Month Year
Issue No. 18
November 2013
In This Issue
Surviving the Holidays
Keys to Strengthening Your Immune System
Tips for Healthy Agingdmill Desks
What Our Patients are Saying
The Weakening of America
Reminder: Use Your FSA Benefits Before the End of the Year
Surviving the Holidays
Along with the holidays come the stresses and strains of frenzied holiday shopping. Ask yourself, "Am I ready for the holiday shopping season?"

"Our bodies have the capacity to do a little more than we normally do," says Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the ACA's Council on Occupational Health, "but they do not adapt very well to doing a lot more. The added demands of this season can stress the capacity of our bodies, so we need to do to help ourselves. Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise -- and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about."

Consider the following tips to help you relax and enjoy the holidays!

Treat Holiday Shopping As An Athletic Event
  • Stay hydrated! 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.) On shopping days, you may need to drink even more water.
  • Be sure to stretch before and after a long day of shopping. When you are stressed-out, your muscles are less flexible than usual.
  • Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact of walking on those hard shopping mall floors.
  • Leave your purse at home. Wear a light fanny pack, or if necessary, a light backpack instead. Pack only items that are absolutely essential (driver's license, credit card, etc.).
  • If you start to feel some pain, nip it in the bud. Apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.
Plan Frequent Breaks Into Your Shopping Day
  • During a day of heavy shopping, most people should take a break every 45 minutes. Those with less stamina may even need to take more frequent breaks.
  • If possible, rent a locker to help cut down how much you have to carry around. If your mall or shopping center doesn't offer lockers, try to plan trips to your car.  
  • Eat light foods. A salad and some fruit is a much better option than a burger and fries.
  • Skip the coffee break! Coffee and sodas contain caffeine and sugar, which add even more stress to your body. Drink water to keep hydrated. 
Wrapping Gifts
  • Since there is no "ideal" position for wrapping gifts, remember to vary your positions -- try standing at a table or countertop for one package, sitting on a bed for another, sitting in a comfortable chair for another, etc.
  • Do not wrap packages while sitting on the floor. Doing wreaks havoc on your posture.
  • Always stretch before and after you wrap gifts.

And one more tip to helping you keep and feel great for the holidays: schedule an appointment with Dr. Hertz and/or Massage Therapist Carol Hayes. Call the office at 630-513-7770; we're available Monday through Saturday. 


Keys to Strengthening Your Immune System
We are bombarded daily with all sorts of microbes that can cause illness. Interestingly, if we are exposed to a wide range of these microbes as children, studies have shown that we will have a lower risk of asthma and allergies as well as a stronger immune system. There are a number of factors that influence the health of our immune system, including diet, stress, exercise and aging. Following are some strategies you can use to help strengthen your immune system.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - These are high in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need to help keep you healthy, particularly those high in vitamin C (red bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, citrus fruits) and zinc (nuts, seeds, wheat germ).

Reduce stress
- Chronic stress has been shown to inhibit the production of interleukins and cytokines, which are responsible for stimulating the action of white blood cells. Chronic stress also causes the stress hormone cortisol to be continually released into the bloodstream, which in the long term suppresses the production of pathogen-fighting T cells and antibodies.

Get out in the sun
- Insufficient vitamin D has been linked to greater susceptibility to infection. Approximately one out of three Americans is deficient in vitamin D. Try to get out in the sun in the summer months wearing minimal clothing and no sunscreen for 5 to 10 minutes two or three times a week between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. This will provide you with sufficient vitamin D without increasing your risk of skin cancer. You can also take a supplement in the winter months or if you live in a place without much sun.  

Get enough sleep
- If you (don't!) snooze, you lose! Sleep deprivation increases inflammation and inhibits the immune response. One study found that people who habitually slept less than seven hours each night were nearly three times more likely to catch a cold than people who slept eight hours or more.

- Moderate exercise has been shown to decrease stress and boost the immune system. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as a brisk walk, raises the body's  levels of leukocytes, which are cells that help guard against infection.

Eat probiotics
- Perhaps even more important than antibiotics in the fight against infection are probiotics, beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and upper respiratory tract. They boost the immune system by encouraging the production of certain T cells. You can find probiotics in yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, or you can take a probiotic supplement.

Avoid Sugar
- Even 100 grams of sugar, the equivalent of a 24-oz soda, depresses your immune system by reducing the ability of white blood cells to combat bacteria. This effect can last for a few hours after sugar ingestion, so if you are trying to stay healthy, keep away from the sweets!


Tips for Healthy Aging
The number of people living longer is increasing dramatically. An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the age group of the "oldest old"-- 85 years and older -- with more than 40,000 having reached the age of 100. In fact, centenarians are the fastest-growing subpopulation of the elderly, and by 2050, according to census projections, 1 million Americans will celebrate their 100th birthdays.


A growing body of evidence suggests that good genes are only a small part of the longevity  puzzle. In fact, researchers now believe that chronic illness is not an inevitable consequence of aging, but it results more often from lifestyle choices that we're perfectly free to reject.


So what are centenarians' secrets to healthy old age?


Embrace a Positive Attitude: Centenarians tend be very optimistic and always hope for the best. Positive emotions may directly affect overall health, perhaps through direct mechanisms, such as immune function, or indirectly, for example, by strengthening social support networks.


Stimulate Your Mind: The more educated we are, the longer we live. Most centenarians take advantage of opportunities and possibilities that have not been available to them earlier in their lives, such as second careers, volunteer activities, musical instruction, writing, various classes in areas of interest or travel. So do mentally challenging activities such as crossword puzzles or learning a new language.


Limit Stress: Protect your mental and physical health by managing your stress at work and at home. Humor, meditation, exercise and optimism are good ways to naturally reduce stress and relieve tension.


Stay Connected: with family and friends. Social contacts may encourage us to take better care of ourselves-by cutting down on smoking and drinking, for example. Friends may also help us get through difficult times by offering coping mechanisms and having a positive effect on mood and self-esteem.


Take Advantage of Your Genes: Good health practices will help you make up for at least some of the genetic difference between you and centenarians. You can compensate for bad genes by healthy living -- and ruin good genes with poor habits.


Exercise: Find fun ways to stay in shape -- dancing, gardening, swimming, walking or jogging. Include strength training, as directed by a personal trainer or health care provider, to maintain muscle mass. Increased muscle tissue burns fat more efficiently, reduces heart disease risk, and lessens your chance of a broken hip from falling. For adults, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week is recommended.


Make Healthy Diet Choices: What you eat and drink -- and what you don't -- can make a big difference to your health. Choose foods that maximize nutritional value and minimize calories. Avoid overly processed foods and opt instead for natural foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good (unsaturated) fats, nuts, legumes and healthy sources of protein (white meat, fish and eggs).


"What Our Patients Are Saying"
"Following three months of therapy I was able to enjoy a much more active lifestyle, includi9ng golf, gardening, exercise, and running a 10K. These activities were {previously} out of the question due to neck and lower back pain." ~ P.C.
Issue No. Month Year
Richard W

The Weakening of America

A Dangerous New Trend Gains Momentum

by Richard Wolff, RD, LDN,
MEDFITNESS of St. Charles

Behind the epidemic of growing waistlines is another epidemic that gets little attention: the weakening of America. Starting in our 40s, we lose about pound of muscle per year, and gain at least that much in fat. Once we reach the age of 50, muscle loss accelerates. This trend has become a major contributor to chronic illness and premature death in the United States.


In 2008 the first ever PhysicalActivity Guidelines for Americans were issued. These guidelines which are the most scientifically based of their kind can help Americans avoid the damaging effects of muscle loss. The guidelines provide an evidence-based framework for recommending physical activity to prevent and manage chronic illness. Since their release fitness professionals have been using the guidelines to help Americans live healthy lifestyles.


Despite the attention the guidelines have received, most Americans are still sitting on the sidelines. This is unfortunate given we spend billions of dollars to manage chronic illnesses that could easily be prevented. For many Americans the medical treatment of diseases like diabetes carries significant costs yet doesn't always improve the quality of life.


Click here to read the rest of the article 


Get Some Help

MEDFITNESS specializes in personal training programs that don't require expensive appointments. These full-body workouts burn calories and build muscle safely and efficiently. To experience their trademarked workout, schedule a Free TrialWorkout by calling (630) 762-1784.


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REMINDER: Use Your FSA Funds Before the End of the Year

While Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are very different, they achieve the same result: reducing your taxable income while boosting your spending power on healthcare essentials. Both plans withhold pre-tax dollars from your paycheck to pay for qualified health care expenses; however, the difference between the two is that FSA is a spending account - "use it or lose it" in the same year the money is set aside - and HSA is a savings account, available when you need it, whether now or many years from now.  Even with the IRS's recent changes to its list of qualified medical expenses, the good news is that chiropractic care is still covered. Be sure to use your 2013 FSA benefits before the end of the year so you don't lose them.

Dr. J
Dr. Jacob M. Hertz
is a Cum Laude graduate of the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Following graduation, Dr. Hertz practiced as an Associate Chiropractor in Peoria and for four years successfully treated over 5,000 patients and their families with many different health conditions. He moved to St. Charles in 2010 to open his own practice. 


He has been involved with chiropractic almost since he was born -- he was adjusted as an infant by his uncle, a chiropractor in Wisconsin where Dr. Hertz grew up.


Dr. Hertz uses a number of gentle and safe chiropractic techniques for adjusting the spine including Diversified, Activator, and Drop Table. He is also Nationally Board Certified in Physiotherapy and uses exercise and rehabilitation to help patients heal faster and reach optimum health.  


St. Charles Pain & Wellness Center also offers nutritional aids for those who seek to supplement their diet and improve their health, which have proved successful in preventing unnecessary surgeries for many patients.   

Carol Hayes Massage Therapist Carol Hayes
is nationally certified and a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), and been doing massage for three years. She graduated from the Elgin Community College Massage Program and is certified in both prenatal and post-partum massage. Stop in to meet Carol or call 630-513-7770 to make your appointment and take advantage of her one-hour massage for just $40.
for more information about health, wellness and chiropractic care 

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