BLOG 286 TURMERIC
Turmeric is that bright yellow substance you see me put drops in my water and suck down three times per day. Some studies show it is the most effective nutritional substance there is. I have personally felt the benefits of this spice, so let us take a look at how turmeric can be helpful to us.
Beginning with the basics, turmeric is the spice that makes curry look yellow. It also makes mustard look yellow. It is a relative of ginger. Popularity of its use began in Indian cultures, but we now know there are medicinal properties in this spice as well. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which carries its health benefits. It is most well- known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Low level inflammation is extremely important. Some studies have stated that turmeric out performs some pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to its effects on some diseases.
Let’s look at some of the diseases turmeric has been found to help and/or alleviate. I found research done by James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the, American Botanical Council publication, HerbClip, to be very informative. When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, “Duke found more than 50 studies on turmeric’s effects in addressing Alzheimer’s disease. The reports indicate that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease” (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03001/Three-Reasons-to-Eat-Turmeric.html). Its benefits when it comes to Arthritis are really amazing: “Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme” (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03001/Three-Reasons-to-Eat-Turmeric.html). Cancer also made the list in which turmeric has been found to effective in the, “Prevention and/or treatment of colon cancer, mammary cancer, prostate cancer, murine hepatocarcinogenesis (liver cancer in rats), esophageal cancer, and oral cancer (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03001/Three-Reasons-to-Eat-Turmeric.html).
Oh there are more. The list continues: “Early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, 3 days before surgery and continuing for 5 days after surgery can lower the risk of a heart attack following bypass surgery” (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html) . My diabetic clients might find it interesting to read, “Early research suggests that taking turmeric daily for 9 months can reduce the number of people with prediabetes who develop diabetes (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html) .
Other ailements it has been known to help include liver problems, ring worm, and even depression. Heart burn and indigestion can also be alleviated. This remedy is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, and gallbladder disorders (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html).
Turmeric can be taken in liquid or capsule form. It is important to understand that a substance such as this is not regulated the same way in which a pharmaceutical drug is by the FDA. Therefore, not all products are created equal. Furthermore, it can interact with other medications you are taking. For example, “Turmeric may slow blood clotting, so people taking drugs with the same effect, like anticoagulants, should be cautious about taking turmeric supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/18/turmeric-health-benefits-curcumin_n_5978482.html). Because it does help reduce blood sugar, diabetics should of course proceed with caution as to not make their blood sugar too low. It can affect fertility in men as well, but anyone with hormone sensitivity should be careful using it. If one has an iron deficiency be careful because it can impact the absorption of iron.
I like using this natural product myself and have felt the positive effects of less swelling in my knee post-surgery as well as my elbows from lifting weights a lot. Some of my clients have started taking it as well. We are all different though when it comes to our bodies. Sharing little tricks are always helpful on our fitness journeys so that we can strive towards feeling our best. After all, we are tearing apart our muscles before we build them back up (hypertrophy). If turmeric sounds like a supplement you might want to try, besides sprinkling a little on your food, always consult your doctor first. I’m not a doctor YET, only the voice of reason and maybe even the drill sergeant on your fitness journey.
BLOG 285 SUNBURNS
The quest for the perfect tan can have a person sitting or lying in the sun for hours with very little attire. Then the person is left looking like a lobster, beat red from exposure with the intention that tomorrow the golden brown will settle in. Even with all of today’s warnings and information, plenty of people enjoy soaking up the sun’s rays. According to the CDC, 1/3 of adults admit being sunburned in the past year and 70% of children admit the same.
Getting a sunburn isn’t rocket science. The skin will burn when exposed to the sun for too long. On the surface, the skin turns really red. There is also damage occurring under the skin. The sun’s rays come in three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA and UVB penetrate the skin, while UVC doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface. Therefore, sun damage isn’t always visible. Under the skin, the sun’s rays actually change DNA. This causes the skin to age. DNA that has been damaged due to this exposure which can also cause skin cancer, specifically melanoma. Despite the warnings and risks, some people claim they don’t get sunburned. The severity of the burn does depend on skin type, how intense the sun was at the time of exposure, and how long the skin was actually exposed to the sun. Sometimes a sunburn can even result in blistering. Under the surface, the skin is working to get rid of damaged cells which causes the peeling effect.
Treatment for a sunburn involves trying to get rid of the redness and swelling. Plenty of at home remedies are effective. Aloe, menthol, camphor, are creams and gels that many people use and are easy to purchase. Anti-inflammatory drugs are another option. Staying out of the sun and not re-exposing the burn is important. Keeping hydrated helps to.
It is recommended to stay out of the sun between the peak hours of 10am to 4pm. Staying in the shade is good too. Sun-protective clothing and wearing a hat are good protective methods. Using sunscreen is critical, especially the broad-spectrum type. Applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure will help reduce the risk of burn and even if it overcast, apply it anyways. Every two hours, this sunscreen should be reapplied. It should be applied even sooner if a person is sweating or immersed in water.
Golden, tan skin is of course an attractive confidence booster, but not at the risk of cancer. When we were young and didn’t know, well that may be an excuse. However, now with all we know there is no reason to continue to burn the skin and exposure yourself to threat of melanoma and pre-mature aging.
BLOG 284 INCONSISTENCY
Inconsistency is the difference between attitude and action. Its meaning is associated with instability, self-contradiction, irregular, and unpredictable. Consistency is the desired behavior. An inconsistent person is a sometimes person. For example, sometimes this person offers quality service and effort at their job, while sometimes they call out absent and show up to work late. Being inconsistent is not being reliable or dependable. A bar tender might serve the same drink to you and your friend that placed an order, but the two drinks taste very different. The lines are blurred when it comes to expectation. Therefore, when it comes to one’s fitness journey, inconsistency marks many people’s association with working out and eating healthy. Can you relate??
It is a common trend to be consistent for a duration, but then to become inconsistent once a few mishaps occur. There becomes a start and stop pattern of behavior. As a trainer, my hope is that more often then not, you make your workouts, eat right, and keep this lifestyle as regular as possible. But then the human element comes into play…. holidays, travel, parties, relationships, parenting, and emotion. Somehow priorities shift, food becomes comforting, and the fitness journey takes a back seat with the intention of the only being temporary. But how long is temporary?? These bouts of temporary accumulate. The roller coaster continues, and I’m left wondering when the road will be straight and smooth again.
It’s interesting that taking care of one’s health can become inconsistent. Other aspects of life do not allow this such as parenting, your performance at work, or being a good partner/spouse. When we are inconsistent in these areas, we assume that we are affecting other people so we can’t slack. The truth is that poor health does affect other people around us too. Not being able to hold your grandchild, not being able to stand for long periods of time, feeling sluggish…. all of that does go noticed. Sometimes only when the cost of poor health hits does reality set in.
How would you label your fitness journey?? Would you consider yourself consistent?? This is an important chat to have with yourself especially with the onset of new year. Have you ever graded yourself?? What letter grade would you earn. Inconsistency doesn’t equate to results. Be consistent in your efforts and your body will thank you. When your body thanks you, your mood, energy, relationships, heart, and mind, will thank you too. So be a regular at the studio and Steve Nash and I will help you reach your goals.
BLOG 283 ENDOMETRIOSIS
Symptoms of heavy menstrual cycles, infertility, and abdominal pain, may be due to the development of tissue lining outside the uterus. The area outside the uterus is called the endometrium. The key players for this condition are the ovaries, tissue lining the pelvis, and the Fallopian tubes. The tissue becomes displaced but still operates as if all is normal. Therefore, the tissue, just like during a period, thickens, breaks down, and bleeds. This displaced tissue has no way to exit the body and this trapped tissue can now cause problems. The ovaries can become involved and cysts can start to form. The existing healthy tissue can become irritated having to interact with the displaced tissue and scar tissue can form.
A person who has endometriosis has increased pelvic pain when having their menstrual cycle. Painful periods are called dysmenorrhea. Periods also have excessive bleeding and bleeding can occur between cycles. Also during this time, the low back can start to hurt. Sexual intercourse can be painful. Sometimes endometriosis is discovered when a woman goes to seek treatment for infertility. Bowel movements and urination can be painful too.
This condition can be caused by retrograde menstruation. This occurs when the endometrial cells flow back through the Fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. Levels of estrogen can actually transform embryotic cells. It is possible that endometrial cells attach to areas that had a surgical incision such as a hysterectomy or C-section. Immune system disorders can cause this problem. The blood vessels might also carry endometrial cells to other parts of the body (endometrial cell transport).
Women who have never given birth, those going through menopause at an older age, those with high levels of estrogen, having a low body max index, or someone who started their period at an earlier age, are all at increased risk to develop this condition.
For diagnosis, a doctor can perform a pelvic exam, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and/or a laparoscopy (looking at the abdomen). Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor will select the appropriate treatment. A doctor might recommend over the counter pain medication, surgery to remove the endometriosis implants, or hormone therapy. Birth control can actually help control the build up of endometrial tissue. Fertility treatment can be performed for those trying to get pregnant. Doctors used to perform hysterectomies as the main treatment for this condition, however, doctors are now focusing on removing the tissue rather than the ovaries.
Endometriosis is often hard to detect, but it can be helped. Discomfort is normal during a period but pain is not. Whenever the body is speaking, one should seek medical attention to find a solution. The displaced tissue should not wreck havoc on your health.