Healthy Happy Traveling

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Family in airport

Healthy Happy Traveling

Traveling can be a lot on your mind and your body. Keeping it as smooth as possible is important to keep your stress down with all the other factors that could go wrong. Delayed flights, crowded planes and long lines everywhere, so investing in your health and wellbeing well traveling can make all the difference. A healthy traveler makes a happier traveler. Use these steps to stay healthy during all your future travelers.

 

Staying healthy can dramatically reduce your stress, which is always a beneficial factor when you’re traveling.

 

Take Stretch Breaks

Sitting for too long will cause stiffness and fatigue. Neither of which you want to bring to your destination. Take time to get up and walk around if room and flight conditions permit it. If you aren’t able to walk around, at least switch positions when possible.

 

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to many ailments including headaches, muscle cramps, reduced attention span, fatigue and more. It also can make your skin look tired and aged, which no one wants to look back on in vacation photos. Drink plenty of water. When you think you have drank enough, drink more. Bring your own water bottles on the plane so you don’t have to rely on the little cups and the flight attendants to keep you hydrated.

 

Snack Wisely

Bring your own in-flight snacks. Think protein, healthy, and filling so the tempting, salty potato chips don’t bring you and your hydration down.

 

Wash your face, hands and seat

Traveling is a breeding place for germs. Wash your face and keep it clean during your flight. Try to avoid wearing your makeup. Keep your hands clean and wash them constantly. Transferring germs from your hands is the quickest way to get sick. Finally, keep sanitizing wipes handy so you can wipe down your seat, tray table, and arm rests. Wiping down these areas is one of the biggest tips from flight attendants- they must know something we don’t.

 

Watch your knees

Try to keep your knees at a 90-degree position. If you’re too short, use your carry on to rest your feet on. This will help your posture and blood flow.

 

Breathe

Find breathing exercises that bring you to a calm, relaxed state. When you are traveling you can call on these exercises to keep you calm, give you some resting time and allow you to clear the toxins from your body by breathing. You could also use these exercises if you experience any anxiety of fear from flying. These can help relax you and get your mind to a calm state.

 

When you are traveling for work or play, the last thing you want when stepping off the plane is the beginning of a sickness. Following these simple tips can keep you healthier while flying and traveling.

child and adult holding red heart with stethoscope, heart health

Staying Heart Healthy

During this month that is often times associated with love, we wanted to keep the love flowing and pumping in all the right places. This means taking care of your heart. Are you taking the steps for keeping your heart healthy? Let us help with these daily tips to give your heart the love it deserves.

 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. There are steps you can take to help lower your risk or prevent heart disease.

 

Eat Healthy- This is a common cure for many diseases and ailments, but very important for overall health. It is important to have a balanced diet filled with wholesome foods.

 

Get Active- Go outside, take walks, hit the gym or do whatever activity it is to keep your body looking and feeling good. Exercise not only helps you look good on the outside, but keeps you feeling good on the inside, as well. Remember that every time you are active you are doing good things for your body.

 

Stay at a healthy weight- Applying the above tips will help keep your body at a healthy weight, keeping your heart healthy along the way.

 

Manage your stress levels- stress can be a huge factor to many health problems, but is hard on your heart. Recognizing you may be stressed, what is causing that stress and managing it is important for a healthy heart and lifestyle.

 

Quit smoking- Smoking doesn’t have any health benefits and this includes being hard on your heart. Quit smoking and stay away from second hand smoke. Your heart will thank you by lowering your risk for heart disease.

 

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure- Knowing and controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure is an important factor for being heart healthy.

 

Know your risk- Everyone is at risk, but if you aren’t following the above steps, your risk may be greater for heart disease. Your may also be at a greater risk if you are a woman older than 55 or a man over the age of 45. Family history could also put you at risk if your father, mother, brother or sister had heart disease.

 

The good news is, there are plenty of simple steps you can do to take control of keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk for heart disease.

How to Boost Your Immune System

It’s that time of year. It seems like everyone around you is sniffing, sneezing, coughing and everything in between. It can make you feel like you’re walking around in a pool of germs. How can you avoid it? There are tips you can apply to your daily life to boost your immune system.

 

Your immune system is a complex function within your body composed of a lot of different things, so the idea of boosting your entire immune system as a whole isn’t scientifically correct, but you can take steps to improve your overall health and keep your system fighting germs.

 

Get enough sleep. Sleep is huge for your whole body to function correctly. It helps you manage stress, which could suppress your immune system with increased cortisol levels and keep your body fighting hard.

 

Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines the basic immune functions and raises the risk of sicknesses in everyone, including children by secondhand smoke.

 

Drink less alcohol. Excessive drinking impairs the immune system. During the time that sickness is on a rise, it could be wise to ditch the wine and beer at dinner time to keep you healthy. You could try a Kombucha, not only are they healthy for your gut, it could give you a fix for craving an adult beverage.

 

Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. These will provide the nutrients your body needs to keep fighting illnesses. Avoid processed foods, fried foods and try eating at home more often.

 

Get some sunshine. A little time outside can increase your vitamin D levels. Lower vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. Make sure you are properly protecting yourself from the sun, as well. If you have a risk of skin cancer, you could look into vitamin D supplements.

 

Add vitamins into your diet. Speaking of supplements, adding some beneficial vitamins can keep you going strong throughout cold and flu season. Vitamin C and Zinc are good vitamins to add to your daily routine.

 

Wash your hands. This may seem obvious, but it can be a very important reminder. When you’re out in public places, you never know who is sick and what germs are floating in the air. Anytime you come home, you should make it habit to go straight to the sink and wash your hands. Avoid touching your face and use antibacterial wipes at the stores before touching common areas, like shopping carts.

 

Drink water. Another simple, and maybe obvious reminder, but during the colder months people often forget about drinking enough water. You want to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning at full capacity to ward off any sicknesses.

 

Keep yourself healthy by applying these tips to boost your immune system and keep your sick days at a minimum!

woman stretching in bed after wake up.

Why it Pays to Stretch Before Getting out of Bed

Does that morning alarm clock go off and the instant dread set in? Changing your morning routine by adding some relaxing techniques instead of constant rush and chaos can get you a little more excited to start your day. Too many of us wake achy and tired. Start your morning routine with stretching and see why it pays to stretch before you get out of bed.

 

Start by setting up your morning, at night. Sitting all day at the office, then the dinner table and then off to bed to do it all over again can quickly lead to a sore and achy morning. While laying in bed at night, do a few stretches to help promote better sleep and leave you feeling less achy and tight in the morning.

 

Short on time in the morning? Aren’t we all… The investment of time doesn’t have to be outrageous to help you feel better throughout your day. Even a short, simple routine can set you up to feeling better throughout your day. Give yourself a few extra minutes for your morning stretches, that’s it! You can do it, all it takes is one less push of the snooze button.

 

Speaking of the snooze button, some light stretching before reaching the coffee pot will give your body extra energy and have you feeling less sleepy before placing your feet to the ground. So, maybe you will go for one less cup of coffee by adding a few morning stretches.

 

Here are a few stretches you can add to your morning routine to get your day off on the right foot.

 

  1. Single-leg knee hug. Start by lying flat on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on your mattress. Bring one knee to your chest, wrapping your arms around your leg in a hug. While breathing, slowly straighten the alternative knee, until your leg is flat against the bed. Repeat on the other side.
  2. Wake up your body. Many of us, with little time in the morning and in a constant rush, jump out of bed before our body has had time to fully wake up. While your still lying in bed- on your back- start by circling your ankles for a few deep breaths. Then flex and point your feet a few times. After your ankles feel slightly warmed up, it’s time for the wrists. Lift your arms straight up towards the ceiling and circle your wrists in both directions for a few breaths. Finally, bring your hands by your sides and slowly rock your head from side to side. These moves will help wake the body up before you even have to sit up!
  3. Spine stretch. Start with your right leg lying straight on the bed and bringing your left knee to your chest. Cross your left knee over your straight, right leg, towards the mattress. Straighten your left arm out to the side, away from your body. Slowly look away from your left hand and back to it, holding this stretch for a few breaths. Repeat on the other side.

 

Starting with one or all of these simple stretches can help you feel less tight and achy before your day even gets started. Allow yourself to slowly wake up with these stretches, giving your morning a calming start. Try it tomorrow and see if it helps your aches and pains!

Young woman in bed

Tips to Improve your Sleep Habits

Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to your health and wellbeing as your diet and exercise can be. Poor sleep can negatively effect your brain function, mood, hormones, exercise, weight and more. Sleep quality has gone down over the past few decades with the rise of electronics, but sleep is one of the most important functions to keep you healthy. If you’re looking for ways to improve your sleep habits read on for tips to sleep better at night.

 

  1. Increase your bright light exposure during the day. This helps your body’s circadian rhythm and know when it is time to be awake and time for sleep. Studies have shown people with insomnia who increased their daytime light exposure found themselves sleeping better at night. If you find yourself constantly inside during the day, try taking breaks and spending some time outside. You can also try sitting by a window during your day. If none of these options are possible for you, try brightening your work environment with light blubs and lamps.
  2. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. While exposure to light is good during the day, in the evening it has the reverse effect. Blue light is immitted from our smartphones, computers, electronic devices, etc. To reduce your exposure to blue light you can do a few things to better your nighttime routine.
    1. Wear glasses that block the blue lights.
    2. Install an app that will block blue lights on your phone.
    3. Use “nighttime mode” on phones, tablets, etc.
    4. Stop watching TV and turn off bright lights two hours before sleep.
  3. Try to sleep and wake at consistent times. Your body’s circadian rhythm is set on a loop. Staying consistent with your waking and sleeping times better helps your sleep quality in the long run. Studies have shown that staying up later on the weekends ruins your rhythm and you could be at risk for poor sleep.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol nightly. Drinking a couple drinks per night can negatively effect your hormones and sleep pattern. It also alters your nighttime melatonin production which plays a key role in your body’s ability to tell itself its ready to go to sleep.
  5. Reduce long or irregular naps. Short “cap naps” have been proven to be beneficial, but long, irregular naps in the day can effect your ability to sleep at night. Daytime sleeping can confuse your body’s internal clock, making it difficult later on. You may also find yourself more sleepy after a long nap during the day, which can ruin your productivity for the rest of the day and possibly worse sleep at night.

 

There are many ways to insure a better sleep at night, but using these tips could set you on the path for a more restful sleep tonight!

Types of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has been practiced for ages. Documents show physical therapy being practiced in 460 BC by Hippocrates when he introduced the idea of manual manipulation for pain relief. It has since grown from more of a massage type practice then, to multiple different types you see in modern day physical therapy, today. Physical therapy has advanced and grown over the years to the many types you may or may not know about.

 

Geriatric Physical Therapy

As people age the need for routine physical therapy may grow with them. Getting older can be tough on the Skelton and muscles. When the body is younger, you may compensate for pains or things such as bad posture, but as you get older those problems become harder to ignore. Misuse of the body may also increase the need for physical therapy as you age. Your muscles become weaker and you may not be able to compensate for the way you were previous living. Physical therapy can help fix or reverse pain and damage. It is safe, effective and less stressful than surgeries or medication.

 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

This type of physical therapy may be on you are familiar with. This type is designed to help you and your body recover after a surgery to strengthen your muscles that you injured. You may be surprised by the positive effects that physical therapy has on the body. Whether the injury is old, reoccurring or rebuilding strength after a surgery, therapy can target key muscle groups to get you back to your healthy self.

 

Neurological Physical Therapy

Problems with your neurological system such as: spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, brain injuries or cerebral palsy all strike at the nervous system. The nervous system is how your brain controls your body. Most of these disorders are chronic which mean they are unlikely to be healed completely, but physical therapy can have a great positive impact on life with these disorders. Therapists can teach small therapeutic exercises which can make the effects on muscles and movement become more manageable.

 

Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy has a main goal about building independence if you have a serious problem with your heart or circulation. These problems could include: heart attacks or pulmonary fibrosis and therapy can help you grow strength in target muscles to help improve your endurance.

 

Physical therapy includes all these and more. If you think physical therapy may be right for you call our office to talk about your pain and options.

Elderly women with physical therapist

Goals of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is sought out for many different reasons, but may have the same end goals in mind. Physical therapy is often the first choice when feeling aches and pains and could be the answer for nagging pain without big surgeries, or constant medication. People see a physical therapists for all types of reasons with the same goal of your relief, often in mind.

Rehabilitation and recovery may be the end goal for you physical therapy visits. Regardless of the reasons that led you to physical therapy, the thought of finally feeling relief is at the top of your mind. Regular visits to your physical therapist will help achieve this. PT will improve your pain or movement restrictions. If prescribed to do so- seek out a physical therapist so you too can feel freedom of your pain.

Prevention of injury may be another goal when visiting your local physical therapy office. While this is a seemingly broad group of people, athletes and people who live an active lifestyle tend to be the ones who have this on their mind. By practicing and learning movement in the proper form can prevent injuries and physical longevity can be improved. Treatment for this can include dynamic stretching and resistance training. Here at Contact Physical Therapy we have therapists who specialize in sports therapy and can get yourself or your young athlete ready for his or her upcoming sports season.

Optimal function and movement of the human body is another goal of those who see a physical therapist. People consider this when they are feeling pain when doing normal tasks such as walking, bending, etc. Physical therapy can help get their bodies back to a normal function without pain. Treatment is personalized, based on the person’s goal. This can even be led to living a healthier lifestyle and become able to improve the longevity of athletic activities.

Finally, prescribing a personalized plan for your individual needs to keep you active and free of pain is a goal of physical therapy. After an assessment of your pain or what you would like to achieve while visiting a physical therapist, he or she will discuss with you a plan to accomplish this. Some plans may take longer than others and require your help out of the office. Most of your daily life is not spent inside a physical therapy office and the therapist will teach you proper ways to move and heal to avoid further injuring yourself or future injuries.

If any of these issues are threatening your way of life, it may be time to seek physical therapy so you too can have freedom of pain and a healthy lifestyle. As always, consult your doctor to see if physical therapy may be the right treatment for you.

Young female runner warming up

Tips for Working Out in the Heat

The summer temperatures are starting to really heat things up. Is this effecting your workout routine? There are many ways to keep your fitness consistent despite the rising thermometer with tips for working out in the heat.

Staying healthy all year round is important to maintain a consistent lifestyle for your overall health. Avoiding any “yoyo-ing” effects in your weight and health is often advised. Many people say: summer bodies are made in the winter, but what about when the heat gets cranked up and the thought of your outdoor run becomes exhausting to even think about? Follow these tips when working out in the summer to keep you healthy all year long.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated: It is important to not only drink water while working out, but downing the H2O before and all day after. With the rising temps, there is a greater risk for dehydration.

 

  1. Stay cool while you sweat: If your plan on working out outside, in the sun, invest in a cooling towel. Before you start your workout, get it wet, ring it out and put it behind your neck to keep you cool. This will help keep your blood at a lower temperature, in turn keep you cooler for longer.

 

  1. Think about your clothing: Wear clothing that is moister wicking, loose or less than what you would wear in cooler temps. Summer is not the time to run in a sweatshirt with hopes of extra detoxing and weight loss.

 

  1. Know when it’s too hot: Keep an eye on upcoming temperatures when you plan on taking your workout outside. If there are any heat warnings, switch up your workout to stay indoors. Also avoid working out in the hottest part of the day which may mean getting up earlier or working out later. Now is not the time to push yourself. You know your body best and when it is simply too hot, change your plan.

 

  1. Embrace your vacation workouts: Heading north or to the beach? Take advantage of getting out of the desert and take your workout outside then. Find a path lined with pines or run near the water for cooler temps. Make sure you have a plan and know where you’re going when you’re in an unfamiliar place.

 

  1. Brush up on your in-home workouts: On the days where the temperatures are just too brutal, open up your internet and find a workout you can do in your living room. Many blogs have full workouts that require little to no equipment and can be done in small places.

 

Don’t let the summer heat ruin your workout plans. You can stay healthy in the heat with few tips or small changes that will keep you happy and healthy. Remember to drink water and allow time to cool off after your workouts!

Healthy Couple on Vacation

Staying Healthy While on Vacation

Finally, sweet summertime has arrived. Temperatures are rising, and beaches are calling. You may have spent a lot of time to prep your health and body for your summertime vacation, but you don’t have to throw away all that hard work for nothing. Find out how you can stay healthy while on vacation. Stay on track this summer and come back feeling just as good as when you left.

 

  1. Resist the Urge to Splurge while eating out. Usually while on vacation most of your meals are eaten at a restaurant. Pick which times you would like to indulge in a high fat, rich meal and try healthier choices for other meals. Often times, on vacation you may stay in a hotel which means no refrigerator for leftovers and results in eating a much larger portion than needed.
  2. Everything in Moderation. You are on vacation, so live a little. Don’t deprive yourself and when you’re craving chocolate cake, have a bite so the next time you get offered dessert you don’t go crazy and eat the whole cake. Think about moderation and if you’re eating for pleasure and hunger and not boredom.
  3. Walking is huge. Take a stroll after dinner. Walk to breakfast. Keep moving so when you’re indulging in a delicious dish, you won’t feel as guilty.
  4. Drink Plenty of water. While water should always be consumed, sometimes you forget to keep up with your intake while on vacation. Traveling can be dehydrating as well as soaking up the sun. You may feel more encouraged to order tropical drinks with your meals, and cocktails and water is usually not on your mind. Keep up your water consumption by bringing water with you everywhere you go and drink a glass at each meal along with your other drinks.
  5. Stay Active. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to your rigorous workout routine, but take a little bit of time each day to get your heart rate up and get moving. This could be swimming in the ocean for 10 extra minutes or playing catch on the beach. If you feel like waking up and working out while on vacation, then definitely go for it!
  6. Skip the elevators. Whenever possible take the stairs. Your room is on the third floor? Think about how many extra steps you’ll take each time you run up to the room for the forgotten sunscreen and book.

 

This summer while enjoying your vacation, you can still stay on track and come back to your routine with ease instead of sudden shock. Small changes can go almost unnoticed on your vacation to keep you happy and healthy.

5 Tips for Eating Healthy in the New Year

With the new years comes the new year resolutions. Every year we make promise ourselves we will hit the gym more, eat healthier, and better our daily routines. What often happens with these resolutions is they fall to the side when life comes in and we don’t have a set plan for how to accomplish our resolutions we thought long and hard about. So, here are five tips to stay on track with healthy eating in the new year!

 

  1. Up your fiber intake. Chances are, you aren’t getting enough fiber in your daily life. The average American only gets 14g of fiber per day which can be less than half of the recommended daily intake! Adding more fiber into your diet can help you slim down, prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. You can find fibers in grains, berries and other fiber rich foods! Fiber can also keep you fuller for longer so no more late night hunger spikes!
  2. Eat more vegetables. Piling on the veggies will be a wonder for your waistline. Adding veggies into your meal will allow you to fill up on nutrient rich foods instead of the bad stuff. Adding a salad before your meal will make you feel less hungry once you get to your main course, keeping yourself from over indulging! You can also add your veggies in your morning smoothie. Many vegetables like: spinach, zucchini and mushrooms can go unnoticed and pack a powerful punch of your daily recommended serving!
  3. Cook at home often. When you cook your own food, not only do you know exactly what goes into it, you appreciate your meals more. So, hop onto Pintrest and whip up something you have been craving! With all the food blogs out there, there is a healthy hack for about every recipe! Have fun with experimenting with new things!
  4. Eat more Omeg-3s. Upping the amount of omega-3s will help keep your blood pressure down and also has been studied to improve your mood. Omega-3’s can be found in seafood and have the good kind of fats! Try to eat two servings of fish per week. If you’re not into seafood add some flax into your smoothies!
  5. Hold the sugar. Get your sweet fix with fruit or try other natural sweeteners such as honey or agave, steering away from refined, processed white sugar. Going on a 30 day sugar detox can help reset the body from craving the sticky stuff! Keeping sweet stuff out of the house can better help you control your sugar intake, so try to stay clear of the donut and candy aisle at the grocery store.

 

Staying on track can be the hardest part of your new years resolutions, but a few small steps can make the task seem more manageable. Take each day one at a time and before you know it your new healthy habits will be second nature.