We love when patients bring in their furry four legged friends!
Dogg Walking Has Psychological Benefits For You
Get the leash! Walking a dog is not only good exercise. It’s also great therapy, based on a raft of recent studies. Below are six psychological benefits of taking Fido for a stroll.
Boosting exercise motivation
You know how some people are better about making doctor’s appointments or cooking healthy meals for a loved one than for themselves? By the same token, some find that going for regular walks is easier when done for the sake of a four-legged friend(link is external). If you’re the type of person who tends to be highly conscientious and focused on others, your dog’s need for exercise may help propel you out the door day after day, in fair weather and foul(link is external).
If you’re a dog lover, spending time with your pet can be a powerful antidote to stress. Research has shown that being around a dog can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol(link is external) and dampen other physiological stress responses. The effect is so strong that service dogs are sometimes used to help war veterans manage PTSD(link is external). Know what else is a proven stress reliever? Physical activity. When you combine these two things in dog walking, you’ve got a double-strength stress remedy.
Guarding your brain
Dog owners who walk their dogs get more total physical activity(link is external), on average, than those who don’t. Plus, they reap other rewards, such as less stress, which may also improve their health. So it’s no surprise that researchers have found a link between having a canine pal and possessing a healthier circulatory system. In 2013, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement(link is external), which says: “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with decreased [cardiovascular disease] risk.” That includes a lower risk for stroke, a leading cause of disabling brain injury.
Connecting with nature
When you walk a dog, you’re bound to go outdoors, and you may start spending more time in parks and on trails. Studies show that getting out into nature can help restore your attention when it starts to flag. It can also increase your sense of well-being(link is external), especially if you’re attuned to the natural beauty around you.
If your dog likes to walk, you can count on always having an enthusiastic walking buddy. That companionship not only makes walking more enjoyable. It may also reduce loneliness when your human relationships aren’t going so well. In one clever study(link is external), college students were asked to write about a time when they felt excluded—an activity designed to make them feel rejected. Then they were asked to write about their favorite pet, write about their best friend or draw a map of campus. Thinking about a pet was just as effective as thinking about a friend for staving off feelings of rejection.
Building community spirit
Dog walking is a great excuse to explore your community and strike up conversations with your neighbors. In a study of more than 800 people(link is external) over 50, those who walked a dog at least four times per week were more likely to report feeling a strong sense of community, compared to people who didn’t own a dog. They were also more likely to spend at least 150 minutes per week walking in their neighborhood.
In short, by taking your dog for a walk, you may be boosting your own health andhappiness. Let the heeling begin!
“Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.”
5 Fall Foods to Fight Allergies
It’s no secret that Austin is the allergy capital of the country, and Ragweed season is no joke. However, instead of hiding out in your house for the next few weeks, try combatting the pollen from the inside-out by loading up on these seasonal veggies:
This one is a double threat–it’s loaded with allergy-relieving Vitamin D, and it’s also a member crucifer family which can be good for clearing out blocked sinuses. Packing about 80mg of Vitamin C per cup, this veggie is a must for lunches AND dinners!
Like broccoli, this is another member of the crucifer family. It’s loaded with Vitamin A which is thought to relieve allergy symptoms. Drizzle it with some olive oil, a light dressing, and a few of your favorite salad toppings for a healthy lunch!
These fibrous veggies have high cartenoid content, which is great for battling allergies. They can take some patience to cook, but the pay-off is worth the wait! Tip: Instead of throwing out the cooking water, try adding it to some soup or use it to cook rice. A lot of the vitamins from the greens will leach out into the water, giving you double the nutrients.
Onions and Garlic
Both onions and garlic contain quercetin, which fights allergies by acting like an antihistamine. Quercetin has been known to calm small allergic inflammations like a stuffy nose. Rather than curing a severe case of allergies, garlic and onions are most effective for warding off symptoms.
This fall favorite, though technically a fruit, is another one packed full of cartenoids for warding off allergies. Though it is most popular in desserts, this gourd can be quite versatile when it comes to savory main dishes. Do your own research and don’t be afraid to get creative this season. Try something new: pumpkin turkey chili, pumpkin and avocado soup, even pumpkin lasagna! The possibilities are endless.
Each October, the American Chiropractic Association focuses on different aspects of the health benefits of chiropractic. This year is all about creating a pain free nation without prescription painkillers.
“Numerous recent studies have shown the dangerous over-reliance in the United States on prescription painkillers that simply mask the pain, but do not cure it.”
Visit the ACA website to learn more about chiropractic’s drug-free approach to health.
Improve Your Workstation!
As summer vacations come to a close, it can be tough to get back into the swing of long 8 hour work days. Sitting for long hours at a desk, especially with poor posture, can have a lasting negative effect on your spine resulting in back pain or discomfort.
The most important thing to remember when sitting at your desk all day is to give your body some movement. Try these ideas:
*Take walking breaks. Set a timer on your phone to go off every hour or so, and take a 2-5 minute walk. Get coworkers together for accountability. See if you can rope some others into walking with you on your breaks!
*Ask for a standing desk. When possible, working at a standing desk is often a much better option for your body than a sitting desk.
*Stretch it out. Find some neck and shoulder stretches you can do while sitting at your desk. We have a worksheet for some great desk stretches–ask us about it on your next appointment!
The Essentials of Sleep
We should spend over one third of our lives sleeping, but many don’t understand the significance or importance of getting a good night’s rest. Sleep is an integral part of the wellness lifestyle. With summer winding down and school starting again, make it your goal to begin the year well rested by following these easy tips:
Skip the afternoon pick-me-up Caffeine is the culprit for countless cases of insomnia. Try staying away from beverages such as black tea, coffee, or soda at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. Remember, even “decaf” has small amounts of caffeine!
Unplug before bedtime There are cells in the eyes that can affect the ability to fall asleep by registering whether it’s night or day. These cells cannot differentiate between natural and artificial light, so watching TV or staring at your phone right before bed could be the reason you are unable to fall asleep. Try eliminating these light sources at least an hour before bedtime.
Rely on your internal clock A regular sleep schedule is conducive to a good night’s rest. Going to bed and waking up around the same time each day will help support your internal clock. When your body says it’s time to sleep, listen to it!