Happy 2018!! Yoga, Sugar Detox, Workout Routines, Weight Loss & More!

 

Here are some great ideas to help get your 2018 off on the right foot…..

 

First,  don’t forget to sign up for the free 21-day yoga challenge that I mentioned in a previous post…..

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Vinyasa for Life with Schuyler Grant
Whether it’s your first or 500th downward facing dog, our 21-Day Yoga Challenge with Wanderlust co-founder Schuyler Grant gives you the building blocks for a lifelong, sustainable flow yoga practice.

Daily 20-minute classes alternate between workshops and juicy flows to apply what you’ve learned. We call this format Lab + Flow. Don’t worry, you’ll work up a sweat each day! Stabilize your core, align your spine, strengthen your shoulders, and learn how to carefully and artfully balance on your hands and feet.

By the end of three weeks you will have the tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life. Build a strong house for your soul to play in!

  • Combine a Lab day with its Flow day for a 45 minute practice.
  • Whether it’s your 1st or 500th down dog, the 21-Day Yoga Challenge is for you. It’s never too early to develop, or too late to revisit, tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life.
  • Each day you’ll receive an email with notes from Schuyler about the day’s flow and a link to the unlocked session. You can stream the class online, on Apple TV, and you can download the classes in the Wanderlust TV app for iPhone and iPad while the Challenge is live.

Sign up now for free! On January 1st the challenge will begin unlocking day-by-day.

 

Second,  check out this free series to help you with losing weight and giving up sugar…..

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With sugar so prevalent in our food these days, the Free 7-Day Sugar Challenge was created to help people kick the sugar habit and live a healthier and happier life. This program appeals to all demographics regardless of age, gender, dietary preferences or location. . . just about everyone has struggled with too much sugar in their diet.​

During this week-long challenge, Marjory Wildcraft will be sharing her personal experiences on how she was able to ditch her sugar addiction and improve her mental and physical health. She offers participants key advice on how to navigate in a world where sugar is everywhere.

You can sign up for this free event that begins January 2nd here.

 

Third,  check this out for some short at-home workout ideas……

4 Short, At-Home Workouts You Can Fit Into Your Holiday Schedule

This time of the year it’s hard enough to find time to do laundry—let alone fit in a workout.

But guess what  . . .  You totally can! What these four workouts lack in duration they make up for in intensity. Whether you just have a few minutes to sweat it out or can dedicate a full 30 to kicking your own butt, these routines will give you the extra boost of endorphins you need to sail through the holidays with ease.  Go here to learn about 4 different routines….one for 5 minutes, another for 8, another for 10 and finally a 30 minute routine….something for everyone and every time schedule.

Or take the Plank Challenge that has come to be a regular part of my New Year’s shape-up kick-off for the last couple of years.

And the other day I was reminded of a post I did a couple of years ago about Superbrain Yoga. Had gotten out of the habit of doing the routine somewhere along the way, but when I re-watched the video about its many benefits, I immediately added it back into my daily time schedule. One unexpected side benefit, besides strengthening my leg muscles, is better sleep at night. I have been doing the exercise routine twice a day, in the morning and then at night before I take my shower and get ready for bed and have slept better than usual since starting it. Coincidence???? This simple and quick-to-do exercise has also been shown to help alleviate Alzheimer’s and dementia in seniors, as well as autism and Asperger’s in students. Just do it! 🙂

And finally, if you’re wanting to add muscle and lose fat, plus up your overall health quotient in the new year, then consider two products that I mentioned in my “favorite things” post the other day. I’ve always just used them for general health improvement, but recently got a newsletter with some pretty impressive information about how they can help with weight loss…..

Emerald Sea™ Organic Sea Vegetables

Emerald Sea™ contains a special blend of seven (7) certified organic sea vegetables, sustainably hand-harvested and carefully sun-dried to retain all the natural raw food benefits of these amazing plants.

When compared to plants that grow on land, Emerald Sea’s™ sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. By taking just one or two capsules with your three daily meals, you will get the benefit and nutrients equal to taking 30 to 60 land-based vegetable capsules on a daily basis. You will drastically improve the number of whole-food nutrients in your daily diet.

Plus, these incredible plants support weight management like no other whole-food on the planet:

  • Targets Abdominal Fat: Chemists in Japan have found that certain species of seaweed   contain a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat. A unique nutrient called Fucoxanthin achieved a 5 percent to 10 percent weight reduction in test animals. The compound targets abdominal fat, in particular, and may help reduce oversized guts, the scientists say.
  • Reduces Fat Absorption: Conclusive research has uncovered that special fibers found in certain species of seaweed can actually help to reduce our fat intake. The fibrous material called Alginate is said to have been proven to absorb greater levels of body fat than the majority of over-the-counter slimming treatments! Co-leader of the study, Dr. Brownlee of the University of Newcastle stated, “There are countless claims about miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer any sound scientific evidence to back up these claims…these natural fibers can be incorporated into our diets easily”.
  • Supports Thyroid Function and Metabolism: Emerald Sea™ is a rich source of natural organic iodine, a vital nutrient for optimal thyroid function. “The healthy functioning of the thyroid is essential to maintaining metabolism and preventing the accumulation of body fat,” writes Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine.* “I believe that an insufficient intake of organic iodine in today’s modern diet has led to a   serious and chronic form of low-grade hypothyroidism,” writes Donald R. Yance, Jr. in Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer.*
  • Boosts Your Daily Nutrition: Emerald Sea™ is loaded with essential minerals, macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, plant sterols, antioxidants, omega 3`s, omega 6`s, phytonutrients, enzymes, organic iodine and a host of many more power packed nutrients. Nourishing your body every day with all the trace minerals and other nutrients currently missing from your daily diet helps promote better overall health and wellness.

And Emerald Essentials’ Action Whey™ is a premium 100% NATURAL source of whey protein from grass-fed cows. It is designed to be convenient for any lifestyle, incredibly nutritious, and unbelievably delicious. At only 90 calories per serving, Action Whey™ is the perfect source of protein for any weight management program.

Action Whey™ has already been nationally recognized for its anti-aging and immune supporting nutrients. Endorsed by medical, health and fitness professionals, it also provides a multi-pronged attack against those stubborn pounds of excess fat:

  • Boosts Metabolism & Lean Muscle: Lean muscle burns fat for fuel. An increase in lean muscle will help increase your metabolism and melt away stubborn fat. Action Whey`s™ exclusive formulation is loaded with powerful muscle building nutrients. These nutrients will enhance the growth of lean muscle while helping to decrease body fat safely and naturally with no dangerous stimulants.
  • Suppresses Appetite: Action Whey™ is rich in an amino acid called Glycomacropeptide (GMP). GMP has been shown to stimulate intestinal hormones that tell your brain you are full. By suppressing appetite, the GMP found in Action Whey™ provides a built-in weight management benefit not found in other protein sources. This effect, combined with the outstanding taste of Action Whey™ , brings a sense of pleasure and satiety naturally helping curb compulsive cravings for refined carbs and sweets.
  • Preserves Muscle: Action Whey`s™ amino acid profile is almost identical to that of skeletal muscle. Specific amino acids like Cysteine and Glutamine are critical to preserving muscle mass, especially during exercise and weight loss programs. Preserving muscle will help maintain metabolism and benefit your overall health and appearance.

  • Low Glycemic: Diets based on low-fat foods that produce a low-glycemic response may enhance weight control because they promote satiety, minimize insulin secretion, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that lowering the glycemic index and load of the first meal will result in decreased food consumption in the next meal.

  • Dietary Calcium: An accumulating body of evidence now suggests that dietary calcium plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism and, consequently, reduces body weight and fat. Action Whey™ is a rich natural source of dietary calcium.

You can learn more about these products here and check out my What’s New page for details of the 25% off sale that Emerald Essentials is having right now.

 

Salud and Happy New Year!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

 

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Free 21-Day Yoga Challenge + Other Tips For A Healthier Holiday Season

 

I’ve always been a fan of yoga and I know how good it is for me, AND I always feel better after doing it. But I have to say it’s never been my forté, probably partly due to the fact that I don’t do it on a regular enough basis. Hopefully this free series that I just signed up for being offered by Wanderlust TV will help change that, plus get the new year off to a yoga-y good start. Want to join me? 

 

21-Day Yoga Challenge 2018: Vinyasa for Life

Vinyasa for Life with Schuyler Grant

Whether it’s your first or 500th downward facing dog, our 21-Day Yoga Challenge with Wanderlust co-founder Schuyler Grant gives you the building blocks for a lifelong, sustainable flow yoga practice.

Daily 20-minute classes alternate between workshops and juicy flows to apply what you’ve learned. We call this format Lab + Flow. Don’t worry, you’ll work up a sweat each day! Stabilize your core, align your spine, strengthen your shoulders, and learn how to carefully and artfully balance on your hands and feet.

By the end of three weeks you will have the tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life. Build a strong house for your soul to play in!

  • Combine a Lab day with its Flow day for a 45 minute practice.
  • Whether it’s your 1st or 500th down dog, the 21-Day Yoga Challenge is for you. It’s never too early to develop, or too late to revisit, tools to safely practice vinyasa yoga for life.
  • Each day you’ll receive an email with notes from Schuyler about the day’s flow and a link to the unlocked session. You can stream the class online, on Apple TV, and you can download the classes in the Wanderlust TV app for iPhone and iPad while the Challenge is live.

Sign up now for free! On January 1st the challenge will begin unlocking day-by-day.

And check out these previous Self-help Health posts that include ways to deal with holiday stress and the propensity for over-indulgence, plus a recipe for a holiday toddy and some DIY ideas :

Holiday Toddy For Terrific Health?

Ear Massage: Holiday De-stressor With Multiple Health Benefits

Use These Acupressure Points To Alleviate Holiday Stress And More!

Holiday Over-indulgence? Try This Digest Aid “Cocktail”

Smelly, But Good Holiday DIY Ideas 🙂

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Prolonged Sitting Now Considered As Hazardous To Your Health As Smoking?

 

I know I’ve been spending too much time on the computer the last couple of years and have started seeing and feeling the side effects, especially in my legs and veins. I’ve read a number of times lately that prolonged sitting can be as detrimental to our health as smoking and, judging from my own body, I can see why. I use to think that exercising at the end of the day would off-set any negative effects of spending so many hours seated, but have since found out that isn’t the case. It is much better to have multiple short periods of activity interspersed throughout the day, than one heavy duty session at the end. “Fidgeting” (e. g. moving your feet, flexing your toes and calves, etc.) while seated has also been found to be of help.

Person Sitting In Chair Tip-ton-person-sitting-1By Dr. Mercola 

Is it possible to be incredibly fit yet still be at high risk of premature death and disability due to inactivity?

Startling as that may sound, mounting research says, yes, as does Dr. James Levine, author of the book Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.

Dr. Levine is co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and he’s also the inventor of the treadmill desk. His book is quite an interesting read. It reminds me of the similar paths I went through in my journey to help people understand new paradigms of health.

Like any novel concept, there’s resistance from the existing paradigm to change, accept, and embrace that which is new. And Dr. Levine has certainly suffered the slings and arrows of being on the cutting edge of a new paradigm.

But it’s a phenomenal story, and I for one am now absolutely convinced that sitting is in and of itself a root problem of many of our chronic health problems. As Dr. Levine says: “Because we’ve become so used to being seated… we’ve failed to realize that this is a major health concern.”

Now that I know the serious damage that sitting can do, I am really perplexed at how I missed such an important health principle for the first 60 years of my life. It seems a really foolish mistake and one that I hope you will not repeat.

Slings and Arrows…

In one of his early speeches, he presented compelling data showing that people prone to weight gain and obesity are those who stay seated for two and a quarter hours longer each day than those who go to the gym and happen to be lean.

The insinuation that sitting was independently harmful, and harmful enough to kill, was so unpopular that his peers sent letters to senior faculty at the Mayo Clinic suggesting he was psychiatrically ill, and he was required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Since then, some 10,000 publications have shown that, indeed, sitting is harmful to your health, irrespective of other lifestyle habits, including an excellent exercise program.

The simple truth is that sitting is affecting the health of millions of Americans and millions of people in high- and middle-income countries around the world. This unlike other things, is something we can do something about.

And I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Levine when he says that this is something we must act upon. Fortunately, the solution is simple: simply stand up! And avoid sitting down!

“My core cause is the patient who has been battling with obesity, who has been battling with type 2 diabetes, and who doesn’t go to the gym for various reasons: a) they may not be able to afford it; b) they may not actually have access; c) they may have three jobs and do not have the time.

And fourth… many people who have excess weight feel looked upon badly and have bad feelings about themselves when they enter the hallowed territory of the gymnasium. The 75 percent of Americans – more in fact – who do not exercise regularly are my core cause,” Dr. Levine says.

An Exercise Regimen May Not Be Enough to Counteract Ill Effects of Prolonged Sitting

While it appears counter intuitive, it also turns out that regular exercise does not protect you from the hazards of prolonged sitting. For Dr. Levine, this was a rather upsetting discovery, as it was for me when I first learned this a few years ago.

It can be quite disconcerting to realize that even if you dutifully go to the gym several times a week and are really fit, it is still not enough to counteract the many hours you sit during the rest of your day…

“There are a couple of important points,” he says. “First of all, if you go to the gym, that does do you good. In fact, that is a phenomenal dose-response relationship. The more you do, the more benefit you get.

That does not, however, relinquish you from the responsibility of being active throughout the day or of realizing the opportunities to be active throughout the day.

What is interesting is that the molecular mechanisms that come into play when somebody sits for hours on end, if you think about it, are actually not reversed by allowing all of that sedentariness to occur and then having a bout of activity in the evening or even in the morning.

It’s the hours of inactivity that are associated with the molecular mechanisms at the cellular level that are associated with causality for diabetes, hypertension, and even potentially cancer and other deleterious effects.”

Why Sitting Causes So Much Harm, and Why Standing Promotes Physical Health

According to Dr. Levine, there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions associated with excess sitting. How do we reconcile and explain how something so simple can have such a massive expanse of ill health consequence?

According to Dr. Levine, when you have been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, at a molecular level, within 90 seconds of getting off your bottom, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated.

As soon as you stand up, a series of molecular mechanisms at the cell level set off a cascade of activities that impact the cellular functioning of your muscles. The way your body handles blood sugar is beneficially impacted, for example. Therefore, the disease prevention for diabetes comes into play. All of these molecular effects are activated simply by weight-bearing; by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs. Those cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells.

“It makes perfect sense,” Dr. Levine says. “If you’ve been resting after a hard morning’s work and then you get back on your legs in order to go back into the fields, of course, your whole body system is to be pushing what you’ve just had for lunch into your muscle, into your body so that you can function well in agricultural practice, which, up until 200 years ago, was what the human body ultimately functioned to do.

The nature of the human body was to be active and moving all day. The body was never designed to be crammed into a chair where all of these cellular mechanisms get switched off. Obviously we’re supposed to rest from time to time. But that rest is supposed to break up the activity. It’s not supposed to be the way of life. [T]his very unnatural [sitting] posture is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it actually switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues.

As a consequence of that, blood sugar levels are inappropriately high in people who sit. The blood pressure is inappropriately high, the cholesterol handling is inappropriately high, and those toxins, those growth factors that will potentially lead to cancer, particularly breast cancer, are elevated in those people who sit too much. The solution? Get up!”

Studies looking at life in natural agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hours a day. The average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day. The difference between a “natural” amount of sitting and modern, inappropriate amounts of sitting is huge. So, when trying to determine what the “minimum dose of standing” might be, it’s important to realize that most people are not dealing with a minor tweak… Most people need to figure out how to get out of their chair for several hours each day. But as a general guideline, to give you a starting point, Dr. Levine notes:

The bottom-line is that if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long. We should all be up at least 10 minutes out of every hour.”

I’ve previously recommended standing up and doing some exercises at your desk every 10-15 minutes to counteract the ill effects of sitting, but after discussing the issue with Dr. Levine and reading his book, I’m convinced this isn’t even enough. I really think the answer is to stand up as much as possible. Standing for 10 minutes for every hour of sitting is really the bare bones minimum; it’s still far from ideal. It would seem far wiser to strive to sit as little as possible, certainly less than three hours a day.

I was able to reduce my normal 12 to 14 hours of daily sitting to under one hour. And I noticed one amazing thing: the back pain I’ve struggled with for many years, simply disappeared. It would normally start after I’d walk or stand for more than 30 minutes, but since I reduced my sitting, the pain disappeared.

I had previously tried four different chiropractors, posture exercises, Foundation Training, ab work, inversion tables, standing up every 15 minutes to stretch, and strength training. But nothing would touch it, other than to radically reduce my sitting. During my coast to coast trip, I would have to sit on a plane for five hours and I noticed when I did that, the pain returned for a day. Clearly, my body was speaking to my very strongly that I needed to radically reduce my sitting. I am still surprised I missed this important health principle for so long.

Another recent epiphany I had is that most of us need to walk much more than we do. Thankfully, there are now fitness trackers that allow us to objectively record how much we walk and there will be a literal explosion of the use of these devices in the next few years. The Apple Watch being launched next year is a good example. Most of us need about 10,000 steps a day, which is a bit more than five miles (8-9 km). The key realization I had though is that this walking is in addition to, not in place of, your normal exercise program. It’s even better if you can walk barefoot so you can get grounded, and better yet if you can walk on the beach by the ocean.

Making It Work in the Work Place…

Not only do studies show that body weight improves when people stand up more during their work hours, productivity also goes up in companies that make such arrangements. As noted by Dr. Levine:

“Hardcore productivity – whether that’s the number of loads processed in one company, the financial services doubling in profit from another company – those numbers improved. The actual profits improved… The solution is simple, because actually the solution is to get people up. But the complexity – hence the book Get Up! – is: How do you actually build a working solution for a US corporation?

Are You Ready to Give Up Your Chair?

The evidence is overwhelming at this point—10,000 studies and growing—that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. It actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes. As a general guideline, if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve sat too long. Dr. Levine recommends sitting no more than 50 minutes out of every hour. But that’s really a bare bones minimum recommendation. Ideally, you’d want to limit sitting altogether.

Again, people living in agricultural communities sit an average of just three hours a day, which would be an admirable goal. While it may sound “impossible,” it is doable—with a bit of ingenuity and mindfulness, I managed to limit my sitting to one hour per day while on my coast to coast tour. In addition to limiting your sitting as much as you possibly can, I also recommend challenging yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day. This is over and above your regular fitness program and standing up during work. Consider one of the new fitness trackers that can monitor your steps and your sleep.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/28/dangers-prolonged-sitting.aspx

Also from  Dr. Mercola:

The science is equally clear when it comes to inactivity. Chronic sitting actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, even if you’re very fit and exercise regularly, so simply standing up more is a step in the right direction.

One recent study showed that standing for at least six hours a day may reduce your risk of obesity by 32 to 35 percent depending on your gender. Men can reduce their risk of obesity by as much as 59 percent by standing 12 hours a day.

In fact, standing up as much as possible appears to be a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle that promotes longevity. It’s not only that exercise has benefits, but that inactivity has significant dangers. Thirty years ago, research from Cooper’s clinic in Dallas showed that exercise was associated with a dramatic reduction in the rate of cancer. This is a well-accepted, non-controversial scientific fact, and it goes beyond its effects on obesity.

Today, I believe I finally understand the mechanisms responsible for these results, and it’s because exercise upregulates dysfunctional mitochondria. I now firmly believe mitochondrial health is the core of most cancers. Mitochondrial dysfunction is what causes the genetic problems. It’s not the genetic problems that cause the cancer.

And mitochondrial dysfunction is what you prevent with exercise. I’d never recognized that before, but now it seems quite clear that this is how it works.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/13/how-not-to-die.aspx

More on the ill effects of sitting too much:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/10/16/excessive-sitting-damages-blood-vessels

http://consciouslifenews.com/sitting-make-anxiety-worse/1197725/

http://themindunleashed.org/2015/04/this-is-what-sitting-for-too-long-can-do-to-your-body.html

Tips for proper sitting:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-yogic-tips-sit-smarter-desk/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=N150301

Related article on how standing helps with longevity and length of telomeres:

http://www.naturalnews.com/048766_standing_longevity_telomeres.html

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/7-ways-sitting-destroys-your-health/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=N150429

 What’s nice is apparently even doing 2 minutes of light intensity activity, such as walking, every hour (see this article) can defend against sitting’s increase in your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other ills. I have a free app on my computer called Mindful Clock that makes a lovely chiming sound on the hour (it can be set to ring more frequently) that is not only good for reminding me to stop and recenter myself regularly, but also to get up and do a little moving around. I have a link to the download on my Resources page.

Also, here’s a routine from Dr Kareem F Samhouri to try for counteracting long periods of sitting….

Do THIS If You Sit More Than 4 Hours Per Day

If you spend more than 4 hours per day sitting—especially all at once—your body is doing the following:

1. Attempting to lay down bone in your hip flexors, thereby making them tight. 2. Causing muscles in the back of your leg to get tighter, and feel achy. 3. Placing pressure on your low back, by arching it with tight hip flexors.
4. Placing pressure on your mid-back, as a result of a tight low back.

This cycle can be broken, but there’s a good reason you might be feeling a bit sore or achy at times. In fact, you might even feel your neck crack or pop, a twinge from time-to-time, or a hesitation to push on an exercise, workout, or sport because your body is ‘telling’ you something. I know what’s it’s telling you: you’re wound up, not old.

Follow these 3 steps to ‘unwind’ and give your body a chance to feel young and mobile again—it’s the simple movements we lose that change the game for us:

Step 1: Jump on/off of something (example exercise: box jump)

Find a sturdy surface—for example, by placing a bench next to a wall—and attempt to jump on and off of it. At first, you might start with it at about 6 inches off the ground, or not even have a bench to jump on or off. After a short time, the goal should be to jump on and off something that is 2-3 feet off the ground, without any trouble, spotting, or hesitation.

Step 2: Get on and off the ground (example exercise: turkish getup)

Our ability to get on/off the ground is one of the most complex movements to coordinate. By warming up with a short walk and then getting on/off the ground as an exercise, you are creating a surge of neurological potential to your muscles, and improving your balance, coordination, and muscle timing all at once.

Step 3: Reach, hold, and then reach further(example exercise: swimming or yoga)

There is a principle called the CREEP Principle, and it suggests that your body will respond to slow and steady stretch over time. By reaching as far as you can, whether while you’re bearing weight or not, your body is forced to adjust and stabilize. Then, reaching further, it strives to accomplish the same. The key factor is that each time, it is learning about a new position, recruiting muscles to protect you, and allowing you to go a bit further. Many times, there’s no physiological reason why you can’t move more easily; rather, your body has forgotten how. This step is about reminding your body how to move beyond its comfort zone with ease and confidence.

*NOTE:

It’s best to go for a 5-20 minute walk before doing any of the above exercises, in order to be adequately warm and get the most benefit as fast as possible. Of course, if you have any pain or fear injury, do not exercise without consulting with your physician or physical therapist first.

When you move like a child again, and then you add resistance and intensity, your body grows, heals, and disrupts its pattern of breakdown; in actuality, you are reversing your health momentum by having fun and doing things that are natural, feel good, and offer you a mental break from your day.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Roll Your Eyes, Change Your Life?!

 

I have heard of Feldenkrais and even had someone trained in the modality do a bodywork session on me once, but am not really familiar with any of its principles or protocols. I found this article that discusses Feldenkrais eye movement processes interesting, intriguing and informative…..

 

Feldenkrais eye lessons improved my vision and expanded my sense of self

(by Ilona Fried) How you use your eyes can change what you see!

Plenty of workshops and retreats promise to change your life, even over a weekend! That might work for some people. But one of the simplest ways that anyone can improve their well-being is by learning to use their eyes differently.Most of us ignore our eyes until they fail or are injured. Several years ago, on an annual visit to Montreal, I noticed I could no longer read the street index on my trusty map. An optometrist prescribed progressive lenses. At 46, I purchased my first pair of glasses. Less than 12 months later, I discovered I no longer needed to wear my spectacles as much, if at all. Not only that, I learned that how I used my eyes affected my entire being and experience of life.

How was that possible?

I’d enrolled in a training for the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, developed by the Israeli engineer, judo black belt and visionary Moshe Feldenkrais, to heal a leg injury. We explored many verbally guided lessons, called Awareness Through Movement. Among these, we learned to work with our eyes in unfamiliar ways. Starting from different positions in lying and sitting, we gently and slowly rolled the eyes and sensed their weight in the sockets. In various experiments, we tried moving them independently of each other, or in a direction opposite to that of the head. By doing so carefully, and paying attention to when our eyes jumped rather than shifting smoothly, we began to create new neural pathways and possibilities.

Moving my eyes non-habitually felt like unplugging a wire that had rusted into a switchboard. Unaccustomed to the effort, my eye muscles began to tire. At the end of one lesson, however, I experienced my eyes as almost double their usual size, as if I’d become a reptile. Without having to turn or lift my head, I was able to take in 30 percent more of my environment than before. Moving my eyes also rearranged parts of myself I believed to be immutable. I’d spent much of the preceding decade making fine visual distinctions. As a designer and artist I’d worked with often tiny beads to make jewelry, and selected subtle colors, textures and shapes to create mosaics. I also spent hours doing graphic design, editing photos or proofreading. Yet, for a day and a half following a series of eye lessons, I had no desire to train my focus on a narrow area.

The absence of an urge to hone in on details or detect nuances, flaws or inconsistencies made it seem as if I had been handed a different personality if not a new self. The expansion and softening of my vision lifted my spirits and even straightened my spine. For the next 36 hours, this introvert experienced what I imagine it’s like to be an outgoing person, someone whose attention is more naturally drawn to the bigger picture rather than gravitating towards details.

The striking change helped me realize that I had become so identified with having a “good eye” that I unwittingly brought that trait everywhere, even to situations where it was irrelevant or counterproductive. My ability to observe what others overlooked had been more of a compulsion than a conscious choice to direct my attention for a certain purpose. I now had my own example of what Moshe Feldenkrais referenced in The Elusive Obvious: “We often make mistakes. We carry over from one activity to another attitudes of mind that do not make life what it could be…Somehow we behave as if good habits are always good.”

Another elusive truth is that our eyes direct the movement of the rest of the body. When humans hunted and gathered, our eyes oriented us to the surroundings. They helped us spot dinner (or threats) and identify and forage non-poisonous foods. Today, many of us hunt and gather online. We collect and analyze information for work or we’re in pursuit of a job, a good price, a new relationship, or an engaging Facebook discussion. The rest of our body still wants to participate in the action, so we might find ourselves slightly crouched, hunched, or tense, as if ready to pounce or pluck a delectable item. Maybe something we see or read makes us feel threatened so we recoil. While stepping away from the computer or redirecting the gaze to the horizon can help, I’ve found that nothing resets me more than following a recorded Feldenkrais eye movement lesson. They relax ocular muscles I’ve strained and engage those which I don’t normally use. It’s like sending my peepers to a playground where movement is divorced from utility, goals or achievement. My refreshed eyes help me experience deeper relaxation.

That my vision improved and my sense of self expanded through Feldenkrais is not unique, nor is my experience as miraculous as that of David Webber. After five operations to address complications from uveitis (an immune disorder causing inflammation within the eyes), he was declared legally blind in 2002. Desperate to regain his sight, he experimented with alternative remedies and found that Awareness Through Movement lessons helped him move safely and pleasurably. Immersion in a Feldenkrais training allowed him to discover that he could heal and rewire his visual system and restore his sight.

I’ve learned that life is more enjoyable and fulfilling when I’m aware of what my eyes are doing and I choose how to use them. Mr. Webber learned to see again. Who knows what you might discover if you take the time to roll your eyes, slowly and with awareness?

Source: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/13032-roll-your-eyes-improve-your-life

Have any of you had first hand experience with using the type of eye techniques/movements mentioned in this article? If so, would you please leave a comment with your feedback? Thanks!


 

And here’s an invitation from Dr. Mark Hyman about a free event that starts tomorrow that some of you may want to sign up for or tell others about……

 

Broken Brain

I am very excited to bring to light a silent epidemic that is crippling our nation and is the # 1 cause of disability worldwide.

Did you know…

  • Psychiatric disorders affect over 26% of our adult population and over 20% of our adolescent population.
  • Over 40 million people suffer from anxiety and more than 20 million people have depression.
  • 1-10 Americans takes an antidepressant, which has tripled in the past decade.
  • Alzheimer’s will affect 30%, and some experts are saying up to 50% of people over the age of 85.
  • 9% of our 8-15 year olds have been given the label, ADHD.
  • In the last decade, autism has increased from 3 in 10,000 to 1 in 166.

These statistics are grim.

This topic is a very personal to me because I once suffered from a few brain disorders. Almost 20 years ago, when I was just at the start of my medical career, I went from being a healthy, thriving physician to becoming a disoriented and terrified version of myself that I did not recognize anymore. I had ADHD, depression, anxiety, and brain fog all at once. I truly descended into a spiral of helplessness and hopelessness.

This led me on a life-long quest to heal my broken brain and to find the root causes of these conditions through the approaches of Functional Medicine.

I spent this past year traveling the country interviewing the top brain health experts to bring you the most cutting edge research and information on topics such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, MS, Parkinson’s, brain fog and more…

Episodes:

  1. The Broken Brain Epidemic / My Story (October 18)
  2. Gut Brain Connection: Getting to The Root of a Broken Brain (October 19)
  3. Losing Our Minds (Alzheimer’s, Dementia & MS) (October 20)
  4. ADHD & Autism (October 21)
  5. Depression & Anxiety (October 22)
  6. Traumatic Brain Injury (Accidents, Sports & More) (October 23)
  7. 7 Steps to An UltraMind (Part 1) (October 24)
  8. 7 Steps to An UltraMind (Part 2) (October 25)

    Starting in early October, look for emails from me with sneak peeks of the docuseries including my top highlights from each episode and much more.

    What if I told you that the cure for most brain disorders and a better brain is OUTSIDE the brain? You won’t want to miss this important docuseries. It’s time we address the epidemic of broken brains.

    Please join us in our mission to make this world a healthier, happier place and share this documentary with all your loved ones and friends. Together, we can spread the word and take back our health.

    See you on October 18th!

    Wishing you health and happiness,
    Mark Hyman, MD

     

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on any future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Nitric Oxide Dump = New Exercise Routine

 

This sounds interesting. I think I will give it a try. Want to join me?….

 

 By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly five decades, there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. Health and fitness is an ongoing, lifelong journey, though. It’s important to take stock of where you are and to keep pushing yourself to new heights. At the same time, you need to listen to your body and be willing to fine-tune or completely alter your workout routine as your circumstances change.

As an example, for nearly 40 years my primary exercise was long-distance running, but as I got older, I realized there were healthier and far more effective forms of exercise. Once I switched from running to peak fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, my fitness soared and my physique changed rather dramatically for the better.

A significant piece of the puzzle relates to how HIIT improves your mitochondria, and generates more of them. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found in nearly all of your cells, responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancerheart disease and Alzheimer’s

Two Key Strategies to Help Your Fitness Soar in 2017

I still believe HIIT is the most effective and efficient way to reach your fitness goals, but I’ve further fine-tuned my approach and now use an even shorter routine that I believe is just as effective while being far safer, especially if you’re older or just starting out. Below, I’ll discuss this new technique, which I refer to as “the nitric oxide dump.”

The scientific literature also clearly shows that sitting for extended periods is a major, independent risk factor for chronic disease, even if you exercise regularly, so daily non-exercise movement is likely one of the most important fitness strategies for many — especially if you’re currently not exercising on a regular basis.

The reason for this is because sitting blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular pathways that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Standing up — bearing your own body weight on your legs — activates all of these systems at the molecular level. I’ll review this below as well.

Super-Simple Way to Boost Your Health in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day

As mentioned, while I still endorse HIIT, I believe I’ve learned an even easier way to reap most if not all of the same benefits of a more elaborate HIIT protocol with just four simple movements — no weights or equipment required. Best of all, it only requires three minutes of your time, twice or three times a day, with at least two hours between sessions.

This is the nitric oxide (NO) dump exercise developed by Dr. Zach Bush. NO is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health. Most notably, NO:

  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain
  • Kills bacteria and defends against tumor cells
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in your body

For a demonstration, see the video above. If you have previously watched this video, please review it again as I recently updated it to correct a couple of errors and omissions that sneaked into my previous video. A key component I forgot in my earlier video is to make sure you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. Your nose actually regulates more than 30 physical processes, including the release of NO, and of course serves to filter the air you breathe.

Compared to a regular HIIT protocol, the NO dump exercise is a far gentler strategy that can be done by just about anyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or age. You’d be hard-pressed to injure yourself doing this. Since you’re just using your body to perform simple knee bends and arm lifts, the exercise is more or less automatically customized to your current level of ability.

Yet, despite its simplicity, I’m convinced you’ll still obtain most of the benefits you get from HIIT. While I demonstrate 20 reps in the above video, it is best to start at 10 reps and gradually work your way up to 20. Remember, don’t do this more than every two hours, as it takes that long for the NO to be generated from eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase).

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/08/11/fitness-plan-2017-updates.aspx?


 

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And for those of you wanting to have healthier teeth and gums AND save money on dental visits, check out my What’s New page for details about the Alternatives to Dentists program that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, plus several bonuses, including a free dental care kit. You’ll also find information about free health e-books and other resources. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Mycobacterium vaccae: Bacteria That’s GOOD For Your Brain!!

 

Reading this article will give you yet one more reason for spending plenty of time outdoors, whether walking through the woods, working in the garden, or making mud pies with the neighborhood kids. 🙂

 

Get Outdoors and Try to Get “Infected”
With These Brain-Healthy Bacteria

We know that eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables promotes good health…

We also know spending time in nature, whether it’s walking through green spaces or spending time in the garden, can increase feelings of well-being and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone.

Now researchers have discovered another reason why spending time outside makes us feel so much better: Soil contains a beneficial strain of bacteria that can improve cognition and lower some risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Read on to learn more about this friendly microbe and how it can keep your brain strong…

The helpful bacterium is known as Mycobacterium vaccae (or M. vaccae). It’s abundant in soil. When we’re outdoors we breathe it in the open air…

As you may know, science is homing in on the connection between our microbiome – the beneficial microbes in our gut — and brain function. Some researchers even go so far as to call the gut the second brain. (For more information on gut and brain health, see Issue #205.)

A 2013 study published in the journal Behavioral Processes provided more evidence for this theory when researchers Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks fed a group of mice live M. vaccae bacteria and then had them run a maze. A control group ran the maze without the benefit of the microbe.

The results were stunning. Mice that ate the bacteria before and during the trials “completed the maze twice as fast as controls and with reduced anxiety-related behaviors.”

M. vaccae acts like an “old friend”

The “old friends” or “hygiene” hypothesis of stress-related diseases states that, because we spend less time in nature and overuse antibacterial soaps and other germ-killing aids, our bodies no longer reap the benefits of microbes like M. vaccae, which have helped humans survive and thrive for thousands of years.

The hypothesis gets its name from the strategy of ‘reintroducing’ humans to their old friends [beneficial bacteria] to promote optimal health and wellness.

Without them our bodies fall prey to the negative effects of stress and chronic inflammation, and this adversely affects our bodies’ own ability to prevent diseases.

Chronic inflammation also contributes to depression, which is not only a danger in its own right, but is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (see Issue #117).

In a 2016 study published in the journal Trends in Immunology, researchers “immunized” mice with M. vaccae and found that their exposure to the microbe (or infection, if you will) prevented stress-induced colitis and reduced fear, anxiety, symptoms of inflammation and poor stress management.

The Connection Between M. Vaccae,
Serotonin and Alzheimer’s Disease

The reason for the animals’ decreased anxiety in the above studies is that ingestion of M. vaccae stimulates the release of serotonin in the brain. Higher levels of this neurotransmitter elevate mood and decrease anxiety.

Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter that’s also essential to synaptic functioning. Your neurons need serotonin to communicate with each other. This molecule also plays a crucial role in memory and learning.

Serotonin production naturally slows as we age. Research suggests that this decrease could be linked to depression, decreased cognition, memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Studies of autopsied brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have shown serious serotonin deficiencies. Being low on serotonin doesn’t necessarily cause cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, but it is an indicator that overall brain health and functioning has been compromised.

Big Pharma has been trying to create drugs that boost serotonin, but so far they haven’t been effective. So your best bet to prevent low levels of serotonin is to actively stimulate its production with M. vaccae – and by other means.

How to Increase Your Intake of M. vaccae

Spending time in green places, city parks and uninhabited woods alike, increases your exposure to M. vaccae. Get outside and breathe the fresh air as often as you can.

Eating fruits and vegetables directly from the tree, shrub or vine also helps you to ingest beneficial quantities of this microbe. As long as they’re grown without pesticides and herbicides, you’ll be pretty safe to eat them without washing. (I’d be wary of vegetables grown in or near the ground, especially in manure-rich soil. Those I’d wash.)

Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that gardening or otherwise closely interacting with the earth gives you even more M. vaccae.

Long-time gardeners swear that spending time among their plants is therapeutic. Now we have a new reason to think so.

Spend some time playing in the dirt with your kids or grandkids. Try planting a small flower garden that you all can tend together. Grow one or two vegetable plants and eat the produce right off the plant. Or visit a local farm and sample their wares.

As long as you’re outside, eating organic fruits and veggies and getting dirty once in a while, you’ll be doing your brain a favor.

 Source: Brain Health Breakthroughs Newsletter by Lee Euler

Related Self-help Health posts:

Walking: Just Do It (In Nature!)

Natural Ways To Treat Alzheimer’s

Trees: They’re Not Just For Hugging

FYI, there’s a free on-line series starting on the 12th that ties in nicely with the idea of spending more time digging in the dirt. It’s the 3rd Annual Home Grown Summit. which will feature 38+ presenters sharing their best “secrets” about growing food, living sustainably, creating community, and more….

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You can go to my “What’s New” page to find out more about the summit, plus see the list of e-books and reports the Grow Network offers for free.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

Have A New You By Next Year…..Literally! Plus Free 2017 Events

 

I was aware that the body is always replacing/renewing itself, but I didn’t know the specific time periods for certain parts, …..like the stomach lining rebuilding in ONLY 5 DAYS and DNA renewing itself EVERY TWO MONTHS. Wow, pretty amazing! If you really let this sink in, it makes you realize we should never feel like some current condition or health issue is written in stone and can’t be changed for the better. Consider what might be possible between now and the end of the year if you really work with your body’s amazing ability to rebuild itself! 

 

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And while you’re building a whole new you, here are some upcoming events to help you support your body along the way……

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The Winter of Wellness starts January 11th!

Ready to discover medicinal plants for cooling inflammation and the cutting-edge science on autoimmunity and inflammation? Then mark your calendar for the kick-off on January 11th of the month long Winter of Wellness event, and prepare to be inspired by 40+ top experts who’ll reveal proven practices for whole-body health and wellness.

Some of the most esteemed doctors, teachers and healers will be presenting at this extraordinary on-line gathering — including David Wolfe, Donna Eden, David Crow, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Gregg Braden, Sue Morter, Alberto Villoldo, Reef Karim, Crystal Jones, Bernie Siegel, Anita Mckenzie, Mingtong Gu, Dawson Church, Ocean Robbins, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci — and many others.

By saying “YES” to this live event, you’re on your way to discovering secrets for becoming the best version of yourself in 2017 — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Access Details:
You’re invited to join Winter of Wellness on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Listen in via webcast to access the program sessions when they air and for 48 hours following their broadcast. You can access the FULL Program Schedule here.

You can sign up here for the series: http://winterofwellness.com/

Note: All sessions are in Pacific Time, and a Timezone Converter is also included for your convenience.

Access Your Bonus!
YOUR Uncompromised Commitment to Self-Care & Wellness in 2017 
Audio Recording with Dr. Robyn Benson
Listen in to discover the absolute roadmap for living healthy in today’s world — with our host of The Shift Network’s most popular annual summit, Winter of Wellness, Dr. Robyn Benson.

In this session Robyn explores the emerging self-care revolution and what’s happening in the world of wellness. Plus, she’ll share exciting previews of coming attractions — preparing you to reap ALL the benefits you’re about to receive in this incredible health series.

 


Want to get in better shape in 2017? Here’s a great resource that gives some top-notch work-out moves and each links up to a different free full-length exercise routine…..

The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009449-15-toughest-doanywhere-workout-moves/

 


For you yoga enthusiasts, here’s an invite to a free class from Lucas at Absolute Yoga Academy…..

We have a new LIVE format for our monthly online professional development series. This month’s “Applied Anatomy” class is hosted by senior trainer, Julie Sceeny, and it’ll allow you to ask questions, get answers, and learn in real time.


This is a 1 hr Yoga Alliance Continuing Education class on January 24th at 9:30 am EST, and everyone who attends will get a certificate. It’s free to join us live, and if you’d like access to this and all our previous classes (you can get certificates for all of them), you might consider our Online Yoga Academy. 

To join this free, live class, please register here: 
http://www.absoluteyogaacademy.com/trianglepose-halfmoon-toestand

 


And Dr Pedram Shojai has put together a free on-line training called The Urban Monk 7-Day Reboot. You can start as soon as you sign up and there are sections on food (including a nice recipe book that has a number of things I’m going to try), stretching/exercise, Qi Gong, sleep, dealing with stress, and more….

logo-reboot

You can sign up here:  https://go.theurbanmonk.com/umr/opt-in/ 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.