Thrive Health Blog

Caring For A Parent With Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people affected by dementia in the USA is on the rise, with over 6 million suffering with some form of the disease.  Dementia is a deterioration in mental capability, with 60-80 percent of these cases being Alzheimer’s and the second most common being vascular dementia, which can appear after a stroke.  Damage to the brain cells, which often happens with age, disrupts the cells interacting with each other and causes many debilitating symptoms.  What happens when a parent starts to show these signs and what can their child actively do to help them?

 

SIGNS OF DEMENTIA

  • Forgetfulness and memory issues can happen to all of us and may be due to many reasons. Vitamin deficiency, depression, stress or thyroid.  When a parent forgets recently learned information, important dates or repeats a question a few times, this maybe a sign of dementia.
  • Lack of concentration. An inability to complete a simple task due to a wandering mind.
  • Logic and decision. An incoherency in logical thought pattern and the lack of decisive decisions.
  • Confusion with time and place. Trouble understanding the present and the future.
  • Fear and suspicion.
  • Repeating and sometimes forgetting words to use.
  • Changes in mood and personality. People with Alzheimer’s can become easily confused, anxious, depressed and even aggressive.
  • Not wanting to socialize. The early onset of dementia can be recognized by the sufferer, causing them to retract from social interaction or hobbies.

 

Caring For A Parent With Dementia

 

Once recognizing the signs, make sure the parent sees a doctor as soon as possible, in order to try and minimize the brain cell damage and provide drugs or therapy to help with memory loss and symptoms of confusion.  The  Alzheimer’s Association is in the process of researching and diagnozing symptoms before they fully develop, in the hope they may stop the disease before brain damage and mental capacity declines.

 

 

WHERE SHOULD THE PARENT LIVE?

Dementia can be challenging, not only for the sufferer, but their family too. If possible, relatives should discuss living options with the patient, before the disease progresses to the stage where they don’t understand what is being said to them.  Many dementia suffers stay at home for the first years of the disease, but it is essential that the following care is considered, depending on finances and development stage:

  • Home care. There are many options for home care from domestic work, nursing healthcare, and agencies that specialize in dementia care.
  • Respite care. If relatives are taking care of the family relation, it is important that they have periodic relief from being the sole care giver.  Most care agencies offer a respite service.
  • Assisted Living. Ideal for patients who require help preparing meals, bathing and dressing but do not need any special medical needs.  They live in their own apartment or share a residence, which gives a feeling of independence.
  • Dementia special care. Special dementia care units are often found in residential care homes.  With staff who are especially trained for the requirements of a dementia or Alzheimer’s sufferer.

 

 

HOME SAFETY TIPS

Staying at home maybe a feasible option for the first stage of dementia, but it is crucial to have certain safety measures in place, so the family member is protected and the caregiver has piece of mind.

Particular attention should be spent of securing certain areas of the home:

  • Consider taking knobs off the stove.  Appliances should have an automatic switch off feature and be away from any water sources.  Remove sharp knives.
  • Remove any hazardous chemicals and keep tools locked away.
  • Make sure chemicals are locked away.  Have safety bars installed so that the parent can lift themselves with ease.
  • Fire alarm/carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure all safety devices are inspected on a regular basis.
  • Keep the home well lit. Use natural light were possible avoiding florescent light which may aggravate dementia sufferers.

 

 

HELPING A PARENT WITH DEMENTIA

When a parent is in the early stages of dementia they are likely to feel scared, stressed and worried. Creating a regular routine will help them feel more secure in their home.  Encourage them and try not to be critical or frustrated with their behavior.  This is difficult at times, when the caregiver maybe tired and anxious too.  Giving small responsibilities in the early stages, for example polishing the furniture or laying the dinner table, will create self worth.  There are a number of devices to help a parent, especially in the onset of dementia.

  • Memory aids. Pictures used around the house to identify where things are kept.  An example of this would be a picture of mugs on a kitchen cupboard.
  • Hobbies. Going for small regular walks, food shopping, having family and friends visit are a few suggestions to keep active and engaged.
  • Diet and exercise is very important for dementia sufferers. The longer they have mobility and nutrition the better quality of life they will have.  A recent study from the AHA Stroke Journals states chances of suffering a stroke or getting dementia increases three times if an individual drinks soda everyday.
  • Schedule regular medical visits.
  • Join a support group.  It is important for the caregiver to have support too.  Depression in caregivers who look after dementia sufferers is very common so this is imperative.
  • Plan for the future. Know your options of living arrangements for when the disease progresses.
  • Simplify directions by sticking to one instruction, allowing time for response.
  • Avoid confrontation or disagreement. Dementia affects rationality and logic.
  • Paper work. Sorting parent’s financial affairs is important.  If possible, arrange power of attorney before the dementia has progressed.  Each state is different in terms of laws. Contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for further information.

 

 

RESOURCES

Louis Theroux Extreme Love Dementia

AHA Stroke Journal

 CBS News Lowering risk of dementia

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/411292?redirect=true

 

Lead Poisoning in Children is More Prevalent than You Know

Lead poisoning in children can occur with any amount of exposure to the metal. The CDC has recommended “safety amount” guidelines. As it turns out, there is no safe amount at all; any exposure is potentially dangerous.

Heavy Metal

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published its newest findings on lead exposure. Low amounts, previously considered safe, can still cause lead poisoning. It’s an environmental hazard that can cause a gamut of problems and illnesses in children.

According to the AAP in the journal, Pediatrics, lead poisoning can cause permanent mental and behavioral problems. It’s also capable of causing mental retardation and brain damage. When lead is present, a child’s body absorbs it, regardless of the amount. Due to chemical similarities, the brain may absorb it in place of calcium.

Get the Lead Out

Advocates and experts are calling for stricter regulations on the presence of the metal. 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was the original CDC guideline for safety. Recently, the “safe” amount of exposure was changed to 5 micrograms. Now, however, based on current medical information, many are calling for another change. Some are screaming for the figure to be lowered to at least 1 microgram or less. And, many in the scientific community are asking for a zero. They claim no amount of lead exposure is safe.

Where is it?

We’ve known for years that lead was (and still is) found in paint. Other sources include: toys, dishware, water, and soil. Homes, schools, childcare centers, and playgrounds all contain lead. Experts are advocating prevention before exposure occurs. The key is to identify the sources of lead, and then remove them.

A Historical Problem

Symptoms of lead poisoning don’t always rear their ugly heads until a child is older or well into school. Early exposure often causes problems later on. The child can often be misdiagnosed since it’s difficult to trace the lead sources back to early childhood. Many ADD, ADHD, and Autism spectrum behaviors could actually be caused by early lead exposure. Thus, symptoms are later treated, but never the root problem.

Varied Solutions

Some foundations recommend testing pregnant women and babies for lead levels. Finding out earlier is better than later. Others advocate investing in the reduction of health hazards. Some of those would be: to renovate schools, housing, and the allowable amount of lead in water from fountains. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

When high levels are detected, removal of lead can be approached in different fashions. Chelation is a common method. This is a treatment where the patient is given a medication that binds with the lead so that it’s excreted in the urine. Alternative therapy suggests using a chelate of calcium, garlic, cilantro, and chlorella. Modified citrus pectin is also sometimes used as a natural detox supplement.

To learn more about toxins and what we can do to keep our families safe, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Lost Your Motivation? Here’s How to Find It

There are times in life when we don’t feel as if we are as productive as we could be. There are things we want, but sometimes it’s tough to find the motivation to take action. Below are some suggestions on ways to find motivation in your everyday life and at work.

What is Motivation?

As humans, we have a reason for every time we take an action. That “reason”, that “why” we do anything is called the motivator. We are moved to action, and motivation is the core of that action.

For example, if you start running away from a swarm of bees, running is your action and fear is your motivation. If you spend money on a lottery ticket, winning money is your motivation. If you exercise, an endorphin rush or the desire to lose weight may be your motivation.

What all of these examples have in common, along with any motivators, is that they are compelled by feelings. The way our brains are structured, feelings almost always trump thoughts.

What Motivates You?

What motivates you will be specific to what provides you with a compelling feeling. Chip and Dan Heath, in their book Switch, talk about focusing on emotions. How you feel can determine your level of motivation.

If you’re feeling very hungry, that may be your motivation to eat. If you’re excited about getting a paycheck, that may be your “why” you go to work. When you begin to understand your feelings and what can motivate you, you may be more apt to take action.

John O’Leary, in his book On Fire, talks about his motivation to learn how to write with no hands. At nine years old, John was in a fire that burned 100% of his body. His willpower kept him alive and sent him home from the hospital after five months of medical treatment.

Once home, his mom offered, “John, if you learn how to write, you can go back to school!” That feeling did not excite John. Hence, that was not a particularly great motivator. He was not motivated to write.

However, a visit from John’s hero, American sportscaster Jack Buck, made a different impression. Mr. Buck brought John a signed baseball from a player on the St. Louis Cardinals. He then offered, “If you write this player a thank you note, I’m sure he will send you another ball.”

In two weeks, John figured out to write with no hands, and sure enough another baseball arrived by mail. He continued to write notes. And he continued to collect baseballs. His collection finally grew to 60.

What excited John (what connecting to “feeling”) is what became the motivator.

Feeling Good

A psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Fredrickson, writes that positive emotions compel individuals to take action. Her definition of positive feelings include: joy, contentment and love. Her belief and research show that through mindfulness, kindness, and even meditation, people can increase their level of positivity; thus, creating motivation.

Finding meaning in what we do can also be a valuable motivator. In his Ted Talk seminar, Dan Ariely talks about how when people feel they have a “purpose,” they are more apt to take action. Feeling value in what you are about to partake in can be a great motivator.

Reward

Finding ways to reward yourself for tasks completed is an important element in adding to your feelings of success. In the workplace, reward plays a big part in encouraging positive behavior and motivating employees. Reward also plays a large part in motivating students.

Understanding what compels you emotionally may bring you closer to an understanding of what can motivate you. And in learning what motivates you, you may find yourself feeling more productive, fulfilled, and overall more joyous.

 

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary:

Everyone has their own motivating factors, triggers or events. For me, as a physician and humanitarian, our MSNBC Morning Joe medical reporting trip to the impoverished island country of Haiti, just after category 4 Hurricane Matthew devastated the homes, crops, towns and villages in 2016 was a life-changing journey. Then to read about Dr. Paul Farmer in Mountains Beyond Mountains by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder clinched it for me.  Dr. Farmer continues to dedicate his life as a physician to treating the poorest of the poor. His altruism is a beacon for all physicians that went into the practice of medicine to help others. Dr. Farmer has triggered and motivated me to practice medicine with the utmost safety, consideration and compassion, and highest quality.

For more interesting stories about motivation, health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com TODAY!

 

Not Deadly, No “Adverse Effects” but Still Worth It?

A new study declares that Americans feel it’s worth spending out-of-pocket dollars for alternative health care . Will this personally-subsidized, wellness-trend continue?

Research Says…

Americans are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on health care products that are not necessarily prescribed by their physicians. These supplements include probiotics, fish oil, digestive enzymes, and other popular immune-boosting products. In fact, more personal money is spent on natural supplementation and alternative health treatment than visits to the doctor.

In 2012, data was collected by the National Health Interview Survey. The results were recently published depicting various spending habits of Americans in regards to health care. The National Center for Health Statistics show that $54 billion (out-of-pocket) was spent that year on prescription drugs. Incredibly, almost $13 billion was spent (also out-of-pocket) on health supplements.

Research Also Adds…

In addition to supplements, it was discovered that Americans are willing to pay for alternative health treatment. One in five persons (adults and children) spent money on various types of treatments. These preventative and/or healing applications are: massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnosis, and homeopathy.

Health insurances most often doesn’t cover these costs, but it appears we are willing to pay, regardless. The 2012 survey noted that over $30 billion was spent on alternative health care overall (out-of-pocket). That sounds like an exorbitant amount, but put into perspective… That year, over $300 billion was spent out-of-pocket for all forms of health care.

Naysayers Say…

Those opposed to alternative health care treatment and supplements will use FDA stipulations as an argument. It is true that certain herbal and dietary supplements can be sold without FDA approval. This is one reason why some western-medicine general practitioners may naysay their use.

Former director of Dietary Supplement Programs at the FDA, Daniel Fabricant, shed some light on this issue. He says doctors receive less than 20 hours of nutritional training, on average. Additionally, they spend an average of seven minutes per patient and may see 40 in one day. It’s tough to counsel someone on their health and wellness when their observations and information are limited.

As far as the FDA debates, the truth is that supplements still require Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). They also must comply with “adverse effect” reports and other required data collection. Realistically, there aren’t “deadly” products sold without FDA approval and there are still “harmful” products sold with its blessing.

The Positive Future…

From figures derived from the study, individuals spent an average of $510 on alternative health care for that particular year. Research points to far greater amounts of dollars spent since then. Fabricant believes Americans are dissatisfied with the care they receive that’s covered by insurance. He believes people are seeking ways to stay healthy on their own—even if it costs more.

It’s certainly a positive step towards health and longevity when Americans explore, experiment, and then accept alternatives to good health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, in order to indulge, it’s costing us above and beyond our insurance premiums, deductibles, and allowances. Hopefully in the near future, the cost of good health will cost less.

For more articles on health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com

Summer Is Coming – Exercises To Lose That Belly Fat!

Summer is fast approaching and winter’s belly fat is still flopping around the mid section in all its miserable glory.  Feeling the heavier side of wobble is disheartening, especially when reaching for that swimsuit.  Don’t give up, determination, healthy eating and exercise will prevail.

 

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

This is where it gets interesting!  Many people have been doing the exercise all wrong.  Workouts have either been sporadic or involve tummy crunches and lunges in desperation to squeeze that fat away.  The crunches are ideal after the pudge starts to slide off, as it will help tone muscle.  However, before concentrating on toning up, there is a crucial kind of exercise to do for at least 30 minutes a day:  high impact.

 

Elevating the heart rate moves oxygen and blood into our muscles, which in turn work more efficiently.  Noticing the difference in your mobility and stamina will happen over a couple of weeks.  Once muscle productivity and stamina increase due to heart rate elevation, fat will start to burn off.

 

NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT

The tummy stores the fat, but the key to slimming down is working out the entire body not just the middle.  There are many fun and thrilling exercises that will assist in improving the heart rate and increase muscle mass, as well as a few that will support the high impact moves like yoga or Pilates.   (Any form of high impact exercise will require checking with a physician, before undertaking any of the following suggestions)

 

  • The Tracy Anderson Method. Its difficult to stay motivated with the same old run, swim or cycle ride, so try something new, dynamic and that the Hollywood stars are hooked on.  Tracey Anderson, a dancer turned weight loss/fitness trainer, has come up with an exercise routine that will get the heart pumping, whilst concentrating on smaller core muscles to lengthen and give definition. Tracey, TAM, has video streaming classes, which are amazing, motivational, exciting, and well worth the monthly fee.
  • Burn60 is a full body high impact workout lasting 60 minutes. Increasing endurance, speed, and strength, they claim that a person will see a difference in two weeks with an average of 500-900 calories burned each class.  They are currently only based in California, USA but you can stream their workout videos .  Burn60, is fun and will test you to your limit.
  • A combination of music and high impact routines produces Pound. A unique way to combine physical and emotional influence to get a person fit.  The 45-minute class uses a specially designed lightweight drumstick (called Ripstix) as a prop to combine yoga, Pilates, cardio and muscle conditioning to music.  Kirsten Potenza, co-creator of Pound says “its about how your body feels not just about the way it looks”.

 

TYPES OF EXERCISES THAT GET THE BODY MOVING

This is a fun, highly energetic workout that will get hearts dancing, the wobble melting away and the mind happy.

 

  • Pilates is a great way to strengthen core muscles as well as improving posture, strengthening abs and back muscles. Combining posture and high impact exercise is the perfect combination.
  • Trampoline workout. Find that inner child and go jump on a trampoline. This exercise for adults is fun, gets the heart pumping and the muscles jumping into shape. LEKFIT has fabulous online classes, and there is no need to even leave the living room.

 

Adding an exercise which is different, fun and engaging, will elevate the mood, the body, and how the swimsuit fits, minus the rubber ring, before the pool even opens.  To read more on this subject and more, please visit getthrive.com

 

RESOURCES

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/belly-fat/art-20045809

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/4/1043/4596712

 

 

Pilates History and Why it Works!

Pilates: A Strength Training Method for Almost a Century

Towards the end of World War I, Joseph Pilates created exercises to strengthen the body and the mind. Almost 100 years later, the success of his method continues to grow, with over 11 million people currently practicing.

The Background Details

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany to a mother who was a naturopath and a father who was a professional gymnast. As a child, he was ill, weak, and frail. Perhaps from using his own inner-determination along with his parents as models, Joseph was able to heal and thrive. He himself grew to become an adept gymnast, as well as a proficient skier.

The family moved to England, where he worked as a circus performer and then a self-defense instructor. But he was eventually placed in an internment camp for “enemy aliens” when the First World War broke out. Joseph worked as an orderly and created special apparatus to help mobilize wounded soldiers. He literally attached springs to hospital beds and designed exercises. His famous piece of equipment, the “Cadillac” was born there.

A Few Years Later…

Joseph immigrated to the United States, and it was on his voyage where he met his third wife, Clara. They were partners in love and business, and in 1926, they opened their first “body-conditioning gym” in New York City.

By then, Joseph had transformed one of his contraptions to help injured dancers. It was called the Universal Reformer, which is now the “Reformer,” one of the best-known apparatus used in Pilates.

Joseph’s method, called “Contrology” incorporated more than just his machines. He integrated three essential principles, which created the base for his exercise philosophy. They were (and still are):

-Breath

-Whole-body health

-Whole-body commitment

 

Mind, Body, and Spirit

Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises that engaged the whole body through controlled movements. Self-resistance is at the core of the movement—also known as dynamic tension. He defined Contrology as “the comprehensive integration of body, mind, and spirit.”

Each exercise requires complete focus. Traditionally, each movement should involve:

 

  • The breath

  • Concentration

  • Centering

  • Control

  • Precision

  • Flow

 

Many who studied with Joseph in the early days recall him being the mastermind, but Clara was the true teacher. She was the partner who adapted the exercises to best fit the needs of each individual client. That’s a tenant of the method that still exists today.

Another effective approach that continues today with the Pilates method is the “hands on” style used by instructors. That was actually developed by fortunate accident. Since neither Joseph nor Clara spoke English well, they were fairly non-verbal during instruction and guided students’ bodies with their hands.

Media Popularity

Back in New York when the studio first opened, many celebrity dancers visited the gym. They spread word quickly amongst their peers about how Contrology helped them recover from dance injuries. Jerome Robbins and Martha Graham were part of that crew and the buzz got around about this new form of exercise.

Then again, in the 1970s, celebrities touted the benefits of the Pilates Method. (In 1967, Joseph died and his “elders”—those who continued to teach the method—changed the name from Contrology to Pilates.)

Ron Fletcher opened a Pilates studio in Beverly Hills and word spread quickly. Fletcher was identified as an elder, and can be attributed to moving the moves to a mat. He literally took the exercises to a vertical position. No more equipment necessary. Just a mat and a floor.

By 1975, Pilates became well known in the Hollywood circle with such actors as Barbara Streisand, Ali MacGraw, and Candice Bergen. Even Nancy Reagan practiced and spread the good word.

By the 1980s and After…

Pilates studios began springing up everywhere—with machines and without. After a four year lawsuit, in October of 2000, the courts decided that the term Pilates could not be trademarked.

After that, the exercise method no longer belonged to just the elite. Pilates had finally entered the mainstream fitness trend.

Pilates in 2016

Using self-resistance, the movements in Pilates are designed to elongate muscles, improve joint flexibility, decrease risk of injuries, increase core strength, improve balance, shed inches, and realign posture.

There are fundamental exercises in which one should practice before moving forward. The method is called a “practice” for a reason. As you develop strength and increased concentration, you will be able to manage more and more challenging movements, and watch your body sculpt itself naturally.

Pilates benefits the mind and spirit as diligently as it does the body. Some of today’s celebs practicing a form of the method are: Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kate Hudson, among many, many others.

You don’t need to be in the spotlight to feel like a star. Pilates is worth checking out if integrated and whole-body health is of interest to you.

 

For more articles on Pilates, check out GetThrive.com

Feeling Stressed or Anxious? You’re not Alone

Do you often feel fatigued, tense, irritable, and nervous? These are all common symptoms of stress and anxiety. Although you may feel alone, the diagnosis of anxiety disorders and depression is on the rise in the United States.

Mental Health Studies

According to a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association, 35% of participants reported a chronic feeling of “nervousness and anxiety.”

By 2015, this number increased to 42%. Furthermore, “constant worrying” increased from 28% to 33%, with “feeling depressed or sad” increasing from 32% to 37%.

Additional statistics to note:

  • Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, younger generations are reporting higher levels of stress.
  • The American Institute of Stress reported that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms of stress. Also, 48% feel that their stress level has increased over the past five years.
  • According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 6 million people suffer from panic disorder, while 15 million suffer from social anxiety disorder.
  • The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18% of the population.

What Does this Data Mean?

First things first, if you’re concerned that you suffer from stress, anxiety, and/or depression, remember this: you are not alone. Also, since more attention is being drawn to mental health concerns, there is a greater probability of finding a treatment strategy that generates positive results.

While help is available, there’s another statistic that is a bit worrisome: only one-third (approximately) of people suffering from an anxiety disorder are receiving treatment. Fortunately, you don’t have to be part of this group. Instead, you can get on the right path by understanding some of the top symptoms of stress and anxiety:

  • Migraine headache
  • Squeezing pain in the stomach
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Nail-biting
  • Overeating or no appetite
  • Constant worry
  • Restless (or no) sleep
  • The feeling that you want to cry

The primary reason to treat stress is to remove it from your life once and for all. Along with this, you don’t want the problem to worsen over time. Continual stress and anxiety can develop into a disorder, thus leading to long term depression.

Some of the symptoms associated with depression include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in extracurricular activities
  • Persistent feeling of sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Stress Relievers Exist

It’s a common belief that medication is the only way to treat stress, anxiety, and depression, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The following treatment options have been proven effective for many people:

  • This doesn’t mean you have to become a marathon runner overnight. A daily walk, a bike ride, or a visit to your local gym will do wonders to relieve tension. When you exercise aerobically, your endorphins will kick in and fill you with a “feel good” hormone rush. Yoga can also be a lifesaver.
  • You don’t need to visit India to learn how to meditate. Sitting in a quiet space with your eyes closed, taking deep breaths, is often enough to transform your life. The object is to calm and quiet your mind. Meditation can also lower your blood pressure.
  • Talk about it. Contact a family member or friend to discuss your mental state. Make an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Sharing what’s on your mind can help remove some (or all) stress from your life.

Conclusion

There is more to living a healthy life than eating right and exercising. You should focus on your mental health as well.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to practice a variety of stress-relief techniques while also seeking professional assistance. Also, if you or a loved one is contemplating suicide, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary:

That may be a lot to take in. But I remind patients suffering from crippling back pain, chronic spinal disease, paralysis and other ailments seen in a spinal surgery practice, mine, that taking small steps to curb stress and anxiety is more effective, and longer lasting, that ‘swinging for the fence’. And everyone is different. The joke in clinic today was a young man, a cowboy that lives on a ranch out west of town hurt his low back roping cattle. He needed stress-relieving, muscle-strengthening core exercises. He was a classic, wearing boots, a big belt-buckle and jeans. I told him, in my most doctorly voice, “Partner, you need to start a yoga class, it has been scientifically shown to be effective for back pain”. The belly laugh he gave brought the entire clinic to a halt. Everyone started laughing with him, and at me. It was great fun. And yes, most cowboys don’t want to be told to go to a yoga class. But once he realized the male to female ratio, and gave it a little more thought, the idea of a yoga class didn’t seem quite so bad.

Find your own stress-relieving and anxiety-busting behaviors and activities. If you choose it you will own it.

 

For more great articles on health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com

 

Is Butter Bad for Your Health?

Your Health

For years we’ve been told butter is bad for our health, but some substitutes may be worse. Here’s better news:

Funded Butter Study

A research team from Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy recently conducted a study on butter. It was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and collected data from over 600,000 people from 15 different countries. The findings suggest that butter may not be as unhealthy as we’ve been led to believe.

Study senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian explains, “…butter should neither be demonized nor considered back as a route to good health.” In essence, the doctor is adding a disclaimer to the statement “butter is fine.” It doesn’t provide any real nutritional or health benefits. But, if eaten in small quantities, it doesn’t appear to create any significant rise in the risk of heart disease.

Churning the Fat

Butter is fattening. Per tablespoon, the delicious dairy-derived spread contains 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 7 grams of saturated fat. It’s the saturated fat that’s dangerous to heart health when eaten in abundance. There are other fats and oils that have just as many calories, but contain the “good” fats. Furthermore, butter contains a minimal amount of nutrition. But no doubt, butter is yummy.

The study found that eating butter was not associated with heart disease when consumed in small portions. However, it warned that on all other counts, butter is still a high-fat, high-calorie food.

What’s Better than Butter?

When talking health-wise as a spread, you still have a large variety of tasty options that are better than butter. Any monosaturated fat product is going to be healthier. Foods offering omega-3 fat sources are also good choices. A short list includes: flaxseed, coconut, and extra virgin olive oil, peanut and/or almond butter, salmon, and avocado.

What’s Not Better?

Unhealthier choices than butter include any product with hydrogenated or even partially hydrogenated oils. These contain trans-fats, which can ultimately be deadly. More than minimal amounts of sugar and starches can be worse for you than eating butter. High saturated fatty foods such as red meat, dark poultry meat and certain cheeses are also in the unhealthier than butter category.

Treating yourself to a teaspoon of butter on a warm roll or melting a small dollop in the pan to scramble with your egg whites is fine. Keeping the bad fats at bay (or to an extreme minimum) will not affect your overall health—especially if you eat mindfully and exercise habitually.