Good afternoon everyone!
Last week I officially announced my intention to begin blogging. This week, I’d like to start expanding on the topics you’ll likely see moving forward each week.
In my office, I practice based on evidence, as defined by Three Pillars to Health: Fitness, Nutrition, and Chiropractic. So let’s talk about what each of those mean to me.
Fitness: By definition, your fitness is your body’s general physical preparedness to perform a variety of physical movements, activities, or tasks. Can you walk without stumbling or limping? Can you jog some distance without being completely exhausted? Can you run a 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping? Depending on where you answer yes or no to those sorts of questions will help you begin to understand you personal level of fitness. Once you find out where you are at, you can begin setting measurable and attainable goals to improve your fitness. In practice, I help others determine their current level of fitness and then discuss their personal goals and put into place methods to help them reach those goals. My preferred method of improving Fitness is through the CrossFit method. CrossFit combines elements of weightlifting (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells most commonly), gymnastics (as simple as a push up!), metabolic conditioning (like running) and nutrition (more on that soon…) to create a broad, general, and inclusive form of exercise that anyone at any age or ability can perform. Don’t believe me? Check this or this out… Also, I’m a CF-L1 Trainer at KV CrossFit and would love for you to join us if you live in Central Maine! If you don’t then use this handy map to find the nearest gym and talk to the owner or a trainer there.
Nutrition: Calories are the body’s measurement of fuel. Food accounts for 100% of the calories we need to function on a daily basis. Yet, exercise accounts for only about 10-30% of calories burned. The rest is largely fixed by one’s metabolism. If 70-90% of the calories you take in go to fuel metabolic processes like hormone production, gland function, and cell growth and repair you better believe both the QUANTITY and QUALITY of those calories is important. We need to take an appropriate amount of high quality foods in order to function properly with everything life has in store for us. I perform specific nutritional assessments to help people measure their current eating habits and then help them develop improved eating habits to suit their specific needs. For example, the middle aged office worker who is concerned about his or her blood pressure or cholesterol will likely have different caloric requirements when compared to the competitive track and field athlete. Yet their needs will only differ in degree, not kind. We all need lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in our diet. We also need good amounts of protein, animal or not, along with healthy fats, like olive oil, avocadoes, or nuts. And we should avoid as much as possible foods that are packaged, processed, or contain large amounts of sugar or other additives. If the product has more than 5 ingredients or has any ingredients you can’t easily pronounce or know what they are do yourself a favor and put it back on the shelf. If you want a good ratio to start out with, divide your plate at each meal into 3 roughly equal parts – 1/3 of the plate should be primarily protein (like poultry, beef, or fish), another 1/3 should be healthy fats, and the remaining portion should be healthy carbohydrates like vegetables, fruit or whole grains (like rice or quinoa). This is the basis of my preferred eating plan – The Zone. Learn more here.
Chiropractic: At the core of the 3 pillars is Chiropractic, a form of healthcare focused on conservative, non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions like neck or back pain. The most common condition I see are low back pain, with a close second and third being neck pain and headaches. The majority of people we see and care for respond very favorable to care. At the forefront of treatment is something called Chiropractic manipulation. This is a high velocity low amplitude force that is often performed by hand to an area of the spine that shows signs of dysfunction like tightness or tenderness, restriction or loss of proper motion. More and more people each year are turning to Chiropractic for joint and muscle pain because it works. The body of literature out there supporting this is constantly growing. For a great resource to learn more, check out the American Chiropractic Association. And if you are in Central Maine and would like to learn more about how Chiropractic care works and can help your specific problem, give us a call at (207) 873-4446.
So that gives you a good primer on the 3 topics I’ll discuss each week. Beginning next week, I’ll dive more into the realm of Fitness. I’ll fill you in on my experience participating in the Worldwide CrossFit Games Open – a 5 week annual competition that seeks to find the fittest men and women from various regions of the globe to eventually come together and compete at the CrossFit Games. If you are excited to hear about my personal experience through this challenging but insanely fun 5 week contest, check out The CrossFit Games for more information. Maybe I’ll see YOU on the leaderboard next year!
That’s all for today! If you like this, please be sure to check us out on facebook and give us a ‘like’!