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Are You Working This Superfood Into Your Diet?

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Reduce the Risk of Slips and Falls

There’s nothing that can happen quicker and be more surprising than a sudden slip or fall. Regardless of your age or time of year, a tumble can take a serious toll on your health. Though falls can occur to anyone, discussing them is often related to the aging population.

Did you know that one in three people over age 65 falls at least once each year? 

You want to be active and healthy for years to come. A big part of making sure you’re able to do so is preventing slips and falls. With greater fitness and mobility, you won’t have to worry about many common conditions that plague seniors such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, strains and sprains, and osteoporosis.

How to Prevent Getting Hurt

Nobody plans on having an injury, but they can happen in a fraction of a second. If you’re looking for ways to prevent injury, here are some easy tips for you to follow: 

  • Remove reading glasses when you get up from a seated position and walk. 
  • Don’t climb onto a chair, stool, or countertop to reach anything. Ask someone else to help you. 
  • Consider a reflective collar or bell for your pet. Making them more visible means you won’t stumble over them as easily. 
  • Stop rushing. Whether it’s to pick up a ringing phone or answer the door, it can always wait a little longer. 
  • Sit down to take off your shoes. Move a chair or bench into your entryway so that you can easily be seated. 
  • Pick up your surroundings. You may have toys or other objects cluttering hallways and stairs that can be put away to prevent tripping. 
  • Get some nonslip shoes or slippers for inside wear. They’re much better than an old pair with worn soles. 

What Else Can You Do? 

It’s important to know that physical activity can improve your balance and endurance. Additionally, staying active can mean greater bone strength, all of which will help contribute to less effects from any slip or fall you have. 

You may also want to consider visiting us. Chiropractors are qualified to assess your strength and balance, which will give you information about your susceptibility to slips and falls. You’ll receive exercises to strengthen any weakened areas and get useful advice that can reduce any risks you have, as well as talk to you about nutrition that can help your bone strength.

Have You Already Been Injured? 

Are you already suffering from the effects of a slip or fall?

In that case, you’re probably concerned about getting out of pain and restoring your mobility. If that sounds familiar, know that a chiropractor is also a good practitioner to turn to. Chiropractors can assist in relieving pain, increasing your function and range of motion, correcting posture, and in boosting your overall balance!

By following advice on preventing slips and falls and seeking help immediately after one, you can be sure to quickly negate any ill effects on your health.

 

Are You Working This Superfood Into Your Diet?

If you like to stay informed on your health, you’ve likely heard of superfoods. These foods are considered a superior choice that you should try to work into your everyday diet. With a rich nutrient profile, each of us should be eating as many superfoods as possible.

One that you may not have considered yet? Avocado.

Though some might be well-informed on the benefits of avocados, there are plenty of people who have never reached for them on the grocery store shelves.

Avocados are actually considered a fruit, not a vegetable. They’re rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. Here are the many reasons to include them in your grocery shopping:

  • The anti-inflammatory properties in avocados help you avoid bad cholesterol
  • The phytonutrients in avocados prevent cancer
  • The 20 vitamins and minerals in each avocado aren’t commonly found in other food choices

Why Healthy Fats Are Important

Not all fats are the same! Those concerned about weight loss or calorie counting may be afraid of foods rich in fat like avocados. They contain unsaturated fats, which are typically referred to as “good fats.” There’s no reason to shy away from eating them.

The consumption of these types of fats has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They have not, however, been linked to disease! When you consume unsaturated fat, you get benefits such as lowering of LDL cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and building stronger cell membranes.

Science even indicates that the consumption of healthy fats can reduce your risk of becoming overweight, and in getting obesity-related disease! So even those who are concerned about losing unwanted pounds need not be concerned that avocados will be harmful on their weight loss journey.

What Each Avocado Contains

In addition to their profile of healthy fats, there are plenty of reasons to eat avocados. They’re sodium-free, low in sugar, high in protein and fiber, and will help you feel fuller for longer.

If you eat an avocado, here are the nutrients you’ll get: 

  • Vitamin K, needed for wound healing and bone health
  • Folate, supports healthy cell growth and function
  • Vitamin C, an immune booster that helps your body heal
  • Potassium (even more than a banana!), helps your nerves function and gets waste products out of the body’s cells
  • Vitamin E, acts as an antioxidant and protects your cells from damage 

Some people like to simply slice an avocado in half and eat it right out of the shell with a spoon and a little salt sprinkled on it.

If you aren’t a fan of avocado all on its own, don’t let that scare you away from gaining all these great nutrients. Try making a guacamole by mashing the avocado with lime, diced red onion, diced tomato, and sea salt. Add hot sauce to your taste. You can also add avocado on the top of a salad to give it an extra nutrient punch, or serve it as a side at your next taco night. To completely disguise an avocado, put it into a smoothie to give your drink a creamy taste!

Ways to optimize working from home, and relieve TMJ pain

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What is TMJ Pain?

Unless you have experienced TMJ pain, it’s possible that you have never even heard of it. You may also not think a Chiropractor would be managing jaw pain since we typically are known for managing spinal, back, and neck pain or injuries. Structures of the face can also be directly impacted by other areas of the musculoskeletal system.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain is common for many people, and most will consult a dentist thinking it is tooth related. However, studies have shown that Chiropractic care can be an effective method to relieve TMJ pain.

What is the TMJ?

The TMJ is what connects the skull in front of the ear to the jaw. There are also some muscles that control your chewing that are attached to your lower jaw. This is why some people  experience deep inner ear pain followed by an ache in the jaw that can become quite painful.

If you place your fingers in front of the ear and open your mouth, you’ll be able to feel it. TMJ pain is caused by problems that arise in the surrounding structures.

What Can Cause TMJ Problems?

There are a number of things that can cause TMJ pain, the most common being clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth while you sleep. Many people report an increase in TMJ pain when they are feeling unusually stressed. 

TMJ can also be caused by:

  • Poorly fitted dentures, fillings, or crowns that make your bite uneven
  • Mouth trauma or dental surgery
  • Disc dislocation
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or gout
  • It could be hereditary or related to a related hereditary cause

Symptoms of TMJ

There are many symptoms that patients report having, all of which could be intermittent. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Popping, locking or clicking jaw
  • Trouble opening or closing the mouth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Ear pain

How Chiropractic can Help

Chiropractors assess the condition first, looking for a cause and documenting your level of discomfort or pain. Most TMJ conditions will respond well to Chiropractic care. If we determine whether your condition will respond well there are a few treatments available. Chiropractic adjustments can help, along with myofascial release which is designed to loosen and relax soft tissue and muscle to optimize their function by releasing scar tissue.

We will come up with a plan to reduce pain, which may include a visit to the dentist to rule out misaligned dental equipment and to ensure a wrap around approach to your jaw care. In addition, we may advise you to make postural changes that include your upper neck, which could be contributing to your pain. 

With those out of the way, discovering new ways to reduce stress can be a strong point in your recovery. You can never go wrong with new ways to reduce or manage stress!

Either way, alerting us of your TMJ pain is a great step ensuring you move forward pain free!

 

5 Ways to Optimize Working From Home

Many people have been adjusting to working from home over the past year the best way they can. It’s possible you have made adjustments in your career, childcare, sleep, healthcare, recreation, and diet. Whether it has been one of these or all of them, adjustments can be a challenge to continue to navigate over long periods of time. 

Yet, here we are. Hopefully you have been doing more thriving than surviving. Either way, I’m going to leave you with 5 tips to further adjust and ensure your body and mind are thriving in synch:

  1. Take inventory of the last year. What has worked really well and what hasn’t? Looking back and taking notice of what you were doing when you were feeling your best is something you certainly should be doing more of!
  2. Re-evaluate your schedule. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you turning off work every evening? Are you making time to get outside and decompress mentally after a long day at your home office? It has been easy to dismiss the value in a commute we thought we didn’t enjoy, but the truth is this may have been your only time to quiet your mind, read, or listen to a podcast without catering to others. Make sure you are carving time out of your day to fulfill your own needs!
  3. Are you moving your body? This winter left many people feeling isolated. The combination of freezing temperatures and a lack of indoor activities had people staying inside much more than what we are accustomed to. For those of you who took a dive into apps that keep your body moving, great! However, now that the frigid weather is gone there are no more excuses for not getting outside. More people are visiting trails, purchasing bikes and going for walks than ever before, so get out there and keep your body moving. 
  4. How are you socializing? Or are you? So many people have resisted online socializing that they have become more isolated, leading to increased rates of depression and lethargy. The weather is nice, if you have neighbours, have a conversation! Say hello to those you walk by while out on your walk; interacting with others is an important aspect of how we think and feel. Office life had us being social even when we weren’t trying to be, so get in a short chat and a good laugh every day!
  5. Stay on top of your health! The world has been in an upheaval, but your body is still going to do what it has been doing. Any potential illnesses or pending appointments should be closely monitored and followed through with. You cannot be efficient at work if your health is suffering.

A new normal was inevitable, but that does not mean it has been time to start ignoring your wellness. Visiting your chiropractor, physiotherapist, and massage therapist is still an important part of your overall wellness. Eating well, sleeping well, laughing with friends, stretching, adjustments, spending time with family and exercising were, and continue to be the best recipe for success!

Whatever you have been doing to stay well matters, and I hope these 5 tips will allow you to improve your daily experiences. With that, do not forget to reach out to your local chiropractor to ensure the new normal has been working in your favor.

 

 

Tips for Safe Gardening and Helping Your Shoulder

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5 Tips for Summer Gardening

This year has been different to say the least, but the good news is for many of us we’ve had an opportunity to get back to the basics. Walking, hiking, enjoying new hobbies and gardening have all become a big part of maintaining our mental wellness.

With this being said, it’s not unusual for people to overdo it as well. Improving, changing, or starting a garden has become a more popular activity – which has led to an increase in physical activity, which also means an increase in aches and pains if you aren’t being careful.

I’ve compiled a few tips to help you maximize your love for gardening while minimizing the risk of experiencing pain. 

Warm up/Stretch

Many of us have gone from not having time to engage in hours of gardening a day, to having nothing but time to replot our entire yards. Our bodies simply aren’t accustomed to so much activity, or to this type of activity. Just as we would prepare our bodies for a new workout, we must prepare our bodies for gardening. All it takes are a few light stretches and some moving to ensure we are not going to cause an injury. Ask you chiropractor what the best course of action is for you before proceeding, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive!

Drink Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important steps when working outside. It’s easy to lose track of time, and dehydration can become serious very quickly. Always ensure you have water with you and take a break every 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a stretch with every water break. 

Take Breaks

Speaking of water breaks, breaks in general are important. Gardening is strenuous work, and it’s likely you’ll get caught up in completing tasks and lose track of time.  Pay attention to your body’s cues, and ensure you are pacing yourself and snacking throughout the day. If you use a timer, set it for every 20-30 minutes so you can have a washroom break, drink some water, stretch, have a snack and get your blood circulating. 

Be Mindful of Large Loads

Bags of soil, mulch, and carrying large planters are a recipe for a back injury if you aren’t careful. If you must, ensure you are bending at the knees and at your waist. Use your legs to do the heavy lifting rather than your back.  Best case scenario, you’ll have a wheel barrow or a buggy to transfer heavy items to the garden. If available, have someone help you with the lifting.

And whatever you do, do not lift a heavy item and twist – this can lead to pinched nerves, muscle injuries, and pain that can take weeks to relieve.

Move From Task to Task

Instead of concentrating on one job at a time, move around the garden and vary your tasks to avoid holding the same position for extended periods of time. This will also allow you to keep your circulation moving and prevent cramping.

Overall, gardening is a great use of your time. It allows you to feel productive, you’ll be spending time outdoors, you’ll keep moving, and you’ll hopefully have the garden of your dreams by the time you’re finished. All of these tasks are great for your body and your mental wellness when you are outside of your regular routine.

If you run into trouble with sudden pain, achiness that is outside of the norm, or require some guidance with stretches and movements to help you remain agile – call your local Chiropractor to see how they can assist you.

I hope you’ll learn a lot about your outdoor space, and will enjoy the process. Happy gardening!

 

Shoulder Pain and Chiropractic

Most of us will experience some sort of shoulder pain in our lives, and it’s how we respond to it that makes the difference between risking further injury or a complete recovery. A Chiropractor is a pivotal member of your health care team when healing shoulder injuries.   

What’s Going On?

The most common injuries involve the rotator cuff. The majority of injuries related to the rotator cuff are a result of repetitive strains that occur over long periods of time. The pain is generally localized in the front and outside of the shoulder, sometimes radiating down the arm. You may experience difficulty lifting your arm or sleeping.

What A Chiropractor Will Do

We will take a look at your overall health first, not just determining what’s happening with your shoulder directly, but assessing your lifestyle, diet, and exercise. The integrated approach will help us determine the best care options for your shoulder pain. You will discuss symptoms, recreational activities, health history, work, and lifestyle before determining the best course of action.

Aside from adjustments, we can recommend other types of treatments for relieving the pain. These can include massage, ice packs, traction, or strengthening and stretching exercises. This holistic approach will ensure the best results with the least amount of risk and medication. 

There are Many Types of Shoulder Pain

These are the most common causes of shoulder pain, all of which will require a individualized plan for care:

  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Calcific Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Labral Tear
  • SLAP Lesion
  • Shoulder Separation
  • Biceps Tendon Rupture

Although the treatments are individualized in relation to your personal fitness and health background, the outcomes will remain the same. Muscle imbalances can be treated with soft tissue mobilization modalities to help restore proper mobility to the shoulder and the joints, while correcting any issues with the spine. Both adjustments and rehabilitative exercises will be  a necessary step in the recovery process.

Injuries Can Happen to Anyone

Shoulder injuries can happen at any age, and they aren’t always sports related. To be completely honest, many shoulder injuries we see are a result of poor posture. We spend more hours than we ever have in front of computers, looking at cell phones, and slouched in chairs for hours a day. Even as you are reading this your head is in forward flexion, you are likely slumped over and your shoulders are rolled forward causing the tissue around your shoulders to be overworked. All of this causes pain or discomfort over time. 

It’s What We Do

Discovering the root cause of the shoulder pain is how we will treat your symptoms. Through a series of tests and questions, we’ll be able to find out exactly where your body is experiencing trouble. The results will often include adjustments, manual therapy, and taping; with the treatment length depending on the severity of the problem.

If you are experiencing pain or a nagging discomfort in your shoulder(s) then it is advisable to make an appointment with us. Chiropractic care has been proven to be as effective a surgery for non-traumatic rotator cuff injuries. When we are seen in addition to other members of your health care team, the results are optimal – and without the overuse of medications or surgery. 

 

Stretch and Hydrate for Health

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Benefits of Stretching

The beginning of the new year is the most common time of year for people to begin new health and exercise routines. The second most common time is in the Spring.

Yes, there’s something about warmer weather and birds chirping that makes us want to be more active. We feel reenergized, motivated even. Like any start to a new physical routine or even restarting an old one (like gardening), it’s important that you plan.

The benefits of stretching are the most talked about and the most ignored when it comes to what are thought to be ‘regular activities’ like walking, gardening, or even grocery shopping. Since we’re in the beginning of a brand new season, let’s revisit these benefits:

Stretching Will Promote Flexibility and Will Improve Range of Motion

It’s not a secret that stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, and we have to consider that without both you are running the risk of injuries while completing daily tasks. The last thing you want to do is have to spend time indoors because of an easily preventable injury caused by lifting bags or bending in the garden.

Stretching improves this by loosening up all the muscle groups, improving flexibility and your range of motion. Check in with your chiropractor for the best stretches for you.

Stretching Promotes Proper Spinal Alignment

The muscles in your shoulders, chest, hips, and lower back all impact the alignment of your spine. If your muscles in these areas are tight, this often does not happen symmetrically. Meaning one side can be tight, and the other side can attempt to compensate which is what can often lead to back injuries and joint pain.

Stretching is a perfect way to ensure your muscles remain aligned. When combined with regular Chiropractic adjustments, you will be promoting a great foundation for a healthy spine.

Stretching is a Great Way to Relieve Stress!

Have you ever had a great stretch in the morning or after a strenuous day? A good stretch not only loosens up tension in your body, but it allows for proper circulation which means your blood will be getting more oxygen. Add some deep breathing during your stretches and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

More oxygen = more energy!

It really is this simple. The great thing about stretching is that it doesn’t generally require any special equipment and it can be done anywhere.

Talk to us about which stretches are best for you and the condition of your body. We will discuss proper form, how hard to stretch, along with duration and the best time of day to stretch. Although stretching is great, you also want to ensure you are doing it properly. Sometimes it’s easy to get a little overzealous and even cause injury.

Here’s the bottom line: The weather is getting warmer and we are all going to want to spend a little (or a lot) of extra time outdoors. With this, we will be moving more and in different ways than we may have been over the winter months. There are only benefits to a good, deep breathing stretch before leaving your home.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us for tips on how to stay safe, healthy and injury free this Spring and Summer!

 

How Damaging is Dehydration?

“Drink more water” is one of the most common solutions to what ails us. Headaches, dry lips, dry skin, uti’s, skin issues, kidney stones, hair dryness, brittle nails, and organ damage are common on the spectrum of dehydration symptoms.

Drinking more water seems easy enough, until you begin measuring your water intake. If you have lived with a habit of drinking too little water, consuming more (or adequate amounts) can feel like an entire job in itself.

There are some other common effects that could be a result of not drinking enough water, here are a few:

Digestion Issues

Dehydration can silently impact your entire digestive system. From chewing, to swallowing, to digestion, to bowel movements – not having enough water in your system can cause serious issues along the way. Even the lining of your stomach and intestines are composed of water, not having enough can cause indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and dark urine. Any or all of these symptoms additionally cause your body to not be able to absorb nutrients front he food you consume. 

Decreased Energy

Your body is made up of nearly 90% water. If your body is dehydrated your heart has to work twice as hard to send enough oxygen to all of the cells in your body. This extra work can cause you to feel more tired or weaker than usual. You may be surprised how drinking more water throughout the day can make you feel like you’ve got enough energy to make it through all of your tasks.

Joint and Back Pain

The cartilage that protects and cushions your joints is made up largely of water. Dehydration can cause this cartilage, along with the discs that support and cushion your spinal cord to deteriorate. The result is joint and back pain that can lead to conditions like arthritis if left untreated over long periods of time.

What’s the Solution?

The solution really comes down to what works for you. Something that is sustainable like keeping fresh water in your car, at your desk, or in your fridge. Keeping a jug of water in the fridge with lemon, lime, or berries can seem more appetizing for someone who feels like drinking water is boring. Some people will commit to drinking a full glass of water before each meal, or before each hot beverage of the day.

Whatever works for you is the solution. As long as you’re getting in 8-12 full glasses of water on a regular day (more on hot days or workout days to offset how much you sweat), you’re on the right track.

Once you are getting enough water regularly and you notice changes to your skin, mood, the way your body feels, and even a reduction in headaches – you may be more inclined to drink adequate amounts of water each day to maintain this.

With the warmer weather approaching, there is no better time than the present to begin a new routine! I know you’ll be getting out more, let’s enjoy the weather and treat our bodies like they matter.

Time for self-care and Exercises you can do at home

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High and Low Impact Exercises You Can do at Home

It’s likely many of you have been significantly more sedentary this winter. The combination of damp winter weather and maintaining social distancing has become troublesome for many, and the truth is, the longer you remain inactive the harder it can be to start again.

Over this past year people have become familiar with the millions of new apps available to monitor and execute new routines that include exercise and diet, and I’m  a fan of anything that keeps people moving safely.

Ideally, being able to invest in activities and sports have been the go-to for aging and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As I’m sure you’re aware, remaining physically active is the best way to prevent injuries and promote strength and mobility. Varying your routines is just as important as having one, and like everything else over this past year, modifying and adapting to new routines are the best way to challenge your body and keep you fit.

So, What are Some of the Best Examples?

High Impact

High impact exercises are those that are often aerobic, and those that may require both feet to leave the ground simultaneously. These can be activities that require jumping, jogging, or leaping. Although high impact exercise can be necessary, this is often where you run the risk of injury if you aren’t mindful of your form.  If you are just beginning, please ensure you have warmed up and that you are aware of proper form and footwear while exercising.

High impact exercises are intense and will expend more energy. Common injuries will include those to the knees, hips, ankles, or the back. However it should be noted that high impact exercises have a ton of great benefits as well. They can improve calorie burning, improved bone density, improved stability, balance and coordination – and the best results are always the improved heart health.

Some examples of high impact exercises are:

  • Jump rope
  • Running on a treadmill
  • Skipping
  • Plyometrics
  • Jumping jacks

Low Impact

Low impact exercises are less jarring to your joints, and are overall considered less intense. Injuries resulting from low impact exercise are fewer, and are considered to be movements made with at least one foot remaining on the ground. This allows for better overall balance and stability. Low impact exercise doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less intense, you will still be able to enjoy an intense workout with one of the following exercises. It will be your speed that will determine how intense your workout becomes.

Some examples of low impact exercises are:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Elliptical machine

Low impact exercises are always better for beginners, people with osteoporosis, pregnant women, older adults, people who are obese, and those with joint or bone issues. 

Just Keep Moving

With warmer weather on the horizon, many more individuals will be making their way back outdoors to resume their health journey. Remember to stay hydrated, stretch, ensure you are dressed in layers for changing temperatures, and you have the proper footwear for your chosen activity.

When in doubt, consult with us for details on how to safely resume or intensify your workouts – and most of all, have fun!

Let’s Talk Wellness

Wellness is something that incorporates more than just the physical aspects of a person’s health. Many people are physically healthy, for example, athlete’s; but this does not mean they would come first in an overall wellness test.

So what does this mean? Your physical body, your social self, and your emotional self are all interconnected. You can be physically fit, but still feel unwell in other aspects of your life. 

Your Physical Health

This is something we have focused on, perhaps too much in the course of our lifetimes. I’m not suggesting that your body can be “too healthy”, rather there has been so much emphasis on physical health and activity that other health aspects may have been ignored or minimized. 

The truth is, your physical body is not able to function optimally if the rest of your health is being ignored. Chronic disease, pain, and autoimmune responses are caused by a combination of being inactive, poor nutrition and chronic stress. Maintaining a physically healthy body is important. This includes exercise and nutrition, but like every great system or machine – reducing stress and receiving help from your chiropractic team are equally as necessary. 

Your Social Wellness

Being connected to others in whatever capacity you are comfortable is something that can keep us all feeling grounded and part of a bigger community. Sharing a common interest, a laugh, even small talk in the grocery check out line has the ability to uplift our mood. We are social beings, and isolation can cause us to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. It’s true, some people prefer to be alone; but having no one to connect with when we want to be social can be lonely. Having connections with others helps us to regulate our moods and can allow us to feel more relaxed.

Emotional Wellness

Your emotional wellness shows up in your immune system, your ability to sleep, and in your physical body. Increased stress, poor relationships and feeling unfulfilled all have a negative impact on your emotional health. This can feel like a stiff neck, upset stomach, tight shoulders, chronic headaches and even a sore back. Being emotionally well is just as important as being physically well. Things like journaling, long walks, hobbies, being with loved ones and self care are necessary parts of your wellness journey.

When Wellness is Intact

When we have all aspects of our wellness intact, our body is able to work as it’s best self. You’ll sleep better, feel better, be happier, and better able to face life’s challenges. Wellness doesn’t mean you’ll avoid all illnesses and injuries, but it creates a foundation that is stronger. A stronger foundation is what allows your chiropractic team to work together and focus on exactly what the injury or illness is, rather than building the foundation from the ground up. 

The care we provide as Chiropractors is preventative before it is reactive. Ensure you are seeing a Chiropractor regularly and following the guidelines set out for you by your Chiropractic team before injuries or concerns occur. The goal here is to be proactively taking care of your body; physically, social, and emotionally!

 

7 Tips to Stay Active During The Winter Months

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7 Tips to Stay Active During The Winter Months

We often have the best intentions of staying active throughout the winter months, some will start strong, and others won’t start at all. What’s the culprit?

It’s cold outside. Yes, that’s it. In warmer climates people are able to maintain  their level of activity outdoors all year long. But here in Canada, remaining active requires some planning, and a lot of commitment. 

We Need at Least 2.5 Hours a Week

To reap any health benefits from exercise, we must commit to at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity a week. This can be broken down however you wish, 10 minutes a day of vigorous exercise to 1 hour a day every other day. How this will be met will depend on your plan fitting into your schedule,  and you remaining committed to a healthy body. 

It’s important to note that moderate intensity workouts should cause a sweat. Brisk walking or hiking, running, cross country skiing, bike riding, or a light jog with your pet. Anything that gets your heart rate pumping, your breath working a little harder and produces a little sweat is exactly what your body needs to remain healthy and injury free.

Here are 7 tips to keep you motivated and active during the winter months:

  1. Dress in layers. Ensuring you keep your extremities warm, your feet dry, and your body covered during the cold winter months will allow you to enjoy your activities. 
  2. Stay active during the day. It’s easier to maintain any outdoor activity when the sun is out, even if it’s just a little sun. Beginning your outdoor activities before night time will make it easier to remain motivated to continue. 
  3. Plan your activities ahead of time. When you’ve got your activity planned on your calendar, you’re less likely to forget about it. Better yet, if your activity is planned with a friend or an accountability partner, you’re most likely to stay on track. 
  4. Sign up for a virtual run. There are so many online forums to participate in a run/marathon virtually. Your phone or device can monitor your steps/distance for you, and some will even offer you a participation medal at the end!
  5. Find fun local activities. Try something new, or go back to something you love. Snowshoeing, hiking, or ice skating can be tons of fun.
  6. Have indoor activities as a backup. Not everything has to be done outside, and there will certainly be days where it’s just too cold or wet to participate in the outdoor activities you have been enjoying.
  7. Climb stairs. If you live in a building, use the stairs instead of the elevator. You can even just commit to a certain number of floors to climb a day. If you’re living in a house, set an expectation for yourself like doing 30 flights a day.

Just Keep Doing it

Whatever you choose to do to remain active over the winter months, remember to share this with us so we can give you tips on safety and strength building. Remain hydrated always, it’s so easy to feel like you don’t need as much water because it’s not hot outside. Dehydration will quickly lead to headaches, dizziness, and muscle cramps. 

The most important thing though, is to stay motivated. Set goals, review them monthly (or weekly) and plan ahead. It’s okay to remain flexible with your goals, as long as you don’t stop moving your body. 

Stay safe everyone, and here’s to getting the fitness goals started ahead of time!

Tips to Stay On Top of Your Game

Who is your favourite athlete? Chances are good that you’re a fan because of the athlete’s performance. You might be surprised to find out that athletes at the top of their game likely have a Chiropractor on their team. You don’t need to be an elite-level competitor, however, to benefit from Chiropractic care.

Whether you’re considering starting an exercise program or already have one in place, there are some important guidelines you should consider to protect your health. Athletes and active people are often sidelined by injuries that could have been avoided. Rather than sitting out of your game, we want to ensure you perform at your peak, free from aches, pains and missing out on your favourite activities. 

There’s Always a Risk of Injury

In any activity, there is a chance that you can be injured. It’s nearly impossible to control for all variables that can lead to an injury. Some of the most common injuries from sports include

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Dislocations 
  • Fractures
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Shin splints 

The Top Five Tips to Stay Healthy 

If you want to stay injury-free, there are some easy guidelines you can follow to minimize your chance of being sidelined. 

  1. Warm up and cool down. If your muscles are cold, they’re more prone to injury. A warmup routine could involve walking or stretching. When you stretch your muscles, they have a greater ability to contract and perform, which reduces the chances of an injury occurring. Hold each stretch for about 20 seconds. Your warmup and cool down routines should be 5-10 minutes each. 
  2. Learn the right technique. If you’re beginning a new form of exercise, you must consider the right way to go about it. For example, a squat is a movement that’s commonly performed incorrectly. You can consult a trainer at your gym, a physical therapist or a friend who’s an avid exerciser that can advise you on your technique or tailor a program to your abilities. 
  3. Listen to your body. Your body is ready to tell you when something is more than it’s capable of. If you’re new to a sport or exercise, start slow and build up your activity level over time. If you’re in pain, don’t try to work through it. Discontinue what you’re doing immediately. 
  4. Get the right gear. Certain sports require footwear and protective equipment. A contact sport requires a mouthguard and pads. Though you may not like the expense, the proper gear will mean you’re better protected. Wear clothing that’s loose and comfortable to move around in. Your shoes should provide good support and absorb shock. 
  5. See us regularly. Chiropractors are well-known for helping musculoskeletal issues. When your body is aligned, you may have a reduced risk of becoming injured, making it a great choice to prevent further problems. 

What if I’m Already Injured? 

Chiropractic care is well-known for providing solutions to many pain-related issues. The focus is on reducing any symptoms you have by increasing your body’s ability to function at 100%. When this occurs, your body has the best possible chance of healing itself. Your chiropractor might also be able to advise you on the proper rehabilitation of your injury, making sure you don’t return to the game before you’re ready to reduce the risk of further, more serious injuries occurring. 

Ouch – What Can You Do About Carpal Tunnel

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Get Help for Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Over the years, it’s become more and more common that work is taking place at a computer. We’re hunched over a desk for much of the day, tapping on the keyboard and staring at the monitor. There is a host of health problems that can result. Neck pain, headaches and poor posture likely all come quickly to mind.

There is another harmful condition, however, that can result from the repetitive motion of typing and improper ergonomics: carpal tunnel syndrome.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

You probably know that carpal tunnel syndrome has something to do with pain in the hands. To understand more, it’s important to learn about the anatomy of the wrist and hand.

There is a space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. It’s surrounded by the bones of your wrists. The median nerve runs through the hand after originating in the neck and traveling down the arm. When this nerve is compressed in the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.

Typically, carpal tunnel syndrome will get worse after it initially sets in. That means getting the appropriate diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovering. 

The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

If you’ve noticed that you have some pain in your hand or wrist, you may be wondering if it’s a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the most common symptoms include

  • Burning and pain
  • Clumsiness and dropping objects
  • Shock-like sensations
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Weakness
  • A feeling of swollen fingers

The onset of your symptoms may begin gradually, growing over time. Your dominant hand is likely the one that is first affected and has the most severe symptoms. You might feel like you can “shake out” the feeling you have in your hand or wrist, though doing so won’t lessen any sensation. 

The Causes of Carpal Tunnel

Where does your issue come from? You might wonder why carpal tunnel syndrome is affecting you and not someone else. There are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood that you’ll suffer from carpal tunnel syndromes. For example, if you have a family member with carpal tunnel syndrome, heredity is an important factor. Repetitive motions, such as typing at your computer or gripping, can aggravate wrist tendons and make carpal tunnel more likely to set in. 

Having an improper workstation setup can mean that carpal tunnel affects you. You must consider the ergonomics involved in your desk, keyboard and chair to reduce the probability of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Though you can’t help factors such as genetics, there is much you can do to reduce the chance that you’ll experience carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Change your workstation height. Your arms should fall at a relaxed, 90-degree angle on your desk. 

Take breaks. Every half-hour, get up and stretch your whole body, including your hands and wrists. 

Watch your posture. Don’t let your shoulders roll forward, which will cause you to slump and compress the nerves of the neck. 

See your Chiropractor. Though most people associate Chiropractors with necks and backs, there is much the chiropractor can do for your entire body. They’re able to address problems in all joints of your body, including wrists and hands. 

 

What’s So Important About Omegas?

There’s so much information about nutrition available today. You’ll hear conflicting reports from all kinds of sources. It’s difficult to decide what to listen to. Fad diets abound, giving mixed results that typically aren’t sustainable. You hear about a miracle food one day and the next, it’s not so good for you. What do you listen to, and how do you decide what’s right for you?

There’s one fact that nearly everyone can agree on: that Omega-3s are essential to your good health. You’ve likely heard of Omega-3s being contained in fish. There are different ways to get these nutrients, but you must make sure that what you’re taking has everything you need.

What Are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are fatty acids that are classified as polyunsaturared fatty acids. Omega-3 is an umbrella term used to refer to different forms of these fatty acids, which include ALA, EPA and DHA. 

  • ALA (alpha-linoleic acid): Your body cannot make this fatty acid alone, which means you need to be sure to work it into your diet. 
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): You can find both of these forms of Omega 3 in fish and other forms of seafood. 

Why Omega-3s Are Essential

There’s good reason you need Omega-3s to be healthy. They are part of the body’s cell membranes and play a part in brain function, inflammation and normal growth and development levels. 

Omega-3s have been studied in various bodies of research, all with varying conclusions about what they can do for you. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to some cancers, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and arthritis, amongst others. 

Do You Need to Supplement?

Whether your body requires an Omega-3 supplement depends entirely on your diet. If you eat two servings a week of tuna, salmon or herring, you likely are getting enough Omega-3s. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat these types of nutrient-dense, fatty fish, you may benefit from taking a supplement. 

Vegetarians and vegans, don’t worry: there are plenty of algae-based supplements that are still chock-full of the Omega-3s you need. You should get at least 150 grams, or 5 ounces, of cooked fish each week. Your EPA and DHA can also be found in eggs, which is a great way to add more into your diet. If you don’t eat fish, look for a supplement 

Concerns About Mercury and Fish Consumption

There has been talk in recent years about whether it’s safe to eat fish due to the mercury levels found in some fish. If that’s a concern for you, there are plenty of fish you can eat that have lower mercury levels. These include salmon, anchovy, trout, sole, lake white fish and more. Certain fish accumulate greater levels of mercury than others. These should be eaten with a lower frequency to ensure you aren’t exposed to mercury, such as tuna, marlin, shark or swordfish.

If you feel uncertain about the safety of eating fish due to mercury, taking a supplement is an ideal way to get the nutrients you need without compromising your health.

The Most Common Types of Headaches

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The Most Common Types of Headaches

Almost every person has had a headache once in their lives. Some may be more “memorable” than others, some may even be debilitating; but the common denominator is: they are very common.

Headaches become a burden once an individual has to begin taking time off work, or has to amend their day to day activities to recuperate. The most common way people treat their headaches is with pharmaceuticals like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, or prescription medication. The long term effects of these can range from upset stomach, to ulcers, to liver or kidney damage. 

How We Experience Pain Matters

The truth is, we all experience pain differently. Headaches come in many intensities, durations, causes and frequency. There are ways to help prevent and treat headaches without exposing our bodies to the possibility of long term health issues. But first, we must understand the differences between headaches. 

There are generally 4 types of headaches, each with different causes and possible treatment options:

Tension Headaches are characteristic of the tightening or pressure feeling in the whole head. It may not be particularly severe, but can feel more like a steady squeezing throughout the day. The intensity usually does not change with activity, but they can become worse in the evening. Tension headaches can last anywhere from less than an hour, to more than a few days.

Cluster Headaches are experienced most by middle aged men, and can be directly associated with watery eyes and a  runny nose. They are generally felt on one side of the head, and are commonly compared to feeling like there is an ice pick through one eye. These headaches are called cluster headaches because they occur in clusters, repeatedly recurring throughout the course of a day, a week, and sometimes for months. The pain is said to be debilitating, and unlike a migraine, sufferers find respite in walking, pacing, or moving around.

Migraine Headaches are the most common “illnesses” sufferers will cite as a reason to take time away from work and other responsibilities. Migraine headaches can severely impair one’s ability to function, and will often arrive with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, and the inability to tolerate light. Migraines generally affect one side of the head, and can last from one to three days. Some people will experience a migraine as an “aura”, meaning they can experience symptoms like dizziness, sensitivity to light, or numbness; but without the headache.

Cervicogenic Headaches are caused by structural irritation to the nerves, tendons, muscle, or joints around the head. These headaches are often caused by holding your head or neck in an awkward position for long periods of time, sleeping strains, whiplash, old accident injuries, or repetitive strains.

People experience headaches differently. This being said, the approach to prevention and management of headaches will be individualized. We will often combine a combination of adjustments, massage, and home care approaches to reduce the frequency and severity of the headache pain. Medication does not have to be your first choice for pain relief.

If you are someone who experiences headaches enough to interrupt your life, discuss this with us to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. Suffering with head pain does not have to be normalized or minimized in your life.

Can Ice or a Cold Pack Treat a Headache?

Most people will experience the occasional headache. Many of which will not reach for medications to treat the pain because the pain or irritation will dissipate on its own. But if you are one of the many people who experience debilitating head pain, medication may have become your treatment option of choice. Chronic headaches can be disruptive to your life and your family, as can the long term side effects of medication use.

If you’re a migraine sufferer or if you experience chronic headaches and have become accustomed to using medications to treat them you’re likely thinking ice or cold packs won’t work. But let me assure you, with precise care you can also benefit from natural remedies and save your organs from the effects of medication over-use. 

Let’s make a Plan That Works For You

Thankfully, your chiropractor will be able to devise a plan for your headache prevention and treatment that is individualized for you and your circumstances. One of the most common practices for headache relief is the use of ice. The application of ice or a cold pack to the back of your neck during a headache or migraine can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Cold Therapy is an Ancient Method 

Cold therapy has been dated back to hundreds of years, and long before medications were made available for pain relief. Ice is a common treatment option for any type of inflammation, headache pain and the inflammation that causes it is no different. Cold can constrict the blood vessels in and around the head, which also causes your body to concentrate on the cold, rather than the pain.

Is There a Technique to Using Ice?

Ice or cold packs are excellent home remedies, but there are a few things to consider when using them.

The earlier you tend to the headache, the more likely you can restrict its progression. Applying ice or a cold pack at the onset of your headache will be significantly more effective than if you apply it after hours of suffering.

Ice should never be directly applied to your skin. Using a towel, a blanket, or a shirt to act as a barrier between your skin and the ice will prevent irritation. This is particularly important considering the cold pack or ice should be applied around the base of your head and around your neck.

Application should happen in 20 minute intervals. Leaving the ice this close to your skin for longer periods can cause irritation. Apply the ice for 15-20 minutes, then remove it for 30-60 minutes, and reapply as needed. It’s common for the area to feel cold initially, then a mild burning sensation, and numbness. Once the numbness sets in, it’s ideal to remove the ice or cold pack.

Speak With Us

Ideally, speaking with a chiropractor will allow you to decide which treatment options will work best for you and your circumstances. Ice works for most people, but understanding the root cause and the type of headaches you experience will allow for a more streamlined and efficient approach to prevention and pain relief. The intention is to be both pain and medication free, with your body working at optimal capacity.

Helping shoulder pain, and tips to setup the perfect home office

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Are You Experiencing A Rotator Cuff Tear?

If you have, or are, you’ll know that simple activities like brushing your hair or your teeth, tying your shoes, and sleeping can become painful reminders of your injury. 

What is a Rotator Cuff?

Your Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that are located in the shoulder and the upper back area. They connect the upper arm to the shoulder blade. The tendons of the rotator cuff provide stability to the shoulder area, with the muscles allowing the shoulders to rotate. This network of muscles that come together as tendons that cover the head of the humerus (the bone in your upper arm that attaches to your shoulder) is called the rotator cuff. This is where the mobility of your entire shoulder originates, so you can imagine how debilitating it could be when it causes pain.  The level of inflammation caused by this injury can dictate how much pain is experienced. 

What Are The Symptoms?

Some symptoms include pain at night, especially if you are trying to sleep on the affected shoulder. Pain when lowering or raising your arm to perform a movement. Weakness and pain when lifting your arm, and a grating sound or sensation made when there is friction between the bones and cartilage. 

5 Common Causes of a Rotator Cuff Tear

  1. Overuse, especially when playing overhead sports like tennis or vollyball.
  2. Improper form when weightlifting, or lifting weights overhead. Particularly if there is poor core stability. 
  3. Hypermobile (double jointed) shoulders or loose connective tissue.
  4. A traumatic injury like falling with an arm extended out, or being pushed from behind. 
  5. Poor posture and rolling forward of the shoulders will pull on the entire rotator cuff.

How A Chiropractor Can Help

We will evaluate the injury as there could be many possible causes. We’ve even seen old hip injuries that have affected the opposite rotator cuff. We are aware that rotator cuff tears can happen from shoulder instability, but we also know that shoulder instability and weakness go hand in hand with core weakness and old injuries.

Treatment Options

There are several different  treatment approaches, each being specific to your injury, amount of pain,  and your level of fitness. Strength is a very important component to rehab and long term care. Ensuring there is optimal core stability, along with strength development in the upper body is key to reducing further injuries. Ultimately, in severe cases surgery is required, our goal is to ensure we take very possible action to prevent this as a last resort.

The Ultimate Goal

Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid surgery. Surgery comes with its own set of risks; it will require you to take time away from your work, your life, and your family. In addition, the pain medications prescribed post surgery run the risk of side effects and addiction.  Rotator cuff tears can be quite painful in the beginning, and the healing process takes time. Don’t prolong this process with guesswork, or waiting it out. The potential to stunt healing can only make matters worse.  If you are experiencing a rotator cuff tear, contact us today to discuss treatment options.  

How to Create a More Ergonomic Workspace at Home

As the world experiences many long term changes, you may have found yourself “working from home” a lot longer than expected. For some, this change has been a welcomed addition to how we work. For others, this has been quite challenging because of family roles, and for some the only real challenge has been ergonomics. 

You Don’t Want to Develop Postural Issues

Now that many are working from home for the foreseeable future, working on your laptop from the couch isn’t going to be a viable option. Postural issues are the biggest concern as people tend to hunch over their computer or laptop when at home.  So how can you ensure ergonomics work in your favour? The following is a list of some things to keep in mind when setting up your ergonomic workspace in your home.  Invest in a straight backed chair. Working from the couch, or even worse – your bed, is the worst position you can be in. These positions will always cause your head to hunch forward, affecting your neck, shoulders and your upper spine. Aside from having a straight backed chair, doing neck stretches and exercises throughout the day to prevent tightness is ideal. Keep your laptop at eye level to keep your shoulders upright and your neck straight. If you are looking down you will be causing your shoulders to roll forward and your neck to hunch over. Again, taking breaks to stretch or exercise your neck and roll your shoulders will be helpful to prevent strains and headaches. Keep your arms at 90 degrees, ensuring your elbows are bent comfortably while your hands reach for the keyboard. Having the keyboard too high can create tingling in your hands and arms, and too low can cause you to hunch forward. The key here is to keep moving, getting up at least once an hour will allow your body to prevent stiffness and postural issues.  Have your feet planted flat on the ground. Having your feet dangling will not only cause some swelling in your feet, but it can really affect the arch in your back. With your feet flat on the floor, the over arch won’t happen, and your body will feel more stable. 

We Need to Keep Moving

As it stands, our bodies were not created to sit for extended periods of time. Much like being at the office, it’s recommended that you get up at least once an hour to stretch, use the washroom, grab a glass of water or a snack, or to just do a lap around the room. Now that working from home has become a longer term situation, it’s so important to not only create a schedule for your workday, but the ergonomics that go into completing your work are vitally important. 

The New Normal

The combination of Zoom meetings, phone calls, emails, and paperwork can have you spending endless hours sitting. You must get up and move, and you must have a schedule for yourself to prevent overworking – or the opposite, underworking. 

Make it Pleasing and Personal

Aside from ergonomics, ensure your workspace is pleasant and in a well lit area of your home. Have items on your desk that you enjoy, have your favourite mug ready for your workday, include a picture on your desk, have music playing – all the things that bring you joy on a regular day at work. You may be missing your coworkers, or just the social aspect of being at the office, but If you haven’t created a way to make work enjoyable at home this could turn out to be a very long handful of winter months. This may not be how you’re used to working, it may not be how you want to work; but making the best of what we have will make a world of difference both physically and emotionally.  

Ouch – Neck Pain, and tips to avoid sugar

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Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Also referred to as the cervical spine, it contains so many small vertebrae that support the weight of your entire head. Your neck is strong, but it’s the flexibility that leaves it susceptible to strain and injury.

The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even just prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.

Chiropractic Care

Seeing a chiropractor about your neck pain is an important step in the right direction. During your visit your chiropractor will ask you a series of questions and will perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. They will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain on your own. A few of these questions may include:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
  • Are there movements that reduce the pain?
  • Are there movements that make the pain worse?
  • What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?

Part of the exam will also include a physical component where your chiropractor will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. They may feel your spine to note any curvature and alignment, and to feel for tight muscles or spasms. They will check your shoulder area, and may perform a neurological exam as well. 

In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-ray, an MRI, and EMG, or a CAT scan to check for bone spurs, fractures, arthritis, herniations, bulging discs, or nerve damage before moving forward with a treatment plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications and you’ll be directed to your medical physician. 

Neck Adjustments

When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, neck adjustments are given to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. When performed correctly, this will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice an improvement mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness.

Additionally, your chiropractor may include additional treatments depending on your personal profile and what the best case planning is for your individual needs. This may include massage therapy, rehabilitative services, or exercise. 

Next Steps

Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, talk to your local chiropractor to assess whether they can help you have an improved standard of living. Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself”. Chiropractic care is available to you, call us, and easily relieve the pain and discomfort associated with neck pain. 

 

5 Tips to Avoid Consuming Excess Sugar

When it comes to developing and maintaining balance in your health we have to consider the whole picture. This includes exercise, mental wellness, a structured routine, and nutrition. Aside from contributing to illness, there are many reasons why sugar should be eliminated, or at least reduced from your diet.

Sounds easy right? Well, if it were easy everyone would do it. The truth is sugar creates a similar sensation in your body as addiction. And we often don’t even realize all the foods, sauces and drinks that contain sugar.

There are two types of sugar, one that is naturally occurring and processed sugars that are added to everything from spices to drinks and desserts. While the consumption of naturally occurring sugars should be monitored, it’s the processed sugars that can really cause harm to your body. These include: brown sugar, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and sweeteners.

Aside from the empty calories, consuming sugar will cause a spike in your blood sugar which makes you thirsty, hungry, and irritable. Sugar contributes to an acidic environment in your body, which also leads to inflammation. Ultimately, if you decrease your sugar intake you can lose weight, control your blood sugar, and decrease your risk of developing chronic illness.

Reducing or eliminating your sugar intake can come with some side effects like headaches and restlessness, but these subside after a few days.

Here are 5 tips to help you to reduce your sugar intake:

  1. Check Labels – Foods that are labelled as “light” or “low fat” are often high in sugar. When checking ingredients, if sugar is listed as one of the first ingredients it means it’s one of the most used ingredients. When checking the ingredients, also look out for fructose, high glucose corn syrup, malt/corn/rice/palm syrup, dextrose, maltose, and sucrose which are all common sugar aliases.
  2. Avoid processed foods – Not only are processed foods full of chemicals and preservatives, but they are often full of sugar as well. Nutrients are removed during the manufacturing process, leaving processed foods vacant of any real nutritional value. Eating fresh foods will provide your body what it needs to remain nourished.
  3. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels – Allowing your body the opportunity to maintain healthy blood sugar levels will reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Eating regular meals and steering clear of carb overloads (which turns to sugar during digestion) will allow your body to work efficiently.
  4. Don’t skip breakfast – Breakfast being the most important meal of the day may sound cliche, but you wouldn’t drive your car on an empty gas tank right? Having a nutritious breakfast with protein and fibre will help your body curb sugar cravings. Both will keep your body satisfied for hours, and will keep you from reaching for sugary snacks.
  5. Stay hydrated – More often than not, if you are craving sugar it could be your body’s way of telling you you’re dehydrated. Remaining hydrated will control your appetite, and will help you to reduce headaches and fatigue. The key to remaining hydrated is to not wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, rather have water available throughout the day to drink. Try and stay away from sugary drinks as well, although they may appear to be refreshing at the time, they are actually going to further dehydrate your body.

The truth is, cutting down on sugar for most people can be difficult. Your body has become accustomed to sugar, no matter how little you think you consume. Staving off headaches, irritability, and hunger will be the hardest parts of this journey, but once you develop a new routine with less or no sugar, you’ll notice a difference in your body and you’ll no longer crave it.

With excess sugar out of the way, you’ll have room for new recipe’s and new lifestyle changes!