Prevention

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Unseen Forces that Steal Your Health - and What You Can Do About Them

Unseen Forces that Steal Your Health - and What You Can Do About Them

I'd like to respectfully disagree with George Pettie. He's the one credited with the modern proverb - "What you don't know can't hurt you." Back in 1576, he said it a little differently:"So long as I know it not, it hurteth mee not."

I tend to agree more with Sir Francis Bacon's assertion that "Knowledge is power." — especially when it comes to our well-being!

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Sending Your Body Healthy Messages

Sending Your Body Healthy Messages

We send our body messages every day.

I'm not talking about those messages we generate when we look in the mirror and assess what we see — although those are certainly important to consider.

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Three Ways to Preserve Your Energy for the Long Haul

Three Ways to Preserve Your Energy for the Long Haul

Fatigue. It is one of the most common and challenging symptoms that primary health care providers evaluate every day.

Why? Because lack of energy can be caused by so many different things — and it makes such a difference in the way people look, feel and perform. Without sufficient energy, we can't accomplish all the things that we need or want to do. Without sufficient energy, the quality of our lives is diminished.

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Five Ways to Use Good Vibrations for Health and Well-Being

Five Ways to Use Good Vibrations for Health and Well-Being

Traditional western medicine operates based on assumptions based in biology and our current pharmaceutical treatments are rooted in chemistry. Practitioners from this tradition have been somewhat slow to embrace the emerging field of energy medicine which is perhaps better understood from the perspective of physics.

Nonetheless, there is compelling evidence that our experiences of resonance and vibration - whether through practicing an ancient technique like Qi Gong or participation in a group sing-along - can have profound impacts on our health and well-being.

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How to Deal with Radicals

How to Deal with Radicals

Radicals are everywhere - creating danger to our health and well-being. But they aren't the kind of radicals that get talked about on the news.

I'm talking about free radicals - invisible molecules in our bodies that are unstable. These molecules are a natural byproduct of energy production - released when the oxygen we breathe interacts with the food we eat during metabolism. Even though they are natural, they are also dangerous. They need an extra electron to become stable and they are drawn to anything in our cells that will bind with them and donate one. They bind to, and damage, our cell walls, fats, proteins, or DNA - leading to chain reactions that cause premature aging. Fortunately, many of them are neutralized by antioxidants. Antioxidants bind with free radicals and keep them from doing so much damage.

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Four Ways to Mind Your Metabolism

Four Ways to Mind Your Metabolism

These days we're hearing a lot about the rising incidence of chronic preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. These problems share a common denominator in that they all result from metabolic processes in the body that have gone awry.

Metabolism refers to all the biochemical processes that occur in the body in order to maintain life. These processes are tightly regulated by hormones and play out like an elegant symphony. Unfortunately, a number of factors can negatively impact metabolic processes, and lead to health problems.

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Five Ways to Get the Sleep You Need

Five Ways to Get the Sleep You Need

We live in a sleep-deprived culture. Although the National Institute of Health recommends 7-8 hours of sleep each night for adults, many of us don't get that. A 2009 U.S. survey found that more than a third (35.3%) of adults reported less than 7 hours of sleep, and that even more (37.9%) reported falling asleep unintentionally at least once during the prior month. The CDC has gone so far as to call our collective lack of sleep a public health emergency.

It's not just that poor sleep makes us cranky. It also makes us more accident prone and more susceptible to chronic diseases. 

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5 Essentials for Building a Better Brain

5 Essentials for Building a Better Brain

"I think, therefore I am." ~ René Descarte

As a culture, we tend to place a high value on a well-functioning brain. Of all our organs, none is so linked to our sense of who we are and our possibilities.

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Five Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies

Five Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies

"Eat Your Veggies!"

With the vast array of nutrition information that is available, it is often hard to find common ground among the recommended eating plans.

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Ten Self-Care Strategies to Soothe your Stress

Ten Self-Care Strategies to Soothe your Stress

Last week the American Psychological Association (APA) published it's report Stress in AmericaTM:Paying With Our Health. This annual report polls adults in the U.S. on questions related to stress. From the title, you can imagine that the findings were sobering. Here are a few of them:

Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the past month.Most adults report that their stress levels have stayed the same (53%) or increased (29%) in the past year.42% of adults say they are not doing enough or aren't sure they are doing enough to manage their stress. One in five of them (20%) say they never engage in activities to relieve or manage stress.A number of Americans report engaging in unhealthy behaviors because of stress including lying awake a night (42%), eating too much or eating unhealthy foods (33%) and avoiding exercise (29%).

To many of us, this may come as no surprise. In fact, we may expect stress as a necessary by-product of our American way of life. What's the big deal?

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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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Ignorance is Bliss -- or IS it?

Ignorance is Bliss -- or IS it?

Several years ago, just as I was deciding to expand my wellness work, I had a conversation with a dear family friend - and it has haunted me to this day. He had just gone through a bad health scare, and as a result had begun delving deeply into the causes of heart disease and lifestyle approaches to preventing and reversing it. He is a smart, accomplished man, but he soon learned about a whole world of health information that he had never encountered before. When we spoke, he shared his shock and sense of betrayal about his former health care providers: "Why didn't somebody tell me sooner?"

In his case, ignorance of his condition — and how he could have prevented it - was definitely not bliss.

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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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Sand Castles

Sand Castles

This weekend, our family enjoyed a visit to the beach with my parents. It was a short trip, but the weather was glorious, and we packed some of our favorite beach activities into the time that we had together.

We spent a good bit of the day on Saturday engaged in a big sandcastle project. My younger daughter, Kyra, got us started, and before long we were all engaged in some aspect of its construction. As we worked, it was evident that we were all cognizant that, sooner or later, the tide would rise and our work would be undone. Nonetheless, we undertook the project with great gusto. As we worked, I couldn't help but notice where each of us chose to apply our energies.

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