Thursday, January 3, 2019

How To Make Exercise A Regular Habit


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)



Regular exercise has long been identified as an essential element of good health.  Despite this fact, many struggle to make exercise a regular habit.  Below are some helpful tips that can help individuals stick with an exercise program.

Make Exercise Convenient:  Incorporating regular exercise into a busy life necessitates some planning and sacrifice so it becomes a priority.  This may require scheduling exercise into everyday routines and/or making regular exercise as convenient as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that it remains a priority.  Exercise does not need to be time consuming.  Regular bouts of exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on health.

Make Exercise Safe:  An exercise that may be considered safe for one individual may not be safe for another due to age, physical limitations, and other health concerns.  If you are not sure where to start, consult with a knowledgeable health care provider who can assist in choosing activities that are appropriate for you.  If you have been inactive for a period of time, gradually ease into activity and take it slow.

Make Exercise Fun:  Individuals should choose a range of exercise activities that they enjoy.  Performing these activities with a workout buddy, friend, or family member also results in the exercise being more satisfying.  Those individuals who choose fitness and recreational activities they enjoy are more likely to be consistent with those activities.  Having another individual to share this with also increases the likelihood that you will continue with the exercise activity.

Make Exercise Feel Good:  Not only does exercise make you physically stronger; it also has the benefits of releasing excess tension, building self-esteem, and stimulating the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals called endorphins.  Although there may be some initial physical discomfort when beginning a new exercise program, this may be your body’s normal response when starting a new activity and should not last more than one to two weeks.  If discomfort or pain persists beyond this point, seek advice from an experienced individual to make sure the exercise you are performing is appropriate and being done correctly.

Make Exercise Practical:  Individuals beginning an exercise program need to have realistic expectations about the amount of time they can invest, the activities they will enjoy engaging in, and the physical and psychological benefits they expect to experience.

Regular exercise leads to tremendous health benefits that can be initiated by individuals of any age or shape.  For more information on health, wellness, and exercise, visit  www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Hours

NEW HAMBURG WELLNESS CENTRE HOLIDAY HOURS:

Sat Dec 22 - Open by Massage appointment only

Mon Dec 24 - Open by Massage appointment only until 2 pm

Tues Dec 25 - CLOSED

Wed Dec 26 - CLOSED

Thurs Dec 27 - Open regular hours

Fri Dec 28 - Open regular hours

Sat Dec 29 - Open by Massage appointment only

Mon Dec 31 - Open by Massage appointment only until 2 pm

Tues Jan 1 - CLOSED

Regular hours resume on Wednesday January 2, 2019.

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Prevention And Management Of Neck Pain


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)


Most adults can expect to experience some neck pain in their lifetime.  The cause of neck pain is often multi-factorial, meaning that there is usually no single cause.  Once an episode of neck pain happens, some individuals will find it is a persistent or recurrent condition.  However, there are management strategies that can be employed to minimize the negative impact of neck pain.

Below are some tips on prevention and management of neck pain.

·   Protect your neck while you sleep by choosing a pillow that will help support the head, neck, and shoulders.  This will keep them in alignment and minimize stress and strain. 

· Be smart when working at a workstation/ desk. The workstation/desk should be at elbow height.  Use of an adjustable chair can help meet this need.  Computer monitors should be at eye level for easy viewing.  Do not cradle the phone between your head and shoulder.  Use of a headset or the speakerphone feature will keep your hands free and allow you to multi-task in a safe manner.  Be sure to take regular breaks every 20 to 40 minutes that allow you to stand, walk around, and stretch your neck and upper back.

·      Avoiding cigarette smoke can be helpful.  The reduced blood circulation found in smokers deprives spinal discs of vital nutrients which can lead to premature degeneration.  Smoking may also provoke disc herniation with coughing, and cause general damage to the musculoskeletal system through direct chemical irritation and chronic inflammation.  Exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood may also increase the risk of developing neck problems later in life.

·         Drinking water brings vital nutrients to neck muscles and decreases the risk of cramps and strains.  Water also helps to protect neck joints by providing lubrication and cushioning.

·      Eliminate poor posture which can strain the muscles and joints in the neck.  While sitting, make sure that your weight is evenly distributed on your seat, your shoulders are not rounding forward, and you are not slouching.  Your head should be resting on your torso and not poking forward.

·     Engaging in regular physical activity and exercise will help keep your neck strong.  This can include general cardiovascular conditioning, along with postural, stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck, shoulders and upper back.

·      Get professional help for your neck pain.  The following treatments have been identified as being helpful for most cases of neck pain:  education, exercise, mobilization, manipulation, laser therapy, acupuncture, and soft tissue therapy.  The scientific literature does not identify any “best” treatment that is effective for everyone.  Trying a variety of therapies or combination of therapies may be required to find relief and help manage neck pain.

If you are having difficulty managing neck pain symptoms, contact a qualified health professional who can prescribe appropriate therapy, rehabilitation and self-management strategies specifically for your circumstance.  For more information, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How To Choose The Right Pillow


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

A good night’s sleep is important for maintaining good health and optimal functioning, and choosing the right pillow can make all the difference in the world when it comes to how well you sleep.  Using a pillow that is the wrong size and fit can be a significant source of neck and back pain.  In some cases, incorrect head and neck positioning can also affect breathing and cause snoring, which can hinder sleep.

The right pillow will help support the head, neck, and shoulders, keeping them in alignment, and thereby minimize stress and strain on muscles and joints.  As a result, this will also create a feeling of comfort and increase the likelihood of a restful sleep.

There is no one best pillow for everyone as there are a variety of factors that go into choosing the right pillow.  Below are some useful tips that can help you find the pillow that's right for you:

·         Consider your sleeping position.  Back sleepers should choose a pillow that is not too firm or too high.  The pillow should keep the chin in a natural resting position, and support the head and neck so they are aligned with the upper back and spine.  Side sleepers should opt for a firm pillow that supports the neck in a neutral position.  The pillow should hold the head high enough to ensure that the spine is aligned.  Stomach sleepers should choose a soft or flat pillow so the neck isn’t turned or tilted at an uncomfortable angle.

·      Choose a size of pillow suitable for your body size or frame.  The pillow should cover the entire back of the neck and mold to one's individual shape to alleviate any pressure points.

·      Try out a variety of pillows.  Most pillows are packaged in a plastic wrapper so you can lay it on a display bed in the store and put your head on it.  Visit a store that has a wide range of pillow options to find the one that best meets your needs.

·       A hypoallergenic pillow is a must if you suffer from allergies, but it is also a good choice for anyone.

·   Replace your pillow every 12-18 months.  Pillows will wear over time by losing their shape and ability to provide proper alignment and support.

If you experience pain and discomfort at night or have difficulty falling asleep, consider visiting a chiropractor.  Chiropractors are trained to treat muscle and joint problems that can interfere with a restful night's sleep.  They can also offer nutritional and lifestyle advice that can help improve sleep quality.  For more information, visit www.nhwc.ca.  The author credits the Alberta and Ontario Chiropractic Associations in the preparation of this educational information for use by its members and the public.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Health Benefits Of Strength Training


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Strength training is exercise that uses weights or resistance to strengthen and enhance a muscle’s ability to contract and do work.  Below are some of the numerous health benefits of strength training.

1.   Strength training plays a key role in body composition and weight management.  Simply put, strength training burns calories, improves body composition by building lean muscle tissue, and thereby reduces fat stores in the body.

2.  Strength training reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner and less fat.  Other associated benefits include decreased cholesterol levels and lowered resting blood pressure.  Strength training will also help improve glucose metabolism.  Poor glucose metabolism is strongly associated with adult onset diabetes.

3.  Strength training stimulates bone mineral density development and reduces the rate of bone loss.  This is crucial at younger ages for maximizing bone density.  It is also important in older individuals looking to prevent or slow down the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis as it decreases the likelihood of fractures and morbidity related to fractures.

4.    Building muscle through strength training is helpful for recovering from and preventing injury as it helps improve overall strength, endurance, stamina, flexibility, balance and coordination.
 
5.    Strength training can be beneficial for those suffering from arthritis.  Studies in older men and women with moderate to severe arthritis have shown that a strength training program can help general physical performance with everyday activities, and improve clinical signs and symptoms of the disease resulting in decreased pain and disability.

Below are some useful tips that can help individuals get safely started on a strength training program:

·     Strength training exercises can be accomplished with conventional weight-training equipment, hand-held "free weights", and resistance bands/tubing.  An individual can also use their own body weight while performing push-ups, pull-ups, dips, stair climbing, lunges, and wall squats.

·      Modest benefits from strength training can be seen with two to three training sessions a week lasting just 15 to 20 minutes each.  A resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 8 to 12 repetitions is sufficient.  When you can easily do 12 or more repetitions of a certain exercise, increase the weight or resistance.  Rest at least one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

·     Always perform strength training in a safe manner with proper technique and stop if you feel pain.  Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you’ve overdone it and that your program/activity needs to be modified.

A lifetime of regular strength training exercise is ideal, but it is never too late to start!  If you are over 35, have been sedentary for some time, or have a specific health condition or limitation, consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before beginning any new exercise program.  For more information, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Key Components To Weight Loss Success


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

A healthy weight puts less stress on the muscles, joints and biological systems of the body.  It also provides an individual with increased self-esteem, confidence, energy, and everyday productivity.  This article helps identify key components that can be implemented for safe and effective weight loss.

1. Exercise helps keep you lean:  Regular physical exercise such as strength and aerobic training plays an important role in weight management.  Strength training burns calories, improves body composition by building lean muscle tissue, and thereby reduces fat stores in the body. Aerobic training also burns calories and helps control blood sugar levels.    Current guidelines recommend 30 to 45 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times per week.  Be sure to incorporate components of strength and aerobic training to ensure you are getting the full benefits of exercise.

2. When it comes to diet, many things count:  The average individual should consume 1,400 to 2,000 calories per day to meet the body’s total energy needs for daily functioning.  Simply put, any extra calories consumed above what is required for daily functioning will contribute to an increase in weight gain.  Sensible eating should consist of nutritional balance with the correct proportion of quality carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.  Individuals should avoid refined sugars and starches, along with trans-fats.  Refined sugars and starches adversely disrupt blood sugar and put your body into fat storage mode, while trans-fats pack many unnecessary calories.  Successful weight loss can be attained by planning your meals, cutting down serving sizes, eliminating unhealthy snacking, and minimizing foods that can be detrimental to your health.

3. Increase water intake:  Water contains zero calories and is a great fluid replacement for other high calorie drinks such as alcohol and sodas/carbonated drinks.  Drinking water before meals can help kick-start metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant.  Water also regulates metabolism by assisting with lubrication, digestion, and transportation of nutrients.

4. Get enough sleep and rest:  Research suggests that people who do not sleep for six to eight hours per night are more prone to weight gain.  Regular restful sleep allows for important biological systems to recover and recharge.  Without this rest, the additional stress on the body will activate the release of cortisol, a hormone that is linked to weight gain.  In addition, sleep deprivation is believed to affect appetite hormones which can contribute to food cravings and overeating.

5. Ask for help:  Achieving weight loss is not always simple.  Whether you are dealing with a medical condition, require help rehabilitating from a physical injury, or need advice on exercise, diet or nutrition, surround yourself with healthcare professionals who can help you reach your weight loss goal.

For additional information on diet, exercise, managing weight loss, and improving your physical health, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hip Pain And Prevention


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Hip pain often limits physical activities such as walking, running, squatting, and going up and down stairs.  It can also create problems with sleeping and sitting positions.

Depending on what the source of the hip pain is, symptoms can be felt in a number of  different regions which may include:  the low back, deep in the hip joint, on the outer aspect of the hip, in the groin, at the front of the thigh, and in the buttocks.  Listed below are some of the conditions that commonly cause hip pain:

·    Osteoarthritis results from the protective layers of cartilage in the hip becoming worn over a period of time, leading to change in the composition of the bone underneath the cartilage.

·      Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that decreases bone mass and strength, making them more fragile and susceptible to fracture.  Hip fractures usually occur in older individuals after a fall injury.

·     Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another.  They help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement.  Ligament injuries (sprains) can occur when these structures become over-stretched or torn, often during activities where there is a direct blow to the hip or there is an awkward fall or twisting motion involving the hip.

·     Tendons are strong tissues that anchor muscles to bones, and these structures can become over-stretched or inflamed around the hip joint leading to tendonitis and muscular strains.

·       Bursitis can involve several fluid-filled structures in your hip that help provide more cushioning in the joint.  Repetitive hip strain and blunt trauma to the hip bursa are two common causes of bursitis.

·     Injuries and conditions in the low back can radiate symptoms into the hip region.  This includes things such as osteoarthritis, sprains and strains, disc herniations, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

Below are some useful tips that can help individuals avoid or minimize the chance of hip pain and injury:

1.     Maintain a healthy bodyweight to decrease the overall stress on your hips.

2.    Wear appropriate footwear that supports your activities and helps maintain proper leg alignment and balance.

3.    Prepare your hips for physical activity by stimulating the joints and muscles, and increasing circulation.  This can be accomplished with a quick cardiovascular warm-up and gentle stretching of the muscles in the hips, thighs and lower legs.

4.   Choose activities that are "hip friendly" for you.  This may include low impact activities such as swimming, walking or cycling.  Remember to start slowly and build up the intensity gradually.

5.   Strength, balance, flexibility, and core exercises can train your body to better support your hips and avoid injuries.

If you have hip pain that limits your daily functioning, you should contact a licensed health professional who deals in the diagnosis and treatment of hip pain.  For additional information on hip pain and treatment of muscle and joint injuries, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.