Keys to Effective Workouts – Weight Loss, Muscle Gain and Maintenance

 

When you plan to work out, do you actually have a plan? Are you intentional in your choice of exercises? Do you go to the gym and feel confused about what to do? Do you wish you could do a home workout that would be of maximum benefit? There are different forms of exercise and this certainly means that they each have a different effect on our bodies. In this article we will learn about the best exercises for our specific health goals.
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8 Great Tips to Improving Digestion Now

person eating soupDo you suffer from indigestion, stomach ache, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, acid reflux, or other digestive disorders? Do you avoid restaurants or eating with friends? Are you looking for natural, simple solutions to improve digestion? Here are eight great tips! Continue reading

Dropping Pounds After the Holidays – A Sensible and Successful Weightloss Plan

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Holiday foods and staying indoors in cold weather make weight gain common.  Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Holiday Weight Gain
A new year brings about new resolutions, and most common resolution is to lose weight.  November, December and January are key times when weight is usually gained over the holidays, because people tend to eat more foods high in carbohydrates, trans fats, and sugar than they normally do. Unfortunately gaining weight is an extremely easy task for most of us. The good news is that with enough will and determination, losing 5-15 pounds is not as difficult as the majority of us tend to think. The cornerstone idea to losing weight is simple: exercise regularly and eat healthy meals.

Prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are not the best way to shed unwanted pounds. Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Diet Pills or Prescriptions
People who don’t want to bother to change their lifestyle and dietary habits to include exercise and healthy meals, often turn to diet pills to lose weight. There are many diet pills in the market today such as Zantrex 3 and Hydroxycut.

Your doctor may consider weight-loss prescriptions for you if haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise and if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30
  • Your BMI is greater than 27 and you have a serious medical problem related to obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure (Mayo Clinic, 2015)

According to the Mayo Clinic (2014),

“Dietary supplement manufacturers aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration to prove that their products are safe and effective, so view these products with caution and skepticism, and always let your doctors know about any supplements you take.”

Even though some diet pills and prescription drugs may prove to be effective in terms of melting the pounds away, the healthiest way to lose weight is not to introduce foreign chemicals in the body.

 

Metabolism Diagram - Photo credit: Researching the Kinetics of Functional Food Materials in the Body - Safety Science, KAO, Japan, www.kao.com

Metabolism Diagram – Photo credit: Researching the Kinetics of Functional Food Materials in the Body – Safety Science, KAO, Japan, http://www.kao.com

Metabolism
Metabolism is the process your body goes through to convert food into energy. The energy created by this process is then used by the body to function properly. Energy is needed for people to breathe and regulate hormones in the body.

Metabolic Disorders - Photo Credit - Power of the Gene. www.powerofthegene.com

Metabolic Disorders – Photo Credit – Power of the Gene. http://www.powerofthegene.com

People can have “metabolic diseases” as a result of inefficient metabolismA metabolic disease is the result of a loss of any one many enzymes required for efficient metabolism.  The enzymes needed are different for different substances.  If someone has inefficient enzymes for the metabolism of  carbohydrates, for example, they might have lactose intolerance, glycogen storage diseases, galactosemia.   If they have insufficient enzymes for amino acids, the metabolic disease might be phenylketonuria, or maple syrup urine disease and if they don’t have the sufficient enzymes for fat metabolism this might result in Tay-Sachs disease. (Murgatroyd, 2011)

Swimming can help to burn calories and increase metabolism. Photo credit: Pixabay

Swimming can help to burn calories and increase metabolism. Photo credit: Pixabay

Several factors will determine a person’s ability to lose weight in a certain amount of time. Mayo Clinic (2014) provides information on the subject in the following:

  • Your body size and composition. The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.
  • Your sex. Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight, burning more calories.
  • Your age. As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

 

Physical exercise and healthy diet is the best way to lose weight. Photo credit:  Publicdomainpictures.net

Physical exercise and healthy diet is the best way to lose weight. Photo credit: Publicdomainpictures.net

Physical Activity
Physical activity will also determine weight loss. The amount of physical activity and exercise you get will either result in weight loss or weight gain. Mayo Clinic (2014) states:

“Unfortunately, weight gain is complicated. It is likely a combination of genetic makeup, hormonal controls, diet composition, and the impact of environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity and stress. All of these factors result in an imbalance in the energy equation. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn-or burn fewer calories than you eat.”

Bicycling can increase metabolism and burn calories. Photo by Pixabay

Bicycling can increase metabolism and burn calories. Photo by Pixabay

Regular exercise can help you burn the amount of calories you desire and it can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Examples of regular exercise include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Playing sports
Incorporating daily physical activities or chores such as washing the car, keep a body healthy. Photo credit: Pixabay

Incorporating daily physical activities or chores such as washing the car, keep a body healthy. Photo credit: Pixabay

If these activities are not convenient for you due to your schedule or lifestyle, there are simpler alternatives to losing weight. Increasing the frequency of these daily activities can help you burn more calories.

  • Cleaning the house
  • Doing the laundry
  • Tending to the garden
  • Washing the car
  • Taking care of children
  • Walking up and down the stairs

Besides losing weight, regular exercise has many other benefits. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  (formerly the Harvard School of Public Health) (2015) states the benefits of regular exercise includes, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
Healthy Eating Plate

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Photo Credit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource

Figure 1: USDA Recommended Food Portions


Healthy Meals
The United States Department of Agriculture (2015) recommends the following diet per day for men and women:

  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 2-3 cups of vegetables
  • 6-8 ounces of whole grains
  • 5-6 ½ ounces of lean protein
  • 3 cups of dairy


Avoid eating foods with a high percentage of fat or sugar. It’s greatly recommended to either limit your intake of alcohol or abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages altogether.  Drink plenty of liquids such as water, teas, and juices. Figure 1 goes further in-depth on the types of whole grains and lean proteins to consume as well as how much of each food group is recommended for one meal.

Conclusion and Summary
Honestly, a diet of any nature, such as the one expressed above, can difficult for some to maintain, especially if you have a full-time career and/or a family to care for.  It is wise to do some research on the diet that is most suitable for your lifestyle. You don’t want to have unrealistic expectations of yourself if you know deep down that the results will be impossible to achieve. If it seems too challenging to jump into a diet right away, there is no shame in taking it one step at a time. Try eating more fruits and vegetables at first. You could bring one or two servings of carrot sticks to work so you could nibble on them during your break. Then, when you feel more comfortable, you could incorporate more physical activity into your schedule. After a while, it might not even feel like a diet, but a regular routine. Physical activity and eating healthy meals are vital to sustaining a long nourishing life and the benefits of these activities are endless.

 

References
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2015). Staying Active: Introduction. The Benefits of Physical ActivityThe Nutrition Source

Mayo Clinic. (2014). Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories. Healthy Lifestyle: Weight Loss.  Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic. (2015 ) Prescription Weight-loss Drugs: Can They Help You?  Mayo Clinic

Murgatroyd, Chris, MD,  Metabolic Disorders, Power of the Gene, Nova Science Publishers Inc., 1 Edition, February 2011, ISBN-10: 1608769496, 217 pages.  PoweroftheGene.com

United States Department of Agriculture. (2015). Welcome to the Five Food Groups. Food Groups.  USDA

 

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This articleHang Pham, MBHA Health Educator is written by Hang Pham. Hang Pham is a Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance Health and Wellness Educator. Hang Pham was born in Hoc Mon, Vietnam. She came to America in 1994, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011. Hang graduated from Seaside High School with diploma and received her AA in General Studies from Monterey Peninsula College in 2011. She received her BA in Collaborative Health and Human Services from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in 2012. In addition to working as a volunteer staff with the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, she currently works as a Clerical Aid in the Human Resources Department of Salinas City Hall. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

 

 

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

Osteoporosis: The Other Silent Killer – A Prescription for Proactivity

The Other Silent Killer
What is Osteoporosis and who is at risk? Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of the bone tissue.
Spinal osteoporosis While the symptoms of the disease seldom become debilitating until the latter stages of life, its propagation may begin much earlier.

Epidemic Proportions

According to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 52 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis. 50% of women and 25% of men will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis.  Bone Mass and AgeBy 2020, half of Americans over 50 are expected to have low bone density or osteoporosis. A woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer combined.

Proactive Prevention of Osteoporosis
Bone density peaks around age 30 and subsequently declines. Adolescents and young adults should regularly participate in weight bearing activities in order to build up a “bone density reserve.”
weight lifting
The American College of Sports Medicine,  ACSM, recommends physical activities that generate relatively high-intensity loading forces to augment bone mineral accrual in children and adolescents.  Evidence suggests exercise-induced gains in bone mass in children are maintained into adulthood, suggesting that physical activity habits during childhood may have long-lasting benefits on bone health.

Treatment is Paramount
While Osteoporosis is preventable, it is not curable.  The only option is treatment. Treatment of established osteoporosis is cost-effective irrespective of age (Kanis, et al, 2005). Studies have shown that bone mineral density in postmenopausal women can be maintained or increased with therapeutic exercise.

 

osteoporosis bone

Basic Bone Anatomy
Bones are made from collagen, calcium-phosphate complexes, and bone cells. Bone tissue is living, and is constantly being remodeled. The underlying cause of osteoporosis is an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation. Excessive bone resorption, inadequate formation of new bone during remodeling, and inadequate peak bone mass are all mechanisms by which osteoporosis develops. Aging results in bone being lost more rapidly than it is formed. 

Weight-bearing and Loading Exercise for Bone Health
Weight bearing activities like walking, jogging, dancing, stair climbing and hiking allow the force of gravity to act through the skeleton. Through this application of force, mechanisms that stimulate bone density are activated in response to the mechanical loading. The training principle of progressive overload is fundamental to the effective treatment of osteoporosis.

Exercise bone growthExercise stimulates effective bone modeling/remodeling.

Strength Training for Bone Health
Impact loading exercises are superior to traditional weight-bearing activities for maintaining bone health. Impact loading exercise simply means any exercise that requires you to support your own body weight, including walking, aerobics or weightlifting.

Osteoporosis exercises

Resistance training can be defined as the act of repeated voluntary muscle contractions against a resistance greater than what is normally experienced in daily life. Training of this kind is known to increase strength through changes in both the muscular and nervous systems. In one study, resistance training had more of an effect on bone strength in the hip and lower spine than walking alone (Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 2013).  Nine months to a year of regular exercise should be afforded before appreciable increases in bone mass are detected.  Proper form and technique are important. Volume, frequency, duration and other training variables should be specific to the condition of the individual. For individuals with diagnosed osteoporosis, the ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (Pescatello, et al, 2014) suggests the following guidelines for physical activity and resistance training aimed to prevent falls:

  • One to three sets with five to eight repetitions of four to six weight-bearing, lower-body strength exercises using body weight as resistance
  • Activities performed two to three days/week
  • Additional resistance may be applied gradually and conservatively
    (up to 10 lbs.) with weighted vest
  • Therapy bands & rubber tubing may be used to facilitate
    range-of-motion exercises
  • Avoid impact exercise, spinal flexion against resistance, spinal
    extension, high compressive forces on the spine, quick trunk rotation

 

swim therapy osteoporosis

Aerobic Training
Aerobic training is also important to the overall efficiency of the system, and in maintaining bone mass. Aerobic exercises are a system of physical conditioning, such as running, walking, swimming, or calisthenics strenuously performed so as to cause a significant temporary increase in respiration and heart rate. Activities that engage larger muscles like walking, cycling, swimming, and water walking are recommended for overall health, however claims that aerobic exercise can build bone density are false. According to ACSM, “Although aerobic exercises are beneficial and important for overall fitness, they don’t specifically help build bone density”.

Non-Impact Exercises
While non-impact exercises may not directly support bone mass, they still offer immense indirect benefits in the treatment of osteoporosis. Balance exercises (e.g. Tai Chi, aquatic exercises) heighten proprioception and reduce the risk of falling, which is the leading cause of lost independence among the elderly.

Tai Chi osteoporosis

Postural exercises improve posture and help support the spine. Functional exercises improve the ability to perform activities of daily living, increasing quality of life and maintaining independence. Individuals who practice Tai Chi have 47% less falls and only 25% of the hip fractures of those who do not (Province, et al, 1995).  Tai Chi can be beneficial for stunting bone loss in weight-bearing bones in early postmenopausal women (Chan, et al, 2004).

Calcium Foods

 

Dietary Approaches to Fighting Osteoporosis 
Calcium and Vitamin D – Two of the most important nutrients in fighting osteoporosis are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is an important component of the bone matrix, while vitamin D assists in its absorption. Supplementation with vitamin D has improved lower extremity muscle performance and reduced risk of falling in several high-quality double blind randomized control trials (Bischoff-Ferrari, et al, 2009). The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the
National Academies, National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements recommends the following intake levels for post-menopausal women:

  • Calcium: 1200 milligrams/day
  • Vitamin D: 10 micrograms/day (400 International Units/day) from ages 51 to 70 (Increase to 15 micrograms/day [600 International Units/day] after age 70)

 

Protein – Aging may compromise the body’s ability to process protein efficiency. Older adults should be vigilant in their consumption of protein in order to avoid protein malnutrition. In one study with elderly men and women, higher dietary protein intake was associated with a lower rate of age-related bone loss (Hannan, et. al, 2000).

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References
American College of Sports Medicine

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Staehelin HB, et al. (2009) Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br Med J 339:b3692.

Center for Disease Control. – Calicium

Chan, K; Qin, L; Lau, M; Woo, J; Au, S; Choy, W; Lee, K; Lee, S. A randomized, prospective study of the effects of Tai Chi Chun exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:717–22.

Daltroy, L. H., Larson MG, Eaton HM, et al. Discrepancies between self-reported and observed physical function in the elderly: the influence of response shift and other factors. Soc Sci Med. 1999;48(11):1549–61. Medline:10400256.

Hannan MT, Tucker KL, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. (2000) Effect of dietary protein on bone loss in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. J Bone Miner Res 15:2504.

Hartard M, Haber P, Ilieva D, et al. (1996) Systematic strength training as a model of therapeutic intervention. A controlled trial in postmenopausal women with osteopenia. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 75:21.

Kanis JA, Borgstrom F, Zethraeus N, et al. (2005) Intervention thresholds for osteoporosis in the UK. Bone 36:22

Kemmler W, Lauber D, Weineck J, et al. (2004) Benefits of 2 years of intense exercise on bone density, physical fitness, and blood lipids in early postmenopausal osteopenic women: results of the Erlangen Fitness Osteoporosis Prevention Study  (EFOPS). Arch Intern Med 164:1084.

Kerr, D., Ackland, T., Maslen, B., Morton, A. and Prince, R. (2001), Resistance Training over 2 Years  Increases Bone Mass in Calcium-Replete Postmenopausal Women. J Bone Miner Res, 16: 175–181. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2001.16.1.175

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Palombaro, K. M., Black, J. D., Buchbinder, R., & Jette, D. U. (2013). Effectiveness of Exercise for Managing Osteoporosis in Women Postmenopause. Physical Therapy, 93(8), 1021-1025. doi:10.2522/ptj.20110476

Pescatello L, Arena R, Riebe D, Thompson PD, ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, American College of Sports Medicine, 9th ed., 2014, Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health

Preisinger E, Alacamlioglu Y, Pils K, et al. (1995) Therapeutic exercise in the prevention of bone loss. A controlled trial with women after menopause. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 74:120.

Province MA, Hadley EC, Hornbrook MC, et al. (1995) The effects of exercise on falls in elderly patients. A preplanned meta-analysis of the FICSIT Trials. Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques. JAMA 273:1341.

Raisz, L. (2005). “Pathogenesis of osteoporosis: concepts, conflicts, and prospects”. J Clin Invest 115(12): 3318–25

Strength Training is Better for Bones. (2013). Harvard Men’s Health Watch, 2013 Jul;17(12):8.

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Kevin McMahan3This article is written by Kevin McMahan, a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. Kevin has had a lifelong interest in health and wellness. After graduating from Carmel High School he went on to get an associates degree in social sciences from Monterey Peninsula College, and a bachelors in kinesiology from California State University Monterey Bay. He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. “Your health is your wealth”, is something that he always likes to say. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer:  
The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Top 30 Yoga Benefits

What are the benefits of yoga? How does the daily discipline of yoga affect the body, mind and spirit?

Yoga Benefits

30 Yoga Benefits

What is the History of Yoga?
Yoga is a holistic health and wellness activity that both relaxes and energizes the body. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union with God.” The common belief that Yoga derives from Hinduism is a misconception. Yoga actually predates Hinduism by many centuries. Ancient archeological finds discovered the Indus Valley provided unquestionable evidence that Yoga was practiced earlier than 3,000 B.C.E. and the classical techniques of Yoga may date back  to more than 5,000 years. The word Yoga means “to join or yoke together,” and it brings the body and mind together in harmony with one another. The whole system of Yoga is built on three main structures: exercise, breathing, and meditation. One of the earliest texts on Yoga  is believed to have been compiled by a scholar named Patanjali. This book contains Yoga theories and practices and is entitled Yoga Sutras (“Yoga Aphorisms”) and is thought to have been written as early as the 1st or 2nd century B.C. or as late as the 5th century A.D. This system is known as “Ashtanga Yoga.”  This is the eight limbs of Yoga, and referred to today as Classical Yoga. Most all forms of yoga include a variation of Patanjali’s original ancient yoga system.

 

What are the Different Types of Yoga?
There are over a hundred different schools of Yoga. There are many Yoga poses or postures within each of the different schools of Yoga.

Yoga PosesSome of the most well known schools of Yoga are as follows:

  1. Hatha Yoga  Hatha Yoga  is the most widely practiced form of yoga in the United States. It is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being using exercises and breathing control.  “Ha” can be translated to mean “sun” and “tha” to mean “moon” meaning to balance the opposite forces.
  2. Raja Yoga – Raja Yoga means the “King” of Yoga, or the royal path. It is a form of Hindu yoga intended to achieve control over the mind and emotions.
  3. Jnana Yoga – Jñāna yoga or “path of knowledge” is one of the types of yoga mentioned in Hindu philosophies. Jñāna is a Sanskrit word translated to mean “knowledge”.
  4. Bhakti Yoga  – Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path described in Hindu philosophy as focused on love of, faith in, and surrender to God. It is a means to awaken to God consciousness. It is a selfless devotion of reaching Brahman (God) in loving service.
  5. Karma Yoga – Karma Yoga is selfless action to reach perfection. “Karma” is a Sanskrit term meaning “action” or deed, either physical or mental. What makes a Karma Yogi is first the experience of union with God, and then selfless action.
  6. Tantra Yoga – Tantra yoga is a type of yoga designed to awaken the kundalini energy in the body and addressing relationships and sexuality. In Hinduism, the word Tantra means: 1) weaving and 2) the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, presented as a dialogue between Shiva and Shakti
  7. Kashmir Shaivism Yoga – Kashmir Shaivism is a transformative non-dual, yogic philosophy that originated in Kashmir in the ninth century. The goal of Kashmir Shaivism is to merge in Shiva or Universal Consciousness, or realize one’s already existing identity with Shiva, by means of wisdom, yoga and grace.

yoga older manWhat Does Research Tell Us About the Effectiveness of Yoga?
Sudarshan Kriya Yoga was concluded to be a potentially effective treatment in reducing or eliminating depression in a study by Janakiramaiah N and others (2000) and a review of clinical studies of the effectiveness of Hatha Yoga on depression by Uebelacker et al  (2010).

The prac­tice of yoga has been shown to be therapeutically useful in bron­chial asthmaNagarathna R, Nagendra HR (1985) concluded that “There was a significantly greater improvement in the group who practised yoga in the weekly number of attacks of asthma, scores for drug treatment, and peak flow rate.”  However, a 2011 systematic review of clinical studies suggests that there is no sound evidence that yoga improves asthma.

back pain personMultiple studies  have found yoga to be a helpful treatment in low back pain such as Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, et al (2011) and Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. (2011).   Other studies have shown yoga to be potentially helpful treatment for cardiovascular disease, such as Raub (2002), type II diabetes mellitus (Innes and Vincent, 2007),  stress and hypertension (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, and others, 2010) as well as other conditions. The practice of yoga can also play a role in the rehabilitation of those who have physical and mental challenges (Uma, et al, 2008).  Many other benefits are inherit in the practice of yoga as described below.

What Are the 30 Benefits of Yoga?

  1. Relieves Stress
  2. Improves Breathing
  3. Eases Pain
  4. Improves Circulation
  5. Increases Strength
  6. Increases Endurance
  7. Lowers Heart Rate
  8. Develops Inner Peace
  9. Lengthens Muscles
  10. Increases Flexibilityyoga mats
  11. Reduces Cortisol Level
  12. Improves Concentration
  13. Increases Range of Motion
  14. Dissolves Ego
  15. Develops Compassion
  16. Enhances Energy
  17. Heals Ailments
  18. Fosters Joy
  19. Lowers Weight
  20. Lubricates Joints
  21. Detoxes the Body
    yoga man
  22. Strengthens Abdomen
  23. Improves Memory
  24. Delays Wrinkles and Aging
  25. Burns Fat
  26. Improves Posture
  27. Improves Metabolism
  28. Builds Immune System
  29. Improves Balance
  30. Brings Harmony

Have you tried yoga? If so, how has it helped YOU?  Best wishes for a yoga-riffic day!!

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References
Bower JE, Woolery A, Sternlieb B, et al. Yoga for cancer patients and survivors. Cancer Control. 2005;12(3):165–171.

Innes, KE, Vincent HK, The Influence of Yoga-Based Programs on Risk Profiles in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., Dec 2007; 4(4): 469–486.
Jain SC, Talukdar B. Bronchial asthma and Yoga. Singapore Med J 1993;34:306-308

Janakiramaiah N. , Gangadhar B.N. , Naga Venkatesha Murthy P.J. , Harish M.G., Subbakrishna, D.K., Vedamurthachar A.  Antidepressant efficacy of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in melancholia: a randomized comparison with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and imipramine Volume 57, Issue 1 , Pages 255-259, January 2000

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Christian L, Preston H, et al. Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2010;72(2):113–121.

Monro R, Power J, Coumar A, Nagarathna R, Dandona P. Original research yoga therapy for NIDDM; A controlled trial. Complem Med J 1992;6:66-68.

Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Yoga for bronchial asthma; A controlled study. Br Med J 1985;291:1077-1079.

Ramesh L. Bijlani, Rama P. Vempati, Raj K. Yadav, Rooma Basu Ray, Vani Gupta, Ratna Sharma, Nalin Mehta, and Sushil C. Mahapatra.  A Brief but Comprehensive Lifestyle Education Program Based on Yoga Reduces Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mellitus The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. April 2005, 11(2): 267-274. doi:10.1089/acm.2005.11.267.

Raub, JA. Psychophysiologic effects of hatha yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2002;8(6):797–812.

Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, et al. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171(22):2019–2026.

Telles S, Naveen K V. Yoga for rehabilitation : An overview, Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, No. 19, K.G. Nagar, Bangalore-560 019., India,  Indian J Med Sci 1997;51:123-7Monro R, Power J, Coumar A, Nagarathna R, Dandona P. Original research yoga therapy for NIDDM; A controlled trial. Complem Med J 1992;6:66-68.

Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. Yoga for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155(9):569–578.

Uebelacker LA, Epstein-Lubow G, Gaudiano BA, et al. Hatha yoga for depression: a critical review of the evidence for efficacy, plausible mechanisms of action, and directions for future research. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2010; 16(1):22–33.

Uma K, Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R., Vaidehi S, and Seethalakshmi R., The integrated approach of yoga: a therapeutic tool for mentally retarded children: a one-year controlled study, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Vol 33, Issue 5, 28 JUN 2008, DOI: 10.1111/ j.1365-2788.1989.tb01496


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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer:
The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

12 Health Benefits of Sex

Couple feet in bedIf you are eating right, getting plenty of sleep and practicing safe sex, sexual activity can be very healthy for mind, body and spirit. Research has shown that those who have a sexually active life, are generally healthier and happier. Here are some of the benefits backed up by research:

    1. Increased Immunity – According to a  2004 study by Charnetski and Brennan, published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA),” frequent sexual activity might boost immunity.  The saliva of 112 college students was studied in three groups of college students. Those who engaged in sex frequently (three or more times a week) had a higher level of salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA), than the two other groups who engaged in sex less often (1. less than once a week or 2. once or twice a week). Frequent sexual activity may result in increased immunity. 
    2. Releases Anxiety –  Professor Stuart Brody, Ph.D., conducted a research study at the University of the West of Scotland. The study revealed that people who had sexual intercourse at least once over two weeks were better able to manage stress.  Endorphins and oxytocin are feel-good hormones that are released during sex and activate pleasure centers in the brain. If you are looking for a way to release stress and anxiety, sexual activity creates a natural chemical bodily reaction that eliminates or reduces anxiety.

 

  • Improved Bladder Control

Bladder ControlThe muscles used in achieving orgasm are the same muscles used in bladder control. Frequent sexual activity can strengthen muscles of the pelvic floor and  help women and men avoid incontinence and premature ejaculation. You can strengthen these muscles by practicing Kegel exercises.  If you not certain how to flex these muscles, the best way to discover the muscles it to practice stopping the flow of urine. A Kegel squeeze is performed by drawing your lower pelvic muscles up and holding them up high and tight.

 

 

  • Lowered Blood Pressure
    Blood pressure cuff
    A study by Brody, Veit and Rau,  showed that sexual intercourse among cohabiting partner subjects, resulted in a greater heart rate variability (HRV) and a lower resting diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in  51 healthy adults aged 20-47 .  The diastolic blood pressure was not lowered  when sex was practiced alone or  with the  group of  non-cohabiting subjects.  Researchers looked at the bonding created between couple pairs as an important role in lower blood pressure levels. Those who lived together and knew one another well had lower blood pressure after sexual activity. 
  • Burns calories – Canadian researchers at the University of Quebec studied 20 couples aged 18 to 35.  They were instructed to have sex once a week for a month and jog on a treadmill for 30 minutes. The study showed that at certain points during sex some of the men were actually expending more energy than they did when on the treadmill. 
  • Relieves pain
    Brain and Oxytoxin
    Sexual activity increases
    oxytocin. Research consistently shows that oxytocin increases emotional connection, increases a sense of calm and well-being, and reduces the effects of stress (as measured by lowered blood pressure and cortisol), which results in relaxation and reduces the perception of pain. Orgasm also releases endorphins, a natural opiod painkiller that reduces the awareness of pain and creates a feeling of euphoria.  Studies have shown sexual activity to help reduce or block back and leg pain, menstrual cramp pain, arthritis and headaches. One study found that sexual activity can lead to partial or complete relief of headache in some. 
  • Antidepressant
    Orgasm produces natural body antidepressant chemicals such as serotonin,  phenyl ethylamine (also found in chocolate) which activates the brain’s pleasure center; and endorphins, one of the body’s natural opioid feel-good chemicals.
     

    Pain Drugs in Brain
    The brain produces more than 50 identified active drugs. Some of these are associated with memory, others with intelligence, still others are sedatives. Endorphin is the brain’s painkiller, and it is 3 times more potent than morphine.

     

  • Prostate Cancer Reduction A 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data on 29,342 men and found that those who had 21 or more orgasms a month were about 30% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who had about 4-7 orgasms a month.However, more research is needed in this area before research can be determined to be conclusive. Critics of the study say that there were other contributing factors. 
  • Induces Sleep Hormones are released after orgasm. Prolactin creates a variety of physical responses, including sleepiness. Prolactin suppresses the effects of dopamine, an arousal hormone. Animals injected with the chemical become tired immediately. Intercourse orgasm releases four times more prolactin than masturbatory orgasm, according to a recent study. Researchers found that the hormone oxytocin, released during orgasm, also promotes sleep and is known as the “love hormone” as it results in a “feel-good” emotional bond with your partner. 
  • Increases Self Esteem Researchers have found that the chemicals released after orgasm increase self esteem, reduce stress and elicit feel-good hormones. Those who engage in sexual activity more frequently are better able to cope with stressful situations that require confidence boosting, such as public speaking, according to the research of Professor Stuart Brody, Ph.D, of Scotland. 
  • Live Longer, Healthier Life

    Sexual Activity by Age

 

 

Researchers have found that the more often one engages in sex, the more likely they are able to live a healthier longer life, and/or vice versa. The healthier one is, the longer they are able to engage in a healthier sex life. In a study entitled, “Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing,” researchers Stacy Tessler Lindau, Associate Professor  and Natalia Gavrilova, Senior Research Associate concluded:“Sexual activity, quality of sexual life, and interest in sex were positively associated with health in middle age and later life.

 

  • Increased Emotional Love Bond Senior loveStudies show that the hormone oxytocin is increased after orgasm and creates a chemical reaction in the brain resulting in the feeling of an emotional bond of love between sexual partners. This allows partners to better experience compassionate, caring, emphatic connection with one another. 

 

Resources:
Charnetski and Brennan,”Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA),” National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Brody, Veit and Rau, “A preliminary report relating frequency of vaginal intercourse to heart rate variability, Valsalva ratio, blood pressure, and cohabitation status,” National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Julie Frappier, Isabelle Toupin, Joseph J. Levy, Mylene Aubertin-Leheudre, Antony D. Karelis Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples, Public Library of Science, October 24, 2013

 
_______________________________


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University.
 Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

 

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Top 20 Tips for Healthy Skin

Is there anything that can help diminish wrinkles and aging? What can be done to keep the skin youthful-looking and healthy? Here are the top twenty holistic health natural tips for radiant, glowing skin.

20 tips for Healthier Younger Looking Skin

Looking for younger-looking skin? Try these 20 top tips!

  1. Don’t smoke
    The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you’re likely to have.  This is because the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin and impairs blood flow. The result is that the skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. 
  2. Don’t drink alcohol
    Alcohol can make you age faster and cause more wrinkles. Drinking alcohol can cause premature wrinkles, dehydration, loss of elasticity, loss of collagen, redness, and puffiness of the skin.
  3. Get plenty of sleep
    When a person doesn’t get enough sleep this causes the skin to sag, bags under the eyes, and a lack of luster and radiance.  Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, creating the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  A person who gets plenty of sleep is less stressed.  Getting plenty of sleep at night helps to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
  4. Avoid sun during the peak times
    As the sun moves higher in the sky, the sun’s rays become more intense.  This means more potential damage to the skin and eyes. The ultraviolet (UV) light travels a shorter, more direct distance to reach the earth during the peak sun intensity hours when UV light is the strongest,.  This is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. standard time or 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daylight savings time.
  5. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.
    Ultraviolet rays are grouped into three different categories: UVA, UVB and UVC.  The SPF, “sun protection factor”, is only a measure of protection against UVB rays which burn the skin, but SPF is not a measure of UVA rays which penetrate deep into the skin, suppress the immune system and may cause cancer.  This is why it is important to look on your sunscreen for “broad spectrum” protection of both UVA and UVB protection
  6. Wear protective clothing
    The primary cause of aging and skin damage is damage from the sun. If you are planning on being outside for many hours, wear long sleeved shirts, hats, long pants and sun glasses, to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.
  7. Get eyes checked regularly to eliminate wrinkles from squinting
    Many people avoid a trip to the optometrist when having trouble seeing.  Long term effects of squinting the eyes in order to better focus or  squinting the eyes because of the brightness of the sun, can cause wrinkled skin on the face and “crows feet” around the eyes.  Always wear sunglasses and keep your prescriptions up to date.
  8. Clean skin thoroughly daily
    Boil water in a pot or tea kettle, pour the water into a bowl, then put a towel over your head and hold the bowl near your face for about 5-10 minutes. Then wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
  9. Use moisturizer if skin is dry
    Not everyone needs to use moisturizer.  When purchasing moisturizers, check to make sure that it is appropriate for your skin type (oily, dry, normal).  Always make sure your hands are clean before applying creams, lotions, shaving cream, makeup, etc., to prevent bacterial infections.
  10. Always remove makeup before sleeping
    Many people state that they are too tired to properly remove makeup, lotions or shaving lotions before going to sleep.  Leaving makeup or other skin lotions and applications on overnight, can cause the skin to produce acne from build up of dirt and oil in the pores of the skin.  Use warm water to clean the skin with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type.
  11. Always rinse well to remove dead skin and soap
    After thoroughly cleaning the skin, it is important to rinse several times to be sure to remove soap. Do a final rinse with cool (not cold) water to close pores.
  12. Use water-based products
    Water-based water-based moisturizers have a light, nongreasy feeling. They are appropriate for most everyone, including people with allergies, sensitive skin, oily skin, and normal skin.  For very dry, cracked skin, it might be more appropriate to choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil to help keep the skin hydrated. or to consult with a doctor or skin specialist for the appropriate moisturizing products.
  13. Eat organic, non-GMO foods
    Eating healthy, natural  foods that do not contain toxic chemicals such as pesticides and added chemicals help to bring a healthy, natural glow to the skin and help the body release toxins through the skin.
  14. Eliminate trans fats and added sugars
    Trans fats and high fructose corn syrup—are in 40 percent of the foods Americans eat every day.  Multiple studies have shown that these foods contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, bringing stress and ill-health to the body. Keeping the body healthy and in tip top shape adds to the health of the skin, because the skin is a major toxin removing system and when it is overworked, it cannot be in the best condition.  Taking care of the skin begins with what you eat.
  15. Exercise regularly
    Studies show that regular exercise helps the body have healthier, younger-looking skin. Consult with your fitness coach, health practitioner, or physical therapist to design a physical fitness program that is safe and appropriate for you. Set aside time each day to devote to your exercise routine.
  16. Shave with a sharp, clean razor
    Nearly 5 million bacteria have been found on a single disposable wet razor handle in new laboratory research by antibacterial technology specialist Microban Europe.  Clean the razor blade with alcohol daily before using, and thoroughly clean the skin after shaving.
  17. Dispose of old makeup and applicators every 6-12 months.
    Cosmetic manufacturers are not required by law to put expiration dates on their products. This leaves the responsibility of caring for the skin up to the consumer.  Check makeup and lotions regularly for consistency (has it become thicker?), color (has the color become darker?), and smell (does it have a strange odor?).  Makeup that is used around the eyes is more prone to bacteria and should probably be replaced every 3-6 months. Other products could be replaced every 6 months to one year.Do facial exercises regularly
  18. Do facial exercises regularly
    You might be disciplined about working out on the treadmill but are you doing your face and eye exercises? If you spend long days in front of computer with a furrowed brow, it’s important to take breaks every few hours to stretch the muscles in the face and neck. This helps to maintain elasticity and prevent sagging skin, toning the face and eliminating wrinkles.
  19. Drink plenty of water
    The most effective treatment for healthy skin is hydration. Drink plenty of water to help the body remove toxins.
  20. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques
    Eliminating stress improves the condition of the skin.  This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.  Take a warm relaxing bath, do something you love, read a book, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, listen to music, watch a funny movie, or talk to a friend or counselor.

Teens Not Physically Fit – New Study Reveals

Are our teens getting enough exercise? Do they eat a healthy diet?

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?
A recent research study from the National Institute of Health shows that only 50%, nearly half, of all adolescents in the United States are participating in physical activities five or more days a week and only one out of every four adolescents eat fruits and vegetables every day.

 

Adolescent Health Fitness.jpg

A study from the National Institute of Health showed teenagers engage in limited physical activity and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables. Click, copy, download, save and share.

WHO AND WHAT WAS SURVEYED?
The survey studied 10,000 students from 39 different states ranging from eleven to sixteen years of age.  Students were questioned about their daily physical activity, the amount of time that they spent using a computer or watched television, their emotional and psychological health,  and their diet and nutritional habits.  Researchers determined if their was a correlation between emotional health and physical activity.

 

WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY?
Researchers determined that only one in every four adolescents (25%)  were demonstrating healthy patterns of high physical activity combined with eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lower intake of snack foods. Those who were exhibiting healthy life-style patterns also were more healthy emotionally and psychologically.

Nearly half, 47% of the teenagers were engaging in a small amount of physical activity and consumed a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Ann M. Davis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center said that teenagers today are “extremely sedentary and they have terrible diets for a variety of reasons.”

“Unhealthful” students comprised about 26% of those surveyed, and tended to spend most of their time in front of the computer, eating more sugary snacks and less fruits and vegetables than others, and were most likely to be underweight and have symptoms of depression.  Early unhealthy lifestyles can lead to heart disease, depression, high cholesterol, obesity and other serious health problems later in life.

Of the 27% who were determined to be “healthful students,” nearly 65% reported exercising more than five days a week, and least likely to spend significant time in front of computer screens or to eat sweets, soft drinks and packaged snack foods that are high in trans fats.

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Children naturally like to move and be physically involved. Parents can help by turning off the television, limiting computer access, or arranging for and scheduling physical activities such as swimming, tennis, basketball, dance, etc.  Parents can remove packaged foods and sugary snacks and soft drinks from the home and replace them with organic healthy foods such 100% fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegetables, and raw nuts.  Parents are role models and by changing their lifestyles and diets, they can encourage and prevent children and adolescents from having serious health problems as adults.  However, this must start at an early age so that when children become older teens and young adults they will make wise, healthy choices.

Exercise Boosts Immunity and Fights Cancer

Can exercise help prevent cancer and boost the immune system? Researchers say, “Yes!”

Exercise Prevents Cancer

BEAT CANCER – Studies show that exercise boosts immune systems in cancer survivors and prevents cancer.

Those cancer survivors who engage in a regular physical exercise program or routine are more likely to improve rapidly and to avoid future cancers.

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY?
Researchers from the University of Nebraska announced at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting, October 10-13, 2012 in Westminster, Colorado, that exercise may boost the immune system and help to prevent cancer from reoccurring.

Laura Bilek, research team leader, and other researchers stated that if cancer survivors exercised for several weeks after finishing chemotherapy,

“…their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, potentially fending off future incidences of cancer.”  

Cancer Exercise TreadmillT cells in the blood of 16 cancer survivors were analyzed by the researchers before and after a 12-week exercise program. Researchers discovered that the immune cells of the subjects converted from a form that is less effective at fighting disease to one that is more effective in overcoming cancer and infections. Past research studies have shown that the majority of T cells become less effective at fighting off disease after chemotherapy.

Bilek said, “What we’re suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren’t helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful.”

Cancer Exercise WomanWHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE IS BENEFICIAL?
It depends on the person’s physical condition. If a person is weak and out of condition, they should start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration of physical exercise.  For the general population, the American Cancer Society recommends “at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days a week.”  Cancer survivors should not expect to start at this high level of activity, however.  Research shows that women who exercise at moderate-to-vigorous levels for more than three hours per week have a 30% to 40% lower risk of breast cancer. This result held true for all women, regardless of their family history or cancer risk level. Some research has found a 38% to 46% reduced risk of uterine cancer in active women.
Cancer Exercise Man
Kerry Courneya, PhD, professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, says that many studies have been conducted that confirm that physical exercise helps to increase chances of recovering of cancer survivors and to prevent future cancers from developing. Courneya suggests aerobic exercises and weight training.

Cancer exercise


“Ideally, cancer survivors should do aerobic exercises and weight training,” says Courneya. “Both types of exercise are critical to the overall health and well-being of cancer survivors.”

Cancer woman runningAerobic exercises include things such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming.  Aerobic exercise burns calories and helps increase metabolism and lose weight more rapidly.  It  lowers the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Weight training builds muscle.  Cancer survivors sometimes lose muscle weight and gain fat, through cancer treatment. For those with a high fat-to-lean mass ratio, weight training can help improve physical fitness and is especially helpful to cancer survivors.

ACS Fitness Guidelines

Cancer survivors should remember that they didn’t make it through chemotherapy just to sit around all day and watch TV for the rest of their lives. The American Cancer Society recommends to start slowly, work with a coach, physical therapist, and/or with their primary doctor or healthcare professional. Survivors should set goals, have a complete physical exam and get approval from their oncologists before starting a moderate-to-vigorous exercise program.

REFERENCES
Courneya KS, “Exercise in cancer survivors: an overview of research.” University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [2003, 35(11):1846-1852] Europe PubMed Central

Courneya KS, Mackey JR, Jones LW, “Coping with cancer: can exercise help?” Faculty of Physical Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, CAN. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca. The Physician and Sportsmedicine [2000, 28(5):49-73] Europe PubMed Central

Mock V, Dow KH, Meares CJ, Grimm PM, Dienemann JA, Haisfield-Wolfe ME, Quitasol W, Mitchell S, Chakravarthy A, Gage I, “Effects of exercise on fatigue, physical functioning, and emotional distress during radiation therapy for breast cancer.” Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. Europe PubMed Central,  Oncology Nursing Forum [1997, 24(6):991-1000]

“Physical Activity and Cancer Risk,” Cancer.Net

“Active women can reduce risk of breast cancer by 12%, say researchers,” Press Association, The Guardian, Thursday 20 March 2014 14.04 EDT,

Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter, “Daily Exercise Lowers Breast Cancer Risk: Study”  HealthDay, March 20, 2014,

Jenny Hope, Medical Correspondent,“Exercising for an hour a day reduces the risk of breast cancer – regardless of a woman’s weight or age” , Mail Online, 12:39 EST, 20 March 2014

_________________________________

Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.


Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories!

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories

WHY do some people have more energy than others?  WHY do we need to “boost” our metabolism?  How do we know if our metabolism is “good” or “bad?

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is a chemical reaction in the body that helps us to sustain life.

WHAT IS METABOLISM? Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within an organism that helps it to maintain and sustain life. The word metabolism comes from the Greek: μεταβολή metabolē,  which means”change” or Greek: μεταβολισμός metabolismos, “out-throw.”   Metabolism is usually divided into two categories:

  1. Catabolism breaks down organic matter and collects energy using cellular respiration
  2. Anabolism utilizes energy to create components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is changed through a process of steps.  This process is completed through the action of another chemical, by a sequence of enzymes.

WHY DOES METABOLIC RATE VARY? Every time we eat or drink, our metabolism converts all the calories from the food into energy. Our size, gender, and age play a large factor into determining our metabolic rate. For most people, metabolism seems to slow down after age 40. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate than women. In addition to these factors, there are some things that we can do to independently control our rate of metabolism.

WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPERTHYROIDISM?
The faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off.   People with hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is slower.  People who have hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is faster.   Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are not common.  Only 3% of the population have hypothyroidism and about .3% of the population have hyperthyroidism.

FIFTEEN WAYS TO HELP US BURN OFF CALORIES AND INCREASE METABOLISM

  1. Drink plenty of water – In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a full glass of water  before every meal and snack.
  2. Get plenty of sleep – Researchers have found a connection between lack of sleep and a lower metabolic rate. Those who get more sleep have a higher metabolic rate.
  3. Drink green tea – Green tea contains caffeine and catechin  polyphenols, which increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process your body uses to burn energy. Green tea is high in antioxidants, calorie-free, and a compound in green tea (ECGC) has been shown to elevate metabolism.  The metabolism increase lasts for about two hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may allow the body to burn 17% more calories.  Green tea is safe for most  people, but some may not be able to add caffeine to their diet due to its effect on the heart. Caffeine can also cause insomnia. It is recommended that people consult a trusted health care professional, regarding the use of green tea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    Calorie Burning With Drinks

    The more calories the more energy or metabolism is needed to burn off the calories and keep weight down.

  4. Eat small  healthy snacks frequently – Studies show that people who eat small, healthy snacks (such as fruit, nuts, etc.) every 3 or 4 hours, tend to burn more calories than those who eat three large meals a day.
  5.  Add spices to your diet –  Spices such as red peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers and Cayenne pepper contain capsaicin, and studies show it increases metabolism. In a small study on Japanese women published in the British Journal of Nutritionresearchers found red pepper caused the body to heat up and increase the metabolism after a meal.  Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reported that male athletes who added red pepper to high-carbohydrate meals raised both their resting and active metabolic rates 30 minutes after the meal.  However, there are no “fat-burning” foods, and  there is no conclusive evidence regarding an increased metabolic rate significant enough to result in weight loss.
  6.  Replace carbohydrates with proteins – The body burns more calories with protein than carbohydrates. Replace carbohydrates with healthy protein such as tuna, salmon, nuts, tofu, beans, and eggs. EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may boost your metabolism — by about 400 calories per day, researchers from the University of Western Ontario report.
  7. Engage in muscle-building exercises – Every pound of muscle uses 6 calories per day. The more muscle, the higher the metabolic rate. Lift weights. Pump iron.  Muscle burns 73 more calories per kilogram per day than fat. Every muscle cell that you gain constantly burns calories for you, even while you are resting or sleeping.

    Calorie Burning Exercises

    One package of french fries is 610 calories. Substantial physical activity is needed to burn off these calories.

  8. Use short high-intensity intervals in workouts – Maximize the calories you burn  by adding high-intensity intervals into your workout. If you work out for 20 minutes, try exercising moderately for about three minutes (running or riding a bike, for example) and then alternate three minutes with 30 seconds of an all-out effort.  If you are walking steadily, add short bursts of jogging, for example.

    High Fiber Foods

    A high fiber diet helps boost metabolism and burn unwanted calories.

  9. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods – Increasing intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, FACSM, assistant professor and director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. Vegetables are low in calories, yet high in nutrients.
  10. Keep moving – If you work at a desk, schedule breaks to allow yourself to walk, stand and move frequently.  Most people over the age of 40 spend too much time sitting.

    Energy to Walk Run Jog

    Energy needed to walk, run, or jog

  11. Change the temperature.  Studies show that people eat less when they are too cold or too hot.  The body also stops generating heat and burning energy when it is comfortable or neutral. Allow your body to create its own heat and burn calories by keeping that heater turned down and not making things so cozy.  Drinking ice water might burn more calories than room temperature water, because the body must work to heat up the water, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.
  12. Engage in cardiovascular and/or aerobic exercise – Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes.  Try running, biking or swimming. One study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours.
  13. Keep laughing! – Scientists have found that laughing for as much as 10 minutes per day, can burn energy and improve health.  Laughter increases the metabolic rate. Maciej Buchowksi, lead professor of a research team at Vanderbilt University, and her team set out to determine the effects of laughing on caloric burn. This heat output could then be translated as an increase in metabolism. After the research study was completed, the team discovered that metabolic rates could be increased by 10 to 40 calories by laughing.

    Warm Up Stretches

    Stretching helps to burn calories.

  14. Increase your iron intake – Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If you test anemic or your muscles don’t get enough O2, your energy is low and and your metabolism is slow. Eat iron-fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
  15. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine – Is stretching important? When subjects did different dynamic stretching exercises before running, they increased their caloric burn significantly compared with those that did nothing before the exercising.  Those who did the stretching routines increased their average oxygen consumption and flexibility, according to an article published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

RESOURCES
Bahar Gholipour and Live Science, “Cold air may help you lose weight by making your body burn calories to keep warm,” January 27, The Washington Post.

Juliette Kellow, BSc, RD, “Laugh Yourself Slim,” WeightlossResources.co.uk

Shellie Nelson, “Research suggests exposure to cold helps burn calories,” WQAD Channel 8, January 22, 2014.

R. Morgan Griffin,  Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, “Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter,” WebMD Feature, Health & Balance Center

Nesheim, Malden. “Is a Calorie a Calorie?”. NOVA. PBS. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.h., Dariush; Tao Hao, M.P.H., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D. (20 June 2011). “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men”. The New England Jouranl of Medicine 364 (25): 2392–404.
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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.