Monthly Archives: October 2016
Monthly Archives: October 2016
When the publisher sent me the book, Birding at the Bridge by Heather Wolf, I wasn't sure it would be a fit for you. But the thought hit me, birding for fitness is a thing. Getting outside, walking and potentially more make bird watching a great hobby for health and fitness.
In her book Walk off the weight, Lucy Wyndham-Read shows us how to use walking for weight loss. With 5 years in the Brittish Army and 20 years in fitness, Lucy has helped thousands of men and women lose weight and stay in shape. In this book, she sets up a daily program for walking for weight loss with walking plans and menus to ensure you're eating right.
– Health – Walking strengthens your heart and reduces cholesterol. It helps strengthen your bones. It prevents obesity and lifts depression.
– Fitness – Walking helps make you faster and stronger and gives you more stamina. You'll improve your flexibility and balance.
– Weight – Walking for weight loss works because you are burning more calories both during and after the walk.
– Aging – Walking helps promote human growth hormone (HGH), which begins declining after age 20.
– Measurements – Lucy recommends you measure your waist, bottom, thighs and arms so you can see your progress.
– What to expect – As you go, you'll notice you are dropping dress sizes and feeling stronger and more energetic.
– Commitment – Before you start, make the commitment to make it through the first seven days. This will drive you through the 21 days.
1. Mind makeover – Make sure you have the right attitude to ensure success.
2. Put on your visualization glasses – Visualize what health and fitness looks like.
3. Score a goal – Set goals to drive you.
4. Be your own fitness dj – Change up your playlist from time to time to stay motivated.
5. On the dot – Find a set time to work out so you're high energy and can keep doing it.
6. Become a master chef – Learn how to make new dishes with fresh, healthy ingredients.
Cindi O'meara is a nutritionist who in her effort to heal herself and determine if wheat is poison, made the documentary “What's with Wheat.” In this documentary, Cindy brings together some of the best experts on health and fitness to discuss what we've done to wheat over the last several decades and what it is doing to our bodies.
In a search for optimizing her own longevity, Cindi started an elimination diet. Within days she had lost weight and was looking and feeling great. As she reintroduced food, she recognized that wheat was a problem for her. Shortly after her discovery, books began coming out on the dangers of wheat.
As hunter-gathers, we were nomads. Once we could cultivate crops, we were able to settle in towns and cities. This made civilization possible.
In the 1920s we began having the first shelf stable foods. Finding we were developing vitamin deficiencies, food companies began fortifying foods with artificial vitamins. Then in the 1970s we began developing hybrids and spraying the wheat with chemicals.
And one of the core differences, we are exposed to much more wheat through our food, cosmetics, etc.
Cindi used an elimination diet to get healthier, and she provides a guide for doing a four-week elimination-style diet. Many people shy away from dropping wheat and grains from their diet. While this is not the easiest of protocols, it is typically only temporary for most foods. It is only the foods that make you sick that you'll have to avoid after the initial period.
In this episode, I share my best nutrition tips. Most people approach weight loss from an exercise perspective. Unfortunately, when you're over 40, it is nearly impossible to out-exercise a poor diet.
Sugar is the number one reason most of us are overweight. When we eat more sugar that we need for current energy, our insulin spikes to take up the sugar and store it as fat. Over time, this can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Many people will question why I put water in my nutrition tips when water isn't a nutrient. Water is essential for good health but is even more important when we're exercising and losing weight.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, but there are more simple carbs that make up our daily intake. And these raise our insulin and are stored as fat when we take in more than our body needs at the point we eat them.
Protein is an essential building block for our body. But in excess, our body breaks it down to glucose for energy use and/or storage as fat.
I'm a strong believer that we should primarily eat real, whole foods. Processing strips the food of nutrients. Foods that are “fortified” to make up for this don't necessarily serve us well. Whole foods are things your great-grandmother would have recognized as food.
If you find yourself eating something from a package, take the time to read the nutrition label. You might be surprised at the chemicals that are used to keep that product shelf stable and the other additives to make it taste the way it does.
We have been conditioned by restaurants and food companies to eat far more than a single portion at a meal. Break this conditioning by requesting a takeaway box for the excess.
Take the time to log the food you're eating. This can help you learn more about what's in the food (calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, etc.) and makes it easier to manage your food.
Eat slower to eat less. Your body needs time to process the hormone signaling to know your full. Slowing down also helps you enjoy the food more.
Many times, we make poor choices because we haven't taken the time to plan and prepare. If you know you're going to out, pack a healthy snack. I will often pre-log my food for the day and make sure to carry that with me in an insulated container.
Most of us stick to foods we know and like. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies in certain vitamins or minerals. Varying your diet can help you get the nutrients you need.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have any nutrition tips I missed? If so, please let me know in the comments below.
In this episode, we meet Dr. Tara Allmen to get menopause advice and solutions presented in her book Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving Through Midlife.
An accountant and a gynecologist have in common when meeting a man at a party, the question ‘what do you do for a living' is a conversation stopper. It shouldn't be that way. At least not when you meet a gynecologist. There is a lot to learn what the women in your life are (or will) experience. Menopause advice works for both women and men.
The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can cause sleep disruption. It is important for women to focus on getting the best quality sleep. A few sleep tips provided by Dr. Allmen include:
Dr. Allmen decided to design her own colon cleansing approach and has been successful in coming up with a way that is a lot easier. She's shared this approach with her patients and they've had great results in colon screening prep. While not menopause advice, it is something we face in mid-life and you may find Dr. Allman's recipe for colon cleansing easy and effective.
It is very important that women work to maintain muscle mass and bone density by lifting weights.
Today I will share my favorite bodyweight exercises. I picked these exercises because they cover the most of the fitness modalities depending on how you use them.
Note: There is no sound in the bodyweight exercise videos to facilitate you watching the video while you listen to the podcast.
This is my favorite bodyweight exercise. It builds strength and mass in the thighs and butt. Hold on to something if you have issues with balance or squat depth. Add a jump to the end to add intensity and power.
This works the chest and triceps. Start with your knees on the ground and progress to a full push up. Elevate your feet for intensity or add a clap at the top to work on power.
Sprints are a great exercise to build metabolic capacity and endurance. Sprints should go for 20 – 30 seconds. Note: This was hard to demonstrate in my yard, but I hope you got the gist.
This is a great, low risk-high reward core exercise. Be sure to breathe during the hold. Go longer for more intensity or add a rocking motion, which would make it a hollow rock.
The bear crawl works your shoulders for strength and improves mobility in the hips (both great for us desk jockeys).
Anyone that has done burpees, hates burpees. But they keep doing them because they work. A full body exercise that helps build endurance and strength.
This is another core exercise that allows you to work core strength more dynamically across multiple core areas (front and sides). The abs are a set of muscles, so hitting them from multiple directions helps keep them strong and balanced.
One of the main reasons elderly people lose independence is from a fall that results in a broken hip. Many times the fall is to the side and they are unable to respond in time to stop it. The carioka forces you to maintain balance as you move sideways. It does provide some endurance benefits as well (especially when part of a circuit where you're already metabolically taxed).
I like the side lunge because it is one of the few bodyweight exercises that isn't front or back. Like the squat, it builds strength and muscle mass in your thighs and butt, but from a different angle.
This exercise builds strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps and is metabolically challenging (endurance). Be sure to work through the full range of motion.
This is another good exercise to help with hip mobility as you build strength, in your legs this time. Do this slow and controlled to get a really good hip stretch during each lunge.
As you can see, my dogs had as much fun with this as I did. For the dog lovers, the German Shepard is Angel, the Chihuahua is Joe Joe, and the Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix is Baby. Of note, I did all of these exercises in a circuit and it was quite taxing. I could see doing three rounds of this, with a short rest between each round as being a great workout for even the most fit individuals.
Dr. Robert McNutt is a philosopher, a medical doctor, and a decision expert. Making medical decisions is a series of tradeoffs of benefits and costs. In his book, Your Health, Your Decisions, Dr. McNutt goes through these tradeoffs and provides an objective way to work with your doctor to get to the right medical decisions for yourself.
Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Once you going, you have some wins, some momentum that can keep you going. In this episode, I'm going to share my tips for getting started on health and fitness tips.
1. Know your why – Before you get started on anything, you should consider why it matters. Having a solid why will give you a strong, emotional driver to get you moving and keep you moving. I changed my life because of my wife and kids. I want to be there for them and the path I was on wasn't going in that direction. I changed direction.
2. Know your vision – Having a vision of what health and fitness is important to make sure the things you do are aimed toward getting you healthier and more fit. Your vision can change as you go, but it is important to know where you're going.
3. Set goals – Think of goals as milestones on your path to your vision. These goals should be SMART goals. I'm sure you know what smart goals are and if you don't, you can go to episode 93, where I went over how to use them. I also developed a guide to help you do this.
4. Focus on what matters – If you want to drive to the grocery store, you aren't getting there efficiently if you drive to the movie theatre (unless the movie theatre is on the way to the grocery store). You very likely have limited time in your day. Don't waste time doing things that aren't getting toward your goal.
5. Have fun – Yes, some people can tough it out, but you're much more likely to show up if you enjoy what your doing. Make it fun, or at least something that will make you better at something fun. For example, I enjoy volleyball. I do not enjoy box jumps. But I know box jumps will make me a better volleyball player, so I do box jumps.
6. Be prepared – I leave my gym bag by the door, packed with my workout clothes. That way, when I get out the door to work, I can't help but grab it. I also pack my food for the day and carry that with me. I'm less likely to go to the fast food place if I have plenty of good food with me at my desk or in the breakroom fridge.I also encourage people to do bulk cooking and pack up servings for the rest of the week. This makes it quick and easy to have a good, healthy meal in the evening when your willpower is weaker.
7. Schedule it – Scheduling your workouts is a great strategy for getting started. Put an appointment on your calendar with an alarm. This appointment is with your boss (you). At work would you miss an appointment with your boss? Nope? Don't miss this one either.
8. Go Slow – Often, people will go all out when they first start. If you overdo it, you are more likely to want to quit. DOMS is one of the main reasons people drop out after their first workout or two.
9. Be good for yourself – In the podcast episode, “Is your inner voice a nice person?” I explained why it is important to be good to yourself. This is even more important when you're first getting started.
10. Share it with friends – Friends do a few things for us when it comes to health and fitness. For one, they can hold us accountable. Second, they can make it much more fun to workout and cook good food (see #6).
11. Hire a trainer – A trainer, like a friend can help keep you accountable. One of the best benefits of working with a trainer is that you'll get results faster. Just make sure you find a trainer that suits you. I made up a quick and easy guide to help you select the right trainer.If you'd like to learn more about working with me, you can go to Forever Fitness Personal Training.
In her book, The Paleo Thyroid Solution, Elle Russ details how paleo should be the core of your thyroid health management. Elle Russ is a writer, actor, life/health coach, and the host of The Primal Blueprint Podcast. She works with Mark Sisson (Mark's Daily Apple) to educate people on the benefits of paleo/primal lifestyle.
As a patient dealing with thyroid issues, it is incumbent that you partner with your doctor to manage your health. This requires you to educate yourself. You'll then need to maintain a journal to understand how the medicine, food, sleep and other lifestyle choices are affecting your thyroid. As a responsible patient, you can work with your doctor to do the best for you. If your doctor doesn't feel like a partner, find a doctor that will work with you to get the right approach for you.
Paleo/primal are lifestyles, not just diets. They look at how our ancestors likely lived and push us to model our lives after them. Our ancestors ate whole foods, not frozen pizza. They didn't eat nearly the amount of sugar and carbs we eat now. Movement was a big part of our ancestors lives, but not the chronic go go go we identify as exercise today.
Exasperated and desperate, Elle took control of her own health and resolved two severe bouts of hypothyroidism on her own – including an acute Reverse T3 problem. Through a devoted paleo/primal lifestyle, intensive personal experimentation, and a radically modified approach to thyroid hormone replacement therapy…Elle went from fat, foggy, and fatigued – to fit, focused, and full of life! You can learn more about Elle at elleruss.com.
PALEO THYROID SOLUTION FREE PODCAST LINKS BELOW
Dr. Gary E. Foresman on Paleo Thyroid Solution – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-131-dr-gary-e-foresman-md/#more-1413
CARA HAUN – Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-130-cara-haun/#more-1408
SHER SMITH – Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-129-sher-smith/#more-1402
TAYLOR COLLINS – EPIC – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-123-taylor-collins/#more-1366
GABRIELLE REECE – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-84-gabrielle-reece/#more-1066
Even if you're not a born runner, you'll get something special from Pete Magill, the author of Born Again Runner. As an overworked script writer, Pete found himself in the hospital when he collapsed one evening. The alcohol, drugs and smoking were killing him. He turned to running as a way to fix himself.
It wasn't all success, but he stuck with it and is not a world-class runner for his age group. In Born Again Runner, he lays out a way for you to see your version of success as a runner.
Most runners will experience injuries at some time. Pete has organized preventive exercises for each of the common running-related injuries. An injury will keep you from running, which will impede your progress. Avoiding injuries should always be top of mind before, during and after your runs.
In his book, The Pathways of Qi, Matthew Sweigart has provided a deep dive into the eastern concept of Qi. He has a very good approach to this. This book is a very good way to become familiar with this practice.
Qi is a concept that comes from China. It is the movement of life energy and the way it moves into the human system. It is in alignment with the western phrase “flow.” Matthew learned the power of Qi when he was able to fix a weak and injured ankle through a simple reflection on who, not what, was causing his pain.
You'll typically find a qualified Qi practitioner at any disciplined martial arts studio. Matthew also teaches Qi Gong
In this episode, Paulette Sherman shows us how we can use baths for health and fitness. We do this by making a bath a ritual, focused on various aspects of our lives to include stress, relationships, balance, and recovery. Using these tools you can be more powerful and effective during the day.
These baths go beyond the general hygiene type baths.
– Law of attraction – Being very clear about what you want from this bath is important.
– Ritual – A ritual bridges your inner and outer space. It adds to the specialness of the moment.
– Essential oils – Beyond the wonderful smell, there are some therapeutic uses for them.
– Crystals – Each crystal has its own energy. The structures capture different things. You can match the crystal to your intention.
– Candles/colors – The candle represents the spirit of the event, matching your intention. For example, you could use white for peace.
– Meditation – This is about clearing your mind to avoid being distracted. This opens you up to pay attention to the message you'll get from a bath.
– Intention – This is the context for the bath. This is how you can use these baths for health.
– Visualization – Seeing what you want to attract. Visualizing allows you to see improvement in performance by setting your mind to a believe it is achievable. Pulling in all of your senses and emotions to visualize what you want.
– Prayer – This goes beyond religion. It is about calling on a higher power or your best self to be sure to hear what you need from this bath.
– Herbal teas – These teas match the energy of your bath.
– Journaling – This is where you can capture the things that came to you during your path. This allows you to apply things in your life.
Paulette took some time to discuss each of the following sacred baths. Each using the elements above and applying to the stated intention.
– Bath of self-care (p50)
– Return to peace bath (p102)
– Commitment bat (p149)
I'd encourage you to get the book and use baths for more than just hygiene. Using baths for health can be a way to heal, manage aspects of your life, and grow. If you do a sacred bath, please let me how it went in the comments below.
I learned last week that my mother has shingles. I had called her to plan my Thanksgiving trip up to see her and the rest of my family. I realized as we were talking and she was sharing her experience that all I knew about shingles came from a 30 second TV commercial for the vaccination. So, I decided I needed to learn more not only to possibly help my mother but to make sure my family and I are prepared.
I am not a doctor. I'm just going over my research as I make health decisions for myself. You should do your own research and work with your doctor to make decisions for yourself.
A virus called varicella-zoster causes Shingles. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After your body beat down chickenpox, the virus retreated into the nerve tissue in your spinal cord and brain. As we age, the likelihood we will get shingles goes up.
Shingles is a very painful rash (much worse than the chickenpox you experienced). The blistering rash causes pain, itching and may cause a fever. The rash can be anywhere, but it tends to be on your torso.
This virus is in the herpes family which includes nine different known types:
If you had chicken pox, you can get shingles. In fact, experts estimate that 50% of people over 80 who have had chicken pox get shingles. Since we're all here to improve our health and therefore live longer, we make sure we're dealing with this risk.
You're at increased risk when your immune system is depressed. This can happen if you're taking certain drugs, have HIV, or cancer. Remember this isn't about exposure, you already have the virus. It just comes back when you're too weak to fight back.
The pain associated with shingles can continue long after the rash goes away. Depending on the severity and duration of the virus, you can lose vision and/or deal with neurological issues. You can also face infection from the rash. This is why you want to focus on quick and direct treatment when you get an outbreak.
Inoculation – I'm not going to go into the pros and cons of vaccinations. Just know that getting the vaccination will decrease your risk of getting shingles. However, it won't drop it to zero and there are some potential side effects. If you're going this route, do your own research and have some thoughtful conversations with your doctor.
Anti-virals – If you have shingles, your doctor may prescribe anti-viral medication. Work with your doctor to treat your shingles quickly. Complications often occur when not addressed timely.
Stress management – Have a stress management protocol so your immune system is as strong as you can make it. I discussed stress management with Ori Hofmekler on this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast.
Immunity weakness – As we've noted, your immune system is the only think keeping shingles at bay. Anything that weakens your immunity will give you a higher risk of it getting out.
Lysine – This is an essential amino acid, which means you have to consume it to get it. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. We get lysine from animal proteins. If you're at risk (immune system depressed, chronic stress), you may want to supplement with lysine. To get the best benefit from this supplement, you should take it on an empty stomach.
Adaptogens – Many cultures have used plants and herbs to manage health. I won't go into this too much here, but there are plants and herbs that can enhance your immune system and help you deal with stress. These adaptogens have been used for centuries with no adverse affect, but do your research and find reputable sources.
Vitamin D, K2, and Calcium – These vitamins and mineral are key nutrients for many functions of the human body. But most importantly they relate to bone health. I'm not sure why these have been linked to shingles prevention, but it seems there is a link to bone health and this virus.
Have you or someone you know had shingles? Please share your experience in the comments below. Thanks!