In The Diabetes Breakthrough, based on a scientifically tested way to reverse diabetes through weight loss, Dr. Osama Hamdy and Sheri R. Colberg, Ph.D., explain a home-based version of the 12-week Why WAIT (Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment) program offered at the Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, in Boston. WAIT allows participants to reach their weight and blood glucose goals, along with improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and liver and kidney function. The program’s success is due to doable increases in exercising that put greater emphasis on strengthening muscles; effective ways to change bad habits; successful portion control; healthy alternatives to favorite foods; carbohydrate counting; and meals composed of the right balance of complex carbohydrates and antioxidant-rich plant foods, protein and fat, all to achieve optimum body weight and diabetes control.
No Quick Fix
Restoration of health begins with the most important lifestyle changes. n Replace processed and sugary foods in meals and snacks with nutrient dense, whole foods. n Determine possible food sensitivities with an elimination diet. n Eat some protein with every meal. n Eliminate environmental toxins. n Perform some form of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training at least three to five times a week. n Add stress-relieving practices such as yoga, tai chi or qigong. According to Hamdy, “On average, diabetes has the potential to rob you of more than 12 years of life, while dramatically reducing the quality of life for more than 20 years through chronic pain, loss of mobility, blindness, chronic dialysis and heart disease.” Such serious consequences also include stroke, hearing impairment and Alzheimer’s, he adds. All provide good reasons to live responsibly every day, cherishing long-term goals of laying claim to the best possible health. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at LindaSechrist.com. 18
New York City Edition
Try Some Stretches Four Ways to Flex Our Muscles by Marlaina Donato
hether working out at the gym or taking to the trails, stretching is sometimes an overlooked asset to any exercise regimen. Eliminating stretches or not doing them properly increases the risk of injury and deprives muscles of what they need for optimum performance. “Just because you are in shape doesn’t always mean you have good flexibility,” notes LaReine Chabut, a Los Angeles fitness expert and author of Stretching for Dummies. “If you do plenty of strength training and cardio, but you don’t do any stretching, you’re creating an imbalance in your body. Flexibility plays a big part in overall fitness.” Loosening up correctly not only fosters flexibility, but also improves muscle endurance and coordination. “Everyone should be stretching, especially as you age, to maintain range of motion and balance,” advises fitness trainer Ben Wegman, of The Fhitting Room, in New York City. “A personal workout regime can be enhanced with stretching, which also increases mobility, improves posture and performance, and reduces stress levels.” na-newyorkcity.com
Four Categories, Many Variations “Different types of stretches access different muscles and different types of flexibility, but together, can benefit everyone,” says Wegman. There are many ways to stretch, but knowing what to do and when to do it can be key to optimum results and injury prevention. Warming up to different types of stretches can be a little daunting, but the basic four (sometimes combined in terminology) are passive, static, active and dynamic. In the past, ballistic stretching was common and included potentially harmful bouncing techniques, but today dynamic stretching has become a favorite among trainers, consisting of specific, controlled movements that prepare the body for the demands of both engaging in sports and an average workout. “Stretches can be confusing, so as a rule of thumb, I suggest dynamic stretching for any workout that involves movement and passive stretching for cooling down after a workout to release the muscles,” says Chabut. Stretching also plays an important role in yoga, which generally complements different stretches by adding a mind-body connection. “Breath is the key difference
Helpful Weight Loss