Heart disease is the nation’s number one cause of death. No matter if you’re vegan or a meat eater, if you don’t get any exercise, you’re going to be at-risk later in your geriatric life, if not sooner. As we grow older, we often forget how important playtime really is, both mentally and physically. By scheduling a little time to dance, pass a ball around, or go for a walk, you will be lower your chance for heart attack or stroke tremendously.
The American Heart Association recommends to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, 75 minutes of heavy exercise. These 150 minutes are easy if you divide it up into short 30 minute sessions a few times a week, or a few 15 minute breaks to play each day.
Be Serious, But Have Fun
How you get your daily exercise is up to you. You don’t need to join a gym or play sports, some of the simplest exercises can be the most effective forms of exercise. If you live in an upstairs room or apartment, you can simply climb up and down the steps for 10-15 minute intervals, to start out.
Swimming for 30min to an hour just a few times a week is very effective, and fun! Try picking up a Nintendo Wii, if you’re looking for a fun indoor activity by yourself or with family. They won’t even know that your plan was to fight against cardiovascular diseases, unless you want to pass the healthy bug along to them.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with incorporating exercise into your daily routine, just remember that any little bit of introduced playtime will help. Good habits must be formed gradually, otherwise the rebel in us all will naturally find ways of avoiding change. Try brief spurts of activity, like getting up and doing a few jumping jacks, push-ups, and/or sit-ups in-between work. 15min breaks are perfect for getting some exercise in and increasing your energy levels to get through the day.
Benefits to Older Adults
These health recommendations can really improve the overall quality of life for those who are getting into their later years where serious health problems and diseases start to weigh heavy on the mind. If you feel like your physical health is lacking in strength, stamina, or flexibility, you should consider adding more playtime back into your life.
By working on doing moderate levels of activity at regular intervals, you will notice changes within the first week, such as: improvement in overall mood, reduced pain in joints, back, and neck, stronger sense of balance (reducing chances of injury), and of course increases in strength, making everyday tasks easier to perform.
Approach this new level of activity with a plan and don’t overexert yourself, of course. If you feel like you’re battling procrastination or de-motivational thoughts all the time, try to find someone who will join you in your mini-exercise sessions. Make a friendly game of competition out of it through the use of activity tracker apps.
It’s Christmas Office Party Season and the sense of social obligation to accept the cookies, candy and to spend the two drink tickets are upon most of us. The season is hard enough without the social pressure of appearing to be a humbug if you do not participate fully in the eating aspect of the holiday party season. Here are three quick reminders to minimize the weight gain pitfalls of these social situtaions.
- Just because it is there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. People often want to show their love with food. And many feel obligated to both accept consume all the culinary affections coming from their family and friends. While total abstinence from the treats of the season is not necessary, decide ahead of time how you will handle the inevitable gifts that are coming your way. Don’t eat everything sent your way just because you would feel it rude to do otherwise.
- Mind your alcohol. We all know that alcohol is a key factor in weight gain. Just like the candy, cupcakes, cookies and pie that will fill the next few weeks, so will drink tickets and holiday parties full of toasts and – and maybe shots? The key: don’t let your alcohol consumption become mindless. Make sure you have decided ahead of time how many drinks you are going to have. Waiting until the social situation presents itself is a sure way to drink much more than you intended.
- Don’t let the buffet have its way with you. Food is going to be available in nearly endless quantities for many people this season. And some will return to the buffet line at Christmas parties simply to have something to do in these social circumstances that are not always 100% comfortable. Again, plan ahead of time for what your limit will be when you go to parties who intend to celebrate their guests with enormous banquets.
It is a tremendously joyous time of year. Celebrate fully. Planning your limits for eating and drinking will in no way diminish your celebrations. But they will diminish regrets about going into the new year with unnecessarily gained weight.
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We believe that the current, dominate health-care system has become a sick-care system.
However, there is a very bright shining light in the current health care landscape: Naturopathic Medicine.
Naturopathic Medicine defines itself with very specific principles. Treating the root causes of illness, rather than masking their symptoms is paramount to the entire philosophy. As I am sure you have heard, there have been cultures whose doctors were to teach you how to stay healthy. Those doctors were paid when the people in their care remained healthy rather when the slipped from the state of health in to a state of disease.
The Modern Revolution wants you out of the current health care system all together. But, should you fall ill, we want you to seek out a naturopathic physician.
Naturopathic Medicine follows these natural laws:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat; Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Our Medical Director (and my wife) is Naturopathic physician Dr. Maggie Garvin. Her practice is named On Being Well. Please let me introduce you to her now:
Researchers predict that a total of two-thirds of the globe will live in urban developments by 2030. The sci-fi pictures of major metropolis hubs are starting to become reality. We just hope self-driving cars become the standard by the time we reach that realization, because I’m not sure the world can handle even more terrible drivers on even more crowded roads, but I digress. We’re here to talk about how we’re going to feed all these people that are stuck inside these cities of concrete, glass, and metal.
The only viable solution to this urban growth is urban agriculture. Thankfully, we have some brilliant minds who are hard at work to show us that we don’t need to dedicate half the planet’s land to farming just to feed the booming population, we have all the space we need on our rooftops and cityscapes.
Don’t believe it? Here’s a few places that prove urban farming is more than just a fad, it’s a way of life (and living) for their communities:
1 Food Field, Detroit, Michigan
If you need proof of concept, you don’t get any more real than Detroit, when it comes to a population that wants and needs the means to be self-sustaining and has limited resources to choose from. Food Field is a project that has transformed an abandoned elementary school lot to a fully-fledged urban farm. This is a direct reply to the corruption, abuse, and neglect the residents have received from both corporate and government entities.
Food Field provides fresh foods to community residents and local restaurants with the help from volunteers. This is an example of a community that is taking matters into their own hands to help create something better for themselves and their future. Food Field is also building up their infrastructure to help raise fresh seafood via aquaponics systems.
2 Sky Greens, Singapore
Singapore doesn’t have the luxury of having large swathes of their country dedicated to agriculture, like many countries in the West. It is because of this, that the average person only eats about 7% locally grown produce. Sky Greens is changing the way Singaporeans eat by building highly efficient, compact, and healthy vertical gardens. These vertically stacked urban farms waste no water, as it is distributed evenly throughout each layer of produce.
Sky Greens is able to produce 5-10x the amount of produce, per-capita of land, while using less water and less energy. This is obviously one of the most promising solutions to urban farming for the future, producing healthier and accessible food for everyone.
3 The Delaney Community Farm, Denver, CO
This small farm allows everyone the opportunity to access fresh produce, no matter what their income or social status. They supply produce for approx. 500 families via Community Service programs and Federal cooperation for WIC families to obtain fresh food in exchange for just an hour of work every week. This farm acts as a valuable resource to the community, not only with the food they harvest, but also with their teachings of how to farm and cook healthy at home.
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How Restaurants are using Urban Farming to Improve their Menus
If you’ve only heard about urban farming in the context of growing herbs on window sills or inside apartment at home, you might be surprised to find that many restaurants in the big cities are turning to urban farming solutions to source the freshest ingredients for their dishes. Whether these farms are literally on the tops of their roofs or in nearby vacant lots, urban farming is a growing trend that is allowing chefs to obtain the freshest produce, while reducing their costs.
Reconnecting with Food
All restaurants can stand to benefit from urban farming. By growing their own or sourcing from a local urban farm, they can actually save a ton of money in the long-term. That’s because the associated costs with purchasing produce from out of town and paying for the shipping costs much more than the start-up costs of growing it in-house. Not only that, the ingredients that you can locally source will be the freshest possible and of a higher quality.
Restaurants can market this local garden freshness as a healthier experience (because it is), thereby increasing revenues and customer traffic. There are other hidden benefits to growing an urban farm for restaurants too, like reducing the amount of waste because you only harvest what you need.
For some real examples of urban farming restaurants in the big cities, check out these locations:
Windy City Frontera Grill
Chicago is big on urban farming. There are a number of restaurants that are taking advantage of the rooftop real estate for urban agriculture. One of the most prominent restaurants doing this is the Frontera Grill. The owner, Rick Bayless, uses EarthBoxes to grow nearly all the vegetables needed to make the restaurant’s salsa dishes. Nearly 1,000 lbs of tomatoes and peppers, to be exact.
O’Hare Urban Garden
We take a look at another place in Chicago that is leading the way for urban farming, right in the middle of the great O’Hare airport. This is a fully-fledged aeroponic garden, growing large amounts of vegetables and herbs for the nearby restaurants every day. This is the first of its kind in the world, towers of produce growing the ingredients that will end up on your plate at either the Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi, Blackhawks Restaurant and Tuscany.
Bell, Book & Candle
The Big Apple is another city with lots of activity on the urban farming front. From community gardens to rooftop agriculture, you’ll find plenty of projects underway. The Bell, Book, & Candle also takes interest in the aeroponics solution that O’Hare uses, incorporating 60 of them on their roof. It works perfectly for their restaurant’s needs. They can grow over 60% of their produce and herbs without needing to rely on a full-time farmer or sourcing outside to save on costs.
The technology is ripe for the picking. Urban farms are highly efficient and fool-proof ways of growing your own produce without needing to have a green thumb. Chefs can focus on their craft, rather than learning how to grow the hard way, saving them precious time and money, while increasing the quality of their dishes.