It may seem like a double edged sword: fulfilling number one on the New Year’s resolution list, “Lose weight and exercise more”, cut to heal, foot, and joint pain. It is actually a blessing to work yourself toward health and fitness pain free. Most people complain of joint and back pain from the high impact of exercising (namely running or other compounding sports), or muscle soreness from pushing through a tough workout or a lack of quality stretching. People hang motivational posters of muscular athletes drenched in sweat with sayings such as, “It will hurt, take time, require dedication, willpower, sacrifice . . . but it will be worth it.” But with pain in play, many people put their New Year’s resolutions to test. Is this why the majority of people who declare their new year’s resolution and goals on the 1st of the year later admit failing to reach them before the year is over?
Yes, Halloween is here and it is the start of the official holiday season. This holiday season beginning will also lead to the inevitable “flu season.” I always wondered if the two were related. I hear many parents argue that Halloween comes only once a year and it is a time to let the children indulge and have all the candy they can possibly collect and carry in a single night, only to eat them for the next few weeks until the next big holiday, and then the next. So what really is so wrong with our celebrating the ghosts, goblins, witches, pumpkins and adorable costumes? There is no better way to demonstrate how positively correlated these two categories (sugar/candy/processed foods and diabetes/weight gain/chronic diseases) have in common, and how it is not just on Halloween that we lightly indulge. We consume such foods on a daily basis and have eaten ourselves sick. Now that’s scary.
Many people spend what they think is a lot of time in the gym or working out. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 16 percent of people (aged 15 years and older) who live in the United States participate in sports and exercise activities on an average day. (As a side note, this in comparison to the number of people who watch television on an average day is roughly five times larger.) The majority of people are self reporting that they spend one to one and a half hour exercising each day (5-6 days a week). And while walking seems to be the number one choice for exercise among those surveyed, followed by weight lifting, why are the numbers of obese and overweight people raising more and more every year? It very much has to do with the other side of fitness, health and wellness. It’s the DIET.
What is so wrong with wheat? It is certainly marketed as the healthier, better for your heart, filled with fiber, and NOT the evil “white” bread alternative. The majority of people do not know this, but wheat, along with rye and barley, contain a family of gluten proteins that create long-term digestive problems for nearly everyone. Yes, it is the gluten in wheat and most grains that is to blame for so many chronic and life altering diseases, such as, arthritis , cancer, depression, dermatitis herpetiformis (intensely itchy, blistering hives), lupus, manic depression, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, and other neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, epilepsy) and schizophrenia to list a few.
On a more scientific level, another important point people should know is that the wheat being grown and consumed today is vastly different from the wheat 50 years ago, because the wheat of today is genetically modified using extreme techniques. Sadly, their safety for human consumption has never been tested or questioned. If you held up a conventional wheat plant from 50 years ago against a modern, high-yield dwarf wheat plant, you would see that today’s plant is about 2½ feet shorter. It’s stockier, so it can support a much heavier seedbed, and it grows much faster. The great irony here is that the term “genetic modification” refers to the actual insertion or deletion of a gene, and that’s not what’s happened with wheat. Instead, the plant has been hybridized and crossbred to make it resistant to drought and fungi, and to vastly increase yield per acre
From 1960 to l976, there was virtually no change in the number of Americans who were overweight: roughly 24 percent of the population. However, from the mid l980s to the present, this number has more than doubled to 54 percent! This coincides with the massive infusion of non-caloric chemical sweeteners and sugar-free “diet” foods that are eaten by close to three-quarters of the adult population.
Although several factors contribute to these alarming statistics, our blind acceptance of the most popular of these artificial sweeteners, aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful), plays a significant role in our current weight problems. Far from helping us lose weight, aspartame has been proven to increase appetite, especially cravings for sweets. Imagine “diet” products that help you pack on extra pounds! And aspartame’s downside unfortunately does not end with weight gain: This sweetener is associated with multiple health problems.
Fat in the body: it is most often determined by heredity, gender, health, diet and activity levels. These factors determine how much mass and where this mass may be located in people.
Generally, people stop developing new fat cells after puberty, unless a person reaches 200% of their ideal body weight and need more lipid “storage space” or they undergo experimental fat-stem cell therapy for adipocyte-genesis. The Yale Medical Core Curriculum: states that “Hypertrophic obesity results in an increase in the size of the fat cells, without a change in their number. It is usually a post-adolescent phenomenon, and holds true until total body fat exceeds 40 kg (morbid obesity – greater than 200% ideal body weight), at which point new fat cells are produced to accommodate the enlarging lipid reserves.”
Making healthy meals takes some planning. But that can be difficult for working parents struggling to get home in time to pick their kids up from their latest extracurricular activity, or trying to feed a child that only wants processed foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza at every meal. Do not fret. Small changes in daily routine, nutritional understanding and fitness awareness can make huge differences in your family’s overall health. Incorporating healthy and nutritious foods into your family’s bellies can be done, but it may take a little work.
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you — and many things that you do yourself — put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.
Today’s diet is worse than ever, dominated by processed foods containing insignificant amounts of nutrients. In addition, scientific research shows that the trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, white flour, butter, nitrates, and concentrated sweeteners all contribute to the obesity, cancer causing cell development and increasing hyperactivity in both children and adults.
Processed and junk food lovers beware! There are many negative repercussions to persistent junk food eating habits, not just the obvious and inevitable weight gain. Below is a short list of how junk food negatively impacts our bodies. Think about it the next time you are reaching for your second helping of cheesy nachos that accompanies the double stacked hamburger sandwich and large soda.