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Heuser Health Blog

Eating Like a Vulture – Why You Should Refrain From Mystery Meats

By: Lauren Berryman

We, as human beings, are omnivores, meaning we eat plants and animals. However, some people choose to eliminate meat from their diets for health reasons or ethical concerns. Nevertheless, since we are at the top of the animal kingdom, we should eat like it. That means refraining from mystery meats.

Here at Heuser Health, we believe nutrition is a vital component to one’s overall health. Nurse Peggy Heuser (MSN, APRN) makes the analogy to her patients that since we are humans we should stop eating like vultures. Vultures will eat anything in sight – snouts, hooves, tongues, intestines, and so on. And, many of these parts are found in mystery meats, like hot dogs, sausages and bologna. 1

Many consumers are unaware of the exact ingredients found in these foods because of how the companies market them. Many times, these organs and trimmings are labelled under the vague categories “byproducts” and “variety meats.” 2 Now that is a bunch of bologna!

However, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “the raw meat materials used for precooked-cooked products are lower-grade muscle trimmings, fatty tissues, head meat, animal feet, animal skin, blood, liver and other edible slaughter by-products” that are emulsified. 3

These animal parts are ground up and flavored to appeal to our taste buds, making them high in sodium, fat, corn syrup and calories. 4 Additionally, the casings surrounding hot dogs, sausages and bologna are made from gastrointestinal tracts of animals. 5 That fact is hard to stomach.

Dr. William Kormos, the editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch wrote, “processed meats (salted, smoked, or cured) are associated with a higher risk [of disease].” 6 They are associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers.

Still, many choose to eat processed meats because we live in a fast-paced society and crave convenience. However, convenience can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.

You do not necessarily have to eliminate meat from your diet as it is an excellent source of protein and nutrients. Rather, try eating chicken breast instead of chicken nuggets or pork tenderloin instead of bacon. With less fat and fewer calories, skinless lean meat is the better choice.

So, if you do eat meat, stick with the breasts, thighs and tenderloins, and leave the scraps for the vultures.

 

References:

  1. Green, Dennis. “Photo Series Reveals the Creepy Truth in ‘Mystery Meat’.” Mashable, Mashable, 10 Aug. 2014, mashable.com/2014/08/10/mystery-meat-photo-series/.
  2. Petsko, Emily. “What Is Bologna Made Of?” Mental Floss, 24 Oct. 2018, mentalfloss.com/article/560697/what-is-bologna-made-of.
  3. Blevins, Melissa. “What Are Hot Dogs Really Made of?” Business Insider, Business Insider, 15 July 2017, www.businessinsider.com/what-are-hot-dogs-really-made-of-2014-7.
  4. Santos, Sarah Kaye. “The 15 Healthiest (and Unhealthiest) Meats You Can Eat.” Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 6 Dec. 2018, www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/healthiest-unhealthiest-meats-eat.html/.
  5. “Glad You Asked: What Is Bologna Made of, and How Did It Get Its Name?” Journal Times, 12 Jan. 2008, journaltimes.com/news/local/glad-you-asked-what-is-bologna-made-of-and-how/article_b6c40fab-b294-592f-a4f2-ebdeb79aa528.html.
  6. Newman, Tim. “Are We Supposed to Be Vegetarian?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 15 Nov. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320047.php.

Use It or Lose It: The Importance of Building Muscle

By: Lauren Berryman

As the old adage goes, “use it or lose it.” If you do not use your muscles, you will lose them. That is why strength training is important, especially when dieting and aging.

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, strength training is necessary to develop a balanced exercise regime. Building lean muscle helps increase bone density, manage weight, decrease risk of chronic disease, and improve quality of life. 1

  

Muscles act as an “engine” that burns calories, even at rest. In fact, “for every pound of muscle you gain, your body uses about 50 extra calories a day.” 2

Many people try different diets, but dieters typically all have the same goal: to lose weight. However, it is important to remember wellness is more important than the number on the scale.

Ideally, losing weight means losing fat mass while building muscle mass. Some diets push people to lose weight quickly. However, this may cause the body to burn muscle after burning a certain amount of fat. And, losing muscle slows the body’s metabolism.

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to losing weight. It is important to remember to not feel defeated if the number on the scale does not decrease. It could easily mean that you are losing fat and building muscle. Eating an adequate amount of protein helps build muscle, too.

It is especially important to build muscle as you age. The American College of Sports Medicine found that “people lose about 10 percent of their muscle by age 50,” and muscle continues to atrophy after that. 3

However, this can be prevented with regular strength training. The CDC found that “muscle-building exercise can improve balance, reduce the likelihood of falls, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.” 4

While both men and women lose muscle with age, postmenopausal women lose muscle more quickly and gain body fat more easily. This is due to the lack of the hormone estrogen, causing the body’s metabolism to slow down. Some women choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy, which helps prevent muscle loss post menopause.

Still, strength training is important at all ages. To name a few, it includes weight-lifting, squats and push-ups. It also includes using proper form and giving the body enough time to recover.

Alright, time to hit the gym!

 

References:

  1. “Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Feb. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/strength-training/art-20046670.
  2. Stellner, Alison. “What Are the Benefits of Gaining Muscle Mass?” COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/218201-what-are-the-benefits-of-gaining-muscle-mass/.
  3. Stellner, Alison. “What Are the Benefits of Gaining Muscle Mass?” COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/218201-what-are-the-benefits-of-gaining-muscle-mass/.
  4. Sarnataro, Barbara Russi. “The Basics: Build Muscle for Better Health.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/build-muscle-better-health.

Why You Should Say “No” to Processed Foods

By: Lauren Berryman

Nowadays, Americans are busier than ever. From working nine to five to picking kids up from school to running errands around town and so on, we crave convenience.

Convenience takes the form of fast food restaurants, microwavable meals and vending machine snacks. However, these processed foods, which are presumed to be convenient, are actually problematic.

Processed foods are chemically modified to have longer shelf lives and are often frozen, canned or dried. If you look at the nutrition label on your bag of snack mix, you may see unfamiliar words like maltodextrin, sodium diacetate and fumaric acid. These sound more like chemical compounds that should be found in a lab rather than ingredients that should be ingested by our bodies.

These foods are also high in sugar and carbohydrates and lack healthy components, like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are tricked into finding these processed foods tasty because the additives cause our brains to release the hormone dopamine, increasing the feeling of happiness. 1

While these foods may make you feel satiated and happy, these feelings do not last long because these foods are quickly digested. Overeating becomes a risk because the body soon feels hungry and desires more dopamine to be released again.

A study in the Cell Metabolism Journal found that diets high in processed foods led people to consume 500 additional daily calories, therefore causing them to gain about two pounds in just two weeks. 2

Added sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup, found in many processed foods increases triglyceride levels and fat storage around the waist line. An increasing waist circumference increases the chance of developing metabolic syndrome. And, an increased chance of metabolic syndrome increases the chance of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. 3

However, these conditions can be easily prevented by monitoring diet. The study concluded that “on the unprocessed diet, their levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone PYY increased while levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, fell.” 4

Another study in the British Medical Journal also found that people who rarely eat processed foods have a greater life expectancy and decreased chance of heart disease. 5

So, say “no” to processed foods and “yes” to clean eating. Whole grain, all natural and locally grown foods are best. We live in a fast-paced society, but if you run to the local farmer’s market once a week and limit frozen meals, your risk of contracting metabolic syndrome will decrease.

When eliminating processed foods, a good rule of thumb is that fresh is best. Apples are better than apple juice. Fruit salad is better than fruit snacks. And, always steer clear of trans fats.

References:

  1. Gunnars, Kris. “Nine Ways That Processed Foods Are Harming People.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 1 Aug. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318630.php.
  2. O’connor, Anahad. “Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 May 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/well/eat/why-eating-processed-foods-might-make-you-fat.html.
  3. “Metabolic Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916.
  4. O’connor, Anahad. “Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 May 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/well/eat/why-eating-processed-foods-might-make-you-fat.html.
  5. Burfoot, Amby. “It’s Trendy to Scorn Processed Food. Now There’s Research to Back up That Attitude.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 June 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/its-trendy-to-scorn-processed-food-now-theres-research-to-back-up-that-attitude/2019/06/21/d19f54d8-929d-11e9-aadb-74e6b2b46f6a_story.html?utm_term=.544854920738.

Hydration in the Summer Heat

By: Lauren Berryman

With high temperatures surpassing 90 degrees lately, Louisvillians must ensure they are staying hydrated in this summer heat. With many activities outdoors, hydration is of upmost importance. The human body is composed of over 60 percent water, and it cannot function without it.

Water aids metabolic processes, regulates body temperature, controls blood pressure and helps remove waste, among countless other functions. 1 Because summer typically means hotter temperatures and more sweating, hydration is key.

According to the CDC, 43 percent of adults do not consume adequate water. 2 This statistic raises concerns, especially in hot and humid weather. Additionally, when exercising, the body can lose almost 2 liters of water through sweat. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

On average, one should drink six to eight cups of water per day. However, the more one sweats, the more water they should drink. In addition, medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, impact the amount of water one should intake. 3

Another way to stay hydrated is eating foods high in water content, like cucumbers, celery and watermelon. In fact, about 20 percent of daily water intake comes from foods consumed. 4 Drinking sports drinks also helps replace electrolytes lost. However, be wary of drinks high in sugar content.

Coconut water is a good alternative to sports drinks because it is high in potassium and contains natural sugars. However, water still reigns as the best option and is zero calories. If you desire a fruity flavor, try adding fresh lemon, strawberries or mint to taste.

Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. According to the NIH, other symptoms include dry mouth, fatigue, headache, dizziness and dark yellow urine. 5 If you experience any of these symptoms, listen to your body and hydrate.

Dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat cramps cause painful muscle cramps, heat exhaustion causes dizziness and vomiting, and heatstroke is the most serious condition resulting in unconsciousness.

Ways to prevent dehydration include exercising indoors or at cooler times of day, progressing gradually and allowing the body to acclimate. Acclimation takes about two weeks and optimizes the body’s cardiovascular function by increasing blood plasma levels and increasing cardiac output. It also lowers the sweat threshold minimizing the body’s water loss. 6

Soaking in that vitamin D outside during the summer is important, but always remember to stay hydrated. Even when reading a book by the pool or enjoying a summer cookout, keep a water bottle handy, and enjoy your time outdoors.

 

References:

  1. Laskey, Jen. “The Health Benefits of Water.” com, Everyday Health, 16 Feb. 2015, www.everydayhealth.com/water-health/water-body-health.aspx.
  2. Underhill, Allison, and Michael Schroeder. “8 Ways to Stay Hydrated Besides Drinking Water.” S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 2 July 2019, health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/8-ways-to-stay-hydrated-this-summer-without-drinking-water.
  3. “Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy.” The American Heart Association, The American Heart Association, 6 Aug. 2014, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/staying-hydrated-staying-healthy.
  4. Underhill, Allison, and Michael Schroeder. “8 Ways to Stay Hydrated Besides Drinking Water.” S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 2 July 2019, health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/8-ways-to-stay-hydrated-this-summer-without-drinking-water.
  5. “From the Extension: Stay Hydrated during Hot Summer Days.” Daily Commercial, Daily Commercial, 6 July 2019, www.dailycommercial.com/news/20190706/from-extension-stay-hydrated-during-hot-summer-days.
  6. Belval, Luke. “Heat Acclimatization.” Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut, 5 Mar. 2015, ksi.uconn.edu/prevention/heat-acclimatization/#.

# ROTW Strawberry and Avocado Chicken Salad

 

Strawberry and Avocado Chicken Salad 

Amp up your chicken salad while toning down the fat this summer with our Strawberry and Avocado Chicken Salad! With just 6 ingredients and 150 calories per serving, this salad is a delicious home run! 

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 2 Avocados (Shelled and diced)
  • 1 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup diced cucumber 
  • 2 chicken breasts (shredded or chopped)  

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mash diced avocados to create a creamy texture. 
  2. Stir in 1 TBS lemon juice.
  3. Add red onion, strawberries, cucumber and chicken and mix. 
  4. Garnish with feta cheese crumbles and balsamic drizzle. 

 

Grill Up a Healthy 4th of July Cookout

By: Lauren Berryman

Now that summer cookouts are in full swing, enjoy surrounding yourself with family and friends. Here is a healthy twist to your 4th of July cookout that will surely set off fireworks (see recipes below).

 

One of the best parts of cooking out is grilling. And, grilling is a healthier way to prepare foods. However, before you fire up the grill, remember that the unhealthy part of most cookouts is the abundance of red and processed meats, including hamburgers, hotdogs and bratwursts, which so many Americans love.

However, processed meats are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and cancers. 1 There are healthy (and tasty) alternatives. For example, grilled chicken and black bean burgers are just a couple options.

 

As always, everything in moderation is okay for our health. While red meat consumed in excess is unhealthy, every so often it is fine to eat because it is high in iron, vitamin B12 and protein. 2

 

If you do decide to eat a classic hamburger, the bun is an easy way to pack on the calories and carbohydrates. So, try a wheat option or even go bun-less.

Now for the sides. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and baked beans are a classic cookout side item. A good rule of thumb is that homemade food is generally healthier than store-bought foods, especially since you are aware of what ingredients go into the food. Canned baked beans are often high in sugar and salt, so be cautious of how much you add when making them at home.

 

Additionally, corn on the cob is a favorite vegetable option at cookouts, just be wary of what you put on it. Butter is a saturated fat and, therefore, “may increase levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL)” and “may increase a person’s risk of heart disease.” 3

 

Raw fruits and vegetables are always a safe and tasty bet. Try dipping your veggies in hummus instead of dressing, too. Consisting primarily of chickpeas, hummus is high in protein and fiber and helps lower the chance of heart disease. 4

 

Now for everyone’s favorite topic: dessert. This is an easy category to get carried away with. But, a great, healthy option for both kids and adults is popsicles. Not the kind that are high in added sugar, but rather homemade ones. They are so easy to make and are a refreshing choice when dining outside. Just grab a couple of your favorite fruits, blend them, fill a popsicle mold, freeze, and enjoy.

 

Time to get grilling. Happy Independence Day!

 

Recipes:

  • Black Bean Burger: https://simple-veganista.com/smoky-black-bean-burger/
  • Grilled Chicken Variations: https://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/menus-for-entertaining/grilled-chicken-recipes
  • Vegan Baked Beans: https://simple-veganista.com/healthy-baked-beans-instant-pot/
  • Hummus: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hummus/
  • Fresh Popsicles: https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g830/popsicle-recipes-0709/?slide=10

 

References:

  1. Arnarson, Atli. “Why Processed Meat Is Bad For You.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 June 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-processed-meat-is-bad.
  2. Lee, Elizabeth. “Is Eating Red Meat Bad for Your Health?” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-red-meat#1.
  3. D’Souza, Gillian. “Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats: Which Is Better for You?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 27 Apr. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321655.php.
  4. Raman, Ryan. “Is Hummus Healthy? Top 8 Benefits of Hummus.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2 May 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-hummus-healthy.

CBD Oil – Revolutionary or Trendy?

By: Lauren Berryman

 

Cannabidiol oil, more commonly known as CBD oil, is speculated to be a “cure-all” solution to various ailments. However, with little research conducted on this popular product, the possible health benefits of using CBD oil are not yet confirmed. This leads to the question: Is CBD oil revolutionary or trendy?

 

CBD oil comes from a cannabinoid chemical compound found in oils from the cannabis plant. This natural remedy does not contain the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. Therefore, CBD oil does not produce a “high” and is not addictive. 1

 

It has been proven that CBD oil can be used to treat epileptic seizures. In fact, the only drug containing CBD oil that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved so far is Epidiolex, which controls these seizures. 2

 

While many studies on CBD oil have only recently begun, the European Journal of Pain found that “CBD applied on the skin [of animals] could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis.” Inflammation decreased and signs of pain in the animals diminished. However, they also emphasized that “more study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.” 3

 

Most evidence supports that CBD oil can be used to treat general chronic pain as it has been known to reduce pain and inflammation.

 

It is also speculated that CBD oil can reduce blood pressure, treat anxiety, prevent migraines, and improve sleep. While this research cannot yet be confirmed by scientists, it is known that the possible side effects of CBD oil include dry mouth, reduced appetite, gastrointestinal distress, and fatigue. 4

 

Because most CBD oils are unregulated by the FDA, it is hard to be certain what CBD supplements contain. However, the FDA is investigating the potential use of CBD in the future. It is currently illegal to produce and consume CBD-infused foods. However, there is discussion that this may change. The popular ice cream brand, Ben and Jerry’s, released a statement saying that if this is overturned, they plan to produce a CBD-infused ice cream. 5

 

While there is a lack of evidence pertaining to the health benefits of CBD oil, there are many personal testimonies of people swearing by the product. If you are considering using CBD oil, it is recommended that you first ask your doctor if it is right for you.

 

So, to answer the question posed at the beginning, yes CBD oil is one of the latest trends. But, if future studies yield the same results that early studies have shown, CBD oil could prove to be a revolutionary treatment option.

 

References:

 

  1. Johnson, Jon. “CBD Oil for Pain Management: Effects, Benefits, and Uses.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 July 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php.
  2. Grinspoon, Peter. “Cannabidiol (CBD) – What We Know and What We Don’t.” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard University, 24 Aug. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476.
  3. Grinspoon, Peter. “Cannabidiol (CBD) – What We Know and What We Don’t.” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard University, 24 Aug. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476.
  4. Johnson, Jon. “CBD Oil for Pain Management: Effects, Benefits, and Uses.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 July 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php.
  5. “CBD Ice Cream Is (Maybe, Hopefully) Coming To A Freezer Near You!” Http://Www.benjerry.com, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., 30 May 2019, www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2019/05/cbd-statement.

Sip Some Summer Smoothies

By: Lauren Berryman

 

Happy Summer! Here’s to more trips to the pool, cookouts with family and friends, and classic sweltering temperatures we Louisvillians know all too well!

 

Fresh, homemade smoothies are a popular way to stay cool this summer. The great thing about smoothies is that you can practically use any combination of fruits and vegetables stocked at home, including strawberries, bananas, pineapple, and oranges. Making smoothies at home is the best way to confidently know what is going into your drink.

 

Drinking smoothies boosts fruit and vegetable intakes, two food groups many lack. These nutrient-dense drinks are high in fiber aiding the digestive process and are also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants boosting the immune system. 1

With the addition of fat free milk or nonfat yogurt, the amount of calcium is enhanced. And, with the addition of protein powder, peanut butter or chia seeds, smoothies can be a good source of protein.

 

But, which vegetable is a great source of both calcium and protein? Spinach. This dark green, leafy food is also high in magnesium and iron, leading many to distinguish spinach as a superfood. 2 However, if not fond of its taste, blending it in smoothies is an easy way to add it to the diet, while its flavor is masked by the sweet taste of other fruits and vegetables. Additionally, gradually adding spinach allows taste buds to adapt to its flavor.

 

Smoothies contain many natural sugars, but be cautious when adding yogurts and juices as this is an easy way to turn a nutritious smoothie into a higher calorie, sugary drink.

 

When deciding whether to use fresh fruits and vegetables opposed to frozen ones, research says that while frozen produce loses a little of its nutritional value, they are overall equally beneficial. 3 It mainly comes down to one thing – preference. Smoothies with frozen fruits and vegetables provide a thicker texture than their fresh counterparts.

 

While drinking smoothies offers many health benefits, it is important to do all things in moderation. The Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends capping smoothies at 8-12 ounces per day. 4

 

Want to be cool? Then, grab some fruits and vegetables, add some milk or yogurt, and scoop a handful (or two) of ice, and blend yourself a healthy and refreshing smoothie to stay cool this summer!

 

To access over 30 Healthy Smoothie Recipes, click here: https://www.myrecipes.com/healthy-diet/smoothie-recipes.

 

References:

  1. Wright, Brierley. “Health Benefits of Juicing vs. Smoothies.” EatingWell, EatingWell, 7 Nov. 2013, www.eatingwell.com/article/276763/health-benefits-of-juicing-vs-smoothies/.
  2. Ware, Megan. “Spinach: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Diet.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php.
  3. Brown, Mary Jane. “Fresh vs Frozen Fruit and Vegetables – Which Are Healthier?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 June 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/fresh-vs-frozen-fruit-and-vegetables.
  4. Wright, Brierley. “Health Benefits of Juicing vs. Smoothies.” EatingWell, EatingWell, 7 Nov. 2013, www.eatingwell.com/article/276763/health-benefits-of-juicing-vs-smoothies/.

Weekly yoga classes available on Sundays at Heuser Health! Here is why you should try it out.

 

By: Lauren Berryman

Yoga originated in India around 3000 B.C. and is practiced globally today. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit term yujir meaning “to unite.” 1 More specifically, yoga unites one’s mind, body, and spirit as the exercise promotes both mental and physical health.

Yoga is a type of neuromotor exercise aimed to improve one’s ability to perform daily activities. Neuromotor exercises help improve motor skills, such as balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion. It is especially important with age as it reduces the risk of falling. In addition, it helps prevent injury in well-trained individuals and improves overall wellbeing in all participants.

It has been discovered that “physical systems activated through yoga practice include musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, autonomic nervous system and endocrine functioning,” and “psychological benefits include enhanced coping, self-efficacy and positive mood.” 2

Asana, breath, and meditation are three key elements of yoga that differentiate it from other exercises. Asana refers to the practice of different poses, aiding flexibility and stability. Regulating one’s breathing reduces stress, and meditation helps clear one’s mind.

 

 

The various yoga poses stretch muscles helping to prevent stiffness in joints as well as helping to build muscle strength. Some of the positions include the lotus, the downward-facing dog and the cobra. It is recommended to learn yoga from an instructor and advance gradually to more complex poses.

Yoga helps prevent arthritis among other conditions. Additionally, it improves posture alleviating back pain and preventing osteoporosis. It also improves blood flow, increasing oxygen delivery to tissues and, therefore, supplying more energy to the body.

Research shows that 60-80 percent of doctor visits are linked to stress-related health issues, and yoga has become a popular prescription to relieve stress. 3

Along with reducing stress, yoga provides many other mental health benefits. The focus on breathing aids relaxation and improves sleep. And, achieving harmony by learning to unite one’s mind and body encourages self-care, which improves wellness and overall happiness.

It is recommended to practice yoga, or other neuromotor exercises, for 20-30 minutes for 2-3 days per week. At Heuser Health, we offer yoga classes on Sundays at 10:15 a.m.

So, roll out your yoga mat (or use one of ours), get your sweat on, and prosper in the health benefits of yoga. See you at the gym!

 

References

  1. Joshi, K. S. “On the Meaning of Yoga.” Philosophy East and West, vol. 15, no. 1, 1965, pp. 53–64. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1397408.
  2. Evans, Subhadra, et al. “Using the Biopsychosocial Model to Understand the Health Benefits of Yoga.” Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 1–22. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sph&AN=38899522&site=ehost-live.
  3. Nerurkar, Aditi et al. “When physicians counsel about stress: results of a national study.” JAMA internal medicine 173,1 (2013): 76-7. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.480

ROTW: Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Bars!

Save a few dollars and make these simple yet delicious Heuser approved Protein Bars!

Ingredients

 

2 cups Rolled Oats 

1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter 

1/4 cup Honey

1 Scoop or 1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

1/4 cup frozen semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

 

In a sauce pan, melt peanut butter and honey on low heat 

Mix in rolled oats and protein powder 

Turn heat off and fold in chocolate chips 

Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and transfer mixture to sheet

Flatten mixture to a square shape

Refrigerate the mixture for 4 hours, or over night.

Remove from Sheet, cut into bars and enjoy!