Let’s Go, H2O!

The spring time is coming here in Maine…well, it could come faster but as soon as March hits I pretend like it’s already warm. When warmer weather is on the way it really encourages me to be healthier than ever. One thing I’m really bad at (and I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs) is drinking water. There is nothing like a glass of fizzy soda or the caffeinated coffee pick-me-up first thing in the morning… and again around 2pm. While the coffee is okay once in awhile, soda really has no health benefit at all.

How often do you find yourself drinking water throughout the day? This is one of my biggest downfalls and I know there are other people out there who are in the same boat.

Did you know you should be drinking half your body weight (in ounces)  of water each day?

That means I’m supposed to drink about 8-9 cups of water per day. It seems like a lot but I guarantee you will feel so much healthier once you start making this change in your life. It also helps in weight loss if that’s something you’re shooting for.

For those of you who prefer some flavor in your water:

This site has a lot of neat recipes for flavored water and they’re delicious! http://greatist.com/health/flavored-water-healthy-recipe

For those of you who “forget” to drink your water:

This thing is crazy but AWESOME! It actually keeps track of your hydration via your smart phone! It’s amazing what our world is coming to! http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/blufit-water-bottle-app-preview/

 

 

Dairy Milk vs. Milk Alternatives

So my New Years Resolution was to start eating a healthier diet. Not necessarily to lose weight but to make healthier food choices and feel better overall. I have mostly cut out soda (which is HUGE for me), I’ve only had one glass in three weeks! And surprisingly I haven’t had many cravings. I’ve been drinking a lot more water with lemon which I feel has helped keep off the cravings.

But here is my larger struggle: I’m a die-hard dairy fan. Who isn’t? Milk, cream, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, icee cream, basically anything with dairy in it satisfies my every dream…except for the heavy bloated feeling I get afterwards. I was eating all these dairy products and it was messing with my digestive system and making me feel disgusting every day. Yet I continued to torture my body just so my taste buds would be happy. I finally decided it needs to stop. Dairy is good for you in moderation but the word “moderation” wasn’t a part of my dairy-eating style.

So on this “Healthier Me” road I’ve started playing with different types of Milk. Honestly, it freaks me out a little. I could never just drink straight up soy milk or almond milk…something about it doesn’t seem right.  However I’ve convinced myself I need to go on a healthier road so I started drinking almond milk and/or soy milk in my smoothies, oatmeal and lattes. It actually tastes quite delicious. Then I realized that I don’t even know if these alternative milks are healthy for me or not. I just HEAR that they’re healthy… and they’re in the “healthier looking section” of the grocery store so it must be good. 

I looked a little further into it and found this interesting article. And low and behold, like everything else, there are pro’s and con’s to each type of milk. Why can’t we find a food (that isn’t a vegetable) that is straight up just AMAZING for you in every way possible? Like chocolate for instance. But back to milk: Check out the article to see what milk alternative or if dairy milk is the right choice for you!

http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2012-05/milk-alternatives-are-they-really-better-you-or-it-hype

 

What’s Your New Years Resolution?

It’s almost the start of 2014! A New Year means new beginnings and the start to a BETTER YOU!

Do you remember what your resolutions were for 2013? If so, did you accomplish your goals? The New Year is a great time to start new goals or dream new dreams but people often make the mistake of making their goals too out of reach. Many of us have a goal to lose weight, starting exercising or just eating better overall. These are wonderful resolutions but they need to be REALISTIC!

With all the health insurance changes this is the perfect year to kick yourself back into gear. Many companies offer more affordable health plans if you’re a healthy individual. Pay less for health insurance, make less doctor visits AND feel better about yourself? I really can’t find a better reason, so start making those resolutions! Here are some tips to get you where you want to be:

1) Set small goals that are reachable: If you need to lose 50 lbs to be at a healthy weight, don’t make your target 50lbs. Set a goal of 5-10lb loss first. This is a much more attainable goal and once you find you CAN lose the weight you’re much more likely to stick with your resolution!

If you’re trying to eat healthier it’s very difficult to get up one day and change your diet completely. I’ve tried it a hundred times and it usually lasts 2-3 days…sometimes only to the afternoon. First, try changing out one meal to a healthier choice. Breakfast is extremely important to kick start your day. People who eat breakfast are more likely to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight because they’re kick starting their metabolism.  So why not swap out that Dunkin’ Donut breakfast sandwich for oatmeal, eggs or a smoothie?

2) Be SPECIFIC: Don’t make your resolution, “I want to lose weight.” Thats great, lose one pound and you’re done! Set a target weight or inches to lose so you know exactly what you’re working towards.

Trying to healthy? What does “healthy” mean to you? Choose foods that you want to/should eat more of (lean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole wheat) and foods you want to eat less of. DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF. Allow yourself to have a cookie once in a while, small indulgences every so often will help you stay on track. You just need to be able to eat ONE cookie and not five.

3) Set a time/date: If you set your goal out too far away you’re less likely to meet it. For example, I wanted to lose weight for a friends wedding and it was about 6 months away. I kept saying “I’m going to lose 20 lbs before the wedding.” My goal should have been, “I’m going to lose 5 lbs a month” That would have held me more accountable. There were too many times where I said, “Well, I still have 3 months left, I’ll be fine.” Low and behold, I did not lose the weight I wanted to. Blah.

4) Make it a competition: If you’re a competitive person this is the way to go. If you want to start working out again find a work out buddy. This will be the person who will make you go on the days you don’t want to and visa-verse. Make a goal of how many times you want to work out per week…. if you know your partner went one more time then you you’re going to feel guilty. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable.

5) Make a Visual Board: This may sound childish but it really does help. Write down your goals in a place you can see. Your kitchen, your bedroom, or maybe right next to the television. Put pictures of you when you were at your goal weight, a celebrity or someone your find inspirational. inspirational quotes, and maybe a box to check off each time you reach a target. However, DONT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE. Everyone’s body and mind is different.

6) Make it FUN!: I hate running…I’ve personally just never enjoyed it so I don’t include it in my workouts. If you set a goal that includes things your don’t enjoy you’re never going to meet your resolution! You need to find substitutes. Try different classes and activities that you think you might enjoy. You’re bound to find something. If you hate kale, eat more spinach. Don’t make yourself do things you don’t like. You have to be creative! A personal trainer is also a great way to go if you can afford it. When you reach a goal, reward yourself but not with food!  Go buy those shoes you’ve been wanting or buy some new workout clothes. (You’re more likely to hit up the gym if you like your outfit!)

 

“The only person you should be better than is the person you were yesterday”-unknown

 

Make 2014 the year you finally meet your resolutions! No matter what they are, big or small, they’re important to you and can lead you to a better life. Cheers!

Shoveling and Snowblowing Tips

After the crazy storm we got this weekend, I thought it would be helpful to post some more tips about snow-blowing and shoveling. About 55% of shoveling injuries are soft-tissue injuries and 34%  of the injuries lead to low back pain. Luckily, these are all injuries that we can help you recover from with Physical Therapy!

OrthoInfo has some great tips on how to avoid injury this winter! http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00060

If you’ve already noticed some pain after the storm we got this weekend, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at any of our three locations. Along with treating your injury our therapists will also teach your proper body mechanics when shoveling and/or other household activities.

Gorham: 207-839-5860

Portland: 207-699-4111

South Portland: 207-799-8226