Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Making Lifestyle Changes You Can Live With

                       Making Lifestyle Changes                           You Can Live With

News Picture: Making Lifestyle Changes You Can Live With

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights two important steps for improving diet and exercise habits. The first is getting practical and personalized tips for making changes that you’ll permanently adopt. The second is developing the inner motivation needed to help make the first step stick.

The study recruited adults from a rural area in the South with limited access to a gym and other health-oriented facilities. To help them make positive changes, each had four sessions with a wellness counselor who gave recommendations tailored to their lifestyle. These included making realistic changes to the typical southern diet they normally ate, with an emphasis on how to make better fat and carb choices.

They were also given a fitness goal of 30 minutes a day, such as walking at least 7,500 steps at least five days a week, plus information on where to find farmers markets for healthier food as well as local parks and schools where they could walk.

Although researchers thought that rural participants would have a harder time making healthy changes than city dwellers, those who lived in the country lost more weight and became more active than those in healthier, more supportive environments. In fact, some became so motivated that the farther they lived from a gym, the greater the number of steps they took.

Everyone trying to lose weight can apply these findings to meet key goals. Consider a personal evaluation from a dietitian to get tips you can easily put into action and which, in turn, can boost your inner motivation. And this can be especially helpful if you live in an area with few resources.


Remember, We are in This Togethet

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth


Lifestyle, Uncategorized

No Time to Exercise? Really!


No Time to Exercise?

Cant fit in the 30 minutes of exercise five times weekly needed to lower your risk of heart disease?

Squeeze in two brisk 10 minute walks weekly instead, and you will lower your odds of heart problems,

stroke and blood clots by more than 20%, which is the same as if you have worked out longer.

Short bouts of activity that get your heart pumping are enough to strengthen your heart muscle and arteries research shows.

Boost your benefits with the foods you eat.

Eating a Mediterranean type diet of fish, olives,

fresh produce, whole grains, beans and nuts cuts your

risk of heart disease by another 47%.

Not eating and skipping meals is the worse situation for a health heart.

For more information contact:

Health and Wellness Associates


Dr J Jaranson  MD FAAOS


Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

30 Minute Walking Workout for Arthritis


30-Minute Walking Workout for Arthritis



Arthritis pain leads many people to become less active, which is the exact opposite of what they should do. A 150 minutes per week of moderately-intense and joint-friendly activity (such as brisk walking) is recommended for those with arthritis by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Arthritis Foundation.


One in 10 American adults have arthritis-attributable activity limitations, and it’s even higher in the one third of Americans who are obese, according to the CDC.



For 10 million people, that means they have difficulty walking for a quarter mile. Each extra pound puts four more pounds of stress on the knees, according to the CDC.


Walking for 30 minutes at a time, five times per week is the recommended goal. If it is too challenging at first, it can be broken into 10-minute walks, three times per day.


Consult your health care team to see if walking is the right exercise for you and whether any precautions are necessary for your individual circumstances.


Walking Goal: To walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace, five or more days per week. Use a pedometer to aim for 6000 steps each day in a dedicated walking workout.


What You Need for a Walking Workout

Walking Shoes: Get fitted for flat and flexible athletic shoes. The right athletic shoes will allow you to move with greater comfort and less pain. Stiff shoes fight your natural foot motion, while shoes that are too flimsy don’t give you the cushioning and stability you need. Visit the best running shoe store in your area to get fitted by experts. If you have been wearing slip-ons or velcro-tabbed shoes to avoid having to bend over to lace them, discuss this with the shoe store as there are athletic shoes with these features and lacing systems that may be easier for you to use. But remember that these shoes wear out a lot faster, and loose their support quicker.

Walking Clothing: Wear clothing that gives you good freedom of movement. Wear a fitness t-shirt and fitness shorts, warm-up pants or yoga pants.

Walking Poles: A pair of walking poles can help relieve pressure on your joints and maintain your shoulder mobility. Use handrail on a treadmill also.  You will also burn more calories per mile at the same speed, enhancing your workout if you aren’t able to walk briskly.


Where to walk: You can use a treadmill for your walking workouts, which can help build confidence and speed and won’t have any curbs, hills or hazards to negotiate if those increase your discomfort. But walking outdoors is good for the spirit. You can still avoid hills by using a track at a nearby school. Look for a walking route on asphalt or level natural trail which will have less impact on the joints than concrete sidewalks.

Walking Warm-Up and Stretches: You may be stiff and need to wake up your joints and muscles before starting your walk. A warm shower before you begin may help. Begin by getting up and circling the room a few times or marching slowly in place. Then use the stretching routine to prepare your body for a walk.

Adjust Your Posture: Good body alignment is key to walking with less pain and strain on your joints. You may have developed bad posture habits with arthritis and it can help to practice good posture in front of a mirror. Stand up straight, with your eyes forward and your chin parallel to the ground. Engage your core muscles by pulling in your stomach and tilting your hips slightly forward as you tuck in your rear. Now straighten up by pretending there is a string attached to the top of your head and, with feet flat on the ground, raise yourself up from your hips to the top of your head. Relax your shoulders with another couple of shrugs. Bend your arms. Now you are ready to walk.


Walk at an Easy Pace for 3 to 5 Minutes: Continue your warm-up with an easy walking pace, bringing blood flow to your muscles and joints. Listen to your body and warm up for as long as it takes. If you have been inactive, do this 2-3 times per day at first before building up more time walking.

Speed Up: It may be difficult at first to walk faster than an easy pace, but you will get more exercise benefits if you practice speeding up. Move your arms faster in coordination with your steps to help pick up the pace. A brisk walking pace is one where you are breathing heavier but you can still speak in sentences. Aim for 50% to 70% of maximum heart rate. Use our Heart Rate Zone Calculator to find the right range for your age. Take your exercise pulse to see if you are in the moderate intensity zone. Using walking poles can help boost your heart rate at lower speeds. More: Tips for How to Walk Faster

Duration: Build up your walking minutes. A 10-minute walk is the minimum goal. A 30-minute walk, five days per week is the preferred goal. Walking longer, such as 60 minutes at a time, can help burn stored fat and support weight loss. More: How to Start Walking

Cool Down for 1 to 3 Minutes: Finish your walk by walking at an easy pace. You may want to end with the stretching routine again.


Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have RA in your family and you want to prevent getting it, or you already have RA or another form of arthritis, call us to see what you can do to alleviate your situation.

Health and Wellness Associates



Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Rev Your Energy by 65%


It might seem like resting on a couch is a good way to boost your energy, but University of Georgia researchers say that a few minutes of light intensity exercise, such as taking a leisurely walk, can erase tiredness by as much as 65%.

Why it works?  “When we walk, larger amounts of oxygen start pumping to muscles and the brain, giving you the feeling of being worked up,” explains Peter McCall, exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.

Your Magic Bullet:  Walk the mall or even dust the house, for 20 minutes at least three times a week – that is what worked for study participants.  Too tired to tackle that much exercise?  Start small says McCall, who recommends simply climbing the stairs or sweeping your front walk until  you feel ready to do more.

Health and Wellness Associates




Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Strengthning Your Body Strengthens Your Mind


Strengthening Your Body Strengthens Your Mind


There are many reasons to exercise. Protecting your brain health and optimizing your thinking ability is one of them. In fact, there’s compelling evidence that exercise produces large cognitive gains, improves memory, and helps fight dementia.


For example, a 2010 study1 on primates revealed that regular exercise helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys, and researchers believe this might hold true for people as well.


Exercise helps protect and improve your brain function by:


Improving and increasing blood flow to your brain

Increasing production of nerve-protecting compounds

Improving development and survival of neurons

Reducing damaging plaques in your brain

Altering the way these damaging proteins reside inside your brain, which appears to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease



Lifting Weights Boosts Memory


Strength training in particular has been shown to have a very beneficial impact on brain function and memory. In one study2 — featured in the video above — just 20 minutes of strength training was found to enhance long-term memory by about 10 percent.


In this experiment, 46 volunteers were randomly assigned to one of two groups — one active, and one passive. Initially, all of the participants viewed a series of 90 images. Afterward, they were asked to recall as many images as they could.


Next, the active group was told to do 50 leg extensions at personal maximum effort using a resistance exercise machine. The passive participants were asked to let the machine move their leg, without exerting any personal effort.


Two days later the participants returned to the lab, where they were shown a series of 180 pictures — the 90 original photos, plus 90 new ones. Interestingly, even though it was two days since they performed the leg extensions, those in the active group had markedly improved image recall.


The passive control group recalled about 50 percent of the original photos, whereas the active group remembered about 60 percent of the previously shown images.


As reported by The Epoch Times:3


“Our study indicates that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time to give their brain a boost,’ says Lisa Weinberg… who led the project.


Although the study used weight exercises… resistance activities such as squats or knee bends would likely produce the same results. In other words, exercises that don’t require the person to be in good enough to shape to bike, run, or participate in prolonged aerobic exercises…”


The Intriguing Link Between Leg Power and Brain Function


Another recent study supports these findings, and suggests that working your leg muscles helps maintain cognitive function as you get older. According to the authors, simply walking more could help maintain brain function well into old age.


This study4,5,6,7 followed 324 female twins, aged 43 to 73, for a decade. Cognitive function such as learning and memory was tested at the outset and at the conclusion of the study. Interestingly, as reported by


“The researchers found that leg strength was a better predictor of brain health than any other lifestyle factor looked at in the study.


Generally, the twin with more leg strength at the start of the study maintained her mental abilities better and had fewer age-related brain changes than the twin with weaker legs…


‘It’s compelling to see such differences in cognition [thinking] and brain structure in identical twins, who had different leg power 10 years before,’ [lead author Claire] Steves add


‘It suggests that simple lifestyle changes to boost our physical activity may help to keep us both mentally and physically healthy.'”

Previous research has demonstrated that exercise promotes brain health by releasing hormones from the muscles, which encourage the growth of new brain cells — a process known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity.


Your brain’s hippocampus, i.e. your memory center, is particularly adaptable and capable of growing new cells throughout your entire lifetime, even into your 90s, provided your lifestyle supports it.


For example, one year-long study found that adults who exercised regularly were actually enlarging their brain’s memory center by one to two percent per year, where typically that center shrinks with age.


The study on twins is said to be the first showing a specific link between leg power and cognition in normal, healthy people, and this is great news, as your leg muscles are among the largest in your body and can be easily worked, either through seated leg exercises, or by standing and walking.


Exercise Boosts Brain Performance Among Students and Employees


The hippocampus belongs to the ancient part of your brain known as the limbic system, and plays an important role in the consolidation of information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, as well as spatial navigation. Previous animal research9 has found that not only does exercise activate hippocampal neurons, it actually promotes their growth. In one study,10 exercising mice grew an average of 6,000 new brain cells in every cubic millimeter of tissue sampled.


The growth occurred in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain, and the mice showed significant improvements in the ability to recall memories without any confusion.  A number of other studies have investigated the impact of exercise on brain performance and IQ. Some of the research highlights11 include:


Among elementary school students, 40 minutes of daily exercise increased IQ by an average of nearly four points

Among sixth graders, the fittest students scored 30 percent higher than average students, and the less fit students scored 20 percent lower

Among older students, those who play vigorous sports have a 20 percent improvement in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies

Students who exercised before class improved test scores 17 percent, and those who worked out for 40 minutes improved an entire letter grade

Employees who exercise regularly are 15 percent more efficient than those who do not, which means a fit employee only needs to work 42.5 hours in a week to do the same work as an average employee does in 50

To Optimize Your Health and Longevity, Stay in Constant Motion


The type of exercise program that will benefit your brain is identical to the one that will benefit the rest of your body. Ideally, you’d want to strive for a comprehensive routine that includes high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT), strength training, core work, and stretching. Then, in addition to a well-rounded workout routine, I also recommend standing up as much as possible to avoid the well-documented hazards associated with chronic sitting, and walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day.


Daily walking has been found to trigger an anti-aging process, and recent research suggests it may add anywhere from three to seven years to your lifespan. It’s clearly an essential movement we all require, ideally in addition to a regular exercise program. And, once you’ve eased into a daily walk routine, you can easily turn it into a high-intensity walking workout, which may be especially beneficial if you’re elderly or unable to engage in other forms of high-intensity exercises.


Best of all, you can benefit from walking no matter what age you get started. Study author Sanjay Sharma, professor of Inherited Cardiac Diseases in Sports Cardiology at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, told The Independent:12


“We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.”


Everyone Can Benefit from More Walking




Part of what makes walking so beneficial is that when you’re walking you can’t be sitting. Sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, along with increased risks of heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.13 I personally walk about two hours a day; about 60 miles per week.


I do this barefoot without a shirt on at the beach — this way I’m able to get my sun exposure at the same time, which is an added benefit. I also like to read while I walk and this allows me to read two or three books a week. Multi-tasking like this allows me to easily justify the time investment and reap the many benefits that daily walking offers. I have been doing this now for more than a year and have logged 3,000 miles, which is the distance of walking across the US.


Consider High Intensity Exercises for Maximum Health Boost


In addition to these daily walks, I also do some form of regimented exercise each day. This includes strength training four times a week. My current goal is to deadlift 400 pounds. Got up to 340 but have a ways to go. I also do a daily 30 minute stretching routine on the Power Plate.


HIIT, which is a core component of my Peak Fitness program, maximizes your human growth hormone (HGH) secretion, optimizes your metabolism, and helps regulate your insulin and blood sugar. And nothing beats it in terms of efficiency. You can complete an entire Peak Fitness workout in 20 minutes or less.


My previous article, “Peak Fitness: Reap the Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training,” details the benefits of HIIT and offers guidance, instructions, and demonstrations for how to perform HIIT with or without equipment.


Strength Training Becomes Increasingly Important with Age


Getting back to strength training and working your muscles is important not just for its brain-boosting effects. It produces a number of molecular, enzymatic, hormonal, and chemical changes that help slow down and even reverse a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. And, contrary to popular belief, strength training is particularly important for the elderly.


By strengthening muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments, strength training helps you maintain a stable body position, and allows you to perform everyday activities like climbing stairs and getting out of a chair with greater ease. This freedom of movement adds to your quality of life, but the benefits don’t end there. One study showed that strength training in the elderly genetically turned back the biological clock about 10 years!


So where do you start?


If you’re elderly and have been sedentary for some time, I suggest you begin by taking a look at my “Basic Exercise Guide for Older Seniors and the Infirm”. It contains basic seated and standing exercises that can help improve balance and coordination. My article “Easy Strength Training Moves for Seniors” contain beginner’s level strength training exercises, which you can then move into.


For the rest of you, I suggest reviewing my “Beginners Guide to Strength Training,” which lists a number of strength training options, such as body weight exercises, kettle bells, resistance bands, medicine balls, resistance machines, and more.


How to Get the Most out of Your Strength Training Routine


Last but not least, you can also turn your strength training routine into a high-intensity exercise. This is done by slowing down your movements. Super-slow weight training is a particularly well-suited form of high-intensity exercise for older individuals, as it actively prevents you from accidentally harming your joints or suffering repetitive use injury.


In the video below I discuss and demonstrate the proper execution of a number of different super-slow weight training exercises. They can all be done using either free weights or machines. The benefit of using a quality machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed to the movement.


The typical super-slow resistance workout can be completed in about 15 minutes. Just one or two of these workouts are needed each week, as you need to make sure you’ve sufficiently recovered between sessions.


Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

  1. Mercola