Exercise: Is it Ever Too Late to Start?

If you are approaching 50 and have essentially been a couch potato most of your adult life, is it too late to start exercising? I like what Dr. Michael Roizen says in this article: “Well, it’s never too late until you’re six feet under. So it’s never too late until they’re putting dirt on top of you.”

I wholeheartedly agree! Where there is life there is hope as the woman spoken of in this article illustrates. It also goes along with a basic principle of my coaching and my Today’s the Day plan. Taking small, gradual baby steps gently leads you to accomplishing much bigger goals. She just began by taking short walks. Then the walks got longer and she noticed she had more energy and began feeling more positive about her life. One small baby step in the right direction leads to another and then another until you have made some profound, lasting changes.

There are numerous benefits to regular exercise, including better sleep, improving heart health, getting off medications, reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases. What’s even more interesting is that exercise improves the quality of your gut bacteria, which influences your immunity and pretty much every aspect of your health.

There’s no excuse for not doing some type of exercise. You certainly don’t have to start off doing the 4-pronged approach suggested in the article. Just start where you are. Take a walk after lunch and dinner when the weather permits. Start with a short walk and increase a little daily. Try and be intentional about taking as close to 10,000 steps a day to begin with. Work your way up.

There are so many different ways to exercise that you will undoubtedly be able to find something you enjoy doing. That’s an important key. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you will find every excuse in the book to skip doing it. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you consistently include movement and activity in your day. (Of course, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Advertisements
| 2 Comments

Is Your Brain Being Hijacked by Someone Else’s Stress?

We’ve all walked into a room and felt the negative emotions and tension. Perhaps the inhabitants of the room just finished an argument. Or your spouse or partner came home and you felt the stress and anxiety as soon as they walked in the room. They didn’t have to say a word.

But a new study shows stress transmitted from others can actually change neurons in your brain in the same way as experiencing real stress yourself does. You may never have considered that stress and emotions could be contagious, but in fact, they are.

The research team studied the effects of stress in pairs of male or female mice. They separated the pairs and exposed one of them to stress before putting them back together. When they examined the specific brain cells that control stress response, both the stressed mouse and its partner showed exactly the same changes in their brains. I find this fascinating.

What is even more interesting is that when the stressed female mice spent time with an unstressed mouse, those effects were reduced almost by half. This did not hold true with the male mice, however. The take-away from this research was that stress and social interactions are intricately linked. My personal take-away was that we women probably help our husbands reduce their stress just by being calm and unstressed. You’re welcome!!

While the research was conducted on mice the researchers were confident that it could also hold true for us.

While being sensitive to each other’s emotions is part of what makes us human and children of God the study found evidence that some symptoms of stress can persist in the loved ones of people suffering from PTSD or other emotional stress disorders. It is another reason to investigate Christian EFT and deal with these negative emotions and memories so we are not only free ourselves but also so we don’t pass them on to our families and loves ones.

How do you deal with stress and negative emotions?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

| 9 Comments

Easter 2018

As we celebrate the joyous holidays of Easter and Passover, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my posts and for your comments, support and encouragement. They mean more to me than you know.

I would like to leave you with the blessing I spoke over my children daily when they were small:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you  and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26

| Leave a comment

Health and Spirituality: A Strong Connection

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and I just love this time of year. We are approaching beautiful, mild spring weather and since Easter is my absolute favorite celebration, I wanted to share an article about how profoundly our perception of God can impact our health, especially as we age.

This study found that people who pray to a loving and protective God are less likely to experience anxiety-related disorders like worry, fear, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive behavior, compared to people who pray but don’t really expect to receive any comfort or protection from God. It is all linked to your perception of God.

The studies revealed that the psychological benefits of prayer seem to be dependent on the quality of a person’s relationship with God. I believe this is why there are conflicting results from studies on prayer and whether or not it positively impacts health.

It makes total sense to me. How can you get comfort and encouragement from praying to Someone you don’t really trust? It would be like asking a friend or loved one you don’t fully trust for help. Would you feel peaceful and confident or anxious and unsure?

The researchers found that people who are highly secure in their relationship with a loving God experience a sharp increase in well-being the more they pray. While the research was focused specifically on older people I believe it holds true for all of us, regardless of age.

Perception is everything. You only respond to your perception of any event or memory. So cultivating a secure, loving relationship with God will not only improve your spiritual health but your mental, emotional and physical health as well!

In this Easter season I invite you to get to know the loving God I know.

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

| Leave a comment

Nutrition: Worst Nutritional Beverages

When I was in the hospital several years ago after emergency surgery, my doctor daily had the hospital include a bottle of Ensure since I’d lost 13 pounds and wasn’t overweight to begin with. I refused to drink it because I knew it had not nutritional value and it also tastes awful. I suggested to him that my daughter could bring in my protein powder and I would make a shake to supplement the delicious and nutritious (not!) hospital meals. He said he would prefer I use the Ensure. So I continued leaving it unopened on my tray and just used my homemade shakes instead.

When my 85 year old dad was losing weight, after ruling out any other issues, his doctor recommended he drink several bottles of Ensure or Boost daily to increase his caloric intake. Knowing those drinks were basically sugar, chemicals and other additives, I offered to make him shakes each week he could keep in his fridge that would provide more nutrition. He felt the doctor knew better than I did and opted to begin buying Boost and drinking one or two each day.

Especially for senior citizens, getting enough protein to prevent muscle loss is critical to maintaining strength. Typically these bottled drinks provide 10 grams of protein along with a slew of chemical additives whereas a good protein powder will provide as much as 20-25 grams per serving without the junky ingredients.

If you look at the nutritional label on a bottle of chocolate Boost (my dad’s preferred flavor), for example, the first 3 ingredients are water, sugar, and corn syrup. Refined sugars have been linked to chronic health problems like heart disease, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

High fructose corn syrup is damaging to liver health and while sugar is unhealthy, some flavors have sucralose, which is just as dangerous, if not more so.

Boost Simply Complete boasts it only has 9 simple ingredients, including canola oil, a genetically modified, refined, partially hydrogenated oil. It has high levels of erucic acid, a fatty acid associated with heart damage. So much for health benefits.

There are so many easier and healthier choices for boosting nutrition. I realize older people may not want to make a smoothie or shake every day thinking it will be too much work, as my dad did, even though I was willing to do the “work,” but honestly it is not. And the benefits certainly will outweigh the detrimental health effects of drinking these chemical laden, sugary junk foods that are being passed off as “nutritional beverages.” They are anything but.

What are your thoughts about these so-called nutritional beverages?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

| 4 Comments

Health: Overlooked Cause of High Blood Sugar

You may have changed your diet in order to lower your blood sugar and still find it is high. You’ve given up sugar, grains and starchy foods, exercise most days of the week and still do not see those numbers normalizing and are now concerned that you are heading toward diabetes. But what are you missing?

You may not have considered that stress could be the underlying cause but in reality, stress influences everything from mood and brain function to heart health and increased risk of both acute illness and chronic disease. You are probably wondering what that has to do with blood sugar levels. More than you may realize.

Think about what stress does. It activates your fight or flight mode. So, when you’re stressed, your body releases glucose to give your muscles the energy needed to run and escape whatever is threatening you. Our bodies are Intelligently created and if you found yourself in a physically threatening situation, you would need this extra energy to escape to safety.

Today, our stress tends to be more mental and emotional than physical in terms of threat, so you don’t need that extra energy to run to safety. This fight or flight response is a protective mechanism and is only meant to kick in when needed and then shut down. Unfortunately, many people are under chronic stress so they never get out of stress mode. That is very destructive. It’s like putting a brick on your car’s accelerator and just letting it run. Sooner or later you will run out of gas.

So when you are stressed you have more glucose circulating in your blood. The longer your blood sugar stays elevated, the more insulin your body produces, which then causes your cells to become insulin resistant. Now the glucose remains in your blood because it can’t get into the cells, raising glucose levels since you didn’t need it for physical energy.

In addition, when you are stressed your body secretes cortisol and glucagon, which also affect your blood sugar levels. So now your body has to produce more insulin to control blood sugar. When you’re stressed, blood sugar levels remain elevated six times longer than when you are not stressed. Therefore, even if you are not diabetic or pre-diabetic, stress can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.

So while eating properly (one-ingredient, real, whole foods), limiting carbs, sugar and fructose, regular exercise and adequate sleep will definitely be the first line of defense here, don’t neglect finding an effective way to manage stress.

An extremely effective (and easy!) way to deal with stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). It can help reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life, calm you by sending the message to your amygdala that you are safe in the present moment and neutralize the underlying subconscious stress triggers. This can reduce your risk for developing chronic illnesses including out of control blood sugar. If you would like to try a short session for free, contact me here.

What do you think about the link between stress and blood sugar?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

| 4 Comments

Health and Stress: Active Relaxation Benefits

It seems our lives get busier and more stressful by the day. We know constant stress takes a dangerous toll on our health – physical, mental and emotional. While we may physically sit down and “relax” often our mind is still racing which is still producing tension.

Many people find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to really relax in a way that confers health benefits such as:

Slowing the heart rate, reducing blood pressure

Reducing risk of stroke

Slowing the breathing rate

Reducing the activity of stress hormones

Increasing blood flow to major muscles

Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain

Improving concentration and mood

Reducing fatigue

Reducing anger and frustration

Boosting mood

Improving memory

Maintaining healthy weight

Improving skin (healing psoriasis and acne more quickly)

Well sounds great, right? But how do you reap all those benefits when you are so busy? Well you can begin practicing “active relaxation.” If you are unfamiliar with that term it can mean a few different things. Basically, it is choosing activities that contribute to a deep sense of well-being, centeredness, peacefulness, calm, and good health. Some experts recommend doing progressive muscle relaxation exercises, where you slowly tense and then relax each muscle group, individually.

You can also meditate, pray, listen to relaxing music, take a leisurely walk outdoors, work in your garden, do a word search or puzzle, knit, crochet, color, visit a friend, play with your pet, read an uplifting book – whatever means “relaxation” to you. Some people find washing dishes relaxing. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you take some time each day to unplug and unwind fully. In my Today’s the Day plan I call it rebooting.

Even just turning off your phone for 5 minutes, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath quiets your mind and realigns it to healthier, relaxed rhythms. I think it is important to just do one thing that requires your full attention but that is not emotionally or physically taxing. Any super light physical activity you enjoy that keeps your mind occupied will allow your body to truly relax.

Many people find visualization techniques where you imagine a peaceful setting and focus on controlled, deep breathing while speaking a positive statement to yourself is also a good way to reset. EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, is an effective and very easy way to counteract stress and realign yourself.

Chronic stress is incredibly destructive and intentionally setting aside a few minutes each day to counteract the negative effects is well worth the small investment of time and effort.

What is your favorite way to practice active relaxation?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

| 9 Comments