February 17, 2021

Sit less, move more

Sitting:

  •    Alters metabolic function
  •    Causes decrease in bone density
  •    Reduces insulin efficiency
  •    Alters enzymes responsible for regulating cholesterol
  •    Alters and harms blood vessels

Many jobs require you to sit and work at a computer. There are only so many options for mobility during the day.

  1. Change your sitting position throughout the day. Lean forward, lean back, lean side to side. There is not a single posture that’s the best posture while sitting, because all of them are damaging.
  2. Use a standing desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Standing too much in one position can still be problematic for your knees, hips and low back.
  3. Sit on a balance disc. They are inexpensive and you can sit them right on your chair. Even using it sporadically throughout the day is beneficial. We carry something called the Back Vitalizer in our office that can also be used like this and is easy to travel with (it deflates which is great for airplane travel).
  4. Use a yoga ball if it’s not distracting to your co-workers. Using it sporadically is best because of people getting fatigued and a yoga ball can magnify postural problems if there are some.
  5. Take frequent breaks and move as much as you can during them. If you are working from home, you could get more creative.
  6. Use a treadmill desk and walk very slowly while working.
  7. Use talk to text to do emails. Make sure to review your emails first for mistakes before sending! This is something I utilize often to reduce the amount of time I’m sitting at a computer. 

January 24, 2021

The more you move, the more you live

Keeping basic functional movements is key to having a healthy lifespan (how long you live a healthy life, not just how long you live).

Older people in the poorest health generally have the least mobility. Incorporate these five mobility exercises into your routine to prevent future problems. 

1. Get on the ground and back up again without someone helping you or having to hold on to something. When someone who can't do this falls it's extremely dangerous. Especially if they fall outside during the winter they end up having to crawl until they can find someone to hold on to or having to call for help. 

2. Squat down deep to end range of hip and knee motion, just with body weight. The majority of the population sits all day long and never uses most of their hip or knee range of motion. They bend with their back or they kneel down when trying to get something off the ground. In my chiropractic office, we see injuries every day caused by people bending down with their backs to lift something off the ground instead of using their legs and squatting down. 

3. Reach your arms overhead. Many people don't reach above their head on a regular basis. We see many people who have severe loss of shoulder mobility when they get into their 70's and older. Some even have a hard time doing their hair. Usually it is not from an injury, it's just from lack of use. 

4. Low impact interval/sprints. As people age, they lose their ability to move quickly without getting hurt. Having the ability to sprint or quickly get out of the way can prevent injuries. If you are around kids, I'm sure you have witnessed many times that moving quick can save them from getting hurt. Most people lose the ability to sprint properly in their 30's. 

5. Turn your head from side to side as far as it goes. 90% of people work from a computer and never do anything besides stare straight forward. I'm surprised people don't get in more car accidents because many people lose 50% of more of their neck range of motion as they age and checking their blind spot while driving is nearly impossible. If you lose neck mobility, it can lead to other back issues as people are twisting their back to see rather than turning their neck.

You've heard "if you don't use it, you lose it." That saying for mobility should go "if you move it, you won't lose it."

It only takes a few minutes a day to do these motion exercises and it will make a massive difference for your health down the road. 

95% of Americans need to focus on their nutrition

Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. (source: hhs.gov)

Add that to the fact that more than 80% of Americans have a metabolic problem due to diet, and it is a recipe for a nationwide health crisis.

Find what works for you. And know that it will alter during different periods of your life.

I have three kids, a full time job and so does my wife. I need a routine that allows me to stay in shape without spending two hours a day working out so I can spend as much time as possible home with my wife and kids.

My current routine is doing 15 – 20 reps of body weight exercises daily, and then doing a 10-15 minute sprint workout on a spin bike.

I move and walk as much as I can throughout the day and put a lot of focus on nutrition -- low carb, high protein, low sugar, lots of green veggies, etc.

This routine works extremely well FOR ME at this phase in my life and probably other people who are already in shape.

I’m not willing to sacrifice more time to work out than I currently am. So for me personally, I need to put my energy on what I’m eating to stay in shape.

So if you can’t devote more time to exercise, then you need make a major shift to focus on your nutrition.