January 2016 - Northwest Pain Relief Centers

Monthly Archives: January 2016

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8 Great Winter Workouts to Try

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In winter, there are tons of great reasons to remain active and not give into the lure of a sedentary lifestyle. Exercising in winter has many benefits though, not least of which is its fat burning power, and capacity to raise your spirits. What’s more, it can be great fun! Check out this list of activities to do in winter, and you’re sure to find one you’d like to try.  

  • Give ice skating a whirl! Whether you’re outside, or in an indoor skating rink, ice skating is excellent exercise. It tones your legs, tightens your core, and even boosts your behind, while burning about 500 calories an hour.
  • Strap on some skis. If you’re lucky enough to live where it’s snowy, consider this: not only does skiing offer thrilling speed and scenic surroundings, it also burns between 350 and 500 calories per hour.
  • Have some snowy fun on a sled. Kids all over the country long for snow days so they can ride sleds, trash can lids, boogie boards, or whatever contraption they can find, down the highest hill in their neighborhood. When you get the opportunity, you should join them! It’s good, breathless fun, and burns over 400 calories per hour.
  • Dance! Dance workouts have gone through many iterations, from Jazzercise to Zumba, but the dance workout of the moment is Barre-Based. Inspired by ballet, and combining components of Pilates, yoga, and weight training, these classes are great for your core and lower body; the moves used promote long, toned muscles.
  • Get nostalgic about your playground days. Shoot hoops, play dodgeball, or jump rope to rev up your heart rate as you reminisce.
  • Give boot camp a try. Boot camps use high-intensity cardio and strength training, for those who want a serious workout. They’re often held at parks or track fields, but in the winter many classes move indoors. If you’re concerned that you don’t have the stamina to commit to a boot camp series, find a program that offers trial classes so you can see if it’s right for you.
  • Bounce your troubles away. Indoor trampolines are extremely popular right now, for two reasons: they’re fun, and a great workout! Six minutes on a trampoline is roughly the same as running a mile, but the trampoline has the benefit of being low-impact, which protects your joints.
  • Use body weight to lose body weight. For the ultimate in DIY weight training, use your own body as the weight. TRX suspension training is a favorite workout for Navy SEALS, and uses a portable suspension trainer to work the whole body.

Establishing the habit of healthy exercise is important to a person’s well-being. It helps build a balanced life, and can lead you to your own place of optimal wellness and health. For more information on how we can help set you on the path to your best life, call today for your free consultation.

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Vegetables: To Cook, or Not to Cook?

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When it comes to food, there’s one point on which just about everyone is in agreement: it’s a good idea to eat vegetables. Packed with nutrients, vegetables are good for many different ailments, as well as overall health and wellness. How we eat our vegetables is a different story. Some people love their vegetables well done, while others feel that steaming them until they’re just al dente is better for keeping in the nutrients, and still others believe that only raw vegetables pack the appropriate nutritional punch. Who is correct? Do veggies have to be raw to have value, or can you cook them until they’re basically mush?
As it turns out, the answer is pretty complex. For example, when carrots are boiled, they lose their polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, but their carotenoid levels are increased. Carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein, which protect against things like eye disease and cancer, are also boosted in other vegetables, including spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, peppers and zucchini, when boiled or steamed. Asparagus and tomatoes are better for you when cooked, while beets, broccoli, and red peppers are more beneficial raw, because cooking robs them of nutrients like folate, myrosinase, and vitamin C. Further, a recent study of people following a strict raw food diet indicated that, while they had normal levels of vitamin A and relatively high levels of beta-carotene, they were lacking in terms of lycopene, which lowers the risk of cancer and heart attacks. This might indicate that mixing it up, eating some raw and some cooked, is a more nutritious way to go.
The bottom line? Eat your vegetables. If you like them raw, eat them raw, and if you prefer cooked, cook them! Whatever you have to do to them to make them appealing, that’s what you should do. One caveat: don’t deep fry them, as this releases free radicals and kills antioxidants.
No matter how you choose to prepare your vegetables, make sure you’re eating at least five servings a day! A balanced diet is at the heart of a balanced life, which is the key for reaching your optimal state of wellness. At our clinic, our doctors can help to create a nutritional plan that is perfect for you and your lifestyle. To learn about how we can help you live your best life, call for your free consultation today.

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Do you know about Exercising in the Cold?

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Some people love the feel of a brisk winter workout, while others use the cold as an excuse to stay indoors and remain snuggly warm. No matter which opinion you favor, it’s possible that you have some misconceptions about exercising in the cold. Here, we answer some common questions, in order to dispel any myths, and give you the low down on working out in winter.  

  • Does exercising in the cold make you more susceptible to illness?Actually, yes, it does. Because exercising, particularly running, in cold weather increases your stress hormones, your immune system is weakened, and you’re more likely to fall prey to an infection. Take heart! You can still exercise, as long as you pull back your intensity, dress in layers, and run for shorter periods of time.
  • Is weight loss boosted by colder temperatures? Sadly, no. In fact, people tend to eat more in the winter, possibly because our evolutionary programming encourages us to conserve fat.
  • If you’re sad and sleepy, is it winter’s fault? Some people do get depressed in winter, not because of the cold weather, but because of the lack of light. That’s actually why we tend to feel sleepy, too; less daylight means more melatonin, which makes us want to go to sleep.
  • To stay warm, should you drink less water and more alcohol in the winter? Nice try, but no. While alcohol does increase body temperature quickly, the heat is only temporary, and mostly confined to the extremities, which makes it a bad choice when you’re working out. Then again, there are many reasons why alcohol could be a bad choice when involved in strenuous physical activity. As to water, it’s just as important in the winter as in the summer. Water helps protect our mucous membranes, which in turn helps protect us from illness. Your skin moisture and blood volume are also improved when you’re drinking water, which means less chapping, cracking, and opportunistic infection.

Whether you choose to get out in the cold, or stay in a climate controlled environment like the gym, exercise is extremely important to a well-balanced life, no matter the season. At our clinic, we work with our patients to help them live their best lives, and this means suggesting an exercise program that promotes overall wellness. To find out how we can help you find your path to optimal health, call for your free consultation today.

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