Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Healthy You 2012 and Beyond

To keep up with the pace of a new year, ready to confront all its challenges, one needs to be prepared. But preparedness requires being armed against the enemies of health and wellness, namely, pollution, stress and chemical toxicity. If life is a gift, then we need to treasure it. And one of the best ways to do so is to nurture our body, mind and spirit.
Here are some helpful suggestions.
Jump-start your life
There is no better way to do this than to simply make up your mind to join the wellness bandwagon. It has now advanced from fad to lifestyle. It’s what you do from day to day that will enable you to successfully handle every task you decide to take on.
You weaken your internal system when these actions continuously become your daily habits:
• Sugar overload—Whether or not you give in to an occasional dessert craving after meals, little do you know that your hidden sugar intake is high. This comes in the form of canned juices, sauces, breads, dressings, mixed drinks and alcohol. In fact, just about everything you consume contains some kind of sweetness, whether it’s honey or sugar (white, brown, muscovado, etc.).
Overloading on sugar will slow you down eventually, even if you seem wired within the first 20 minutes of consuming it. Eventually, your sugar high will taper off and the merry-go-round repeats when the brain signals the need for yet another high. Thus, the sugar craving.
To neutralize the sugars within, take alpha lipoic acid, a sugar antioxidant, and eat leafy greens with every meal to prevent the need for sugar. Note: add more bitter gourd or ampalaya to your diet; this is a known high-blood sugar tonic. Its potency comes from the bitterness, due to the presence of momordicin. Data shows that it has an overall hypoglycemic effect on the blood, thus lowering blood glucose levels.
• Sleeplessness—If you can rule out emotional problems, stress, and alcohol or food bingeing late in the evening, then it’s probably your lifestyle that is causing you to sleep less. Anywhere from six to eight hours daily is the recommended length of sleep daily. If you go without sleep or with less sleep than you should, then your nervous system is working on over-drive. Less sleep, less energy.
• No exercise—There is an alarming upswing in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in the world. This and other lifestyle diseases like cancer, heart disease and hypertension are directly connected to a sedentary and neglectful lifestyle. Exercise is also connected to the brain and the beauty factor. Through resistance or weight training, the human growth hormone is released. Simultaneously, it lowers stress and cortisol, the stress hormone. So, get moving today and every day. You will only look and feel better.
• Stress out—While stress is good to a certain extent, that it reassures you are still alive, repeated daily stress will wear your body out. Your adrenal glands will become exhausted until you are without energy. Manage your stress by doing simple things to calm you. Try to find time for relaxation. Balance between work and leisure is key. Also, looking on the bright side of life is always a plus factor in determining your immune system’s resilience.
Thyroid watch
It weighs only an ounce and lies in the neck, just below the larynx, your voice box. The thyroid gland may be small, but its role in your health is big. Responsible for producing thyroxine and triiodothyronine, the thyroid (part of the endocrine glands) controls the body’s oxygen consumption (thereby, the metabolic rate), promotes growth and is needed for proper brain development. When it produces too much hormones, the metabolism speeds up, but when it produces too little, the metabolic process slows down. Thus, if you are having difficulty losing or gaining weight, have your thyroid checked.
Hypothyroidism is the main culprit in the weight problems experienced by men and women in their 50s.Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is the main suspect in the sudden weight loss conditions of people in the 40s-50s age range. In either case, tiredness and exhaustion and mild palpitations are experienced by those with thyroid conditions. Left untreated, these could lead to more serious health concerns like diabetes.
In his book “Hypothyroidism: The Unexpected Illness,” Broda O. Barnes, M.D., explains that people with diabetes have low basal temperatures. If you think your thyroid may be over or under functioning, here’s a test you can do at home.
Before retiring, place a thermometer by your bedside. Upon waking up, take your temperature. For 10 minutes, keep the thermometer in your armpit. If your temperature is not within the normal range of 97.8-98.2°F, then you may have a thyroid condition. A temperature below this range by one to three degrees is indicative of hypothyroidism. If you’re one to three degrees above normal, then you could have hypothyroidism. In any case, pay your doctor a visit.
No matter what roadblocks may lay ahead or setbacks you could be facing, always remember that there is an invincible energy source within you. The indestructible part of who you are, your spirit and heart, respond to an immortal God. Thus, the empowerment of the self is not an impossibility; it is in our own soul’s DNA.
So, reach deep within yourself. Find your reserves. Open the gates. And unleash your indefatigable energy  for the entire world to see.
Affirm today: “I am on my way to a healthy new me"

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