Tag Archives: diabetes

Body Shape 101

Not all Fat is Created Equal.

There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies.  Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin.  This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers.  Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues.  Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body.  It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers.  Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.

Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss.  Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.

Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

We’re all wonderfully unique.  It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific.  We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that.  In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.

Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section.  This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.

Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.

Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame.  Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.

Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you.  What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type.  Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!


Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning April 5
M: $108 NM: $162 (12 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning January 18
M: $90 NM: $135 (10 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning January 18
M: $90 NM: $135 (10 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Nutrition Tips – Sugar

Do you know how much sugar you consume? It is rather
shocking once you start to read labels and discover just how much sugar is
added to products. Everything from ketchup to salad dressing to protein bars
has it added in to provide a more enjoyable taste.

Sometimes we choose a product with the assumption that it is
“healthier” than another option. There are four grams of sugar in a teaspoon. Armed with that knowledge, check this out:
–>Chocolate glazed cake donut – 14 grams of sugar
–>Lemon poppy seed Clif Bar – 21 grams of sugar
–>Starbucks Grande Frappuccino – 44 grams of sugar
(over 10 teaspoons!)

Yikes! While everyone knows a donut isn’t exactly the
healthiest thing on a menu, who would assume that a post run snack bar or a
coffee drink would contain the ingredients that can lead to a host of health issues?
Hypoglycemia, Type ll diabetes, higher incidence of cavities, weight gain and lack
of energy are all attributed to high sugar intake.

The next time you pick up a box or bag of a food product,
read the label and check out the section that says “Sugars”. It will tell you
how many grams there are in the product and you will become more aware of what
you’re eating. Maybe 2013 will become a sugar free year for you!

 

 


Diabetes-Friendly Meals Fight Belly Fat

In an article on the Prevention Magazine website, writer Teresa Dumain talks about 10 Diabetes-Friendly Meals That Fight Belly Fat:

These recipes are delicious: That’s the first thing you need to know. And we’re not talking “delicious for diabetes-friendly” food—no, these are good without any ifs or ands. The only but is that all 10 of the following recipes are especially formulated to help flatten your belly and fight diabetes. Some are loaded with fruits and veggies, others feature lean proteins or fish, some contain whole grains—and all have an added dash of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs (moo-fahs) for short, which help target belly fat, control blood sugar levels, and reduce insulin resistance.

Click here to read the full article on www.prevention.com.

What do you think about this article? Are these recipies too good to be true? Have you tried any and found success? Share your thoughts here!


Diabetes Difficult for Teens to Control

In a Canadian Press post by the Huffington Post website, writer Alicia Chang explores details surrounding a study recently released looking at teens and Diabetes:

New research sends a stark warning to overweight teens: If you develop diabetes, you’ll have a very tough time keeping it under control.

A major study, released Sunday, tested several ways to manage blood sugar in teens newly diagnosed with diabetes and found that nearly half of them failed within a few years and 1 in 5 suffered serious complications. The results spell trouble for a nation facing rising rates of “diabesity” — Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity.

Click here to read the full article on www.huffingtonpost.ca.


The Paleo Diet

Written by Lena Schellenberg, Crowfoot YMCA Strength and Conditioning Instructor

You may have been hearing about a diet that is becoming quite popular among cross-fit athletes, those wanting to increase their athletic performance and those suffering from celiac disease called the Paleo diet.

Also known as the Paleolithic, Caveman, Hunter-gatherer, or Stone-Age diet, Paleo is a diet that converts us back to our prehistoric ancestors and how they ate and lived. There has been scientific research and hundreds of studies done on this particular diet with little evidence to support many flaws in it. What makes the Paleo diet so beneficial is that it’s rich in fresh produce, tons of essential oils and fats, and meat (which is recommended to be grass fed). It is free from processed and packaged foods, refined sugar and salt, as well as many of the carbohydrates we view to be “healthy” but contain many toxins.

Foods to avoid on the Paleo diet include: rice, wheat, oats, potatoes, legumes, dairy, sugar and “fake” foods. The whole point of this diet is not to starve yourself but to eat when you are hungry, and eat the things that will TRULY keep you satiated throughout the day. Things like avocados, green leafy vegetables, root vegetable(excluding potatoes) and fattier cuts of meat will keep your blood sugar stable where as many carbohydrates, even complex, will cause a spike in your blood sugar to some degree.

How am I going to get enough fiber? Don’t you need carbs for energy? I thought whole wheat was good for you? 

The fact of the matter is that in 80% of people today have gastrointestinal inflammation from wheat and even rice. Wheat and rice still had to be processed in order for us to eat them and they still have to be cooked in order for them not to be toxic to our system. After cooking even some toxins remain, hence why so many people react badly to them.

If you want to see further information on the Paleo diet, there are many published books written by reputable authors such as Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain and Art De Vany all talking about Paleo and varying approaches to the diet. It’s worth looking up if you suffer from conditions like acne, diabetes, obesity, MS, depression, autoimmune disease and many others.


Cold Weather Safety

From Discovery Health:

Baby, is it cold outside! As if to remind us who’s in charge, Mother Nature once again is giving us the cold shoulder, not to mention cold hands and feet. While most folks brave the cold-weather season pretty well, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from potential cold-weather dangers.

Signs of Frostbite

If your skin looks mottled or pale and you’re experiencing “pins and needles” in your hands, feet, nose, ears or cheeks, then you’re likely experiencing frostnip, which is a signal that you need to get into a warm, dry environment immediately so you don’t develop frostbite. Frostbite is when tiny ice crystals form in skin tissue. Other signs include a tiny white dot on the nose or on the tip of one or more fingers. Also, dark-skinned people may appear pale, or their skin may look gray; fair-skinned people should be on the lookout for yellowish skin.

What does frostbite feel like? You likely will have numbness in the affected area, as well as itching, burning or sharp pain. However, if caught quickly, frostbite is completely reversible. If not, it can turn into hypothermia, which is when a person’s core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This medical emergency, which can impair the brain and muscles, is a potential killer.

Signs of Hypothermia

Be on the lookout for the “umbles.” That’s when a person mumbles, stumbles, fumbles and grumbles. All are symptoms of early hypothermia. If you see someone who is shivering uncontrollably, doesn’t seem to be thinking straight, speaks with a slur, or has trouble holding onto objects, get them into a warm environment immediately. If the symptoms fail to improve within a short time, call a doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.

Who’s at Risk for Winter Injuries?

The very young and the elderly are at an increased risk for cold-weather injuries, but so are people with heart disease and diabetes. Also, certain medications can increase a person’s risk of cold-weather illness because they interfere with the body’s heat-regulation system (like your significant other changing the thermostat on the wall). And people who work outdoors in cold environments are also at risk. Even if you’re taking a walk or exercising outdoors, you must be aware of the signs and symptoms of hypothermia.

Read the rest of this article here.


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