Spring Healthy Aging Tips
We are well into the new year and what better time to spring into action with our latest wellness tips from an integrative medicine perspective!
Last newsletter we spoke about 5 key things you can incorporate in your life cultivate longevity. This month, let’s focus on what exercising moderately can mean.
Exercise moderately and regularly. Why moderately? Too intense or too long duration of exercise degenerates our cells and joints (think too much wear and tear). In addition, it can create too much inflammation in the body. As I’ve said before, inflammation is a key factor in contributing to aging and age-related diseases. In a study by Reale in 2014, the researchers state that evidence accumulated over the years indicate that the pro-inflammatory molecules and molecular mechanisms of inflammation are the basis of aging and many age-related diseases. Results from Arai et al in a 2015 study suggest suppression of inflammation is the most important driver of successful longevity, and that this increases in importance with advancing. Age-related diseases examples are Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and Cancer.
Ask yourself whether you would like live longer or live better? Want to improve your quality of life and feel better now? Check out the National Institute on Health’s Go4Life website here https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/. You can plan and track your activities with the tools on this website. Did you know that people who have active lifestyle’s are generally happier, better prepared to cope with loss, and at a lower risk for certain health problems such as heart disease? Healthy aging does not begin at 60, it begins at every stage of life.
Let’s not forget one of the big 5 things I mentioned in last newsletter on the 5 things to incorporate longevity in your life – having social connections and support. Being active is also about engaging with others and having social connections and support outside our world.
You don’t have to start big, start light. Did you know that there have been a number of studies that have shown Qigong and Tai Chi have many improved health benefits? You can incorporate this in your life bit by bit. Qigong and Tai Chi are light, however packs a big punch. There is evidence that Tai Chi reduces the risk of falling, improves balance and stability, and helps manage chronic pain.
Perhaps you gravitate to Yoga instead? Great! Regular and long-term practice of yoga may improve pain tolerance according to a recent study. In addition, this study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, the researchers found that yoga practitioners tolerated cold pain twice as long and have more gray matter in multiple brain regions compared with matched people that did not practice yoga. Researchers recruited 14 experienced yoga practitioners, as well as 14 people who did not practice any mind-body techniques (individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, left/right handedness, education, and exercise level other than yoga). Participants underwent a cold pain tolerance test—they immersed a hand in cold water until they could no longer tolerate the pain. Researchers then asked participants about strategies they used to tolerate the pain. The researchers also conducted brain imaging scans to examine the structural differences in gray matter and white matter between the yoga practitioner group and the control group.
The volume of insular gray matter in yoga practitioners also positively correlated with the duration of yoga practice, suggesting that yoga experience contributed to these structural differences in the brain. The researchers noted that because of the cross-sectional nature of this study, no definitive causal conclusions can be made. However, based on the findings, the researchers suggest that regular, long-term yoga practice may equip individuals with tools to deal with sensory inputs and the potential emotional reactions attached to those inputs, which may lead to structural changes in brain anatomy and connectivity.
Cold and Flu Tip Time
We are taking a break from our pocketbook comparisons of health with Michael Yin as he does some additional training in Taiwan until April. We look forward to hearing more when he returns. In the meantime, let us know what you’d like us to compare!
You can take charge of your health. Don’t want to get sick? Caught the flu and have not recovered? Think about recovering sooner with either some herbs or acupuncture. In fact, go beyond that and be proactive. As soon as you have a sign of a cold or flu (throat feels funny or sore, neck and upper back feels tight, cold or funny, nose is runny, etc), call us to get in right away to boost your immune support and attack the virus. You can also at home, start fighting with some ginger tea if you do not have sore throat and it just feels funny(see a recipe below). Fight back instead of letting it run its course. Cut that sick time in half! And we can help you with that, just call and we’ll do our best to squeeze you in. The best defense is a good offense!
Relief of a mild common cold, WITHOUT a sore throat:
3 – 5 slices of fresh ginger, each slice about the size of a quarter
3 slices of green onion, white part only (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar (NOT white sugar, NOT honey)
Steep ingredients in 1 C of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink the liquid, repeat twice a day.
Happy Healthy Spring!
Yours in good health and happiness,
Sonia & the Red Tree Wellness team
Arai, Y., Martin-Ruiz, C. M., Takayama, M., Abe, Y., Takebayashi, T., Koyasu, S., . . . von
Zglinicki, T. (2015). Inflammation, But Not Telomere Length, Predicts Successful
Ageing at Extreme Old Age: A Longitudinal Study of Semi-supercentenarians.
Reale, M. (2014). Inflammation in Aging and Age-related Diseases. Journal of
Gerontology & Geriatric Research, 03(03). doi:10.4172/2167-7182.1000e126
Villemure C, Čeko M, Cotton VA, Bushnell C. Insular cortex mediates increased pain
tolerance in yoga practitioners. Cerebral Cortex. May 21, 2013.