All posts by drcase

Walking Towards Good Health

Do you feel heavy? Sluggish? Out of shape? Generally unwell? If so, go walking!

Sitting is the new smoking, according to James A. Levine, a Mayo Clinic physician, whose now-popular phrase speaks to the way our culture’s sedentary lifestyle is ruining our health.

More than 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walking is activity that’s great for everyone from you and me to Diana Nyad, the 67 year-old endurance athlete.

She said, “unlike swimming, cycling or running, which require special equipment and can be hard on the body, walking is the perfect way to get fit and improve your well-being. It’s a low-impact activity that almost anyone can do: young, old, fat, thin, rich or poor.”

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.

For example, regular brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination

The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.


A Formula for Losing Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may have heard that the key is a formula of 20% exercise and 80% diet.

Although it may not actually be that specific, the formula is accurate: What you eat matters more than how you work it off.

Staying active is absolutely essential to a healthy lifestyle—the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. However, if your goal is specifically to lose weight and you find yourself hitting plateau after plateau, you may be sabotaging yourself via your diet.

According to new data, what you eat is far more important than how active you are when you’re trying to slim down.

Exercise IS important, though. 20 percent is still significant, and the benefits of staying fit range from battling diseases to promoting a longer, healthier life.

Additionally, building more muscle helps to create a higher, more sustained metabolism, even when you’re at rest.

The bottom line is that it’s much easier to eliminate a few hundred calories from your diet than burn a few hundred calories through exercise.

Eating a clean and healthy diet will help you lose weight more quickly than working out a lot. But! You will see better results and achieve bigger goals in the long run if you incorporate exercise as well.


Physical Therapist or Chiropractor?

So, you injured your back and now you’re torn – do you go see a chiropractor for relief or a physical therapist? And what’s the difference between the two of them, anyway?

Well, to start, according to the Livestrong organization:

Chiropractic treatment involves a trained practitioner manipulating your spine and surrounding muscles, while physical therapy involves a trained practitioner designing a program of exercises and assisting you in certain movements and massage techniques to relieve pain and restore strength and mobility.

A chiropractor diagnoses and treats mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Most chiropractors work in private practice settings. 

A physical therapist provides treatment in case of injury, disease or caused due to aging, to assist and restore mobility and function. Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, which include hospitals and private practices, outpatient clinics and schools, sports and fitness facilities, and work settings.

Both options, however, have the same goal. Chiropractors and physical therapists both want to get you feeling better without using either medication or surgery to achieve a pain-free, fully mobile life.

Also, both chiropractors and physical therapists are highly educated practitioners with accrediting boards and organizations. They need to pass boards and intense examinations to become licensed practitioners.

To learn more, visit:


Foam Roll for Relief

Have you ever heard of a foam roll? For your back? If not, you’re about to hear about them. And if you already have, settle in and get ready to learn more!

A foam roll is exactly what it sounds like: a cylindrical piece of hard foam that can be rolled on the skin.

They are used as a form of myofascial release. And for those of us who aren’t medical professionals, myofascial tissue is the connective tissue located around the muscles, which is often the source of painful knots. 

In some cases, this tissue can require massage or physical therapy, which is where the foam roll comes into play.

Basically, the roll acts as a masseuse.

When using a foam roll, you’re able to place yourself on the roller and apply gentle sustained pressure on the myofascial tissue. This can eliminate pain and restore motion.

In addition to the massage-like benefits, using a roll can increase strength and flexibility as well as prevent tears and injuries.

As you might expect, form is very important when using a foam roll. Before beginning any new program, even one as potentially beneficial as this, check with your doctor or chiropractor. They can teach you techniques that will be most appropriate for your needs.

For more information on foam rolls, check out this article from the Today Show.


Multivitamins: Bridging the Nutrient Gap

A recent study that followed women for more than 20 years reports that women who took multivitamin-mineral supplement for three years or more were significantly less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Simply put, multivitamins are dietary supplements that come in tablet, capsule or pill form and provide you with an array of essential vitamins and minerals.

As it currently stands, more than half of all American adults take multivitamins or other dietary supplements, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though experts say food is still your most important source of nutrients, they also say meeting daily dietary needs is vital to long-term health. Supplements can help you fill in nutritional gaps.

Most nutritional needs can be met through a healthy, balanced diet, but many women, especially older women, can benefit from a good multivitamin.

The multivitamin should contain:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Folic Acid
  • Beta-carotene
  • B6 and B12
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

If you’d like to know more about multivitamins – what they can AND cannot do – WebMD has a page that can serve as a great resource.

Of course, before you begin taking any vitamins, consult your doctor. You never know how your pre-existing medical conditions or current medications will affect how your body responds to multivitamins.