Fight Serious Illness the BEST Way

Functional Aging

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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087
  1. Fight Serious Illness the BEST Way


    Our friend James is concerned about his 82-year-old mother, who lost her husband and sister within a couple of months this year.

    She’s showing signs of depression, which can be grave. Plus, she was recently diagnosed with AFib, or atrial fibrillation, and is working with her doctors to bring her heart to a proper, steady rate. AFib can lead to stroke, heart failure, and other problems.

    James’ mother has friends and family to support her. She’s in good health and has been reasonably physically active. Working out with resistance bands at home, tracking her steps, and going to yoga classes before her husband began ailing a few years ago.

    James has learned that depression and AFib are common, serious problems for people over 50.

    “I’ve also learned we have a powerful tool to treat them,” he says. “Exercise.”

     Depression Is A Serious Illness

    The American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry says 15 percent of people over 65 have symptoms of depression that interfere with their physical, mental, and emotional health.

    Researchers at the University of Washington say mature adults with significant depression have healthcare costs 50 percent higher than those without it. The World Health Organization says that by next year, depression will be the second leading cause of premature death and disability around the world.

    The good news? Research proves that exercise:

    • Improves mood
    • Reduces anxiety
    • Increases the ability to handle stress
    • Improves sleep

    Scientists at the Duke University Medical Center tested exercise against antidepressants in 156 outpatients 50 and older. The two treatments worked about the same in eliminating symptoms, and exercise was better than medication in keeping depression from recurring.

    A Connection to Heart Disease

    Depression brings a higher risk of heart disease and exercise improves fitness, of course, and helps lower the risk of both, according to a study published in the JAMA Network.

     “Depression doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, who wrote the report.

    “Especially for people who are older, depression has a complicated relationship with other major medical diseases.”

    Among the findings:

    • Fit people are 16 percent less likely to develop depression.
    • Fit people are 61 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
    • Even among people with depression, those who are fit have a 56 percent lower risk of dying from heart-related problems.

    “Exercise not only reduces your risk of heart disease but also improves your depression, so I really see it as a bonafide treatment related to depression,” said Trivedi.

    “I want primary care physicians to prescribe not only antidepressants but also prescribe a dose of exercise for the treatment of depression.”

    Serious Issues We Can Fight

    Experts say physical activity is usually good for people with AFib, according to WebMD.

    “But before you start ramping up your workouts, ask your cardiologist (your heart doctor) if you need any tests.”

    The Mayo Clinic says doctors routinely recommend exercise and a healthy diet for patients with AFib. Again, talk to your doctor.

    And the American College of Cardiology says:

    Studies show that compared with people with AFib who do not exercise, those who do:

    • have fewer AFib episodes,
    • go to the hospital less often, and
    • report better quality of life

    As for James’ mom, he’s going with her on doctor appointments, helping her maintain social routines – and encouraging her to exercise.

    “These are serious issues,” he says. “But we can fight them.”

    • See your doctor for more information about depression and heart disease, including AFib.
  2. Which Foods Cause Inflammation and Why Is It So Important?

    By Terry Cobb-CPT, CES

    inflammation1According to the statistics from the World Health Organization, about 12.9 million people worldwide died from some form of cardiovascular disease in 2004. And each year, the World Cancer Research Fund estimated that some eight million people died from cancer. Heart disease and cancer, the deadly manifestation of chronic inflammation, are expected to remain as the leading causes of death in developed countries for many years to come.

    Studies do indicate that both the risk of heart disease and cancer are modifiable by our lifestyle choices which include the food we choose to eat each day. With every bite that we take, we’re either balancing the pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, or tipping the scale to one end.

    Here are the top foods found to increase inflammation in the body and possibly cause inflammatory diseases:

    Pro-Inflammatory Agent:

    1.  Sugars

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Opt for natural sweeteners like stevia, honey, or blackstrap molasses to flavor your beverages and foods modestly. Natural sugars found in fresh or dried fruits and fruit preserves with no added sugar are also great choices.

    2.  Common Vegetable Cooking Oils

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Replace your omega-6-saturated cooking oils with macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, or other edible oils with a saner omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio.

    3.  Dairy Products

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute:  Kefir and unsweetened yogurt are acceptable in moderation for those who are not allergic to milk. They are easier on the stomach as the lactose and proteins in the milk have been broken down by beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts.

    4.  Feedlot Raised Meat

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Organic, free-range animals that fed on their natural diet like grasses instead of grains and hormones contain more omega-3 fats

    5.  Red Meat & Processed Meat

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: You don’t need to avoid red meat totally, though the same thing can’t be said for processed meat. No amount of processed meat is safe. Replace the bulk of your red meat with organic vegetables, poultry and fish, and relegate red meat to a weekly treat.

    6.  Alcohol

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: A refreshing and thirst-quenching glass of pure, filtered water or Jasmine Green tea.

    7.  Refined Grains

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Go for minimally processed grains if you are not gluten intolerant or allergic to grains.

    8.  Artificial Food Additives

    Inflammation-dousing Substitute: Besides limiting the consumption of processed foods, use anti-inflammatory herbs, spices or natural sweeteners to add flavor to your dishes instead of relying on food additives.

    superomega3Other non-inflammatory foods:

    Seeds & Nuts:

    Focus on Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Ground Flaxseeds

    The ones listed above are especially high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation throughout the body.  This is especially good for people with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

    No better time than the New Year, to resolve to make healthier food choices!  You don’t have to do it overnight.  But begin with a few small changes and over time, add a few more.  Remember small changes over a long period of time equal success! Bon appétit!

    Read more: for many years to come.

Your Personal Best Location
Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087