fitness

Keep Up

Keep up and you will be kept up - Yogi Bhajan

When I was first going through yoga training I never fully understood this quote. It seemed so arbitrary to me - keep up with what? who will keep me up?

It wasn't until I was fully immersed in my career as a chiropractor and nutritionist that I finally had a light bulb moment: maintenance now = prevention later.*

When we're young, we tend to think we're invincible and can do whatever we want to our bodies and they will continue to move and breathe and feel ok. Unfortunately this is not the case.  When we're feeling good we tend to take movement and breath for granted. We forget about maintaining our health and our joints. That is why maintenance is so incredibly important. Take care of yourself now and you prevent serious health issues down the road. (Plus, you get the added benefit of actually feeling good now. )

It can be a difficult concept to grasp, but keeping your nervous system healthy through a proper diet, regular chiropractic adjustments, and daily movement is worth so much more than the initial cost or effort that you perceive it to be now. Yes, things like getting adjusted, getting dental checkups, spending a little more for quality foods, or paying for that studio/gym/personal trainer may seem like big expenses now, but in the end the savings are innumerable. Plus - I'll say it again - YOU GET TO FEEL GOOD. How awesome is that??

*I know there are more spiritual interpretations of this famous quote. 

 

Chriopractic and Yoga - A combination for better results

Both yoga and chiropractic center many of their principles on the idea of balance. In yoga, balance exists between a pose and counterpose, effort and rest, and prana (the breath that enters the body) and apana (the breath that exits the body). In chiropractic, balance exists in the assessment and treatment of  restricted and hyper mobile joints, taut and lax ligaments, and strong and weak muscles. Both yoga and chiropractic aim to balance the body to improve posture, range of motion, and strength in order to obtain optimal health.

 

Most people come to me as a chiropractic patient because they are in pain. If I've had the opportunity to teach them in a yoga class, I already have a fair assessment of what spine and joint dysfunctions they are experiencing. When I get them in the office, I do a few more functional screenings to confirm the issues that are causing them pain or reducing their ability to reach their full potential in yoga and other activities. Our goal through chiropractic is to treat the cause of the symptom - not just the symptom itself.

 

On the other side, I generally encourage people who are regular chiropractic patients to begin a yoga practice. During their chiropractic treatment, proprioception (awareness of the position of one's body) is heightened, making patients more aware of their posture. While I am correcting imbalances with adjustments, adding yoga helps patients recover and heal even faster while helping prevent future injuries. Additionally, patients who add yoga to their routine will develop the skills to keep themselves healthy and balanced so they can go longer between chiropractic visits. They ultimately become in tune with their bodies and become self aware of when something is off and when they need to come in for an adjustment instead of waiting until they experience pain - which is typically a longer recovery process.

If more of my patients practiced yoga, I wouldn’t have to see them nearly as frequently. Alternatively, if more of my yoga students received adjustments, their practice would improve and they would prevent injuries. While I do, in fact love, seeing every one of my patients, my goal is to get them feeling and moving better so they can come see me to maintain health, not just recover from an injury or get out of pain.

You don't have to keep coming back for adjustments once you start (which I've found to be a belief that some people have) although you may want to. Just like in your yoga practice, you can have a great class and feel amazing for a day or two after, but ideally you want to maintain that so you can continue to stay healthy and move uninhibitedly as you progress in life. A healthy individual who practices yoga, exercises, and eats a healthy diet may just need to come in every few months for an adjustment to maintain health and prevent injury.

Bottom Line:

Along with breathing and meditation, the physical practice of yoga promotes balance, strength and flexibility, making chiropractic care and manipulation easier and more effective. Having a yoga practice in conjunction with chiropractic care empowers patients to understand their own misalignments and imbalances, allowing them to have more control over the correction of their spine in their yoga practice and in other daily activities. When combined, yoga and chiropractic care work together to make you stronger, more flexible and happier.

 

Should You See a Nutritionist?

The amount of nutritional information available on the news and web can be overwhelming and often the information is conflicting, Every day there is a new diet or superfood making,  it difficult to know what foods and diets are best. Should I cut carbs? what should I eat before exercise? Do I need supplements? are some common questions people have. Seeing a nutritionist is arguably one of the best things you can do to prevent disease and feel better overall, and we will clear up all of the confusing dietary advice you may have gotten in the past. Here are some reasons you may want to schedule a visit with a nutritionist at TCA.

  • You are suffering from information overload:  

We will help find the best foods for your body so you can ditch the fad diets and eat healthy for life. We will help you solve the problem of information overload, so you don't have to use the potentially detrimental method trial and error to see what diets, foods, or supplements work best for your body.

  • You have a health or fitness goal you are working toward:

A nutritionist will work with you to help you meet your health and fitness goals and keep you accountable for what you're eating. We will likely recommend weekly check-ins in the beginning to get you started on the right path and make sure your new meal plan is working for you. If you have a fitness goal like running a marathon or you just want to tone up, we will help you achieve those goals with a meal plan that is right for you.

  • You have a pre-existing health condition that you want to manage (maybe even get off medication)

Prevention is always the best medicine, but if you have pre-existing health conditions such as high cholesterol, acid reflux, or diabetes for example, we can help you manage and potentially resolve these issues.

  • You don't know if you need supplements

We will always try to get you to obtain your nutrients through real foods, but we may recommend supplements - even temporarily - based on your current health situation. We carry only top-of-the-line supplements that can only be purchased through a healthcare provider. Most of the vitamins and supplements available at the drug store are not in a bioavailable form, meaning your body can't absorb them well. Additionally, when you take just one mineral or vitamin, it can throw off the balance of other checks and balances in your body as it attempts to maintain homeostasis. Our supplements are in the form of whole foods and not isolates of chemicals, so your body can absorb them.

  • You have run out of healthy recipes or meal ideas

When we develop a meal plan for you, we take into consideration foods you like and dislike, and come up with meal plans and recipes that fit your nutritional needs as well as your lifestyle needs. Whether you love to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals or need quick and healthy dinner ideas - we tailor the plan to your lifestyle making it easy to follow as well as delicious.

  • You are tired of being tired

The foods you eat fuel your body. When you eat the wrong things at the wrong times, you develop a buildup of toxins and your GI system becomes sluggish, causing fatigue.

We will teach you how to eat for life, so you can feel and look your best and stay healthy. Your diet is the key to preventing health issues down the road like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity just to name a few. If you are ready to take control of your health, its time to make an appointment!

 

Pre and Post Nutrition for Runners

I find that many of my athletic patients are wondering what and how much to eat before and after their activity both to improve performance and just feel better overall. While the following guidelines are stated for running, they can - for the most part - be applied for workouts of light, moderate, or high intensity.

By eating the right foods at the right times before and after your runs or workouts, your body will be able to recover and perform the way you want it to. Plus with proper fuel, you’ll reduce your chance of injury and illness.

I am an advocate of being in touch with your body and establishing the type of relationship that doesn’t require excessive counting and measuring of food items, but encourages you to be in tune with what your body is telling you. However, this can take some trial and error, so here are a few guidelines to get you started.

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Easy/recovery Run:

Before: For a morning jog of no longer than 30 or 45 minutes at a relaxed pace (you can hold a conversation), a glass of water might be all that’s needed ahead of time—provided you had a decent dinner the night before. But if last night’s meal wasn’t substantial or if you ate it early, having some orange juice or a banana will replace glycogen stores in your muscles to stave off sluggishness. If you’re heading out in the afternoon, have a snack with about 50 grams of carbs —like yogurt and granola—an hour or two beforehand.

After: There’s no need to take in calories immediately, but try to eat a snack or your next meal within 1-2 hours. Skipping a solid post-run meal could lead to lethargy or sugar cravings later in the day, and down the road even sickness or injury.

Speed Drills:

Before: Consume 200 to 400 calories (depending on your size and how long before the run you’re snacking) of easily digestible carbs, such as toast with jelly 30 minutes to 1 hour before your training. Consider replenishing your fast-twitch muscles with a sports recovery drink or gel between intervals and this has been shown to improve performance through the last rep.

After: It’s absolutely crucial to eat something within 30 minutes to supply your muscles with fluid, carbs and some protein. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein (an easy source: chocolate soy/almond/regular milk) to best aid recovery.

Going the Distance:

Before: Eating a full meal 3-4 hours before you head out to slog through many miles is ideal, but there’s ideal, and then there’s practical. If you're planning on running early in the morning, you don't have to wake up at 3am to eat, just have that meal an hour or so ahead of the run and make it something easily digestible, like a banana with peanut butter or a high-calorie sports drink or smoothie. Even more important is to have a good hydration and fuel for the run. Try to take in between 150 and 300 calories per hour during extra-long bouts via gels, sports drinks, or whatever snack that you can carry and that your body can handle.

After: Same as with speed work, make sure to eat within half an hour of your finish. Go for 200 to 300 calories and try to include an anti-inflammatory food such as avocado or walnuts to reduce the inflammation caused by all that pounding on the pavement (or trail). Then sit down to a bigger meal a few hours later and continue snacking every two hours or so for the rest of the day. After a long run, your muscles can’t bounce back from just one feeding; eating more often jump-starts recovery.

Feel free to leave your questions in the comments!