Do I have adrenal fatigue? And what can I do about it?
There are times when people get tired and usually cannot explain the cause. Sometimes it is overwhelming stress situation that leaves your strength and stamina you have always wanted. Some of the signs are usually a struggle that comes with the effort of trying to wake up from the morning's sleep. Other common symptoms in those who have cortisol problems (some are similar to either deficiency or excess) are food allergies and intolerances and do not feel rested on awakening (if you require cortisol when you are sleeping it means you are not “rebuilding and regenerating” as you should. It is also practically impossible to recover after physical activity).
There is also abnormal increase or loss of weight due to insulin resistance and fatigue after meals due to insulin resistance. This is caused by high chronic levels of glucose (high blood sugar). A person may also have problems with the gastrointestinal tract (in the presence of too much or too little cortisol the intestine sweeps away the secretory antibodies, which are the first defense of the immune system in the intestine with dysliosis and increased intestinal permeability – leaky gut syndrome. If this is usually the case, you may need treatment for adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a term used to define fatigue and its related symptoms resulting from adrenal gland dysfunction in people with physical, mental and emotional stress as Wilson (2014) states. However, this has no medical evidence. The work of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones. The hormone cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands to help combat body stress.
The theory states that adrenal fatigue, adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormones when you are in a high state of stress. This leads to various symptoms that cause various symptoms.
However, there is no credible evidence to support this. These high-stress conditions can be induced by the loss of a loved one, divorce or surgery, pollution and toxins, lack of sleep, inactivity and poor diet, emotional trauma, negative thoughts, financial challenges and work and feelings of impotence.
What is the treatment for adrenal fatigue?
This may seem trivial but we tend to forget it, especially in times of stress. Inhale deeply through the nose, and then exhale all the air through the mouth. Repeat at least three times. This will relax the body and mind in seconds.
When your exhalation is a little longer than inhalation, a signal is sent to the brain to increase the parasympathetic nervous system and decrease the sympathetic system, responsible for increasing heart rhythm and sending stress hormones like cortisol.
When the parasympathetic system is activated, the heart and breathing are slowed down, the blood pressure decreases and the whole body is in a state of calm.
How does yoga help?
The practice of yoga helps recovery and improves your ability to deal with stress. Adrenal hormones are catabolic, meaning they result from energy burning and breakdown of cellular structures. If the adrenal glands are activated repeatedly without sufficient recovery, the body may become emaciated and exhausted and may be susceptible to many diseases.
To recover, the adrenal glands have to “turn off.” Practicing several restorative yoga postures every day in a warm, dark, and peaceful environment can be helpful, explains Yoga Journal.
Start with breathing exercises (pranayama). Simply sit cross-legged with your back straight and breath calmly and deeply for a few minutes. Named sukhasana in yoga, this exercise is ideal to begin his practice. Then take great inspirations through the nose (the mouth remains closed during the whole exercise), hold your breath and exhale slowly.
If you are stiff from the back, sit down against a wall to have no tension. Repeat several times and put an intention in it, that of emptying your head of negative thoughts. Continue until you feel calm and light. Keep your eyes closed and meditate on your inner sensations.
Do the uttanasana yoga posture: stand up, raise your arms and inhale. At the time of exhalation, lean forward while keeping your legs tight. Catch the back of your ankles or calves and bend your elbows to bring your bust as far forward as possible. So stay breathing through the nose and count 5 times. One day your face will touch your knees!
Make posture of the dog down In yoga, this posture is called Adho mukha svanasana (which can be translated by the posture of the dog stretching towards the ground). Bend your knees, lay your hands on the ground and walk back to form a pyramid; Lay your hands flat and relax your head, back straight, hips to the sky and heels to the ground. Release your tensions for 5 breaths.
Running, walking in the corridors of the metro, doing a yoga retreat or simply doing 5 minutes at home, doing 20 repetitions of 100 push-ups or carrying your 2-year-old child several times a day … The key is to beat the heart and stretch the muscles!
It helps to boost morale, combat anxiety and depression, promote sleep, improve the functioning of the heart and lungs, increase flexibility, maintain balance, tone the body, fight against fatigue, to reduce the risk of several cardiovascular diseases, and of course to muscle! Then run, stretch, box, stroll, dance, jump and especially do not forget to laugh: it is great for the abs!
The treatment of adrenal fatigue with Diet
Adrenal fatigue will require abstaining from foods that aggravate adrenal fatigue and still eat foods that promote cure adrenal fatigue the most advisable way. One should eat eggs, organic meat, poultry, wild fish and high-quality protein powders. Use coconut, cheese, avocado, butter, and fat dairy products. This will be essential if one eats enough protein to balance blood sugar and sugar in the blood. First, your source of fats should be whole natural foods. However, one should abstain from:
Caffeine: This affects sleep cycles and it is difficult for the adrenal glands to heal. If the coffee has to be taken, then it should be done in moments so the morning before noon. Sweeteners other than sugar Avoid artificial sweeteners and fructose from corn syrup. Keep out sugary foods such as sweets and candies and cereals. Raw honey can be used instead of sugar.
Microwave processed foods:These foods give your digestive system a difficult time because your fillers and additives will deplete your energy. Try to prepare your own food in most cases. Hydrogenated oils: These include soybean oil, corn oil, and canola, which are inflammatory. They are responsible for inflammation of the adrenal glands. Replace with coconut oil, organic butter, olive oil or clarified butter.
Taking Health Supplements
Supplements are also helpful in the treatment of adrenal fatigue. With today's unhealthy agricultural practices, it can be difficult to get the right foods. Therefore, supplements are very necessary to boost your body's nutrients. These are zinc, vitamin B5, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin C, fish oil (EPA / DHA), magnesium, and purple basil.
Remember supplements are meant to “supplement” and enhance one's nutrition – not replace real food.
Changes in Lifestyle
To cure adrenal fatigue, make sure you have enough sleep. Go to bed later than 22 hours for a continuous one month.You can change this after you based on the status of your condition.
Do not eat heavy meals at night. It is important to rest your body and get rejuvenated during sleep.
Do light exercises, such as swimming, walking, and yoga to be completed early in the day. These are usually important in improving circulation without adding tension to your adrenal glands.
Breathing and meditation are useful for changing both the brain waves and their response patterns and the circulation of immune blood. These techniques are also useful for reducing stress and promoting adrenaline and cortisol levels to normal. In addition, breathing and meditation can help increase oxygen saturation which will increase energy levels, helps the body eliminate toxins more quickly.
How long does it take to recover from adrenal fatigue?
It takes about 6 to 18 months to recover from adrenal fatigue. This is based on the Stage adrenal fatigue. In the early stages, healing can take place quickly since cortisol levels are not affected. Treating adrenaline fatigue in a serious situation takes longer to reduce the rate of production of certain hormones.
Faster healing requires lifestyle changes. The advanced stage where stress and sex hormones are absent, the treatment lasts longer. The will to change the life a good tip can be useful when taken in the well. This depends largely on one person.
If the patient is ready to eat and avoid certain diets, so they will most likely heal faster. According to Adrenal Disease research, healing occurs after months or even 24 hours in Adrenal fatigue that occurs time and disappear at other times.
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Annie Jones is the person behind BoostBodyFit. She started off a bit on the chubby side but went through a transformation. She looks and feels great. Say Hi to Annie on Twitter, Facebook.
Every one of us desire to live, long, healthy lives. To be happy knowing that we lived life on our terms, chased our passions, and made the most of every opportunity. At least that's what I want but as I've learned not everything goes to plan, but there's hope that with a little foresight and planning, we can prepare ourselves for life's transitions when they present themselves.
What is harmless in life, yet ultimately will kill you?
Recently, I lost my father to pancreatic cancer. Cancer wasn't something any of us expected or planned for, and when the ‘terminal' diagnosis came down from his doctors, it rocked all who knew him. At 72 years young, he was just getting started. My stepmother was there to be the rock and help navigate the maze of end of life planning. Both a rock to which we found ourselves tethered, as well, she's a living champion helping us remember the greatness that my father bestowed on us with his life. I'll always be grateful for everything she provided my dad in his life. It was going through this process – this life transition – that really opened my eyes to some stark realities that none of us can escape.
The past few days have been filled with time in the presence of my father and our close family. I feel grateful for the…
That little pesky reality that seems to go by unnoticed for much of our lives until one day we find ourselves waking up and realizing that life isn't the same anymore. Age has become our new reality. Acceptance that our physicality has started to decline and things we used to do in our 20's, 30's, and 40's aren't as easy in our 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond. Our ability to do the things we come to take for granted like carrying groceries in from the car – or driving the car! – lifting ourselves from our chairs, preparing our meals, navigating stairs, or simply ‘taking care of business'. All seemingly normal everyday tasks, but for many are daily activities that become increasingly difficult with age. This begs the question, what do we do about it?
What's autonomy got to do with it?
Age is nothing new, we deal with it on our terms, but as the aging population grows (5,000,000+ Canadians over the age of 65 alone), we see an increasing need for in-home support. As a result of this growing demographic of seniors, the Assisted Living Home industry is booming. I am the first to acknowledge that this conversation is difficult to have both to one's self as well as with those that matter most to us in our lives. Admitting that one's life is not as independent as it once was, is like conversations surrounding life insurance, painfully and fearfully honest. After all, getting older, death and taxes are 3 very distinct certainties in life and none of which and fun to admit to.
My mother has dedicated her life to the care of others. After spending her entire adult life working within Ontario's Healthcare sector, she's readying herself to retire as an associate director of care for an assisted living facility. This topic of interest couldn't have come at a better time as I've been fortunate to witness some of the steps she and my step-father are personally taking for the life transitions she foresees in the coming 20 years of their lives. From reinforcing the stair railings to simplifying her ability to continue gardening comfortably and confidently as she ages, but not everyone share's her foresight.
“One in four of us will die while residing in a nursing home“, along with other findings, caught my attention in a study published in JAGS by Kelly and Colleagues. They looked at the length of stay in nursing homes at the end of life and here are a few of the findings:
the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
53% died within 6 months of nursing home admission
men died sooner after admission than women (men had a median length of stay of around 3 months versus 8 for women)
married nursing home residents died sooner after admission than unmarried participants (an average of 4 months sooner)
nursing home residents in the highest quartile of net worth died six months sooner than those in the lowest quartile.
How can we remain independent and living our lives on our terms as we age?
One thing is for sure, if given the opportunity to remain independent and continue living in our own homes as we age, there would be no debate.
We all desire the highest quality of life along with all the comforts we've come to love and expect. To better understand how and what is needed to make this a reality for the aging population, I interviewed head RN, Dana Huggett of Live Your Life Home Care. With over 15 years experience both in and out of hospital settings, Dana has seen first-hand the deteriorating effects our tapped healthcare system can have on a mounting aging population. With a shortage of hospital beds and big wait lists for long-term care facilities, for the 16 per cent of Canadians currently over the age of 65, home-care is becoming a necessary option.
Ontario Retirement Communities Association forecasts that by 2036, nearly one quarter of Canada's population will be 65+ (and I'm one of them!)… so if you aren't planning to grow old, then I guess this interview won't matter, but for the rest of us, take note, you want to watch this.
In the ‘Living Through Life's Transitions' interview, Dana shares:
Why aging shouldn't stop us from getting the most out of life
Quantification vs. qualification of age (and life) – we're more than just a number, right?
Surprising statistics to be aware of regarding the aging populations in North America
Warning signs that someone may be avoiding admitting their need for help
Physical Activity: the minimums!
Improving quality of life: What can be done now by those who are aging? What should the younger generations know?
Click below to watch the full interview.
Getting Older doesn't have to be hard (but you have to work at it)! What's your life plan?
Age is a reality we all have to face at some point in our lives.
We expect everything to be as it is tomorrow as it is today, but there comes a time we have to except the inescapable – getting older happens to everyone!
But how we age isn't a ‘preset' or a predetermined path. As the Science of longevity is showing, lifestyle choices influence our body's DNA, along with outside stimulus, toxins and a variety of other variables like the foods we eat and how we deal with stress in our lives, all can impact how quickly we age. And yet, we can make choices that will improve our opportunities to slow this process. Here are 5 simple choices you can start making immediately…
5 Simple Daily Lifestyle Choices You Can Make Today to Improve Your Health of Tomorrow
#1. Daily purposeful movement.
And I'm not talking about just going to the gym – I'm talking about going for a brisk walk at the local park, playing a game of pick-up sports with your friends, taking up a new sport like yoga or paddle boarding. Age doesn't play into what you can and can't do – you decide that one.
#2. Practice mindful meditation every day.
Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and without judgement. Through the practice of meditation, we see reductions in grey matter density in areas of the brain related with anxiety and stress; as well as decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Along with regulating blood pressure, reducing inflammation in the body, and decreasing feelings of loneliness… the list is long for this one daily practice!
#3. Take up a creative hobby.
As they say, the mind is a beautiful thing to waste. More and more science supports the idea of constantly challenging our minds to learn new skills. Stimulating various parts of our brains keep us mentally sharp especially as we age. Taking up painting, paddle boarding or yoga are a few great practices that can help with keeping the body-mind connection healthy, strong and intact as we age.
#4. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
Smart eating starts with adding more green leafy and colorful fruits and veggies to your dietary mix. For starters, these foods contain trace elements, micronutrients, minerals and vitamins with anti-oxidant properties that help with keeping the body functioning optimally and reducing some of the harmful oxidizing effects caused by our environments. PS – those are the nasty things that age us!
#5. Find a community aka a Tribe.
If you haven't heard about the Blue Zones by Dan Beuttner, you really need to check out his incredible findings about a unique group of Centenarians (people living to be 100+ years of age). One of nine commonalities shared by these special populations is their incredible sense of purpose and belonging. There's something to be said about being a part of a tribe.
Creating a Life Plan while Living the Best Life Possible
I realized in speaking with Dana of Live Your Life Homecare, that there are some fairly clear indicators of the different phases of our lives. We can try to navigate these changes on our own when we find ourselves or our loved ones knee-deep in a stark reality that things have changed – or we can create a plan to deal with these milestones when they eventually happen. Transitional support means we can navigate these lifestyle changes with confidence, knowing as we plan, and lead a lifestyle that supports aging well, there comes a time when we transition into ‘new phases’ of life.
But with this in mind, how do we best prepare ourselves for transitioning and living well through these lifestyle changes?
For starters, there's no specific age that determines what a ‘phase' is in our life. No two people are the same and no two lives are lived the same way. That's why there's no cookie cutter answer to give you. Whether the need is for a ‘helping hand', ‘nurturing care', or ‘vital care', there are options available, no matter our age. There's a peace of mind and comfort knowing that when the day comes and some support is needed, there's someone there to help. Allowing us to remain in our homes as long as we can, feeling confident that we got this thing called ‘age' in the bag!
I know that being proactive in our life planning is fantastic in theory, but following through on a plan is not as simple as black or white. That's life, isn't it? It's unpredictable and ‘things' happen which throw our plans out the proverbial window at times. I know my father didn't plan to get sick at the age of 72, but because of the customized support, he was able to spend much of his time with my stepmom, our family and close friends while in the comfort of his own home.
Aging shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your life.
Age is a reality we all have to face at some point in our lives. We may not be able to expect everything to be as it is tomorrow as it is today, but that shouldn't limit us from living our life like it will be. There's certainly value in taking actionable steps each day that will improve our odds of living the best life possible as we age. These seemingly small, daily choices and actions compounded over time will not necessarily improve our quantity of life, but for damn sure it will positively influence our quality of life today, tomorrow and potentially for years to come.
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If you know someone who's going through similar life transitions right now, I hope you've found some of the resources in this article useful. Be sure to watch the interview and reach out to Live Your Life Homecare with any questions. Remember, at times you may feel alone in this process, but you never have to be alone. “Together, we've got this!”
Do you know anyone who's in the process of making some transitions in life?
Dana and the team at Live Your Life Homecare can be of help. They have a ton of resources, tools and support to help you with this process and offer up customized services to help you support you, or your loved ones, through this process.
And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.”~ Coach Moose
As people age, the brain tends to become weaker. Someone is likely to be unaware that the brain needs to be kept healthy, especially as s/he reaches an age of above 50. Is it possible to counteract the possibilities of having a weak brain? It’s up to you to find out.
A healthy brain will promote longevity of one’s life. There are many ways to keep the brain healthy. In this article, you will find the best tips for keeping your brain healthy…
Everyone has that one song that replays in their mind. It is referred as ‘LSS’ or ‘Last Song Syndrome’. This is when the last song you heard gets stuck in your head. You might as well memorize the song, so you can sing it as your mind remembers the tune. Memorizing a song is a good exercise for the brain after turning 50 years old, as it helps to improve your ability to memorize and retain information as you grow older.
# 2 Reacquaint Yourself With The Ball
You’re never too old to pump yourself. Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain. As you exercise, you burn excess fat and improve the distribution of oxygen inside your body, especially in the brain. When your brain receives the right amount of oxygen, it can maintain consistent performance through the day, months, and years to come.
Furthermore, regular exercise keeps blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol level and mental stresses that increase with aging in check, thus preventing age-decay of your brain. The plasticity, adaptability and efficiency of the brain are increased with the formation of new nerve cells in the brain; an outcome of the regular exercise, as has been found out. So, consult an expert for help arranging your exercise plan.
You can grow new brain cells. Here's how with Sandrine Thuret
Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.
#3 Find Ways To Laugh
Always be thankful for what you have. As you grow older, there might be things that you have regretted doing and not doing, but don’t be affected by it. Instead of making yourself feel down, think of the positive things that happened to you.
One of the best ways to keep your brain healthy is to be happy. Never forget to spend time with your loved ones and friends. Encourage yourself to talk to them and laugh with them. Go to comedy clubs or make a habit of watching comedy shows and movies. The science behind is that exhausted, anxious and depressed people are found to score pretty low than positive and happy people in various cognitive and other intelligence test.
Thus it can be concluded that staying happy effectively prevents brain-aging. ‘Dopamine’, the feel-good chemical in the human brain, plays the key role in this. Dopamine is proficient in keeping aging of brain tissues at bay. The more we laugh and be happy, the more dopamine is produced in our brain. Hence, making yourself happy keeps an unhealthy brain away.
As you grow older, there are certain things you won’t be able to do anymore, such as staying up late, eating unhealthy foods, and drinking some alcoholic beverages. Make yourself a new routine.
In that routine, make sure that you have adequate sleep, eat on time, exercise regularly with the advised exercises for your age, socialize, visit a doctor for regular checkups, and take a supplement like Nootropics for health to maintain your health. Having a fixed routine reduces the possibility of being forgetful because you will become used to it. If you miss part of your routine, you’ll feel like something is lacking.
Plus, a few extra-curricular domestic activities like taking hot baths, massages and green tea every now and then definitely help in maintaining a healthy brain. You can also practice meditation and relaxation sessions daily. These alterations in your lifestyle are mandatory, and if you think about the benefits you derive from these, it is not that hard to make these changes in your routine, isn’t it?
#5 Maintain A Good Sleep
Just because you sleep doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good sleep. There are things to remember if you want to have a good sleep. Before you go to bed, make time to relax. Relaxing promotes smooth sleeping, and you’re less likely to experience nightmares. Have a fixed time schedule on when to sleep and set the alarm on the time you plan to wake up. Make sure it’s a consistent time.
Sleeping less or sleeping too often is not advisable because these practices will weaken your brain’s health. It is like you are making a part of your body work continuously without giving it any rest, resulting in aging out of that part sooner. Studies have shown that depressions, suicides, low decisions making capabilities and other cognitive related deficiency are all associated with sleep deprivation.
Thus, a good, deep and sound eight to nine hours of sleep daily will protect your brain in the long run.
#6 Keep A Positive Attitude
A positive attitude will make your brain healthy since you tend to think about good things. Being positive does not only make yourself feel good but also make the people around you feel good. Everyone possesses an aura. If you’re a grumpy person, just a look from your face is enough to make people avoid you. In contrast, having a positive aura is like a magnet for people. They will want to talk to and hang out with you. One smile can light up the world. Be that smile.
Positivity and belief in oneself are significant stimulants for retaining memory and cognition. Studies have suggested that youth-minded person with a positive belief that they have not aged a bit when it comes to learning and memory capacities perform far at brain skill tests than persons who self-deemed themselves as old and aged. If you adopt the myth that you are too old to recall something or learn something new, your brain will perform accordingly.
Remember, our brain is our processing unit, and it will function the way we want it to. Mind controls everything. A positive approach towards yourself and your cognitive abilities definitely will help you keep your brain intact and sharp despite your age.
The bottom-line is “A rolling stone gathers no moss”
Yes. Cognitive decline is obvious with age. Your brain will not be as sharp now at 50, as it was when you were 25. But putting your brain into work, rather than simply avoiding it’s usage with age, will surely prevent or at least slow down the decay due to ageing.
Practice these brain and memory hacks, and stay sharp for the next couple of decades to come.
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Author bio: Anna Brecken
Anna Brecken is a writer for NootropicNation. She has extensive knowledge of Nootropics. She also writes for several other supplement and brain enhancement websites.
The right foot steps to the right so that the distance between your feet is wider than the width of your shoulders.
Make your knees bend, put your butt down and lower.
Then come back the original position. Do not forget to practice with the other leg.
8. Bodyweight squat
The starting position is the same as the side step squat.
Lower your butt. Remember your knees must not go past the toes. Your weight will focus on your heels and your chest must be kept straight.
9. Reverse Lunge
In standing position place your feet slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.
When stepping backward with your left foot, remember to inhale. Make your heel not touch the ground.
Bend your knees to create 90 degrees with your shoulders directly aligned with your hips, keep the chest upright.
With the aid of your right heel, stand up. Let’s continue with the other leg.
10. Reverse Lunge With Front Twist
The starting position is the same as the reverse lunge.
Step the left foot lover the right. When turning your torso to the right, remember to bend and lower your knees.
Let’s do this exercise again and again with both legs.
11. Good Mornings
Stand with two feet apart, just a bit wider than the width of your shoulders.
Put your hand on the hips and keep your elbows open.
Bend your knees slightly while keeping your core tight. With your hips hinged, lower the torso till it becomes parallel to the floor. This motion is considered one cycle.
Repeat this cycle a number of times.
The exercises above will help you to relieve back pain quickly.
Try to move a little each day and over time the compounding, positive benefits will manifest results. In addition to these exercises, you should also use supportive exercise machines. One machine to consider in particular is an inversion table (for a buying guide as well as inversion table reviews). Also invest in a good roller, fascia release balls and a MarcPro.
Remember if dealing with ongoing pain and discomfort, you should visit your doctor or the physical therapist as soon as possible. Seek out their expert advice to assist you in formulating a professional program to help you manage and work through your back pain.
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Author Bio: Stefan
My name is Stefan. My passion in life is trying to help others stay healthy and enjoy the life. With 8-year experience in healthcare, nutrition, I am providing comprehensive solutions for gaining weight, losing weight and training your stamina as well as consulting services that help you to have a healthy lifestyle.
Sitting for long periods is now known to be a health hazard. Mobility, especially Core Mobility, is beneficial for health in ways only recently being recognized by Western Medicine. Yoga, Tai Chi, and other similar arts have for centuries emphasized the importance of spinal mobility and the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing.
What is Aortic Stiffness and What Does it Mean to Me?
Aortic Stiffness is a novel integrative health metric with the ability to act as a bridge, connecting ancient Eastern wisdom and modern medical scientific understanding. Aortic Stiffness has been studied by medical scientists for about twenty years and remarkably predicts the risk of death from all causes. Aortic Stiffness is unique in its ability to assess overall health and estimate lifespan. Aortic Stiffness has also been shown to improve with attention to exercise, diet and stress management. Aortic Stiffness is a single health metric able to guide people towards healthy lifestyle choices.
The Aorta runs from the heart through the chest and abdomen as shown in the picture below.
The Aorta runs immediately in front of the spinal column as shown in the drawing below.
Aortic Stiffness is a measure of stiffness along the spinal axis and as such is a measure of Core Mobility.
The body's organization can be regarded as consisting of four cavities as shown below. The cavities define the body’s core regions and mobility of these regions is Core Mobility.
Aortic Stiffness and how it affects our internal health
Each of these internal cavities relies on movement to maintain organ function and health. The spine connects these cavities and spinal stiffness affects the stiffness of the rib cage, soft tissue, skull and pelvic structures. With increasing stiffness of the spine and rib cage, movement of the diaphragm (separating the chest and abdominal cavities) is restricted.
The diaphragm muscle contracts with each breath, compressing the sponge-like liver, spleen, kidneys and other internal organs. Rhythmic breathing related compression and release cycles create a flow of essential fluids and nutrients through the myriad of small channels within the internal organs. This internal organ circulation supports organ function, overall health, and longevity.
With each breath, there are pressure changes in the spinal cord driving cerebrospinal fluid in a long loop to the brain and back again, allowing frond-like areas deep within the brain to filter and maintain the purity of the fluid nourishing the brain. Core Mobility is essential for brain health and maintenance of cognitive function.
The ancient Chinese had a system of physiology using the spine as the organizing principle with body cavities represented metaphorically. This approach is described in the Nei Jing diagram carved on a stone that is on display at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing and shown in the image below.
I studied Tai Chi under the guidance of a Taoist Monk for over twenty years. Towards the end of his life, he asked me to show people health benefits associated with stretching between the heart and the kidneys. This simple request prompted years of exploration and experimentation. Conventional equipment to measure Aortic Stiffness uses multiple arterial pressure sensors, requires a skilled technician and costs over $20,000 USD. A picture of an Aortic Stiffness measurement system is shown below.
My goal was to provide people with a simple and affordable alternative allowing ordinary people to monitor Aortic Stiffness and recognize the health benefits of stretching along the spinal axis.
What is Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity AND Why Does it Matter?
The breakthrough occurred when I noted that the shape of the fingertip pulse wave is determined largely by Aortic Stiffness. Characteristic fingertip pulse waveforms from an Older and a Younger individual is noted below.
The Reflected Wave seen in both pulses is a wave that originates with the heart beat, travels down the Aorta and reflects back towards the heart as it nears the far end of the Aorta.
The Reflected Wave returns to the heart in a young individual just as the heart finishes a contraction and is about to start its relaxation phase. The Reflected Wave maintains pressure in the Aorta as the heart muscle relaxes, driving blood into the Coronary Arteries in order to feed the heart muscle. In an older individual, the Reflected Wave travels faster along a stiffer Aorta, returning early while the heart is still in its contraction phase. This early return increases blood pressure, increases the heart's workload and decreases blood flow to the heart during its relaxation phase. These effects have a profound influence on the development of heart disease.
The Reflected Wave continues on to the finger and with the use of advanced optical and signal analysis techniques can be clearly seen in the pulse wave of every individual. By characterizing the Reflected Wave in the fingertip pulse signal it is possible to calculate Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity, the method used by scientists to measure Aortic Stiffness. Noted below are two diagrams showing how the reflected wave, even when very subtle, can be located and characterized using pulse signal analysis. In the first diagram, the Reflected Wave is circled in green. The red vertical lines indicate the onset of the Reflected Wave.
With a small team, a company I founded developed a small and affordable fingertip optical sensor to measure Aortic Stiffness called iHeart www.goiheart.com. iHeart has been tested against the Sphygmocor ‘gold standard' Aortic Stiffness measurement system and found to correlate well.
My goal now is to help people recognize how important movement is to health and how effectively exercise maintains and restores health. Research has shown that people with greatest Aortic Stiffness show improvement most rapidly once they start exercising regularly. It is never too late to start!
Walking, particularly in natural and hilly areas are the most effective way to improve Aortic Stiffness. All exercise that involves the entire body and allows the spine to stretch and bend is also effective. Yoga and Tai Chi are particularly effective in helping people understand how the human body is connected and how movement nourishes the body and leads to long life. Yoga and Tai Chi offer people a set of movements that efficiently work the entire body and improve Core Mobility.
Diet is also important. Hydration keeps the tissues elastic. Research has shown that consumption of foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids improves Aortic Stiffness. Eating slowly and thoughtfully improves the digestive process, reducing abdominal tension affecting Aortic Stiffness.
Reduction of Blood Pressure lowers Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and slows down travel of the Aortic Reflected Wave. Lowering Blood pressure, using stress management and other natural means, is beneficial for health and longevity.
Aortic Stiffness is a remarkable new way to assess overall health and lifespan. It can now be measured using simple and affordable equipment designed for people without any medical knowledge. Monitoring Aortic Stiffness will help people objectively recognize the health benefits of wise lifestyle choices and start to make exercise, good diet and stress management a part of every day’s approach to life and longevity.
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Author Bio: Dr. Jess Goodman
Jess is a Physician in General Practice with over 20 years experience in worn personal health monitoring electronics development and deployment. He is passionate about giving individuals better ways to visualize, monitor, and manage their health. Dr. Goodman spent years working to make Aortic Stiffness and Core Mobility concept accessible and useful for people around the world. After many years, he and the iheart team developed the iheart Internal Age System.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has taken the fitness industry by storm in recent years primarily due to the amazing results it provides in such a short amount of time. For those of you who don’t know, HIIT is a method of training where you alternate short intervals of all-out exertion (such as sprints) with active rest periods (such as walking) for a total of just 10-20 minutes.
As simple as it sounds, this type of training has been proven to give superior results compared to the typical steady-state cardio routine. In fact, scientists at McMaster University found that just 1 minute of all-out exercise (performed in a HIIT way) provides the same benefits as 45 minutes of moderate cardio.
The “catch” with HIIT is that it requires a very high exertion level. This becomes increasingly harder to do as you age due to your slower recovery and general aches and pains. But at the same time, older adults need vigorous exercise to support muscle mass, keep their bones healthy, and to help them with everyday activities such as climbing stairs or recovering when stumbling. And there’s more good news. A follow-up study done by the McMaster researchers found that even with decreasing the intensity of the workout, people still enjoyed the same benefits. This means that even if you can’t perform interval training at a very high intensity, you’ll still reap the majority of its benefits.
My father who is now 65 years old performs HIIT 2-3 times a week. It has helped him lower his blood pressure, build muscle mass, lose fat, and improve his cardiovascular fitness. However, HIIT was not always the best option for him. He has had 2 knee replacements, 1 hip replacement, and was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This made performing vigorous exercise next to impossible for him. But the key that helped him was starting at lower levels and building up slowly. I designed an interval training program that he could gradually progress with until he was able to do it with high intensity. There are many ways to do this. And in this article, I’m going to show you 5 different HIIT workouts that are perfect for older adults to blend into their workout regimen.
** Please make sure that you have clearance from your doctor before performing any of the following exercises. Stop the exercise if you feel dizzy, sick, have muscle cramps, or have uncomfortable pain or pressure anywhere in your body. I also recommend that you stretch for at least 10 minutes before performing any HIIT exercises to reduce the risk of injury. It is also a good idea to gather more info on your health insurance coverage to ensure that you are protected while you work out. Comparison sites like this one from Australia are a good place to start.
Workout 1: The Treadmill
A treadmill is a great tool for interval training as it allows you to adjust the difficulty of your work interval. Here’s the workout:
Warm up: 5-minute walk or slow jog
The Treadmill workout
Work interval: 20 seconds “sprint”
Rest interval: 90 seconds walk
Repeat 4-6 times
Cool down: 5-minute walk
This is the basic structure of the treadmill HIIT workout. What you want to do is adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill during the “sprint” to suit your fitness level. When first starting out, you want to support a level in which you’re out of breath but can still hold up a conversation. And as you progress throughout several weeks of doing this, you want to work towards a level in which you’re so out of breath throughout the workout that you can hardly keep up a conversation. I suggest that every week you either increase the speed or incline of the treadmill to keep your body improving every week.
You can do this workout once a week in the beginning, and build up to performing it 2-3 times a week. But go with how your body feels and adjust the workout accordingly.
Workout 2: Cycling
This is another great piece of equipment that allows you to easily do HIIT in a controlled environment. It’s also a great exercise for building muscle mass and strength in your leg muscles.
Warm up: 5 minutes of light cycling
The Cycling workout
Work interval: 20 seconds of cycling at max intensity
Rest interval: 90 seconds of light cycling
Repeat 4-6 times
Cool down: 2 minutes of light cycling followed by 2 minutes of walking
As in the sprints workout, you can adjust the resistance and intensity of your work interval to better suit your current fitness level. And as the weeks go by you can increase the resistance and intensity, or even add more work intervals into the workout to keep your body progressing.
Workout 3: Dumbbell Circuit
This workout is a little more complex and requires more coördination than the previous workouts. With that being said, it’s a great way to workout both your muscles and cardiovascular system simultaneously and will help strengthen your bones.
Warm up: arm swings followed by 3-5 minutes of walking
The dumbbell Circuit workout
For the workout, you’ll be performing 4 exercises consecutively without any rest. After completing the 4 exercises, you will take a 90-second rest and then repeat the circuit again 3-5 times. As you get stronger, increase the weight or reps of each exercise performed. Pick an appropriate weight for each exercise that allows you to do each movement with proper form.
Exercise 1 – One-arm dumbbell row (10 reps each side)
Tips: Place one arm and corresponding knee on the bench. Keep your back neutral and keep your core engaged. Pull the dumbbell up to your side and repeat.Exercise 2 – Wall ball squats (12 reps)
Exercise 2 – Wall ball squats (12 reps)
Tips: This is a great exercise to help you throughout your squat. Place a stability ball between your back and a wall. Place your feet forward at about shoulder width apart. Lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel with the ground, and then push back up. Keep your core tight and back straight throughout the movement.
Exercise 3 – Standing dumbbell press (10 reps)
Tips: Stand straight and lift the two dumbbells over your head and back down again. Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
Exercise 4 – Front plank (30 seconds or as long as possible)
Tips: Facing the floor, get onto your forearms and toes. Keep your abs engaged, and create a straight line from your toes to shoulders. Hold this position.
Workout 4: Swimming
Swimming is an excellent way for older adults to incorporate HIIT. It provides the opportunity for those who are overweight or have arthritis to still exercise at higher intensities without the joint stress typically associated with high-intensity workouts. Warm up before the workout for 5-10 minutes by swimming at a slow pace with whatever strokes you will be using in the workout.
Feel free to use whatever stroke (or the combination of strokes) you’d like to during the workout. Major strokes include freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly. If you’re new to swimming, the freestyle is usually the best option to start with. In the work interval it says to “sprint”, but as mentioned above you should choose the pace that suits your fitness level. Just make sure that you’re working at the highest intensity possible that doesn’t cause pain or extreme discomfort.
The Swimming workout
Work interval: 1 lap sprint
Rest interval: Slow swim 1 lap
Repeat 4-6 times.
Workout 5: Boxing
This is a fun way to get your HIIT workout in and helps improve your overall coordination. Basically, you’ll be hitting the bag, however, you want (“freestyle”) and with as high intensity as possible for 30 seconds and then alternating with a rest period. I recommend mixing in a variety of moves such as a jab crosses, hooks, upper cuts, etc. Just make sure you’re hitting the bag with a high intensity throughout the work period. And make sure you wear the proper gloves! Warm up appropriately with arm swings and light punches.
The Boxing Workout
Work interval: 30 seconds “freestyle” at max intensity
Rest interval: 60-90 seconds walking around
Repeat 4-6 times
There you have it! 5 HIIT workouts that are perfect for older adults.
I recommend incorporating HIIT workouts for a maximum of 3 workouts a week. So to start, choose 1 of these workouts and try it out once a week. As your fitness level improves you can do more sessions and add different workouts. But the key is to stay consistent with it and try to progress every week whether you are adding more weight, adding more reps, or performing the exercise at a slightly higher intensity. Enjoy!
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Author Bio: Jeremy Ethier
Jeremy is a Kinesiologist and certified personal trainer from Vancouver, Canada. He is the creator of HIIT Your Body where he provides anything and everything HIIT. From full on 8 weeks HIIT workout plans to quick 20-minute home workouts, you can find it on his site.