Ways To Be In Better Condition Than
When You Were in Your Teens and 20s?
Could You Achieve a Better Health
Condition When You’re Over 50?
Your body is always in a state of change; you are either improving or declining your current state of health … and what you do and eat on a “daily basis” greatly influences your decline or improved health plus what quality of life you will have in the future.
Many doctors and health gurus have shown that you can be in good shape well into your later years – if you are committed to living well (like Jack Lalanne, Dr. Rober Cassar, etc.). We are seeing more and more people in their 50s, 60s and 70s by example showing us how attention to a healthful lifestyle can change your body and your life.
What exactly does that entail? Dr. Robert Cassar, a former body builder, chiropractor, naturalist, and raw foodist who has seemingly defied the hands of time while in his early 50s just years after an accident that broke his back — shared some of his secrets, which include …
Raw Food Advocates
Most everyone eats some amount of raw foods nearly every day in salads, fuits and or nuts plus various raw sea foods, sushi, vegetable munchies, etc.
Dr. Cassar found a raw food diet was highly effective for himself made up of unprocessed, whole raw foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and more. Some raw foodists also eat raw dairy products, raw fish and raw meat.
Typically, raw foodists consume 75 percent to 100 percent of their food raw, or not heated above 100-115 degrees F, the point at which enzymes begin to be destroyed. Raw foodists believe that humans were designed to eat foods raw, like other animals do, and that the cooking process turns foods into “unnatural” elements your body is not designed to handle, leading to toxicity and disease.
As the Living Foods Institute states:
“Raw and Living Foods is a philosophy that believes all enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs to heal and maintain optimal health are found within the foods we eat. Proper food preparation is the key to unlocking these life-giving and healing nutrients.
Cooking foods destroys more than 90% of its nutritional value and natural enzymes that the body needs to digest the food. Enzymes are more important than any other active element as an aid to digestion and health. A lack of enzymes is a contributing factor to health problems ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as cancer and AIDS.
Disease is caused in part by toxicity and deficiency, which is created when, among other things, we eat foods that are unnatural or lack essential nutrients. Simply put, when toxic and deficient conditions are removed from the body, the body can heal itself, fight off future illnesses, and remain in total and perfect health.”
Very few people actually adhere to a 100 percent raw food diet, and there is some debate as to whether or not this is truly the healthiest diet on the planet. For instance, certain foods, like beans, actually become more nutritious after cooking. Cooked tomatoes are also known to contain particularly healthy compounds like lycopene — more so than raw tomatoes — that help fight prostate cancer.
That said, most people do not eat nearly enough foods in their fresh, unprocessed raw form, and it’s certainly healthy to eat lots of foods in this state. If you’re just getting started, vegetable juicing is a simple way to include more fresh raw fruits and veggies in your daily diet.
An Alkaline Diet
An alkaline diet is a raw food diet. Many holistic doctors and nutritionists believe we must alkalize our bodies, thereby restoring our alkaline-acid balance, if we are to reach high levels of vitality and strength.
Many also believe that finding this balance is key to fighting cancer and other diseases and reaching optimal health.
The healthy blood pH level of the human body is a slightly alkaline range of 7.36 to 7.44 (a pH value under 7 is considered acid and above 7 alkaline). While your body has mechanisms to keep your blood within a narrow pH range, your tissues may become acidic.
To put it simply, proponents of the theory hold that when your body becomes too acidic it can become depleted of alkaline minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, paving the way for chronic and degenerative disease.
Further, many functions of your body require certain levels of acidity or alkalinity to be carried out, as enzymes and chemical reactions work best at certain pHs.
For instance, as your body becomes acidic, the ability of your muscles to contract goes down while hormones like adrenaline increase. Even slight changes in pH can have a profound effect on your body function.
Your system’s pH can be measured not only from the blood, but also from the urine and the saliva, using pH paper. Your morning urine should ideally be between 6.4 and 6.8 while your first morning saliva pH should range from 6.8 to 7.2.
What makes your body overly acidic? Namely diet. The foods that are causing all of this acidity include animal protein, sugar, caffeine and processed foods, while most vegetables and fruits are alkaline.
Breathing polluted air, drinking contaminated water, and physical, emotional and mental stress can also contribute to acidity.
For best results, many experts say you should choose foods so that your diet is 75-80 percent alkaline – or in other words 75-80 percent fresh, unprocessed fruits and veggies — and 20-25 percent acid.
Note: A raw food diet is NOT for everyone. Initially a raw diet can be challenging for your digestive system. Also be certain to wash your raw foods thoroughly before consuming. It’s best to make an appointment to discuss and assess the type of dietary change is best for your health condition.
Flexibility a Key for Longevity
Flexibility adds to your longevity. The less you move your joints as you get older, the greater your risk of losing your range of motion.
“When a joint remains immobile for an extended time, the muscles that surround the joint become tight and do not slide as easily upon one another to produce movement. Eventually, changes occur at the cellular level. The musculoskeletal components of the joint can actually lose their ability to stretch and become permanently shortened,” said Lisa Jenkins, a physical therapist, in the New York Times.
The solution to this problem is straightforward: stay active as you age. This includes not only day-to-day activities but also by exercising and stretching. As Walnut Creek Chiropractor states:
“Flexibility stretching enhances the quality of the protective lubricant for optimum joint movement, the decline of which is the major cause of arthritic conditions. Also, increased lumbar and pelvic movements reduce the risk of lower back pain.
Flexibility exercises, through stretching, improve neuromuscular coordination, that is, the reduction of time taken for messages to go from the brain to the muscles.
Flexibility stretching helps to avoid injuries and falls due to stiff or tight muscle fibers. As a result of flexibility stretching, the range of movement (ROM) significantly improves general physical movement and increases blood supply, thereby instrumental in facilitating joint mobility to avoid accidents and falls, especially among the elderly.
Physical activity, through flexibility exercises, extends longevity. In fact, flexibility stretching is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill. Unfortunately, inflexibility causes falls, and the fear of falls further immobilizes the elderly, and thus forming a vicious cycle of immobilizing the aged. Falling is the second leading cause of death in women aged between aged 65 and 85, and the leading cause of death for most individuals over 85.”
Regular stretching to improve flexibility should be a cornerstone of every health program, as according to the Mayo Clinic it can:
- Increase your flexibility, which improves your daily performance.
- Improve your range of motion in your joints, giving you better balance and less prone to falls as you age.
- Improve your circulation by increasing blood flow to your muscles. This helps your muscles to recover after injuries.
- Promote better posture by keeping your muscles loose and minimizing aches and pains.
- Prevent injuries, particularly if you have tight muscles or joints.
One study also found that stretching impacts muscles in a similar way to strength training, but on a smaller scale.
After 38 mostly sedentary people stretched for 40 minutes, three times a week, for 10 weeks, they:
- Improved flexibility by an average of 18 percent
- Increased their strength — their “one-repetition maximum” increased an average of 32 percent for knee extension exercises and 15 percent for knee flexion exercises
- Increased their endurance — the number of repetitions they could perform at 60 percent of their max improved 29 percent for the knee extension and 30 percent for knee flexion
- Increased their vertical jump distance 7 percent and their standing long-jump distance 2 percent
How you stretch is even more important than the actual stretches you do, and according to Jacques Gauthier, top stretching expert of the Stretching Toward a Healthier Life DVD, stretching should be easy, enjoyable, safe and effective. Here are his keys to effective stretching:
- Safety first! If you have had injuries, surgeries or have health concerns, consult with your health care provider about how to modify the stretches.
- Move slowly in and out of the stretches — this helps prevent injury and allows your body to relax.
- Pay attention to your body — it will tell you how far to go. You should stretch to a point of gentle tension, but not pain.
- Relax into the stretches. Muscles elongate naturally as they relax. If you notice some tension or “holding” in the muscles during a stretch, let it go. You may find that as you relax into the stretch, you find yourself stretching even further.
- Breathe slowly and deeply and pay attention to your breathing. This helps keep you to relax, stay aware of your body and helps keep you from being caught up in thoughts.
- Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. It has been found that holding a stretch for 25-35 seconds gives optimal results. Rather than count the seconds, you can time your breathing to find out how many slow, deep breaths you take in 30 seconds. Then you can time your stretches by counting your breath.
- What is important is for the muscle to experience movement and be stretched — not how far you go! If you are following stretches outlined in a book, for example, simply move in the direction of the stretch — you don’t have to move into any certain position to get the benefit of the stretch.
- Don’t bounce! You can injure yourself this way.
- Stretching should be pleasurable! If you are not enjoying the stretching, you may be trying too hard or straining to achieve a certain result. Stretching is not a competition, it’s simply an activity that benefits your body no matter what position you get into or how far you go.
According to Gauthier, it takes just 15 to 20 minutes of stretching a day to experience the beneficial effects. And while there are countless stretches out there, it takes just 15 of them to stretch 95 percent of your body.
You Needn’t Feel Overwhelmed …
Embarking on a journey toward health may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can make major life improvements in just minutes a day.
For instance, spend 15-20 minutes in the morning to stretch and increase your flexibility. Swap your normal breakfast of a doughnut and coffee with a raw smoothie made of raw eggs (from organic, safe sources), blueberries and raw milk. For a snack later on, try half an avocado with olive oil, sea salt and sliced tomato … or blend up a fresh batch of vegetable juice.
By adding healthy touches to your day in small increments like these, you can increase your well-being, your energy and likely your longevity.