Exercise

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Six Ways Physical Activity Benefits Your Brain

Six Ways Physical Activity Benefits Your Brain

Summertime is a great time to be more active, but if you live in the south like me, it can be all too tempting to retreat to air-conditioning and inactivity. Please don't!

One of the books that I've been reading this summer is called The Upward Spiral by neuroscientist Alex Korb. Although the book is often rather technical, it is a fascinating explanation of how our brains are wired, and how we can stimulate various neural circuits to improve our happiness. One of Dr. Korb's first recommendations for creating "an upward spiral" is exercise.

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7 Ways to Lower Your Inflammation Number Without Medication

7 Ways to Lower Your Inflammation Number Without Medication

You've most likely heard about the key health numbers that the Know Your Number campaigns have encouraged us to monitor. Increasing public awareness about high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high body mass index (BMI) has been a cornerstone of the public health effort to combat heart disease.

There is another number that is less well-known, but that can also be an important measure of heart disease risk, as well as risk for other chronic diseases. This measure is a lab test called C-reactive protein (CRP), and it is a general marker of inflammation. While there are many lab tests that measure inflammation, CRP is the one that is most widely used and available.

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Simple Self-Care in an Imperfect World

Simple Self-Care in an Imperfect World

Life never goes according to the perfect storybook version in our heads, does it?

In fact, it is full of unexpected twists and turns, requiring constant adaptation.

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Six Ways to Tame the Toxins in Your Life

Six Ways to Tame the Toxins in Your Life

We live in an amazing, beautiful world at a time when scientific and technological breakthroughs are creating new possibilities for innovation and quality of life.

Unfortunately, we are also living at a time when we are being challenged by an increasing burden of toxins around us and within us - all of which can have serious effects to our health.

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How to Boost Your Body's Healing Power

How to Boost Your Body's Healing Power

Until recently, many people thought that their risk for chronic disease was mostly determined by the genes that they inherited. Recent scientific discoveries have revealed, though, that we have a lot more control over our health status than we thought. It turns out that what is in our DNA is only part of the story. The study of "epigenetics" is teaching us about some of the factors that determine how our DNA expresses itself - and whether certain genes get turned on or off.

Our bodies have any amazing ability to heal themselves, and the lifestyle choices that we make each day can boost or diminish this power. One of the ways these choices affect our health is through a pathway called Nrf2 Activation. In a nutshell, when this pathway is activated by our lifestyle choices, it affects over 500 "survival genes" which stimulate processes that decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, produce more mitochondria (the energy-generating components of our cells) and increase cellular detoxification.

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Five Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Movement and Exercise

Five Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Movement and Exercise

Do you ever feel guilty about not getting enough exercise? By now we've all heard the benefits of exercise and the risks of being sedentary. It's clear that moving and exercising our bodies is a healthy habit.

The trouble with healthy habits is that sometimes we don't relate to them in powerful ways. Sometimes they become "shoulds". Before we know it, our inner two-year-olds kick in and we start to resist those habits that our wiser selves would like us to embrace. Let's face it: No one likes to be told what to do!

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Seven Ways to Get in Motion

Seven Ways to Get in Motion

This past week, yet another study was released revealing the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. This study found that being sedentary is twice as risky to your health as being obese! 

As our country's rates of chronic preventable disease climbs, we've heard a lot about all the factors driving these problems. We've learned that inactivity, poor nutrition, inadequate stress management, and lack of sleep are all lifestyle choices that, if altered, could dramatically improve our current and future well-being.

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Five Ways to Turn Down the Heat

Five Ways to Turn Down the Heat

It's no secret that we're having some major problems with chronic preventable diseases in the United States. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity are very common - and some are becoming more common. They take an enormous toll on our vitality and well-being at a personal and community level. Consider these statistics:

2 in 3 U.S. adults over age 20 are overweight or obeseMore than 1 in 3 U.S. adults has pre-diabetes or diabetesMore than 1 in 3 U.S. adults has metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors - increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels - that are associated with heart disease and other metabolic diseases) 1 in every 4 deaths is from heart disease

As we learn more about these conditions, it is becoming clear that inflammation is a driver for them all. New research is continually helping us discover the sources of inflammation, and what we can do to prevent it.

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Wellness Wrap-up - June 2014

Wellness Wrap-up - June 2014

June produced some interesting wellness news in the areas of exercise, sleep, nutrition and the ever-fascinating microbiome. Here are a few of the highlights:

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Wellness Wrap-up - May 2014

Wellness Wrap-up - May 2014

May has provided another busy month in wellness news. Once again, information about exercise and brain health were dominant themes, as were new resources for creating happier, healthier lives.

Exercise

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Wellness Wrap-up - April 2014

Wellness Wrap-up - April 2014

Exercise, nutrition and mindfulness were prevalent topics in wellness news this month. Here are a few of the highlights that I saw and shared:

Exercise:

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Five Tips for Getting in Motion

Five Tips for Getting in Motion

It's spring and you may be dreaming of warmer weather and all the energy and new life that comes with it. It's a great time to shake off the winter doldrums and tap into the vitality that is all around you. Perhaps you're also realizing that your body has not been as active over the winter as you might have hoped (or even planned). You're not alone!

Although your body was made to move, it's no secret that our modern lifestyle doesn't create the ideal conditions to stay active. So, you may need to be strategic if you're going to give your body what it needs. If you'd like to put more "spring in your step", here are five tips to get you moving in a healthier direction:

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Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

This month, those of us who live in the U.S. are especially focused on matters of the heart. In addition to celebrating Valentine's Day, we also are hearing lots about how to have a healthier cardiovascular system.Person with heart

When you think of keeping your heart healthy, what comes to mind? For many of us, the first things we think about are aerobic exercise (like walking, cycling and swimming) and avoiding unhealthy foods. Did you know that strength training (or resistance training) is also good for your heart?

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