Festive Follies Survival StrategiesForget boot camp, with shopping mayhem and rampaging relatives, financial stress, late nights, too much TV and over-indulging – the festive season can be the most grueling event on the calendar. It’s no wonder that nearly every one of us emerges from it with a New Year’s resolution of detoxing, getting fit and losing weight! Surviving is all about preparation. The festive season is usually particularly problematic for those of us who take their nutrition and exercise seriously or even for those who just want to come out of the other side, with any luck, not worse off than when they started. Whether it’s the big high calorie meals, the parties, alcohol or general lack of structure in your week, it’s very easy to lose your way in December which is why we put together some resources to help you minimise the festive ‘damage’ and help you maintain your physique and health, while still enjoying the party season. Our newsletter looks at three things:
- What you can do to keep your eating on track
- What you can do to keep your fitness on track
- What you can do to keep your alcohol intake on track
- Booze Busters explores the impact of alcohol on your body and how you can reduce the toll it takes on you physically
- Hangover Food Super-Heroes looks at how to replenish lost nourishment the day after a heavy night
- Hangover-Smashing Smoothies – three specially concocted smoothies to help get you back on your feet, the morning after the night before.
Research shows that over 70% of us treat ourselves to chocolate at least once a week.Good quality dark, raw chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) has impressive health benefits: · Boosts energy levels · Improves blood flow which is great for your cardiovascular health · Releases endorphins which helps with pain relief · Relaxes muscles due to the magnesium content · Tryptophan (the precursor of serotonin) boosts happiness · May improve cognitive performance · Anti-oxidants work to fight cellular and oxidative damage resulting in clearer, firmer skin
8 tips to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes:
1. Manage your weight and avoid excess fat especially around your abdomen
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
3. Reduce your alcohol content
4. Exercise regularly.
5. Avoid cigarettes.
6. See your GP for regular checkups
7. Control your blood pressure
8. Reduce stress in your life
Epigenetics and Lifestyle Modifications to Prevent DiseaseEver since researchers mastered the human genome some 15 years ago, the importance of genetics in relation to some certain diseases and disorders have been greatly emphasized. However, evidence from researchers has proved how environmental factors and lifestyle can affect the mechanisms of epigenetics. Epigenetic mechanisms are flexible parameters that can change the genetic information under the influence of some external factors. It activates the state of the activity of genes from one generation of cells to the next generation. More so, recent studies have proven that alteration in epigenetics can lead to the development of some health problems such as cancer, depression, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, neurodegenerative and respiratory diseases. Nevertheless, our lifestyle can at times affect our genes either positively or negatively. Smoking is a familiar example of how our behavior can affect our genes. Everyone knows that smoking usually results into poor health. But how do we relate smoking with our body's health molecularly? In this case, the carcinogens in cigarette directly affect the molecules in our bodies causing the mutation of our anti-cancer genes which triggers the growth of cancer in the body. Interestingly, environmental and lifestyle factors also play a significant role in our genetic makeup. For instance, what we eat, how often and the kind of exercise we engage, environmental conditions that you are exposed to, all to an extent affect our genetic makeup. The term lifestyle is generally used to describe the typical way of life of living characteristic individuals or group. This concept includes numerous factors such as diet, behavior, stress, physical activity, working habits, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Below are some highlighted lifestyle modifications you can adopt to prevent diseases caused as a result of epigenetics;
- Foods and Proper Nutrition
- Exercise and Health
- Folate and Vitamin B12 Intake
Final ThoughtsApparently, we cannot change our DNA but we can always change and control our lifestyle. These changes are capable of causing changes to that which affects us genetically. Obviously, we all know that exercise is essential for our health, but now we know it might even extend beyond just health benefits. Research is still ongoing in the field of epigenetics and hopefully we get to have information about it soon. Scientists are at the beginning when it comes to understanding genetics and lifestyle. However, it seems that the more we nurture the essence of lifestyle, the more we seem to discover its importance in determining the characteristics of an individual. Lastly, lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise, have a deeper role in health and fitness and may probably offer even more benefits to the cells.
With the return to school one of the things I here parents complain about the most is packing lunch boxes.Here are some tips on packing a healthy lunchbox from Fresh for Kids Top tips for a healthy lunch box
- Always include fresh fruit and vegetables. Vary the selection to keep it interesting.
- Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads.
- Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
- Use reduced fat dairy foods. Cheese and yoghurt are ideal.
- Kids need a serve of protein at lunchtime. Ensure you include lean meat, egg, peanut butter, chickpeas or tuna.
- Add a chilled bottle of water and limit juice.
- Kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat. Fruit salad is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colourful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins.
- Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavour, colour and texture.
- Freeze fruits in the summer or for sport days. Simply pop the frozen fruit into a small sealable plastic bag or airtight container.
- If including whole fruit in the lunchbox, select fruit that is a suitable size for a child to easily hold in their hand and eat (this is particulary important for younger children).
- Peel and slice or cut fruit if possible and choose seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and Imperial mandarins.
- If you’re added tomato to sandwiches, place the tomato between fillings and not directly onto the bread. This prevents the bread becoming soggy.
- When using avocado, mash or drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.
- Mild tasting and crunchy lettuce varieties like Iceberg and Oak leaf and Lebanese cucumbers are ideal for kids.
- Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings. Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.
- Make salads or salad sandwich fillings interesting by using a range of vegetables like grated carrot, snow pea sprouts, lettuce or rocket or baby spinach, sliced celery, tomatoes, avocado and cucumber.
- Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber or carrots into thin ribbons for sandwich fillings.
Water is the basis of all life, in fact we can only survive for 3 days without water.• We are made up of 75 % water: the brain is 80% water and the blood which transports all the nutrients around the body is 82% water • This water gets rationed differently to various parts of the body with the brain getting absolute priority. The brain is 1/50th of your total body weight but receives 20% of the blood circulation. • Our health is entirely dependent on the quality and quantity of water we drink • If the water supply is running low the brain will cry out for help. What is the body’s warning signal? – PAIN! • Water is essential for all the chemical reactions that occur in our body ALL OF THEM – nothing works properly if we don’t have enough water! Water is our primary source of energy, it is essential for life.
There are so many great ideas that can be used to infuse water.How about trying one of these?
Exercise can reduce progression and side effects of type 2 diabetes by:• Improving glycaemic (blood glucose) control • Increasing insulin sensitivity for up to 72 hours post exercise • Resistance exercise increases muscle mass which becomes glucose storage space • Weight loss • Decreasing blood pressure • Improving self confidence • Improving cardiac function • Decreasing depression • Improving muscle strength, flexibility and balance Type of exercise • Incidental exercise: walking to work, taking the stairs etc • Low to moderate intensity: walking, exercise bike, swimming, water aerobics etc How much exercise • 30 min to 1 hour of low to moderate intensity exercise daily (i.e.- you are still able to hold a conversation but may be a little breathless). Minimum amount of exercise should be 150 min / week (3x30) at 50-70% of maximum heart rate. • Avoid resting for more than 2 days in a row • 8-10 resistance exercises exercising all the major muscle groups should be performed twice a week. Your Physiotherapist will recommend a personalized program for you to start with and progress every month or as needed. Do not exercise if you are unwell, PLEASE SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR GP BEFORE COMMENCING EXERCISE
Osteoarthritis and supplementsOsteoarthritis is a common inflammatory condition characterised by joint pain. See below example. Osteoarthritis affects 2.1 million Australians. The prevalence is higher in women and joint symptoms are experienced by more than 25% of people aged 65 years or older. Osteoarthritis is particularly burdensome, on individuals and on the healthcare system and is the main reason for knee replacement surgery. This is of great concern considering the projected rise in the aging population. In recent years, omega 3 fatty acids (from fish oil), glucosamine and chondroiten have increased in popularity. Research into these and osteoarthritis is showing some promising results, however more research is still needed. Should you take these supplements if you have Osteoarthritis?? You can as there is some worthwhile evidence but it should form only a small part of your management plan. Score your pain on a scale of 1-10 before taking the supplement, then after 3-6 months score your pain again to see if there has been any change. If you are taking chondroitin it is recommended that you take a supplement containing 800mg such as BioOrganics glucosamine 750g and chondroitin 400mg. There is much stronger evidence to show that dietary induced weight loss (>10% of body weight) and physical exercise such as strength training and aerobic exercise can have a moderate to large improvement in pain, function and quality of life. In addition, learning effective pain – coping skills have been shown to have positive outcomes not only for pain but also for function, stiffness and disability.
Why do you love Pilates? I enjoy being able to strengthen and stretch out my body..... any chance to take off shoes is welcome! I have had first hand experience with immediate relief. What is the best thing about being a physiotherapist? I enjoy the mental Challenge of problem solving with clients in a vulnerable situation, helping them understand whats going on ans what we can do to assist. De – escalating someone who has thought the worst of their situation, Instilling in them optimism and confidence is a great outcome and good feeling. Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita physio? I have grow up in a small coastal village - I enjoy the friendly village feel. The vibe around town and in the clinic is fantastic. Over the past 4 years I have watched the growth of the town with this and the advancements in technology, The Clinic at Cabarita has come into its own. Best relaxation tip To relax I enjoy Surfing and gardening. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and Chocolate Labrador Raz. Our Fruit trees are pumping out the good stuff at the moment, when I get home I wander outside (after taking off my shoes!) and pick the fruit and enjoy. Its a great way to slow down and switch off after a full day. Best lifestyle tip Many people will know that I have been studying for my Masters in Physiotherapy, I have been practising during this time to take time out and have a surf or do something I love. If you are going to do post graduate study, my advice is to do it slowly, take your time. Favourite activity To go for a sunrise surf with friends. Favourite recipe My Nachos and Tacos .. I cook - however I'm the only one who likes it! A typical Sunday An early morning surf, followed by a bike ride with my wife to go and have Mexican!.. I do this every day... except for the Mexican... So wonderful living and working in paradise!
Why do you love Pilates? I love Pilates because it is a form of exercise that can be modified to suit ANYONE. The layers of challenge you can add are endless. I also love that age is no barrier, it's the practice that counts! What's the best thing about being a physio? Being able to help people reach the goals that are most important to them. No matter how big or small, it's really rewarding to be a part of that journey. I also love that physio can take you in so many directions. From the clinic to the sports field, the possibilities are endless! Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita Physiotherapy ? I grew up in Cabarita, so it's nice to be able to come back to my roots. It's an amazing community with a great coastal vibe and being so close to the beach is always a plus. But, most importantly, the team is amazing! Best relaxation tip? A nice long walk along the beach followed by some guided meditation. There is nothing better. Best lifestyle tip? Find something you love and do it consistently. Challenge yourself in some way each and every day. Favourite activity? Doing some high intensity interval training or boxing. It gets the heart racing and the sweat pouring. It's even better when you have some amazing people to work out with. Favourite recipe? Tacos. Need I say more? A special mention to Kai's choc chip oatmeal cookies. If you haven't tried them, you should! A typical Sunday... A nice long sleep in followed by a Pilates workout. I then like to go to one of my favourite cafes on the Coast and enjoy multiple coffees and a delicious brunch. You might catch me running around the rugby league scene in the afternoon. That's my other passion!