Brain Toxins, Exercises NOT To Do, and Diabetes Warning Signs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.

As I often do in June, I write about assorted health and fitness topics. Today we’ll discuss diabetes, exercises NOT to do, and clearing out brain toxins. Let’s get started!

1. It is predicted that as many as 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes. That’s a scary thought. Here’s an easy way to think of what diabetes is. Our bodies need fuel to work. One source of that fuel is glucose, or sugar, that comes from food. The right amount of sugar helps your cells work as they should. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, keeps the sugar balance in your body. If the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or your body can’t use the insulin well, your sugar level gets too high. This causes diabetes.

The symptoms can be hard to notice and often appear slowly over time. Symptoms include needing to pee often, being very thirsty, feeling tired, having blurry vision, or losing weight.

Managing your weight, eating a healthy diet, and being active helps keep your blood sugar under control.

I found a really good brochure on all aspects of diabetes and it includes a great chart on living healthy with diabetes. If you’d like to know where to get it, email me. Let’s do our part so that statistic will read ZERO in 3 Americans will have diabetes.

2. Here are 5 exercises NOT to do! Yes, it’s true. There are exercises to avoid. Maybe you already know to avoid them, and maybe not. Once you read about these exercises, if you don’t know what they are, look them up online and you’ll be able to find demonstration videos.

*** Weighted Situps

Why: These are terrible for the low back and your spine. They compress the discs in your spine and can cause serious low back injuries. It’s better to use a stability ball or power wheel rollout or plank exercises.

*** Triceps Bench Dips

Years ago, if you trained with me I used these dips, but not anymore. Do NOT do triceps dips with your hands on the bench behind you and
your feet out in front of you. These are not good for your shoulder joints and too many people hurt themselves. Here are some alternatives: Close-Grip Pushups, Plank-to-Triceps Extensions, and lying dumbbell triceps extensions.

*** Broomstick Twists

I see people doing them, so that’s why I mention them. In addition, you MUST avoid all of those rotary ab machines at your gym. They are dangerous for your low back. Here are some alternatives: Cross body mountain climbers, spiderman climbs, and side planks.

*** Military Style Pushups – with elbows flared out to the side

If your body forms a T-shape when you do pushups, you’re putting your poor rotator cuff under a tremendous amount of stress. Just like
those triceps dips, you will end up hurting yourself. As an alternative, fix your push-ups by bringing your elbows in closer to your sides so that your upper-body forms an upside-down V-shape when you do pushups.

*** Slow cardio, especially the elliptical machine, if your goal is fat loss.

Why? It doesn’t work for fat loss and research shows that cardio machines over-estimate your calorie burning by 20% for treadmills and up to 42% for the elliptical machine. You don’t have to exercise for a long time. You can get great results with short-burst workouts. A better alternative is interval training or bodyweight circuits.

3. Have you heard the term “brain toxins”? How about how to clear them out? If not, keep reading.

We all know that sleep is important. Restful sleep helps to “recharge” your system, decrease stress hormones, and reduce fatigue, but you probably didn’t know that it’s also vitally important in protecting your brain from toxicity, damage, and even debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center, researchers discovered that it’s DURING sleep that the brain clears out potential harmful waste that builds up during the day.

As you sleep, your brain pumps spinal fluid into the brain to “flush out” waste into the circulatory system and eventually to the liver for removal. Because this process is very energy intensive, it’s difficult for the brain to perform it during the day while we are already over-active and preoccupied with performing everyday tasks.

Instead, researchers found that sleeping brains were able to clear out much more amyloid-beta, the plaque-building protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers suggest that if you want to keep your brain healthy and free of toxins, strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Nothing new there, but this information just may cause you to make sleep more of a priority!

Keeping this month’s JIM letter short and sweet so we can all spend more time off the computer and outdoors having fun!

Make it a great month, and always remember to find JOY in movement!


Caffeine and Silence at the Brandenburg Gate

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.

I’ve got two interesting topics to share with you this month. The first one is caffeine. A recently released book provides us with some surprising, or maybe not so surprising, information. Even if you don’t take in much caffeine, plenty of people you know do, and as consumers and health-conscious people, what I’ll share with you is essential to know. The second topic is Silence in the Brandenburg Gate, a very special place I visited on my recent trip to Berlin.

Murry Carpenter, a freelance journalist, traveled the world to understand everything there is to know about caffeine. This past spring he released his book, Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. Maybe you’ve read it? According to Carpenter, people are endlessly fascinated with caffeine.

As a health and fitness professional, I was very interested to read what he learned.

For instance, did you know there are synthetic caffeine factories? I didn’t.

Carpenter visited them and it turns out the largest one is in Shijiazhuang, China. It shipped 4.7 million pounds of caffeine to the United States in 2011 and most Americans who have consumed soft drinks since then have consumed this caffeine. More than half the caffeine Americans consume come from these factories in China and India. The synthetic caffeine industry’s doors are sealed tight so even the FDA isn’t inspecting overseas plants. To make this point even stronger, you’ll notice that on bottles and cans there is no information as to whether the caffeine is natural and coming from coffee, tea, or cacao plants, or whether it’s synthetic. Of course, synthetic caffeine comes from a chemical process, and who knows what the effects of all the chemicals will be.

As you would imagine, there’s not an abundance of consumer information available to us about caffeine because as Carpenter says, “It’s an uncomfortable conversation for Starbucks, Coca-Cola, 5-Hour Energy or any of those companies to have and discuss the fact that they are selling a drug that makes you feel good.” Synthetic caffeine is much less expensive to use than natural caffeine, so that’s part of what motivates companies to keep the conversation quiet.

Apparently synthetic production increased during the World War II era because soft drinks were becoming popular and coffee consumption was peaking. Back then, Americans consumed 46 gallons of coffee per person a year. Over time, coffee consumption has dropped but soft drink consumption has skyrocketed. In 1945 Monsanto created the first synthetic caffeine factory and then Pfizer jumped into the game as well. But labor was cheaper overseas, so the factories moved.

Caffeine, regardless the source, does sharpen the mind and improve moods. It blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain that trigger sleepiness so you perceive an energy boost. Some athletes use caffeine to boost performance. Yet just 100 milligrams a day can lead to physical dependence. That’s the amount in one small coffee or three cans of soda. And as anyone who has tried to go off caffeine knows, the withdrawal symptoms can be headaches, muscle pain, weariness and sometimes depression.

Just so you know, the Mayo Clinic published a healthy eating and nutrition report stating that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. So it’s up to you to decide for yourself because for some people, even a small dose of caffeine can lead to anxiety and panic attacks.

If you’re interested in a deeper look at this topic, take a look at the book. I feel it always helps to understand what we’re eating or drinking and what’s in it and where it comes from. And I have a great comparison chart that shows the different caffeine amounts of 16 popular beverages. If you’d like a copy, send me an email and I’ll get one to you.

Even just writing about caffeine got me jittery, so in closing this month’s letter I’d like to tell you about a very special calm and quiet place I came upon a few weeks ago in Berlin. I was walking towards the Brandenburg Gate and saw a big sign that said SILENCE. Turns out there’s a non-denominational Room of Silence in a small building just before the gate and it’s been open since 1994. domain directory . It’s a wonderful space. It’s modeled after a room Dag Hammarskjold commissioned in 1954 for the United Nations.

The Room of Silence has a dual purpose. Anyone can enter and remain in silence for a while to relax, meditate, feel gratitude, or whatever. The room also has a symbolic meaning as a continuous invitation to tolerance. The Brandenburg Gate was originally built 200 years ago and conceived as the Gate of Peace, so it’s the perfect spot for this room. whois . When you enter the Room of Silence the first thing you see is the word “peace” written in 46 different languages. I absolutely loved the space and hope you all get to see it sometime soon!

So whether after you read this month’s newsletter you’re off to enjoy some caffeine, relax in peace, or do both at the same time,
keep the joy you find in movement as a focus and make it a great month.


14 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Exercise Lifestyle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.

It’s summertime and everyone seems to be enjoying all their favorite activities. In particular, I’m getting lots of questions from my running students and clients asking for some training tips. And I realized that many of the 26.2 tips I was giving them, pertained to most other sports as well. So no matter what YOUR favorite activity is these days, and whether you’re in training for a particular event or not, please follow along and I guarantee you’ll find these useful. And please make sure to read to the end of this newsletter because I have a link for you to a great 8-minute interview about pedestrianism!

Here are my tips, insights, and suggestions to help ensure you find JOY-in-movement!

1. Set a goal. For most of us, a goal adds to the sense of purpose we bring to our sports. Make it a realistic goal but also one that makes you a little nervous because you know it will take effort to achieve. I think this adds a bit of excitement to your workouts.

2. Gear up. Get properly fitted for shoes, a bike helmet, swim goggles, or whatever apparel and gear your sport requires. I am not always great at this and currently need new shoes, a new bathing suit, and my bike needs a tune-up. If you’re like me and put off this kind of preparation, then move this suggestion to number ONE on the list.

3. Alternate shoes. Shoes take a beating no matter what we’re training for. A good pair of running or walking shoes, for instance, will last about 500 miles or longer if your technique is good. And if you have a road race scheduled, remember to break in a new pair of shoes at least a month before your race.

4. Tune up. Even though you’ve set a goal, you’ll get there one workout session at a time. Too many people start their training by gearing up too hard and too fast. Here’s an example. A few years ago I got a call from a group of women that had started their marathon training and were getting injured. What I found out was that they had started out their training by doing runs on hills. They had pulled some marathon training program off the internet and this is what was suggested. Not a good idea at all, and we were able to make the changes that got them back on track with their training.

5. Find a partner. There is strength in numbers. Partners keep you motivated and accountable. And it’s always good to have someone there to laugh with when the going gets a bit wonky. If you’ve ever played golf with me you know what I mean!

6. Routine rules. Establish a regular schedule that you follow as consistently as possible. Plan your workouts and training sessions and do your best not to break those appointments. You will get the most out of your training if you know exactly what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.

7. Get strong. You’ve heard me say many times that a lot of good things happen when you get stronger. A regular strength-training routine will help you become a more well-rounded, injury-resistant athlete who is better equipped to handle the demands you place on yourself. Your strength-training doesn’t have to be fancy, or for very long, and twice a week is a good rule of thumb.

8. Learn how to rest. Just as important as your training is how well you’re recovering from its physical and mental demands. At rest, your body repairs itself allowing you to come back stronger and make fitness gains. That’s true for your mind as well. Allow your brain to shut down from overanalyzing all the details of each training session. You’ll find that after both physical and mental rest, you’ll come back to your training refreshed and excited!

9. Keep your tank full. You wouldn’t head out on a long road trip without enough gas in your car tank, would you? When you train consistently it’s important you also eat consistently to sustain your energy levels. Don’t skip meals or skimp on calories during periods of medium to heavy exercise or training.

10. Train your mind. It’s important to stay physically fit, but you also want to be mentally ready for any challenges that your training or workouts might entail. Some people enjoy visualizing the results they want, whether that’s seeing yourself at the end of an open water swim race, or seeing your golf approach shot to the green land only a few feet from the cup. If you begin to doubt yourself as you train, positive self-talk helps train your mind to help you work through rough patches in your training.

11. Keep a log. Tracking your workouts, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling, is a good idea. Your log doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it will help you track improvement, monitor your recovery, and help you see how far you’ve come in your training.

12. Embrace the worst. There are times during your training when everything goes wrong. You’ll get lost on a long trail run, you’ll fall on your face and bang up your knees and elbows while running down a rocky mountain, you’ll lose golf ball after golf ball under leaves and in the cactus fields, or you’ll get to the pool psyched for your swim only to find the pool is closed. Just a few of the frustrations I’ve experienced lately! Some days all your training and workout plans go your way and then, well, some days they don’t. You’ll learn from those days and really appreciate when things go smoothly.

13. Smile. This may seem like a strange training tip but studies show that smiling puts you in a better mood. Let’s say you’re a runner and you’re having a tough race. new domain . Relaxing your face and smiling will start the process of getting yourself back on track. Try it and see for yourself!

14. Celebrate. Don’t forget to reward yourself after months of dedication to a training goal. And if others have been supporting you along the way, have them join the celebration too. Rarely do we reach some physical fitness goal, whether it’s running a race, getting into better shape, or enjoying a hiking and biking vacation, without the help and support of others, so they’ll enjoy the celebration too.

As promised, here’s the link to pedestrianism. Have a listen and enjoy this fun interview: Pedestrian sports

Until next month, live life in the Joyinmovement lane!