Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cardiac Risk Profile

Did you know you can assess how healthy your heart is, as well as your risk for a heart attack? The type of assessment that profiles the heart is called a Cardiac Risk Profile. A simple score sheet is used to evaluate the risk of suffering a heart related incident in the next ten years of an individual's life. The profile includes a questionnaire that takes into account controllable risk factors, such as diet, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and smoking. The profile also factors in uncontrollable risk factors, such as gender, age and genetics. The profile compiles the information given and determines a cardiac risk factor score. The lower the score, the lower your risk for heart disease. On the surface, the Cardiac Risk Profile sounds like a simple way to determine heart disease risk but, as with many other health conditions, there are other factors that may increase your risk of heart disease. For instance, extra abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, as does diabetes. Diabetes increases heart attack risk because of high blood sugar levels. The extra glucose in the blood causes blood vessels to thicken and lose their elasticity. One of the biggest contributors to heart disease is lack of exercise. Exercise on a regular basis will lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase circulation, reverse hardening of the arteries, decrease inflammation and contribute to weight loss (which also helps to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics). Research has confirmed that a little exercise (one hour a week) can decrease the risk of heart disease. As always, it is important to make sure you are healthy enough to start an exercise program. The Cardiac Risk Profile is a good way to start.

Thought for the Week:
"When your heart speaks, take good notes." ~Judith Campbell

Chiropractic Thought for the Week: "Often when a new patient comes into a chiropractor's office and sees an infant or young child, the initial comment is: "I didn't know you treated children." Upon closer analysis, however, we realize that the spine is subject to stress and strain from the very moment of birth. Childbirth itself is probably the first shock to the spine and nervous system that the infant receives. The chiropractic profession places considerable emphasis on structural balance and has attributed considerable importance to the potential problems which can result from seemingly harmless childhood incidents. Think how many times your child has fallen. The profession has maintained that these childhood accidents can be the beginnings of early spinal degeneration. Chiropractors are trained to use gentle techniques and can use light force instrument adjusting." ------ The Enterprise Bulletin, Canada

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Your Metabolism Questions Answered

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions in the human body that is needed to maintain life. Our bodies acquire the energy we need from food through metabolism. Chemical reactions convert the food to energy, which is used for every function (even thinking!) in the body. Metabolism is vital for all life. If there is no metabolism, a living thing can not live. For explanation purposes, metabolism is broken down into three easily discussed areas. First, we have anabolism. Anabolism creates the energy required for growth. Food products are digested so that the body can create cells, maintain tissue and store energy for future needs. Second, catabolism is the process that uses energy to break down tissue. In this process, cells breakdown to release energy for the body. This energy is used for movement (muscle contraction) and creating body heat to maintain our internal temperature. Lastly, we have basal metabolism. Basal metabolism is the amount of energy expended when the body is at rest. This is important for quite a few reasons, but the one that is the most relevant is weight loss. If you think of energy as calories (calories are the amount of energy the body gets from food), the higher the basal metabolic rate, the more calories the body burns at rest. The more efficient the body is at utilizing or burning calories, the more the body loses weight. Individual basal metabolic rate can easily be raised to make the body more effective at burning calories and losing weight. The most productive way of raising the basal metabolism is through exercise. Naturally, exercise burns calories at the time the exercise is being performed. Research has also shown that 2-3 hours after an exercise session, the body continues to burn calories at a higher rate due to increased metabolic activity. More importantly, muscle tissue requires energy (calories) to exist. The more tone your muscles become, the more calories your body burns at rest. Ultimately, with time and effort, your body can be a calorie burning, weight loss machine, just lying on the couch!

Thought for the Week:
"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness."
~Edward Stanley

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:
"....a vertebral subluxation can negatively affect general health by altering the neurological communication between the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Although individuals may not always be symptomatic, chiropractors believe that the presence of vertebral subluxation is in itself justification for correction via spinal adjustment.
-------, The Vertebral Subluxation