Chiropractic Care and Arthritis: How We Can Help

A lot of people talk about (and hear others talking about) having “arthritis” in their spine. It is certainly a statement that we, as chiropractors, hear quite often.  There are a lot of times that arthritis is used as a “catch-all” phrase when people are experiencing back discomfort. In fact, arthritis of the spine is a specific group of conditions, with some of these conditions being very common and some of them less common, acting in a certain manner. The most common form of arthritis of the spine is called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis usually happens alongside another common spinal condition called degenerative disc disease, or degenerative joint disease of the spine.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that can affect every joint in a human’s body. It most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. The most common location of osteoarthritis in the spine is in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions. There are many causes of arthritis, with the most common including previous injury, abnormal development, and overuse. In each of these scenarios, the way the spine moves is altered and stressed to a degree that it begins to physically change as an adaptation to this stress.

Most commonly, the first step to arthritis of the spine is degeneration of the discs that are between every vertebra. The discs begin to dehydrate and breakdown. As the discs dehydrate, they shrink and no longer have the same amount of volume to help take on the forces as they did before. The action of breaking down happens because our spinal discs do not have an active blood supply. They receive their nutrients through movement, which causes a vacuum-like effect where the discs bring in the important nutrients through a negative pressure gradient. If the spinal column does not move properly, you will not receive the proper nutrients because your body cannot produce the necessary negative pressure gradient. When the discs begin to breakdown your body will begin to replace the disc material with bone, commonly leading to osteophytes (bone spurs) pointing out from the front and back of the spine.  Bone gets laid down by the body as a protective mechanism in order to take on the forces that the discs no longer can. Bone spurs are one of two major signs of arthritis that can be seen on an x-ray. The other sign is the shrinking of the heights of the disc spaces.

As degeneration in the spine develops, it is not something that can be reversed. However, it can be slowed down or prevented from occurring or progressing. Chiropractic’s role in the management of arthritis is in helping to prevent it, or slow/stop its progression. We do that by making sure that the spine is able to move in a healthy manner, properly adapting to the stresses it faces throughout the day. That movement will keep the discs healthy and able to absorb the forces they need to absorb. Keeping the discs healthy and allowing the spine and nervous system to adapt to daily life stressors is one reason why many people choose to get adjusted on a regular basis, not just when they are in pain. Maintenance adjustments help keep your spine healthy in much the same way that getting your teeth cleaned regularly at the dentist prevents the degeneration of your teeth, also known as tooth decay.

To conclude, arthritis is not something that you should just attribute to “old age” or your job and write off as being a hopeless cause with nothing you can do about it. Rather, listen to your body as it is telling you something is going on, get examined by a health care provider with knowledge of the spine, and develop a plan that will actively restore healthy movement and adaptation into your spine, including regular care by the provider as they deem necessary,  and complete with proper movements and exercises that you can do on your own to live life at the highest quality you can. Take charge of YOUR health today!

Back(Pack) to School Safety

Backpacks are a very popular and effective way to haul around school supplies and books. They have grown to double as a fashion item to show off your child’s favorite colors, sports team, or animated characters. However, care must be taken to keep in mind the stress it is causing on your child’s spine when worn improperly. Following some simple guidelines can both make your child more comfortable, as well as take stress off of their growing spine and nervous system.

Often times people think of injuries being caused by major events, or big traumas that occur with a significant force. In adults, this is often thought of in times of car accidents or run-ins with heavy machinery. In kids, this may be a bike accident or falling off of the swing set. However, injuries also commonly occur as a result of many smaller forces applied repetitively over time. For example, adults with desk jobs that require utilizing a computer can often relate. Similarly, kids may be exposed to repeated stress carrying items too heavy for them or inappropriately worn, such as backpacks and their contents.

One of the biggest concerns of improper backpack usage is the postural imbalance created, and the stress placed on your child’s spine while trying to compensate for this imbalance. These postural distortions may lead to back soreness and/or injury, but more importantly are putting undue stress on their growing nervous system, adversely affecting how the body functions. The school-age years are a vital time for development, as the body is rapidly growing. Just as kids often will see their pediatrician and dentist for regular check-ups, it is wise to take them to a chiropractor to get their spine examined.

Another thing to consider is the amount of physical activity your child is getting. In this age of technology (TV, computers, video games, etc), less time seems to be allotted towards playing outside and being active, leaving our youth less conditioned. Encouraging your children to stay active and move in a variety of ways, along with instilling a desire to enjoy doing so when young, will go a long ways in preparing your child to better handle physical stresses as they age, both normal and abnormal.

Making sure your kids are practicing proper backpack usage, in addition to keeping them active and getting their spine regularly checked by a chiropractor, can help their bodies grow and function properly.

Here are some simple tips for safe backpack use, as stated by Jeanne Ohm, D.C., the Executive Coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, in a Pathways article:

  1. Wear both straps and avoid the one-strap styled back packs. Uneven distribution of the load causes postural compensations and spinal stress.
  2. When putting on and removing backpacks, bend at the knees or have the pack at a higher level such as on a desk or table. Sudden twisting motion adds to the potential of injury.
  3. Arrange the backpack so it rests evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and permit free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.
  4. Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the student’s body weight.
  5. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Request additional textbooks to be kept at home instead of hauling heavy books to and from school.
  6. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back.


If you have any further questions on back pack safety, or would like your child’s spine and back pack wearing habits checked, feel free to contact us here at Eldora Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center. Have a healthy school year!



Healthy Inflammation Response Program Report

Dr. Zak and Dr. Emily recently finished their 10 day Healthy Inflammation Response Program through Standard Process. The program is designed to help jump-start your body’s normal natural inflammation response process, with the intention of putting habits into place that will put you on track to leading a healthier, more active life.

They followed eating guidelines that avoided refined carbs, artificial sweeteners, sugar, chemical additives, processed meats, fried foods, caffeine, and soft drinks, and focused on including whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. They also consumed supplement shakes with whole food ingredients and took a simple protocol of supplements throughout the day.

In addition to the dietary guidelines, they continued to get their regular weekly chiropractic adjustments and made simple lifestyle changes including making it a priority to get more sleep at night and drinking more water throughout the day, as well as keeping active throughout the duration of the program.

Here is what they have to say about taking part in the program:

Dr. Emily: The saying really is true-“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” My main goal of doing this program was to cut my body some slack and treat it nicely for 10 days, allowing it to better absorb the good vitamins and nutrients I consume in my diet. Although I feel I try to eat a “clean” diet most of the time, following a stricter set of guidelines made me realize all of the inflammatory foods I tend to gravitate towards when I’m really feeling hungry. The biggest challenge in doing this was being at social events focused on eating or consuming beverages not included in the plan, as well as not consuming fruits outside of the shakes. I’d recommend planning to do something like this around a time frame not including any events that you’d feel rude or uncomfortable having to be a little more picky (weddings, birthday parties, etc). One plus side to this program is that it’s only 10 days, making it easier to set aside a shorter time for it while still getting to see big changes, as well as getting yourself jump started on the path to healthier habits. I’d also encourage you to do it with a family member or friend, preferably someone you live with or see on a regular basis. It makes it much easier to prepare meals together and keep motivated, even if they’re just working on the eating guidelines portion. One of the biggest things I noticed was how good my digestive system felt with the focus on whole, fresh, REAL foods and totally cutting out all of the foods that tend to inflame us. Not once did I feel bloated or regret eating anything…I also didn’t regret missing out on any “junk” foods that I temporarily craved. There certainly are occasions that call for some celebratory eating, but restricting yourself from some of these foods for a period of time makes you appreciate being able to eat them more, requiring less to satisfy your sweet/salty tooth. Programs like this help us get closer to eating along the 80/20 rule, rather than the 60/40 or 50/50 that many tend to lean more towards. ; )

Dr. Zak: Dr. Emily and I like to help “clean out our system” at least once or twice a year.  We noticed a new program from one of our favorite supplement companies and decided to try it out.  This one was a 10 day program aimed to help limit excess inflammation in our bodies as described above.  I thought that since this program allowed us to eat meat throughout the whole 1o days that it would be much easier than the previous programs that we have done.  This program I found to be a little more challenging because we were very limited in the amount of fruit we could and with no other carbohydrates allowed it did leave me a little sluggish at times. However, overall I enjoy doing these programs because by the end of them my digestive system always feels great and I end up feeling more energized.  One of the reasons for the increased energy is because without all of the processed food being consumed our bodies do not have to work as hard to process all of the extras that come with out food.  Another bonus is that since we are eating clean there will often times be weight loss.  Some of the weight that you will lose is water weight from the excess sodium that comes in processed foods, but it is a great way to train you how to eat and learn to make healthy choices.  The programs are a great way to kick-start your weight loss and learn how to eat so you can continue on that journey if that is a goal of yours. You will likely feel hungry and have desires to cheat, but with a little will power and determination the 10 days will fly by.

For more information or any questions you may have on the 10 Day Healthy Inflammation Response Program, the Standard Process 21 Day Purification Program, or in starting a program of your own following similar guidelines, feel free to contact us at Eldora Family Chiropractic.


Yours in Health,

The team at Eldora Family Chiropractic

The Body’s Traffic Controller

I find myself in awe every time I am at an airport, taxiing up the runway and anxiously anticipating take off. (Disclaimer: I do not fly often, which adds to my amusement.) Say what you would like about check-in, security, flight delays, and the baggage claim-it takes some amazing orchestration to keep everything running smoothly with relative ease and only seldom hiccups. Air traffic controllers handle an average of 64 million take-offs and landings in one year. Thinking about the communication that goes into handling 70,000 flights daily, and 7,000 planes in the US skies alone at any given moment, I can’t help but think if there is anything else that comes close to that level of coordination.

I didn’t need to stretch my brain too far to come up with something. When is the last time you had to consciously think to breath, or think about whether your heart was beating or not? Do you ever think about what goes on with the food you eat once you have consumed it? How is it breaking down to be converted to fuel for your body and eventually reaching its “end stage”? When you go outside to walk or run wherever your destination may be, do you have to consciously alert all of the muscles and joints in your body to move and function, keeping you upright and mobile?

The simple answer? Our bodies are AMAZING and performing countless processes all of the time to not only keep us alive, but to keep up with the daily demands we place on ourselves.

Our bodies do all of these things, for over 75 years on average. The conductor behind all of this is our brain, sending messages through our spinal cord and out to where they need to be. Our brains are master communicators, sending messages throughout the body through nerve cells called neurons. We have over 100 billion of these neurons, each firing over 200 times per second and individually connecting to 1,000 other neurons. Doing the math, about 20 million billion bits of information move around our brains every second. Wow.

Keep this in mind the next time you pull an all-nighter or find yourself mentally fatigued. Your body is working hard for you all the time. It is typically only when problems arise that we really pay close attention to our bodies. Treat it well, and it will continue to do the best it can in keeping your most vital functions going all while being largely unnoticed.

What are some things you can do to be nice to your brain and body? Dr. Zak and I like to give each other weekly adjustments to keep our bodies functioning at their best. Making sure the nervous system is free to function without interference in the spine allows all of the communication between our brain and body to take place most efficiently. We also work to get plenty of rest, exercise, and staying fueled properly (food AND adequate hydration!).

Now that you know how hard your brain is working for you all the time, remember to slow down once in awhile and give yourself a break.


In good health,

Dr. Emily



Chiropractic for Kids

Why would a child see a chiropractor?

I hear this question often and would like to clear up some common questions and concerns, as well as raise the awareness that yes, children may indeed utilize (and benefit from!) chiropractic care.

Why would a baby or child benefit from chiropractic care?

Many are under the assumption that going to the chiropractor is just to help out with neck and back discomfort. While chiropractic care can be quite effective in helping out individuals experiencing these symptoms, thinking of it only in this way is really missing the big picture. A chiropractic adjustment is delivered with the intent to help your body function better by addressing the cause, rather than covering up symptoms. While chiropractic doesn’t “cure” anything, correcting misalignments in the spine has the potential to help individuals of all ages move and function better with the removal of interference. Not only is your spine the structural “backbone” that keeps us upright and moving, but it houses the spinal cord which allows for communication between our brain and the rest of our bodies (which our bodies rely on to properly function). Some parents have reported noticing improvement in fussiness, sleeping and bathroom habits, and overall disposition after their child receives chiropractic care.

Are babies adjusted like adults are?

No-it is very different. Each chiropractic adjustment is tailored to the individual it is for, both in technique and force used. Children (especially babies) don’t have the years of hard work under their belts (or onesies), therefore requiring a very light force to get through their softer muscle tone and accomplish the goal at hand. In fact, the pressure used when adjusting an infant is similar to the light pressure you’d use to check a tomato for ripeness, or if you were to lightly touch your closed eye. Chiropractors take into consideration the size of the child and work with them to adjust them in a manner that is comfortable and makes their experience enjoyable. This is true from infants all the way up to adults. There are several different techniques that the doctors at Eldora Family Chiropractic use, so there is something that suits just about everyone.

My child doesn’t have any issues. Would taking them to a chiropractor be a good idea?

Just as you take your child for regular check-ups at the dentist office, it is a good idea to take them to the chiropractor to get their spine examined. Beginning with the traumatic process of birth and continuing on through many slips and falls as children transition from crawling to walking and eventually running around and playing sports, their spines face many stresses and small traumas throughout life. As addressed above, adjustments are beneficial for your child’s function, which is crucial during this time of rapid growth and development.

To learn more about pediatric chiropractic, check out the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website at for further articles and research studies.

Dr. Emily has a passion for working with little ones. She is currently pursuing further studies in pediatric chiropractic and is a proud member of the ICPA. If you have any further questions on chiropractic and little ones, please feel free to reach out to our office.

“It is better to grow healthy kids than to fix injured adults.”

Arm Injuries in Youth Baseball and Softball: What You Need to Know

Spring is officially here on the calendar, and we can all feel the weather changing around us.  One of my favorite parts about spring is that it means my favorite sport is just around the corner: Baseball.  With baseball and softball starting up soon and many athletes already starting throwing programs, I would like to discuss ways to prevent overuse injuries in those athletes.  The two main areas of the body that may be injured with throwing are the shoulder and the elbow.  Shoulder injuries usually occur in the rotator cuff and surrounding musculature, while elbow injuries typically happen on the inside of the elbow at the ulnar collateral ligament.

Shoulder injuries often occur due to the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the arm during the throwing motion.  Throwing a ball includes four phases: wind-up, early acceleration, acceleration, and follow-through. The acceleration and follow-through phases are where most of the damage to the shoulder muscles tends to occur.  Our rotator cuff helps us stabilize our shoulder during the movement while allowing for smaller movements such as internal and external rotation.  There are many muscle groups that attach from the spinal column and thoracic cage to the shoulder blade as well, so it is important to make sure that the shoulder blade has proper stabilization and movement during all phases of the throwing motion.

The elbow is also commonly injured with throwing overuse, and many times it is in the ulnar collateral ligament that the elbow is injured.  This ligament takes a lot of force during throwing due to its position on the inside of the elbow.  As the shoulder muscles begin to accelerate the arm forward, your hand lags behind with the ball to generate more force so you can throw the ball forward.  That puts a lot of tension on the ulnar collateral ligament.  Another cause of concern in younger athletes is the numerous growth plates located around the elbow joint. The stress of throwing a ball can put undue pressure on those growth plates and cause issues going forward.

Most injuries in the body occur in one of three ways: overuse, a traumatic event, or a smaller traumatic event happening to an area that has been overused.  Injuries to the shoulder and elbow with throwing are typically due to overuse.  This happens because during each throw microtears occur in the muscle and ligament tissue.  With adequate rest in between throws or days of throwing, these tears will heal with no lingering effects. However, if you continue to over use the same areas, the microtears will damage the tissue and may eventually result in a sprain of the involved ligament or strain of the involved muscle.

Some guidelines to follow in order to reduce overuse as much possible include limiting the overall number of innings thrown, pitches thrown per game, and number of months playing per year.  Increases in injuries tend to occur when an athlete consistently throws more than 80 pitches per game, 100 innings per year, or plays more than 8 months out of the year.  The leading research also shows that you should limit other overhead activities during the 4 months of the year (the baseball/softball “offseason”), including volleyball and swimming.  Players should also avoid playing catcher on days that they pitch and avoid strenuous throwing if their arm feels fatigued at all.  The following chart is handy in helping to space out pitching outings properly with the recommended days in between:

Age, (years) 1 Day (rec. rest) 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
8-10 20+ (pitches) 30+ 40+ 50+
11-12 25+ 35+ 55+ 55+
13-14 25+ 35+ 55+ 70+
15-16 25+ 35+ 60+ 75+
17-18 30+ 45+ 60+ 85+


Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these upcoming sports, and I look forward to getting involved in coaching within Eldora’s youth baseball program this summer.

In good health,

Dr. Zak


What is Chiropractic?

If you have ventured on to our website and into our blog, I am guessing that you are either familiar with chiropractic or are looking to see what we do. Chiropractors are health care providers that focus on the neuromusculoskeletal system. That is a fancy way of saying that we specialize in conditions focusing on joints, muscles, and the nervous system. Chiropractic is able to help many different issues, including common neck and back pain, nerve pain including sciatica and carpal tunnel, and many common sports injuries like sprained ankles or a torn hamstring. A decrease in the aforementioned symptoms is one positive effect of enhancing your body’s overall function and health through addressing misalignments in the spine and other joints. Naturally, after finding what is causing the malfunction, there needs to be a plan to correct it.

Chiropractors have different tools to treat the different areas of the body. The main tool that we use is an adjustment. Adjustments can be performed on any joint from the head down to the big toe. They are all slightly different depending on the area of the body that we are working on, as well as the size and age of the individual. Chiropractors decide where to adjust based on their findings after performing a detailed history and examination focused on reaching the individual’s health goals. One big thing chiropractors look at in their exam is joint function and movement. Joint dysfunction is found when the joint doesn’t move properly or have the ability to move through its full range of motion. Misalignment can be a cause of joint dysfunction because when a vertebrae in your spine is not in the right spot it is hard for it to move correctly and fully. Another cause of joint dysfunction could be damaged tissue in the area, including the musculature. Traumatic events or chronic over use can cause tissue damage, which may limit the joint’s ability to function properly.

Once areas of dysfunction are identified, the chiropractor will perform the necessary adjustment(s) in the spine or other joint. The main purpose of the adjustment is to help restore proper motion to the joint and allow the nervous system to function properly. Proper nervous system functioning can help the muscles in the area loosen up and allow all of your organs to function fully. Having your nervous system functioning at its highest capacity is very important to overall body health because every cell in your body has nerve input. It’s important to not let warning signs, such as pain, linger too long or be covered up without the cause getting looked into.

Beyond our primary focus on the adjustment, here at Eldora Family Chiropractic we will also work the musculature and surrounding tissues to get you back to doing what you love quicker. This can be done through a variety of different tools that are at the chiropractors’ disposal. These tools include different physiotherapy modalities such as ultrasound or electronic muscle stimulation that help stimulate healing in the injured tissue. They also may use techniques that help break up scarring that may have developed in the tissue due to traumatic or overuse injuries.

Serving our patients with chiropractic care is fun for Dr. Emily and I because we get to see a variety of different conditions and we get to help people feel and function at their best in a natural way. Come in to see how we can help you reach your health goals.


Are you surviving or thriving?

Your alarm clock goes off in the wee hours of the morning and you reluctantly drag yourself out of bed, hoping you can stay on your feet long enough to get to the coffeemaker so you can be perked up by a caffeine rush. Many Americans feel themselves dragging through their day to day routine, with little extra energy or excitement to spare in the midst of burdensome jobs, raising quickly growing children, trying to keep up with the housework at home, and attempting to maintain personal relationships. Sound familiar?

While busy schedules filled with work, personal endeavors, and caring for the family are inevitable, you do have some control over how you age and progress through your life. In fact, we have more control over our health than we have been brought up to think. A common misconception nowadays is that any time we have a problem, it is up to our doctors to fix it. While they certainly are very well-qualified to help us in times of need, it is unfair (and unreasonable) to expect them to give us all of the tools we need to flourish in life. We often forget the large role that our own lifestyle choices play into our health. (And the great value in seeking out preventative and wellness care.)

There are two ways to approach the way you care (and seek care) for yourself. Rather than it being about one group being healthier than the other outwardly, it is more about how they approach caring for themselves, in times of adversity or not. The first group is very common, and often times individuals don’t realize it is what they are seeking: being non-sick. These are the “survivors”.  Rather than bettering themselves daily and nourishing their bodies through regular healthy choices, this group does what they can to stay afloat. They chase after their symptoms, putting out small fires along the way. They get distracted and don’t realize that their foundation is weakening with each small fire, needing some extra attention to be strengthened. They attribute any setbacks as extrinsic, or things outside their control that they cannot change anyways. This is not necessarily because they are lazy or don’t care, but rather because they haven’t been empowered to take control of their health. This needs to be addressed, as in 2012 half of American adults had one or more chronic health conditions, and a quarter had 2 or more.* The second group is one who is seeking health, rather than being “non-sick”.  These are the “thrivers”. They are consistently looking at where they can add healthy choices proactively into their lives, whether it be in their shopping cart or walking to a meeting or work when they have the time rather than driving. Someone or something, whether it be a personal event or observation, inspired them at some point in their life to take control of their personal well-being. Sure, they still experience occasional setbacks, but they are able to bounce back quicker and end up where they were at or better than before. They attribute their health to their intrinsic choices-things they are able to control. They see mental and emotional health benefits as well in having a greater sense of control over their lives.

So, are you surviving or thriving?

No matter what category you would put yourself into at this current point of your life, you can always start or continue working towards your own personal path of “thriving”. Find someone who can help encourage you and even work with you on their own health goals. It’s never too late to start, as in the words of Karen Lamb…..

“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”

Yours in health,

Dr. Emily



Improved Athletic Performance, Naturally

Chiropractic in the general population is mostly known for treating acute low back and neck pain after getting hurt. Though chiropractic is very effective in treating those conditions, it can help in many other facets of life. Adjustments of the spinal column do relieve pain, but they also have other positive effects on the body. These positive effects can help a new population of patients that are now discovering the benefits of chiropractic care in their lives.
Chiropractic care continues to be utilized by more and more athletes and their teams. The list of athletes that have publicly stated that chiropractic is a major part of their health team include perennial powerhouses such as Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. That list doesn’t include the Olympians in the United States who have all of their healthcare needs directed by a chiropractor from the state of Iowa. All 32 NFL teams currently use a chiropractor as well. This certainly isn’t a “new trend”, as others including Joe Montana, Evander Holyfield, Emmit Smith, Jerry Rice, and Michael Jordan have all credited chiropractic care as being crucial in their performance and staying healthy. One of the better known ways that chiropractic helps athletes is by treating a wide variety of injuries they may incur on their body, including their extremities. Spinal adjustments are the most common treatment that chiropractors utilize, but there are many more tools that can be effectively called upon in order to get the athlete back playing as quickly as possible. Chiropractors are able to adjust numerous joints throughout the body which can not only help stimulate healing, but make sure that the healing takes place around a properly aligned joint.
Let me show you one example of how this works with a very typical sports injury. If as an athlete you sprain your ankle, the ankle joint quickly goes past its end range of motion and then settles back into a near normal position. Sometimes that near normal position does not allow the ankle to heal as fully or as quickly as you may want it to. With an adjustment to the ankle, it resets the joint back in its proper position. The next step in healing that sprained ankle is to make sure that all of the soft tissue around it heals properly. This can be done through many different treatment options that sports chiropractors have training in, including soft-tissue mobilization through an instrument or their hands, targeted exercises, or other physiotherapy modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
New research is also starting to show that chiropractic can help improve performance through limiting muscle fatigue and increasing reflex response time. An article came out in April of 2015, showing that athletes may respond quicker to stimuli and be able to perform for longer stretches of times while under chiropractic care. More and more research continues to come out supporting chiropractic and showing how great it can be not only as a treatment for athletes, but also to be used regularly to help increase athletic performance.

Feel free to ask me any questions on how chiropractic care can positively impact your athletic performance.

Yours in health,

Dr. Zak

The Secret to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year brings many unknowns, but it also brings a lot of constants. People everywhere reflect on the blessings and instances they were forced to grow over the past 365 days, as well as feel anticipation for what lies ahead the coming year. Many of these things are looked forward to, such as weddings, new jobs, or new additions to the family (furry or baby). And then there are the partly-inspired-mostly-guilted-into New Year’s Resolutions. Why is it that gyms tend to get less crowded as February and March roll around? Why do January’s hopes look bleak by the time the grass makes its first appearance of the spring? There are 3 key flaws that are commonly made with New Years resolutions falling short of their goals:

  1. Too vague. Any attainable goal not only needs to be written down, but it needs to be specific. Listing out exactly what steps need to be taken and when make it easier to stick to. “Running a marathon” (or 5K) likely won’t happen until you sign up for one and follow a specific training plan each week leading up to it with set goal distances you are planning on running. “Eating healthier” is a nice vision, but it doesn’t work very well unless you plan ahead and write out meals and the shopping lists to go along with them. Envision your goals and write them down exactly as you will accomplish them.
  2. Unrealistic. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to drop a high percentage of body weight in a short amount of time or lift twice your weight when you don’t even know where the gym is. Not only are lofty goals harder to obtain, but they may cause you to go about unhealthy routes to obtain them. The danger in goals too tough is that the higher likelihood of failure will cause you to more easily lose faith in yourself and what you’re aiming for. Set smaller short term goals as stepping stones to get to your ultimate destination. Think about what your starting point is. You CAN do it-you just need to give yourself a fighting chance to get there.
  3. Based on willpower, not systems. The quote “You can do anything you set your mind to” should’ve come along with a disclaimer. Along with the will, you need to have the systems in place to get there. This can be set up by following the first two points in ensuring you are specific and realistic enough to have a successful system. It is your system that will pick up the slack those moments the “will” is hard to come by-when the alarm clock goes off too early in the morning or when you’re tired and sticking a frozen pizza in the oven seems much easier than taking a few extra minutes to prepare a healthy meal. Stick to your plan you’ve put together in fine detail that is tailored to your life and goals.

Make some positive changes this year. Make them specific. Make them attainable. Accompany your drive and determination with a system to get you there. And feel empowered by your ability to set a goal and successfully stick to it throughout 2016.

Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year from Eldora Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center!

Yours in health,

Dr. Emily