Die Healthy

I heard that term a few years back. At first I thought, well that is stupid! But, the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Isn’t that what we all want to do, healthy, healthy, healthy…….dead. Think about it - you’re active enjoying life one day and the next day you’re gone. No suffering, no burden to others, and no waiting around for the inevitable. The goal should be to live a long life and then die healthy.

Is that even possible? I think it is but you have to start now. To do so you have to be well, not just healthy. Think about what you are currently doing in the following areas, if you are not doing them now, what makes you think you are going to do them when you are older? The areas I think are important to prepare for are:

  • Physical-are you going to be able to move thought space to enjoy the things you like to do?
  • Financial- are you putting money away for the future to enjoy the things you like to do.
  • Social- are you able to make new friends in a variety of situations, do you have someone to do the things you like to do, with?
  • Mental-are you challenging yourself to learn new things, maybe you will find more things you like to do?
  • Emotional- are you developing a support system to help you?
  • Spiritual-So many times we don’t want to include Spirituality in being healthy. Spiritualty can be many things to many people. I my mind it is more than a belief in a supreme being, it is about faith in others and purpose. Do you have faith in others and purpose?

To Die Healthy is a hell of a goal! Most of us will struggle either physically or mentally. I want to remind everyone of the words of the great Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi “We are going to chase perfection and in the process catch excellent!”

Chase perfection……Die Healthy

Fall Back into Strength Training

Each year at this time I write the pretty much the same blog!!! For the last 40 years or so I have said and done the same thing, strength train during the time change hours. I go back to the gym in October strength train until March, and then enjoy the spring and summer time activities.

This year is not exception I have started my strength training program this week. Each year I start out slow and build thought out the year allowing my muscles to adapt along the way. What I find is that I maintain my strength from year to year, I don’t get bored with my program, and I enjoy all the outdoor activities in the summer.

I feel like over the year I have been able to maintain my overall strength. I follow good lifting principles:(for more about strength training principles visited the “get Fit” page on the PPW website-www.properwell.com)

  • Total body
  • Push/pull
  • Lift to near fatigue
  • Work/rest ratio
  • Progression and adaption

Each year by March I am as strong as I was the year before. This is great thing for someone who is just trying to maintain strength as you age!

So now is the time to get back to the gym and work on developing strength.

The Art and Science Of Food Preservation

WEB salageFood preservation is not a new idea. Our ancestors were forced to be creative in order to survive around the year. They used a variety of methods, from drying food in the sun, to submerging food in salt for salt curing, to buying and burying ice in the summer to create makeshift refrigerators. Humans have worked very hard over the last years to perfect those ways and create new ones to keep food tasty and edible all year round!

While this innovation means that many of the options are now available at the store, preserving your own food can save you money and often be even healthier, since you control what goes in your food. You don’t have to be an expert in order to make your own preserved food either! Thanks to the internet, learning how to preserve food is a Google search away.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation https://nchfp.uga.edu/ is an especially great source for learning preservation techniques. They go over how to can, freeze, dry, pickle, etc. nearly any food you can think of! Need to know how long to blanch a cauliflower? How to make fruit leather? The perfect pickle recipe? They’ve got it all! Check them out today!

Nutrition and Hypothyroid

What group of hormones affects your weight, energy, digestion, and mood?

You guessed it: it’s your thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control your metabolism which affects every system in your body. When your thyroid hormone levels are too low things slow down and you feel sluggish.

Your thyroid needs nutrients to function and make its hormones. Improving your diet can help you feel better (along with any medications you might need).

Thyroid problems can cause several seemingly unrelated issues throughout the body. These include changes to your weight, energy, digestion, and mood. These are all linked to the thyroid because it directs important processes that happen throughout the body.

Thyroid hormones help control your metabolism. When the levels are too low, metabolism slows down. Symptoms can include feeling chilly, fatigued, getting constipated, feeling down, and gaining weight. Low levels of thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism.

There are some important foods and nutrients that can help you feel better. By providing your body with proper nutrition—along with prescribed medications—you can help reduce your symptoms.

Before we dive into my nutrition tips for you, let’s start by understanding the thyroid and why it’s so important for your body and mind.

What does your thyroid do?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck that secretes thyroid hormones. These hormones control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy). These affect several processes throughout the body, including your breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and brain. When thyroid hormones are high, many systems speed up. When hormone levels are low, they slow down.

Thyroid hormones are very important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Not only for the health of the mother but also the developing baby. Thyroid hormones help with proper development of babies’ bones, brains, and nervous systems.

Low thyroid (hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s)

Low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is common. Nearly 1 in 20 Americans aged 12 or older experience underactive thyroid. Overactive thyroids, or hyperthyroidism, is much less common—affecting just 1 in 100 Americans. Thyroid problems occur most often in women, people over 60 years old, and those with a family history of thyroid issues.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease. This is an autoimmune condition. It happens when the body’s immune system—designed to fight off germs and infections—mistakenly attacks and destroys the body’s own cells. People with other autoimmune disorders (celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus, etc.) are more likely to develop Hashimoto’s disease than those who do not have an autoimmune disease.

Other less common causes of hypothyroidism are inflammation, iodine deficiency, other diseases, medications, or it can be present at birth.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

There are many symptoms of hypothyroidism. Some common ones include:

  • Fatigue and weakness (feeling unusually tired, having less energy)
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble tolerating cold (feeling chilly when others around you feel fine)
  • Depression, difficulty concentrating, memory problems
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Puffy face
  • Dry or thinning skin, hair, and nails
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual problems or fertility problems
  • Slow heart rate

These symptoms can vary from person to person, and may have causes other than low thyroid. Hypothyroidism develops gradually over time, so it’s possible not to notice symptoms for months or even years.

Hydration in the Heat

It’s officially summer and the weather has been HOT, HOT, HOT! And that means more sweating, and fluid loss. Did you know that even mild dehydration means a deficit of 1 - 2 percent of your total body fluid?

That’s only 1 ½ - 3 pounds for a 150-pound person. Total body water comprises approximately 45 - 75% of a person’s body weight. Muscle mass is 70 - 75% water, while water in fat tissue can vary between 10 and 40%. 

Water functions in the body to:

  • Regulate body temperature
  • Lubricate joints and organs
  • Provide structure to cells
  • Transport vitamins, minerals and nutrients through the body
  • Preserve heart function (such as maintain a lower heart rate) In this hot weather,

if we’re not rehydrating adequately it is really easy to become dehydrated.

Our bodies are Amazing!

Maintaining constant water and mineral balance requires the coordination of sensitive detectors in our bodies. These detectors are precise; when there is a lack of water, fluid is pulled out of cells (intracellular) and pushed into the bloodstream (extracellular), causing the cells to shrink. Signals are then sent to our brain to tell us to hydrate, and hormones cause a decrease in urine output (helping us hold on to our water stores). This means, THIRST is a poor indicator of hydration. Because if you’re thirsty, your body is already adjusting to conserve its’ precious resource!

Signs of mild dehydration include:

  • Moodiness (mood aspects particularly affect women, like issues such as happiness, fatigue & confusion)
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased physical performance and slower reaction time

It’s worth noting that most studies on hydration and cognitive performance are short-term (i.e., hours, days) and it is not certain if there are longer-term cognitive declines resulting from dehydration.

Stay hydrated this summer!

A great way to tell if you’re adequately hydrated…look at your urine (that’s right, check out your pee). It should be mostly clear, with a tinge of yellow, anything darker and you’re dehydrated. An exception to this rule is if you’ve recently taken a multivitamin (which naturally turns your urine a bit of a neon yellow).

For those of you who are more methodical and would prefer a numerical target. You should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150-pound person would drink about 75 ounces per day. Adjust this number according to your activity level. The more active you are, and the heavier you sweat, the more you should drink. If you were to weigh yourself before exercise and post exercise, you would replete your body with 16 ounces for every 1-pound loss. For example, if you weighed 150 pounds pre-exercise, and 149 pounds post-exercise, you should consume 2 cups of water to reach euhydration (hydration homeostasis).

Tips to staying hydrated:

  • Drink water! Our bodies are made of water, not soda, or juice.
    • Although these beverages will help hydrate; in reference to soda they may cause an increased loss of calcium (which is concerning for both bones and kidneys). And the juice adds unnecessary sugar!
  • Flavor your water; try lemon or lime juice, mint leaves, lemon balm, cucumber or berries.
    • I do not recommend using commercial flavor enhancers as many use sugar substitutes like artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols that studies show disrupt the microbiome (our healthy gut bacteria). 
  • Find what fits you: some people drink more when they have a straw, others less, some prefer ice water, others room temperate.
  • Carry a glass or stainless-steel water bottle (if you need to, create challenges for yourself to consume “x” amount by 12, 4 and 8 pm, for example).
  • Eat fruits and veggies! Fruits in particular are water dense; foods such as watermelon, grapes, lettuce and cucumber can offer some of your fluid needs.
  • Drink smoothies, eat popsicles and enjoy frozen fruit as a refreshing summer snack!