Exercise will change your life, and here’s why…

We do not stop exercising because we grow old - we grow old because we stop exercising. Kenneth Cooper

ONE AFTERNOON not long ago, a friend and I were talking at her dining-room table, and I’ll admit it, we were feeling a bit self-righteous.

We’d gone bowling with her parents, and we both noticed her mom could barely roll the lightest ball down the alley. She struggled with a lot of other tasks, too. We didn’t think of her as an elderly person. But there she was, looking feeble.

“Well,” my friend said, shaking her head, “she doesn’t really exercise.” I nodded knowingly.

The way my friend and I see it, there are two kinds of people: exercisers and everyone else. We — the exercisers — prefer to sweat, not sit. They — we’ll call them “the relaxers” — prefer to read, not run. They think we’re nuts. We think they’re slowly letting themselves wither.

We’ll call this The Great Divide, and my friend and I patted ourselves on the back for being on the right side of it. Then we got up to leave.

“Ouch,” I winced, grabbing at my hamstrings.

“I’m sooooo sore!” she groaned.

And as we hobbled away, we felt decidedly less smug.

ARE YOU laughing at us? Nodding sympathetically? Either way, we’ll hazard a guess: Whichever side of The Great Divide you’re on, you can’t imagine living the other way.

“People internalize an image of themselves as an exerciser or not,” says David B. Coppel, a sports psychologist at the University of Washington.

So before we go any further, I’ll confess. I used to think people like me — who exercise four, five, six times a week — were crazy. Three years ago, in the pages of this very magazine, I described my physical condition as being “what you might expect for someone who types for a living.”

Another confession: Despite the incident at the dining-room table, this article is not going to say exercise is bad for you. Sorry, relaxers.

Because we can hear the complaints already, we will admit that at times, if you go overboard, it can definitely beat you up. OK, it can beat you up even if you don’t go overboard.

But we’re going to explain that, too. So stick with us as we take a run at some of the biggest hurdles to becoming an exerciser.

I’m perfectly fine the way I am, thank you. I’m not even overweight.

The truth is, getting up and moving is good even if you’re thin.

It turns out being sedentary is a health risk. Period. It’s up there with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, even smoking, according to a 2010 article in the Journal of the American Heart Association. In fact, fitness level is a “more powerful predictor” of survival than traditional risk factors, the journal says. That means an active person who’s overweight can have a better prognosis than a thin, sedentary person.

Really?

Yes. Exercise:

• Can reduce your risk of getting, or dying from, certain cancers;

• Can delay or avert Type II diabetes, as well as reduce your mortality risk if you have diabetes;

• Can help maintain your cognitive function into old age.

Is that enough? OK, one more thing:

Studies — including one by the American Cancer Society — have shown that sitting itself can take years off your life. It’s not just that you’re burning fewer calories. It’s that certain bodily processes go silent — processes that do things like regulate your insulin and get the fat out of your bloodstream.

“Excessive sitting,” a Mayo Clinic researcher was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “is a lethal activity.”

But I do exercise . . . sometimes.

That’s what a lot of people tell themselves.

In surveys, a consistent 30 to 35 percent of people report moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity. But in the past few years, researchers have begun to outfit study participants with devices that record movement, and the truth has come out: Fewer than 5 percent of adults are doing the recommended level of activity.

Do I really need this? I’m young and healthy.

Yes, says Kevin Conley, a UW radiology professor who has developed contraptions to measure muscle activity as well as something in the muscles called mitochondria. These are the powerhouses, where the body turns fuel into activity.

Conley compared three groups: active adults, inactive adults and the elderly, and looked at fitness in a variety of ways. As expected, the seniors had fewer mitochondria. But so did the inactive adults. In fact, in each area measured, the inactive adults had scores that were close to — or worse than — the old folks.

“Inactivity does the same thing as aging,” Conley says. “It was so astonishing at first I didn’t believe it myself.”

Why should you care? Because it becomes a vicious cycle. Don’t exercise and your mitochondria decline, which makes you less able to move, which leads to fewer mitochondria and so on.

The moral of the story is, you can choose to get old before your time.

But I’m so out of shape.

This is a pet peeve of another local academic, Glen Duncan, associate professor of epidemiology and nutritional sciences at the UW.

“I get very frustrated when people say things like, ‘I can’t walk up the steps,’ ” he says. “The reason you can’t walk up the steps is because you’re deconditioned, and the reason you’re deconditioned is because you never walked up the steps.”

He pauses. “You did it to yourself.”

Didn’t you hear me? I said I can’t walk up the steps.

OK, don’t walk up the steps (yet). Try strength training. Every local expert we talked to, as well as a number of national groups, say strength training, like weight lifting, can be more important than aerobic activity, especially as we age.

If you don’t maintain your strength, things start to slide. It might be the stairs that give you trouble first. Then it’s flat ground. Then it’s getting out of a chair. Seriously. It happens.

I’m afraid I’m going to hurt myself.

You’re right: When you exercise, you’re putting strain on your muscles, your bones, the whole shebang. But that very stress is what tells the body to build.

Scientifically speaking, says Michael Regnier, a bioengineering professor at the UW, “When you exercise, it stimulates the release of hormones that signal the cells to start protein synthesis.”

When you lift a heavy load, it puts compressive forces on your bones. Those compressive forces tell the bones — uh-oh, we’d better get stronger. It increases their density. Cartilage, as well, gets its nutrients from moving. So you are stressing your body; you’re also building it up.

But I’m afraid I’m really going to hurt myself.

Perfectly reasonable. How many times have you read the warning, “Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program”?

It used to be that health authorities thought it could put people at risk of a sudden heart attack. The advice has always been, take it easy!

Regnier thinks people have followed that advice a little toowell. “They’ve overminimized,” he says.

Health authorities now believe it’s riskier not to exercise. “Sudden death,” a major federal report says, “is, more accurately, a risk of inactivity.”

But I’m too old! Why bother at this point?

Admittedly, when we age, our bodies tend to fall apart on us.

But professor Conley found something interesting with his mitochondria-measuring contraption.

Scientists used to think the decline of those powerhouses was inevitable, and that it started as early as the 40s and 50s.

The bad news is, it is inevitable. The good news is, the inevitable part doesn’t start in middle age. We can stave it off until we’re in our 70s or 80s — if we take the time to exercise.

No widget added yet.

Nutrition and Mental Health: The Power of Food for a Healthy Mind

He who takes medicine and neglects his diet wastes the skill of his doctors. Chinese Proverb

It is not very common that I post exclusively on nutrition on my blog. However, too many know way too little about the direct influence that nutrition has on our health – all of our health. It affects mental, physical and spiritual health.

I work with patients in my husband’s chiropractic office and I see the affects of nutrition all of the time. I’ve seen too many “before and after” stories to ever discount the power of nutrition in our lives!

Don’t like anything but Big Macs and fries? Don’t like fruits and veggies? Then, chances are that you don’t like the status of your health either!

However, the good news is that our tastes can change if we are willing to step outside of our poor nutrition box! I hope you will read today’s article and make an assessment of where you are at on healthy eating spectrum.

No one successfully makes dramatic changes overnight but a step by step transition can be made – starting today!

Nutrition and Mental Health: The Power of Food for a Healthy Mind

The link between nutrition and good mental health is becoming more and more obvious as research in this area continues to deepen. Today, the rapidly growing field of nutritional psychology is discovering how crucial what you put in the body is for maintaining a sane, happy, and well-functioning psyche.

Nutrition, as researchers are finding, is just as powerful an influencer our mental health as it is our physical health.
There is a strong correlation between poor nutrition and depression

There is a strong correlation between poor nutrition and depression.

New studies are revealing that the way people eat has a lot to do with whether or not they will develop anxiety or depression. One reason for this is because how we eat greatly impacts our neurotransmitter levels and functioning, especially serotonin, which controls mood and sleep greatly. 90% of serotonin, in fact, is manufactured in the gut—not in the brain.

Without good gut health, then, we cannot absorb nutrients, and without proper nutrients, we cannot maintain the kind of healthy gut lining that will foster serotonin production. Studies have found that individuals who supplement with good probiotics were able to improve levels of anxiety and depression over the non-probiotic taking control group.1

Studies have also demonstrated that individuals eating healthier Mediterranean and Japanese types of diets, which are richer in clean, whole foods and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, are 25-30% less likely to suffer from depression than those eating the more red meat, poultry, and processed-food rich diets of Westerners.2

Omega 3

Omega 3s, Chiefly DHA, Greatly Linked to Mental Health

Numerous studies have found the omega 3s found in fatty fish, fish oil, and krill oil are crucial for mental health. In fact, one particular compound, DHA, has been determined to be one of the most crucial nutrients for good mental health and cognitive performance of all: DHA. In studies, DHA has proven to prevent cognitive decline and to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.3 Deficiency of DHA has been linked to depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and ADHD as well.4

Vitamins

Vitamin Deficiencies that are Directly Tied to Mental Disorders

Getting that RDA of all necessary vitamins and minerals is ideal, but deficiencies in certain vitamins directly impact our mental health. In fact, B12 deficiency can cause depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and anxiety, and long-term deficiency can lead to neurological disorders and cognitive decline as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.5
Other vitamins are crucial for mental health as well, especially vitamins B-1 (thiamine) and vitamin D.
B1 helps us convert the food we eat into glucose for cellular energy and bodily processes of all kinds. Without adequate B1 in the diet, the brain will suffer, and symptoms like depression and anxiety often surface.6

Minerals

Minerals and Mental Health

Minerals like zinc and magnesium are highly crucial for mood and optimum mental health. Zinc is found in rich stores in the brain and we lose zinc daily. So it’s important to get this important mineral in the diet. Studies evidence that zinc deficiency can cause depression and that supplementation can help alleviate depressed feelings and can also improve mood in patients taking antidepressants.8 Magnesium is also crucial for mental health. Studies show that deficiencies in this mineral can cause bipolar disorder, excessive feelings of anger, panic attacks, ADHD and depression.9

How to Get All the Vitamins and Minerals

How to Get All the Vitamins and Minerals You Need in a Nutrient-Depleted World

It can be challenging today to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from diet alone because many important vitamins and minerals have disappeared from our soils and, consequently our food. Plus, farmers breed genetically modified hybrids that are full of little else but water and sugar. Besides looking to all organic and local produce as much as you can, combined with grass fed meats and fresh caught fish, supplementing your diet with green superfood drinks can help you get all the crucial vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients, and other important compounds you need to stay healthy.

1. Ruixue, H. (2016). Effect of Probiotics on Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 8(8): 483.

2. Sánchez-Villegas, A. (2013). Mediterranean dietary pattern and depression: the PREDIMED randomized trial. BMC Medicine, 2013; 11: 208.

3. Science News. Higher Level Of Certain Fatty Acid Associated With Lower Dementia Risk.

4. McNamara, R. K. (2015). Role of perinatal long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in cortical circuit maturation: Mechanisms and implications for psychopathology. World Journal of Psychiatry. 5(1): 15–34.

5. Neurological Manifestations of Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

6. Sathyanarayana Rao, T. S. (2008). Understanding nutrition, depression, and mental illnesses. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 50(2): 77–82.

7. Anglin, R. E. (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202:100-7.

8. Ranibar, E. (2013). Effects of zinc supplementation in patients with major depression: a randomized clinical trial. Iran Journal of Psychiatry, 8(2): 73-8.

9. Bobbie Bartok, MD. (2014). Magnesium: An essential supplement for psychiatric patients.

10. Why Magnesium Deserves More Credit as the Most Underrated of Mineral

Today’s article is shared from the following website: https://foodtolive.com/healthy-blog/nutrition-mental-health-power-food-healthy-mind/

No widget added yet.

When We Have Health, We Have the Most Important Tool for Success!

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything Arabian Proverb

There once was a time when I was sick – 24/7. Each day, for approximately 15 years, was  spent coping with a migraine headache that never ended. Due to the incessant pain, the last 5 of those years included severe depression.

I look back on those years now with gratitude. I am so very grateful for the healing that I was allowed to experience. Even more, I am grateful for the strength that I was granted by the Lord during those grueling years.

During some of those years, I dealt with a busy household of 6 children – 4 of them being teenagers. Along with that busy household, my husband and I ran two businesses.

There eventually came a time when I could no longer cope but the fact that I was able to function as well as I did for so many years is nothing short of a miracle.

As a result of those experiences, I have gained a passion for health that is rarely gained by being healthy. My eyes and heart have been opened to effectiveness of many alternative therapies and relying on the Lord’s guidance. I have also seen the pervasive failures found within the walls of western medicine’s sick care. Additionally, my near-death experience has taught me the priceless gift that life is for each of us.

There is so much more to being healthy than popping prescription pills! Our thoughts, our mindset, our attitude, our movement (or lack of), the foods we eat and the company we keep all contribute their important part to our health! Stay tuned…I am going to be sharing more in the future about my journey back to health.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Be sure today’s inspiring stories about two wonderful people who found health and healing in their lives!

Stamatis Moraitis

Stamatis Moraitis was a Greek war veteran who was living in the United States when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told he had only 9 months to live. He was offered aggressive treatment, but after 9 doctors apparently assured him that it wouldn’t save his life, he decided to save his money, decline treatment, and move with his wife back to his native Ikaria, a Greek island where he could be buried with his ancestors in a graveyard overlooking the Aegean Sea.

He and his wife moved into a small house on a vineyard with his elderly parents, where he reconnected with his faith and started going to his old church. When his friends got wind of the fact that Stamatis was back home, they showed up with bottles of wine, books, and board games to entertain him and keep him company. He planted vegetables in a garden, basked in sunshine, savored the salty air, and relished in his love for his wife.

Six months passed, and not only did he not die, he was actually feeling better than ever. He started working in the untended vineyard during the day, making himself useful, and in the evenings, he’d play dominos with friends. He took a lot of naps, rarely looked at a watch, and spent a lot of time outdoors. At one point, 25 years after his diagnosis, Stamatis went back to the United States to ask his doctors what had happened. Apparently, the doctors were all dead. Stamatis finally died this year in Ikaria. He was 102 years old.

Anita Moorjani

In her book Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani tells the story of how she was dying of end stage Stage 4 lymphoma when she experienced the classic “white light” near death experience many have described. As she traveled to the other side, she was able to look down upon her loved ones, even though some of them were not in the same room with her. Her heart was filled with a feeling of profound unconditional love, and she was happy to be free of her dying, tumor-riddled body.

Then she was told that she had a choice. She could stay in the white light and die, or she could go back and share her story with others. She didn’t want to come back. Her body had been in so much pain, and her soul had been suffering. But she was told that if she came back, her cancer would be cured. She believed what she was told, and felt called to come back so she could share her experience.

Anita’s cancer was gone within several weeks. This all happened under the care of her bewildered doctors, who documented her spontaneous remission. Anita is now on the Hay House speaking circuit with me, spreading the message that death is nothing to fear.

Today’s inspiring stories of restored health are shared from the following website: http://lissarankin.com/6-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-power-of-your-mind-to-heal-you

No widget added yet.

God Can Calm All Storms…

sunrise over the earthI don’t know about you, but it seems to me that there is always some sort of “storm” in my life. I think it could also be called personal growth or personal challenges.

Less than three months ago, I sat in an intensive care unit beside the hospital bed of my granddaughter as her young body fought for life. Today, I watch her at home as she recovers and rebuilds her strength. I know without the smallest doubt that she and I and all of our family were assisted by angels  throughout those very difficult days.

Later today, I will sit in front of my computer and I will attempt to learn a new powerful software so that I can make my book available online again.

For you, today’s challenge will be different. Some of my challenges have been relatively easy to overcome (I am hoping that is the case with the new software today!). Others, have been very difficult – such as the 15 years it took to overcome my 24/7 migraines. I know now that life never was meant to be a cake walk. However, whether our current challenge is more similar to a sprint or a marathon – God can and will help us through it all.

There was a time when I was experiencing my migraine headaches that I wondered if I would ever know another day of life without skull crushing pain. Fifteen years is a very long time to have a headache.

Yet, a few days of headache pain would have never created the health advocate that I am today. Now, as I look back on that experience, it is easy to see that I was given incredible blessings through that trial. Somehow, I was enabled to function much better than I should have been able to function and step by step I was eventually led to the people and answers I needed to find health and healing once again.

Storms will be a consistent part of life but God can and will calm them all – if we ask and allow.  Sometimes, they may not disappear from our lives but where they remain, God will take us by the hand and help us walk above the waves.

Today’s story share’s a wonderful reminder of God’s watchful care. I hope you enjoy!:

THE FIRE

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother remained steadfast. She had been willing to die so those under the cover of her wings would live.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4 (NIV)

No widget added yet.

Positive Attitudes…Things Turn Out Best

Things turn out  best for the people  who make the  best out of the way things  turn out.  Art Linkletter

We all know people who have difficulty finding anything positive in their lives. Are you one of them? Who do you love to be with? Those who grumble and complain or those that bring smiles and sunshine into a room?

A positive attitude doesn’t just improve our mental health – it improves our physical and spiritual health as well! It is an attitude worth cultivating and working for!

I spent a period of about 15 years of my life suffering from 24/7 migraine headaches. I had to do a lot of analyzing of my life as I sought for and found answers to improve my health. My mental health deteriorated over time due to the extended period of time that I had had to deal with intense physical pain. As I began to find answers and regain my health, I realized that those years of headaches had taken a toll on my mindset. One of the most important things that I was inspired to recognize was that I needed to remember what I had been like when I had been well.

Remembering what I had been like when I was well was a huge turning point for me in my recovery. It taught me to treasure sunshine, a hearty laugh, and simple things like thinking. Spending so many years being light sensitive and having a mind that cringed at having to exert itself had trained me to avoid going outside our interacting with others in a way that required me to be mentally alert. All I can say is Hurray for our ability to heal and to change! Just working at remembering what I had been like when I was well was a huge blessing in my recovery!

Change is an ongoing process for all of us. Treasure the blessings that are yours! It will do you and our world good!

I hope that you enjoy today’s story! It is a great example of the power of a positive attitude!:

This Is Good

An old story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!” “What do you mean,’This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” “If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you.”

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-4.html

No widget added yet.