Inflammation is a natural bodily response to stress, infection, or injury. However, prolonged inflammation caused by a self-destructive lifestyle is a harmful response that affects your musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular system, vision, and hormone balance. It’s crucial to control inflammation (there are medications, of course) but it’s even smarter to prevent inflammation. You can do this through daily exercise, stress management, and avoidance of smoking and drinking. But there are many foods that help control inflammation, too. (Chicken nuggets – or rings – do not.) These foods are known as vegetables. Yes – vegetables can help your inflammation just like drugs can. But don’t tell anyone.
October is the month for breast cancer awareness, and there’s been some encouraging news. Although the month began with some critics arguing that the pink ribbon campaign has created a false sense of security that the breast cancer battle is under control – that pink ribbon ubiquity has actually hindered research and progress – a couple of recent studies are encouraging. The Big Pharma disaster, aka HRT (hormone replacement therapy), inflated breast cancer cases. As doctors are now more cautious about recommending and prescribing this course of treatment for women, breast cancer rates have dropped.
But it’s not just breast cancer. Encouragingly, across the board, we’re seeing slight but meaningful drops in some types of cancer, particularly in at-risk groups. A few standouts: lung cancer has dropped a bit in women (women are more at risk to begin with). Colorectal cancers are down in men, largely due to better screening practices.
I’ve received a number of emails from readers asking for more details about my workout routine, especially after publishing a Case Against Cardio and the recent video of my beach sprints. Though I do snowboard and hike and love to try my hand at new stuff – especially while traveling – this basic weekly routine has been my foundational regimen for years. Of course, depending on travel, business and family matters, the routine varies, but this is the general idea. Over the years I’ve concentrated much more of my efforts on weight training, with great results. And I’m definitely an “outdoor” kind of guy. One thing I really appreciate about living in Southern California is the great weather; you can’t beat a hike for a natural, challenging work out. (By the way, if you’re not doing resistance activities, I encourage you to start. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are essential, particularly as we age.)
This is the first step in preventing disease and meeting your later years with vitality and good health and it almost goes without saying – almost. The health toll of destructive behaviors such as smoking and excess drinking do not necessarily manifest for many years, thus discouraging motivation to stop. It’s natural to forgo making changes when the results are seemingly intangible or minimal at best. Smokers, of course, often report almost immediate improvements in breathing, sleep, and general health, but even so, indulgent habits are difficult to break. Do it now anyway. Whether it’s nicotine or sugar or drugs, don’t let your “vice” become your master. In time it will not only rule your life; it will destroy your body.
I only wish this surprised me.
The flu vaccine has met with not-insignificant controversy as those like myself who advocate more natural preventive health measures have long questioned the necessity of an annual jab. But until now, even “alternative” health experts have conceded that the flu vaccine is necessary for the immune-compromised and especially the elderly (among other vulnerable populations). Turns out, even this accepted wisdom is little more than another case of the ever self-serving Big Pharma.
The Lancet has the details and I encourage you to read up (start here) if this is a matter that interests you. As for the merit of the flu shot, I’ve never been sold on it. I think intelligent supplementation, exercise, rest, prudent nutrition and extra hand-washing during the worst times of the year is a more sensible and safe approach. But that’s just me.
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