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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Why Kids & Chiropractic are a Perfect Match for the Summer

Dr. Jon Thomas DC, BCIM

Image courtesy of Wikimedia
It won’t be long before school is out for the summer.  For parents, that means having to devise activities that let kids burn off all that restless energy they’ve been saving up all year long. For children, it’s just a couple short months to swim, ride their bikes and skateboards, not to mention rough housing with other kids in the neighborhood. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the number of visits to the ER made by children of all ages peaks during the summer. 

Aside from treating scrapes, sprains and the occasional broken bone, there isn’t a lot that ER doctors can do to help moms and dads manage an injury that their child has sustained.  Sure, they’ll schedule a return visit to remove a cast or check for infection, but other than providing a prescription to help relieve pain and/or inflammation, there isn’t a lot of follow up advice they can provide.  This is where chiropractic care can be a godsend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

10 Ways to Beat the Heat While Staying Fit

By Dr. Jon Thomas DC, BCIM

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In most parts of the country, the summer is one of the best times of the year to kick your exercise regimen up a notch.  When it comes to staying fit in Florida, you need to take another tack since June, July and August can produce afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s on a daily basis.  While many people want to continue such activities as jogging, bicycling, golf, tennis, kayaking, and other healthy pastimes you will need a strategy unless you want to wind up making a pit stop in the nearest ER. You need to use your head if you want to do your body good and avoid the effects of heat.

It is important to understand how exercising in hot climates effects the body and presents some dangers. In hot weather exercising places added stress on the body and can lead to serious illness or complications if you are not careful. During exercise your core body temperature rises, adding humidity and higher temperatures increases this effect. As your body begins to control this it shifts more blood to the skin of your body to cool it, leaving less blood for the muscles your using and leads to a higher heart rate to compensate for the deficiency. Adding humidity, like we have here in Florida, will effect your bodies ability to sweat by reducing evaporation from the skin of your body. The effects of these conditions results in core body temperatures that raise to unsafe levels.

Here ten tips you can do to beat the heat!

Tip #1: Timing is Everything

While it’s true that Floridians build up a tolerance to the heat, that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind when it comes to exercising in the great outdoors.  During the latter part of May and the early part of June, the mornings are significantly cooler than the afternoons.  This makes it the perfect time to pursue strenuous activities, provided you bring along plenty of water.  Once we reach the dog days of summer, even the mornings can be dangerously hot and humid.  My advice for runners and cyclists during July and August is to do your thing indoors.  That’s one reason stationary bicycles and treadmills were invented.

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Tip #2: Water Works

When you exercise in warm weather, you need to drink at least 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Since there are 128 ounces in a gallon, this means consuming 1/3 of a gallon of water per hour.  While toting water can be a chore, since a gallon weighs 8 pounds, your body requires it to function properly.  Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, disorientation and fainting, none of which is desirable when you are running or biking on a busy street.

Tip #3: Dress for Success

While you might look cute as a button in that tank top and pair of short shorts, you may rethink that assessment if you wind up with a case of sunburn the next day.  Unless you plan on limiting your outdoor activities to the dawn patrol, you need to wear a loose-fitting t-shirt and shorts that go to mid-thigh to retain moisture and thwart the sun.  Also, make sure you apply a coating of sunblock to any exposed skin if you plan on being outside at or after 10 am since that’s when the sun can burn you.  All it takes is 20-minutes exposure to sunlight to start a burn.  Remember, they don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing.

Tip #4: Acclimate Yourself

It can take the body up to 2-weeks to acclimate itself to the heat.  This means you should scale back and then gradually ramp up the intensity of your exercise routines during the summer months.   Push your body too hard, too fast, and you could wind up doing your body more harm than good.  Just this past April a 34-year-old runner died after crossing the finish line at a half-marathon in Minnesota.  The temperature was unseasonably warm, which may have contributed to his collapse.

Tip #5:  Know When to Say When

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While your usual morning jog might be 5-miles, it’s perfectly alright to cut it short if your head starts pounding, or your muscles begin to cramp.  Wimping out is far better than stroking out when the heat is on.   Better to fail at fitting into that swimsuit you’ve had your heart set on then succeeding in having the finest physique in the cemetery.

Tip #6: Salt Saves

Not only does your body sweat water in the heat, it also sheds salt.  Sodium and potassium help the body regulate fluid balance and muscle activity.   Working out in the heat necessitates we replenish these electrolytes.  Should your electrolyte levels bottom out, you are in for trouble.  While many people consume sports drinks to replace these minerals, these beverages also contain sweeteners.  The best way to replace both sodium and potassium is to consume a cup of plain yogurt topped with a sliced banana before your workout.

Tip #7: Cool It

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While taking a cold shower after a workout feels great, a better practice is to take one before working out.  By precooling your body prior to exertion, your body will be better able to handle the rigors of exercise in the heat.  Endurance athletes routinely don cooling vests or run with a latex glove filled with ice to keep their core temperatures down during training.  While you might not be in training for an Iron Man competition, it still makes sense to follow in their footsteps when it comes to doing whatever it takes to keep cool while working out is a safe bet.

Tip #8: Have a Backup Plan

Anytime your workout routine takes you far from home on a steamy day; you need to have a backup plan should you decide it is time to call it quits.  That means carrying your cellphone, so you can call a friend or Uber to pick you up.  The last thing you want to face is the possibility of a long walk back to your car on a hot summer day when your pulse is racing, and you are sweating profusely.  Should that happen, the next vehicle you could wind up in is the kind with flashing lights and a siren on top.

Tip #9: It’s Not Just the Heat. It’s the Humidity.

Humidity is another factor you need to take into consideration in the summer.  Sweat is the body’s way of cooling down since evaporation is one way to reduce heat.  When the humidity is high, as it always is during the summer in Florida, sweating doesn’t work as well in terms of cooling, since the air is already saturated with moisture.  As a result, your body can dangerously overheat when you exercise outdoors during the summer months.

Courtesy MaxPixel
Tip #10: Listen to Your Body

The old adage, “No pain, no gain,” might be a great way to wind up in the hospital this summer.  Particularly when it is hot out, you need to heed your body’s warning signs.  If you start feeling fatigued midway through your workout, take a cool down break.  If your head begins to spin, if your muscles start to cramp or your heart starts to race, it’s time to call it quits for the day.  Pressing through the pain is never a good idea when you add heat and humidity to the equation. 

While staying active year round is always a good idea, you need to use your head if you want to beat the heat while staying fit.

Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is regularly seen on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Northeast Florida.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Looking for a Nutritional Plan That’s Juice Right?

By Tracy Thomas

As you know from my husband’s Feb. 22 blog,  we believe that dietary supplements are a great way to address deficiencies in the body.  Let’s face it, the modern American diet leaves a lot to be desired.  High in fat and low in fiber, what most Americans eat on a daily basis is at the root of many health issues.  The problem is that while most people recognize the fact that their current diet is lacking nutritionally, many are reluctant to alter their eating habits. But what if there was a way you could help balance the books nutritionally by taking a capsule or two every day?

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Eat Your Veggies

Most of us can remember our mom telling us to “Eat your veggies” when we were little.  Now that we are all grown up, we have nobody to remind us and as a result most of us eat far too little fruits and vegetables.   If you cringe at the thought of bellying up to the salad bar, I might have the solution you seek. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Essential Oils – Something Old is New Again

By Tracy Thomas

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Mention essential oils to most people, and they’ll immediately assume that it’s associated with other new age therapies, like using magnets and healing crystals.  What you may not realize is that essential oils are not new.  In fact, they have been used for thousands of years among various cultures who realized their medicinal properties.  Just like modern medicines, essential oils exhibit a number of proven therapeutic properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. 

Since the time of the pyramid builders some 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians used to create essential oils by soaking a variety of plants in oil before filtering the liquid through linen bags, these healing oils have been utilized as medicines, beauty aids, and cleaning products.  While the technology used to manufacture, essential oils has evolved over the past five millennia, their benefits remain the same.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chiropractic for Moms

By Tracy Thomas

With Mother’s Day being right around the corner, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about how chiropractic care can help moms deal with every aspect of their lives. Being a mother has its rewards, but it can also come with a healthy dose of mental and physical stress.  Everything from conception and pregnancy, to childbirth and raising a child brings with it a host of life-changing physical transformations that need to be dealt with in turn. This article is designed to cover those changes, as well as how chiropractic care can help mothers better deal with them.

It all Starts at Conception

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From the moment of conception, a mother-to-be begins a physical and emotional journey that will transform her body in many ways.  Being a mom can be hard on the body.  As the fetus grows, a woman gains weight.  This tends to throw everything from the spine and pelvis to the joints, muscles, and tendons out of whack. Once the spine becomes misaligned, it can also cause chronic pain, particularly in the third trimester.   Since a developing fetus shares its mother’s blood supply, this makes taking prescription painkillers problematic. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A New Tool in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

By Tracy Thomas

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Breast Cancer – Just saying the term out loud makes women cringe with good reason.  More than 250,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.  More than 40,000 deaths were caused by breast cancer in 2015 alone.   With those sobering statistics in mind, it’s obvious that early detection is the best defense against this scourge. 

Breast cancer is caused by unregulated cell growth that most commonly presents as a small lump.  The good news is that not all lumps are cancerous.  Lumps that are painful, moveable and soft are usually benign, while those that are painless, hard and fixed are more likely to be cancerous.  Detection of a lump isn’t a reason to panic.  Most lumps are not caused by cancer.  Fluid filled cysts and non-cancerous tumors can form in the breasts. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Life N Balance Membership Program

By Dr, Jon ThomasDC, BCIM

Image courtesy of Vibrant Life Health Center
A lot of people come to our office and ask us about health and wellness plans.  They’ve exhausted all their options trying to figure out what kind of supplements they should be taking.  They’ve had countless blood tests analyzed and then tried to figure out what the results were telling them.  They attempted to determine what they need to do to get all the systems in their body working at their best.  That’s why we developed the Life N Balance Membership Program.