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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


5 Tips for Making Healthy Holiday Choices
5 Tips for Making Healthy Holiday Choices
Gingerbread houses, work parties and Aunt Ethel’s rum cake—seasonal delights abound in December, creating a winter wonderland of temptation. In any holiday season, it’s easy to get swept up in holiday parties, shopping and eating and let your good health habits from the rest of the year fall by the wayside. But with a few simple strategies, you can incorporate healthy choices into your celebrations and start the New Year off in better shape than you might expect. Here are five tips for integrating some smart choices into your merrymaking. 1. Bundle Up and Get OutdoorsEven if you belong to a gym, fitting in a workout in December can be a difficult task with your busy schedule. Instead of sticking to your same old routine, switch things up and get social with your workouts. Bundle up and take the family to enjoy some winter activities like ice skating, skiing and tubing. Not up to strenuous activity? Finish your holiday shopping and take a long walk in the mall. Prefer to stay indoors? Get in some cardio while trimming the ...

4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By: Dr. Bell Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs through overuse and tension of muscles through your wrists and forearms. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that carpal tunnel is the primary cause for almost half of missed work time among U.S. employees. (Arthritis.org) Our Orthopedic Associates team compiled these four stretches to help you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Shake your hands Pretend you just washed your hands and can’t find a towel to dry them. What do you do? You air-dry your hands by shaking them. Use that same technique by shaking your hands for one minute every hour. This helps relax your median nerve and flexor muscles to prevent cramping. An easy solution can be always air-drying your hands instead of using a hand towel, which may be better for your health with the germ-filled history of hand towels. Wrist flexes Extend your arm at shoulder height directly straight away from your body. Lock your elbow and place your palm facing downward. Spread out your fingers and place your other palm on the back of your extended hand. Gently push down on the extended ...

5 steps for maintaining a balanced life in 2016
5 steps for maintaining a balanced life in 2016
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey It’s 2016 and that means a new year, new you, right? At the top of the list for most popular New Year’s Resolutions is maintaining a healthy lifestyle or fitness goals. Also towards the top is reducing stress and living a fulfilling life. Did you know that only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions? If so many people fail at having a balanced life in the new year, what are the steps you need to take to be successful? Our Orthopedic Associates team compiled five simple steps to maintain a balanced lifestyle into 2016 and beyond. Write down S.M.A.R.T goals for 2016 Do you know what you want your life to look like in 2016? Did you write down your goals? Are they S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive? Saying you want to lose weight is a good start, but saying you want to lose four inches off your waist by April 1st is easier to target because it’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Reduce stress Mistakes happen at higher speeds: twisted knees from rushing to a meeting, ...

How to finally keep your New Year's fitness resolutions
How to finally keep your New Year's fitness resolutions
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey It’s the time of year for setting New Year’s Resolutions. Each year the goal of “losing weight” or “staying fit and healthy” climb to the top of most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Sadly, only eight percent of U.S. adults who make at least one New Year’s Resolution actually fulfill their commitments. (StatisticBrain) Don’t be despaired by those numbers though! Here are some great tips for making and keeping your weight-loss and fitness goals for the new year and beyond. Get a workout partner Strength in numbers is a great principle to follow when it comes to keeping your New Year’s fitness resolutions. Finding the right workout partner can help you stay motivated and accountable for those early mornings or long work days where the last thing you want is to hit the gym. A study by the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Indiana found that married couples who joined a gym and worked out separately experienced a dropout rate of 43 percent over one year’s time. Married couples who worked out at the same time, even if ...

Top exercises to work off that holiday turkey
Top exercises to work off that holiday turkey
By: Dr. Michael Nogalski The holiday season means turkey is on the menu. Whether you’re a dark meat or light meat lover, turkey packs a punch. It can leave you with a post-dinner coma watching football and longer-term love handles after the holiday season. Here are a few great exercises to help shed your post-holiday gobbler gut. Get moving You can take a walk, go up and down the stairs, or even go for a brisk jog. It doesn’t have to be intensive, but get your body moving to increase blood flow to vital organs, including your stomach. This isn’t a race (thank God!), so go at a pace that pushes your pulse without being too intense. Squats Begin with your body weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the knee and lower your body as if you’re sitting down. Stop with your knees at a 90-degree angle (warning: do not bend your knees more than 90 degrees.) and then reverse motion to a full standing position. Repeat exercise for three sets of ten reps. If you Lunges Stand up straight with your ...

Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
By: Dr. Byler Fall is here and that means two things: the Cardinals are in the playoffs, and the leaves are turning. Getting out for a beautiful hike in the autumn weather is a great way to embrace fall in St. Louis. Here are some of the best hiking trails around the greater St. Louis area where you can stretch your legs, get some exercise, and enjoy fall in St. Louis. Castlewood State Park Follow the Meramec River through Castlewood State Park into the valley for a breath-taking snapshot of fall. This is a great family-friendly park to catch a sneak peek of wildlife. Check out the World Bird Sanctuary, which can be accessed through Lone Elk County Park. Dr. Edmund A. Babler State Park Babler State Park is known for its bike paths, but hikers will equally enjoy the beauty offered by this West County wonderland. Altogether, there are six trails for hiking and hikers may enjoy packing a light picnic lunch. Keep an eye out for feathered friends as Babler is home to a wide variety of beautiful birds. Katy Trail State ...

How to Exercise Safely in the St. Louis Summer Heat
How to Exercise Safely in the St. Louis Summer Heat
The dog days of summer are here, and that means your outdoor workout is a little bit hotter than it was earlier this summer. St. Louis in July features some of the hottest days of the year with temperatures expected to hit triple digits. (Accuweather) Before you hit the pavement for a jog in Forest Park or cycle down the Katy Trail,, keep these tips in mind for exercising safely in the summer heat. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body loses water at a tremendous rate in extreme heat. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of heat stroke. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times in case you get overheated. It’s important to drink water throughout your workout to replenish your body’s hydration levels. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink plenty of water! Use sunscreen throughout the day If you’re going to spend any time in the sun, you need to wear sunscreen. Don’t try to be a “tough guy” because “you’re just going to get sunburned anyway.” You need to apply sunscreen every two hours to stay ...

How to recover after running a marathon
Marathon season means runners of all ages are pinning on race bibs and pounding the pavement across St. Louis. If you’ve recently finished your marathon or half-marathon, there’s a good chance you pushed yourself a little too far at one point during the race. Even if you ran a clean race overall, your body still needs time to recover from several weeks, if not months of training.  Here’s some good information to help your body recover after running a marathon… Post-marathon stretches for best recovery Your post-marathon recovery begins as soon as you cross the finish line. You need to carefully and thoroughly stretch your muscles out after a race. This helps remove any remaining lactic acid from your muscles and greatly reduces muscle soreness. Using a foam roller to massage out your thighs and calves is an excellent way to loosen any leftover lactic acid. You may experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the hours following your race. Pay attention to the level of soreness you experience because it’s an indication of possible injuries ...

Best Nutrients To Boost Your Orthopedic Health
Our bodies need the right types of nutrients to enjoy the best lifestyle possible. Omega 3 Fatty Acids help promote a healthy heart and brain, vitamin C helps fortify your immune system, and iron can improve your kidney function. The adult human body needs at least 1,000 mg. of calcium a day to maintain healthy bones. (National Osteoporosis Foundation) When it comes to your orthopedic health, there are some great nutrients that will help your bones and joints staying fit and functioning well for the life you want to live.  Calcium Our bones need calcium to remain strong and dense. The age-old advice of “Just drink milk!” is still true when it comes to a calcium-healthy diet, but many people also have a lactose-intolerance or are on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Figs, sardines, and dark leafy greens, like bok choy and kale, are all excellent non-dairy sources for calcium. Vitamin D If Calcium is the superhero of orthopedic nutrition, then Vitamin D is its trusty sidekick. This one-two combo works exceptionally well together. Our ...

How bad posture affects your spine (and exercises to correct it!)
How bad posture affects your spine (and exercises to correct it!) Did you know that lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability around the world? A recent study shows that over 31 million Americans currently suffer from lower back pain. (ACA) Although sitting at a desk all day may be a known cause of back pain, having poor posture causes more musculoskeletal disorders than we might realize. Warning signs of poor posture As our bodies age, it’s easy to let our spine contract with pain points, such as rounding the upper back and arching the lower back to accentuate the spine’s natural S-curve. There are several known signs of poor posture, including: Rounded shoulders Back pain Uneven wear patterns on the soles of your shoes (ex: your left shoe’s sole is significantly more worn-out than your right shoe’s sole) Head leans to either side or forward Bent knees when standing or walking Potbelly  Slouching, sleeping on your stomach, leaning too far to ...