Yoga has caught on so much in the U.S., that it's difficult to find a town that doesn't have a yoga training studio. In case your neighborhood is behind the times and you're interested in pursuing yoga for health and mental/emotional calmness, Back to Health of Anthem has your needs covered. We offer 2 FREE classes each week, Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm and Saturday mornings at 8am.
Yoga is basically non-aerobic, and unlike strength training, no-pain, no-gain doesn't apply here. That doesn't mean it's effortless. It takes work to get into postures, but one doesn't tear muscles and ligaments getting into them. Repeated practice with postures and stretches will get you where you should eventually be. We always preach that mobility is key and so be strive to maintain balance with our bodies.
There are even devices or methods of using blocks and walls to help with early struggles with positions due to physical limitations from injury or age.
In addition to gaining flexibility, natural strength, and good health, yoga can help you lose weight. Various internal organs are strengthened with yoga that promote sustainable natural, gradual weight loss. Especially assured if you eat properly according to yogic principles.
Six ways yoga helps you lose weight:
(1) Activate the thyroid gland with the shoulder stand. Your thyroid plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight because it regulates your metabolism. A famous yogi once said not everyone will benefit from the head stand. But everyone benefits from the shoulder stand. It is an inverted pose that's easier to perform than a headstand and promotes thyroid activity.
(2) Stimulate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A GI tract that is damaged or weak is a primary obstacle to poor digestion and weight gain. A sluggish liver will mess up your metabolism and digestion. An active liver helps you digest foods better and helps eliminate cravings that lead to ingesting unhealthy foods and beverages.
Yoga back bending exercises handles the whole abdominal area in addition to flexing the spinal cord to create more overall flexibility and proper alignment.
(3) Activate internal body heat and increase heart rate with the sun salutation. This routine done quickly is an exception to the non-aerobic rule. Not everyone uses it. There are 12 different positions to go through in a series without sustaining any of the poses if you want that heart rate to go up.
All 12 are considered one series, and usually several series are done with short standing pauses between each. These stops and starts pump up the cardio system without straining your heart and stressing or beating up your knees and ankles.
(4) Natural strength building. By working your muscles with balancing poses, it helps create better metabolism with overall muscular strength without pumping iron.
(5) Flexing the colon will help unclog waste. This can be achieved with bandhas (which are inner knots or locks that hold pranic energy within certain areas in the body), which can even be done in the car during a traffic jam. Bandhas help tone abs too.
(6) Alleviating "comfort food" binging. The corpse pose is the most underrated and misunderstood of all postures. It's the final pose of any hatha yoga session. It looks easy, but it's a challenge because it requires you learn to relax every muscle in your body, aligning your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
A properly done corpse pose opens chi energy channels to cure ailments and relieve the anxiety/tension that invites "comfort food" binging.
Please join us for a FREE class anytime on Wednesday night or Saturday morning, where we will be working on our flexibility and getting our heart rate up to help combat weight gain and much more. Go to: www.myanthemhealth.com/yoga to register and we look forward to meeting you soon.
Yours in Better Health....
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
What is the sciatic nerve and why does it hurt at times?
Sciatic nerve pain can be so excruciating and debilitating that you don’t even want to get off the couch. Common causes of sciatica in extreme cases can include a disc problem, a narrowing of the spine canal (called spinal stenosis), and injury. More often than not, the problem is simply related to the fact that we sit to much and don't stretch enough. Almost every form of physical exercise focuses on muscular contraction which shortens the range of motion. We need to spend some focused time each week doing things and exercises that lengthen these muscles and this will decrease the chance of ever having a problem with sciatica in the first place.
As stated previously, sciatic pain can occur for a variety of reasons and identifying what doesn't move is the first step toward solving the problem. Often, the most problematic body parts are the lower back and hips. The best way to alleviate most sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.”
Here are six exercises/stretsches that do just that:
RECLINING PIGEON POSE
Reclining pigeon pose is a common yoga pose. It works to open the hips. There are multiple versions of this stretch. The first is a starting version known as the reclining pigeon pose. If you are just starting your treatment, you should try the reclining pose first.
FORWARD PIGEON POSE
KNEE TO OPPOSITE SHOULDER
This simple stretch helps relieve sciatica pain by loosening your gluteal and piriformis muscles, which can become inflamed and press against the sciatic nerve.
SITTING SPINAL STRETCH
Sciatica pain is triggered when vertebrae in the spine compress. This stretch helps create space in the spine to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
STANDING HAMSTRING STRETCH
This stretch can help ease pain and tightness in the hamstring caused by sciatica.
A complete functional fitness screening can help if you failed any of the above poses or stretches….
Most people can be assessed using a “functional fitness screening” (have you had one lately?) With this, someone can see if they have a hip problem as well as other tight muscles that are critical to proper function. When I see problems with mobility and flexibility, I recommend postural and mobility exercises to decrease the sciatica and this makes a HUGE difference with day to day pain, especially if they are chronic in nature. Remember, the ultimate rigidity is called “Rigor Mortis”. Life is motion and motion is movement. Posture, movement and alignment are critical to your quality of life. If you have been suffering with sciatica and are not sure what to do next.... give us a call at 623.551.6677 or check out our website: www.myanthemhealth.com
Your in Better Health....
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
I often get asked whats the best way to navigate eating out? The reality is that in today's fast paced society, its something that we can't avoid in most cases. Research shows that the average person eats almost 60% of their meals these days by either dining out, take out or fast food. When I talk to people about eating I always preach to seek out 1 ingredients foods so out of these 3 options the option of choice if you're going to eat out is to sit down at a restaurant.
Eating at a restaurant doesn't have to sabotage your healthy diet.
Here are 7 easy tips on how to navigate when you eat out:
1) Think ahead. Consider meal options at different restaurants and look for places with a wide range of menu items. Check online menus, if available, for nutrition information ahead of time.
2) Have a plan. Eat a light dinner if you ate a big lunch that day. Or, if you know ahead of time that you're going to a restaurant, plan to have lighter meals during the day. Knowing menu terms and cooking basics makes ordering easier, especially if you have special dietary needs.
3) Eliminate the menu. We often get distracted when we are hungry and need some food and first sit down. Often we start with the appetizers and then the drinks. By the time our entree' arrives to the table, we have already had enough calories and don't really need anymore. Keep it simple by asking the server to bring you a single protein choice and a couple sides of veggies. No need to even open the menu.
4) Control portions. Many restaurants serve huge portions, sometimes enough for two or three people. Eat a smaller portion and bring leftovers home for another meal. Or, order an appetizer in place of an entrée and add a small soup or salad.
5) Be deliberate when ordering. Balance your meal by including healthier selections from all the different food groups such as lean protein foods, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Look for freshly made entrée salads that give you "balance in a bowl." For example, entrée salads with baked or grilled chicken, beans or seafood provide protein along with fiber and other nutrients. Ask for dressing on the side so you can control the portion size.
For sandwich toppings, go with veggie options including lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion; if using condiments, choose ketchup, mustard, relish or salsa. Round out your meal by ordering healthy side dishes, such as a side salad or fruit.
6) Substitute. Ask for a side salad with dressing on the side to replace fries in a combination meal. Many restaurants honor requests, so don't be afraid to be assertive, ask menu questions and make special requests to meet your nutritional needs.
7) Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are no longer hungry. Fast eaters often are overeaters, while slow eaters tend to eat less and are still satisfied.
Restaurants may be intimidating to people trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, but with preparation and confidence you can enjoy your restaurant meal without abandoning healthy eating.
Please join us on September 26th at 6:30pm for our next Dinner With The Doc where we will be digging into the issues that cause weight gain and much more. Go to: www.myanthemhealth.com/events to register.
Yours in Better Health....
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
Caffeine is the best known ingredient of coffee. Its beneficial effects on the human body have been researched quite well, but coffee as a whole is a complex beverage with a thousand different substances. Some studies argue that decaf and caffeinated coffee may have the same health effects and suggest that it’s not the caffeine that is responsible for most of coffee's health benefits. Just be careful and make sure that it's coffee you crave and not the cream and sugar. Research on coffee and it's pros and cons for humans is nowhere near finished, but here is a list of what we know at the moment:
12 HEALTH BENEFITS OF COFFEE
6 DISADVANTAGES AND RISKS OF COFFEE DRINKING
SO, IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR YOU? If you have high cholesterol or you are caffeine sensitive, pregnant or a child (or a parent of one), you should pay attention to coffee drinking.
For others, reasonable amounts (1-6 cups a day) coffee can be good for you. It can prevent serious diseases, boost your mind and muscles, and even help you with weight loss. Remember, as long as you drink toxin free, speciality coffee and brew it with care, you can and should be enjoying it knowing it's good for you. If you took the time to read this whole article (thank you!), please share it so your friends will get it right, too. (article courtesy of www.warriorcoffee.com)
Yours in better health...... Dr Brian
Dr. Brian Hester, originally from Alabama, graduated from Life University in 1999 with his Doctorate of Chiropractic. He moved to Anthem, Arizona in 2003 and opened his wellness center. Dr. Hester's mission is to provide people in the North Phoenix area, with the tools they need to identify stressors in their life and the underlying causes of their health challenges. With Dr. Hester as a health partner, patients can make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their lives...... see more
CONTACT & LOCATION
41930 N Venture Dr #110
Anthem, AZ 85086