At Gulfshore Chiropractic Clinics, we hope that this new year will be successful and healthy for YOU. We want to help you stick to your resolutions this year and provide the best pain relief along the way. In this newsletter, we share 6 New Year’s Resolutions you can actually keep, how to stay fit as you age, and how to avoid neck and back pain at work!
“The beginning of a new year is a great time to make healthy lifestyle changes, give up bad habits, and improve your well-being. The most popular New Year’s resolutions include getting more exercise, losing weight, and eating a healthier diet.”
LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF
“A resolution to lose weight is one of the most important steps you can take toward better health. Losing just five to ten percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.”
EAT A HEALTHY DIET
“Healthy eating involves both what you eat and how you eat. Getting your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day is important because fruits and veggies are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Foods that contain fiber keep you feeling full, which helps you lose weight.
Eating too fast can cause you to overeat, so slow down and chew each bite carefully. Turn off the TV, put your phone away, and enjoy the textures and flavors of the meal. As you eat, it can take your brain up to 20 minutes to get the message from your stomach that you’re no longer hungry, so stop eating before you feel full.”
SIT LESS, MOVE MORE
“If you haven’t exercised for a while, going to a gym every day may not be a realistic goal. Making a resolution to simply add more physical activity into your daily life is more attainable. An easy way to become active is to sit less and move more. Park farther away from the entrance to the grocery store, take the stairs instead of the elevator.”
SCHEDULE AN ANNUAL CHECKUP
“Seeing your Chiropractor and primary care doctor each year and taking advantage of your preventive care benefits can help you stay healthy. Regular checkups and preventive screenings allow your chiropractor to identify minor health issues before they become bigger problems.”
TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE STRESS
“Learning how to manage stress is an important part of taking care of yourself and maintaining good overall mental and physical health. If your stress is getting out of control, simple activities like practicing breathing exercises, going for a walk, or listening to music can help restore calm to your life.”
GET MORE SLEEP
“Good quality sleep boosts your immune system and promotes emotional wellness by giving your mind time to rest and recharge. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, limiting screen time before bed, and creating a quiet sleep environment can help you get the sleep you need.”
*Information Provided by APWU Health Plan
“Exercise is often prescribed for patients of all ages to reduce complaints about pain in muscles and bones, but some feel it gets harder to exercise as they get older.”
I’VE BEEN INACTIVE FOR SO LONG. WON’T IT HURT TO EXERCISE?
“You can always become as physically fit as possible, given your current health status and limitations. When you commit to a physical fitness program, you will move toward enjoying life more fully.
First, pick an activity that you enjoy doing and perform it regularly. Make your exercise program as pleasant as possible.
Second, begin your exercise program gradually, starting with five minutes of exercise each day. As you become more comfortable with the routine and notice the positive effects of fitness, you may increase your exercise time.
If you have been inactive for some time, you may feel some small aches and pains. They will fade with time. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any unusual pain or other symptoms during or after your exercises.”
I DON’T FEEL AS STRONG AS I USED TO. CAN I STILL EXERCISE?
“Recent studies show that while muscle strength diminishes with age, muscle endurance does not. It means that, as we get older, we may benefit from switching strength exercises to endurance exercises, working muscles with lighter weights for a longer period of time.”
I HAVE ARTHRITIS. HOW CAN I EXERCISE SAFELY?
“Physical activity actually decreases arthritic pain. Many people with rheumatic conditions are physically inactive. There is oftentimes a fear factor for seniors when it comes to activity and arthritic pain – a social fear, a fear of pain, a fear of falling, etc. However, for those with arthritis, the worst thing they can do is stop moving. In most cases, you can — and should — exercise.”
WHICH FITNESS PROGRAM WILL HELP ME THE MOST?
“The best exercise program should be tailored to your individual health status. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you plan the fitness program that is right for you. Typically, low-impact activities that keep joints moving and minimize pain, such as walking, swimming, and water-based exercise, are effective. Research has shown that exercise can reduce joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation associated with arthritic conditions, which affect most of us as we age.”
*Information Provided by American Chiropractic Association
“If you’re like many people, you probably spend much of your day sitting at a desk. This sedentary behavior puts you at increased risk of spending prolonged time in poor posture, potentially causing pain and discomfort.”
PRACTICE GOOD POSTURE
“When sitting at your desk, place your feet flat on the floor and keep your back flush against the chair. Your head should be in a neutral position with the ears directly above your shoulders.
To help avoid rounding your lower back, which in turn can cause your head and shoulders to slump forward, adjust your chair’s height to allow your thighs to angle down slightly. This position keeps your weight ideally distributed through your sit bones, located on the lower portions of your hips.”
ADJUST MONITOR HEIGHT AND KEYBOARD PLACEMENT
“Place your computer monitor directly in front of you with the center of the screen level with your nose. If the monitor is too low, you will angle your head downward and increase stress on your neck. If you work primarily on a laptop, use a secondary monitor if possible.
Position the keyboard close enough to you so your elbows are bent approximately 90 degrees when typing. Set the keyboard high enough so you aren’t forced to slump down through your shoulders to touch the keys. Place the mouse at the same level as the keyboard.”
“Sitting in an office chair seems simple, but it can be fatiguing. The longer you sit, the harder it is to hold good posture. Each day, try to spend at least an hour or two on your feet that you would otherwise spend in a chair.
One popular option is to use a standing desk. If a standing desk is not an option for you, there are inexpensive desktop converters that enable you to keep your desk and temporarily convert it to a standup desk.”
LIMIT PHONE SCREEN USE
“People tend to bend their heads forward even further when looking at phones and tablets, especially when using a touchscreen to text or email. Holding a head-forward posture to look down at your device for prolonged periods can cause painful muscle strains in the short term and may contribute to disc or joint injuries in the long term.”
“An easy way to do this is to set a silent alarm on your smartphone to go off every 30 minutes. It may not be possible to get up every time the alarm goes off, but it can be a good reminder that you’ve been sitting for quite a while, especially if you skip the alarm a few times in a row.”
*Information Provided by Spine Health