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10 Moves To Help Ease Joint Pain

Thanks for giving Jessica Gouthro from Paleohacks such a warm reception last week. I’m glad you found her “13 Ways To Move More At Work” useful. She’s joining us again today to offer tips for those who are looking to ease joint pain. Enjoy! It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true: one of the best ways to ease joint pain is to exercise! Whether you’re feeling aches and pains in your elbows or your lower back and hips, the key to managing and preventing joint and muscle pain is to exercise in the right way. If you have existing pain or joint discomfort, then you need to keep your workouts low-impact, but that doesn’t have to mean easy or ineffective. You can keep reduce impact and lower your risk of injury by performing exercises that place less stress on the joints. Some of the most popular low-impact workout options include: Cycling Swimming Elliptical cardio Incline walking Controlled light-resistance weight training Stretching and yoga Aside from keeping your workouts low-impact, you can also start doing simple exercises to ease discomfort in specific parts of your body, like these 13 stretches for lower back pain or these 13 feel-good hip openers. Try all 10 of the following exercises to relieve different forms of joint pain. You’ll need a chair, a small hand towel, a light dumbbell, and a resistance band for some of these moves. Remember your favorites and include them in your workouts anytime you feel discomfort in your joints. 1) “Wring the Towel” Wrist Stretch | 10 reps Roll up a small towel and grab the ends with both hands. Hold your arms out in front of you with palms facing down. Slowly and with control, pretend you are wringing water out of the towel. Tilt one wrist up and the other wrist down at the same time, then alternate sides. Continue wringing the towel in both directions for 10 full reps. 2) Dumbbell Wrist Curl | 10 reps per side Sit on a chair or bench. Hold a light dumbbell in one hand and rest your elbow on your knee. Keeping your arm still, exhale to flex your forearm and bend your wrist towards you to curl the dumbbell up. Inhale to relax your wrist back to the starting position. . Repeat for 10 slow and controlled reps, focusing on full range of motion with your wrist. Then switch sides. 3) Elbow Compression with Small Towel | 3 reps per side Hold your arm out long. Roll up a small towel and place it right over your elbow. Make a fist and curl your arm towards you, bending your elbow all the way closed on the towel. Aim to reach your knuckles to your shoulder. Use your other hand to gently press inward on the back of your wrist to increase the compression. Breathe deeply as you hold for five seconds, then switch sides. Complete three reps per side. 4) Narrow Grip Wall Press Tricep Extension | 10 reps Place your palms flat on the wall at your chest height. Step back a few feet so your body is at a slight angle. Ensure that your palms are flush against the wall. Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the wall, keeping your elbows pointing straight down. Stop when your elbows are about 3 inches from the wall and press back to straighten arms, flexing your elbows all the way. Continue for 10 reps. Tip: For a greater challenge, you can try this exercise with palms on a bench. 5) Hip and Low Back Compression Stretch | 3 reps per side Lay flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Lift one knee towards your chest, using your hands to pull it in towards you. Actively work to ground your hips. Take five deep breaths, then switch and do the same on the other side. Continue alternating sides to complete three reps per side. 6) Pelvic Tilt | 10 reps Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips and place your palms on your knees. Lift your sitting bones and tilt your pelvis forward to create an arch in your lower back and stretch your hamstrings. Keep your neck in neutral and shoulders relaxed. Hold for a few breaths. Next, round your lower spine and tuck your pelvis under to form a round shape. Hold for a few breaths. Alternate between tilting forward and back for 10 reps, holding each pose as long as you like to relieve the pain and pressure in your low back and hips. 7) Single Leg Toe Touch | 10 reps per side Stand on one foot and look down towards the ground to get balanced. Hinge at the hips as you raise your back leg behind you, reaching your fingers toward the toes of the standing leg. Get as parallel to the ground as you can. Slowly rise back up with control. Repeat 10 reps on one side, then switch to the other side. 8) Glute Kicks | 10 reps Kneel down on all fours and flex your right foot. Keep your left foot relaxed. Lift your right leg up to form a straight line from your right knee to shoulders, with your right foot facing the ceiling. Hold at the top for three seconds while engaging your glutes, then relax your knee back to the ground. Repeat on the same side for 10 reps, then switch to the other side. 9) Resistance Band Knee Extension with a Chair | 10 reps per side Loop a resistance band around one leg of a chair, and place the other end of the band behind one of your knees. Grab the seat of the chair with your hands. Then step back until you feel a good amount of tension on the band. Your banded leg should be directly below your hips. Straighten your leg fully, resisting the tension on the band. Then relax the knee. Keep your foot flat on the ground the entire time. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch legs. 10) Isometric Quad Flex | 6 reps per side Sit on the ground and place a rolled up bath towel under your right knee. Place your hands on the ground behind you for support and sit up tall. Flex your right leg to lift your heel off the ground. You should feel all the muscles surrounding your knee fire up. Hold this flex for five full seconds, then relax. Repeat six times on this side, then switch to the left leg. Tip: For a challenge, increase the number of reps or increase each hold to eight seconds. Revisit these helpful exercises anytime you feel joint pain or discomfort. As always, be smart about working through an injury. If your body is telling you to rest, do it. When the time is right, apply these gentle exercises to help you get stronger and feel better. Thanks again to Jessica Gouthro for these tips and to Brad Gouthro for demonstrating them. Questions or comments about exercises or treatment for joint pain? Share them below, and thanks for stopping by.

I HATE Meal Planning! Is There Something Wrong with Me?

The short answer is NO, you are not a failure! It’s okay to hate meal planning, food prepping and even cooking – and still eat balanced and manage your weight. However, you have to know yourself and your personality, preferences and taste. Everyone needs tools for making healthy lifestyle choices. So, let’s count how many ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ you agree with from the list below and see where you fall. Pros of Meal Planning Less Food Waste – Having a plan for your meals – one that includes leftovers – can help you reuse foods and reduce food waste. This is great for the environment. It can also help you use up ingredients in your kitchen. Reduce Food Costs – You can benefit your wallet as well as your waistline by shopping with a planned grocery list. It can help you say no to temptation and avoid eating out when it’s not necessary. Balanced Meals – Make sure that your meals and snacks hit your food group goals for the day by incorporating foods from multiple categories into your dishes. Some of these food groups include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and/or dairy. No Indecision about What to Eat – For some, having to decide what to eat in the moment can stir up anxiety or give too much freedom to fall into temptation. However, with a game plan for what and when to eat, you might find peace in having structure and comfort. Easier Time Sticking to an Earlier Schedule – If dinner is decided and made (or partially prepped) before you get in the door, you can hit the kitchen running and execute dinner in a dash. Also, if lunch is made and waiting in the work mini fridge, it’s easier to fit in between meetings rather than fight the cafeteria crowd or the drive thru line. Encourages Variety – When you sit down to create your menu ahead of time, you can peruse Pinterest, blogs and cooking magazines for new recipes. This is great for food inspiration and creativity. Save Time in Your Day – Putting in the work and the time at the beginning of your schedule can leave you more room in your day. This comes in handy after a long shift at work when you’re tired and just wanting to rest. Portion Control – If meal planning leads to food prep, you can create meals that are satisfying but won’t leave you uncomfortably stuffed. Cons of Meal Planning Time Commitment up Front – Maybe the hours of researching recipes, planning out dinners, shopping, prepping and cooking leaves you overwhelmed. Weekends are for relaxing, not making food. Little Flexibility in Meal/Snack Choices – You might find yourself not wanting the food you planned. In this case, you may feel like planned meals are wasted and a waste of your time. Anxiety about Sticking to Structure – If Sunday is meal prep day but it’s full of birthday parties, errands, etc., and you don’t get to the actual act of meal prepping, your week may feel ruined. If you are uncomfortable falling away from a plan, this can cause anxiety. Creation of Food Rules – Having a food plan and pre-portioned meals can be helpful, but not if it creates rigidity and doesn’t allow you to connect with what your body needs. If Tuesday is always taco day but you don’t want tacos, your meal planning isn’t working. Leftovers Can Get Boring and Less Satisfying – After eating chili three days in a row, you might not want to eat it again for six months. Doesn’t Promote Intuiting Eating – Some days we need more food, others we need less food. Some days we want fish, others chicken. Intuitive eating allows you to be mindful about what your body and mind need, while meal planning may take this part out of the equation. Potential Food-borne Illness – After 3-5 days in the fridge, some food starts to spoil. This isn’t cost-effective. Do You Have More Pros or Cons? Decide if it’s… (1) Time to suck it up and get on the #MealPrepMonday train or (2) Give yourself forgiveness and stop beating yourself up for not having all your meals made for the week. If you decided to give up on the planning, find a middle ground that feels comfortable. Maybe you still create a thorough, balanced grocery list and keep the pantry, freezer and fridge stocked with the necessities. Think about what your schedule allows for each week. Do you need some prep time during especially busy weeks? Maybe you can cut the veggies or marinate the protein the night before or morning of. Have go-to seasonings on hand and a collection of tried and true recipes if you need a quick weeknight meal. You can also enlist family and friends to help with some of the meal planning so it doesn’t all fall on you. That way, everyone is happy at meal time. Batch cooking, leftovers and cooking gadgets like crock pots and pressure cookers can all be great time-savers, even if not used on a weekly basis. Conclusion At the end of the day, meal planning doesn’t need to define you. However, for some, it can be a great tool for weight and health management. If it’s not for you, it’s okay to step away from measuring your success by an Instagram-worthy, Tetris-style fridge of prepped meals. for more information and tips on meal planning. About the Author: Melissa Majumdar, MS, RD, CSOWM, LDN, is a registered dietitian who has been specializing in weight management and bariatric surgery for the last 12 years. She is the bariatric coordinator for Emory University Hospital Midtown and is a mother of two. She starts her Thanksgiving with a turkey trot and saves space for butternut squash mac and cheese.

A discussion on new guidelines aimed at preventing eating disorders and obesity in teens

MD, about new guidelines to help pediatricians and parents talk with adolescents about weight. It has become clear, Golden says, that focusing on diet and weight reduction is detrimental for teens. Weight talk and diet promotion are not only counterproductive, they also send kids the wrong message about creating a healthy lifestyle: "Scientific evidence increasingly shows that for teenagers, dieting is bad news." The guidelines, of which Golden is a senior author, were developed in response to a growing concern about teens' use of unhealthy methods to lose weight. Eating disorders are the third most common chronic condition in adolescents after obesity and asthma, but, as Golden emphasized to me, eating disorders are completely treatable. The guidelines identify behaviors to avoid with teens. Don't encourage diets, tease teens about their weight or talk negatively about weight. "Mothers who talk about their own bodies and weight issues can inadvertently encourage their kids to have body dissatisfaction," he said. The dissatisfaction, Golden told my colleague, Erin Digitale, is associated with lower levels of physical activity and with the use of vomiting, laxatives and diuretics to control weight. Regular family meals are sort of insulators against negative influences, Golden said, and an opportunity for parents to model healthy eating. "It doesn't have to be every night. Just making it happen on a regular basis is important." The new advice is especially timely. Although obesity rates are dropping for children, the same drop is not being seen in teens. The new recommendations include five evidence-based strategies that pediatricians and parents can use to help teenagers avoid both obesity and eating disorders, and they can be applied to all teens, not just those with weight problems. Previously: One approach prevents both obesity and eating disorders in teenagers, Teens need healthy brain food, says Stanford expert and Dispelling myths on eating disorders and healthy eating

MD, about new guidelines to help pediatricians and parents talk with adolescents about weight. It has become clear, Golden says, that focusing on diet and weight reduction is detrimental for teens. Weight talk and diet promotion are not only counterproductive, they also send kids the wrong message about creating a healthy lifestyle: "Scientific evidence increasingly shows that for teenagers, dieting is bad news." The guidelines, of which Golden is a senior author, were developed in response to a growing concern about teens' use of unhealthy methods to lose weight. Eating disorders are the third most common chronic condition in adolescents after obesity and asthma, but, as Golden emphasized to me, eating disorders are completely treatable. The guidelines identify behaviors to avoid with teens. Don't encourage diets, tease teens about their weight or talk negatively about weight. "Mothers who talk about their own bodies and weight issues can inadvertently encourage their kids to have body dissatisfaction," he said. The dissatisfaction, Golden told my colleague, Erin Digitale, is associated with lower levels of physical activity and with the use of vomiting, laxatives and diuretics to control weight. Regular family meals are sort of insulators against negative influences, Golden said, and an opportunity for parents to model healthy eating. "It doesn't have to be every night. Just making it happen on a regular basis is important." The new advice is especially timely. Although obesity rates are dropping for children, the same drop is not being seen in teens. The new recommendations include five evidence-based strategies that pediatricians and parents can use to help teenagers avoid both obesity and eating disorders, and they can be applied to all teens, not just those with weight problems. Previously: One approach prevents both obesity and eating disorders in teenagers, Teens need healthy brain food, says Stanford expert and Dispelling myths on eating disorders and healthy eating

Nutrition is the science that interprets the nutrients and other substances in food in relation to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease of an organism. It includes ingestion, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion. The diet of an organism is what it eats, which is largely determined by the availability and palatability of foods. For humans, a healthy diet includes preparation of foodand storage methods that preserve nutrien…

Nutrition Fun Summer Recipe Ideas if You’re Going Crazy During Quarantine

With the first week of summer officially underway, it’s certain that this summer will be unique. While the memories will be different, we can still take some time to enjoy what summer has to offer – long days, hot weather, and summertime eats. These nutrient-packed recipe ideas can be enjoyed at a socially distanced backyard BBQ or a quarantine picnic. Crazy Coleslaw Recipe Ideas Think outside the traditional coleslaw box and add color and flavor to your coleslaw. Try not only traditional green cabbage, but also red cabbage, lots of shredded carrots, and sliced red onion. Here are some other ways to mix things up: Julienne your broccoli stalks and save them for coleslaw Shave Brussels sprouts in the food processor Shred kale for some crunch Feeling adventurous? Do a little of each! For a tangy dressing alternative, mix equal parts olive oil mayonnaise with equal parts plain Greek yogurt. Whisk-in apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and fresh herbs like cilantro, dill or parsley. Kitchen Hack: After shredding your veggies, sprinkle with salt and let stand while you make the dressing. The salt draws out liquid from the veggies, leaving them wilted and a perfect consistency for coleslaw. Burger with the Fixins’ Burgers are a classic BBQ favorite. To bump up the bun, think whole grains or crunchy lettuce. When it comes to the patty, mix-in black beans or lentils for added fiber and B vitamins. Or, stir in a chopped avocado, cumin, and cilantro to any ground meat before grilling. These will give you some healthy fats and fiber, and your burger will come out juicy. Aiming for more veggies? Top your burger with these: Spicy arugula Fresh sliced tomatoes Homemade coleslaw shown above A simple pickled onion made with sliced onions marinated in any vinegar, salt and pepper If you like a sweet and salty combo, try grilling pineapple slices sprinkled with cayenne or top your burgers with a peach salsa. To make a quick fruit salsa, chop up one ripe peach, one handful of cilantro, one juicy tomato, and a quarter of a red onion. Add jalapeño and salt/pepper to taste. Frozen Treats Recipe Ideas For a fresh and satisfying dessert, layer vanilla yogurt with fruit chunks in Popsicle molds (flat Popsicle molds work best for this). Or, blend greens, overripe fruit, and unsweetened almond milk and freeze into Popsicle molds. For a homemade twist on a fudge bar, blend frozen banana, unsweetened cocoa, one date, and peanut butter. Then freeze. Want a similar flavor with less work? Slice bananas into coins. Spread on peanut butter and a dark chocolate chip. Cover with another banana coin. Freeze and enjoy! You can also slice watermelon into long slices, add a stick to the end, then freeze the slices. Don’t forget that frozen grapes or blueberries make a great snack after a hot walk! For another frozen treat, freeze fresh mint or other herbs into ice cube trays and add to sparkling or tap water. Orange, cucumber, pineapple or watermelon chunks can add color and flavor to any water or iced tea. Pasta Salad Recipe ideas Pasta is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Add noodles to any green salad to round out the meal with some energy-packed carbs. Or, to make a pasta salad into a nutrient-packed side dish (or even a whole picnic lunch), add lots of veggies and protein. Great veggies for a cold pasta salad: Grape tomatoes Sliced green pepper Black olives Red onion Chopped broccoli Grilled eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash also elevate this summer side, especially with a sprinkle of Parmesan or feta cheese. Fresh, colorful greens like arugula or massaged kale can add bulk and color too to your pasta salad, too. Kitchen Hack: Never massaged kale before? Use a flavorful oil like olive or avocado oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and sea salt on chopped kale. Then dig in, massaging the salt into the kale as you go. Letting the oil and vinegar marinate on the kale helps soften it even more. If you’re new to kale, roast the massaged kale at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes to enjoy a salty, crunchy “kale chip.” Great filling proteins to balance out pasta salad: Edamame Black beans Chick peas Lentils Diced chicken Cheese With this summer shaping up to go at a slower pace, there’s plenty of time to be adventurous in the kitchen. Don’t forget to pack a picnic basket or simply take your summer recipes into the backyard for a refreshing change of scenery! Headshot of author: Melissa MajumdarAbout the Author: Melissa Majumdar, MS, RD, CSOWM, LDN, is a registered dietitian and the bariatric surgery coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown. She is a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and spends her free time running and cooking with her two kids and husband. Their favorites recipes from above? The kale chips and peach salsa!