Exercise Really Does Pay Off!

A new study suggests that becoming physically active in middle age, even if someone has been sedentary for years, substantially reduces the likelihood that he or she will become seriously ill or physically disabled in retirement.

This study joins a growing body of research examining successful aging, a topic of considerable scientific interest, as the populations of the United States and Europe grow older, and so do many scientists. When the term is used in research, successful aging means more than simply remaining alive, although that, obviously, is the baseline requirement. Successful aging involves minimal debility past the age of 65 or so, with little or no serious chronic disease diagnoses, depression, cognitive decline or physical infirmities that would prevent someone from living independently. Basically, no dis-ease in the body.

Previous epidemiological studies have found that several, unsurprising factors contribute to successful aging. Not smoking is one, as is moderate alcohol consumption, and so, unfairly or not, is having money. People with greater economic resources tend to develop fewer health problems later in life than people who are not well-off.

But being physically active during adulthood is particularly important. In study that looked at more than 12,000 Australian men aged between 65 and 83, those who engaged in about 30 minutes of exercise five or so times per week were much healthier and less likely to be dead 11 years after the start of the study than those who were sedentary, even when the researchers adjusted for smoking habits, education, body mass index and other variables.

Whether exercise habits need to have been established and maintained throughout adulthood, however, in order to affect aging has been less clear. If someone has slacked off on his or her exercise resolutions during young adulthood and early middle-age, in other words, is it too late to start exercising and still have a meaningful impact on health and longevity in later life?

To address that issue, researchers with the Physical Activity Research Group at University College London and other institutions turned recently to the large trove of data contained in the ongoing English Longitudinal Study of Aging, which has tracked the health habits of tens of thousands of British citizens for decades, checking in with participants multiple times and asking them how they currently eat, exercise, feel and generally live.

For the study, scientists isolated responses from 3,454 healthy, disease-free British men and women aged between 55 and 73 who, upon joining the original study of aging, had provided clear details about their exercise habits, as well as their health, and who then had repeated that information after an additional eight years.

The researchers stratified the chosen respondents into those who were physically active or not at the study’s start, using the extremely generous definition of one hour per week of moderate or vigorous activity to qualify someone as active. Formal exercise was not required. An hour per week of “gardening, cleaning the car, walking at a moderate pace, or dancing” counted, said Mark Hamer, a researcher at University College London who led the study.

The scientists then re-sorted the respondents after the eight-year follow-up, marking them as having remained active, become active, remained inactive or become inactive as they moved into and through middle-age. They also quantified each respondent’s health throughout those years, based on diagnosed diabetes, heart disease, dementia or other serious conditions. And the scientists directly contacted their respondents, asking each to complete objective tests of memory and thinking, and a few to wear an activity monitor for a week, to determine whether self-reported levels of physical activity matched actual levels of physical activity. (They did.)

In the eight years between the study’s start and end, the data showed, those respondents who had been and remained physically active aged most successfully, with the lowest incidence of major chronic diseases, memory loss and physical disability. But those people who became active in middle-age after having been sedentary in prior years, about 9 percent of the total, aged almost as successfully. These late-in-life exercisers had about a seven-fold reduction in their risk of becoming ill or infirm after eight years compared with those who became or remained sedentary, even when the researchers took into account smoking, wealth and other factors.

Those results reaffirm both other science and common sense. A 2009 study of more than 2,000 middle-aged men, for instance, found that those who started to exercise after the age of 50 were far less likely to die during the next 35 years than those who were and remained sedentary. “The reduction in mortality associated with increased physical activity was similar to that associated with smoking cessation,” the researchers concluded.

But in this study, the volunteers did not merely live longer; they lived better than those who were not active, making the message inarguable for those of us in mid-life. “Build activity into your daily life,” Dr. Hamer said. Or, in concrete terms, if you don’t already, dance, wash your car and, if your talents allow (mine don’t), combine the two.

Reference: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/exercise-to-age-well-regardless-of-age/?ref=health

Health Secrets From The Pro Athletes: What do they all have in common?

What do Evander Holyfield, the heavyweight champion of the world, John Smoltz, the 1996 Cy Young award winner and Dan O’Brien, the 1996 Olympic Gold Medallist in the decathlon have in common? What do they share in common with Marla Maples Trump, who can afford the best the world has to offer and James Earl Jones, the fine actor?

They all have been on the cover of Today’s Chiropractic Magazine sharing their excitement about the benefits of Chiropractic Wellness Care. Evander Holyfield stated in the December 1998 issue, “I do believe in Chiropractic. I found that going to a Chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. Once I drove 20 miles to see a Chiropractor before a fight. I have to have my adjustment before I get in the ring.”

Dan O’Brien said in the August 1996 issue, “you obviously can’t compete at your fullest if you’re not in alignment. It was the holistic idea that I liked about Chiropractic. I really think Chiropractic is essential in running. If I could put a percentage on it, I think I compete eight to ten percent better from regular Chiropractic use, if not more. It is essential for me and my training routine,” declared O’Brien.

Ten percent is a huge amount for an athlete or anyone for that matter. For Dan O’Brien, it would have been the difference between the gold medal and not even making the team.

A runner who runs a 10 second hundred meter dash may win a Olympic race, while an 11 second hundred couldn’t even qualify for the team. A 4.5 second 40 yard dash would make a fast running back, while a 5 second 40 yard dash would be an average time for a lineman. A baseball player batting .330 might win the batting title, while a player hitting .230 would get sent down to the minors.

Can you imagine if your entire life improved by ten percent? What if your energy, sleep, healing ability and immune function were all improved by 10%? How about a 10% improvement in hormonal balance and digestion efficiency? If your entire body was functioning ten percent better it would make a huge difference. You would enjoy a much happier, healthier, energetic life!

What is it that the pros know about wellness and Chiropractic that most people don’t know? Why do they receive Chiropractic Wellness Care to help them be their best and healthiest?

The first answer is that these people know health is not just how you feel. For example, they know that you can feel perfectly fine and still not be healthy.

Did you ever know someone who thought they were healthy and then all of a sudden had a heart attack? Do you know anyone who one day was fine and then , what seems like all of a sudden, got diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or a herniated disk?

These conditions take 10, 20, or 30 years before they show any outward symptoms that you or your doctor might be able to identify. However, what they will do is reduce your body’s function slowly over time, thereby limiting your health potential and quality of life.

This process happens so slowly over time that we accept these weaknesses as normal and go on with our life, never knowing what we are missing out on. Top athletes and performers are challenging their physical and mental limits every day, so they keep track of their function and performance in relation to their true wellness potential. Rather than waiting until they get sick or injured, they fine tune their body and mind all the time with Chiropractic Wellness Care.

Next, these top performers fully understand the relationship between their nervous system, and the function of every cell, tissue and organ of their body. Consider trying these simple interactive experiments.

Wiggle your fingers and toes. How did you do that? Your brain sent signals down your spinal cord telling your fingers and toes what to do. All motor function, all movement, is controlled by your nervous system including your balance and coordination.

Pull a hair on your arm, and then pull another one within an inch of the first. Do you feel the pulling in the same place each time, or a different place? You can feel the pulling in a different place because even every hair cell has its own distinct and unique nerve supply that is connected to the brain. All feeling and sensation is controlled by your nervous system.

How do you digest your food to get the maximum intake of nutrients your body needs to function properly? How does your heart know how fast to beat when you are exercising in order to supply appropriate oxygen to all the cells of your body? How does your body know what hormones to produce and when it’s time to go to the bathroom?

Every function of your body is controlled and regulated by your nervous system. Your brain takes in all the information from the environment and sends out signals which trigger the appropriate response by your body. As long as there is no interference to this system, the brain receives the correct signals and in turn sends out the correct response. The result is a healthy human being with unlimited abilities and human potential.

Unfortunately, if there is interference to this pathway, it acts like static on a telephone line and all the body functions become reduced. Dr. Chung Ha Suh, a researcher out of the University of Colorado, found that 45mm. of a mercury pressure, roughly the weight of a quarter, is enough to reduce the function of that nerve to 40 percent of its original value. We’ve already seen the significance of 10%, can you imagine the effect of 40%? Removing this interference is a serious health issue.

One person came in for Chiropractic care after not being adjusted for over a year. When confronted on the issue of wellness, he said, “I’m into wellness. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly.”. Unfortunately, his neck muscles had atrophied significantly and he had lost close to 50% of the range of motion in his neck. He had interference in his nervous system and didn’t know it until the damage was done.

This is not wellness. Random House Dictionary defines wellness as the fact or condition of being in maximum mental and physical health.

Chiropractic care is essential for wellness. Chiropractic removes interference from your nervous system so there is no static on your lines. Chiropractic Wellness Care keeps your spine and nervous system free from interference so that your body can function at its best all the time.

This is why top performers receive Chiropractic Wellness Care. Maria Maples Trump” has made her Chiropractic care a family priority. Her daughter gets adjusted and she has referred her husband, mother, chauffeur, nanny and personal assistant for care.”

You too can experience true health and wellness. Begin by making Chiropractic Wellness Care a part of your families life!

References: http://www.chiropracticresearch.org/

Runners May Be In Great Shape, But They Are Prone To Injuries

By most estimates, nearly 70 percent of runners will become injured. While many of their injuries will appear minor, they can become more serious over time if not properly treated.

Running injuries may impact other areas of the body as well. Because I am an extremity expert as well as a chiropractor, I am trained to look at the body.   I want to identify the true source of the problem treat any malfunction in the body and develop a training or rehabilitation program to solve it.

Among the most common running-elated injuries are:

  • Runner’s Knee – This is the most common running-related injury. Known as patello-femoral pain, and sometimes diagnosed as chondromalacia of the patella, runner’s knee is essentially irritation of the cartilage of the kneecap. The condition results in pitting or fissuring of the cartilage to varying degrees. While running, various mechanical conditions may predispose runners to a poorly tracking kneecap. This can result in irritation and/or damage to the kneecap. Runners will notice pain near the kneecap, especially after sitting for extended periods of time with knees bent or while walking down stairs or downhill. Appropriate treatment involves eliminating or modifying activities that cause the pain; correcting improper biomechanics that allow the injury to arise; and avoiding positions that further irritate the condition, such as sitting for prolonged periods of time.
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome – Symptoms of this syndrome include pain or aching on the outside of the knee, usually occurring in the middle or at the end of a run. When you flex and extend your knee, the iliotibial band, which runs along the outside of the thigh, can become irritated from repetitive rubbing over the outside of the knee. There are several causes of this syndrome, including weak gluteal muscles, bowed legs, over-pronation of the foot, leg length discrepancy, and running on uneven surfaces. Running on a circular track may also contribute to the problem. As with other running injuries, athletes should decrease their training regimen. In addition, they should also add stretches for the ouside of their thigh to their warm-up program, avoid running on uneven or circular track surfaces, and some should wear motion control running shoes.
  • Shin Splints – Also called medial tibial stress syndrome, “shin splints” refers to pain occurring in either the front or inside portions of the lower leg. Tenderness extends along the length of the lower leg at either of the surfaces. Those most at risk for shin splints are beginning runners who are not yet used to the stresses of running or who have not stretched or strengthened properly. To care for shin splints, runners should decrease their training, and begin with ice and rest, later adding strengthening of their lower leg muscles. They may use swimming and biking as alternative forms of exercise. If symptoms persist, runners should consult their physicians.
  • Achilles Tendinitis – The Achilles tendon is the connection between the heel and the muscles of the lower leg. Several factors contribute to the development of Achilles tendinitis, including excessive hill running, sudden increases in training, and improper shoes. One of the major factors is excessive tightness of the posterior muscles of the leg, including the calf muscles and the hamstrings. Runners with this condition should reduce their running. They can use ice and gentle stretching to reduce pain and tightness. If not treated properly, Achilles tendinitis can develop into a chronic problem.
  • Heel Pain (Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis) – The most common heel problems are caused by strain of the plantar fascia, which extends from the heel to the toes. Strain in this tissue can become very painful, especially with the first steps of the day. The condition can cause swelling at the origin of the plantar fascia at the heel. The pain is most noticeable when the foot flattens during weightbearing or when pushing off with the toes during walking or running, and it is usually located near the heel. The problems tend to occur in flat, flexible feet and in high arched, stiff feet. Left untreated, the pain can spread around the heel. Treatment should include a decrease in the intensity and duration of running workouts. Runners should also evaluate their running shoes for excessive wear and for proper fit. The wrong shoe for a foot type can worsen biomechanical flaws and cause plantar fasciitis.

Runners can take several precautions to prevent being sidelined because of an injury. While some of these steps might seem time-consuming or expensive, they are a good way to keep you on the right track.

  • Prepare for exercise/activities – Understand what muscle groups will be used and slowly start conditioning them by strengthening them. Talk with a PM&R physician to determine the appropriate type of exercises.
  • Properly stretch muscles before running – Muscles and joints need to warm up before beginning a run. Also be sure to allow for a “cooling down” period afterward.
  • Use an appropriate running shoe – There are several brands and models of running shoes. Make sure you are using the type best suited for your feet and your running style. Running shoes should also be replaced regularly. Consult a specialty running store to choose an appropriate shoe.
  • Incorporate hard days and easy days into your training program – Mileage should only be increased approximately 10 percent each week. Runners should make sure to decrease their mileage slightly every third week as a way to allow for recovery prior to additional mileage increases. Runners should also be patient with their development, being careful not to push themselves too far or too fast.
Some information provided by the 2012 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: http://www.aapmr.org/patients/conditions/msk/Pages/runfact.aspx

Always Stretch Before And After Workouts!

Most people who go to the gym love to lift weights but don’t stretch out before or after their workout.  It is recommended to warm up before lifting weights and even better to also stretch after lifting weights.

Stretching before a workout helps to get your muscles ready for the load you are about to put on it and helps prevent injuries which commonly occur when a muscle is tight and a load is added.  This added load puts additional pressure on the muscle and it gives way and rips muscle tissue (ouch!).

To prevent injuries, always stretch!  We tighten up more and more as we get older so stretching and improving our flexibility and balance are key to living a pain free and healthy life.

Belmont Is Putting New Turf At Sports Complex

The city of Belmont is attempting to find a design firm to help them build a synthetic turf athletic field at the Sports Complex.  This project will cost around 2.5 million dollars.

This new field will include three soccer fields and will refurbish the softball and baseball fields as well as install energy efficient lights.

It should take around three months to select the proper company and the design is estimated to take about one year.

Belmont started to consider synthetic turf at the complex in 2009.  began considering synthetic turf at the complex, located on the east side of Highway 101, in 2009.   It has been debated since then.  It has been estimated that the city uses approximately 4.5 million gallons a year which means more than 12,000 gallons a day, to water the field.  Synthetic turf is estimated to be less expensive to maintain and allow for increased usage.  It will be easier to maintain and require less labor than real grass.

A synthetic turf field can mean an increase of up to 61 percent in playable hours.

If interested in knowing more, the Belmont City Council meets 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 at City Hall, One Twin Pines Lane, Belmont.

How Much Water Do I Drink?

I am often asked how much water is enough? Well, that depends on each individual and what their lifestyle is. If you are an athlete, then more water is needed to re-hydrate yourself. If you do not work out, then the amount is lower.

Did you know that water accounts for over 60% of your body weight? Every organ and system in our body relies on water to survive. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can give you headaches and less energy.

Every person loses water when we breathe, perspire, urinate or defecate. We should replenish water frequently so our body can function and move properly.

So, how much water do we need? Most medical journals say 8-9 cups of water per day. This is a very vague rule and does not work for everyone. Lets review some other ideas for water consumption.

  1. Replenish: an average person normally urinates 6.3 cups a day. We also lose about 4 cups per day while breathing, sweating and defecation. Food accounts for about 20% of liquid per day so if you drink a little more than 8 cups a day along with a healthy diet, you can replenish any fluids lost.
  2. The 8×8 Rule: drink 8 ounces of water per day.
  3. Check your urine color: It should be clear or slightly yellow. If it is dark yellow, then this means you need to consume more water.

What factors lead to drinking more water per day?

  • If you exercise add 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water per day. You will notice that you body will crave the additional water anyway after a workout. If you are a marathon runner or exercise excessively, it is recommended to add salt to the water because of the salt lost with sweat.Weather: Hot or humid weather can promote sweat and lose valuable fluid. Heat provided in the winter will dry out the skin and high altitudes (higher than 8,200 feet) can trigger rapid breathing and increased urination. More water should be added to you diet.
  • If you are sick with the flu or have intestinal issues you may vomit, have diarrhea which will rapidly deplete water in the body. You may want to add electrolytes to the water to make sure you have energy after being sick.
  • Breast feeding and Pregnancy: It is recommended to drink about 13 cups of water if you are breast feeding. Babies take a lot of fluid out of your system. If you are pregnant, it is recommended to drink 10 glasses of water per day.

Drink water…it is great for your body and mind!

Weight Lifting Technique, Lets Do It The Right Way!

When I am at the gym, I see numerous people working out incorrectly and have no idea that it is going to cause a problem eventually.   Improper posture, lifting too much weight and rushing through the workout can cause long term issues.

Here are some ways of lifting weights at the gym the right way:

1. Lift the proper amount of weight. If you can comfortably lift a weight 12 to 15 times, it is the proper weight for you. As you get stronger, increase the weight while still maintaining the 12 to 15 drill.

2. Use the proper technique. If you have a problem maintaining your posture then try lighter weights and less repetitions. It really makes a difference. Your knees should be slightly bent, shoulders pulled back and back should be relatively straight

3. Breathe out as you lift the weight and in as you lower the weight. For more of a workout, keep a bit of tension on the way back down. This will work the muscle more and you get so much more out of your workout.

4. If you do weights with the front muscles of the body, do them in the back. Most people work on their quadriceps but neglect the hamstrings in the back. What is really popular is working the calf muscles in the back leg but not working the muscles in the front and side of the leg. You want balance in the body and not over work some muscles while under working others.

5. Exercise different muscles each day. Don’t do biceps and quadriceps two days in a row. Switch to triceps and hamstrings. Resting muscles after a workout allows them to regenerate and get ready for the next set of repetitions.

Here are the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t skip your warm up. Remember, we are shortening muscles with a workout. That means they should be stretched before and after. Shortening a muscle that is already short will provoke an injury. Each stretch should last 25-30 seconds.
  2. Don’t rush your workouts. This will make you lose your form and won’t work the muscle as much as you would like.
  3. Don’t overdo it. I quite frequently hear people saying they are so sore they can’t move the next day. Working the muscle to fatigue is really all you need. Becoming so sore that you can’t move will not motivate you to get back into the gym. I recommend going about 70% in the beginning and working your way up. This way, you won’t be at risk of hurting yourself and you will be motivated to keep doing your workout.
  4. No pain, no gain theory is not a good way of working out. If it hurts to do an exercise, stop! This is your body telling you that something isn’t right. You may need to alter your weight or check your body posture.

Now that you know the proper way to work out, you can avoid hurting yourself and have the workouts you desire.