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The Power Of Your Lymph

Disease IS a lack of health

I’m always looking for a new way to deliver the health message.  This investment is not taken lightly by me as I have felt privileged to be able to continue to learn. I want the return on investment to be more than monetary. I need courses to change my actions and thinking. I need a return on investment.

So how do I decide what to invest in?

What changes clients? What advances health? What is the magic bullet to longevity and good health? The answers to these questions are important to me a I continue to navigate my way through my work in fitness and my own life. Sharing exercises is fun and helpful but it’s the sharing on a deeper level that will advance your health and prevent disease. It’s more than movement, it’s breathing, sleeping, and food. It’s the former nurse in me that drives a need to improve the overall health of our society. 

 

Listen HERE to Sheila discussing this topic on the Fitness Segment with Jon McComb on CKNW 980am.

 

Last Month’s Investment

Dr. Perry Nickelston of “Stop Chasing Pain” fame has created some interesting and progressive content for his Lymphatic Mojo course. Yes, I travelled to Pasadena, California to hear Nickelston delve into his material on the bodies lymphatic system with passion. This course wasn’t one for a typical personal trainer looking for those new exercise variations. In fact at first I was very much questioning the return on investment. It’s in the month since the course that I’m settling into the message I want to share with you. Taking a two day course has not made me an expert on lymph all of a sudden, but it has opened up my thinking on priorities. Treating your body like garbage and putting garage into it stagnates health and lets the disease processes in. 

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Making the connection between how we feel every day and our lifestyle factors is key to our wellness. If we aren’t feeling so great (fatigue, bloating, excess weight, brain fog, acid reflux, constipation, skin issues, allergies, you name your “itis”) and ask ourselves why, it’s a start to figuring out what you can modify to turn that around. I’m saying that adding some things in and taking some things out will both help. Dr. Nickelston’s suggestions are just that: depending on how much better you are wanting to feel will dictate your motivation to apply some of his suggestions. 

Nickelston believes one of the roles of body fat is the storage of toxins. If you aren’t losing body fat it could be because you are in lymph system failure and until you change that you will have limited or no success at losing weight. “You are not fat, you are toxic,” states Dr. Perry. (And yes that’s what most folks call him!)

Think of your body as an ecosystem, and that ecosystem has a hierarchy from the brain at the top with your physical and emotional stress, right through your systems including lymph, circulation, organs, muscle, fascia, and joints, with your skin at the bottom of the hierarchy. Nickelston compares it to an aquarium that needs to have all the systems working for the water to be clear and the fish to thrive. When we have a system failure, we have symptoms. It’s not the symptoms that we should be treating but the systems. Traditional medicine treats symptoms. When the going gets tough the symptom treatment comes with a high price of side effects. Throw in a lot of fear and guilt and we can see why the pharmaceuticals add up. Literally and figuratively this could be you so step back and look at your ecosystem.

Look at Systems not Symptoms 

Nickelson’s own story unfolds over the course of the weekend. A doctor of Chiropractic who practices little of that now as he travels the world 45 weekends a year instructing. Repeated infections, brain fog and thoughts of ending his life are in the past as now Nickelston is the picture of health and full of energy and passion to teach and help us optimize our health and live without pain.

Many of the attendees were at this workshop because they suffer from chronic pain, which he believes is any pain lasting more than 6 weeks. Even those of us without chronic pain have a degree of stress, both physical and emotional, and toxins in their environment resulting in inflammation. 

Inflammation causes loss of motion in the tissues and healthy tissue should not hurt when you press on it. Registered Massage Therapist Diana Ljuljovic of Northview Health and Wellness Centre has been working for many years with clients that have lymph issues such as lymphedema post cancer treatment and surgery. Ljuljovic was kind enough to lend me books, gift me a lymphatic treatment and explain some of the mysteries of the lymphatic system. She agrees with some of the action steps I list below.

Moving the lymph can be done by visiting a lymphatic drainage specialist but practically speaking you have to learn our to move it yourself. There are only two things that are going to move your lymph – diaphragmatic breathing and human movement. 

Perry’s system also includes feather light touch, tapping, thumping, jumping, rubbing, brushing, and shaking to get the lymph moving. He cautions against going all out at first, as the detoxification you experience may make your symptoms temporarily worse before they get better. Also a big red flag is performing any of his techniques when constipated.

Elimination of toxins in our body occurs through many of our systems. The liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, lymph, breath and gastro-intestinal system are all working to keep you from being toxic. Notice breath is on this list so learning how to breathe using your whole diaphragm and not just your belly is key here. 

Waking up the system is a practice that can take from 1 minute to 15 depending on the intention and your symptoms. The quick resets is where I see application to personal training, as I saw benefits to my shoulder and ankle mobility immediately. Trust me when I say that many reach a sticking point when trying to improve mobility. Think about those shoulder stretches. Have they been working? Perhaps a little, but this is a game changer that is so easy to add in.

 “You can’t get well within the same environment you got sick in,” states Nickelston. So change is needed and there are lots of places to start looking and little tiny actions to start doing.

Facts On Lymph from my notes at Nickelston’s course:
  • You have over 10 L of lymph in you body.
  • There are over 700 lymph nodes in you body and 1/3 of them are located in your neck.
  • Lymph is a colorless liquid that is the sewage system of your body. It’s primary job is to get rid of cellular waste helping the body heal.
  • Lymph has a deep connection to your gut. 70 – 80% of your immune system comes from the gut. Your ability to fight infections and recover from pain is a critical part of the lymph.
  • The top five collective spots for lymph are found in the collarbones, arm pits, abdominals, groin, and behind the knees.
What little tiny action steps can you take from the list below?
  1. Do a 5 step Lymphatic Reset each morning. 5 slaps to the body at 130 beats per minute in the following order:
    1. just below the collarbone
    2. under the arm
    3. sternum/belly
    4. hip crease
    5. behind the knees
  2. Drink structured water (With lemon, lime, or pinch salt) daily.
  3. Get your body fluids moving with a Calf Pump – Stand up and lightly bounce at 130 beats per minute for 1 minute.
  4. Walk with purpose as much as possible. Set time aside daily to move more in a variety of ways and environments. 
  5. Breathe with the diaphragm.

Bonus! Put on your favourite music and do a little dance. Get your body moving in whatever way suits you!

Your body is under no obligation to work for you. Let’s get on track to advance your health and longevity so we all can enjoy that return on our investment. 

Inform, Instruct, Inspire, @ it’s time! Fitness Results

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright Oct 2019

References:

Notes and slides for Lymphatic Mojo course: https://www.stopchasingpain.com/lymphatic-mojo/

Diana Ljuljovic RMT: Northview Health and Wellness Centre 604-986-3771

www.northviewhealth.com

About Dr. Perry Nickelston 

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_7activestudio”>7activestudio / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Watch Out For the Kids!

Have you ever spoon fed a child that is fussy?

While many parents are struggling to keep their weight in check and prevent chronic diseases, their kids are struggling as well. 

We bring the kids into the world thinking they will be energetic and fit because they are young. We hope that the movement and socialization of sports and activities will give them the skill acquisition and self esteem they need. The reality is that even the best-intentioned parents are dealing with kids that are not adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours and the toll that this takes on our society is growing.

Kids are spending increasingly more time sitting, eating “unhealthy food”, and suffering from depression, stress and anxiety. Estimates forecast that, by 2040, roughly 70 per cent of adults over 40 (today’s youth) will be overweight or obese. This puts them at risk for heart disease, some cancers, and chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes.

As I’m always trying to keep up with what produces results, I tell myself that perhaps people just don’t know because they have not been exposed to the knowledge they need. StrongFirst Master Instructor Pavel Macek caught my ear when I read in one of his Instagram posts, “Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.” I like this concept very much and hope to continue to share my passion for sharing with the utmost credibility by a never ending desire to keep learning! 

Then I hear how people can’t afford healthy food or to join a gym, or they have no time to cook healthy meals. They lack the desire to prioritize their health. In my opinion nothing should come before feeding yourself and your family real whole food. We are raising a new generation of kids who statistically will be obese. As well, they will have more movement and posture issues than their parents which can result in pain, chronic pain, and add to our already growing statistics on depression. We can’t turn a blind eye to helping the kids. We created them and we are part of the problem.

Listen to Sheila discuss this topic on CKNW!

How did this happen? If we try to reverse engineer this I’m sure we will find more than one contributing factor. I think this is a good time to say that most people don’t mean to contribute to the problem. In fact you are a nice person and you are doing the best you can within your circumstances …but if the outcomes are not changing we should be paying attention to more of the factors.

Factor One: Have you ever spoon fed a child that is fussy?

The book Born to Eat by Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson proposes a plan for a new way to introduce foods to our infants. “Those infants that resist spoon feeding are not being difficult, in fact they are following their instincts and displaying normal behavior,” quotes Schilling. This book is a must-read for parents who want to set their children up with the trust and confidence needed for healthy lifelong eating habits. I think this is a great idea and there’s nothing like starting at the beginning to improve the issues.

Factor Two: We live in a culture of Judgement and Comparison

Judgment and Comparison will send less than positive messages to your head and heart unless you develop a personal set of strategies to filter them. Many parents are unaware of the impact of their own eating behaviours and comments. They may also be equally unaware of what to do or how to change and improve their own mindset. 

I came across some images on Instagram from Body Positive Mom that resonated with me. It’s not just the Moms who are role modeling to the kids, it’s pretty much everyone they have contact with.

Factor Three: The Diet Mold

Many of us grew up in an era when dieting was recommended by health professionals and it was considered good advice and healthy. We now know better and in-fact can say that dieting is a predictor of becoming overweight and a risk factor for developing binge eating disorder.

Our diet culture has been putting too much emphasis on the numbers like calories and macros versus actual food quality. Too much emphasis on tracking the numbers as well has also led many to overthink and obsess about their food intake.

We lived successfully before there were food tracking and dieting “apps.” There is a danger in using these apps, and they are actually a form of dieting and in my experience take up way too much time and effort. The results are in on using tracking apps so please discourage all kids from using them. 

Hire a professional, read some books, and refocus your priorities. Give yourself the time and patience to prepare and plan for changing away from the Diet Mold mentality. Your behaviors come from your feelings and your feelings come from a lot of history from your upbringing forming your self concept. We can control many things in our lives but we can’t control what happened to us as kids – because we were KIDS! Our inability to cope continues to show us areas in which we can spend time in to resolve and come to terms with. Use your time wisely so you can break through not only the Diet Mold but all the other strongholds that are holding you back from being your best self.

#1 Watch what you say to others and yourself. Your comments are heard and can have a huge impact.

#2 Plan what you eat and eat what you feed the kids and grandkids! It’s not ok to feed the kids the sugar and not yourself. Think about what this is really saying. 

#3 Be present and purposeful with food. What you chew is up to you (Another idea from Born To Eat) …it’s you who puts the fork and hand to your mouth. It’s you who brings “it” into the home. You decide when, where and what is offered to the kids but your responsibility stops there. Let the kids decide what and how much to eat. Drop the “finish your plate” and “eat your vegetables” comments.

#4 Boost your nutrition by adding in colour and flavour with your protein, fats, and unprocessed carbohydrates. A “diet” is restrictive in nature so move away from that word and way of thinking. Build out tasty, satisfying meals that are nutritionally relevant for you and yours.

Factor Four: Kids are not Moving Enough

We have subjected the kids to an electronic environment with computers and cell phones that draws them into forward head posture and spinal flexion. These positions change posture and over time the new posture becomes their habit. So not only do the kids face a life of postural compensations that compromise their ability to move well, the time spent on the electronics is spent sitting. Sitting steals time from movement that their growing body, mind and soul needs for wellness, potentially leaving them with a huge calorie surplus resulting in body composition issues.

#1 Strength train and get role modeling for the kids and grandkids. Yes strength training is safe for kids and it has been well researched!

#2 Become part of a change and get on board for moving our kids. We know how to train, improve posture, prevent injuries, and we need to PUSH this very important issue to the forefront of our society. Not just here in Vancouver but around the world.

#3 Approach teachers with the Turkish Get Up Project

In a small way the team at it’s time! is going to remove the barrier of cost for anyone under 14 years of age and we hope to fill the gym with kids that want to join our “Posture and Play” classes.

Free Class – Posture and Play: Kids 14 and under*, 4- 5 pm – Sundays – starts Oct 20th, 2019.

*A waiver needs to be signed so please do not just drop your child. Thank you.

 

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright September 2019

References:

Precision Nutrition: 

The Surprising Truth About Sugar

Can Eating Too Little Actually Damage Your Metabolism? 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/43183815_Safe_exercise_prescription_for_children_and_adolescents

https://www.instagram.com/bodypositive_mom/

Body Positive Mom: Use discount: ITSTIMEFITNESS is promo code to use if interested in learning more!

With permission. 

Born to Eat: Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson Copyright 2017 (1:p.25)

https://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/letters/opinion-from-one-bad-habit-to-another

https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/hn/2010/fs1011.pdf

What Is the Best Diet For Mental Health? 

Fast Food Consumption Article

Opinion: From One Bad Habit To Another

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/strength-training.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=obesogenic+definition&oq=obesogenic&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.7200j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Pavel Macek: Instagram Strongfirst Master Instructor  @pavelmacekcom

From U.S.News & World Report:  https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/diet-apps-are-putting-kids-at-risk

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31043181

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23793681

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20141711

Feet, Food and the Turkish Get Up

PITTER PATTER LET’S GET AT’ER

In today’s world we have a lot of knowledge on fitness and overall health, let’s call it wellness but many of us are challenged to apply it to ourselves. 

Have you ever wished you had the knowledge you have now, years ago? The kind of would of, could of, should of…if I only knew? 

Are you applying one set of rules to yourself and another for those around you? Do you know better practices than what you are doing? Or perhaps you just don’t know? 

Listen here to Sheila discussing this topic with Jon McComb on CKNW 980 am.

Here’s an example of applying one set of rules to yourself and another to a child or grandchild: Buying a bag of cookies to give to them that you won’t eat yourself. If you are not going to eat them…why? And why are you giving them to the kids?

Have you told the kids to get off the couch, take a break from gaming, and exercise but don’t role model this yourself? Is it because of a sore foot, hip, or back? Have you let excuses like this get in the way of your attempt to get results?

There’s some good advice here on Feet, Food and Movement. Pick one that will help you improve your wellness. Please download and apply to yourself daily!

“When you practice taking care of your body you feel better living in it.” ~ Leslie Schilling

FEET

I find that people are always looking for the reason that they have some sort of issue or limitation. The sore foot limits your ability to walk, and running flares your “itiis.” Shin splints, plantar issues, flat feet, bunions, hammer toes, knee and hip issues, pelvic floor issues and core issues could all be improved with better control of your feet. Now you officially have heard me say “Look to your feet!”

Now that you know this will you take my advice? Should have, could have, would have….

Your Feet Need to be Trained. Start here!

FOOD

You don’t have time to meal prep and plan so that’s the reason you have to eat out or order in more than you should. Now you know you should do otherwise but you continue to find many reasons to avoid changing your wellness outcomes through improving your nutrition. How long will you continue with habits that lead you further away from your goals than closer to them? Should have, could have, would have…

Your Food Needs to Be Made. Start here

MOVEMENT AND THE TURKISH GET UP PRACTICE

You don’t have time to go to a gym or have a training plan.  Although I highly recommend this I hope to convince you of the benefits of learning the Turkish Get Up and practicing it every single day of your life. I have tried to introduce you to the “Turkish Get Up” a few times over the years of speaking on the radio. It will improve your posture and core strength, shoulder and hip mobility. It will give you the ability to get up and down from the floor. Getting up and down from the floor is associated with many positive health benefits. As we age we never want to lose this ability! This is good advice that you haven’t taken me up on before so now is the time to change that. Own your joints and bring this incredible movement practice into your life! I’m re-introducing the Turkish Get Up Project Vancouver. I dream of walking by a park and seeing people practice the Turkish Get-Up. 

Enter the TGU Project and gift yourself more mobility, stability, and strength as your practice grows. No should have, could have, would have….

Your Body Needs to be Move. Start here!

“When you practice taking care of your body you feel better living in it.” ~ Leslie Schilling

The team and I worked together to put this information together for you.

We hope to continue to:

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright Sept 2019

References:

(-1) Ideas from “Born To Eat”: Leslie Schilling & Wendy Jo Peterson Copyright 2017 P. 120, 139

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_delcreations”>delcreations / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Notes from Strongfirst Level 2 assisting and recertification: Denver, Co – August 2019

Dave Ewart: Strength Coach, Precision Nutrition coach at it’s time! Fitness Results

Briana Kelly: Kinesiologist and Strength Coach at it’s time! Fitness Results.

Building Your Future Self

What Are You Building Your Body For?

The conventional approaches to weight loss have been well studied over the years. One would think we should have it all figured out by now but we live in a world with a growing obesity and chronic disease epidemic.  

I work in the fitness industry and even I struggle to know what to believe, what to eat, and how much to exercise because everyone is an expert yet we are all clearly failing. I don’t like that I’m working in a failing industry.

My passion to get to the bottom of all things that get results has lead me both to California and Washington these past few months. As I continue to learn from lead presenters at these conferences I’m privileged that I get the opportunity to share what I have learned. It’s the former registered nurse in me that wants to keep you out of the hospital instead of taking care of you in one. At the end of the day it’s advice, so apply as appropriate.

Building Your Future Self means that eating is more than grabbing food on the go. It’s more than one meal, no gluten, no meat, no wheat, no salt. Your body needs to move more than twice a week and it needs more than yoga, pilates, and kettlebells to become strong and lean.

Dr. Arianne Missimer spoke at the National Strength and Conditioning Conference I attended earlier this month on “The Functional Medicine Paradigm Shift,” in Washington, D.C. This is not the first time I’ve listened to this engaging doctor tell her story. (She has conquered Cancer.) She leaves me motivated to continue the path to wellness in any way I can. Missimer’s message: “Traditional medicine treats the symptoms, and improving lifestyle treats the roots of disease. We can control the roots by working to improve the quality of our modifiable lifestyle factors.”

More than 50% of the world is suffering from a chronic disease.

Modifiable Lifestyle Factors:

Nutrition, Exercise and Movement, Sleep and Relaxation, Stress, and Relationships.

 

What undermines our success in improving our lifestyle factors?

It could be the contradictory information we are all subject to from the experts, your friends and family, the media, and all the books and literature. In a presentation from Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N at the IDEA Conference “Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss” I understand that the conflict of contradictory information erodes motivation. The “I don’t know what to do to lose weight” turns into “WHY BOTHER?” 

Too Many Rules and Trends…..What’s trending today?

Superfoods

Protein 

Pre and Probiotics

Avoidance of Toxins, Additives, Preservatives

Gluten Free

Fasting Protocols

Organic

Low or no Salt

Anti – Inflammatory 

Fermented Foods

Wheat Free

Social Responsibility – no single use plastics, buy local

Sugar Free 

Kale

Keto – low carb high fat

Paleo – high protein low carb

Toxic Load

Vegan

Fact: We can’t agree on any of those.

Knowing there is a lot that we can’t agree on with nutrition, Reinagel has created a list of things that we all can agree on and she backs it up with plenty of research. Inputting your answers into her Nutritional GPA (Grade Point Average)  app is a good way to see how you score over time with the agreed on nutritional habits. Note the goal is to get a B average, not an A!

What’s Your Nutritional Grade Point Average?

Nutritional GPA: Start tracking your score. (With permission from Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N)  

#1 Did you have 5 or more servings of vegetables, not counting white potatoes or corn?

A serving of vegetables is ½ cup. Leafy = 1 cup. Veggies in smoothies count, vegetable juice does not. 

#2 Did you have at least 3 different kinds of vegetables?

Vegetables can be raw or cooked.

#3 Did you have 1 or more servings of fish, flax, chia, or hemp?

A serving is about the size of a deck of cards. For flax, chia, or hemp, a serving is 2 tablespoons. Oils and supplements do not count.

#4 Did you eat 1 or more servings of legumes?

A serving of legumes is ½ cup beans, chickpeas, soybeans, etc..1 cup bean or split pea soup, 3 oz tofu, ¼ c. hummus or bean dip. 

#5 Did you eat 1 or more servings of nuts or avocado?

A serving is a small handful, ¼ c chopped or nut flour, or 2 T nut butter. ¼ avocado. Do not count seeds, oils, or “nut milks.”

#6 Did you have more than 1 alcoholic drink?

5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 oz shot. Same for men and women!

#7 Did you have more than one sweetened food or beverage?

Pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, sweetened yogurt, cereal, etc.. Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave count. The goal is not to exceed 25 grams (6 tsp) or 3 packets of zero cal artificial sweetener.

#8 Did you eat any foods made with refined flour?

This includes all breads, pasta and baked goods unless it is 100% whole grain. Rice and intact grains (oatmeal, quinoa, pearl barley) do not count.

#9 Did you eat charred or processed meat?

Include meat, poultry, and fish cooked over flames or charcoal, unless it has been marinated in some sort of acid. (Citrus juice, vinegar, wine, beer, yogurt, buttermilk) 

Processed meats include pepperoni, salami, bacon, ham, hot dogs, smoked sausage, etc..

#10 Did you eat any fried foods?

Fried foods include french fries, chips, doughnuts, fried chicken, shrimp, fish, vegetables, ceese, tempura. Sauteed foods are not considered fried.

Bonus Question:  Did you eat any cultured or fermented foods? 

Yogurt, Kefir, Kim-chi, some cheeses, sauerkraut, kombucha. The food should contain live and active cultures and should not be cooked.

Beer and wine do not count for this question!

Supplements do not count.

 

Remember that future self? You are more than one meal, one workout, one “diet.” Improving the modifiable lifestyle factors will build your body to be the strong resilient person you need to be. We are all facing a lot of stress in today’s world so start small and shape and scale your lifestyle bit by bit…habit by habit.

The more complicated you make it the faster you will drop out.

What else can we agree on? 

Loosen your expectations (of yourself/your results) and go slow with the habit changes. 

Deal with the challenges life sends your way in alternative ways than emotional eating and drinking. Seek professional help.

Keep protein top of mind and build your meals around it. Your protein needs should be based on your lean mass, goals, and metabolic requirements. Obtaining a body composition scan is one of the most accurate ways to get this information. For about $100 you can get a baseline scan and turn the results into an action plan that focuses on your individualized metabolism-based eating.

Move! Creating a calorie deficit for weight loss is needed. Nutrition and Exercise are married. Don’t deprive your body calories and decrease your resting metabolic rate. Feed your body with awesome food that you plan, shop, prepare and most of all Enjoy! 

Learn how to lift weights. I personally suggest kettlebells of course!

 

Start focusing more attention to the solutions and less attention to the problems to get your results.
Hire a professional to help you improve your lifestyle habits.

Find support that’s greater than your challenge. 

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

 

Written by: Sheila Hamilton copyright July 2019

References: 

Notes for the IDEA Conference in Anaheim California: June 2019

Presentation from: Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/NWeight Loss vs. Fat Loss: Clinical and Business Applications

Greg Johnson, MS, CSCS, Pn

Nutritional GPA: Start tracking your score.

The Associations of Fruit and Vegetable Intakes with Burden of Diseases: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30639206

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_elenabsl”>elenabsl / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

NSCA National Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference Notes; July 2019 Washington, D.C.:

Dr. Arianne Missimer: Functional Medicine Paradigm Shift: notes/slides from her presentation

Protein and the “Fat Pants” Gene: Lies, Fries, and Chicken Thights: Jose Antonio PhD, Nova Southeastern University

 

Listen to Sheila discuss this topic on CKNW!

IDEA’s From California

Think of me as a "Change Agent."

Last week I attended the IDEA conference in Anaheim, California. This fitness and nutrition expo drew 25,000 fitness professionals. In this world of information it’s very confusing to know what to believe. The overwhelming amount of information available to us on exercise and nutrition is difficult to decipher – even for fitness professionals! Obtaining the most up to date knowledge by continual learning is one of my core values. If my sharing improves your life in any way then my mission is accomplished! Think of me as “A Change Agent!”

I presented “Does Your Core Training Align With Your Neck” and shared the it’s time! Fitness Results core training program. Back and neck pain is a 216 billion dollar problem worldwide. We need to share the core training love and keep changing the way train, age, and live. I was honoured to be a part of this awesome conference.

While I was there I took advantage of the opportunity to attend some top-notch sessions.

Here are my top 5 takeaways from the sessions I attended in random order:

#1 Body Health = Mental Health

The body tells the brain more than the brain tells the body. When you feel your body telling you something (For example: butterflies, gurgles, pain) ask yourself, “What is my body trying to tell me?” 80% of the messages go from the body to the brain, and 20% from the brain to the body.

#2 Older Adults Are Getting Fitter and Feeling Ageless.

Don’t ask me to define “older” exactly, but research shows that we don’t dress, act, move, look, or feel like our parents did when they turned 50. Drop “growing old” and keep “growing up” I say!

#3 The Knee is the Most Dumb*** Joint in the Body

They spend their life talking to the hip and the ankle and still don’t have much to say for themselves! Our system learns from previous stress and experiences that accumulate to a lot of restrictions. Movement and soft tissue work is the body’s plumber! Get out the myo-fascial release tools today.

#4 Men and Women Both Need Improved Pelvic Floor Health

This historically taboo subject was addressed in a session where I built a pelvic floor with play dough and from the pubic bones to the hip sockets in real time. If breathing and specific pelvic exercises were integrated into fitness, both sexes would benefit with less impotence, incontinence, and painful sex.

#5 The Amygdala is the Boss of Your STRESS System

Two sessions and a 15-minute conversation (lucky me!) while waiting in a lineup beside Dr. Julia Degangi have me feeling very optimistic. The neuropsychologist, a leading expert in brain health, shares where science meets the spiritual and what we can and should do about our STRESS levels. Stress is a steroid for the emotional brain and the cortisol is neurotoxic. The advances and research in exercise (largely on aerobic) show that exercise is neuro-protective and acts like a fertilizer to the thinking brain.

Habits make up 45 % of our day and in my role as a change agent of health I shall continue to establish ways to help us all improve them in order to improve our quality and quantities of life. Degangi states that our brains focus too much attention on our problems and too little attention to the solutions. Our brains can habitually predict the same outcomes for us over and over. Unfortunately, our attention span has decreased by 30% since the year 2000. Largely due to the mobile revolution, we now have the attention span of less than that of a goldfish – only 8 seconds (goldfish has 9 seconds). Making the connection between our thinking patterns and what she calls the “Paradox of Progress” was the suggested start to achieving goals you feel have not been achieved with the methods you have previously attempted. More to come on this fascinating topic!

As I said, I attended some top-notch sessions. Three inspiring people delivered keynote presentations:

First, the incredible story of Victoria Arlen who spent 10 years unresponsive in a wheelchair suffering from two rare autoimmune disorders. She went on to win several medals in the para-Olympic games and walked out on stage with beauty and grace. She tells us to change anything “Impossible” to “I’m possible.” Believing that movement creates miracles, her advice is to always “show up” and enjoy the view along your journey.

Then the 93 year old widow of Jack Lalane, known as the “Godfather of Fitness” popped out of her seat, up the stairs to the podium and promptly impressed us with her wit and genuine elation to still be on the upside of the grass. Elaine Lalanne presented an award in her late husbands memory to a real life fitness industry hero Jay Blahnik. Jay is currently the Director Of Fitness for health technologies at Apple.

Lastly, “Functional Life Coach” Mastin Kipp dynamically projected himself on stage in front of the boldest presentation slides I have ever seen. “Living Your Purpose” is embodying the expressions, emotions, behaviours and lifestyle that light you up. How you express that purpose continually changes and evolves as we age. 

Kipp reveals the many ways that we continually get in our own way of living our purpose. He states that our unhealed, unresolved, and unidentified traumas chronically disrupt us. The symptoms he lists under the emotional trauma tag line run include anxiety, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, self doubt, anger, and bullying. His examples of low and high level coping mechanisms surprised me. Things like gossip, alcohol abuse, soul-sucking jobs and high fructose corm syrup are in the low level category. Personal growth without trauma work leads to high level coping skills some of which include strict exercise, dieting and yoga. Gluten, sugar, dairy, meat, soy, GMO and taste free food all make the list as well. 

Finding emotional awareness, intelligence, and fitness was the message given to turn you on to your purpose path. Feeling safe and exploring modalities that pair the mind (cognitive) and body (somatic) were the strategies given to move from survival to growth mode.

Mastin’s Fear Maxim: Unless you are in mortal danger, use fear as a compass. Living your purpose is the greatest gift you can give those you love. Purpose is the immune system of your emotional health.

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

 

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright July 2019

References:

Session notes and slides from IDEA Conference 2019 Anaheim, California

The Relationship Between Golf and Your Health

The Pros: Golfers Live Longer than Non Golfers

The clubs are out and it’s time! to visit the greens for you folks that love everything golf. The passion surrounding this game on every level is great to see. Whether you’re a seasoned player, a beginner, or a pro this advice is going to help your game. And if you like to watch golf rather than play it I suggest this still applies to you. Movement improvement is needed in everyone’s life. Golf spectating offers an opportunity to walk around the course rather than being restricted to watching the action from your seat.

I say there’s an athlete in us all at any age ready to come out swinging!

There are also some well researched mental health and wellness benefits to playing the game that include increased self worth and social benefits. Improved balance and muscular function is seen by playing regularly, and cardiovascular benefits abound especially if you don’t use the golf cart.

The health benefits and exercise are powerful motivators to play or take up golf at any age. The sport is played by 55 million people in 206 countries globally. Most see and feel golf as a stress buster but conversely anxiety has been reported by golfers as it relates to poor performance.

Before going to far into the reasons you might have a golf game above par and a sore back from playing the game you love let’s start with a proven fact:

Golfers Live Longer than Non Golfers

But there are Cons…

TPI is the world’s leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. Excessive roundness of the upper back or excessive arch in the low back are posture positions identified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) that can negatively influence your game and your back health.

Although golf provides health and fitness benefits, the sport also appears to have certain injury risks that may significantly affect a players enjoyment of the game, and even prohibit some from playing as they age.

The statistics on golf injuries are high and it’s considered to be a moderate risk activity compared to other sports. The volume of repetitive practice, sub-optimal swing mechanics, lack of warm-up, and poor general health and movement are all factors. Addressing one or all of these with some professional help will go a long way to decreasing injury risk and improving your score.

There is a higher incidence of skin cancer with golfers. As one who has battled a lot of skin cancer personally I strongly encourage you to wear sunscreen and a hat while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

Head and eye injury stats are certainly less frequent but can be severe. Lightning strikes causing death and golf cart related injuries (15,000 last year from the US National Safety Council) although not technically related to golf suggest to me that some weather checks and safety instruction should be implemented. Those that carry their golf bag on a regular basis have significantly more injuries to the low back, shoulder, and ankle. The word “caddy” comes to mind.

From The Fitness Professional

In their study Golf-Related Low Back Pain: A Review of Causative Factors and Prevention Strategies, authors Linsday and Vandervoot suggest despite its popularity low back pain affects golfers of all ages and skill levels. Many body parts are involved in the swing and if it’s not executed properly the velocity, range of motion, and complexity can make your spine talk back to you.

One sided issues…a movement geek’s candy store!

Golf is one sport that requires asymmetric trunk movement.

Repetitive mechanical load applied to a body part may lead to hypertrophy of its muscles. If a movement requires asymmetric activation of bilateral muscles, this may result in differences in muscle size between the sides

Researchers (Yoka Izumoto,Toshiyuki Kurihara, Tadashi Suga,Tadao Isaka) looked at the  Bilateral differences in the trunk muscle volume of skilled golfers. The results of this study demonstrate that skilled long-term golfers develop large volumes and bilateral asymmetry of their trunk muscles. The Lateral Abdominals and Psoas Major on the non-dominant side and the Rectus Abdominis on the dominant side are required to swing the club. Many recreational golfers develop a version of this states Dr. David Olson of Edgemont Chiropractic because “their fitness level is under the capacity of their golf volume of play.” In other words, they are not fit enough to play without injuring themselves repeatedly. 

Range of motion (mobility) and strength is where I feel training can have the most influence. Your swing mechanics are one thing the golf professional is an expert on but your body mechanics are where I can make some magic.

The causes of low back pain from golf to date have been mostly focused around the back, but poor hip mobility and strength (both front and back) can play a role as well. The rotation has to come from somewhere. The hips are supposed to be mobile and the lower back relatively stable (Joint by Joint approach/ Mike Boyle’s theory) If the hips don’t move the rotation comes from the low back. Over time this equals injury.

I find it interesting that the technical terms golf professional use to describe swing flaws have a lot anatomy and posture in them. TPI’s website has a wonderful video section that describes the flaws and so of your golf coach has mentioned that you have S posture or early extension for example go to their website and check out what it is exactly!

Check out the C- Posture and S Posture videos here but you may also have heard your golf coach say that you have: Casting, Loss Of Posture, Flat shoulder Plane, Early Extension, Flying Elbow, Over The Top, Sway, Late Buckle, Forward Lunge, Scooping and the funny one Chicken Winging!

All of the common swing flaws include common physical flaws such as these:

Limited hip mobility (both internal and external rotation),

Lack of hip strength

Reduced trunk and shoulder mobility.

Poor Core Strength

Mobility and Stability

Balance

Wrist, neck and ankle mobility issues.

Breathing

Recovery, Rest, and Fuelling for Performance. (Nutrition)

So in your effort to improve your game you must improve your fitness, work on your physical flaws and address your weakest links. So here’s the deal, “Train and work out to improve your game.”

I believe if your golf workout looks really “golfish” you are doing the wrong things. Reinforcing the movement, and one sided hypertrophy as mentioned above with loaded medicine ball throws for example will not achieve the consistency and accuracy you desire.

Consistency
Consistency comes with removing or improving the physical limitations that limit your ability to improve your swing flaws.

Your physical limitations are in turn the underlying root of your swing flaws.  Ideally, we are looking for a balance in your movement patterns as well as solid competency in their execution, and often that is not what we see when completing movement assessments. Movements such as hinge, squat, push, pull, crawl, carry and brace will provide a strong training foundation from which to develop sequential kinetic chain linking. It has been reported that the core is not a power generator, as power is generated in the hips and transmitted through a stable core. This makes me want to train my hips more!

So think of training as human specific and goal related rather than golf specific. Call it what you will, the end result is something that shows in the score, game after game improving your handicap.

After two hip replacements, George has done the work and has a great swing!

From The Golf Professional

I reached out to Ben McKendrick a PGA of Canada Member & Associate Professional at Capilano Golf & Country Club.  McKendrick thinks the golfers on tour aren’t given enough credit for their physical capabilities. In his opinion they have the highest level of movement and explosive power than any other sport.

Ok I admit that the first nugget is for me:

“All golfers regardless of age and golfing ability would benefit from improved fitness & mobility.  Swinging the golf club with power and control comes from a body that moves properly.”

On Power he says:

“More power – is often the number one thing people ask for but they don’t train their body to move fast and efficiently. So to hit the ball further the club needs to travel faster so to make the club travel faster it’s down to the golfer to create that speed. Speed unfortunately won’t come from just the arms. To create additional swing speed is a combination of arms and body working in synchronization. To achieve this we need a correct turn of the hips and shoulders in backswing with the arms and clubface complementing that turn.

The downswing is then a reaction to the backswing, hopefully with the use of vertical, horizontal and rotational forces. And I say hopefully because if we haven’t created the torque and width in the backswing there won’t be high levels of stored power ready to explode at impact.”

On Controlling the Clubface:

We want a swing that keeps the club face “under control” throughout the golf swing. Most golfers I see have excessive forearm roll at the start of their swing. This will typically open the clubface and create a chain reaction of compensations throughout the entire swing, causing inconsistencies in their outcome.

All elite level ball strikers have the ability to control the clubface in a repeatable manner through impact which makes their outcome very predictable. This is something the average golfer can’t do. This is likely to be a combination of poor technique / swing mechanics and / or physical limitations.

Controlling the clubface isn’t always easy to do; this takes a conscious effort of correct wrist, arm and shoulder moves not to mention freedom in the hips and back. Any time a golfer has a limited range of motion in a certain area, they will have no other option than to make compensations to overcome their issue.

When we watch PGA tour golfers we see that there are lots of different ways to get the job done but they all have very similar motions at impact (open hips and shoulders, side bend and external rotation of their trail shoulder). Sounds easy right? If only!!!!  

Make golf a way of life and more than a sport and you’re sure to live long and happy!

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright June 2019

 

References:

Sheila Hamilton’s TPI Expert Profile

Golf Blog 2017

Golf Blog 2016

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/50/11/647.full.pdf

The relationships between golf and health: a scoping review

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/51/1/12.full.pdf

How healthy is your golf game? Calgary Herald Jill Barker May 27, 2019

Ben McKendrick – PGA of Canada Member & Associate Professional at Capilano Golf & Country Club

Contact Info: benm@capilanogolf.com 604 925 4653

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4335481/

Golf Related Low Back Pain:A Review of Causative Factors and Prevention Strategies

http://www.mytpi.com/articles/fitness/treating_motor_pattern_dysfunction_are_your_corrective_exercises_correcting

Bilateral differences in the trunk muscle volume of skilled golfers Yoka Izumoto1 , Toshiyuki KuriharaID2 *, Tadashi Suga3 , Tadao Isaka3

Thanks to Dr. David Olson of Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic for digging up some great research for me on golf.  I call you Dr. Awesome for a reason!

Improve Your Game from TPI

Image : Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_Krisdog”>Krisdog / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

(3) Adapted for Cann et al Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 2014;5 (4):e24289

 

Do You Have a Strong Plan For Results?

You might want to consider changing it up!

 

My work involves a lot of planning to get results. In fact, my business name has “Fitness Results” in it, so there’s always an expectation that we will achieve them or we will have to change the name. So how do we get “results” and why do I find this such an interesting topic?

As much as I have learned through education, trial and error, and evidence based practice I have to admit that I was just recently challenged to think differently about planning to achieve fitness training results. This change has prompted me to think about how I could apply this to pretty much everything to achieve improved results.

The Power of Habit

Often what you do is because of habit. For example, you always do something a certain way or you eat the wrong things when you are emotionally stressed. If you haven’t thought about the power of habit before I encourage you to examine yours as a way to change and improve your health and well-being.

Whether you are planning a gym training program, your nutrition, or want to improve your mental game let’s explore your plan (and habits) and consider some new options.

First I ask, “Is what you’re currently doing working for you?”

Having a plan that is working is a great thing! There are so many “motivational” quotes about planning that I’ve heard or read.  These will only work for you if you like being reminded that you don’t have a plan. Possibly a good place to start.

I found on the web: (-1)

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” ― Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Backing it up a little here I’ll say it’s easy to have a plan for a specific goal if you take the time to make them. In my experience many people set themselves up for failure by making their goals unrealistic or unachievable right from the start. This is where traditional goal planning can be problematic if the goals are outcome based and not behaviour or habit based. Ex. I want to lose 35 pounds by September is an outcome based goal. ….Drinking less liquid calories and going for a walk 5 x week are behaviour and habit based goals.

Gym Training Plans

Traditionally, exercise science has supported a linear and/or undulating progression of growth: start slow and build to strength in your training plan. This science has typically coupled volume and intensity in an inverse relationship, progressing in a fashion where as volume increases, load decreases; or as load increases, volume decreases.

A few weeks ago I attended a Strongfirst PlanStrong™ course, and all this science was turned upside down. The system is for building muscle (hypertrophy) strength, was adapted from the Soviet weightlifting methodology and produced records that still stand. Strength can be achieved without gaining mass which is important for some athletes, as in biking and martial arts. The research supports variety. Our muscles and tissues respond well to changing stimuli, but they like random variety at a fluctuation rate of 20%. Volume and load have been uncoupled. As a strength coach, this blew my mind!

Big Takeaway:

“In Science and Engineering the solution that meets all the set requirements at a minimal “cost” is optimal.” (Vorobyev, 1981) (- 1) So this is often a lot less than you might be currently doing. Any injuries from training? Do you lose proper form, posture, and breath mechanics while training?

Taking the time to apply PlanStrong ™ has been a challenge for me. The details to which each exercise is planned can be incredibly time consuming for the trainer. As a general guideline we can look at the major lifts like squats, deadlifts, presses, and pulls to ensure that we can program with confidence in the sweet spot of the right dosage, applied at the right time.

I learned the importance of tracking the tonnage and number of lifts (NL) per month and admit that even with logging my training for years I had not paid so much attention to the weekly and monthly volume.

Note to self: Start tracking training volume immediately!

The monthly volumes are distributed by choosing a variant from a table of 16 combinations. The mathematical side of this is quite complex and time consuming compared to what we are used to when programming. The variants are also used to program intensity. More math to do when calculating out one ARI, or Average Relative Intensity. The ARI must also fall within percentages to ensure safety and get results. Thank goodness for calculators.

@itstimecoach_andrea  : Check her lift out on Instagram

I recently had my first success coaching the PlanStrong ™ system with one of the it’s time! Fitness Results coaches Andrea Brennan. She achieved personal records in 3 events at the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge last weekend in Seattle. Her results surpassed our goals with a deadlift of 125 Kg, 120 16 Kg snatches in 5 minutes, and 3 strict pull-ups. All completed with excellent form and with no injuries.

Even when we think our training and conditions appear optimal we can’t guarantee results. There are many factors in play within our system. Our hormones, nutrition, recovery, stress, and sleep influence us 24/7. Both Andrea and I are happy that our plan came together. I only told her what to do and she had to do the work. Nevertheless I share in her achievements.

A Plan? – Do you have one or not?

If you don’t have a plan perhaps it’s because you don’t want to stick to it. A little change and variety may be just what you need to make the idea of change a little more appealing. Is there a way to apply some of the principles of variation to your plan to shake it up and achieve the results you are looking for?

If you have a plan then again perhaps changing it up a little will stimulate some change and results in a positive response.

If you have been doing the same thing at the gym..

It’s time to shake up the regular gym routine you’ve been following for 10 years. Stagnant training creates plateaus. We need fluctuating stimuli in our muscles and tissues to spark adaptation in motor control, strength and mobility.

Think variety for the session, week, month, and year! Get creative!

With or without a Plan: Apply Some Variation – In training and in your daily life

Are you one of those people that fall into the “habits” way of living? Has your body grown used to how you move, feed, and mentally nourish it? If the patterns and habits are well established and we agree some change is desired…Then how can we vary things for you?

Let’s predict some change will spark vivacity, improve health, energy, sleep, and improve productivity!

Examples: Do you always eat the same thing and at the same time?

Too much or too little quantity?

Do you always move the same?

Has your posture improved?

Are you dealing with the same issues that you have been for years?

How many Squats and Hip Hinges did you do last month?

Do you always forward lunge? Do you ever reverse lunge?

Do you think the same? Our thoughts tend to be repetitive.

Can you flip the situation? Make the glass half full for a change?

Ever catch yourself judging others? Is this necessary? Can you work to find a more accepting thought when the judgement machine strikes?

Do you always eat when you are tired or upset?

Take a look at the Emotions and Responses Cheat Sheet developed and shared with permission from Georgie Fear. Make a change to your emotional eating by changing up your response with some help from the guide. At the very least you have a new strategy to apply to some of your not so good eating habits.

 

So if you have a plan great – change it up

If you don’t have a plan don’t feel bad about it

Make a Strong Plan For Yourself

Start small and appreciate the value of a slow build

Everything that makes you a better version of yourself is worthy of your time and effort.

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” ― Henry David Thoreau, essayist and poet.

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

 

Written by: Sheila Hamilton and Briana Kelly

Copyright May 2019

References:

Georgie Fear : www.nutritionloft.com/coaching Graphic used with permission

www.workzone.com 45 Powerful Planning Quotes (-1)

Sheila’s Personal Notes and manual from Planstrong ™ : Attended in San Diego March 2019

Life Cycle – Track your Time App

The Wellness Garage Weekly Newsletter – Dr. Brendan Byrne

https://www.wellnessgarage.ca/

Lunging

Photo: Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_artursz”>artursz / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

The Pain of Arthritis and More

What you can do for yourself to help

 
The Pain of Arthritis and More

We recently hosted a group of physiotherapists from the Complex Pain Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. It was an interesting evening discussing their program which is often a last resort for individuals suffering with chronic pain. Many individuals joining because of diseases associated with one of the many forms of arthritis.

Pain is an unpleasant sensory experience from the brain. For those that suffer from chronic pain I’m sure you can relate to the unpleasant component and may share in a well known fact known from those of us who have worked with individuals that suffer from chronic pain that you “don’t feel heard.”

 
Arthritis Facts:

There are over 100 types of Arthritis –  arthr- meaning joint and -itis meaning inflammation, all the types of arthritis are a form of joint inflammation.

1 in 5 Canadians live with arthritis and 1 in 2 adults over 65 have arthritis

        There is no cure for arthritis

There are two categories of arthritis:

  1. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the result of the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues. We think of this as the “wear and tear” or degenerative arthritis. It leads to the breakdown of cartilage (elastic material that covers and protects the ends of bones) resulting in bone on bone contact that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. This is the most common type or arthritis that people get as they age.
  2. Inflammatory Arthritis is different from OA as the source of joint damage comes from inflammation. Inflammatory arthritis includes every form of arthritis except for OA, and is mostly caused by autoimmune diseases characterized by inflammation of the joints and other tissues and organs within the body.  Within this, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Psoriatic Arthritis are the most common. With these autoimmune diseases the body’s immune system starts to attack the healthy tissues, and results in pain, stiffness, restricted mobility, fatigue, and damage to the joints. People of all ages can get these, and it’s not just limited to older adults.
Chronic Pain 

An important point to mention here is that there is a crossover with arthritic symptoms and chronic pain. From my recent inservice with the complex pain physios from St. Pauls Hospital my notes read: Arthritis treatment  – wear and repair /motion is lotion.1 in 5 Canadians suffer from chronic pain, making this an important point to touch on. Direct from my emails with Sarah Brothwick: “Websites I refer to are the Arthritis Society www.arthritis.ca and Pain BC www.painbc.ca. The Arthritis Society in particular offers a lot of online education as well as in person education sessions. People In Pain BC www.pipain.com is a network of support groups in local communities I also refer to a lot. They are not specific to arthritis but are more about chronic pain in general, but because a large component of arthritis pain is from chronic pain, is very applicable and relevant.” 

 
There are connections between pain, arthritis pain, chronic pain and emotions.

 

Like it or not the more I have the opportunity to share through the blog and radio show the more the message seems to be the same….we are all dealing with stress in a stressful world and navigating it is challenging for us all. Chronic pain and chronic stress and chronic everything – with no disrespect here but rather a respectful “I got you, cause I got it too.”

From the book, “The Happiness Advantage” author Shawn Achor states: While many of us, thankfully, live lives free of serious trauma, we all experience adversity of one kind or another at some point in our lives. Mistakes. Obstacles. Failure. Disappointment. Suffering. We have many words to describe the degrees of hardship that can befall us in our personal and professional lives. And yet with every setback comes an opportunity for growth that we can teach ourselves to see and take advantage of. (-1)

 
If there is no cure for arthritis how can you improve your pain levels?

A change in the way of thinking about Osteoarthritis is that although wear and tear is a component and a natural result of aging, bigger triggers include: obesity, eating the wrong foods, stress, injury and lack of complete rehabilitation, and lack of exercise.  This from the book “Healing Arthritis” where author Susan Blum states “the ultimate goal is to shift your body on the deepest level toward resiliency and vibrant health.”

 
Improving Your Nutrition

The goal of treatment for arthritis is to control pain, minimize damage to joints, and maintain a person’s quality of life. Some treatments include supplements and prescription medications to improve pain levels and modify the disease. Less invasive treatments that help improve quality of life and joint health are our nutrition changes and exercise. In extreme cases joint replacement or resurfacing surgery would be considered. 

“Inflammaging” is related to age related chronic inflammation. Another quote from Blum’s book: “With each passing birthday, low grade systemic and local inflammation occur, triggered partly by age related increases in visceral (abdominal) fat and a decrease in muscle mass.”

Did you catch the part about eating the wrong foods? This opens a bigger conversation on the theories we acquire many diseases and the state of your GUT HEALTH. Looking to include foods in your nutrition that are probiotic and anti-inflammatory, and reduce or eliminate the refined and inflammatory foods would be worthwhile. Another win for taking responsibility for yourself by forming positive nutritional habits. Last months blog “Time To Step Up Your Spring Nutritional Habits,” focused on replacing or scaling poor nutritional habits with ones that will produce results over the long term.  Think of nutrition and exercise being the two pillars that will produce the best results, rather than one or the other.

Can exercise help?

Physiotherapist Sarah Brothwick who specializes in working with inflammatory arthritis states, “Exercise is definitely a big component of self-managing arthritis, but people have to find something that will work for them and at a suitable level.” If we want to put on muscle mass we need to be doing some form of strength training.

I feel this is currently a hot topic in our industry as many health practitioners can play a role in pain management. In keeping with each practitioners scope of practice I ask, “Is rehab training or is training rehab?” (A famous quote and lecture series from Charlie Weingroff.) My scope as a personal trainer includes assessment and exercise prescription that is appropriate for the level of the individual. Including exercises that are effective or corrective in nature is competency and mastery of the “art and science” of being a master trainer. I do not have manual skills to adjust or manipulate, or fancy machines, or the ability to prescribe supplements or medications. The training plan I give you is all natural and can be part of your overall plan.

Exercise can be an effective way to reduce long-term symptoms. The American Centre for Disease Control recommends that people with arthritis follow the general physical activity guidelines for adults or older adults. There is no evidence that activity will progress the condition. In fact Dr. David Olson of Edgemont Chiropractic recently explained to me that our joints need to be stimulated to repair and there are many studies that support this. In fact a sedentary lifestyle, not increased activity increase the of hip and knee arthritis by over 10%. Olson states, “the cartilage needs loading and unloading for it’s nutritional health.” 

We tend to move less when we are in pain. Unfortunately, the less we move, the less we become capable of moving. Move it or lose it! “Why do you lose mobility? Because your brain doesn’t want you to move. Why doesn’t your brain want you to move? Because you stopped moving.” – stopchasingpain.com

Below you can find a joint routine that can be completed everyday to keep your joints moving because motion is lotion!

Osteoarthritic knees and hips will benefit from low impact exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles which support and move those joints. Exercises may include:

  • Shallow squats that can become deeper over time as the knee joints become stronger
  • Quad and hip flexor stretching
  • Hip hinging exercises, such as in glute bridges or deadlifts that strengthen the hips (the hips are the powerhouse of the body and can help to protect your knees!)
  • Hamstring stretching and strengthening exercises

And as always, strengthening the core will provide benefits to the limbs – if your core is not up to the task of stabilizing your body, your body will look to the various joints to do extra work! A strong core lets you accomplish more with your limbs.

Another benefit of exercise is resultant weight loss. Excess body weight creates more stress on arthritic joints. Exercise aimed at weight loss can provide long-term ease and relief of pain and swelling. According to a 2005 study, one pound of body weight can create 4 pounds of pressure on the knees. So if you lose even just 10 pounds, you’ve lightened the load on your knees by 40 pounds! Losing weight is not only a product of increased exercise but more importantly nutrition.

The positive mental health benefits of exercise have also been well researched. I had a laugh when I came across an article from the Business Insider that researchers from Yale and Oxford that say “exercise makes you happier than money!” Ok well another spin is that exercise is more important to your mental health than your economic status.

 
What else can you do?

Mindfulness activities (reading and meditation), support groups, and counselling. Focus on activities that you enjoy and monitor the intensity with your pain levels. Gardening for example is a great way to move and relax at the same time. Use pain flare ups as a guide to modifying the intensify of your activity. I suggest always working within your capacity and being aware of where your tolerance levels are. Sometimes this takes practice! The benefits will show with consistency when you make movement a lifestyle.

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results

Written by: Sheila Hamilton and Jessica Pastro Copyright April 2019

References:

https://itstimefitnessresults.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/ARTHRITIS-BLOG-EXERCISES.pdf

http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/diet-foods-arthritis-pain

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html

https://arthritis.ca/living-well/stronger-together/mental-health/the-link-between-emotions-and-arthritis-pain

https://www.arthritisresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Arthritis_Lifestyle_Management_Guide.pdf

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/articles/6-exercises-for-knee-oa-pain.php?_ga=2.237682880.1909421580.1551486215-1091028098.1551486215

https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/inflammatory-arthritis

https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis

Email from Physiotherapist Sarah Borthwick who specializes in inflammatory arthritis. Thank you for providing me with some excellent resources!  

https://www.functionalmovement.com/Articles/882/whiteboard_talks_ep_11_movement_screening_clarity

https://arthritis.ca/living-well/optimized-self/eating-well/your-good-food-guide?fbclid=IwAR03W3ySPggfwhrFjbKr3dxhgQW5EI3fLKwQFyF28vK6YAwC-33JcxzytZE

https://arthritis.ca/living-well/stronger-together/mental-health/the-link-between-emotions-and-arthritis-pain

Chronic pain contacts at St Paul’s Complex Pain Program:

Keri Fuchko: tel:604-806-9028, Kfcuchko@providencehealth.bc.ca

Sarah Hearne: Kfcuchko@providencehealth.bc.ca

Book: Healing Arthritis: Author Susan Blum Copyright 2017 – Thanks to Linda D for sending this book my way!

Book:The Happiness Advantage : Author Shawn Anchor (-1) P. 111

https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/pain-management/understanding/types-of-pain.php

“Fitness For Mental Health” The Globe and Mail (Ontario Edition) 8 Apr 2019 PAUL LANDINI

JOSPT PERSPECTIVES FOR PATIENTS Running and Osteoarthritis Does Recreational or Competitive Running Increase the Risk?

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(6):391. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.0505

https://www.businessinsider.com/exercise-makes-you-happier-than-money-says-yale-and-oxford-study-2019-4

Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiative Grace H. Lo1,2 & Sarra M. Musa1 & Jeffrey B. Driban3 & Andrea M. Kriska4 & Timothy E. McAlindon3 & Richard B. Souza5 & Nancy J. Petersen1 & Kristi L. Storti6 & Charles B. Eaton7 & Marc C. Hochberg8 & Rebecca D. Jackson9 & C. Kent Kwoh10 & Michael C. Nevitt11 & Maria E. Suarez-Almazor12 Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2018 /Accepted: 20 April 2018 # International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2018

Time to Step Up Your Spring Nutritional Habits

Nutritional Habits - Make or break?

If I could give you everything I know about nutrition, would it change anything you do today?

When it comes to this topic, the world is overloaded with information. What you eat is very personal. Taking my advice and making changes will only happen if I can coach you in a way to make this relevant.

Eating is habit. We often eat the same things, at the same times, and not always for the right reasons.

I am happy to share information and give advice; however, you must ask yourself WHY you might want to heed my advice on eating and nutrition.

  • Want to look better?
  • Feel better?
  • Sleep better?
  • Reduce the risk of disease?

Not everyone has weight loss or aesthetic goals. Hurray on eating for more than one outcome.

It’s never one thing holding you back from improving your nutrition. It’s all a process of developing smarter habits than you currently have in place, and using them to replace the poor habits. You must make the decision that these habits are relevant to you so any changes you make are maintained.

There is nothing crazy here, and there is no magic pill or magic diet (trust me, as we’ve been looking!). You will get results if you build out healthier habits. Educate yourself in the process and trust that your consistency will pay off in the long run.

Let’s get to the real reasons you are not eating for fuel. We need that fuel to perform, fight illness, prevent disease, sleep, and feel strong mentally.

In her book Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss, Nutrition expert Georgie Fear states “Research shows that individuals who seek to lose weight by adopting rigid rules or following a diet are more prone to binge eating and weight gain than individuals who aren’t trying to restrict their intake. Stress increases appetite and fat storage, and weakens willpower and tenacity in the face of challenge.”

So two big players in Nutrition coaching (Precision Nutrition, Georgie Fear) focus on habit based eating. Let’s look at what that means…..

Habits-Based Eating

What are habits and why are they so important?

If you think of poor and unhealthy eating in terms of habits that you find hard to break or change it might be easier to see that creating new habits that promote healthy eating can work.

Your results are going to be “transformational” if you are very compliant and consistent with your new healthy habits. New research from Precision Nutrition (PN) may surprise you though, “Just putting in some effort-no matter how small-changes things.” (-1)

Facts from a recent PN email:

* Every client eats food

* Every client could eat food better

* Eating better can 3x (even 10x) the results from the exact same exercise plan

Great movement coaching is something we pride ourselves with at it’s time! Fitness Results. But let’s face it…results that are 3-10 X greater with more effort on the eating side. Let’s think about the seeds of change for you personally and then let’s get making some new habits.

Dig deep for the reasons why you want to improve your nutrition. If we give ourselves the time to reflect and the compassion to accept where we are then making small changes will happen and will have an impact on our health.

Here’s our top 5 habits for change.

Keep in mind that perfection is not the goal but practice in the process. Every “habit” can be scaled to your particular situation. How much change do you want and just how much are you prepared to give up to get there?

#1 –  Food Preparation – Plan Ahead!

– Plan ahead for the week so you don’t run out of food or the time to prepare it resulting in take out, fast food, and restaurant meals.

– Grocery shop once or twice a week.

  • Stay stocked on your most used high nutrient whole foods.
  • Plan your meals and stick to your list. Avoid buying snacks and treats so they are not in your home to tempt you!

– Prepare and cook food for the work week!

  • Pick a consistent day to cook for the work week and make it a habit.
  • Batch cook larger quantities of food, especially protein to make lunches and other meals easier to prepare.

Remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to meal planning. If 8 out of 10 meals are planned by you then there is lots of opportunity for social occasions and dining out. There is value in making small changes for even less time than you think. Research shows that changing scaling habits and making changes 50-60% of the time still results in weight loss. Make changes that can be maintained long term. These are lifelong habits that you are making.

#2 – Eat Your Vegetables…and Fruits.

How many servings of Vegetables and Fruits are you consuming each day?

Take a look at what amount of vegetables you are currently eating and increase from there. Recommended amounts would be up to 10 cups of vegetables. Fruits contain more sugar so for weight loss you might want to be thinking of this when choosing fruits over vegetables and thinking it’s ok because it’s a fruit!

Health Benefits:

  • Research has shown that eating the daily recommended amounts of vegetables and fruit may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.
  • A diet high in vegetables and fruit has been shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and reducing serum cholesterol.
  • Vegetables and fruit contain protective substances such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre, as well as plant compounds called phytonutrients. Eat a rainbow of color!
  • Remember that fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates and their calories can add up. Check in on the amount of fruit you are eating, including juice.

# 3 – Get Enough Protein

Why do we need Protein?

Protein helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair.

Consuming protein can also increase levels of the hormone glucagon, and glucagon can help to control body fat.1 Glucagon is released when blood sugar levels go down.  This causes the liver to break down stored glycogen into glucose for the body. It can also help to liberate free fatty acids from adipose tissue – another way to get fuel for cells and make that body fat do something useful with itself instead of hanging lazily around your midsection! Protein is essential for gaining lean muscle mass and changing our body composition. The process of aging causes muscle loss through the decades. (Sarcopenia) Adequately supplying the body with the right nutrition combined with resistance training are your best tools for staying strong!

How much protein do you need? Read my past blog on The Science of Healthy Protein Reviewed.

How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level.

Basic recommendation: 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass. For example, a 150 lb (68 kg) person would consume around 54 grams a day.

However, this amount is only to prevent protein deficiency. It’s not necessarily optimal!

Optimal recommendation: 1.4-2.0 g/kg (or around 0.64-0.9 g/lb.) of body mass. Therefore a 150 lb. (68 kg) person would need about 95-135 g of protein per day.

Physique athletes (bodybuilders): 1 gram of protein per pound of mass, so 150 g per day for a 150 lb. individual.

When do we need protein?

With each meal

20-40 grams for females, 30-60 grams for males.

Examples of 100 grams of protein:

  • Lean Ground Beef Hamburger: 19 g
  • One Hard-Boiled Egg, Large: 6 g
  • Cottage Cheese 2%: 12 g
  • Chinook Salmon: 27 g
  • Roasted Chicken Breast: 31 g
  • Halibut: 33 g
  • Ribeye Steak 10 oz.: 38 g
  • Black Beans: 21 g

# 4 – Stop at 80% Full or Eat just Enough

  • Eat scheduled meals/snacks. Avoid getting too hungry.
  • Resist urges to eat when not hungry. Stop at 80% full.
  • Describe physical and emotional feelings around eating times.

# 5- Eat Unprocessed Whole Food and Superfoods

Does it have an expiry date? Foods that have been processed often have added ingredients that we don’t need like sugar salt, and chemicals with long names!? Some of us are in the habit of buying and consuming a lot of processed foods without really thinking about it. Whole foods usually contain more nutrition, less calories and more fibre which is added bonus.

Are you eating enough superfoods? Keep a good stock of these around and you will find it much easier to put meals together long term and stick to your healthy eating program.

21 Superfoods Checklist – No particular order.

Food Type

Food Category

# of Servings

Lean red meat (org grass-fed preferred)

Protein – Lean meat

 

Salmon (wild caught preferred)

Protein – Fish

 

Eggs (omega-3 and cage free preferred)

Protein – Egg

 

Plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, coconut and almond milk.

Protein – Dairy

 

Protein Supplements (whey, milk or plant protein sources)

Protein – Powder

 

Spinach

Carb – Vegetable

 

Tomatoes

Carb – Vegetable

 

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)

Carb – Vegetable

 

Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

Carb – Fruit

 

Apples and Oranges

Carb – Fruit

 

Mixed Beans/Peas (black beans, lentils, split peas, etc.)

Carb/Protein – Legume

 

Quinoa

Carb – Grain

 

Whole oats (large flakes)

Carb – Cereal

 

Raw, unsalted mixed nuts (a variety including pecans, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, etc.)

Fat – Seeds and nuts

 

Avocados

Fat – Fruit

 

Olive Oil (extra virgin)

Fat – Oils

 

Fish Oil (salmon, anchovy, menhaden, krill) or algae oil

Fat – Oils

 

Flax Seeds,Chia Seeds, Hemp Hearts

Fat – Seeds and nuts

 

Green tea , peppermint tea

Teas

 

Garlic and Ginger

   

Fermented foods and water!!

   

 

One last thought on liquid calories and added sugars.

You may not be aware of how your liquid calories can add up preventing the weight loss you desire. Juice, soda pop, alcohol, shakes, specialty coffee and tea drinks can all contain a lot of calories and added sugar. Liquids move through your system faster than solid food leaving you feeling hungry again in a shorter period of time.  A recent article in The Globe and Mail by Leslie Beck, “Food labelling can be baffling when it comes to sugar – here’s what you need to know,” points out the differences between naturally occurring sugars and added and free sugars. This is important information to keep in mind when trying to reduce overall sugar not only for weight management but for the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.

 

Remember that you must make the decision to work on habits that are relevant to you. Deciding how important your goals are to you at this point in your life will define the level of habit making change you can create and sustain. Make improving your nutrition a lifestyle.

 

Let me know how you are doing by dropping by it’s time! Fitness Results or sending me an email: sheila@itstimefitnessresults.com

Inform, Instruct, and Inspire at it’s time! Fitness Results.

 

Written by David Ewart and Sheila Hamilton

Copyright March 2019

References:

https://food-guide.canada.ca/static/assets/pdf/CDG-EN-2018.pdf

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/body-transformation-research?fbclid=IwAR3ZjAMnR8OzFqghBvDqsY2J5XKPIc-dPSmIxY9lfeWforqS0uMLBPRpk_E

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/body-transformation-research?fbclid=IwAR1Gsfnx4EakSUXUZyqBD3sB8qVKZUOxcMgsDpdZoWjumbEX1dMWhsFRte0

ttps://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#inbox/WhctKJVJjtQvXmNLzthHSKGFMjWnhqJtzfRzMlTFVMnGjjnDmfzbfNgKBCgtBkxnSXTCsTL Email from Precision Nutrition

https://guidedoc.com/best-superfoods-list

Email and conversation with Jennifer Robinson R.N.

Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss: Georgie Fear Copyright 2017 P.19 (-2)

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/body-transformation-research?fbclid=IwAR1Gsfnx4EakSUXUZyqBD3sB8qVKZUOxcMgsDpdZoWjumbEX1dMWhsFRte0 (-1)

Explore the food guide: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/

https://tonygentilcore.com/2019/03/vegan-nutrition-make-better-athlete/

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_iqoncept”>iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_pixelbliss”>pixelbliss / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The “Science” of Healthy Protein Reviewed

Email CKNW listener on Sugar facts: Eric Arbuckle Article from Leslie Beck: The Globe and Mail: 11 March 2019 Food Labelling can be baffling when it comes to sugar -here’s what you need to know. 

 

Your Heart Is A Muscle Two

#selfcareishealthcare

Since the radio show segment and Valentines Day landed on the same day this month it seemed fitting to focus the blog on your all things with HEART!

Your heart on Valentine’s Day day often gets credit for the how much you feel the love but I’m going to cover some of the ways in which your heart can make you feel!

The two sides of the heart can actually be applied in more than two ways. The are two sides to the physical heart and heartache usually makes you think of a heart broken in two. Another way to define the two: a biology side and psychology side.

The biology side of me wants to share information on heart rate, stroke volume, blood pressure, heart rate variability, and breathing (specifically nasal breathing). Making informed decisions on activities that affect these (“Your cardiovascular system and more”) from a technical perspective will decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is preventable.

The psychological side of me appreciates that the heart is one connected organ and some of the “softer” aspects of our health might benefit from a closer look at stress, sleep, relationships, and mindset.

If #selfcareishealthcare then let’s look at both sides of your heart.

Knowledge is power so use it to help you feel better every day.

When thinking of your heart as a muscle from the biology side we have several indicators or measures of your health.

Your blood pressure, heart rate (pulse), and heart rate variability are all separate measurements and indicators of your health.

It’s important to understand the difference between blood pressure and heart rate because although they can affect one another they are not directly related to each other. While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Heart rate variability is the time in-between each heart beat. It is reflective of the internal stress you are experiencing and although somewhat new to the fitness realm it has been well researched as an effective way to measure the physiological efficiency of the body.

BLOOD PRESSURE

Blood Pressure measured in millimetres (mm) of Mercury and is the result of two forces or pressure readings. One test will give you two numbers such as 120/80 which is the Systolic pressure (upper number) reading over the Diastolic pressure (lower number) reading.

Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats and pumps blood out of the heart and into the arteries which are part of your circulatory system.

Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats and refilling with blood for the next beat.

Heart and Stroke  defines varying blood pressure categories: low risk, medium risk, high risk. See your doctor or healthcare provider to get a proper blood pressure measurement.

  • Low risk: 120 / 80
  • Medium risk: 121-139 / 80 – 89
  • High risk: 140+ / 90

HEART RATE

Heart Rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.  Your heart is a muscle, and the stronger and more efficient it is, the more easily it pumps blood throughout your circulatory system. A lower heart rate usually indicates a healthy and strong heart muscle.

You can measure your own heart rate the old fashioned way by taking your pulse or use one of the many devices available on the market.

  • Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist, on the thumb side.
  • Use the tips of your first two fingers to press lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist.
  • Count for a full minute to get the most accurate reading.
  • Take in the morning before rising will give you the best indication of what your resting heart rate is. This can be used to calculate specific ranges for heart rate intensity training that are more accurate than the standard of 220 minus your age to obtain your heart rate maximum.

An average pulse is between 50 and 80 beats per minute and many factors can affect your average.

A faster than average pulse can be related to age and issues such as infection, dehydration, stress, anxiety, thyroid dysfunction and heart conditions to name a few. Some medications, especially beta blockers and digoxin, can slow your pulse. A lower heart rate is notes in folks who exercise. The heart muscle is strong and efficient and therefore pumps less often to achieve the demands put on it.

Respiratory Rate

Respiratory Rate is the number if times you inhale and exhale per minute. Whether you inhale and exhale through your mouth or nose is not a factor when counting the respiratory rate. Your respiratory rate generally increases as you body demands more oxygen with exercise or the imposed demand. Your rate may increase with fever, illness, and with other medical conditions. A normal value is between 12 and 16 per minute.

Heart rate and exercise

Measuring your heart rate before, during and after exercise will give you an idea of your heart health. The greater the intensity of the exercise, the more your heart rate will increase. When you stop exercising, your heart rate does not immediately return to your normal (resting) heart rate. The sooner it does return to a normal rate has recently been found as a positive factor in heart health management.

A rising heart rate does not cause your blood pressure to increase at the same rate. Even though your heart is beating more times a minute, healthy blood vessels dilate (get larger) to allow more blood to flow through your body and deliver more blood to your muscles.  You want your heart rate to increase with exercise but your blood pressure to respond by only increasing or decreasing a modest amount.

When thinking of your heart as a muscle from the psychology side we have several indicators or measures of your health:

  • Have you ever felt your heart rate rise when you feel anxious and stressed?
  • How are you managing your stress, sleep, relationships, and mindset?
  • Do you know about your autonomic nervous system?

It’s a good place to point out here that the heart rate variability (HRV) is a direct measure of many things on the psychology side that provides a number reflective of where your nervous system is on that given day. I find it fascinating when my HRV reading is telling me something that my mind doesn’t necessarily want to hear!

The concept of HRV is not new but the technology behind it is.  There is a lot of research on heart rate variability spanning over the last 40 years including 20,000 studies published on the findings. Until recently, this technology was only available to the medical and research professionals. Now, we can take it out of the hospital and into the fitness training environment thanks to Bluetooth heart rate straps and phone apps (some of which are free).

Heart rate variability is a simple tool that can help to figure out what’s going on within the autonomic nervous system. The data that you can collect can tell you a lot about things going on in the body that you can’t necessarily feel. It’s the time between heart beats that is recorded over time that determines the variability.

The autonomic nervous system is fundamental to what’s going on inside the body and the heart rate variability or time between each heart beat is reflected in this number.

There are two branches of the autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic system and the para-sympathetic system. The sympathetic system is your gas pedal or flight or fight response. It has a greater influence on the body when awake. The para-sympathetic system is your brake pedal or your rest and digest system. It has a greater influence during rest and influences your ability to recover. The balance between these two systems is heart rate variability.  Read more on heart rate variability from my past blog .

Nasal Breathing 101: What is nasal breathing and can it affect my heart?

I predicted back in 2017 that nasal breathing was going to get a lot of traction when I wrote this blog “Noses are for Breathing: Mouths are for Eating. I continue to be a big fan and I regularly program nasal breathing time for my clients and practice it myself. Many people find this very challenging.

Benefits of breathing through the nose:

  • Nose breathing gets 5-15% more oxygen uptake than mouth breathing
  • Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air.
  • Nasal breathing removes a significant number of bacteria and germs from the air you breathe in.
  • The nose is a reservoir for nitric oxide. This gas is released from the paranasal sinuses and is essential for good health. It sterilizes the incoming air, opens airways (natural bronchodilator) and enhances oxygen uptake in the blood among other things.
  • Nasal breathing during exercise allows you to keep your work intensity great enough to produce an aerobic training effect based on heart rate and VO2 max.

From the Heart and Stroke website here is the list of healthy lifestyle behaviours to give yourself this Valentine’s Day.

?  Eat Well

?  Get Moving

?  Maintain a Healthy Weight

?  Manage Stress

?  Stop Smoking

Heart Disease is preventable.

Reach out to us at it’s time! Fitness Results with your questions!      

Inform Instruct Inspire @ www.itstimefitnessresults.com  

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright February 2019

 

References:

Beyond Training: Ben Greenfield Copyright 2014 p.46, 47

The Oxygen Advantage: Patrick McKeown Copyright 2015 p. 34 (-2)

The role of heart rate variability in sports physiology. Dong JG1.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4840584/

CNS Tap Test  Version 1.4.0 (-1) From the App Store Information page

My past blog on Heart Rate Variability and the heart lub dub.

My past blog on Nasal Breathing: Noses are for breathing.

https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/risk-and-prevention/womens-unique-risk-factors

https://mtntactical.com/knowledge/mini-study-predicting-overtraining-cns-tapping-test/

https://www.hrv4training.com/blog/user-generated-science-first-steps

https://www.hrv4training.com/blog/heart-rate-variability-and-training-load?fbclid=IwAR3ql1LUaK5mJC3DkBUKxANbldCpg00B02at4STESzENjZUvAUuOOkFqqQU

https://www.jsams.org/article/S1440-2440(18)30402-X/abstract

https://www.hrv4training.com/blog/the-big-picture

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10881-vital-signs

Picture Copyright: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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