How good sleep decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease

When it comes to our health, along with eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise, one of the things that we are told is to get plenty of sleep. For many of us, getting a full eight hours of sleep, is more of a pipe dream than anything. Our lives are getting busy and more interconnected than ever, making it harder for us to disconnect and get the sleep we need. This decrease in sleep can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease.

At night, during sleep, our body naturally lowers our blood pressure and our heart rate. By lowering our blood pressure and our heart rate, our heart is able to slow down and relax. The slowing down of our heart is important to ensuring that our blood pressure remains low. Without the ability to lower our blood pressure at night, our blood pressure rises throughout the day. Higher blood pressure is not something to scoff at.

In addition to regulating your blood pressure and heart rate, our bodies also regulate our hormone levels. The hormone levels that are regulated are responsible for regulating stress, our immune system, and our appetite. This means that our mood, how we feel, and how we function are all maintained by our sleeping.

In a study done in South Korea, researchers found an alarming problem among those that they researched. In the participants that had on average five hours of sleep or less, the researchers found an increase of calcium buildup and arterial stiffness. These two symptoms are importants signs of oncoming heart disease.

In other studies done, researchers found that there were increases in risk for other cardiovascular diseases. Some of the other cardiovascular diseases that had an increased risk were: high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Some of these diseases are a larger issue in that they lead to other issues that compound in more sleep problems.

All of these problems are not only symptoms of a lack of sleep but are also problems that come from people who result in too much sleep. Too much sleep can also result in health problems as our bodies need only a certain amount of sleep. By increasing the amount of sleep someone receives, their body produces an abundance of hormones and chemicals that results in a negative effect of their body. This included an increase in potential for stroke in participants.

While a day or two of missed sleep might not have an effect on our well being, prolonged periods of lacking sleep will start to have negative effects on our bodies. While much of our mental state is regulated by proper sleep, the increase in risk for cardiovascular disease is great concern. Increased blood pressure, greater calcium buildup, and arterial stiffness are huge warning signs of major cardiovascular disease. The increase in risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and other cardiovascular disease are not worth missing a few hours of sleep at night.

When it comes to our health, along with eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise, one of the things that we are told is to get plenty of sleep. For many of us, getting a full eight hours of sleep, is more of a pipe dream than anything. Our lives are getting busy and more interconnected than ever, making it harder for us to disconnect and get the sleep we need. This decrease in sleep can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease.

At night, during sleep, our body naturally lowers our blood pressure and our heart rate. By lowering our blood pressure and our heart rate, our heart is able to slow down and relax. The slowing down of our heart is important to ensuring that our blood pressure remains low. Without the ability to lower our blood pressure at night, our blood pressure rises throughout the day. Higher blood pressure is not something to scoff at.

In addition to regulating your blood pressure and heart rate, our bodies also regulate our hormone levels. The hormone levels that are regulated are responsible for regulating stress, our immune system, and our appetite. This means that our mood, how we feel, and how we function are all maintained by our sleeping.

In a study done in South Korea, researchers found an alarming problem among those that they researched. In the participants that had on average five hours of sleep or less, the researchers found an increase of calcium buildup and arterial stiffness. These two symptoms are importants signs of oncoming heart disease.

In other studies done, researchers found that there were increases in risk for other cardiovascular diseases. Some of the other cardiovascular diseases that had an increased risk were: high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Some of these diseases are a larger issue in that they lead to other issues that compound in more sleep problems.

All of these problems are not only symptoms of a lack of sleep but are also problems that come from people who result in too much sleep. Too much sleep can also result in health problems as our bodies need only a certain amount of sleep. By increasing the amount of sleep someone receives, their body produces an abundance of hormones and chemicals that results in a negative effect of their body. This included an increase in potential for stroke in participants.

While a day or two of missed sleep might not have an effect on our well being, prolonged periods of lacking sleep will start to have negative effects on our bodies. While much of our mental state is regulated by proper sleep, the increase in risk for cardiovascular disease is great concern. Increased blood pressure, greater calcium buildup, and arterial stiffness are huge warning signs of major cardiovascular disease. The increase in risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and other cardiovascular disease are not worth missing a few hours of sleep at night.

Do you suffer from sleep problems and exhaustion? Our Hormone Testing can help you uncover hormone balances that cause sleep difficulties.


How to Prevent Swimming Shoulder Injury

How to Prevent Swimming Shoulder Injury

The warm weather is here, and for many of us (myself included), it’s the perfect time of year to include some swimming into your fitness routine. Swimming is a super activity that has a mountain of benefits for the entire body—especially if you are looking for something that is easy on your joints. That said, swimming can take a toll on your shoulders. Improper technique and overuse often results in the ever-dreaded swimmer’s shoulder. Here is some handy advice I’ve scraped together to help you prevent shoulder injuries, or how to come back from one.

Before you get in the pool

Before you jump in the water, you should warm up your shoulders. You can begin with some band or dryland exercises to help your shoulders prepare for swimming. Boosting your heartrate and circulation will help with the range of motion in your joints, putting less strain on your shoulders when you begin swimming.

Bands

Begin warming up your shoulders with some quick and easy band exercises. Bands are extremely effective because you can do numerous stretching exercises and build your strength without straining your shoulders. When it comes to getting you ready for the pool, bands are your shoulders’ best friend.

Dryland

There are several great dryland exercises that will help you prepare your shoulders for swimming. For instance, you can do some dips on a bench or bench push ups to warm up your shoulders. But keep in mind, stop doing these exercises if your shoulders start hurting.

Practice

When you are swimming, pay close attention to how your shoulders are feeling. If they start to hurt, take a break. Overdoing it can cause serious damage to your shoulders, like tendonitis and rotator cuff problems. If your pain persists, consult a healthcare provider.

Technique

One of the main causes of shoulder injury is poor technique. So, if you are experiencing shoulder pain, you might need to make some adjustments. Getting help from a coach will help you iron out your technique, and pin down your mistakes.

Post-workout

After your swim, it’s important to stretch your shoulders. Post-workout is crucial when it comes time to protecting your body. Your muscles are tired and are on the mend, beginning the process of repairing themselves.

See a healthcare provider

Shoulder health is not only vital for swimming, but also for day to day living. So, it’s a good idea to take care of them. If you are experiencing chronic shoulder pain, see a health care provider. They will educate you on how to properly take care of your injuries.

In need of a proper shoulder support? Come in to meet with our brace fitters today!

Have any shoulder exercises you would like to share? Let us know, as we would love to hear about it!


Don’t Let the Risk of Ankle Injuries Sideline from Playing Soccer

Don’t Let the Risk of Ankle Injuries Sideline from Playing Soccer

Soccer (or football) is hands down one of the most popular sports on the planet. And with the ever-increasing number of Vancouverites catching Whitecaps fever (myself included), interest in this world-famous sport has never been bigger. From elite athletes to weekend warriors, hordes of people are heading out to the nearest field to take part in a sport that so many people all over the world have come to embrace.

Twisting your ankle is a part of the game

Like many of you, I used to love racing of up and down the soccer field with my classmates during gym class, or on the weekends with my friends. I don’t think I ever took part in any competitive or recreational soccer league, however, without watching some of my fellow teammates get hurt.

Let’s be honest, getting hurt is part of the game. Sooner or later, someone is going to hobble off the field—or worse, get carried off. And without a doubt, one of the most common injuries from soccer is a sprained ankle. Between running nonstop on the field, weaving around players, or even being stepped on by them, it isn’t really all that shocking.

Managing your sprained ankle

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to on-field ankle injuries. If you have twisted or sprained your ankle, there are several steps you can take to speed up the healing process. The first thing you need to do is get off the field as quickly as possible—a little help getting to the sidelines from your coach or soccer buddies will help keep the pressure off your ankle. Next, you want to apply some ice to your ankle, making sure to avoid placing it directly on your skin. Then, wrap your ankle with a bandage or elastic tape and elevate it above your heart to help stop pooling in your ankle.

Getting back in the game

When you have given your ankle enough time to heal and you’re ready to get back on the horse, wearing an ankle brace will help ease the pain and prevent further injury. The added support will also stabilize your ankle, allowing you to run, kick, and change directions like a pro (ok, well at least like your old self) again.

Don’t let an ankle injury keep you off the soccer field this season. If you are looking to prevent sprains, rollovers, and minimize the risk of overextension, a quality ankle brace really is the way to go.

Before you head out to the soccer field this year, come in to meet with our brace fitters today.

Taking up soccer this season or thinking about joining a league? Let us know, we would love to hear about it!


A Hiker’s Guide to Knee Support

A Hiker’s Guide to Knee Support

The 2016 hiking season has finally arrived with the opening of the Grouse Grind. What’s that? You’ve never visited Mother Nature’s Stairmaster? Whether you are an accomplished hiker or a novice out for your first climb, the spectacular scenery at the top is well worth the challenging 2,830 steps ascent up the mountain.

As a hiker, I always try to fit in time for the Grind whenever I can. Unfortunately, however, I have suffered from knee pain for the past several years. And let me tell you, pain in your knees climbing up the Grouse Grind can make for a pretty unpleasant hike.

Knee injuries can happen doing just about anything. However, the endless pounding of hiking can really put a lot of wear and tear on your joints. The chance of a torn ligament from a twist or a fall are always a possibility on the trail, but it is your knees that are more likely to suffer if they are overworked. But if you are like me, the thought of being cooped up indoors on a gorgeous day, nursing a sore knee is simply not an option.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your knees in great hiking condition and treat your joints with the respect they deserve.

Wear high quality hiking shoes/boots

When it comes to protecting your knees, it’s all about the shoes. Take my word for it—wearing a proper fitting, well-cushioned shoe is going to make a world of difference. The right footwear will help take pressure off your knees when your heels hits the ground. If you are thinking hiking boots, make sure they have shock absorbing soles and ankle support. Quality hiking boots will help minimize the impact of shock during hikes, helping to save your knees.

Strengthen your legs

Taking on a challenging hike without being physically prepared is a sure-fire way to injury. Is it really worth crossing the Grouse Grind off your bucket list if you wind up in the hospital? Knee problems are less likely to happen when you strengthen your leg muscles.

I like to do a lot of exercises that workout my hamstrings, inner thighs, quadriceps and calves. For example, I ride my bike (or a stationary bike when the weather’s brutal) for at least 30 minutes every day. I also do a wide variety of weight-bearing exercises, including lunges, step ups, and squats. Keeping your leg muscles strong and balanced will help your knees handle the stress while hiking.

Wear knee braces

When hiking, wearing a knee brace is a great option for additional support. There are a wide variety of braces on the market for compression, stability, ligament support, tracking, and more. So, I highly recommend consulting with a physician or a qualified pharmacist to help you get a grip on what works best for you.

Don’t let the hiking season pass you by. With a little help and a little planning, you can help minimize pain and maximize your experience on the trail.

Taking up hiking this spring? Come in to meet with our brace fitters today.

Have you been up the Grouse Grind or are you thinking about it? We would love to hear all about it!