Did you know current research in Neuroscience points to music’s ability to shift your mood, your perception and as a result, reality as you experience it.
Picture this: you’re having a rough day, it’s raining, traffic is awful, and things have not gone the way you planned. Then out of nowhere you hear a song that makes you take a breath. A feeling moves up the middle of your body and you can’t help but smile as you’re filled with the memory and significance of what the song means to you. In moments like these, music helps you redefine your reality.
According to research at University of Groningen in the Netherlands, music has a significant impact on an individual’s perception and reality as they experience it. While listening to happy music and being asked to identify either smiley or sad emoticons; participants routinely identified a neutral face with the same happy or sad feeling as the music they were listening to.
Perceiving things that aren’t actually there is part of a normal brain process. According to researchers, “our brain continuously compares the information that comes in through your eyes with what it expects on the basis of what you know about the world. The final result of this comparison process is what we eventually experience as reality”.
I’m sure you’ve heard our tag line at Defy Aging Solutions: Recreate Yourself at Any Age! Research results like this fuel the atmosphere of community and ingenuity it takes to RECREATE! This is one reason why our members make the playlist.
We have an ongoing request list so that you hear and feel the music in a way that supports not only the work you do in the studio, but most importantly the way you feel when you leave and step out into reality.
As we head towards the middle of January, just past New Years Resolutions and just before acting on those plans; we encourage you to pick the mindset you want to have and choose a theme song this week. Let it help you recreate your reality in a way that is positive for you, motivating and supportive of who you are now and who you want to become!
Sometimes making new year's resolutions can feel a bit like Groundhog Day. We’ve been here before. We know what we need to do. We know more than ever how to do it and it doesn’t always happen. You’ll learn more about this repetitive process in January’s first newsletter so make sure to check out “the snap-back effect”.
If you aren’t receiving our newsletter yet, click here and go to the bottom of the page to sign up! You’ll just get 2 emails from us per month. Totally do-able; no influx of junk. We value your time and energy too much to do that to you!
What was I saying…oh yes, the déjà vu New Year! We have all “been here” and “done that” so many times before and we all react to this fact. So right now, notice how you feel about past new year’s resolutions whether they came to pass or not. There will be emotion or feeling that POPS up when you think about New Years past.
No matter what comes up; we have a habit of bringing it with us as we try to begin again. We carry past thoughts, beliefs, memories and emotional reactions with us into this present moment. Some support us and some do not. Know how to tell the difference?
Ask yourself, does what I’m thinking and feeling help me change and grow as a person? If the answer is “Yes” then it doesn’t matter if it’s “positive” or “negative” in the black and white sense. If it challenges you to grow in a positive way; keep it! If the answer is “No” because what you’re thinking holds you back and generally has you thinking the status quo is good for you; it’s time to work on that.
A friendly reminder we are always receiving is that CHANGE is the only constant. We are meant to grow, evolve, re-create and re-invent. While staying the same may seem safe and comfortable, it produces more discomfort in the long run than a little bit of change.
This New Years, as the year changes and we step into 2018, we invite you to notice what you’re carrying from the past and notice where there’s room to change what you think is possible. You may just open yourself to growing in ways you never dreamed of!
We promise it is not to eat right and exercise....though those should both be on the docket for the new year... ALWAYS!
One of the best things that you can do to start the new year off right is to take a moment to BREATHE!
With all the craziness of the Holiday season and the end of the year tasks at work, we can sometimes get too caught up in all the fuss and forget to take a moment for ourselves.
A lot happens in one year. You may have a new job or recently retired. You may have welcomed a new family member in the birth of a grandchild or you may have experienced a loss in a dear friend. You may have had successes that you never got the chance to celebrate!
Allow yourself the time to reflect and have a little peace and quiet to breathe and remember all that this year has brought you.
Whether good or bad there is a lesson, but if we just rush through the end of the year we may skip the chance to learn.
Start the year off with a GOOD DEEP BREATH and a moment JUST FOR YOU!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We know the holidays are yet to be over, but it is never too early to start thinking about 2018 and what changes you may want to make to ensure a healthy and happy year!
Everyone is different, we have different goals, different likes, different needs. However, HEALTH is arguably the one thing that everyone wants, needs and enjoys!!
So what is one thing that you can do to ensure a healthier 2018?
Yes, it is that simple.
Now we did not say exercise more, though, that would be a great second goal, we just want you to sit less.
Gretchen Reynolds of the NY Times wrote a great article on a study that was just published that links sitting to heart injury.
The researchers examined the link of sitting to levels of troponins, which are proteins that are released when heart cells are hurt or dying. When someone has a heart attack, vast amounts of troponins are released.
increased level of troponins = higher risk of heart failure
The researchers found that with increase hours of sitting, ones troponins levels were higher.
This finding also correlates with the findings of other studies where the more hours one sits, the higher the risk factor for diabetes and obesity, both of which can have adverse affects on the heart cells causing damage.
Sitting may seem harmless, but our bodies NEED movement.
So, even if you are not someone who likes to create New Year Resolutions, we hope you will make one exception and try to sit less in 2018, not for us, for your HEART!!!!
So last week we gave you the #1 Holiday HACK!
Remember your number one goal during the holidays is just to keep moving!
Now if you want to keep your fitness goals more in mind throughout the holidays without feeling like you are restricting yourself, lets talk FOOD!
Holidays incorporate lots of sweet treats, yummy drinks, and simply LOTS OF EATING!
If you are planning to up the calorie intake, then try and make dishes that incorporate whole foods... that means do a little extra work and make your own sauces, use more vegetables and stay away from the store bought treats.
This way if you are upping the amount of food consumption you are at least getting in more nutrient dense foods and less empty calories.
The Blue Zone website created a great list of Holiday recipes that include lots of nutrient dense ingredients and won't disappoint in the flavor realm.
From sides dishes to main courses and even considering the over night guests there are yummy breakfast treats too!!
Click the link below and get COOKING!!!
TIS' THE SEASON - which usually translates to more sweets, more drinks, and a little more around the tummy region....
We know that for most, this time of year can be the time when fitness/health goals get pushed to January - too much traveling, too many parties, and way too many YUMS!
This blog is not going to tell you to only eat carrots and celery sticks or to lay off the wine - holidays should be a time when you enjoy yourself and the family and friends who have gathered to celebrate together.
We just wanted to give you the #1 tip for keeping your fitness/health goals somewhat on track without taking away the fun.
Are you ready for it?
If you belong to a gym or studio - GO! - don't skip your workouts - make the effort to get there.
If you are traveling - walk, go to the hotel gym, see if your gym/studio has a branch where you are traveling and make the time.
At holiday parties - STAND don't sit - DANCE if there is music.
After dinner - be the one to help pick up the plates - or do the dishes... not fun but more movement.
After presents - be the one to help pick up the trash from the wrapping paper.
Be the one to always get your own drinks or offer to get the next round (bonus points if you have to walk all the way down to the basement fridge to get them)
It really is that simple - adding in any type of movement this holiday season will help keep the tummy region from expanding too much and you will be ready to get right back into the swing of things come the new year!
YOU'VE GOT THIS!!
A brand new study just came out of the UT Southwestern Medical Center that shows a decrease in chronic disease later in life for those who participated in fitness type activities in their 40's and 50's.
Mid-life fitness levels equated to a more successful aging process.
There are many different definitions of successful aging, but we are sure to all agree, that life lived without chronic disease is a success.
That is what this study was focused on - not just in the years lived, but the quality of those years.
The study found that a 20 percent increase in one's fitness activities in midlife translated to a 20 percent decrease in the risk of chronic disease.
So it doesn't matter if you haven't worked out a day in your life - START NOW and you can still make a change towards better health.
FITNESS NOW = BETTER YEARS TO COME!!!
If you would like to read the whole article, you can find the link below.
Link to Article (below)
Aerobic exercise; walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc., is what most people think they need to do more of to increase their health and age well. Aerobic exercise does have many benefits in keeping one healthy and one's mind sharp, but strength exercises should not be ignored.
A recent study out of Sydney found that participating in any type of strength training was associated with a 23 percent reduction in mortality and a 31 percent decrease in cancer mortality. The even better news was that the strength exercises did not have to include weight training, these types of results were observed with participants who only practiced body weight exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges.
With these types of observed benefits it can be hard to believe that there is not more of a push for adults to be incorporating more strength exercise into their routines.
This was one of the goals of this particular study, to bring more awareness to the public about the health benefits of keeping your body strong especially into your later years.
It is never too late.
Just be sure when you go to start a strength program that you see a professional, whether that is a trainer, coach, or therapist, who can make sure you are moving with proper form to assure you do not hurt yourself.
If you live in our area, come check out our program and get all the strength and aerobic exercise you need in one place!
For more on the research study please see the reference below.
University of Sydney. (2017, November 1). Strength exercise as vital as aerobic new research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 8, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101102846.htm
The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology puts out a seasonal magazine called Vitality, that shares some of the research, programs and successes of the school.
In this fall's issue there is a great article on obesity and Alzheimer's disease.
Obesity and Alzheimer's disease have a couple things in common in that they both deal with inflammation and affect millions of people, creating a very costly dent in our healthcare system.
There are about 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease costing $286 billion dollars, the number of individuals suffering from the disease is expected to double in the next 35 years (USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics).
Obesity affects about one third of the adults in America and the costs are somewhere between $147 billion to $210 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is no wonder why some of the grant money awarded to USC research studies has been used to discover more about how to prevent these diseases and halt their progression to the best of their abilities.
A study on mice conducted by USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology was just published in June 2017. The study explored the links between obesity and Alzheimer's disease.
There is a gene that has been associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease, ApoE4. Most people have ApoE3, only about 10 to 15 percent of the population has the ApoE4 gene.
However, just because you have the gene does not mean that you will end up with Alzheimer's disease, there are other modifiable factors in one's lifestyle that effect how our genes are expressed, which can prevent or accelerate disease.
What the study at USC showed was that diet is one of the factors that can help lower or increase one's risk.
A Standard American Diet (SAD) is typically rich in bad fats and sugar. When the intake of bad fats and sugars are reduced those with the ApoE4 gene are at less risk of the disease.
These same diet habits put one at risk for obesity which can result in diabetes, which is shown to increase one's risk of Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases.
There is more research to be done on both of these topics, but from just this study we know that we are not necessarily at the mercy of our genes and that what we put in our mouths matters.
To read the whole article about the study click the link below.
To read the whole Fall issue of USC Leonard School of Gerontology's magazine Vitality click below.
Cognitive decline is a big fear as we all start to get older and for good reason. Losing ones memory, or certain verbal abilities, puts one at risk for losing one's independence.
Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a physical regiment helps to steer off decline as we have shared before in our blogs, but this video gives you an even more specific antidote to cognitive decline, which may put a smile on your face if you are a berry fan!
Watch the video below to learn more.
Blueberries were found to slow cognitive decline by 2.5 years - that should be enough of a reason to up your berry intake wouldn't you say?
We received a lovely newsletter from our friends from the SOS Mentor group that works to help teach our youth how to incorporate more nutritious foods into their diets and add healthier habits like yoga and meditation into their life. If you are unaware of this group please check out their website by clicking the link below.
In their newsletter they shared this video from NutritionFacts.org which provides information about the recommended amount of sugar intake and how much we are all truly consuming.
Why is sugar such an important topic to cover?
Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) over one third our the world's adult populations is obese and in 2015 there were an estimated 42 million children under the age of five who were diagnosed as over weight or obese.
Sugar, of course, is not the only reason for this increase, the lack of physical activity across the board also plays a role. However, the consumption of "free sugar" that which is added to our foods or that naturally exists in syrups and honeys does contribute greatly to our obesity issue.
Added sugars are empty calories - there is no nutritional benefit to consuming them and yet Americans and those all over the world are eating sometimes FIVE times the amount that is recommended.
In watching the video from NutritionFacts.org posted above- look at those final graphs... the WHO only wants 5-10% of your daily calories from added sugars and we are consuming far greater amounts.
Okay - now we know so lets all just quit sugar, right?
Well as the article posted by Huffington Post back in 2015 stated, that may be harder than we think.
Sugar effects our brain and when we eat it, we want more. We all agree sugar is pretty delicious, and those added sugars aren't doing anything to fill us up, so we go for seconds.
It is a pretty vicious cycle and hard to avoid with over 74% pf our packaged goods containing added sugars.
So what can we do?
Cut out the sugary drink first.
Truthfully they are the worst, consumed fast and contain more than one's daily recommended sugar intake.
Then start to read labels.
Find products that have less than 5 g of sugar per serving.
Incorporate as much whole foods as you can and start making your own sauces and dressing to be able to control the amount you add.
The WHO recommends 100 calories of added sugars or less for women and 150 calories or less for men.
Just remember that sugar is not the sweet friend it pretends to be...
If health is your goal sugar is definitely a foe.
Why does everyone keep saying to eat more fruits and veggies? Because the benefits keep coming!!!
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who ate five servings of fruits and veggies a day lived three years longer than those who did not get their greens in.
This same study found that if someone ate only four servings they lost a month off of their lifespan - the fewer the serving the more time lost. Those who only ate one or less serving lost almost a year and a half.
In addition to adding years to one's life - consuming more fruits and vegetables can lower ones risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which help to keep our bodies healthy at a cellular level - which means better immunity, more energy, and skin that glows!!!
If there are so many benefits - why do less than 14% of Americans eat enough?
That's the question...
Are you a part of that 14% or do you need to step up your veggie game?
If you need more convincing read the articles listed below, but we think it is fair to say there are enough reasons to always ADD MORE VEGGIES!
When in doubt EAT MORE... now when do you hear that?!
Aging is most frequently associated with declines, however, there are actually perks of getting older - some that you may not realize.
Though we may start to experience some cognitive decline there are areas of cognitive functions that not only stay in tact but also thrive as we get older.
Even though we may start to experience certain declines in our cognitive mechanics, namely speed of thought, we have enough wisdom to compensate for lack of speed and are able to face more difficult problems with ease.
Our crystallized intelligence, refers to the knowledge we have gained and mastered. This continues to grow as we get older and we become more apt to using this knowledge in creative ways.
With more experience also comes less stress and the ability to emotionally deal with difficult decisions.
People in their 60's and older report to have less stress compared to their younger counter parts and have more confidence within themselves.
The longer we have with ourselves, the more comfortable we become, and the less worry we have about impresses others.
Many older adults also report being happier and having a more positive outlook on life - this trend does tend to reverse direction as we reach our 80's and beyond, but much of that has to do with disease.
So, the bottom-line is, if you can keep yourself healthy - old age may be something to TRULY LOOK FORWARD TO!
Span, P. (2010, August 30) Aging’s Misunderstood Virtues. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com
Zelinski, E. M., Dalton, S. E., & Hindin S. (2011) Cognitive Changes in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of American Society on Aging. 35(2). 13-20
This past July, the AARP wrote an article about common myths about our aging brains. The information was taken from a report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH).
The GCBH is a group of scientists, scholars, policy experts and health professionals.
The 7 myths they debunked were as follows:
Older people can't learn new things.
You're stuck with the brain you're born with.
Experts don't have a clue on how the brain works.
Dementia is inevitable as we age.
Learning a new language is for young people.
Older people are doomed to forget.
Memory training is enough.
The recent discoveries of neurogenesis, ability to grow new neurons, and neuroplasticity, ability for our brain to adapt and build new neurological connections, have made many of these myths easily dismissed.
Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, but with the avoidance of disease we truly do have the power to control the rate at which that decline happens.
Studies before demonstrated that older adults were lacking in certain cognitive skills compared to their younger counterparts, however, many of these studies had the two age groups taking some type of test.
Younger adults are used to taking tests, many may even still be in school or just recently got out. Older adults may not have been is an examination setting for quite some time.
When scientists realized this, they revisited some of these studies and allowed for those older adults to partake in training and their cognitive scores increased.
This just shows that the "USE IT OR LOSE IT" mantra does have some truth to it.
Most decline happens in the areas we are no longer using as much, for some that may be language, others numbers.
The key is to continue to challenge your brain.
Take some advice from the AARP article - learn a new language, take up a musical instrument, or become a pro poker player!
Just remember that the more you use your brain the less you will lose.
And of course keep that body moving so that you can maintain your health and fend off any disease related declines.
If you want to read the whole AARP article you can find the link below.
You may have heard about how sitting for most of the day can increase your risk of mortality.
Many have referred to sitting as the "new smoking."
Well, a recent study coming out of Colombia University brought about some new correlations that will have you wanting to get up and STAY UP!!
So what did this study tell us that we did not already know?
Well, for those of us who do our best to exercise daily, it told us that we still need to watch the hours we sit.
The study found that those who sat for periods longer than 30 minutes were at risk for an earlier death. This risk was not affected by age, race, gender or body mass, and exercise did not lower the risk by much.
HOWEVER, the risk of those participants who sat for 30 minutes or less at a time, dropped even if their total hours of sitting were the same.
It is important to note that the study from Colombia does not prove that sitting is the cause for a higher mortality rate, only that there is a link between increased sitting time and a higher risk of premature death.
Even though it is just a correlation - this is an easy task to incorporate in your daily life (except maybe if you are stuck in LA traffic haha).
When you go to sit down at the computer, or the TV, set an alarm to go off in 30 minutes and make sure you get up and walk around for a bit, or do a couple squats in and out of your chair.
Get up and grab a glass of water (we all know we could drink a little more water).
STRETCH!!! So many of us complain of tightness or soreness, it is because we aren't stretching enough.
Use the motivation of a longer life to get in some extra healthy habits that you want to start incorporating in your day!
Maybe even stand up and do some deep breathing to refocus and relax the mind!
No matter what you decide to do, a longer life should be a good enough reason to STAND UP every 30 minutes!
If you would like to read the article the New York Times wrote about the study click the link below.
With so many of us tackling over packed schedules everyday it can be hard to find the energy to get everything you wanted DONE.
Towards the end of the day or the week all you want to do is collapse and RELAX. We are here to tell you - DO REST!!!
Your body needs it. Sleep is one of the things most Americans are lacking. The hours needed changes as we age, and females typically need more than men but aiming for 7-8 hours a night is the safest bet.
Now, for those of you who are getting good sleep, but still are hitting an energy low mid-day there are a couple things you can do to wake yourself up and re-energize!
The following tips can benefit anyone who has low energy, but we want to stress getting enough sleep first.
Here are your 5 EASY ENERGY PICK ME UPS!!
1. DO TEN STAND UPS
If you sit in a chair for most of your day you need to wake the lower part of your body up. Stand up and sit back down 10x in your chair and you will not only feel more awake but you will also increase your activity level for the day. We recommend doing this at least every two hours if your job keeps you in a seated position for most of the day.
2. WALK AROUND THE BLOCK
Just simply doing a quick lap outside can really help bring your energy up! Get a little vitamin D and boost your mood. Now if getting outside is an issue you can do a quick lap around the office or house, but getting those sunshine rays is ideal.
3. DRINK LEMON WATER
Adding a little bit of citrus to an ice cold glass of water is a great way to give yourself a little boost without having to rely on another caffeinated drink. Also drinking lemon water throughout your day keeps your hunger levels low.
4. SHAKE IT OUT
Now this one you may not want to do in the middle of your office - but you should because it could bring a couple good laughs! Stand up and shake your whole body for 10 seconds. Then take a deep breath in and out. INSTANT ENERGY!! Trust us, try it!
5. SMELL THE ROSES
OK, you do not have to go out and smell a rose but you can buy some nice essential oils, rub a little in your hand and take a deep breath. Peppermint is a great scent to wake you up- as are citrus scents. You do not have to get anything crazy - even smelling a little perfume can wake you up, because you are activating another sense which ignites new signals to fire in your brain.
So there they are five quick energy fixes to keep you moving and grooving throughout your day, but don't forget the most important thing is to get enough sleep!!
Now technically Newton did not create any laws of fitness, but his laws of inertia do relate to our physical bodies.
So below is a FUN little picture of Newton's first lax of motion.
Our bodies really aren't much different - someone who was active earlier in life tends to remain active. This of course is not always the case, but we all know how easily we can fall into a rhythm of not working out right?
You miss one day, and then the next day it is even harder for you to convince yourself to get to the gym or to go on that walk.
We are creatures of habit. If our habit is to go home and sit on the couch that is what our body is trained to do. If we set a time everyday where we go to the gym or take a walk with a friend - then our bodies are trained to move at that time.
Those who exercise regularly will report feeling ill, or just not right, when they get out of their routine - that is their body telling them that they like the movement and want more!!
So it works both ways - the more you move the more you body wants to move - the more you sit the more your body wants to sit.
Yes, it really is that simple.
What does this mean for the aging body? IT MEANS MOVE.
Even if you were not an active person in your youth you can become one now.
Get up and start with just 10 minutes of walking a day. When that becomes a habits add another 10 minutes, or if you want to get into strength training join a gym, get a personal trainer, or if you are in our area come and WORKOUT WITH US!!!
Remember once you are in motion it is actually easier to stay in motion!!!
Everyone wants to discover the anti-aging secret , but you may not expect it to be the simple task of drinking enough water through out the day.
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water (this percentage varies based on age and the individual).
Water helps make up our cells, it helps to transfer food through the digestive tract, it helps to keep our organs functioning properly, it aids in the release of toxins through the liver, and it keeps our blood running smoothly through our bodies.
Many studies have linked chronic dehydration to cardiac disorders, mental disorders, and increase risk of death.
When you do not drink enough water your body actually has to work harder.
If you want an easy solution to the aging process - STAY HYDRATED!!!
Drinking water will keep the insides of your body running smoothly and keep the outside looking youthful!
Yes, that's right, staying hydrated can help you maintain a healthy glow and supple skin throughout life!
So how much do you need to drink?
Well that depends on the individual, how hot it is outside and if you are physically active...
BUT shooting for at least 8 cups a day should keep you in a healthy range.
If it is particularly hot outside or you just sweated up a storm in a workout session, make sure you take in a some extra cups to make up for what you lost in perspiration.
If you are a caffeine drinker make sure to also add some additional cups since caffeine is a natural diuretic.
Well there it is... a simple anti-aging trick and all you need to do is fill a glass and drink up!
We have talked before about the power of our minds, as well as, exercise's key role in helping us all live a longer, healthier life, but a new study sheds a different light on the subject that we wanted to share.
A new study from Stanford University found that individuals who thought they were not exercising enough or not as much as those around them increased their mortality risk by over 70 percent.
The study examined data from three nationally representative surveys with over 61,000 American adults. The information collected included weight, activity levels, smoking habits, and also assessed one's perception of how one compared to their peers of similar age in exercise level.
It is surprising to consider that just thinking you are behind in your exercise regime compared to your friends can hurt your longevity, but that is what this study found.
However, when we look back at some of the other studies we have written about, this should not come as much of a shock.
We have written many blogs about the need for us all to exercise, people know how important it is to their health. We also know that staying positive helps to keep us happy and healthy - enjoying life more is the whole point right?
So what should we all take away from this study?
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and take it one day at a time. Whatever you can fit into your day for exercise right now - do it! After you do it congratulate yourself for completing it!
Use the knowledge of how exercise can help you feel better, move better and have more energy be your motivation to get whatever you can in day to day - but do not worry about being perfect or being the ultimate fitness example.
Just be you and enjoy life!
If you want to exercise more, but do not know where to start - reach out to us!
We have a great community of exercisers at all different levels who support each other and have fun while working out!
"Perceived Physical Activity and Mortality: Evidence From Three Nationally Representative U.S. Samples," by Octavia H. Zahrt, BA, and Alia J. Crum, PhD, Stanford University. Health Psychology, published online, Thur., July 20, 2017