Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: December 2006 Health Newsletter

December 2006 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season
» Don't Sit Up Straight?
» Eat Slow To Eat Less
» 'Tis The Season For Gaming

Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season

Whether you're scheduled for a long road trip, shopping for a small army of friends and family members, wrapping dozens and dozens of gifts or camping out in the kitchen to get all your cooking complete, major holidays can easily put your body at risk of injury. Prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, extensive walking, awkward positions, overeating and plain old mental exhaustion are all common when the holiday season comes into full swing. Here are a few common sense tips to assist in keeping you healthy and pain-free this holiday season:
  • Traveling: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar levels stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, bring along a small blanket and travel pillow, bring all required travel documents as well as any maps or reservations for rental cars and hotels, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky luggage and gifts - use a push cart or dolly and obtain assistance whenever appropriate and/or possible
  • Shopping: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, have your shopping day pre-planned in regards to locations to visit and gifts to purchase, use shopping carts when available and take gifts to your vehicle frequently rather than risking injury by lugging pounds of gifts from store to store, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky gifts
  • Cooking: maintain proper posture while at the counter/sink, alternate between sitting and standing positions, take frequent breaks, stretch often, careful when using knives and other sharp objects
  • Gift Wrapping: maintain proper posture, stretch frequently, be careful not to leave scissors or sharp cutting objects on the floor where they can be accidentally stepped on or where they can be accessed by small children or animals, be careful and obtain assistance when moving or wrapping larger or bulky gifts
  • Holiday Eats and Treats: do your best to avoid over indulgence of those holiday eats and treats, maintain activity levels to counter act all that holiday feasting, avoid driving when you've consumed those holiday spirits
  • Treat Your Body To A Holiday Gift: if you find those aches and pains creeping in or just want to be in tiptop shape this holiday season, stop by your chiropractor's office and treat your body to the most valuable gift of all... the gift of health!

Source: Dr. Neil MacKay, DC
Copyright: LLC 2006

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Don't Sit Up Straight?

We've all heard our moms tell us to sit up straight and not slouch. New research may now change that advice. According to Canadian researchers from the University of Alberta Hospital, sitting upright at 90 degrees places more stress on the back as compared with reclining to a position of 135 degrees. Researchers found those sitting in chairs at angles of 135 degrees experienced the least amount of stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons of their backs. However, sitting at a 90 degree position resulted in very high amounts of stress on the back and spine. If you're wondering how to easily achieve a 135 degree position, simply buy a protractor at your local office supply store and use it as a guide. If your chair tends to give a bit once you sit due to bodyweight, you may wish to set your angle slightly less to ensure that once you're seated, your chair angle is 135 degrees - if possible, have a friend assist when you're seated in order to achieve this optimal angle. If this is a new position for you and does result in pain or discomfort, or, is inappropriate for your seated tasks, be sure to listen to your body and adjust your chair to a more comfortable position. Pain is rarely a good thing and is your body's way to inform you something is not right. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, don't neglect your body's warnings. Call today and allow us to evaluate your back so we can get you out of pain and on the road to health.

Source: Radiological Society of North America; 2006 Annual Meeting.
Copyright: 2006

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Eat Slow To Eat Less

The theory of 'eat slow and you won't eat as much' has now been proven in a new study conducted by University of Rhode Island researchers. Generally speaking, researchers found women who were instructed to eat slower ended up consuming significantly fewer calories. Additionally, immediately and within an hour of consuming their meals, women who ate slowly felt fuller and reported feeling more satisfied. Researchers stated that individuals could expect to consume around 200 calories less per day simply by eating slower.

Source: Reuters. December 1, 2006.
Copyright: 2006

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'Tis The Season For Gaming

You know the winter holidays are near when every other television commercial announces the next new video game on the market. With school out and more time to play, video game units are being dusted off and fired up. As fun as they are, it's important to remember to always play safe and stay healthy. To assist all you gamers this holiday season, we're sharing tips provided by our friends at the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in order to help you avoid back, shoulder and other musculoskeletal pain:
  • Neck Rolls: With your shoulders relaxed, drop one ear to your shoulder and gently roll your neck forward and back, holding each position about five seconds. Repeat five times.
  • Shoulder Stretch: With shoulders down and relaxed, bring right arm across the chest, parallel to the floor. Place the left hand on the upper arm and apply gentle pressure toward the body. Repeat on the left side.
  • Climb the Rope: While standing, look up slightly. Reach up and over your head with your right hand. Then reach even higher with your left hand. Continue by crossing your right hand over your left as if you were climbing a rope. When done correctly, you should feel the stretch in your shoulders and upper back. Do three repetitions on each side.
  • Upward Stretch: While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
In addition, plan to take frequent breaks - at least once every 45 minutes for most people. Those with less stamina may need to take a break every 20-30 minutes. As always, if you experience pain or discomfort as a result of an extended gaming session, consider a visit to a chiropractor. Doctors of Chiropractic practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Source: American Chiropractic Association; November 30, 2006.
Copyright: 2006

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