Why ‘Exercise’ May Not Be The Answer

As someone to whom the word exercise brings on a strong sense of faintness, unless it is dancing, walking or chasing the cat round the room, there is a case to be made apparently for reassessing what we think of as beneficial exercise.

The idea that exercise is good for us is constantly pummeled into our brains by the medical community, by health coaches and by the mass media – and indeed by my good self. Now it seems that while certain types of exercise can certainly be beneficial in context, placing too much emphasis on formal exercise may be highlighting the wrong issue and contributing to long term health problems–because it`s movement rather than exercise that has the most dramatic impact on our health.

Let me ask you a question: who is more sedentary, the person who exercises for one hour several times per week or the one who never exercises at all? You are all probably chorusing that of course it must be the second person, but it may not be the case at all when other factors are taken into account.

It is more important how much you move during your everyday life than how often you exercise. Why is that? Because how much time you spend sitting adversely affects your health far more than how much time you spend doing formal exercise. If you spend several hours a day sitting (in front of the tv, at a desk, commuting, at restaurants and so on), it can negatively impact your health–even if you exercise regularly. Basically, regular exercise is not enough to counteract an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

5 Simple Changes To Help You Get Moving
There has been an enormous shift in how sedentary our lives are. We once had a lifestyle that included plenty of movement but the last 20-30 years has seen us shift so that the majority of our day is spent sitting down. Desk work is far more common than it used to be; commuting for at least an hour every day is not uncommon; and activities that used to require movement now require much less of it. Think how much bending and stretching was involved in washing clothes for instance which machines now have mostly taken away from us.

So instead of going to the gym, you just need to incorporate more daily movement and it is much easier than you think. Try some, or all, of these ideas:

1. Get a portable phone and walk round while you talk. If you have a fixed phone then stand up and talk and shift your weight from foot to foot.
2. At work make sure you take frequent breaks to just walk down the corridor, get some water, or walk up and down the stairs.
3. Watching TV all night? Don’t sit there during the commercial breaks and try to get up and walk around for about five minutes during each hour..
4. Wherever you can, don’t use a lift or elevator in a store or at a station but use the stairs instead. .
5. At the supermarket, don’t park as near to the door as you can, but aim for the very furthest spot away from the entrance. It’s a small thing, but can make a big difference to your overall movement.

What you are aiming for is to be unconsciously moving more instead of unconsciously sitting more–and you will both look and feel better as a result.

Why You Should Avoid Airport Scanners in the USA

In the US there has been a great outcry against the naked body X-ray scanners recently introduced into American airports as a counter terrorism measure. The transport safety authority (TSA) has always claimed that they were safe, but this has been greatly disputed by many in the health media and now it seems also by authorities who certainly seem to know what they are talking about.

It appears that TSA faked its safety data on its X-ray airport scanners in order to deceive the public about the safety of such devices. The evidence has emerged thanks to the revelations of a letter signed by five professors from the University of California, San Francisco and Arizona State University. The letter reveals:

• To this day, there has been no credible scientific testing of the TSA’s naked body scanners. The claimed “safety” of the technology by the TSA is based on rigged tests.

• The testing that did take place was done on a custom combination of spare parts rigged by the manufacturer of the machines (Rapidscan) and didn’t even use the actual machines installed in airports.

• The names of the researchers who conducted the radiation tests at Rapidscan have been kept secret. This means the researchers are not available for scientific questioning of any kind, and there has been no opportunity to even ask whether they are qualified to conduct such tests.

Further, none of the Rapidscan tests have been available to be subjected to peer review. They are quite literally secret tests using secret techniques engineered by secret researchers. We the People apparently have no right to see the data, nor the methodology, nor even the names of the researchers who supposedly carried out these safety tests.

What is perhaps the most worrying aspect is that the final testing report produced from this fabricated testing scenario has been so heavily redacted that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements,” say the professors. In other words, the testing violates the very first tenant of scientific experimentation which is that all experiments must be repeatable in order to be verified as accurate.

As the professors state in their letter:

“The document is heavily redacted with red stamps over the words and figures. In every case the electric current used which correlates one to one with X-ray dose has been specifically redacted. Thus there is no way to repeat any of these measurements. While the report purports to present the results of objective testing, in fact the JHU APL personnel, who are unnamed anywhere in the document either as experimenters or as authors, were not provided with a machine by Rapiscan. Instead they were invited to the manufacturing site to observe a mock-up of components (spare parts) that were said to be similar to those that are parts of the Rapiscan system. The tests were performed by the manufacturer using the manufacturer’s questionable test procedures.”

Unfortunately, this is not that unusual when national defence is called into question. However with my alternative health hat on I cannot begin to imagine the outcry if a herbal product company claimed that its products cured cancer, and it did all the testing itself, and all the names of the researchers were kept secret, and the methodology was a secret, and the whole document was 50% redacted to protect “proprietary information.”

So is it safe? Well, the dose rates of X-rays being emitted by the Rapidscan machines are actually quite high — comparable to that of CT scans, say the professors. Yes, the dose duration is significantly lower than a CT scan, but the dose intensity is much higher than what you might think. And as anyone who knows a bit about physics and biology will tell you, the real danger from radiation is a high-intensity, short-duration exposure. That’s exactly what the TSA’s backscatter machines produce. Further, the radiation detection device used by Rapidscan to measure the output of the machines — an ion chamber — is incapable of accurately measuring the high-intensity burst of radiation produced by the TSA’s naked body scanners, say the professors.

At the same time, the radiation field measurement device used by the TSA — a Fluke 451 instrument — is incapable of measuring the high dose rates emitted by backscatter machines. The measurement devices, in effect, “max out” and cannot measure the full intensity of the exposure. Thus, the TSA’s claims of “low radiation” are actually fraudulent.
The amount of electrical current applied to the X-ray tubes has been redacted by the TSA (working with John Hopkins). This makes it impossible for third-party scientists to accurately calculate the actual radiation exposure, and it hints at yet more evidence of a total TSA cover-up.

The TSA adamantly refuses to allow independent testing of the radiation levels being emitted by the machines and this is on the basis that “terrorists might be able to circumvent the technology” if anyone is allowed to actually test the machine. For once, I cannot even find a comment to make.

So again, is it safe? Well the actual radiation emitted by the machines is far higher than what the TSA claims according to John Sedat, a professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and the primary author of the letter.

He says, “..the best guess of the dose is much, much higher than certainly what the public thinks.” Peter Rez, the physics professor from Arizona State, says that the high-quality images described by the TSA could not be produced with the low levels of radiation being claimed by the TSA. The images, in other words, don’t match up with the TSA’s story. Rez estimates the actual radiation exposure is 45 times higher than what we’ve previously been told.

The TSA refuses to allow independent testing of its machines because it knows what informed readers already know: That if the machines were honestly and accurately tested, they would show far higher levels of radiation exposure than indicated and it would show that the TSA’s body scanners significantly increase the risk of cancer to a population that is already over-irradiated with medical imaging tests such as CT scans and chest X-rays.

There is already a very strong public backlash against these devices in the US and it has reached the point where the state of Texas is about to pass a law that would criminalize TSA agents who attempt to operate these naked x-rays. The TSA has put out a preemptive statement on its blog that claims none of this matters as “States cannot regulate the federal government.” It will certainly be interesting to see what happens and Texas would seem to be the ideal state to challenge this.

If you have any choice in the matter avoid the scanners altogether or go by sea.

5 Simple Ingredients That Boost Your Energy Levels and Your pH

The human internal ecosystem is stabilized by several different buffering systems that keep the body functioning at a high level for as long as possible. One of these buffering systems is pH and our blood stream should be slightly alkaline at 7.365 pH at all times for the body to be healthy.

The body maintains good pH levels through getting rid of excess acid through the lungs, skin, saliva and urine. The most common problem with pH balancing is keeping up with the excess metabolic acids. These are produced from a lack of oxygen, poor diet, environmental toxins, cellular inflammation and metabolic waste products.

Maintaining good pH levels is vital for good health and one of the biggest challenges is maintaining that all day and night. We are constantly encountering different stressors that drain our alkaline reserves and leave us in an acidic state but there are a few simple dietary measures that can help and you will gain energy, mental clarity, and emotional stability.
1 Celery: it is full of water and makes an excellent acid neutralizer. You can eat it at any time, as a snack or with a meal. It contains a perfect electrolyte balance that quenches thirst and reenergizes and alkalizes your body.

2 Aloe Vera Juice: loaded with electrolytes and highly alkalizing it is loaded with trace minerals, anti-oxidants, and polysaccharides. Pure aloe juice or gel gives one of the quickest alkaline boosts and the perfect way to drink it is before or after a large meal. Apple cider vinegar is another great alkaline booster that can be used either with aloe vera or on its own.

3 Fennel Seeds: contain a concentrated form of minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, and iron and Is rich in powerful anti-oxidants. Fennel seeds neutralize acids, aid in digestion, and are a good breath freshener. If you don’t want to chew on the seeds, then fennel tea makes a good substitute and is an ideal drink after a meal to a digestion.

4 Lemon Bicarbonate Formula: maintaining the ideal alkaline environment during the night can pose a problem, but this drink will help if taken just before going to bed. To make it squeeze a whole lemon in a glass and begin adding baking soda bit by bit. The acid/base combination will immediately begin to fizz but just keep adding baking soda until the fizz stops and then fill the glass with water (8-16 oz).

5 I promised you a refreshing lemonade drink and as well as containing some of the most powerful anti-oxidant rich herbs and alkalizing elements it can also be used by people who crave soft drinks and other sweetened drinks and are looking to retrain their palate .

Best made fresh in a large glass jug and kept in the fridge: ingredients are 4 -6 lemons,1 tsp each of ground turmeric and cinnamon, pinch of pink Himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste) and 1 tsp ground/fresh ginger (optional). Combine all the ingredients in the jug and top up with water to your personal taste.

Adding Energy In A Sachet

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Vitamins & Supplements

We all have periods where our energy is lower than we would like it to be and we usually have our favourite “fixes” to help us through it. That normally involves some kind of stimulant like coffee, chocolate, alcohol or — less common these days — tobacco. If you are looking for a more natural lift then certain herbs are traditionally used, particularly ginseng and ginkgo, and if you want to have a compound that will help lift your energy and mood and give you a good balance of vitamins then there is a food supplement that might be the answer for you.

As a hangover from a childhood addiction to “pop” usually a lurid orange colour with the inaccurate name of Jusoda, as I don’t think the juice of an orange had ever ventured near it, I liked the fizz and the refreshing taste of this new supplement. The grown-up, and all natural version, is of course not a soft drink but Turbovite Whiz-Fizz is both fizzy and orange but comes in sachets rather than bottles and you just add water.

If caffeine is your stimulant of choice, then Turbovite will give you that same boost up with less than you would find in a cup of coffee and this new pick me up relies more on the herbs and minerals it contains. Among these are Ginseng to help give you a longer term energy and stamina boost, and Ginkgo Biloba, for greater mental alertness and concentration. It’s pleasant taste comes from fruit sugar which adds vital fuel for body and mind, whilst calcium and magnesium provide your muscles with the nutrients they need to work at their best.

If you need to tackle either a physical effort or a mental one then the range of B Vitamins it contains not only aid with energy metabolism, but also give your immune system a boost. Last, but certainly not least, there is Vitamin C also to help with energy metabolism and of course it is absolutely essential to help in protecting your cells against stress.

Available from a number of independent chemists and for further details please visit www.verdurehealthcare.com

Rescue Me! Natural Oils to Reduce Stretch Marks, Scarring and Dry Skin

May 2, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Skincare

Many women know the benefits of rich oils to help ease stretch marks, and with over 75% of women being left with such marks is good to know about something that is really effective. The sooner in the pregnancy it is used the better, but Rescue Oil from Healthpoint will help at any point with both stretch marks and scarring and is also an excellent and very economical skin restorer.

Rescue Oil is a favourite with many celebrities who can certainly afford much more expensive products, although whether they use it for treating blemishes, scarring, stretch marks, open pores, dry or dehydrated skin and to lessen the signs of ageing is anybody’s guess. I would suspect though it is more likely to be the latter!

It contains a specialist blend of natural oils: vitamin E, evening primrose oil, almond oil and peach kernel oil and is easily absorbed into the skin. It can also be used in the bath and is a particularly effective treatment to nourish nails and cuticles.

It is used by both men and women for general skincare conditioning, which may surprise you because although the men’s skincare market has expanded hugely in the last few years this particular product has found favour with men who do a lot of working out. It’s not particularly well known that men get stretch marks too, particularly if they have a body-building routine.

The television programme Loose Women are now including it in the goodie bag they give to guests so if Jackie Collins, Michael Ball and Michael Flatley look younger the next time you see them you will know why.

As we have been having some wonderful sunny days recently, I have been trying it on my face and it is excellent to prevent the skin drying and to reduce lines and wrinkles. Similar oils cost more than double and I will certainly be packing a bottle with me for my next holiday! There are three sizes, including a small travel size, and ranges in price from £0.99 to £2.49. My local Morrisons supermarkets stocks it as do many independent pharmacies or online at Amazon.

If you want to know more then they have a specific website at www.rescueoil.co.uk

Science Fiction Solution for Eczema Sufferers?

April 18, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Skincare

The very best discoveries are usually in response to a personal need, and when that need is driven by the health and wellbeing of your own family then the need to find a solution becomes imperative. Graham Lea had that need because both his son and wife suffer from Eczema. In his wife’s case it become highly aggravated and their son suffered from it terribly as a baby and toddler.

As he describes it ‘The usual rounds of GP visits and Eczema clinics ended with a prescription for corticosteroids, emollients, and a pat on the head, thank you goodbye’ but happily as his wife is a qualified herbalist and also has a degree in chemistry they decided to do work on a solution on their own. People with eczema are very sensitive to what is worn next to the skin, particularly as many fabrics have can contain pesticides that become impregnated into clothing at source.

Graham Lea’s research led to the discovery of work done by the University of Minho in Portugal in association with leading dermatologist Dr A. Sousa Basto and through an associated company to a new range of products called SkintoSkin. These are made from 70% Cotton 10% Silver and 20% brown seaweed algae, which combination gives both a natural antibiotic and soothing effect and is a highly effective drug free natural tool to fight eczema. This is where the ‘science fiction’ element comes in as bio-functional textiles are a new discipline in the scientific field where materials are being created that exert a biological effect on human skin. The textiles of the future, and indeed with us now, will be woven with transporter molecules known as cyclodextrines, capable of absorbing substances from the skin and freeing therapeutic composites or cosmetics to the skin.

As textiles interact with the skin very intensively the micro-organisms of the skin can be influenced by them, and vice-versa. The current interest in bio-functional textiles is focused on their use for therapy and prevention in dermatology and they are breaking new and exciting ground with applications emerging to help chronic skin condition sufferers. The therapeutic effects are not diminished by washing; the wearer gets constant therapeutic effect while wearing them and all medical and durability results are clinically tested and proven.

As well as helping with eczema, research and development is going on to develop the textiles use for humidity management and body temperature control and gloves to help with contact dermatitis (currently undergoing clinical trials); anti-insect clothing; and an occlusive suit for occlusive treatment of psoriasis;

More information is available here: Skin To Skin
If you would like to know more then Graham is happy to discuss the range of children’s clothing with you and can take orders on 01268 733788 or email him at info@effjey.co.uk – and they hope to have the products available on Amazon shortly.

No More Overheated Nights

April 11, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health

I do not want you to misunderstand me, I am talking about pillows, mattresses and disturbed sleep! As we spend around a third of our lives asleep it is crucial that you have the optimal conditions to get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep is at the root of many health complaints and for many people sleeping uninterrupted throughout the night can present a challenge, with overheating one of the most common reasons for disturbances to our sleep cycle.

In case you think that overheating is something that only happens to women during the menopause, the statistics do not bear this out. At some point in their lives, most people will suffer from hot flushes, fevers and high temperatures not just from the menopause, but due to pregnancy, colds and flu or simply hot weather. Wouldn’t that be nice?! Apparently, nearly a third of the British adult population struggle to fall asleep because they are too hot in bed and an astonishing 80% of people turn over their pillows in the night to try and get cooler. Naturally this disturbs sleep and it may be helpful to know that there is help at hand in the form of a revolutionary cool gel pillow and mattress toppers which provide the best non-electrical personal cooling solution available.

With overheating is a problem that you then you may be interested to hear about The Personal Cooling Centre, which is the first Internet site designed specifically to provide products and advice to people suffering from overheating They have a range of products to suit different needs, along with discussion forums and hints and tips to help people find the right solution for them.

Two things that certainly can help are the Cool Pad pillow topper and the Cool Pad mattress topper that have been specifically designed to keep you cool at night using new, unique cool gel technology. Placing the toppers on your pillow or mattress can help relieve discomfort from overheating by dissipating heat away from the body, ensuring a cool, comfortable sleep. The products don’t require activation, but the pillow topper can be stored in the fridge to make it even cooler while the mattress topper is only 5mm thick, so is easy to fold and store.

These products are allergy-free, comfortable to lie on and are ready to use straight from the box and I can certainly recommend the pillow as I have been using one myself for several months now. You will find more information and details on how to buy the products at their website www.personalcooling.co.uk

Walnuts – The Healthiest Nut for Your Heart

You may have avoided eating nuts for fear of putting on weight, but a new scientific study gives walnuts a strong recommendation as they have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut.

A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other popular nut such as peanuts or almonds. Also, nuts in general have an unusual combination of nutritional benefits as they contain plenty of high-quality protein that can substitute for meat; vitamins and minerals; dietary fiber; and are dairy- and gluten-free.

Years of research by scientists worldwide link regular consumption of small amounts of nuts or peanut butter with decreased risk of heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, gallstones, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems.

The researchers compared both the amount and quality of antioxidants found in nine different nuts: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, and pecans.

Walnuts not only had the highest levels of antioxidants but also the highest potency, of antioxidants. They are 2-15 times as potent as vitamin E, renowned for its powerful antioxidant effects that protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease.

Another reason that walnuts are so healthy is that are eaten raw, unlike other nuts which are heated which generally reduces the quality of the antioxidants, so you get the full effectiveness of those antioxidants.

If it is the dietary aspect that has kept you from eating nuts, and they are it is true high in fat and calories, but nuts contain healthful polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fat. As for the calories, eating nuts does not appear to cause weight gain and even makes people feel full and less likely to overeat. In a 2009 U. S. study, nut consumption was associated with a significantly lower risk of weight gain and obesity.

What’s the maximum healthy snack size to get your daily dose of antioxidants? Apparently it is seven, and think of the extra calories you will expend in cracking the shells!

Keeping Your Water Intake Healthy – Without Using Potentially Hazardous Plastic Bottles

March 27, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Food & Nutrition, Health

I have mentioned often enough the dangers of plastics, particularly water bottles and Bisphenol A. It is a common conflict that faces us in that we want to carry water around to keep our fluid intake up, but we don’t want to resort to getting in containers that can be harmful to health. Lo and behold, SIGG has come up with a solution and it is a healthy, practical and – though I know you don’t really care about this – a stylish and fashionable one too with their reusable and 100% recyclable aluminum water bottles.

Worldwide, over 60 billion tons of plastic waste is produced every year and plastic is particularly damaging because it is not biodegradable and plastic particles eventually become part of the food chain – as they have for example in our oceans. In some parts of the sea, there is five times more plastic than plankton. So avoiding plastic water bottles helps our planet, but it not just the health of the ocean that is affected.

So what is the risk to you? Well, plastic polycarbonate bottles releases the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). 90% of US government studies found harmful health effects on children and it has impact on both male and female sexuality and reproduction. Basically, BPA acts as a xenoestrogen, so it mimics the effect of natural oestrogen, but is foreign to the body.

High levels of xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer, birth defects and miscarriages, disruption of beta cell function in the pancreas, which creates a pre-diabetes type condition of high blood insulin and insulin resistance.

The dangers of plastic water bottles also include producing another xenoestrogen called phthalates which leach into the water and this is increased if the bottle is exposed to heat – such as being in the sun or in the car. Also if you are using the same bottle over and over and refilling it then you will probably have noticed the fine line scratches that occur with frequent use. These increase the surface area exposed to the liquid inside and release more of the xenoestrogens into the water so it is time to ditch the plastic and go for a healthier alternative.

One stylish one is made by SIGG, a company founded in Switzerland over 100 years ago and that I have been fully converted to using because it is beautifully and seamlessly shaped from a single piece of pure aluminium, one of the most environmental friendly packaging materials that is easily be recycled and loses none of its high qualities when reused, and shallow that I am, it looks great.

SIGG bottles have plenty of high profile users such as stars like Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher and for the artistically minded they launch a new design collection of SIGG bottles, every year. They are certainly beautiful, in fact two designs are on permanent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and include 19 designs to choose from, including one by Vivienne Westwood for the fashionistas among you and the intriguingly named Wuthering Polka – never knew Heathcliff was a dancer, did you?

You can buy direct from the website at www.sigg.com

Naturally Lovely Gift Sets for Mothers Day

March 23, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health

It comes round every year, and it is the 3rd of April in case you were wondering, and if you want to give something really lovely then divert from the well trodden chocolate and flowers path.

What mothers really want is some pampering and so I have found some lovely natural skin and body care gift sets from Living Nature, the New Zealand manufacturer of 100% pure, certified natural skin care and cosmetics. Obviously containing only 100% natural preservatives, fragrances and ingredients and no animal testing the company was one of the world’s first to produce skin care without the use of synthetic preservatives or parabens, and all products are tested rigorously to assess their purity, safety and efficacy for certification by BDIH Germany, a world-leading independent auditor of natural skin care and cosmetics.

All very well, but what are they like? Well I have tried them and apart from a packaging glitch where I kept trying to open the bottom of the moisturizer rather than the top (the printing is reversed so it is readable when the package is upside down) I was impressed. The quality and texture of the creams are lovely and their natural botanical ingredients such as Active Manuka Honey, antibacterial Manuka Oil, antioxidant-rich Totara ( a tree prized by the Maoris), ultra-hydrating and soothing Harakeke a native lily, and the cleansing Kumerahou shrub, deliver a wide array of skin-rejuvenating benefits. Which any harassed mother (is there any other kind) will find very soothing. Other ingredients include pure essential oils, citrus oils and flower extracts which help purify, hydrate and nourish the skin and you have a complete ‘MotherCare’ package.

There are three Living Nature’s Skin Essentials gift packs for different skin needs and one for the body so you have no excuse for not finding the perfect gift. In fact they would make an ideal travel set for any woman, mother or not. They are available from salons, pharmacies and health stores, by mail order and online. Skin Essentials packs are £25.55 and the Body Essentials pack is £20.45. In case of difficulty contact Living Nature (UK) on 0845 2508455, or visit the company website livingnature.com.

« Previous PageNext Page »