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Your Carbohydrate Companion: A Primer

It's not much of a secret that carbohydrates are quite the controversial subject these days. Ketogenic diet enthusiasts aim to cut most carbs out of their diet completely, shying away from bread, sugary drinks, pastries, etc., for instance.

The primary purpose of carbohydrates in your diet is to translate into energy. Carbohydrates (most of them anyway) are turned into glucose or broken down. Glucose can be used as energy and leftover carbs can be turned into fat stored for later use. Therein lies the controversy.

Let's remember that not all carbs are created equal here.

Think about it this way: when you come across carbohydrates in their natural form (which will be rich in fiber), they are likely going to be healthy for you. Think of single-ingredient foods here. 

Good Carbs

The carbs that are good for you will come from vegetables (all veggies, actually), whole fruits (especially apples and bananas), legumes (lentils, beans, etc.), seeds, whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.), as well as tubers (sweet potatoes).

Bad Carbs

Carbs you'll want to avoid are the processed kind, which are low in essential nutrients, which equals bad for your metabolic health. White bread is an example of this. You'll also want to avoid soda pop, fruit juices, ice cream, pastries, candies, french fries, and potato chips.

Keep in mind that each person is different. When it comes to carbs, some may thrive on low carb diets while others may thrive on plenty of carbs. Do what works for you! If you have any lingering questions about your diet and are looking for ways to optimize your health, contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule your consultation.

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Chiropractic Care for Golfers

Though golf doesn't really come to mind when people think about sports that are hard on the body, golfers experience a significant amount of wear and tear, especially when driving the ball. Below are a few ways that chiropractic care can help treat a hard day at the links.

Avoid Injury

Chiropractic care is great for helping reduce the chances of sustaining an injury, even for golfers. Spinal adjustments improve the body's functionality and ensure that the body is operating at optimum capacity. 

Reduce Chronic Pain

Many golfers experience injuries that stay with them, resulting in chronic pain. Chiropractic treatments are aimed at treating the root of the problem, not simply masking symptoms with drugs. Chiropractic care is the drug-free pain relief option.

Heal From Injury Faster

When you see an experienced chiropractor after experiencing an injury, they'll help adjust your spine, not to mention work on your joints as well as the surrounding tissue which might be experiencing pain or tension. Chiropractic care addresses the entire body as a whole, helping you heal from injury faster.

Increased Range of Motion and Mobility

Chiropractic care has been shown to improve mobility and increase range of motion. What golfer doesn't want that? Mobility and flexibility are two of the major components of the game, after all. Stiff joints and a weak spine can certainly increase chances of sustaining an injury, too.

Keeping a chiropractic treatment schedule will help your game in a number of ways. Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to learn more.

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Running Tips that Will Save Your Back

Patients with back issues often get their problems as a result from either being active or not being active enough. Though the patients we see are a little more likely due to sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, we also see many runners who experience lower back and joint pain.

Studies on former elite athletes from various sports discovered that lower back pain tended to be less of a problem for top-notch athletes (with higher-intensity training methods) than the general population. When research has honed in on running in particular, there's been little evidence linking running to lower back pain any more than other strenuous sports.

It's All About Form

One area to focus on is to improve running technique and range of motion. Many runners out there skimp on form and just focus on getting the mileage in by any means necessary, sacrificing their form, which can add undue pressure to your joints. Just like walking with good posture, running with your back straight is also necessary. Try to incorporate your leg muscles as much as possible and try to land on your feet evenly on the ball of your foot and your heel, in an arc-like fashion.

Working on mobility and flexibility will help, not to mention incorporating a stretch routine (more importantly after you run). Before you run, try to work on your range of motion with leg swings, mule kicks, warm-up routines like this. Save the stretching for after your run and a cool down walk.

Work on Your Core and Leg Strength

Strengthening your core and strengthening your legs will help you incorporate these muscles into your running, so you're more in control, which will also help you avoid injury, especially if you're running on uneven terrain -- which, even city streets can often throw these a runner's way.

Contact Your Neighborhood Chiropractor

Optimal Health & Wellness Center specializes in chiropractic services both for those who experience injury and those who would like to avoid injury. Chiropractic care is a great way to adjust after daily wear and tear, including your training routine. We're here to keep you active. Schedule your consultation today!

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3 Healthy New Years Resolution Ideas

At Optimal Health & Wellness we provide services that treat the patient inside and out. We offer drug-free solutions that help our patients live their very best lives. As the New Year begins, many of us make resolutions that will help us make progress and grow throughout the year.

Below are a few ideas for New Year's resolutions that will help you stay healthy and well.

1.) Learn a New Skill

This might have to do with the workplace, or it might have to do with your fitness routine. You can take that kickboxing class you've been meaning to start up, or you can join that yoga group 3 days a week. No matter what you decide, it is a worthy endeavor to start something new and get better at it.

2.) Lose that Extra Weight

If you're not at your ideal body weight, then now is the time to shed those extra pounds. It doesn't matter if you intend to lose 5 or 40 pounds, getting rid of excess body fat will reduce overall wear and tear on your joints and will help reduce the pressure put on your back and spine.

3.) Visit Your Chiropractor

By visiting a chiropractor near you a few times a year, you'll experience a multitude of health benefits. It's great for your joints, for your neck and spine, not to mention for stress relief. Chiropractic also has neurological benefits as well.

Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule your consultation. Here's to a happy and healthy 2019!

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Quick, Easy Rundown on Proper Lifting Technique

Optimal Health & Wellness Center would like to take a timeout to talk about proper lifting technique. It's that time of year when some of us may be springing for some sizeable gifts that, when lifting, might put undue stress on the back. Please read on to learn the proper ways to lift so you don't end up becoming a real Scrooge this holiday season.

Remember Your Base

You always want to keep a wide support base. Feet should always be no less than shoulder-width apart. You can leave one foot slightly ahead of the other (think MMA stance).

Lift with Your Legs

Don't make the mistake of bending down and lifting with your back. Instead, squat down and let your legs do most of the work. Make sure to bend at your hips and knees -- not at your back.

Keep Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is crucial when displaying proper lifting technique. Make sure that you're looking ahead and that your back is straight. Push your chest out and push your shoulders back. Make sure that you maintain a slight arch in your lower back.

When you get the lift done, make sure that you hold whatever you're lifting as close to your body as humanly possible. Hold it at belly button level. Make sure that you take small steps when transporting whatever you're lifting.

If you end up getting your back, neck, or spine out of whack due to some improper lifting technique, we're always here to help. Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule your consultation.

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