Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

November 2021 // Archive

Date based archive
30 Nov

The technical term for sneezing is “sternutation”. This involuntary action occurs when the mucus membranes (lining) becomes irritated in the nose and throat. There are a number of triggers that can cause a sneeze. The most common culprits are symptoms arising from a cold, flu, or allergies. Environmental triggers include pollen, dust, strong odors, pepper, powders, change in temperature, pet dander, mold, looking into bright lights, and dry air. The act of sneezing clears the nose of bacteria and viruses. When something foreign enters the nose, the brain signals the throat to close quickly as well as the eyes and mouth. The chest muscle quickly tightens, while the throat muscles relax. This causes air with saliva and mucus to be forced out of the mouth and nose….SNEEZE. This action releases up to 100,000 germs into the air while traveling at about 100 miles per hour. Your sneeze releases those irritants back into the air, so that is why covering your nose and mouth is important.  

There are some interesting circumstances when it comes to sneezing. For one, have you ever sneezed in your sleep?? No, because your sneezing nerves sleep when you sleep. Did you know that iguanas sneeze more than anyone?? This is due to their digestive system in which a sneeze allows them to release excess salt they are prone to having.  

There are many myths about sneezing. To begin, your heart does not stop when you sneeze. The chest constricts itself and blood flow is momentarily constricted, but the heart doesn’t stop. The rhythm might change then return to normal, but you don’t die and come back to life after a sneeze. Sneezing is not a near death experience. Although it common to say, “Bless you”, after a sneeze, the person will still live.  

Sometimes you may only sneeze once or you might sneeze two, three, or many times. You will keep sneezing until the lining of the nose is clear. How loud you sneeze is just like burping. It’s really up to you to control the volume.  

To help avoid these eruptions from your nose, learn your irritants and think about what might have caused you to sneeze two or three times. Plugging your nose or saying a funny word like “pickles” might stop a sneeze, but your body is trying to get something out of your system. It’s best to let the sneeze erupt rather than doing something like plugging your nose and bursting your ear drum. Be polite and cover your nose and mouth then wash your hands. The world is germ filled, and the only way we can help stop this spread is to keep our germs to ourselves as best we can.  

26 Nov

Having a mental picture of what you want to achieve is imperative for success. I’m sure you have heard of vision boards, athletes doing this before games, or business leaders seeing themselves on top. You have to illustrate to your mind what is going to happen. If you can’t see yourself where you want to be, then how is the picture even possible?? It’s part of the reflection of realizing you can do something. If you aren’t able to picture yourself where you want to be then you don’t have the confidence to be there (harsh but true).  

One of my fondest memories of my mom was when I wasn’t able to sleep the night before a basketball a game because I was envisioning tomorrow’s game. I would play the plays in my head. I wanted to play well and win so bad. She would stay up late watching Lifetime TV so I would go tell her I was frustrated and couldn’t sleep. She would tell me that it’s okay my body is still resting if I just lay there and think about how well I’m going to play in tomorrow’s game. I had to rest my eyes and close them and picture tomorrow’s game. I would go lay back down and get up the next feeling fine. I still do this as an adult the night before competitions. I also use it on nights that I don’t sleep when I reassure myself that my body is still resting even if I’m not able to fall asleep. So when people ask my why I’m not tired, it’s because mentally my mom said I’m rested and mother knows best 😊  

The trick is that you can’t casually envision something. You are setting the groundwork and foundation that tells your mind to connect to this captured picture and put you there. The idea has made its grand entrance into your mind and now it’s the commitment to move forward. 

Now that you see what you want, you have to envision the steps to get there. You want to take the most direct route, not telling yourself that eventually you will get there. The vision has a deadline. Focus and hone in. Practice and prepare. When we were kids we would envision very fun things like becoming a movie star or sports player. Now its about paving the path of what you really want to do, realistically. The scope on your lens needs to be focused on the picture and only adjusted along the way to make the goals met. Maybe the lighting or scenery needs to change. When it comes to your fitness journey where do you see yourself and your body?? Where do you see your health?? Are you slimmer, more muscular, in a certain size, being able to run around with the kids, or you tell me?? You SEE that picture and now it is your purpose for this lifestyle change. Have the confidence to makes these changes and continue to improve yourself so that the picture becomes complete.  

16 Nov


Cosmetic treatments have become increasingly popular. Botox is the brand name for a type of toxin that come from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This toxin has multiple purposes depending on the type and ranges from types A to G. The injection of type A is the most popular, also called botulinum toxin type A. Type A is the most potent form and is approved by the FDA in 2002. There is one other similar form called Dysport, which is also FDA approved.

Contrary to popular belief, Botox doesn’t remove wrinkles. Rather, this toxin works to temporarily disable the facial muscles that cause wrinkles. Common areas include the frown lines and crow’s feet. Botox communicates to these nerves telling the muscles not to contract. The muscles become paralyzed. Botox is most effective on the “dynamic wrinkles” which are only visible when the muscle contracts. That is why the areas of the mouth and eyes which involve frowning, smiling, and squinting, can be treated with this toxin.

Not every area and person is treated the same with Botox. With age, comes the decrease in the elasticity of the skin. This means that sometimes, a crease can become permanent. Botox won’t be able to eliminate these deep creases, but it can reduce the visibility of them. This toxin goes into effect within 48 hours and there is a noticeable difference within 5 to 10 days. This effect will last between 3 and 5 months. Most people who use Botox go for injections again based on this timeline.

Botox might be considered the miracle wrinkle treatment for some people. It won’t be able to reverse the clock, but it can certainly increase confidence and appearance. It is not be abused. It is also important to check the validity of the professional you use and where they are getting their materials from. When done wrong, a frozen face can result. Some people even have Botox parties. The procedure is quick and doesn’t require anesthesia. A fine needle is used. There might be temporary bruising or a headache, but that is not the case for everyone. Botox is also not covered by insurance, as it is deemed a cosmetic procedure. Prices vary based on your doctor and much needs to be used.

Feeling good and looking good is important to us. It isn’t vain to want to have less wrinkles, but also go for a consultation to see if any procedure is right for you. You are never fully dressed without a smile, so do more of what makes your frown turn upside down.

08 Nov

I was oddly pleased to find a BBC special called, “Obesity: The Post Mortem”. This was a graphic inside look of an autopsy of an obese person. The woman was actually from Long Beach, CA and transported to London to undergo this process. She had donated her body. Not that watching any autopsy is stomach turning, but I had that don’t want to look away feeling the entire hour.  

The woman on the cutting table was 16 stone, or about 224 pounds. One stone is equal to 14 pounds in the U.K. She died of heart disease as the result of medical issues arising from being overweight. At first glance she had blisters on her skin and indentions (dimples) all over which are common on larger bodies after death. She carried most of her weight in her stomach.  

The initial cutting revealed a very thick, buttery, yellow layer, better know as fatty tissue. This lipid layer looked greasy and oily.  

She had quite a bit of fatty tissue built up around her heart and diaphragm which would indicate difficulty breathing. She had an enlarged fatty liver. Her lungs had edema fluid, which is a sign of heart failure. The structure of her organs revealed she had high blood pressure. She had scarring on her kidneys which also is a sign of high blood pressure.  

This on hour of gruesome opening of the body was almost a scared straight tactic to know what is going on inside an overweight body. Morbid obesity can cut 8 to 10 years off of someone’s life. Compared to 20 years ago, people are about one stone or 14 pounds heavier. Fat does have a protective role in our bodies and is important for specific functions even in the cardiovascular system. Fatty acids are part of the contraction process of our hearts. But having an excess of fat has a multitude of problems that can take place.  

Fat accumulates over time. Little by little the body is suffering. It is never to late to start reversing this damage. But the longer the wait, the harder the reversibility. Every day and every choice counts. Now put that image of butter in your mind…. yep you don’t need it. Be active. Be happy. Be kind to your BODY. Your family will thank you for the extra years you have here with them.  

“Obesity: The Post Mortem” (2018). BBC.  

02 Nov


We live in a world where farm life seems ancient…. no one lives like that with a barn and fields. But until the 1950s and 60s, farms are where we got our food. Now we are disconnected from where food is sourced because farm to table is rare. We are eating food that is processed, chemical filled, and certainly not of its original form. After watching a documentary called, Sustainable, I thought about the amount of times in my life as a California girl, that I have actually seen a farm. My answer…. don’t know that I ever have.  

Small farmers of today are struggling to continue. Fortunately, they have relationships with chefs and restaurants that are keeping up with farm to table. It’s difficult because farming is seasonal. It’s hard to keep the livestock healthy and warm in the winter.  Microwaves and freezers have changed everything. Despite all this, farms stay in families for hundreds of years. The soil can be used over and over again through restorations processes like alternating crops. The external costs do add up like problems from erosion and run off with the soil. For example, fish could be affected by run off from pesticides into the water they live in.  

Today’s food literally makes people sick with the idea of sustainability. Food has become industrialized. We say we want to support local farmers and some people believe they do when the Tropicana orange juice is made in Florida but has been shipped there from Costa Rica or someplace else. We see branding everywhere and are confused by all the mixed messages. By January 4th, over $100 million has been spent on marketing already to buy the processed foods. Think about it…. why does bread have over 50 ingredients?? Real bread has about 4 if you have ever made it. We are eating meat from sick animals. If one cow produces the waist of 20 people, imagine what a dirty cow industry is like.  

In an ideal world, we would all grow our own. Make that fresh salad from the garden. Not exactly how we operate with the demands of life. Time, energy, and extra effort come into play. But we need to nourish our bodies right. The least we can do it cook at home and control what we can. Support the local business and support your fitness journey with better choices.  

Sustainable, 2016, by Matt Weshcler