ON FATHER’S DAY TAKING THE TIME TO REST
Father’s Day has been synonymous with rest for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my grandparents would get a house near Lake Tahoe for the entire month of June. The Father’s Days of my childhood celebrating my dad and my grandpa always began with a nice breakfast followed by a hike to Eagle Rock with just the guys. After getting back to the house, we would toss a baseball or football around and maybe play some games inside. Finally, we would finish off the day by watching the last few hours of the U.S. Open. Year after year, we did the same thing, and I looked forward to it every time. Our June vacations to Lake Tahoe stopped around the time my siblings and I started going to college. Our lives filled with more responsibilities, and the time we used to have free disappeared. Grandpa stopped renting the house every year, and gradually, Father’s Day became less a fixed tradition and more an opportunity to spend casual time with one another. One thing that has remained constant is the U.S. Open. My dad and I still watch it every year.
Dad was never too serious about playing golf, but I played quite a bit once I got to college, and I still enjoy it today. I can trace my enjoyment of the game back to those Father’s Days spent when I was a kid. Even though I don’t get out on the course as often as I would like, I still get those couple of hours on Father’s Day every year for the Open. “EVEN THOUGH THE JUNE VACATIONS AT LAKE TAHOE ARE GONE, FATHER’S DAY IS STILL AN OPPORTUNITY TO RELAX WITH FAMILY.” It’s part of the restful pattern I’ve come to expect from Father’s Day now. Even though the June vacations at Lake Tahoe are gone, Father’s Day is still an opportunity to relax with family. My kids are old enough to cook me a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and then we just take the morning to spend time with
one another. After that comes the U.S. Open, and then we’ll try to take my dad out or invite him over for dinner. It’s one of the few times when no one feels the need to be busy with something, and I don’t mind that one bit. We still have the opportunity to visit Lake Tahoe every now and again, but never for as long as we used to when I was a kid. We’re too busy for that. But I’m glad we’re not too busy to take advantage of a day, like Father’s Day, to decompress from all the rushing around. You don’t always need a month or even a full week to get the rest and time with family you need. Sometimes a day is all it takes
ENJOY YOUR FAMILY TIME
BY TAKING A BREAK FROM YOUR PHONE Setting some time aside to be with family is important, but it can be difficult when everyone is always on their cellphones. Constant cellphone use has become a global problem, and the habit is hard to break because we rely on mobile devices heavily for work, SIEMPO After you install Siempo on your phone, it will ask which apps are likely to distract you. Once you select them, the app will move those apps away from the home screen and place the important ones, such as the growing a tree. Once the tree is fully grown, your time is up, and it joins the other trees that were grown during other breaks. If you pick up your phone and try to access an app, Forest will send you a notification asking you if you want to kill your baby tree by giving up. Who says guilt isn’t a good motivator?
messaging, contacts, email, and calendar apps, on the first screen. You can also designate times for specific apps to be used throughout the day. STAY FOCUSED Stay Focused is like Siempo, but there are some significant differences. You can set times to access certain apps and put the most distracting ones on lock. Stay Focused also has a “strict mode” that prevents you from uninstalling it, so be sure to think carefully before activating the lockdown because you won’t have access to those specific apps until the timer runs out.
school, and keeping in contact with friends and family. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can reduce how often you’re on your phone and minimize distractions.
BESIDES APPS Aside from using these apps, silencing your phone and putting it in another room, leaving it in your car if you’re out at dinner, or keeping it in your purse or back pocket during a social event can also reduce your screen time. Having your phone out of sight and out of reach will keep the temptation of pulling it out at bay. Spending time with your family is crucial, and with these apps and tips, you’ll enjoy each other’s company without too many screen distractions.
FOREST In the time that Forest takes control of your device for a set time limit, the app starts
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF LOWER BACK PAIN?
A 2013 study showed that lower back pain afflicts 29 percent of adult Americans. Another study showed that it is the leading reason that Americans missed work. With these stats in mind, it’s surprising that many of the treatments doctors have prescribed for nonspecific back pain, such as surgery, steroid injections, or opioid prescriptions, are largely ineffective or even harmful. The good news is that many health professionals now agree that the best remedies for lower back pain are noninvasive exercises that you can do yourself. While the pain in your back may draw you to a massage therapist, or to your armchair, many experts say that performing targeted exercises is the best way to start recovering. Exercises that improve your core strength and the flexibility of your lumbar spine and hamstrings have been shown to decrease chronic lower back pain significantly. Aerobic exercise has been shown to help as well. Long story short, if your back has been bothering you for a while, a combination of exercises could be your best bet at recovery.
Research has shown that there are certain activities, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates, that alleviate back pain with varying degrees of
success. While they are no more effective than other types of exercise, if you enjoy them and find they help your back pain, there’s no reason to stay away from them. Additionally, while some people have found relief through massage therapy, chiropractors, and even psychotherapy, none of these approaches have consistently led to long-term relief. That brings us back to targeted exercise as the best approach to healing chronic lower back pain. While you can certainly do the exercises yourself, the physical therapists at Campus Commons are experts at targeting certain muscle groups to improve strength and flexibility. There’s no reason to fight through your back pain alone. Give our office a call, or stop in for a visit today.
IS YOUR PILLOWAFFECTING YOUR HEALTH? WHAT BAD PILLOWS DO TO YOU
ACNE Breakouts are no fun, and they happen to everyone. Pillowcases tend to collect oil and dirt through constant contact with your skin, hair, and the environment. This buildup can irritate your skin and result in acne. By washing your pillowcase once a week, you can significantly reduce unpleasant breakouts. ALLERGIES Along with collecting dirt and oil, pillows can accumulate dust mites and dead skin cells, which are key triggers for allergies. If you suffer from severe allergies, it’s a good idea to invest in a dustproof, zipper-locked pillowcase to keep irritants away. There’s one excellent way to see if you need a new pillow or not: Try bending it in half. If it returns to its original shape, your pillow is fine, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to invest in a new one.
If you’re feeling stiff and tired during the day or constantly waking up at night, it could be because of your pillow. Many people don’t think about their pillows when it comes to health, but your pillow plays a significant role in your overall well-being. REST Everyone knows that getting eight hours of sleep per night is ideal for a healthy body and mind, and your pillow can make all the difference in how you sleep. A lousy pillow causes discomfort and makes it difficult to relax, which can prevent you from getting the quality of sleep that is best for your health. STIFFNESS The way you sleep is connected to the type of pillow you use at night. For instance, a side sleeper needs a thicker pillow to support their neck, while a back sleeper needs a thinner one. Your pillow should allow your neck to rest comfortably without straining your muscles. If you’re sleeping with the wrong kind, it can cause stiffness and pain in the neck, which can lead to dizziness, anxiety, nausea, and headaches.
TAKE A BREAK
ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine
• • • • • • •
3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.) 1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Mint leaves, for garnish
• Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.
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Our Father’s Day Traditions
Take a Break From Your Smartphone
Getting Rid of Lower Back Pain With Exercise
Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts
Take a Deep Breath
t i o n THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression. HOW DO I MEDITATE? Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calm or Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.
This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness. DOES MEDITATION WORK? It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study
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