Can you change your fitness age?

Model with kettlebel in hands. preparing to do the exercisesEric Bishop, a fitness supervisor at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness in Woodridge, wrote in the Edward-Elmhurst Health Driven Blog that in his 17 years in fitness, he has encountered people of all ages and abilities, and with that, different attitudes about aging.

He has often said to his clients that “the mind can tell the body how to feel, but it is often the body that tries to trick the mind into feeling something less than itself.”

Aging is a natural process that tends to begin at 30, accelerate at 50, and can triple in speed by 70. As we age, sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) can directly impact physical ability, posture, metabolism, body composition, balance and core strength, says the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Many individuals will face sarcopenia, but the rate at which they experience it is based on their physical exercise and fitness level.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and NASM, without exercise intervention, the average adult over age 50 will lose 6-8 pounds of muscle mass per decade while accruing an additional 2-3% body fat over a decade. However, those who strength train and perform compound exercises for all major muscle groups of the body will lose only about one-fourth of the same lean muscle mass with a negligible increase in body fat.

What does all this information mean? Having a structured strength training regimen, and making it the cornerstone of your exercise program, provides a myriad of benefits for both the mind and body. Read more

Diet and Gastritis

Unrecognizable people eating prawns, salad and bread togetherCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Juan Guenther wrote for Healthy Lombard that Gastritis is a condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed from the breakdown of the mucus barrier that protects the stomach from the acid, used to digest food (Barhum, 2020; Mayo Clinic 2020). There are several causes of gastritis including, bacteria with Helicobacter pylori, long-term alcohol abuse, painkillers such as Ibuprofen, thinning of the stomach lining associated with aging, stress from major surgery, and autoimmune disorders (Mayo Clinic 2020). Gastritis can also be associated with other conditions such as HIV, Crohn’s disease, and parasitic infections (Barhum, 2020; Mayo Clinic, 2020). It can manifest suddenly or occur over time and cause symptoms such as a burning or stabbing pain in the upper abdomen that becomes better or worse with food, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating (Mayo Clinic, 2020). If it is left untreated, it can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding and increase the risk for stomach cancer (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

Dietary changes

Doctors can prescribe different kinds of medication to help treat this disease but there are also non-pharmacological methods to help reduce symptoms and avoid triggers such as diet. Foods that cause inflammation, including processed, acidic, dairy, sugary, or spicy foods are best avoided (Cadman, 2020). It is also best to stay away from alcohol and gluten (Cadman, 2020). Everyone has different triggers, so it is important to keep track of which foods cause symptoms and which are safe to eat.

Foods that prevent gastritis flare-ups 

While there are foods that can make gastritis harder on the body, there are also foods that can help manage symptoms. Foods high in fiber, low in fat, and acidifies such as lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are solid choices (Wells, 2020). Probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are also useful as they can help stop the spread of H. pylori (Cadman, 2020; Wells 2020). Broccoli is another good food to eat because it contains antioxidants and sulforaphane (an antibacterial chemical) that can ease inflammation and stop H. pylori (Barhum, 2020). Read more

A Checklist for Clearing Bad Energy from Your Home

Young hispanic woman at home, doing chores and housekeeping, wiping floor with water in living room  shared on Red Fin that your home should be your safe haven — the place where you feel relaxed, happy, and at peace. But when bad energy is lingering around, your home can quickly become the complete opposite — a place of hostility and negativity. And when you have this negative energy in your home, it can affect every other aspect of your life. That’s why house cleansing can be an important part of your personal well-being.

If you’ve just moved into a new space, you should cleanse your home of any negative energies that might still be there from the previous owners. Or, if you’ve just gone through a breakup, had a big life transition, or you’re just in a funk — clearing bad energy from your home can help. But how do you know if you have negative energy in your home, and how do you clear it out?

Signs you have bad energy in your home

Knowing how to detect negative energy in your house can actually be quite simple. You can tell whether the energy in your home is good or bad – or neutral – based on the way you feel inside while you’re inside it. A house filled with good energy feels fresh and vibrant — it’s full of life, and you feel good being there. Some may say it has good qi or feng shui. On the other end of the spectrum, a home drowning in bad energy will make you feel like you’re being stifled, smothered, or even crushed. You can feel the tension in the air, and there are a thousand places you’d rather be.

Negative energy and stress go hand-in-hand, so if you’re constantly frazzled or at the end of your rope, your home could be partly to blame. If you’re not sure whether your home has bad energy of its own, check out these red flags:

  • Excessive complaining. If you or your family members catch yourselves complaining, even when things are okay (or worse, when they’re actually pretty good), you may have negative energy in your home. The same is true if you’re struggling to find positivity in life.
  • Negative relationships. When the surrounding people – spouses, children, family, and friends – are negative, it’s worth taking a look at the kind of energy you’re putting out there. Negative energy attracts more negative energy, and it becomes a vicious cycle.
  • The blame game. Are household members always pointing the finger? Negative energy in the home could be preventing them (and you) from looking inward to place responsibility where it really belongs.
  • Criticism. If there’s a lot of criticizing going along with all the blame, your home could be swamped with bad energy. When you or others in your house send out negative vibrations, you’re increasing the bad energy in your home.
  • Clutter. One of the biggest signs of negative energy in a home is clutter. Clutter blocks the way energy flows through a home, so it could be keeping bad energy in and making things worse.

Read more

Three Easy Ways to Prevent Cancer

College of DuPage Nursing Student Angel Salinas wrote for Healthy Lombard that Cancer is a deadly disease that has been around for thousands of years and remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide year after year (National Cancer Institute 2020). Unfortunately, with cancer being so prevalent nowadays, odds are you or someone you know has been affected by this horrific disease. With that in mind, the importance of cancer prevention cannot be stressed enough. In this article, she will discuss three simple ways you can reduce your risk of getting cancer.


Exercise & Healthy Weight

Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risks of multiple forms of cancer. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (2020) went on to say that physical activity can lower the risk of bladder, breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, and stomach cancer. It is also important to mention that this form of physical activity does not have to be extremely intense. Simple activates such as walking, playing sports, or dancing can meet the criteria. Additionally, performing regular exercise is also beneficial for cancer survivors as it can reduce the chances of a reoccurrence. Another added benefit of regular exercise is that it aids in maintaining a healthy weight. This is great because being overweight or obese increases the risk of cancer as well.


Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is a great way to improve anyone’s health. However, there are specific food choices that have been shown to decrease a person’s risk for cancer. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2018) recommends eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting processed meats, drinking alcohol in moderation, and avoiding obesity. These recommendations are great because they are all simple and obtainable guidelines that most people can start to implement immediately. That being said, these are just a few of the dietary changes that can help reduce your cancer risk. Read more

10 Exercises To Remain Fit On Months-Long Road Trips

Evelin here from shared with Healthy Lombard that if you’re an overlander, (or truck driver, or live in an RV), you spend a significant amount of time driving. It’s easy to neglect your health. Some health risks drivers face are:

  • Obesity,
  • Heart disease,
  • Diabetes,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Depression.

The lack of a general routine can also lead to neglecting your exercise routine.

Exercise improves both mental and physical health. Overlanders should make an effort to establish a routine and exercise daily to avoid these health risks.

Doing aerobics every day continuously works on your larger muscle groups, gets the blood flowing, and maintains a natural rhythm.

If you spend just thirty minutes a day exercising, you’ll gradually improve your health. After a long day of sitting in your cab, even stretching helps strengthen your muscles.

The long hours you work are very tough. You don’t have to tackle it all at once. Take small steps to accomplish your health goals. Improving your diet combined with exercise will help you on your journey to living healthy. Read more


College of DuPage Nursing Student Savita Paneru wrote for Healthy Lombard that understanding nutrition empowers us to make better nutritional choices. Proper nutrition is important for a healthy body and brain. So, the question is what is nutrition, and how does it help us to stay healthy? Nutrition refers to all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function normally and remain healthy on a daily basis. We need adequate nutrition throughout our life. Science has demonstrated that the nutrients found in the food we eat are necessary for health and longevity (Lamb et al., 2013). Nutrition, therefore, is the science of nourishing our body, from the food we eat to how our body utilizes it.

The essential components necessary for growth and development include protein, carbohydrates, fats, calcium, vitamins, and minerals (Lamb et al.,). Diets vary according to culture, however, the need for adequate nutrition includes every individual throughout the lifespan; all have a need for adequate nutrition however, this varies by food choice. The health, function, and structure of the body are a product of nutrition. It is also important to remember that natural foods contain more than one nutrient; milk is composed of water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, mineral salts, and vitamins. Each of these nutrients and minerals has a specific function of use in the body. The number of nutrients necessary for everyone is influenced by age, sex, body mass, activity level, and the overall state of health (Lamb et al.,).

Studies have found that people with a food supply deficit have a highly abnormal height and weight ratio and diagnosed with malnutrition (Lamb et al.). Protein is essential to fuel and to carry oxygen throughout our body in the blood (Lamb et al.,). It also functions in developing antibodies as part of the immune system function to prevent infection and for necessary cell function. An inadequate protein intake may result in numerous health issues such as improper growth and maintenance so eating a diet that includes protein is important. Protein can be obtained from meat, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, dairy products, and dried beans. Read more

Your Friend, the RNA Vaccine

Doctor kid examining pulse to other kidCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Sebastian shared with Healthy Lombard that there has not been a single aspect of what we once knew of as daily life that has not been affected by the life-changing COVID-19 virus. COVID-19—short for coronavirus disease 2019—is the disease that put a halt to 2020 here in the United States (and globally) infecting up to 1.1 million people and claiming the lives of approximately 21,500 (Illinois Department of Public Health, 2021). The cause of all of this? The SARS-CoV-2 virus—an RNA virus (Machhi et al., 2020).

It is important to first consider what an RNA virus is, and the answer is that it is a virus that holds its genetic material in either single or double-stranded segments of RNA. Think of RNA as DNA’s ‘buddy who codes all sorts of biological blueprints,’ in the simplest, smallest way possible, and then calls on it for future reference, when it needs to make something or cross-check something else against its records (Helmenstine, 2020).

The question, then, is how to protect ourselves from an RNA virus-like SARS-CoV-2? The answer involves several steps. The first is to wash hands and avoid touching the face since germs, or pathogens enter the body through these routes. Next, maintain social distancing and wear a mask when in public (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Are there more considerations in preventing SARS-CoV-2, however?

That is where the new friend, the RNA vaccine, enters the scene. This type of vaccine results from years of research (collected from studying other RNA viruses and their potential use in vaccines) and involves a simple mechanism. Specifically, specific portions of RNA from the virus itself are used to ‘warn’ the body and prepare it for infection (Pardi et al., 2018). Read more

The Skinny on Sugary Drinks

Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., an American Heart Association national volunteer and Medical Director for Women’s Health and Community Relations at INTEGRIS Health in Oklahoma City wrote for Voices for Healthy Kids that we Americans absolutely love sugar. So much so that we consume two to three times more added sugars than we should every day!

Sugary drinks – think fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, and soda – are the big culprits. In fact, almost a quarter of our added sugar comes from these sources. You are probably aware that sugary drinks are high in calories and can result in unhealthy weight gain which, in turn, increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

But, what if you’re already a healthy weight? Do you get a pass? Unfortunately, no. Sugary drinks hurt our hearts, not just our waistlines. Research shows sugary drinks can specifically lead to an imbalance in blood cholesterol, increasing the risk for heart disease, regardless of weight.

How does that happen? Turns out there are multiple ways. These include an increase in inflammation and/or clotting, which can lead to a heart attack. Increases in LDL, bad cholesterol, and increased hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) also put you at risk. Even the liver is involved because too much sugar causes fat deposits which can result in fatty liver disease, another risk factor all by itself. Fructose, the main ingredient in sodas, increases uric acid in your body, which causes your blood pressure to rise by blocking nitrous oxide (NO), a substance that helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels. Stiffer vessels increase blood pressure which increases the likelihood of heart disease and stroke. Read more

A Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Habits

College of DuPage Nursing Student Alyssa Powell wrote for Healthy Lombard that now that we reached the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, it is important to reflect on certain habits throughout this time of quarantine. If the habits involved binge-watching all three seasons of The Crown last week, it may be a time to be kind to oneself. Many reporters have echoed that we are living through ‘unprecedented times’; maybe, any activity that brings one joy should be cherished. Yet, certain activities are not only joy-inspiring but may also be healthy as well. Interacting with a support system is such an activity.

According to the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2020), older adults who use resources like Skype to interact with others have been found to have a significantly lower risk of depression. This interesting report is encouraging for those who are apprehensive about technology but are looking for a reason to make social connections during the quarantine.

A concern while binge-watching TV shows, however, is binge-eating; consuming an entire bag of Cheetos is actually very unhealthy. During quarantine, an alarming 32 percent of individuals report they have gained weight from snacking, stress eating, and eating comfort food, while only 15 percent say they have lost weight (Peachman, 2021). During these unpredictable challenges, it is important to remain focused on what we can control. Each of us has the ability to control many decisions such as: where to expend energy, how to respond to challenges, when to do household chores, and even when to ask for help. These seemingly small decisions offer a feeling of empowerment and may provide a healthy outlet for stress while persevering through the ongoing challenge of quarantine. Read more

The Benefits of Millet for Diabetes