Stress Management

Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.

There are many studies that have been conducted over the years with very positive findings.  Results show those people who wrote about or gave verbal gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.  But most of the studies published on this topic support an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.  Other studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.  Managers who remember to say “thank you” to people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. Children and teens who take time to thank someone who has help them develop show findings that suggests gratitude is an attainment associated with emotional maturity.

Take a moment today to offer gratitude to someone.  This will show positive effects on physical health, psychological health, reduce aggression, improve sleep, and increase mental strength.  Finding yourself is all part of a Healthy Lifestyle.  We can help you here at Doctor for Life using our evidenced based programs.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step to a more healthy future.  864-640-0009

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Don’t stress about tax day!

It’s ironic that tax day falls in April during National Stress Awareness Month.

Who doesn’t experience at least a little anxiety when it comes to collecting receipts, firing up the calculator, and filling out what may sometimes seem like endless forms?

Even if taxes don’t make you anxious, they still take time and can create worry and dread.

That worry and dread can spill over into our sleeping lives and cost us important hours of rest while we chase racing thoughts in the dark. 

For most of us, every day has its little stressors. You might have fought traffic getting into work, come in to find a huge stack of work waiting for you, or maybe you’re caught up preparing for a major meeting. But on those super stressful days, where everything seems to happen at once with no reprieve in sight, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

On those days when you’re moments away from pulling your hair out or punching a hole through your computer screen, take a moment to try something more productive. Nothing can eliminate all your stress at once, but these tricks can help you better manage your stress and turn your day into a much more pleasant one.

Go for a walk:  As little as 10 minutes of walking can be effective, but more couldn’t hurt–if you can get away with it.

Eat a healthy snack:  When you’re overwhelmed with stress or responsibilities, you can sometimes forget to eat. When you’re hungry, everything stressful is amplified to another level, making things seem worse than they actually are. A healthy snack can help reverse that, and even if you aren’t especially hungry, a little food can help clear your mind, release endorphins, and give you more energy to handle the day. Foods high in protein or healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, and hard-boiled eggs, are great choices, and of course, you can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables.

Practice mindfulness:  Mindfulness is a simple style of meditation that you can do anywhere at any time, for as long as you’d like.

Take a moment to reorganize:  Excess clutter is one of the easiest stressors to get rid of, and getting rid of it is one of the most stress-relieving actions you can take.

We can help you with each of these steps along the way at Doctor for Life.  Our Certified Health Coaches are trained to help you work through the clutter and make sure you work to prioritize your days and weeks.  With this organization, we find the results are very positive helping to reach health goals and maintain your Health Weight Lifestyle.  Give us a call today to discuss your goals.  864-640-0009

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Don’t let a rainy day get you down. There are always healthy activities for rainy days.

During the spring months, you’re likely to be more enthusiastic about going outside to do fun, healthy activities like hiking, running, cycling, or even just going for a walk or bringing your yoga workout outdoors. Unfortunately, along with spring flowers come spring showers, which can make going outside unpleasant. Instead of using the wet weather as an excuse to plop down on the couch, consider doing a healthy activity instead. Here are a few great ideas!  At Doctor for Life we encourage keeping yourself moving for your body but also keeping your brain engaged to maintain your sharp mind helping to make positive nutrition choices.  Give us a call at Doctor for Life and we can always help pick out some of these great ideas that fit your Healthy Lifestyle goals.864-640-0009

Rainy-day workouts.Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t do physical activity! Search YouTube. Find a workout routine you’d like to try and do it!

Try a new exercise. If you just want to try one or two new moves instead of an entirely new workout routine

Walk or pace. Is the TV calling? Want to scroll through your Facebook feed? Why not walk in place while you do those activities? It’s a low-impact way to fit in some activity.

Do some chores. Doing chores can help keep you moving! Try catching up on your backlog of laundry; going through cluttered areas of the house to determine what to keep, trash, or donate; or giving your bathroom a deep cleaning.

Dance a little. Beat the rainy day doldrums by putting on some fun, upbeat music and dancing around. (If you’re doing chores like laundry or cleaning the kitchen, combine the music and dancing with these tasks to make them more fun!)

Improve your nutrition

Hey you, with the snack food in your hand, headed in the direction of the TV—why don’t you try one of these ideas instead?

  • Clean out your fridge or pantry. This can not only help you get rid of expired food, but it also provides an opportunity for you to reorganize your kitchen in a way that supports healthy eating.
  • Make a new recipe. Use the indoors time to your advantage by making a healthy dish. Search online to find a new-to-you recipe.
  • Create a meal plan for the next few days. Having a meal plan can help you avoid impulsively eating snacks or spending too much money at the grocery store. In addition to planning out what meals you want to make, also write down what ingredients you need to purchase to make them.
  • Clean the germy areas in your kitchen. Just wiping down the counters isn’t enough! Keep your kitchen sparkling clean and clean the germy spots that aren’t always top of mind.
  • Start tracking your food. Being aware of what and how much you’re eating can help you with any nutrition and weight loss goals you may have. Use a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal (or your other favorite app), or just jot down what you eat (and your portions/serving sizes) in a notebook.

Other healthy activities

Keep your brain sharp and your stress levels down!

  • Read a book. There are so many potential health benefits of reading, like relieving stress, learning new things, and more.
  • Try a puzzle. Puzzles can help you keep your brain sharp and active. Do a jigsaw puzzle, a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or play some word games.
  • Write a letter. Write an email or letter to someone to express gratitude for their friendship. This simple act of kindness will brighten their day!
  • Try meditating. The raindrops hitting the windows will provide a relaxing and atmospheric touch to your meditation.
  • Take a little time for yourself. De-stress by unplugging and focusing on something you enjoy doing. Whether that’s taking a warm bath, watching your favorite movie, or doing a craft project or hobby, give yourself some uninterrupted time to do an activity that helps you feel happy and relaxed.
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The Many Benefits of Weight Loss

Did know you can reduce joint pain and other health risks by losing weight?

Although most people know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for their overall health, actually achieving weight loss and being at a healthy weight are different issues. Being overweight or obese is the number one health challenge facing the United States today.

Despite the fact that over 70 percent of Americans are currently considered overweight or obese, according to study data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the CDC, this health problem can be reversed. Even a modest weight loss of 5 or 10 pounds can provide immediate and long-term health benefits.

It’s important to keep in mind that losing weight is not a race – whether you need to lose 20, 50 or even 100 pounds – and that the benefits of losing weight and being physically active go far beyond how you look in the mirror. It’s a lifelong process to become a healthier you.

This is our specialty at Doctor for Life.  We take the approach of losing weight is only part of the plan for your Healthy Weight Lifestyle.  By combining Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine, our physicians and health care teams are always focused on the total transformation and not just one root issue.  We go beyond the scale with the InBody Test, a non-invasive body composition analysis that provides a detailed breakdown of your weight in terms of muscle, fat, and water. The InBody test provides us results with a 99% correlation to a DEXA scan. Give us a call today to take that first step to achieving all the positive changes following a Healthy Weight Lifestyle can bring to not only you but your family and loved ones as well.  864-640-0009

Benefits

Reduces pressure on your joints.  A 2005 study in Arthritis & Rheumatism of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritisfound thatlosing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. In other words, losing just 10 pounds would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees.

Eases pain and inflammation. The results of a 2010 study from the University of Paris published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease indicated that weight loss can lessen pain, improve function and lower inflammation levels in the body. Fat itself is an active tissue that creates and releases pro-inflammatory chemicals. The authors of another study titled Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Knee Osteoarthritis noted that exercise, which aids in weight loss, can help manage and lessen the pain and symptoms of arthritis.

Cuts risk of chronic diseases. Data from the CDC-led Diabetes Prevention Program show that a moderate weight loss – around 14 pounds – can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Weight loss can also reduce the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and can help prevent and treat arthritis and related diseases.

Makes breathing easier. Rena Wing, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., says that “Weight losses of just 10 percent of a person’s body weight (or about 20 pounds in those who weigh 200 pounds) have also been shown to have a long-term impact on sleep apnea …” Findings in a report from the American Heart Association noted that reducing obesity is the single, most changeable action that can be taken to prevent sleep apnea.

Lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that losing weight can lower your blood pressure into the healthy range. In addition, eating right and engaging in physical activity that leads to weight loss can also lower your cholesterol. Data suggest that even a moderate weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds can help to reduce your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Overall

Weight loss is a tough endeavor, but no single action can provide as many positive effects on the body as weight loss. Its benefits for your body – helping you live longer, and pain and disease free – far outnumber the challenges you’ll meet as you work toward your weight loss goal. Talk to us today at Doctor for Life and ask about starting your weight loss program to gain lasting, better overall physical and mental health.  

Some information in this post was content provided from the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, Ga.

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Great benefits of walking for heart health, including lower risk of heart attack and stroke

The benefits of physical activity depend on three elements: the intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise.  At Doctor for Life we strongly suggest adding in daily physical activity to round out your Healthy Lifestyle Program.  We not only suggest it, in our programs we test your ability through Fitness Assessments, a written prescription, personal trainers and we are here every step of the way for your success.

Because walking is less intensive than running, you have to walk for longer periods, get out more often, or both to match the benefits of running. As a rough guide, the current American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine standards call for able-bodied adults to do moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes on five days each week or intense aerobic exercise (such as running) for at least 20 minutes three days each week. That makes running seem much more time-efficient — but if you factor in the extra warm-ups, cool-downs, and changes of clothing and shoes that runners need, the time differences narrow considerably. Add the time it takes to rehab from running injuries, and walking looks pretty good. Mix and match to suit your health, abilities, personal preferences, and daily schedules. Walk, jog, bike, swim, garden, golf, dance, or whatever, as long as you keep moving.

Benefits of walking for your health

The cardiovascular benefits of walking offer a great outcome for the effort; like other forms of regular moderate exercise, walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress. And if cardiac protection and a lower death rate are not enough to get you moving, consider that walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon cancer, and even erectile dysfunction.

Walking the walk

Walking has it all. Simple and natural, it doesn’t require any instruction or skill. It can be a very modest form of exercise or it can demand enough skill and intensity to be an Olympic sport. You can walk alone for solitude or with friends for companionship. You can walk indoors on a treadmill or outside in the city or country, at home or away. You can get all the benefits of moderate exercise with a very low risk of injury. And to boot, walking is inexpensive.

Walking and weight loss

Exercise burns calories. In the case of walking and running, the calories you burn depend much more on the distance you cover and your body weight than on your pace. This table shows calories burned per mile of walking or jogging on the level for people of varying weights:

A hundred or so calories a mile might not seem like much, but they can add up to better weight control. Give Doctor for Life a call today to get your personal fitness prescription and make that first step to better health.  864-640-0009

Walking calorie calculator

Your weight of 120 lbs burns approximately 85 calories per mile

Your weight of 140 lbs burns approximately 95 calories per mile

Your weight of 160 lbs burns approximately 105 calories per mile

Your weight of 180 lbs burns approximately 115 calories per mile

Your weight of 200 lbs burns approximately 125 calories per mile

Your weight of 220 lbs burns approximately 135 calories per mile

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Get Monday off to a Positive Start

At Doctor for Life we are always talking about mindfulness and setting time aside for yourself.  As much as most of us try to do this, there is always Monday.  What is it about Mondays? We take it as a given, that at some point on Sunday a sense of gloom and anxiety will settle in as we think about the week ahead.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for a great Monday is to give yourself weekends that rejuvenate and restore you. With some organizing and planning, you can greet Monday with open arms, and increase your productivity in the workplace. Try these tips to have a better Monday.

Save energy for your weekends:  A lot of people work themselves into the ground over the week, leaving themselves nothing more than a two-day couch potato on the weekend. Do whatever you can to avoid this—you want to spend Saturday and Sunday with enough energy to actually do fun things and have a functioning mind that can think creatively about work and your life.

Use Friday afternoon to prepare for Monday: It’s amazing how much you can forget in those 60-plus hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. To hit the ground running on Monday morning, a few suggestions:

Write yourself a Monday to-do list that explains where you left off on a task, or what’s next. Write a more detailed note about what you were working on—what was going well, what you were excited about accomplishing or capturing, what you want to go back and redo, or an idea you wanted to pursue.

Make your note encouraging and motivating, rather than a marching-order list of to-dos. (Remember, this is for your eyes only. What will get you pumped up on Monday?)

Better yet, use your project planning software to create a Monday task and update it at the end of every Friday (or at an appointed weekly time). You can include a to-do list, as well as a more descriptive note, as a comment.

Plan the right mix of weekend activities and events:  As a rule, you’ll have the most satisfying weekend if you mix in a combination of: physical activity, family and friend time, scheduled activities and open time. You know better than anyone what works for you and your family—and how that might vary by season, weather and life circumstances. Crafting a restorative and fun weekend takes planning.

Use the weekend to get ahead:  Super ambitious professionals use their weekends to advance their careers and businesses. With less structured (and uninterrupted) days, there’s time for creative thinking, brainstorming and problem solving. Also, not to step on your work-life balance commitment, but if you left work on Friday with a tsunami of work breathing down your neck, tucking in a few hours of work on an uninterrupted Saturday afternoon might be just what you need to feel good about starting your work week.

Don’t waste your Sundays:  Isn’t it crazy that we can spend so much time on Sunday dreading Monday? Here are two very different ways to spend your Sunday evenings:

-Plan some evening fun. For some of us, Sunday evenings are sacred do-nothing nights. But if you schedule an early dinner with friends, a movie date, or an evening picnic at a park, then you give yourself a positive focus for the day.

-Spend a few hours planning your Monday. For some people, diving in to their work week on Sunday evening is a highly productive and satisfying use of their time. For managers and leaders, you give yourself a leg up on everything that meets you Monday morning, and you can see what’s expected of your team. There’s an incredible amount of time wasted on Mondays simply catching up on where you left off the previous week. You can avoid hours of this if you prepare on Sunday evening. And you’ll wake up Monday morning feeling calm.

On Monday, pace yourself:  You don’t have to move mountains or work a 12-hour day. A week is like a long-distance event. Go out too hard, you’ll be spent by Thursday. As an incentive, plan something fun on Monday—lunch out with a colleague, splurge on a favorite coffee drink, little easy things. It doesn’t take much to perk up a mood.

Don’t give in to the Monday story:  When the anxiety creeps in on Sunday, tell yourself you’re perfectly OK with everything. See what happens if you create a new belief system for yourself about Mondays. Because if you really think about it—Mondays are nothing more than another day of the week, where anything can happen, even greatness.

Here’s to a happy week everyone!  We are always here to give support at Doctor for Life just give us a call.  864-640-0009.

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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.

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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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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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