By Kirsten Janz, Owner and R.H.N, Whole Body Health and Wellness
Mobility is a key component to maintaining independence as we age. Although most of us are well aware of this fact, it is something we take for granted in our early years and often assume that only the elderly deal with. However, mobility issues are not only a problem of old age. According to a recent study, 32% of people who experienced major mobility issues said their problems began at age 50 or under.
Up until 150 years ago, the average life expectancy in Westernized countries was 35 years old so arguably our bodies are not designed to live as long as we do now. Although scientific advances have played a major part in increasing our longevity, we still need to make ourselves a priority so that we are able to do the things we love far into our 80’s and 90’s.
If you are going to take the time to ensure you maintain your mobility throughout the years, here are some fabulous ways to ensure you are getting the most from your efforts:
Go get a massage and let a registered professional do the work for you. Registered Massage Therapists are experts in soft tissue dysfunction and joint complications in the body. They are fully trained to treat and prevent injury, pain and physical disorders. An added benefit of this service is that it is often covered by your extended medical. In this case, there is really no reason, financial or otherwise, not to take time to look after yourself.
Exercise and stretch. To improve mobility you do not need to run 10 kilometers every day, but you should take time out to get outside and enjoy the world around you. 20-30 minutes of daily activity is enough time to ensure the proper care and maintenance of our joints and soft tissues. Also, ensure you take time to stretch those muscle fibers before any activity. Stretching is key to ensuring that muscles and tendons stay limber and are able to deal with the impact of the various activities that we take on throughout the day.
Maintain a proper diet with supplementation if needed. A proper diet is critical in avoiding chronic health and mobility issues. The food we choose to put in our bodies provide us with not only the energy we need, but the necessary vitamins and minerals that make up the most important components of our body. If our bodies become deficient then there is a higher likelihood that chronic illness will set in. For instance, osteoporosis, a condition where our bones become too brittle, is often cause by a deficiency in Vitamin D and Calcium. This can be avoided with adding a supplement to your diet or ensuring you are eating the right foods that provide these vitamins and minerals such as dairy products and green leafy vegetables.
Taking care of yourself at a young age can have a huge impact on your health later in life. However, that does not mean that you cannot start now. The true impact of mobility issues do not always end with frustration at the slowing of pace, it can also lead to other chronic disorders and feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. Avoid all of this by taking care of yourself today so you can enjoy tomorrow.
By Kirsten Janz, Owner and Nutritionist, Whole Body Health and Wellness
As we age, we find that our short term memory is less reliable and that we can quickly forget the purpose of tasks we start. Although forgetful moments can be humorous for some, for others it can be nerve-racking experience, especially when diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia run in the family. So, is there a way to help safeguard against short and long term memory loss or reduce the chances of developing dementia? By properly fueling your brain with the nutrients and rest it needs, you will most definitely be taking a step in the right direction.
Brain Boosting Foods. The food you consume can play a large part in the memories you retain. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, helps to fuel the brain with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. To ensure you are eating foods rich in Vitamin E, add items such as nuts, nut butters, seeds, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli into your daily routine. Omega 3 foods, such as nuts, seeds, fish and seafood, are also a great way to ensure that your brain is fueled with DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). DHA assists with the functioning of neurons in the body and promotes optimal brain performance and memory.
Memory Supporting Supplements. Unfortunately the processed foods we consume can be deficient in the necessary vitamins that we need for our body and the brain to function at its peak. For instance, a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue and memory problems. If you suspect you may be deficient in a particular vitamin, consider taking a multi-vitamin or seeking the aid of a health care practitioner who may be able to better identify when a deficiency may exist. Alternatively, if you are just looking to support that lagging memory, you can always try, ginkgo biloba or Asian ginseng which is popularly consumed in tea form.
Adequate Sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation “Sleep actually triggers changes in the brain that solidify memories—strengthening connections between brain cells and transferring information from one brain region to another.” Rest is critical to our brain’s performance and maintaining our short and long term memories, so don’t feel guilty if you decide to “hit the hay” a bit early. You may find those forgetful moments will diminish and that the memories you want to hold onto will be easier to retrieve.
By Kirsten Janz, Owner and Nutritionist, Whole Body Health and Wellness
As we age, our bodies become less resistant to the stress we place upon them, and as a result inflammatory conditions become a regular part of our everyday lives. The mild arthritis and digestive flair ups that we experienced in our younger days become more debilitating than they used to and we look to medication to help us get through our daily activities. Now if only we could turn back the clock and have the pain free, limitless movement we did before. Well adopt a few of the principles below and you might just surprise yourself.
1. Choosing an anti-inflammatory diet. Yes, our diets play a big part in the way our bodies respond and feel. Certain foods you ingest can actually help to reduce overall inflammation in the body. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are those high in the Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, shellfish, walnuts and flaxseed. Fresh fruits and vegetables rich in color and high in anti-oxidants such as berries, pineapple, spinach, kale and broccoli are also a great alternative. Did I mention the best part of adopting a anti-inflammatory diet? Red wine in moderation (2-3 glasses a week) is also on the list!
2. Choosing the right supplements. We are all guilty of popping a few Advil or Tylenol when pain or inflammation sets in, but there are actually a few natural supplements that will have the same effects without the aggravating side effects. One of the best supplements to reduce inflammation is an Omega 3 (fish oil) supplement which has proven its ability through countless research studies to be the “top dog” for inflammation relief. Another option to try is curcumin. Derived from the most active part of the spice turmeric, ground curcumin in pill form it is very effective in reducing inflammation.
3. Exercise. Yes, it can definitely be challenging to place exercise at the top of your priority list when your body is inflamed and your pain level is a 9. However, recent research is suggesting that many inflammatory conditions are setting in because we are not giving our cardiovascular systems the workout they need. When exercising, our bodies release a protein molecule called cytokines into the bloodstream which are fast acting anti-inflammatory molecules. To release these molecules the good news is you don’t need to spend an hour at the gym lifting weights; 20 minutes working in the garden, mowing the lawn or brisk walking will also be effective.
Want to chat more about how to reduce inflammation naturally? Book a free consultation with myself at Whole Body Health and Wellness at 604-479-0777 and be sure to follow us on Facebook for other Health and Wellness tips at www.facebook.com/wholebodyhealthandwellness
"Just don’t worry about it!" It's a common response when people talk about feeling anxious and it's a phrase that's guaranteed to evoke a cringe from the one feeling anxiety. While people may think that they're being helpful, optimistic or even supportive by telling someone not to worry, it actually has the opposite effect. If only it was so easy to "just not worry about it"...
Anxiety is a very misunderstood issue, despite being one of the most common mental health concerns in society today. While we all feel anxiety from time to time, people dealing with chronic anxiety report feeling overwhelmed and negatively impacted on a daily basis by their anxiety. It can feel completely out of their control, like a beast that is slowly taking over their lives. It affects them physically, emotionally, and socially. Anxiety can really become an all-encompassing issue.
It's important to know – if someone suffering from anxiety could easily choose to cease their worry process, they would. They want it to end more than you even know. But more often than not, they feel stuck. It's like being caught in a roundabout with no obvious exits.
So if you are supporting a family member or friend who is experiencing anxiety always remember that they need your kind words, rather than your advice; your hugs, as opposed to your shrugs; your love, instead of your dismissal.
By Erin MacLeod-Registered Clinical Counsellor
Whole Body Health and Wellness
What are trace minerals and why are they so important for the body?
June 29, 2015
Trace minerals are elements that are essential for many bodily functions such as the maintenance and repair of bones and tissues, cellular health, oxygen transport, and balancing the nervous system to name a few. Unfortunately with such a heavy reliance on processed foods, many of the essential minerals that the body needs to function optimally are not ingested or improperly absorbed and so we become deficient. Deficiency symptoms can manifest themselves in many different ways from severe fatigue from low iron stores or glucose impairment issues caused by low amounts chromium in the body.
Here is a list of the main essential minerals our body needs and how they are utilized in the body:
1) Calcium: Essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
2) Chromium: Aids in glucose metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar by supporting insulin and serving as a component of glucose tolerance factor.
3) Colbalt: Promotes the formulation of red blood cells and serves as a component of Vitamin B-12.
4) Copper: Essential for normal red blood cell and connective tissue formation.
5) lodine: Needed by the thyroid hormone to support metabolism.
6) Iron: Necessary for red blood cell formation and for the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
7) Magnesium: Responsible for activating over 100 enzymes in the body.
8) Manganese: Also plays a key part in enzyme function in the body.
9) Molybdenum: Contributes to normal growth and development. Main component in enzymes involved with detoxification.
10) Phosphorous: Works with calcium to develop and maintain strong bones and teeth.
11) Potassium: Regulates heartbeat, maintains fluid balance and helps muscles contract.
12) Selenium: Essential component of a key antioxidant enzyme and is necessary for normal growth and development. Plays a role in detoxification of heavy metals.
13) Sulfur: Provides main structure to muscle and hair in the body. Plays a critical role in liver detoxification.
14) Zinc: Essential part of more than 200 enzymes involved in digestion, metabolism, reproduction and wound healing. Plays a large role in supporting the immune system.
Given the myriad of functions that trace minerals play in the body, it is easy to see that deficiencies can be a problem. If you are someone who is dealing with chronic, unexplained symptoms you may want to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional to explore whether this is a possibility.
We only have one life to live….we might as well feel great doing it!
We often hear the terms lycopene, beta carotene, lutein, and bio flavonoids among others when describing the health benefits of various types of foods. But do we really know what these are and what they can do for our bodies?
The good news is they are extremely beneficial and belong to a group known as phytochemicals or “phytonutrients”. These chemicals are found in plant foods and are great antioxidants, which can also play a part in fighting many diseases and even cancer.
To provide you with a bit of background so the next time the term is used you are able to nod your head and say, “I know what that is!” here are just a few of the more commonly talked about phytochemicals and the health benefits they can bring.
The phytochemical lycopene is probably the most famous of the phytonutrients and these nutrients are found in red fruit and vegetables such as watermelon and tomatoes. They have proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Beta carotene, is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin and provide our bodies with Vitamin A to aid with skin and eye health and add extra support to our immune systems.
Lutein is found in green or yellow fruits and vegetables such as avocado, spinach, green beans and green peppers and can reduce the likelihood of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, heart disease and breast cancer.
Lastly, bioflavonoids, are a phytonutrient that is found in a wide variety of colored fruit and vegetables such as citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, garlic and tea and can have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and various types of cancer.
Conclusion: Ensure that you are eating a variety of colored, plant based foods as there are thousands of known phytochemicals which can bring their own unique benefits to your health.
Those of us plagued with a slower metabolism and subsequent weight issues often envy those who can eat anything and not gain an inch. But the truth is only 38 percent of Canadians are actually considered to be a healthy weight according to a study done by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in 2008. So what can the other 62 percent of us do? Well, we essentially have to work at it a bit more, and that’s where I come in.
Natural health and healing has been around for centuries, but unfortunately it has been lost in our modern day society. As the world gets faster our food gets more convenient, which subsequently means it is full of excess calories, sugars, and chemicals which are going in, but unfortunately are not coming out. Our bodies are not working optimally and that is because we are choosing foods that are putting too much pressure on our digestive systems, which in the end is causing our bodies to become stagnant and weight to be put on.
Many of my clients ask if there is a way for them to eat the foods they crave without gaining the extra pounds. My answer to them is always the same: of course there is. When working with clients, the misconception I often have to address is that a nutritionist does not only tell you to eat fruits and vegetables. Truthfully, I love my sweets and I have my vices just like everybody else, but I have learned to manage the most important component of healthy eating; everything must be consumed in moderation. This fundamental principle is the basis of all dietary recommendations made to my clients, and if followed by the majority of people, we would be sure to see a decrease in the 62 percent.
We also need to ensure that we are not overdoing our favorite things. It is said that variety is the spice of life, but honestly it should also be the spice of food. Our focus needs to be on balancing those occasional rewards with the nutrients our body needs while combining it with an active lifestyle. Achieving health and wellness is also about balance.
After working in this field for over five years, I am convinced now more than ever that even the smallest of changes can make a difference, and that it is important for people to discover what works best for them as individuals, not as a whole. Everyone’s body is unique and we each have our own health struggles, and as such they need to be taken into consideration when starting any new health regimen or weight loss program.
So the next time you get envious of someone who sits down to a burger and fries, try and incorporate the three main principles above and you may find a healthy weight is achievable for you as well.
Have a happy, healthy day!
Kirsten Janz, BA, RHN
Whole Body Health and Wellness