January 2007 Newsletter
Health with Sheila Kalas
Do you think you should?
Regular, or daily exercise is often a “hard sell” to people. Part of my
job, as an exercise physiologist/personal trainer is to find out what
motivates people to workout and keeps them exercising on a regular
basis. Over the years I have discovered that there are two very
distinct methods of helping individuals reach this goal: 1) providing
technical solutions or, 2) providing adaptive solutions.
Most people contact me when they have reached a point where they want
to workout, but realize that they need help overcoming the barriers
that are keeping them from working out. I very rarely meet someone that
doesn’t believe that exercise is good for them and that they should do
it, but often meet people that want to exercise but can’t seem to get
By the time most people get to me they are ready to workout…………they are
ready to succeed………or so they think.
Most people come to my office wanting to follow the path of least
resistance to success. This is the path of the “technical solution”.
Unfortunately, the “technical solution” path often ends in failure. The
reality is, the technical solution is much easier, sounds great and is
a wonderful short term motivator.
What do I mean by “technical solution”? A technical solution is the
answer that comes directly to you. It is the answer that requires no
effort on your part, no thinking, no “tweaking” of any sort. It’s like
fast food………quick, easy and ready to go. An example of a technical
solution is reading a magazine article that tells you what Madonna’s
workout schedule is and tells you that you can look like her if you
just do “this”. It sounds great………….she looks great…………it’s right here
in the magazine, so it has to be true. People read these articles and
get all excited because they finally found “the answer”. They get
excited about it, talk to their friends about it. They make a pact to
get on this program and soon they will have a body just like
Madonna’s………….and then they sit back on the couch and forget about it,
or maybe they try it for a few weeks and when they don’t have Madonna’s
body then they go sit on the couch.
Technical solutions sound great. In just a few words, an article, a
trainer, a famous athlete, etc. can give you the answer you want to
hear and promise you that it will work and fix all your problems.
However, technical solutions do not provide you with the tools needed
to implement change in your life. Be very wary of technical solutions.
When someone tells you, in specific detail, what YOU need to do to
change your body, your life, etc., a warning flag should go up. No
technical solution, by itself will do anything. They are just words out
there hanging in the air. They are very tempting, I know. It’s much
easier to ask for the technical solution than it is to do the more
involved adaptive change.
An adaptive solution is the solution that looks at the big picture. It
is the solution that is multi-faceted and involves you. It’s not given
to you……you develop it. It takes time, work and the ability to be
honest with your self. It’s also the solution that works.
If you are interested in making exercise a part of your life and want
to attack this “problem” with an adaptive solution, the first thing you
have to do is be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, “Do I believe that
exercise is important and necessary in MY life. Notice I said MY life,
not someone else’s. Many people think exercise is good for everyone
else, but really don’t see it as necessary in their life. You can talk
about wanting to exercise all you want, but unless you truly believe
that it is important and necessary for YOU, then you will not be
successful in making it a fixture in your life. Once you have
determined that you do believe that you should exercise, the next step
is taking a good look at your life and seeing how you would have to
adapt your life to bring exercise in as a regular part of your life. Be
complete. You have to look at your
personal live, your social life, your work life, etc. Ask yourself,
“Does my present work schedule allow time for regular exercise?,………Is
my personal life or family life set up in a manner that can welcome
regular exercise into it?..........Do or can my social activities
continue in the same way and still allow me time to exercise on a
These are just a few of many questions you should be asking yourself as
you begin to adapt your life to include regular exercise. You will have
to communicate with those closest to you and involved in your daily
life. This may include a spouse, a boss, co-workers, friends, etc. But
this conversation should also include an educated, qualified personal
trainer or other exercise professional. A trainer can and should be an
asset to you in developing your adaptive solution, not the person who
throws out quick, general technical solutions.
There is no doubt that exercise is the best way to avoid early
mortality by lowering your chance of almost every major disease,
including all types of cancer. Regular exercise is your best defense
against losing your independence as you age and keeping the quality of
your life at the highest level possible. The effort needed to reap the
great rewards that exercise can bring to you is minimal………a 30 minute
brisk walk daily and a basic weight workout 2 times a week. I believe
that all of us CAN adapt our lives to include regular exercise, but
only you can decide if you WILL.
I wish all of you the power and the will to adapt your life to include
and enjoy health and fitness.
Studies show that what you eat, or don't eat, has a definite effect on the health of your skin. The skin is functioning to constatly keep you safe from the various sources of stress in our environment. So, although a new diet won't clear away all your wrinkles or halt skin aging, nutrition can make a huge difference not only in how you look, but also how you feel. This in turn will influence how young or old you may appear to be.
As you get older, your skin thins and the network of fibers known as collagen and elastin loosens, causing skin to sag. Your metabolism slows down, as does new skin cell growth, oil-producing gland activity and healing and repair of skin tissue.
Researchers are just beginning to explore the extent of diet's role in the skin aging process. One recent study revealed that people whose diets are rich in vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts, and multigrain breads are less likely to wrinkle than those who feast on red meat, butter, and sugary foods. Experts suspect that antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E and the minerals zinc and selenium may keep wrinkles at bay by reducing the amount of potentially damaging free radicals produced by skin cells. One study even revealed that a supplement that included a combination of these antioxidant vitamins helped protect the skin from aging due to solar UV exposure! Imagine sun protection from the inside out!
To achieve a healthy, youthful glow, turn away from the sun and turn to carotenoid-rich foods such as cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other fruits and vegetables that have deep green, yellow, orange, and red hues. Also, a high quality, phamaceutical grade multivitamin may provide further protection against aging skin. In addition, it is always important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. This is essential to preventing further skin damage and facial aging. I recommend recently FDA approved Anthelios by LaRoche Posay or products that have the barrier protection of zinc oxide.
Recent News provides further evidence that use of
synthetic estrogen and progestin in women with developing breast cancer
may be correlated with a higher detection rate. As reported by the
Associated Press,"the startling new analysis , reported at yesterday at
the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, does not prove a link between
hormone therapy and breast cancer, but strongly suggests it, many
experts said." The 7% drop in detected cases from 2002 to 2003 is
theorized to have occurred as a result of the medical community taking
female patients off the dangerous combination of synthetic estrogen and
progestin. Our practice is dedicated to providing
a superior level of health and well being to our patients. We will
continue to avoid use of synthetic estrogens and progestins in our
patients seeking hormone balancing. Dr. Paul Hester
What the Media Forgot to Tell You
"Synthetic hormones are simply no replacement for natural hormones. After many years of getting poor or no results with conventional HRT in my practice, natural hormones proved more effective and safer than any other treatment I've seen or used."
--Erika T. Schwartz, M.D. author of The Hormone Solution in response to
"What people need to understand is that when their natural hormones are at optimal levels in their youthful prime is when they are the healthiest. It's only when hormones decline and synthetic hormones are introduced to the body that we see these problems. In my practice of prescribing natural hormones to women for five years, I have never seen the problems and side effects as we have seen with the synthetic hormones. Why not replace the body with natural biologically identical hormones. Anything else, as we have seen with the recent discontinuation of the WHI Trials, is dangerous to a woman's health."
--Neal Rouzier, M.D. , author of Natural Hormone Replacement for Men and
Women: How to Achieve Healthy Aging in response to JAMA
Comment from Pharmacy
Many of our customers have called, concerned over the news regarding the discontinuation of a large study where women taking a form of HRT, Prempro, had a higher risk to benefit ratio. We have always understood your concerns, and that is why we only custom compound natural, biologically identical hormones.
Because pharmaceutical companies cannot patent hormones that exactly replicate what the body makes naturally, they have come up with alternative representations. The two hormones used in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trials are unnatural and molecularly altered. Since pharmaceutical companies cannot patent biologically identical hormones, there is no reason to fund studies regarding natural, human-identical hormones. Nor is there any money, and therefore reason, to educate health practitioners in this safer, and healthier form of hormone replacement therapy. Moreover, the results of the WHI trials are one-sided. The Journal of the American Medical Association , which recounted the discontinuation of the study, reported in its recent publication that a major limitation of the study is that it only reflects one drug regimen, Prempro. They also wrote that it is possible that supplementation of estradiol/progesterone (natural, bioidentical hormones) would have a more positive outcome.
We believe putting women on a Premarin/Provera combination was a show of medical misjudgment. We know that synthetic hormones produce toxic metabolites in the body, whereas natural hormones do not. Studies have shown that altered, unnatural hormones will cause side effects. Premarin, derived from pregnant mare's urine, has over 30 different equine estrogens that are foreign to a female, human body. Provera has been molecularly altered and has been known to cause uncomfortable side effects from its very inception. In fact, two years ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that progestin (the same content found in Prempro), not progesterone found in the products made by compounding pharmacies like MedQuest, raised the risk of breast cancer well beyond the risk found in the use of estrogen alone. This has not been the case with Natural Progesterone .
Another study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , also reported that out of the women who were placed on three different regimens: estrogen, estrogen and progestin, or placebo, the women on estrogen and progestin had a greater breast epithelial cell proliferation and density than women on estrogen alone or nothing at all. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has also concluded that there is an associated 10 percent higher risk of breast cancer for every five years of supplementation with a synthetic progestin. The common denominator, of course, is the synthetic progestin .
As far as heart health is concerned, multiple studies have shown that progestin, the synthetic hormone, can retard the health-enhancing benefits of estrogen for the heart. Estrogen has been shown to reduce by 50% the risk of coronary atherosclerosis. In 2000, the Journal of Reproductive Medicine illustrated that micronized progesterone (natural) did not affect estrogen's positive effect on the heart, whereas medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera like in Prempro) did .
It has been an uphill battle from the start for women to get the help they need in the years after menopause. And now it seems they are again put in a catch-22 situation because with or without the customary hormones on the market women will have a higher risk to benefit ratio.
However, you do have an alternative choice. Biologically identical hormones natural estrogen and
progesterone make sense since they mimic structurally, your own body's hormones.
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