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Archive for August, 2010

Breakfast Tips for Kids

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

With the decreasing ability of children to concentrate throughout the day, parents are searching for solutions. Many parents want to go the natural route and do what they can without the use of drugs to help their children. Children’s diets are critical to giving them sustained calm energy throughout the day.

I see too many 10 year old kids in the line at Starbucks before school grabbing their iced coffee cooler or mocha lattes. I am always shocked that any parent would allow their kid to eat something like this-EVER. It is especially shocking considering that this is supposed to fuel them until lunchtime and they are expected to concentrate and behave throughout the day.

For kids to concentrate they need good quality whole foods, a balance of carbohydrates and protein and very little sugar. Here are a few do’s and don’t for breakfast with your kids.

Do Try to get some protein in them before they leave their house in the morning. If they like yogurt, try mixing a scoop of protein powder into the yogurt. A good quality protein powder makes the yogurt taste like pudding. Lots of kids like it.

Do Get creative and try to make they a fruit smoothie with the protein powder as well. If you leave it with just fruit it is very sugary so adding the protein powder to balance it is virtually tasteless, helps make it a bit thicker and shake like and is healthier.

Do Use whole foods. While these ideas with protein powder added are better than their average breakfast, whole foods are better. How about a vegetable omelet? Cut up veggies they like ahead of time and add them to the eggs each morning. It won’t take more than 5-7 minutes to make and your kid is out the door with a healthy breakfast. If you can’t find veggies they like, you need to start improving your cooking skills now and model healthy eating for them. Kids usually won’t eat what parents themselves don’t enjoy.

Don’t Start the day with a sugary cereal or really any kind of cereal. Most are very high in sugar, take minutes to break down in their bodies and send their blood sugar spiking and then dropping very quickly. Also-they have very little protein and….the vitamin fortified cereals….hate to break it to you…I’d love to test the bioavailability of the vitamins added to the cereal. I’m guessing there isn’t a lot of nutritional value coming through. Empty calories.

Don’t Allow them to start their day with a pop or coffee or any other sugar and caffeine laden beverage. Adding all those chemicals to their little bodies at a young age isn’t good for them.

Don’t This should go without saying but the energy drinks that are so prevalent today…not good for you…not good for your kids. This is just good common sense. The amount of sugar and caffeine and chemicals in these beverages make the kids in the line at Starbucks look like they are getting health food.

Golf Stretches and other Tips for avoiding back pain

Friday, August 13th, 2010

80% of professional golfers have re-occurring back pain. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. When you add up the swings you take during your round including your shots and all of your practice swings, it ends of being a lot of one directional repetition. The golfers that I see tend to be really limber in one direction and very stiff in the other. There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid creating back problems while doing the sport you love.

Tip 1-Warm your body up BEFORE you golf. This does NOT mean stretch. A lot of us rush to the course after work, hop out of our car hoping not to be late and run up to the first tee to take our swings. Next time you golf, try this. Start with spinal twists-spread your feet shoulder with apart, interlace your fingers, point your hips forward and rotate your shoulders INDEPENDENTLY of your hips. This will help loosen up your spine. Second–Try some walking lunges. This will help loosen up your hips and start firing your muscles. Lastly, try some standing crunches to activate your abs. While your standing, grip your finger tips LOOSELY behind your head. Crunch your opposite elbow to your opposite hip. Do about 15 of these on each side. Now you are ready to golf!

Tip 2-While you are out on the course, take a practice swing in the opposite direction before each hole. This will counter the effects of always swinging the same way. More and more we are seeing the pros on the tour do this. It will help keep you limber in BOTH directions.

Tip 3-Stretch yourself out after you golf before your body has a chance to cool down. Try a gentle forward fold while dropping your head down to stretch your back and hamstrings. Make sure you stretch your hip flexors out doing a lunge as well and holding it. Any seated spinal rotation stretch you can do would help too. Most people don’t hold their stretches long enough. Stay in your stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.

If you have any questions on how to customize a stretching plan for yourself and your sport, call me. I’m happy to help!

Backpack Safety

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Article contributed by Jeffrey Slocum, D.C., Bath, ME, Learning Curves™

Parents and educators everywhere are concerned about the burdens that children are lugging around each day in the form of poorly designed, improperly packed and inappropriately worn backpacks. This phenomenon has also become a major focus of chiropractors who have recognized that early childhood back stress is a major cause of spinal instability and nerve related health problems.

Unfortunately, these silent injuries can lay dormant for years, only to express themselves as serious spinal problems in adults. According to a study in the April 1, 2005 issue of Spine, signs of spinal disc degeneration appeared on MRI scans of approximately one-third of the 13-year old children who were studied, even though only some of them were experiencing back pain. In another study in the October 18, 2004 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 96% of the children examined were found to have pelvic subluxations. The spinal degenerative arthritis that results from subluxations are one of the most common preventable diseases affecting society today, but prevention must start at an early age.

In response to parent concerns, many state lawmakers are introducing legislation to mandate maximum backpack weight, redesign text books and even purchase an extra set of books for each child to use at home. Rather than wait for new laws to be passed, every parent and child should take the responsibility to increase their knowledge on backpack safety so they can use good lifting and body awareness techniques, and prevent unnecessary injuries. This will also ensure that children keep their spine and nerve system healthy as they grow.

Here are some important Backpack Safety Tips that you can begin using immediately:

• If possible, use a backpack with wheels and roll it
• Otherwise use a backpack with padded shoulder straps and lumbar support, and wear both shoulder straps
• Pack only what you need and place heavy items on the bottom
• Bend at the knees when lifting the backpack
• Never lift more than 15% of your body weight:

If your body weighs: You may carry up to:
50 pounds 7.5 pounds
70 pounds 10.5 pounds
80 pounds 12.0 pounds
100 pounds 15.0 pounds
120 pounds 18.0 pounds
Chart provided by Backpack Safety America

Make backpack safety and spinal health a priority. Invest in a quality backpack, use it properly, and make an appointment for your children to receive a spinal examination today.

Attention Chiropractors

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