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Muscle imbalances including scar tissue, trigger points, tight, hypertonic muscles are a result of every day wear, sport injuries, car accidents, etc. These everyday stressors on muscles result in a decreased length-tension relationship meaning your muscle fibers are not at the correct length to be used to full potential. When this occurs your body starts using compensatory movements, using the wrong muscles to move and creating stress to muscles and joints that are troublesome.

Through a physical therapy evaluation you will have a full body assessment noting static posture, movement patterns through functional movements, muscle strength and extensibility to find the source tissue that is the root cause of the faulty body mechanics that lead to poor performance through every day activities.

How Muscle Mass Increase Longevity

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  • Helps with balance, mobility, rom
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There are many factors that determine how we age and one of the most important is the amount of lean muscle mass we have. There are many ways to lose muscle mass if we are not proactive with exercising and that is by ageing in general. “After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade” of muscle mass (Harvard, 2016). When we continue to lose muscle, we lose the ability to balance or move efficiently which can cause an increase in falls which can be detrimental in an ageing population.

“With advancing age, sarcopenia and osteopenia present major clinical problems, such as locomotory function, compromised balance, increased risk of osteoarthritis and fall/fractures; all of which diminish the quality of life in seniors (McLeod, 2016). When anybody falls there is a chance at fracturing any bone in our body but coupled with ageing bones leads to an increased chance which can directly affect how that person ages from that point forward.

Other than ageing, we can lose muscle mass if we do not get up and physically move or exercise. This is becoming a bigger issue with each passing year from kids up to seniors. Strength training not only is good cardiovascularly but it also is beneficial for the overall strength of your bones. “By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis” (Mayo Clinic, 2019).

When a bone loses its density, it becomes fragile and easier to fracture which can lead to a decrease in quality of life. Physical activity is directly proportionate to how fast we lose our muscle mass and strength which is why strength training is extremely beneficial as we age.

At Inver Grove Chiropractic we have a program called 8 Weeks to Wellness where we focus on physical activity for people of all ages. We work on all aspects of physical activity with an emphasis on strength training.

Sources:

AskMayoExpert. Physical activity (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2019. Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier

McLeod, M., Breen, L., Hamilton, D. L., & Philp, A. (2016). Live strong and prosper: the importance of skeletal muscle strength for healthy ageing. Biogerontology, 17(3), 497–510.

Injury Prevention Especially When Starting to Workout Again

  • heart rate monitor
  • hydrate
  • warm-up
  • cool-down
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Injuries are one of the worst outcomes that can occur when starting to exercise again. It is important to look at a couple of different factors to ensure the safest and most effective way to exercise. Getting a proper warm-up is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe while exercising. “For warming up, stretching is generally performed following short aerobic exercise, which elevates body temperature, reduces muscle stiffness, and increases elasticity (American College of Sports Medicine, 2014).

Without reducing muscle stiffness there is an increased risk of straining or pulling a muscle which can lead to weeks of rehab and pain. After your warm-up it is crucial to understand and to be able to monitor your heart rate. Everybody has a max heart rate and a resting heart rate and being able to measure these is important to be safe while exercising. “…the most commonly used equation for age-predicted maximal heart rate is 220-age” (Hui-Jie Zhange, 2016). If you are measuring your heart rate you can ensure that you are not exercising at your max heart rate for more than a short period of time. Exercising at 65-80% of your max heart rate is going to be a good spot for beginners, and most athletes.

After a hard workout, just like a warm-up, a cool-down should be performed to ensure that your body is going to be able to recover quickly. It is important to continue stretching or exercising at a limited rate to ensure an active cool down which is considered better for promoting post-exercise recovery when compared to no activity. “Performing active cool-downs may partially prevent immune system depression and promote faster recovery of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems” (Van Hooren, 2018). These are important factors because of the importance of exercising regularly and ensuring that your body is healed and ready for the next day’s work out or activity.

After a cool down it is important to grab some water and continue hydrating throughout the day to replace the fluid and electrolytes you lost while exercising. Dehydration can be a very dangerous condition if not caught early and can lead to hospitalization. Drinking water and electrolytes will also prepare your body for the rest of the day and the next days workout. These are all things that we take into consideration with each patient going through the 8 weeks to wellness program to ensure safety and success in the program and exercising in general.

Sources:

American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s resources for the personal trainer. 4th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health; 2014.

Van Hooren, B., & Peake, J. M. (2018). Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(7), 1575–1595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-0916-2

Zhang H, Li X, Li X. Importance of Determining Maximal Heart Rate for Providing a Standardized Training Stimulus—Reply. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1883–1884. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7350

How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Lose Weight

Nutrition is a very important piece in weight loss but it isn’t the only piece. In order to get the best results with weight loss there needs to be a combination of lifestyle changes including stress management, exercise and structural integrity.

Nutrition is a complex topic that we can go down lots of different avenues and diets. The best way to get the most specific is through getting lab work done. Lab work tells us lots of different things like nutrient deficiencies, Underlying conditions, and genetic components.

Diets aren’t one size fits all but there is a genetic type that 65% of us fall under and that is the Apo E3 gene. That is a well balanced diet between protein, fats and carbs but focussing on increasing more protein in relation to carbs. The paleo diet fits best into this mold.

Being educated on how to make good health choices is a great way to start. Knowing what good protein, fat and carbs are, along with portions of each per serving is important. We need to eat plenty of proteins everyday to keep out metabolism running, our energy up and our blood sugar levels stable. We need about 20-30 grams/ serving of protein.

Good sources of protein are lean meats like chicken and turkey, eggs, Nuts/seeds and beans to name a few.

Fats are beneficial for energy levels, absorbing vitamins and minerals, great for cell health, and essential for production and regulation of hormones. We need about 10 grams per/serving of good fats.

Good sources of fats are oils we cook with like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Avocados, nuts/seeds, legumes, chia seeds and some fish.

Carbohydrates are another good source for energy but it is important to know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy carb. Carbs should be eaten in the form of fruits and veggies and less on the pastas and grains. We need less than 30 grams per/serving of carbohydrates. Healthy sources of carbs are low glycemic index fruits and vegetables., nuts/seeds and whole grains.

Another big thing to watch when trying to lose weight is how much sugar we are consuming. As a society we are consuming way more sugar than we used to. In 1822 we used to consume 45g of sugar every 5 days. Today we are consuming about 765g of sugar every 5 days.

Sugar isn’t just in the obvious forms of cane sugar, corn syrup or corn sugar. There are a lot of hidden sugars that people are unaware of and are consuming.

These hidden sugars can be found in our condiments like ketchup, salad dressings, pasta sauces, and sports drinks. Consuming too much sugar turns into fat deposition in our body and leads to obesity related conditions like hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.

Why Mediation Is So Important to Practice Daily

Meditation can be an amazing tool to help in a ton of categories when it comes to one’s health. This is a huge reason on why we have it in our 8 Weeks to Wellness Program. According to Healthline.com, mediation can help with many things including Reducing Stress, Controlling anxiety, Promote emotional health, Enhance self-awareness, Lengthen attention spans, Reduce age-related memory loss, Generate kindness, Help fight addictions, Improve sleep, Help control pain, decrease blood pressure, and it is accessible anywhere.

We live in an instant gratification society where our mind tends to run at 100 miles per hour. Since our brains are constantly spinning, we need to try and calm it and put time into developing daily. According to new research from Queens University in Canada, people on average have up to 6,200 thoughts a day. That is a crazy number! Being able to slow the brain down and control it can make huge improvements in our health as you can see from the 12 benefits of mediation that we have already talked about. Making Mediation, or mindfulness, a part of your routine can make a huge difference in your health.