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America's Least Fit (and the Fittest) Cities

Written by Lisa Jillanza

And, the Fittest cities are,

#1:  Arlington, Virginia

#2:  Seattle, Washington

#3:  Minneapolis, Minnesota

#4:  San Francisco, California

#5:  Madison, Wisconsin

#6:  Washington, D.C.

#7:  St. Paul, Minnesota

#8:  Irvine, California

#9:  Denver, Colorado

#10:  Portland, Oregon

In the recently released American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) 2019 American Fitness Index data report, 10 cities ranked lowest in overall health and fitness.  Each city received a ranking and areas that needed “worked on” for the city.

#10:  Bakersfield, California and San Antonio, Texas (tied)

#9:  New Orleans, Louisiana

#8:  Tampa, Florida

#7:  Orlando, Florida

#6:  Jacksonville, Florida

#5:  Atlanta, Georgia

#4:  Corpus Christie, Texas

#3:  St. Petersburg, Florida

#2:  Albuquerque, New Mexico

#1:  St. Louis, Missouri

To view the full report and see the full results of these cities and other major metropolitan cities included in the ACSM's research, visit www.americanfitnessindex.org.

Healthy Living: Healthy Pain Management

Written by Lisa Jillanza

If your most recent workout has left you with a case of aches and pains, you may find yourself reaching for the closest pain medicine.  But if you are looking to manage your pain without taking pills, fortunately there are plenty of other ways that you can do so.

Healthy pain management

Here are some ways to treat post-workout aches and pains without popping pills:

Go see your chiropractor : Chronic and nagging pain can be alleviated oftentimes by a trip to your chiropractor.  There are many different pain patterns and chiropractors are trained to handle these pain patterns.  They can best determine how to handle your pain from the most invasive to the least invasive way.

Ice bath : An ice bath is perfect for reducing inflammation in your joints and muscles.  The ice bath helps to constrict your blood vessels, pushing your blood to your core and then that blood returns to your muscles after you get out of the ice bath.

Contrast therapy : Another popular “anti-pill” method of pain management is contrast therapy, or “3,3,3.”  This method consists of three minutes of heat and 30 seconds of cold, three times in a row.  The heat dilates all of the blood vessels, relaxes the muscle and lets in nutrients and oxygen.  The cold does the exact opposite and pushes the fluid back out.  The combination of heat and cold creates an “artificial pump” through the muscle : bringing in nutrients and pushing out the waste that causes the pain.

Anti-inflammatory diet : Inflammation causes much of the pain that people feel, so by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, with plenty of whole foods, this will help cut down on your discomfort.  Choose lean foods like chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Foam roller :Pain can be caused by adhesions, scar tissue or even repetitive use, and the body needs collagen to heal.  Foam rollers help to smooth out and realign fibers that are damaged in your tissue and promote healthy collagen growth.

Summer 101: Naturally Heal Your Sunburn

Written by Lisa Jillanza

We have all been there before : a long day at the beach or outdoors turns our skin into a pretty bad case of sunburn!  Instead of dealing with the affects for a few days or even a week after the burn, we offer these natural ways to help your skin heal and to help you feel better in no time.

Naturally heal sunburn

Of course, there are plenty of sunburn treatment lotions out on the market, but anything that contains a high amount of vitamin E or contains aloe vera will help to alleviate the pain of sunburn.  The vitamin E and aloe vera add nutrients to the skin that UV rays have unbalanced.  The aloe vera also cools your skin, helping to reduce the pain.

You may also find some good sunburn treatments right in your kitchen cabinet.  Vinegar, mustard, yogurt, tomatoes and avocado all contain that extra vitamin E that will help to cool your skin.

Healthy Living: Kick that Bad Habit

Written by Lisa Jillanza

From overeating to watching too much TV, there's only one way to break a bad habit : make a plan!

Unfortunately, what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

kick that bad habit Kick that bad habit

Watching too much TV. : Studies show that people watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive TV. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. : Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like root beer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. : While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it's still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Nail-biting. : Because most nail-biting habits are linked to anxiety, stress, or nervousness, your plan should start with creating a relaxation plan.  Think about what makes you bite your nails before you start.  When you get the urge to bite your nails or catch yourself in the act, do something with your hands : garden, cook, play with your kids or pets, clean or do the dishes.  Do something that takes your mind off biting your nails.

In the News: Sunburnt? Ways to Heal Naturally

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Now that spring is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner, it's time again to be out enjoying the sun's rays.  And while those rays can be quite enjoyable, they can also wreak havoc on your skin and cause a nasty sunburn.

heal sunburn naturally

Don't let your sunburn turn into days of pain.  Instead try some of those natural ways to fight the pain of sunburn:

  • Use vitamin E.  While there are plenty of sunburn remedies that you can buy over-the-counter, just look in your cabinet for any lotion that contains vitamin E and aloe vera.  The vitamin E and aloe vera add nutrients back into the skin that the UV rays have left unbalanced.  The aloe vera also gives the cooling effect that is much needed for that sunburn.
  • Check the kitchen cupboard and the refrigerator.  Items like vinegar, mustard, yogurt, tomatoes and avocados all contain extra vitamin E and will help to relieve the burn just as any cream or lotion would.
  • Opt for green tea.  Green tea is perfect for reducing the swelling of the skin associated with sunburns, as well as taking out the sting of the burn.  To make the green tea compress, bring a pot of tea to boil then pour it over 1 teaspoon of loose green tea.  Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes and then mix with an equal amount of cold water.  Once the mixture is cooled, soak a clean cloth in it and put it on the sunburned skin for five to ten minutes.  This can be applied several times a day.
  • Cool down.  Take a cool bath with 1 cup of black tea and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the bath water.  The black tea helps to reduce the swelling and the apple cider vinegar helps to soothe the pain.

Whatever natural method you decide to go with to treat your next sunburn, be sure to treat the burn right away.  Prolonging the treatment of the burn will only prolong the agony of the pain, so take care of your burn on day one.