Live a Healthier Lifestyle and Become an Everyday Champion: It Can Make the Difference in Your Life

What is a champion? Many people think of a champion as someone who just won a contest. I think of a champion as anyone who accomplishes a worthwhile goal. Let me tell you about two people who were champions for their health.

Several years ago, I met a lady who had smoked cigarettes for 50 years. She indicated that cigarettes defined her life. Because of other medical problems, she knew that she had to quit smoking. But this was very difficult for her because all of her friends smoked and, when they did things together, everything seemed to be centered around cigarettes. She had reached the point that she was “scared” to quit smoking.

Realizing that she had to be a champion for herself, she decided to quit smoking. Gradually decreasing her two-pack-per-day cigarette habit, she worked on this endeavor over a period of a year, and now she has been smoke free for the past year. Champions do not have to be well known people that we read about. Champions are people that we see every day.

Let me tell you about another person who was morbidly obese with a history of sleep apnea, hypertension, and diabetes. She desperately needed to lose a massive amount of weight. She did not want to have surgery for weight loss. She wanted to lose weight through exercise and reducing her daily intake. The thought of surgery terrified her. Friday night was her night to drink beer and eat nachos, french fries, and hamburgers with her friends. Over the years, she had gained a great deal of weight. Due to her health problems, she realized she had to take control of her weight. She put great effort into reducing her weight by tracking what she ate and eating all things in moderation. She also started exercising during television commercials. Every time a commercial came on, she would get up and do an exercise.

Did you know if you watch an hour-long program, commercials occupy about 20 minutes of that time? Learn from this woman. Get some 2 or 3-pound dumbbells and do boxing and kickboxing during commercials. Just walking around the room would be a good start if you haven’t been doing any exercise. What an excellent jump start to get you on your way to improving your quality of life and improving your health.

Did you know that being overweight puts you at risk for a number of conditions, such as: osteoarthritis, back pain, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack to name a few? Losing weight and increasing exercise help to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Isn’t it worth your time to take steps to improve your health and reduce your risks for these conditions?

Make “you” a priority by eliminating unhealthy habits and scheduling some exercise into your daily routine. Start today exercising during television commercials.

My prescription for becoming an everyday champion is to Take care of yourself.

Remember don’t start any exercise program without the consent of your physician.

©2012 Winifred D. Bragg, MD. All Rights Reserved.

Healthy Lifestyles – Science Says Ignite Your Brain, Speak Before You Think

“Mr Watson, come here, I need you” may not have been the first chatter between a genius and his helper, but it is one of the best known. Here it serves as our example of recent science findings. Healthy lifestyles studies confirm that a ten minute conversation can make you smarter just prior to deciding moments.

So concludes a study by a team of U.S. researchers, who found that college students who discussed a social issue prior to taking a memory and mental-speed tests scored significantly higher than fellow students who did not talk before the exam. This may explain the increasing brain power that more communicative women are displaying, and how with more easy they may communicate their ways through medical school. The strong silent male will end up the janitor if he does not chat up, listen up, learn up, and climb his way up, the way the ladies are doing more naturally.

This is powerful news and deserves more attention than the small notice given it. You ladies may already know this innately for thousands of years, and it is long since time we relearn this lesson that somehow we become smarter by becoming part of the group and discussing life in general, all at ease.

Study author Oscar Ybarra, Ph.D., suggests that social interaction activates the brain structures that allow us to store and sort out information.

This information should encourage men to actually talk to each other, and if not in the way that women do, at least in more comfort and ease about any darn thing, it sounds like. Us males, and I am one, who can sit in a canoe for hours without speaking to our buddy, yet we’re both content, are staying dumb. This will be painful news for men, who are content to stay in a sate of silence quite comfortably and say, watch a game together, give cheers and boos as needed, but not much conversation between them other than did you see that or oh get that umpire a cane and a dog.

While any two women in a boat on that lake might come to shore with less fish, or maybe not, but they would come back smart, and with a lot of new information. Making them smarter. While their husbands will drive them home in silence. Dumb and dumber, both driving home smart and smarter.

So fellows, before the big meeting or presentation, do not silently meditate or go over your notes. Hit the water cooler or the tea wagon; one cup of black tea will make you calmer and more alert. Remember to incorporate tea after your coffee for the additional anti oxidant power in tea. So talk and sip and win.

Too much coffee as you know gives us all the jitters. Tea has the amazing capacity to make you feel more calm and yet more alert. So keep chatting between sips. Then brain ignited, go get the pussycat, Tiger.

Caloric Restriction: A Lifestyle Intervention With Compelling Cardiovascular Benefits

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is soon becoming the leading cause of death in most countries in the world. In the USA, cardiovascular disease claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, and diabetes mellitus combined. The increasing age along with the obesity and diabetes epidemic will continue to keep cardiovascular disease as the number one health problem in the world.

There has been a recent emphasis on lifestyle changes to prevent the development of cardiovascular risk factors. These include cessation of smoking, prevention of obesity, incorporation of a heart friendly diet and implementation of regular exercise program. Caloric restriction is a major lifestyle intervention that is also generating increasing scientific interest as a method of reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Caloric restriction is the only lifestyle intervention that has consistently been shown to increase the maximum life span in laboratory mice and rats. It achieves this by retarding the aging processes. These effects have been also seen in yeast, worms, fish, spiders and many other lower order animals. Caloric restriction is achieved by feeding animals 70%-75% as many calories as controls, in a nutritious balanced way, avoiding malnutrition.

Similar data, confirming lifespan extension, is emerging from studies in rhesus monkeys. Rhesus monkey is a nonhuman primate that has close evolutionary relationship to humans. It bears many similarities to humans including anatomy and bodily functions such as physiology, immunology, endocrinology and neurology. The rhesus monkey is also prone to common human diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular pathologies. As a result, there is considerable experimental interest in retarding or reversing the aging processes in these ancestral cousins and its possible applicability in humans.

Studies in the rhesus monkeys show that caloric restriction induces the following positive changes on cardiovascular risk factors:

1.Reduction in weight of about 30% compared to the ad libitum group, mainly due to a decrease in visceral fat.
2. Improved glucose homeostasis as evidenced by improved fasting insulin and glucose levels, improved HbA1c and decreased insulin resistance.
3. Decreased blood pressure and improved lipid parameters.
4. Reduced body temperature more than that explained by the reduction in body mass

Several studies have shown improved cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in humans with calorie restriction. Epidemiological observations from different populations of the world have shown dramatic decreases in cardiovascular diseases, as a result of unintentional caloric restriction. World War II related food shortages in some European countries resulted in a sharp decrease in coronary heart disease mortality, only reversing after the war ended. Japanese living on the Okinawa island, generally eat 30% less calories than the average Japanese population, and experience an almost 35% lower rate of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality. Similar changes were reported during the food rationing in Cuba due to a significant economic downturn from 1989 to 2000. Deaths caused by diabetes declined by 51%, coronary heart disease mortality dropped 35% and stroke mortality by 20%. Similar effects were noted in the Biosphere experiment. Due to declining food stores, caloric restriction was enforced on the eight individuals, for alamost 2 years. These individuals not only lost weight and fat mass, but also showed improvements in basal glucose, basal insulin, insulin sensitivity, and blood pressure. These effects basically replicated the experimental changes noted in non-human primates.

Reduction of caloric intake by 25%-30% on a consistent basis may be difficult to achieve. Further this reduction has to be nutritionally balanced, with adequate intake of essential macro and micro nutrients. The data on the beneficial cardiovascular effects of caloric restriction, however, are compelling. Calorie restriction may be an important life style intervention to dramatically reduce major cardiovascular risk factors and, and increase healthspan (healthy years) and lifespan in humans.