Fitness & Wellness Newsletter February
Check out The J's NEW monthly Health & Wellness newsletter. Each month you'll find:
Have you ever struggled to get your suitcase into the overhead compartment on an airplane? Have you ever felt the strain of your computer bag over your shoulder? Or even asked for help at the supermarket because your groceries were too heavy to handle on your own?
These are common tasks that we should all be able to do effortlessly. However, these types of functions are a challenge for people if they do not have the proper upper body strength. Proper upper body strength improves quality of life & helps prevent chronic aches, pains & injuries. “Previous studies in both cadavers & patient populations have found the prevalence of rotator cuff tears may exceed 50% in individuals older than age 65.”
Strengthening your body to improve everyday functions & avoid injuries should be a goal many strive to do, especially in those 65 & older since rotator cuff injuries happen so often. The upper body consists primarily of your shoulder & elbow joints. Common muscles that move your shoulder joint are: the deltoids, pectorialis group, trapezius group & latissimus dorsi amongst many. Common muscles that move your elbow joint are: the biceps & triceps amongst many. It’s
important to note that the spine plays a big role in upper body function. Strengthening the muscles named is a key component to a strong upper body. Another very important component is good posture. A straight & healthy spine allows the upper body to move freely & without constraint.
One of the most complete upper body exercises you can do is a push‐up. A pushup uses your shoulder joint, elbow joint & integrates muscles of the spine & core when performed correctly. To do a standard push‐up, place hands & feet on the floor with your body straight. Your hands should rest directly under your shoulder joint & your hips should be lifted with the strength of your core. Slowly lower your chest to the floor & push yourself up with the strength of your pectoralis muscle. Never let your stomach sag & only go as far as you can with good form.
Is this exercise painful for you to do? See a Personal Trainer for ways to modify a pushup so it can meet your strength needs! And remember; always consult your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.
“Your bad cholesterol is a bit elevated, and you need to lose some weight.” This all‐too common phrase heard at thedoctor’s office, in reality, tells us very little. Why does it matter if my cholesterol is high? Who cares if I carry a few extra pounds? Unfortunately, doctors don't have the time to provide you with extensive education in one office visit. In contrast, the education we get from reading articles online can be exhaustive to the extent of being overwhelming. Both too little information and too much information can lead to inaction.
Here’s the information you really need to know. It’s been said that a goal properly set is halfway reached. Can that be said of your goals? Setting goals that have a clear focus helps us create motivation, accountability & direction to meet what we want to achieve. This New Year, take some time to set proper goals, keeping these tips in mind.
Choose plants and fish more often. Despite the fact that many of us are predisposed to heart disease, we have more control than we give ourselves credit. By choosing foods that are as close to what they look like in nature (think real fish, not low‐fat fish sticks), you are not only working toward a healthy weight, but you are providing the foundation for a healthy heart.
We’ve all heard the ways to fight heart disease; from eating heart healthy to knowing your family history. These facts are everywhere & not adhering to them can be deadly. Even with those sobering outcomes, one in three people in the U.S. remain within an obese weight range. What keeps us from practicing better heart health? Is it just too hard? Maybe we need to start taking small steps to make an even bigger impact.
Try these 5 ways to help your heart health:
Load up on Vitamin C:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who took about 500mg of Vitamin C supplements had significantly lower blood pressure after 2 weeks.
Fill up on fruits & vegetables:
Fruits & veggies contain many good things for heart health – from fiber to heart aiding vitamins. Eat up for your heart’s sake!
Look on the bright side:
Those who are optimistic have healthier hearts according to research in Psychological Bulletin. Findings show those with the glass half full mentally were 50% less likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke, most likely due to the fact that positive emotions are linked to lower risk of heart disease.
Use your resources:
This day in age, there are so many resources to aid you on your road to better heart health. Use your phone, computer, library, etc. to make keeping a healthy heart fun.
High blood pressure & cholesterol can damage your heart. Take precautions & schedule blood pressure, cholesterol &
diabetes screenings. Make them a part of your heart routine.
Source: healthyliving.msn.com, mayoclinic.org