Sleep and your Mattress

Getting the right amount of sleep is important to our health.  In fact, a lack of adequate sleep over time can lead to a shortened lifespan.  In general, adults should get eight ours of sleep per night.  Many people believe that the need for sleep declines with age, however this is false.  Adults may be able to function with as little as six hours of sleep per night, but it is not recommended.

Sometimes falling asleep can seem impossible. One of the leading causes for sleepless nights can be attributed to your mattress.  In a four year-study, more than 16,000 nights of sleep were evaluated on 128 subjects.  This study looked at how different support levels of mattresses impacted the following: sleep, pain and daytime functioning.  This study by Research Triangle International and Drs. Andy Krystal and Jack Edinger from Duke University, found that even small differences in mattress support (soft, medium, firm) correlated with changes in sleep and pain.  The study revealed that mattresses really do matter when it comes to sleep.

Memory foam mattresses have been known to provide advanced comfort and support while sleeping.  However, this foam does not breathe well, which means it warms up with more exposure to your body heat.  Tempflow is a visco-elastic memory foam mattress that uses patented airflow circulation technology.  This technology allows your body heat to ventilate out of the mattress, while cooler air can flow through the layers.

To find out more information about Tempflow, contact Dr. Dan at the Lavanga Group today!

The Health Benefits of 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!

Sleeping Position and Back Pain

Many people have trouble falling asleep at night.  For people who often have backaches, falling asleep can be extremely difficult.  To help prevent or reduce back pain, there are certain sleeping positions that are better than others.

Good Sleeping Positions:

  • Sleep in a neutral position.  In other words, do not arch your back too much and do not keep it completely flat.  If you prefer to sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees.  This will help keep your top leg from falling over your bottom leg.  If you prefer to sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
  • Try to sleep on your back.  Research shows that this is the best sleeping position to prevent neck and back pain.  Sleeping on your back helps to maintain the neutral position discussed above.  This sleeping position also helps to reduce acid reflux and minimize wrinkles.
  • The next best sleeping position is on your side.  This will help to prevent neck and back pain.  Sleeping on your side can benefit your overall health.  This sleeping position reduces acid reflux and snoring.  By sleeping on your side your spine stays elongated.  It’s also the most recommended sleeping position for women during pregnancy.

Bad Sleeping Positions:

  • Try not to sleep in the fetal position.  This sleeping position is not good for preventing neck and back pain.  The fetal position is especially bad if you have an arthritic back or joints.
  • The worst sleeping position is the stomach position.  If you are trying to avoid neck and back pain, do your best to avoid sleeping on your stomach.  This position puts pressure on joints and muscles, which makes it very difficult to maintain a neutral position.

If you are experiencing back pain, contact Lavanga Chiropractic to schedule an appointment today!

Shoes Can Cause Back Pain

Feet are the foundation of the body.  Wearing shoes that don’t give proper support could contribute or even cause lower back pain.  To avoid nagging back pain, it’s important to try and find footwear with that have extra cushioning.  It may also be helpful to use insoles or inserts to help provide extra support.

One way to avoid back pain is to replace your sneakers when you notice that they aren’t providing enough support.  If you run or jog regularly, make sure to invest in a high-quality pair of athletic shoes.  By investing in a more supportive shoe, you’ll be able to get more use out of them and benefit from the extra cushioning.

Another shoe that throws off the alignment of the body are high heels.  When wearing high heels, you’re not walking in a natural position.  This can cause stress and strain on the lower back.  It is recommended to wear lower heels when possible.  Another way to avoid the strain caused by high heels is to limit the duration you wear them.  For example, while walking to-and-from work, wear your sneakers and switch into your heels when you arrive at the office!

Flip-flops are a less supportive shoe that can lead to stress and strain on joints and tendons.  In fact, wearing flip-flops for a long period of time can cause arch pain, heel pan, ankle pain or knee pain.  Flip flops are ideal shoes for the summer, but if you know you’ll be walking long distances, try to wear your sneakers!

To find out more information about how your shoes can have an impact on your back pain, contact Lavanga Chiropractic!

Stress Management

Do you often feel overwhelmed and stressed out?  When you are stressed, your body responds by making hormones that speed up your heart.  This usually results in faster breathing and also bursts of energy, which is called the fight-or-flight stress response.

Feeling stressed is normal and sometimes even useful.  Stress can help you work hard or react quickly.  However, if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have negative impacts on your health.  Stress is liked to headaches, upset stomach, back pain, and trouble sleeping.

What can you do about stress?  Check out the following stress management techniques:

  • Find out what is causing stress in your life.
  • Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
  • Learn healthy ways to relieve stress and reduce its harmful effects.

Massage Therapy is also a great way to relieve stress. Massage therapy has proven to boost energy and increase concentration.  “Massage therapy can be effective for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulatory problems, and recovery from a sports injury,” says Mary Beth Braun, President of the merican Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).  To read more about massage therapy for stress relief and much more, click here.

For more information about stress management techniques, contact the Lavanga Group today!

Motivating Your Team

You can help motivate others at home and at work.  Inspiring your coworkers may help create a more efficient and effective work environment.  It may also create an enjoyable workplace where people are passionate about what they are doing.  Likewise, inspiring your spouse to exercise with you could help benefit his heath.  This may lead to the two of you enjoying a longer, healthier, and happier life together.  Helping others stay motivated can also help you stay on track.

Check out these tips on how you can help motivate others:

  1. Help them identify a purpose.  To motivate others you should try and help them understand the purpose of a particular job or task.  People are more likely to be motivated if they know what the purpose is.
  2. When helping to motivate others, try to create a sense of importance.  By emphasizing the importance of a task, you make them feel responsible to complete it.
  3. Explain the benefits.  It will be easier to keep others motivated if they know how it will benefit them.  For example, if you are trying to keep your child motivated to complete their chores, explain that you’ll reward the with ice cream or treat them to a movie.
  4. You can also motivate others by being supportive.  Encouraging others who lack motivation can help to inspire them to achieve their goals.

To learn more about motivating others, contact the Lavanga Group today!

Staying Motivated to Workout

Need help staying motivated to workout?  Going to the gym can be challenging.  However, once you get into a routine, it becomes easier and easier.  Try to stay motivated by setting realistic and achievable goals.  Set both short-term and long-term goals.  A short-term goal may be to workout three times a week, and a long-term goal may be to complete a 10K run.  To stay motivated to workout, write your goals down in a place that you see daily!

Another way to stay motivated is to make working out fun!  The key is to find a workout that you enjoy.   You can test out what workouts you like or don’t like by going to classes.  A few of the more popular fitness classes include kickboxing, pilates, cycling, yoga, and Zumba.  You can also add some excitement into your workout routine by playing sports.  Get a few friends together for a game of volleyball, tennis, basketball, or softball.  Don’t be afraid to try new workouts!  Staying motivated is a lot easier if you make physical activity an enjoyable hobby rather than a chore.  Once exercise becomes a part of your routine, it becomes a part of your life.

Staying enthusiastic about physical activity can be difficult.  One way to stay focused is by rewarding yourself after a great week of workouts!  It’s important that your treat yourself after you’ve accomplished your goals.  The reward doesn’t have to be food related (although pizza is the ultimate reward).  You can indulge yourself and stay motivated by buying a new pair of running shoes or workout pants.

To find out what you can do to stay motivated, contact the Lavanga Group today!

Basketball Might Prevent Osteoporosis

Playing basketball at a young age could help people reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life. Young men who played 4 or more hours of basketball a week had a higher peak bone mass than sedentary peers in a recent Swedish study. Having heavier bone mass is believed to protect older men against osteoporosis and fractures.

The study included 833 men ages 19-24. Researchers measured the bone density and mineral content of their lumbar spines and hips at baseline and again five years later. Men who engaged in high-load sports like soccer, volleyball, and basketball had an increase in volumetric bone density.

But not all physical activity produced the same results; men who jogged or performed non-load sports like swimming and biking did not experience comparable benefits. Researchers suggested that young people doing non-load sports should consider adding a loading activity into their exercise routine like resistance training.

Continue reading here

Eating Clean: Tips and Benefits

Eating clean is one of the most challenging things to consistently do.  With a busy schedule, it can be very difficult to stay on track.  These 8 tricks can help you motivate yourself to eat clean:

  1. Get educated. Staying motivated to maintain a healthy eating life style requires your to learn about the food you eat.
  2. Make it personal. Eating cleanly requires you to focus on making real change in your lifestyle.
  3. Stop villianizing food.  Letting go of the idea of forbidden food allows you to open yourself up to a much healthier relationship with food.  Try eating clean most of the time and enjoy your indulgences the rest.
  4. 80/20 rule.  Connected to the last point, it will be easier to stay motivated if you follow the 80/20 rule.  Try eating clean 80% of the time and treating yourself 20% of the time!
  5. Be responsible to someone. Talk about your goals with others and take responsibility of them.  Taking ownership of your life style will help you stay dedicated to eating clean.
  6. Let go of the “diet” mentality.  Eating healthy is not a diet, it’s a life style!
  7. Find real food that tastes good to you.  Don’t be afraid to try new food and recipes…you may discover that you enjoy the taste of healthy food!
  8. Make a plan that fits your lifestyle.

Benefits of eating clean:

  • Cutting back on health care costs
  • Having more energy to play with your kids
  • Improving your immune system, over-coming health issues, etc.
  • Feeling better
  • Looking better
  • Improving the environment

For more information about staying motivated, contact The Lavanga Group today!

Deliciously Deceptive Kale Hummus

Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free

 

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp tahini

3 cloves garlic

2-3 cups kale leaves, stems removed

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼-1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 ¼ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp pepper

 

COMBINE all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until smooth. Start with ¼ cup of the broth, adding a tbsp at a time until smooth. 

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Serve with: cut vegetables or your favorite chip.

Can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.