There are rumblings in the health field about a nationwide deficiency of Vitamin D. Physicians and other health professionals on a botanical medicine list-serve that I am on have been finding low levels in their patients. This issue is of some concern, as low Vitamin D levels are related to a number of health conditions. Optimum levels of Vitamin D in the body (in the form of cholecalciferol) are clearly associated with protection against a number of common diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, MS, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon.¹
Summer is coming, and so is the annual ritual of spending time outdoors by the beach or the lake. And of course most people follow the modern ritual of going into the sun covered by a plastic goo called . . . sunscreen! How ever did we get to a notion that the sun, that life-giving element, is our constant enemy? While it is true that even the best thing can at times be detrimental (think King Midas), the negative aspect of sunning has almost obliterated its positive side in the public mind today.
Sunlight is required for the internal production of vitamin D. Surprising amounts of research are now showing that a deficiency of that vitamin is associated with a large number of disease states, including osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and many different kinds of cancers including those of the breast, colon, ovary and kidney. Studies have also found that lack of vitamin D is implicated in the tendency of older people to fall.
Yoga is a popular form of exercise, yet there is much more to it than exercising the body with those strange poses. The three elements of yoga are practicing specific postures, meditation and breathing exercises, therefore it increases the health of your mind, body and spirit. Practicing yoga helps a great deal to control stress and anxiety and so it helps to mitigate those diseases that are caused by these conditions – and there are many.
Yoga is said to have a beneficial effect on: –
Sydney’s fun run popularly known as the city to surf is run from the centre of Sydney to the east of Bondi Beach, a distance of 14km. Some go for fun, while others have the more serious goal of winning, or at least of testing themselves to see if they come in ahead of last year’s time. With around 80,000 participants the fun run is exceeding its popularity each year. Still others go just as a way to give to charity, which is the main aim of the run, after all.
How you train for the city to surf will depend on your goals. If you want to win, your training schedule will necessarily be harder than if you just want to complete the course without embarrassment. Every run you do, whether training or competing, should begin with a warm up and end with a cool down.
Pilates exercises are well-known for their ability to help a participant recover from injury, which is what they were originally designed to do by Joseph Pilates. He based the exercises on certain movements from ballet and other regimes, adapting them to strengthen the core or abdominal muscles.
There is more to it than that, of course as the exercises also encompass breathing techniques to be done in conjunction with the movements. To get it right, much concentration and focus is needed, which in turn helps the person to sharpen their mental capabilities. Thus, Pilates is a holistic form of exercise that helps every part of the person, not just their body… Pilates is usually performed indoors, if you are looking for a challenging, outdoor equivalent of Pilates, then Boot Camp may be for you.
That said, the exercises themselves do a great deal to transform your body, since they were designed especially for repair. By strengthening the core or abdominal muscles a person’s balance and many other aspects needed for life are strengthened. It also strengthens the thighs, glutes and back, but not the arms.
If you are wanting to lose a little weight, burning calories is the way to go. This doesn’t necessarily mean jogging or hitting the gym. In fact going to a party or a wedding where there’s a photo booth and taking funny pictures with your friends can help you burn off more calories than you thought possible. How? By laughing.
Studies have proven that the act of laughing moves many muscles in the body, raises the heart rate and increases your metabolism, the same as any exercise does. If you can laugh a lot during every day, you will be burning up those calories in a way that will cause weight loss in the nicest way possible. Of course, it will spoil the effect if you reward yourself with an ice-cream sundae with chocolate on top afterwards.