Take a Hike! Tips for changing your walking game

Are you tired of walking the same streets and sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try a Hike this Summer! Hiking can provide a unique setting and experience to exercise the body, clear the mind, and enjoy Mother Nature at very little cost.

Unlike specific sports, hiking does not require any special skill or expertise. Hiking is essentially walking, which is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body.

Various trails provide grounds to accommodate the beginner to advanced hiker. If you are just starting out, choose a wide trail with low grades, and then advance to more steep and rocky grades.

couple-relaxing-after-mountain-hiking-picjumbo-com

The health benefits of hiking are nearly endless, including weight loss, prevention of heart disease, decreased hypertension or high blood pressure, improved and maintained mental health, prevention of osteoporosis, prevention and controlled diabetes, improved arthritis, and relief of back pain.

  Here are a few tips for a successful hike:

-Wear comfortable shoes and socks to prevent your feet from blistering

-Be careful when hiking up and down hills

-Keep your knees bent and use side-stepping maneuvers when hiking on steep trails

-Use hiking sticks or poles when needed

-Take your time, it’s not a race

-Be careful when crossing streams or other bodies of water

-Bring your own water and a snack if you’re doing a longer hike

-Check the weather before you go! Don’t want to get stuck in the rain or get a sunburn

-Dress in layers (it is better to start off warm and remove layers)

-Do not leave trash behind.

So grab your family and/or friends and check out these local Saint Cloud trails:

Quarry Park & Nature Preserve; St. John’s Arboretum in Collegeville; Warner Lake County Park: Mississippi County Park; or any local state park or state forest.

 

6 Workout Mistakes That are Sabotaging Weight Loss

For most weight loss regiments there is the same formula to reach your goal: exercise and eat healthy. Mistakes in your diet are pretty easy to spot, but what about your workout?

The first step to avoiding mistakes in the gym is to recognize when/if you’re making them. Changing your habits can take some time, but if you start small and keep with it you will become knowledgeable and eventually see results.

  1. You didn’t warm up – Failing to warm up before a workout in one of the most common mistakes people make. You should warm up for 3-6 minutes before your workout. This warm up should include stretching muscles you will be using and a quick light jog, jumping jacks, skipping, or brisk walk to get your blood flowing. Warming up can also help prevent injuries.
  2. You are using the wrong weights – When doing weight lifting workouts in the gym (or at home) a common mistake is the weight you are using. Ideally you should to be doing 3 to 4 sets with 7 to 10 reps per exercise if the main goal is to put on walking-vs-running-featuremuscle and decrease fat. Find a weight that challenges you but is also realistic. It’s better to start off lighter and go up than start heavier and risk injury.
  3. Don’t rush your reps – To maximize your workout you should focus on each and every rep and go at a steady pace. If you’re pumping through reps too fast or swinging weights around you are increasing the risk of injury, therefore putting your goals at risk. By the time you reach your final set, the last few reps should give you a deep burn. If you’re not feeling that burn, maybe you need to go up in weights or do one more rep.
  4. Stop doing so much cardio – Running is a great cardio workout but 15 to 30 minutes is plenty for most of us, even if your goal is reducing fat. A good mix of weight-lifting and different forms of cardio 2-3 times a week is a good place to start. It’s different if you are training for a race (like the Minser 5k) ; keep running!
  5. You are working out too much – Don’t get us wrong, it’s healthy to workout, but you shouldn’t be pushing yourself too hard. If you push yourself way over your limit, you could easily injure yourself. Working out, whether at the gym or at home,  about 2-4 times a week is a good amount for anyone just starting.
  6. Not setting goals – Setting goals is a great way to keep you accountable for working out. It’s important to have a workout plan to help you stick with exercising. This way you can focus on the right exercises and equipment to use when you workout. Having a buddy workout with your is a great method to keep yourself (and your friend) accountable for your goals.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or getting back into an exercise routine, it’s important to avoid these mistakes and decrease risk of injury. If you need help with your workouts contact us and we can set you up with our exercise specialist to go over your goals and get you working out!

How Acupuncture Can Improve Your Health from Head to Toe!

Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years, though not all in the same form. During the Stone Age, people used knifes and other sharp objects to relieve pain and disease. Over time, the practice became modified and was researched in depth to bring the modern acupuncture we know and use today.

Treatment by acupuncture

There are 360 different acupuncture points located on the 12 channels that run throughout the body. These channels correspond to internal organs like the kidney, liver, lungs, etc. The channels aren’t visible to the eye but are found using anatomical landmarks and what flows through these channels is energy called “Qi”. (Pronounced “Ch-ee”)

We have compiled a list of ways this ancient practice can be used to improve your health from head to toe!

Head– Acupuncture is great for reducing frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines

Nose– Seasonal allergies and congestion can also be reduced with acupuncture. It can also allow people to use antihistamines less often for allergies.

Mood– Acupuncture is well known for helping with depression by regulating “happy making” neurotransmitters in your brain.

Heart– Not only is acupuncture good for reducing stress, but also for lowering blood pressure and acupuncture3promoting good heart health.

Immune System– Well- placed needles can boost the activity of immune cells that seek and destroy infections and illnesses.

Back– Acupuncture has been found to be an effective treatment for back pain, along with pain in other areas of the body.

Menopause– Acupuncture can ease the frequency and severity of hot flashes by helping regulate body temperature.

Infertility– Struggling to conceive? Acupuncture can help with any fertility issues one may be having when trying to conceive.

Weight– Looking to lose weight? Acupuncture can help with the weight loss process along with diet and exercise.

These are only a few areas of the body acupuncture can help with!

If you have questions about a certain condition or acupuncture in general, ask a doctor!

 

7 Ways to Naturally Relieve Stress

There are many causes of stress in our daily lives; work, busy schedule, lack of time, school, deadlines, the list continues.stressed-out-mom

April is National Stress Month and though there are a lot of stress initiators in life, there are a lot of health repercussions that follow being chronically stressed out.

Everybody deals with occasional stress that can elicit a variety of mental and physical reactions.  But while occasional stress is natural and even healthy, chronic or acute stress can be harmful.  Here are a few ways to naturally relieve stress.

  1. Get a massage! Often when we are stressed, our muscles tighten up which can cause soreness, pain, and even subluxations in our spine.
  2. Take a break. Whether you’re neck deep into a stressful project or overwhelmed with hectic schedules, pause and take a few minutes to do some deep breathing. You can also take a short walk around the office or outside to help clear your head.
  3. Get some good sleep. Many people get more stressed out when they haven’t gotten a decent nights sleep, so make sure you are getting plenty of sleep every night.
  4. Set aside some “Me Time”. Take a bubble bath, go for a walk, have a girl’s night, do some yoga, spa day, go golfing, do whatever healthy activity you need to do to help yourself relax and treat yourself!
  5. Eat healthy. Reduce your environmental stress such as pollutants from your body by getting the right nutrition. Maybe it is even time for a detox to “restart” your body’s system. How we eat is important in handling stress. In fact, poor food choices themselves are a stress to our bodies.
  6. Workout! Exercise can bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.
  7. See your chiropractor! Chiropractic care is a great solution to help manage stress.  After all, chiropractic care focuses on the spine, which is the root of the nervous system especially the sympathetic nervous system.  One common effect of too much stress is muscle tension and contraction.  This imbalance in the body can cause pressure on the skeletal joints causing pain and dysfunction.  The nerves of the spine control your digestion, heart rate, muscle relaxation and so much more.  A chiropractic adjustment can help balance and ease muscle tension, reduce headaches and some studies show reducing high blood pressure.

If you can’t seem to find some balance, ask your chiropractor what you can do for stress and what are factors of your life that hinder your body’s ability to heal!

 

7 Steps to Have Better Posture at Work

The Medical Definition of the word “posture”
is- the carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of the limbs (the arms and legs).Why should you have better posture? 

Your posture affects everything you do! How you walk, sit, move, breathe, and so much more! Better posture at work means increased productivity, more focused, less back pain, and less headaches.

Here are a few simple steps you can do to have better posture at work.

  1. Align Your Head – Rule of thumb is having your ears in line with your shoulders is proper posture for your head. Forward head posture can result in tight muscles in your neck and possibly headaches.
  2. Stretch Your Shoulders – Hunched desk posture leads to tightened chest muscles and restricted air ways. You can regularly stretch you shoulders to help relax your shoulder muscles.bigstock_closeup_of_female_hands_typing_21941885
  3. Look up! – Keep your monitor centered in front of your body. Adjust your chair or desk so you are not looking downward at your computer and to prevent neck strain.
  4. Don’t Slouch – Slouching also tightens your chest muscles and can reduce strength in your upper back muscles. Keeping your computer at eye level can help reduce slouching.
  5. Exercise and Stretch – Long hours sitting at a desk with little to no breaks can lead to shortened hip flexor muscles. Try to get exercise outside of work and stretch your hips at home. If you can, take walking breaks throughout the day.
  6. Keep Wrists Flat – Maintain a flat keyboard surface and keep your wrists about the keyboard when typing. Occasionally roll out your wrists to reduce tightness.
  7. Sit Upright & Move Your Feet – Crossing your legs at your desk can lead to poor circulation and misalignments in your spine. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and move your feet frequently in increase blood flow.

Have more questions about posture? Let us know!

Time to Stay Motivated!

We all know exercising and eating healthy is good for us, but why is it so hard to stick with? Try following some or all of the tips below to stay motivated in leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

  1. Set goals—start with simple, small goals and progress to longer-range goals. Goals should be realistic and achievable.
  2. Start slowly—it’s best to start slowly and progress gradually. If you push yourself too hard too fast, you may find yourself in pain or with an injury.
  3. Think variety—include a variety of exercises in your routine so you don’t become bored. Your routine should involve stretching, resistance training, and cardiovascular activity to increase the heart rate. If the weather cooperates, take your routine outside.cardio-running-on-a-treadmill-picjumbo-com
  4. Make physical activity part of your daily routine—if you feel you don’t have time to exercise everyday, schedule workouts like any other important appointment.You can also fit physical activity in throughout the day; go for a walk over your lunch break, stretch durin
    g the news, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  1. Keep an exercise/food journal—seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated, and keeping track of your daily food intake may encourage you to eat healthier.
  2. Seek support—invite a friend or family member to workout with you. It’ll help keep each other accountable and can double as a social hour.

Just remember, this is your life. You have control to create and maintain a more happy, healthy, strong, and confident self!