Support Your Low Back

Your core muscles are essential for supporting your back, stabilizing nearby joints, and reducing the risk  of injury.1 A stable core helps to maintain the integrity of the spinal column and if it isn’t stable, you may experience low back pain.2 The good news is that there are a few exercises you can do to help reduce or even prevent low back pain.3,4

Below are three core exercises developed by Dr. Stuart McGill designed to increase your endurance, support your core, and, ultimately, protect your back5:

  1. Modified Curl-up: Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight. Place your hands under the arch of the low back and maintain the arch during the modified curl-up. Start by bracing your abdomen by bearing down through your belly and focus your gaze at one point in the ceiling. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground about 30° while keeping your neck and spine in line. Make sure your chin remains tucked, rather than pointing at the ceiling during the movement. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 12 curl-ups.5 

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  1. Side Bridge: Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow, which should be placed directly under your shoulder. Keep your legs straight, and put your top foot on the ground in front of your bottom foot. Place your top hand on your bottom shoulder. Maintain the natural curve of your spine, brace your abdomen, squeeze your gluteal muscles, and lift your hips off the ground. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side. If that’s too easy, increase the number of repetitions rather than the length of time.5 

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  1. Bird Dog: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Brace your abdomen and squeeze your gluteal muscles. Lift your right arm straight in front of you until it is level with your shoulder and squeeze your muscles between your shoulder blades. At the same time, straighten your left leg straight back until it is level with your hips, keeping your hips square to the floor. Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner and switch sides. That is one repetition. Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.5 

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Core exercises are just one of many ways to support your back and to help with back pain. Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates at Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre are is trained to offer a range of treatments which includes guidance on strengthening exercises.

 

References

  1. Abdelraouf OR, Abdel-aziem AA. The relationship between core endurance and back dysfunction in collegiate male athletes with and without nonspecific low back pain. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016; 11(3): 337-44.
  2. Gordon R, Bloxham S. A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on non-specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare. 2016; 4(2): 22.
  3. Willson JD, Dougherty CP, Ireland ML, Davis IM. Core stability and its relationship to lower extremity function and injury. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005; 13(5): 316-25.
  4. Chang WD, Lin HY, Lai PT. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015; 27(3): 619-22. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.619.
  5. Callaghan J. ‘THE BIG 3’ EXERCISES FOR YOUR CORE – RunWaterloo [Internet]. RunWaterloo. 2014 [cited 8 September 2016]. Available from: http://runwaterloo.com/the-big-3-exercises-for-your-core/. Accessed November 18, 2016.

Sourced from the CCA Blog

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How Sitting is the New Smoking

How Sitting is the New Smoking

There’s no sugar-coating it: North Americans sit a lot. Two-thirds of the North American workforce sits for all or part of their workday.1 When you don’t adjust your posture frequently enough, you’re more likely to experience discomfort while sitting—and you’re inviting a whole host of other musculoskeletal problems along with it.1

Today, on average, sitting takes up more than half of an adult’s waking hours.What’s worse is that, according to Mayo Clinic cardiologist Martha Grogan, “for people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.”3 Based on current trends, researchers predict the number of hours we spend sedentary will likely increase.2

There are other health risks that come from being more sedentary: prolonged time spent while sitting or reclining can tamper with your glucose levels and your metabolism.4 It’s also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.4 The good news is that if you break up those long periods of sitting, you can reduce your risk of having diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.4

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada5 recommends at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity—such as brisk walking or bike riding—at least five days out of the week. If you work Monday to Friday, consider adding a few steps to your commute, or taking two 15 minute walk breaks each workday.

Here are some more helpful tips to help break up your sitting time6,7:

  • Create a schedule to remind you to stand up and move. Programming your day can help you stick to something you may otherwise forget to do. A good goal is 5–10 minutes of activity per hour. For example, if you have a job that involves sitting most of the day, plan to spend five minutes every hour up from your chair and moving around the office (like getting coffee, walking around the building, or taking a restroom break) and spend the other five minutes doing stretches.
  • Walk around on your lunch break. Invite coworkers from your office to go for a walk with you at lunch. You can check out a nearby park or take a new route around the neighbourhood.
  • Park further away and walk. Whether you’re running errands or parking at work, you can choose to park further away and walk those extra few steps to your destination.
  • Walk around the house while talking on the phone or during commercial breaks of your favourite show. You might find other opportunities throughout the day too!

Little changes can go a long way to improve your posture and decrease a number of health risks. Whatever method you choose, you can also use the Straighten Up Canada app and Fit-in 15 program to find small exercises you can do during the day.

 

References

  1. Fenety A, Walker JM. Short-term effects of workstation exercises on musculoskeletal discomfort and postural changes in seated video display unit workers. J Am Phys Ther Assoc. 2002; 82(6): 578-89.
  1. Healy GN, Eakin EG, Owen N, et al. A cluster randomized controlled trial to reduce office workers’ sitting time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016; 48(9): 1787-97. doi:10.1249/mss.0000000000000972.
  1. Winslow, R. The guide to beating a heart attack: first line defense is lowering risk, even when genetics isn’t on your side. The Wall Street Journal. April 16, 2012. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304818404577347982400815676. Accessed November 25, 2016.
  1. Benatti FB, Ried-Larsen M. The effects of breaking up prolonged sitting time. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015; 47(10): 2053-61. doi:10.1249/mss.0000000000000654.
  1. Stay active. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 2016. Available at: http://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/stay-active#How-much-activity-do-I-need. Accessed November 22, 2016.
  1. Storrs C. Stand up, sit less and move more, researchers say; here’s how to do it. CNN. August 6, 2015. Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/06/health/how-to-move-more/. Accessed October 14, 2016.
  1. Sit less. The Heart Foundation. Available at: https://heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/sit-less. Accessed October 14, 2016.

Sourced from CCA Blog.

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