You Can Prevent Lower Back Pain with Exercise!

So many people suffer from lower back pain, and find their day-to-day life limited and negatively impacted.

There are plenty of methods out there that sufferers try in order to alleviate their pain, such as back belts and shoe inserts. But these methods don’t seem to cut it.

But there is good news — a study has found that exercise alone can reduce the risk of lower back pain! However, once or twice is not enough… for exercise to remain protective against future lower back pain, ongoing exercise is required. Of course, exercise provides countless other health benefits, so it should be high on the priorities list to fit into your days.

As a bonus, this is good news to employers as well — less back pain means lowered use of employees sick days.

Remember — always maintain proper form in your workouts to get the full benefits of the exercise as well as to avoid causing yourself any additional pain!

For the full article about this study, visit:

http://healthnewsreport.blogspot.com/2016/01/exercise-associated-with-prevention-of.html

Are you stretching your muscles correctly?


Over the past several decades, the benefits of static stretching have been a source of confusion for fitness and athletic experts.  First stretching was said to be very beneficial to health and sports performance, by increasing flexibility, improving performance, and reducing injuries.  But later research said otherwise – that static stretching did not improve performance or reduce risk of injury. In fact, static stretching was said to actually be detrimental sports performance. This led to a rise in dynamic stretching – stretches done at high speed through large ranges of motion.

Currently, there has been more research conducted that contradicts the notion that static stretching is detrimental to athletic performance. However, static stretching is safest and most beneficial when done after an aerobic warm-up, and when dynamic stretching is also incorporated. Done the right way, static stretching may reduce muscle strain injury risk.

To read in further detail about this topic, please visit http://healthnewsreport.blogspot.com/2015/12/getting-most-from-your-stretching.html

Our weight Risks of Breast Cancer

Oh no, another health risk correlated with extra weight?! Studies have shown that gaining weight and/or carrying extra weight can increase our chances of breast cancer. Contrary to previous studies /belief, this holds true even if one takes estrogen or hormones after menopause!

In a Woman’s Health Initiative clinical trial, researchers studied over 67,000 postmenopausal women for an average of 13 years and the statistics showed a significantly higher level of risk of breast cancer in overweight women.

(17% higher for overweight women than normal weight women and 58% higher in the most obese women)

Participants in the study that gained over 5% of their weight in the span of the study had an even higher risk (36%) than those who gained less weight or none at all!

With this, we should rid ourselves of the assumption, and perhaps case of wishful thinking, that simply taking hormones after menopause will be sufficient for reducing risk of breast cancer. Losing weight or working to not put on excess pounds is certainly no new goal of ours, and  we surely do have more incentive and awareness of how to strive for our healthiest selves!

Jump-start Your Fitness With These 4 Smart Moves!

Would you like to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions or freshen up your workout routine?
Try these smart moves if you answered yes!

Perform these moves in order (without a break if you can). After exercise 4, take a small break and then repeat the full circuit three times.

 

1)

Squat Kick: Strengthens thighs, buttocks, calves, and abdomen
A Start in a standing position, holding a light, weighted ball in front of you at chest height. 

B Squat, keeping your weight over your heels. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Engage your abdominal muscles. 

C Stand up and kick one leg in front of you at a 90-degree angle while pushing your arms forward. Return to position B (squat) and repeat with the other leg.
Repetitions: 5–10

2)

Squat With Side Steps: Strengthens back of thighs, buttocks, and core
A Start in a squat position with your hands clasped in front of your chest.

 B Stay in a low squat and take five to 10 steps to the left. Repeat, stepping to the right.
Repetitions: 2–3

3)

Back Lunge and Stand: Strengthens front and back of thighs, buttocks, and core balance
A
 Start in a standing position.

 B With your left leg, step back into a lunge position. Keep your front knee over your ankle. Return to standing and repeat with the right leg. 

C For a more challenging exercise, as you return to a standing position, bring the leg you lunged with in front of your body, keeping your thigh at waist height and parallel to the ground.
Repetitions: 10

4)

Sitting Twists: Strengthens abdominals and core muscles
A
 Sit on the ground or on a bench and lean back at a 30- to 45-degree angle, keeping your back straight. Clasp your hands in front of you and engage your abdominals. 

B Smoothly move your hands from one side of your hips to the other. Look straight ahead; do not turn your head to follow your hands. Keep your hips centered; do not round your back.
Repetitions: 10

Source

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2015/nov-dec/6-moves-for-a-total-body.html , illustrations by David Preiss

Time Management for eating?

Photo from http://imgfave.com/view/4500641

We are always watching what we eat, but studies have come out emphasizing the importance of WHEN we eat.  In order to more easily regulate weight/weight loss, there are two recommendations. One is not to skip breakfast and the other is to avoid eating later at night/late night snacking. Skipping breakfast leads to “increased hunger” (Environmental Nutrition) and can lead to overeating later. When you eat before bed or snack at night, you are less likely to be highly active and burning calories at this time after eating. Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN writes “We live in a culture where the norm tends to be eating the main meal later in the day. But if weight management is the goal, eating more of your calories earlier is certainly worth striving towards.”

 

Environmental Nutrition offers a well-balanced breakfast recipe:

1 Egg

½ cup dry oat made with 1 cup of nonfat milk

1 cup blueberries

5.3 oz nonfat flavored Greek yogurts

¼ cup walnuts

 

With this in mind and the recipe as a guideline, we can certainly all start/keep up our efforts to live and lead a healthier us! In a world where we are all too familiar with busy schedules/duties, it is easy to turn to quick, sometimes unhealthier food choices. If we make conscious efforts to rework something as simple as eating at strategic times, the benefits of not only regulating weight but also feeling better knowing the work was put in will lead to a healthier mindset as well!