Happiness is the highest from of health

Cocaine Treatment

In addition to detoxification, behavioral therapy is one of the most effective approaches to treatment for cocaine addiction. You can find these programs through cocaine rehab centers, community groups, hospitals, and therapy groups. One support group that is commonly used is Narcotics Anonymous, which is a 12-step program. Depending on how strong your addiction is some treatments for cocaine can be done in out-patient drug rehab centers but many seek in-patient rehab centers so they will have professional help during the withdrawal phase.

Another type of therapy that is helpful with cocaine treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps to change your way of thinking and behavior around cocaine and other forms of drugs. This therapy can also help to decrease your cravings during the withdrawal from cocaine. During treatment they may also use motivational therapy (MT) to help you create a negative view of cocaine addiction. It also will encourage you to make changes in your behavior.

When a person has a cocaine addiction they may also have underlying mental issues that can be treated as they are being weaned off cocaine. Some of these issues can include anxiety disorders, depressions that could lead to suicide, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and antisocial personality disorder. These can be treated with prescription medications and monitored by the physician. When seeking treatment the physician will screen you for any of these mental issues.

Reduce Sodium In The Diet

Sodium is a component of the common salt that we consume in foods. Salt is a chemical compound made up of 40 % of sodium and 60% of chloride and is by far the biggest dietary contributor of sodium. Different varieties of salt are available but the composition of the salt remains the same. One teaspoon of salt contains 2300 milligrams of sodium. However, it is also naturally found in many foods – although in much lesser amounts than the foods in which salt is added. Today, then processed and packaged foods are largely the contributors of the high sodium levels in the diet.

The American Heart Association recommends not more than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day (1 teaspoon of salt). However, the ideal limit as per them is no more than 1500 milligrams per day. Most of us eat more than the recommended limit. Keeping the intake of sodium within recommended levels is a part of a balanced and healthy eating diet.

When there is more sodium than required by the body, the kidneys flush the excess by making more urine. When kidneys are not able to flush out the excess sodium it accumulates in fluid in between the cells. Sodium pulls extra water and increases the volume of the fluid and blood. As the blood volume increases the heart has to work harder and also puts a pressure on the blood vessels. Over a period of time this can stiffen the blood vessels leading to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attack, stroke or heart failure. High blood pressure can also damage the kidneys leading to kidney failure over a period of time.

Hypertension has become a lifestyle disease today. One in three adult Indians suffers from hypertension today. And what’s more – even children can develop it. A sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity coupled with unhealthy eating patterns are major contributors for hypertension. Most people today are unaware that they suffer from hypertension (a repeatedly elevated blood pressure 130/80 mm of Hg).

To watch your sodium intake here are a few tips to follow:

  • Avoid processed and packaged foods: Canned, processed, and frozen foods contain high amount of sodium in them. Avoid sauces, pickles, mayonnaise, ready to eat soups, canned vegetables, processed cheese and breads as these foods contain hidden sodium in them. Buy unsalted nuts or seeds. Compare the nutritional labels of the product you are buying with low sodium content per serving. If a nutritional label says sodium free, light sodium, low sodium or reduced sodium it means the following: a sodium free food should contain less than 5 milligrams sodium per serving, light means 50 percent less sodium than the regular version, reduced sodium means 25 percent less sodium than the regular version. Hence, make it a habit to read the nutritional labels when purchasing the food to avoid the high sodium intake consequences.
  • Cooking: While preparing or cooking the food use onions, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, spices, vinegar in place of extra salt to enhance the taste of food. Avoid usage of salt while cooking rice, rotis, parathas, pasta etc. Grilling, sautéing, and roasting cooking techniques bring out the natural flavor of the food and hence will reduce the need to add salt. Incorporating potassium rich foods like bananas, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes and sweet potatoes, white beans, will help to reduce the effect of sodium and also help in reducing the blood pressure.
  • Be mindful of what you order at restaurants: At restaurants ask if the dishes you are ordering can be made using minimum salt. Request for a salad with the dressing on the side as the dressings contain high sodium content. Avoid foods that contain soy sauce, ketchup, mustard etc. Do not add extra salt to the dish you have ordered. While eating pizza opt for less cheese, pepperoni or barbeque sauce, etc. Eat pasta with red sauce and vegetables instead of creamy cheese, bacon or sausage. In sandwiches, avoid the filling with cheese, bacon, ham, mayonnaise etc. Go for vegetable and avocado based fillings. Avoid eating Chinese meals as they contain lot of sodium in them.
  • Concentrate on fruits and vegetables: Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables as they are very low in sodium. Avoid canned or frozen fruits and vegetables. Before buying the canned variety look for no salt added version or reduced salt version.
  • Use the sodium allowance wisely: Instead of spending your sodium allowance on salty snacks and heavily processed foods, use small amounts of salt to enhance the flavor of foods like whole grains, legumes, and other healthy ingredients.

About Flatulence

Gas is formed when certain foods reach the large intestine without being completely and adequately digested. Once they arrive there bacteria go to work to digest them and in the process produce gas. This is a normal occurrence and in most cases intestinal gas is not a sign of an illness or disease. Today we eat more high fiber foods than our grandparents. Fruits and vegetables can be a source of intestinal gas, especially in people not used to eating a lot of them, or in the case of fructose intolerance.

The major cause of occasional excess gas is gas-producing foods. Most people are aware that beans are a major suspect, but there are other foods that will put you are risk including: apricots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, and mangoes.

Obviously, the first step in reducing flatulence is to avoid the foods that cause this problem for you. Keep in mind that people react differently to different foods.

Some people have found that corn, oats and any wheat-containing product give them gas. (I talk about food allergies in another article).

Many people are unaware that dairy products are causing their gas. In fact lactose intolerance is probably the major cause of bloating and excessive gas. It seem this author that complete avoidance of dairy products is the smartest solution.

There is a simple home test for lactose intolerance. Avoid ALL dairy and cheese products for ten days to see if your symptoms are alleviated. Then have some, if the gas and bloating returns you have your answer and you didn’t have to pay for any expensive blood tests. Acidophilus is often helpful for many people. The best acidophilus is the kind that needs to be refrigerated, so don’t fall for those cheap pills they sell in the chain drug stores.

Don’t fret there are cheddar cheeses that are lactose free. They are usually aged for two or more years. These hard cheeses should say lactose free on the label. I think the lactase-the sugar found in milk-is the culprit is broken down over time to become lactic acid.

If you are a person who swallows a lot of air you most likely are a person who also chews gum or a smoker. In addition, drinking carbonated beverages will add excess air into your system and thus promoting flatulence.

If you have chronic gas it is possible that you are suffering from something other than a simple case of flatulence. Check out articles on the following conditions: Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Avoid activated charcoal tablets for several reasons. While activated charcoal tablets are effective for absorbing gas, they do however interfere with the absorption of any medication taken within two to three hours. This includes any prescription medications like the birth control pill, hormones, antibiotics and vitamin supplements. Those medications need to be effective.

Children and Mental Health

  • Air pollution: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the world’s greatest environmental health risk, linked to one in eight of the total global deaths. But when it comes to air pollution, people generally connect it to respiratory problems, like coughing, wheezing, asthma, etc. A 2016 study by the Umeå University in Sweden revealed that there is a strong link between polluted air and the rise in kids’ mental health problems. In fact, they found that the children who stayed in highly polluted areas were most likely to take prescribed medications associated with long-term mental problems.
  • Weather worries: Worrying constantly about weather can cause mental problems, like phobia and stress. According to Stephen Whiteside, a psychologist and anxiety prevention expert at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, being anxious due to severe weather conditions is normal. However, some children develop storm phobias that affect their day-to-day lives. He added that constantly worrying about the weather makes it difficult for such kids to concentrate in schools. Moreover, there have been instances when children routinely check the weather forecasts and are afraid to leave the house.
  • Spanking: Spanking is seen as a common method to discipline a child. However, a 2016 study by the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan confirmed that spanking might increase the risks of mental health disorders, cognitive impairment, aggression and anti-social behavior in children. Spanking, in fact, might cause long-term mental problems that greatly overshadow the short-term behavioral obedience.
  • Threatening parents: Parents who yell and threaten their children can trigger depression and other disruptive disorders in them. A 2010 study done by Bowling Green State University, Ohio, revealed that verbal hostility can put the children at greater risks of developing mental problems. As Peggy O’Mara, renowned editor and publisher said, “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
  • Cyberbullying: Physical bullying definitely causes a negative effect on a child’s mind. But with more time spent on social media, children now become victims of cyberbullying too. The Huffington Post website states that since cyberbullying takes place in a virtual space without any physical contact, the agony experienced by a child can be double than normal. Since the child is powerless to take any real-time measures to stop such a harassment, he/she feels more tormented and mentally distressed.

Essential Foods for Runners

Cherries

Cherries are rich in a type of antioxidant known as anthocyanins. Antioxidants are useful for a variety of reasons, such as slowing the growth of cancerous tumors and maintaining healthy blood vessels. Plus, they are great to give a boost to athletic performance. For the athlete, a regular glass of cherry juice can help to reduce muscle soreness and the amount of strength loss.

Kale

Kale is one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables, as well as containing high levels of calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and K. Plus, it contains useful anti-inflammatory properties. Adding kale to the diet can help to minimize issues with muscle damage related to daily exercise. Other anti-inflammatory foods that are useful for the runner include tomatoes, spinach, tuna, sardines, blueberries and strawberries.

Bananas

Bananas are a great pre-race or workout food for runners. It is rich in carbohydrates. A single large banana has no fat, 1 gram of protein, and 30 grams of carbohydrate. Plus, it is a useful source of potassium which is easily lost at the time of exercise through sweat. This light and soft fruit is easy to eat even when experiencing issues with pre-race nerves.

Oatmeal

Runners are best prepared for physical activity when at least 60% of their daily intake is sourced from carbohydrates. This helps to maximize the body’s ability to perform. A simple way to start the carbohydrate intake is with breakfast. A high-carb breakfast option is oatmeal, which has nearly 26 grams per serving. Plus, oatmeal is a low-glycemic index food and rich in fiber to give long-lasting energy.

Spotlight on Kidney

Your kidneys are two fist sized organs located in your lower back. Although we are generally born with two kidneys, you only need one functioning kidney to live a normal, healthy life.

Kidneys work hard to keep your body healthy and their remarkable functions include:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood daily
  • Regulating the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing drugs from the body
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D
  • Controlling production of red blood cells.

Kidney disease means that the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood they way they should. Main causes of kidney disease include: high blood pressure, diabetes, recurrent kidney infections that may have caused scarring, inherited diseases, overuse of over-the-counter pain medications, illegal drug use and traumatic injury. Symptoms of kidney disease may not be detectable until the disease has progressed. Symptoms may include: swelling of the face or ankles, changes in urine frequency or color, foamy urine, nausea, vomiting, changes in taste, numbness of fingers or toes, and fatigue or exhaustion. Caught early, treatment of kidney disease is very effective. But kidney disease is a progressive disease, meaning the damage can’t be undone.

If you have kidney disease, diet changes will play a big role in maintaining your health. You may need to watch your protein intake, as too much protein can cause waste to buildup in your blood, making it harder for the kidneys to remove. Watching your sodium intake is important to help control your blood pressure and limit fluid buildup. Too little or too much potassium can be dangerous; the amount you need depends on how well your kidneys are functioning and what medications you are on. As kidney function decreases, you may need to watch your phosphorus and calcium intake. Extra phosphorus can build up and result in weak bones. You may also need to restrict your fluids. All of these specific nutrition needs can be calculated for you by a Registered Dietitian. In addition to diet changes, you will be treated with medications.

Should your kidney function continue to decline, you may need dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a machine to help filter and cleanse your blood. If you a candidate, you might be eligible for a kidney transplant, either from a living donor or from a recently deceased donor. The current waiting list for kidney transplants is about 3.5 years.

Prevention is the best cure for kidney disease, so follow these tips for healthy kidneys:

  • Stay hydrated. Kidneys need hydration to work properly as they filter out waste through your urine.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Eat foods high in antioxidants to promote kidney health. Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, including red bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, and berries.
  • Lower your sodium intake. Too much sodium can increase high blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys.
  • Control your blood glucose. Diabetes is a major contributor to kidney disease because it damages blood vessels in the body that prevent the kidneys from working properly.
  • Live a healthy life. Don’t smoke, get plenty of exercise, maintain a healthy weight, use alcohol in moderation, and avoid illegal drugs.

Ways To Build Strong Bones

Avoid foods that cause osteoporosis

  • Gluten. For those who have an autoimmune disease or have a gluten sensitivity, gluten is the major contributor to bone loss. Therefore, if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you should be screened for gluten sensitivity. Cyrex Labs Array 3 is a blood test that can accurately identify gluten sensitivity.
  • Canned soda. The high phosphorus content in canned soda leads to the removal of calcium from the body.
  • Alcohol. Excessive alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium and the production of vitamin D, a vitamin essential for calcium absorption. Chronic heavy drinking also leads to hormone deficiencies. In men, it lowers testosterone and in women, estrogen.
  • High-sodium processed foods. Salt causes excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys.
  • Coffee. Over consumption of caffeine leaches calcium from the bones. Limit to two cups a day if you already have osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Eat plenty of foods that build strong bones

Most people believe that drinking more milk will help build strong bones. Unfortunately, long-term scientific studies have not been able to back up this theory. In fact, they found that countries with the highest milk consumption, including America, also have the highest rate of osteoporosis!

One of the reasons may be because the milk we consume these days is pasteurized and homogenized. These processes alter the milk’s natural chemistry and make it much harder to digest and absorb the nutrients.

Another reason is that besides calcium, there are other nutrients that are needed for building bone, like boron, chromium, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silicone, and strontium. Merely consuming high amounts of calcium from milk will not contribute to strong bones.

So what kind of foods will give you the whole gamut of nutrients for making strong bones? The following are some that are particularly beneficial –

  • Vegetables
  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • collard greens
  • green beans
  • kale
  • okra
  • spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • tomatoes
  • turnips
  • watercress
  • Fruits
  • apricots
  • coconut
  • currants
  • figs
  • orange
  • Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which impede the digestion of vitamins and minerals. To overcome this, soak the raw nuts and seeds in warm, filtered water for up to 12 hours, depending on the type. Keep the bowl at room temperature and cover with a kitchen towel. Drain and rinse afterwards. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • almonds (soak for 8-12 hours)
  • Brazil nuts (3 hours)
  • hazelnuts (8-12 hours)
  • sesame seeds (8 hours)
  • walnuts (4 hours)
  • Fish
  • canned Alaskan salmon with bones
  • canned sardines with bones
  • wild caught fish
  • Bone broth
  • made from organic, pastured-raised chicken, beef, bison, pork, veal, or wild caught fish bones
  • Others
  • bee pollen/propolis/royal jelly
  • cacao, raw
  • chlorella
  • Goji berries
  • seaweed such as agar, dulse, nori, kelp, kombu, or wakame

3. Make sure you get enough vitamin D and vitamin K2

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium whereas vitamin K2 prevents calcium from being deposited into the wrong places. For example, it keeps it out of the kidneys where it would cause kidney stones, and out of blood vessels where it would cause heart disease. K2 makes sure calcium gets into all the right places – the bones and teeth – and lowers risk of fractures and cavities.

Vitamin D is made by our skin when exposed to sunlight. Most people do not get enough vitamin D through the diet – mainly oily fish, liver, eggs, and red meat. Therefore, if you do not spend much time outdoors or are concerned about skin cancer, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement instead. Most people need about 5,000 I.U. a day to reach the optimal level of 50-80 ng/ml in the blood.

  • Food sources of vitamin K2 –
  • Fermented foods
  • natto, Japanese fermented soybeans
  • sauerkraut
  • kefir, fermented raw milk
  • Animal foods
  • butter from grass-fed cows
  • cheese, hard and soft
  • dark chicken meat from pasture-raised chickens
  • egg yolk, from pasture-raised chickens
  • fish eggs
  • organ meats from pasture-raised animals

Engage in weight-bearing and muscle-training exercises

Weight-bearing exercises are activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. They help build bones and keep them strong. Examples include:

  • dancing
  • doing aerobics, both high and low impact
  • walking, jogging, or running on a treadmill or outside
  • jumping rope
  • climbing stairs or using a stair-step machine
  • using an elliptical machine

Muscle-training or resistance exercises are activities where you move your body, a weight, or some other resistance against gravity. Examples include:

  • lifting weights
  • using elastic exercise bands
  • using your own body weight, such as push-ups and chin-ups
  • doing functional movements, such as squats, which train the muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks.

Vibration therapy involves standing on a mechanic vibrating plate such as the Power Plate. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body. It causes the muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second with the aim of increasing circulation, muscle strength, and flexibility. Recent studies found that doing it for 10-20 minutes a day may help prevent and regain bone loss.

Yoga

Like weight training, yoga works by stressing the bone. When bone cells get stimulated through being compressed, twisted, or elongated, they produce more bone mass to resist the pressure, resulting in stronger bones. Yoga also helps to improve balance, muscular strength, range of motion, and coordination.

Pilates

Pilates is an exercise technique that conditions the entire body by strengthening the muscles in the stomach and the back, referred to as the “core”. Studies show that pilates helps build bone density, increase muscle strength, improve balance, flexibility, and posture.

If you already have osteoporosis or have had bone fractures, please consult with your doctor before engaging in any forms of exercise. Some movements may not be appropriate for your particular condition.

Consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Bioidentical hormones are not synthetic hormones. They are exactly the same, down to the last atom, as those produced by our bodies. Hence, bioidentical hormones have been shown to have a much safer profile than the synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) drugs like Premarin, Prempro, and Provera, which elevate women’s risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and atherosclerosis (artery hardening).

BHRT for women usually combines estrogen as well as progesterone. It is, without doubt, a valid and viable option for protecting against osteoporotic fractures.

For men, testosterone replacement therapy is used for bone loss or osteoporosis. There have been concerns that there may be an increased risk of prostate cancer. However, multiple studies over the last 20 years have concluded that testosterone replacement therapy does not increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer.

If you are considering BHRT for osteoporosis, consult with a doctor who is knowledgeable and experienced with using bioidentical hormones. Therapy should be individualized and tailored to the specific needs and risk of the person.

Mental Health Industry Needs to Overcome Stigma

I was learning to chop cheese steaks at a Korean owned deli and instantly enamored with this mentor on the grill, Mister Ray Gee. The deli was located just across the river from downtown Philadelphia, in the North Camden ghetto. This Mister Ray and I were just meeting. We were both the same skin-and-bones size, our last names went together in rhyme, and any middle aged man who didn’t have a gut was an inspiration to me.

Mister Ray took one look at me and exclaimed in one breath, “Wow you are like Nervous Norton! But don’t worry, it’s not your fault! You were just raised that way!”

Without missing a breath, our supervisor, a short and stout man who we called Doc set me to work scraping grease off the floor with a razor blade. I dove into the work very comfortable with what had just occurred. I felt a little charge with the challenge. On my knees I scraped and scraped to overcompensate.

I immediately found myself thinking about how when I returned to school from four months of incarceration in two different mental health hospitals, I had only scoffed when my peers, the majority of whom had previously bullied me, welcomed me back with a little gift certificate. I had reasoned that it wasn’t all that unusual of a gesture for peers at a private Quaker school to extend. I had only been humiliated. I had to acknowledge that it was nervous behavior.

I thought even more about the sessions the family had in Salvador Minuchin’s reputable inpatient clinic. One day in session, my Mom openly admitted that she shared the content of a session back to a work colleague. My Mom worked at the school I attended. She later gave me evidence that my private information was filtering down to the jury of my peers who were sorry and praying for her. When I returned to school much of this would appear to be confirmed. Worse no therapist on the hospital staff seemed to acknowledge my perspective.

On my knees, I sensed Mister Ray was intuiting aspects of these complexities with his test. If I was willing to pass his test, he was giving me a chance to learn something new.

In the yearbook back at Quaker school, my peers lied about the local commuter school I chose to attend. They said that I went to the high cost prestige of Antioch University in Ohio. I was an honor student and I was making them all look bad when I moved to the ghetto with a twenty-five-year-old girlfriend and save my parents money. Communication in my family about finances is such that I still don’t know if I really had a choice.

A few months later, I got my second point of wisdom from Mister Ray. By this time I had learned to use the grill from him. I had heard about his sexual exploits with white girls without judgment. I had aptly proven that outside work I was just a book worm in the library, but could curse. And though it was true that by that time he knew I lived with roaches to escape from an abusive relationship, I think what really earned me respect was my willingness to let him con me into driving him uptown after work to cop.

In any case, he decided to help me. He said, “Boy, you have got to work smarter, not harder.” It became a mantra along with his nickname for me, Nervous Norton.

Again, I felt profoundly understood. It wasn’t that I marveled because I didn’t expect anything from him. We had fallen into a pattern of respect. With few words and resilience of spirit he inspired a spiritual healing within.

As a man with significant learning disabilities, I couldn’t afford to immediately practice Mister Ray’s second lesson. When I would be a graduate and fledgling social worker I would have a habit of positioning myself beneath supervisors as I worked my way through a Master’s Program and carrying out their will.

This worked fine until I graduated and got hired by a supervisor who also sustained a cocaine habit in a west coast city. I became radicalized and started breaking standard drug war codes of behavior in a section 8 housing project. This caused me to believe that I was being followed. I ended up incarcerated in an old order state hospital. It took two and a half years of poverty, but I eventually would recover. In order to recover I would need to learn how to do things like honor my mother in spite of those perceptions I had back in high school.I would need to accept stigma and find ways to do battle with it.

It wasn’t till six years after I recouped my career that I actually started to use Mister Ray’s well remembered advice. I started running groups about surviving “psychosis” using my own experience. I started my own personal practice of keeping in real in therapy.

Perhaps it was unique privilege to be taught points of wisdom by Mister Ray. They continue to help me see through the lies and shortcomings that currently limit our mental health field, evidence based practice and the medical model. I even see through elements of cultural bias in some anti-establishment rhetoric.

Sadly, Ray and Doc had only lasted a few seasons before they both quit because of becoming disgruntled with the Korean mobster management and oppression. I certainly didn’t blame them even though I ended up losing touch. At the Deli, stale cereal sold for seven dollars a box and there were no supermarkets within a ten mile radius. Neighborhood contacts reported that Doc, who had used unacknowledged expertise to diversify the menu, had a subsequent binge on crack.

I ended up partnering with a similarly aged cohort from the neighborhood because I did need the money. My partner and I ended up mentoring youth beneath us. They had a choice, I would learn, between working with us under the table, and working to sell crack under the bridge. Some didn’t have longevity, but several did. For several years they were my family and social life.

Though I am well aware that not all academic and administrative folks need a lecture about mainstream paradigms, now that I am advocating for the development of an out of the box program in an utterly oppressive system, I find many who do. I believe we can train individuals who have experienced “psychosis” and are on the streets to run support groups. I have helped prove this could be done, but not everyone wants to listen.

At work as a psychotherapist in an inner-city program, I do therapy with good Mister Ray people who have more beauty in their hearts and suffering in their bones than me, but who are rendered immobile and impoverished. I believe a lot less harm could be done. I believe solutions exist that can transform the system from being a cotton industry to a soil saving industry of mixed nuts. It’s just that no one wants to listen.

I think of Mister Ray’s mentor-ship and what it must have been like him to observe an upwardly mobile, eager to work, perfectionist, anorexic white boy and decide in spite of my disgust, to support him. I figure it is something like making friends with a person who defends those stale seven dollar boxes of cereal paradigms that fail people.

Overcoming Gym Anxiety

However, one must remember that they are not alone and that gym anxiety plagues millions of people across the globe. One grapples with gym anxiety when one is not confident about their looks and unsure about how to use a particular gym equipment. Nevertheless, there are ways to combat this issue. Some of these are:

  1. Taking a group fitness class – Taking a group fitness class can greatly alleviate the anxiety one has in the initial few days of joining a gym. It can be comforting to know that everyone around is new and that everyone is getting to know each other. The friendliness that pervades such classes can easily take the stress out of the situation.
  2. Focusing on your workout – When one is focused on their workout, they are least bothered by what others think about them. One must focus on achieving something every day, no matter how small a milestone is. If one is in need of better focus, one might plug in their headphones and listen to their favorite playlist.
  3. Talking to the fitness instructor – Instead of missing out on exercises, wondering how to do them or shirking from using an exercise machine because of lack of knowledge, it is better to talk to the fitness instructor. These professionals would be more than willing to extend help. Therefore, do not shy away from asking them in case of a doubt.
  4. Avoiding going solo – Instead of marching up the driveway of a gym solo, one can make an entry with a friend or a companion. This can greatly boost one’s morale and alleviate the stress of joining a gym alone. Further, the thought of spending some quality time with the friend would keep one motivated and ensure that they attend the gym regularly. Setting fitness goals would also help.
  5. Exercising or not during peak hours – Peak hours may get quite stressful due to the rush. Therefore, one must avoid that time to derive maximum benefit of visiting a gym. Schedule your gym visit in the wee hours of the morning, late afternoon, or late evening to avoid the rush hour and exercise at your will and time. On the other hand, visiting a gym during peak hours can be helpful if someone wants to learn about how different people use different equipment.

Ways Yoga Works For Weight Loss

The Mind Body Connection

Yoga, unlike other workouts, includes breathing as a focal point and complete integration of mindfulness with physical movement.

  • This practice of mindfulness does not go away when you leave the yoga mat, with regular practice it stays with you and effects all parts of your life.
  • This intense focus makes you pay better attention to your body, and that includes what you eat and in general yields a high level of body awareness.
  • The mind is really what controls everything we do, and yoga can help in this way to change negative behaviors.

It can help you to decipher boredom from real hunger, alleviate emotional overeating and binge eating as well. Yoga makes you pay attention and think in a whole new way.

A study that was published in the Journal of Qualitative Health Research showed that women’s binging was reduced after practicing yoga for only 12 weeks. This was achieved through the development of present-moment awareness, which, resulted in them eating less.

  • Also, since yoga promotes relaxation and greatly decreases stress and anxiety it can go a long way to curbing overeating and emotional eating.

Encouraging Exercises

  • – Yoga relieves aches and pain, which can encourage people to do other types of workouts.
  • – For those that dread the high intensity cardio, like running, walking or bikes, yoga is a completely different experience that is non-impact and can get those who never move to do so, at their own pace, and moving of any type is better than none at all.
  • – Yoga is also the ideal starter workout for those that have been stationary for their entire lives, or have had little exposure to exercise.

Loosening Muscles And Increasing Range Of Motion

Other great benefits include that it loosens the muscles, and improves flexibility and range of motion. This is important for the overweight who are often in need of this from lack of exercise and can also aid in correcting poor posture that comes from being overweight.

Belly Fat Reduction

Belly fat is the most dangerous of all fats, and is known to be exasperated by rising Cortisol levels in the body.

Yoga has been proven to reduce Cortisol, and consequently can help with belly fat prevention and reduction. This is especially true for women over 40 that battle with belly fat.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health evaluated women who performed restorative yoga, which is a type where poses are held for long periods and found that they lost 2% more body fat as compared to women who simply stretched.

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative Medicine reported that men who engaged in yoga daily breathing exercises lost about 4 pounds in just 10 days.

Muscle Toning

Yoga also works to tone the butt, arms, back, legs, and other muscles, so, if you engage in a weight loss regimen it can help those muscles pop as the body fat melts away.