Archives for : November 2013

     

Giving Thanks

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I set up this website to focus on health and wellness.   Nutrition, exercise and a healthy environment aren’t the only factors that contribute to one’s physical wellbeing, though.  Mental and emotional states have a great impact, too, so I think this post is definitely on topic.

Once again, it’s the time of year when Americans observe the time-honored tradition of reflecting on our good fortune. Of course my life definitely isn’t perfect and of course I face my share of frustrations, disappointments and just plain crappy days, so I’ll try to avoid making this sound like a humblebrag.  But I have so many things to be grateful for that I want to acknowledge all the good things in my life and say thank you to all the people who contribute to making so many of them possible.

First, my family:  I’m SOOOO lucky to have a wonderful, supportive partner in my life!  My husband is a dependable, caring, generous, PATIENT man who loves, respects, and supports me even when I don’t always make it easy to do so.  Thank you, Ray.  I love you.

I’ve spent the last 50 years watching my four babies grow into responsible, kind and good people.  Granted, during their early years, not every day was a Brady Bunch episode but they were pretty good kids and have all grown into the kind of individuals I would eagerly cultivate as friends had we not had the good fortune of being family.  Although they’re all busy with their own families (another point to be grateful for: 7 wonderful and healthy grandkids and two sons-in-law whom I love like my own kids) and often hectic lives, it’s a rare day when I don’t get a text, call, or photo from at least one of them.  They’re still my babies but they’re also my trusted friends.

And speaking of friends, I’m particularly blessed in that respect, too.  So many terrific people are important parts of my life and allow me to be a part of theirs, too.  Childhood friends with whom I go out to dinner regularly.  Old friends and extended family members who think nothing of traveling  from out of  state “just” to help throw me a surprise birthday party.  Newer friends who have become part of my USANA family over the years, and other networking and civic associates who have become dear, indispensable friends.

I love my job!  I actually get paid to do something that not only gives me a strong sense of purpose and satisfaction, but allows me to do the thing that I’ve always considered Life’s Higher Purpose – to help others.

And neither last nor least, I’m grateful for my health.  Those who know me well know that this wasn’t always the case, and that I believe that USANA deserves credit for some of the improvement.  Regardless of the source(s) of my wellbeing, I’m grateful every day.

Finally, I’m thankful that yet another study has recently shown chocolate to actually be good for you!

I hope that you all have an abundance of reasons to be grateful, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

         
     

Walking For The Cure?

Okay, like it or not,  it’s a fact that exercise is good for you.  From weight management, to cardiovascular health, to mental and emotional wellbeing, studies have shown that individuals who engage in even moderate amounts of regular exercise are more likely to be in better shape than their more sedentary counterparts.  In fact, one study in the British Medical Journal found that physical activity can be as effective as some prescription heart medications, and even more effective that some stroke drugs.

I’m a big believer in the importance of physical activity to overall wellness (even if I don’t always practice what I preach).  Even so, I was somewhat surprised to run across a study by American Cancer Society researchers, recently published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s publication Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, which suggests an inverse relationship between exercise and occurrences of postmenopausal breast cancer.

According to the study, which followed 73,000 postmenopausal women for 17 years, women who engaged in greater than 42 MET hours per week of physical activity had a 25% lower risk of breast cancer than the more sedentary subjects (< 7 hours / week).

(For reference, an hour of slow walking or light gardening is equivalent to 2 MET, climbing stairs or casual biking yields about 4 MET, and running is 13.5)

Additionally, 47% of these subjects reported walking as their only activity.  Even 7 or more weekly MET hours of activity showed a 14% reduction in risk.

Read the abstract here, then go for a walk.