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Monthly Archives: October 2016

October 31, 2016

Birding for fitness and health

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 this episode, Heather and I go over some getting started tips for bird watching.

 

Something else from 40+ Fitness Podcast you may enjoy

75x75_40plus https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/walking-weight-loss/

October 28, 2016

Walking for weight loss with Lucy Wyndham-Read

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.

Benefits of walking

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.

Measure it & snap it

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.

Tips for Motivation

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.

Walking for weight loss links:

Youtube Channel

Twitter

 

Something else from 40+ Fitness Podcast you may enjoy

75x75_40plus https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/11-best-getting-started-tips

 

 

 

 

October 26, 2016

Is wheat poison?

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.

Is wheat poison today?

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.

Elimination Diets

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.

 

changinghabits.com.au

What's With Wheat documentary

 

Elimination diets

Paleo for thyroid health with Elle Russ

 

 

October 24, 2016

11 best nutrition tips

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.

My best nutrition tips

Cut sugar

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.

Water

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.

Simple carbs

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

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.

Whole foods

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.

Read labels

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.

Portion size

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.

Logging

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.

Slow down

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.

Be prepared

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.

Try new foods

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.

How to shop for good food

Health and Fitness Foundations

 

October 21, 2016

Menopause advice for women and men with Dr. Tara Allmen

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.

Every man needs a gynecologist for menopause advice

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.

Sleep

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:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Avoid stimulants that will disrupt sleep such as heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Cool, dark bedroom.
  • Don't keep your phone by the bed.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Exercise regularly.

Colon cancer

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.

Weight lifting

It is very important that women work to maintain muscle mass and bone density by lifting weights.

Links

DrAllmen.com

The menopause solution | Dr. Stephanie Faubion

The estrogen window | Mache Seibel

October 19, 2016

11 best bodyweight exercises

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.

Advantages of Bodyweight Exercises

  1. They require no equipment.
  2. You can do them practically anywhere.
  3. Easy to scale to your fitness level.
  4. Doing these can give you the confidence when you're ready step up to free weights.
  5. Most are low injury risk.
  6. Adaptable to hit multiple fitness modalities.

Precautions

  • Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Warm up completely before doing an exercise.
  • Know how to perform good form.
  • Keep good form during the exercise.

11 Best Bodyweight Exercises

Note: There is no sound in the bodyweight exercise videos to facilitate you watching the video while you listen to the podcast.

1. Bodyweight Squat

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.

2. Push Up

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.

3. Sprints

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.

4. Hollow Hold

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.

5. Bear Crawl

The bear crawl works your shoulders for strength and improves mobility in the hips (both great for us desk jockeys).

6. Burpee

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.

7. Bicycle Crunch

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.

8. Carioka

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).

9. Side Lunge

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.

10. Mountain Climber

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.

11. Sampson Lunge

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.

Are there any bodyweight exercises I missed that you think should have made the list?  If so, let me know in the comments below. 

4 fitness modalities that matter

Uncommon exercises

 

October 14, 2016

11 best getting started on health and fitness tips

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.

Here are my best 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.

We are 100! Best of the past.

October 12, 2016

Paleo for thyroid health with Elle Russ

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.

Thyroid Problem Solving Principles

  • Do your own research
  • Follow your gut
  • Take copious notes
  • Track vitals
  • Seek a doctor's help
  • Don't rely solely on your doctor
  • Adopt a 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 Thyroid Solution Principles

  • Eat plants, animals, fish and fat.
  • Eliminate grains, beans and legumes.
  • Limit dairy and potatoes to very occasional consumption (unless you're an athlete).
  • Stay under 150 total carbohydrates per day.
  • Consume probiotics.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Manage stress.
  • Stick with low-intensity exercise between 55% and 75% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Do a fifteen-minute sprint session every seven to ten days, but only if your hyperthyroid symptoms are gone, and you have the adrenal strength to support a sprint session.
  • Supplement to optimize health.
  • Only eat when you're hungry.

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.

Links:

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

ABEL JAMES – http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-107-abel-james/#more-1270

 

How to shop for good food

Crack the obesity code

October 10, 2016

Not a born runner but that can change with Pete Magill

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.

The 12 born again runner principles

  1. The past is the past –  While you may have failed in the past, that is the past.
  2. Walk before you run – You may not be able to run at first, but if you will gradually progress, your body will adapt.  Your nervous system adapts faster than your muscles.  You need to let all the systems adapt before you progress.
  3. Keep it simple – It doesn't have to be a special day to start.  No need to make it an event, just find a safe, flat, location where you're not far from the start.
  4. Shirt, shorts, shoes – No need to go out and buy a lot of expensive things.  There will be plenty of time to pick up equipment as you need it.
  5. Train with the body you have – You come in your own shape, size, gender, and fitness background.  You'll need to discover a running style and program that works for you.  We are all an experiment of one.
  6. It’s recovery stupid – We only get fit when we're recovering from the work we've done.  The cliche, “No pain, no gain” is wrong.
  7. The only opinion that matters is your own – Don't let other people discourage you from training.  Not being a born runner doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it.
  8. No rain checks unless it's raining – There are going to be days we don't want to run or can't run.  Don't run on days when it isn't good to run (excessive heat, when you're injured, or a can't miss event), but don't miss because you just don't feel like it.  It is too easy to make missing a habit and you risk losing your fitness gains.  Have a contingency plan.
  9. Dieting can wait (and so can everything else) – It is already hard enough to build fitness and get proper recovery.  This is not a time to restrict your food.  Focus on one goal at a time.
  10. Slower is faster – You many not be a born runner, but it is critical that you keep your ego in check.  Build slowly.  The fastest way to be a good runner is to go slowly.
  11. It’s gotta be fun – If you don't enjoy your running, you won't keep doing it.  Find a friend or group to train with.  Find online runners forums to connect with other runners.
  12. Know you’ll succeed – This is the most important principle.  While you may not be a born runner, you will succeed.  You know you have a plan.  You know you're doing the right things to stay injury free.  You expect to change your body through training and recovery.

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.

Born Again Runner Links

Bornagainrunner.com

Pete Magill

The tao of running | Gary Dudney

October 7, 2016

Pathways of Qi | Matthew Sweigart

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.

The twelve regular meridians/pathways of qi.

  1. Lung Line
  2. Large Intestine Line
  3. Stomach Line
  4. Spleen Pancreas Line
  5. Heart Line
  6. Small Intestine Line
  7. Bladder Line
  8. Kidney Line
  9. Pericardium Line
  10. Triple Warmer Line
  11. Gall Bladder Line

The three layers of health

  1. Reflexive Layer – relates to body's ability to respond to the world around it.
  2. Conditioned Layer – relates to our learned/trained behaviors.
  3. Constitutional Layer – relates to the inherent gifts we inherited.

Any tips on finding a good practitioner

You'll typically find a qualified Qi practitioner at any disciplined martial arts studio.  Matthew also teaches Qi Gong

 

Links

matthewsweigart.com

Heart Mind Body Work

October 5, 2016

Baths for health with Paulette Sherman

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.

These baths for health have a ritual including the following elements:

     – 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.

Three sacred baths from the book:

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.

Links

Sacred Bathing

Dr. Paulette Sherman

Finding mindfulness with Bruce Langford

https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mindfulness-based-eating-lynn-rossy/

 

October 3, 2016

Shingles risk goes up when you’re over 40

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.

What the heck is shingles?

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:

  • herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which is also known as a fever blister;
  • herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), which is also known as herpes;
  • varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is also known as chickenpox or shingles;
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is also known as mono;
  • human cytomegalovirus (HCMV);
  • human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A);
  • human herpesvirus 6b (HHV-6B);
  • human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7); and
  • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV).

Shingles risk

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.

Don't

  • Avoid treatment – Don't try to tough it out.  Seek treatment.
  • Allow chronic stress – Stress causes an increase in cortisol, which turns off your immune system.  When you're stressed, your body redirects energy to deal with the stressor and leaves you vulnerable.
  • Eat foods high in or take the amino acid Arginine – Typically, chocolate (dark low sugar), nuts, coconut, bone broth, and gelatin are healthy, but not if you're dealing with shingles.  Arginine is the balancing amino acid against lysine (see below)
  • Be a fertile female – There really isn't a good theory on why this happens, but women tend to get outbreaks of herpes viruses during their period.  Obviously, you want a good healthy reproductive system, so use some of the strategies to boost your immune system detailed in the “do”, which I cover next.

Do

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.

 

Links to learn more about shingles:

Have you or someone you know had shingles? Please share your experience in the comments below. Thanks!

Aging well with Dr. Mark Williams