Monthly Archives: June 2015

7 Healthy Methods to Release Resistant Mid-Section Weight

sports chiropractor Bethlehem PAThere’s a secret about fat loss that is not often spoken about by experts. Because of this, you may be the most devote dieter and exerciser who still is unable to lose the access weight in your mid-section – butt, belly, thighs, back and sides.

There are reasons we start holding onto weight in the middle of our bodies. Besides genetics, our unique body shape and sex there’s another cause of body fat accumulation that you may notice comes on differently than other times you may have gained weight. This is because the other reason we hold onto excess body weight…there’s a defense mechanism in everyone’s body that actually holds onto the fat in the mid-section.

As a chiropractor who helps people with their pain and everyday movement, extra weight being held on your body is a concern to me, because: A) extra weight causes problems for your joints, particularly in your knees, hips and back; and B) the type of weight gain I’m speaking about here has to do with how well your life is balanced – stress, happiness, joy and activity level, and how it’s manifesting. This is important, because sometimes when we are just working to lose weight, we are actually pushing ourselves too hard which can be counterproductive and unhealthy all around.

What to avoid in order to release mid-section weight

Holding weight more in the mid-section than usual is a sign of a defense mechanism used by the body when you have chronic stress or fatigue.

When you are chronically stressed, your body is often releasing a lot of cortisol from your adrenal glands. When this happens, the good thing is, your body can better manage the stress and keep you as focused and active as you desire. The bad side to this is when you’re stressed cortisol circulates through your body and will keep building fat storages in your mid-section, so you are prepared and ready for quick energy when you need it.

As a result of increased cortisol (your stress and fatigue response), your body strongly holds onto mid-section fat, even if you are being the most devote dieter and exerciser. In fact, being too devote can increase the strange fat storage in your mid-section, because you could place even more stress on yourself and your body.

Fortunately, there are exercises you can do to get lean, while calming you down at the same time. This is important, because one of the reasons you may not be losing weight is that the activities you’re doing to lose weight are just stressing your body. You’ve reached this point when you start feeling fatigued and just burnt out. When exercise feels too strained, along with other factors going on in your life causing you to possibly hold on to mid-section fat instead of releasing the mid-section, you need to slow it down a bit.

Here are 7 exercises to provide an exceptional full-body workout, toning your tummy, legs and arms, while calming your system and melting the fat in your mid-section.

It is important to note, any new exercise plan should be first discussed with your doctor. Also, by starting a new exercise plan, you may feel some new aches, pains and body imbalances that manifest as pain, muscle pulling, cramping or headaches. This is normal, but you do need to get checked by your chiropractor to ensure that your body and posture is holding up well, is supported and ready for more. A chiropractor can help you get your body back to a relaxed, flexible and pain-free state.

First, here’s the technique to get your exercises to melt the fat in the mid-section:

  1. Self-pace your exercises. Remain in a self-paced aerobic breathing state as much as possible as you exercise. Do not try to follow somebody else who is telling you to push through it if you feel you have been drained lately and already fatigued with the exercise you are performing. Self-paced means you listen to your body and stop when it feels like it hurts or will hurt later. If you feel like you are pushing through fatigue while exercising, you’re likely increasing the stress that is being experienced by your body, making it harder to lose fat and gain muscle.
  2. Keep in an aerobic state. While you can test how far to push during an exercise by self-pacing, always try to come back to an aerobic state of breathing. Being in an aerobic state means that you should be able to breathe and speak well, while you are exercising. This is the best way to melt fat and gain metabolism-boosting muscle, while you signal to your body that you are relaxed and in control. If you are regularly holding your breath or need to stop for a while afterwards to really catch your breath, you are more likely in an anaerobic state.
  3. Check your fatigue and state of mind before you start exercising. Stress and fatigue can increase cortisol, which keeps fat loading on the rise in your mid-section. If you want to lose the pounds and get lean, beautiful muscles that look great in a bathing suit, plan to exercise for enjoyment, appreciating your body as it is and calming yourself as it moves.

Enjoy your current exercises, or choose a few of the exercises below. Plan sets or get as many done for a 30 second time period as you can and then change exercises in between to keep it interesting. Plan rest periods and rest when you need. Be sure to breathe so you can talk through each exercise. Keep focused and calm, thinking about how you are sculpting your body and how amazing you will look in just a few weeks.

Second, here are 7 healthy ways to release resistant mid-section weight:

Single Leg Glute Bridge

  • Start by lying on your back with knees bent
  • Extend one leg up, squeezing the glutes and lifting the hips as high as possible
  • Pause, lower and repeat without letting your butt hit the ground during repetitions

Hydrants with Leg Extensions

  • Start on all fours with core engaged to keep your back straight
  • Lift one knee up and out to the side (This is where the hydrant name comes from.)
  • Extend leg out towards the back
  • Return to start

Bridge

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and hip-width apart
  • Raise your back slowly off the floor, thinking one vertebra at a time
  • Tighten your glutes and hamstrings, and rise until there is a diagonal line that runs     between your shoulders and knees
  • Return to the ground slowly

Tipping Row

  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inward
  • Lift up one foot while balancing on the other
  • Slowly extend your lifted foot backwards and let your arms hang toward the floor
  • Lift the dumbbells by bending your elbows and raising your hands to either side of your chest
  • Hold and then slowly lower your arms toward the floor
  • Repeat dumbbell lifts

Single Leg Deadlift with Kettlebell

  • Hold a kettlebell in one hand and lift your opposite foot slightly off the ground
  • Lean forward and raise your leg straight behind you, keeping your back and neck neutral
  • Be careful to keep some bend in your supporting leg
  • Lower the kettlebell towards the ground, but be sure that your chest never drops below the level of your hips
  • Hinge your hips backward and lift the kettlebell to return to the starting position

Superman Ball Lifts

  • Lie on your belly, holding an exercise ball between your feet
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you
  • Engage your abs, inhale and squeeze the ball while lifting your knees, arms and chest
  • Hold for 10 seconds and repeat

Lunges

  • Start with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart
  • Take a giant step forward with your torso upright, moving towards a kneeling position with your front knee aligned over your front ankle
  • Bend knees no further than a 90 degree angle
  • Return to the starting position, either by stepping forward with your back foot or by stepping backwards with your front foot
  • Repeat, alternating legs

Lastly, a few important things to keep in mind

Always consult with your chiropractor or another qualified healthcare provider if you’re starting a new fitness program. This is especially important if you’re recovering from an injury, suspect you may have a medical condition, or haven’t been physically active in a while. After you begin your program, build up the number of sets and repetitions you do as you become more comfortable with the movements, and your body adapts to the new demands you’re placing upon it.

As experts in musculoskeletal health and fitness, chiropractic physicians are specially trained to help you reach your goals. Want to learn more? Just call or visit our office!

The Truth About the “5-Second Rule”

cold and flu Bethlehem PAYou’ve probably heard of the “five-second rule”. That’s the tongue-in-cheek saying some kids and young adults use when they accidentally drop a piece of food on the floor, but pick it up and eat it anyway. According to the “rule”, food isn’t likely to become significantly contaminated with bacteria if it remains on the floor less than five seconds. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves when we quickly grab that fallen potato chip before the cat gets it, brush it off, and stick in in our mouths (hopefully without anyone noticing). Most of us probably suspect this isn’t a great idea while we’re doing it, but is there actually any evidence to support the five-second rule?

Well, for those who admit to having done this once or twice in their lives (you know who you are…), you can feel a little bit better about it, because there is some research that suggests the five-second rule might be valid.

Can we be sure bacteria moves slow enough or won’t grab on?

Science has actually been studying the five-second rule for some time. In 2003, Dr. Jillian Clarke (then an intern and now a Ph.D.) analyzed the floors of the labs, dormitories, and cafeterias of the university she was attending.  She discovered that far fewer bacteria were found than expected, possibly because most of the surfaces were dry; thus, did not encourage bacterial growth. Dr. Clarke also found that very few “test foods” were significantly contaminated by E. coli bacteria from brief exposure to a contaminated surface.

A more recent study conducted at Aston University in Great Britain confirms her findings. The research team, led by Professor Anthony Hilton, studied a number of different floor surfaces and locations (carpeted floors, laminated floors, and tiles) with a variety of foods (toast, pasta, cookies, and sticky candy) to see how much E. coli and Staphylococcus bacteria they picked-up when dropped on these floors.

There were differences in the floor surface itself, with carpeted floors being “safer” in terms of contamination than tile floors. Hilton said, “We have found evidence that bacteria transferring to food dropped on indoor flooring surfaces is incredibly poor with carpet; therefore, actually posing the lowest risk of a bacterial transfer.”

Does 5 seconds make the difference?

Unsurprisingly, as the five-second rule implies, time is a factor. Research did find that the longer the food stayed in contact with the floor surface, the more likely it was that bacterial contamination would occur. And the moister the food, the more likely it was to pick up bacteria.

Another major factor to be considered is the location of the food drop. That is, certain locations are dirtier than others, and thus more likely to result in bacterial contamination, even if you beat the five-second buzzer. Bathrooms are, not surprisingly, high risk – don’t even think of employing the five-second rule there. Your kitchen floors, especially if you cook a lot of chicken, might be more likely a source of salmonella and other bacteria than, say, your living room or dining room. And among the dirtiest surfaces they tested were the dining tables in restaurants, because they have been “wiped clean” with cloths that were rarely changed and washed themselves.

Nourishing a body for strong bacterial resistance

For years, individuals using chiropractic care have reported health improvements from spinal adjustments performed by chiropractors. Today, there is a growing body of scientific research to support this contention. One research paper in particularreviewed literature on the connections between the nervous and the immune system, exploring the effect chiropractic adjustments may have had on neuroimmune function (Cohn, 2008). The results determined there appears to be numerous modes of communication between the nerves and the immune system. It also appears, not only in theory, but in practice, that chiropractic adjustments may have a beneficial effect on the functioning of both the nervous and the immune system.

What to do to thwart persistent and harmful bacteria infections:

  1. Use your own common sense when tempted to invoke the five-second rule. If you accidentally drop a piece of food, take one second of your five noticing the location you’re in and another second to determine the nature of the surface the food fell on. Then you’ve still got three seconds left to decide whether to pick it up and eat it or not
  2. Eat whole foods full of leafy greens and colorful vegetables, fruits (including the white foods as in garlic and onions), and lean meats and good fats (seeds, nuts, oily fish) to support your ready-to-heal body and immune system.
  3. Get chiropractic checkups regularly to balance your body, create a sense of nervous system, muscle and immune system “calmness” through adjustments.

Come in for a complimentary “Health Scan” to learn if other symptoms and sicknesses you have may be helped with chiropractic care. I will show you what’s going on with your body and how it might be affecting your nervous system or organs.

Cohn, A., 2008, Chiropractic and the Neuroimmune Connection, Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, p. 1-5

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