Health Benefits of Being Grateful

We learn the importance of saying “thank you” as we grow up and are taught this habit because it’s “good manners.” This childhood lesson is extremely powerful and goes beyond being polite. There are so many health benefits of showing gratitude and that is what the month of November is about…Gratitude!

  • Gratitude helps you sleep better! Instead of lying in bed, thinking about worries, stress, and anxiety, think about what you’re thankful for! Mentally make a list of things you’re grateful for and it can help induce a relaxation response, causing you to drift off to sleep!
  • Gratefulness is linked with optimism, which is linked to a better immune system! A study from University of Utah stated that stressed-out law students who were optimistic had more immune-boostinSmilingFamily02-18-2011----g blood cells than students who were pessimistic.
  • Improves psychological health! Gratitude reduces toxic emotions like envy, frustration, and regret. Gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem! It’s able to reduce social comparisons. Grateful people are able to appreciate the accomplishments of others rather than become resentful and as a result they don’t compare themselves to others as often.
  • Reduces stress! Feeling grateful has a positive impact on helping people deal with everyday problems, including stress.
  • Improves overall health! Gratitude helps lower blood pressure and improves cardiac health. It can result in experiencing fewer aches and pains!

 

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8 Tips for a Fresh Fall Start

The temperature drops, the leaves change color, and we think of the holidays to come. Fall is a great time to find a fresh start for ourselves and our health! Here are some tips to help you get a good fresh start!

  1. Enjoy fresh fall produce. Fall is a great time to enjoy a variety of vegetables. Pumpkin and squash are full of potassium and vitamin A.
  2. Stay well rested. Time changes during the fall season can be hard to manage. It’s recommended that you modify your sleep patterns to the outside environment. This will keep you alert in the morning and sleepy hikingat night.
  3. Re-energize with exercise! Try a nature walk through the woods and admire the fall colors. Take a hike through an apple orchard or pumpkin patch.
  4. Get your spine checked. Boost your immune system to avoid colds and flus by maintaining spinal health with a chiropractic adjustment!
  5. De-stress with friends. Plan a weekend to take a break and strengthen friendships. You can even plan an exercise together to motivate each other!
  6. Remember to stretch. It’s cold outside, which means muscles can be tight. Before doing fall clean up take time to stretch your back, arms, and legs.
  7. Focus on finances. With holiday season approaching, we tend to forget to watch how much we spend. Start watching your spending by preparing a budget to avoid financial stress.
  8. Have fun! No matter what your day brings, remember to smile and enjoy the good things! Be thankful for the great things that surround you everyday!

 

Is Sitting Harmful for your Health?

It has been said that sitting is the new smoking. It has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early death. But with most of us logging hours at desk jobs (and recovering from hard workouts with Netflix binges), can it really be that bad?
Yes, indeed!!

When you are in an improper, slouched, or seated posture for extended periods of time, there are physiological changes in the body. In addition to the proven disease risks, things start to lock up. Tissues can weaken and the effects can be degenerative.

It is similar to the idea of time spent in a cast: when muscle tissue is continually immobile, it shortens and shrinks over time and weakens.

Movement brings hydration and nutrients to the tissue and activity keeps it healthy, so even though our jobs and evolving mobile technologies are making us more prone to sit and press buttons, we need to think actively and sit actively.

Image result for person slouching in chair

 

In other words, don’t just get up for breaks, but rather do things that will keep your tissues mobile and fluid throughout your day and life. Spending 8+ hours at your desk doesn’t have to ruin your body.

 

 

Add these five daily movements to your routine:

  1. Roll your feet: Feet can really stiffen up when you sit for long periods. Take a couple breaks during your day and roll each foot on a massage ball or small frozen water bottle.
  2. Do some wall squats: Sit with your shoulder blades and lower back against a wall, hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a minute, then return to a standing position, and do 3 reps.
  3. Stretch into a lunge: Constant sitting shortens the hip flexors, so you need to stretch the musculature of the hips and quads. Step your left leg for-ward into a 90-degree lunge, allowing the right knee to hover over the ground behind you. Then switch legs. Try to work this in 3-4 times a day.
  4. Reverse your rotation: During prolonged sitting, we tend to collapse inward, rounding our shoulders and jutting our necks out and forward. To reverse this, move to the edge of your chair and sit on your tailbone. Leaving your arms at your sides, open your chest and rotate your hands out, letting your shoulders move back. At the same time, widen your hips by rotating your feet out. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Extend your back: Stand and place the palms of your hands at your lower back to lock out your lumbar spine and prevent over extension. Then gently lean back as far as you comfortably can. Do 10 reps once or twice a day.

If you want more tips like these or are looking for help reaching your fitness goals, talk our exercise specialist today! 320-253-5650

6 Ways to Create a Healthy Dietary Lifestyle

The power of eating well is tremendous and is often forgotten. It’s amazing to see how a slight change in one’s diet can make a big impact on their mood, weight, and overall health. Here are some dietary tips to follow to prevent disease, increase energy, or to find and maintain your desired weight.

  1. Eat only when hungry. It seems like common sense but many people fall into eating because their bored, watching TV, or at a sporting event. Try to leave 2-3 hours in between meals or snacks and try not to eat at least 2-3 hours before bed.
  2. Chew, chew, chew! It’s important to remember that the first step of digestion starts in your mouth. Food should be chewed thoroughly to allow easy digestion and avoid over eating by allowing your stomach to fill and a consistent rate.
  3. Save your biggest meal for lunch. At the middle of the day is when your digestive system is at its peak performance. Eating close to your bedtime doesn’t allow your digestion system to adequately rest.
  4. Exercise and de-stress regularly. kaboompics.com_Fresh organic strawberry in white bowlGet yourself moving, breathing, stretching and relaxing on a regular basis. When stressed, we tend to stress eat which typically means reaching for the unhealthy snacks. Exercising, while burning calories from food, also is a way to de-stress and increase your mood.
  5. Cleanse regularly. There are a lot of toxins in some of the foods we eat and our body naturally produces toxins. For these reasons, it’s wise to cleanse and rejuvenate your body to optimal health.
  6. Don’t skip meals! You may be busy but skipping meals means you are more likely to binge the next time you eat to compensate.

Try to be consistent on a daily basis with overall good eating, de-stressing, and physical activity. Establishing healthy habits increases your overall health and decreases your risk of illnesses and diseases. Make this year, a year where you’re eating well!

 

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.

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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!