Rise & Shine!

How do I know what kind of stretching to do when I wake up? 

After a restful night sleep your body may feel tight from the previous day’s activities, from aches and pains, or even from injuries.

Stretching can be a good way to help release muscle tension, regain mobility, and range of motion that seems to be lost while sleeping or even sitting for long periods of time.

One of the things we should keep in mind while performing morning stretching is that stretching your muscles while they are cold or haven’t been active for hours might feel good, but dynamically stretching a warm muscle allows for a deeper and more effective stretch, and has greater benefits.

I would recommend 3-5 minutes of “Dynamic Stretching” in the morning rather then classic “Static Stretching”. Remember:

Dynamic = you’re continually moving
Static = you’re holding positions

Dynamic Stretches are stretches that take your muscles through a full range of motion. For example: try lifting your arm overhead. The goal is to get to a place where this action becomes easy to perform. When you reach that point, you have a more complete range of motion in your shoulder / arm in this direction.

Some of my favourite  Dynamic Stretches that  I use for myself and some of my personal training clients are hamstring walkouts/inchworms, wipers, and lateral lunges or cossack squats. You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/7M_Ff2tb22I

Give these 3 Dynamic Stretches a try next time you feel tight in the morning and you can feel the benefits throughout your entire day.

Cheers,

Jonathon

Please don’t stress about sleep!

I get a lot of questions about mattresses and sleeping. What is best? How should I sleep? What type of mattress?

Over the years I have recommended many things, even sleep posture deterrents to prevent people from bad sleeping postures. However, all that really did was prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep and made them very cranky by morning.

Here is the quick and dirty version of sleeping.

  1. FIRST, PLEASE SLEEP. There are so many positive benefits from a good night’s sleep it overshadows how you should sleep. That being said, there are a few things to try. Going to sleep, you want to start on your back or side. Tummy sleeping forces your neck to be turned to breathe. This generally is not good for your neck curve and alignment.
  2. FIND SUPPORT IF PREFERRED. You may want a body pillow to “role” into for body support. This helps both with comfort and alignment of the spine.
  3. DON’T STRESS ABOUT POSITIONS. When you are asleep, you are moving around regardless of what you do. The body needs to change position to encourage blood flow in tissues. This helps tissue and joint health as well as prevents bed sores. After a sleep don’t be too concerned about the position you are in when you wake up. Just celebrate you had a good night’s sleep.

When you get your chiropractic adjustments, your standing and walking posture changes. Your sleep posture also changes for the better!

Here is a video a friend and colleague in Bolton, Ontario made about sore backs and beds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVFuA5byxio

Happy sleeping,

Dr. P.

3 Bike Tune-Up Tips for Summer

Thanks to everyone who showed up for our Bike Tune-Up Clinic with Velofix. Adam has a mobile shop on wheels, and can come right to your house if you still need yours set up for the bike season ahead. Click here for more info.

Here are 3 Tune-Up Tips to keep in mind: 

1. Make sure your chain is cleaned and lubricated. Kate hadn’t cleaned hers in ohhh, four years. Dr. Payne will usually clean his chain after a wet or muddy ride, and then maybe skip doing this if it’s sunny out. The goal is once a week! As for the chain, it’s best to lubricate this before every ride with a bike-specific product.

2. Put the proper amount of air in your tires. If you look closely at your tire, somewhere on there you’ll notice the manufacturer has written a range for which to inflate your tires. For example: 60-80 psi. If you pump the tire to 60 psi, you’ll get a smoother ride, but could get more flat tires. If you pump the tire to 80 psi, your ride will be way faster (but bumpier). You will get less flat tires though. Choose your own adventure …

3. Test your brakes! It takes two seconds before you leave on a trip to check that your brakes are connecting properly. If you have disc breaks, they require less maintenance, but if you have the standard pads you’ll definitely want to check each time. Don’t get stuck on the road with no way to stop!

Stay Safe,
Your AVANT Team

Pre & Postnatal Fitness Tips

It’s May – a time to celebrate mothers everywhere! What better way than to chat about pre/postnatal tips? There are certain exercises a woman can do to prepare for carrying a baby, and for the post-pregnancy child-rearing years to come.

Efficiency with your workouts pre/postnatal are key. Spend some time doing exercises which mimic the movements you’ll be doing with your baby. These include: carrying a diaper bag, pushing a stroller, or holding a child to one side of your body.

If you’d like to develop core strength, balance, and muscles in your upper back (to keep you on your feet), these weighted carries are a good route to take:

  • Farmer Carry
  • Single Arm Carry
  • Single Arm Dumbbell

During pregnancy while your baby is growing, and post-pregnancy when placing your baby in a wrap, you can prep with front-loaded movements to develop lower body and core strength. Examples are:

  • Front squat
  • Goblet squat
  • Prowler or sled pushes

You can see this series by clicking here.

Lastly, eating well always accompanies exercise. If you’re expecting, it’s not the time to be under-eating. Please provide your body with enough calories (from whole foods) to be able to function and properly recover from the birth of your new bundle(s) of joy. It’s also important to consider what you’re eating if you decide to breastfeed.

See you in the gym,

Jon

The Baby Boom

Whenever I see a newborn – they poop.

Weird opening statement, eh? Please let me explain.

I have had the wonderful privilege of seeing many newborn babies. Some with obvious issues, and some just to have their spine checked.

Why would you want your child’s spine checked?

Research has demonstrated that a newborn can have issues in the top bones of the neck that can effect the infants’ nervous system; which can be directly related to the birthing process.

What seems as common medical assistance procedures, vacuum extraction and forceps, can exacerbate these issues. The way a baby has positioned itself in the womb also can have an effect on the spine.

Signs to look for are:

  • Difficulty for babies latching onto the breast to feed if breastfeeding
  • Baby turning their head to one side over another
  • Cranial or ‘head’ asymmetries
  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Visible uncomfortableness turning or placing babies head to one side
  • Even breathing arrhythmias

Checking and adjusting an infant is a very gentle process. Often times a baby poops afterwards because it relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation commonly causes them to pass gas, or poop. This is quite a common experience here at AVANT!

My question is, “Do you have a chiropractor as part of your baby’s wellness team?” Combined with other health care professionals, chiropractic care can make early parenting a most wonderful time!

– Dr. Payne, D.C.

My role, as a patient.

 

Every so often, I write to our patients about my experiences working behind the front desk of AVANT. I too, get adjusted by Dr. Payne and have been on a chiropractic journey for almost three years now.

One of the biggest things I have taken away from this adventure, is taking responsibility for my body, movements, and stress.

BODY

I overheard Dr. Payne saying to a patient, “You can’t exercise yourself out of a poor diet,” and it is so true.

Ever since getting a dog, I barely exercise vigorously. I go on one long dog walk a day, and every so often I’ll do a fun activity like Archery Tag or sign up for a yoga class. I am slowly teaching my dog to run beside me for max. 5 kms though!

Why aren’t I concerned about getting in tons of exercise? When I was completely sugar, dairy, and gluten free – I had lost 18 lbs., and saw huge health benefits (less inflammation, no high or low energy, healthy nails, and no more teeth pain). Now, I’m trying to find my balance in the kitchen without it being un-healthy for my mind.

All of this to say, great health begins with what you put into your body (your fuel) – and exercise is a daily component that keeps you moving forward!

MOVEMENTS

A single adjustment helps facilitate my week; but it is my responsibility to move properly, listen to how I feel, and report these things back to Dr. Payne.

  • Did I get out of bed properly?
  • Did I text and slouch too much today? 
  • Did I sit more than I stood at work? 
  • Did I take breaks to drink water? 
  • Did I spent too much time looking at a screen? 
  • Did I wear the right shoes in volleyball?

Only I can make these decisions and they are the real reasons that my pain/discomfort exists (or doesn’t).

STRESS

Every time I am stressed, I pull muscles that run all along the back of my neck into my shoulders. This has been ongoing for years and one day I asked Dr. Payne if it meant I had some kind of a neurological problem. His reply was, “Kate, you’re just an intense person.” He called me out on something I already knew, but just didn’t realize it had that much of an impact on my body.

Once I decided to take ownership over this stress, it all became – less stressful. I started to actually evaluate it. Why does my right knee hurt? Ahh, that’s because I lean to the right when I stand and cross that same knee while sitting for multiple hours each day. See? It’s so liberating. 

CONCLUSION

I used to be the person who wasted OHIP dollars. I’d get bloated, march to my doctor and insist on all of the blood work, ultrasounds, and tests to figure out why. All along, it was poutine (eh?) and poor lifestyle choices.

Our lives are cycling through stressful events, most of them we can control and others we can simply manage. Your chiropractic adjustments run parallel beside you, to make sure you are on the best track possible.

Stay honest with yourself,
Kate

Are you under-eating?

If I’m doing everything right, why aren’t I achieving my fitness goals or weight loss goals?

I have had many clients over the years mention that they’ve been doing everything right with eating well and working hard. They still can’t meet their fitness goals, such as losing a few finals pounds or making gains.

The first thing I usually talk to clients about is nutrition and I ask them to track their food (calories) and have a look at how they’re fueling themselves. Once we gather the data, 4 out of 5 clients are kept from accomplishing their goals due to under-eating and over-restricting their diets.

When we over-restrict our calories, we deny our bodies the energy they need to function properly. This impacts our goals and it can really mess up our metabolism, mood, sleep, recovery, and more. On top of all that, it can force our bodies into conservation mode where we start to hold onto as much energy as possible by storing it as body fat. By over-restricting, we’re actually moving further from our goals.

It’s simply not a sustainable way to create a healthy life. Working out 3-4 times a week and eating less then 1200 calories per day leaves us hungry, unhappy and unable to reach our goals.

I work with my clients to create a small caloric deficit (or surplus, depending on their goals) which is sustainable long-term. Once we move closer to their goals, we make small adjustments to keep the momentum going.

– Jonathon