January 21, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day: A Key to a Healthy Heart

iStock_Heart (640x480)As Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, we at Peak Performance would like to remind you how important it is to take care of your heart.  Unfortunately, obesity and over-weight levels continue to rise in our country.  The good news is that you can take control of your health today with the helpful tips listed below.

 1. Start moving!

The key to heart health is physical activity.  The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.  A good place to start is by taking a brief, 10-15 minute walk, 2 to 3 times per day. If you’re concerned the winter weather will make it tough to get outdoors, then try taking a few laps around your local mall or supermarket.  Bicycling, swimming, and jogging and are also great cardiovascular workouts.

 2. Eat smart!

Make good decisions when it comes to what you eat.  Minimize processed foods, and incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.  Do your best to lay off the holiday sweets.  If you must indulge, remember to do so in moderation (That means just one piece of chocolate from that heart-shaped box)!  Dark chocolate is believed to be a better choice than milk chocolate, because it contains flavanols, which help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and reduce the risk of blood clot formations.

 3. Stop smoking!

This one goes without saying.  Most everyone has heard about the health risks of smoking, including increased blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.  But don’t forget about the negative effects of second hand smoke.  Encourage those close to you to kick the bad habit, and choose to dine in the non-smoking sections of restaurants when you go out.

Remember, one of the sweetest gifts you can give your Valentine is the gift of good health.  Instead of snacking on candies at the movie theater this year, try cooking a healthy meal together along with a romantic walk.  The choices you make today impact your future health and happiness for years to come.

K. Collins

What is proper lifting?

iStock_Lifting mechanics

How do you lift properly?


Why is it important to lift properly?


What type of injuries occur with lifting?


Have you ever lifted an object and felt a twinge of pain in your back?  Well you are not alone!  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over one million workers suffer from back injuries each year, and one-fourth of all workers’ compensation claims involve back injuries.  The BLS survey also revealed that three out of four of the back injuries occurred while the employee was lifting.

Many people use incorrect body mechanics while lifting and moving objects, causing increased stress on their back.  While lifting objects it is important to keep in mind these helpful tips:

1. Keep your back in a straight, neutral position at all times.iStock_lifting

2. Establish a good foot position.  It may be necessary to stagger one foot in front of the other for better balance.
3. Keep the object close to your body.
4. Bend with your legs, not at your waist.
5. Keep the abdominal muscles engaged to help protect your back.
After doing a lot of lifting it is advised to perform standing extensions to counteract the repetitive flexion forces placed on your back with the lifting.  To perform standing extensions, place your hands on the small of your back and bend backwards as far as you can.  Repeat this 5-10 times.
Following these simple steps can help keep you safe while lifting at work, home, or helping a friend with a move
H. Tipsord

Computer Ergonomics

iStock_ergo (640x426)How do I prevent strain at my computer desk?

What are computer ergonomics?

Many of us sit in front of a computer throughout our workdays or in the evenings while browsing the Web. Unwanted side effects of our excessive time in front of those screens can include muscle aches, eye strain and tension headaches. Below are some tips to help avoid these unwelcome physical stresses.

– Place the computer screen directly in front of you at eye level

– Sit up straight, keeping your head and neck in line with your trunk

– Keep your shoulders relaxed

– Use arm rests, keeping elbows bent at 90 degrees with forearms and wrists supported
– Keep the computer mouse within comfortable reach

– Use a lumbar support roll for your low back, placed just above your belt line

– Keep legs supported with feet on the floor or a footstool with hips and knees bent to 90 degrees

– Take frequent rest breaks to stand, stretch and/or walk around

K. Collins

Clinics Closed Due to Snow

Snow Day written in fresh snowfallColumbia City and Warsaw clinics will be closed today, 1/7/2014, due to enforced travel advisory warnings in Whitley and Kosciusko counties. We will resume normal business hours 1/8/2014.

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