On Your Feet Britain Day – Stand Up to Your Right to Good Health!

Did you know that sitting down for more than 4 hours a day can put you at greater risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer?

That’s without the added pressure you’re putting on your spine!

But it’s not just our chiropractors here in Southend who are making a stand against sitting down; the nation is also at it! The 29th April is On Your Feet Britain day where people all across the UK will implement simple changes in their day to sit less and stand more!

Are you going to join in and stand up to your right to good health?

The changes you make on the 29th April could be as simple as walking to the shop instead of driving, standing up to take a meeting or going for a stroll instead of sitting in the canteen during your lunch break. These changes may be small but they may just be the start of positive habits that will go on to improve your health and reduce your risk of developing many serious conditions.

Go on, give it a go!

You can find out more details about On Your Feet Britain day here: http://www.getbritainstanding.org/

Good luck!

The Queen at 90 looks amazing; what’s her secret? Walking.

active ageing advice from cliffs chiropractor southendArif Soomro, founder of Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic in Essex, and Chiropractor of the Year, has analysed the Queen’s posture and says that everyone would improve their health and wellbeing if they took a leaf from her book and walked.

There aren’t many men and women who are working full time in their 80s, let alone their 90s, so it’s fair to say that Queen Elizabeth is an inspiration to all ages. But if I was to compare her outward appearance and energy levels to someone half her age, she’d come out on top.

After a lifetime of state dinners and chauffeur-driven cars, the Queen at 90 could look significantly different, but she doesn’t have diabetes, isn’t overweight or arthritic and is rarely ill. Before I’m accused of ignoring her privilege and considerable wealth, I don’t believe money and access to the best clinicians in the world have played any part in her obvious vitality. Our Queen is, quite simply, living proof that our lifestyle choices determine our future health. The biggest single factor that has contributed to her majesty’s excellent physical condition is, quite simply, walking.

We all know that walking’s good for us and that it’s the cheapest and easiest way to stay fit, but it has many other benefits: it’s a low impact exercise; it aids lymphatic drainage, which relies on body movement (unlike our blood, which is pumped around by our heart); the muscle contractions in the legs help the return flow of lymph up the legs towards the chest, taking waste products with it and improving fat metabolism; and, for every mile the average person walks, the spine will move to and fro 10,000 times, which prevents a stiff back.

What keeps the Queen looking younger than her years, is her posture. She doesn’t stoop which comes from standing tall, with her shoulders back and down, at all times. An open posture means you can breathe deeply, allowing more oxygen to circulate around the body which, in turn, makes you feel and look more energetic

The royal family is no stranger to chiropractic. Prince Charles has long been an advocate of complementary medicine and supported the state registration of chiropractic in the 90s and Diana, Princess of Wales was patron of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, the largest chiropractic college in Europe, where I trained with Melanie, who co-founded Cliffs with me. Melanie is also Chiropractor of the Year.

I couldn’t complete this article without mentioning food! As we age we need to modify what we eat because our bodies don’t need as many calories to carry out functions; less meat and more vegetables would be a good start. As our calorific needs decrease, our ageing cells need more nutrients and that’s where supplements come in; try calcium, vitamin D3, magnesium, omega 3 and co enzyme Q10.

We may not all be able to emulate the Queen’s healthy habits, but we can wish her a Happy 90th Birthday. Here’s to the next 10!

Inside the Incredible Body of a Marathon Runner!

Once again this year, tens of thousands of runners will face the ultimate physical challenge as they pound the streets of London during the grueling 26 mile marathon.   Widely recognised as an enormous physical achievement, marathon runners commit to many tough months of training to equip them to the finish line.

But what  are these runners really doing to their bodies as they run for hours one end? Our team at Cliffs Chiropractors have stumbled across some interesting facts:

1: Marathon Runners Shed Weight During a Race

It is common for marathon runners to lose between 2-5 kg in weight during the course of the race.  As this is lost through fluid, runners need to replace the weight by drinking 500ml of fluid per hour during after the event.

2: Marathon Runners Shrink

This may surprise you but the majority of marathon runners will finish the race a little bit shorter than when they started out (around 2 cm). This is said to be due to loss of fluid between the spine’s intervertebral discs. However, this reduction in height is short lived (excuse the pun!) and runners soon return to their normal height around 24 hours after stopping running.

3: Marathon Runners Have Better Hearing

The circulation to a runner’s ears is improved during marathon training. This can provide a greater supply of nutrients which helps to preserve hearing.

4:  Marathon Runners May Damage Blood Vessels

Each stride taken during a marathon creates excess pressure on the tiny blood vessels in a runner’s feet. This results in a reduction in oxygen-carrying blood cells, known as hemoglobin. That’s why it is so important for marathon runners to rest and consume iron-rich foods in the days after the event.

5:Marathon Runners Lose Toenails

With the average marathon runner taking more than 30,000 strides during a race, uit’s hardy surprising their toes get a hammering! The high intensity training that marathon runners endure can also cause the toenails to blacken and eventually fall off!

6: Marathon Runners Burn Less Than 3000 Calories!

A marathon uses around 2800 calories – far less than many people would assume!  As glycogen (the body’s source of activity fuel) becomes depleted during a marathon, runners are advised to replace this with 0.5g of carbohydrates for every pound they weigh.

7: Marathon Runners Get “The Sniffles”

Many runners report the sudden onset of “the sniffles” while running for long periods outdoors. This is known as “exercise-induced rhinitis” (or “runner’s hay fever”). The increased mucus is thought to be caused by excess air being inhaled as a runner’s breathing rate increased. Very cool and dry hair is also believed to worsen the symptoms.

The physical reactions of the human body are incredible, don’t you think?

All the staff at Cliffs Chiropractic wish everyone taken part in this year’s London marathon the very best of luck.

National Gardening Week – Keep Your Back Health in Full Bloom!

The sunnier weather will soon be upon us and that means pulling out our green fingers and getting our gardens looking all pretty and perfect in time for the summer. But while visions of lazy hazy summer days may get us all motivated to put our gardening gloves on, we must be mindful to protect our backs in the process. With National Gardening Week starting on the 11th April, our team of Southend chiropractors have compiled a list of handy tips to keep both your garden and your back health in full bloom this Spring:

1: Weed Carefully

Instead of resting on your knees to weed, use a stool to sit on to protect your spine, knees and hips. Remember to keep your back straight when you’re sitting on the stool – even when you lean forward to get to the weeds!

2: Take Care When Digging

To avoid injuring your back through twisting, keep your body in alignment with the direction of the shovel and turn your whole body when you start digging a new area. This advice should also be followed when dumping dirt from a shovel. Yes, it may seem easier to twist rather than moving your body in a half circle, but excessive or awkward twisting can be damaging on your spine and could cause a painful injury.

3: Be Sensible When Lifting Heavy Items

The first rule here is; if something feels too heavy for you to lift, leave it alone! Don’t attempt to lift anything beyond your capability and always arrange for help if you think you are going to struggle. When you do lift a heavy item, bend from your hips and knees instead of your spine and keep your back straight when lifting. Rushing is the indirect cause of many gardening injuries, so take your time and properly plan before you start lugging heavy items around. It may add a few moments to your workload, but it will certainly reduce the risk of you developing a painful injury with potentially long term symptoms.

Stop what you are doing if back pain develops or worsens during gardening and contact your GP for advice if pain or symptoms persist.

Get your Mind Back in Bloom for Spring!

With the winter months now behind us, many people will be spring cleaning their homes ready for the sunnier season. But what about cleansing our minds at the same time? According to our top chiropractor in Southend, a mental ‘spring clean’ can be a great way to clear our minds, get rid of those nasty habits that create negativity and get us positively focused on the things we want to achieve.

Our chiropractor has three simple tips to get your mind in full bloom this spring:

1: Meditate

If you can, try and spend five minutes in an area of nature every day to help move your mind away from the hustle bustle of daily life.

2: Remove Negativity

Appoint a “moan free” day of the week where you make an extra effort to see things from a positive perspective. Tell your family and work colleagues and ask them to join you – positivity is contagious, after all!

3: Take Part in Brain-Nourishing Activities

Consider doing something that will stretch your way of thinking. Visiting an art gallery, joining a class or learning a new language or all great ways to refresh and reignite your mind.

To book an appointment with our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend on 01702 430430.