All posts by Andrea

healthy eating for the holidays

Healthy Eating During the Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, it can be difficult not to over-indulge during holiday parties and gatherings. While indulging a little is perfectly acceptable, remembering to be mindful of our habits and health is also important.

Here are some tips to consider during this holiday season:

  1. Eat regularly. Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day can help manage hunger and temptation. Plan and prepare your meals and snacks in advance with healthy options.  Skipping meals, for example, can in fact lead to over-indulging later in the day.
  1. Portion sizes. Eat in moderation and smaller portions. Due to the hustle and bustle, it may be more challenging to be mindful and eat slowly during meals. Try eating smaller portions, but more frequently (depending on hunger).
  1. Pay attention to what you drink. Often we only pay attention to the food we consume, without minding our beverages. However, what we drink can be even more important than what we eat. For example, some traditional holiday specials such as eggnog, alcohol and punch can be high in sugar. Consider other options such as water, soda water or herbal teas. Otherwise, simply be mindful and consume in moderation when possible.
  1. When dining out, come ready with a plan. Dining out with friends and family can be a great time to reconnect over food and laughter. Fortunately, most restaurants now have their menus available online for customers to consult. Check out the menu in advance and decide what to order. Restaurants are open to adapt to dietary requirements, so do not be afraid to ask for foods to be baked, grilled, roasted, or steamed.
  1. MoveYou can’t out-run a poor diet, but exercise and physical activity can help manage stress, cravings and over-indulgence during the holiday season. There is no need to wait until January to start moving, start today.

Making good choices over the holidays doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the fun, or avoid treats, it simply means staying mindful and moderating the choices you make.

For more info on nutrition and healthy living contact a UWS chiropractor today!

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Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

Each year the holidays seem to come earlier and earlier, bringing with them the stresses and strains of holiday shopping. Local shops have had decorations up for weeks and now “Black Friday” starts at 8pm on Thanksgiving — Are you ready for the holiday shopping challenge?

The human body has the capacity to handle a little more stress and activity than normal, but the extreme pressures and stress the holidays add a lot more and our bodies have a hard time adapting. These added demands can stress our bodies to maximum capacity and we need to do everything we can to help ourselves. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about.

Treat Holiday Shopping as an Athletic Event

  • Stay Hydrated! Drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. (Coffee, tea, sodas and alcohol are dehydrators. And are NOT substitutes for water).
  • Be sure to stretch before and after a long day of shopping. When you are stressed-out, your muscles are less flexible than usual.
  • Wear proper shoes. Cushioned soles that absorb the impact of walking on hard surfaces are best.
  • Make sure your clothes are comfortable. Layers are a good idea if you’re going from a cold environment to a warm environment.
  • Leave your purse at home. Wear a light fanny pack, or if necessary, a light backpack instead. Only bring essential items.

Plan Frequent Breaks

  • During a heavy shopping day, be sure to take a short break every 45 minutes.
  • Plan trips to your car to reduce the load you’re carrying. Don’t carry more than necessary.
  • Keep food light. Burgers and fries can weigh you down (in more ways than one) – Fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your energy up.
  • Skip the coffee break! Coffee and sodas contain caffeine and sugar, which add even more stress to your body. Stick to water.

Shopping with Children

  • If at all possible, DO NOT bring children along. Most kids simply do not have the stamina for such an event, and you and your child will only become frustrated with one another.
  • Don’t add unnecessary stress if you can avoid it.
  • Split up “child duty” with a spouse or another parent.

Wrapping Your Gifts

There is no “ideal” position for wrapping gifts. Just remember to vary your positions as much as possible.

  • Try standing at a table/countertop for one package, sitting on a bed for the next, and a comfy chair for another.
  • Don’t wrap packages while sitting on the floor. This can wreak havoc on your posture and should be avoided.
  • Always stretch before and after you wrap gifts.

 

Relax and enjoy the holidays!

Happy Holidays from everyone at Universal Wellness Source!

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How Cold Weather Impacts Your Bod

How Cold Weather Impacts Your Body

As the weather gets colder, you may experience more aches and pains, and even feel like your muscles are stiffer. This is more evident for people who work outside, or individuals with certain ailments. The cold weather can increase the risk of suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and can even increase the intensity of certain conditions.

How Can the Cold Weather Impact Us?

If you live with an arthritic condition you might find that your symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather conditions, which can keep you away from doing the activities you enjoy. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes, which may worsen symptoms.

Even without any specific conditions, most of us are very aware of how our bodies feel and move when we are cold – we may move slower and walk around when our muscles are tense and stiff. This can result in soreness that we may not experience otherwise. For those who work outside, be conscious of your working conditions. Feeling warm, safe and comfortable is important as heavy lifting and overexertion can increase risk of injury in colder temperatures.

Here are a few things that can be done to prevent stiffness and MSK-related injuries during the winter months:

  • Maintain an active lifestyle – make sure you are doing some form of physical activity to exercise your muscles and joints
  • Dress warmly – wear proper clothing to keep your body warm and protected from the cold
  • Wear proper boots that are waterproof and warm, and have good threads to prevent falls
  • Wear a warm hat – keeping your head warm reduces the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.
  • Do not stay out in the cold for too long – if you work outside, move indoor during your breaks if possible.

The winter months shouldn’t keep you from doing the things you love, or keep you indoors in pain. Keep active and dress warmly, and you may be able to minimize the aches and pains of the season. Your chiropractor can also help you manage your condition-related pain during the winter months, and help you prevent MSK conditions if you work outdoors.

For more information contact one of our expert chiropractor.

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