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Archive for February, 2011

Healthy Tips for Eating throughout your Workday

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Jina Schaefer is the owner/creator of Discover Health. For more information on weight loss, fitness and living the best life you can, check out her website where you can access her blog and online store.

I pack my lunch 90% of the time for work. I often get the question, “What are you eating?” So here it is…

Once each week, I’ll be posting what’s in my daily lunch box for my work week.

Week 1:

1.) 1 grapefruit cut up and in a container.
2.) 1 apple + roughly 2 tablespoons peanut butter.
3.) 1 banana
4.) 3 clementines
5.) 1 hard-boiled egg + a little sprinkle of salt
6.) 1 sandwich: 2 slices Ezekiel bread, spinach, a slice of cheddar cheese, 2 slices of tomato, 3 slices of turkey deli meat, thin layer of mustard.

I eat…
#3 a couples hours after I get to work.
#4 & #5 an hour or so before my lunch time workout.
#1 & #6 right after my workout.
#2 about an hour before I leave for the day.

There you have it, one solution to eat healthier.

Warming up your body for Exercise

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Ever watch the elite African marathon runners before they start a marathon they plan to win? Most don’t show up to the start line with a Starbucks in one hand and no sweat on their face because they just rolled out of bed. One of the most important things you can do before you exercise is to warm your body up properly.

One of the best ways to warm up is to simply start slowly. If you are a runner with a pace of 8:30, start with an 11 minute mile pace for the first ten minutes and gradually increase your speed. It is just as easy to do that with cycling. Take your average pace and add 30%. This will slowly get your body acclimated to whatever fitness activity you are doing. If you are a golfer, start by taking half swings for your first 10 balls and then gradually open up your swing. If you are a tennis player, take a couple laps around the court first to get warmed up and get used to the surface of the courts.

If you want to get technical and have had your zones measured at Life Time or any other gym, they usually will give you a pre-workout-workout. Mine took 18 minutes on a treadmill or step mill to complete before I went in to my regular workout. It slowly warmed me up from the inside out and prepared my muscles for exercise. I wouldn’t have wanted to go that hard before a race but it was great to get my body prepared to lift weights. I found that I got into my fat burning zones quicker and more consistently when I completed it first and generally had better and more effective workouts.

Save the stretching for after your workout, don’t do it before. In the next few weeks, we will cover gentle exercises you can do to warm yourself up.

Photo Credit: Andy Newson

Eliminating post-workout knee soreness

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Any one who has injured their knee will tell you that knee injuries can stick with you for a very long time. The good news is that most knee injuries don’t involve major trauma and injury to the ligaments of the knee. In my Plymouth chiropractic office, most knee injuries that I see are simply the result of stiffness and soreness that gets ignored and eventually leads to problems with tracking of the knee cap.

Before you workout, take a few simple steps to get the fluid in your knees moving around and lubricating the cartilage. Begin by taking a couple of deep knee bends and then bring your feet close together, put your hands on your knees and rotate your knees in a big circle clockwise, then counter clockwise. This simple step will help your knees be more mobile and ready for your workout.

Deep Knee Bends

Knee Rolls

IT Band Stretch

Stretch for Lower Quad

Full Quad and Hip Flexor Stretch

AFTER you workout, is the time for stretching your quads and IT Band. If your quad (which is called the quad because it is made up of 4 sections of muscle in the front of your leg) and IT band are too tight, your knee cap will be pulled up and down your leg unevenly. (patellar mistracking syndrome or runners knee) This will cause the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap to grind and wear down unevenly and result in pain.

Two additional things that may help are custom orthotics and chiropractic adjustments to the knees. I personally can attest that I couldn’t run without my orthotics and/or chiropractor. I have had several pairs of orthotics made over the last 12 years and have benefited from countless trips to my chiropractor over the years for specific work on my knee. If you are looking for help with your knee pain relief, please call my office. I have been fortunate enough 🙂 to have a little too much experience working with knee problems and have become quite experienced with what works and what doesn’t work.

Sorry about the model used in the photographs. Claudia Schiffer wasn’t available on Active Family Chiropractic’s modeling budget so I had to use myself instead!

Improving your core strength to enhance your performance

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Core strength is critical to your performance in every single sport. The body’s core includes the back and abdominal muscles. It can be a weak link in many athletes. In runners, having a strong core prevents injuries to other joints including your hips and knees and helps you to drop your time. In cyclists, strong back and abdominal muscles are crucial in getting power to the pedals. Golfers rely on a strong core to help bring distance to their shot as core strength provides them with power by keeping the shoulders and hips working in a coordinated fashion. For our country skiers, a strong core is vital to generating power over long distances while minimizing effort to the rest of the body. The bottom line is that having a strong core creates stability in your body, allowing you to perform at your highest level. It helps you increase your speed, endurance and power.

How do you increase your core strength? Along with the usual crunches on the exercise mat, here are some basic exercises you can do to increase your core strength for any sport. Many athletes push themselves extremely hard while doing these exercises, I see multiple injuries caused by athletes forcing greater repetitions when their core is not contracting. If you feel the contraction leaving your stomach and going toward your back, gluts or hip flexors, you will injury yourself.

Many times people do not feel they have a strong core because the nerves that come out of the spine which deliver messages to the abdominal muscles are not working properly. When this happens, the core muscles do not contract in a strong and coordinated fashion regardless of how many exercises you do. How do you know if this is happening with you? If you have had chronic back problems or injured your back recently, you can be assured that the power output to the nerves is keeping your muscles from firing to their fullest potential. A visit to your chiropractor to determine where your spine is impacting your muscle strength is very important to staying in tiptop physical condition so we can stay active and keep enjoying our sports. Call our office today if you find that your spine is causing you to not perform at your best.

Plank Tips from Dr. Lori-the closer your feet are together the tougher this one is! Keep your butt down and inline with your spine.

Side Plank Tips from Dr. Lori–contract your core at all times–my hips are a little too high in this picture, try to maintain a straight line with your body.

Mountain Climber Tips from Dr Lori-quickly jump back and forth with your legs (pretty difficult to describe in a photo) keep your core contracted and continue for one minute.

Crunch Tips from Dr. Lori-to avoid injuring your neck, keep your chin tucked in.

Attention Chiropractors

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