Calculate Your “Positive Emotion Score” to Boost Your Mood

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In the last 24 hours, how many positive emotions did you feel? How many negative? The ratio of positive to negative emotions could clue you in on how resilient you are to life’s stresses.

Jane McGonigal, developer of the SuperBetter game designed to help you work towards your goals, offers some “power-ups” you can use to increase your positive emotion (PE) ratio. For example:

Press reset: Having a bad morning? Close your eyes for one minute. When you open them, imagine your day is starting over.

Look to the future: For a quick jolt of optimism, think of something you’re looking forward to in the next 24 hours and a month from now.

If your positivity score is low, try physical power-ups like getting more sun.

These little exercises could be the difference between a great day and a bad one.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/calculate-your-positive-emotion-score-to-boost-your-m-1747118172?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_facebook&utm_source=lifehacker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_expid=66866090-68.Rvuykf2qT9qOAx_axtw3_w.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F

Contact us for information on all of our therapies.

Boston Testosterone Partners / Core Medical Group

www.btpwellness.com
BTP/CORE New England
Men’s Health Centers
781.269.5953

 

Testosterone, Sleep And Sexual Health

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When it comes to sleep, testosterone may be the somewhat forgotten hormone. We know a great deal about the importance of testosterone as the male sex hormone, its role in the body and the effects of testosterone deficits, particularly for men. But there’s been relatively little attention paid to the effects of testosterone on sleep, for both men and women. A recent review of research seeks to bring some much-needed attention to the role that testosterone plays in sleep.

  • The effects of sleep (and lack of sleep) on testosterone levels in men and women.
  • The role that testosterone plays in obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing.
  • The relationship between testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction, and how sleep may affect both.

Changes in testosterone levels occur naturally during sleep, both in men and women. Testosterone levels rise during sleep and decrease during waking hours. Research has shown that the highest levels of testosterone happen during REM sleep, the deep, restorative sleep that occurs mostly late in the nightly sleep cycle. Sleep disorders, including interrupted sleep and lack of sleep, reduces the amount of REM sleep and will frequently lead to low testosterone levels. And this is important for men and women.

There’s strong evidence of a relationship between testosterone and sleep disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. Studies have shown that low testosterone levels frequently occur in men with obstructive sleep apnea. Men with obstructive sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from complications to their sexual function, including low libido, erectile dysfunction and impotence.

  • Men with erectile dysfunction were more than twice as likely to have obstructive sleep apnea as those without erectile dysfunction, according to one study. This study also showed that the more serious a man’s erectile dysfunction, the more likely he was to also have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Another study showed that men with obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction also exhibited highly-fragmented sleep that reduced or eliminated their REM sleep.

Men are more likely than women to suffer from sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing — though there is widespread belief that sleep apnea in women remains significantly under-diagnosed — and testosterone deficiencies may play a role.

What does this mean for men suffering from sleep problems or problems with sexual function? It’s time to explore the connection between the two. First off, guys, you’ve got to go to the doctor. Making the decision to consult a physician is the first important step, one that unfortunately can still be a difficult one for some men. Men who are struggling with issues related to sexual function should have their sleep evaluated by their physician. The good news is that treatments for obstructive sleep apnea — particularly the CPAP — are safe and effective. In some cases, hormone replacement therapy for conditions such as erectile dysfunction may be appropriate, independently or in conjunction with treatment for a sleep disorder.

What are the implications for women of low testosterone levels from lack of sleep? Women are particularly vulnerable to sleep problems related to hormone changes and deficiencies throughout their lives. We talk most frequently about estrogen and progesterone, the primary hormones involved in menstruation. But testosterone should be added to the list of hormonal factors to consider when thinking about hormone-related sleep problems in women.

Women, like men, are also likely to find their sexual lives negatively affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Several studies have found strong correlations between obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in women. As obstructive sleep apnea grows worse, problems with sexual function — including sensation and desire — become more serious, according to this research. Women are particularly at risk for un-diagnosed sleep problems, including sleep-disordered breathing. Women who are experiencing problems with sexual function should have their sleep evaluated. This works in both directions: Women who are being treated for sleep problems — particularly obstructive sleep apnea — should work with their physician to assess the potential effect of their sleep disorder on their sexual health.

We know that sleep deprivation poses a greater risk of cardiovascular problems for women than for men. It’s just possible that the resulting lower testosterone levels may have something to do with this. Testosterone has a protective effect on the heart, reducing inflammatory proteins that can cause heart damage.

The more we know about how testosterone affects sleep and sexual health in men and women, the better clinicians will be able to help restore healthy functioning to two critical aspects of our lives.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/testosterone-sleep-sexual-health_b_981121.html

For more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Planning For A Baby? Obesity Linked To Changes In Sperm DNA Associated With Appetite

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Listen up fellas: If you’re not going to get in shape for your own good, at least do it for the good of your future children. That’s because a new study has found obesity can change the genetic makeup of sperm cells in a way that may influence the appetite of future offspring. The same study found these changes may be reversed by losing weight, further highlighting how important good health is for not only moms-to-be, but also expectant fathers.

For the study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark looked at the sperm of 13 lean men and 10 obese men in an effort to find biomarkers that would affect weight. Sperm samples from both groups turned up epigenetic markers in regions of the genome associated with the control of appetite, although they appeared differently between the two groups.

Epigenetic changes in the genome occur when lifestyle and the environment affect the way in which genes are expressed. Dr. Ida Donkin, co-author of the study, explained to Medical Dailyin an email that our knowledge of epigenetic changes is still limited, but she believes these changes affect all of our genes differently. “Some features are more stable and others more susceptible to changes in the parent’s pre-conceptual lifestyle,” she wrote.

The epigenetic changes identified in the sperm suggests a parent’s lifestyle could affect their offspring’s appetite, and possibly even their body shape.

Change Is Possible

During the same study, researchers investigated whether significant weight change could also affect epigenetic markers. The team followed six men before and after they underwent gastric bypass surgery, and found an average of 4,000 structural changes to sperm cell DNA during the time period before surgery, directly after, and up to one year later.

Donkin explained that it’s difficult to say if the exact same effect would be seen in weight loss without surgery, she did note that her yet to be published research shows that just six weeks of exercise could bring about epigenetic changes in human sperm cells.

“Something tells us that weight-loss — no matter the tool you use to obtain it — will change the information of the sperm cells, and most likely influence the development, and risk of disease, of your children,” Donkin wrote.

Co-author Romain Barres, meanwhile, said such changes make sense from an evolutionary perspective. Extra weight has historically been advantageous and protected our ancestors from infections and famines. In the past, it would have been highly valuable for males to pass on their weight information to their offspring. “It’s only recently that obesity is not an advantage,” Barre said in a statement .

Father’s Health Is Important,Too

Although we know that a mother’s lifestyle, both before and during pregnancy, has an effect on the health of her unborn baby, this new study as well as others, have suggested the same may be true for fathers. A 2013 study from Duke University, for example, found fathers’ obesity could also contribute to epigenetic changes that increased their child’s risk of cancer. Another 2013 study on male mice, meanwhile, found that litters of male mice who were purposely denied folate experienced a 30 percent increase in birth defects.

“We have been telling mothers-to-be for years that they have to take care of their diet, to exercise and stay away from cigarettes and alcohol when pregnant or wanting to become so,” wrote Donkin. “This study tells us that the dads should also improve their lifestyle before conception, as their bad behavior might as well affect their children.”

It’s important to note that the study is small. In addition, although the researchers identified epigenetic changes in obese sperm associated with appetite, they did not actually prove that these changes were the reason children of obese men sometimes became obese. Still, the findings are significant in that they show not only does a man’s lifestyle affect the health of his future children, but also that weight loss can affect the way these genes are expressed.

Further research is needed to better understand the role that a father’s pre-conceptual health plays in that of their future offspring, but the team hopes their findings will help raise awareness of how important lifestyle factors are for both men and women prior to conception.

Source: Donkin I, Versteyhe S, Ingerslev LR, et al. Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Drive Epigenetic Variation of Spermatozoa in Humans. Cell Metabolism . 2015

source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/planning-baby-obesity-linked-changes-sperm-dna-associated-appetite-363972

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Are Your Scales Lying To You? | The Best 3 Ways To Measure Fat Loss Progression

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The simple answer here is no, they’re not lying to you. That is how much you weigh at this exact moment of time. But there’s much more to it than that, so allow me to explain to you in a bit more detail.

It’s really tough to feel discouraged when you jump on the scales and the needle (or number if you’re all new age and digital) doesn’t go down as much as you feel it should have done, based on how hard you worked last week. Don’t worry, all is not lost!

There’s so many reasons why that could happen, which we’ll go through in this article, as well as other, better methods of tracking your progress.


Lose weight or tone up?

First of all, when you say you want to lose weight, what you probably mean is that you want to look better, less ‘flabby’ and more toned. Which more specifically means that you want to lose fat. There’s a massive difference between weight loss and fat loss. And to explain that, let’s define what weight in this context actually is.

Weight is the total mass of your bones, organs, muscle, fat, and even water and undigested food… amongst other things.

Literally speaking, you could lose a very sizeable amount of weight by chopping off your arm, or going to the toilet. Would that mean you have a lower level of body fat? Absolutely not.


Guess what…Muscle DOESN’T weigh more than fat

This is something we need to get out of the way early on – a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks still weigh the same, but they’ll take up different amounts of space. It’s the same case with muscle and fat; muscle is more dense which means it takes up less space (in your body).

Which looks better when it comes to looking more ‘toned’.

 

Muscle is very useful for helping us lose fat – think about your muscles as a car engine; they burn fuel. The bigger your engine, the more fuel you’ll burn. In this case, your body’s fuel is calories, and to burn body fat we need to burn more calories than we consume (eat/drink). The more muscle you have (and I’m not talking about extremes here, just more than you’ve currently got), the more calories your body needs to function. That’s essentially your metabolism!

When you first start weight training, you’re very likely to build some muscle (only a little – not enough to look like a bodybuilder!) So if you lose some fat, and build some muscle, it’s very possible that you might weigh the same, but actually look more toned!


Why does my weight fluctuate so much?

You’ll know that by weighing yourself at different times of the day, week or month, the number on the scales can be vastly different.

And again, there’s a number of reasons for that, of which fat gain/loss isn’t the most probable factor.

 

Let’s explore some of the higher likelihoods:

✓ Food weighs something…

Food has weight, and when you eat it that weight doesn’t magically go away – it’s stored in your digestive system. Jump on the scales before and after a big meal and you’ll notice that you’ll weigh more. Conversely, go to the toilet and you’ll weigh less. Nothing more needs to be said there right?

✓ Water retention

On the topic of food, both carbs (carbohydrates) and sodium (AKA salt) will hold onto water. For every 1 gram of carbs, your body can retain 3 grams of water. So if you eat some carb-rich foods, you’ll be heavier on the scales but won’t have any more body fat.

✓ Time of the month

For ladies – the menstrual cycle has an affect on your weight too, through changes in water retention. For this reason it’s best that women weigh themselves monthly (at the same time every month), or compare each week of their cycle (e.g. Week 1 vs. Week 5, Week 2 vs. Week 6, etc.)

✓ Alcohol

Booze doesn’t help you lose fat. I’ve seen people posting statuses of joy on Facebook the morning after the night before, immediately concluding that they should just start drinking more often. As incredible as that would be, unfortunately the explanation is again down to water, this time due to alcohol dehydrating us, therefore we’d weigh less.


…What are the best ways measure your fat loss?

There are alternative methods for measuring your progress, with varying degrees of accuracy.

 

Here are the ones I recommend that my clients use, under consistent conditions which is explained below:

#1: Tape measurements

Because you can’t choose where you lose fat from (a myth known as spot reduction), I recommend taking measurements around the waist (belly button), hips (widest point), thigh and upper arm.

It’s really important here to make sure it’s always from exactly the same point. To ensure this, I measure 5 inches up from the elbow and 5-10 inches up from the knee (depending on the client).

#2: How your clothes fit 

This is slightly less accurate, but there’s no denying when you need to go shopping because every pair of jeans is falling off you is there? Some of my clients actually prefer this method as it takes less effort.

Just be sure to always compare the same garment (until it’s too big and you need to buy something smaller!)

#3: Progress pictures

I could write another whole article on before and after pictures, but that’s beyond the scope of this post so I’ll be as concise as possible. You see them plastered everywhere when it comes to the fitness industry. However, unfortunately they can be deceiving due to lighting or water retention (or dare I say Photoshop!)

Again, in the interest of consistency, be sure to take these in the same place, same time, under the same lighting, wearing the same clothes.

The one absolute necessity with all of these is consistency. Whichever method you use, measurements need to be taken in exactly the same situation.


A better way to use the scales

Despite what we’ve said so far, the scales can still be a useful, convenient way of tracking for many people.

However, I’d like to suggest a better way of using them – by taking average weight.

 

Take 3-7 weight measurements over a certain period of time, add them all together and divide them by the number of measurements to find your average weight.

As long as there is a gradual downward trend you’re heading in the right direction.

For example, you weigh yourself on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 48kg, 52kg, and 50kg. 

48kg + 52kg + 50kg = 150kg / 3 (measurements) = 50kg

For most people, taking your weight once a week will be more than adequate to keep you accountable to your goals.


Take Home Message

As with most things, there’s no black and white here, no right or wrong answer. Different people will prefer different methods of tracking.

Hopefully this article has explained enough for you to make an informed decision about how to track your own progress!

Source: http://www.myprotein.com/thezone/training/best-ways-measure-fat-loss-progression/

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

You are what you eat — How gut bacteria affect brain health

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New Rochelle, NY, January 21, 2015–The hundred trillion bacteria living in an adult human–mostly in the intestines, making up the gut microbiome–have a significant impact on behavior and brain health. The many ways gut bacteria can impact normal brain activity and development, affect sleep and stress responses, play a role in a variety of diseases, and be modified through diet for therapeutic use are described in a comprehensive Review article in Journal of Medicinal Food, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The paper is available free on the Journal of Medicinal Food website until February 21, 2015.

In “The Gut Microbiome and the Brain”, Leo Galland, Foundation for Integrated Medicine (New York, NY), presents the most up-to-date understanding of the relationship between the proteins produced by intestinal bacteria and the human central nervous system. The author explores the various mechanisms through which the microbiome can influence the brain: by stimulating and over-stimulating the immune system, producing neurotoxic agents, releasing hormones or neurotransmitters identical to those made by the human body, or through direct neuronal stimulation that sends signals to the brain.

“The microbiome has become a hot topic in many branches of medicine, from immune and inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s and IBD to cardiovascular diseases,” says Co-Editor-in-Chief Sampath Parthasarathy, MBA, PhD, Florida Hospital Chair in Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando. “Scientists are not only aware of the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ microbes in the gut but are becoming increasingly aware of how they could alter the metabolism beyond gut.”

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/mali-yaw012215.php

Contact us for information on all of our therapies.

Boston Testosterone Partners / Core Medical Group

www.btpwellness.com
BTP/CORE New England
Men’s Health Centers
781.269.5953

 

10 Reasons Why Life Gets Better As You Grow Up (Not the Opposite Way Around)

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We don’t age by years, we age by experience. Yet, we’re largely under the impression that life gets worse as it goes on — the “golden days” we’ve attributed to being our budding adolescence, yet generally speaking, that is the most difficult and uncertain time of life, both biologically and socially.

Research shows that we get better as we age, we become happier as life progresses, and that the loss of “childlike wonder,” or, the magic that makes youth what we want to hold onto, is not a natural occurrence, it’s a learned behavior. That is to say – we can just as easily reclaim it.

Happiness increases as we age because we develop and master the cognitive functions required to sustain happiness, we settle into a sense of who we are, we accomplish a few things, and we evolve past our erratic, emotional adolescent selves. Essentially: life doesn’t get better, we become better equipped to deal with it. Here, all the reasons why you have the rest of your life to look forward to, whether you believe it or not:

1. As you get older, you build the cognitive functions that happiness requires: gratitude, objectivity, problem-solving.

The more you see of the world, and the more you experience yourself within it, you learn that there’s a lot to be grateful for, things exist separate from our perception of them and most issues are resolvable if only you decide you’re committed to resolving them.

2. Science says you’re generally more content after you have a few major life achievements under your belt.

Some research argues that 37 is the happiest age: we’ve done enough that we feel accomplished, settled and as though our identities are validated, but not so much that we don’t have anything to look forward to.

3. As you age your attitude shifts from “What can I do” to “what can I enjoy.”

Your objective is less to prove or establish yourself, and more to enjoy your life and be present within it fully.

4. If life becomes more difficult as time goes on, it indicates you’re not learning, evolving or adapting in some way.

There is not actually a point in time when life gets “easier,” we just become better equipped to deal with things that we didn’t know how to deal with prior. Likewise, people who do not develop those tools do find that life gets more difficult as it goes on, not because circumstances are more challenging necessarily, but because from their perspective, they are unable to handle them well.

5. You’re most emotionally erratic as a young adult.

The brain circuit that processes fear, the amygdala, develops ahead of the prefrontal cortex, which is the center for reasoning and executive control. This means that adolescents have brains wired for an enhanced perception of fear, and underdeveloped ability to calm or reason with themselves.

6. We are taught by experience that nothing external we assume will bring us happiness actually does.

Very often, the goals we choose to pursue as adolescents have some deeper link or connection to believing we’ll be more loved, accepted or admired for having achieved something “great.” It’s only after we have one or two of those things under our belts that we realize we’re not fulfilled in the way we hoped to be. As we age, we learn to separate our desire for emotional fulfillment from our false ideas of how we could achieve it.

7. Bonds you build with people over years cohere into emotional “safety nets.”

This is to say that as time goes on, friendships deepen and relationships evolve, you begin to choose your own family and bond with them in more and more intimate ways. This, of course, translates to us as a feeling of “safety,” and genuine inclusiveness, which is a primitive desire as well as a key component of happiness.

8. You know how to get through things — because you’ve done it before.

You know you’ll survive the death of a loved one because you had to teach yourself how to mourn and move on a few times before. You know you’ll get through a financially sparse month or a difficult breakup, because you’ve done it before. Your past challenges gave you the tools to deal with your current, and present ones.

9.You move from assuming that your time here is a guarantee to seeing it as a gift and an opportunity.

Friend’s parents pass on. Friends pass on. People get ill. Tragedies occur that remind us our time is not a given. Nobody expects that they’ll die young, but they do. You may project your ideal life to carry on until 95, but that will not necessarily make it reality. When we sober up about how delicate and precious life is, we are fully present in it.

10. You learn about who you are, and learn how to create a life that person will enjoy.

The portals of self-discovery are endless and not always obvious, and they don’t end after your mid-20s. As time goes on, you learn your habits, your preferences, what works and what doesn’t, what you want more of and less. That self-knowledge is invaluable, and makes up the building blocks of a life well-lived.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brianna-wiest/10-reasons-why-life-gets-better-as-you-grow-up-not-the-opposite-way-around_b_8611010.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

For more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

There’s No Need To Wait For The New Year To Make A Resolution

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Almost half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and exercise and weight loss is always at the top of the list. That’s no surprise, considering that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and less than half get the recommend amount of exercise needed to stay healthy.

But a future plan to exercise can be used as an excuse to curl up in a ball of blankets and hibernate through the holidays, which could explain why some folks go into the new year with a little added heft. A 2000 study of 195 Americans found that people who were already overweight or obese gained an average of five pounds in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that for all who gained holiday weight, these extra pounds made up more than half of the total weight they gained that year.

That’s why if you already know you need to exercise more — the government recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week with at least two strength training sessions — there’s no better time than the present to make a resolution about it, experts say.

Dr. Christine Whelan, a thought leader for AARP’s Life Reimagined program and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says it’s a “good psychological trick” to mark a new beginning on a special date — say, your birthday, the new year or even just Monday morning. However, we’ve got to be careful that we’re not using this future date to justify delaying a life change.

“If you’re saying, ‘I will lose weight in the New Year’ as a way to allow yourself to binge during the holidays, think of what small step you can take right now — Dec. 1, perhaps — to get you on the right path for an even more successful new year,” Whelan told HuffPost.

In the spirit of resolution, we spoke to Whelan and two other experts about why you shouldn’t wait until the new year to start working on your goals now, and how to approach fitness so that you’ll greet 2016 with a strong exercise game already in place.

Be mindful about why you want to exercise more

Whelan says it’s easy to identify problems in our lives, but strategizing about ways to solve them is a lot harder. One way to know you’re making the right resolution for yourself is to first figure out why you’re doing it in the first place.

“Thinking about what you want to feel — and the why behind the change — makes you more likely to commit to the right resolution to achieve the desired outcome,” Whelan said.

Figuring out why you want to get in shape will also give you direction in how to go about it. Butch Nieves is a former winner of the Mr. America and Mr. USA bodybuilding contests and a personal trainer and leader at the New York Fit Body Boot Camp. He agreed that the first thing people should do when they decide they want to start exercising again is to really contemplate why they want to do it in the first place.

“First, know your ‘why’: Why did you decide to train?” Nieves said. “Your ‘why’ will dictate what your program should be, and what your sense of urgency should be.”

Set some realistic goals and timelines

Research shows that writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. But if those goals are too broad, big or unrealistic, you may find yourself discouraged after failure or burnout, warns Joe Ardito of Fit Crush NYC.

It may seem counterintuitive to start small, but remember that you want to set yourself up for success, not injury or burnout.Joe Ardito of Fit Crush NYC

“Being realistic about your fitness goals can help you both mentally and physically,” Ardito said. “It may seem counterintuitive to start small, but remember that you want to set yourself up for success, not injury or burnout.”

To maximize success, Whelan suggested picking just one goal to fulfill from now until the end of the year — not a whole list of big changes.

“Maybe you want to exercise several times a week, despite the holiday parties,” she said. “Maybe you want to focus on your relationships by putting devices away each evening.”

Make a workout plan

Ardito says there are four building blocks of fitness: flexibility, strength training, cardiovascular training and nutrition. The more you plan to tackle each of these pillars before you hit the gym, the less likely you are to waste time and get distracted, he says.

If you want to get in the gym and get out fast, a combo of circuit training and high-intensity interval training will accomplish the most in the shortest amount of time, Nieves says. Alternating periods of vigorous exertion and active recovery have been shown to increase the number of calories burned, both during the workout and afterward.

But, if going to the gym isn’t an option right now, brainstorm other physical activity goals you can set, Ardito suggests.

“Bike to work, take the stairs rather than the elevator and walk a few times around the block on your lunch break,” he suggests.

Get some friends involved

Whelan adds that it isn’t enough to write down your goals; telling others about them and bringing them alongside you can increase your chances of actually staying on track.

“Research shows that couples who go on a diet together are more likely to lose weight and keep it off,” she writes. “Find an exercise partner or an accountability partner for any goal.”

“Surround yourself with an uncompromising group that only give and demand the best,” Nieves adds. “A 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that the exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your own exercise habits.”

Be kind to yourself and others

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that exercise resolutions aren’t just relentless, never-ending self-improvement projects to work on the way you look. Sure, you may want to feel sexier, or you may want to fit into the clothes you like. But maybe you just want to be able to ride a bike with your grandkids, Nieves says, or be able to use a flight of stairs without having a heart attack.

Your heart will get you through the tough times and through the negativity and disappointments that you may encounter from time to time.Butch Nieves of New York Fit Body Boot Camp

The point is that resolutions to exercise are ultimately resolutions to be there — for yourself and your loved ones — for as long as possible, in a meaningful and joy-filled way. Nieves frequently tells his clients that the best thing about their bodies isn’t their butt, or their toned arms. Instead, it’s their heart.

“My job, as a coach, is to get through your mind and into your heart,” he said. “Your heart will get you through the tough times and through the negativity and disappointments that you may encounter from time to time.”

“When you have heart, you will be strong and happy and there is nothing that will stop you!” he concluded.

And why not use that big heart of yours to help others? Whelan advises us to think bigger about our exercise goals to consider the lasting impact we want to have on other people.

“Most of us focus our New Year’s resolutions on all the little things about ourselves that we want to change: Go to the gym every day, lose weight, eat better,” Whelan said. “This year, consider adding an item to that resolutions list that’s bigger than you: volunteering for a specific charity, serving your community, anything that will take you out of yourself for a little while.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/theres-no-need-to-wait-for-the-new-year-to-make-a-resolution_5654dab4e4b0d4093a599c6c?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Don’t wait for New Year’s, start today!  

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

10 Strategies for Managing the Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep

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Most everybody has experienced at least a night or two of poor sleep. And many millions of us do so on a regular basis. A bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling anxious about making it through the next day. Will we have the energy, the focus, and the emotional wherewithal to do so? Is it even possible to have a good day after a bad night?

Yes, it is. I’ve frequently been surprised by people reporting okay days after seriously sleepless nights. In large part, this is a testament to the human capacity for resilience. But it’s also a direct result of using sensible strategies to manage the day after.

1. Adjust your attitude. Begin by accepting and even forgiving last night’s sleeplessness and today’s sleepiness. Judging yourself about poor sleep will only further sap your energy. Can you think of a time when you or someone you know did all right despite little sleep? Stay open to that possibility. Let family, friends, or coworkers know you had a rough night and ask for their support.

2. Go with the flow… and slow with the ebb. Like all living things, humans are biologically programmed to ebb and flow through cycles of energy and rest throughout the day. Our energy levels will naturally fluctuate even after a good night’s sleep. And, of course, these fluctuations will be more pronounced after a challenging night. Use energy when it flows and let yourself slow and rest when it ebbs. Resisting or actively battling waves of tiredness will only squander more of the limited energy we have. When we yield to our need for rest, we’ll likely experience a refreshing buoyancy.

3. Plan to procrastinate. When our energy is compromised, it makes sense to minimize any and all non-essential activity. Get clear on your objectives for the day and let yourself put off until tomorrow anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be done today. Yes… this is a day when procrastination can actually be helpful. As Ellen DeGeneres once said, “Procrastinate now — don’t put it off!”

4. Get creative. Ebbing energy does not necessarily mean you’ll be drawn to sleep — it’s simply an invitation to rest. In rest we become less focused and attentive. We loosen our rational hold on the mind, allowing it to meander, get dreamy, and be more creative. When feasible, engage in activities that call for creativity. Highly creative individuals such as Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali actually facilitated their creativity by intentionally depriving themselves of sleep.

5. Follow your usual routine. Get up and out of bed at your typical rising time and set your sights on adhering to a normal schedule. Prepare for your day as you usually do, get some gentle exercise, and have regular, healthful and light meals. A cup or two of green tea might be helpful. It has only one-fifth the caffeine of a cup of brewed coffee and also contains L-theanine, a naturally soothing compound. And make sure to stay hydrated.

6. Light up your day. Get exposed to bright light for about 30 minutes as soon as possible after rising. Morning light energizes us and improves our mood by boosting serotonin levels. It also resets our circadian clock, contributing to better sleep in the future. Even on a cloudy day, it’s significantly brighter outdoors than in a well-lit room. If you can’t get out, brighten your indoor space as much as possible by allowing light through windows and turning on electric lights.

7. Avoid ups and downs. Try to stay away from energy spikes caused by excessive caffeine, energy drinks, or sugary foods. Although consuming these might temporarily increase our energy, doing so inevitably triggers a rebound of sleepiness. Unless it’s essential, try to avoid going down for a nap. Napping will likely draw you into deeper stages of sleep, leaving you with sleep “drunkenness” and potentially disrupting your circadian rhythms. And avoid using alcohol to slow down before bed. It can interfere with the quality of our sleep and dreams.

8. Breathe briskly. If you need to boost your energy and alertness at any point during the day, consider using a stimulating yogic breathing technique known as the Bellows Breath. With your mouth closed, inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose with very short in-and-out breaths of equal duration. Imagine your belly is a bellows pumping one to three full breaths per second. Limit this practice to rounds of 15 seconds to begin with and gradually increase it by 5-second increments to a maximum of one minute. (Check with your physician prior to using the Bellows Breath if you have any health concerns.)

9. Be extra careful. Maybe it goes without saying that certain precautions are in order. It’s now common knowledge that even minimal sleep loss can impact our physical and mental abilities. Even during periods of energy flow, our reaction time and judgment are compromised by poor sleep. Exercise due caution in all matters that require careful attention, especially driving and operating machinery.

10. Finishing your day. Take time to wind down and relax in the evening. Eat a light dinner and stick to your regular bedtime. Of course, your chances of sleeping better the night after are improved because absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder. Let this heightened awareness of sleep’s value strengthen your resolve about systematically doing all you can to heal your sleep. Promise yourself that you will make healthy sleep a priority.

source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rubin-naiman-phd/10-strategies-for-managing-the-day-after-a-bad-nights-sleep_b_8622662.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Fitness Linked to Improved Cognitive Function

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Previous research has found that a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults is associated with better executive function of the brain. To try and understand how fitness promotes executive function, Art Kramer, Beckman Institute director and professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Illinois, and colleagues examined brain imaging and fitness level data from 128 adults between the ages of 59-80. Results showed that activation of two regions of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the supplementary motor area (SMA) – important areas for higher level functions, such as conflict monitoring, multitasking, and dual-task processing – was associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness. Executive function of the brain is known to decline with age; however the results of this study suggest that it is possible to enhance executive function by maintaining a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness. “This research adds to our growing understanding of the relationship among physical activity and cognitive and brain function – and suggests that we can improve our brain health by changing our lifestyle even as we age,” concluded Professor Kramer

Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/fitness-linked-improved-cognitive-function/

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Boston Testosterone Partners / Core Medical Group

www.btpwellness.com
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Men’s Health Centers
781.269.5953

 

Protein May Moderate Blood Pressure

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One of the most common risk factors of stroke and an accelerator of multiple forms of heart disease, especially when paired with excess body weight, high blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading chronic health concern worldwide.  Lynn Moore, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues report that a diet rich in protein foods may help to lower elevated blood pressure.  The researchers analyzed protein intakes of healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for development of high blood pressure over an 11-year period.  Data revealed that those adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up. In general, these beneficial effects were evident for both overweight (at/over 25 kg/m2 BMI) and normal weight (at/less than 25 kg/m2 BMI) individuals. The investigators also found that consuming more dietary protein also was associated with lower long-term risks for high blood pressure. When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40–60% reductions in risk.  Observing that: “Higher protein intakes were associated with lower mean [systolic blood pressure] and [diastolic blood pressure],” the study authors conclude that: “Adults consuming more dietary protein from either plant or animal sources had lower long-term risks of [high blood pressure].

Source:http://www.worldhealth.net/news/protein-may-moderate-blood-pressure/

 

For more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

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