Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Category: Stress Management

The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Ways to Beat Stressthis week!

Thanks to all Apples who participated in last week’s how-to-beat-stress contest. Our winner, junior Apple Sandra W., had some excellent suggestions we’re adding to today’s 10 (and a free month’s supply of all-natural stress-busting Proloftin is on the way, Sandra!).

Thanks to the rest of you for the additional good tips! Here they are:

10. Choose your friends wisely.

This is possibly the most important thing you can do to manage stress in your life. It’s often overlooked, too. Choosing your relationships from a proactive, positive mindset is critical to your well-being. We all have people who “drain” us or bring negative situations or thoughts into our lives. And sometimes it’s hard to admit this – and even harder to take action. As much as you can, let these people go. Sometimes it’s not immediately possible to weed them all out, but over time, work to surround yourself with good, kind people who offer you true love, true support, and true reciprocity. Life’s too short to short-change yourself in the joy department. Really.

9. Get exercise – and get grounded.

Daily exercise regulates the delicate balance of hormones in your body. It’s the best way to relieve stress, tension and anxiety – plus it’s great for your body. Even better, exercise that literally gets you grounded (walking, hiking, or running) gives you an additional mental boost. Exercise doesn’t have to be lengthy or intense. A daily walk is the most natural and effective workout for both your mind and your body.

8. Listen to uplifting music.

Sound is very important. Think about the sounds you encounter and surround yourself with every day – and take steps to limit stressful sounds and noises like traffic, yelling, negative television news, and jarring music. Listen to music that makes you happy.

7. Swim.

Swimming is a wonderful stress-reliever, and it’s gentle on your joints, too.

6. Stretch.

Stretching loosens muscle tension, releases nerve “kinks”, massages your internal organs, helps flush toxins and just makes you feel great! Try to stretch gently for a few minutes every day. Hint: never stretch until it hurts.

Learn about yoga here.

5. Surround yourself with pleasant objects and belongings.

We’re not talking about expensive items or materialistic pursuits. But surrounding yourself with personal mementos, cherished objects and pleasant things to touch and look at – both at home and at work – does wonders for your sense of well-being. These things needn’t be pricey, just special to you. The same goes for clutter and objects you don’t like – toss them out and make room for things that make you happy.

4. Pray or meditate.

Calm yourself and renew your spirits with 5 to 20 minutes daily spent in quiet introspection. Whether you prefer to think through your day, think about your loved ones, or think about nothing at all, meditative activities literally reset brain waves and restore a sense of peace and serenity. Don’t

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Blogging for Health

On the surface this week’s Aaron’s Additions may not seem like traditional MDA fare. You might say, “Hey Aaron, we know you bring us the latest in cool health-related tools, gadgets and tech, but you’ve gone a bit too far with this entry. What the heck does it have to do with our health?” Well dearest apples, this entry has everything to do with health. It just depends on how you look at it.

Mark’s Daily Apple is concerned with people’s health ultimately for the quality of life it represents. Leading a healthy lifestyle encompasses more than what you do for your body. As we pointed out in last week’s entry it also requires attention paid to the health of your mind. A healthy mind is one that is active, productive, and as uninhibited by stress as possible. Which is why a tool that can help you stretch your mind, make your life less stressful and cluttered, and connect you with your friends and loved ones is well worth a mention. This wonder gizmo is the new blogging platform Terapad.

Obviously you are familiar with blogs (hint: you are reading one right now), but have you ever considered writing your own? It allows you to chronicle your daily thoughts, digitally publish your novel, or convey your opinions to thousands or readers. Blogging can be a perfect way to express your creative side and communicate with people (these are the active and productive bits). But building your own blog page can seem like a daunting task. Terapad (the less stressful bit) to the rescue!

This new platform makes designing and maintaining your own virtual writing space as easy as ever and has dozens of handy features to boot. With a built-in news and RSS feeder, job and resume search, and an events calendar Terapad delivers tools that help organize your life. Share your writing, pictures and video. Sell your products, host forums, and engage in a lively discussion with your readers. The possibilities are nearly endless and Terapad offers a format that is highly customizable, an interface that is a cinch to use, and a price tag anyone can handle… it’s free!

If you are looking for a new way to engage your mind in some healthy communication, check out Terapad. Take it from us. Reaching out to a community of people with similar interests is often times therapeutic and always rewarding.

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The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: fighting the free radicals that destroy the body

10. Take the world’s most potent antioxidant supplement.

9. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke (and stop smoking!).

8. Don’t eat deep-fried anything. Fried is not your friend.

7. Drink alcohol in moderation.

6. Meditate, journal or pray for a few minutes every day. This helps your body regulate its stress hormones better, which keeps everything running smoothly, including your immune system and the body’s inflammatory response.

5. Exercise several times a week. This stimulates feel-good hormones, the immune system, and the metabolism. Exercise also helps reduce hormonal stress, inflammation, stress to your liver, and yes…oxidation.

4. Eat clean: Try to eat organic meat and dairy products. Wash produce thoroughly.

3. Consume good fats with reckless abandon. (Things like grass-fed meat, wild fish, DHA-enhanced eggs, nuts, avocados, Smart Butter, and olive oil.)

2. Eat foods containing antioxidants every day: vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts…yum!

1. And the number one way to reduce inflammation and oxidation (and thereby prevent or reduce most health problems and diseases)? Lay off the sugar! Just say no to processed, refined, empty calories from things like soda, white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals, pastries and other starchy snacks. Yes, these foods are pretty…pretty evil.

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A Monday Moment

Maybe it’s only Monday morning traffic, but I’m noticing people become just a little more aggressive behind the shield of their cars. It’s as if driving in a car grants us sudden power and anonymity – and a license to be rude. Road rage concerns me, not only because of the safety issues, but because it’s a sign to me that people aren’t venting their bottled-up anger properly. It’s not a good thing when anger is the instinctive reaction as soon as there’s no perceived threat or social expectation.

My thought? It’s just so much easier to let things go. It really does feel better to forgive, shrug it off, and laugh. Cars don’t make us anonymous – just the opposite – they make our true character transparent. Do your part to help people simmer down when they’re on the road – let’s set an example. Feeling generosity to others is an important part of being healthy. (And so is venting frustration properly – exercise, meditation, prayer, talking with friends, and “chill out” time are all ways to stay emotionally healthy.)

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The Trees Aren’t Stressin’

Of course, they are trees.

Sara here, with a few extra holiday tips:

– Consider having your holiday meal delivered from a nice restaurant. No one will know. Really. And you can always bribe that little nephew who figures it out. (There’s always one, isn’t there?)

– Hire a maid service from one of those quick-n-cheap housekeeping companies. Relatives can pitch a few dollars in if they want, but a one-time basic cleaning after the big day is surprisingly inexpensive. And it might be better than a massage.

– Enlist the children to complete forced labor. It builds character. As soon as they go outside to hurl snowballs and/or smaller cousins at each other, they’ll forget all about having to take out the trash.

– Take the phone off the hook after 8 p.m.

[tags] holiday stress tips, holiday survival, entertaining [/tags]

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Holiday Survival Guide, Part II

Isn’t it telling that we even think of the holidays as something to survive? And yet, we do. If that’s not a clear indicator of stress, I don’t know what is. I think a great deal of the immune suppression, weight gain and poor moods many people experience during the holiday season is not necessarily food-related but rather stress-related (though unhealthy foods are themselves a stress to the body). Here are my suggestions for alleviating stress during this time – as well as some culprits to be aware of that we often simply miss.

Tips to Stop Stress:

Step 1: Insist upon 30 minutes of “me time” every day. This should include some physical activity, such as a walk or quick work-out, and ideally some meditation, prayer or other time to reflect peacefully. Do more if you can, but treat yourself to 30 minutes at the very minimum. Anything that allows for you to breathe deeply, gather your thoughts, and refresh yourself is the ticket. Absolutely insist on this for yourself – you can gain more benefit from this than any other single action you take to be healthy during the holidays.

Step 2: Limit your driving time as much as possible. Stopping at several parties, giving rides or running to the store for the tenth time to get that last ingredient can be incredibly stressful, especially during traffic peaks. “Save up” your errands and tasks, coordinate driving and party stops ahead of time, and skip as much as you can. I’m always surprised by how simple it is to just say no to something I thought was needed – often, it turns out to be just a “want”, and the stress I save myself is something far more desirable.

Step 3: Get good sleep. It’s more important to get six or seven hours of good sleep than a lot of bad sleep. If you’re in bed for eight hours but spend three of them thinking of all you have to do, you’re not going to be refreshed. You might get a little less sleep during this time of year – that’s okay. Give yourself a break and focus on making time for enough quality sleep, not just “enough” sleep.

Step 4: Do it later. This is not the time of year to attempt any 11th-hour goals, such as home improvement projects (your guests won’t mind working around a problem – really). Forgot to renew your license or get the kids to the dentist after the Halloween sugar siege? Save it for January. It won’t matter.

Stress Comes in Many Forms:

There are also plenty of unlikely stress factors we forget about. First of all, consider that any change – even a good change – can be incredibly stressful to the mind and body. Good things can be stressful in their own way. It’s things like the “come-down” on the drive home from a festive gathering or the unexpected (but strangely inevitable) bickering after a long day flying to see

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