Take a Quick Fitness Test!

That’s right! Stand up from your desk. Put down that phone (okay, after you have finished reading this blog) and perform a quick fitness check.

Sitting Rising Test

Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, was determined to find an easier way to assess musculoskeletal fitness in his patients. In a paper published in the European Journal of Cardiology  in 2012, he revealed his findings. Dr. Araujo took a large sample size (2002 individuals) between 51 and 80 years of age. He had them perform a simple exercise: The Sitting-Rising Test.

Let’t try it together! (images of this can be found here)

  1. Take your shoes off and stand in an open space
  2. Without support, lower yourself to a seated position, cross-legged on the floor
  3. Try to stand back up without using your hands, arms, knees, etc.

How’d you do?

To score yourself, first, look at sitting. You start out with 5 points. Did you have to take a knee, use a hand, or any other type of support? If so, subtract 1 point for every aid you needed.

Now, how about standing? How many supports did you need to get back to your feet? Subtract 1 point for every aid you needed.

Take your 2 scores and add them together. This is your final score.

What does it all mean?

Dr. Araujo’s study found that lower scores were found in individuals who had a higher mortality risk at 6+ years; whereas higher scores demonstrated significant improvement in survival.

This makes the Sitting Rising Test an excellent predictor of mortality in people between 51 and 80 years of age. It evaluates both muscle strength and flexibility. As we age, one of the most dangerous risks is being able to get up off the floor after a fall.

The good news is this: You are not stuck with your score!

If you didn’t score as highly as you wished, especially if you are under 51 years of age, there is plenty that you can do to improve. This test can be an excellent reality check! Start by talking to your primary care doctor or chiropractor about your findings. Many times, they can watch you perform the test and make suggestions for ways to improve your score. Maybe you have some de-conditioned muscles and would benefit from working with a PT. Maybe there are a few home exercises that would enhance your flexibility and strength. Maybe a yoga or other organized class would provide the support you need.

What is important is getting evaluated by a movement specialist and having them target your areas for improvement. We are all individuals and need to be assessed as such.

As always, you are in charge of your health and wellness! Please make sure that you are safe when you perform this test and have someone there to help you should you need assistance at any time.

Whole Food Nutrition and Chiropractic

“You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, or easy”- unknown

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes regarding healthy eating. Many times it is easy to forget that the things we choose to eat are the building blocks that our body has to maintain and repair itself.

lunchbox-1375317_1280.pngUnfortunately, in our country (and in most of the world) the soil that our food is grown in is depleted of essential nutrients like minerals. Our school cafeterias provide meals that are devoid of nutrition. Our grocery stores are filled with food-like products instead of food. The products we put on our bodies contribute to hormone disruption. It is hard to know what to eat in order to get proper nutrition- and sometimes it is impossible to eat enough of a certain food to be healthy.

why whole food nutrition?

Whole food nutrition is based upon optimizing the diet and removing items that are harming us as well as supplementing the diet with supplements derived from FOOD. This combination is amazingly powerful.


Supplements that are made from whole foods are easily recognized by the body and very bioavailable. This means that you digest them easily and your body understands where to use them. It also means that when you read the labels, you actually know what is in them!


Whole food supplements FEED your body- they help you to build a healthier structure!!!

This is why many Chiropractors evaluate nutrition in their patients.

The nerves of the body all originate from the spinal cord and branch out at specific levels of the spine before plugging into muscles and organs to supply them with information. You can think of them like wires. Without proper nutritional support, many times Chiropractors notice areas of recurrent dysfunction in the spine or ligaments that are not as strong as they should be. By FEEDING the body with dietary modifications and whole food supplements, we see balance not just in the spine, but in the whole body.

It is important to be analyzed as an individual before beginning any dietary or lifestyle changes. Supplements are used to support the spine and the body as it undergoes life challenges.

Nutrition is an integral part of practice at Seed of Life Chiropractic and Wellness, LLC.

Make Fitness a Family Affair

Color RunThis weekend my husband and I ran the Color Run in Seattle. It was a last minute thing, and we had an amazing time! One of the things that touched my heart was seeing all the families that came out to do the run together. It really got me thinking about how more families can start making healthier choices with their children.


Children learn from their parents, siblings, and those that are around them most. It is so important, therefore, to lead by example.

We have evolved a special and very powerful form of learning. That special form of learning is “imitation,” the ability to learn behavior from observing the actions of others. Imitation is so commonplace among adults and children that it is often overlooked in infancy, but infants make good use of imitation. Understanding imitation in infancy changes the way we look at infants. In so doing, it changes the way we look at ourselves, because we begin to see ourselves reflected in the behavior of our youngest children.-Born to Learn

Think of the activities that make up a healthy and fit lifestyle. This may include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Working out
  • Choosing Family and Friends over media and devices
  • Having a spiritual practice
  • Family Chiropractic Care
  • And so much more!!!

By engaging our children in these activities and ensuring that we are showing them our dedication, we can teach them the foundations of fitness.

Healthy Eating

You are what you eat! The things that we put into our bodies, be they food or food-like-substances are the building blocks that our muscles, skin, organs, etc are made of. Some fitness experts say that 80% of fitness happens in the kitchen. It is so important to teach kids how to prepare real food. In fact, many times children who are picky eaters will try new foods when they have been involved in making them!fruits-320136_1280

Cooking with children also means that they learn about what whole food ingredients go into a home-made meal. Later on, when they learn to read and look at labels, they won’t see some of the same ingredients they know go in spaghetti sauce or bread on store labels. This is an excellent way to talk to kids about food additives and preservatives.

They also get to spend quality time with you and learn from you in a really authentic way about food and, often, family. One of the things I wish I had done was cook more with my Aunt. She has all of the family recipes in her head- not on paper. Family heritage can easily be passed down in the kitchen.

Working Out

From a young age, there are many classes that get parents and their children involved in fitness. Seattle Holistic Center offers a variety of classes that encourage families to engage in fitness together. Choosing an after dinner walk or a family trip to a park on a Saturday are other ways to ditch the TV and get active with your kids. When these activities become part of everyday life, it is easier to maintain and fitness is an integral part of family.

It is important to work out without your kids, too. Talking to your children about going to a yoga class or playing basketball with friends lets them know that you are taking care of your body. It also gives you some de-stress time.

Ditch the Devices

iphone-500291_1280More and more devices rule our existence. They manage our schedules, tell us when to get up in the morning, we get sucked into Facebook and Twitter, and we spend time with them instead of our families.

It’s time to ditch the devices.

Some families are starting to have tech-free dinner or family time that is designated. The phones, tablets, and computers are put away in favor of game night. No phones are allowed in bedrooms or at the dinner table. Families spend time with one another.

If you are reading this and thinking …. my kids are grown, but what would we even talk about at family dinners? Try a game like Table Topics. These cards have questions on them that are meant to start discussion- and you never know what you will learn about friends or family. It’s never too late to put your phone away!

Spiritual Practice

More and more research is being performed that examines the value of taking time away for self. For some this may be an organized religion, self meditation practice, yoga practice, or simply quiet time alone. No matter how you choose to practice, it is becoming more and more apparent that our bodies and brains need time to disengage and reboot.

Kids can learn from this in a big way. More and more programs are available for kids guided meditation through apps and in person instruction.

Many families find that setting time aside for family reflection about a Bible verse, poem, idea, or object is a way to get everyone involved in practicing together.

Family Chiropractic Care

iphone-500291_1280I love when I see whole families making wellness a priority. Chiropractic care is an essential part of health and wellness and as a family oriented Chiropractor, nothing makes me smile more than checking an infant, their siblings, parents, and grandparents all together. Keeping everyone’s nervous systems functioning at their highest level helps to improve overall health. Plus, many parents and grandparents find that it helps them to keep up with their kids!

I hope that you have gotten some ideas for how to integrate fitness into your family. If you have tried some of these things or have comments, please feel free to leave them below!

What is arthritis, anyway?

The general term Arthritis means joint inflammation. It is a term used to describe a category of conditions. There are many kinds of arthritis including psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis, and more. Due to lifestyle and previous injuries, many people end up with a diagnosis of “Arthritis” in their knees, hips, or spine at some point in their lives. Often times, this is blamed for pain and discomfort when studies show that, “a poor correlation exists among the extend of radiologic changes and clinical signs and symptoms.” [1] This means that many times we see arthritis on x-ray or CT when the patient has no signs or symptoms of pain or inflammation in the area. figure-1707104_1920

This is great news! It means that just because you have been told that you have arthritis, doesn’t mean you are doomed to a lifetime of pain and discomfort.  

Garden variety osteoarthritis, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease, “a progressive, non-inflammatory disease characterized by degenerative pathologic changes in articular cartilage and its related components.” [1] Simply, a joint that has DJD has moved improperly or been injured in the past. In order to protect it, the body has made changes in the cartilage or added calcium (like in bone spurs) to help protect the joint.

Many times Chiropractic care and Physical Therapy can work to retrain the patient’s brain and body into a better, more supportive posture or movement pattern. This can eliminate discomfort associated with arthritis AND help to slow its advance. In fact, many times in my practice, I have been able to work with patients to restore their function and improve their quality of life by teaching them to move more effectively.

Do you have questions about arthritis? Post them in the comment section below!

This blog is not intended to provide medical advice. It is always recommended that each person consult with their own healthcare provider about their individual case before making major lifestyle changes.

[1] Yochum and Rowe’s Essentials of Skeletal Radiology, Third Edition; pages 958-959

5 Tools (most) Healthy People Use Daily

Have you ever stopped to wonder how healthy people stay healthy? Amidst the rush and whir of activity in our lives, we are bombarded with so much activity and stimulation that it is hard to believe that people have the time to “Stay Healthy”.

First off, “Healthy” is a very subjective term. Many people define health as the absence of disease- but does that really give us much to shoot for? From a holistic standpoint, health is a combination of mental/emotional and physical well-being. This means that we are more than just without disease. We are functioning optimally. We have reserves for times of stress. We are able to roll with the punches without falling apart.

Many people may appear healthy and fit, but have diets that are not nutrient dense and have blood chemistry that reflects that. I have seen some very thin people with poor cholesterol or blood sugar. You cannot judge health by someone’s looks!

It is important to have tools in your toolbox that can help you to build up a reserve of health for when times are stressful!

  1. SLEEP- Did you know that sleep is incredibly important to your body’s functioning? According to this study from the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to have optimum health? Many people allow sleep to take the back seat when they are feeling rushed, when that inevitably leads to decreased performance. Think back to a time when you pulled an “all nighter” and then tried to function the next day. Your reflexes and your mental function were impaired. If you miss enough sleep, you even decrease your immune system function.
  2. fruits-320136_1280EAT COLORFUL FOODS- (And not artificially colored foods) One of the easiest ways to improve your body’s nutrition is to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. Your plate should be colorful with peppers, radishes, beets, greens, and an assortment of fruits. The colors in plant foods correlate to some of their nutrients.
  3. TAKE TIME FOR QUIET- Many of us are constantly on the go and always have a device in hand like a computer or cell phone. This combination means that we are rarely in a quiet, peaceful state where we can be uninterrupted for even as few as 5 minutes. Whether you take this time to focus on breathing, meditation, journaling, or something else… it is important to slow your pace and just exist for awhile. (Even Good Housekeeping agrees!)
  4. marathon-1649905_1920EXERCISE REGULARLY- According to Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Roger Sperry, “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine.” When we exercise, we are moving our bodies and generating input for our brain, transmitting it through our nervous system. Chiropractors, like myself, see that when the spine is moving well, the brain communicates better with the body as in a manual muscle test. It makes sense that getting the body moving would feed our brains! Plus, exercise helps to produce anti-inflammatory neurochemicals and helps to improve mood!
  5. USE A PLANNER- Keeping organized, either in a paper planner or in your phone helps you to better manage your time. This can help tremendously with the amount of stress you perceive. By scheduling in things like exercise and quiet time, as well as grocery shopping and errands, it is easier to get a handle on what is already on your plate and if you can take on more.

Hopefully you got some tips or tools that you can immediately add to your daily routine. These are just some easy ways to improve your health by increasing your capacity. When you build a reservoir, your body can better handle periods of increased stress like deadlines, family emergencies, or the latest cold or flu.

Always remember to consult with your health care provider before making major lifestyle modifications. Changes in diet and exercise may need to be made under professional guidance. This blog is intended for general information purposes only.

What do you do to manage your health? Comment below!