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Take Charge of Your Health-Do You Know the Number One Cause of Death in the US?

If your answer to this question is “Diseases of the Heart”, you would be correct according to the CDC.  The top 10 leading causes of death are as follows:

  1. Diseases of the heart
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  4. Stroke
  5. Accidents
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes mellitus
  8. Kidney disease
  9. Influenza
  10. Suicide

The cost to the economy is $1.1trillion.  WOW!  However , according to posts by Dr. Mercola, there is one leading cause left off the list and that is “CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL CARE”.  These are deaths contributed to medical errors to adverse reactions to unnecessary procedures.  I call this as either the “just did our best but didn’t work” or “OOPS factor”.  “We were just treating this patient, doing all we could and he/she just didn’t make it, or treating the patient and OOPS, made a mistake.”

In 2010, years after articles were written about this, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that despite efforts to improve patient safety in the past few years the health care system hasn’t changed much at all.  Instead, 18% of patients were harmed by medical care and over 63% of the injuries could have been prevented.  Many contributed to patients death  and permanent injury.  In all, there were 25 injuries per  100 admissions!  From 1976 to 2006, looking at 62 million death certificates, 250,000 were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medical errors (OOPS).  Also, an estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the US every year (OOPS).  And, adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients (OOPS).

Another issue is how many “accidents” or “suicides” are actually the result of accidental prescription drug overdoses.  Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs and this trend is growing.  Hospital acquired infections continue to grow and contribute to over 100,000 deaths per year.

So, what is the point that I am trying to make?  The point is that most chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity are largely preventable with simple lifestyle changes.  The added bonus is that the healthier you are, the less you will need to rely on conventional medical care, which is the leading cause of death.  So, what is a “healthy life style”.  Well, that will be the subject of my next post.  Meanwhile, do your best to stay out of the hospital, it is a dangerous place.

Take Charge of Your Health-Diet and Exercise Myths

We are still in the New Years Resolution time frame and lots of people are busy working on their “new” health plan.  Unfortunately, many are going the wrong way because they believe these myths that both CNN and Yahoo Shine have compiled and can be found at Mercola.com.

Myth #1  Long Cardio Workouts are the Key to Weight Loss.  If you walk into a gym, you will see most people crowding the aerobics equipment and using the treadmill or elliptical machine for an hour or so, thinking they are getting an execellent workout.  However, there are far better forms of exercises, espcecially for those older than 40.  There is a growing body of scientific research showing that you can perform a significantly SHORTER workout, at a greater intensity, and get BETTER results than the usual, time consuming cardio routines.  The reason for this is that high intensity interval training programs engage a certain group of muscle fibers that you cannot engage through aerobic cardio, and engaging these muscle fibers cause a cascade of positive health benefits, including fat burning.  They will also boost your body’s natural production of HGH, which is a vital hormone that is key for physical strength,  health and longevity.  During these high intensity exercises you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 30 seconds, followed by a 90 second recovery period.  The cycle is then repeated 7 to 8 times.  With a three minute warm up, and a two minute cool down, you need only spend about 20 minutes on a treadmill, elliptical or recumbant bike.  This can also work on an outside track or trail.

Myth #2  Diet and Exercise are equal When It Comes To Losing Weight    Exercise is crucial for weight loss, but the foods you chose to eat are more important, and it is very easy to sabotage your exercise benefits with sugary foods and beverages, especially those that contain fructose.  This includes so-called “healthy” beverages like “vitamin water”, energy drinks, and similar types of sports and recovery drinks.  Fructose, which is hidden in virtually every processed food, tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system.  Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not surpress the “hunger” hormone called ghrelin and doesn’t stimulate leptin, the “satiety” hormone which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.  Fructose also rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure… classic metabolic syndrome.

Myth #3  It Doesn’t Matter What Time of Day You Exercise.  While any time exercising is better than no exercise at all, there are reasons to believe that exercising first thing in the morning may give you added benefits.  There are additional health benefits  to exercising before consuming your first meal of the day.  One recent study found that exercising before breakfast counteracts poor diet and helps with weight loss.  Your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is activated by exercise and lack of food.  The combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts, which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy.  Training on an empty stomach will effectively force your body to burn fat.  I personally use this “intermittant fast” technique to maintain weight control.  I “fast” from early evening to mid day or later, trying for 16 hours before my first meal.  I do get my cell nutrition though a liquid supplement that supplies me with the equivalent antioxidants of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning, but no solid food until noon or later.  I believe we can train our bodies (ghrelin) to wait until we are “body” hungry, not brain hungry.

Myth #4  Diet Foods Will Help You Lose Weight.  Eating lots of “diet” foods or “low fat” foods will not help you lose weight.  Diet foods typically have artificial sweetners, like Aspartame, which may have zero calories, but your body isn’t fooled.  When it gets a “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain.  Your brain can tell the difference between a real sugar and an artificial one, even if your conscious mind cannot.  So when you consume artificial sweeteners, your body craves more of it and real sugar, because your brain is not satsfied at a cellular level by the sugar imposter.

Myth #5  You are Destined To Gain Weight as You Get Older.    Weight gain is not a rite of passage into your middle age years, but the problem for many is that weight gain is insidious.  It creeps up gradually as you become less active than you were in your 20s and 30s, and suddenly that  pound a year has added up to 10, 20 or more extra pounds as you head into your 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond.  Also, if you do not stay active you will lose muscle mass as you age, starting around age 40.  This loss of muscle means that you will burn fewer calories both when you are active and at rest, plus our body composition will shift to less muscle and more fat.   All you need to do to stay lean and fit well into our older years is to eat healthy and get moving.

I hope these myths can help you change your beliefs, or at least do your own research on how best to take charge of your health.  Since I own a Power Plate fitness studio, I am a huge fan of exercise.  The whole body vibration technology of Power Plate is helping my clients “experience the gain without the pain” of exercise.  However, we cannot make up for poor eating habits.  The good  news is that it is really not that difficult to get the proper nutrition your body needs every day, so if you exercise on a consistant basis you can have great health, no matter what age.

I hope you are having a happy and healthy 2012.  Paul

IS YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM KEEPING YOU FROM TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH?

I remember back to late 2007 when I was searching for answers to how I can improve my health.  What I learned was that I had beliefs based on incorrect data.  I thought that feeling bad and getting sick was just a function of getting older.  I believed that at age 66, based on my “poor genes”, I was lucky to still be standing upright.  Both my parents died when they were in their mid 50s, one of heart failure and the other from cancer.  Of course, people my age all seem to have the same problems, so I just assumed it was NORMAL to be overweight and have lots of aches and pains.

However, in my search for knowledge, I found that my genes only accounted for no more than 35% of how we age.  Now, with the advent of a new science called Epignentics, I believe that number is significantly lower.  The point is that it is our lifestyle that really dictates our state of wellness.  So, please don’t settle for the old “normal”.  Now that I am 70 (almost 71), I have to laugh at all my younger friends that are keeping themselves in poor health because of inaccurate beliefs.

I am looking forward to participating in a Wellness class at our church starting this week.  What I found is that there is a strong correlation between religious beliefs and a healthy body.  I always heard that our bodies were miracles, but never realized how true that was until I started reading about how our body works.  I can’t imagine any medical professional not believing in a super power like God after studying the workings of the body.   I thought I would pass on a few facts about the body to help make my point:

Our bodies have about 75 trillion cells and about 20,000 genes. We have 450 miles of nerve fibers and 60,000 miles of blood vessels, arteries and capillaries.  In a 24 hour period our heart beats 100,000 times, and blood travels 186 million miles.  We breathe 23,000 times and our kidney filters 42 gallons of liquid.  We speak over 25,000 words and exercise about 7 million brain cells.  Every day we replace over 300 billion cells in our body and we create a “new” body about every six months.  The one I like best is that every minute our 75 trillion cells have 200,000 chemical reactions.  That, my friends, is a very large number (1.5×10/19th power).  That is even more than our US debt!  And of course, we do this for the most part, effortlessly.

The class I will be teaching at church will be based on an excellent book called “Body By God”, by Dr. Ben Lerner.  Although it was written in 2004, it is still pretty accurate for today.  And, if you are a Christian, the best section has to do with managing stress called “10 Rules for Peace By God”.  It is worth a read at about $15.00.

Till next time, stay healthy.

Paul

Why should you take charge of your health in 2012?

For any of you that are not sure that this is the year to take charge of your health, I would like to provide some information that might help you change your mind.  I think that some people believe that since they have insurance from their company, they are pretty much immune to concerns about health issues.  One interesting stat is that 60% of all people filing for bankruptcy in this country did so because of extraordinary medical expenses.  That didn’t surprise me.  What did surprise me was that of these 60%, 75% had insurance.  One friend of mine decided to check back on where his family spent their funds in 2011 and was shocked to find that money spent on medical expenses, including drugs and a couple of short stays in a hospital amounted to over $15,000.  And this family had a low deductible health insurance policy.  With the current state of flux with health care insurance, I strongly suggest that taking charge of your health is an extremely cost efficient and wise decision for you and your family.

Here are a few guidelines I suggest you consider of optimal health and weight:

  1.  Eat a healthy diet consisting primarily of fresh, whole foods, ideally organic and locally-grown if possible.  Try to eat more “raw” foods.  Consume healthy fats which include saturated fats, and animal based omega 3 fats
  2. Severely limit or eliminate sugar, particularly fructose, and grains from your diet in order to optimize your insulin and leptin levels.  Limit your alcohol intake, red wine is best.
  3. Drink plenty of clean water
  4. Manage your stress
  5. Implement a regular fitness program that includes a wide variety of exercises, including high-intensity interval training, conventional aerobics, strength training, core exercises and stretching.  (The older you are the more time you should spend on strength training)
  6. Optimize your levels of these two important hormones, Vitamin D and DHEA
  7. Get plenty of sleep at least 7 hours, 8 is better.

BEST HEALTH TIP FOR YOU AND FAMILY IS TO S—T—O—P DRINKING SODA, REGULAR OR DIET!

Let’s hope that if this is the year you decided to take charge of your health, you have a plan based on knowledge of what it takes to be successful.  One of the things that really helped me was the information I picked up from reading the book that has become my “health bible”.  This is a book called “The Metabolic Plan” by Dr. Stephen Cherniske.  I strongly suggest checking this book out.  It is a pretty inexpensive and an easy read.  You can purchase from Amazon for about $12.  You will learn about the metabolic model of aging.  When you understand how and why our body ages, you can then understand what you need to do to keep it healthy.  I will never forget the sentence in the book where Dr. Cherniske says “if we knew better we would do better”.

A great on line newsletter is from Dr. Joe Mercola and you can receive it free at www.mercola.com.  This is the best natural health website on the planet.

Appreciate any comments you might have on my blog.  I am always interested in hearing ideas to improve health and wellness.

“IS THIS THE YEAR YOU TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH?”

HERE WE GO!  THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR LOTS OF PEOPLE MAKE THEIR “NEW YEARS RESOLUTION” TO LOSE WEIGHT, GET FIT, STOP SMOKING –YADA YADA.  IF YOU ARE A REGULAR GYM MEMBER YOU SEE IT EVERY JANUARY.  ALL OF A SUDDEN THERE ARE LOTS OF NEW FACES IN THE GY M.  THE PARKING LOT IS FULL!  WE KNOW WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS.  AND, WE KNOW THAT IN ABOUT 45 DAYS THE PARKING LOT WILL THIN OUT AND THE NEW FACES IN THE GYM WILL BE GONE.  MOST PEOPLE WHO START OUT A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION REALLY DON’T STICK TO IT.

FOR YEARS I HAVE BEEN ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WITH GOOD INTENTIONS, BUT QUIT WHEN OTHER “MORE IMPORTANT” PRIORITIES TAKE PRECEDENCE ON MY TIME.  FOR ME, JANUARY 2008 WAS THE YEAR I DECIDED TO TAKE CHARGE OF MY HEALTH.  IT HAS BEEN A LIFE CHANGING EVENT!.  WHEN I LOOK BACK AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHY IT WORKED IN 2008, I REALIZED THAT I MADE A DECISION OUT OF BOTH “INSPIRATION” AND “DESPARATION”.   AT THAT TIME I WEIGHED 225, HAD A 42” WAIST, GOING FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR PROBLEMS WITH MY NECK AND KNEE,  AND SEEING A CHIROPRACTOR FOR A CHRONIC BAD BACK.  MY ENERGY LEVEL WAS LOW AND I SEEMED TO BE HAVING LOTS OF “SENIOR” MOMENTS OF FORGETFULLNESS.  BUT, IN DECEMBER OF 2007 I HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING THAT PROVIDED THE “INSPIRATIONAL” PART OF MY NEW BELIEF SYSTEM.  IN 2008, IN A NICE SLOW PACE, I LOST 40 POUNDS, 7 INCHES IN THE WAIST, GOTTEN MUCH STRONGER, HAVE LOTS OF ENERGY, STOPPED TAKING ALL PRESCRIPTION AND NON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, HAVE NOT BEEN SICK IN FOUR YEARS AND OPENED MY NEW FITNESS STUDIO THIS YEAR.

I THINK MOST PEOPLE WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE IN DESPARATE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL CONDITION BEFORE THEY MAKE A CHANGE.  HOWEVER, I BELIEVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN MAKING THIS CHANGE YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM.  IF YOUR BELIEFS ARE BASED ON INCORRECT DATA, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO MAKE A PLAN THAT WILL WORK FOR YOU.  FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN’T REALLY CHANGE YOUR HEALTH BECAUSE YOU HAVE “BAD GENES” INHERITED FROM YOUR PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS, YOUR CHANGE WILL NOT LAST.  OR, IF YOU THINK YOUR  “TO OLD” TO CHANGE, TO OLD TO EXERCISE, TO SORE OR IN TO MUCH PAIN THEN YOU WON’T CHANGE.  IF YOU ACCEPT THOSE WORDS YOU FIND ON BIRTHDAY CARDS SAYING  “GROWING OLD IS NOT FOR WIMPS”, OR IF YOU JOKE WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS YOUR AGE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ACHES AND PAINS AND TAKE COMFORT THAT THEY TOO ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE, THEN YOU WILL NOT CHANGE.

HOWEVER, I KNOW THAT INSIDE, YOU WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT FEELING BAD AS YOU GET OLDER DOESN’T HAVE TO BE “NORMAL”.  I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER SOME HOPE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN GET “OLDER” AND FEEL GREAT.  AT 70, ALMOST 71, I HAVE NO PAINS, NO ILLNESSES, PLENTY OF ENERGY AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.  IF I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN.  THE KEY FOR ME WAS TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND HOW OUR BODY WORKS.  MY HEALTH “BIBLE” IS A BOOK CALLED “THE METABOLIC PLAN” BY DR. STEPHEN CHERNISKE.  I FOUND THAT UNDERSTANDING HOW AND WHY OUR BODY AGES IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT IT TAKES FOR GREAT HEALTH AT ANY AGE.  WITH MY NEW GOAL OF “TAKING CHARGE OF MY HEALTH” CAME A QUEST FOR GREATER UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE.  FROM THIS KNOWLEDGE, I CREATED MY WELLNESS PLAN.  THEN, THIS BECAME MY EDUCATION FOR TEACHING A CLASS CALLED “AGING AND HEALTH”  WHICH IS NOW CALLED “WELLNESS THROUGH KNOWLEDGE”.  STARTING IN JANUARY, I WILL BE HOLDING CLASSES AT MY STUDIO.  OUR GOAL IS TO HELP EACH OTHER THROUGH SHARED KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS.  I WILL TELL YOU MORE ON LINE THROUGH THIS BLOG AND WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOUR FEEDBACK.  I AM NOT A DOCTOR, AND CAN ONLY SPEAK FROM MY EXPERIENCE AND WHAT I HAVE LEARNED THROUGH BOOKS, WEBSITES AND OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, ESPECIALLY CHIROPRACTORS, WHO ARE BY FAR THE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT TOTAL BODY WELLNESS, NOT JUST “SICK CARE”.

HOPE EVERYONE FINDS 2012 TO BE A POSITIVE, LIFE CHANGING YEAR.

PAUL,  HEALTH COACH