Happy First Day of Summer!

Here in Toronto, it is the PERFECT first day of summer. A gorgeous bluebird day! It’s also a great time to try some new summer activities!

A few weekends ago, I had an amazing weekend on the water at Sunnyside Beach learning yoga on a SUP!

Stand Up Paddleboading (SUP) is becoming my new favourite thing to do! I’ve always been a water person…just something about the water and the outdoors that just makes me feel at peace.

photo courtesy of oshaosha.ca (I’m in the centre there. Please disregard my poor form)

This little company (Osha Paddle Boarding and Yoga) works out of Budapest Park in Toronto (just a little ways down from Sunnyside). Check them out! I had a great experience. I’m a total yoga noob, but the group was great, the instructor was great, and I can’t wait to do it again!

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Is Your Handbag Affecting Your Health?

handbag In my office, I have been seeing an influx of women coming into the office complaining of neck, shoulder, back pain, and arm numbness. I go through my usual questions about activity, stress, trauma, etc, but in the back of my mind, I know the culprit – the excessively large handbag sitting on the floor next to them.

When I question them about their handbags, they often say, “oh it’s not that heavy” however when I lift it, it feels close to 7-10 lbs.
A brick of a wallet, extra clothes, water bottles, books, IPad, perhaps an umbrella, it’s no surprise that these bags are the source of many musculoskeletal health issues. Carrying a heavy bag, particularly on one shoulder can definitely affect movement.

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Running or Walking?

runningAs I was drafting up my response to two contradicting articles that were published on the same day regarding which was actually better – running or walking, I was really impressed when the Slate came out with their article!

There are certain benefits to running – it increases your heart rate, activates different muscles, and there’s nothing like that “runners high.” But that’s not to say that walking won’t have the same effect – if it is done with intent.

(Side note: I often hear my patients say “I walk a lot at work.” or “I get enough exercise cleaning the house.”  or “I stretch when I get up.” This frustrates me to no end. This is NOT exercise.  Exercise is not just physical, but a mental activity as well – but I digress).

In my opinion, there is no real difference between walking (with intent to exercise), and running – as long as you are moving! Sitting is the new smoking!

Many times a walking program leads to running. After a few weeks of brisk walking it becomes too easy and you want a challenge. You’d be surprised at how fast your cardiovascular system adapts.

To those already exercising routinely, with the warming spring weather, I encourage everyone to block off at least 30 minutes each day to go for a brisk walk or run OUTSIDE; make it part of your exercise routine. While I applaud those who workout at the gym on a regular basis, doing something outdoors is equally beneficial for your health.  We spend more than enough time indoors breathing recycled air as it is. Go outside, soak in some Vitamin D, and get some fresh air while doing something good for your health.

If you’re unsure about how to start a program or whether it is the right approach for you,  you can consult a healthcare professional including your chiropractor to create a personalized plan just for you! There are a great many resources available – you just have to ask!

Running or Walking, it’s all good!

www.drjenniferlau.co.nr

Ellen and Myofascial Release Therapy

Check it out!

Ellen, who has publicly suffered from chronic back problems and a regular chiropractic patient discusses her experience with myofascial release therapy and how it helped her acute low back pain!

 

Myofascial Release Therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction (i.e. impaired or altered function of bodily structures) and the resulting pain and restriction of motion. This therapy works by releasing the level of tightness or scar tissue formation that has resulted from overuse, injury, or postural imbalances, thereby improving tissue texture, tension, movement, and function.

In Sickness and In Movement

I came across this amazing video all shot with the GoPro camera.
It has a great message as well – musculoskeletal disorders accounts for 21.3% of all years lived with disability and is one of the leading causes of global disability.

Overwhelming research suggests movement is the cheapest and most effective cure and prevention for musculoskeletal disease.

You might not be able to do all the stuff in this video, but one thing is for certain, the love of freedom of movement and every person in the video is doing something they love. Find your passion and get moving!

Exercise – it’s not just about weight loss

I came across this article that I think everyone should read. It’s definitely some food for thought.

Here are some interesting quotes from it:

Even for people with a BMI between 20 and 25, those who told researchers they were physically inactive were far more likely to die in the next decade or so than were overweight or obese exercisers.

and

The latest study adds to mounting evidence that a sedentary lifestyle may trump obesity as a corrosive influence on health.

and I think the best quote of all:

“Not everyone can lose weight. But everyone can get fit.”- Dr. Robert Sallis

So what’s in a name? Health Food Edition [infographic]

After a summer of indulgence and the upcoming holiday “food-fest.” I decided to really focus on making better food choices. I’ve always been a healthy eater (not saying I don’t have vices!) but looking around the grocery store and all the new “healthy choices” menus at restaurants, it’s hard to determine what exactly is the better choice. I could choose fish, but it’s usually covered in some sort of bechamel sauce, or perhaps some frozen yogurt instead of ice cream (but look at the sugars!) What about all these vegan options? With all the new terms and choices, it definitely forces one to look at labels and determine whether or not what you decide to eat is really, the “healthy choice.”

I recently came across this infographic (gotta love those!) which warns about certain terms to look out for. Who knew multi-grain was not as healthy?
Check it out! I found it pretty informative.

Courtesy of thrivefitnesswa.com