Easy Ways To Reduce Stress And Relax

We live in a 24/7, “always on” world, and we weren’t meant to. Our bodies just can’t keep up, and most of us need a lot more down time than we’re getting, which understandably stresses us out. It’s no wonder that heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death; most of us are stressed to the max!

Fortunately, there are some quick, easy things you can do that will bring your stress levels down from the stratosphere and help you relax and unwind. If you take the time to do these things every day, you’ll feel a lot better.

The best part? You can start putting these ideas to use just moments after you finish reading this.

1) Take a walk. Science has proven that a 15-minute walk can reduce your cortisol levels by as much as 25 percent. If you take that same fifteen-minute walk in the woods, the impact is doubled and you can cut your cortisol levels in half! Who knew Mother Nature could be such a powerful ally where stress reduction was concerned?

2) Meditate or visualize. A lot of people roll their eyes when they think about meditation, but there’s actually something to it, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time at it, either. If you give yourself 15 minutes a day with no distractions, it will do wonders. Just close your eyes and think about the major problems in your life being solved and how good your life will be when that happens. In addition, visualize your life as you wish it to be, with all your goals achieved and wishes fulfilled. It doesn’t matter that the visualization may not be realistic; the goal here is to put you in a better frame of mind, and either of those techniques will do exactly that.

3) Maintain a regular sleep schedule. This is a biggie, because too few people get enough sleep, and they pay a heavy price for it. Your body needs 8-9 hours of quality sleep a night, and your boss isn’t going to enforce a bedtime. He’ll be thrilled if you stay up till two in the morning doing work on his behalf. Resist that temptation. Pick a reasonable bedtime and stick with it. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

Minimizing the impact of stress on your life doesn’t have to be this massive undertaking. You can reap amazing benefits by spending as little as 15 minutes a day, and you owe yourself at least that much down time, don’t you?

Minor Fender Benders Might Be More Serious Than You Think

Most people who are involved in an auto accident tend to use the condition of their vehicle as a marker for the severity of the accident.
After all, if the car doesn’t look totaled, then how bad could it have been, right? And if the ER nurse sent you home and said you were fine, then that’s the end of it, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Even if your car looks fine, and even if the attending ER physician said you’ve got no broken bones, you’re likely quite some distance from being fine. The reality is that if you were in an auto accident of any severity level, it probably saw your body moving at some speed, then stopping abruptly. That kind of sudden change can put stress and strain on your musculoskeletal system that can have lasting repercussions, and if left untended, it can cause you a lot of pain.

Think about it. The above would be like saying if you didn’t break a bone it doesn’t hurt, but if you’ve ever sprained your ankle, or any other part of your body, then you know that’s a categorically false statement.

The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as a “minor auto accident,” and you owe it to yourself to get thoroughly checked out after you’ve been involved in one.

It’s great if the ER doc says you’re fine. He’s a triage doctor and trained to treat critical, life-threatening injuries, and it sounds like you managed to avoid one of those. After breathing a sigh of relief on that front, now it’s time to get the rest of you checked out. Your chiropractor can properly assess the damage to your musculoskeletal system and create a treatment plan that will make those post-accident aches and pains you’re feeling a thing of the past in short order.

Your Footware Choices Might Be Contributing To Your Back Pain

If there’s one thing you probably feel like you’ve got down after a lifetime of practice, it’s walking. After all, it’s something you’ve been doing for a really long time, and honestly, you don’t even think about it.

Walking, though, is a more delicate (and complex) operation than you might first think. Consider a single step. You extend one leg forward, plant your heel on the ground, then roll forward on your arch. When you do, your arch rolls inward in a process called pronation, which brings you to the ball of your foot, and then to your toes so you can push off and take that next step.

Here’s the problem: some people’s arches don’t roll inward sufficiently, which is known as “underpronation,” which essentially means that your feet aren’t providing the proper shock absorption for the rest of your body. Long term, this can lead to chronic pain in your back, bulging discs, sciatica, and other disorders, all of them painful.

People who are prone to underpronate tend to have high arches in their feet that aren’t very flexible, and in that case, then you want to find shoes that have plenty of padding and cushioning to help absorb the shocks your feet aren’t absorbing naturally.

At the other end of the spectrum are those who overpronate. You’ve heard the phrase “flat-footed,” and this is exactly the problem for those who overpronate. In these cases, you want a shoe that offers excellent arch support to help stabilize your gait.

In both cases, wearing the proper shoe can have a big impact on your level of comfort, so if you’ve been walking around wondering why your feet and back are in near-constant pain, wonder no longer! Odds are that you’re not wearing the “right” kind of shoes for your feet!

Keep Kids Pain-Free For School With This Backpack Guide

If there’s one image that signals back to school, it’s seeing legions of kids marching down the street, in the mall, and in school hallways carrying backpacks, which seems strange. Even in our increasingly digital world, kids today have more physical school supplies than ever before, and chiropractors are noticing a problem.

In recent years, going back to school has meant a spike in the demand for chiropractors, because more and more children are complaining of chronic back pain at an earlier age, and the ubiquitous backpack plays a major role in that.

School books and all the assorted supplies that come with an education are heavy, and the back and neck muscles of our youngsters are not fully developed. They just aren’t yet capable of carrying a heavy load, especially not for an extended period of time, such as a whole school day.

The problem is made worse by the fact that all the “cool kids” sling their backpacks across one shoulder, which makes your own kids want to emulate that. This, of course, unbalances the load, which causes the body to try to compensate, and that leads to chronic pain in short order.

There are three simple tips to keep in mind that will help keep your children pain-free as they head back to school:

1) Limit the weight! Most doctors and physical therapists agree that twenty pounds is plenty, and more than that risks injury. Yes, it’s a pain to have to go to the lockers to swap books out, but that’s what they’re there for. Make sure your children are using them.

2) Proper Packing: Heavier items on the bottom, and lighter items toward the top. This seems obvious to an adult, but that’s not always the case with children. Take the time to explain proper packing to them. Their backs will thank you for it.

3) No more over-the-shoulder carrying. It’s true that it’s not as “cool” to wear your backpack properly, and it’s easier and more convenient to just sling it over one shoulder. However, backpacks were designed to be work a certain way, and when worn properly, the weight is evenly distributed, which minimizes the risk of back pain.

It’s also important that you practice what you preach. If you have and use a backpack, be sure your children see you using it properly, every single time. There’s nothing like leading by example.