Relative Fitness Programming Sustains Active Lifestyles

23 02 2014
Get your aerobics in over the weekend on your bikes in new and exciting places.  Exploration on foot or bike is one of our families favorite activities.

Get your aerobics in over the weekend on your bikes in new and exciting places. Exploration on foot or bike is one of our families favorite activities.

I’m often asked, what’s the best way to get in shape and lose weight?  The first thing that comes to mind, you must find an exercise activity program that’s “relative for you.”  Through client consults it is not surprising to learn if you’re not passionate about “your” exercise activity, you’ll not stick with it, thereby compromising your health and overall lifestyle. 

    Fitness levels can be increased simply by identifying a duration activity that motivates you to move your body with purpose.  Most aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines center on a 3 to 5 day program, 30-60 minutes in duration.  Typical fitness goal requests from clients look to achieve weight loss, muscular endurance, tone, increased strength and increased range of motion. 

    Anaerobic activity is defined, where strength, power and high muscular intensity effort is applied during exercise.  Whereas aerobic activity is exercise of low-medium and high cardio intensities that rarely exceed 85% of our max heart rate for a majority of us.  Target Heart Rate (THR) is often used to monitor heart beat rate at the carotid (neck) or radial (wrist) artery.  Heart rate tells us when to increase or decrease exercise intensity to stay within the fat burning zone to achieve the best results. 

    Science shows us that aerobic exercise intensity at ~60-70% THR zone is the fat burning “sweet spot range” to burn fat and reduce body weight.  Look up “THR zone” within any search engine to calculate your THR relative to age and current fitness levels to burn more body fat. 

    How does one determine and build a relative fitness program?  Many individuals have learned through time to build a program that works for them.  However, many others need the services of a professional fitness trainer.

    What do I consider a professional fitness trainer?  An undergraduate [physical and health sciences] that is certified, experienced in fitness profiling and obtaining client profile data points including fitness assessments meeting specific protocol criteria and standards.  Then analyzing the data to build a customized fitness program relative to the client’s fitness and health needs. 

    The data points necessary to build a relative fitness program may include the following: medical history analysis, fitness objectives and activities goals analysis, nutritional analysis and fitness level assessments [strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardio endurance, postural analysis and body fat%], etc.  A customized fitness program designed around fitness objectives with subjective client criteria in mind has the best chance of optimizing fitness results.  And for many American’s the number one fitness goal is weight loss. 

    All too often relative fitness programming is disregarded where some jump on others band wagons in hopes of receiving the same results.  It is often thought if one follows another’s exercise routine, they’ll receive the same fitness benefits.  Sometimes this strategy works, but all too often it fails because it’s relative to another’s unique mind, body and spirit and environment(s) in which they live.   

    Whatever it is others are doing won’t necessarily work for you in the same way.  Why?  Maybe it’s not relative to your current state of mind or health, or conducive to the environments in which you live, work and play.  Also, what is your body type and state of health?  For example, what exercise activities would best optimize your current physical abilities relative to your current body shape, health and fitness levels? 

    I’ve seen people buy a year’s gym membership, purchase home equipment, work out with a buddy that pushes too hard, or buy non-certified professional 1:1 trainer serves, etc., then get too sore or hurt themselves.  Since this is a bad experience they drop out of the program because they weren’t profiled and programmed relative to their lifestyle, fitness and health needs. 

    Exercise intensity is important for increased fitness levels and performance.  But one must be eased into intensities if absent from exercise beyond a typical walk pace or daily routine for some time.  Once you become conditioned to increase movement and exercise activity daily there is an effort of intensity “sweet spot” relative to your fitness goals.  This effort of intensity is not too low and not too high, somewhere in the middle and just right for a majority of us to achieve our fitness goals. 

    Those involved in intermural or professional sports activities who condition themselves at higher intensity levels must be programmed at higher levels of exercise intensity to keep a competitive advantage.  If you are not trained or conditioned to exercise yourself above 70-85% THR, you’ll likely have a bad physical experience and you’re New Year’s resolution will go right out the window.  Professional athletes often train above 85% THR intensities conditioning themselves for a muscular endurance and/or strength event. 

    For the novice, it is recommended a 1:1 session and orientation to exercise programming.  I highly recommend purchasing professional and certified fitness trainer services that includes fitness profiling and assessments to develop a customized fitness program that’s relative for you.  Especially if you’ve failed previously in the gym environment, or have been out of the exercise circuit for a long period of time, or have not been able to stick with any other form of exercise no matter how hard you try.  The cost of these professional services is usually reasonable for the time spent in consultation, fitness programming and 1:1 exercise training. 

    A good trainer will balance a variety of aerobic and anaerobic exercise activities inside/outside of the gym environment to keep boredom at bay with environmental lifestyle in mind.   For example two or three days a week your focus could be strength training exercises and/or Circuit weight training where you use 8-12 stationary pieces of equipment providing aerobic and anaerobic benefits completed within 20-30minutes. 

     On the same days or alternate days you may also make a commitment to participate in a low-to-high impact aerobics activity dependent on activity interests.  Such as, instructor lead classes, or home exercises:  Spinning (stationary bike), Zumba [dance moves of salsa, reggaeton, mambo, flamenco, rumba and hip-hop], or boot camp exercise classes. 

    Or instead of organized fitness instruction classes, you may be more comfortable, or practical dependent on activity goals analysis to engage in self-pace exercise activity in the home or outdoor walking, jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, ballroom dance, or competitive intermural sports (indoor racquetball, basketball, squash, etc.).  

    There is also stationary aerobic exercise equipment that is found in most gyms, or can be purchased for home use:  stair-stepping, treadmill, or recombinant bike-steppers, cross trainer elliptical, Nortrac Ellipticals. 

    What is elliptical?  These are aerobic stationary exercise machines that simulate stair climbing, rowing, walking and running that also increase range of motion without causing extreme stress on weight bearing joints. Thereby reducing the likelihood of injuries and optimizing the fat burning benefits while toning core muscle groups. 

    People recovering from injury often rehabilitate themselves at a low intensity pace on these types of machines.  But don’t underestimate their usefulness.  Resistance can be set to provide an intense workout to lose more body fat while toning muscles and optimizing cardiovascular and muscular endurance performance. 

    For intermediate and advanced exercise enthusiasts if you’ve been working out for years and feel like you’re physical performance, or competitive advantage is stagnant you may need the services of a fitness trainer that specializes in competitive task specific/sports activity profiling.  A professional sports trainer can help design and develop a program that’s relative to achieving the desired competitive advantage and overall fitness sports goal.  These sports trainer specialists can design a relative task specific sports program to get you to the next competitive level. 

    Regardless of experience, fitness level or goals, once you become exercise and activities conditioned, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  Do increase intensities, duration and frequency of activities to modify your fitness program (mix it up) once your conditioned to do so.   

    Continuous improvement through variety using a relative plan that’s right for you is a sure fire method to ensure you achieve and sustain your fitness goal(s).  This will ensure your fitness results and performance don’t plateau and you stay excited about the next day’s work out.  If you want to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle for the long haul, professional fitness programming provides a relative road map to get you there and keep you on target.

Also Read, How to Exercise Safely and Increase Fitness Levels

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2014 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Mirror Athlete’s “Fitness Secrets” First Book Publication Nears

24 08 2013

Read Mirror Athlete’s Book Publishing Story: Soon to be Published Fitness Book – Takes Business to the Next Level.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

Always thinking, how can we each do our part for a better tomorrow.

The principled fitness techniques and context in this book are unlike any other fitness and health book you’ve read.

I understand many obese and out of shape individuals are looking for weight loss and fitness shortcuts that promise quick results. You don’t have to go that unsafe route. We connect the dots for you in an easy to follow format, because we know the marketplace will not provide all these fitness truths and for good reason.

If you are tired of paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for fitness products and services that don’t work, look no further.

With decades of fitness consulting client experiences, Mirror Athlete exposes the hard to find truths about the best kept natural fitness and diet weight loss secrets industries hope you don’t discover.

I’ll personally show you how to apply these principled fitness solutions and how you can customize your own natural weight loss and exercise program. One that is painless, healthy and one you’ll stick to for life.

It is the mind, body and spirit techniques that are the crux to long lasting quality of life experiences.

Through these personal and client examples a powerful principled fitness philosophy evolved with interesting stories. A philosophy based on science that can be applied by anyone.

Find out why our food, pharmaceutical and fitness industries and yes our government don’t want this information shared on a national platform! And how you can help change our health care reform policies simply by applying these principled fitness philosophy into your life.

A more fit and lean America is also the solution to our children’s obesity problems sweeping the nation.

On a deeper level, by keeping these fitness secrets from our children’s educational institutions, we cripple our children’s future and security: National deficit, health care resources, growing government and so much more!

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard





Foods and Drugs that Don’t Mix Well

7 04 2013
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Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause health risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The prescription drugs, incompatible foods, side effects and treatment use for various medications listed below are not fully disclosed.  The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore, it is important if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect, or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet restrictions.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout,increase in blood sugar level, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana one day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Incompatible Food and Drug Mixes

7 04 2013
Visit our Home Site "Click on Image"

Many natural foods don’t mix well with medications

Many don’t realize some foods can interact badly with prescription drugs when consumed together.  Those that fail to read the dietary warning’s listed on specific pharmaceutical labels, or disregard the prescription use instructions can cause risk to the body.

Listed below are 7 common prescription drugs and foods that when consumed together can increase health risk and/or cause severe ill-health side effects.  There are many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies to keep the metabolism and overall physiology balanced.  And when using pharmaceuticals it is important to understand, even the most benign appearing foods can cause an unhealthy chemical reaction within our bodies.

    The point is, one only needs to understand everything we put into our bodies causes some kind of chemical reaction.  Therefore it is important to understand, if you take any pharmaceutical, ask your pharmacist if there is any food that would cause an ill-health effect or risk to overall health when taken together.

Listed are commonly prescribed medications & foods that don’t interact well.

1.  Anti-depressants – SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) – Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.  MAOI’s (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) – Isocarboxazid, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Tranylcypromine, etc. Their relative generic counterparts are: Marplan, Nardil, (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Parnate.

Drug treatment purpose:  Anti-depressants are effective in treating depression, panic and other anxiety disorders.  They also require special considerations with regard to diet.  MAOI’s are normally used when other anti-depressants fail.  When used as prescribed they will boost mood by improving brain cell communication.

Side effectsDiarrhea, dry mouth, sleepiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, nervousness, muscle aches, insomnia, weight gain, sense of taste, hampered sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, difficult urinating, tingling, or prickling sensation on skin.  If removed from anti-depressants too fast the following withdrawal effects are likely: insomnia, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, irritability and anxiety may follow.

Non-compatible foods:  Aged cheeses, pickled, or fermented sausages (pepperoni, salami), luncheon meats, beef liver, chicken liver, yeast-containing foods and beverages that have the compound tyramine [protein containing foods] in them.  This compound has an effect on blood pressure.  If the bodies MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) enzyme is inhibited by MAOI medication, it is necessary to avoid the foods that contain this compound.  If this diet restriction is not followed, then blood pressure can increase towards critically unhealthy levels.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherHigh levels of tyramine in the body can lead to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia and brain hemorrhage.

2.   Anti-anxiety – Benzodiazepines are the most common anti-anxiety drugs, e.g., Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, etc., and Generic: lorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam and alprazolam are all sedatives and bind with the brains natural sedatives to calm you down.

Drug treatment purpose:  To help relax and reduce anxiety.  Anti-anxiety drugs are also known as tranquilizers.  Anti-anxiety medications work by slowing down the central nervous system [reduced brain activity] and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body.  They are also prescribed for sleeping and muscle spasm disorders.  Often antidepressants will be prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Known side effects:  Addiction, inability to focus-learn, uncoordinated, clumsiness, confusion, disorientation, blurred vision, upset stomach, lightheadedness, sleepy, impaired judgment, nausea, memory loss.  Long term users of these medications also experience depression.  High dosages and long term use will likely increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Benzodiazepines can also cause the opposite of a calming effect like mania, aggressive behavior, or hostility, rage and even hallucinations.

Non-compatible foods:  Alcohol.  When these drugs are mixed with alcohol the sedative properties on the brain and body is amplified.  Not only do you feel more drunk, but more tired and forgetful.  Coffee and drinks with caffeine in them affects anti-anxiety and asthma medications.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherYour breathing rate is significantly slowed down and risk of respiratory failure increases.

3.  Antibiotics – Monodox, Dynacin, Sumycin, Cipro, Levaquin, etc. Generics: minocycline, tetracycline and doxycycline, etc.  This listing represents a few of many antibiotics that could be prescribed.

Drug treatment purpose:   Antibiotics are used to kill bacterial infections.  They are not effective against fungal (ringworm or vaginal yeast infection), flu, or the common cold.

Side effects – Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately.  However, like any medication unwanted side effects do occur.  If you experience any skin rash, hives, wheezing, anaphylaxis (shortage of breath), swelling of lips, tongue or face seek medical attention immediately.

Non-compatible foods:  Dairy products have calcium in them.  Calcium tends to bind with the antibiotics if a dairy product is consumed within a two hour window after taking the medication.  Vitamins and Antacids can also decrease the efficiency of antibiotics.  For example, ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract and abdominal infections among other things; when mixed with antacids becomes less effective when it binds to magnesium and calcium.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherThis binding prevents the antibiotic from absorbing into the body to fight an infection rendering various antibiotics useless.  When this happens the medication stays in the intestine and leaves the body at the next bowel movement.  Yet there are other antibiotics used for strep throat and ear infections where dairy products have no impact on those medications.

4.  High blood pressure, or anti-hypertension medications – Univasc, Zestril and Monopril can raise your potassium levels.  Common generics: Hygroton, Lozol, Mykrox, Diuril, Lasix, Esidrix, etc.  There are many specialized medications that are designed to treat both diuretic and high blood pressure cases.

Drug treatment purpose:  To lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting risk.  Many classes of blood pressure medications include a diuretic treatment component.   These medications help to rid the body of excess water and sodium and help to control blood pressure.  Diuretics are often used in combination with other medications like anti-clotting prevention treatment that use aspirin and Plavix.  When patients are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, doctors often prescribe Plavix as an anti-platelet drug for blood clotting prevention.  The first line of attack is aspirin.  Both anti-clotting and blood pressure medications may likely be prescribed together, but not always.

Known side effects:  Gout, increased blood sugar levels, leg cramps, weakness, impotence may occur.

Non-compatible foods:  Limit foods high in potassium like bananas, salt substitutes with potassium, spinach, leafy greens and sweet potatoes.  Eating a banana once a day, or leafy green the next should be ok.  But you’ll want to confirm diet and frequency of consumption with your prescribing physician.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherToo much potassium in the body can cause your heart to beat irregularly and in severe cases can cause cardiac arrest.  Also, two foods that can keep blood clotting medications from working are garlic and ginger.  They can cause excessive bleeding as they both have high doses of blood thinning agents in them.

5.  High cholesterolStatin drugs (blood cholesterol lowering medications) include: Lipex, Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin or Lipitor, to include generics like simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Lower High Blood Cholesterol.

Known side effects and health risk:  As of recent studies, the following health risks are possible; memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.  The food and drug administration has officially linked statin drugs with forgetfulness, confusion and increased blood sugar levels that would be of concern for diabetics.  Liver injury is also possible and is rare.

Non-compatible foods:  Some cholesterol medications can be affected by grape fruit juice or the fruit.  It is the inhibiting properties of this fruit that keeps the intestine and/or liver from breaking down the drug and increases the risk that the drug will accumulate in the body and become toxic.  It is the citrus that blocks the enzyme in the intestines and prevents the metabolism of these drugs.  The active component in this fruit is not yet known.  Check with your prescribing doctor about grapefruit products in the diet.  There are some statin medications that are not influenced by this fruit.  It is also true some immune drugs and allergy drugs like Allegra are affected by grapefruit.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherGrapefruit and its juice should be avoided when using heart medicines and a number of other prescriptive drugs for cardio and immunological health related problems.  Be sure to consult with the prescribing physician with foods you should consume when on these medications.

6. Blood thinner – Coumadin (generic: warfarin) Aggrenox, Aspirin, Jantoven, Heparin, Lovenox, Plavix, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  The job of blood thinners is to thin the blood for patients that are high risk of heart attack, or developing blood clots.

Known side effects:  Each medication listed can cause a combination of the following side effects; Nausea, irritated stomach, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and indigestion.  Coumadin and Heparin can cause serious bleeding inside the eye and intestine, or cause bruising, blood in the urine, nose bleeds.  Other problems include kidney function, difficulty breathing and muscle aches.

Non-compatible foods:  Since Vitamin K (thickens blood) is found abundantly in leafy greens, they can block the effects of the blood thinners.  Leafy greens that can effect of blood thinners are Brussels sprouts, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, kale, Swiss chard and Green tea.  Other foods that may impact blood thinner medications include:  cranberries, as well as the juice, garlic and ginger.  They can actually increase the blood thinning properties of the blood thinners that could amplify their effect.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken together:   Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

7.  Thyroid – Synthroid, Armour thyroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc.  Generic: Levothyroxin, thyroid desiccated, levothyroxine, liothyronine, etc.

Drug treatment purpose:  Used to regulate the thyroid glands to normalize hormone functions throughout the body when they fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.  Effective treatment can increase energy, mood disposition and body weight regulation.  To include supports male and female characteristic traits.

Known side effects:  Thyroid medications do not cause side effects if taken in the correct dose.

Non-compatible foods:  Tofu, soymilk (soy products) and walnuts can prevent your body from absorbing the thyroid medication.  It may not be necessary to give up these foods, but let your physician know about your dietary preferences.  It is very possible your soy diet preference can be resolved with a modification of dose.

Health risk when prescription and non-compatible foods are taken togetherWeight gain, obesity and other ill-health and disease complications.

References,

American Heart Association.  Types of Blood Pressure Medications.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Types-of-Blood-Pressure-Medications_UCM_303247_Article.jsp

Ankrom, Sheryl.  Dietary Precautions While Taking MAOIs.  Former About.com Guide, updated June 17, 2009.  http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/treatments/tp/MAOIDiet.htm

Club Red.  Some Foods and Medications Just Don’t Mix.  January 2012.  http://www.clubreduva.com/food/food-articles/food-for-thought/january-2012-food

Drugs.com.  Common Side Effects, Allergies and Reactions to Antibiotics.  http://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html

Drugs.com.  Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Medications.  http://www.drugs.com/condition/hypothyroidism.html

Harris, Gardiner.  Safety Alerts Cite Cholesterol Drugs’ Side Effects.  The New York Times.  February 28, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/health/fda-warns-of-cholesterol-drugs-side-effects.html?_r=0

Helpguide.org.  Anxiety Medication.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medication_drugs_treatment.htm

Rodgers, Linda.  Foods and Medications that Don’t Mix.  Grand Parents.com http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/food-drug-interactions

Mayo Clinic Staff.  Depression (major depression).  Monomine Oxidase Inhibitores (MAOIs).  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/MH00072

NBCNews.com. Foods to Avoid When You’re Taking Meds.  26 October 2006.  http://www.today.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UUeuPBesjTo

Vega, Jose M.D., Ph.D.  Side Effects of Coumadin, Plavix and Other Blood Thinners.  About.com.  http://stroke.about.com/od/caregiverresources/a/blood_thinners.htm

WebMD.com.  Hypothryroidism.  http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-medications

Woodard, Marc.  41 Drugs to Die For.  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets.  24 October 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=909

Woodard, Marc.  Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  24 November 2010.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=966

Woodard, Marc.  How to Deal with Depression.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  25 August 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=38

Woodard, Marc.  The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets.  21 May 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1341

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?

22 01 2013

So Many Places to visit so little time

    I’m sure most of you out there have noticed the “is it low-T” commercial ads.  The “T” is for Testosterone and defined as the male hormone that develops during puberty and maintains masculine characteristics throughout a man’s life. As men age testosterone levels tend to decline (hence “low”).  We’ll first cover testosterone therapy and then the herbs that are known to increase, or influence testosterone production.  The questions most men ask, is one type of treatment better than the other, how safe is it and is it right for me?I recall about a year ago seeing a commercial on one of the big 3 networks stations that promoted, “is it low-T” asking questions like, “feel like something’s missing, don’t have enough energy, or want more romance in your life?”  “Seems harmless enough right?  Could fixing a low-T condition be that simple?  And is it for everyone?

    Don’t be deceived by a great advertising spot that promotes a therapy and/or herb that offers a quick “safe” fix for your male symptomatic problems.  Androgen (steroid hormone) therapy has been around for a long time.  Whether or not this type of treatment is right for you can only be answered by your primary care physician.  And the doctors that primary care physicians refer you to that specialize in hormone replacement therapy are known as endocrists.

    I’ve often cited though my writings, “there is no way man could ever make a product that “wouldn’t” have a health risk associated with it.  And just like weight loss diet formulas that promote fast results, repeated too often will eventually break the body’s weight regulator.  Raising testosterone levels presents similar types of metabolic challenges and other health risks associated with its use if not supervised correctly.

    Let’s first understand why testosterone in a man’s body is important and what happens to its production during the aging process.  Testosterone is important for balanced metabolic body function and produced by the testes to build muscle, bone, lowering the voice and activates the sex drive and sperm production during puberty.

    Science has confirmed that as a man age’s testosterone levels continue to drop after the age of 40, about 1-2% a year thereafter.  These numbers appear to vary slightly depending on the study.  As you age you should expect that your body will provide a proportionate amount of testosterone to maintain “healthy” male characteristics relative to age and throughout your life.  This is part of the “healthy” aging process, or aging gracefully.  There is no scientific evidence that shows by increasing testosterone levels for those that are “not low-T” or does not have an androgen deficiency that there will be a significant benefit.

    There are a very “low” percentage of men that have lower than average low-T relative to age.  For those that do have unusual low levels of testosterone, this is the demographic that often receive a “quality of life” benefit from hormone therapy treatment says Karen Herbst, PhD., M.D., (an endocrinologist with the University of CA).

    Little is known about the long-term effects of low testosterone and increasing those levels to normal range.  Science clearly understands that this hormone has an important connection to body weight and possibly cardiovascular health.  In other words, increasing testosterone levels may or may not be of health benefit for those that suffer with the following medical conditions:  osteoporosis – “thinning of bone,” diabetes, obesity, depression, heart health.  Andre Araujo, PhD, epidemiologist and researcher says illness that causes high blood pressure and diabetes for example “could” be the cause of low testosterone.  So for those that are diagnosed with low testosterone, some other illness, or disease may need to be treated first before the body can naturally elevate hormone levels.

    Normal levels relative to age is important because a man’s overall health is dependent on these levels.  If testosterone levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood than the general recommendation is to regulate toward mid-normal range.  This treatment can be accomplished through skin absorption patches, tablets, or injections.  This therapy provides those with below average testosterone production a quality of life benefit, as opposed to those that didn’t receive treatment.

    If you are diagnosed with androgen deficiency (no other illness, or disease is the cause of your low-T condition), you “may need” testosterone therapy for life to correct the condition.  But if you start hormone therapy your testes will stop producing its own hormone.  This occurs once you influence hormone production with an enhancer because your body self regulates to maintain normal hormone balances.  Your body will gradually begin producing its own testosterone once you stop therapy to its previous levels.

    There is no scientific evidence to suggest that testosterone therapy will be of benefit when not androgen deficient.  As a matter of fact, medical science indicates many types of health problems may occur if one participates in hormone therapy without a screening and not under a doctor’s supervision.  Also, you need to know that not all scientific data is in on the safety results of testosterone therapy.

    However, Herbst states, “about 10% of men don’t get much of a response from therapy, while 90% see some sort of symptom improvement and 1 in 10 are ecstatic.  It is also stated that most of the men in clinical studies state improvement to erectile dysfunction and sex drive.  Primarily what these low-T marketers are selling is a quick fix for erectile dysfunction and sex drive.

    Men diagnosed with the following conditions should absolutely not self administer, or participate “without supervision” in any type of testosterone enhancer program/product: men with metastatic prostate, or breast cancer.  This is because too much testosterone can cause these cancers to grow.  Other conditions that can be made worse when participating in testosterone therapy:  if you suffer from sleep apnea, severe congestive heart failure, severe benign prostatic hypertrophy, or high red blood cell count (erythrocytosis).

    Outside of clinical testosterone therapy there are many herbs marketed as treatment to improve libido and muscle strength as advertised by marketers.  Beware, science tells us there are no known herbals that can be used to treat androgen deficiency.  Only that the herbals mentioned below and many more like them can “influence” higher levels of testosterone production.  These levels vary for each individual and relative to age.  And even if you use these products there is no guarantee that you’ll receive a benefit and in fact may be predisposing yourself to illness and disease with similar findings related to androgen therapy health risks.

    If you’re thinking about a low-T product, it is recommended you discuss suspected low-T symptoms with a doctor who specializes in anti-aging and hormone therapy to address your concerns.  In this way you’ll ensure you’re not just trying various products that promise to:  improve sexual performance, improve mood or memory, increase energy, lower cholesterol, build muscle, lose body fat, and/or reduce high blood pressure (and anything else these marketers promise you).  If you know nothing about balancing hormones and you become sold on a product for which you now feel you are receiving a benefit; be suspicious and concerned and inquire about long-term use and health risks.  Herbs seem harmless enough to many consumers, but it’s what you don’t know that can cause internal metabolic harm.

    The most popular herbs sold in the market boast claims that their products influence testosterone production naturally and perceived to be safe.  Four popular herbal enhancer products mixed into blends, or sold individually in high dose concentrations:   Horny Goat Weed, Mucuna Pruriens, Tongkat Ali and Ginseng.  If you want to know more about these herbal products, simply type the word into your Internet browser.

    If you do not have a testosterone deficiency problem, it is not recommended you engage in influencing testosterone production without medical advisement and supervision.  Simply put, it is wise to consult with your physician before you engage in any hormone therapy/enhancer program regardless of whether it’s chemically synthesized or a marketed herbal product.

    Just from the shear fact that each one of the herbs listed, including those that are not, stimulate the release of testosterone by influencing the pituitary gland and testes should raise concern.  These hormonal metabolic functionalities within the body also have a huge influence on many other regulatory metabolic mechanisms.  For example, to increase testosterone production without understanding the risks, especially if you have an undiagnosed medical condition could manifest itself into a chronic medical condition.  However, as stated, it is also true that men need to be within a specific “safe” testosterone range to stay healthy.  Being too low or too high appears to create unhealthy medical conditions and then disease risk for men.

    The most common types of illness and disease may occur if testosterone levels are too high, or too low:  rapid heartbeat and rhythm disturbances, anxiety, fatigue, overstimulation, irritability, restlessness, impatience, easily angered, increased blood pressure and body temperature.  Additionally, some herbs can have adverse effects on those suffering from breast and prostate cancer; heart, kidney, diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea and liver disease and also weaken the immune system.  Other side effects:  nausea, diarrhea, nose bleeds, low blood pressure, breast pain, depressive mania when mixing product with antidepressants.  Gross overdose: Seizures, convulsions and delirium.

    Another question you should ask yourself; if you self administer how do you know you’re not too high in blood testosterone?  Or low when you stop dosing, because the natural production of testosterone shuts down between starting and stopping doses?  Manipulating the start and stop of self administering and producing natural body testosterone is hard on the metabolic mechanisms and overall health if not supervised correctly.

    I stand by the statement I made at the beginning of this article.  There is no way man could ever manipulate nature and create a quick results product that would not have some adverse health risk.  To manipulate the physiology through “quick results” products is to potentially break the metabolism, thereby causing other ill-health conditions.

    There is only one caveat to low-T therapy treatment for the sake of good health.  That unless supervised by a medical doctor, I don’t believe the benefit of self treating would out weigh the potential health risks that may occur if not monitored.  This is an important observation in caution since a “very low” percentage of men are actually diagnosed with androgen deficiency.  Also, science simply doesn’t understand what damage will occur through long-term dosing especially “if not” androgen deficient because long-term statistics don’t yet exist.

    Here is a simple example and something to think about if you’re administering low-T supplementation to enhance your sexual performance.  If you acquire and use low-T enhancing products to fix a sexual dysfunction through a local distributor, or mail order, are you sure that some other ill-health problem is not the cause of your dysfunction and you’re not masking a circulatory/organ disease, or the dysfunction is not caused by another possible chemical reaction from diet, bad habit or prescription?

    By administering an overriding circulatory enhancer to correct erectile dysfunction for example… How do you know you’re not masking a serious prostate, urethra, testicular illness/disease?  Unless you’re a specialist in hormone replacement therapy (endocrist), or an urologist (one who specializes in male/female urinary tracts), how can you be sure?  The answer is you can’t.  Millions of men will continue to put their health at risk because the market manipulators will not error on the side of caution.  Instead, they’ll promote the benefits and down play the risks.  Why’s that? Because it is a lucrative business model and is not illegal!  Read “41 drugs to die for” and then you’ll be able to formulate the marketer method-to-the-madness for the sake of a buck.

    If you do choose to self administer low-T products to resolve a problem, at a minimum pay attention to the side effects listed.  If you or your loved ones note aggressive personality changes, or any of the listed side effects, immediately consult your doctor.

References,

Woodard, M.T. 41 Drugs to Die for.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. Oct 24, 2010. http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2010/10/24/41-drugs-to-die-for/

Woodard, M.T. Aging Gracefully is it Possible? Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. Oct 25, 2008. http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2008/10/25/mirror-athlete-enterprises-health-blog-aging-gracefully/

Ezinearticles.  Low Testosterone Levels – A Combination of 4 Herbs to Increase Levels Naturally and Quickly.  http://ezinearticles.com/?Low-Testosterone-Levels—A-Combination-of-4-Herbs-to-Increase-Levels-Naturally-and-Quickly&id=1509055

Andrology Australia.  Australian Centre of Excellence in Male Reproductive Health.  http://www.andrologyaustralia.org/pageContent.asp?pageCode=LOWTESTREPLACE

Hoffman, M., MD.  Low Testosterone Explained: How Do You Know When Levels are Too Low? WebMD.  http://men.webmd.com/features/low-testosterone-explained-how-do-you-know-when-levels-are-too-low

Mayo Clinic. Testosterone therapy: Key to Male Vitality.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/testosterone-therapy/MC00030

Blackman MR, Sorkin JD, Munzer T, et al. Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy aged women and men: a randomized controlled trial.  JAMA 2002; 288:2282-2292

HormoneTherapyNetwork.  A Nationwide Network.  http://www.hormonetherapynetwork.com/?k=testosterone

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





10 Super Centenarians, How did They Live over 116?

22 09 2012

Healthy relationships contribute to long life spans

Recently I wrote an article titled “How Did These Well Known Celebrities Live so Long?”  I thought it interesting next to look at the longest living “super” centenarians on record to better understand the similarities and comparisons to the longest living celebrities (“How these Well Known Celebrities Lived So Long).  How did average people live well past 100 years of age and significantly longer than the longest living celebrities that had an average life span of 95 years?

First let’s examine some of the longest living centurion biographies on record starting from the oldest.   And after reviewing these biographies, I’ll attempt to make a correlation as to their longevity secrets.  I’ll then render an opinion as to why I think they lived so long.  It should also be pointed out some of these biographies are rather thin in substance.  This is because in the 1800’s interviews before death and biographical information was difficult to find, unlike our celebrities biographies.

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 where 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 – Living) 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.   See recent living update on Besse Cooper:  by Miller, Andy. At Georgia health News link.  http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2012/08/healthy-life-georgia-besse-coopers-world-beating-longevity/

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 also smoked cigars believing if in moderation, it was not unhealthy.

In order to find these 10 centurions longevity secrets, we’ll compare their lifestyles, diet, behaviors and habits to determine common denominators that may have led to their long life spans.  Then through “connecting of the dots,” we may have some answers as to “how they did it.”

Centenarian biographical and interview statements below: “in bold” means there was lifestyle habits, diet and behaviors in common with other centurions.

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 and 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 live mostly in Low Cancer 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(s), 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.  And it appears mobility, stress reduction and positive mood disposition was important and major contributors for quality of life and healthy longevity results.  As far as their habits and diets it appeared they moderated the good with “little” bad.  For the most part, their diets appeared healthy and most did not consume any or little 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 genetics, diet, body weight, hormones, immune systems, habits and lifestyle risks.   What specifically separates men from women?  Men are greatly driven by hormones (read importance of testosterone on men’s health, Ref #8) that tend to cause more risky behavior and mood-stress characteristic difference between the two sexes.  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.

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).

The absolute lifestyle commonalities they all seemed to share regardless of geography:  they lived purposeful and mobile lifestyles, had positive attitudes, maintained low levels of stress, had good sense of humor, enjoyed selfless endeavors and sharing their lives and wisdom with others.  And lived life to the fullest and without the crutch of habitual vices and little use for 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 August 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2012/08/22/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://mirrorathlete.com/blog/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://mirrorathlete.com/blog/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://mirrorathlete.com/blog/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://mirrorathlete.com/blog/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://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2009/10/24/mae-health-blog-is-pancreatic-cancer-on-the-rise-part-1/
  13. Woodard, Marc.  Can You Prevent Cancer?  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  1 May 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2008/05/01/mirror-athlete-enterprises-health-blog-can-you-prevent-cancer/
  14. Woodard, Marc.  Toxins in Every House Hold Consumer Product, What!  MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets.  5 December 2007.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2007/12/05/mirror-athlete-enterprises-healthblog-is-cancer-in-your-tub/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Oxygen Uptake Breathing for Ill-Health Prevention

17 04 2011
Get Out and Breathe Nature’s Air

    Science shows us that those that don’t breathe correctly experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.  And the primary reason these disorders occur is because many of us live inactive lifestyles that promote shallow breathing.  What do I mean by this?  Think about it.  As you sit there and read this article, you’ll note that your intake of air expands your diaphragm one quarter to half a chest expansion.  Now that you’re thinking about it, take a deep breath in and exhale.  You see, you weren’t breathing fully.  Why do I bring you this example?

     If you understand what shallow breathing is than you can understand that half of your lung capacity is not being exercised, nor is your cardiopulmonary system.  What does this mean?  It means that a portion of your lungs are constantly living in a carbon dioxide environment, partially void of oxygen.  And why is this bad for prolonged periods of time?  The most obvious symptoms you should be aware are fatigue, lack of mental focus-energy and decreased metabolic function, which for many equates to weight gain.

     Through time and without adequate activity shallow breathing promotes decreases in the lungs capacity to expand maximally and eventually lack of oxygen delivery to tissues creates other ill-health conditions. 

    How does shallow breathing impact blood pressure?  Since the hearts action is involuntary it can only respond to demand on the heart.  If the heart senses a drop in oxygen to the body, it will pump more blood, even during sedentary activity.  Also, these increases in blood pressure and heart rate occur during exercise activity.  However, active exercise that is a cause and effect on increased blood pressure and heart rate has a relaxing and healthy effect on the mind and body after the task.  Whereas, and throughout time, shallow breathing, lacking activity has a detriment on the body and mind by decreasing lung capacity, blood pressure and carbon dioxide exchange within all cellular structure. 

    It is also true that the body requires an oxygenated environment to burn fat more effectively which occurs during aerobic activity.  Walking and jogging are the best forms of aerobic activity.  Deep breathing exercises practiced through yoga classes for example, or at home frequently will increase the fat burning metabolism process.

     When exercising the lungs adequately, the body is more oxygenated and metabolizes fat as a fuel source preference instead of breaking down mostly glycogen during anerobic activity (without oxygen).  Simply by learning to breathe correctly, you can burn more fat and better remove toxins from your body.  If you are limited to breathing exercises, you will benefit your body’s metabolism, lymph node, cardiopulmonary systems to include expedite the healing process.

     Many of you also understand during exercise we experience aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolic and muscular benefits.  And through exercise, for example, like walking, our bodies burn more body fat because our task has shifted to an aerobic metabolism.  But if we go from a walk to a sprint, our body cannot get enough oxygen for long periods of time at this intensity and lactic acid buildup limits us in our exercise activity.  Anaerobic activity is good for those that need to push the body to build short burst and power/strength capacity.  Whereas aerobic activity is necessary to build upon muscular endurance, fat burning and body toning goals.

     Below I provide deep breathing exercises that one can practice and apply to improve upon any fitness goal or ill-health, or rehabilitative challenge.  Simply apply the daily breathing technique below for improved health benefits.  You will experience anxiety-stress relief, reduced aches and pains, have more energy, cardiopulmonary capacity improvements.  At a minimum, you’ll improve your circulatory properties (blood pressure and heart rate), improve posture, mood, and sleep, also feel better about yourself and maybe notice some weight loss.

     Regardless of your breathing technique, you’ll note it is work, because breathing correctly is exercise.  This is because during exercise you have to consciously and willfully exercise the lungs and chest cavity muscles to capacity.  And breathing exercises should be preformed many times daily to break the habit of shallow breathing.

     An easy breathing exercise that is relaxing to practice whether sitting, or just before sleep, or walking:  While sitting up straight without arching your back, inhale deeply [imagine filling your lungs from the bottom up].  Hold for a count of six and then release slowly for the same count.  During the exhalation, forcibly remove the excess residual air volume from your lungs.  This is easily accomplished by tightening the abdominal area through the exhalation activity.  During the inhalation phase don’t rush it [otherwise you’ll feel like your hyperventilating].  Simply inhale through the nose with the mouth closed.  Hold the inflated lungs for 6 counts and then release for 6 counts through mouth.

     Also, through simple breathing techniques posture is important.  Insure you don’t lean forward and reduce the chest cavity area during this exercise.  If you do this, you’re not exercising your circulatory-lung systems to its full capacity.  Remember to repeat this as many times throughout the day as possible.  Eventually, your involuntary system will maintain a deeper breathing pattern during sleep and during the day.  Your body will then begin to become more oxygenated throughout a 24 hour window.

     And just before sleep, as you lay on your bed, remove the pillow; lay flat and go through 8-10 deep breathing 6 counts of full inhalation and exhalation.  This is very relaxing and good for your mind and body which will greatly aid in your ability to fall asleep.

     Deep breathing is also good to practice before a big interview, or public speaking engagement as well.  It wakes the mind, lungs and posture for better focus and vocal capacity while calming the nerves.

     Remember, it’s easy to get lazy at breathing.  When we were younger our bodies were more active during the day and our breathing was more active during sleep.  Our young active metabolisms craved the oxygen enriched environment and the involuntary act of breathing during sleep was increased.

    However, for many of us as we age, our activity levels decrease and we develop poor postural habits.  When these two things occur the act of shallow breathing is the result.   But through daily aerobic activity and/or combined with daily breathing exercises one can reverse shallow breathing and reap many longevity health benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

 Internet References:

http://www.womentowomen.com/fatigueandstress/deepbreathing.aspx

http://www.stress-relief-exercises.com/deep-breathing-exercises.html

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