Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Will you SHINE today?

It’s easy to lose track of your day.  You may begin with a plan, but, as like most things, you cannot predict the unpredictable.  Factors manage to squeeze their way into our lives to test us, emotionally and strategically.  And our lives become a balancing act.

In an article provided by The Toronto Star, Dr. Lorraine Maita, 55, a specialist in geriatric health and health consultant fortune 500 companies, says that moderation and balance are the secret to a long, healthy life.  Despite what we are presented with in our daily lives, there is a good for every bad, a yin for every yang.   

The Star outlined Maita’s family history as one of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, but she has none of them.  “She keeps a keen watch on her health and, the minute she sees her blood pressure or cholesterol climbing, she tackles this with activity and diet right away.”

Modern medicine has helped people live longer, but infectious diseases have been over taken by life-style related chronic degenerative conditions, Maita explained to The Star, citing heart disease, stroke and arthritis.

“I say a person should SHINES is for stress management; H for hormone balance; I is for intake, including environmental toxins and preservatives; N is for nutrition and E is for exercise. There should also be another S for supplements, that’s a good thing to do. Many people are deficient in lots of nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, fibre and Vitamin D,” she said.

Although people are aware that stress is a daily affect on their life, they are unaware how it affects them and to what extent.  Maita said, “Stress really affects our hormones — adrenalin and cortisol. They raise blood pressure and heart rate and after the event you can feel very tired. If cortisol stays high, it takes calcium out of bones, decreases muscle mass and stores fat around the middle.”

This can be managed by minor activities, such as yoga, an exercise that helps control your breathing, which in turn slows down the adrenaline and cortisol levels that may have been affected by stressful events.  Maintaining strength in old age is key, especially for women, as they are not as strong with their hands and, if the core is not strong, they can easily fall and fracture a wrist, explained Maita.

Some people age well, while others don’t. “I have been on hikes with people in their 80s outpacing me,” says Maita, “Like anything else, if you don’t use it you lose it.”

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