Tag Archives: exercise

Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

Introduction

Today we focus on diabetes basics.

diabetes basics treadmill

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allows the diabetic to make real-time adjustments when sick or otherwise  in danger acutely. In Straight, No Chaser, we’ve provided a series of posts meant to empower diabetics (and you can review any or all of them via the search box on the right). Remember, it all should start with a basic understanding of the disease.

Diabetes Basics

We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.

Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.

Risk Factors

Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.

diabetes-treadmill

Prevention and Treatment

Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. There are different types of diabetes, but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
If you’re a diabetic, make an investment in your education. It could not only save your legs or eyes, but it may just save your life. I welcome your questions and comments.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight No Chaser: Gluten, Wheat and Celiac Disease

Gluten free signal

One of the reasons I enjoy writing this blog is it brings me closer to understanding you. As you respond to posts or query me, I get to better appreciate the breadth of your concerns. I realize that much of what physicians do in clinical practice is talk AT you. Sometimes physicians assume that you know better because we do. Your issues often involves uncertainty about the nature of your symptoms, and, in real-time, you tend not to appreciate that symptoms are incredibly non-specific, meaning the same set of symptoms show up in multiple diseases and conditions (as you’ll noted from the picture below featuring possible symptoms of celiac disease). Many times, you’ll be researching a topic on the Internet, see symptoms you have and say, “That sounds like me! That must be what I have.” The relationship of symptoms to disease really isn’t anywhere near that linear.
Weight loss is an example of something patients think about differently than physicians. When a patient wants to lose weight, s/he may think of everything under the sun from the latest diet craze, surgery or other potential “quick-fixes.” On the other hand, a physician will parrot something about calorie controlhealthy eating and exercise, assuming you know better than to entertain miscellaneous information aimed to strike fear into your hearts or give you false expectations. (If you need a refresher on that consideration, check here.) In many of these instances, physicians may never even address your questions, because we’re so busy promoting the standard of care.
This month, we’ve been discussing nutrition with probably a dozen different blogs posted on various topics. Do you think the most common questions I’ve received have involved application of the healthy eating plate or simple tips to healthier eating? Nope. They’ve been more along the lines of esoteric concerns – or at least concerns that only affect rare segments of the population – so much so that physicians typically wouldn’t even think to discuss them with patients.
Two such discussions involve the consumption of gluten and wheat. Let’s answer those questions and clear up any confusion you may have. Thank you for your willingness to engage in straight talk. Indeed, your concerns are real, and our mission at Straight, No Chaser and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com is to get you the information and advice you need.
What is gluten?
Gluten an important protein found in all forms of wheat, barley and rye. It is also found in other foods such as deli meats, soy sauce, vitamins, some chocolate, some toothpaste and imitation crab. For the purpose of this blog, let’s relegate your wheat concerns to gluten.

celiac1

Why do I care about gluten?
You probably don’t and probably shouldn’t, unless you have a specific disease called celiac disease, which is related to the adverse effects of an extreme sensitivity to gluten. Some humans (only some and not many at all) have difficulty digesting gluten. In fact, the ingestion of gluten in those with celiac disease can cause damage to the intestinal lining, causing chronic (ongoing, continuous) diarrhea and abdominal pain. This can result in potentially life-threatening concerns, but it only occurs in less than 1% of the population.
The other reason you may have heard about gluten is the existence of a diet craze based on avoiding gluten (having to do partially with limiting carbohydrates).
Why is this an issue?
As societies have moved to diets with higher consumption of refined wheat flour, the sensitivity to gluten has expressed itself more often. As is often the case, when you over consume or are overexposed to substances, danger ensues. That is not the same as saying you need to avoid any and everything on earth that could potentially cause you harm.

celiac-disease-symptoms

Do I need to give up wheat and gluten completely?
Absolutely not, unless you have celiac disease or demonstrated allergies to these substances. This is simply another example of your needing to understand the issue. As with most overstated concerns, solutions are to be found in the same principles of healthy eating described throughout Straight, No Chaser. (Feel free to research our many topics by typing your topic of interest into the search engine over on the right side of the page.)
In this instance and others, what happens all too often is folks create new problems running from other, perceived ones. Substituting high-calorie, high-fat products for wheat and other products containing gluten is not a healthy decision and has been shown to increase weight gain and the risk of diabetes. The principles of any successful efforts to diet remain the same. Your best bet is to learn principles of healthy eating and incorporate calorie control and exercise into your regimen. Embrace moderation across the board, and enjoy learning to make healthy eating an adventure by adding variety to your meals.
One final caveat: There’s nothing wrong with, and potentially much to gain from, asking your physician about your individual risks for celiac disease. Just understand that unless you have the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, headaches and joint pains to name a few), you likely will cause your physician to scratch her or his head.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Exercise

The Straight, No Chaser vlog series “health care basic” aims to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today we present a few words on the role of exercise toward your health. Hopefully the video will get your heart rate pumping and you motivated to perform. So grab a seat (or even better, move while you watch), give us two minutes of your time, and let’s see if you’re on track with your healthy habits!
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Fat Burn vs. Cardio – How Do I Best Exercise?

fat crying

You’re working out. Congratulations! But do you know what you’re doing?

If you’ve ever been to a gym, perhaps on an elliptical, a treadmill or stationary bike, perhaps you’ve seen a table like this. (You may want to click the pictures and tables to enlarge them.)

 target-heart-zone

Your target heart rate zone points to a range of health and fitness benefits based on how much energy you exert during your workout. With that in mind, let’s discuss two of the settings you’re likely to see on your exercise equipment: fat burn and cardio.

fatburn_vs_cardio-400x300

It’s best to view your workouts as achieving incremental benefits. Any physical activity burns calories. Calories are units of energy, and you burn energy to lose weight. If you burn enough calories (relatively to how many you take in), you will lose weight. (We’ve discussed that previously here.)
Now your body has different ways of storing energy. Depending on how intensely you exercise, you will preferentially attack different energy stores. The important point is that different levels of activity and exercise progressively take you from burning calories to burning fat to improving your heart’s conditioning.

  • Fat burn: A lot of the confusion among those starting to exercise is found in the seemingly intuitive notion that people exercise because they want to “lose fat” rather than also thinking about “burning carbs” or “conditioning the heart.” In the hierarchy of expending energy, the body actually burns a higher percentage of fat relative to carbohydrates at lower levels of exertion. Lighter workouts afford the body a greater level of oxygen, which is needed to burn fat most efficiently. This level of exercise corresponds to reaching approximately 65% of your average maximum heart rate.
  • Cardio: When your exercise level reaches approximately 80-85% of your maximum heart rate, you’re in cardio mode, which means you’re working at a level sufficient to strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system. This level of exercise also best improves your blood pressure and lowers your cholesterol levels. In the grand scheme of things, cardiovascular fitness is much more important than fat burning. It’s important to note that at the higher levels of exercise, you don’t lose any of the benefits obtained at the lower levels of exercise.

heart_rate_chart

So let’s clear any confusion regarding fat burning, weight loss and exercise. When you exercise in cardio mode, you exhaust your oxygen stores to the point where you aren’t as efficient in burning fat, although you are still doing so. In cardio mode, you switch to preferentially burning carbohydrates, which doesn’t require the same oxygen levels as fat to be utilized for energy. This point is illustrated in the following table.
fatcalburn
If weight loss is your goal, you will absolutely burn more calories (and more fat) in cardio mode than fat burning mode. Fat burning mode points to the intensity level needed to start the fat burning process. For the most comprehensive workout, incrementally increase your workouts until you can perform in the cardio mode, because what you care about is the total number of calories, not the percentage of fat burned. And yes, you’ll still look better burning more calories than focuses on burning a higher percentage of fat relative to carbs.
Finally, as a measure of health, know your target resting heart rate. Where you fall in that range is a decent measure of your level of fitness.

Resting-HR-Table

Don’t forget to consult your physician before you begin an exercise routine.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

diabetesed

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allows the diabetic to make real-time adjustments when sick or otherwise  in danger acutely. In Straight, No Chaser, we’ve provided a series of posts meant to empower diabetics (and you can review any or all of them via the search box on the right). Remember, it all should start with a basic understanding of the disease.
We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.
Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.
Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.

diabetes-treadmill

Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. There are different types of diabetes, but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
If you’re a diabetic, make an investment in your education. It could not only save your legs or eyes, but it may just save your life. I welcome your questions and comments.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Workouts for the Couch Potato

couch-potato

Hey you! Yes, you: the ones about to enjoying the return of the NFL; the ones who have spent the last 3 months on the couch. Let’s turn your couch time into something (relatively) healthy. Now, if you’re reading this, you may be asking “How can anything about being a couch potato be healthy?” Actually it’s not, so if you’re committed to being a couch implant, good luck with that, and I’ll see you in the ER down the road. However, if you are simply spending time on the couch, and you may be interested in multitasking, this read’s for you.

beer cat

I think I figured this out about 20 years ago. TV commercials are usually very annoying. In many instances, they are a waste of time and just beg you to do something else. Why not get in a workout? That’s right, in our ongoing effort to get you to move, we point your attention to the three minutes between the scenes of your favorite shows. Do something for your benefit (and I don’t mean go grab a beer and chips).

exercize cat[5]

Here is a quick list of activities and exercises that you can do during commercial breaks. Mix and match these into a routine that suits your purposes. If it’s too much for you, consider turning off the TV and reading a book! Of course, be sure you’re healthy enough to engage in exercise before starting any regimen.

  • Push ups: Drop and do 10 push ups or 10 sit ups for every commercial. Once you’ve done it, break until the commercial starts. Or…
  • Jumping jacks: After your push ups, do jumping jacks until the start of the next commercial, then go back to the push ups.
  • Stairs: Rush up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Knee lifts: You don’t have stairs? Practice knee lifts during the commercials. Stand up and alternate bringing your right elbow down to meet your left knee and switch. Build up to doing this for the length of a commercial.

ratlifts

  • Windmills: Extend your arms to the side and make circular motions from your shoulders. See if you can build up to doing this for an entire commercial.
  • Punches: Place your arms in front of you and simulate using a punching bag.
  • Couch/armchair stands: Sit on the edge of the couch or chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Fold your arms across your chest or leave them hanging at the side if you need to for balance. Stand while pressing into the floor with your feet, tensing your butt muscles as you rise. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight. Hold the position for a five count, then slowly lower yourself. Before you touch the couch, stand up again. Build your endurance with this; you should be able to go for a full commercial. These couch/armchair stands will help develop the buttocks and the front portion of your thighs.

chair_standchair-stand1

  • Chair dips: Start by sitting on the edge of your couch or chair. Place your hands on either side of you. Move your feet and slide out so that your butt is off the couch, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows so they are pointing behind you. Lower yourself as far as comfortable. Hold the position for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly press up again. Repeat as you can; build up your stamina. Try to do these for an entire commercial. Armchair dips are great for the backs of your arms.

chair dip

  • Leg-up Couch Crunches: Want a quick abdominal workout? While on your couch (or floor if the couch is too soft), lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your feet up on one end, and keep your hands behind your head. Pressing your lower back into the couch, slowly lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the couch. Hold for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly lower. Repeat, building up to the length of a commercial.

couch crunchpuppycrunches

  • Don’t forget to work some stretching into your routine!

catstretch

  • And if your team doesn’t win, don’t be angry. Just meditate the disappointment away…

Dogyoga

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how important it is for you to avoid to habitual consumption of empty calories that typically occurs during idle TV watching. Remember, your diet is actually about 75% of your issue. Stop poisoning yourself by what you eat!

couch_potato_catbear on couch

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

diabetesed

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allows the diabetic to make real-time adjustments when sick or otherwise  in danger acutely. In Straight, No Chaser, we’ve provided a series of posts meant to empower diabetics (and you can review any or all of them via the search box on the right). Remember, it all should start with a basic understanding of the disease.
We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.
Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.
Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.

diabetes-treadmill

Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. There are different types of diabetes, but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
If you’re a diabetic, make an investment in your education. It could not only save your legs or eyes, but it may just save your life. I welcome your questions and comments.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Workouts for the Couch Potato

Warning: This post includes adorable animal exercise pictures.

couch-potato

Hey you! Yes, you: the ones about to enjoying the return of the NFL; the ones who have spent the last 3 months on the couch. Let’s turn your couch time into something (relatively) healthy. Now, if you’re reading this, you may be asking “How can anything about being a couch potato be healthy?” Actually it’s not, so if you’re committed to being a couch implant, good luck with that, and I’ll see you in the ER down the road. However, if you are simply spending time on the couch, and you may be interested in multitasking, this read’s for you.

beer cat

I think I figured this out about 20 years ago. TV commercials are usually very annoying. In many instances, they are a waste of time and just beg you to do something else. Why not get in a workout? That’s right, in our ongoing effort to get you to move, we point your attention to the three minutes between the scenes of your favorite shows. Do something for your benefit (and I don’t mean go grab a beer and chips).

exercize cat[5]

Here is a quick list of activities and exercises that you can do during commercial breaks. Mix and match these into a routine that suits your purposes. If it’s too much for you, consider turning off the TV and reading a book! Of course, be sure you’re healthy enough to engage in exercise before starting any regimen.

  • Push ups: Drop and do 10 push ups or 10 sit ups for every commercial. Once you’ve done it, break until the commercial starts. Or…
  • Jumping jacks: After your push ups, do jumping jacks until the start of the next commercial, then go back to the push ups.
  • Stairs: Rush up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Knee lifts: You don’t have stairs? Practice knee lifts during the commercials. Stand up and alternate bringing your right elbow down to meet your left knee and switch. Build up to doing this for the length of a commercial.

ratlifts

  • Windmills: Extend your arms to the side and make circular motions from your shoulders. See if you can build up to doing this for an entire commercial.
  • Punches: Place your arms in front of you and simulate using a punching bag.
  • Couch/armchair stands: Sit on the edge of the couch or chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Fold your arms across your chest or leave them hanging at the side if you need to for balance. Stand while pressing into the floor with your feet, tensing your butt muscles as you rise. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight. Hold the position for a five count, then slowly lower yourself. Before you touch the couch, stand up again. Build your endurance with this; you should be able to go for a full commercial. These couch/armchair stands will help develop the buttocks and the front portion of your thighs.

chair_standchair-stand1

  • Chair dips: Start by sitting on the edge of your couch or chair. Place your hands on either side of you. Move your feet and slide out so that your butt is off the couch, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows so they are pointing behind you. Lower yourself as far as comfortable. Hold the position for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly press up again. Repeat as you can; build up your stamina. Try to do these for an entire commercial. Armchair dips are great for the backs of your arms.

chair dip

  • Leg-up Couch Crunches: Want a quick abdominal workout? While on your couch (or floor if the couch is too soft), lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your feet up on one end, and keep your hands behind your head. Pressing your lower back into the couch, slowly lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the couch. Hold for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly lower. Repeat, building up to the length of a commercial.

couch crunchpuppycrunches

  • Don’t forget to work some stretching into your routine!

catstretch

  • And if your team doesn’t win, don’t be angry. Just meditate the disappointment away…

Dogyoga

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how important it is for you to avoid to habitual consumption of empty calories that typically occurs during idle TV watching. Remember, your diet is actually about 75% of your issue. Stop poisoning yourself by what you eat!

couch_potato_catbear on couch

Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight No Chaser: Gluten, Wheat and Celiac Disease

Gluten free signal

One of the reasons I enjoy writing this blog is it brings me closer to understanding you. As you respond to posts or query me, I get to better appreciate the breadth of your concerns. I realize that much of what physicians do in clinical practice is talk AT you. Sometimes physicians assume that you know better because we do. Your issues often involves uncertainty about the nature of your symptoms, and, in real-time, you tend not to appreciate that symptoms are incredibly non-specific, meaning the same set of symptoms show up in multiple diseases and conditions (as you’ll noted from the picture below featuring possible symptoms of celiac disease). Many times, you’ll be researching a topic on the Internet, see symptoms you have and say, “That sounds like me! That must be what I have.” The relationship of symptoms to disease really isn’t anywhere near that linear.
Weight loss is an example of something patients think about differently than physicians. When a patient wants to lose weight, s/he may think of everything under the sun from the latest diet craze, surgery or other potential “quick-fixes.” On the other hand, a physician will parrot something about calorie controlhealthy eating and exercise, assuming you know better than to entertain miscellaneous information aimed to strike fear into your hearts or give you false expectations. (If you need a refresher on that consideration, check here.) In many of these instances, physicians may never even address your questions, because we’re so busy promoting the standard of care.
This month, we’ve been discussing nutrition with probably a dozen different blogs posted on various topics. Do you think the most common questions I’ve received have involved application of the healthy eating plate or simple tips to healthier eating? Nope. They’ve been more along the lines of esoteric concerns – or at least concerns that only affect rare segments of the population – so much so that physicians typically wouldn’t even think to discuss them with patients.
Two such discussions involve the consumption of gluten and wheat. Let’s answer those questions and clear up any confusion you may have. Thank you for your willingness to engage in straight talk. Indeed, your concerns are real, and our mission at Straight, No Chaser and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com is to get you the information and advice you need.
What is gluten?
Gluten an important protein found in all forms of wheat, barley and rye. It is also found in other foods such as deli meats, soy sauce, vitamins, some chocolate, some toothpaste and imitation crab. For the purpose of this blog, let’s relegate your wheat concerns to gluten.

celiac1

Why do I care about gluten?
You probably don’t and probably shouldn’t, unless you have a specific disease called celiac disease, which is related to the adverse effects of an extreme sensitivity to gluten. Some humans (only some and not many at all) have difficulty digesting gluten. In fact, the ingestion of gluten in those with celiac disease can cause damage to the intestinal lining, causing chronic (ongoing, continuous) diarrhea and abdominal pain. This can result in potentially life-threatening concerns, but it only occurs in less than 1% of the population.
The other reason you may have heard about gluten is the existence of a diet craze based on avoiding gluten (having to do partially with limiting carbohydrates).
Why is this an issue?
As societies have moved to diets with higher consumption of refined wheat flour, the sensitivity to gluten has expressed itself more often. As is often the case, when you over consume or are overexposed to substances, danger ensues. That is not the same as saying you need to avoid any and everything on earth that could potentially cause you harm.

celiac-disease-symptoms

Do I need to give up wheat and gluten completely?
Absolutely not, unless you have celiac disease or demonstrated allergies to these substances. This is simply another example of your needing to understand the issue. As with most overstated concerns, solutions are to be found in the same principles of healthy eating described throughout Straight, No Chaser. (Feel free to research our many topics by typing your topic of interest into the search engine over on the right side of the page.)
In this instance and others, what happens all too often is folks create new problems running from other, perceived ones. Substituting high-calorie, high-fat products for wheat and other products containing gluten is not a healthy decision and has been shown to increase weight gain and the risk of diabetes. The principles of any successful efforts to diet remain the same. Your best bet is to learn principles of healthy eating and incorporate calorie control and exercise into your regimen. Embrace moderation across the board, and enjoy learning to make healthy eating an adventure by adding variety to your meals.
One final caveat: There’s nothing wrong with, and potentially much to gain from, asking your physician about your individual risks for celiac disease. Just understand that unless you have the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, headaches and joint pains to name a few), you likely will cause your physician to scratch her or his head.
 

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

diabetesed

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allows the diabetic to make real-time adjustments when sick or otherwise  in danger acutely. In Straight, No Chaser, we’ve provided a series of posts meant to empower diabetics (and you can review any or all of them via the search box on the right). Remember, it all should start with a basic understanding of the disease.
We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.
Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.
Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.

diabetes-treadmill

Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. There are different types of diabetes, but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
If you’re a diabetic, make an investment in your education. It could not only save your legs or eyes, but it may just save your life. I welcome your questions and comments.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Workouts for the Couch Potato

Warning: This post includes adorable animal exercise pictures.

couch-potato

Hey you! Yes, you: the ones enjoying the NBA and NHL playoffs; the ones who have spent the last month on the couch. Let’s turn your couch time into something (relatively) healthy. Now, if you’re reading this, you may be asking “How can anything about being a couch potato be healthy?” Actually it’s not, so if you’re committed to being a couch implant, good luck with that, and I’ll see you in the ER down the road. However, if you are simply spending time on the couch, and you may be interested in multitasking, this read’s for you.

beer cat

I think I figured this out about 20 years ago. TV commercials are usually very annoying. In many instances, they are a waste of time and just beg you to do something else. Why not get in a workout? That’s right, in our ongoing effort to get you to move, we point your attention to the three minutes between the scenes of your favorite shows. Do something for your benefit (and I don’t mean go grab a beer and chips).

exercize cat[5]

Here is a quick list of activities and exercises that you can do during commercial breaks. Mix and match these into a routine that suits your purposes. If it’s too much for you, consider turning off the TV and reading a book! Of course, be sure you’re healthy enough to engage in exercise before starting any regimen.

  • Push ups: Drop and do 10 push ups or 10 sit ups for every commercial. Once you’ve done it, break until the commercial starts. Or…
  • Jumping jacks: After your push ups, do jumping jacks until the start of the next commercial, then go back to the push ups.
  • Stairs: Rush up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Knee lifts: You don’t have stairs? Practice knee lifts during the commercials. Stand up and alternate bringing your right elbow down to meet your left knee and switch. Build up to doing this for the length of a commercial.

ratlifts

  • Windmills: Extend your arms to the side and make circular motions from your shoulders. See if you can build up to doing this for an entire commercial.
  • Punches: Place your arms in front of you and simulate using a punching bag.

 

  • Couch/armchair stands: Sit on the edge of the couch or chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Fold your arms across your chest or leave them hanging at the side if you need to for balance. Stand while pressing into the floor with your feet, tensing your butt muscles as you rise. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight. Hold the position for a five count, then slowly lower yourself. Before you touch the couch, stand up again. Build your endurance with this; you should be able to go for a full commercial. These couch/armchair stands will help develop the buttocks and the front portion of your thighs.

chair_standchair-stand1

  • Chair dips: Start by sitting on the edge of your couch or chair. Place your hands on either side of you. Move your feet and slide out so that your butt is off the couch, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows so they are pointing behind you. Lower yourself as far as comfortable. Hold the position for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly press up again. Repeat as you can; build up your stamina. Try to do these for an entire commercial. Armchair dips are great for the backs of your arms.

chair dip

  • Leg-up Couch Crunches: Want a quick abdominal workout? While on your couch (or floor if the couch is too soft), lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your feet up on one end, and keep your hands behind your head. Pressing your lower back into the couch, slowly lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the couch. Hold for a three to five count (build up to five), then slowly lower. Repeat, building up to the length of a commercial.

couch crunchpuppycrunches

  • Don’t forget to work some stretching into your routine!

catstretch

  • And if your team doesn’t win, don’t be angry. Just meditate the disappointment away…

Dogyoga

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how important it is for you to avoid to habitual consumption of empty calories that typically occurs during idle TV watching. Remember, your diet is actually about 75% of your issue. Stop poisoning yourself by what you eat!

couch_potato_catbear on couch

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

diabetesed

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allows the diabetic to make real-time adjustments when sick or otherwise  in danger acutely. In Straight, No Chaser, we’ve provided a series of posts meant to empower diabetics (and you can review any or all of them via the search box on the right). Remember, it all should start with a basic understanding of the disease.
We eat, and the process of digestion is for the purpose of converting food into glucose (sugar) that’s used by our body for energy. The blood delivers the glucose to different organs of the body where the cells take it up for use. In order for that process to work, an organ that’s part of the digestive tract called the pancreas has to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin facilitates the glucose getting from the blood to inside the cells. Diabetes is a disease where insulin isn’t being made by the pancreas or isn’t working optimally.
Now think about what happens when you’re not getting sugar into your cells. It’s as if you’re starving (because physiologically, you might as well be). You get symptoms such as weight loss, hunger, fatigue and excessive thirst. Because your cells don’t have energy, they aren’t functioning well. In fact, blood and nerve vessels lose significant function, resulting in significant vision loss and lack of sensitivity in your extremities. Anyone who’s been a diabetic for about 10 years know this because you’re wearing glasses and because you’ve lost a fair amount of sensation, especially in your feet. There are other symptoms that are variations of the same theme, including excessive urination, dry skin, increased infection rate and slower healing from those infections – all due to poor function of your blood vessels.
Sometimes diabetes is a disease that happens to you because of unlucky genetics (or simply a family history). Other times it is a disease that you find. Risk factors for developing diabetes includes obesity, older age, and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes (i.e. that occurring during pregnancy) is an entirely different conversation.

diabetes-treadmill

Let’s take a moment to discuss prevention and treatment. There are different types of diabetes, but the risk of one form of diabetes in particular can be reduced by – you guessed it – diet and exercise. In fact, diet, exercise and medications are the three legs of the diabetes treatment stool regardless of type. Some patients require regular insulin injections and others require pills. Still others who are successful with diet and exercise are able to markedly reduce, and in some instances eliminate medications.
If you’re a diabetic, make an investment in your education. It could not only save your legs or eyes, but it may just save your life. I welcome your questions and comments.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight No Chaser: Gluten, Wheat and Celiac Disease

Gluten free signal

One of the reasons I enjoy writing this blog is it brings me closer to understanding you. As you respond to posts or query me, I get to better appreciate the breadth of your concerns. I realize that much of what physicians do in clinical practice is talk AT you. Sometimes physicians assume that you know better because we do. Your issues often involves uncertainty about the nature of your symptoms, and, in real-time, you tend not to appreciate that symptoms are incredibly non-specific, meaning the same set of symptoms show up in multiple diseases and conditions (as you’ll noted from the picture below featuring possible symptoms of celiac disease). Many times, you’ll be researching a topic on the Internet, see symptoms you have and say, “That sounds like me! That must be what I have.” The relationship of symptoms to disease really isn’t anywhere near that linear.
Weight loss is an example of something patients think about differently than physicians. When a patient wants to lose weight, s/he may think of everything under the sun from the latest diet craze, surgery or other potential “quick-fixes.” On the other hand, a physician will parrot something about calorie control, healthy eating and exercise, assuming you know better than to entertain miscellaneous information aimed to strike fear into your hearts or give you false expectations. (If you need a refresher on that consideration, check here.) In many of these instances, physicians may never even address your questions, because we’re so busy promoting the standard of care.
This month, we’ve been discussing nutrition with probably a dozen different blogs posted on various topics. Do you think the most common questions I’ve received have involved application of the healthy eating plate or simple tips to healthier eating? Nope. They’ve been more along the lines of esoteric concerns – or at least concerns that only affect rare segments of the population – so much so that physicians typically wouldn’t even think to discuss them with patients.
Two such discussions involve the consumption of gluten and wheat. Let’s answer those questions and clear up any confusion you may have. Thank you for your willingness to engage in straight talk. Indeed, your concerns are real, and our mission at Straight, No Chaser and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com is to get you the information and advice you need.
What is gluten?
Gluten an important protein found in all forms of wheat, barley and rye. It is also found in other foods such as deli meats, soy sauce, vitamins, some chocolate, some toothpaste and imitation crab. For the purpose of this blog, let’s relegate your wheat concerns to gluten.

celiac1

Why do I care about gluten?
You probably don’t and probably shouldn’t, unless you have a specific disease called celiac disease, which is related to the adverse effects of an extreme sensitivity to gluten. Some humans (only some and not many at all) have difficulty digesting gluten. In fact, the ingestion of gluten in those with celiac disease can cause damage to the intestinal lining, causing chronic (ongoing, continuous) diarrhea and abdominal pain. This can result in potentially life-threatening concerns, but it only occurs in less than 1% of the population.
The other reason you may have heard about gluten is the existence of a diet craze based on avoiding gluten (having to do partially with limiting carbohydrates).
Why is this an issue?
As societies have moved to diets with higher consumption of refined wheat flour, the sensitivity to gluten has expressed itself more often. As is often the case, when you over consume or are overexposed to substances, danger ensues. That is not the same as saying you need to avoid any and everything on earth that could potentially cause you harm.

celiac-disease-symptoms

Do I need to give up wheat and gluten completely?
Absolutely not, unless you have celiac disease or demonstrated allergies to these substances. This is simply another example of your needing to understand the issue. As with most overstated concerns, solutions are to be found in the same principles of healthy eating described throughout Straight, No Chaser. (Feel free to research our many topics by typing your topic of interest into the search engine over on the right side of the page.)
In this instance and others, what happens all too often is folks create new problems running from other, perceived ones. Substituting high-calorie, high-fat products for wheat and other products containing gluten is not a healthy decision and has been shown to increase weight gain and the risk of diabetes. The principles of any successful efforts to diet remain the same. Your best bet is to learn principles of healthy eating and incorporate calorie control and exercise into your regimen. Embrace moderation across the board, and enjoy learning to make healthy eating an adventure by adding variety to your meals.
One final caveat: There’s nothing wrong with, and potentially much to gain from, asking your physician about your individual risks for celiac disease. Just understand that unless you have the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, headaches and joint pains to name a few), you likely will cause your physician to scratch her or his head.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Fat Burn vs. Cardio – How Do I Best Exercise?

fat crying

You’re working out. Congratulations! But do you know what you’re doing?

If you’ve ever been to a gym, perhaps on an elliptical, a treadmill or stationary bike, perhaps you’ve seen a table like this. (You may want to click the pictures and tables to enlarge them.)

 target-heart-zone

Your target heart rate zone points to a range of health and fitness benefits based on how much energy you exert during your workout. With that in mind, let’s discuss two of the settings you’re likely to see on your exercise equipment: fat burn and cardio.

fatburn_vs_cardio-400x300

It’s best to view your workouts as achieving incremental benefits. Any physical activity burns calories. Calories are units of energy, and you burn energy to lose weight. If you burn enough calories (relatively to how many you take in), you will lose weight. (We’ve discussed that previously here.)
Now your body has different ways of storing energy. Depending on how intensely you exercise, you will preferentially attack different energy stores. The important point is that different levels of activity and exercise progressively take you from burning calories to burning fat to improving your heart’s conditioning.

  • Fat burn: A lot of the confusion among those starting to exercise is found in the seemingly intuitive notion that people exercise because they want to “lose fat” rather than also thinking about “burning carbs” or “conditioning the heart.” In the hierarchy of expending energy, the body actually burns a higher percentage of fat relative to carbohydrates at lower levels of exertion. Lighter workouts afford the body a greater level of oxygen, which is needed to burn fat most efficiently. This level of exercise corresponds to reaching approximately 65% of your average maximum heart rate.
  • Cardio: When your exercise level reaches approximately 80-85% of your maximum heart rate, you’re in cardio mode, which means you’re working at a level sufficient to strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system. This level of exercise also best improves your blood pressure and lowers your cholesterol levels. In the grand scheme of things, cardiovascular fitness is much more important than fat burning. It’s important to note that at the higher levels of exercise, you don’t lose any of the benefits obtained at the lower levels of exercise.

heart_rate_chart

So let’s clear any confusion regarding fat burning, weight loss and exercise. When you exercise in cardio mode, you exhaust your oxygen stores to the point where you aren’t as efficient in burning fat, although you are still doing so. In cardio mode, you switch to preferentially burning carbohydrates, which doesn’t require the same oxygen levels as fat to be utilized for energy. This point is illustrated in the following table.
fatcalburn
If weight loss is your goal, you will absolutely burn more calories (and more fat) in cardio mode than fat burning mode. Fat burning mode points to the intensity level needed to start the fat burning process. For the most comprehensive workout, incrementally increase your workouts until you can perform in the cardio mode, because what you care about is the total number of calories, not the percentage of fat burned. And yes, you’ll still look better burning more calories than focuses on burning a higher percentage of fat relative to carbs.
Finally, as a measure of health, know your target resting heart rate. Where you fall in that range is a decent measure of your level of fitness.

Resting-HR-Table

Don’t forget to consult your physician before you begin an exercise routine. Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant with any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Benefits of Exercise and Other Physical Activity

exercise

At Straight, No Chaser, we understand it’s the most optimistic time of the year. You’ve made many New Year’s resolutions, usually related to smoking cessation, eating better, lowering your levels of stress and starting an exercise routine. We’re here to help. The next several posts will feature our best advice to educate and motivate you as you pursue those goals.
As we begin the conversation on exercise, we will split the conversation into the “why” and the “how.” This post will remind you of why keeping your body moving is so important and why, no matter your age, sex, ethnicity, physical condition or presence of existing disease, you can improve from your current state.
Remember that your heart is a muscle, the purpose of which is to pump blood with its nutrients and oxygen around the body, supplying your organs. The more efficiently that muscle performs, the healthier you’ll be, because your vital organs will stay nourished. It’s important to restate that everything is relative, so starting with most any regular activity that’s more than your current baseline will improve your conditioning and eventually your health.
How, you might ask! Here are medically established ways that a routine of regular exercise provides physical and mental health benefits.

exercisebens

  • Exercise controls your weight by burning calories.
  • Exercise reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by improving your heart’s function. It lowers the risk of both heart attacks and strokes.
  • Exercise reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes and combinations of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels (together known as metabolic syndrome).
  • Exercise specifically reduces your risk of colon and breast cancers, and it probably reduces your risk of endometrial and lung cancers.
  • Exercise improves the functioning of your immune system.
  • Exercise strengthens your bones and muscles, and it keeps your joints functioning well.
  • Exercise maintains your mobility and agility, it improves your ability to perform the activities of daily living and prevent falls as you age.
  • Exercise slows the development of arthritis.

exercisebrain

  • Exercise improves your mental health and mood by stimulating pleasurable parts of your brain and improving blood flow to your brain.
  • Exercise reduces the rate of depression.
  • Exercise reduces the development of insomnia and other sleep disorders.

The sum total of these facts is that exercise increases your chances of living longer.

At Straight, No Chaser we talk a lot about healthy and unhealthy decisions and the impact these decisions have on the length and quality of your life. There aren’t many lifestyle decisions you can make that will more positively impact those than the decision to stay physically active. Furthermore, that decision doesn’t need to be followed by the fear that in order to improve your health you have to turn your body into that of a stereotypical teenager, body builder or model. Moderate activity will produce measurable health improvements. In a subsequent post, we will explore the “how” of physical activity to improve your health, but for now, don’t just sit there. Do something!

If you can sprint, do so.

If you can’t sprint, jog.

If you can’t jog, walk.

Even it you can’t walk, move what you can!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant if you have any questions on this topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress