Health Mind & BODY
SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014
Table OF CONTENTS 3 4 5 6 7 8
Did you know?
Easy Ways to Enjoy a flu-free winter
People frequently take human hair for granted, especially if they have it in abundance. While hair can help keep your head warm, there’s more to hair than what meets the eye.
The Basics of Boosting Metabolism Exercise Benefits the Brain, too
For a healthy individual with no hair diseases, hair is very strong with enormous tensile strength. In fact, human hair is about as strong as copper wire of the same diameter.
The Nutritive Power of Apples How to Find Time for Fitness
That means one strand of hair can support up to 100 grams in weight. Considering the average head of hair contains about 100,000 to 150,000 strands of hair in all, the combined strength of human hair could feasibly support up to 12 tons, or the equivalent of two African elephants.
Exercising Outside the Box
4 Reasons To Get A Massage This Winter: •Massage boosts your immune system. Studies show that regular massage therapy can boost the body’s number of “killer cells”, making it easier to fight off the many communicable dis eases that float around in the Winter months. •With shorter, drearier days ahead, Winter can leave you feeling tired and worn out. A good deep tissue massage can be relaxing as well as uplifting. Massage therapy is an inexpensive way to beat the winter blues and is a healthy way to relieve stress. •With Winter comes dry air, and with dry air comes dry skin. Massage therapy is proven to stabilize the collagen in your skin and also helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. •Massage when coupled with warm elements help to warm the body and the soul. At Uptown Salon & Spa we incorporate heated elements in the winter months. Using a heated pad on the table, hot towels, and hot stones in a massage help to warm cold, rigid muscles and fascia which allows you to get the most out of your massage session.
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to enjoy a flu-free winter
pending significant time in close proximity to others indoors can make people more susceptible to the flu. As a result, winter, when people typically spend more time indoors than outdoors, is often dominated by the sniffling and sneezing synonymous with the flu. But men and women can take steps to protect themselves from the flu this season.
GET A FLU SHOT
Some people prefer to avoid getting a flu shot because they want to build up their natural immunities or they believe the shots can make them sick. But most flu shots contain an inactive virus that will not make you sick, and will only trigger your body’s immune system response to a foreign invader. It can take a couple of weeks for full immunity to develop, so it’s possible to still get sick even after a flu shot has been administered. Also, a flu shot does not guarantee recipients won’t get the flu. People can still get the flu after receiving a flu shot, as it may be another strain of the virus. But flu shots are largely effective.
in a number of different ways. Smoking can disable mechanisms in your breathing passageways that serve as natural repellants to the flu. These include the hairs on the lungs that brush away contaminants. Smoking also can create holes in the lining of lower air passages, and such holes can make people more susceptible to illness, including the flu. Smokers who get the flu typically find that the flu further complicates their ability to breathe.
AVOID SICK PEOPLE
When those around you are sick, it is best to keep your distance, especially when those people have the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that people with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets of bodily fluids expelled during coughing, sneezing and even talking. This is why doctors recommend that anyone who has the flu stay home from work or school until they are fully recovered.
BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS WHEN PREGNANT
Smoking cigarettes and cigars can affect the According to Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an inimmune system and also compromise the body fectious disease specialist at Duke University
Medical Center, women who are pregnant are at a higher risk of complications and even death from influenza. Doctors don’t fully understand why, but many feel that because the flu can compromise a woman’s ability to breathe well, this makes it difficult for oxygen to be passed on to the fetus. Pregnant women should speak with their obstetricians about the safety of the flu shot.
GET PLENTY OF REST AND GOOD FOOD
Adequate sleep and a healthy diet can bolster your immune system. It’s important to stay hydrated, eat fruits and vegetables rich in vita-
min C and prioritize getting a good night’s sleep each night.
BEWARE OF HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Always check with a doctor before adding any natural remedies to your flu-fighting repertoire. While some supplements like elderberry syrup, zinc and oscillococcinum can mitigate symptoms of the flu, there’s no solid evidence that these items offer any preventative value. Homeopathic remedies also can interfere with medications or may be dangerous to a developing fetus, so do not take these substances without first checking with a doctor.
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Health Mind & BODY
SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014
OF BOOSTING METABOLISM
en and women looking to shed a few pounds and keep those pounds off often look for ways to boost their metabolisms. Some may not know just what metabolism means, and though it is a complicated combination of processes, metabolism is perhaps best explained as the sum of those processes, each of which is instituted to convert food into energy. So it’s no surprise that so many people, especially men and women whose metabolisms have begun to slow down, want to boost their metabolism and turn that food into energy more quickly. Though metabolism is a collection of complicated processes, boosting metabolism can be rather easy. The following are a handful of ways to do so, which can help men and women reach their fitness goals.
EAT THE RIGHT FOODS AND EAT MORE OFTEN
Many adults have been turned on to the concept of grazing, an approach to diet wherein adherents eat small portions of food every two to three hours instead of the more traditional three square meals per day. But grazing is only effective when men and women eat the right foods. Each small meal should still have nutritional value just as if it were a large meal. When eating smaller meals, include healthy sources of protein and fiber. Vegetables tend to be especially beneficial because they are high in fiber, a nondigestible carbohydrate that is hard for the body to break down. As the body works hard to break down fiber, it’s burning energy and boosting its metabolism along the way. Fish is another potentially beneficial food for those looking to boost their metabolisms, as studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils increase the levels of fat-burning enzymes in the body while decreasing the body’s level of fat-storage enzymes.
enough to help people lose weight, which is the ultimate goal of many people looking to boost their metabolisms. For example, green tea has its proponents who feel it can have a significant impact on metabolism thanks to EGCG, a compound found in the tea that has been proven to elevate metabolism. However, the impact of EGCG on boosting metabolism is negligible, and therefore won’t make much of an impact on a person’s weight. The same can be said about capsaicin, an active component found in chili peppers that some feel boosts metabolism enough to promote weight loss. Though capsaicin can boost metabolism slightly, studies have shown that influence is not significant enough to affect a person’s weight.
DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE
Modern technology may be a reason why waist sizes are getting bigger. Heating and cooling systems may be must-have items, but when the body is too comfortable, it burns less energy to stay warm in the winter or comfortably cool in the summer. A study from the National Institute of Health Clinical Center found that people who slept in a room kept at 66 F burned 7 percent more calories than those who slept in a room at 75 F. Sleeping in a cooler room may just be the easiest way for men and women to boost their metabolisms.
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Boosting metabolism and shedding extra pounds is a goal for many men and women. But while metabolism is a complex set of processes, the various ways to effectively boost that metabolism can be quite simple.
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Eating Real Food
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Lean muscle can boost metabolism, so a workout dominated by cardiovascular exercise won’t have as positive an impact on metabolism as one that includes a combination of weight training and aerobic exercise. When muscles are worked hard, the body needs to work hard to recover and rebuild those muscles, burning more calories and boosting metabolism as a result.
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BENEFITS THE BRAIN, TOO
egular exercise can benefit the body in many ways, helping men and women maintain healthier weights and lower their risks for developing potentially deadly diseases. Though many people are quick to associate exercise with its physical benefits, those hours spent on the treadmill also can boost brain power.
ies that examined the effects of exercise on mental health, Boston University professor of psychology Michael Otto and his colleagues found that exercise could be a powerful tool when treating clinical depression, and even recommended clinicians include exercise as part of their treatment plans for depressed patients.
According to Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and coauthor of “Intelligent Memory: Improve the Memory That Makes You Smarter,” exercise has a direct impact on the brain.
ANTIDOTE TO ANXIETY
Some researchers, Otto included, have begun to examine the effects of exercise on treating and possibly preventing anxiety. The body’s nervous system responds quickly when people feel frightened or threatened, often causing the body’s heart rate to inThat’s because exercise works directly on crease and sweating and dizziness to occur. brain tissue, improving the connections be- Those people who are especially sensitive to tween nerve cells, creating new synapses, anxiety respond to these feelings with fear, growing new neurons and blood vessels, and that makes them more likely to develop and improving cell energy efficiency. So while panic disorders. many people may begin an exercise regimen with a goal of trimming their waistlines or tonBut Otto and fellow researcher Jasper ing their bodies, they might be happy to know Smits of the Anxiety Research and Treatment that those physical benefits are accompanied Program at Southern Methodist University by several cognitive benefits as well. studied the effects that regular workouts might have on people prone to anxiety. Since As the American Psychological Association exercise produces many of the same physical acknowledges, the connection between ex- reactions, such as sweating and an elevated ercise and mental health is hard to ignore, heart rate, the body produces when respondand the APA notes that the following are just ing to fear or threats, Otto and Smits wanted a few of the mental benefits men and women to determine if exercise might help people might reap from regular exercise. prone to anxiety become less likely to panic when experiencing fear or threats.
Many people feel great after exercising, especially if that exercise comes at the end of a particularly stressful day. However, those extra laps on the track or those hours spent on the treadmill don’t just pay short-term dividends. In a controlled trial overseen by Duke University researcher and clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, sedentary adults with major depressive disorder were assigned into one of four groups: supervised exercise, home-based exercise, antidepressant therapy, or a placebo pill. Those in the exercise and antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than those in the placebo group, and Blumenthal concluded that exercise was generally comparable to antidepressants for men and women with major depressive disorder. In addition, in following up with patients a year later, Blumenthal found that those who continued to exercise had lower depression scores than those participants who were less active.
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Otto and Smith concluded that this improvement was a result of the exercise group participants learning to associate the symptoms common to both fear and exercise, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, with something positive (exercise) instead of something negative (anxiety).
For a consultation with a physician at South County Orthopedics, call 401 789-1422.
Regular exercise benefits the human body in numerous ways, not the least of which is its impact on the brain. More information on the link between exercise and improved mental health is available at www.apa.org. www.schospital.com/orthopedics www.scortho.com
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Blumenthal’s study was not the only one to conclude that exercise can have a positive impact on mood. In a review of 11 stud-
In studying 60 participants with heightened sensitivity to anxiety, Otto and Smits found that the subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program exhibited marked improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared to those participants who did not take part in the exercise program.
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Health Mind & BODY
SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014
The nutritive power OF APPLES W
person feel full and can also regulate digestive function. Fiber also can help reduce cholesterol by preventing the buildup of cholesterol-causing plaques in the blood vessels, improving cardiovascular function Apples are a member of the Rose family and are related to and possibly reducing risk of a stroke as pears, peaches, apricots and plums. Though considered a fall a result. fruit, apples can be enjoyed year-round thanks to commercial In addition to working their magic infood production and importing. side of the body, apples can have a noApart from being sweet, sometimes sour and refreshingly ticeable impact on physical appearance crisp, apples pack a number of nutritional benefits. Research as well. Apples are sometimes referred to has shown that apples can help to reduce a person’s risk of as “nature’s toothbrushes” because they heart disease and help those with diabetes. In addition, ap- can brighten and clean the teeth. The crisp, abrasive texture stimulates the ples can help fight cancer and prevent dental problems. gums and removes debris from the According to new information from long-running studies teeth. What’s more, the natural mild published in the British Medical Journal, eating at least two acidity of apples helps to stimulate servings a week of whole fruit, particularly apples, blueber- saliva production that can rinse away ries or grapes, reduces a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes by germs that lead to plaque. around 23 percent. An apple weighs in at under 100 calApples are high in many antioxidants and, as a result, this ories per serving, making them a lowmakes them especially valuable at fighting illness. For exam- fat and ideal snack any time of the day. ple, the disease-fighting compounds in antioxidants have been Because they are low in calories and full of shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers by neutralizing fiber, apples can help men and women maintain a healthy weight. free radicals. ho has not heard the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? It may seem unlikely that one fruit could be so effective at maintaining good health, but apples really are a super food.
Apples also are very high in fiber. Fiber is needed to help a
Because apples can be plagued by insects and parasites, some growers repeatedly spray the trees with pesticides. It is adviseable to buy organic apples to avoid many of the pesticide dangers and to be able to safely eat the apples raw. There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples on the market today. With such variety, availability and health benefits, apples make a convenient and nutritious snack.
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How to find time
inding time to exercise is no small feat for many men and women. Obligations at home and at the office can make TAKE A WALKING LUNCH it hard to fit in a workout, a familiar quandary for men and Many professionals have heard of a “working women with multiple commitments. lunch,” but those strapped for time to exercise might want to take a walking lunch instead. Rather than sitThough it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when juggling ting at your desk or in your favorite booth at a nearby multiple responsibilities, men and women must consider the restaurant on your lunch hour each day, consider responsibility they have with regard to maintaining their physi- squeezing in some time to walk during those 30-60 cal and mental health. The United States Department of Health minutes you normally spend eating or catching up on and Human Services advises that healthy adults get at least 150 office gossip with coworkers. Invite a few coworkers minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a along, walking to and from your favorite restaurant week of vigorous aerobic activity, and that such activity should or finding a nearby park and going for a quick walk. be spread out over the course of the week. In addition, the This is an easy way to squeeze in the recommended DHHS also advises that healthy adults include strength train- 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each day, and you will ing exercises in their workout regimens at least twice a week. no doubt feel more energized after lunch than if you had simply Such a workout schedule can improve both physical and men- eaten without exercising. tal health, making it easier for men and women to handle their hectic schedules. EXERCISE IN THE MORNING Research has shown that men and women who exercise in While such recommendations may seem manageable, many the mornings exercise on a more consistent basis than those men and women still feel as if there’s just not enough time in who exercise later in the day, including after leaving the office the day for them to incorporate a daily exercise regimen. The at the end of the workday. When exercising in the early mornfollowing are a few ways such men and women can find time ing hours, men and women are less likely to encounter schedfor fitness. uling conflicts, as coworkers, colleagues and even the kids will
likely still be asleep. That means fewer interrupted or missed workouts.
PREPARE MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
If working out in the morning simply won’t work out for you, then consider planning meals in advance so you can free up time between the office and dinner each night. For example, slow cookers and crockpots make it possible to start making dinner in the early morning and require little or no effort once you arrive home in the evening. Plan to cook a few meals each week in a slow cooker, which will free up time for you to workout when you would otherwise be preparing dinner.
WORK WHILE YOU WORKOUT
Smartphones and tablets have made it easier than ever to get work done while you’re away from work. This includes getting some work done while you’re getting in your weekly recommended aerobic activity on the treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, you can now read and answer emails and work on some projects while you sweat away those extra pounds.
GET OFF THE COUCH
Many men and women prefer to unwind on the couch as they catch up on their favorite television shows and movies. But such unwinding should not come at the expense of working out. Much like catching up on work at the gym, you also can catch up on your favorite shows and movies while at the gym. Many smartphones and tablets now have apps that allow users to access subscription streaming services, so users who can’t find time to exercise should take advantage of such apps and watch their favorite shows and movies from the treadmill instead of the couch. Readers who can comfortably read while exercising can follow a similar route and read on the elliptical instead of sitting sedentary in a chair as they make their way through the latest bestseller. Finding time to exercise can be difficult, but even the busiest men and women have several options at their disposal as they attempt to make fitness a bigger priority in their lives.
Health Mind & BODY
Exercising OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014 couch. Add a television to your home’s exercise room or purchase a gym membership where the cardiovascular machines are connected to televisions. You will still get to enjoy your favorite shows while simultaneously getting the benefit of exercise.
SAY “BON VOYAGE” TO THE CONFERENCE ROOM
Professionals who spend lots of time in meetings can add a simple twist that incorporates exercise into a typical business meeting. Rather than conducting the meeting in a conference room, propose a walking meeting when possible. A walking meeting is the same as a standard business meeting, but it’s conducted on foot outside of the office. Walking meetings can provide some much-needed energy for you and your fellow staff members, who may appreciate the chance to get out from behind their desks and stretch their legs while still getting work done. Take your smartphones or tablets along to jot down important ideas, just like you would in a more traditional meeting. And make the most of your walk by leaving time for some light stretching before and after the meeting. Chances are you will return to your desk reenergized and glad you found a way to get some TREADMILL TIME Though getting to the gym every day Watching a little television at night is exercise despite of a busy schedule. or even making use of exercise equip- how many people relax and unwind, ment at home on a daily basis may not but it can be a great time to squeeze in PARK FAR AWAY WHEN SHOPPING be feasible, that doesn’t mean people some daily exercise as well. Opinions as It’s tempting and almost human nature to hunt for the still can’t find ways to incorporate a little to what’s the best time of day to exer- parking spot closest to the door when shopping at the exercise into their daily routines. The fol- cise vary, and no definitive study exists mall or even the grocery store. But for those who want lowing are a few simple ways to fit more to suggest one time of day is better than to include more exercise in their daily routines, parking exercise into your day no matter how another. People who like to relax with a far away from the entrance to your favorite store is a busy you may be. little television time at night should make great way to incorporate more walking into your life. the most of that time by hitting the tread- Walking is a simple yet effective cardiovascular exercise, mill, elliptical machine or exercise bike one that the Mayo Clinic notes can lower your blood AVOID THE ELEVATOR, AND instead of just plopping down on the pressure and manage your weight while lowering your ATTACK THE STAIRS
xercise is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. When coupled with a healthy diet, exercise puts men and women on a path toward optimal health while reducing risk for a host of ailments, some of which can be deadly.
The elevator may be inviting, but it’s also somewhat of an enabler. Instead of taking the elevator up to your office each day, take the stairs, and take them with more gusto than you’re used to. Rather than taking one step at a time, take the stairs two by two, lifting your legs high as you scale each pair of steps. This helps But many people find they simply build your leg muscles and makes the don’t have the time to exercise regu- daily climb up the staircase a little more larly. Commitments to career and family strenuous. can be demanding and time-consuming, and exercise is often a casualty of a hectic schedule. TURN TV TIME INTO
low-density lipoprotein, which is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol. In fact, research has indicated that regular, brisk walking can be just as effective at lowering a person’s risk of heart attack as more vigorous exercise, including jogging. When parking far away from the entrance, just make sure you park in a well-lit area where others can easily see or hear you. Many adults find they simply don’t have the time to commit to routine exercise. But there are several simple ways to incorporate exercise into your existing routine without taking time from your already busy day.
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