The Adjustment

What do chiropractors do, and how can we help you?

Chiropractors are experts of the spine. We go to school for a minimum of 3 years prior to being accepted into chiropractic college. From there, we go through a rigorous doctorate degree that encompasses many of the same core classes as a medical doctor as well as other specialized classes that have to do with the musculoskeletal system and how to adjust and align the spine.

Throughout that doctorate degree, we learn the specifics of how the brain talks with, and controls your body. Such as how your body has an inhibitory reflex when you touch a burning candle. Your body is equipped with an automatic draw reflex that makes you pull your hand away from the flame without consciously withdrawing your hand. We also learn how the individual vertebra move on one and other and how altered movement of those vertebra can cause pain, dysfunction, altered biomechanics and can also lead to an increased rate of joint degeneration.

When we talk about joint dysfunction (subluxation), we look at a joint that is fixated and that does not move independently from its adjacent segment. These fixations can be caused from stress, inflammation, trauma, repetitive movements and poor posture. When we have these subluxations, they can cause increased pain in the area of restriction, refer pain to another area of the body, it can cause increased muscle tension on surrounding muscles. The increase in muscle tension can be a protective mechanism in which the muscle tightness up because the joint feels vulnerable or it can be caused from a malposition of the spinal segment itself.  Altered spine motion can also alter your biomechanics (the way your body moves).

When your body is aligned and each segment is moving within its normal range. Our bodies have balance in the sense that there is no undo stress on any particular muscle or joint. When we develop these misalignments and fixations our bodies start to compensate for the subluxation. In the area of restriction there is likely be a segment of hypermobility above or below to compensate for the restricted segment or you may start to shift your weight to one side of your body more than the other to create a sense of balance.

You see the body is very smart and will do whatever it can to continue to function as normal as possible, but this often comes at the expense of another joint or part of your body. That is where we come in, as chiropractors we correct those areas of restriction and help to get the patient moving and pain free as best we can.

Each joint in out body has receptors that have various functions that provide feedback to the brain. These mechanoreceptors provide feedback on how much stretch is in each muscle surrounding the joint, the position of the joint in space which allows us to maintain balance and be able to move in space with coordination and balance. These receptors also send pain signals when they are irritated such as when there is lack of motion in a segment or the segment is subluxated. When we assess the joint and finds the restriction we are then able to apply a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) adjustment to the segment in the direction of malposition or fixation to realign and create motion through the joint. The adjustment also sends feedback to the brain through the mechanoreceptors that tell the surrounding muscles to relax and also inhibits the pain receptors. The final outcome of a HVLA adjustment facilitates proper motion of individual segments, relaxation of surrounding musculature, improves biomechanics and ultimately leads to a decrease in pain.

So, if you have a back, there is a good chance that chiropractic care is going to help you.

-Daniel Hounjet, Core Health Intern

 

 

Listen Up!

Auditory Acuity of self.

I’ve been around the health and fitness industry a long time, which means I’m getting old, but it has allowed me to personally commit all the mistakes I see patients come into the clinic with.   For the purposes of this article, let’s call the health, fitness, and food industries the wellness industry. The only constant about the wellness industry is that it’s always changing.  Information evolves, trends come and go, and maybe something we thought was “healthy” turns out to be false.  Your circumstances play a significant role in how you apply the information and methods available, which like the topic itself, is in a constant state of flux.

So how do we navigate this chaos?  Start by understanding that it’s a journey.   Be ready to try various methods of self-care, nutrition, and exercise knowing that you’re going to fail and frustrate yourself with things that have worked so well for others.  You’re not everyone and you have to find what works with for you AND your circumstances with wherever you are in your life at that time.   Don’t give up, keep trying new things, keep learning, keep discovering, and push on.

Now I could write a novel covering each of these industry topics, but I want to focus on exercise for this post and more specifically listening to your body.  I have been SO bad at this the past few years and it has been costly.   Low back pain, rib pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, waking up every day with some sort of ache or pain and continuing to mindlessly train and push my body past its limits.   This affects how comfortable I am when I work, when I do recreational activity, and when I’m spending time with my kids.

Why? Unless you’re a professional athlete, isn’t the purpose of exercise and training to better your life outside the gym?  Aren’t we supposed to train to build ourselves up not break ourselves down?   Sure, there are going to be workouts and training sessions that push you to your limits and you’re going to be sore and beat up but that should be the exception, not the rule.   I wouldn’t want to see that go away and I don’t think it has to for you to still maintain an effective fitness routine, improve and push yourself to be a better version of your current self.    Intensity and pushing the limits is a critical part of any successful training program.  However, in my opinion, depending on your circumstances (sleep, stress, nutrition, self-care, age, recovery, etc) we must pick and choose our battles.

All too often I have a patient present after starting a new training program that they’ve been going 100mph at since day 1 and their body finally hits the brakes and things start to deteriorate.   Learning to decipher when your body is telling you to slow down because of mental fatigue vs physical fatigue can be tricky.   But if you’ve gone into training 4 days in a row, maxed out your heart rate every session, lifted as heavy as possible, ran as far and as hard as possible, done zero mobility, had no body work done, ate horribly, slept poorly, then chances are that is your nervous system telling you to take it easy.  The reason this warning is so critical is as the window of fatigue widens, so does the vulnerability for injury.   When it’s broken down it sounds like common sense, but when we are in the heat of the moment surrounded by peers and coaches we tend to push it all aside and go through the motions.

One approach that I’ve really been gravitating towards lately is identifying an intended stimulus prior to working out.  Before beginning I take stock on how I’m feeling and try to match my training stimulus to that.  How recovered do I feel?  Do I have any pain or stiffness? How did I eat this week/weekend? How much did or didn’t I sleep?   If the grading on all those questions are positive, then I may attack that workout with full intensity and really push it.    If I feel like I’m falling short on a few or all those topics, then I’ll scrap what was planned and reprogram for what I can handle.   If the scaling or changes you need to make is going to significantly change the workout in a class setting, then you may need to attend an open gym or workout from home that day.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re going to succumb to peer pressure and put yourself at risk for injury or burnout.  But if you can make a few small modifications and still be in your class or group setting then go for it, you’re not going to be letting anyone down!

Start practicing this week.   Take stock of your overall wellness that day or week and come up with an intended stimulus for your training.  Quality movement is going to be the foundation for longevity and nothing derails a training program faster than injury.   I’m still learning from my mistakes and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey, now with more acuity to what my 33-year-old body is telling me.

 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Crane

Stop Drop & Roll

Self-Talk : What you Tell Yourself Directly Impacts your Health

We read it all of the time, the person you spend the most time with is yourself.  We obviously know this to be true, but if we get deep for a moment, you actually realize you are with yourself EVERY moment of your life.  That is a lot of time together.  In that time you spend with yourself you are likely “talking” to yourself, consciously and sub-consciously.  What you say can have a profound impact your health.

In the past year I have a worked a lot on negative self-talk.  I often found (and still find) myself telling myself something seemingly innocuous as “gosh Amy you sucked at that workout today, you are the slowest runner on the planet” to something more obvious like “wow, you probably do not need a desert today you are looking hefty.”  This kind of nonsense seeps into our brains and takes up unnecessary space.  What we tell ourselves continuously, we unintentionally start to become.  If I tell myself I am the worst runner then I likely begin to avoid running.  If I restrict myself from desert based on some self-imposed critique I begin to deem yummy food as “bad” and will probably propel myself right into a binge in the future.  It is a slippery slope but we have the power to change.

I challenge you to change the narrative.  The next time you want to put yourself down apply the “stop, drop and roll” theory – yes it is that drastic!

  • STOP – ask yourself, would I tell my best friend this? Would I say this to my child, my parent  and would I say it OUT LOUD?  Would I tell ANYONE this, other myself this?  Likely, if you are at this step, the answer is a hard NO.  We can be our own worst enemies and it is time to be more kind to ourselves.  So if you would not say this to someone else, do not say it to yourself.
  • DROP – change the narrative. Drop the negative for a positive…right then and there. Find something kind to tell yourself.  Instead of harping on how slow you are, give yourself a high-five for making to the gym, getting out of bed that morning or heck, congratulate yourself for brushing your teeth.  Just change the narrative.  Instead of calling yourself hefty focus on a characteristic you do like that day.  Wow my hair looks great or I love this outfit or I smiled at that person on my walk.  ANYTHING kind is better.
  • ROLL – roll the things that may not be where we want into real change.  If I am slower than I would like to be how can I improve on that?  If I want to feel better in my skin what steps can I take to get there?  Recognition of want to change can be the catalyst to start the process.

Yes, we all have bad days.  We have days we do not feel on our game for one reason to another but we are doing our best.  We can recognize these “bad days” and give ourselves a nudge towards change.  Happiness is not a constant.  It is a moving target.  If you acknowledge that it is ok to accept things as they are on this day AND remind yourself that you are working towards a better tomorrow, your health goals and lifestyle improvement really are in reach.  Decide where you want to go and pat yourself on the back along the way.  Change takes time and a lifetime of reinforcement, giving yourself the strongest foundation is a great start!

 

-Amy Moser, Nutrition Coach

nutrition@uptowncore.com

The Power of the Present

The Warrior Way

Breathe in.  Breathe out. Right here.  Right now. Begin again and again, all throughout the day

There is a definition of a “warrior” that exists out there in the world which I love and has helped shaped who I am and how I show up in this world.  No, it’s not the Rambo or Atomic Blonde kind of warrior. This definition of a warrior comes from the work of Angeles Arrien – an anthropologist and best-selling author of books such as The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary.  

Her definition of a warrior is showing up present, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  If you are hearing this definition for the first time and are like “Whoa!” – I know the feeling. Or maybe your response is more like “What does this even mean?  Or how do I begin to show up as a warrior in my life?” – well, these were my questions as well.

The Warrior archetype is one of leadership.  We arrive into and harness our leadership skills by staying in our power; by showing up and choosing to be present; by extending honor and respect; and by being responsible and accountable.  It’s also about making compelling invitations.

For me, showing up and choosing to be present wasn’t natural.  Instead, choosing to be aloof or acting intimidating through being narcy or sarcastic.  Being a natural-born leader was also not in the cards. So upon hearing this definition, I knew it would be something I would have to work on constantly and develop and grow into over time.  

So where do we begin?  For me, it starts with my physical body.  If you read more about my story here, you learn how in discovering my body, I discovered my soul.  Engaging in physical connections to the body that we love doing and bring us joy is one part of this equation.  For me, I find these connections to the body through CrossFit, tennis, paddle-boarding and yoga. The other essential ingredient to showing up physically is eating healthy, delicious and nourishing foods.   

In moving my body and fueling it with nourishing foods, I’m able to engage better with my emotional and mental bodies.  There are also practices and tools, such as breathwork and meditation I practice regularly, that aid in my ability to show up fully present.  In doing so, I’m less stressed, in less fear, worry and excitement and I’m not burning up energy foolishly. This benefits me most in my work life and in my relationships.

Last but not least, is being spiritually present.  This is the most intangible of the ways we show up and choose to be present.  For me, I have found direction and connection to being spiritually present by harnessing and developing the power of purpose.  This not only has meaning of the heart, but also a mission of service. It’s the compass in which I direct and align my physical, mental and emotional bodies.

So why live the Warrior way?  It’s about freedom, and the ability to choose and lead from my heart.  It’s about how I make the most of this time I’ve been given to live on this earth.  It’s how I stay emotionally connected and resilient during times when I am being tested the most.  And it’s about how I stay buoyant, focused and attuned to the power of gratitude, especially in a sea of chaos and demands.  

If you are seeking ways to be more of a Warrior in your life, I strongly encourage you to schedule a free assessment here.  In our assessment we will explore what is present and missing in showing up and choosing to be fully present in your life. Possibilities of developing and mastering practices of the Warrior include, but not limited to:

  • Physical Connections to the body that bring joy and that you love
  • Food, Cooking and Nourishment
  • BreathWork
  • Meditation
  • Purpose

I look forward to hearing more about your story, someday soon.

 

-NK

 

Meal Prep Hacks!

Would you consider yourself more of an organized planner or a last-minute, go-with-the-flow type of person?  I am definitely an organized planner and like to be prepared for the things I can. One reason why I like to be prepared is because I really dislike being hangry!  I always have staple foods in my freezer, fridge, pantry, vehicle, work drawer, and purse. Yes, purse. I get hungry frequently and am prepared to combat the low blood sugar and hanger with a quick snack.  Meal prepping is another thing my husband and I do to be prepared. With meal prep, our breakfasts and lunches are ready to go for the work day and dinner is either prepped and ready to heat up or cut up and ready to throw on the grill or in the oven.  This saves us so much time and we are able to enjoy other things during the week.

Here are some meal prep hacks to help you feel more prepared for the work week/weekend and maximize your time doing the things you enjoy.

  • Make a grocery list and look up a couple recipes if you are craving a specific type of meal
  • Cook foods in bulk.  Think protein sources, rice, potatoes, roasted veggies, egg bakes, oatmeal, etc.
  • Invest in a crock pot or instant pot if you don’t already have one or the other. Prepping made easy and fast
  • Get some good storage containers that fit in your fridge and in your lunch bag
  • Prep for ~3-4 days at a time.  Food will stay fresh and you will have more time to relax and enjoy other things around meal times
  • Always have staples in your pantry, fridge, and freezer (jasmine rice, eggs, whole grain pasta, frozen veggies, nut butters, olive oil, potatoes, canned tuna, frozen chicken breast or sausage, oatmeal, frozen fruit, protein bars)
  • Keep plenty of spices and healthier sauces on hand to add some flavor to your meals
  • Balance your meals.  Think a protein source, carbohydrate source, veggie, and healthy fat source.  This will keep your blood sugar stable and your meals tasty
  • Put a few days worth of meals together in containers and label them. Ready to grab and go
  • Make it a date.  Schedule your meal prep time and put it in your calendar. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes and sometimes 2 hours.  Regardless, it will save you more time during the week

With these hacks, meal prep will be easy and a huge time saver.  Your mornings will go smooth and you won’t have to think about what to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner because you will be prepared. Throw on your favorite tunes or tv show in the background and get cooking!

 

Be well,

Coach Janna

Social Enjoyment and Nutritional Anxiety

Sunny.  Blue sky.  Longer days.  It must be getting close to summer here in Minnesota.  We never know if a mid-June snow storm will interrupt those plans, BUT one thing is for sure, patio season has arrived.

The vitamin D is fantastic for our health and mood, however, when spring and summer roll around we often find ourselves with invites to more weekday happy hours and weekend get-togethers.  The summer holidays bring barbeques and outdoor ball games bring hotdogs, beers and my all-time favorite, soft pretzels.  One thing many of us struggle with is how to balance having a social life, especially during the resurgence of quality weather, with sticking to a healthy life-style.

It is likely unrealistic to eat a 100% clean diet 100% of the time and never leave your house to enjoy an outing with friends and family.  Will this approach grant you a lean body and a six-pack of abs?  Maybe!  I say maybe because no matter how hard we try or how strict we are some of us will never have abs – trust me I know.  However, I challenge you to ask yourself if this sacrifice worth the potential outcome.  For some, the answer may be yes.  Maybe you have goals to be an elite level athlete or a fitness competitor of some sort and this sacrifice is necessary to that process and worth it to you, that is absolutely okay.  I would hazard that most of us do not fall into the above category or if we do, it may be temporarily.  Chances are most of us are in the process of obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  If that is you then the moderation really is the answer.

YES, you can attend social functions and enjoy family and friend get-togethers at any stage of your healthy lifestyle process.  I am including a few tips below to help maximize your social enjoyment while minimizing your nutrition anxiety when the inevitable situations arise.

  • If you have a big night out planned front-load your protein intake for the day – we tend to intake more carbohydrate and fat heavy foods when we go out so including protein with your earlier meals will keep you satisfied and ensure you are more balanced at the end of the day
  • If you have a brunch or a mid-afternoon party maybe elect for two meals versus three hat day since you’ll likely intake more than normal
  • Show up to a gathering having eaten a small (protein heavy) meal close to arriving.  You will feel more full and less likely to pick at foods you may not even really want
  • Have a glass of water for each drink you enjoy
  • Instead of having a full drink try adding a calorie free pairing – you can make a white glass of wine more refreshing and less calorie dense by splitting it with seltzer water – la croix is all the rage these days
  • Check out the menu before you arrive at a restaurant so you can come up with a plan. You can always ask for things to be prepared without oils and butters, dressing on the side, etc.
  • Bring your own healthy dish to a party or barbeque so you know you will have a choice you can enjoy without stress
  • Select a lean meat or fish to pair with an indulgence or pair an indulgent burger with greens
  • Stash a protein bar and or beef jerky in your bag – this can be a great relief if your hunger creeps in and is a convenient choice

Enjoy your life but remember moderation really is key.  One indulgent meal or a fun night out will not sabotage your healthy lifestyle or progress and no food is a bad food.  Life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

If you want to know more about how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and enjoy your life email me!  nutrition@uptowncore.com

 

-Amy Moser

Balancing Act

How to stay on track during the busy summer

We hear it all the time. Balance. Everything in moderation. Too much of something is usually never a good thing.  But how? How do we balance work, fun, stress, nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc? Some people are great multi-taskers and doers, others not so much and need to focus on one thing at a time.  In my opinion, simplicity and happiness is the answer. Keep it simple, don’t overthink it, and make sure it brings you happiness.

I don’t know about you, but my summer brings a lot more social activities, weddings, BBQs, patio meet-ups, and sporting events.  These typically involve eating out or meals that I do not prepare, alcohol, more sitting that moving, and great conversations. If this is happening at least a couple times a week it can get overwhelming and cause some anxiety in a lot of people.  I love going to these fun events because they bring me happiness, but sometimes the guilt sets in the day after indulging.

The way I have dismissed the guilt and tackle the busy nature of summer is to make sure I am balancing the things in my life.  I eat nutrient-dense foods every day, drinking plenty of water, getting in daily movement or exercise (variety), prioritize sleep, and take time for me FIRST.  If my life is way too busy or if I am feeling much too overwhelmed or stressed, I have learned to say no. Setting yourself up for the summer chaos by taking care of yourself and your health first is going to make you feel much better about indulging at social outings.  It’s about the balance. Here is an example:

There is a potluck BBQ/bonfire on a Saturday afternoon.  I know I am going to eat there and try a lot of rich foods and also have a few alcoholic beverages.  Here are some tips on how to stay balanced and on track:

  • Eat a nutrient-dense, healthy breakfast. My go-to, well-rounded breakfast: egg/egg white/turkey sausage veggie scramble with a side of fresh fruit or a side of oatmeal topped with berries and some peanut butter.
  • Get in a workout, a hike, bike ride, or a long walk (No, NOT extra exercise because you are indulging later. Just get some movement in!)
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day (and bring a full water bottle with to the BBQ)
  • Have a lighter lunch with plenty of vegetables, a good protein source, and some healthy fats (Bed of greens topped with fresh veggies, grilled chicken, and avocado with homemade vinaigrette)
  • Make a healthy side dish to bring to the BBQ so you know you will be eating a side of something you prepared at home
  • Have a snack before you go to the BBQ. NEVER go on an empty stomach. That often leads to binging and getting uncomfortably full. Favorite snacks: greek yogurt with chopped nuts or granola, cottage cheese, an apple with cheese, veggies dipped in hummus, a rice cake topped with deli meat and cheese, or a couple hard boiled eggs
  • At the BBQ focus on the social aspect and time with your friends and family
  • Decide how many alcoholic beverages you are going to have at the BBQ (a reasonable amount) and stick to it.  Going overboard with the alcohol can easily lead to going overboard with food as well
  • When you are hungry, dish up a balanced plate with a good protein source, some veggies if available, and try a couple small servings of other sides. Do not overload your plate because you can always have more if you are hungry
  • Do not immediately go up for seconds or to try other foods. Give your body some time to digest and feel how satisfied you really are
  • Enjoy the party. Socialize, play games, relax
  • Be home at a reasonable time to get in your zzz’s

Now it is the day after the BBQ.  Maybe I feel tired or I drank and ate a little bit more that I had planned.  That is OK. Now here is what I DO NOT do the day after some indulging:

  • Lay around and feel guilty for indulging the night before
  • Go exercise for longer than normal to try and burn off the food and alcohol I consumed last night
  • Restrict calories and food because I ate way too much yesterday
  • Eat zero carbs because “carbs are bad and can make you fat”  

*See Coach Dane’s last post about Carbs

  • Go get a really greasy, delicious breakfast, order pizza for dinner, and then eat a pint of ice cream because I already ate a ton and indulged yesterday, so my weekend is already ruined. What’s another day.
  • Lay and sit around all day binge-watching netflix (Hey, sometimes you need that, though)

The next day, carry on like any other day.  It is a new day. Yesterday is behind you. Eat nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water, get in a quick workout or go on a walk, read a book, watch some netflix, etc.  Do you see what the difference is between your average day and the day after indulging? Absolutely nothing. It is balance. It may take some time to be compassionate with yourself and kick the guilt out, but it can and will happen.  You can train yourself to have balance with everything in life, not just your nutrition. Stay tuned for future posts on how to balance other things in life.

My challenge to you this summer is to try and find that balance that brings you both happiness and health.  Do the things you enjoy doing and leave the guilt behind. You only have one life to live. If you need some help, our nutrition coaches at Core Health Chiropractic are here for you.  Please contact us at nutrition@uptowncore.com

Be well,

Coach Janna

Carbs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Carbohydrates:  Good or Bad?

“Oh I can’t eat that, it has carbs in it.”   Really?  Is that how people view carbs?  The evil macronutrient you are to avoid at all costs?  Don’t vegetables have a carbohydrate content!?  Sure, excess carbohydrates, which require water for storage, can lead to weight gain.  However, excess of any macronutrient can lead to weight gain!  The basic idea of a diet builds around energy balance.  In the case of a lower carb diet, the restriction typically leads to less energy in.  If coupled with exercise and proper energy out, someone loses weight.  It should be that simple.

But we do need carbs, especially athletes and active people.  Why do we need carbs and what are they good for?

For starters, we all need carbohydrates as energy transfer depends on it.  Our brain and red blood cells also need a continuously available supply of it.  We should get these complex carbs from high fiber sources including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.  This leaves us feeling full longer.  Highly processed carbs digest quickly and lead to spikes in blood sugar and typically coming along with high amounts of sodium and preservatives.  (HINT:  Eat real food!)

Now that you know you need carbs, you could be strategic about when you eat them if you want to dive deep in to your nutrition.  Build your carb intake higher around your workout times to help fuel energy!  Carb intake will vary per each athlete.  Many endurance athletes have an ectomorph build.  They are often tall, lean, have trouble putting on mass and they tolerate carbs very well.  A power lifter in a strong man competition may need far less carbs to fuel their body and rely more on protein and fat.  The most important factor of carb intake is not to avoid it, but rather to work with your coach to understand how much you need and where to get useful carbs from.

Move well.  Eat well.  Be Well.

Written by,

Dane Schneider, Pn1

dane@springhillgc.com

Fish out of Water

Hydration and the importance in our everyday lives

Many people may not think about hydration when they think about nutrition.  This is an important topic as the weather has made a drastic change in the last few weeks.  The human body’s make-up is about 50-70% water. Even a small amount of dehydration can result in a decrease in cognitive functions including short-term memory, alertness, and concentration, as well as many other bodily function impairments.  Overhydration, also known as hyponatremia, is more commonly seen in marathon runners and can also cause serious problems, such as encephalopathy. If untreated, encephalopathy can lead to irreversible cognitive impairments or death. Water is critical to life and all of our body’s systems.   Listening to our bodies and finding that balance with hydration is key.

Some of water’s most important functions include body temperature regulation and homeostasis, nutrient absorption, protection of organs and other tissues, headache prevention, and better digestion.  Many things can influence the body’s water volume and total body weight, such as consumption of food and drink; medications and supplements; urine, feces, and sweat excretion; loss of water from breathing; sodium consumption; and other metabolic processes.  Athletes typically have a higher total body water weight compared to non-athletes because of an increase in muscle mass and and increase in metabolic functions. As we age, total body water typically decreases as our muscle mass and metabolic functions decrease. That does not, however, mean that the risk of dehydration decreases.

Why is hydration important for my nutrition and overall health?

  • It assists with nutrient absorption and digestion
  • Water may help relieve symptoms of uncomfortable constipation (along with a nutritious diet)
  • Staying hydrated helps maintain a good blood volume and blood pressure
  • Water helps prevent muscle cramping
  • It helps rid the body of toxins by way of digestion, metabolic processes, and breathing
  • Water helps with skin complexion and clarity
  • Hydration helps keep all mucous membranes lubricated (mouth, nose, eyes)
  • Being hydrated helps keep our heads clear and our brains alert
  • Hydration is a great indicator of our day-to-day health

What should I do to get better hydrated if I do not get enough water?

  • Buy a new, fun water bottle and bring it with you everywhere you go
  • Carry a gallon with you if you have a hard time counting how much water you drink or if you do not have a source to fill it from
  • Drink a big glass right when you wake up and finish it before leaving for your day
  • Drink more water earlier in the day to prevent making up for it at night and having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • Eat plenty of water-containing vegetables and fruits
  • Drink a glass of water with all meals
  • Get fancy and throw some natural flavor in there occasionally (fresh lemon, strawberries, basil, etc.).  *Limit the added sugars and acids as they can affect your teeth and cavity risk
  • Mark tallies on your water bottle with a dry-erase marker and erase each time you fill it up. Have a goal of how many times you should fill your specific water bottle
  • If you exercise a lot or exercise in higher heat, your hydration needs will be increased, so guzzle a little more water.  Some athletes may benefit from an electrolyte-replacing beverage to help with hydration and replacing lost electrolytes from prolonged exercise

I hope this helps keep your skin clear and hydrated, intestines well-digested, brain alert and focused, muscles hydrated and cramp-free, and your body feeling and moving well!  Find that balance and listen to your body.

-Janna Holmgren, email me : nutrition@uptowncore.com

 

References:

Muth, Natalie. Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company, 2015.

Andrews, Ryan. Precision Nutrition: All about dehydration. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-dehydration

Prehab for Runners

Spring Into Running

By Daniel Hounjet, Intern, Core Health

As the snow melts and weather turns people are eager to get outside and start running.Because of the climate we live in many people either choose not to run in the winter or they run indoor on a treadmill. So, for the most part individuals who start running are not taking the necessary steps to prepare their bodies for the increased strain on the body and to prevent chronic injuries that come with an increased volume of running. The most common overuse and altered mechanics injuries that seem to plague runners include low back pain, shin splints, Iliotibial band (IT) syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and plantar fasciitis.  I will provide you with a few recommendations to help prevent some of these issues.

The snow has melted, the streets are dry, the trees are blooming and you’re ready to get your running on… But wait, what is the first thing you should do before exercising? Warm up?! You’re absolutely right. A quick 5-minute warm up will go a long way in injury prevention. When we talk about warming up, we don’t want to go and do static stretches. Instead we want to increase blood flow to the body by increasing our heartrate and go through similar motions as when we’re running. Here are a few exercises that will help warm up properly.

-Butt kickers

-High knees

-Heel walk/Toe walk

-Lunges

 

Warmup

Each exercise should be done for 20-30 feet, 1-2 times. Once we’ve gone through these exercises it’s a good idea to do 2-3 short sprints to really get your HR up. Now that you’re ready to hit the road be sure that your starting with a distance and pace that is significantly below what you ended the previous season. Our bodies are highly adaptable to stresses placed upon it, so it important for injury prevention to slowly build back up to where you where the previous season. By slowly increasing our duration and intensity we are allowing our bodies to adapt to the stresses placed on our body, from the increased strain on our joint, our tendons and even to regain our oxygen capacity.

Cool Down

Our post run recovery is just as important as our preparation and the run itself. That is why there 3 aspects should be incorporated post run. First off, we want to slowly bring out heart-rate down. It may be difficult to do with our busy lives, but having a proper cool down will prevent blood from pooling in our extremities and the unwanted potential for dizziness and or loss of consciousness. Cooling down will also help flush out the metabolite (lactic acid) build up in your legs. Try walking or even a low intensity dynamic stretch will be great to slowly bring that HR back down. Once you’ve cooled down we want to stretch and or roll (foam roller, lacrosse ball etc.) the area that worked the most during the run; calves, lumbar musculature, hip flexors and gluteus maximus and medius. Here are a few stretches to consider.

-Pigeons stretch

-Lunge stretch

-standing calf stretch

-Hamstring stretch

-Stiff leg good mornings

 

Remember that these stretches and rolling these areas are for preventative measures and may not be the right stretches if you have altered body mechanics or are injured. If you suspect you have altered mechanics, (loss of mobility of a joint, hypermobility/ instability and/or loss of motor control) a good general tip to know, if there is an underlying issue and the pain or stiffness is only on one side of the body there is likely something that isn’t working the way it should. If you think you may have a compensation or would like to be evaluated consider seeking professional advice from a chiropractor or Physical therapist.

Advances in Functional Training Excerpt

 

Refueling

Lastly, we want to ensure we are refueling and replenishing lost nutrients. If you are running long distances with a duration greater than 90 minutes at moderate intensity it’s important to replenish our glycogen stores as they will be depleted after an intense distance run. That being said a balanced refuel is essential, consider 4:2:1 ratio of carbohydrates: protein: fat. We want to consume the carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels (glycogen is the muscles energy source for sustained activity). Protein to repair any damage to the muscle due to the increased intensity and lastly fats, which will slow digestion and allow for less of a blood sugar spike post workout. We also want to replenish any fluid losses. Water and a good electrolyte drink will go a long way in minimizing stiffness and soreness. If you are running for a shorter duration under 90 minutes, you are likely not depleting your glycogen stores. Therefore, rehydration and your regular diet will suffice. Research suggests that it is a myth that we need to consume protein within an hour post exercise, and that a balanced meal prior to activity will carry you through your run and even into your recovery. https://jcdfitness.com/2016/09/should-you-eat-fat-in-your-post-workout-meal/