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Try a Weekend Workout

Other than losing weight, research has shown that working out also helps in the functionality of the brain. It is, therefore, a very useful healthy living activity to engage in during the weekends. Maybe the weekend is the only time you have some free time to go the gym or workout.

Don’t let that time pass you by, get off the couch and get to your home gym or the gym around the corner and workout. Make sure you lift weights that you have been cleared to lift safely by your medical professionals. A good workout will aid in your strength and your endurance. Working with weights is a anaerobic type of exercise that will aid you in your strength and will attack your waist line by chewing up calories. Regardless if your workout is aerobic like running, biking etc. or anaerobic you will want to have proper nutrition, and most importantly stay hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water, before, after and during activities.

If you are not sure about what type home workout is right for you, we are here to help at Doctor for Life. Call us today to schedule a personal fitness assessment with our certified trainers. Our medically based approach will walk you through a program that is custom to your individual health conditions and health goals. 864-640-0009

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In today’s world, to be personal with someone isn’t what it meant 10 years ago.

What would have been going the extra mile to call a family member instead of texting them, or actually walking or driving to their house, has suddenly been replaced with likes and comments. Social media has become a caliber of some imaginary point system that we use to “interact” with friends.

What used to require a handwritten letter took form in emailing, which later became texting, which became commenting, and has now transformed into computerized notes, which exist simply to mimic the act of a personal effort. In the midst of change, we have to recognize now that this means one crucial thing: handwritten notes are more coveted now than ever before. And this is not only a function of the tremendous effects they can make in your life. But it is also because of their rarity that they will make the biggest impact to the receiver.

Did you know that handwriting a personal note positively affects your brain?

-Handwriting increases neural activity in certain sections of the brain, similar to meditation. 

-Handwriting sharpens the brain and helps us learn.

-Handwriting forces us to slow down and smell the ink. 

Sounds good, right?  So why not find a good pen and some paper or a note card and get started?  Give some thought this weekend to someone you have not touched base with in a while and write them a quick note and drop it in the mail.  Take a tip from us here at Doctor for Life, remember we must not only take care of ours bodies we must also nourish the mind and soul.

rfosterIn today’s world, to be personal with someone isn’t what it meant 10 years ago.
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Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being.

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Benefits of massage

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.  Other studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Improves Ability for Physical Activity

Research finds that massage therapy can actually enhance the effects of exercise. Recommendations are made that massage therapy offers patients who only exercise a couple of times a week to help improve flexibility and blood flow but to also help them with the soreness and stiffness they experience after their exercise.  Since massage increases oxygenation of muscle tissue, it helps sustain endurance and shorten recovery time.

What you can expect during a massage at Doctor for Life

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, our massage therapist will ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Our massage therapist will explain the kind of massage and techniques they will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You will lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. Our massage therapist will perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.  No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.

If our massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while our massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

The take-home message about massage

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.

Call us today to book your session whether it is to help in a certain condition or just to pamper yourself.  You deserve the personal time to make yourself feel energized and relaxed.  864-640-0009. We accept qualified patients HSA and FSA cards as well.

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Happy Hump Day- Using Grocery Flyers to Plan Meals

If you have ever attended one of the cooking classes at Doctor for Life you have heard Chef Rodney mention many times, one of his most frequently-used methods for saving money on food is to simply create a meal plan each week based on the sales found in grocery flyers. He suggest to then take that meal plan and prepare a grocery list based on it, which naturally includes many of the sale items found in the flyers.  In our area, these sales flyers are published on Wednesdays for the next week.  It’s a great start to Hump Day for the week.

For most of you, this approach to meal planning may be vastly different than the way you do it.  If you are like most people you tend to learn such things through repetition and example, seeing what others have done and simply trying it their self until it becomes natural and normal.  Let’s see how it’s done.

Getting the Flyers
Many grocery store chains carry digital copies of their flyers on their websites. If your preferred grocery store does not, you can often find a copy of that week’s grocery store flyer inside a copy of the Wednesday and Sunday newspaper in your area.

Identifying Interesting Items
As you browse through the flyers for each store, try to look for items that are either on sale low enough that they stand out to you or ones that stand out for flavor reasons, inspiring you to get into the kitchen and cook. Chef Rodney suggest to particularly focus on produce and meat deals.

Finding and Choosing Recipes
We know that you need to plan for five dinners in the coming week, as well as making sure that you have things on hand for breakfasts (like plenty of oatmeal and eggs, for example) and a few items for backup lunches in case you don’t have enough leftovers to cover your lunches.

You can use a recipe search engine like allrecipes.com or cookinglight.com, putting in the interesting ingredients you found above to search for simple recipes you can make that the family would like (with an eye toward your own dietary needs, too). You can also go through your cookbooks and recipe box to see if you have anything interesting that matches well.

Building a Meal Plan and a Master Ingredient List
You should have come up with an actual meal plan at this point, slotting in the various meals for various nights. The biggest reason for doing this is so that you can be sure to use the fresher ingredients as quickly as possible, to plan ahead in terms of tasks that need to be done (like soaking beans overnight or overnight oat jars), and to make sure you can roll over elements easily from one meal to the next, like having both meals with onions close enough together that any extra chopped onion doesn’t go bad in the fridge.

You also prepare a “master ingredient list.” This is basically a list of all of the ingredients in this week’s recipes sorted by the place where you would find it in your kitchen – refrigerator, freezer, top pantry shelf, etc.

Turning the Ingredient List into a Grocery List
When you have a “master ingredient list,” you then need to take it around the house to each of the places you have grouped things by on the list, then you will cross off the things you already have. This also makes you check up on the quantity of stuff you use frequently, like milk, and encourages you to add such things to the list.

Once you are done hitting the spots in our kitchen, the grocery list is ready to go. Conveniently, it’s already pretty well organized, as you marked the sale items on the list so you know what store to buy it in, and all of the refrigerator and freezer stuff is already grouped together for you.

At this point simply hit the grocery store, back home unpack everything, and then just follow that meal plan throughout the busy week to make sure you stay on target for your Healthy Lifestyle way of eating.

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It’s Time To Spring-Clean Your Diet

A change of seasons is the perfect time to rethink old eating habits, make healthy food swaps and get a fresh start. In spring, the urge hits to clean out, spruce up and simplify. We fling open our closet doors and toss out old shoes and sweaters, ready for a fresh start. So why not spring-clean you’re eating habits, too? Say goodbye to old routines and lighten up with nutritious foods—plus healthier, smarter ways to eat.

Cut Back: On alcohol, added sugars, salts, refined grains, and processed foods.

Eat More:  Vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Start your day out right by NOT skipping breakfast.  Reduce portion sizes and eat more mindful.  Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Join in the cleaning by throwing away the undesirable foods from your pantry and refrigerator. 

Learn to cook more meals at home and meal prep for weekly success.  Eat local produce as much as possible.

Plan a meat free day in your weekly diet.  There are so many great plant based proteins to give a try for new experiences for our taste buds.

Doctor for Life will step you through this process all along the way.  Getting rid of some “bad foods” can be hard and we understand that.  Our experience is a journey to make sure you are set up for success with your Healthy Weight Lifestyle.  Give us a call today to set up your initial appointment to begin your journey.  864-640-0009

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Don’t be fooled! The Best Diet: Quality Counts

  • Dietary guidelines have changed over the years as research becomes more accurate in determining what we should eat to attain optimal health and weight. The strongest evidence to date shows that calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.
  • Focus on eating high-quality foods in appropriately sized portions.
  • Changes in specific dietary factors may have big impact on long-term weight gain: Weight-loss Strategy to Only ‘Eat Less, Exercise More” May be Overly Simplistic.

Consider quality, not just calories

“A calorie is a calorie” is an oft-repeated dietary slogan, and not overeating is indeed an important health measure. Rather than focusing on calories alone, however, emerging research shows that quality is also key in determining what we should eat and what we should avoid in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.

High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy sources of protein – the foods recommended in the Healthy Eating Plate.

Lower-quality foods include highly processed snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as potatoes.

There isn’t one “perfect” diet for everyone, owing to individual differences in genes and lifestyle.  At Doctor for Life we specialize in designing programs for each individual person.  Call us today to schedule your one on one visit to see what fits your lifestyle based off scientific research.

References: Harvard School of Public Health- The Nutrition Source

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Medical Therapeutic Massage Therapy

Doctor for Life provides the highest quality, customized therapeutic massage to our clients. We address complex muscular, skeletal and bio-mechanical conditions using the latest modalities and advanced techniques. Our values of trust, care and respect are at the core of every treatment. We are committed to your well-being. Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability to promote well-being.

At Doctor for Life, we believe that therapeutic massage requires more than a “one size fits all” approach. Our licensed massage therapists understand that every client has unique needs and requires a personalized approach. We offer massage therapy services to treat women’s and men’s health issues. We employ a variety of modalities to guide you toward your wellness goals. Whether you need prenatal massage, postnatal massage, deep tissue massage, medical massage, sports massage, Swedish massage or therapeutic massage to ease chronic pain and digestion issues, we are here for you.

Whether you are utilizing massage for general muscle relaxation or as an adjunct to your wellness or rehabilitation program, our therapists will help restore normal tone and balance to your body.

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The Lifelong Effects of Childhood Obesity

By Carol Hamilton

Parents want the best for their children; they want them to be good in school, athletic, artistic, and socially accepted. That desire for a child’s perfection impacts how parents perceive their child’s weight. In a recent study parents were asked if they considered their 2-5 year old children, to be overweight, underweight, or just about right. The results showed 94.5% of parents with overweight children inappropriately perceived their child as just right. Likewise, 78.4% of obese children were perceived as “just right” by their parents (Duncan, et al. 2015). Without accurate parental recognition and lifestyle changes, childhood obesity can adversely affect an individual for the remainder of their life.

Some of the most prominent health issues adults face, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes can be linked back to childhood obesity (Brody 2016). These adverse effects can show up prior to children even reaching adulthood including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted in Singapore, individuals who were obese as children are more likely to struggle with low self-esteem, confidence, and depression even more so than adults with onset obesity (Brody 2016). Children who are obese are also at higher risk of struggling with asthma, and excess musculoskeletal stress resulting in knee and hip pain, and difficulty walking.  Unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits formed in childhood are often carried through adulthood (Kodama 2008).

The good news is we have the ability to correct childhood obesity through dietary education and lifestyle changes. At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of preventative healthcare practices. Whether you, your child, or your whole family want to embrace a healthy weight lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy. One of the best gifts you can give your children is a healthy lifestyle and Doctor for Life can help you do that.

Works Cited

Brody, Jane E. “The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity.” The New York Times, 2016.

Duncan, Dustin T, Andrew R Hansen, Wang Wei, Fei Yan, and Jian Zhang. “Change in Misperception of Child’s Body Weight among Parents of American Preschool Children.” Childhood Obesity, 2015.

Kodama, Hiroko. “Dietary Habits that Protect Children from Lifestye-Related Diseases: from the perspective of dietary education.” Journal of the Japan Medical Association , 2008.

 

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First Week

Like many people, I took advantage of a lot of opportunities to indulge over the holidays. Nearly every event was centered around food. The wine, beer and cocktails runneth over. My rambunctious brother was visiting and stayed at our house for a week. So yeah.

I think we all “give ourselves a break” during the holidays. Normal lives may be filled with order, boundaries, regime. Especially if your routine changes, like you are off work for a week, you are kind of vacationing from reality. You feel entitled to freedom, freedom from standard “proper” actions and freedom from guilt in your own mind. Like I said, I did it. Celebratorily. Gladly.

For the first week in January though, I came up with some “get back on track” rules for myself. (I know this could sound silly to some, but creating these rules on a weekly or monthly basis have been truly crucial to my personal health and fitness, the key to goal-setting.)

The rules for January 1-7 were simple:

  • No candy
  • No soda
  • No fried foods
  • No alcohol

One could certainly set stricter rules, and in the past I have. But in this case, I only wanted a solid week off from the top four offenders in my diet. These were the specific foods and drinks I noted I was consuming too much of in weeks prior. I had to cleanse!

Tuesday, January 2, I came home from work after a hazardous day. Here was my thought process…

  • Gosh, today was tough, and I’m exhausted.
  • I wish I could treat myself, to feel better, as consolation.
  • I really want two mini Milky Way bars that I got in my stocking.
  • I had a good day by the rules, did not have soda, fried food or alcohol.
  • Maybe that’s what I should do instead – just allow myself one thing from the No list each day.
  • Cool! I will have the candies.
  • Chomp. Chomp.

A minute later, I felt terrible. I had just set these rules for my First Week, and I broke one immediately. I thought, what the heck is wrong with me? I realized I wanted to write a blog post about this experience right then. I wanted to document my own journey and failure. If this happens to a health and fitness expert, then it most definitely happens to those unpracticed and unaware. My problem was talking myself into that candy. I rationalized why I could have it, why I deserved it. This thinking was not in line with my goal. The person who lost here was me.

This is what my clients go through every day when trying to be active and eat healthy. They set goals. They make themselves promises. They welch on the deal. Because behavior change is not instant. It takes having “I want the candy” moments followed by “I ate the candy,” “I know eating the candy does not get me to my goal,” and I resolve to not do that next time” moments.

We are all learning more, all the time. The better we recognize and analyze our behavior, the more likely we will change it and make positive, healthy lifestyle decisions.

Fitness Director,
Aarika Johnson

 

Aarika JohnsonFirst Week
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