Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scientific Proof Massage Reduces Stress

A recent study proves that massage really does reduce the biochemical effects of stress. Namely, it reduces the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which does a great deal of damage to the body in chronic doses.

Your body normally produces cortisol in response to stress, which is not a problem in small doses. However, long term exposure to cortisol causes damage to the body; in fact, a lot of chronic diseases are being linked to coritsol.

In this scientific study, subjects had their blood tested before and after a massage. The researchers found that levels of cortisol were lower in the Swedish massage group of subjects. In other words, massage really does have a biochemical effect on your stress levels!

So don't call that massage a luxury. Stress is a killer and health is wealth, so take care of yourself and get regular massage to reverse the effects of a stressful life!

Source article here: Proof of Massage and Stress Reduction

Monday, September 20, 2010

Glucosamine Sulfate

A recent study in the British Medical Journal casts doubt on whether or not glucosamine sulfate actually is effective for joint pain. However, most of the studies on this supplement are flawed because they don't have their subjects use the supplement properly.

In my experience, about half of the people who try glucosamine see results. However, there's a few guidelines you need to follow in order to have any chance at all.

First off, you have to take it consistently. This means every day, and don't miss a dose. Then, you have to give it time. Generally speaking, you'll need to take glucosamine consistently for six to eight weeks minimum in order to find out if it's going to do you any good.

The other part that's usually missed when it comes to glucosamine supplements is that a little exercise is necessary to make it work right. Light and mild exercise will actually promote the creation of cartilage, which is what you want when you're taking glucosamine.

By placing a little bit of stress on the joint with that exercise, you will tell the body to build that joint back up, and then your body will utilize the building blocks (in the form of glucosamine) that you've been taking. Just don't overdo it! Too much exercise will continue the process of breaking the joint down.

Basically speaking, if you can do the exercise pain-free, you're not going to cause any problems. If you have discomfort, don't do it. Try to pick non-impact exercises like walking or swimming.

This is the "hidden" secret to using glucosamine properly: make sure you have a mild bit of exercise along with it to encourage the body to actually put the supplement to good use.

Source: Does Glucosamine Work?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Take A Multivitamin?

Since we here at Triune recently started carrying a new line of whole food-based supplements, I've been getting a lot of questions about exactly why someone would take a multivitamin in the first place.

It's a fair question. After all, shouldn't we be able to get everything we need from our diet?

The answer to that is, yes and no. First off, are you really eating that healthy of a diet? Most Americans are not. We eat a lot of packaged, processed foods which, although convenient and inexpensive, aren't very good for us. Lots of these foods have had most of the nutrients taken out of them by the refining process.

So that's the first place a multivitamin can help... by filling some gaps left by a diet that might be less than indeal. But even if you're eating the right things, you can still run into problems.

Government studies have shown a disturbing trend with fruits and vegetables; namely, that they don't have as much of the vitamins and minerals in them that they used to. This is likely due to overfarming and industrial food practices, but the end result is, you might not be getting what you think you're getting in your food... even if you do make the right choices. So there's another place a multivitamin can help fill gaps: making up for the potential lack of nutrients in supposedly healthy foods.

Finally, there just may be gaps caused by the random assortment of foods you happened to pick that day. Who's going to research and plan out every bit of food they eat every day to make sure all of the possible vitamins and minerals are covered? So there's another reason to take a multivitamin... because you just never know what you might have missed.

Essentially, multivitamins function best as insurance against potential gaps in nutrition. The good news is, they're quite inexpensive. Ask us about Catalyn, the new all-natural, whole foods-based multivitamin, and you'll be surprised at how inexpensive it is and what it has to offer!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ab Workouts for Mom

Moms face an extra difficult challenge when it comes to their ab workout. Not only are they dealing with the weight gain and body changes associated with a recent pregnancy, but also the demands of caring for their children make it harder for them to actually get their training in.

In this article, I hope to give you some quick information that will make it easier for you moms to bounce back as quickly as possible. The good news is, abs training is cheap and relatively easy. You don’t have to belong to a gym and the two pieces of equipment I usually recommend (stability ball and medicine ball) cost around twenty bucks each.

Plus, you can do it in your home and sneak it in pretty quickly. You first have to make up your mind that you can do it, though. Once you try it out a few times, you’ll see that even with a mom’s crazy schedule, you too can fit in some effective abs training.

First off, avoid heavy resistance. You don’t need to mess with any heavy dumbbells or gym equipment… in fact, I suggest you avoid all that. Heavy resistance training builds bulk and you don’t want that. Stick with very light resistance or body weight based exercises.

Next, split up your training. What I mean by that is, remember that you have front abs, side abs, and what I like to call the “rear abs” or lower back extensors that make up your core. Each needs to be trained… but they don’t all have to be done at one. You can more easily sneak in your front abs training alone, then come back later to side abs, then later still for the extensors, much more easily than trying to find the time to do them all together.

By separating them out, now you only need a few spare minutes here and there to get your training in. It’s MUCH easier to fit in, say, five minutes of exercise three different times, than fifteen minutes straight. Make things easier for yourself.

Finally, target your lower front abs and tranversus (that’s a deep muscle that goes around your stomach like a girdle). These are usually the problem areas for moms, and here’s a great exercise to handle them.

It’s called the ball transfer and it’s what it sounds like. Lie on your back with legs flat and arms overhead holding a medicine ball or exercise ball (your choice). Lift up your legs and put the ball in between your lower legs and squeeze to hold it there. Lower your arms and legs to the floor (the ball is still between your legs). Lift them back up and take the ball from between your legs and hold it in your hands. Lower your arms and legs to the floor. Now you’re right back where you started, so just repeat. You’ll feel it soon enough.

While you do the exercise, visualize pressing your belly button to your spine (or sucking your gut in, whichever image works). This will engage that deep transversus muscle.

For more information on this or any other fitness training, come in and talk to our fitness instructor, Ann. She offers free introductory sessions!

Source: Ab workout information for moms