Flu Shot…. or Not?

Posted: 755 days ago in Health

flu-shot-not

It’s that time of year again:  “Doc, should I get a flu shot… or not?”

Well. That’s a great question.

I don’t – and can’t – counsel patients on the use of pharmaceuticals, as chiropractors don’t utilize drugs as part of our natural healing approach.

Let me share with you what I tell my patients.

If you have great health and practice good health habits to keep your immune system strong, you quite likely will not get the flu or any other type of winter nasties. Need I remind you of the good habits I am speaking of? Eating well, getting adequate sleep, exercising, managing your stress and washing those damn hands again and again! For more on this, see my article ‘The Non-Flu Season’.

Does this sound like you, or are you sheepishly averting my virtual gaze, because your car is littered with fast-food wrappers, you haven’t broken a sweat since “Magic Mike” came out and the last time you slept more than 6 hours was when your alarm clock failed? If so, I can promise you that your defenses are down, and if you are unlucky enough to come into contact with the flu, you are much more likely to get it.

Bottom line? People with healthy, strong immune systems are much less likely to get the flu than their less-healthy counterparts. They are also far less likely to have any adverse reaction to ingredients in the vaccine itself. Did you ever think about that? Immunocompromised folks – the young, infirm and elderly – are more vulnerable to the both the flu and reactions to the vaccine.

In fact these flu two studies made me go, “Hmmmm”:

studyChildren Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests

 

studyCurrent Flu Vaccine Less Effective in the Elderly, CDC Says

 

The gist? Kids who get the flu vaccine are more likely to be hospitalized than their non-vaccinated peers. Vaccinated elderly adults are just as likely as non-vaccinated seniors to visit their doctors for flu-like symptoms. So what in the hell should you do?

You should make informed decisions about your health – always!

Here are some facts and figures to ponder on the flu:

The Truth About the Flu Shot“In a review of 48 reports including more than 66,000 adults, “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to hospital or take time off work.”

Key Facts on the FluThe flu shot: Some minor side effects that may occur are: soreness – redness, or swelling where the shot was given – fever (low grade) – aches. The nasal spray: In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include: runny nose – wheezing – headache – vomiting – muscle aches – fever. In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include: runny nose – Headache – Sore throat – Cough.

The last one did go on to say that these symptoms are ‘short-lived’, but still….

Another little tidbit that I found interesting is that each year’s flu vaccine is derived from prior years’ flu virus. For instance, the 2013 flu vaccine was made from strains from 2009, 2011 and 2012. That’s all well and good, except that the flu virus is a crafty little bugger, and mutates quickly and often. So something that may have worked against a strain in the past quite likely won’t work at all in future strains.

Again, hmmmmm. When all is said and done, read and ask questions, but ultimately, go with your gut. It will rarely lead you astray.

Be well!

Sitting: The New Sugar

Posted: 765 days ago in Health

Sitting: The New SugarWhaaaat? Are you confused? Don’t be.

All of you know that sugar is not good for you. There is no upside. You should minimize your intake, though that can be difficult because it is hidden in so many things. Sitting should be approached with the same apprehensions.

The best advice I can give you, bar none, is to move more, sit less. And by move more, I don’t mean that you have to exercise! Of course, dedicating 5-7 hours each week to exercise is a beautiful thing, but if you sit all day, it is simply not enough.

Did you know: People who seldom sit, but never exercise, are generally far healthier than those who sit a lot, even if they exercise regularly! A.k.a. the moms of toddlers, teachers, and construction workers are healthier than commuters, and desk jockeys (even if the latter are avid movers).

Let me repeat: if you rarely sit but don’t exercise, you will quite likely be healthier than those who exercise regularly, but sit all day! This actually blows my mind, but it shouldn’t. Our bodies were designed for movement, and depend on it to keep our muscles, bones and organs healthy, and our minds sharp.

Don’t panic if you are one of the millions that sit for many hours each day! You have many opportunities for movement – you just have to take them.

  • Stand or walk with every phone call
  • Practice active sitting on an exercise ball
  • Walk to a colleague’s office instead of emailing them
  • Stand on the train
  • Walk on your lunch break
  • Set an alarm on your iPhone reminding yourself to move at least once an hour

I did a sugar elimination diet and, well, it was hell for a few weeks, but then I began to realize how good I felt without it. Minimizing how long you sit can be a similar process, but I promise, you will be healthier for it.

Move more, sit less. Period.

Is Milk Good Food?

Posted: 770 days ago in Wellness

milkgoodfoodLet’s just get back to the basics. We’re mammals.

We may be more highly evolved mammals than most, but nevertheless, we’re mammals. All mammals nurse, which puts us in the same category as dogs, cats, horses – you get my point.

Now here’s the thing; no other mammals nurse past toddler-hood, nor do they drink the milk of other mammal species (unless in extreme circumstances when a baby is left motherless). Don’t get me wrong, breast milk is clearly nature’s first good food but nowhere else in nature do these behaviors occur, except with humans?

That alone should make you stop and go, ‘hmm’. Now, I’m not arguing that cow’s milk is a decent source of protein and other nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D – FOR COWS, but it’s not all that the American Dairy Association would have us think it’s cracked up to be, for us humans. Yes, calcium and vitamin D are necessary for healthy teeth and bones – but there are many other more appropriate sources of those nutrients. Cue list:

calcium fortified foods

Many of us lose the ability to digest milk after infancy. This is because the lactase enzymes that help us to break down lactose (a.k.a. milk sugar) tend to decrease as we age. So if you’ve ever gotten that bloated feeling after having indulged in dairy, chances are, you’re one of those people. Then there is the issue of milk allergies. Some of us are definitely allergic to milk but I believe that many more of us have sensitivities to milk.

The best way to determine if you have an issue with milk or dairy products is through an elimination diet. To do this means to eliminate all dairy products from your diet for a few weeks, noting any changes in your health, and changes in how you feel. Afterwards, challenge your system by reintroducing dairy and see what happens. If you don’t have a sensitivity or allergy, and you enjoy dairy products, then by all means, feel free to indulge. You’re on what I call “the winning team.” However, if you suspect or find that milk is an issue for you, then it would behoove you to eliminate dairy products from your diet. — “Did she just suggest what I think she suggested?” Yes. Yes, I did.

For those who want to forgo dairy products, there are some alternatives for your coffee/cereal, and whatever else you would typically put milk in.

  • My favorite is unsweetened almond milk. It has a nice, rich consistency and makes a great coffee creamer or cereal base.
  • A lot of other people prefer soy or rice milk, but because of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) – I would stick to organic on those.
  • Coconut milk is also a good alternative.

Now, I can’t write an article about milk and not mention the raw milk craze, so here is what I have to say about that: I think raw milk is probably more digestible than pasteurized milk because it has more enzymes to aid in digestion. On the other hand, it’s not widely available, and sometimes it’s just flat out illegal. So, if you have access to raw milk and feel comfortable, it might be a good option for you as well.

So there you have it. Remember the list above for food-based calcium sources. If your ultimate concern and reason for drinking milk is to derive the calcium for bone health, then I have a couple more recommendations for you. One is to do more weight-bearing exercises which can have a huge positive affect on bone density. My second recommendation is to avoid carbonated beverages (that aren’t fortified), which can negatively affect bone mineral density. In my opinion, you’d be much better served doing weight-bearing exercises and avoiding carbonated beverages than drinking milk. If you’re drinking milk for its vitamin D content, then I have good news for you. Supplementation for vitamin D is affordable and easy! Hello, sun exposure! Just 15-minutes a day without sunscreen and you can consider yourself supplemented during the summer months. Supplementation is necessary in the colder months, but again, cheap and easy.

Prolapse: The ‘Fall’ of Womanhood

Posted: 770 days ago in Everything Else Health Wellness

prolapse

(Your vagina, that is!)

Puberty. Pregnancy. Peeing your pants. Perimenopause. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the bathroom, your body has another little “P” surprise for you:

Prolapse. In other words, are your insides hanging outside?

Whaaaaaat? Yes, you heard me correctly – sometimes, our insides fall out. Things like pregnancy and straining can weaken the muscles and ligaments of our pelvic floor, to the point where those tissues that are designed to hold our girl parts in become compromised. Gravity, age, and the loss of estrogen contribute as well, which means that if you have a uterus, you are at risk of all hell breaking loose.

A.k.a., Uterine prolapse. Sorry, ladies.

A mild prolapse – when the uterus bulges into the vagina just a bit – probably won’t cause you any grief, nor require any treatment. However, more significant cases will let you know that something just ain’t right. Suffice it to say, if you see or feel something bulging out of your vagina, you should get that checked ASAP. Frankly, why anyone wouldn’t leaves me scratching my head.

Other signs your insides may be creeping toward the light:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Urine leakage or retention
  • A heavy or pulling feeling in your vagina
  • Chronic, dull low back pain
  • A loss of tone or sexual sensation

If your doctor diagnoses a significant prolapse, s/he may prescribe:

  1. A pessary to try to hold things in. This looks like a diaphragm, and can do a decent job but may irritate surrounding tissues. There are surgical procedures to correct prolapse as well, but as with all surgery, it comes with risks and side effects, so this should only be considered in the most severe cases.
  2. Kegel exercises. These can be quite effective at preventing and managing prolapse  (as if you needed yet another reason to do them!). I am doing them right now as I write this, and not even the repairman or the dog at my feet are privy to my calisthenics. Need some guidance on how-to? Check this out.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight via a diet that supports regular bowel movements. Simply put, more weight in your belly = more internal pressure on those delicate organs. Plus, a healthy diet full of fiber will reduce constipation, which in turn reduces straining. And that brings us to…
  4. Reduce straining when at all possible! A little tip for when you are lifting/coughing/pooing – exhale with every exertion, and DO NOT hold your breath! This will keep the stress in your muscles and out of your hoo-ha.

Uterine prolapse won’t kill you, but it will put a serious damper in your love life, and your day-to-day routines. If you follow the above recommendations and high-tail it to your doc at the first sign of a problem, you can manage this little gift of woman-hood without too much stress.

Essential Oils for Almost Everything

Posted: 904 days ago in Everything Else Health Lifestyle Wellness

essential-oils

Essential Oils are everything to a girl.

How do you use them? When do you use them? Where do you use them? My simple answer to each of these questions is… for pretty much everything, almost all of the time, and practically everywhere. And there are many people from both today and long ago who would have the same answer. Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years. We know this, in part, because they have been referenced in Papyrus and Hieroglyphics and throughout The Bible. As far back as those sources date, they were used for both their medicinal and spiritual benefits. Today people continue to use these gifts from nature for those same purposes and in a variety of other ways as well. Not to mention, research is supporting their use more and more.

Everyday Oils blurredEssential Oils are helpful for everything from mini emergencies to much larger, more complex challenges. I can’t imagine not having essential oils because they are so useful! I always carry a few with me because I never know when I might need them! Once I spilled scalding hot water on my hand while meeting a client for tea and was able to whip out my Lavender and soothe the burn almost immediately. Another time, I arrived at a party just when the house full of kids came running in after they’d disturbed a bees’ nest and had been stung multiple times. Using Lavender and an oil blend called Purification saved the day and they were able to return to playing (away from the nest, of course) pretty quickly. In addition, because Oils are so versatile you can use them many times and for many things throughout the day.

Maybe you would you like to [fill in the blank] with essential oils:

  • alleviate muscle and joint pain from yesterday’s workout.
  • freshen your breath throughout the day.
  • support your digestive system after a hasty or spicy lunch.
  • calm your nervous system and alleviate minor anxiety before a big event or important conversation.
  • lift your mood on a dreary day.
  • maintain healthy blood sugar levels to reduce cravings.

Think about your day…Do you want to feel more relaxed (traffic?), focused (work deadline?), alert or energized (lack of sleep?) or feel less itchy, sneezy (is it Spring?), have that tickly feeling in your throat (everyone around you coughing?) or want to cleanse surfaces (grabbing a shopping cart?). Then you’d like Essentials Oils too!

Stress Away beachThis morning I added Lemon oil to my water because it’s detoxifying and uplifting, put a blend called Thieves on the bottoms of my feet to support my Immune System, added Lavender to my coconut oil to nourish my skin, used my favorite blend right now, Abundance instead of perfume, dropped Cinnamon in my breakfast (yummy), sprayed Purification on my dog to repel fleas and ticks before our walk, diffused Frankincense for a short Meditation, then put a blend called Brain Power on the back of my neck and temples to sit down and write this blog post and it’s not even lunchtime yet!

I truly believe every person on the planet can benefit from using essential oils… everyone can use immune, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, nervous, or endocrine system support at one time or another. Plus we all have rough days, get cuts or sunburns, like flavors in our food and drinks, get minor aches and pains, and want to have a restful night’s sleep. The list of benefits and uses is seemingly endless because remember, they’re Essential for Almost Everything Oils.

If you’re thinking about embarking on this fun and rewarding oily journey, it’s important to know that there are many essential oil grades on the market and they don’t all yield the same results. Therefore it is crucial to find the highest quality essential oils by working with someone who has studied essential oils, and by doing research for yourself (including contacting companies of interest to ask questions). PubMed, NIH, and NCBI are great places to start your research especially if you want to learn about a specific topic.

Ready to bring Essential Oils into your life? Feel free to visit my website to learn more about them and for instructions on the best way to purchase them. One of the greatest tools to have as you embark on this journey is a strong support system so if you choose to purchase your oils through my website, you will gain access to a Community of Health Coaches and many other passionate and knowledgeable people supporting you on your journey of learning and wellness! More details on my website, www.nourishtolive.com, about this amazing free group as well!

SPECIAL OFFER: The first 20 people to buy a Premium Starter Kit through my website will win a free bottle of Orange oil which is one of my very favorite oils and one I use every day! Please email me with the code DrTaniaEssentiallyEverything once your order is placed to qualify for this offer.

Molly Hauck

About Molly Hauck

Molly Hauck is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Essential Oil Educator, and founder of Nourish to Live located in Annapolis, MD.

Are Your Nipples Normal?

Posted: 938 days ago in Health Wellness

nipples

Truth is, that’s a trick question because there is no “normal” when it comes to healthy nipples.

Officially, the nipple of your breast is the nub that sticks out (or in the case of inverted nipples, sticks in).  The nipple is in the center of the colored part of your breast, called the areola.  Since it’s fairly common to refer to the entire areola/nipple combo as the nipple, we’ll do that, too.

ThinkstockPhotos-98972703So, back to what’s “normal.”

There are almost no two nipples that are alike (if you don’t believe me, check out this nipple gallery), so let’s get into what makes our nipples so different.

Nipple Color
Nipples come in various shades of tan, pink and red, and usually deepen to brown once a woman becomes pregnant.

Nipple Size
Nipples can range from the size of a quarter to – and I swear this is true because I saw it – the size of a saucer. That was a bit of a shock. The actual pokey part, the ‘official nipple’, can be as small as a lentil, or as big as (gulp) an olive. A large olive. Yup, I’ve seen that one, too.

Small Bumps on the Areola
The little white bumps that you see on and around the nipple are not pimples! They’re called Montgomery’s glands, and they produce lubrication. Please don’t squeeze them!

Hair Around the Nipples
You might see some fine or even wild hairs on your nips – I swear, they grow overnight. Feel free to trim or pluck, but please, no bleach, wax, or lasers, as the skin is just too sensitive.

Height of the Nipple
Some nipples are erect all the time, and some only tighten when they get cold, stimulated by clothing, or with arousal. For some women, nipples are a major erogenous zone, and others can take them or leave them.

“Triple Nipple”
Some of us have a third or even fourth nipple. Guys are more inclined to (1 in 18!), but about 1 in 50 women have “supernumerary” nipples.

Nipple Abnormalities
Now, you do need to know that many breast cancers begin just beneath the nipple, so if you notice any changes from YOUR normal, please see your doctor as soon as possible.  These changes may include:

  • Any fluid at all coming from a non-lactating nipple
  • Scaly or crusty skin not associated with breastfeeding
  • A nipple that suddenly becomes inverted, or looks in any way different from the other breast
  • Pain, or a change in a nipple’s normal sensitivity

Breast Exams!
You should check your headlights at least monthly as part of your regular full breast exam (you are doing that, aren’t you???). But why not check them daily as you bathe or shove those puppies in a bra? Knowing what’s normal for you will make it that much easier to detect if or when something becomes abnormal.

Hemorrhoids: 6 Ways to Reduce Your Discomfort

Posted: 1031 days ago in Health Wellness

hemorrhoids

My butt hurts and hemorrhoids are to blame.  

Those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while know I am good for sharing TMI, including Another Childbirth Bonus. I’m not pregnant, nor is this a case of ‘Same Sh*t, Different Day.’

Yet, I have a freaking hemorrhoid.  453851401

For those of you unfamiliar with those little darlings, hemorrhoids are bulging veins in and around your anus and rectum. They can itch, bleed and hurt, and make it virtually impossible to wear thong underwear.

Hellllllllo, visible panty lines. What is the deal??!

Since none of the causes of hemorrhoids currently apply to me, the deal just might be that getting old, frankly, can suck.

Hemorrhoids can be caused by:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Anal intercourse
  • Low-fiber diet

They are also more likely to happen as we age, as the tissues that support the veins, as well as the veins themselves, can weaken and stretch with age.

Well isn’t that just freaking fantastic.

There is no cure, per se, for hemorrhoids, but there are some things you can do to minimize your discomfort and make the swelling go down – for now:

  1. Keep squeaky clean down there! After bowel movements, use an alcohol-free baby wipe to gently cleanse the area, as dry toilet paper can be very abrasive. And as a side note: please don’t flush the baby wipe as it may clog the toilet!
  2. Bathe daily and wear clean, non-thong underwear with a cotton crotch.
  3. Use a home-made or store-bought witch hazel pad, like Tucks brand. These can be incredibly soothing, and I guess since they call them Tucks, you can tuck ’em right up in there for a bit for some extra relief. Plus, I love their tagline, ‘love the butt’. Couldn’t agree more… p.s. this is not a paid endorsement.
  4. Sitz baths with a little Epsom salts can help.
  5. I’m a big fan of ice packs so here’s the ‘how-to’ on that: put on some granny panties (you know you have them in the back of your drawer), then tuck a soft ice pack way up against your butt where the hemorrhoids are. Then, to hold it in place, put another pair of snug-fitting panties on top of the ice pack. Works wonders for hemorrhoids, and for your girl parts after childbirth, too!
  6. Hemorrhoid creams like Preparation-H contain hydrocortisone, which is very effective at decreasing the swelling.

If those suckers just won’t go away, and/or won’t stop bleeding, though, you may need to visit your doctor….and you won’t be happy with what s/he has to offer you, so get those suckers under control now!

Good luck with that!

The 21-Day Smoothie Challenge

Posted: 1090 days ago in Health Inspiration

green-smoothies

If you haven’t met my good friend Lisa Consiglio Ryan of Whole Health Designs, you should, and now is a great time because she’s hosting a 21-day green smoothie challenge!

I am tickled pink green to partner with Lisa to inspire you guys to get more healthy deliciousness in your lives! Lisa and her team are leading a 21-day green smoothie challenge meant to supercharge your health with increased nutrient intakes. How does it happen? Lisa has concocted smoothie recipes to end all smoothie recipes; they’re delicious AND nutritious, all at the same time.

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I THINK LISA EXPLAINS IT BEST:

“Dark leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses. Greens like kale and spinach are packed with tons of nutrients your body needs to boost immunity and keep your organs in tip top shape. Greens contain vitamins A, C, and K plus folate, potassium and calcium. In fact, did you know that greens like spinach have protein, too? And chlorophyll.  This is a special sauce nutrient you MUST have in your diet! Chlorophyll feeds your cells and helps balance out your pH level within in the blood.  Let’s just say chlorophyll eases inflammation. Inflammation causes pain and chronic disease so pumping the green stuff is crucial to our health.  Also if you are active, or an athlete, you’ll notice you’ll get faster and recover quicker due to the chlorophyll magic.”

– Lisa Consiglio Ryan of Whole Health Designs

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If you’re weary of drinking your veggies/anything green – don’t be. I can vouch that her recipes are delicious! And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a delicious smoothie? Did I mention that it’s FREE? And that you can win a Vitamix blender? Oh and yeah – you just might stay healthy, energetic and lean throughout this holiday season!

I was thrilled to jump on the bandwagon with Lisa, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect for me. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate. I’ve been eating really “clean” this fall, but Thanksgiving is just about my favorite holiday. My perfect bite? A little bit of every side dish on one fork. Yup. I want it all. At once. And then the pies. Oh, the pies. And perhaps round 2 of dinner.

Stick a fork in my lethargic a$$, I am DONE!

I’ll give myself a few days to nosh on leftovers before I get down to business, lest I end up getting stuck in the chimney by Christmas.

Lisa makes it sooooo easy to get back on the wagon — or stay on without ever having to fall off this holiday season! You’ll get a shopping list, daily recipe and inspiration/guidance from Lisa herself.

The Green-Up Smoothie Challenge is starting SOON – This Monday, December 1st for 3 weeks, so sign up now! Again it’s free, but you’ll be joining a tribe of hundreds who want to be healthier and more energetic this holiday season, and you’ll be able to connect with all of them on the challenge’s Facebook page.

Don’t forget about the very real chance to win that Vitamix blender – to know it is to love it!

Who’s with me?

Get Fit. For Real This Time!

Posted: 1105 days ago in Wellness

EIGHTWAYSTOGETFIT

I’ve been around many different gyms for many years.  I have observed so many different people doing so many different things to try to get in shape, and I’ve also observed quite a few things that I think ladies can learn from men.  I’ve done it all and seen it all, from Les Mills classes, to running a marathon, to week-long yoga retreats, to every fad along the way, and today I’m going to share with you my easy tips for truly getting in shape, in a way that’s sustainable. I hope you enjoy!

1

This is so simple, but it’s amazing how little I see it practiced.  Personally I do 7 simple weight exercises, then I’ll do maybe 15 minutes of cardio to get my heart rate up, 3 times a week.  So I’m in the gym for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, and that’s it.  If you like the sound of this and you’re having trouble coming up with specific exercises, try this seven minute workout.  That’s 14 standard exercises done without equipment hitting major muscle groups.  Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do other things which are good for you.  For example, I love long bike rides and rock climbing, and I’m a yoga teacher (more about yoga later), and I play community sports.  I also love taking long walks and hikes, especially when the weather is nice. Think of these things as extra credit for fun, not what you actually do to keep in shape.  When I’m taking a nice long walk on a nice fall day, that’s where I want to be more than anywhere else at that time.  Healthy habits like this are great!  They just don’t replace a standard routine like in the link above if you’re trying to get fit.

2

Sorry to single you out ladies, but this is the biggest difference I have observed between women and men.  A lot of women (and some men) seem to turn their workout into social hour, with hours of discussions and gossip and catching up.  There is nothing wrong with catching up with friends, but don’t do it on your fitness time.  Similarly, don’t rely on some TV show to get you through.  TVs in gyms are one of the worst inventions ever, not only do they distract you from feeling what’s happening in your body, but you shouldn’t be there long enough to watch anyway.  Remember you’re there for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.  Do it with no distractions, and no reliance on others.  The only thing worse than not working out is turning a workout into a waste of time.

3

This is another one aimed mainly at the ladies (sorry!) but I’ve found you’re usually the most guilty.  I’ve seen classes based hanging from ceilings, hitting fitness balls with drumsticks (seriously), jumping on trampolines, yoga poses on surfboards, and seemingly thousands of others. To make matters worse this stuff is usually expensive!  If you have so much fun doing a yoga pose on a surfboard that you’d rather pay to be there than be with your friends and family, then go ahead and do it.  But, remember this is NOT your fitness time, this is your chosen fun time. Your fitness time is 30 minutes, 3 times a week, and these fad classes do not replace that.  These fads are done in addition to fitness time if you find it to be that much fun.  Further they may be nowhere near as good for you as advertised.  Subway restaurant is a great example of claiming to be healthy through advertising, while the truth is far from it.  Remember, seeing marketing for something doesn’t mean it’s good or bad for you.  Marketing only means someone, somewhere is trying to make money.

4

I promise this is the last one aimed primarily at the ladies!  Perhaps this is a shock to some of you, but you do not need exercise classes.  Zumba may be really popular right now, but believe it or not the human race survived just fine without it for many years.  If you need an exercise class to be motivated, then my recommendation would be to work with a life coach to become motivated again, not to go to more classes.  If you are reading all this and still insist that your life would not be complete without exercise classes, then go for it but remember they are your fun time, not your fitness time.  You still need 30 minutes, 3 times per week on your own IN ADDITION to these classes, if you choose to do them.  And remember there are always choices you can make, for example a bike ride outside in the fresh air instead of a stationary bicycle in a hot, sweaty room sounds like a wonderful choice to me.

5

Today’s yoga classes often are missing the entire point.  This is the result of our culture rubbing off on yoga, instead of the other way around. Yoga practiced correctly is great for you, but you aren’t there for a workout, you are there for your mind.  Physical benefits will come as a side effect, but not as the primary reason you’re there.  Maybe this is tough to grasp by just reading, which is why I always recommend you at least give it a try.  Any class which stresses only the physical part is not yoga, it’s an exercise class, and remember we don’t need exercise classes.  If you are going to attend a yoga class then you should leave feeling both relaxed and energized, not dehydrated or zapped.  (If you’re reading this wondering how you can feel both relaxed and energized at the same time, then you need to try yoga!) Yoga, practiced properly, will teach you how to listen to your body, how to not push yourself too hard, and how to relax.  Long-term, yoga will teach you how to avoid judgement of others and how to make your self-talk better, so I really do recommend you take 1 or 2 classes per week, but stay away from any fad class trying to mix yoga with something else to make it more interesting.  Yoga practiced properly creates awareness and change in you, and nothing in your world is more interesting than that.

Bonus!  What you didn’t know about yoga

Yoga was “invented” thousands of years ago in India because men would sit and meditate for 8 hours per day and get uncomfortable after awhile, so they created poses to help them sit for longer.  Naturally, the Western world ignored the 99% which included sitting and meditating, took the 1% that didn’t, and turned it into a multi-billion dollar industry with rock star teachers, saunas as yoga rooms, sex scandals, $200 yoga outfits, and millions of facebook profile pictures.  Be aware of this the next time you see a teacher turning yoga into acrobatics, encouraging you to push yourself the whole time, trying to sell you very expensive clothing, etc..  If you really love your specialized class so much that it beats time with friends and family, and you believe you can avoid injury, then I guess go ahead and do it.  Just remember this doesn’t replace your fitness time, it doesn’t even count as yoga time as the mental benefits are lost when you’re pushing so hard physically and/or straying from a traditional practice.

6

Nothing will ever derail you faster than an injury.  If you workout nonstop for 2 weeks and then you’re injured for one week, you’ll be in worse shape than a person who worked out much easier for 3 weeks straight.  So, don’t ever push too hard.  I see this happen a lot in exercise and physical-based yoga classes, so be always aware.  Similarly, if you take a boot camp class that leaves you sore for 3 days, then what is the benefit?  You’re better off doing 3 easier workouts than one hard one, no matter how hard you worked on the one.  I discovered this myself when I ran a marathon, sure it’s cool to say I did a marathon but the 3 weeks of recovery left me in worse shape afterward than if I hadn’t run it.   Anything which is so strenuous that the soreness keeps you from doing things later in the week is often not worth doing, and it likely leads to injuries down the road.  Injuries often occur in these super “hard’ classes, and these fad classes, so be aware of that too.

7

Do not be one of those people who rewards a great workout with some enormous meal.  Unless you’re an Olympic swimmer, you are likely burning 300 calories or less in a workout.  Make it super-strenuous and you might get up to 400. That is contained in one helping of barbecue SAUCE at some restaurants, not even counting the meal.  You will never out-exercise a bad diet, so never go down this path.  Create a healthy diet and things will change for you way more quickly than anything you do in the gym, healthy living always starts in the kitchen.  Maybe I’ll do another column in the future based on simple healthy dieting, but for purposes here just remember you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

8

Whether you’re slightly sick, slightly hungover, stressed at work, stressed at home, there are no excuses good enough to avoid a workout.  The link above is a workout that can be done anywhere, including a hotel room, or next to your oven while it’s preheating.  As long as you’re not injured, you’re good to go.  If President and Michelle Obama can stay in shape with all they do, then so can you.  You have time, and you are going to be motivated as soon as you start to see results.  Make your schedule and stick to it, no excuses.

As a summary: create a good routine, do it for 30 minutes 3 times a week with no excuses, keep a good diet, don’t overdo it so you get injured, and don’t pay attention to advertising and/or fads. Add in yoga for your mind if you’d like. Anything else you include is only because you find it fun, not because it replaces this 30 minute routine.

David Kravitz

About David Kravitz

David is a life coach, yoga instructor, PhD Mathematician, software engineer, world traveler, daily blogger, salsa dancer, survivor, and an all-around nice guy. As a life coach, David works with clients looking to reboot their life. His favorite kind of client, regardless of shape or size, is someone who embraces the challenge of re-building the world they want to live in, and re-creating how they look at life. According to David, those people discover a passion that unleashes their self-worth, better job satisfaction, and stronger relationships. Namaste!

The Doctor is In

Posted: 1114 days ago in Health

doctor-is-in

I started chiropractic school in 1987.  

If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “Oh, you’re not a real doctor”, I would have been able to pay for my 8 years of higher education without the 6 figures in student-loan dollars I had to borrow.

So once and for all, let me assure you, that YES! I am a real doctor.

Chiropractors — like dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and, yes, medical doctors — attend 4 years of undergraduate school, followed by at least 4 years of graduate work.

hours-docThe degree earned is specific to each profession:

Chiropractor = DC (Doctor of Chiropractic)

Dentist = DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Science)

Podiatrist= DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine)

Optometrist = OD (Optometric Doctor)

Medical = MD (Medical Doctor)

Additionally, there are national and state licensing boards that must be passed, and annual continuing education requirements to meet for all of the above professions.

Chiropractic care is covered by most insurance companies, and it has a place in the Medicare and VA systems. Most patients can access chiropractic care directly, without a referral from a primary care provider. Many patients see their chiropractor regularly as an important part of maintaining great health – along with exercise, nutrition and the like.

So – just like you have a dentist to maintain strong, healthy teeth, you should have a chiropractor to maintain a strong, healthy spine.

Hippocrates is quoted as saying, “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease”. And Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

7710008L1Any questions?