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Exercise Yourself to a Healthier Prostate and Greater Longevity!

In the latest issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology, the conclusion is very clear that ‘exercise is a must to improve prostate health and outcomes’. Unlike most research on how exercise can help prevent problems, this study looked at men already diagnosed with prostate cancer. What they found is totally amazing and validating to the fact that even simple exercise is a must for everyone. Over the years I have seen studies showing that exercise can help protect the prostate and that men that have sedentary jobs have increased risk of prostate cancer, but this takes the importance of getting up and moving, to a whole new level.

So, what is the big deal? Well, it is said 1 in 5 men will have prostate cancer during their life. That is even a greater prevalence than breast cancer risk that currently indicates that 1 in 8 women will be directly impacted.

This new study involved 2,705 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. What they found is that both non-vigorous and vigorous activity were associated with significantly lower overall mortality. But what does it really take according to the researchers to see the desired benefits…? Well that is the amazing thing, those who walked at least 90 minutes per week at a normal to very brisk pace had a 46% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with shorter durations at an easy walking pace. Furthermore men who invested in their health at least 3 hours per week of vigorous activity had a 49% lower risk of all-cause mortality. Men with greater than 3 hours per week of vigorous activity had a 61% lower risk of prostate death.

Bottomline:
A body in motion is more likely to stay alive, and a body at rest is at RISK! A simple 30-minutes a day (on average) helps keep a lean body mass, minimizes the risk of type 2 diabetes, supports natural immune health and now as the research shows, may just help control a very real and scary health concern. For the men reading this blog, please take this message to heart and get up out of that chair and invest in your health. You will feel better, all you have to do is start out slow and keep in motion. And for the women reading these study findings, it is time to encourage the men in your life to get out of the recliner and take charge of their health.

Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

You would think with all the modern advances in sanitation, hygeine and cleaning agents that an epidemic of bed bugs would not be making the evening news. Yet sure enough, these little bugs known officially as Cimex lectularis are making a strong comeback. In the 1940’s bed bugs were nearly erradicated in the developed world. Yet thanks to international travel and awareness of the toxicity of previously used insecticides they are back with a vengenance.

Knowing your enemy is critical to avoid bringing something home from your next vacation or business trip. First and foremost, these “critters” are small. Adult Bed Bugs measure a mere 4-5 mm in length and 1.5-3 mm wide with flat reddish brown bodies. So, they are hard to see. Signs of infestations other than getting bit include dark excrement stains left where they hide, and molted skins of Nymphs. Before climbing into bed, pull back the sheets all the way to the foot of the bed, look at the pillows and if you are really venturesome take off the fitted sheet on the mattress. Who knows what you might find.

But why all the precaution?
If you think about the number of people that sleep in a hotel bed over the course of a year, the statistics start stacking against you. Working with the 365 days in a year, and with an assumption of a 3 day stay for the average guest (single occupancy), that means 120 individuals have slept in your bed assuming single occupancy. That really puts things into perspective, particularly when combined with the fact that an adult Bed Bug can survive for over a year.

So once you check the bed sheets you are fine, right? Nope! They can literally crawl from the bed to a chair, couch or just hang out in the carpet where you place your suitcase. They love to hide along seams and headboards near their source of food, that being you.

So whats the big deal? Bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, can cause painful welts and very importantly they drink blood. So, the big question is whether or not they can transmit diseases. The official opinion shared with the public is probably not, but realistically as a clinician we know that a simple stick with a needle in ones office can transmit very deadly diseases. All I can say, is I error on the side of caution, I know I don’t want the same “bed bug beak” injected into me after nibbling on people for upwards of a year. Pretty scarey!

Bottomline: Before counting sheep, it is important to make sure you don’t count bed bugs first. If you have any concern at all about the room you have, error on the side of caution and ask for another room. Not only can this help you from getting bit, it can help you from not destroying your home. If you bring bed bugs home, you can infest your house which means that you will have to potentially discard furniture, bedding, etc. or use professional strength toxic substances in an effort to reclaim your prize possessions. Indeed a few moments of caution can really pay off.

Your Foods and Beverages, Diabetes and Blood Sugars Impacts Your Kidneys Health

Often in the hustle and bustle of our fast paced lives, we forget about what our 75 trillion cells comprise. The vast majority of us have 2 kidneys that work day and night filtering our blood and ultimating making urine to dispose of toxins. Yet, as very complex filters, made up of filtering units called Nephrons that consist of million of blood vessels, there is an inherent vulnerability of these small fragile structures. Taking care of the kidneys is absolutely essential and can’t be taken for granted. First and foremost, one must prevent high blood pressure and high blood sugars (diabetes) from destroying these life sustaining organs.

I encourage my patients to not eat excessive amounts of meat or eggs that can be hard on the kidneys. It is also essential to find a balance relative to caffeine intake and ensure plenty of water is consumed daily. In addition my patients focus on supplemental magnesium, B complex, chromium and a vegetarian based diet. Individuals that eat more vegetables and fruits, while minimizing red meat, eggs and refined carbohydrates have been shown to have less kidney disease.

It’s amazing that only 11% of Americans consume the recommended 5 to 7 servings of fresh fruits and veggies that have been shown to provide numerous health benefits. To compound this dietary deficit is that the western diet is abundant in animal proteins and sugar that can damage the kidneys and increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Vitamin D can Pump up Testosterone and Help Maintain a Lean Body

The vitamin D research continues to show the limitless positive effects of vitamin D on long term wellness and health. The latest research out of Austria and reported in the medical journal, Hormone and Metabolic Research, Dec 10, 2010, shows that adequate vitamin D levels are essential for optimal testosterone levels within men. We know that men experience a steady drop in testosterone with the passage of time and this latest research demonstrates that taking 3,332 IU per day of vitamin D3 achieved significant impact on preserving healthier levels of testosterone. In fact, the focus of the study showed that men that were overweight, experienced significant benefits. Beyond the well known benefits of testosterone for male performance, muscular health and healthy blood pressure is that at optimal levels lean body mass is more readily sustained and thus helps control the risk for diabetes. As I share in my book, His Change of Life, the impact of low testosterone on premature aging and monitoring male hormones is vitally important for healthy aging.

Ensuring daily levels of vitamin D3 intake is sufficient to maintain blood vitamin D levels (25-OH-vitamin D) around 55 (range 20-100), can help boost performance, energy, mood, lean body mass, blood sugars and yes the vitally important testosterone levels criticial for longevity.

25 Weight-Loss Tips

Maintaining optimum health and wellness should be one of our top of the priorities all year long, however if it takes a new year to help bring focus to this, I fully support the initiative (anytime of year)!
I saw this very good article in USA Today that offers 25 powerful tips to help us achieve one of the most common and important goals of all: Better Managing Our Weight. I also took the liberty of adding a few notes where I thought it would be helpful (in blue).

25 Weight-Loss Tips

This is the time of year when many people gear up to lose weight. For the past 25 years, USA TODAY has been offering readers practical advice on how to trim down in the annual Weight Loss Challenge series. Nutrition reporter Nanci Hellmich shares 25 of the best tips from over the years.

1. Set a realistic weight-loss goal. Most experts recommend aiming for half a pound to 2 pounds a week.

2. Keep track. Dieters who keep track of everything they eat lose twice as much weight as those who don’t, research shows.

3. Motivate yourself. Get a pair of jeans or pants that are too tight and hang them in the kitchen instead of the closet to keep yourself inspired.

4. Get help from family and friends. Dieters who have support from a partner at home lose more weight than those who don’t, studies show.

5. Move it to lose it. Research shows that people who do physical activities such as walking or biking for two to four hours a week during weight-loss efforts lose an extra 3 to 5 pounds over a year.

6. Pay attention to portions. A 3-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards; 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine, a standard postage stamp; a cup of cold cereal, berries or popcorn, a baseball; 4-inch pancake or waffle, the diameter of a CD. Also when sitting down to a meal, eat your protein and veggies first, and your starches (bread, chips, potatoes, corn) last, this will decrease the blood sugar surge lessening risk of entering storage mode for those calories.

7. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Get rid of the foods that sabotage your weight loss. Things to be evicted from your kitchen cupboards include: Simple carbs, cookies, candy, bread, crackers, chips.

8. Create “a dinner deck.” This would include 10 favorite quick and healthful dinners written on index cards. Each card should list the ingredients for the recipe on one side and directions for making it on the other.

9. Avoid hunger. Eat regular meals and snacks. Make sure you have some protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans or chicken for most meals. Some research suggests that protein helps you feel full longer.

10. Keep produce on hand. Place a bowl of vegetables such as broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers or carrot sticks in the refrigerator. You can eat them as a snack or when preparing meals to take the edge off your hunger.

11. Stock up on “impulse fruits.” Keep things like grapes, clementines, small apples, small bananas and pears around the house. These foods are easy to eat without having to do much cutting and slicing.

12. Make some stealth changes. That will get everyone in the family eating healthier. Buy low-fat 1% or skim milk, low-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat cheese instead of the full-fat versions. Use them in recipes to cut the fat and calories. When possible buy dairy and animal products that are free-range or organic to decrease hormonal burden due to the way most commercial animal products are raised and produced.

13. Cut out liquid calories. Eliminate soda and sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Liven up the taste of water by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint. Choose skim and 1% milk. Also some researchers point to how diet beverages with artificial sweeteners can also contribute to lack of weight loss and actually contribute to increased weight gain.

14. Practice the “Rule of One.” When it comes to high-calorie foods, you won’t go wrong if you allow one small treat a day. That might be one cookie or a fun-sized candy bar.

15. Pace, don’t race. Force yourself to eat more slowly and savor each bite. Experts say that you should chew each mouthful of food a minimum of 10 to 15 times and never wash your food down with beverages.

16. Hydrate before meals. Drinking 16 ounces, or two glasses, of water before meals may help you eat less.

17. Downsize plates, bowls, glasses, silverware. Using smaller versions of your serving ware will help you eat less food naturally.

18. Adopt the motto “after 8 is too late” for snacks after dinner.

19. Buy a pedometer. Health experts recommend taking at least 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 4 to 5 miles, depending on your stride length. Keeping track of the steps you are taking towards your health goals, can be measured with a simple pedometer, as we all need feedback as to how well we are doing on staying on track.

20. Treat yourself occasionally. If your chocolate craving is getting to you, try diet hot-chocolate packets. If you need a treat, go out for it or buy small prepackaged portions of ice cream bars. If you love chocolate, consider keeping bite-size pieces in the freezer.

21. Dine at a table. Eat from a plate while seated at a table. Don’t eat while driving, lounging on the couch or standing at the fridge. Never watch television when eating, because your mind and digestion is not on the task at hand, which is optimally fueling your body with a set amount of caloires.

22. Dine out without pigging out. Figure out what you are going to eat in advance. Get salad dressing on the side. Restaurants usually put about one-quarter cup (4 tablespoons) of dressing on a salad, which is often too many calories. Best to stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

23. Get plenty of sleep. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

24. Weigh yourself regularly. That’s what successful dieters and those who manage to maintain weight loss do. Some step on the scales once a week. Others do so daily.

25. Reward yourself. When you meet your incremental weight loss goals, say losing 5 pounds, treat yourself to something — but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you’ve been wanting or go out to a movie with a friend.

For more help on losing weight, go to http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/index

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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