Exercise?

I had someone tell me once that we are our own best doctors, if we would just listen to what our bodies are telling us. That is not giving in to our cravings or addictions, but really listening to that little voice that says that doesn’t feel right or that helped, I need to do more of that. Have you ever really exercised and sweated and hurt; thinking this is ridiculous, why am I killing myself off? And then you have a break through, you feel like you are on a natural high and you have never felt better in your life? You tell yourself, boy I want to do that again, that was great! But the next day the thought of starting all that work again just seems too hard, you have other things you should do; and that happens the next day and the next and pretty soon you have forgotten all about that great feeling you had. Things are fine for a while but then your body gets out of whack you start feeling poorly and all of a sudden you remember that feeling again and decide you really need to work out again.

Sleeping Weight Away

Hopefully you have watched some of the news on this subject lately, I have found several interesting things about this study. First, let me say what the study was, it was to see how important sleep was to weight gain. They took several women and had half sleep 7 1/2 hours or more and the other half slept less than that. The women were not to change their eating habits or do anything differently than they normally did. All the women that slept 7 1/2 hours or more experienced change, most lost weight and others inches around waists and hips. The other half of the women had no change, in fact some gained weight. The study went on to say that when we are tired we grave food more to help us overcome being tired and in particularly sweets because of the big burst of energy we get. They said those people that constantly get less than 7 1/2 hours of sleep can actually put on 1 to 2 pounds a week. They also went on to say that those people that get 7 1/2 hours or more, have more energy and more inclination to exercise. All the women concurred with this idea.

I decided to try it. If you work and care for a family you know how hard it is to get enough sleep and then you feel wrung out at work. I have  tried to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night in the past, but that doesn’t always happen. So I decided to try getting the recommended amount of sleep for a few days and then drop below that for the next few days. The biggest thing I noticed at work was my cravings. When I had slept 7 1/2 hours I really forgot about food inbetween meals and felt like I did have more energy. Now this wasn’t a huge difference and most of it was my being aware of it. What really was a stark difference to me, were the days I didn’t get enough sleep, I craved sweets. I was hungry all the time. I had to think back if I had ever paid attention to my hunger habits. I remember being more hungry on some days than others at work but couldn’t really remember how many hours I had slept on those days. Now that doesn’t mean the correlation isn’t there I think it is. In fact it really makes perfect sense to me. You know the old saying; “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Maybe there is something to that after all. Anyway all I know is that I am going to pay closer attention to my sleeping habits and who knows I just might lose the extra 15 pounds I have been trying to  for the few years.

Just hoping you sleep your weight away too!

Kris

Identity Theft and Lifelock!

Dear Readers,

I apologize for the long space between my last weekly blog, but I had something happen to me that frankly I thought would never happen and it has taken a while to recover from it. Now, I know this has nothing to do with health per say,  but it does have to do with the health of your identity and if I can help anyone else avoid the same problems then it is worth talking about. I think I was quick enough to realize what had happened to me to be able  to shut down and close out everything in time, but it might be awhile before I know that for sure. Meanwhile, I would like to share somethings I learned and hopefully help anyone else that finds themselves in a similar situation. Now most of this stuff you should already know and may I say so did I, but identity thieves have become so sophisticated that it is hard to tell them from the real deal. So here goes.

  1. Always keep your anti-virus software up to date.
  2. Never open emails from anyone you don’t know.
  3. Always use your credit cards from credit card companies, not the one that is attached to your bank account when making purchases on the internet. Banks tie up your own money until the dispute is settled, credit card companies do not.
  4. If you do use your bankcard, cancel it right away and close the whole account that it is attached to and start a new account at the bank.
  5. Cancel all your credit cards that you have used on the internet and have them issue you new cards.
  6. Call the 3 major credit companies TransUnion, Experian and EquiFax and have them put your Social Security card number on fraud alert.

And last, well really it should be first. Avoid having to do any of the above by calling or go online to LifeLock.com and sign up for their identity theft protection plan. It will be the best and cheapest call you make this year. They have a $1,000,000 service guarantee for only $10 per month. They reduce the amount of junk mail and credit card offers you get and actively search the internet for any misuse of your identity information. If after all of that you still have someone tap into your information they will hire a lawyer to help you get everything back. I can breathe easier now. I only wish I had know about it, say 2 months ago.

Just some more things to think about.

Kris

Healthy Teeth!

This will be a short blog, only because the subject is direct and to the point. It reminds me of my father and makes me smile. My father was a dentist and had very practical beliefs on the care of teeth.

  • Brush and floss 2 times a day.
  • Don’t chew on ice! (It causes cracks in the enamel.)
  • Get regular check ups.
  • Take fluoride tablets and use fluoride toothpaste. (I know there are lots of opinions out there on fluoride, but I saw the difference it made on my teeth; several cavities every check up until fluoride, then none. My children have never had a cavity)
  • If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, don’t drink or eat things that are hot and cold until your teeth aren’t bothered by it anymore.
  • If a tooth hurts quit chewing on it, chew on the other side until the tooth can heal. He believed if the hurting tooth was left alone it would eventually heal itself.

And you know…it really works!

Kris

The Risks of Caffeine and Miscarriages.

I ran across an article in the newspaper that talked about how caffeine may raise the risk of a miscarriage and thought how many negatives there are to consuming caffeine. I have talked about it many times concerning restless leg syndrome and how it can increase the severity of the symptoms. I have mentioned it in the article about how to sleep better and drinking things that have caffeine in them late at night isn’t going to help you have a better night sleep. All of that information is important to know about caffeine but not life threatening, however this information is and if you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant this could be critical to know.

The article was from  a study of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, that you can read more in depth at www.ajog.org. In essence the study found that consuming large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy by drinking coffee, soda, tea or hot chocolate increases the risk of a miscarriage. The study said that caffeine crossed the placenta barrier easily and once in the fetus it may stay there longer. It also said that in large quantities, caffeine may also decrease placental blood flow and harm development. So not only should pregnant women limit their intake of caffeine but if you are thinking of becoming pregnant you should do the same because the first 20 to 40 days after an egg is fertilized is a key time in its development.

So many important things to know out there but sometimes we don’t have the time to research them all. For me having children is one of the greatest joys in this life and I would hate to see someone have their hopes crushed just because they didn’t know that little bit of information. At least I can pass it along to all of you and maybe it will save just one pregnancy as a result.

Kris

Interval Training

All right, I went to Wal-Mart and for about $40, I purchased a wrist watch heart monitor. It is really pretty easy to use and seems really accurate. I have wanted to buy a heart monitor for a long time, but never really understood how it could help me in my workout. After reading a little more and actually trying one session at home, I am convinced anyone can do this. So this is how it works. You decide what kind of exercise you want to participate in; walking, running, biking/spinning, swimming, or elliptical crosstrainers. I chose the elliptical. Before you start you need to know your heart rate target. If you are a beginner and not in the best of shape take your age, subtract it from 220. 220 – 40 (age) = 180. Now multiply that by 70%.  180 x .7 = 126. If you are 40 your heart rate target should be 126. If you are in fairly good shape do the same math but multiply by .85. If you are in excellent shape multiply by .95.

Now that you have your target heart rate, do a 5 minute warm-up. Then pretend you are being chased by a wild animal and walk, run or swim as fast as you can. Do this until your heart rate reaches your target. Then slow to almost no effort at all, until you can breathe easily and there is a 30 point drop in your heart rate. Now go full tilt once more until you reach you target heart rate and then slow down again. Repeat this process until you have exercised for at least 30 minutes.  You will probably only be able to do this 7 or 8 times in that amount of time, especially if you are just beginning the program. I went through 7 cycles and was surprised at several things: one, how easy it was to accomplish; two, how fast it went; three, how tired I got, and four, how sore I was the next day. I usually am only that sore after a good workout at the gym.

I think I would recommend this to anyone. The nice thing is you can choose the type of exercise you enjoy most, so it might help you stick with it and not give up. And remember you are still burning calories many hours after you have finished the training.

Hopefully, something that might energize you.

Kris

The New Exercise Program: Interval Training

There is a new book out on interval training that I had not been aware of until my doctor mentioned it to me and began to expound on the virtues of this type of excercise. I learned some interesting things.  First, that the most important piece of equipment one can have is a heart rate monitor.  Second, that there are two types of workouts. One is an endurance class and the other is an interval class. The endurance class is for keeping our heart and lungs in shape. The interval class is for losing weight. (Now why am I talking about losing weight? Two reasons, first, how many of us in this fast food, sweets and soda drinking society hasn’t had to fight to maintain our weight; second, being over weight has to be a factor in worsening the onset of RLS. Breathing is harder, exercising is harder and I can’t help but think that all that extra weight could be effecting our circulation.) Anyway, back to the interesting facts. The third thing I learned is that interval training can help us burn calories longer than running. I was surprised at that. My doctor said that if you ran at a good pace maintaining that speed for an hour you would continue to burn calories for another 2 to 4 hours. That sounds good, but doing an interval workout for just a half an hour can help you burn calories for up to 48 hours. That seems unbelievable, but he is a very knowledgeable doctor and I am sure he is right. He gave me some more information on how to do interval training and use the heart rate monitor that I will share with you next time after I have tried it and also had a chance to look at the book that was written on it.

Heres to a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get in shape! Might it happen for all of us.

Kris

Christmas and Having Joy!

Sometimes when people have chronic pain it is hard to focus past the hurt. But doing just that might help us in the long run. I remember one story where a son was far away from his family and trying to learn new things and to make a difference to those around him. He felt he was failing at everything, so he wrote home complaining about all the many things that were going wrong in his life and how he wasn’t being successful and how no one was listening to him, in general he said nothing was going as he had expected it to. A week later he got a letter from his father that had one short line. “Forget yourself and go to work.” Now I know that living with a constant reoccurring pain is different in many respects than this young man’s story, but I think we all can benefit expecially at this time of year to forget ourselves for a season and think of how we can help others. It just might in the long run help us to forget for even one day the pain we constantly have to deal with, and that can’t be a bad thing for any of us.

Merry Christmas and may you have joy this Holiday Season!

Kris

That Magic Pill?

The thought came to me that as a society we too often try to find that magic pill. The one thing that will make all the difference and deliver the cure! I think we can agree that is not real life and the chances of discovering a magic pill is an illusion at best, so then why do we keep searching? I would like to think we are optimists at heart, but all too often I think we are just plain lazy. A pill is easy and we don’t have to sweat or work out the problem on our own. We don’t have to give up our vices or deny ourselves things we enjoy.

You might wonder how that applies to RLS. Well I see it all the time in drug companies advertisments for the latest drug they have found to help (cure?) restless legs. Here is the new magic pill they shout. But wonder if the real answers to Restless Legs isn’t a pill, but just good old fashion hard work and how we care for our bodies? Are we willing to take that step and not just look for the easy answer? Everyones search might give them different answers but I do believe it will be worth the time spent. I would like to share 3 things I have found that I think are essential to helping RLS and maybe even our overall health. I will give the first part on my next blog.

More things to think about.

Kris

Watching my life style

Well, I haven’t written as I wanted to, but I have kept a close watch on things I have been doing. I really haven’t changed anything from my normal routine, except that I had to stop taking my calcium with magnesium at night, due to problems I was having with my kidneys, possible kidney stones. I noticed right away that my sleeping at night deteriorated. I was more restless and it took me longer to get to sleep. So, I started to look around at other possible types of calcium that I might still be able to take that wouldn’t cause me problems. One of my Doctors recommended Calcium lactate, it is a more natural form from plants and with the help of magnesium is absorped into the body more easily. I decided to stop at a health food store to purchase some and ran into the owner of the store that was a wealth of knowledge on the benefits and downfall of calcium. This is what I learned. In the US we have the highest rate of osteoporosis and the highest consumption of calcium. Something isn’t working is it? The Chinese don’t even have a word for osteoporosis,  and they only consume 75 miligram of calcium a day, as opposed to the US recommendation of 1000 mg a day. However, most of our calcium is in a form that is not absorped into the body. Now, I have know for sometime that you need to take magnesium with your calcium to help the body absorp it, but I didn’t realize, until the owner of the Health Food Store told me, that magnesium is also one of the best supplements to help you sleep at night. Might be the reason it helps so much with restless leg syndrome. So, if nothing else start taking calcium lactate with magnesium for not only your restless legs but for those of you that have trouble falling asleep.

Kris