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25 Greatest Health Tips

Dr Bakalis treats:  knee pain, TMJ, headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, elbow pain, carpal tunnel pain, elbow pain, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, frozen shoulder, trigger point pain, low back pain, hip pain, sciatica, sciatic pain, sciatic nerve pain, piriformis syndrome, herniated disc, slipped disc, bulging disc, failed back surgery, ankle pain, ankle sprain, foot pain, plantar fascitis, heel pain, heel spurs, chronic fatigue syndrome, sports injuries, auto injuries, whiplash, whiplash injuries, work injury, workers injuries, weight loss management,TENS units, nutritional counseling, pain management

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   25 Greatest Health Tips for 2011

1)  Roll on the floor laughing

laughing not only eases stress, promotes social bonding and lowers blood pressure; it may also boost your immune system. So bring some  humor into your life, whether it's through friends, a television show or something else that tickles your funny bone. 

2)  Don't skip breakfast

Eating a fiber in the morning means less hunger late in the afternoon, when you're most likely to feel tired and gorge yourself on sugar. My morning dose comes from natural oatmeal, usually mixed with some honey, raisins, walnuts and flaxseed oil. An early start on eating also keeps your metabolism more active throughout the day;  breakfast eaters are thinner than people who just rush out the door.

3)  Hit the Sack

Jay and Dave are funny, but they're not worth the strain on your system. Tape these shows if you like and watch the next day at a reasonable time. Seven hours of sleep a night not only helps you live longer, it also lowers your stress, sharpens your memory and reduces cravings for waist increasing foods. Set a bedtime and stick to it. My target is 10:30 pm. You can watch your taped shows the next day while exercising on a stationary bike.

4) Admire your work 

After having a bowel movement, take a look at your poop, which speaks volumes about your health. Poop should be smooth and S shaped like your colon. If it is too lumpy, or drops into the toilet like marbles, you're constipated; increase your fiber and water intake.

5)  Don't pamper your bad back

Even if you're hunched over in agony, spending more time in bed will only make a bad back worse. The lastest research shows that bed rest weakens the back muscles and prolongs the suffering. Married men with this problem may suffer more than single men because they're tempted to lie back and enjoy all the pampering they might receive. The best solution is to get up, visit your Chiropractor, do core stabilization exercises,  use contrast therapy ( ice and moist heat), and exercise proper spinal mechanics . Also drink plenty of water.

6) Taste the colors 

Foods with bright, rich colors are packed with bioflavonoids, and carotenoids, powerful compounds that bind with the damaging free radicals in your body, lowering inflammation. Eat nine fistfuls of colorful fruits and vegetables each day and you'll reap the benefits withouthaving to give up other foods. Whenever I shop the produce aisle, I'm reminded that these foods are often more powerful that the drugs sold in the pharmacy. My favorites are grapes and blueberries.

7) Brushing is Not Enough

If you plan to spend your later years eating more than yogurt and apple sauce, invest in some floss. No matter how thoroughly or long you brush your teeth, you're missing a good portion of their total surface. That's like washing one armpit after a work out. But the dangers of skipping floss go beyond hygiene. The bacteria that linger can increase your risk of heart disease. 

8) Take a Deep Belly Breath

Do this anywhere, anytime. Push out your tummy and breath through your nose until your lungs are full. They'll fill with nitric oxide, a chemical found in the back of  your nose that opens up blood vessels.  The dose of oxygen will make you feel happier and more alert.This is good technique for calming down in the face of challenges. 

9) Join a Yoga Class

Yoga is the most important exercise of many daily routines. Being surrounded by attractive ladies in spandex should encourage the men to join as well ! However, you need more motivation, consider this: Yoga eases stress, lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate and increases flexibility. There's nothing mystical about it. Loosening your muscles will make them more adaptable, so you may be less likely to injure yourself playing sporting or working out. Also, of course, regular spinal adjustments from your chiropractic doctor also decreases the probability of injury. Sure, some of the Yoga positions may look silly, but that's for a reason. Yoga can reach and work muscles that are ignored during routine sports activites and daily life activities. One of the most popular maneuvers is the sun salutation. 

10) Don't Be an Island

Ever wonder why women live longer than men? One major reason is that they form tight networks and actually talk about their problems. If you face life's stresses alone, you will make yourself older. With another person's love and support, the inner aging associated with stress can be reduced. 

11) Avoid Fad Diets

The secret to weight loss is not to avoid carbs, fats, yellow foods, solid foods or foods that start with the letter G.  The real trick is to lower your daily intake by about 100 calories. You'll hardly notice,but it'll add up to a loss of about 10 pounds in a year. Calorie restriction has been shown to lengthen life ( in rats and monkeys). Try to cut back once a year to resetyour appetite and taste buds. Healthy foods taste great  afterwards ! 

12) Be a Smart Patient

Professionals can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Seek a second opinion before undergoing any surgical procedure. Try conservative care such as Chiropractic before taking pain medications or anti-inflamatory drugs for any neuromusculoskeletal conditons such as neck pain, whiplash, back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, ankle pain, wrist pain, elbow pain,  sports injury, auto injury, or headaches including tension or migraines. Keep a written medical history and educate yourself about any family health problems. You may consider using Google Health, so your files would be accessible in case you find yourself in trouble away from home.

13) Lose the Beer Belly 

Most men fasten their belts below their waists. It's just another way to avoiding the truth about their gut.  Grab a tape measure and put it around your body at the level of your belly button. That number should be less than half your  height in inches.  For my  5' 11" inch frame, for example, I need to keep my waist under 35.5 inches. If avoiding heart attacks and diabetes isn't enough motivation to eliminate that gut, consider this. For every point your body mass index is over 25, your testosterone drops 3 percent, which isn't very manly.

14) Go Green

I drink green tea several times a day. It's packed with heart-boosting and cancer-stopping polyphenols that black tea doesn't offer. These beneficial chemicals are lost when it's fermented. Green tea also delivers a boost of alertness, but from a smaller dose of caffeine than black tea. Green tea can even fight   dandruff, although only if you pour the cooled tea directly onto your scalp. 

15) Sweat Until You're Wet

If you can work up a sweat for just one hour a week, you'll enjoy a range of benefits, including a reduced risk of heart attack, better mood and lower blood pressure. I like to jog several miles 2-3 times a week that involve level terrain as well as steep hills. This keeps my football legs strong and in shape for my snow ski excursions ! You may consider interval training as well on the elliptical,  with 15 pull-ups and 15 dips after every 10 minutes. I prefer push-ups and sit-ups similar to many football player routines. Your muscles  will become more efficient, so you'll have more stamina for more enjoyable activities that also     work up a sweat.

16)  Save  Some Money

 Most people rank personal finance as their number one stressor, usually because they feel

powerless about it. Stress not only shortens lives, it also drives people to habits like smoking, drinking, or binge eating. Keep some money in a special bank account, safe from your desire for a new televison, and you'll establish an emotional comfort zone with major health benefits.

17) Have Frequent Sex with your partner

If a 50-something man could have sex 700 times a year, the exercise and stress reduction would make him look and feel years younger. I wouldn't recommend quitting your day job in order to hit that number-but what's the harm in trying ? The next time your loved one says she has a headache, tell her she's literally killing you.  It just might work.

18) Know Your  Numbers, then Aim Lower

Take the part of your brain dedicated to your local steak house's phone number and reassign it to your heart's vital signs. These include blood pressure (which ideally should be below 115 over 75), LDL cholesterol ( under 100 ), resting heart rate (under 70) , and fasting blood sugar ( under 100). If your numbers aren't ideal, change your diet until they improve. 

19) Add Some Weights

Just 30 minutes twice a week spent lifting weights can build significant muscle mass. What's

more, working all that muscle burns tons of calories, making it a great way to lose your gut, too. Don't have weights? Try lifting yourself. Pull-ups are the most valuable muscle building exercises one can do. Trainers know that pull-ups work the back, pecs, arms, and bellyl all at

once. Because you're lifting yourself, you'll think twice before eating that doughnut, because you'll just  have to lift it later. A simple setup in a door frame is convenient and inexpensive.

20) Grab Some Nuts

Nuts are among the best source of healthful fats and protein around. I keep a bag of walnuts in my fridge and use their massive dose of omega-3-fatty acids to boost my brainpower while I see patients. Half of a handful eaten about 30 minutes before a meal will temper your appetite and help you avoid the drive-thru  and over-eating.

21) Men should examine their tesicles

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15 to 35, but it's usually curable if caught early. I strongly urge men to self examine their testicles at least once a month. Each testicle should feel smooth and slightly soft, and one should descend slightly lower than the other, like two avocados ( which, in Aztec, actually means "testicles") growing on a tree.On a personal note, one of my best doctor friends lost  his associate doctor in his clinic from testicular cancer at a very young age . A former Washington Redskins football player lost his brother ( also a former NFL player and Redskin) to cancer of his testicle. Testicular cancer is a serious matter, be smart and practice defensive medicine.

22) Hit the Dance Floor

Crosswords and card games aren't the only way to keep a brain razor sharp. It turns out that any kind of dancing with complex moves is stimulating enough to give neurons a workout.You don't have to do the splits and spin like James Brown ( The Godfather of Soul), but even the simplest moves provide some physical exercise. So don't be such a couch potatoe on your next night out. As a bonus, dancing may help you with tip number 17 ! 

23) Do Your Male Organ a Favor

Step on a treadmill . Men who exercise enough to burn 200 calories a day significantly lower their chances of impotence. That's because impotence often has the same cause as heart attacks: blocked arteries. Your male organ is like a barometer for your arteries, so check it.Therefore,  if you're interested in having adequate sexual function later in life, lace up the running shoes now and hit the road. 

24) Learn to Cook

Do you think you know how much butter goes into preparing those mashed potatoes at a

restaurant? You're probably off by half. If you can cook, you not only save money, but also gain control over what goes into your meals. Plus, for most women a man who knows how to cook is as sexy as one who stars in action movies. Personally, I can cook the best Shrimp de Jonge on the planet ! Ask my wife !

25) Some Pills Should Be Popped

The indoor life give modern man protection from the elements. Unfortunately, roughly half of us are deficient in vitamin D, for which the sun is a major source. This crucial vitamin may aid in fighting cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. I take several vitamin supplements daily.

These include a multivitamin, magnesium ( 600 mg/day), vitamin D ( 2,000 IU/day), fish oil ( Omega-3 Fatty acids), ginger, CoQ10, and glucosamine sulfate.

Dr Bakalis' additonal comments:

In summary, try to execute the above 25 tips.......  Furthermore I tell all my patients that a healthy life involves four major areas  1) Spinal adjustments for the nervous system

2) Exercise 3) Good nutrition  4) Positive mental attitude

If everyone did these four things, they would improve the quality of their lives.

 Heart to Heart  discussion :

Sudden cardiac death caused by ventricular fibrillation kills thousands of people per year. CPR may save many of these, however, with new technology and affordability possible, having a portable defibrillator at home and work is a good investment. I purchased one for my home. It is user friendly and affordable.  Ask your family physician to consider writing a prescription for this device to keep at home. It may save your life !


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