Top 5 Tips to Stay Hydrated

Top 5 Tips to Stay Hydrated

Summer has officially arrived in Nashville...which means 90 degree days are here. As you enjoy your outdoor summer activities, please remember to stay hydrated. Those hot temperatures make it much easier for you to become dehydrated, which would seriously limit your summer fun. Your body thrives on water and needs it to function properly. Water is essential to flushing out harmful toxins from your body as well as keeping you energized. If you’re receiving chiropractic adjustments regularly, proper hydration is especially necessary to help remove any extra toxins as well as facilitate your healing process. Water deficiency in general can spark a number of issues to arise such as headaches, loss of energy, reduced cognitive function, and even a slower metabolism. Below, we’ve provided you with our top 5 tips to keeping your body properly hydrated. Take these tips into consideration to allow your body to feel revitalized, refreshed, and ready to take on summer!

1) Know When You're Dehydrated

  Dry DesertDehydration is detrimental to your health, so understanding the signs is vital to avoiding the damaging affect it has on your body. What exactly are the best ways to determine dehydration? First and foremost, pay attention and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Your body will give you subtle signs letting you know it needs to be replenishedFeeling thirsty is the most obvious symptom, but often times that means you’re already slightly dehydrated. There are several other signs you can look for that will further help you determine the necessity of an increased water intake. One of the easiest signs to check for is the color of your urine. If your urine is darker in color, that usually signifies dehydration, while lighter urine generally means your water consumption levels are just fine. Aside from urine color, other symptoms may include fatigue/sluggishness, dry skin, dry mouth, headaches, constipation, or joint aches. **Please Note:  If you ever reach the point of severe dehydration where you're experiencing faintness, dizziness, shriveled skin, or confusion then you need to seek medical attention immediately because such extreme situations can be very harmful and potentially even deadly.

2) Consume Fruits and VBlueberries - Unsplash Photoeggies

  Did you know drinking water is not the only way to keep your body refreshed and hydrated? You can actually eat your water too. That is by consuming fruits and veggies concentrated in high amounts of water. Such fruits and veggies can include cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe and many more.

3)  Drink Clean Water

  Water DropIn order to reap the benefits of proper hydration, it's important to drink water from a quality source. Tap water is generally not your best bet. Often times, tap water contains harmful and unhealthy substances such as fluoride, various chemicals, metals, and an array of other items that can do harm to your body especially if consumed frequently over long periods of time. If you’re interested to look at what’s in your TN water, you can view it on the EPA’s site here, http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/tn.cfm. Next, take caution with bottled water. Not all bottled water is created equal. Not only are the bottles harmful to the environment, but some bottled water contains just as many harmful substances and sometimes is actually just tap water. Research has shown that 25% or more of bottled water is tap water in a bottle that may or may not have been treated further. Also, aside from the questionable water quality, the plastic bottle itself can leach unhealthy substances into the water such as phthalates, bisphenol-A, and bisphenol-S (BPA/BPS). The best option that’s convenient for most people would be to have a high quality water filter system for your household and to use your own refillable water bottle.  

4) For Added Flavor, Use Natural Flavoring

  For many, it may be tempting to grab a sports drink, soda, or enhanced water beverage to rehydrate instead of plain water. As you’re all hopefully aware, there is no nutritional value to soda, so it should be avoided at all costs. As for sports drinks and enhanced waters, these items are often marketed as beveLemon Waterrages that will replenish and refuel your body with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. But, have you ever looked at the ingredients? These drinks are all often loaded with sugar, fructose, and artificial ingredients. All of which are not healthy, especially when consumed regularly. If you get bored of water and want to spice it up a bit with more flavor, try creating your own natural flavoring by adding items such as fresh fruit, lemon, or cucumber. You may even find that your own additions are much more refreshing than the artificial additives!

5) Drink the Amount Right for Your Body

  Water GlassesEveryone’s body is different, so to say you should drink 8 glasses of water a day is not an accurate statement. There really isn’t a perfect formula for everyone to follow each day because it depends on a variety of factors. Such factors can include your physical activity levels, weather conditions, etc.. If you're exercising frequently, than you need to consume more water than you would on days where you're more inactive because you lose more water when you sweat and exercise. The same goes for being outside in the heat vs. indoors. A general guideline you can use is to take your body weight and divide it by 2. The resulting amount is what you can aim to drink in ounces. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, then your target water consumption can be 50 oz. However, it’s best to simply pay attention to your body’s thirst signals as we mentioned previously.

Make note of these recommendations and be smart this summer by staying hydrated. Dehydration affects many of us, but can be avoided if the necessary steps are taken. If you have any questions regarding proper hydration, please don't hesitate to ask!  Feel free to give us a call at 615-915-1255.  

  Website Sources: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qbw.asp http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/15/drinking-enough-water.aspx http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20709014_16,00.html http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/tn.cfm        
5 Dangers of Sitting

5 Dangers of Sitting

Do you know the average time adults spend sitting each day? EIGHT HOURS. This equates to about HALF of our waking hours. Now, it's no secret that sitting is bad for you, we've been told this, but do you know exactly just how severe the effects can be? It's not that sitting is just bad for your health, it can actually be very deadly. Also, if you exercise regularly thinking that will counter the effects of sitting all day, think again. Studies are starting to show that even those who exercise are still at risk for developing health issues from sitting too long. Below, we’ve compiled a list of 5 damaging conditions & diseases prolonged sitters are at risk for developing. Also included are ways you can prevent these issues. We encourage you to read through and commit to making some changes to your current sitting habits. You may help add extra years to your life!
  1. Heart Disease:  When you sit for long periods of time, your blood flows slower and your muscles aren't able to burn as much fat. This can cause fatty acids to build up and clog your heart easier. Studies have also shown that sitting too long can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. spaces
  2. Disc Damage:  Prolonged sitting wreaks havoc on your spine and posture. The more time you spend sitting, the more pressure builds up on your spine. The intense pressure compresses your discs and can cause them to lose their flexibility. This can increase your chances of herniated discs and cause uncomfortable back pain. Also, not only does sitting damage your discs, but your neck and shoulders can become severely strained and sore as well. spaces
  3. Brain Damage:  Your brain doesn't work as fast when you remain stationary and sedentary. When you aren't moving, your muscles aren't able to pump as much fresh blood and oxygen to the brain. This can restrict the release of brain and mood enhancing chemicals. spaces
  4. Cancer:  Some studies have linked excess sitting to several kinds of cancer such as lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and endometrial cancers. In a study by the American Cancer Society, they found that these chances were increased for women. The study showed that women who sat for an average of 6 hours or more each day have a 10% greater risk of developing cancer than women who sit for 3 hours of less. spaces
  5. Weight Gain:  When you are active and moving frequently, your body produces an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which helps burn fat. However, when you remain inactive for long periods of time, this enzyme can be restricted from being released.
dangers of sitting

What Can You do to Prevent these Issues?

Repair the Physical Damage:  Consistent chiropractic adjustments can help restore function and alignment to your spine. Adjustments also help alleviate pain and tension in the body that gets built up from sitting too long. Take Daily Breaks from Sitting:  Set a daily alarm for yourself to take breaks from sitting throughout your day. Here are some examples of activities you can do to break up your day of sitting:
  • Yoga Poses
    1. Downward Facing Dog - This pose is excellent for stretching, lengthening, and strengthening the body. To come into downward facing dog, simply place your hands in front of you, lift your hips, and form an inverted V shape. This helps relax the neck, release tension in your shoulders and back, stretch your legs, and increase the blood flow to the brain.
    2. Cat - Cow Stretch Cat-cow stretches and opens up your back and spine. The movement also helps your neck return to it's natural position, which should be over your spine and not forward. To move into this position, start with your hands and knees on the floor in tabletop. Inhale, arch your back and lift your chest to come into the cow pose. On the exhale, curve your spine upwards into the cat position. 
    3. Forward Fold - Forward folds are incredibly beneficial for relieving stress in the body. To get into a forward fold, place your feet hip's distance apart, then slowly bend forward from your hips to come into a forward bend. You can bend your knees slightly, which will help release tension from your lower back. This is especially great if you find yourself experiencing anxiety and stress during your work day because the bend provides a relaxing feeling of release. spaces
  • Walking:  Whether you take a break to walk around your office, house, or outside, any kind of walking movement is better than remaining stationary. We recommend you take your breaks every hour and move for at least 5-10minutes.
Improve Your Workspace:  Instead of being stuck at a seated desk all day, look into investing in a standing desk. The cool thing about standing desks is there are a variety of different kinds you can purchase for various prices. Some come in pieces that you can actually place on top of your desk when you want to stand, or you can buy a full desk that is completely designed for standing. 
Do you find yourself in pain after sitting at a desk all day or after a long commute? If so, give us a call at our main line, 615-915-1255, to receive a Free Consultation.  With the consultation, you'll be able to talk with our chiropractors to see how we can help you repair damage that has been inflicted on your spine from sitting too long.

    Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404815/ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0080000 https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/sitting-too-much-increases-cancer-risk-in-women.html http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618 https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/
Leave Health to Choice, Not Chance

Leave Health to Choice, Not Chance

Today, I want to discuss health plans with you. And no, I’m not talking about your insurance health plan here. I’m talking about a real, legitimate plan of action for your individual health. Do you currently have a plan that you’re following this year to be healthy? For most people the answer is no. The good news is, it’s not your fault. As Americans, we're trained to put more thought into planning a vacation than into planning our own health. We make plans for where we’re traveling, who we’re traveling with, what our budget will be, what we want to see, what we want to do, etc.. Usually, this is all planned out well in advance. Imagine the potential if we put that same intention into our own health. We would be way ahead of the curve, when it comes to true health. I know getting started can seem overwhelming and frustrating. Well here's the good news, we’re going to show you the exact steps you can take to get started on the right path.  

STEP 1

The first and most important step in getting started with a health plan is, as Steven Covey author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People suggests, to “begin with the end in mind.” This is absolutely critical. In order to get started on a health plan, you need to have an end goal in mind. Whether that may be to think clearer, feel younger, have more energy, eliminate pain issues, reduce the effects of aging, or simply improve the overall function of your body, a clear and definitive end goal is a must.

STEP 2

Once you have your target set, write it down. The act of simply writing down your goal, takes it out of your mind and makes it tangible and real. You can touch it, you can see it, and you're one step closer to realizing it. This step will help you enforce a stronger focus on the outcome. Allowing you to get the wheels turning to figure out the smaller details and steps you will take to accomplish your goal. Once you have the main goal set, you can start to work out the details by setting your monthly, weekly, and daily rituals. As you work on the outcome, you will begin to develop habits that will make your goals easier to obtain.

You have the power to leave health to choice just by following a simple plan and committing to it. Don’t leave your health to chance. Be proactive and make 2017 your healthiest year yet!

 
Chiropractic for Musicians

Chiropractic for Musicians

Since Vibrance Family Chiropractic is based in Nashville, or Music City, we want to make sure all of our talented musicians here in town are staying healthy and able to play/sing to the best of their ability! Chiropractic care is essential for musicians. Playing instruments or singing in the same position, using specific muscle groups for hours, can put a lot of strain on your body. Over time that strain can start to cause shifts in your bones and place pressure on the nerves, resulting in a misalignment of the spine. Misalignments restrict your body's ability to perform at it's best level, and can cause you to experience pain and discomfort. All things you don't want to have to deal with when playing music. Think of your body as if it's an instrument. Do you tune your instrument to get the best sound out of it? Well, your body requires the same treatment. Chiropractic adjustments are like a tune up for your body, restoring alignment in your spine, thus allowing your body to properly function at it's best level. When you free your body from nerve interferences and blockages, you’ll start to see an enhanced performance, more energy, and the ability to practice more efficiently and effectively.    Some of the specific issues chiropractic helps musicians with includes the following:
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Vocal Cord Strain
  • Hand, Wrist, & Finger Pain
  • Shoulder & Elbow Pain
Several of our staff members are actually musicians, so we have a very good understanding of how to help musicians with their health. We recommend every musician receive a chiropractic assessment, even if you feel like you're not in pain or the pain is minimal. What often happens, is a nerve interference can be building up pressure in your body for a very long time without you ever knowing it. Once you reach the point of pain, that usually indicates that the pressure has become severe. Pain is a warning sign that something is not right. That's why we recommend a proactive approach to spinal health rather than reactive. It's much easier to maintain a healthy body than it is to bring a body back from severe damage. The first step in being proactive with your spinal health is to take get evaluated. If you're a musician in Nashville, come check us out. We currently have two locations in the Nashville area, East Nashville and RivergateWe'd love to help you feel energized, healthy, and ready to take on the music world!
Chiropractic for Athletes

Chiropractic for Athletes

Did you know many of the top athletes in this country are under chiropractic care? Do you know why many of them choose chiropractic? Because chiropractic care helps optimize and enhance their athletic performance, while also reducing the risk of serious injuries. Whether you play sports professionally or recreationally in Nashville, the fact is, sports can be incredibly strenuous on the body. It doesn't matter if you play football, basketball, baseball, tennis, track, soccer, dance, etc., all sports can put immense stress on your spine and entire body. Often times, what we see happens to athletes, is they will have a subluxation or misalignment in the spine that goes unnoticed or ignored for a very long time until it causes an injury to occur. We all know that sometimes all it takes is that one crippling injury to destroy your athletic career, which is devastating and something we never want you to experience! That's why it's incredibly important to take a proactive approach rather than reactive with your spinal health. We know it can be tempting to take pain relievers as a means to temporarily avoid pain just to make it through a game or practice. But doing that over time can turn what may have been a minor injury into something much more serious. Chiropractors work to constantly keep your body in proper alignment, so that it can perform at it's optimal level, function better, and avoid serious injury. Aside from preventing serious injuries, receiving chiropractic care on a regular basis has a number of other great benefits for athletes. Restoring function to the body can help athletes with the following:
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Range of Motion
  • Joint Health
  • Faster Recovery Time from Minor Injuries
Partaking in the sports you love should be enjoyable. Optimize your athletic performance with chiropractic. To meet with one of our skilled chiropractors, feel free to schedule an appointment at one of our locations, East Nashville or Rivergate.
Chiropractic for Wellness Care

Chiropractic for Wellness Care

Many people assume that you only go to the chiropractor when you're feeling in pain or threw out your back. While yes, chiropractic does help eliminate pain, it can also be used as part of an overall wellness lifestyle.

When aiming for overall health and wellness, your body needs to be functioning at 100%. Your nervous system is the core system of the body that controls every function and organ. Chiropractic helps keep the nervous system operating smoothly, thus allowing for you to achieve and maintain optimum health and wellness.

Maintaining a healthy nervous system should become a norm much like maintaining your car, teeth, fitness, or family. It's just as important, if not more than most of those things because a healthy nervous system, helps improve quality of life and can prevent injuries and other serious conditions from occurring. When you're healthy and don't have pain or disease restricting you, you're generally able to get more out of life.

So if you're looking to be the healthiest you possible and feel amazing, than we suggest adding chiropractic care to your routine. You'll have more energy and feel more vibrant. Our motto here is, to Live, Thrive, Vibe. We want people to feel their best. Chiropractic coupled with exercise and healthy nutrition makes for an amazing combination of overall health and wellness.

Take control of your health today. Don't wait until you're sick or in pain to start doing something. There is never a better time than now to begin focusing on living a healthy lifestyle everyday! For more information about our chiropractic offices, feel free to check out one of our two locations, East Nashville or Rivergate.

Free Your Body from Stress

Free Your Body from Stress

Stress...unfortunately just about everyone experiences it in some way or another, and it's literally killing us. Did you know that 3 out of 4 visits to the doctor are from stress-related illnesses? And that stress is a basic cause of 60% of illnesses and diseases? That's pretty alarming. Not to mention, stress significantly increases your chance of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Nothing good can come from chronic stress. Period. And we need to do something about it. Obviously there are certain things life just throws your way that are out of your control and can add significant stress to your life. But, often times there are daily habits and routines you can work into your life to help you at least minimize stress. Below are a few of our recommendations to help you free your body and mind from unwanted stress. If you already do some of these, great, if not, we definitely suggest giving them a try or finding what works best for you. Living a stressful life is simply not worth it, and we want to help you improve your quality of life.

Yoga

A regular yoga practice can significantly help you reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga combines physical poses, focused breathing, and meditation, which makes for a powerful mind-body connection. This combination can help you strengthen and stretch your body, quiet your mind and help you focus on the present moment instead of worrying about the future. It's been an effective tool for many to help refocus the mind and gain better control of stress. If you're looking to try a relaxing yoga class, we offer a free class at Vibrance every Wednesday from 6pm - 6:45pm. It's very basic and a wonderful way to unwind after a stressful day at work. Come try it out sometime!

Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic care can help your body have a healthier response to stress. Constant stress wears down the body tremendously. When we're stressed, it causes our bodies to tense up, especially in areas such as your neck, shoulders, back, or even in the form of headaches or stomach aches. Long term tension from stress can have a negative impact on your overall mood and energy as well. Chiropractic helps relieve that physical build up of tension to allow your body to better recover from stress and respond healthier to future stress. Often times, many individuals find that chiropractic adjustments provide a great sense of relief instantly following the adjustment. If you're someone who is consistently under a significant amount of stress, we suggest you stay on a regular chiropractic plan. The regular adjustments will help your body stay healthier, which in turn will help your mind be healthier.

Consistent Exercise

As you're all hopefully aware, exercise helps your body stay physically fit and helps fight disease. When you exercise, you release endorphins. Those endorphins are chemicals from the brain that actually act as natural pain killers and give you a euphoric feeling, which can lessen the negative effects of stress. When you exercise regularly, you may start to see that your sleeping has improved, you're in a better mood, and you have more energy. Since stress can worsen your sleeping habits and energy levels, it's vital to stay active to prevent stress from wearing you down completely.

Hot Baths w/Essential Oil

Hot baths with epsom salt and relaxing essential oils such as lavender oil, are amazing for helping your body and mind be at peace. Water can have a very calming effect on the mind and helps soothe any tension in your body and muscles.

We're here to help you manage your stress. If you have further questions about managing stress, feel free to give us a call at 615-915-1255. 

  Sources: The American Institute of Stress Mayo Clinic    
3 Reasons to Jump in the Pool

3 Reasons to Jump in the Pool

Who finds themselves at the pool or the lake every weekend to escape the hot Nashville heat? We most definitely do at Vibrance! Swimming is incredibly refreshing and a must in the summer time. As an added bonus, swimming is also a great form of exercise and very beneficial for the body. Here are three more reasons to add swimming to your list of summer to do's (if it's not on there already). 1) Good for Your Joints Swimming is one of the best low impact forms of aerobic exercise.  Because swimming doesn't place intense pressure on your joints, it reduces the stress on joints that you could otherwise experience while running or doing other high impact workouts. Plus, the low stress can help your body handle a longer workout. Not only does swimming reduce stress on the body, but it also builds up your muscles around the joints to help make you stronger. If you suffer from regular joint pain, are recovering from an injury, or have arthritis or osteoporosis, than swimming is really one of the best forms of exercise for you. It allows you to exercise regularly without being in pain. And, water has a very calming and soothing affect on your joints and muscles, which is an added bonus. 2) Boosts Your Mood Studies have actually shown that water-based exercise like swimming can reduce depression and improve your mood. As we know, exercise in general releases endorphins, which significantly give a boost to your mood. Swimming is a smooth form of exercise that requires you to stretch and lengthen the body, while also following a certain breathing cycle. The overall repetitive nature of swimming has been shown to have a relaxing and calming effect on the mind similar to when one practices yoga. 3) Works the Entire Body The great thing about swimming is that it works all of your muscles. In order to swim laps and keep your body afloat through the water, you have to use all of your muscles. From your abs, to your legs, arms, shoulders, and feet, all major areas of the body are working. Not to mention, swimming is beneficial for your heart and lungs. Also, because of the range of motion used to swim, your flexibility will improve with regular swimming workouts.  

You really can't go wrong with a good workout in the pool. If swimming isn't part of your exercise routine, maybe try adding it this summer. It will feel amazing in the heat and help your entire body get leaner and stronger! 

  Sources: Pysch Central  
Healthy Grilling Options

Healthy Grilling Options

Who loves cooking burgers and hotdogs on the grill in the summer?? We sure do!  However, as we all know, burgers and hotdogs are not the healthiest of foods to consume. But the good thing about cooking on the grill is, the variety of meals you can prepare is plentiful. From vegetables, to meats, to fish, to even desserts....the options for dishes are endless. There are plenty of healthy options as well, which is what we've provided you with below. We found several grilling recipes online that sounded pretty tasty and are healthy too. Take a look and try some out! Let us know your favorites. Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce Check out Recipe Runner for the full instructions.
Greek Chicken SkewerGreek Lemon Chicken Skewers
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into approximately 1 inch cubes 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1/2 teaspoon coriander 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup peeled and diced English cucumber, about 1/2 of a cucumber 1 1/2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt Juice of half a lemon 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 teaspoon grated garlic 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Black pepper to taste

Source:  http://reciperunner.com/greek-lemon-chicken-skewers-tzatziki-sauce/

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Ricotta Get the Full Instructions from Recipe Runner.

Grilled Peaches Ingredients 4 peaches, halved and the pit removed 3/4 cup part-skim or whole milk ricotta 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling on top 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Source:  http://reciperunner.com/grilled-peaches-cinnamon-honey-ricotta/

space

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa Get the Full Instructions from Creme de la Crumb.

Ingredients Grilled Salmon4 6-ounce salmon fillets 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili powder salt and pepper to taste juice of 1 lime Mango Salsa 2-3 mangos, diced ½ red pepper, diced ½ red onion, diced 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped Source:  http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/07/grilled-salmon-with-mango-salsa.html
3 Health Tips for Your Outdoor Summer Activities

3 Health Tips for Your Outdoor Summer Activities

1)  Protect Your Back Whether you're an avid gardener who is frequently carrying mulch, weeding, or planting, or you're a camping enthusiast who is setting up camp, collecting firewood, and hiking on the weekends, protecting your back is essential. We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't remind you of this fact! One of our biggest recommendations for protecting your back, is to use your legs when lifting, not your back! This concept can be applied to a wide range of activities you may partake in this summer. The proper way to lift heavy objects is to use your legs, keep your abs tight, and your back straight. This will help you avoid throwing out your back! After a day outside, it's always a good idea to do some basic stretches as well to help relieve any back pain or tension you may have acquired. Here are a few beneficial stretches for your back:
  1. Lay flat on your back. With hands behind knees, gently bring both knees to your chest and hold. You can also gently rock side to side.
  2. Twist. Lay flat on your back. Pull one knee into chest. Place opposite hand on the side of your knee. Cross knee over the opposite side of your body for a spinal twist. Other arm lays out to the side and look in the opposite direction of your twist.
  3. Hamstring Stretch. From a standing position, bend down towards the ground from your waist. Keep a micro bend in the knees. Aim for reaching your arms towards the ground, but do not strain yourself to do so. Only go to your limit.
  4. Cat-Cow Stretch. Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a tabletop position with a neutral spine. First, exhale and round your spine up towards the ceiling pulling your belly in (like a cat stretching). On the inhale, arch your back and let your belly drop to the floor, while gazing upwards (cow pose). Continue moving from cat to cow until you feel stretched enough.
2)  Natural Bug Spray There are many aspects of summer we greatly enjoy, but one thing that's not at the top list of our is BUGS and their itchy bites they so generously like to give. Mosquitoes, ants, ticks…these pesky bugs can be quite the pain when trying to enjoy the outdoors. For many, the solution is to grab that bottle of name brand bug spray to fend off those nasty buggers. However, many sprays are often filled with harsh ingredients like DEET. DEET is actually a pesticide. Products with DEET are all labeled advising users to do the following:  wash it off immediately when returning indoors, avoid using it under clothing, avoid over application, do not spray indoors, and do not apply to wounds or irritated skin. Those are a lot of warnings for something marketed as your best defense again insects. Personally, we would rather not spray ourselves with pesticide. Now, we're not saying you should discontinue your use of bug spray entirely, but rather we recommend you at least look into some of the more natural products and give them a try. There are plenty of options available these days. Most natural food stores usually carry organic and DEET free bug sprays. If you're feeling extra motivated, you can even make your own! We tested out our own bug spray last summer and it worked pretty well. You just typically have to apply it more frequently. Check out the recipe below. Natural Mosquito Repellant:  Bug Spray 16 oz spray bottle 15 drops lavender oil 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 3-4 tbsp vanilla extract water Add lavender oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to spray bottle. Fill the rest of the 16 oz bottle with water. Shake bottle to combine. Mixture is ready for use! **Since there is fresh lemon juice in the mixture, keep in the refrigerator when you can. This will need to be replaced more frequently because of the fresh ingredients, but it smells great and is not sticky! 3)  Check Your Sunscreen Labels Unfortunately, these days we not only need to read our food labels extensively, but we also need to be checking the labels on our body products. Harmful ingredients can be found in an alarmingly high number of products, including name-brand sunscreens. With skin cancer on the rise, it's important to be safe with your skin, especially in the summertime. If you're going to be in the sun for long periods of time, you definitely need to have some protection on your skin. However, you can still protect your skin from burning without using products that contain harsh ingredients. There are many options of natural sunscreens available today. Let us explain why we would go the natural route and avoid many of the major sunscreen brands. First of all, there are two types of ingredients in sunscreens, mineral and chemical filters. Sunscreens with chemical filters typically include ingredients such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in many sunscreens and one you want to avoid. It can penetrate the skin, disrupt hormones, and cause skin allergies. You typically want to look for mineral sunscreens which include zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These are much safer and do not penetrate the skin like oxybenzone. To find quality natural sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group provides lists each year of natural sunscreen products for adults and children along with price ranges and ranks for their safety/effectiveness. It's a good place to start when looking for a new sunscreen. Also, many natural food stores will carry these kinds of products, so they're readily available and easy to find!

Take these tips into consideration while enjoying your favorite summer activities! As always, we want to help you stay healthy and happy!

  Sources: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/deet https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/