The Health Benefits of Walking

  • walking

With today’s fast paced lifestyle and culture, it is sometimes easy to miss out on the simple things in life that will have a positive effect on your health: meditation, yoga, healthy eating and most importantly walking.  Most of us walk in some way, shape or form every day.  We walk to and from the car, around the office or at work, around the house – but do just as many of us walk for our health?  Some people take walks to clear their heads and have some alone time while others take group walks to catch up with friends or family as a way to stay in touch!

Walking has many positive impacts on your health and well being that have little to do with weight.  Taking a daily walk, even as slow as two miles per hour, can improve heart health and cardiovascular endurance!  The average adult is suggested to require 10,000 steps per day – minimum.  This seems like a LOT of work; however, taking a stroll at your lunch hour at work can take up a large chunk of those steps!  Most smart phones are even compatible with apps to track these steps.  Maintaining good posture during these walks will also improve your muscles required to maintain good posture while sitting and other non-walking activities!

For those who aren’t used to a more aggressive exercise regimen, walking is a great place to start!  Take the time you need and the pace that is (not too) simple for you and get started.  As with all exercise, consult with your doctor prior to starting a new regimen.  Contact Lavanga Chiropractic today to assist with your plan today!

Resistance Bands Strengthen Muscles

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Resistance bands provide an inexpensive, safe, and effective workout.  They are frequently used in physical therapy; however, they can be used as an exercise tool for people of all ages.  Johns Hopkins Medicine states that using resistance bands is “one of the safest methods to increase bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis.”  Resistance bands are a great weight-bearing exercise that can help strengthen and tone your muscles.

A major benefit of resistance bands is their versatility.  You can exercise your whole body with resistance bands!  The bands can be used for many different exercises and do not require you to change weights like other exercise equipment.  Another added bonus of these bands is your ability to take them with you wherever you go!  If you travel frequently these bands won’t take up space in your luggage.  These bands also provide you with a safe workout.  You won’t have to worry about dropping any weights on your feet.

These bands also provide you with a great way to deepen your stretch and increase your flexibility.  You can use these bands to stretch your hamstrings, inner thighs, hip, upper back, chest, quads, and sides.  To learn how to properly do these stretches using resistance bands, check out this site.

To find out which exercises can help improve your health, contact Lavanga Chiropractic today!

Define Your Motivation

  • Motivation

The first step in motivating oneself is defining the motive for your engagement. This could coincide with two categories; internal and instrumental. An internal motive is for the personal gain of discovery for example, a personal trainer wants to discover the effects of a new workout routine so he researches this routine my implementing it as his new workout. This is internal because, the trainer wanting to discover the workouts effects is intrinsically related to research. Now say he wanted to discover the effects of this new routine to have it published in a fitness magazine to gain prominence in the workout culture, this would be an instrumental motive since, the relation between fame and research does not inherently coincide. However, people often have both internal and instrumental motives for their activities.

So one may ask, what is the appropriate mix of motives or which single motive is most advantageous in achieving success? One may come to believe that being motivated by both desires is more favorable than motivation by just one desire however, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may disagree. One of their recently published articles is quoted saying, “instrumental motives are not always and asset and can actually be counterproductive to success.”

Data was drawn from 11,320 freshman cadets at West Point who were asked to rate what set of motives influenced their desires to attend the Military Academy. The data was examined five years later and without surprise to the NAS those with stronger internal reasons were more likely to graduate, become commissioned officers, and retain their service after their five years of required duty. Unless, they also combined this drive with strong instrumental motives. The combination of both motives lead to worse performance measures on graduation, effectiveness as a military officer, and less commitment to staying in the military.

The study suggest that when a person focuses on the impact and significance of their work instead of the financial or personal gain from that this may be the best and most effective way to improve quality of their work but also, their financial and personal gains.

So, next time you’re trying to motivate yourself t success focus on the significance and importance your work has as a whole and the personal gains will follow. Focus on the task at hand and challenge yourself to deliver better quality each and every time.

Staying Motivated to Quit Eating Junk Food

During the colder months of the year, we often tend to crave comfort foods.  Research refers to this as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  The change in seasons often leads to an increase in appetite due to changes in brain chemistry.  There are a number of ways to help you stay motivated to maintaining a healthy diet.

When you go shopping, avoid putting junk food into your cart.  If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it.  Instead of putting comfort food into your fridge, swap them for fresh fruits and vegetables.  When trying to avoid junk food, make a plan and stick to it.  Plan meals ahead of time in order to avoid pointless eating.  Remember to eat things that fuel your body.  So, when you need a snack, swap out chips for an apple or celery with peanut butter.  Healthy food can be just as tasty as junk food.  To learn how to make healthy food tasty, look up recipes on line or in magazines.  Remember that in order to stay motivated you have to be able to control yourself when tempted with junk food.  If you are running on a tight schedule, McDonald’s is not the answer—whip up a quick salad with grilled chicken to satisfy your stomach.  Check out this site for 10 ways to help you quit eating junk food for good.

To find out how to stay motivated, contact the Lavanga Group today!

Lack of Sleep Can Impact Body Weight and Metabolism

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New research has been presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society suggesting that losing just a half an hour of sleep can have a long term impact on body weight and metabolism. The study consisted of 522 patients who had recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The participant’s height, weight, and waist circumference were measured and samples of their blood were also taken to analyze insulin sensitivity. The participants were then required to keep weekly sleep diaries, from which their sleep debt was calculated.

Those who had weekday sleep debt were identified to be 72% more likely to be obese, compared with those who had no weekday sleep debt. By the six month follow up the link between sleep debt and obesity and insulin resistance was found to be significant. It was calculated that for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt there was an associated 17% increased risk of obesity and 39% increased risk of insulin resistance.

The study suggest that future strategies designed to combat metabolic disease should also consider sleep and other factors affecting metabolic function.

Lead Professor Shahrad Taheri notes that, “Sleep loss is widespread in modern society, but only in the last decade have we realized its metabolic consequences. Our findings suggest that avoiding sleep debt could have positive benefits for waistlines and metabolism and that incorporating sleep into lifestyle interventions for weight loss and diabetes might improve their success.”

If you are experiencing pain from lack of sleep, contact Lavanga Chiropractic today to find out how they can help!

Stay Motivated to Learn New Skills

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Managers seek employees that have the ability to learn new skills.  As technologies continue to change, so do the way businesses operate.  It’s essential to be able to adapt to these changes and develop new skills.  By constantly learning, you’ll be able to prove to your managers that you are a valuable asset.  Trying to develop new skills each day can make learning exciting.  Pushing yourself to learn is not always easy.  Here are a few tips that will help you stay motivated to learn new skills:

  1. Start learning immediately.  Try not to procrastinate; it will only make it harder for you in the long run.  By starting now, you’re proving to yourself that you have all the power.
  2. Learn by observing.  By seeking inspiration from coworkers or online resources, you can learn new skills faster than trying to start from scratch.  Seeing someone perform a task or work through a problem can help you better understand the process.
  3. Do not give up!  Remember why you started and use this as motivation.  Even if you run into a setback or two, try your best to overcome these obstacles.  In order to learn new skills you’ll have to go through a trial and error process…don’t get discouraged.
  4. Take the time to celebrate your victories.  Learning new skills can be very difficult.  By rewarding yourself, you’ll be able to stay motivated to continue learning.

To find out more information about how you can stay motivated to learn new skills, contact the Lavanga Group today!

6 Ways to Boost Your Exercise Motivation

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Exercise is great for your health, however, many of us are guilty with finding excuses not to exercise.  It’s important to start getting motivated today in order to see results.  Instead of saying, “I’ll workout tomorrow,” try these six tips to start exercising today!

  1. Lighten Up Your Goals.  If you are having trouble getting started, try to make small fitness goals, especially if you’re new to exercising.  This will help you stay motivated rather than feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Track Your Progress.  Keeping track of your workouts will make you more aware of your progress and help you stay motivated to keep exercising.  You can track your progress by writing it down or using a mobile app!
  3. Delete Guilt. It’s normal when you’re first starting to exercise to miss a day or two, so try to delete the guilt.  If you take a a day off, just run an extra mile the next day!
  4. Focus Only On Yourself.  Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on yourself and take one day at a time!
  5. Get a Cheering Squad. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to help encourage you to stay on track!  It’s always easier to stay motivated when you have others cheering you on!
  6. Find the Fun in It.  If you aren’t feeling motivated to go to the gym, try a different workout.  Exercise does not have to be boring.  Try to mix it up and join exercises classes to find out what you enjoy!

Need help getting motivated to exercise? Lavanga Chiropractic is now offering personal training sessions!  Call today to schedule an appointment!

Save Money by Staying Motivated

  • Save Money

Do you struggle to save money?  Many of us have trouble budgeting our finances.  The bottom line is, saving money isn’t easy.  In 2011, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) found that 64% of Americans were lacking a mere $1,000 in their savings account for emergency expenses.  Over the past few years studies have been conducted to try and understand why people make the financial decisions they make.  A study that was published in the Journal of Financial Therapy in 2011, titled, “Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviors: Development of the Klontz Money Script Inventory,” found that, “people tend to operate from one of four distinct money belief patterns: money avoidance, money worship, money status and money vigilance.”  To read more about these patterns, check out this site.

Staying motivated to save money can be accomplished in many ways.  Try setting goals to stay on track.  By setting specific savings goals you’ll be able to stay motivated.  Do your best to avoid frivolous spending.  Another way to help you accomplish your savings goals is to save a little at a time.  Try to focus on reaching your goals for the month rather than the year, this way you won’t get discouraged.  Remember to keep track of your purchases by saving your receipts.  There are also numerous apps available for smartphones that can help you track your spending.  To save money, you must stay motivated to achieve your savings goals.  To find out more information about how you can save money, contact the Lavanga Group today!

Music Helps Keep You Motivated and Focused

Music can help you stay motivated and focused. The act of listening to music can help you concentrate on a boring task. The Globe and Mail reported that, “Focusing on a favorite song combats de-motivating brain signals associated with fatigue or boredom.”  For example, listening to music while working on a boring task keeps you energized and in the zone.  People rely on music to get them through a tough workout or a long commute.  Think of how you can use music to your advantage!

A powerful song can change your mood instantly.  Music can be fun and uplifting or comforting and melancholy.  In fact, “Music’s energizing effects comes from its ability to engage the body’s sympathetic nervous system. The activation of this system readies the body for action whenever we face a challenge in our environment.”  Many people listen to music daily. Most people find that listening to music while driving can help you stay focused.  Imagine how boring road-trips would be if there wasn’t any music to pass the time.  Music can make you motivated to workout, clean, dance, sing, run, and so on.  Music can also be beneficial to your health—to find out how, check out this site!

To find out more information about how staying motivated can benefit your health, contact The Lavanga Group today!

Staying Active With Back Pain

Back pain can be very painful which can make it difficult to do even simple tasks.  Staying active can help you recover faster from back pain.  Michael Melton, the CEO of ChiroHosting.com, states that those engage in physical activity while experiencing back pain will heal faster than those who are inactive.

Working out at the gym is not your only option—you can stay active while having fun!  Try playing a game of tennis with your neighbor or going to the batting cages.  Going to the park is one way for parents to stay active and spend time with their children.  Setting time aside to get exercise is not always easy.  Try to make it into a habit–this way you can heal from your back pain and prevent future pain.  Another simple way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine is by walking your dog around the neighborhood.  Any physical activity is better than none.  In addition to healing back pain, physical activity contributes to your overall health.  A study found that, “Leisure-time physical activity improves mood and quality of life and prevents social isolation and loneliness.”  Whether or not you are experiencing back pain, staying active is beneficial to your health.

To learn more about how you can stay active while experiencing back pain, contact the Lavanga Group.