The Importance of 10,000 Steps

23 May 2017, 3:52 pm
Published in Blog

The number 10,000 is not an insignificant number. For example, I'm sure that if I offered any of you a check for $10,000, you'd cash it before the ink dried. Conversely, if you ate 10,000 hot dogs, you'd probably never even look at a hot dog again.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, proposed that 10,000 hours of practicing your craft will lead to mastery. Although Gladwell's theory has sparked some controversy (there is some lack of clarity around how we should define the terms "practice" and "mastery"), I think it's safe to say that if we practice something, anything, for 10,000 hours we are, generally speaking, going to be better at it than when we started.

Now, start thinking about the impact of walking 10,000 steps every day. It is widely known that 10,000 steps is sort of the "industry standard" for the daily recommended amount of steps you and I need. What you may not know is that we get that "10,000 steps" number from the 1960s when early Japanese walking groups created the terms "manpo-kei," which means "10,000 step meter."

And have you ever thought about what walking 10,000 steps every day can actually do for you? Once the benchmark of 10,000 steps was established in the 60s, various groups began to study the physical effects of that number. Check out what walking 10,000 steps can do for you physically:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve mood
  • Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Improved glucose tolerance in those overweight

While I think it's safe to say we can all agree that exercise is good for you and will improve your health, not exercising can have just as big of a negative impact on your body. Sitting has been deemed the "new smoking," and conditions that were once attributed to lifelong smokers are now being linked to sitting. For example, if you sit for just a few hours per day, you are:

  • At 2x higher risk for heart disease
  • 37% higher risk for obesity
  • 18% increase in diabetes
  • 24% higher risk for colon cancer
  • 20-40% higher morbidity rate

Obviously, those are some serious issues. But the good news is that they are changeable. Increase your activity level, and you'll improve your health! Pretty simple, really. I'm not saying walking 10,000 steps is some sort of panacea, but getting 10,000 steps in every day sure will go a long way toward improving your health and extending your life. If walking hurts, that's your body's way of letting you know that you're out of balance, that something isn't quite right. That's when you know it's time to get into an Egoscue clinic. If you're ready to take the first step toward getting pain free and taking control of your health, book an appointment now!

At the very least, now that you're finished reading this, stand up and walk around. Whether you walk down the hall, around your office building, or around the block, the key to improving your health is to get moving. If you haven't been walking much throughout your days, don't let the "10,000 steps" number scare you off. Start where you are, start small, but just start.

QUESTION: How many steps do you take every day?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

The Eight Laws of Physical Health

9 May 2017, 2:21 pm
Published in Blog

I think we can all agree that the majority of laws are in place to protect us. For example, we have speed limits in place so that we drive safely, and we have to stop at red lights to ensure that we don't get in a wreck. Obviously, if we violate those laws, bad things can happen. At best, we'll get a ticket if caught violating. At worst, someone could get seriously injured, or worse yet, killed.

When it comes to the body, we have laws in place as well. Eight of them, actually. Pete Egoscue talks about them in his book, Pain Free. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly suggest you do. Not only does it go in-depth about the Eight Laws, but it gives you the Egoscue perspective on posture and pain. All of the chapters are divided up by symptoms--back pain, hip pain, neck pain, etc.--and include exercises to correct your posture and eliminate your pain. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of it!

But back to the topic at-hand. Regarding the Eight Laws, if you violate them you won't get a written citation, but you will get a "warning" of a different kind. At first, the violations may present themselves as low energy or poor health. Maybe you "crash" every afternoon, or perhaps you're sick a lot. Unfortunately, the longer you violate the laws, and the more laws you violate, the louder the "warning" gets. For those of you struggling with chronic pain, it's because you are violating multiple laws. There's a good chance you have violated the laws of Vertical Loading, Dynamic Tension, Motion, and Balance, just to name a few. Read through the Eight Laws below, and then go look in the mirror. Simply by looking in the mirror, you'll be able to determine if you are violating the laws of Vertical Loading, Dynamic Tension, Form and Function, Balance, and Breathing. Does your body pass the eye-test? For those of you with digestive issue, immune issue or reproductive issues, you are in violation of the law of Motion. For those who have a difficult time recovering from injuries or sickness, you may be in violation of the laws of Stimulus and Renewal.

So, are you ready? Let's take the test. Read through the following Eight Laws, and report back which ones you believe you're in violation of.

1. VERTICAL LOADING: Gravity is necessary for health. In order for gravity to exert a positive and dynamic influence on the body, the skeleton must be vertically aligned in its posture.

2. DYNAMIC TENSION: A state of constant tension exists between the front of the body and the back. The posterior portion is responsible for the erection of the body and the anterior is responsible for the flexion, or bending forward, of the body. Neither activity can be performed correctly and healthily without this action.

3. FORM AND FUNCTION: Bones do what muscles tell them to do. All skeletal motion is initiated by muscular activity.

4. BREATHING: The body will not function without oxygen. So essential is this law that the body has redundant systems to ensure compliance.

5. MOTION: All of the body's systems--digestive, circulatory, immune, and so on--are interrelated. The common thread that binds them together is movement. The faster the molecules of the body move, the higher the metabolic rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the healthier the human being. We are designed to run, jump, climb, fall, roll, and skip, not just for initial development but for continued health throughout our lives. If these activities hurt or cause pain, it is because we are violating some or all of the laws of health.

6. BALANCE: In order for the law of motion to be effective and true, the body must achieve balance, defined as muscle memory, sufficient to constantly return the body to the first law of vertical loading. For balance to occur, muscles must work in pairs and equally on the right and left sides of the body. Being left- or right-handed hinders this balance only when we violate the laws of motion.

7. STIMULUS: The body reacts to all stimuli twenty-four hours a day, regardless of the conscious state of health. Therefore, the law of motion constantly reinforces this law of stimulus. If motion is limited, the law of stimulus becomes stressful to the body. The body absorbs pollutants and irritants rather than deflecting them.

8. RENEWAL: The body is organic; therefore, it is in a constant state of growth and rebirth. Muscles, bones, nerves, connective tissues, cartilage, and the like are all alive. If the body is not renewing, it is because we are violating the laws of physical health. The more laws we violate, the faster we age and die.

Which laws resonated most with you? Are there ones that you know you definitely violate? Which ones do you feel you're not in violation of?

Remember, the more laws we violate, the faster we age and die. So, unfortunately, just like breaking the law and running a red light puts you at risk of death, so does violating the Eight Laws of Physical Health. But, remember that last law...Renewal? That's the cool thing about the body. Just because you may be violating a law (or multiple laws) right now doesn't mean you will be violating them forever. Your body can, and will, change. You simply have to apply the proper Stimulus (Law #7). Isn't it fascinating how all of the laws work together? The body is a pretty remarkable piece of machinery.

QUESTION: How many laws are you violating?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Limit the Bad, Increase the Good

17 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

This week's post is written by Elliott Williams, a therapist in our Del Mar Headquarters. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!

Isn’t it funny that we’re always looking at what products our kids use? We pay special attention to what the ingredients are in their toothpaste, or what "extra" stuff is in their baby food. Are there any harmful products in the baby wash? Is there anything on this label that I shouldn't be putting in my child's body?

Yet at some point we stop caring as much, at least about ourselves. Many of us don't worry about what's in our food, or what we are putting in and on our body. If there are certain things that make us feel good, physically, nutritionally or otherwise, why would we stop doing them? Or on the other hand, if we continue to feel badly doing certain things, why would we continue to do them?

Most clients are coming in to our clinics looking at us to be the "expert" that they have been in search for after trying everything for their pain. Many have been to the best doctors and technicians in their area. I know that prior to walking through the clinic doors for my first appointment, I had done the exact same thing. I was looking to everyone else to "fix" me, when all along, the person staring back at me in the mirror was the only one who could do that. I should have been trusting and believing in myself, in my body, from the beginning. And the best part about that is, that I am no different than you. I have a different, height, weight and build for sure, but underneath I am the same person. I have the same bone structure, the same amount of muscles, joints and internal systems. This isn’t an article of how I did it and now you can, this is a story about how we need to take responsibility and when we do, GREAT things will come. Remember, your body knows best, you hold all the answers to your questions, internally and externally. It’s just time to get some help translating the signals that your body is sending you.

Egoscue is that translator, not only helping you understand what your body is telling you, but helping you understand what to do about it. We aren't the "expert" on your body...you are. We simply help interpret the signals your body is sending you. We help you bring balance back to the entire system. Everybody needs a little help here and there, everyone needs some direction, it is up to us, the individual to then stay the course and follow the direction that is given.

I am a Postural Therapist, and can tell you that we don't need to continually diet or be an extremist about what goes in or on our body, but to find moderation. Limit the bad things and increase the good things. And, drink more water than anything else you consume. It's a simple equation, really. You’ll find that inflammation will decrease, you will start to give your body the opportunity it craves to heal, to feel better, that I am sure of. Most importantly, MOVE your body. Muscles move bones, and bones make up the structure that hold all other systems in your body. Therefore if the muscles are not asked to move, the structure is compromised and everything internally is compromised as well.

Doing these things will also help setup the next wave, the next generation, taking them from a largely sedentary state to empowered and motivated. They'll be motivated to maintain health, motivated to inspire their generation. Let's all take a little more care for ourselves, and as Pete always says, with some fire, “DO YOUR MENU!”

QUESTION: What do you do that's good for you?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well.

Light Up Another Cigarette

6 January 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I'm not a smoker, but chances are that you are, and you might not even realize it. No, I'm not talking about some new smoking study claiming that smoking is on the rise (it is, just for the record). I'm also not suggesting that you're unknowingly inhaling someone's secondhand smoke (you're not, just for the record).

No, actually, I'm talking about what you're (most likely) doing right this second. Whether you realize it or not, you're smoking. Right now. Yes, this very moment.

Okay...okay...maybe you aren't literally smoking, but you are doing something that is just as detrimental to your health, and ultimately, just as deadly.

You're sitting.

Did you know that sitting is now being considered the "new smoking?" Numerous studies are reporting that there are some very ill-effects associated with how much we sit. Health conditions that were once only contributed to smokers--heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even a higher mortality rate--are now linked to sitting, and all regardless of whether you exercise.

Honestly, you might be better off with a cigarette in your mouth...

Let that sink in for a second.

Hear me out, these studies aren't showing that you might be at risk for some "minor" condition--decreased energy, pain or discomfort, etc.--instead, these studies are claiming you are putting yourself at a significant risk to suffer from one of the conditions I mentioned before. Most Americans sit for 9-10 hours of each day. Some sit for even more than that! It's commonly heard that our clients sit for up to 12 hours per day--that's HALF of your day spent sitting! Check out what that sitting is doing to your body:

  • Over 50% increase in lung cancer (remember when I said sitting was the new smoking?)
  • 90% increase in Type-2 diabetes
  • 112% increased relative risk of diabetes (compared to those who don't sit as much)
  • 147% increased relative risk of cardiovascular events (compared to those who don't sit as much)
  • 50% increase in all-cause mortality (a similar mortality rate to smoking)

Are you convinced yet? Are you now standing up to finish reading this post?

We have to break the cycle. We have to change our pattern. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our health. So, get up and move!

Get your body working, and working as it's designed to do!

Quit smoking.

Start moving.

Today.

If you have specific questions about your symptoms, contact us now! You can also see if we have a clinic in your area.

QUESTION: How many hours per day are you sitting?

As always, thanks for sharing our posts (It's easy--just click below!). Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter (and, you can also follow me there)!