Archive for exercise
Here is our Wichita Chiropractic Weekly Health Alert:
You have the best intentions with your workouts, and you’re following your exercise plan to the T. But did you know sometimes even the best intentions can go awry? As reported by Shape magazine, there are eight things you may be doing wrong with your workout—things that could be keeping you from getting the full benefit of your program.
They include skimping on sleep, concentrating on just one area of your body, jumping on the bandwagon of every fitness fad that comes along, going to the gym TOO much, over- or underestimating yourself, and three other easy-to-fix problems.
Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.
According to the New York Times:
… Working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.
Here I go again talking about exercise, one of my favorite subjects as your Wichita chiropractor when it comes to an essential part of good health that no one can do for you but you. In my past blogs I’ve talked about simple ways that you can add exercise to your daily routine without altering your schedule too much, like using your lunch break to jog or take a brisk walk, taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and when shopping at a mall or market, find a parking spot on the outskirts of the lot, instead of close to the building.
But, with holiday shopping and other “to-do” activities, even the simple exercise options above might fall by the way side. Your lunch break becomes an opportunity to get pressing holiday necessities accomplished and if you’re in a rush, you may find parking close to a mall or market entrance, and taking an elevator instead of the stairs far less time-consuming.
However, many holiday activities offer ways for you to get the 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity that your body needs. And, in addition to the usual health benefits, making sure you continue to get exercise will also help your body burn extra holiday calories! And, of course, as I’ve mentioned before, you don’t need to get in your 30 minutes all at once, but instead, exercising in 10- to 15-minute “chunks” can also be beneficial.
So, here are a few tips to healthfully get you through the holiday season:
If you’re holiday shopping and in a hurry, continue to park farther away from the mall entrance, and get your heart pumping by picking up your walking pace. You’ll save time and get a workout. Once you’re inside, remind yourself that taking the stairs may seem to take longer, but waiting for the elevator is often more time consuming. And, when your purchases aren’t too heavy or bulky, try carrying them instead of using a shopping cart to help get your heart pumping and strengthen your muscles.
If you’re hosting guests for the holiday, getting ready for them and cleaning after they leave can be a good way to get in your aerobic exercise. Housework, such as vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, and even decorating (and “undecorating”) uses large muscle groups like those in your legs and back. The most important thing is to get your heart rate up at a consistent level for at least 10 minutes without stopping.
Don’t let inertia set in during the holidays. It’s hard to start exercising again once you’ve gotten out of the habit. And, if it helps, keep an image of Santa Claus and his big round belly in mind. Remember, he only exercises one night a year!
As a Wichita chiropractor I have to say that there isn’t much difference between the skeletal structure of men and women, with the exception that the female pelvis is wider to allow for childbirth, and the forehead bones of the male protrude more and the overall frame is frequently larger. And, to be honest, though I’ve never fully understood the philosophy that “women are from Venus, men are from Mars,” at some level this seems plausible to me and I’m far too intelligent to debate the issue with either sex! But, one difference between men and women that my mother asserted with pride was that “men sweat and women glow.” And, though I never debated this issue either, I was pleased to run across new research published in the journal Experimental Physiology that concluded that women have to work harder than men in order to start sweating, and that men are more effective sweaters during exercise. (Ergo, women are more effective “glowers.”)
The researchers at Osaka International University and Kobe University studied the differences between the sweating responses of men and women as they participated in exercises in which the intensities were changed, i.e., four groups of trained and untrained females and males cycled continuously for an hour in a controlled climate with increasing intensity intervals. The results? Men were shown to be more efficient at sweating, and that while exercise training improves sweating in both sexes, the degree of improvement is greater in men. Untrained females had the worst sweating response of all requiring a higher body temperature to begin sweating. The bottom line? According to the study’s coordinator, Yoshimitsu Inoue, “It appears that women are at a disadvantage when they need to sweat a lot during exercise, especially in hot conditions.” This finding may explain why men and women cope differently with extremes in temperatures, with women adapting better to hot environments, but men having greater efficiency of action under the same conditions.
But, sweat or “glow,” exercise for both sexes is essential for good health, including a strong musculoskeletal system.
Source: Experimental Physiology
As I’ve written time and time again in my blogs, as a chiropractor in Wichita I can’t say enough about the health benefits of exercise. And, I have to admit that I’d thought I’d run out of new exercise incentives to pass along to you. But, here’s one that you may not be aware of…exercise can actually help you to get a good night’s sleep. That’s right! Sleep experts say that an aerobic exercise routine during the day can offer relief from insomnia.
A recent study at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois tracked 23 previously sedentary adults, primarily women 55 and older, who had difficulty falling or staying asleep. After 16 weeks on an aerobics training program that included exercising on a treadmill or stationery bicycle, average sleep quality improved. Not only that bu one expert on sleep and exercise believes that an hour of exercise can do more good than an extra hour of sleep.
So, the next time you’re tempted to “sit it out” instead of rising to the occasion and exercising, remember that keeping with a regular exercise routine during the day can help you to have “sweet dreams” at night!
Okay, if you read my blogs, even on an irregular basis, you know by now that I am a Wichita chiropractor who is a bit of an exercise fanatic (nut?). There are so many healthy reasons to exercise that not exercising by some individuals seems unduly resistant to their good health! Well, in a effort to coax those few exercise holdouts, and to say, “here’s an extra bonus,” to those of you who exercise regularly, I offer the results of a new study: According to research led by Brazilian researchers at the University of Campinas, the results of which will be published next week online in the open access journal PLoS Biology, there is yet another good reason to exercise. In addition to keeping the organs of the body functioning properly, helping the musculoskeletal system to stay strong and mobile, and burning calories for weight loss, exercise has also been found to restore the sensitivity of neurons involved in the control of satiety (which is to say, “feeling full”). This, in turn, contributes to reduced food intake and, ergo, more weight loss.
Obesity is an enormous problem of epidemic proportions in this country. Factors such as changing eating habits (from healthy to “fast, fatty, and excessive”) and a sedentary lifestyle (for children as well as adults) have contributed to the obesity problem. It is also postulated that excessive consumption of fat creates failures in the signal transmitted by neurons controlling satiety in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, and that these failures can lead to uncontrollable food intake and, consequently, obesity.
The researchers demonstrated that exercising (in this case exercising obese rodents) showed signals of restored satiety in hypothalamic neurons and decreased food intake. These findings confirmed that physical activity contributes to the prevention and treatment of obesity, not only by increasing energy expenditure, but also by modulating the signals of satiety and reducing food intake.
So, there you go, another good reason to exercise brought to you by your friendly chiropractor in Wichita!
If you read my blogs on my Wichita Chiropractic website, then you already know I adhere to the philosophy that motion is life. Our body is designed to move, move, move; to walk, run, play, and dance! My “job” as a Wichita Chiropractor is not only to get you out of pain, but to help you to keep your musculoskeletal system healthy and well-adjusted so that such movement is energizing and freeing rather than painful. Because I believe so strongly that lifelong movement is essential to our overall health as human beings, I’m always happy to offer new incentives to my patients and blog readers to get moving. A new study offers another good reason for everyone, but especially women, to get active and stay active. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that women who are physically active at any point over the course of their life, whether it is in their teen years, 30s, 40s, or 50+, maintain a lower risk of cognitive impairment later in life as compared to those women who are inactive.
Let’s face it, life these days has become a spectator sport for many people. Kids sit in front of the television or their computers — and so do adults! Business often demands it and, after a long day of sitting at the computer at the office, “relaxation” or “family time” frequently comes in the form of vegging in front of the TV. There is growing evidence to suggest that people (and in the case of this particularly study, women) who are physically active in mid-life and beyond have a lower chance of dementia, as well as the “more minor” forms of cognitive impairment in old age. However, until now there has been less clarity regarding the importance of physical activity for women early in life and at different stages of life. The researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada compared the physical activity and cognition of 9,344 women at different ages (teenage, age 30, age 50, and late-life) to investigate the effectiveness of activity at different life stages on later cognitive abilities.
“Our study shows that women who are regularly physically active at any age have lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who are inactive, but also that being physically active at teenage is most important in preventing cognitive impairment,” said Laura Middleton, PhD, who lead the research. And, in addition, she and her research team found that women who were physically inactive as teenagers, but became physically active at age 30 or age 50 had significantly reduced their odds of cognitive impairment as well compared to those who remained physically inactive. “Low physical activity levels in today’s youth may mean increased dementia rates in the future,” Middleton added.
What’s good for the body is always good for the brain. So be smart and stay that way by being physically active. Motion is life: Get moving!
“Close to last place” isn’t exactly a phrase we associate with accomplishment. In fact, very little in life, it seems, counts much at all if you don’t “hit the nail on the head.” Well, it would seem that this may not be an absolute when it comes to living longer. As a chiropractor in Wichita, who has many middle-aged patients and who is also fully dedicated to encouraging my patients to exercise at every age level, I was very interested in the following study.
Researchers found that of the “least-fit” versus the “slightly more fit” in a recent study of nearly 4,400 healthy U.S. adults, roughly 20 percent with the lowest physical fitness levels doubled the risk of dying over the next nine years as the 20 percent with the next-lowest fitness levels. (In other words, those 20 percent who were nearly at the lowest fitness levels.) This is the familiar “bad news/good news” type of result. It is obviously bad news if you are a confirmed couch potato. However, it is genuinely good news for those who haven’t quite hit rock bottom in the sedentary lifestyle department but are not, by any stretch of the imagination, “exertive.” Apparently, those individuals who stay just moderately fit as they age may have greater longevity than those who are entirely out-of-shape, the study suggests.
Between 1986 and 2006, researchers assessed the fitness levels of 4,384 middle-aged and senior men and women during exercise treatmill tests. For approximately nine years thereafter, the researchers observed the study groups progress. The study considered such factors like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. This, in and of itself, highlights the importance of being physically fit. In an email to Reuters Health, lead researcher, Dr. Sandra Mandic of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, stated: “Our findings suggest that a sedentary lifestyle, rather than differences in cardiovascular risk factors or age, may explain the two-fold higher mortality rates in the least-fit versus slightly more fit individuals.”
Nearly two-thirds of the least-fit study participants were not getting the minimum recommended amount of exercise, which is at least 30 minutes of moderate activity (like brisk walking) five or more days a week. “These results emphasize the importance of improving and maintaining high fitness levels by engaging in regular physical activity,” Mandic said, “particularly in poorly-fit individuals.”
After dividing the participants into five groups based on fitness levels, the researchers discovered that 13 percent of those who were in slightly better shape had died during the study period. However, 25 percent of the least-fit participants had died during the same period. Only 6 percent of the most-fit group (i.e., the ones who “hit the nail on the head,” so to speak) had died during the follow-up period.
The compelling finding was that overall, the five fitness-level groups showed little dissimilarity in their reported exercise routines over their adult lives, but where they contrasted was their activity levels in recent years. “Since it is recent physical activity that offers protection,” Mandic said, “it is important to maintain regular physical activity throughout life.”
And, naturally, imagine the health benefits we could all obtain if we sought to achieve the higher levels of fitness, and also committed to routine chiropractic management to make sure our body was in proper alignment at each new fitness-level. I’m Dr. Melody Shubert, your Wichita Chiropractor, and I’m looking forward to assisting you to be as vital and alive as you can be. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to get fit.