Monday, February 27, 2017

Let's Avoid The Big C!

Berries have cancer-
fighting antioxidants
Easier said than done? Maybe not. There is so much information out there about how to reduce your chances of getting cancer, and many foods that research has shown prevents, and fights cancer cells, why aren't we utilizing this information? We even know which foods cause cancer, yet we still eat them on a regular basis. Cancer is such a nasty, cruel disease, why aren't we doing all that we can to prevent it?

I am going to follow with a couple of lists of foods and actions that can prevent cancer, and fight cancer. I'm also going list foods and other things that are known to increase your risks of getting cancer.


Mean Green Cancer Fighters
Leafy green vegetables 
"contain antibacterial 
and antiviral properties, 
inactivate carcinogins, 
help reprogram cancer 
cells to die off, and prevent 
tumor formation and 
metastasis (Dr. Axe)."


Some of the top cancer fighting foods are:
     1. Leafy green vegetables
     2. Cruciferous vegetables
     3. Berries (Berries also have anti-aging properties! 😉)
     4. Brightly orange colored fruits and vegetables
     5. Fresh herbs and spices
     6. Organic meats 
     7. Cultured dairy products 
Colorful Cancer Fighters   
     8. Nuts and seeds 
     9. Healthy unrefined oils
   10. Mushrooms
   11. Traditional teas
   12. Wild caught fish

Foods that increase cancer risk are:
     1. Refined sugar
     2. Refined oils
     3. Refined carbohydrates
     4. Conventional dairy products
     5. Farm raised meats
     6. Processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, bacon, lunch meats, etc.)

In all fairness, eating these things on occasion should not be of much
concern, unless you have or have had cancer. The problems lie in the
fact that many of us eat these refined and processed foods on a regular
basis. We have to consciously decrease our consumption of these foods;
and we have to consciously eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains,
especially as we get older. We are more susceptible to certain diseases
and illnesses as we age, and cancer is one of them.

Other things that increase cancer risk are:
     1. Smoking cigarettes
     2. Extra weight around your middle
     3. Too much alcohol (1 drink per day max for women/2 drinks per day
         max for men)
     5. Being a couch potato (get up off your booty and move something)
     6. Not wearing a sunscreen (use an SPF of 30 or higher)
     7. Not wearing condoms (some STD's increase cancer risk. HPV (human
         papillomavirus) is the cause of about 70% of cervical cancers).
         Vaccines are available to prevent HPV and hepatitus B.
     8. Toxic chemicals (in weedkillers, some plastics, and some home
         products. Use safer options.)
     9. Family history (ask your doctor about genetic testing if you have a
         family history of cancer)
   10. Hormone therapy (it can be helpful, but know the risks (WebMD, 2017).
 
The availability and recommendations of cancer Screening tests (Colonoscopies, pap tests, mammograms, HPV screenings, and prostate exams), are awesome tools that can save your life. USE THEM! Screenings can detect and treat precancerous issues before they become cancerous, or detect cancer at its early stages, which most times is more easily treatable than if it's found at a later stage of growth.  Most of these tests and screenings are covered by your insurance, and many can be found free of charge during yearly health fairs, or even available at any time based on your yearly income in certain places. Check with your healthcare administrators or local hospitals and clinics to find out what's available.

Talk to you all next week and as always, please access the links provided in my references to get more detailed information on how these foods and actions help prevent and fight cancer. And do your own personal research on things that you may need more answers to. 😊 ~LAF

References

Axe, J. (n.d.). Top 12 cancer-fighting foods. Draxe.com
     Retrieved from https://draxe.com/cancer-fighting-foods/

WebMD. (2017). Slideshow: top cancer fighting foods. WebMD.com
     Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cancer/ss/slideshow-cancer-
     fighting-foods

WebMD. (2017). Slideshow: What you can do to prevent cancer and why it
     works. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cancer/ss/slideshow-ways-
     to-prevent-cancer?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Let's RESIST Aging!!!


"Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness."~Edward Stanley
YES! Let's resist aging by making resistance training or exercise a part of our regular routines. Studies have shown that resistance training can slow down, or actually reverse the signs of aging. Imagine that! How is this possible? Well let's talk about the fact that we can begin losing muscle mass in our 30's, as a normal part of aging, and we can lose up to 7 pounds of muscle per decade. Those who have never indulged in any type of regular exercise are at greater risk for early loss of muscle mass (Mercola, 2015).
Our muscles play such a significant role in our mental and physical health, it is one of the most important factors in healthy aging. As we age, we need healthy muscles to protect us from metabolic and hormonal decline, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Healthy muscle also slows down the aging process and enhances cognitive function (Mercola, 2015). Even someone in their 70's can have an almost immediate improvement in physical health if they begin resistance training.

Meet Mrs. Ernestine Sheperd
who in March of 2010 at the age
of 74, received the title of Worlds
Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder
 by Guiness World Records.
If you haven't heard of Mrs. Ernestine Sheperd, do yourself a favor and check out her inspirational story. She is AMAZING! She received the title of Worlds Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder at the age of 74, in March of 2010, and she looks AWESOME! She is now 80 years old and still works out regularly and still looks AWESOME!

For me, I've always worked my abs (core) since Jr. high school. I can't remember missing more than a few months without doing sit ups or crunches. The workouts that I'm doing now are a leg routine that consists of jumping jacks, squats, calf raises, deadlifts, walking lunges, star jumps, kick backs, and wall sits. I also do my crunches and pushups, I've added walking up and down my back stairwell 20 times, and I've added an arm workout. I alternate my leg workout and my stair climbs because it was too much on my knees to do them on the same day. I don't do them all every day, but I've managed to get into a pretty good routine so that I workout on a regular basis now. I don't feel right if I miss more than a day not working out, and I feel FANTASTIC!!!

One of the things that I wanted to mention is that although strenuous resistance training gives the best results, you don't have to go to a gym to do resistance exercises. I do all of mine at home. You don't even need weights, you can use your body weight to build muscle, but it's a good idea to get a few light weights to workout with. I do use weights for certain exercises, especially my arm workout. And don't worry about getting too muscular. Lol! That takes a lot of patience, focus, dedication, and the desire to be muscular. There's plenty of free information online and on Youtube to help you use proper form and to give you plenty of great routines and good advice. Please take advantage of these wonderful tools.

Remember that you shouldn't just jump into resistance training if your not already in decent shape. Take your time to do warmups and build up to where you want to be. Warmups are important for getting blood flow to your muscles to help prevent injury. Also, remember that your tearing down your muscles, so taking a day off after a day on is just as important as your workout day. You need those rest days for your muscles to heal and build. Eating correctly is important too.

Anything worth doing is rarely easy, but it is all worth it in the end. And the way that you'll feel will keep you from questioning whether it's worth all of the hard work. So come join in on resisting aging, and add resistance exercises as a part of your regular routines.

Talk to you all next week! 😊

P.S.~Please always access my references to get a more detailed explanation of my topics. Or even do your own research to get a better understanding of them.~LAF

References

Mercola, J. (2015, October 2). How to prevent age related muscle loss. 
     Fitness.mercola.com
     Retrieved from http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/10/02/
     preventing-age-related-muscle-loss.aspx

Photo of Ernestine Sheperd retrieved from http://ernestineshepherd.net/?page_id=2
Photo with ball and mat from Pixabay.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Philosophy Of It All

"Life is a gift......treat it as such...." ~LAF

As someone who sees my own life as a gift, I have learned to embrace the reality of getting older, and see the positive aspects of that reality.  I feel a bit saddened every-time someone dreads reaching their milestone years of 40, 50, or 60. Although everyone has a right to their own feelings and perceptions, I'm hoping to help change some of those.

I have had quite a few days and nights in my past, that I wasn't sure I would survive through, whether that was physically or mentally. I believe that these experiences have helped me to appreciate life, and enjoy the special moments in life. I also recognize the joys in the little things in life, and have learned to "stop and smell the roses", while having the gratitude to be thankful for it all. I believe that these things are important in experiencing true happiness.

As I age and notice my wrinkles and the effects of gravity on my face, skin and body, I try to find the irony in it all. When I notice the wrinkles by my eyes when I smile, I see a woman with character, and I like those wrinkles. I'm no longer the young "pretty girl" that some may have confused as stuck up, because they didn't know that I was just shy and quiet; and experience has taught me the art, power, and value of verbal interactions. I'm no longer a female who may be perceived as someone who "thinks she's cute", because my age grants me respect for how I look. My frown lines, give me the look of someone who isn't to be played with, so that grants me a bit hesitance, before being approached with anything less than respect. Now, with saying all of this that doesn't mean that I don't want to soften my wrinkles and age lines, it just means that I accept that they are a reality of my lengthy existence; and I garner much respect because of them. They are earned.

As some of us age, we no longer fear the judgement's that kept us in line to do the right things, and have protected our reputations as youths, and young men and women. Our older selves have learned to throw caution to the wind, and delve into the pleasures that we desire in our fantasies and day dreams. (This includes our desires for learning new things like dancing, and learning a new language.) Actually, we need to delve into those things to regain the pleasures of our past, that our former actions no longer work to gain. Some of us may still use a bit of discretion, but we do these things unapologetically, for we've earned our rights to happiness.

I, personally, refuse to be restrained by some unwritten, or even written, rules that tell middle aged men and women what they should or should not do. The only thing that truly restrains us is what's in our own minds. For me, the skies the limit. What I haven't gained or done so far in life that I still wish to have or do, I will continue to strive for those things for as long as my mental and physical health allows me, until the day that I no longer exist. And you can be sure that I will enjoy the journey along the way.

There's something to say for being young at heart. And there's something to say for having a zest for life at any age. These states of being can help you to live longer, happier lives. Something that I wish for us all.

Talk to you all next week! 😊

Photo from Pixabay.com


Monday, February 6, 2017

The Fountain of Youth

This is me in 2013 at the age of 50.
Not bad for a 50 year old (so I'm told),
and my first time in a bikini.
As I continue into the second half of my life, I am continuing to learn how much information is at our hands to age in a way that everyone, young and old, can look forward to. There have been so many discoveries and breakthroughs in aging that gives us tools to live happy and healthy lives well into old age. Please join me in my own personal journey, and share in the knowledge that I've already gained, and knowledge that I look forward to learning and implementing to my life, for what I believe will end up being the best years of my life.

As we speak, I have been working out consistently, learning and practicing Tai Chi, learning to speak Italian, and planning a trip to Italy, while being in my fourth year of attaining my Bachelors degree in Business Administration. All of these things play into my philosophy of aging well and dwelling in the Fountain of Youth. If you follow my blog, you will understand this philosophy and if you choose to, you can dwell with me, no matter where you are.

Just think of turning 50 as your new beginning to the second half of your life. Let's all strive to reach 100 years old, having the time of our lives. Just think of how we started our lives by learning the things needed to live, socialize, and survive within our culture and society. We will do essentially the same things, but on another level.

Research has shown that learning new things as we age, can stave off dementia and Alzheimer's. We have to learn to eat in a way that's better for our age and the way that we live; and as a means to a happier, healthier life. Also, as we age we lose muscle mass as a normal part of aging, which is part of a natural process called sarcopenia. Research has shown that resistance training reverses this which can help to improve our lives in so many ways, it's almost crazy not to get ourselves in the habit of doing this as a part of our daily lives. We have to also include aerobic exercise to keep our hearts and bodies healthy, and lower the risk of many diseases. This, among many other things are what I'm going to share with you, in hopes that I can have many other people, whether you're 40, 50 or 60+ years old, look forward to our older years becoming the best years of our lives.

Please join me and share in my journey. And feel free to share every and any thing that can add to this journey. I'm looking forward to my days, months, and years ahead as I strive for my age goal of at least 100 years old. Talk to you all soon! 😊