April 2019 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Which Workout is Right for Me.
» Live in a High-Income Country? Don’t Expect the Highest Life Expectancy
» Young and Overweight? Your Heart May Suffer
» ADHD May Be on the Rise in U.S. Children

Which Workout is Right for Me.

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Which Workout Is Right for Me?


Exercise has a wonderful way of decreasing stress.1 When people focus on pursuing joy as a motivator for physical activity, they find more freedom in exercise choices, and this inspires them to remain engaged in a physically active lifestyle.2,3

When choosing workouts or physical activities, find something you’ll enjoy and do it consistently. Participating consistently is much more important than completing the “perfect workout” once every few weeks. Keep in mind that the “right” workout might change, and what works for someone else may not work for you. The more you enjoy your exercise program, the more likely you are to participate for the long haul.2

As we discussed in a previous blog, the benefits of resistance training and cardio are important to physical and psychological health, but this doesn’t mean going to your local gym every day. It does mean discovering your way of becoming consistently physically active. It is important to assess your individual needs and what kinds of physical activities can address those needs. Take a moment to answer the following questions:

  1. What activities of daily living could be easier for you?
    • Example: Walking up stairs
  1. Do you have the energy to get through a normal day?
    • Example: Having the energy after work to spend quality time with family/friends
  1. What types of physical activity do you enjoy doing?
    • Example: Hiking
  1. What recreational sports, if any, do you currently participate in?
    • Example: Mountain biking

The best exercise program should be centered around the areas of your life that you want to improve and enjoy. SMART Goals can help guide the process of finding what will work for you.

SMART Goals & principles

SMART Goals is a systematic approach to setting specific goals with action steps and timelines. Applying this concept will assist you in choosing the most appropriate workout or physical activity. SMART Goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-sensitive.

Consider this example for mountain biking and push-ups:

  Mountain biking Push-ups
Specific Complete a 28-mile ride Do 30 in a row
Measurable 28 miles by set date 30 in a row by set date
Action-oriented Gradually increase distance Work up to 30
Realistic Yes Yes
Time-sensitive Complete by goal date Complete by date

Now it’s your turn! Grab a piece of paper, pen, and write down a couple of SMART Goals. If nothing comes to mind, spend time exploring what physical activities are associated with joy, fun, community, and family.

Bring your goal(s) to fruition using three basic principles of strength & conditioning (S&C):

  • Specific: The exercises, workouts, and/or physical activities we do should reinforce our paths to completing our goal.
  • Mountain bike example: Ride parts of the trail to familiarize yourself with the entire route piece by piece.
  • Progressive overload: Consistently pushing your body a little bit past its physical state, just enough to cause it to adapt.
  • Push-ups example: Gradually increase the number of push-ups you do in a single try. Complete 13 on the first try? In a few days, try for 15.
  • Progression: Taking exercise, workout, and/or physical activity to a new challenging level.
  • Mountain bike example: Once you can complete the entire route in one session, try riding faster, a longer route, etc.
  • Push-ups example: When you reach 30, work up to 30 clapping push-ups.

Can you see the overlap with your SMART Goals and the basic principles of S&C? If you have questions about how to accomplish your SMART Goals, a personal trainer can help lay the foundation with you.

Exercise workout or physical activity?

Physical activity is any activity that elevates your heart rate above its resting rhythm. Exercise is an activity done repetitively to yield a specific result and is generally broken down into resistance training and cardiorespiratory training. Resistance training is a form of exercise that requires movement against an external force. Cardiorespiratory training is a type of exercise that holds an elevated heart rate for a sustained period of time. These physical activities and exercise can be performed in and out of traditional gym settings. Get an in-depth look at the benefits of each.

If you thrive in a communal setting, group exercise classes can be a great way to establish connection.4 Or if learning about resistance training interests you, a certified personal trainer or strength coach can work with you privately or in a small group. If you enjoy being outdoors or aren’t interested in a gym, find a local personal trainer who holds sessions outside.5

Trainers and coaches have different resistance training tools that they prefer: suspension trainers, kettle bells, Olympic weight lifting, calisthenics (body weight), etc. Acquiring a new skill can be a world-expanding experience to new physical strengths and energy as well as a source for new goals. Finding a group, coach, or teacher can greatly enhance your drive to stay engaged as well as staying on the path to a physically healthy lifestyle.6-8

I want to leave you with this: Find joy, purpose, and community. Encouraging one another to participate in a physically active life can provide a level of support that strengthens intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.2As always, consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning any exercise program.

Until next time, live well and live active.


Author: Daniel Heller, MSc, CSCS, RSCC
Source: https://blog.metagenics.com/post/2018/09/26/which-workout-is-right-for-me/
Copyright: Daniel Heller, MSc, CSCS, RSCC 2018

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Live in a High-Income Country? Don’t Expect the Highest Life Expectancy

Two new studies are revealing some startling facts about recent life expectancies in high-income countries like the U.S.: They're declining, but for surprising reasons. The first of the studies examined life expectancy trends among 18 countries with high income. Overwhelmingly, most of them experienced simultaneous declines in 2015 for the first time in decades. In the U.S., drug overdoses due to the opioid epidemic are to blame for a large number of young adult deaths. In other high-income countries, a harsh flu was mostly behind declining life expectancies during the 2014-2015 season. Most were able to rebound their rates during 2015-2016, but the U.K. and the U.S. were not among them. Meanwhile, a second study adds that the opioid epidemic is just the beginning – deaths from alcohol abuse and suicide are also on the rise in the U.S., not to mention death during middle age due to diseases of the organs, including the heart, digestive system, and lungs. The second study also suggests that lower life expectancies may have psychological and socioeconomic origins. In short, what causes people in low socioeconomic groups to make bad health choices like smoking, abusing alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods?  The German researchers behind the study, from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, suggest that stress from income inequality, social exclusion, and more can be the starting point.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The BMJ, online August 22, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019

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Young and Overweight? Your Heart May Suffer

Young adults who are overweight are at high risk for high blood pressure and damage to the heart, just like older adults. According to a study from the U.K.'s University of Bristol, the correlation between a high BMI (body mass index) and cardiovascular issues applies to young people, too. To come to their conclusions, researchers studied data collected from over 3,000 young people born during the '90s, who were 17 years old when the study took place. Researchers also looked at the cardiovascular scans of 400 high-risk, 21-year-old adults. The 17-year-olds' average BMI was in the so-called "healthy" range. The average blood pressure of the group was also in the range considered "healthy" (under 130 mmHg for a systolic reading and under 80 mmHg for a diastolic reading).  In general, young adults who had higher BMIs in the study also had a better chance of developing high blood pressure. They additionally found that having a high BMI correlates to a higher left ventricular mass index (meaning the left ventricle of the heart is enlarged). This means that the young adults who weighed more correspondingly had more blood pumping through their bodies every minute. Over time, this may lead to a variety of heart issues, including a thickened heart muscle and high blood pressure. According to a Harvard Medical School researcher, this may be because those at a higher weight have bodies with higher metabolic demands. They may also have more inflammation due to their increased amount of fat cells.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online July 30, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019

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ADHD May Be on the Rise in U.S. Children

According to a new study published in JAMA Network Open, diagnoses of children with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) have increased significantly since 1997. Researchers found that the diagnosis rate for children with ADHD increased from 6.1% in 1997 to 10.2% in 2016. However, according to Dr. Wei Bao, there could be lots of reasons for this dramatic rise. For example, doctors are much better at diagnosing ADHD than they were 20 years ago. Dr. Bao also said that more people today are aware of the condition and its symptoms, which can lead to more kids getting screened and subsequently diagnosed. Bao and his fellows are researchers at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. They came to their conclusions by reviewing the National Health Interview Survey over 20 years. In particular, they honed in on answers to one question: Whether survey-takers' children had ever been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD (attention-deficit disorder). For scope, the most recent iteration of the survey from 2015-2016 collected data on over 18,000 children from age 4-17. Of that number, nearly 2,000 received an ADHD diagnosis. Though the research results are startling, experts advise parents and doctors to take the increase in children with ADHD with a grain of salt. This is because ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Network Open, online August 31, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019

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