Happy August everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer weather and prioritizing some R&R. So far, my summer has been wonderful. It started out with a next-to-perfect 1/2 Ironman in Mont Tremblant - great conditions, great friends and, most importantly, I managed to race with a positive attitude. Take a look at my recent blog post on the subject.
The final seven videos will be posted on The Globe and Mail's website every Monday for the next seven weeks.
Also, on June 26th I filmed a series of Pilates-based "Fitness Basic" exercise videos for the Globe and Mail. In the first video I explain the basics of Pilates breathing. Use this first video to help you complete the remaining ten videos with perfect form. So far the three videos that have been posted are:
Sticking with the Pilates theme, the Exercise of the Month is a classic Pilates exercise called the "Stomach Stretch".
This month, instead of a recipe I am including an article by my friend and colleague Dr. Jennifer Baer, RHN, ND, titled "The obesity Myth".
The Obesity Myth
By: Dr. Jennifer Baer, RHN, ND
What do you think an obese person looks like? Do you imagine a 300-pound woman struggling down the grocery store aisle, or a 400-pound man at the drive-through window? If you do, you’re not alone. But you are wrong.
The definition of obesity was established by the WHO, and is based on BMI (Body Mass Index), a measure of your weight relative to your height. A value of 25 indicates overweight, 30 or greater obesity. And so it is, that a visually average, slightly plump woman of 5’4” is actually medically obese at 176 lbs.
Why is this important? There have been many criticisms of the BMI as an assessment tool – it’s not a perfect measure. For those with a lot of muscles mass or who are tall, it may overestimate obesity. However, for those shorter in stature, it may underestimate it! Regardless of its specificity or sensitivity, the BMI is important because of its use in all those studies correlating disease with obesity – think: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes.
I always want my patients to start shifting their focus from an aesthetic goal, to a health and prevention one. For those who are obese, or overweight with 2 or more risk factors (see my website for a list and link to BMI calculator), even a small weight loss of 5-10% of your body weight significantly lowers your risk for obesity-related diseases.
Obesity is a complex, multi-factorial condition. While individual dietary and lifestyle choices are obvious culprits, consider just a few studied factors shown to contribute:
To combat obesity and prevent disease we first require a wake-up call about what obesity actually is. Calculate your own BMI as a starting point. And consider meeting with a professional for advice on diet, fitness & stress management. I also work with my patients on the mindfulness and behavioral component – a key to sustainable change. Naturopathic Doctors offer a holistic approach to weight management that is appropriate to such a complex issue.
Gender & economic inequality: poverty and being female
Trans-fats, alcohol & sugar alter biochemistry: favouring fat storage over expenditure
Food science: designer “foods” trigger your “bliss point” signaling your brain to eat MORE
Chemical exposure: fivefold incidence of obesity with highest levels of urinary BPA
Light & temperature: exposure to air-conditioning and artificial lighting alters thermodynamics and sleep cycles – impacting the cascade of hormones which control our metabolism
Stress: alters the production of cortisol, contributing to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance
Jennifer Baer is a Naturopathic Doctor, trained chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist, who is committed to combating obesity - a key determinant of health & prevention. She offers a long-term sustainable approach to weight loss. For more information please visit: drjenniferbaer.com.
Exercise of the Month
The stomach stretch is a classic Pilates exercise. The key to any Pilates exercise is to be mindful of your movements, don't just "go through the motions".
To start, lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended, toes pointed. Rest your forehead on a small towel so that your head stays in line with your spine.
Start by trying to engage your pelvic floor and low abdominal muscles by feeling like you are trying to gently put on a tight pair of pants. Next, image you are trying to place a piece of paper between your abdominals and the mat so that your back stays elongated. Engage your bum slightly.
To do the exercise exhale and lift your opposite arm and leg off of the ground. Image someone is pulling your arm and leg out of their sockets slightly so your body stays long. Inhale to lower your limbs, then repeat on the opposite side for a total of twelve repetitions.
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Kathleen's Media Updates
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Want to get healthy? Think Positive!