by Dr. Katherine | Dec 22, 2022 | biohacks
Is laughter really the best medicine? Lets find out! This months biohack is the benefit laughter may have on your physical and mental health. When you laugh endorphins are released throughout your body, stimulating muscles, nerves, organs and tissues. Laughing induces immediate physical changes, all of which result in heightened feelings of well-being. Studies show these endorphins give relief to chronic pain, help to relieve stress and promote functioning of the immune system. So if the holiday stress is starting to pile up, come in for an adjustment, get in some exercise, take your vitamin D and throw on your favorite comedy!
Laughter literally helps heal your body! When you laugh, you increase your intake of oxygen-rich air. This stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and prompts the release of endorphins in your brain. Similar to breathing exercises . Laughing activates and then relieves your body’s stress response, and increases and then lowers your heart rate and blood pressure—all adding up to a calmer feeling. In addition, a good laugh aids muscle relaxation and can stimulate circulation, both of which can help relieve stress. The positive effects are not just short term either. Long-term regular bouts of laughter can improve your immune system when you laugh it decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Stressful situations result in spikes of cortisol, which then interferes with the area of the brain that regulates emotions. When that happens, the immune system deteriorates and becomes washed in a sea of inflammation, which is a factor in heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Positive thoughts and funny experiences, on the other hand, result in the release of neuropeptides, which help fight stress and the effects of cortisol. Laughing for 15 minutes has the the similar health benefits as getting two extra hours of sleep! No you should not stay up all night watching comedies, but if you have had a bad nights sleep getting a couple of laughs in the next day will help your body recover a bit. Laughing helps us form important social bonds and is important to relationships helping to reduce anxiety and depression.
All of this combined makes laughter and a good sense of humor associated with living longer. Being funny or enjoying comedy is usually an attractive trait, and research indicates that social connectedness is another factor that contributes to longevity. This link between laughing and longevity is also supported by some evidence. One study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, looked at the association between humor and survival in patients with all-cause mortality, and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases , infections, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Researchers studied a cohort of approximately 54,000 individuals over a 15-year period. They found that having a good sense of humor correlated to higher survival rates from cardiovascular disease in women and with infection-related deaths in individuals of any gender. Researchers concluded this was due to laughter’s effect as “a health-protecting cognitive coping resource.” They measured this factor by asking participants to estimate their ability to find a funny element in any given situation; those with higher scores on this question tended to live longer. While more research must be done, enough evidence indicates that laughter may be a great tool to help prevent diseases, reduce costs, and ensure a healthier population. It is also important to acknowledge there is not much to lose in laughing. With no downsides, side-effects, or risks, perhaps laughter IS the best medicine!
Benefits of Laughter
- Reduces Heart Disease
- Natural Pain Killer
- Improves breathing
- Helps you loose weight
- Improves your sleep
- Decreases stress
- Makes you look younger
- Boosts mood and confidence
- Increases Immunity
by Dr. Katherine | Nov 17, 2022 | biohacks, Chiropractic, gratitude, Health, wellness
We work a lot on your physical health here at Desert Valley Chiropractic with chiropractic adjustments for your joints to improve their function and reduce the inflammation and toxins surrounding them. What if an improvement in our outlook, the way we see our lives and ourselves, our overall attitude and perspective on life could also improve our physical health? Read on……..
A daily practice of gratitude can increase your happiness and improve your health. Learning to biohack your neurotransmitters and emotional wellbeing is yet another way to improve your overall health, wellness and possibly your longevity. Making this months timely biohack, gratitude! Expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits. Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood, and immunity. Gratitude can also decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease. Beginning a practice of gratitude along with your chiropractic care may just help those results come along faster! Choosing to change where you focus your mind can have a big impact even when you cannot change your circumstances. Gratitude effects hormones and neurotransmitters like cortisol, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. This has positive effects on your physical and mental health.
Choosing to count your blessings and making the time to be grateful for the good things in your life can have a far reaching positive effect. Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things you have relationships, current situations, the ability to work on your health and many other circumstances can all be an opportunity to reflect on gratitude. Remember things to not have to be prefect or even great to be grateful. Being thankful for where you are and what you have can have many positive health effects. Studies show practicing gratitude can lead to more intimate and connected relationships, less depression, more motivation and engagement, and better overall mental well-being.
Gratitude increases happiness, gratitude helps people to feel happier and experience positive emotions. In short, gratitude can boost the neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine.” Dopamine is our brain’s pleasure chemical. The more we think positive, grateful thoughts, the healthier and happier we feel. When you focus on things that make you feel grateful you will find that positivity follows.
Gratitude is good for your emotional wellbeing. It can give you emotional health and resilience when you’re confronted with stress, loss, grief, or trauma. Gratitude lowers the stress hormone cortisol which helps you to better manage your response to stress. In a study on gratitude and appreciation, participants who felt grateful showed a reduction in the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. They had stronger cardiac functioning and were more resilient to emotional setbacks and negative experiences.
Gratitude improves physical health, people who are grateful tend to sleep better and have fewer aches and pains. Increased feelings of gratitude may help to improve immune function and reduce inflammation. Researchers have shown that when we practice appreciation, our bodies release t oxytocin hormone, which expands blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and protects your heart. Oxytocin deepens our relationships and helps us feel more connected to others
Improved relationships, people who are focused on gratitude are often inspired to give back and support their communities. This tends to build relationships and community. A report in the Harvard Mental Health Letter states: ‘A study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.’
Research also shows that generosity and gratitude work hand in hand with benefits for the giver and one receiving! It seems that expressing gratitude is linked to the release of oxytocin, sometimes called the ‘love hormone’, which is perhaps why a study has shown that participants giving and receiving thanks felt more loving and caring towards their partner.
How to implement the practice of gratitude
Gratitude can be felt and acknowledged in several ways, you can be grateful for the past, past memories and experiences. You can express gratitude for your current circumstances and the positive aspects of your life, you can look toward the future with optimism and the expectation of positive things to come!
Mindfulness and gratitude are connected. Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally focusing your attention on something. Even just a few minutes of meditation or prayer focusing on thankfulness can increase your feelings of gratitude.
Say thank you. The simple act of saying a sincere “thank you” to others will grow your gratitude. Both saying “thank you” out loud and taking the time to write a thank you note will help you increase gratitude in your life. If you cannot thank someone personally, even pausing to thank them in your mind can foster gratitude. As you are working on your health with adjustments and exercise thank your body for the improvements you are seeing and the things you are able to do.
Start saying grace. Pausing to express your thanks before eating is a popular practice for cultivating gratitude. Grace is commonly said as a prayer of thanksgiving before a meal, but you don’t need to be religious to say grace. Just take a moment to express your thanks for your food and recognize the blessing of a nourishing meal. If you are eating local organic food take a moment to thank your local farmers and markets for providing nutritious and healthy food for your family.
Surround yourself with gratitude cues. Fostering gratitude might require some reminders. Surround yourself with pictures of people, pets, or places that inspire your feelings of gratitude. Make a gratitude board on Pinterest and look at it each day. Leave yourself post-it notes with reminders of what you are thankful for and make it a habit to take a moment to give thanks whenever you see them.
When you make an effort to focus your mind and thoughts on things you are grateful for, you’ll start to notice more things to be grateful for. Brain scans of people who foster gratitude have shown changes to the prefrontal cortex that make them more likely to experience gratitude in the future. This means that as you work to have more gratitude in your life, the positive feelings of thankfulness will begin to flow more easily and naturally.
Fostering gratitude takes a little bit of time and intention, but your efforts will pay off. You will transform your mind and possibly even improve your physical and mental health by choosing to focus on gratitude.
On the topic of gratitude I want to take this as an opportunity to sincerely thank each and every one of our patients over the years. This December marks our 13th year here at Desert Valley Chiropractic and we would not be here without our amazing supportive patients and our outstanding staff. You have blessed us by choosing us as your chiropractors, the referrals you send, your support, your reviews, your attendance at our events and continuing to choose us as your doctors allows us to do what we love. Our practice has grown and flourished over the years, we have won three Best Of the Valley Awards, successfully treated thousands of patients and met many wonderful friends all because of the people who show up and support us. One of the things we realized recently is our practice is at a stage where we are beginning to see patients we treated as children bringing their own children in to see us! As providers this is an amazing and heartwarming compliment. Your support provides for our family, allows us to care for our awesome employees and give back to our community we are truly grateful for all of that and more!
We are truly blessed and grateful to have all of you behind us supporting our practice.
by Dr. Katherine | Oct 27, 2022 | biohacks, Chiropractic, Health, Sleep, Uncategorized, wellness
Why getting your beauty sleep is important for your health…….
Not being able to get a good nights sleep is a very frustrating and increasingly common problem in our society. It is a common complaint we hear at Desert Valley Chiropractic ,read on to see how chiropractic can help! Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night is a terrible feeling and it has a negative impact on your health. Quality sleep is an essential part of your overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Ongoing sleep deprivation can lead to issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood sugar, anxiety, diabetes, and stroke. Not everyone realizes the importance of quality sleep, but it’s just as crucial as exercise and healthy eating. So that is why this months bio-hack is improving your sleep!
Getting to sleep in our society is becoming more and more of a science! For our ancestors, it was a little simpler, when the sun went down you slept. Our body was designed to flow with our circadian rhythm but with introduction of modern lighting fixtures, electronic devices, and just the general fast-paced lifestyle that we all live, sleep doesn’t come as naturally as it should. If you have trouble sleeping, take a look at our best tips for how to fall asleep quickly!
Sleep with Your Phone in Another Room. It has become common to keep our phones right beside us while we sleep. We use it as our alarm and many of us check our emails and social media as soon as we wake up. The more you’re on your screen the more your brain is stimulated and the harder it is for you to fall asleep. These devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which may trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Too much light from your screen can affect melatonin production, signaling to your body that you’re not ready for sleep. Get a separate alarm clock and sleep with your phone in another room so you’re not tempted to look at it before bed and if you wake up during the night!
Try using blue light glasses. Blue light filtering glasses are a way to protect yourself from digital eye strain and sleep disruption. Blue light glasses work by protecting your eyes from high-energy blue wavelengths, reducing the potential for eye damage from prolonged exposure. Generally, the purpose of blue light glasses is to reduce digital eye strain and improve sleep quality.
Sleep in a Cool Room. Your bodies core temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep. When you’re falling asleep your internal body temperature drops slightly and reaches its lowest point between 2 and 4 am. A bedroom temperature of 65 to 72 degrees is in a ideal range for sleep.
Breathe in Lavender. A great way to fall asleep is to diffuse lavender before bed or use a lavender lotion, even scent your linen with lavender if you really enjoy the scent. Lavender helps you relax, can lower your blood pressure, and helps clear your mind. Breathe in the scent of lavender before bed to help you sleep deeper and wake up more invigorated!
Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule. A regular sleep schedule is key to beating insomnia. Plan for sleep, sleep isn’t always as easy as just having the time to lay down, but scheduling your rest periods will be a big step in the right direction. Get into a routine and plan to make sure you have enough time set aside for rest by counting backwards from when you need to wake up each morning. If you tend to always go to bed at different times, this can really mess up your sleep cycle. It’s best for your biological clock if you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends. Some people like to sleep in later on the weekends but doing that can make your insomnia worse.
Use Your Bedroom Only for Sleeping. It’s important for your mind and body to associate your bedroom with sleep. If you work from home or bring work home, don’t do it in your bedroom. If you do, your mind will associate it with work and keep your wheels turning. It’s also best not to watch TV or do anything that stimulates your mind – keep your bedroom for sleeping!
Keep Clocks Out of View. One of the worst things you can do is watch the minutes go by when you’re trying to get to sleep. The more you think about how much later it’s getting, the more anxious you’ll become about not falling asleep. This also goes for waking up in the middle of the night. If you’re watching 3 o’clock turn to 4 o’clock and 4 o’clock turn to 5 o’clock, you’re going to feel even more stressed out.
Stay Out of Your Head. This one’s easier said than done but do your best not to think about everything under the sun when you go to bed. And most importantly, try not to think about the fact that you can’t fall asleep. Work on relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga to get you into a relaxed state instead.
Read a Book. Reading a book before you go to bed can help take your mind off daily stressors and will help you relax. Try to go to bed half an hour earlier than you usually do to get some reading in. If you wake up in the middle of the night and are awake for more than 20 minutes, use a dim light and read a book to help you get back to sleep.
Practice Meditation Before Bed. Meditation can bring your mind and body to total relaxation before bed, and help you get to sleep faster. Meditation helps enhance melatonin levels and helps the brain to achieve a sleepy state. It will be easier to fall asleep and you’ll wake up feeling more energized.
Avoid Long Daytime Naps. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep it’s typical to feel tired during the day, but try to skip naps if you can. Long naps (over 20-30
Write Down a To-Do List Before Bed. Many people can’t get to sleep because they’re worried about what they have to do the next day. Instead of letting your to-do list float around in your mind and keep you up, write it down on a piece of paper.
Exercise During the Day. Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel tired and help you get to sleep quickly. Exercise boosts your serotonin levels and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) to help you get a better quality sleep. Moderate-intensity exercise seems to work best, whereas extreme and excessive exercise may lead to a poorer sleep.
Don’t Drink Caffeine in the Afternoon. Drinking caffeine after 2 pm can seriously mess up your sleep cycle. Although everyone reacts differently to the effects of caffeine, it’s generally best not to drink it at least 6 hours before you sleep, and even more if you have insomnia. Try to limit coffee consumption to the morning if you can, or cut it out completely.
Create a Bedtime Routine. Having the same routine every night before you go to sleep can help calm your mind, relax your body, and condition yourself to realize it’s time to go to sleep. This routine can be 15 minutes to an hour, whatever works best for you, but be consistent with it every night. Find a routine that works for you whether that includes taking a warm bath, stretching, writing in a gratitude journal, reading, writing down your to-do list or goals, or anything else that feels good.
Stretch Before Bed, muscle tension can lead to restless nights. Do a short yoga routine or stretch out your tightest muscles before bed. Hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and ankles are some of the common areas that will be tight after a long day. Picture turning off every muscle in your body. Start at the toes and end with the brain, relaxing each muscle as you go.
Many don’t realize that chiropractic can help with sleep issues! According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third of people who have undergone a chiropractic adjustment say they experience an immediate improvement in sleep.
The benefits of regular chiropractic care for patients with sleep issues include:
- Easing muscle tension that causes restlessness,
- Relaxing the body,
- Relieving pain and discomfort,
- Stimulating circulation and blood flow, and
- Improving central nervous system function.
Your body needs sleep to repair and regenerate muscle tissues, skin cells and bone. A study that examined the impacts of sleep on injuries found sleep deprivation caused a marked difference in molecular markers of muscle repair. This showed that sleep impacted the body’s regeneration functions and can support healing. So while you are healing being able to get some sleep is very important.
Personally sleep does not always come easy for me, I am a mom, a doctor, a wife, a business owner and an employer and probably a few other things I am forgetting at the moment! I am also an expert worrier and I have trouble shutting my brain down sometimes! My personal favorites which make up my night time routine are: Getting adjusted, I always know I need an adjustment when my sleep patterns get bad. I exercise daily, I avoid caffeine as much as possible and definitely past about 2pm, I read at night and do some breathing exercises. I use the to do list tip and get things out of my head before I go to bed. I take magnesium and formula 303 before bed almost every night. I hope you have found these tips helpful, I encourage you to try a few of them out or include some new ones into your night time routine!
We carry a couple of products in the clinic which our patients have had great results with:
FORMULA 303 ALL-NATURAL RELAXANT
A Gluten-Free, Non-GMO product
Formula 303 is an all natural herbal remedy that harnesses the medicinal properties of valerian root, passion flower, and magnesium to provide you with relaxed muscles, stress relief, and natural relief from just some of the following:
- Muscle Pain
- Muscle Spasms
- Joint Pain Relief
- Leg Cramps
- Pulled Muscle
- Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Tension and Stress
- PMS Cramps
- Restless Sleep
Other valerian root herbal supplements only contain one or two of these important ingredients, Formula 303’s unique blend allows for the maximum levels to provide you with a safe, non-habit forming natural muscle relaxant that is perfect for long term use.
Used for Centuries to calm upset nerves and for treating mood problems, pain, and headaches. Today, it is still used for its antispasmodic, calmative, tranquilizing, carminative, and pain relief effects.
Discovered in 1569, passion flower has been used primarily as a sedative used to quell nervousness and anxiety, promote better sleep, reduce swelling as an anti-inflammatory, and as an antispasmodic and anti-convulsant used in the treatment of muscle cramps, dysmenorrhea, and other conditions.
Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals in the development and function of nerves. It plays a large role in the overall stabilization of nerve cells, which without nerve cells would be in the state of tetany.
Be Sleepy CBD
ON CBD: Be Sleepy is a soothing lotion to enrich your sleep potential. On CBD Be Sleepy is infused with Melatonin, Chamomile, Valerian and Hops Extract.
- 1,000 mgs Hemp CBD Extract
- Dosed Controlled 20 mgs CBD Extract Per Pump
- 50 Pumps Per Bottle
- Guaranteed To Contain Between 80%-95% Pure CBD
- Formulated with Proprietary Phase Change Delivery Emulsion
ON CBD: Be Sleepy is a soothing hydrating body lotion On CBD Be Sleepy is infused with Melatonin, Chamomile, Valerian and Hops Extract.
- 1,000 mgs Organic Industrial Hemp CBD Extract
- Dosed Controlled 20 mgs CBD Extract Per Pump
- 50 Pumps Per Bottle
- Guaranteed To Contain Between 80%-95% Pure CBD
- Formulated with Proprietary Phase Change Technology
Magnesium helps the body relax. This nutrient reduces stress and helps you sleep longer.
Magnesium is a nutrient that’s involved in several important bodily functions. It Plays a role in muscle and nerve function, is involved in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, and even helps build bones and DNA.
Some studies have found that Magnesium supplements can:
Make it easier to fall asleep
Improve sleep quality
Reduce symptoms of restless leg syndrome which can interfere with a good night’s sleep
by Dr. Katherine | Sep 28, 2022 | Uncategorized
Pour Me A Drink!
Here we are in September and while it is “ Pumpkin Spice Season” many other places here in Phoenix it is still HOT! As we head into what we all hope is the last bit of our summer I want to talk about the importance of staying hydrated! This months biohack is hydration and how proper hydration improves the way your body functions. I tell patients all the time at Desert Valley Chiropractic “a car ride in Phoenix is enough to dehydrate you!” and I am only partially kidding! If you are already walking around “ under hydrated” it does not take much in our desert heat to tip the scale into dehydration. It is estimated that about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated . By definition dehydration occurs when more fluids are leaving the body through sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating, and crying than are coming in. The recommended amount of water you should be taking in is a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 160lbs you should drink 80 oz of water or 8 10oz glasses. This does not account for exercise or our desert climate! When exercising you should add 10 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise. So if you do a 60 minute workout add an additional 30 oz. In our 160lbs scenario you would want to drink about 130- 150 oz of water in a day where you have done a vigorous 60 minute workout. Another important piece of the hydration game is electrolytes. If you have become dehydrated your body will need the help of electrolytes to allow water to enter the cells and truly rehydrate you.
How do I know if I am dehydrated?
A simple way to check your hydration is to pinch the skin on the back of your hand and watch how quickly it goes back into place. If it snaps right back into place good job! You are fairly well hydrated if it slowly returns to normal over a few seconds you could use a glass of water.
Here is a list of symptoms that indicate your body is not getting enough water and you may be chronically dehydrated or under hydrated.
- Dark urine
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid heart beat
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- No tears
- Unsatisfied hunger
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- Skin disorders
- Brain fog
As you can see these symptoms involve multiple systems in the body, they are also often shrugged off as “normal”, part of other pathologies or unknown causes.
What about electrolytes?
I see a lot of patients who tell me ( emphatically) they are drinking lots of water! Yet they still have muscle aches, cramps, headaches, constipation and we are having trouble getting their adjustments to “hold” or feel good for as long as we would like between visits. along with many other of the above symptoms. This is where electrolytes come into play. Electrolytes are minerals involved in the many processes of the body including muscle contraction, pH regulation and hydration. The following electrolytes are found in the body bicarbonate, phosphate, magnesium, calcium, chloride, potassium, and sodium. These minerals are found in your fluids like sweat, blood and urine. Sweating, excessive urination, and certain mediations can deplete these minerals. Once in the body these minerals become positive and negative charges that help spark the firing of nerve cells and the regulation of the flow of water in and out of the cells. This is why you can be drinking a lot of water but if the electrolytes are off you are not actually hydrating the cells and rehydrating your body.
Natural sources of electrolytes
- Coconut water
- Bone broth
- Pink Himalayan salt
Remember to look for healthy organic options when you can!
Situations that can call for some extra electrolytes are intense workouts or sweat sessions ,( remember what I said about phoenix car rides?!), a night out with some drinks, spending time at higher elevations like flying or hiking our beautiful mountain trails! When you can try to supplement with electrolytes before some of these activities. I prefer electrolyte supplements like Liquid IV and Nuun tabs over some of the other sugar filled and dye filled options.
While it is important to increase your water intake if you are dehydrated your foods can also be a source of hydration and electrolytes especially fruits and vegetables.
Foods that hydrate
- Strawberry’s 92 % water
- Water melon 92 % water
- Tomatoes 94% water
- Carrots 90% water
- Zucchini 95% water
- Cucumbers 90% water
- Bell peppers 92% water
So as we come to the end of our hot sweaty summer remember to hydrate your body and get those electrolytes in!
by Dr. Katherine | Aug 26, 2022 | biohacks, Chiropractic, Exercise, Health, Uncategorized, wellness
One of my favoritee things about being a chiropractor at Desert Valley Chiropractic is restoring patients ability to do the things they love and returning them to active lifestyles. In fact, it may be my most favorite thing! Seeing our patients regain their ability to hike, bike, walk, practice yoga, garden and enjoy time with their family and friends is incredibly rewarding. The amazing bonus is we get to do it using gentle effective activator adjustments and NO drugs! Your ability to move and exercise is so strongly linked to both your quality and quantity of life that it is not an over statement to say getting active can literally save or change your life. So this month we are going to discuss exercise and why just 30 minutes of activity might be the ultimate life changing biohack!
Numerous health care professionals have stated that if you could bottle the benefits of exercise you would have a miracle drug or supplement at your disposal! The benefits of getting just 30 minutes of exercise a day include:
Sign me up! Where do I start?
So where do you start if you or a loved one are struggling to be active or can’t do 30 minutes of exercise? I would recommend starting where you are, if you can do five minutes do five minutes. You don’t have to do an hour of Cross Fit to reap the rewards of exercise (if you are doing an hour of Cross Fit AWESOME keep going!). Start with walking or swimming both are excellent low impact exercises. Revisit each one of the topics in this blog series. The topics we have discussed so far have all been chosen to help with healing, vitality and energy. Get your vitamin D tested, practice breathing exercises, work on your posture, do vagus nerve exercises, clean up your diet and at the top of the list GET ADJUSTED chiropractic keeps you moving!
Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. There are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, walking, biking, sports and dancing, to name a few. Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer
Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when older people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, more use of medication and more illnesses.
Approximately 85 percent of people in North America live largely sedentary lifestyles this includes our children. The human body was designed to move, and when it’s deprived of this movement, the results can manifest as poor physical health, mood disorders, and accelerated aging. In fact, studies show that inactivity might be as bad for our health as smoking, leading to increased risks of chronic health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Your physical and mental health depend so much on exercise that not getting enough is considered one of the 10 major risk factors for death worldwide.
Regular exercise is a highly effective way to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, which affect millions of people throughout the United States. In addition to lowering your risks for chronic diseases, making your body move boosts your energy and improves your overall fitness. Likewise, more energy and a leaner, healthier body can boost your self-confidence.
Lack of physical activity can also strongly influence the rate at which your body ages. Inactivity accelerates the loss of muscle tissue, a process also known as atrophy, leading to weakness, increased risk of injury, and reduced coordination. This contributes to increased fall risks and decreases the ability to live independently . Inactivity also ages your brain by contributing to memory loss and brain fog.
Fortunately, experts agree you can combat these risks with just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
The specific benefits of daily 30-minute workouts, such as reduced risk of disease, improved blood pressure and increased bone density, can be measured using diagnostic testing .However, many positive changes will stand out to you and your loved ones, including increased energy, a firmer body, and a stronger immune system.
Exercise boosts circulation, muscle strength, and endorphin production, helping your body work more efficiently. Simple tasks such as walking up the stairs and washing your car will feel easier almost immediately. You’ll also be more focused at work, less fatigued, less reliant on caffeine, and more capable of accomplishing tasks throughout each day.
Gradually, regular exercise increases your muscle mass and helps you shed excess fat and fluids. As moderate daily exercise supports your body’s production of antibodies and white blood cells, it will also fight off viruses and other pathogens more efficiently, significantly boosting your immune response and ability to fight disease.
Here are some exercise ideas to help get you moving:
- Walking, bicycling, or dancing. Endurance activities increase your breathing, get your heart pumping, and boost chemicals in your body that may improve mood.
- Yoga. This mind and body practice typically combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation.
- Tai Chi. This “moving meditation” involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply.
- Activities you enjoy. Whether it’s gardening, playing tennis, kicking around a soccer ball with your grandchildren, or something else, choose an activity you want to do, not one you have to do.