Nothing Could Be Easier Then This 2 Minute Fix

 

Business People Tired

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Who has ever been sick and tired of sitting in their desk chair all day pounding away at the keyboard?

 

When you sit all day for your job, you get tired, your back and hips become stiff, destroying any concentration you may have.  It’s a daunting enough task to report on the latest findings of your newest marketing client or finish end of the month financials – never mind doing them with restless legs!

 

Well, there’s good news: Creating those reports doesn’t have to be done with stiffness and in pain.  With the right exercise tools at your disposal, you can reduce stress levels, improve circulation, decrease stiffness and improve concentration - all without spending hours at the gym exercising!

 

Follow the four easy stretches that we have outlined for you in this post, we’ll walk you through how to use them.  When we’re done you’ll be able to reduce your tension and enhance your mobility. Let’s get started!

 

Here are the 4 Easy Stretches

 

Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat 4 times.  As with all stretching you will want to hold the stretch (DO NOT bounce), stretch until you feel mild discomfort and continue to breath while holding the stretch.

 

(Think 4 times is too much?  If you were to do them mid morning, lunch and mid afternoon it would take you 2-4 minutes and you would done 3 of the 4 stretch sessions!)

 

 Seated Chest Stretch – This will increase mobility in the chest area as well as improve posture. Squeeze in between shoulder blades while holding the stretch.
 

Standing Hamstring Stretch – It is important to keep both feet facing forward during this stretch. Only lean into the stretch while keeping your back and the leg being on the chair straight. You will feel this in the back of your thigh.

 

Seated Trunk Rotation – Use the armrests and seat back for added support. Move your head along with your torso. Keep both feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.

 

Seated Hip Rotation Stretch – Keep your back straight as you lean into the stretch. Be gentle with your pressure at first, as this can be an intense stretch. If needed, apply downward pressure onto the knee of the leg that is crossed, for greater stretch sensation.

 

2 minute fix

 

Last, but certainly not least, you will want to take frequent breaks throughout your work day. This way, standing up and incorporating a brief walk around the office or outside or exercising over your lunch break will help keep mobility.

 

Now you know what stretches to do to reduce tension and stress and improve circulation.  And the best part?  You back won’t get so stiff from all that typing away on the keyboard!

 

Want to know more about the fabulous benefits of exercise?  B3 awesome and answer our Facebook question!

 

 

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Discover Exercises for Beginners in Souderton

 

We recently have expanded our service provider area to include the Indian Valley. This includes the communities of Franconia, Hatfield, Lower Salford, Upper Salford, Salford, Skippack, Souderton, Telford, Towamencin and West Rockhill.  To celebrate this news we are offering a special introductory rate for an outdoor small group training class.

 

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Spots are filling up quickly, so sign up before it’s too late! We hope to see you there with your friends!
 

B3 Fit Now
 

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You’ve Had A Stroke, Now What is Exercise Good For?

 

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Image Courtesy of smarnad/Freedigitalphotos.net

 

Chances are you would never think or dream of finding yourself in a situation where you experienced a stroke.  We all read news and tips on what we can do to reduce the risk of having a stroke and how we can eat to reduce the risk of stroke.  How does exercise fit into the post-stroke event?

 

The Problem

 

The unfortunate truth is that most stroke survivors never fully recover and six months post event 40% of survivors have trouble performing simple tasks such as getting dressed.  Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability in the United States.  Long term disability may be a result of:

 

      • Reduced performance in activities of daily living.
      • Increased risk of falling.
      • Increased risk of another stroke of heart related event.

 

Researchers have found that the activity limitations often lead to a sedentary lifestyle despite the ability to perform higher levels of exercise.

This leads us to the solution to living a chronic sedentary lifestyle.
 

The current standard of care is for early mobilization post event.  Then once medically cleared to begin an exercise program with Physical and Occupational Therapists designed for the following goals:

         

      • improve motor recovery (function, balance & strength)
      • motor skills
      • occupational and leisure activities

 

Once someone has gone through stroke rehabilitation with Physical and Occupational Therapists they should focus on developing and maintaining an active lifestyle that meets recommended physical activity and exercise guidelines for prevention of recurrent stroke and cardiac events and improving function.

 

Remember to always follow your doctor’s and physical and occupational therapists recommendations before beginning an exercise program.  

 

Body By Brent has the necessary experience to help those individuals who have suffered a stroke and have gone through stroke rehabilitation.  We will sit down and talk about where you are now physically and design the exercise program to reach the following goals:

 

      • Improved cardiovascular fitness
      • Improved walking ability
      • Improved muscle strength

 

Don’t delay and get your function back today!

 

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Discover the Stroke Reducing Secret You’ve Always Dreamed Of

 

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Image Courtesy of  bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

What if I told you there was something you could do to reduce your risk of stroke that was so easy, inexpensive and relative painless?  Would you believe me?

 

The current incidence rate of stroke in America is astounding.

 

    • 1 person has a stroke about every 40 seconds in the United States per year.1
    • 25% of those strokes are recurrent.1
    • Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death.1
    • The prevalence of stroke will increase about 25% by the year 2030.1

 

The incidence of stroke is projected to increase over the next 16 years due in part largely to the escalating epidemic of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, one of which is physical inactivity.1  Physical inactivity is a very important modifiable risk factor because you can change it RIGHT NOW.

 

The opposite of physical INACTIVITY is physical ACTIVITY.  Physical activity can be defined as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.”1  That’s a pretty broad statement that essentially means MOVE.

 

Frequent physical activity is an important behavior for individual and population health.2   This is why the recommendations for physical activity for the general public and to reduce your risk of stroke are:

 

      • 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days week

o   Example:  Brisk walk that accelerates the heart rate

      • 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, 3 days week

o   Example: Rapid breathing and substantial increase in heart rate

 

These recommendations are for aerobic exercise and are in addition to activities of daily living (ADL’s).  That being that ADL’s tend to be short in nature, less then 10 minutes, and lighter intensity. 

 

      • 8-10 exercises for the major muscle groups, 2 non-consecutive days of the week

o   Example: Push ups, squats, lunges, crunches, plank, pull ups, etc.

 

These recommendations are the minimum for increasing and maintaining muscle strength and endurance.

 

 

Now you must ask the question, where do you start?

 

Simple answer, get out there and move doing what you know how to do.

 

If you are unsure where to start, we’ll be happy to help!  Contact us and we’ll be sure to create an individualized program for you!

 

Free Session

 

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The Role of Diet in Stroke Prevention

 

We would like to share with you the first ever Body By Brent podcast radio show!  We’re still working out all of the bumps in the road but we hope that you will share in our excitement as we share our excitement of health and fitness with you!

 

Listen To Fitness Internet Radio Stations with B3 Fit with Body By Brent on BlogTalkRadio

 

By visiting our podcast homepage, ‘B3 Fit with Body By Brent’, you can also download the podcast through Itunes and take it with you in the car, go for a run or even fold your laundry!

 

Enjoy!

 

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Save Money on Health Insurance

 
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Would you like to save money on your health insurance?  

 

Now that I have your attention you must know that I’m not handing out free coupons or health insurance.  Instead I want to tell you about three amazing ways to reduce your health care expenditures.  Since 2000, health care expenditures have increased $7,400 per person or 14% (1).  These expenses include physician visits, hospital care, prescription drugs and nursing home care.  Here are three more mind blowing stats:

 

The economic cost of heart disease and stroke were estimated at $475,300,000,000 (1)

 

The medical cost of diabetes included: $27,000,000,000 diabetic care, $58,000,000,000 diabetic related conditions and  $38,000,000,000 in excess general medical costs (1)

 

Health care cost associated with obesity = $147,000,000,000 (1)

 

With the rising cost of health care and constant change or reform of healthcare the only true way to save yourself money is to take ownership of your own health.  Taking ownership of your own health consists of three areas:

 

1) Develop an exercise program that fits your schedule and works for you.

 

2) Develop healthy nutrition and dietary habits that you can follow for a lifetime.  These habits come from learning about yourself.

 

What cues you to over eat?  Do you ruin your waistline by going out to eat?

 

3) Make behavior and lifestyle changes that affect your wellness.

 

The emphasis this month has been on reducing stress and promoting relaxation.  Adopting a healthy outlook on fitness is also important for overall wellness.

 

Employers read on!

 

A study comparing the relationship of health care costs and ten modifiable risk factors concluded that there were higher short term health expenditures. (2)  The risk factors that had significantly higher health care costs were:

 

      • Depression
      • Stress
      • High blood pressure
      • Overweight/Obesity
      • Underweight
      • Tobacco use
      • High blood glucose levels

 

Approximately one third of corporate costs in medical claims, pharmacy claims, and time away from work could be defined as excess costs associated with excess health risks.  The highest risk participants were almost four times more likely to incur excess health risks. (3)

 

Twelve months of implementing a walking program for sedentary employees resulted in (4):

 

      • increases in job satisfaction
      • quality and quantity
      • and positive outlook
      • supervisors also reported greater interaction

 

Don’t bust your financial waistline instead you must take ownership of your own health. Employees and employers will also benefit by taking action in order to reduce your bottom line and not flat line!

 

Do you participate or does your company offer wellness programs or incentives?  We would love to hear about them!

 

References
1) Rising Health Care Costs are Unsustainable. October 23, 2013.  Retrieved on April 24, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/reasons/rising.html
2) Goetzel, RZ et al. (1998). The relationship between modifiable health risks and health care expenditures. An analysis of the multi-employer HERO health risk and cost database. J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Oct;40(10):843-54.
3) Yen, L et al. (2006).  Financial costs due to excess health risks among active employees of a utility company. J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Sep;48(9):896-905.
4) Ben-Ner, A. et al. “Treadmill Workstations: The Effects of Walking while Working on Physical Activity and Work Performance.” PLoS ONE 9.2 (2014): 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.

 

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Stress? Your Not Alone

 

Feeling stressed today?

 

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net

 

If you answered yes then you will want to read the words that a colleague of mine Ashvini Mashru, MA, RD, LDN.  She has been writing some pretty awesome posts this month on stress and I wanted to take the time to share some of her thoughts on ways to rethink dealing with stress and why you may feel like your walking through a mire of barriers to reach your goal.  The first post is about reflecting on yourself and why you make your choices titled “Emotional Eating and Weight Loss”.  The second post is about an alternative to medication for stress relief title “Stress: Don’t Medicate… Meditate!”.

 

Emotional Eating and Weight Loss

 

Diet and exercise sure can help lose weight but there is a third component that factor in when it comes to losing weight: Emotional eating! We may reach out for a box of cookies or ice-cream when we are sad, angry, bored or lonely. We may also find ourselves standing in front of the fridge and make poor food choices and eat when not hungry!

 

Overeating may be sign that something is missing in your life. When you understand why you emotionally eat, you can start to make the changes that will help you lose weight and make positive, lasting improvements in your life. Here are some tips on doing that:
 

 

Your wellness vision:  Write down everything that you consider a part of your fulfilled life such as health, family, job, finances and friends. Think back to the time when you were feeling at your optimum wellness, it could be before your marriage or before you had kids. Don’t write everything down in one sitting; take the time to think what matters to you.

 

When you are done, put a plus or minus sign next to everything on your list. A plus means you are satisfied with that area of wellness and a minus means you are dissatisfied. Pay close attention to the minuses, these are the areas in your life where something could be missing. Thus, you could be looking to fulfill yourself emotionally with food. This reflection could help you get to the bottom of your emotional eating.

 

It’s easy to come with excuses for why we don’t have time for ourselves. Writing this list will help you practice self-care, gives you permission to take care of yourself first. When you practice self-care, you are a better person, spouse, partner, friend and parent. You will be more productive and happy inside out.

 

So, what is your wellness vision?

 

Stress: Don’t Medicate…Meditate!

 

Anytime of the year, we all have reasons to feel stressed. Whether it’s stress due to work, family, finances, a relationship, or something else, the list never ends.

 

Meditation is a natural way to calm the mind and can help reduce stress. The first basic lesson with meditation is learning how to breathe properly. This involves taking slow, deep breathes, while preventing the shoulders from rising. Instead, the stomach should be expanding as you inhale and then getting smaller as you exhale.

 

Focusing only on the breathing and becoming aware of how different parts of the body feel as you breathe, is another part of meditation. Becoming more aware of yourself and the connection between your mind and body. I recommend trying this in silence or while very calm music is playing. Yoga is also a form of exercise that focuses a lot on breathing.

 

So when you feel overwhelmed and very stressed, remember to take some time to JUST BREATHE!!

 
 

Reflection is a part of future success.  Future success is dependent on setting goals.  I love what Bill Copeland had to say about goal setting.

 

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”  

–Bill Copeland

 

What steps are needed to reach your wellness vision?

 

We would love to hear your thoughts!
 
 
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Ashvini is the owner of Wellness Nutrition Concepts and works with helping busy moms and women sift through the diet fads and myths to find balance in their lifestyle and nutrition.

 

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Discover How You Can Easily Relax In 30 Minutes Or Less

 
Relax, It’s not that hard!
 
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In a previous blog we discussed the benefits exercise can have on reducing stress levels and promoting a sense of wellness. Today’s blog will focus more on the use of specific stress-reducing relaxation techniques. In particular, those that require no equipment and can be done virtually anywhere! (except maybe while driving).
 
A major emphasis of relaxation techniques is learning to listen to your body and learn what tension feels like versus a calm feeling. Often life is so hectic that we become less in tune with our body’s responses and in doing so, are unable to cope with increasing levels of stress adequately.
 
Considering the answers to these questions can provide insight into the best option for stress reduction in your life!
 

  • How do you respond in stressful situations?
  • Do you become angry and act out or withdrawn?
  • Do you prefer to be alone or with people?
  • Would an active setting be more relaxing or a soothing environment?

 
The goals of any relaxation technique are to produce a feeling of serenity, decrease heart rate and slow breathing. This can improve sleep habits, ability to focus on tasks, reduce pain and promote emotional stability.
 
Let’s talk about some techniques…
 
Deep Breathing: sitting comfortably, draw repeated deep breaths into your body and imagine the breath reaching all the way to your toes. As you exhale, push the air out of your abdomen (it may be helpful to place your hand over your stomach, it should move as you inhale and exhale) in a slow, controlled fashion.
 
Progressive Relaxation: this is a tension-relaxation technique for the whole body. Beginning either from your toes and working towards your head or vice versa, begin by tensing the muscles in a body part (ie: right foot) and holding for 5-10 seconds. Slowly relax and rest for 30 seconds. Next move to the lower leg and tense the right calf muscles for 5-10 seconds and then relax and rest for 30 seconds. Continue this pattern until you have contracted and relaxed each area of the body. Practice deep breathing throughout.
 
Visualization: Escape for a few moments to a place you associate as relaxing and/or comforting, or have memories of happiness and contentment. Using deep breathing, engage each of your senses in the visualization. If you are on a beach, can you smell the salt air? Can you hear the waves crash and roll? Imagine digging your feet into the sand, feel the rays of sunshine warm your skin. Visualize the rhythmic ebb and flow of the water.
 
Like beginning any exercise program, it will take time to become used to how your body responds and refine your skills and techniques. Practice daily for up to 30 minutes, whether in increments or in one whole session. Ultimately a life that has less stress or healthy ways for coping with stress will be more healthy and well.
 
If you have any other relaxation techniques that you’ve found particularly successful, please don’t hesitate to share!
 

Sources:
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=2

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm

 

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What Every Person Ought To Know About Being Fit

 

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Fitness can be defined as the condition, quality or state of being physically fit and healthy. This is a very generic definition that lacks any real insight (as well as stating the word in the definition). The perception that each individual has of “what fit is” is also very different. I would like to share what I feel is a more accurate definition of fitness.

 

The Healthy Weight & Being Fit Debate

 

I’ve discussed what a healthy weight looks and feels like before. There are similar characteristics between what a healthy weight is and being fit is. Being fit does not mean you look like the man or woman on the front of a fitness magazine.

 

Being fit should look and feel like:

 

Performing activities of daily living (ADLs) without feeling undue fatigue.  You should not feel like you ran a marathon when doing laundry or be out of breath by doing simple tasks.

 

You are able fully enjoy and participate in your recreational activities.

 

You are efficient at completing your occupational tasks and without injury.

 

Being able to do the following basic movements without pain: push, pull, squat, twist, lunge, walk/run and crawl.

 

Being able to perform the following movements to the highest level: push, pull, squat, twist, lunge, walk/run and crawl. This goes for people without pre-existing conditions or physiological condition that doesn’t allow for the movement.

 

What does fitness mean to you? How does it look and feel to you? How would you define it?

 
I would love to hear your comments!
 

Sources
Image courtesy of mapichai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Fitness” retreieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fitness on April 4, 2014.

 

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10 Easy Ways to Make Dining out Worry Free

 
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Going out to eat may seem overwhelming and confusing if you are trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle. We’ve compiled a list of our 10 ways to healthy eating at a restaurant to take some of the hassle out of knowing how to order at restaurant. Better to enjoy the time out than fret over what to eat!

 

  1. Never go out hungry – Try eating a small snack before leaving the house. Slightly curbing your appetite will decrease the chance you’ll order the first thing you spot on the menu or devour that basket of rolls!
  2.  

  3. Plan ahead – consider what you would like to eat. Sometimes knowing what you’re hungry for ahead of time can cut down on those less than healthy impulse choices.
  4.  

  5. Drink water – it’s free and adds no calories to your meal!
  6.  

  7. Substitute vegetables or fruit for sides – In the event your meal comes with french fries, chips or other unhealthy choices, substituting fresh or steamed vegetables or fresh fruits can cut down on fat, sodium and calories.
  8.  

  9. Share with a friend – often portion sizes are larger than is really needed. Consider ordering a smaller portion or splitting a meal to limit the temptation to overeat. If dining alone you can ask for a take-home container to put half of your food in when it arrives at your table.
  10.  

  11. Limit the fat and salt – Don’t be afraid to ask the server to limit the use of oils or butter or even forgo them in your dish or sides if possible. Sometimes restaurants will offer “light” or “low sodium” options to limit intake of fats and/or sodium. Additionally, look for dishes that can be steamed, grilled, broiled or poached.
  12.  

  13. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side – This allows you to control the amount you put on your food. A little goes a long way!
  14.  

  15. What’s the rush? – Take your time when dining out. Enjoy your meal and eat slowly, giving your body time to digest and let you know when you’re full. We tend to overeat when eating quickly and can end up with the feeling of being “stuffed.”
  16.  

  17. Save the best for last – if ordering dessert, steer away from options that rich in cream and fats such as ice cream, puddings, dense cakes or cookies. Look for fresh fruits, sorbets, angel food cakes for a lighter end to your meal.
  18.  

  19. DON’T FRET! If you found yourself eating too much or something that wasn’t the healthy choice you intended…well hopefully it was worth the calories. Resolve to eat healthier in the upcoming days and prepare to order more wisely the next time eating out.
  20.  

Do you have a way that you make healthy decisions when you go out to eat at a restaurant?

 

What tips would you add to the list?

 

We would love to hear what you have to say, so comment below!

 
 

Sources:
American Dietetic Association
http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470779&terms=restaurant
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/DiningOut/Ordering-Your-Meal_UCM_301471_Article.jsp
University Health Services
http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/health-topics/healthy-lifestyle/eating-out.shtml
USDA- National Agricultural Library
https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/consumers/eating-health/healthy-restaurant-eating
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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