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April 2012
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  • Spring Ushers in Chance for Getting in Shape & Beginning Proper Nutrition Program

    Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 9:39 AM     Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 9:52 AM
    Association of NJ Chiropractors By Association of NJ Chiropractors
    Like baseball’s opening day which ushers in a new beginning for major league teams, spring can also be the starting point for a new health paradigm for individuals through the adoption of an exercise and proper nutrition program. The Association of NJ Chiropractors (ANJC), which represents over 2000 doctors statewide, has put together guidelines for individuals to follow to successfully implement such a healthy lifestyle change in their lives.

    By exercising 20-30 minutes three or four times per week and eating more nutritious foods, one can set themselves on a positive path to health and prevent a variety of health problems in the future.

    “We have been on a path to a health pandemic for years,” said Dr. Joseph D’Angiolillo, President of the ANJC. “This has been caused by diets high in caloric, fat and sugar content. Combined with an inactive lifestyle, this has led to younger people starting to suffer from heart disease.”

    To reverse the alarming trend, the ANJC urges patients to stop smoking, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and augment their balanced diet with appropriate nutritional supplements. An important way for individuals to usher in this new health paradigm is by changing their dietary habits and eating more nutritious foods. This is a process that involves changing one’s overall approach to dining.

    When exploring ways to better nutrition, the ANJC encourages individuals to follow these guidelines:

    • Eat out less. Food preparation methods in restaurants often involve high amounts and the wrong types of fat and sugar.
    • Add fruits, vegetables, and grains to your daily diet and limit your intake of alcohol and quit smoking.
    • Eat more raw foods and select organically grown foods when possible, because they have lower amounts of toxic elements, such as pesticides and heavy metals.
    • Consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. High-fiber diets can help prevent digestive disorders, heart disease, and colon cancer.
    • Drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol are dehydrators. Don’t substitute them for water.

    In addition to a more balanced diet and better nutrition, engaging in a more active lifestyle is essential for changing your health outlook. The warmer conditions are perfect for getting this underway.

    “The warm weather is great for exercising outside and with a little extra care it can be a healthier and more enjoyable experience,” noted Dr. Steven Zodkoy, a member of the ANJC Nutrition Education Council. “The ANJC urges everyone to get active, and when possible, develop an exercise program that you can enjoy outdoors.”

    The most important advantage to the outdoors is the sunshine.  Many Americans are vitamin D deficient which can be best rectified through 20-30 minutes of sun exposure a day.  However, bringing your exercise routine outside can cause several issues for those suffering with allergies. Problems associated with springtime exercise are allergies and aches and pains. The high pollen rate in the spring makes even walking outside difficult for millions of Americans, but nutritional supplements can help. 

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dietary supplements are not substitutes for foods, nor can a person sustain good health by just taking vitamin and mineral supplements.(1) When taken properly, however, supplements can play an important role in achieving maximum health. If you are considering nutritional supplements, keep the following tips in mind:

    • Remember to consume dark green vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds, which are sources of magnesium, fatty acids, and many other vitamins and minerals.
    • Don’t “self-prescribe.” Consult a health care practitioner, such as a doctor of chiropractic, to determine what supplements are best for you. If you have symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue or cardiac problems, seek professional advice from a health care provider who specializes in nutrition.

    Whether you are starting a springtime exercise program or just participating in gardening or yard work, backaches and other muscle strains are commonplace at this time of the year as individuals place stress and strain on their bodies after a winter of inactivity. Many of the injuries occurring at this time are due to individuals trying to do too much too soon.

    To properly condition oneself for spring yard work, gardening and leisure activities, the ANJC recommends the following tips:

    10 Tips for “Spring Conditioning”

    1. Don’t over-do things in the beginning; warm-up with jumping jacks or a slow jog for sports activities.

    2. Stretch after the light-jog/jumping jacks; stretch all the muscles used in an activity (not just the legs).

    3. If you are working in the garden, bend with your knees and not your back, and use your arms and legs while working. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.

    4. A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity. Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.

    5.  Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful

    6. Consider using more ergonomically designed tools.

    7. Always incorporate breaks while you do your task. To avoid injuries, stop the activity when fatigue starts to set-in.

    8. Have a plan of action if an injury is experienced.

    9. Whether or not you feel pain, apply ice to any joint that typically is sore after activity.

    10. Know your limits and have fun whatever the activity.

    By eating more nutritious foods, getting regular exercise and following proper health guidelines, individuals can definitely achieve a health paradigm that will transform their lives.


    1. Economic Characterization of the Dietary Supplement Industry: Final Report. In “U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition” March 1999.

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