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13335 15 Mile Road

Sterling Heights, MI  48312-4271

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Diet & Nutrition

Exercise

Ergonomics

 

Posture

Food can reflect cultural tradition and plays a big part in the lives of most Americans. A diet that is not balanced can lead to health concerns. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, genetics, and environmental factors can be risk factors for obesity. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Doctors of chiropractic receive extensive training in the area of human diet and nutrition and can assist you formulating a health plan tailored to your individual needs.

Breakfast is a very important meal as your body has not received any nutrients in 6-8 hours. You should eat enough to see you through to lunch. Try not to fry your food and high levels of refined sugars should be avoided.

Lunch should typically be your largest meal as your body needs the energy to complete the day.

Vitamins B6 and C and the mineral zinc play a role in regulating the immune system. Some vitamins may help boost the immune system and fight off disease. Vitamins E, A, and C and beta carotene are antioxidants--they protect against the effects of cell-damaging molecules called oxygen free radicals. This damage to cells can lead to cancer. Because few people are eating even the minimum recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day, many doctors recommend a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement.

Most things, if not eaten or drunk in excess, will not do us much harm. And eating a wide variety of foods ensures we get all the vitamins, minerals, protein and other ingredients we need to be healthy. Every day, eat at least:

* three to four servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit

* six servings of whole grain breads, pasta, rice and breakfast cereals

* two servings of low fat milk and dairy products

* one serving of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, lentils or beans - reducing the meat in a meal by adding beans is a good tip.

When you start out to exercise:

 1. Find a regular time that can be undisturbed for 40 minutes, and devote this time to your program.

 2. Don't exercise in the middle of the day in higher temperatures.

 3. Have a glass of water 30 minutes before you exercise.

 4. If you haven't exercised regularly (a minimum of three times per week) for the last two months it usually takes two to four weeks for your

 body to start to adjust.

 5.Take it easy for the first four weeks, and you can avoid pain, fatigue and soreness.

If you aren't feeling particularly fit to start off with, you don't need to a do a lot of work to achieve a big increase in fitness levels. There should never be any feelings of soreness or fatigue after exercise. Do a little bit of exercise every day for a minimum of 20 minutes. Prepare your body by doing a proper warm up and thank it by giving it a thorough warm down and stretch. Look after your body, it has to last a lifetime.

You shouldn't find the exercises hard, the hard part is maintaining a regular exercise pattern. Set yourself the goal of not missing one session over 12 weeks. If you do miss a session, pick up the program where you left off. If you miss two sessions in a row, go back to the previous week's sessions. Exercise is the easiest way of improving the quality of your life.

For any treatment plan to be successful, it's important that the patient perform the various therapeutic exercises and stretches which the chiropractor has formulated for them to do. These help expedite the healing process and increase flexibility and mobility.

The term "ergonomics" is derived from two Greek words: "ergon", meaning work and "nomoi", meaning natural laws.

Ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands and contribute to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people

The monitor should be at eye level so that you only need to move your eyes to see the whole screen. Having to look down or up, puts strain on your neck and muscles to your head leading to headaches. The monitor should be square in front of you.

The Keyboard should be straight in front of you and easy to reach. Your wrists should be fairly straight. You may want to invest in a wrist support, which lies in front of the keyboard and can be bought from computer shops.

Keep the mouse close to your keyboard and work area. Your lower arm should be about parallel to your desk with your elbows just a little lower.

Don't let the weight of your armrest on the underside of your wrist. There are special mouse pads with a gel wrist rest, which provide great support.

Ideally your desk should be about belly button level with your elbows just below the desktop. You may need to raise your desk or if it is too high then raise your chair and use a footrest.

If you use the telephone quite a bit then you may want to invest in a headset. Do not perch the telephone between your ear and shoulder!

You should be sitting right back in your chair not perched off the front. Pull your chair right in so that your fingers comfortably reach the keyboard and so that your back and shoulders are straight and supported by the back of your chair.

Get up from your desk at least once every hour. Walk around or do a small chore to give your body some movement.

Posture is important to good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue.

Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits.

Improving your posture:

When standing - hold your head high, chin firmly forward, shoulders back, chest out, and stomach tucked in to increase your balance. If you stand all day rest one foot on a stool or take breaks to get off your feet for a while.

When sitting - use a chair with firm low back support. Keep desk or table top elbow high, adjust the chair or use a footrest to keep pressure off the back of the legs, and keep your knees a little higher than your hips.

When working on a computer - take a one minute break every 20 minutes when you work at a computer screen. Keep the screen 15 degrees below eye level.

When sitting in the car - adjust the seat forward so your knees are higher than your hips. Put a small pillow or cushion in the small of your back.

When sleeping - sleep on your side with your knees bent and head supported by a pillow, to make your head level with your spine. Or, sleep on your back, avoiding thick pillows under your head. Use a small pillow under your neck instead. Don't sleep on your stomach.

When lifting - let your legs do the work in order to prevent injury to your low back. Stand close to the object, then where possible squat down and straddle it. Grasp the object, and slowly lift the load by straightening your legs as you stand up. Carry the object close to your body.

When bending - never twist from the waist and bend forward at the same time. To lift or reach something on the floor, bend the knees while keeping the back straight.

If you follow these practices, but still feel discomfort and pain related to specific activities, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic periodically for spinal checkups and for a postural evaluation for yourself and for your children.