Simple changes can boost your health

Posted September 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

Feeling a little off? Regardless of your age or fitness level, there are steps you can take every day to feel and perform your best.

“Many Americans ignore their pain and fatigue,” says Dr. Keith Overland, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “But just like world-class athletes who constantly search for ways to optimize their game, we can do better. Start with simple changes that promote greater health and wellness. You’ll feel better now and avoid bigger problems down the line.”

In honor of National Chiropractic Health Month, observed in October, ACA encourages Americans to “Find Your Game” by taking simple steps to promote optimal functioning:

• Get moving: Americans are more sedentary today than in the past. Lack of exercise can atrophy muscles and contribute to obesity, arthritis and other problems. You don’t have to train like an Olympian, just aim for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three to four days a week.

• Stretch daily: Improving flexibility is crucial to avoiding injury. Make a habit of stretching your major muscle groups each morning.

• Don’t work through pain: The earlier an injury is treated, the sooner healing can begin. Masking injuries with painkillers to get back into action before you’re healed could worsen your original injury and lead to a chronic condition. Treat the cause of pain, not the symptom. Chiropractic physicians can treat many injuries and enable healing to occur—without drugs or surgery.

• Outfit your feet: Think function when shopping for shoes used for exercise and walking long distances. The wrong shoes or worn-out shoes can cause pain throughout the body. A doctor of chiropractic can help you determine your arch type, match it to your gait and advise you on the best footwear.

• Eat right: Even a few simple changes in diet can have a positive impact on your health. Limit red meat and excessive quantities of sugar and salt. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Consider consulting a health care professional to determine what supplements are right for you.

• Recharge: If you feel fatigued often, get more sleep. Instead of revitalizing with soft drinks or coffee, try a glass of pomegranate juice and a brisk walk. Have your B12 and iron levels checked at least once a year for deficiencies. Lean meats, nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables can help put some pep in your step.

• Get the right stuff: From baby slings to telephones, small consumer choices can have a big impact on your well-being. Shop for products designed with the comfort of your neck and back in mind. If your job is causing you pain, talk to your employer about replacing your equipment with ergonomic models.

For more health tips, or to find a chiropractic physician near you, visit www.ChiroHealthy.com.

There’s no need to live on life’s sidelines. With a few key changes, you can feel and perform your best.