Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

Fall Hiking Schedule

 

Blood Sugar Balancing Food Medicine November 29, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 3:46 pm

Hopefully by now you are aware that the best way to control your blood sugar to prevent and manage diabetes is though proper diet and exercise. Along with proper rest, hygiene and a positive mindset, these are your two primary physicians for maintaining good health.

But even when making sure to avoid the foods that upset your blood sugar and eating balanced meals, you may still come up short on key nutrients that our bodies need.

Due to poor soil quality, food processing and our own lack of commitment to eating properly, we don’t always get the nutrients we need in our diets. And so it helps to supplement our diet with concentrated forms of the nutrients that we may be lacking.

If you have a genetic pre-disposition (one of more diabetic family members) towards diabetes, I recommend rotating the following supplements on a regular basis to improve your blood sugar metabolism.

Bitter Melon: long been used in South America, the Caribbean, East Africa and Asia as food and a natural medicine. And scientific studies prove its value for treating blood-sugar problems.

Often used in stir-fry dishes. Cut the melon open lengthwise without peeling. Then remove the seeds and the white “pith” inside, and chop it like you would a green pepper. Boil the melon until the pieces are tender, and add them to your favorite stir-fry recipe.

Gumar (Gymnema Sylvestre), which literally means “sugar destroyer” in Hindi interferes with your ability to taste sweetness. The herb decreases the sensation of sweetness in many foods, and may reduce your cravings for sugary snacks.

Used by practitioners of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, Fenugreek is an herb native to the Mediterranean, Ukraine, India and China.
Fenugreek seed stimulates insulin release. This helps food sugars reach your cells properly.


Don’t bite into a fenugreek seed, they are very bitter. Roast them in a pan for a minute or two, without burning them, to give them a caramel-like taste. Then you can add them to other spices for a complex mix of flavor. You can also steep one or two teaspoons of the dried leaves in two cups of boiling water for five minutes to make a healing tea.


Chromium aids in digestion and helps move blood glucose from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. It also helps turn fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. As a critical nutrient for healthy insulin function. Without enough chromium in your body, insulin just doesn’t work properly.

You can get chromium in many foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially in the skin), cheeses, molasses, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

It is estimated that 90 percent of American adults have a chromium-deficient diet. No wonder blood-sugar imbalances are rampant in America.

Cinnamon: Researchers have discovered that cinnamon contains a compound called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer, or MHCP that increases your glucose metabolism. It works with insulin to help process glucose.

To control blood sugar with cinnamon use around half a teaspoon before meals.


In Traditional, Philippine, South Asian and Indian societies, people use a brewed Banaba Leaf tea to help regulate blood sugar.
Corosolic acid, a natural compound extracted from its leaves, mimics insulin by moving sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells.

Add these supplemental power foods to your healing arsenal and share them with your family and friends. Your spleen will thank you.

 

Who Wants To Be Anointed With Oil? October 29, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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How many of you remember the daily struggle with your mother to escape (unsuccessfully) gulping down the contents of “the big greasy spoon.” Cod Liver Oil, blah!

I can not remember ever actually getting away unscathed by the nastiest taste in the entire universe. Not once. Even when I literally vomited the contents of the spoon, along with everything that preceded it. She would force me to take down another.

I have a deep suspicion that this all goes back to the childhood of Jesus. C’mon now, the whole thing with him being “the anointed”. Telling his followers he would make them “fishers of men”.  And why do modern Christians all have a symbol of two fishes on their rear bumpers.

It can’t all be a coincidence. I think Mary was force feeding the baby Jesus cod liver oil way back then.  Ever since, mothers have been giving their children fish oil to protect them from evil spirits, disease, sorcery and bad dreams.  I mean think about it, isn’t Mary the ideal mother?  Ok, enough ‘light humor’.

Eating fish has long been considered a healthy choice for the body. The oils contained in fish are rich in substances that the body needs to maintain itself.

And Cod Liver Oil is an old favorite, that has made a resurgence now that alternative medicine has gone mainstream. Consuming fish oil as a dietary supplement is a sure way to to get more omega-3 fatty acids into your system. Omega-3s are examples of healthy oils that help with brain and heart function.

If you like fish, you can eat cold water fish once or twice a week to increase your healthy fat intake.

Cod liver oil is obtained from the livers of cod. Unlike eating cooked fish, the levels of mercury in them are nil because the purification process (look for products using molecular distillation with food grade ethanol) eliminates this harmful element.

Cod liver supplements differ from some others in that it not only contains omega-3 fatty acids but also a healthy dose of vitamin A and D. (Pregnant mothers are advised to avoid vitamin A supplements).

Sedentary types, shut-ins and the bed ridden may find it difficult to receive adequate amounts of vitamin D, since our major source is the sun. The increased use of sun block and sunscreen also decreases the absorption of vitamin D through the skin. This vitamin plays a vital role in the utilization of calcium by the body.

Ways this old preventive medicine can do a body good:

  • Depression – Cod liver oil reduces the incidence of depression.
  • Vitamin D levels – Since it increases the level of vitamin D, it leads to healthier and stronger bones and teeth when taking this supplement. Women, who are susceptible to osteoporosis, increase their bone and mineral density.
  • Heart and brain health – It reduces inflammation in the body and increases vascular integrity and integrity of nerve cells.
  • Disease prevention – Taking cod liver oil supplements may decrease the incidence of high LDL cholesterol levels, improve memory, prevent heart disease, reduce menopausal symptoms, reduce severity of PMS symptoms and also reduce incidence of diabetes type 1 in children.

Just like with any other over-the-counter supplement, it is important to first make sure you are eating complete meals that provide you with all of the nutrients that nature has to offer. Supplements are just that- supplemental.

Their purpose is not to provide the basis of your nutrition, but to fill in the gaps left by soil depletion and other side effects of modern society.

Oh yeah, the good news is today’s cod liver oil can be taken in tasteless capsules (choose gelatin free) and also come flavored for those who want to go old school and throw back a spoonful, ‘big mama’ style. So don’t worry about terrorizing your children. The modern versions are more child friendly.


 

No Health. No Wealth. Getting Our Priorities Straight October 21, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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A sharp mind and a healthy body are fundamental to success in life and career. If your are in a business that demands critical decision making, stamina and a positive attitude, being healthy is particularly important.

How many of us these days suffer the stresses of long hours, multitasking and back to back deadlines. In addition to business and career pressures, we have family and community responsibilities pulling from every direction.

The stress that such a lifestyle can produce is enough to challenge the strength of your body and mind.

When you are unable to attend a critical business meeting due to a health issue, your colleagues will surely understand, but make no doubt about it, there will also be a certain level of disappointment and dissatisfaction in the atmosphere. If this becomes a pattern for you, their tolerance will swiftly fade.

A common cold, headache or twisted ankle can reduce you performance and jeopardize an important project. Imagine what a major illness could have on your plans.

So in addition to the hard and soft skills needed for success in your career, your health should be considered as a major asset to success in whatever field or venture you pursue.

Start viewing your health as part of your resume or as a key resource in you business plan.

Take proactive steps to make sure you prepare yourself physically, psycho-emotionally and socially to handle the challenges of your busy life.

Preventive health practices that foster and support vitality, clear thinking, restful sleep and and good digestion, should be included in your arsenal of strategies for business success.

Here are some key practices to help you obtain and maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

  • Be sure to get enough sleep each night. Condition your sleep cycle by getting in bed at the same time every night.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Don’t treat your diet as casually as you do a trip to the toilet. Eat fresh, whole foods that sustain, energize and heal you naturally. Be sure to supplement your diet with super food snacks & herbs that fill in the nutritional gaps in your main meals.
  • Make exercise a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a 60 minute sweat fest. I0-20 min. of vigorous exercise, 3-5 days a week, will keep you in shape once you’ve attained a healthy level of fitness for your age.
  • Your body is your personal temple. Keep it as clean as a house of worship erected as a dwelling space for divine. Inside and Out.  Add a seasonal detox and a regular trip to the sauna to your health maintenance schedule.
  • Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. Address any situation that has become a distraction directly. Then let it go and move on. Present your case in a calm but direct face to face or written messages that expresses your concerns.
  • Make time to share, consult, support and be nurtured by your social network. Whether family or friends. Make sure you are not isolated and have a circle of people to connect with who are not involved in your career.

The old attitude of putting your health on the back burner because your business comes first, is passe.

The compartmentalized model of life is slowly fading into the sunset as the integrated model that connects all aspects of our lives into one whole re-emerges on the opposite horizon.

Allow it to become your path to wealth, wisdom and good health.

Subscribe to get a copy of our Free 10 Week eCourse:
10 Mistakes Blocking Your Fitness MoJo

 

7 Reminders of why you should be exercising regularly. October 15, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 2:27 pm

I say this is a reminder because you already know everything on this list. It’s nothing new. You’ve heard it all before. You probably started your exercise routine after learning about one of the effects listed below. You know it, agree with it, committed to doing it and shared it with others.

Then life happened. And you became distracted by the onslaught of mundane occurrences and responsibilities that become the masters of your fate and captain of your ship.

So this post is just a brief reminder of why you should be exercising on a regular basis. Because the things that distract us from what we “know” we should be doing to improve and maintain our health and fitness are always sending up reminders to draw us back into their sphere of influence.

1. Exercise balances your mood.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Movement is Medicine

A regular exercise routine can help you prevent or manage high blood pressure and boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. The combined effect helps to keep blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.

3. From couch potato to sweet potato fry.

Drop those excess pounds by getting involved in walking, biking or other physical activities. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Incorporate you exercise into activities of daily living. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials.

4. Exercise boost your energy level.

Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps the circulation of blood. Helping your heart to work more efficiently. The net effect, you’ll have more energy to do the …………. whatever!

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise close to bedtime. This can have the reverse effect.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women and reduce the probability of erectile dysfunction in men, especially as they get older.

7. Exercise is fun!

Get physical! Exercise can be an enjoyable experience for the entire family. Hit the club with your mate or a group of friends. Instead of sitting at a table flossing with bottles of Cristal, get out on the dance floor and shake what you mama gave you. Dancing is one of the best exercises. Lose yourself in the rhythm and you will be surprised how the time will disappear.

Take the family on a hike. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. What happened to kickball and touch football. Stop complaining that kids nowadays spend too much time on video games and introduce them to some of the physical activity you enjoyed as a child.

Let’s get physical people.

 

7 Seasonal Adjustments to Balance Your Health-Fitness Routine October 8, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 9:43 pm
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I was sitting on my back porch today. Soaking up the last rays of warmth before the sun dips further south. Most of the trees here are still pretty green. There are some scattered red and orange beauties, making their transition. And the few golden-yellow giants in the distance confirm that the first chill is not far away.

Autumn, more commonly known as fall is a season in which “things fall apart.” The leaves fall from the trees and fruit from the vine. Signaling the time for harvest, in-gathering and grounding.

The wise woman & man recognize the change of season as a shift in the energy governing the earth’s life, health and strength. To take advantage of the spirit of the season, it’s necessary to adjust our schedules, activities and diets to our environment.


Here are 7 suggestions to help get the most out of the cool-drying nature of Autumn.

1.Earlier to bed, later to rise.

Like the Sun, we can benefit by shortening our day. Add an extra ½ hour to your down time. You can add thirty minutes at each end of your rise and retire cycle or use the time for internal work like reading scripture/spiritual literature, contemplating nature or the stars, writing in your day/dream journal.


2.Nutrients in, garbage out.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and colon energy correspond to the fall season. Extra attention should be given to balancing any deficiencies in their function. Clean your nostrils each morning with the aid of a Netty pot, using slight sea salted water. Reduce your intake of mucus forming foods. Use expectorant herbs as a cordial tea to keep the lungs clear. The skin is a direct extension of the colon. Brushing the skin with a loofah or other wet brush will exfoliate the dead skin and stimulate circulation. Eat locally grown, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetables to help clean the colon. In some instances, a colonic may be in order.


3.Fall back.

Reduce the intensity, length or frequency of your fitness regime. Harvest and begin storing life force in your energy channels to sustain you in the cold season when the sun will be scarce. Try one of these suggestions- if your working out 6 days a week, give yourself an extra day of rest. Train for 40 min. instead of an hour. Don’t increase your max weight or cardio/duration until the spring.


4.Work your inside game.

Increase you meditative and energy exercise time. Move from the outside in. The internal martial arts are excellent for balancing and fortifying your inner bodies. Practice standing and moving meditation forms to ground your mind-body. Release excess toxins into the earth, so that they can be transformed into life-sustaining energy. Yoga and Chi Kung are among the most popular forms practiced in the U.S. today. Find a teacher now and use the fall/winter seasons to build the foundation of your practice.


5.Enjoy the harvest.

Eat foods that are locally in season. Apple picking opportunities are available on farms throughout the east coast of the U.S. right about now. Take the family, get all the apples you can eat and have a blast doing it. Eat as much fall harvest food as you can: artichoke, arugula, broccoli, endive, beets, broccoli raabe, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicories, cranberries,eggplant, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, scallion, green onion, leeks, okra, pears, peppers, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkin, radish, spinach, sweet potato, turnips, squash and zucchini.


6.Baton down the hatches.

Start fortifying your residence against the coming wind and cold. Seal the windows and doors. Stock up wood for the fireplace. Stock up on rock salt for melting ice. Have your furnace serviced. Flush the radiators. Flush all gas powered garden equipment. Prepare to bring in the potted plants. Put away your garden hoses. Cover the swimming pool. Rearrange furniture to take advantage of the warmth of light from southern windows. Change your wardrobe. Put away the spring/summer clothing in exchange for the cold weather gear. Winterize your car.


7.Give thanks.

When we harvest the benefits of our hard work, we have to keep in mind that very little is accomplished alone. There are forces helping us both seen and unseen. Be grateful for all of the people who support, encourage, guide and challenge us. Give thanks to whatever force you hold to be “greater than yourself”, for allowing you an opportunity to live another day and make your unique contribution to the world. There is someone in the world right now, that would give anything to be in your shoes . . . . . . literally.


Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Above quote by permission of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.


 

Come play with me! September 21, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 1:36 pm

Peace Family,
Just a quick update on our upcoming events: click on the links or contact me for details.

Kazi


Saturday September 25- Advanced Hike to Breakneck Ridge
Athletic Hike-Scramble & Wilderness Retreat
Open Your Lungs to Embrace the Spirit of Autumn

Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring, New York, straddling the boundary between Dutchess and Putnam counties.  Its distinctive rocky cliffs are visible for a long distance when approached from the south, and together with Storm King Mountain on the opposite bank of the river forms Wey-Gat, or Wind Gate, the picturesque northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands.

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Saturday October 9- Seated Massage for Couples, Partners and Family
An Experiential Workshop/Funshop
Health Gardens Wellness Center – So. Orange, NJ

This hands on workshop is for anyone who would like to gift their loved ones with the primal healing response of “intention through touch”. The techniques you will learn in this workshop will give you the tools to perform a 10-30 minute massage on anyone – anywhere. Help your partner to relieve their daily stress, harness their self healing resources, prepare the body for restful sleep and cultivate your bond of love and mutual healing. No special tools are required. Your hands and a chair are the only prerequisites to qualify for this workshop. We provide the chair!

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Saturday October 6 – Intermediate Hike to Gertrude’s Nose
Beautiful Fall Foliage Hike in the Shawangunk Mountains
Minnewaska State Park, NY

Seemingly endless miles of trails, paths and carriageways are available for you in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. From quiet walks through groves of trees out onto the precipice of the cliffs, hiking in Minnewaska provides the full range of experiences possible in the Shawangunks.

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Saturday & Sunday Mornings BodyFit Boot Camp
60 min. of Resistance, Persistence and Resilience training.
Branch Brook Park  – Newark, NJ

WARNING: Side effects of BodyFit Boot Camp may include:
Weight Loss, Muscle Tone and Restful Sleep.
Has also been known to increase Energy, Libido and Catcalls.


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