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Posts for: August, 2016

By Dr. Doug
August 24, 2016
Category: Healthy Aging

Get Your Butt Off the Ground

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be talking about how to improve the mobility and strength of your hip and pelvis. In today’s post, we will look at a few reasons why you might want to do that.

Ask most people why they should have a strong lower back and hips, and they will probably tell you it does the following: prevents injury, helps avoid pain and makes you look good in jeans! Now, there is definitely truth to that statement – the preventing pain and injury part. A lot of the patients I see have a weak back, tight hips, and no butt muscle. This is the perfect “Trifecta” for how to injure your back.

What is often overlooked, however, is that the “Trifecta” (weak back, tight hips and no butt muscle) can play a role in pain syndromes above and below the area. Many shoulder, neck, knee and ankle issues can originate in a weak and poorly functioning pelvic region.

back, bodybuilding, fitness

But did you know that your pelvis and hip strength can also predict how long you have left to live?

A study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology reported on a very simple but highly sensitive test called the Sit to Rise Test.

The study tracked 2,000 people between the ages of 50-80 over seven years. Using a point system, the test evaluated how easy it was for an individual to get up and down from the floor without assistance. The more assistance, the lower the score (the best possible score was 10, the worst was zero – you lost points for the number of supports you used). This study found that the more difficult it was to get off the floor unassisted, the more likely or sooner you were to die!

At first glance, this seems like a pretty obvious conclusion. Not so fast! What was telling about this study was how much of a difference just a few points made in terms of risk of death. Remember, the highest score you can get is a 10, and that is when you can sit straight down onto the floor and get up without using your hands or knees. You lose a point for each touch (hand to floor, knee to floor, etc.) on both the way down and back up. What was really interesting was the difference between scoring an 8-10 versus a 7 meant a 21% increase in mortality (death)! That is a lot! Think about it, if you scored a 6 but could get just a little stronger and more flexible to score an 8, you could reduce your mortality by 21%!

The study’s author, Dr. Araujo, gave one possible explanation for the relationship between the test scores and overall survival:

“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”

Others have proposed that the stronger you are in the hips and pelvis, the less likely you are to fall, and falls lead to prolonged stays in hospitals and rehab, which can lead to death!

Well, I don’t want to leave you hanging, but any good blogger knows you need to give readers a reason to come back next time! In the following installments, we will review the test specifically and ways to improve your score. Also, keep your eye out for our fall workshop – we will be carrying out the Sit to Rise test and coach you on some ways to improve where you are at currently.

Till next time,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
August 16, 2016
Tags: Untagged

Eat Right: Time to Make It Work!

We have spent the last month looking at some different eating styles and plans:

  • The Standard American Diet
  • The Mediterranean Diet
  • The New Nordic Diet
  • The Okinawan Diet
  • And just for fun: how a 127-year old French woman ate!

It is fascinating to me that people groups located so far from each other in very different climates and cultures can have basic principles and practices in common among their healthiest members. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising – God made us all and equips our environments, regardless of how different they may seem, to allow us to live well if we choose!

Let’s pull this together in three different ways:

  1. Common Principles To Engage (Eat This)
  2. Common Principles to Avoid (Don’t Eat That)
  3. Unique, sometimes non-dietary recommendations (Think About This)

Eat This!

All of the healthy programs we looked at encouraged consuming the following:

  • Lots of fruits
  • Lots of vegetables
  • Healthy fats (Dr. Mercola has a great article introducing healthy fats)
  • High quality meat products, primarily fish, poultry and eggs
  • *Whole grains, especially rye, barley and oats

*Wheat grain is a whole other health issue that we will address in a later post.

Don’t Eat That!

All of the healthy programs we looked at encouraged limiting or avoiding the following:

  • Dairy
  • Processed foods (another article by Dr. Mercola outlines why this is so important)
  • Sweets (including hidden sugar in sauces, sodas, fruit juice, etc.)
  • Red meat
  • “Bad fats,” like hydrogenated vegetable oils (Crisco, vegetable cooking oils and margarine – these are found in just about every prepackaged foods, like chips, cookies and crackers, frozen pizza etc.)

Think About This!

There were also some things that were either not found across all of the different eating styles and plans, or that were not actually related to the food itself. I still think they deserve consideration:

  • Eating with others as much as possible
  • Slowing down when you eat
  • Exercising (primarily walking places)
  • Limiting your eating at a meal to the point where you feel 80% full
  • Focus on seasonal, regional foods
  • Eat organic when possible
  • Avoid food additives
  • Wild game as a meat source, whenever possible
  • Herbs and spices, instead of salt
  • More “root” vegetables
  • Increasing anti-inflammatory spices and herbs
  • Eat at home more
  • Emphasize low glycemic index foods (lower carbohydrate content)
  • Continue smoking until you are at least 117, eat 2 lbs of chocolate a week and drink port wine daily (all right, in deference to Madam Calment, she did actually quit smoking at 117!)

Make It Work!

We have spent the last month going over what some of the healthiest diets in the world look like. Today, we’ve brought all of it together in one post. Consider doing the following over the next few days:

  1. List all of the problems you are having in your life that you think might be even remotely food related: fatigue, depression, digestive issues, appearance, lethargy, chronic joint pain, fibromyalgia, diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, etc.
  2. Review the Eat This and Don’t Eat That lists above and compare your own diet to it.
  3. Go to the Dr. Mercola links listed above and read the articles (and more, he really is a great resource).
  4. Decide if you want to move in a different direction.
  5. Review the Think About It section listed above and pick two or three things that stand out
  6. Make out some action steps and engage!
  7. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and plans with those closest to you who can really help you on your journey.

I hope you have enjoyed the last month’s blog posts on healthy eating.  I have learned a lot personally in putting together this information and I hope it helps you to reach the healthiest you possible. God created us to be whole – eating right is part of that picture!

To Your Health!

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Doug Williams, D.C.
August 02, 2016

The Okinawan Diet

So far, we have been to America and reviewed the Standard American Diet (SAD), Southern France to visit Madam Jeanne Calment and the Mediterranean Diet and Norway to visit some reindeer and check out the New Nordic Diet. The last stop on our world tour is Okinawa, Japan.

Okinawans are another group of people who are known for living a really long time. Okinawa is an island about 400 miles south of mainland Japan and is considered to have a sub-tropical climate.

According to Wikipedia, there are 34 centenarians (people living to 100) per 100,000 people – more than three times the rate of mainland Japan! Is it their music? Maybe their workout program? It is hard to know for sure, but a lot of studies have been done on how they eat.

Okinawa has traditionally been less financially prosperous than mainland Japan. Interestingly enough, as the island has become more prosperous and “mainland” food has made it’s way onto the island, the rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, some cancers and others have increased! A great paper by Craig Wilcox, Ph.D (and others) does a really good job outlining why they think the Okinawan Diet is so healthy, as well as some of its history. It is a little technical, so here is a 30,000 foot view of the Okinawan Diet:

  1. Lots of vegetables
  2. Lots of legumes (mostly soy in origin)
  3. Moderate consumption of fish
  4. Low consumption of meat and meat products
  5. Low consumption of dairy products
  6. Moderate consumption of alcohol
  7. Low calorie intake
  8. Rich in Omega 3 fats
  9. High mono saturated to saturated fat ratio
  10. Emphasis on low GI carbohydrates

Dr. Wilcox goes on to outline how some of the vegetables and fruits consumed in the traditional Okinawan diet have a very high micro-nutrient content, especially their version of the sweet potato. In addition, many of the herbs and spices used have anti-inflammatory effects. Both a high micro-nutrient content and increased anti-inflammatory substances play a major role in combating chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, cancer, etc.

Let’s Make It Work!

In large, the Okinawan Diet is similar to the Mediterranean and New Nordic Diet. All three emphasize lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, low quantity but high quality meat, low amounts of dairy, increased healthy fats and consuming complex (versus simple) carbohydrates.

Three additional points stand out about the Okinawan Diet from the others:

  1. This is the first diet that recommended reducing calorie intake. An article in the Huffington Post described it like this: Eating until you feel about 80% full.
  2. The Okinawan Diet is described as the “Poor Man’s Diet.” I will have more to say about this in a later post, but it is interesting that the more affluent a society becomes, the more their food tends to become processed and less healthy!
  3. The Okinawan Diet is the first time we have seen how certain components of a diet may impact health beyond just fuel, i.e. anti-inflammatory herbs and spices and a high micro-nutrient component.

The Okinawan Diet may appear a little more foreign to our eyes than the Mediterranean and New Nordic Diet, but I think it has a lot of promise. I, for one, am going to look more into it!

Next week, we will review how to integrate all of the information we learned in this last month’s blogs into a usable set of principles to help you live a longer, healthier life!

Until then,
To Your Health!

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana