Lose Weight with Morning Exercise by Jeanie Lerche Davis

20130916-060151.jpg

From an article about the benefits of morning exercise:

“But by starting your morning with physical activity, you set the day’s pace, Bryant says. “Morning exercisers tend to stick with their exercise habit,” he says. “By doing the bulk of exercise first thing in the morning, you get your exercise in before other distractions can intrude. We can all relate to that — because once the day gets going, it’s hard to get off the treadmill called life.”

The Case for Morning Exercise
Research suggests that morning exercise improves sleep, a benefit that could also promote weight loss, Bryant tells WebMD. One study of overweight women between the ages of 50 to 75 showed that those who engaged in consistent morning exercise (about four hours a week) slept better than those who exercised less. The evening exercisers had more trouble falling asleep – even if they fit in the four hours a week.”

Read the rest here: http://www.m.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/lose-weight-with-morning-exercise

Are You Tired? by Dr. Amber Golshani

20130711-080221.jpg

If you drag through your day, feel tired all the time, or have trouble keeping up with the kids, no doubt you have searched the internet for causes. It’s likely you have stumbled across information about adrenal fatigue.

Low or disrupted adrenal function can cause:

fatigue
irritability
depression
weight gain
disrupted sleep
low immunity
dizziness
food cravings
and more…

I remember mornings, waking up to my 1 year old son crying in the other room and wondering how I was going to get through the day. I was overweight, stressed out, grumpy and tired-of course I had adrenal fatigue! I took a bunch of adrenal supplements, felt marginally better, but still I knew something wasn’t right. That’s because I was trying to fix the symptom (fatigue) and not the underlying root cause!

And while most experts will tell you the problem is the adrenal gland,

I assert that the problem actually starts in the brain.

You see, the adrenal gland is part of the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. The adrenal gland (a little triangle shaped gland that sits on top of your kidneys) is controlled by the pituitary which is controlled by the hypothalamus (both which reside deep in your brain), which sends signals to turn on or off the hormone secretion from the adrenal gland.

The Hypothalamus get its signals from our environment-such as amount of light, amount of hormones circulating such as melatonin, inflammatory hormones, and even metabolic hormones like insulin (which is largely influenced by what we eat).

Normally in response to environmental clues, the HPA axis should produce a certain rise and fall of cortisol throughout the day and night. In the morning, it should be highest, thus we have most energy through the day. As night approaches our levels of cortisol should decrease so we can rest and sleep well. Cortisol release should follow a normal circadian rhythm.

Cortisol is also released in response to stress-helping us survive periods when we need quick energy. It is a necessary hormone for survival, great for when our muscles need a quick burst of fuel to outrun a threat, or we need more circulation to our lungs to bring in more oxygen.

The problem is that in our modern world, we often feel like there is a constant threat to our lives. Even though the threats are primarily psychological, not physical, they are pervasive and persistent. Thus we react by demanding our bodies to produce more and more cortisol.

Compounded is the fact that we live OUT of sync with nature and our inborn hormonal response to it (circadian rhythm).

Artificial lights signal a year-round summer with late nights. An abundance of sugary and starchy foods cause insulin dominance. Toxin exposures, electromagnetic fields and other trappings of modern life cause HPA axis dysregulation resulting in what is called adrenal fatigue.

So you see, it’s not actually the adrenal glands fault! It’s just responding to the on and off signal coming from the brain.

When I was trying to ‘fix’ myself, I was staying up way to late, watching TV for “me” time with lights a’ blazing and usually eating a bag of chips. Yes, the whole bag. Not to mention I wasn’t exercising and did no real relaxation. No wonder a supplement didn’t help!

If you have read this far, you are probably most interested in what you can do to get better, so lets get to it.

I use a four part approach to restore normal circadian rhythm and adrenal function and build a Fatigue-Proof body. And that’s based on your lifestyle. All the supplements, herbal adaptogens and vitamins in the world won’t help you if your lifestyle isn’t Fatigue-Proofed.

How to build a Fatigue-Proof Body:

Nutrition: Eat protein and veggies at every meal. This keeps your blood sugars balanced which lessons a burden on your adrenals (cortisol raises blood sugars). If your blood sugars are dipping too low, your adrenals will need to respond by releasing cortisol in order to raise it back to the normal range . Eating this way also keeps insulin spikes to a minimum. Insulin disrupts the normal signaling of the HPA axis. Make sure you include lots of oil fish as your protein source, as they will contain the fats your brain and nerve cells need to function correctly.

Sleep: Maybe one of the most important ways to heal your HPA axis and re-establish normal circadian rhythms is to get sufficient sleep. Start by dimming lights and avoiding screens (TV, smartphones, computers) for at least an hour before bedtime. Light, especially artificial light will inhibit your brains ability to send normal signals to the adrenals. Then, aim for 9-10 hours during most months of the year. In the summer, our bodies seem more adapted to staying up later. This makes sense because there is more daylight. Your bedroom should be completely dark as any amount of light can disrupt normal nighttime hormone secretion. That means you must cover up all little lights, indicators on electronics and other glowing things. I’d also recommend black-out drapes. First thing on waking, get bright sunshine on your skin and to your eyes (unfiltered, no glasses or sunglasses) as much as possible in order to re-establish normal circadian rhythm.

Exercise: Exercise smartly! If have not been able to exercise because of fatigue, start with leisurely walking after dinner, which is the best way to balance cortisol production. I truly mean slow walking here. No jogging or power-walking. Start with a few minutes and work your way to 1 hour a day. I have also seen patients on the other end of the spectrum who are OVER-exercising. If you are tired, and you have to force yourself to exercise and you end up more tired, you are doing too much. You are actually making your situation worse as the exercise becomes another stress on your body, forcing more cortisol to be made.

Relaxation/Recovery: True relaxation is a lost art! Many people know how to rest, which is passive and simply the absence of activity, but few know how to relax or recover, which is an active restorative state that brings you back to normal. This includes all stress management techniques that recharge you such as music, meditating, getting a massage, prayer, acupuncture, using aromatherapy, guided imagery, even hobbies, sports, and reading books just for entertainment. There is no right or best way to do this, it’s what ever you like and can do on a regular basis, AND most importantly its unplugging and investing time in yourself. This does not include television or movie watching, surfing the internet, checking email, facebook or twitter, which are examples of ‘rest’ and actually drain your energy even further. Recovery is not time when you put energy OUT into something or someone else, but to energy you are directing inward to healing yourself.

Try these four steps and see what a difference they can make. If that still doesn’t help, as I mentioned there are herbal adaptogens, vitamins and other supplements that can help. Look for posts at http://www.drambergolshani.com site to cover some of my favs. I also have one of my most successful clinical protocols for dealing fatigue here .

I often send out special information to people who subscribe to my newsletter. You can do that here: http://www.beatyourfatigue.com

All the best, always,

Dr. Amber

For more and to connect with Dr. Amber:

http://www.drambergolshani.com

http://www.facebook.com/Dr.AmberGolshaniND

Twitter @DrAmberGolshani

http://healthygrowingkids.com/fatigue/

20130711-080241.jpg

Practical Tips for Improving your Sleeping Habits

20130627-060738.jpg

When was the last time that you had a good night’s sleep? How about the last time you felt light and comfortable as you woke up in the morning? Can’t remember having those feelings anymore? Well, you are not alone. More than a million of people on our planet suffer the same misery in sleeping.
An adult requires at least seven to eight hours of sleep per day. However, for older people, sleeping hours maybe shorter. If you consistently wake up feeling exhausted and still want to go back and lay on the bed, that’s a sign that you are having sleeping troubles.

Continuously living without enough sleep may put your health at risk. Your stamina will be lowered and your immune system will be down. In addition to that, you will experience frequent mood changes, memory loss and lack of concentration. Since you are always sleepy, even at work, you are also prone into any kind of accidents.

One of the good ways to combat sleeplessness is to make your bed comfortable for sleeping. It should be wide enough, the mattress and pillows should be soft enough, and you should have enough blankets and comforters with you. Such things matter in making a nice and comfy bed.

After setting-up your bed, you should check your sleeping environment as well. Your room’s ventilation should be adequate as well as the temperature should be on a right level. Not too cold, and not too hot. In addition, as much as possible, choose a room that is away from the streets to lessen the noise coming inside. In short, keep your room as quiet as possible. If this is unavoidable, better use a fan, white noise orsound recordings that are calming and relaxing. On top of that, keep your room dark during sleeping hours. Put enough curtains or shade to avoidoutside light sources, such as a street lamp, from coming inside your room. Turn off your computer monitor as well as your TV since those lights may confuse your body clock. You can also try using an eye mask for your eyes.

Now that you have a comfy bed and a nice room to sleep in, it is time that you adjust your activities before you sleep. Yes, there are certain activities that can help to prepare you in having an adequate night’s sleep. Even though you are stressed and tired, make an effort to relax yourself. Wind down and you’ll see that sleeping will come easier.

Consistently doing routines before bedtime that are relaxing will help in sending signals to your brain that it is time to fall asleep. Thus, have enough time to relax and have a quiet moment. You may listen to soft music, read light and entertaining materials or you may have a warm glass of milk or even a glass of wine.

The point is that you need to find what works for you and when you hit on something you need to make that your nightly ritual. Just as we do with our children, we may ask them to brush their take a bath, brush their teeth, then we read them a bedtime story before turning out the lights – and our children may have their special needs such as the bedroom door opened or closed or a night light, etc. We have to find our nighttime comfort zone and get in touch with it each night.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1sRXmp/www.sleep-aid-tips.com/practical-tips-for-improving-your-sleeping-habits.html

Your Belly Fat Action Plan

by Clint Carter

Worried that you’re harboring dangerous belly fat? Your waist circumference tends to be related to the amount of visceral fat you have, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your waist below 40 inches. To check, wrap a tailor’s measuring tape snugly around your bare abdomen, just above your hip bones. Relax, exhale, and measure. If your number comes up a little elevated, here’s what you need to do to target visceral fat. (Want the latest health and nutrition advice delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our free Daily Dose newsletter.)

QUIT THE FRUCTOSE
A diet packed with fructose can make your belly bulge. In fact, adolescents in a Georgia Health Sciences University study who consumed the most fructose had about 20 percent more visceral fat than those who ate the least. Your move: Avoid fruit juice or foods that have added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Don’t worry about whole fruit, though. It accounts for less than 20 percent of the fructose in the typical American’s diet, say Emory University researchers.

SWEAT THE CARDIO
Resistance training is great for adding lean body mass, but cardio is better for burning visceral fat. In a Duke University study, people who trained on treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes for 8 months (at the cardio equivalent of jogging 12 miles a week) lost about 8 percent of their visceral fat. Those who performed equally intense resistance workouts saw no change in visceral fat. (For more ways to sculpt every muscle in your body while torching body fat, check out The Workout That Gets You Shredded.)

EAT WHOLE GRAINS
Foods like barley and quinoa do more than just help fill you up. In a 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate three or more daily servings of whole grains had 10 percent less visceral fat than those who ate hardly any or no whole grains, even when the researchers adjusted for other lifestyle and diet factors. One benefit, they speculate, might come from prebiotic compounds that feed beneficial bacteria in your gut.

SLEEP SMART
The right amount of shut-eye is key. A study in the journal Sleep showed that people who logged 6 to 7 hours a night had the lowest levels of visceral fat. Above or below that range was associated with more visceral fat, with the worst numbers going to those who slept less than 5 hours. Over a 5-year span, these sleepers put on visceral fat about five times faster than the healthy sleepers did.

http://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/lose-belly-fat-0

The Cost of Lost Shut-Eye

20130304-064539.jpg

by Heather Loeb

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep:

Your Memory is Wiped
A study in Sleep found that people’s accuracy on working-memory tasks dropped by about 15 percent while they pulled an all-nighter. Sleep helps your brain consolidate information, so without that recovery time, you’re unable to file away important data.

Your Waistline Expands
“Some research has suggested that sleep restriction over many years may affect metabolism, increasing the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes,” says Siobhan Banks, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, a 2007 Canadian study found that people who sleep only 5 or 6 hours a night increase their likelihood of being overweight by 69 percent, compared with those who habitually sleep 7 or 8 hours.

You Get Sicker
University of Chicago researchers found that antibodies in sleep-deprived people who’d received a vaccine were about 50 percent weaker than those in well-rested people. Wake up early for that flu shot and it may not protect you so well. Harvard researchers also found that blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of heart-disease risk, can spike if you skip the sheets for just a few hours.

Your Cancer Risk Rises
During sleep your body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Interrupt sleep and you interrupt melatonin synthesis, which can be a problem. A 2007 University of Texas study review concluded that not only does melatonin detoxify harmful, cancer-causing free radicals, but in doing so it actually creates more antioxidants. Melatonin may also boost the effectiveness of vitamin C, another antioxidant. A good snooze could goose your morning OJ’s potency.

http://www.menshealth.com/health/insomnia-problems

30 Ways to Get Rid of Extra Weight

20130130-212747.jpg

Snooze—and lose

In a 16-year study at Harvard, scientists found that people who slept for 5 hours or less a night were 32 percent more likely to pack on major pounds than those who dozed a full 7 hours. Although “major” was defined as 33 pounds, the average increase was 2 pounds a year, a gain that’s easy to miss from month to month. “Due to accumulating fatigue, those who get the least shuteye may also move around the least during the day,” says study author Sanjay Patel, M.D.

Read more at Men’s Health: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/lose-twenty-pounds#ixzz2JW3mpLv6