How did They Live Past 116

22 12 2018

Healthy relationships contribute to long life spans

Updated:  22 December 2018

How do average people live well past 100 years of age and significantly longer with a  95 year average lifespan? Does it have anything to do with genetics, environment, habit, diet, exercise or something more or absent thereof?

First let’s examine some of the longest living centurion biographies on record. And after reviewing these biographies, we’ll connect the dots to make a correlation to their longevity lifestyle secrets.

During the 19th – late 20th Century – interviews before death relevant to  lifestyle and culture to include biography and genealogy was not captured through a scientific or epidemiological process. Therefor I’ll render an opinion based on assumptions extracted from the limited amount of biographical data of deceased subjects; and references at the end of the article.

Super Centenarian – Deceased Subjects of Observation,

Jeanne Calment (21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997) she lived 122 years, 164 days, place of residence Arles, France.   Jeanne Louise Calment surpassed previous Guinness Book of Record holders as the longest living confirmed human.  It was said Jeanne smoked more than 2 cigarettes per day and after an operation in 1994 she weighed 99 pounds where she became dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.  She attributed her long life and youthful appearance to olive oil which she used religiously in her food and on her skin. Included within her diet she drank port wine and consumed ~2lbs of chocolate weekly.  In total she outlived 329 undisputedly-verified super centenarians

Sarah Knauss-Clark (24 September 1880 – 30 December 1999) she lived 119 years, 97 days, place of residence, Hollywood and Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Sarah had a career as an insurance office manager and upon her marriage to Abraham Lincoln Knauss (December 19, 1878 – March 1, 1965) she spent her time as a home maker and was a skilled seamstress. Mrs.  Knauss was known as an extraordinary woman that pushed the envelope of longevity.  It was said, the reason for her longevity stemmed from the fact she was a very tranquil person and nothing fazed her. Also it is known that she enjoyed life because she had her health and could do what she wanted. Her interests and foods included: viewing golf tournaments, needlepoint and nibbling on chocolate turtles, cashews and potato chips. Her only child Kathryn Knauss Sullivan (November 17, 1903 – January 21, 2005) lived to be 101 and was 96 at the time of her mother’s death.

Lucy Hannah (16 July 1875 – 21 March 1993) she lived 117 years, 248 days, place of residence Born in Linden, Alabama and died in Detroit.  She moved in the great migration to escape the racial tensions that were prominent of the times in the Deep South.  Her parents survived slavery for which it is noted they were whipped daily until their freedom and thereafter suffered from trauma as a result of the physical and mental scars. Lucy married John Hannah in 1901 and had 8 children together. Two of her children were still living at the time of her death. The two sisters lived to be 100 years of age. And Hannah’s mother lived to the age of 99.

Marie-Louise Meileur (29 August 1880 – 16 April 1998) She lived 117 years, 230 days, place of residence Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada. It is known that Marie was married twice and between the two marriages had 4 children with first husband Etienne Leclerc from 1900 and where he died in 1911.  And then the super centenarian had six other children through her second marriage with Hector Meileur whom she married in 1915 until his death in 1972.  She had 85 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren and 57 great-great- grandchildren and 4 (3 x great grandchildren). Marie’s death was the result of a blood clot.

Maria Capovilla (14 September 1889 – 27 August 2006) She lived 116 years, 347 days and was recognized by Guinness World Records during her reign as the world’s oldest living person ever in South America and the southern hemisphere in Guayaquil. Ecuador. It is also interesting to note she is also the oldest human that had a life span living within three centuries. Born as Maria Esther Heredia Lecaro; she married a military officer, Antonio Capovill after his first wife died.  They had five children together, three (Hilda, 81, Irma, 80 and Anibal 78) of which were at Maria’s side prior to death.  Antonio passed in 1949.  She had 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren.  She enjoyed watching TV, reading and walked without the assistance of a cane, but helped by an aide prior to the day of her passing. She also never smoked or drank hard liquor.

Although home bound for the last two years of life, she shared her home with eldest daughter Hilda and son-in-law. In an interview her traditional view of men and women stated her dislike, about how women today are permitted to court men, rather than men courting women.

During 2006 near time of death Maria’s health took a turn for the worse.  She could no longer read, she nearly stopped talking and no longer could walk without the assistance of two people. Just prior to her death she was able to sit comfortably in her chair and fan herself. She died just 18 days before her 117th birthday. Cause of death Pneumonia.

Tane Ikai (18 January 1879 – 12 July 1995) She lived 116 years, 175 days, place of birth Kansei, Japan.  She is the only fully verified person within Asia to reach 116 years of age. She married at the age of 20 had 3 sons and one daughter. At the age of 38 she left her husband. At the age of 89 she entered a nursing home. At the age of 109 she had a stroke where she remained bed ridden in a hospital until her death.  Cause of death kidney failure.

Besse Cooper (26 August 1896 – 4 December 2012) 116 years and surpassing Elizabeth Bolden’s 116 years, 118 days. Besse Berry Brown-Cooper of Sullivan County, Tennessee was married to Luther Cooper and had 4 children and widowed after 39 years of marriage. Luther was 68 at the time of his death. Mrs. Cooper lived on her farm and moved into a nursing facility at the age of 105. Recently, Cooper reached her 116th birthday in August 2012, the second-oldest verified person from Tennessee and surpassing Elizabeth Bolden who died in December 2006, at the age of 116 years and 118 days. When asked what the secret to her super centurion lifespan, she stated, “minding my own business” working outdoors and avoiding most junk foods and ate lots of vegetables.  Occupation: retired teacher.   Cause of Death: Respiratory Failure.

Elizabeth Bolden (15 August 1890 – 11 December 2006) She lived 116 Years, 118 days and at the time of her death recognized by Guinness as the oldest living person.  She was born in Somerville, Tennessee, the daughter of freed slaves.  She had 7 children, only two of which were alive at the time of her death (Esther, 89 and Mamie 86). Elizabeth had 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great grandchildren and 220 (3 x great grandchildren) and an amazing 75 (4 x great grandchildren). And in her final days of life she resided within a Memphis Tennessee nursing facility.  Elizabeth also lived a life spanning within three centuries.

Maggie Barnes (6 March 1882 – 19 January 1998) She lived 115 years, 319 days, place of residence, Johnston County, North Carolina.  She was born to a slave and married a tenant farmer. Eleven of her children preceded her in death, while 4 of her other children survived her after death. Mrs. Barnes died of a complication from a minor foot infection.

Christian Mortensen (16 August 1882 – 25 April 1998) He lived 115 years, 252 days, last place of residence San Rafael, California. Born in a village near the city of Skanderborg, Denmark, he then settled in Chicago and worked various trades: tailor, milkman, and restaurateur and factory worker. He was married 10 years, had no children and never remarried. Retiring near Galveston Bay, Texas; 28 years later it was claimed at the age of 96 he rode his bike to the Aldersly Retirement Community in San Rafael where he stayed until his death. He’s the oldest living male to date.

When asked for advice on his long life; he stated, “stay away from alcohol; drink lots of water, keep a positive attitude, keep good friends and singing” will help you live a long time. His diet preferences were mainly a vegetarian diet and he also drank a lot of boiled water. He smoked cigars believing if in moderation, it was not unhealthy.

In order to find out how these 10 individuals lived so long – we’ll compare environment, lifestyle, diet, behaviors and habits with the online data available. In this way we may understand what common denominators may have contributed to their long life spans.

Centenarian interview statements revealed prior to death [in bold – represents a healthy habit or behavior of moderation], were claimed by each individual to contribute to their long lives spans.

Centurion Replies,

Use olive oil religiously in foods

Port “Red” Wine

Chocolate

Cashews

Potato chips

Drink lots of water

Mainly vegetarian

Drink boiled water

Junk foods

Hard Liquor

Rub olive oil on skin

Smoke Cigarettes and/or Cigars

Alcohol

Red wine

Very tranquil person

Mind my own business, stress reduction

Keep a positive attitude and sense of humor

Perceived overall Good health

Needlepoint

Ability to be mobile

Singing

Watch TV

Listen to Radio

Watch Sports

Walking-mobility

Communication

Socialization

Working Outdoors

Good Family and friend relationships

Social gatherings

One has purpose in life

Interactive life

High Cancer Statisic- Environment (Reference article #11, 12, 13, 14)

California, Florida, Texas and New York (High Cancer States)

Centurions lived most of their life – on average in low cancer per Capita States

Cause of death,

Mobility loss

Blood clot

Pneumonia

Kidney Failure

Infection

No cause listed, “respiratory failure”

Conclusion,

All but one of ten centenarians lived in a statistically low cancer state(s) [excluding those that lived outside of the United States]. And all but one of the 10 was male. Christian Mortensen lived in Texas 28 years and then moved to a California nursing home at the age of 96.  He lived ~48 years in a statistically high cancer state and where it appears he spent the majority of his first ~68 years of life in Skanderborg, Denmark.  He lived ~116 years of age beating all other fellow men in longevity.

It looks like all 10 of these individuals lived within large families; most were married and/or had large circles of various interactive social-family relationships. It also appears mobility, stress reduction and positive mood was important contributors to overall wellbeing. As far as their habits and diets – it appeared they moderated the good with a “little” bad.  For the most part, their diets appeared healthy and most consumed very little if any alcohol.

Recall, 9 out of 10 of these super centenarians where female.  It is a fact that women live longer than men. This has a lot to do with metabolism, genetics, diet, body weight, habits and lifestyle. What specifically separates men from women? Men are greatly driven by hormones (read importance of testosterone on men’s health, Ref #8) which tend to cause more risky behavior and mood-stress characteristics. Also when testosterone levels drop, or become unbalanced in men during the aging process, this change tends to have a significant impact on men’s health and longevity. Male hormone replacement therapy monitored by a physician can help with low testosterone production, which may help support vitality and longevity while reducing health risk.

These centenarians shows us they lived relatively balanced lifestyles. They were physically and mentally active throughout their life span; they enjoyed personal and social gatherings and relationships mostly within large circles of friends and family. And for those residing in the United States lived mostly within low statistical cancer states (Ref #11).

They lived purposeful and mobile lifestyles, had positive attitudes, maintained low levels of stress, had good sense of humor, enjoyed selfless endeavors and shared their life experiences and stories with others. They also lived life to the fullest and without the crutch of habitual vices and little need of medications.

Reference,

  1.  Fadem, Mitch, Dr.  Health Benefits of Cigar Tobacco – Cigars and Medicine.  The Tobacco Leaf – Good or Bad?  About.com.  http://cigars.about.com/od/legalhealthissues/a/cigarmedicine.htm
  2. Rettner, Rachael.  Sweet Science:  The Health Benefits of Chocolate.  LiveScience.com.  11 February 2010. http://www.livescience.com/6111-sweet-science-health-benefits-chocolate.html
  3. Wikipedia.  The Free Encyclopedia. Oldest People.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_people#Oldest_people_ever
  4. Woodamarc.  How these Well Known Celebrities Lived So Long.  Hubpages.com.  20 August 2012.  http://woodamarc.hubpages.com/_sigsinmula/hub/How-Did-These-Well-Known-Celebrities-Live-so-Long
  5. Woodamarc.  Pain Depression Origins. Hubpages.com. 5 April 2010.  http://woodamarc.hubpages.com/_sigsinmula/hub/Pain-Depression-Origins
  6. Woodamarc.  Alcohol Consumption Good for You?  What?  Hubpages.com.  14 November 2008.  http://woodamarc.hubpages.com/_sigsinmula/hub/Alcohol-Consumption
  7. Woodard, Marc.  Disease is Scientifically Linked to Genetic Engineering of Food Crops.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  22 September 2018.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2018/09/22/disease-is-scientifically-linked-to-genetic-engineering-of-food-crops/
  8. Woodard, Marc.  Low Testosterone, another Man Made Risky Fix?  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  22 January 2012.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2012/01/22/low-testosterone-another-man-made-risky-fix/
  9. Woodard, Marc.  Learn to Embrace the Pain, Exercise and Get Fit.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  23 September 2011.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2011/09/23/learn-to-embrace-the-pain-exercise-and-get-fit/
  10. Woodard, Marc.  Wisdom of Consuming Oleic Acid [Olive Oil].  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  23 January 2010.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2010/01/23/mae-healthblog-wisdom-of-consuming-oleic-acid-2/
  11. Woodard, Marc.  Pancreatic Cancer Statistics and Recommendations.  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2009.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2009/11/24/mae-health-blog-pancreatic-cancer-statistics-and-recommendations/
  12. Woodard, Marc.  Is Pancreatic Cancer on the Rise?  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2009.  http://www.mirrorathlete.com/2009/10/24/mae-health-blog-is-pancreatic-cancer-on-the-rise-part-1

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

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Recreational Water Parks, Spas and Pools Unhealthy?

19 04 2018

Updated: 19 April 2018

Leisurely public pools, water parks and spa tub use are not without its sanitation challenges for pool staff.

There are many potential health risks public swim facilities pose for swimmers regardless of whether located indoors or outdoors.

Since our skin is the largest organ capable of absorbing environmental impurities; all should be aware that improper water sanitation practices lead to microorganism growth and chemical absorption that may increase health risk.

Most public pool facilities treat water with Chlorine to kill impurities that would otherwise be unhealthy for the swimmer. Chlorine is also easily absorbed through skin as well as  lungs through air born emitted chloroform and enters the blood exchange system. Chemical overexposure should cause great concern for those that spend a lot of time in treated water “especially” in hot tubes. The skins pore surface dilates and acts more sponge-like when submersed in hot water.

Listed below are potential health risks swimmers should be aware – if using public pools.

Public Swim Facilities Transmit Impurities and Increase Health Risk is Cause by the Following Elements.

1)  Fecal contaminants discharged, or washed off of swimmers and bathers.  2)  There is also non fecal shedding off the body such as, saliva, mucous, vomit and skin.  3)  Infected users can contaminate hot/cold environment with potential pathogenic viral, or fungi organisms.  4) Opportunistic bacteria from users of the aquatic facilities can adapt and survive as amoebae in both hot/cold environments.  5) Indoor spas and pools ventilation systems can be contaminated and transmit pollutants and microorganisms.  6) Wet public use floors have high potential of unsanitary microorganism surface growth.   (7) Outdoor facilities are challenged with wildlife excretion and other environmental microorganism sanitation issues.  (8) Diarrhea-causing a gastrointestinal illness that chlorine doesn’t always kill is Cryptosporidiosis parasites.  9)  Too much chlorine absorbed, or chloroform inhaled, or consumed can cause illness and disease.

High Chlorine Use and Exposure Awareness Facts

“Chlorine treated water and its air born Chloroform can cause allergic symptoms i.e.,: skin rash, irritation to eyes, sinuses, throat and lungs. Including problematic intestinal symptoms, arthritis and headaches.

Chlorine also weakens the immune system, dries the scalp and hair and creates worse dandruff. Animal studies found too much chlorinated water consumption causes genetic mutations, is a cancer catalyst causing liver cancer in laboratory animals. Canadian researchers found Chloroform risk to be 70-240 times higher in the air within indoor pools than outdoor pools. After an hour of swimming in a chlorinated pool, chloroform concentrations in the swimmers blood ranged from 100-1,093ppb.”

Minimize Microorganism & High Chlorine Exposure Risk

Shower before use; avoid swallowing water, report fecal matter release.

  1. Pool disinfectants burn skin, irritate respiratory; report and avoid use if any of these conditions are experienced.
  2. If you note see particulate matter, or cloudy water report and avoid pool use.
  3. Wear eye goggles when in pool and thongs when walking on spa surfaces.
  4. Inquire on maintenance practices: Chemical treatment, air filtration & ventilation.
  5. Consult with your physician if swimming benefits outweigh risks per current health condition.
  6. If you have diarrhea don’t enter spa/pools until 2 weeks after it ends.
  7. If swim facility is shut down for sanitation cleanup… Inquire on how the microorganisms were killed, e.g., extra chlorine, ultraviolet radiation, or ozone treatment.
  8. If the pool smells heavy of chlorination avoid the facility use.

Note:  There are pools that don’t use chlorination: Ultraviolet-ozone and salt.

Each impurity health concern has the potential to cause a variety of respiratory, dermal or central nervous system allergic reaction, infection or illness and possible disease.  And in order to reduce risk requires one to become knowledgeable about public pool water treatment and sanitation practices before use.

The practice of proper chemical use includes but not limited to, creating and maintaining a neutral PH to provide a non-toxic/microorganism environment while simultaneously maintaining proper water/air filtration and pump system upkeep.

Indoor pools that use chlorine need to ensure ventilation systems have proper filter change out and remove excess chloroform by replacing it with fresh outdoor air makeup.

Without proactive maintenance practices to reduce environmental health risk to swimmers – adults and children are at increased risk of contracting an infectious illness that could manifest to disease.

References

http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_health/health1/1-public-health-hazards-public-swimming-pools.htm

http://www.webmd.com/news/20070726/cdc-warns-of-swimming-pool-health-risk

http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2000/articles/2000-v15n02-p089.shtml

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2018 Copyright.  All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





MirrorAthlete Fit Healthy Lifestyle – Book Release Update

3 02 2018

Face Rock, Bandon OR inspires the imagination.

 Updated: 3 Feb 2018

The long awaited 10 year book project and publication is now in the second phase of quality review process by the publisher.  With a planned book release date scheduled in 2018.

Insight into the books content,

Our book reads like no other fitness and healthy lifestyle book in the marketplace.

It is loaded with unique personal, 1:1 fitness consulting and client perspectives; including relative people stories, self-help tools, forms and tables, etc.  Including – I know everyone will enjoy the humor of the cartoons and caricatures so artfully created by cartoonist John Fiedler within each chapter.  If you’d like to see samples of John’s creative works, or contact him click on the olefuzzcartoon link:  http://olefuzzcartoons.com/Welcome.html

The illustrations, stories, lessons learned and teaching points provide the reader with an enjoyable and entertaining introspective and interactive experience while learning how to live life to the fullest through natural and truthful anti-aging principles.

In many ways the content of the book was developed and designed to be a timeless fitness and healthy lifestyle roadmap book.  And best of all – “applicable to all demographics within any environmental culture.”

MirrorAthlete evolved through an exercise science discipline and application within a fitness consulting practice.  We’ve integrated multiple healthy habits and fitness programming concepts integrating and connecting real people stories backed by scientific studies and citations.  Then defined, related and applied these things within a very unique principled fitness and healthy lifestyle perspective.  Our principled fitness and healthy lifestyle doctrine is based on “MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and healthy lifestyle Philosophy.”

The knowledge within this book will allow anyone to succeed in creating a customized fitness and healthy habits lifestyle program without the cost of a professional trainer or specialized fitness and health consultant services or products.

The information you need to know NOW is broken down within an easy to understand format that includes: Best-In-Class fitness and health principles and includes:  how to program a customized fitness and healthy habits plan relative to your lifestyle needs. To include: how to identify consumer fitness and performance enhancement fads and scams in the marketplace that increase health risk.

If you lack motivation to break an addictive habit or behavior; or want to advance your fitness and healthy lifestyle goal to the next level, we shown how to do it naturally while increasing will power to stay the course.

As you work towards achieving the fit healthy anti-aging goal, you’ll do so without worry of applying a restrictive diet plan, or purchasing expensive services, products or gimmick to reduce body fat, build muscle, increase physical performance and get more mobile etc..  We don’t sell hype – only information on how to achieve natural fitness and healthy lifestyle goals to live life to the fullest.

The marketplace is littered with manmade products and services that promise fast fitness and performance enhancement results… “some appear to work short term, while others don’t work at all… And in both cases ‘likely’ increase health risk.”  Consumers will soon learn they don’t have to go the unsafe route to achieve fit healthy anti-aging results at the expense of health – compromised by illness and disease.

We know the marketplace won’t provide consumers the entire health risk truth relative to their unnatural fitness and enhancement performance products for good reason.  “There’s no money in it for them.”

The consumer truths soon to be shared… “man manipulates and injects addictive chemical and genetically engineered ingredients into foods and supplemental diet products known to increase and cause health problems.”  We know the fitness, diet, performance enhancement and anti-aging industries won’t share these truths with the consumer – but we do – we know better.  It is for good reason the consumer industries hope the majority of you never discover what’s revealed in this book.

If you’re tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness and diet product  and services gimmicks that don’t work long term, or not at all… and tired of being overweight and unfit – look no further.

Also our unique principled philosophy is especially relative to K-12 schools.  And if applied within our children’s school curriculum on a national level – It would fundamentally change the fitness, health and medical marketplace supply and demand model for future generations.  This book is a must read for educators, city recreation personnel, coaches, school officials and board members.

The book is an informative, interesting, energetic, optimistic and exciting read in itself. 

But more so by way of each ending chapter – there’s an ongoing personal fitness challenge and personalized message by ‘yours truly’ relative to chapter content.  By connecting each chapter principle with real world happenings it is also possible to heal and improve any physical adversity scenario, e.g., illness, disease, limited mobility.

Also those who experience physical and mental adversity challenges can relate and use the same tools provided within the book to help advance any desired fitness or health goal to live life to the fullest.  The author provides a “secondary and continuing personal adversity challenge back-story at the end of each chapter” relative to the books content. Which also covers limited mobility and health challenge improvements through expedient primary care referrals and fit healthy principles knowledge covered within the book.

We ask that you and your friends consider supporting our mission  “Saving a Nation in Pain,” by taking the following actions.  Visit our web site and support us by purchasing a book once released and sharing this information with your friends, family and community.

We’d truly appreciate the outreach support to expand our educational message to put an end to childhood obesity plaguing our youth and saving a nation in pain.

Other ways to support our outreach effort – If you believe in MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Philosophy and Saving a Nation in Pain please click on the BLUE FaceBook “LIKE” button at the bottom of our home page.  We appreciate the support.

Good health to you and your family!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 

 





Enjoy Holiday Meals Without Weight Gain or Guilt

17 12 2016

Santa’s on his way

Updated, 17 December 2016 Marc Woodard

I can’t believe how fast the end of year Holidays roll upon us.  And for some it can be a stressful time.  Especially if you have a hard time managing body weight.

I have an 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan that may alleviate fears of eating your favorite traditional Holiday meals and without gaining weight.

These tips can help many resist the temptation to overeat during this time of year.  I’m sharing a “no weight gain strategy.”  This strategy has helped past clients stay on weight loss target.  Admittedly most didn’t lose weight… however most didn’t gain any either.  And some even shed a few pounds by applying all 8 tips below.

Back History on the 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan – I was asked during a client consult if I could create a work around food strategy.  One that allowed someone to eat favorite foods during the Holidays without derailing a current weight loss plan.

Of course I told the young lady there’s always a risk of falling back into a bad food habit when overeating hyper-palatable foods.  But for this individual it was worth the risk to modify the current diet plan.  That is to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal with family and not fear losing control over foods and body weight.  Prior to this request she had avoided all Holiday meals in fear of weight gain.  And now doesn’t want to avoid them any more.  After applying the 8 tip program she acknowledged the following results.  There was no weight gain and she continued to stay on weight loss target for the following Year.

For some, it’s almost as if we have to harden the body for the rigors of war because of all the food temptations in front of us.  The smells and tastes are enough to drive anyone crazy and want to go on a food binge.

The worse part of consuming too many calories in a day, as we age our body’s metabolisms become less efficient at processing the excess.  Instead the metabolism gets very efficient at storing body fat weight.  It is also true during the Holidays most have a tendency to over indulge and then continue this pattern the following Year.

I also understand some of you have had tremendous success in melting the pounds away last year as you stuck to your new year’s weight loss resolution commitment.

Congratulation to you!

For those still struggling to lose weight don’t give up!  I’m sharing the same client tips I know can work for you.  And quite possibly may be habit changing enough to incorporate into your current weight loss program.

However the tips alone may not be enough to meet your ultimate weight loss goal.  Whereas ill-health conditions warrant medical doctor advisement prior to changing a daily routine.  The point being these food strategy tips will not help if you are in poor health, have substance abuse problems, personality disorder, e.g., obsessive compulsive tendencies, etc., and/or carry excessive body weight and grossly obese.  Moving on…

IMG_0186

A Time to Celebrate With Family

I’m no different than anyone else with regard to foods during the Holidays.   I’m greatly tempted to eat more than I need.  However, awareness of our food habit weaknesses combined with a food plan strategy is the best deterrent to minimize an uptick in body fat weight during the Holiday season.

The fact is as you age the body simply doesn’t require the excess calories it once needed during the developmental and active adult years.  This does not mean you have to give up all your favorite foods.   For the most part you can consume a selection of your choosing.  Your only real requirements are to follow the satiety suggestions below, reduce over processed food consumption and don’t eat or drink your calories after 8pm.  And participate in some form of low stress aerobic exercise activity daily [i.e., walking, biking, hiking, jogging, dancing, yard work, rowing, cross country ski, swimming, etc.].

Since everyone’s metabolism is different due to age, sex, health and medical condition, genetics, etc.,  I can’t predict or provide a one fit “hold the body weight line” solution that will work for everyone.  Especially when I know the program below was designed and worked for a few client types that wanted to indulge during the Holidays without experiencing weight gain.

However I do know these tips are worth sharing because they can be advantageous for you.  Especially if your the type of individual that has the will power to continue a healthy habit food course after partaking in an infrequent celebration or Holiday meal.

Can this 8-Tip Holiday Meal Plan strategy work long term?  Yes I believe it can for certain individuals.  But determining each individuals commitment to a successful weight loss goal and plan is best accomplished through 1:1 consulting services where information sharing is a two-way street and the program is relative to individual needs and wants.

For those of you that are disciplined enough to pace yourself and turn off the feeding frenzy… My hats off to you!  You have will power most of us can only dream about.  For others, to help reduce calorie consumption during the Holidays my 8 Tip Holiday Meal Plan may be of consequence.

Best Time Ever

Best Time Ever

If you take this 8 Tip Holiday Meal Plan to heart and apply parts of it or the whole, it can work short and possibly long term.

Tip#1Never!  I repeat Never!  Go to your mother, mother-in-laws, or Grandmothers home for Holiday meals hungry!

The habit of starving ourselves in preparedness for the Holiday meal seems to be ingrained within the American spirit and culture.  I know my family like so many others during the Holidays have repeated this ritual.  It’s no wonder we can’t stop ourselves.  Before you know it, we’re all lying around like beached whales on a lido deck with “Hot… Hot… Hot,” playing in the background.  So, it stands to reason, you must eat a normal meal not less than 2-3 hours before you go over for a Holiday meal.

The way our digestion system processes food after a meal, the stomach will not be empty for the next 4-6 hours depending on metabolism.  This digestive function varies with each one of us.

I don’t suggest being selective when choosing Holiday foods.  Just serve the foods you want to eat and don’t over load your plate.  The point is when you get to the table you won’t be as hungry or want to eat as much.

Tip#2Never!  I repeat Never!  Drink alcohol prior to going into the meal.

Tasty Beer Cheer.

You don’t drink and drive do you?  Well, what makes you think you could drink and consume without injury to your body prior to sitting for the meal?  Although I’m being facetious, I’m also serious in the way I want to make my point.  Alcohol is a depressant, pain killer, relaxant, taste intensifier and social inhibitor.  The point is easy to understand here, eat and drink like Vikings… No pain equates to much inhibited calorie gain!

Limit yourself to two 8oz glasses of cheer after the meal (your choice).  Remember alcohol also contains calories that add up fast.

Tip#3Drink plenty of water throughout the day when attending Holiday meals.

Water is a natural solvent, absorbs well in the stomach and intestinal lining assisting the body’s digestive system to process food intake more efficiently and that means less calories stored as fat.  Plus, water will make you feel full faster and has no calories.

Tip#4Do not stay at the dinner table after eating.

This is where most of us fall prey to over eating indulgences.  It is very difficult to resist picking at the Holiday turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies, olives, sipping on Champaign…  “Ohhhhhh the dressing and gravy… Give me a break!  I’m dying here.  I think I just made myself hungry.”

See how hard this is and I’m supposed to be giving you advice.  Look, I never said I wasn’t human, or this would be easy.  More so the reason to have a pre-meal battle plan strategy that moves one away from the table and out of the kitchen after the meal.

Tip 5#Take your first serving.  After you consume it wait 20 minutes before you think about seconds.

Take at least 20 minutes and enjoy the meal.  “Seconds is not recommended.”  This will be the hardest part of the meal plan.   It takes your brain approximately this much time to register whether you’ve eaten enough or not.

Focus on satiety not a feeling of fullness.  But if you do decide you can’t resist a second helping focus on a favorite serving that doesn’t take up more than 1/2 the plate diameter.  And no piling food on the plate.   Focus on 50% less than what you’d normally put on the plate for 1st’s and 2nd’s.

Tip#6Never!  I repeat Never!  Eat dessert after you’ve eaten your meal.

This will only add insult to injury.  Your body simply is not designed to handle this mass blood sugar spike without consequence, especially if you’ve achieved satiety after eating the main meal.  Wait 1 hour to see how your body processes the feeling of what you ate.  If you experience a feeling of satiety and not overfull after a period of time then do enjoy some dessert.  While eating dessert take your time to gage feeling of gut comfort. But if you begin to experience the feeling of near full, back off and leave the remaining portion of dessert.

Tip#7 Never!  I repeat never!  Take home left over’s.

This can set you up for failure early on into the New Year.  Simply by continuing to eat these foods addicts some to a similar eating pattern for months.  And thereafter another 10 pounds can be added quickly.

Walk where ever you find yourselves during the Holidays.

Tip#8Don’t quit your exercise program during the Holidays.

This is very important!  When you consume excess calories on “any day,” you will need to mobilize the body to remove the unspent fat fuel.  I highly recommend a daily walking program, or other Low-Impact aerobic activity at least 30 minutes daily.

You’ve now learned how it’s possible to embrace Holiday foods that don’t compromise the meal experience or add guilt.  And best of all when applied with conviction you won’t gain weight.  You may be surprised and even lose a little.

Marc Woodard wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  If fortunate enough to get covered in the white stuff, walk around in it. It’s a fantastic exercise activity experience.

Have a wonderful Holiday season with family and friends and don’t let your food fears and weight loss plans prevent a great meal experience with loved ones.

Plan, prepare and participate in the spirit of the Holidays without fear of being around the foods you love to eat.  You’ll be glad you did.

MirrorAthlete wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Diabetes Dietary GI (Glycemic Index) and Weight Loss

23 10 2016
Healthy body weight keeps us fit, increases mobility endurance to see more of the world around us.

Author:  Marc Woodard,  “Healthy body weight increases mobility and endurance to see more of the world around us.  Natural whole foods are a big part of this equation.”

Last Updated:  23 October 2016

A good way to manage diabetes and weight loss is to understand the connection between carbohydrates and effects on blood sugar levels.  Learn how to apply the Glycemic Index (GI), choose healthier foods and maintain blood sugar at safe levels while losing weight.

This is an index that ranks carbohydrate foods on a scale of 0-100.  Zero being foods low in absorbable blood sugar and 100 the highest absorbable sugars from foods.

The higher the GI value of foods the higher the blood glucose level in the body.  When blood sugar levels increase from foods consumed the body produces more insulin to store it until the energy fuel is needed to get work done.  When blood glucos levels are sustained over ~105-110 for a period of time it often results in unwanted weight gain and for others disease.  The food groups listed below are determined by many in the health and dietary profession as healthier food choices for diabetics.  Because they are low absorbable sugar foods they are slower to digest and absorbed into the blood.  This helps to lower and maintain blood sugar levels.

I wrote a previous article “Diabetes a Serious Disease.” Click on the link to learn more on topic.  In short, diabetes is defined and diagnosed as type 1 or 2.  Whereas insulin function is critical to maintain blood sugar levels and metabolic receptors use it to nourish and fuel body movement.  When either of these systems break or become less efficient at utilizing blood sugar then risk of disease, or aggravation or worsening of pre-existing ill-health condition may occur.

Once diagnosed as a diabetic it is wise to consume lower absorbable carbohydrate foods.  This choice will help to mitigate damage to nerves,  blood vessels and alleviate diabetic nerve pain.  While reducing excess body fat known to contribute to cardiovascular and circulatory disease.

It is the complex carbohydrates “e.g., whole foods multi-grains and fibrous fruits and vegetables” that also delay hunger pains and support weight loss while alleviating diabetic symptoms.

However don’t be fooled in believing low glycemic foods alone will fully address overweight problems.   Although simple and complex carbohydrates are necessary in the diet, it is the quantity, or total calories consumed in a day that cause body weight to increase.   Eating too much of anything, including healthy foods while living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to any number of health problems.  Not addressed in this article are other factors that may contribute, or lead to diabetes and obesity.  Such as hormonal, immunological and genetic factors.  Maintaining a healthy diet is part of the health equation, but only a medical specialist can determine through diagnosis if other treatment or prescription is necessary to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals.

Below I provide a popular listing of low sugar foods good for overall health and weight management.  The American Diabetes and American Dietetic Associations have not yet adapted the GI concept.  It appears this has more to do with lack of empirical evidence required of each food listed and resulting degree of benefit to a diabetic patient.

If you suspect your diabetic or have long term overweight or obesity challenges, I highly recommend you request a referral of your primary care physician to see an endocrinologist, diabetic or metabolic specialist.  Then request relative laboratory tests to ensure your blood sugars and metabolism are functioning at safe levels.   Also, discuss managing your diet through healthier food choice by using the Glycemic Food Index (GI) as a safe guide to identify low absorbable sugar foods.  Prior to physician visit select the foods you prefer from the index.  Then consult with the doctor in determining if those choices are right for you.  For a full GI listing ask your doctor, use an Internet search engine, or visit your local book store.  Below represents the short lists.

Lower Glycemic Food Index (GI).   Sugar alcohols (Sorbitol, Maltitol) Soy drinks, milk, yoghurt, Sweet potatoes, yams, vegetables, Fruits – plums, pears, peaches, grapes, grapefruit, cherries, bananas, apples, avocados, fresh juices.  Dried beans, peas, lentils.  Spaghetti, pasta, Basmati rice, Whole grain breads and pita Nuts and seeds.

Higher Glycemic Food Index (GI) Quicker Acting Carbohydrates Ice cream (low-fat), frozen yogurt.  White bread, doughnuts, croissants, rice cakes, bagels.  White potatoes, corn, white rice.  Low fiber cereals – Cornflakes, RiceKrispies, Fruit loops, etc.  Pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, ripe bananas.  Soda, sugar sweetened sports and energy drinks.  Candy, sugar.

Since I’m not one to follow the letter of the dietary law, I do eat some high absorbable sugar foods in moderation.  But mostly I consume foods listed in the lower GI.  It’s not because I’m a diabetic, I just prefer those foods.  If you get into the habit of choosing healthier foods, after about 2 weeks you’ll begin to naturally crave them.

It is the hyper-palatable, or over sweetened processed foods by food engineers and unhealthy alcohol and mixed drink habits that addict us to the high absorbable sugar products.   Breaking the simple carbohydrate  food habit by learning how to moderate it in the diet is a challenge for some.  For others, not so much.  Give a healthier food choice a try and see if you can begin a new and healthier dietary habit.  If it works for you, you’ll feel better, have more energy, lose weight without hunger pains and mobility and fitness levels will increase.  And just maybe you’ll be less dependent on some medications and want to do more daily exercise.

As a side note…  never forego taking prescribed medications even if you improve diet and have significant weight loss and relief of diabetic symptoms .  Follow all doctor treatment and prescription advise.   Only a doctor can determine if removal of certain meds is right for you.

Take the low glycemic diet challenge and explore the world one step at a time. "You Can Do It!"

Take the low glycemic food diet challenge.  Explore the world one step at a time. “You Can Do It!”

If you’d like to prepare healthier foods for your family, check out our book store at the home site to find recipe books, specialized diets and cook books, etc.  These books & magazines provide a plethora of different ideas on how you can prepare tastey foods for those with diabetes, or those looking to get more fit and lose weight.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2016 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Inc.,  Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.





MirrorAthlete Book Release Update, Principled Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Philosophy

18 08 2016
Life's Journey knows no limitations.

“Life’s Journey knows no limitations.” Marc Woodard hiking through the Nevada Desert.

 

Updated: 18 August 2016

The long awaited 10 year book project and publication is now in final editorial review with planned release date scheduled, 1st quarter of 2017.

Insight into the books content,

Our book reads like no other fitness and healthy lifestyle competitor book in the marketplace.

It is loaded with unique personal, fitness consultant and client perspective, relative people stories, etc., self-help tool kits, forms, tables and satire graphic depictions that support each chapter’s unique content and so much more.

These illustrations, stories, lessons learned and teaching points provides the reader with an enjoyable, entertaining and interactive experience while learning consumer and fitness trainer and health consultant wisdom.  And healthy living techniques that can be used to improve quality of life for decades to follow.  In many ways the content was developed and designed to be a timeless fitness and healthy lifestyle book of how to live life to the fullest.  And applicable to all demographics within any environment or culture.

MirrorAthlete has evolved through an exercise science discipline applied within a fitness consulting practice throughout the years.  I’ve taken multiple client and personal lifetime experiences and fitness programming successes and defined, related and applied these things with a very unique perspective understanding Westernized cultural habits and behavioral impact on health.  Our principled fitness and healthy lifestyle doctrine is based on MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and healthy lifestyle Philosophy .

The knowledge within this book allows anyone to succeed in creating a customized fitness and healthy habits lifestyle program without the cost of a professional trainer or specialized fitness and health consultant service or products.   The information you need to know is broken down by easy to understand principles, multiple professional citations, consumer safety awareness, client examples, consumer weight loss; strength, endurance and competitive training knowledge and wisdom, to include how to identify physical enhancement fad and scam services and products; medical referral insight and so much more.   And most important how to build a customized fitness and healthy habits lifestyle plan and implement it relative to your lifestyle needs.  Then gets you to the next fitness level naturally if you’d like to take that challenge.

If you lack motivation to break a bad habit, addiction or get started with a basic healthy habits program, or advance your fitness and healthy lifestyle goals, we shown how to overcome low motivation by increasing will power to stay the course.    As you work towards your fitness goal, you’ll do so without worry of applying a restrictive diet plan, or purchase of expensive physical enhancement product, service or gimmick to reduce body fat, build muscle, etc.  We don’t sell hype, only information on how to achieve natural fitness and healthy longevity change results which are backed by hundreds of professional citations and client story examples.

The marketplace is littered with manmade products and services that promise fast results… some appear to work short term, while others don’t work at all and in both cases increase health risk.  In the long run addiction to manmade consumables loaded with unnatural chemicals increase health risk.  Consumers need to know, they don’t have to go the unsafe route to achieve these goals at the expense of health.

We know the marketplace won’t provide consumers the entire health risk picture regarding unhealthy, addictive and dangerous products for good reason.  There’s no money in it for them.  Half truth testimonials that promise quick fitness and health results sell.  The other half truth is man manipulates and injects addictive chemical and genetically engineered ingredients into consumer foods and supplemental products known to cause health problems and as previously stated “not popular selling points.”  We expose these consumer and marketplace truths.

If you’re tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness and diet products and services that don’t work long term, or don’t work at all and tired of being overweight and unfit, look no further.

MirrorAthlete Inc., is uniquely positioned through years of practical and scholastic healthy lifestyle experiences and consulting services which enables us to easily expose these hard to find industrial and marketplace secrets.    It is for good reason these consumer industries hope the majority of you never discover what’s revealed in this book.  Our unique principled philosophy as applied to our K-12 schools and healthy community plans threatens to fundamentally change the fitness, health and medical marketplace supply and demand and profit margins model and governmental organizations.

I personally show how to apply these healthy lifestyle concepts by detailing these 18 Powerful Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Principles [MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Philosophy ]These principles provide the building blocks you learn to master in order to customize your own fitness or healthy habits program without breaking the bank or your body.

The book is an interesting, energetic, optimistic and exciting read in itself.  But more so by way of each ending chapter there’s an ongoing personal fitness challenge and personalized message by ‘yours truly’ relative to each chapters content.  By connecting each chapter principle and content dots this way, I further show how MirrorAthlete principled philosophy can also be applied to improve any physical adversity scenario, i.e., illness, disease, limited mobility.  Those with physical and mental adversity challenges can relate and use the same tool box’s provided within the chapters to help advance any desired fitness or health need improvement.  Thereby allowing one to take control of their health and immobility predicament and continue to live life to the fullest in the best way possible.

We ask that you and your friends consider supporting our mission  “Saving a Nation in Pain,” by taking the following actions.   Visit our web site and look for the book publication release date.  Then purchase a book once released. We’d truly appreciate the support to expand our company resources and educational outreach message to put an end to the obesity epidemic plaguing our youth.

We also accept donations at our home site to further promote ill-health prevention and healthy lifestyle education for families and communities.

Another way to support us – If you believe in MirrorAthlete® Principled Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Philosophy, please click on the BLUE FaceBook “LIKE” button at our home page.  We appreciate your support.

To read the latest Q&A:  Marc Woodard Reflects on MirrorAthlete.

Additional Read “MirrorAthlete Book Publishing Story:” “Write Passionate Content, Publish a Book, Build your Business”

Good health to you and your family!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 

 





How Sick Buildings Affect Lives

23 07 2015
 

Best Fabrics of the Day found in old Victorian style shops

Best Fabrics of the Day found in old Victorian style shops

Updated:  23 July 2015

I first experienced the effects of sick building off-gases within fabric warehouse places with my mother as a child. But never understood the cause of those early “bad feeling” symptomatic effects until working as a corporate building services, maintenance and project manager years later. The full context of my personal story will soon be shared after defining “what constitutes a sick building.”

“Sick Building Syndrome” coined by WHO (World Health Organization, 1986) is caused by toxic materials-products, molds, and fungus from associated gas by-product found in many homes and workspace. Whereas the enclosed space becomes highly concentrated with toxins and bad for respiratory and body health. And/or the air intake and building exhaust air handling systems removal of hazardous gases and replenishment of fresh air underperform.

The focus here is to provide awareness to unhealthy environmental air space caused by off-gassing of new building materials, retail fabrics, cleaning agents and poor air circulation systems. However, sick building syndrome and symptomatic ill-health effects can also be caused by out-of-control molds and fungus.

Sick Building Syndrome as it relates to new material off-gasses often occurs after building construction and major renovation. And when material install, cleaning and curing compounds are applied, i.e., concrete, caulking, carpet, paint, glue, drapery, furniture; and where building envelop replacement materials from outside walls and roofs may enter air handling systems; then supply contaminated air to enclosed work and living space.

Nobody accidentally consumed any of these materials, but people still got sick just from breathing the volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are now known to cause acute and chronic ill-health effects. Especially when improper ventilation of toxic air space and material cure times are out of compliance with environmental air safety standards prior to occupancy.

Popular tourist locations may present bad air environments for some.

Popular tourist locations may present bad air environments for some.

All possible side effects from inhaling off-gas materials including home use cleaning products are not fully understood by consumers.  And that’s a problem with chemicals in many of our everyday use items!  [Natural Health, May-June 1993 v23 n3 p54 (2)].

Toxic side effects range from irritation of eye, nose and throat. To neurotoxic effects, i.e., fatigue, irritability and headaches. And asthma like symptoms, dry skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems and more [wikipedia, 2015]. Other acute neurotoxic and symptomatic effects may disorient and cause one to lose balance as I’m well aware.

If you’ve not experienced high levels of indoor air toxins simply recall that new car smell on a hot day. Heated and enclosed air space with poor circulation has a way of squeezing chemical toxins out of any newly manufactured material. When I do drive a new car I role down the windows enough or vent full outside air in to ensure plenty enters the space. Some people love the smell of new cars and homes and not sensitive to VOC toxins. Those sensitive to new material off-gases like I prefer to buy used cars and other natural or organic products when possible and practical. Including purchasing clean green home and personal hygiene products opposed to products with hazardous VOC fumes and where direct product contact may be absorbed by the body’s skin.

As a previous environmental air systems technician and later experienced in building services and facilities maintenance management I learned there is a required time prior to occupancy after new construction and major building renovations. Proper ventilation and cycling of fresh outdoor air allows the off-gas of materials to purge until hazardous toxins are released and dissipated to safe respiratory levels.

There was no greater empathy I felt for those at work who questioned the facilities air ventilation system, which they believed made them sick. My personal experience and connection to this sick feeling began one day as a child and prior to environmental air quality and medical expert knowledge and acknowledgement of sick building syndrome effects on health. Today corporate environmental safety engineers and medical health services draw a sick-building connection to decreased work production and increased sick days, personal leave and disability claims.

To ensure buildings have safe air environments facility engineers, maintenance managers and technicians use preventative practices that sustain safe outdoor air intake and periodic HVAC functional testing as required by OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration).

During childhood my mother was what could only be described as a professional seamstress with a fashion design and artistic eye. She was also an excellent painter and drawer with specialized arts and crafts skill sets.  She brought me to these fabric and crafts warehouses where she’d spend countless hours rummaging through the numerous clothing design pattern-templates and sift through dozens of rolls of fabric, purchasing it by the yards. Including buying arts and crafts materials in bulk.  Yes, these places were filled with newly manufactured materials releasing hazardous gases in poorly vented air space.

I remember asking my mother not to take me to these places. I always felt sick after a short period of time inside them.  Of course, she assumed my ailment was brought about by pure boredom with no medical basis to back my complaints.

Since I was only 4 or 5 at the time, I was ignored and for lack of a better description “I passed out in the children’s play pen area due to the dizziness and feeling of a sick body.”  Once out of the store’s environment I immediately felt better. Since the lightheaded condition immediately cleared after leaving, there was no reason for my mother to suspect anything other than pure boredom was the result of my lethargic posture and complaints.

Yes.  Lethargic and boredom posturing comes in all forms.

Yes. Lethargic and boredom posturing comes in all forms.

Plus, in the early 60’s, no one ever heard of sick building syndrome. Or even if air smelt toxic, people ignored what didn’t bother them. And for those affected were described by the unaffected as complainers, fakers, or needed mental health attention. Or perceived as excuses to get out of work, or to leave or not participate in something.

As an adult I experienced a severe reaction to a sick building 20 years later at a newly constructed and popular sport store only years after being married. This brought back the connection to my childhood experience in the fabric stores. I remember walking into this fantastic sports center with my wife to look at camping and hiking equipment. I was very excited to go in and purchase gear for our next outdoor adventure. But I only got 50 feet within the space.

Then it happened.

The product off-gassing in this store was so strong [stronger than the fabric houses I recalled as a child], I quickly became disoriented and felt I was going to pass out and fall.  I immediately grabbed onto a shelf to steady my balance and then my wife helped me walk outside where the symptoms went away in a matter of seconds. To this day I’ve never gone back inside this particular store.

Prior to this episode I’d go shopping for clothes and always feel light headed, but could tolerate the effect. My wife always assumed prior to this sports store episode I used my childhood experience and suspected reaction to clothing fabric chemicals as an excuse to get out of shopping. In the past I had told her it was more of avoidance to not feel disoriented, sick or extremely tired. And I suspected it had to do with the chemicals emitted from heavy volumes of new apparel. She didn’t believe this to be truly factual until the severe reaction occurred in the sports store.

My wife realized at this point I was not faking this sickness to get out of shopping with her “come on, a sports store, hello.” As a matter of fact she was one minute away from calling 911. I felt as if I was experiencing a drug overdose. Not that I ever had an overdose, but you get the point.

Then years after working as a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technician, services, maintenance and project manager everything came full circle making the connection to unhealthy air environments and symptomatic ill-health effects. And only thereafter did those previous doctor visit tags: bored, in my head, coincidental, imagined, disinterested, food or cleaning product allergy, etc., completely go away, like the unnecessary doctor visits.

In understanding preventative maintenance practices on HVAC equipment and safe work space air standards, I’m able to immediately relate and sense unhealthy VOC and poor circulation environments. I simply don’t go into any space with an all too familiar concentrated chemical smell that could cause a severe respiratory and physical reaction. I do like to shop but like many others who share similar sensitivities to toxic air, I’m very aware when materials are still in the off-gas phase. And where bad, or poorly maintained ventilation and air circulation conditions exist.

No matter the enclosed space: work, home, retail, car; any form or combination of toxic air and poor ventilation may have an effect on health regardless of whether or not you experience any current symptoms. And when exposed to these toxins too long can cause medical problems and quality of life to suffer later on.

Recommendation: If you walk into a store and smell a strong chemical odor, and/or begin to feel sick, immediately leave and shop at a different place with better ventilation.  Write, or email management you’ll be back after they improve their preventative maintenance practices and improve fresh air circulation systems and/or scrub ductwork and heat exchange coils of contaminants.  I will not step foot into any store, or stay long within a new home or newly constructed building that brings about an immediate feeling of sickness.

Restaurants may have poor ventilation systems

Restaurants may have poor air ventilation systems

You’ll know this feeling when sensitive to certain toxins because you may first experience respiratory or eye, nose, throat irritation followed by a feeling of light headedness.

If you’re hypersensitive like me you’ll immediately feel tired, or disoriented, or lose focus and/or off balance. And if overwhelmed by VOC may feel like you need to lay down for fear of fainting and falling.  If off-gassing is causing a symptomatic ill-health effect in the home, or car increase outdoor fresh air intake, clean and/or change filters; have ventilation systems checked for equipment air quality and functionality.  If you can’t address these issues due to financial limitations, open some windows part way to increase fresh indoor air quality and circulate air with fan.

If the problem occurs at work contact senior environmental safety engineers and health services to report and get problem resolved.

In most cases, I cannot stand to be in any retail store filled with new clothes or near perfume sample stations long unless well-ventilated.  Also many home cleaning, new clothing apparel and building material products you breathe but not sensitive too are manufactured with “known chemical carcinogens that also off-gas within space.

Do not take my word for it go to any search engine on the Internet and type in “sick building syndrome, off-gas, home cleaning products and carcinogen,” you be the judge. For you and your children’s wellbeing, consider taking preventative air quality and clean green products measures to ensure your home is a healthy and a safe environment.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, MSC Officer, ANG Ret. 2015 Copyright.  All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing