Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Easily and Naturally Combat Fatigue

We have all had those days of feeling completely wiped out, exhausted and tired. Your body doesn't want to work and your mind isn't as sharp as it usually is. Why is that and how can we combat those feelings naturally?

Fatigue can be triggered by a lack of sleep, sickness, stress and the weather and it can wreak havoc on your system and your life. But below, we have outlined several ways for you to fight the feelings of fatigue and get energized.
  • Get enough sleep. Simple enough of course, but getting the proper amount of sleep can be the most important part of your day. Sleep recharges your body and restores brain function much like recharging a battery. Some poeple can function on 6 hours of sleep, while others need 8-10. Understand your body and try to get the right amount of rest you need.
  • Eat right. The foods you eat and when you eat them can determine your energy level throughout the day. Because food is the fuel your body run on, it is important to eat "fuels" that last the longest, like complex carbohydrates (grains, cereal and starchy veggies). Simple sugars, found in candy and sweets, can spike and lower your blood sugar levels suddenly, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
  • Exercise! Of course exercise can help you control your waist line, but it can also combat fatigue. Vigorous activity wakes up the nervous system and speeds up your metabolic rate, leaving you more energized.
  • Get a massage. Massages are a great way to reduce your stress level, calm you senses and rejuvenate the body. By stimulating the body's blood circulation, massages revive tired muscles and minds.
These are just a few ways to combat the overwhelming feelings of fatigue associated with stress, lack of rest and a poor diet. Of course, chronic fatigue can be a sign of a more serious problem, so consult your physician or Empire Health and Wellness Center (518-690-4406) for more information.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Preparing for an Autumn Hike

Fall is always my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning colors, the air is crisp and the weather is still nice enough to enjoy some last minute outdoor activities before the first signs of winter arrive.

Hiking is a very popular activity all year round, and especially during the fall months. Because it is a physical activity and can be strenuous, depending on the terrain, it is important that you prepare for hiking as you would for any other exercise routine.

  • Stretch and warm-up before you begin. As always, both are important to preparing your muscles and preventing injuries during physical work.
  • Hydrate! Bring water with you during a hike and drink, drink, drink. Staying hydrated will keep your body cool and lubricate your joints.
  • Choose your hike carefully. Research various peak, terrains and trails until you find one that suits your ability level. Hiking a trail that is too steep or too strenuous for you can lead to injury.
  • Don't over pack. Only bring the essential on your hike and remember to wear both straps if you are carrying a back pack. Unevenly distributed weight, or a load that is too heavy can cause you to loose your balance or even lead to back pain and injury.
  • Wear the proper attire. Wearing shoes that are the correct size and that are designed for hiking can save your feet from aches, pains and blisters. Also, the weather in the fall can be unpredictable, so bring extra layers of clothing.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while being physically active, too. But remember to consult your physician or Empire Health and Wellness Center (518-690-4406) before you begin a new type of exercise regimen, even hiking.

Also, for more information, visit Adirondack Sports and Fitness!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Healthy, Happy Feet

Feet are often the most under appreciated part of the human body. While they offer us a strong, steady base to stand on, move us from point A to B, and act as shock absorbers for the rest of our body, they spend most of their time in the dark under wraps.

The average person can walk between 2 and 3 times around the earth in their lifetime. That means a lot of wear and tear on the 26 bones, 33 joints and 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments of just one foot. By taking care of your tootsies, you can minimize the risk of foot injury, pain and ailments that come with age and overuse. Below are a few ways to keep your feet healthy and happy.

  • Wear proper sized shoes. Make sure to purchase shoes that offer your toes enough wiggle room, provide proper arch and heel support and remember that you could be a different size in a different brand.
  • Exercise! Excess weight can put a great deal of stress on your feet. Exercise can keep your weight under control, while also stretching and strengthening the muscles of your feet.
  • Maintain good hygiene. Keeping feet washed, dry, clean and free from fungus can go a long way in keeping them healthy.
  • Don't ignore the pain. If you have pain in your feet, consult your physician or Empire Health and Wellness Center. Avoiding the problem can often make it worse.
Unhealthy feet can lead to an unhealthy body, so keep these tips in mind and take care of these under appreciated extremities. If you would like more information, or would like to arrange a consultation, please call Empire Health and Wellness Center at 518-690-4406.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exercises to Relieve Tennis Elbow

Elbow tendonitis (epicondylitis) is a very pesky problem experienced by both amateur and professional athletes. While both types of players suffer from different kinds of stresses, medial and lateral, the problem is the same – pain and immobility.

Lateral stresses, most common in amateur tennis players, are caused by overuse of the extensor tendons of the forearm. Medial stresses are less common and occur with wrist flexor activities.

Below is a list of exercises that can be helpful in improving your flexibility, strength and endurance to prevent or help you recover from tennis elbow.

  • Wrist Extension - With palm facing downward and forearm supported on knee or table, place 1 pound weight in hand. Raise and lower wrist slowly 10 times, repeat 3 times.
  • Wrist Flexion – With palm facing upward and forearm supported on knee or table, place 1 pound weight in hand. Bend up and lower wrist slowly 10 times, repeat 3 times.
  • Finger Extension – Place a rubber band (or two for more resistance) around all five fingertips. Spread fingers 25 times, repeat 3 times.
  • Ball Squeeze - Place rubber ball or tennis ball in palm of hand. Squeeze 25 times, repeat 3 times. If painful, try a folded sponge or piece of foam.
  • Massage – This is a great way to stimulate blood flow reduce the creation of damaging scar tissue and can reduce inflammation.

Remember, elbow tendonitis isn’t only caused by playing tennis. Golf, racquet ball, baseball and any other activity that puts intense strain on the elbow can cause this malady. Also, tennis elbow can become a chronic condition and should be treated seriously. Consult your physician or schedule a consultation with Empire Health and Wellness Center (518-690-4406) if you experience this condition and before you begin these exercises or any treatment for tendon strains.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

National Physical Therapy Month!

Empire Health and Wellness Center is excited to say that October is National PT Month!

The human body is a complex network of muscles, joints, nerves, tissue and bones. When you or someone you love suffers an injury or is recovering from surgery, consider physical therapy as a road to recovery. Physical therapy can reduce your pain, increase your range of motion and flexibility often without the use of medication.

Empire HWC would like to thank all of our friends, patients and members for their support throughout the years. Your well being is our success. If you have a positive story of recovery that you would like to share with Empire HWC, please let us know! We are looking for patient and member testimonials and would appreciate your help.

For more information about how physical therapy can help you, give Empire Health and Wellness Center a call at (518) 690-4406.