August was a really busy month at the clinic, and I’m a full month late in posting our July 2017 newsletter files!
This month’s edition is packed full of fun and useful information, including an article about why you migh want to consider smoking (page 2).
Here’s the complete line-up for the month:
Pg. 1: How to “Bookend Your Days” for Success
Pg. 2: Are You Ready to Start Smoking?
Pg. 3: Dutch Bros. Coffe – We Love This Place! (also smoothie recipe and funny memes)
Pg. 4: 5 Benefits of Turmeric
The downloadable link for the digital version of the newsletter is below:
And if you’d rather read all the newsletter content on this page, all 4 of the articles are posted below. Enjoy
How to “Bookend Your Days” for Success
Have you ever noticed how a lot of the most elite athletes have disciplined routines before all their performances? Pre-shot rituals can be witnessed amongst most basketball players before they shoot a free-throw, and most pro golfers and kickers also have detailed routines. Golfer Jack Nicklaus was famous for his pre-shot routine, which included a little “dance” as well as several other physical and mental steps prior to each and every shot.
People who’ve studied these elite athletes and performers have learned that they all stick to their routines without fail, which is a big part of their success. So how does this idea of establishing routines apply to the average person like you and me?
I just finished reading “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, and he had some excellent advice. He states that while you can’t usually control what happens throughout the middle of your day, you should be able to control the beginning and end of each day. He calls this practice “bookending” your day. The idea is that if you can create a predictable and dependable routine to how you start and end each day, then you’ll have much better control of your life and your success.
Taken from his book, here are some examples of Darren’s “bookend” routines:
Rise & Shine: every morning, Darren’s iPhone alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. He promptly hits the snooze button, which gives him 8 minutes for the following 3 activities: first, he thinks of all the things he’s grateful for and attunes his mind to a sense of abundance. Second, he “sends love” to someone by thinking of one person who he’d like to have a good day. It could be someone he knows or a stranger he met the day before who was having a rough day. You might call this a blessing or a prayer, but the idea is the same. And third, he thinks about his #1 goal of the day, as well as the 3 activities he’s going to do during the day to move him closer to his goal. What a way to start the day…and that’s just the first 8 minutes! He’s routine goes on from there, and includes other activities like reading something positive and instructional for 30 minutes.
Sweet Dreams: every evening, Darren says that he likes to “cash out” and clear his day. He compares this process to when he used to work as a cashier at a grocery store in his youth and had to make sure his register was balanced before going home. This process is mostly reflective: he looks at his performance for the day and compares it to his goals and expectations from that morning. He also asks himself questions about what things need to be carried to the next or day, or possibly which items need to be reconsidered or abandoned. In addition, he likes to take out his journal and log any good ideas, “ah-hah” moments or inspirations that he’s run across during his day. And finally, he enjoys reading at least 10 pages from an inspirational book before heading to bed. By doing so, he allows his subconscious to focus on something positive while he sleeps.
Pretty cool, huh? Darren also mentions that you need to mix things up once in a while, but how powerful would it be if you knew that you were going to start and finish each day with a predictable and positive routine? Would it allow you to feel in control and potentially stay focused on the most important things in your life?
I want to finish this article by saying that I know for many of us life can be hectic, and starting and finishing our days in a specific rhythm can be difficult (especially for those of us with young kids!). But even if you can’t implement all these ideas right now, maybe this will be enough to get the ball rolling and allow you some piece of mind when you start and end your days.
Are You Ready to Start Smoking?
While most of us are very well aware of the serious health risks associated with smoking, today I want to instead focus on the potential health benefits of smoking. That’s right; we’re talking about the benefits of smoking and why you might want to consider picking up the habit!
“But Luke, you must be crazy! Smoking can kill you! Surely there’s nothing good about it!” To answer your question, let me tell you about a recent article I read. In Dr. Kelly Starrett’s new book titled “Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World”, he mentions one very interesting piece of research. According to an Australian study published in 2008, for every hour of television watched after the age of 25, the viewer’s life expectancy was cut by 21.8 minutes. Compare this statistic to smoking, where each cigarette has been shown to reduce life expectancy by 11 minutes, and you can understand why Starrett and many other health professionals claim that “sitting is the new smoking”.
So why would I recommend that you start smoking? The answer is simple: smokers tend to get up from their sitting workstations frequently in order to walk outside and smoke. From this perspective, the average smoker has actually developed a good habit of regularly moving and stretching, which will prolong their life expectancy.
Okay, okay. I don’t really want you to start smoking! However, if you work a sedentary job, I have 3 pieces of advice for you that will help you keep your body more limber and will hopefully help you stay active and healthy well into your 80’s.
- Tip #1: Invest in a sit-stand workstation. One of the best ways to combat the prolonged sitting that many jobs now require is to acquire either a standing or a sit-stand workstation. I prefer the sit-stand option, as standing for 8-10 hours/day can also be really hard on your body. If you don’t want to shell out the money yourself (a good option is the Vari-desk for around $400), I’d encourage you to check with your employer first. Many larger companies are starting to be more receptive to the idea of keeping their employees healthy and happy, and there’s also some research that shows that people who stand at work are more productive, which saves the company money! Even standing for 10-20 minutes every hour is great for your body. And one last tip: if you can get your hands on a sit-stand workstation: try to move around a bit while you stand.
- Consider an exercise ball. If a sit-stand workstation isn’t a good option for you, sitting and gently bouncing on an exercise ball is also good for your leg and core muscles. I typically recommend that people sit on an exercise ball for 20-minute periods during the day, working up to 3-4 times/day. If you work in an area with several other seated co-workers, you can consider buying one ball and rotating it around your unit during the day. It’s a little more fun this way!
- Frequent “micro breaks”. Lastly, if you don’t like either of the first 2 options, taking a short break every 20-30 minutes is a must. Remember that the key to keeping your body in shape is movement, so consider going for a brisk walk down the hallway, or possibly even going up and down some stairs. Your best tactic for sticking to these micro-breaks is to set a timer on your smart phone. Pick something really loud and annoying so you can’t just ignore it!
To summarize, I don’t really want you to start smoking (and if you already smoke, well you know… J). However, if you can adopt some better habits at work and at home, you’ve got a good shot at living a longer and more active lifestyle. And you’ll probably have more energy and feel better too!
Dutch Bros. Coffee – We Love This Place!
Recently, our very own Ashley got a new job working at Dutch Bros. Coffee. If you’re not familiar with the company, their coffee stands are pretty easy to spot with their windmill designs.
As Ashley’s been going through their training program, one thing has become very clear: Dutch Bros. is an amazing company! Their official motto is “speed, quality and service”. And while that might sound a bit generic, they have a unique culture and business model that’s worth talking about. Here are some of the coolest things about Dutch Bros.
- If you’re a new customer, they give you a punch card that already has 9 of the 10 spaces punched. So all you have to do is come back for a second drink, and the next drink is on them!
- All baristas are encouraged to give out free drinks on birthdays as well as when people are having a “bad day”. So if Ashley picks up on a customer who’s really struggling that day, she has full permission to brighten that person’s day by giving them a free drink!
- Dutch Bros. is a “yes” company. This means that they accept any competitor coupons, as well as competitor punch cards.
- This one is my favorite: every month they do some kind of a “Give Back” day. During “Drink for Dane” day, they donated all the proceeds to ALS research, for a grand total of $1.8 million dollars. In another local promotion, they donated $1 for every drink sold in Washington during “Cure for Cat” day. All the proceeds helped a local woman named Cat cover her medical expenses while looking to cure her scleroderma.
- One last cool thing about Dutch Bros: during their grand openings, they have an entire day where you can buy any 16 oz. drink for only $1. And in case you haven’t already noticed, there’s a new location being built on Dishman Mica, just south of Sprague (just south of the clinic). This new shop should open in early August, and we’ll post a few reminders on our Facebook page as the date gets closer.
While we might not be quite as cool as Dutch Bros., we’re definitely striving to create a fun and enriching environment here at Gordon PT. It’s always inspiring to see local businesses who’ve invested so much time and effort into creating an amazing culture of customer service. Be on the lookout for more fun changes at the clinic soon!
5 Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice that’s been around for thousands of years. You notice it primarily in Indian cuisine, where it gives curry dishes that nice yellow-orange color. Over the last several years, turmeric has gained a lot of support as a very powerful and effective supplement, and the research is starting to catch up with the long list of potential health benefits. And while there are quite a few potential health benefits, I wanted to highlight the top 5 that are well supported by research. Here they are!
- Powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant: the active ingredient in turmeric (curcumin) has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. There are several studies that show positive results when people with arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases regularly take turmeric/curcumin supplements. These supplements often contain black pepper, which increases the absorption of curcumin.
- Improved brain function: one of the interesting qualities of curcumin is that it can increase the level of a specific hormone in your brain, called “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” or BDNF. Low levels of this hormone have been linked to a number of brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s, and curcumin is showing promise that it may be able to help prevent and/or treat these diseases.
- Reduced risk of heart disease: heart disease is the number one killer in the world, so it’s pretty cool that curcumin has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease. People who regularly supplement with curcumin show improved function of the endothelial cells that line their blood vessels. In one recent study, subjects who took 4 grams of curcumin a day before and after heart surgery had a 65% lower chance of having a heart attack in the hospital (versus the control group). Pretty amazing!
- Cancer prevention and treatment: although it hasn’t been studied in humans yet, research in the lab is showing some very beneficial effects on treating and preventing cancer. In animal studies, curcumin has been shown to reduce both “angiogenesis” (growth of new blood vessels to tumors) and “metastasis” (spread of cancer). With any luck, there will be some human studies soon!
- Treating Depression: and last but certainly not least, curcumin is also showing promise in treating depression. In a recent study, it showed comparable results to people taking Prozac, although more research needs to be done. The potential benefits likely have something to do with the effects on BDNF levels in the brain.
So there you have it! If you’re looking for the next “wonder drug”, you might not need to look any farther than your spice cabinet! While naturally occurring supplements are generally considered safe, it’s always a good idea to do some research and consult your healthcare provider before starting taking something like a turmeric/curcumin supplement. Good luck!
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