Want to improve your golf swing? Break a faster time at your next marathon event? Experience a faster and easier labor? Keep weight off, ease pain and slow the aging process? Easy…practice yoga! Yoga encompasses breathing exercises, lengthening, strengthening and stretching muscle groups, massages the bowels and increases the length of telomeres in our bodies (these are parts of the chromosomes that affect the aging process). I’ve been practicing yoga for years and have taught yoga to private clients and martial artists, but honestly, I have never said ‘let’s go do some yoga…it’s so much fun!’ Rather, I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years because it has always allowed me to participate and perform so much more effectively in any other sport I have engaged in over the years – tennis, golf, triathlons, rollerblading, skiing, competitive and full combat Muay Thai kickboxing. There are many benefits to practicing yoga. Yoga can help us breathe better, slows aging, can ease muscle and joint pain, help you sleep better and reduce your stress, improve flexibility and increase balance. You would be very surprised to know how many top athletes have been practicing yoga for years (LeBron James is just one)….and it is a practice. Practice makes perfect and the more we practice yoga, the more perfect we can make our minds and bodies. So, how to start your practice? Form is everything in yoga. If you are athletic, find a Hatha or Vinyasa yoga class. Hatha is your basic poses (asanas) in a very precise order that will take your body from head to toes from stiff to supple. Vinyasa is often called ‘flow yoga’ because we move from one pose into another gracefully and without stopping. If you’re not the most athletic type or you are recovering from an injury or illness, try a Restorative or Gentle Healing yoga class. Props are used during these classes to ease you into poses and help you settle into the poses for optimal results.
I don’t practice yoga because it excites me….I do it because it’s GOOD for me! so, JUST DO IT! For more information about yoga, click on this site http://www.yogamagazine.com/ and find out why YOU should be practicing yoga. Namaste!
Today is the first day of Spring! Here in the Northeast Corridor of the United States, we’re crawling over the finish line of winter and looking forward to the warmer weather ahead. It’s time to get that new hairstyle, new running shoes for the warmer outdoor runs, that new golf club and begin thinking of sunscreen. Spring is also a good time for your annual physical. Most people will get a “good report card” from their md, but some folks will be on the receiving end of a “gentle reminder” that if some lifestyle changes aren’t made, they will be classified as “pre-diabetic” or “diabetic”. The lecture of diet, exercise, and the use of medications to control insulin levels might be jolting enough to kick start action in a positive direction for a few folks. For others, it goes in one ear and out the other with the mindset of “a pill a day will cure it all”. Not so……read on….
I’m going to talk to you today about type 2 Diabetes and why it is so important that we all maintain a healthy lifestyle and be mindful of our glucose and cholesterol levels and our weight. According to the Center For Disease Control, here are a few facts (I am giving you a direct quote from the link):
“Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, and type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5%. The health and economic costs for both are enormous:
- Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2013 (and may be underreported).
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness.
- More than 20% of health care spending is for people with diagnosed diabetes.
People who have one or more of the following risk factors should talk to their doctor about getting their blood sugar tested:
- Being overweight.
- Being 45 years or older.
- Having a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week.
- Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.
Race and ethnicity are also factors: African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk than whites.” https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/diabetes.htm
Type 2 diabetics run the risk for blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and nerve damage. During your annual physical, you are asked to ‘fast’ for 12 hours prior to having blood drawn. This is done so that your base level of blood sugar can be determined (eating before a blood glucose test dramatically alters test results). If you have been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic, this means that you have sugar (blood glucose) levels that are abnormally high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. You’re a little late in the game, but it’s not too late to do something about your condition and reverse the tide. The American Diabetes Association has found that persons who were at a high risk of type 2 diabetes could lower their blood glucose levels without medication by adapting the following lifestyle changes: losing weight, eating smaller portions and adapting a healthy regime of fewer starches, fats and sugar in general, and consuming more vegetables, fruits, legumes and low fat sources of protein, walking briskly for 30 minutes each day for 5 days per week http://www.diabetes.org/. If ‘staying in the game’ is difficult, there is help for you everywhere – online sources include the American Diabetes Association where you can find a plethora of free information and counseling to Wellness Programs designed specifically for you. If exercise is a burden, join a gym and participate in the many different types of classes being offered. Hire a nutritionist and/or personal trainer if that is what will keep you motivated. Weight Watchers Int’l https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/article/im-prediabetic-what-do-i-eat has online personal coaching, or you can attend weekly meetings where you can share with others who are participating in healthy lifestyle changes…it’s all about accountability at the end of the day. If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes and would like to learn more about what you can do to get on track with lifestyle changes that will help to make big changes, email or telephone my office and schedule a consultation http://kelleymondesire.com/contact/ .