Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Is your immune system ready for the new year?

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We fear influenza even describing it as an encroaching “season” trending from December through February.  Yet, during the flu “season” only 5% to 20% of Americans will actually experience the flu strain.  Currently the flu vaccine only protects from three strains and like a toss of a coin, we hope that the vaccine manufacturers selected the best strains to innoculate us with. How can that be when so many students seem to be sick from school and adults seems to transfer sickness like ‘wildfire’?  Often times we mistaken another viral or bacterial infection for the “flu strain”.   So is the flu shot the best shot at preventing us from getting sick or is there another way?

Whether we ‘catch’ the flu or another virus or bacterial infection depends on the strength of our immune system.  Our immune system is designed to ‘protect and defend’ from perceived foreign substances.  When it’s overloaded our immune system cannot resist an infection nor can it recover as quickly as we’d like (this is often why an infection can last from 4 days to 2 weeks).  

In the functional world we test to identify WHAT the body perceives as foreign substances and then reduces those substances so that the body is not in a hyper-immune-reactive state. These are typically substances that we have control over:  the foods we eat, sugar, a healthy digestive system, sleep, exercise. This allows the body to”make room” for infections that we may be exposed to and have no control over.  When the immune system is strong, an individual rarely falls ill, regardless of who’s sneezing and coughing in their vicinity.  When the immune system is in a constant state of having to “attack and defend”  it falls weak and is entirely vulnerable to all that comes its way.   

A strong immune system can help ward off not only the flu and other infections but even environmental allergies.  These are all tools that I can teach you for life.  

Be well in the New Year,

Lynn

 

 

You do have control over your health by doing this “one thing”

Known in the evidenced based world as the most effective medicine to combat even serious depression, it reduces your stress response and improves hormonal imbalance, improves your memory and enhances your quality of life.  It’s simply, exercise. 

Most of you may be sighing, already knowing that exercise can be so great.  But you may also be thinking ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I don’t have the energy’ (you should see me :)), or ‘I just cant seem to get into a habit’.    Here’s a true fact: even a little bit of exercise: walking, yoga, small weights, biking, swimming consistently can provide you with these impacts.  

If you need a little more support on getting motivated here’s a great video on getting motivated.

Be well,

Lynn

WOMEN: Ever wondered what to eat & how to exercise throughout your cycle?

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Have you ever wondered if there’s a particular time “of the month” to eat certain foods or implement specific exercises?  Is it probable that the woman’s body needs different supports at different time of the months?  You may crave carbohydrates, chocolate or other foods just before you menstruate but weren’t sure why? If you have wondered the answers to these questions, then your intuition was spot on. (MEN: please don’t disregard because women have been targeted.  You too may find this information interesting). 

Before I proceed in giving you a brief summary of what’s occurring within a woman’s body and what it’s true needs are I must emphasize that each of us are individuals so this is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. I’ve included a basic diagram for support.   

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During Days 1 through 13, the follicular phase, estrogen is climbing and progesterone and a woman’s body temperature will usually maintain.  This is an increased period of insulin sensitivity and increased pain tolerance.  What does this mean?  This is a good time in the cycle for intense anaerobic workouts, carbohydrate loading (like sweet potatoes, yams, rice and starchy veggies) especially if you will be competing.

During Days 12 through 16, the ovulation phase, estrogen has peaked and progesterone begins to climb.  When this occurs serotonin (our feel good neurotransmitter) can decline and a woman may experience carbohydrate cravings.  Metabolism climbs and women typically feel the warmest in body temperature.  Overall, weight training is good during this time, being careful to not overdue the weight training (an increase in torn ACL’s have been correlated with heavy weight training and the ovulation period). 

During Days 17 through the 28th, 29, or 30th, the luteal phase, a woman begins menstruating.  The metabolism slows during this phase.  The body prefers fats over carbohydrates and benefits greatly during this time with fat burning exercises at a conversational pace. 

Please keep in mind there are other variables that can offset the nutritional needs and exercise performance of a woman.  Peri-menopause, the 10 year time frame prior to the onset of menopause can create hormonal imbalances.  Chronic stress (internal/external) can deplete a woman’s progesterone levels regardless of the type of exercises, times of the months and foods that are consumed.  If a woman is suffering from low progesterone, symptoms will present and fatigue may prevent a woman from wanting to exercise at any time during their monthly cycle.  In these circumstances, identifying hormonal imbalances and supporting them can be of tremendous support. 

You can find hormonal support programs here

Be well,

Lynn