Be leaner and live better
BY DR. WENDY HENRICHS
BOARD CERTIFICED CHIROPRACTIC PEDIATRICIAN AND NUTRITION COUNSELOR
Spring has hit the Northwoods. If you are like me, you may have an extra layer of winter fat. Strength training and other exercise is a great way to trim down and get rid of that extra fat, along with many other health benefits.
Strength training keeps you healthy. Muscular strength provides you protection against things like heart attack, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes, to name a few. The 2012 Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehab and Prevention noted that weight training causes more oxygenated blood to travel through your system which causes increased removal of waste and more nutrient delivery to the tissues of your body.
Strength training and other exercise balances your hormones, keeps you lean, helps you age well, and tones your brain or gray matter. A three-year study on aging at Tufts University determined that muscle mass is the most important factor in determining how healthy we will be in our later years.
Intense exercise reduces cellular aging by nine years. A study in Preventive Medicine 2017 revealed that highly active individuals have an aging advantage. In the study, highly active was defined as: women jogging 30 minutes five days a week, or men jogging 40 minutes five days a week. The telomeres of their genes were nine years younger than their sedentary counterparts. Not only that, but your gut health improves as your cardiorespiratory fitness increases.
A study in Microbiome Aug. 8, 2016, suggests that cardiorespiratory fitness is a good predictor of gut microbial diversity. It even outperformed other variables including sex, age, BMI and dietary components. Gut health is extremely important for overall health and well-being. Your gut is considered your second brain. The microbiome in your gut has an influence on your psychology, even including anxiety and depression. What happens in the gut definitely does not stay in the gut. If your gut is not functioning properly not only is your ability to lose that unwanted fat inhibited, but your brain’s ability to function is also affected.
Strength training and other exercise helps to balance our hormones. Our stress hormone cortisol is lowered when we strength train and exercise. Remember that cortisol causes an increase in our blood sugar, blood pressure, blood calcium, blood cholesterol, and decreases short term memory. When our stress hormone cortisol is dominant over periods of weeks, months and years, it can lead to degenerative diseases such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and dementia. Cortisol also affects insulin and other hormones of our body. Not only that, but endorphins are released when we strength training and exercise. Endorphins are the happy chemicals of our body. We can all use a little more happiness in our life.
Get moving this spring to lose your winter fat, age better, improve your gut health, balance your hormones and be happier. I am committed, how about you?
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.