150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

The metabolic syndrome is the name given by the medical profession to a group of health risks having a strong potential to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. These unhealthy conditions are for the most part avoidable simply by eating less and getting more exercise.

The five components of the syndrome are:

  • A waist that is larger than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men. Some men may be at risk even if their waist is greater than 37-39 inches.
  • Low cholesterol readings of the good HDL. Women should have numbers under 50 and men should have their numbers under 40.

Higher than normal, but not necessarily high numbers in the following categories:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 or higher and a diastolic reading of 85 or higher.
  • Fasting blood sugar count of 110 or higher
  • Tested triglycerides of 150 or above after fasting.

According to the doctors, a person with three or more of these five categories raises their risk of becoming diabetic and developing heart disease.

The research specialists believe the root cause of this syndrome is an inefficient insulin response.

The metabolic syndrome is the consequence of our body being ineffective in processing fats and sugars. The research shows that belly fat creates increased inflammation and a greater risk of heart disease in those with big bellies. These fat cells also release a product that can drive up blood pressure by reducing the blood vessels ability to relax between strokes. Additional problems with belly fat cells occur because they generate proteins that increase the process of insulin resistance.

In case you are wondering what the term insulin resistance means here is a brief explanation.

The hormone insulin makes it possible to remove glucose, also known as blood sugar, from the blood stream and put into the muscle tissues. The muscle uses this as energy for movement. If too much glucose is in the blood stream it is stored as fat. Therefore, the term insulin resistance means the body is having a hard time delivering the glucose to the muscle tissues (insulin resistance) so the amount of blood sugar rises in the blood stream.

The cause is the waist is too big! Our bellies are too fat, too large, too much over the belt, hanging out too far, you can call it whatever you want to, but the fact remains we are a nation of too much fat. And it is all in the wrong place.

040913 Increase your diabetes protection by lifting weights-part one

Increase your diabetes protection by lifting weights

In a joint study conducted by Harvard and the University of Southern Denmark was found that men who lifted weights were able to significantly cut their risk of developing diabetes. Simply put, if you are unable to do aerobic exercise, then start hitting the gym and begin building up your lean muscle mass.

Our body relies on glucose, a basic fuel that originates from the starches and sugars we eat, to function. Once in our system, insulin transports glucose from your blood into the cells of your body. However, if the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or if your cells, for some reason, are ignoring the insulin you may develop type II diabetes.

The biggest a known risk factor of type II diabetes is being overweight. And being overweight, in the majority of cases, boils down to the deadly trio of too much food, too much drink and too little physical activity. For a long time we have known that aerobic activity uses up a lot of energy which in turn can be used to help weight loss and lower diabetes risk.

One study found that men doing 150 minutes a week of aerobics were able to reduce or diabetes risk by 52%. It would be no stretch to apply similar findings to women. Yet there are some who are unable to do aerobics and for them lifting weights may be the answer.

A new study found that men who strength trained 150 minutes a week realized a 34% risk reduction for diabetes even if they did no aerobics.

Dr. Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard school of Public health, explains how lifting weights and building muscle mass works to reduce your risk of diabetes. “Your muscles use glucose. By creating more muscle that needs more glucose when you exercise, you reduce glucose levels remaining in the blood.” He goes on to say that by combining aerobic exercise with lifting, you are providing an even greater risk reduction of up to 59%.

080713 More benefits of exercise

More benefits of exercise

Exercise has been cited as being beneficial for avoiding, lessening, and mitigating a vast array of diseases in the past. Now, new research is confirming even more of these exercise related benefits for those who choose to follow this path to better health.

According to a recent report from Duke University, working out directly affects your heart. You may reduce your risk of developing heart disease up to 25% by doing 750 minutes of high intense minutes each week. By doing 300 minutes of intense exercise you lower your risk of heart disease by 20% and exercising 150 minutes per week lowers the risk by 14%.

Despite scientific research and the medical expert’s advising exercise to manage the pain of arthritis, up to 90% of those with arthritis fail to meet even the standards of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Of this 90%, nearly half get no exercise at all. They are inactive.

Boost your memory with movement.

Aerobic exercise pushes the rate of circulation up and this helps to increase the flow of oxygen rich blood into your brain. A study of almost 300 older people found that of those who walked at least 72 blocks, about 4 miles and 880.0 yards, each week had more gray matter in their brain than those who did not walk or exercise each week. Those who were walking each day cut their risk in half of developing memory problems.

Achieve a calmer state of mind with exercise

Regular aerobic exercise tends to reduce an individual’s level of stress hormones, and decreases the amount of fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure when under duress. Some of the recommended ways of aerobically exercising are walking, running, swimming, biking, or any other activity that keeps your heart rate up and within the target range for up to 20-30 minutes a day.

Equally effective is resistance circuit training. This method involves doing a series of exercises without stopping for 3-6 times around a circuit-thus the name circuit training. It is most effective with the large muscle groups such as legs, chest, and back. As an example, when doing an intense lower body circuit, the series could look like this: do each exercise for 1 minute. Do this 3-6 times, if you are able.

• Skip rope
• Squats
• Skip rope
• Calve raises
• Skip rope
• Dead lifts
• Skip rope

Obviously, before beginning any of these exercise suggestions consult with your doctor.

050713 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

 Americans are severely obese, to the tune of 15.5 million citizens.

A survey of 3 million Americans, conducted by the RAND Corporation in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and subsequently published online in the International Journal Of Obesity found that more than 6.6% of adult Americans are now 100 or more pounds overweight! This is an increase of almost 4% (3.9%) from the year 2000.

The cost of healthcare is more than doubling with the epidemic of severe obesity in our nation. Obesity increases the frequency cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes and other chronic and mostly preventable diseases.

When will this stop?

The health benefits of water to your brain

If you want to do something to help your brain the most, drink water. Since the brain is 80% water, dehydration leads to increases in the stress hormones, which in turn interfere with cognitive abilities. When referring to liquids that hydrate the body, we are excluding coffee or alcohol.

According to Medical Dr. Daniel G. Amen and Tana Amen, RN., you should be drinking half your weight in water ounces every day. For example, a person who weighs 200 pounds should be drinking 100 ounces of hydrating liquids over the course of their waking day. Naturally, you should be drinking more water when the day is warm and humid or if you are working outside or exercising and losing water to perspiration.

Keep hydrated for peak mental and physical performance.

010713 Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends at least two and a half hours of strength training per week working muscle groups such as the shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, legs, and abdominal muscles. And two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity spread throughout the week. Exercise time is decreased if the intensity is higher. In this case, DHHS recommends one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, again spread throughout the week.

You will note there are no weekend warrior (meaning someone who tries to get all of their exercise time in on one day) recommendations here. Those who try to cram it all in on one-day or over two days frequently end up injured.

If you are not able to set aside 30 minutes each day, then do your exercises in 10-minute bursts over the course of the day.

Participating in a daily regimen of physical activity not only enhances your heart, lungs, and circulatory systems it also eases the pain of arthritis.

This may sound counterintuitive to the arthritis sufferer but the physical act of moving the joints keeps the synovial fluid, the transparent, viscid fluid secreted by the synovial membrane and found in joint cavities, bursae, and tendon sheaths, of the joints equally spread throughout them.

Walking can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight, which is important because numerous studies have found a link between obesity and cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidneys, the breast in postmenopausal women, and the uterus.

Physical activity can also reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system and boost the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol and can even help manage or prevent high blood pressure. As a side note, losing excess fat weight also has the tendency to lower your blood pressure numbers and make you feel better about yourself.

Fighting depression can be a lifelong task but scientists find that physical activity can be a useful addition to pharmacology and therapy for treating depression. If you are depressed, see someone and get help. Physical activity helps ease the stress of the day, helps cut back on anxiety, helps you sleep better, and boosts your spirits for facing the day.

Walking, as well as other physical activity can help prevent the risk of type II diabetes. Additionally physical activity may also make it possible to decrease the amount of insulin or other types of medications you may be taking to control your diabetes. It goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway, see your Doctor before altering your medication.

Osteoporosis is a scary term for those with the diagnosis. Walking puts a load on the bones, which in turn causes them to become stronger, which in the long-term may well prevent fractures. Physical activity combined with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D may help prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.

Summary:

There are many good reasons to exercise and probably 100 times that many excuses for not exercising. The decision is up to you as to whether not you take advantage of the opportunities to exercise and thereby improve your health or simply sit around and complain about it.

030413 Aging and insulin resistance

Aging and insulin resistance (1)

The fact that insulin resistance increases with age is not clear, however it does, and as we get older we must be consciously aware of this fact of life.

Some research scientists believe that it is a problem with the insulin signaling inside of the cell. Glucose transference into each cell depends upon transporters to bring the glucose into the cell. Physical activity including aerobics and strength training increases the activity of these transporters.

A moderate to vigorous intensity workout carries with it beneficial effects for least a day and perhaps even longer. This translates into increased insulin action during these after training periods. Not only does activity increase insulin sensitivity they can also decrease insulin resistance. Brenda Davy, associate professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech, states, “Muscle contraction causes muscle cells to take-up glucose even without insulin. That is one reason why aerobic or resistance exercise is particularly beneficial for individual diabetes. Even if you are insulin resistant, you can still reduce blood glucose levels.”

This is good news if you are on the borderline of being diabetic.

Here is a potential plan to help reduce your chances of becoming diabetic.

As can be seen, both aerobic and resistance training have great benefits. Some people swear that aerobic exercise is more likely to reduce the weight or as other individuals believe just as firmly that resistance training is the key to losing weight. Well both are right, but combining the two potentiates the benefits of both.

This was clearly demonstrated in one study by research scientists who divided 262 diabetics into two groups who participated for nine months: one group did aerobic and resistance training and the second group did nothing. The results found that only those who participated in both forms of exercise actually lowered their long-term glucose levels. The description of the individuals involved did not indicate if they had any type of arthritic conditions that precluded them from some of the activities.

If you decide to do strength training, pick out 8 to 10 major muscle group exercises and aim for 8 to 12 repetitions for 3 to 4 sets 2 to 3 times a week. If your program is designed correctly, you will notice improvements within 2 to 3 weeks.

As for your aerobic training, try to get a minimum of a half hour of brisk activity five times a week. Don’t expect to expend a lot of calories in such a short amount of time because it is not going to happen. The important thing to remember is being active on a daily basis every day of your life.

The downside to aerobic conditioning, especially if you are considering jogging or running and are older, is arthritis. Having arthritis in your joints may cause undue pain if you participate in the aforementioned activities.

(1) Insulin resistance, in which the body cannot use insulin effectively

(2) Nutrition Action Health Newsletter

311212 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

The metabolic syndrome is the name given by the medical profession to a group of health risks having a strong potential to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. These unhealthy conditions are for the most part avoidable simply by eating less and getting more exercise.

The five components of the syndrome are:

  • A waist that is larger than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men. Some men may be at risk even if their waist is greater than 37-39 inches.
  • Low cholesterol readings of the good HDL. Women should have numbers under 50 and men should have their numbers under 40.

Higher than normal, but not necessarily high numbers in the following categories:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 or higher and a diastolic reading of 85 or higher.
  • Fasting blood sugar count of 110 or higher
  • Tested triglycerides of 150 or above after fasting.

According to the doctors, a person with three or more of these five categories raises their risk of becoming diabetic and developing heart disease.

The research specialists believe the root cause of this syndrome is an inefficient insulin response.

The metabolic syndrome is the consequence of our body being ineffective in processing fats and sugars. The research shows that belly fat creates increased inflammation and a greater risk of heart disease in those with big bellies. These fat cells also release a product that can drive up blood pressure by reducing the blood vessels ability to relax between strokes. Additional problems with belly fat cells occur because they generate proteins that increase the process of insulin resistance.

In case you are wondering what the term insulin resistance means here is a brief explanation.

The hormone insulin makes it possible to remove glucose, also known as blood sugar, from the blood stream and put into the muscle tissues. The muscle uses this as energy for movement. If too much glucose is in the blood stream it is stored as fat. Therefore, the term insulin resistance means the body is having a hard time delivering the glucose to the muscle tissues (insulin resistance) so the amount of blood sugar rises in the blood stream.

The cause is the waist is too big! Our bellies are too fat, too large, too much over the belt, hanging out too far, you can call it whatever you want to, but the fact remains we are a nation of too much fat. And it is all in the wrong place.

This problem exists because we eat too much and we don’t exercise enough