HIIT workouts, what is it?

HIIT means: High Intensity Interval Training and is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. High intensity can be considered anything over an effort level of 7 out of 10. When using max heart rate (MHR) as a guide, high intensity can be considered exercising above 80% of MHR. Modes of HIIT can include outdoor activities such as running, cycling, or using gym equipment like treadmills, elliptical rowers, stair-climbers or stationary bikes. HIIT training calls for challenging work-rates such as sprints (whether on a bicycle or running) for short time frames lasting from thirty seconds to two minutes.

Ideally it will be 1 minute of work to every 2 to 3 minutes of active recovery. Staying active during the recovery period allows the muscles to remove the metabolic waste and produce more energy for the next bout of high intensity exercise. For example: running 400 meters then sprinting 200meters and so on. usually they are short workouts, so you won’t be at the gym or training outside for hours, which is awesome for busy people. Sometimes the workouts can have a small resting period of 10-15 seconds between exercises and then the 2-3 minutes active recovery before starting the next set.

One of the many benefits of HIIT is benefit has to do with heart health. Intervals can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller time investment compared to continuous forms of exercise. 

Here one for you to start:

Mountain climbers 45 seconds

15 seconds rest

Burpees 45 seconds

15 seconds rest

Jumping squats 45 seconds

15 seconds rest

High Knees 45 seconds

15 seconds rest

Push ups 45 seconds

15 seconds rest

Plank 1 minute

-Active recovery 2 minutes (walk, bike, jog…) Repeat 3-4 times Drink Water!

Pic: Li Sun, pexels

PCOS

Policystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a  endocrine (hormonal) disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome isn’t well understood, but may involve a combination of genetic, nutrition and environmental factors. Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity. It has been link with diabetes as well. The prevalence of insulin resistance and insulin secretory defects, menstrual dysfunction, and androgen excess is high in patients with PCOS. The irregular metabolic and hormonal status of women with PCOS may increase their risk of some cancer types, unfortunately, like endometrial, ovarian, and still some research need to be done about breast cancer.  It doesn’t mean that if you have one will have the other. Although research has not found a direct link between PCOS and breast cancer, research has found a link between diabetes and breast cancer. PCOS predisposes women to major medical conditions. PCOS is a fairly common problem in many  women and it has been shown that can deteriorate your health in other aspects not only hormonal. Obesity, diabetes, hormonal irregularity, and infertility are some  risk factors to developing breast cancer  and  PCOS may cause these risk factors to develop.Diet is an important factor in reversing or preventing PCOS. Some nutrient deficiencies like Vitamins B, Zinc among others or high amounts of estrogen (Soy is a phytoestrogen beware), not consuming high nutrient foods (lots of veggies, god quality meats and fats…), not drinking enough water and exercising, lack of sleep (can alter Cortisol levels…) , too much sugar…Check with your health care provider if you think you have PCOS, in the meantime please take care of yourself, small changes like less sugar, more variety in food can help… eat right, rest, move!

More info:www.mayoclinic.org

http://www.webmd.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

http://www.ubcf.org

http://www.sciencedirect.com

Pic: Jannes Jacobs, Unsplash

Original post:www.brifit.com

Immunology

I will write a very basic post to understand Immunology, however I barely am providing any info about this important topic.

Immunology is the study of the immune system. The immune system are like our own army of soldiers, it protects us from infection through various lines of defense. If the immune system is not functioning adequately, it can result in disease, such as autoimmunity, infections, allergy, cancer… Its origin is attributed to Edward Jenner who discovered in 1796 that cowpox, induced protection against human smallpox, an often fatal disease.  He called this: vaccination. Others also began studying diseases and immune system more. In the 1880s, Louis Pasteur devised a vaccine against cholera in chickens, and developed a rabies vaccine that proved a spectacular success upon its first trial in a boy bitten by a rabid dog.

We have 2 lines of defense:

Innate immunity: which is the first line of defense and is non-specific. That is, the responses are the same for all potential pathogens, no matter how different they may be. Innate immunity includes physical barriers (e.g. skin, saliva etc) and cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, mast cells etc). These components ‘are ready to go’ and protect an organism for the first few days of infection.

Adaptive immunity: is the second line of defense which involves building up memory of encountered infections, so your body can be stronger in case of another “attack”. Adaptive immunity involves antibodies, which generally target foreign pathogens roaming free in the bloodstream. Also involved are T cells, which are directed especially towards pathogens that have colonised cells and can directly kill infected cells or help control the antibody response.

There is a great deal of synergy between the adaptive immune system and its innate counterpart, and defects in either system can lead to immunopathological disorders, including autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies and hypersensitivity reactions. 

Nowadays, as we are seeing with COVID-19, technology and increased travel ability have resulted in the increased mobility of diseases that would normally be isolated in one area. That is one of the many reasons why it is so important to understand our immune system and pathogens that can affect us. The immune system’s job is to help identify and eliminate dangerous germs that enter the body before they can cause disease or damage. Part of having a healthy immune system is having a healthy diet, been active, take care of your body (relax, chiropractic, massage, relieve stress…) etc Just having a vaccine don’t save you from getting sick, take control of your health.

http://www.immunology.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10779/

https://aacijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1710-1492-7-S1-S1

Pic: Retha Ferguson. pexels.com

Immune Boosting Supplements

Our immune system protects us from harmful agents like bad bacteria, parasites and viruses. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies a variety of threats, distinguishes them from the body’s own healthy tissue and fights them! More complicated than that but you get it. However due to our lifestyles, environmental exposures, virus mutation etc sometimes our immune system needs a little help. Fortunately there are several foods and supplements that can help with that.

Oregano oil: it is a natural antibiotic and antifungal. It also improves your respiratory function. Look for quality Oregano oil, like the one from Kion: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-oregano-oil/

Vitamin C: excellent to boost your immune system. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet could help decrease symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory infections. A good supplement (you might need your doctor to supply it for you) is from Biogenetix :https://shop.biogenetix.com/products/biog-max-c-w-r-lipoic-acid

Vitamin D: important for the function of immune cells in the body, and a deficiency in this can actually increase the risk of infection. No bueno! A good supplement is from Xymogen (you might also need your doctor to supply it) https://www.xymogen.com/formulas/products/43

Zinc: it improves immunity, studies says that it can reduce the incidence and improve the outcome of serious conditions like pneumonia. A good  supplement is the Zinc from Pure formulas. https://www.pureformulas.com

Elderberry: used for treating flu, is rich in health-promoting polyphenols. It is said to be one of the best immune boosters. I actually like the flavor haha! I like the Sambucol, Black Elderberry Syrup, Sugar Free Formula. You cna find them in most natural supplement stores and even regular supermarkets like Kroger, King Soopers, Sprouts etc

Colustrum: the immune benefits of it are mostly due to its high concentration of the antibodies IgA and IgG (fight viruses and bacteria) It is also good for healing injuries, repairing nervous system damage, improving mood and sense of well-being, slowing and reversing aging. Nice! A good supplement is the Colustrum from Kion: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-colostrum/

Probiotics: promote production of antibodies, promote the good gut bacteria, inhibit growth of harmful bacteria, overall boost of immune system. Check the one from Dr Axe: https://store.draxe.com/products/sbo-probiotic

There are many other supplements that can help boosting your immune system. Remember to have a healthy lifestyle, balance in your diet and life. Take control of your health.

Pic: Anshu A, Unsplash

Breast Cancer and Obesity

My grandmother would have been 82 years old this week, but sadly in 1985 she passed away due to breast cancer and I honestly don’t remember her, I wish I did (everyone talks so nice about her) I was a toddler when she passed away, but for what I see in pictures she was a little overweight. Not everyone of course, but it seems that people that are obese have higher risk of developing some types of cancer.

Nowadays we have more testing, awareness, treatments that have been utilize to fight and/or prevent cancer overall. However cancer still growing in the population at an alarming rate. According to the US Breast Cancer Statitstics, “About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 48,530 new cases of non-invasive.” When I was a kid I thought cancer was like an “adult disease “, we all know that is not the case. In the last couple of years, I have seen more and more young women (and men) been diagnosed with it. The toxins we are exposed everyday, hormones in food, lifestyle, genes among others can contribute to breast cancer. There are some factor we can’t control but others we can. It is not a 100% guarantee but one thing we can do is trying to have a healthier diet. Eating more organic foods, avoid processed, GMO, added hormones and preservatives. Have variety of nutrient dense food. Vegetables, good quality meats, fruits, nuts, less sugar (cancer cells love sugar!).

Studies have shown that overweight women have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Being overweight also can increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who’ve been diagnosed with the disease. Scientists from a recent research from Australia recently found that “extra fat cells can trigger long-term, low-grade inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence; the proteins secreted by the immune system seem to stimulate breast cancer cells to grow, especially estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women.”

Again eating a healthy diet, avoiding inflammatory food like: sugar, gluten, dairy, soy. Can help reduce the risk. Yes, it takes time and preparation, is harder to do a home made meal that just put a hot pocket in the microwave. Visit Framers Market, or at least when doing groceries go to the produce area and avoid the middle aisles with box mac and cheese, frozen pizza, sugary cereals, high sodium can soups… Your body needs nutrients, a variety of them so another thing is to eat different types of veggies, fruits, meats. Not just chicken and broccoli.

For example (tiny list there are more foods in each category etc):

Vitamin A: carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apricot, papaya…

Vitamin B: eggs, legumes, seeds, nuts, red meats…

Vitamin C: kiwin, orange, cantaloupe, broccoli, peppers…

Vitamin D: it’s really a hormone, but besides sunlight: egg yolks, fatty fish…

Vitamin E: nuts, avocado, swiss chard, spinach…

Vitamin K: asparagus, collard greens, brussel sprouts…

Calcium: seafood, leafy greens, dried fruits…

Iron: mushrooms, meat, poultry, dark green leafy greens…

Potassium: kiwi, banana, dates, grapefruit…

Magnesium: legumes, nuts, seafood…

Zinc: eggs, shellfish, seeds…

Phosphorus: poultry, beans, fish…

Fiber: avocado, berries, apples…

The list of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and the food that contain them is way more extensive, but this should give you a basic idea of food high in nutrients that we can incorporate in our diets. Of course lots of water and always check with your primary care physician. If you have any sensitivity or allergy do not eat it.

Another thing to take in consideration is that nearly 80% of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer will experience weight gain. Many factors can contribute to that or aggravate it, like: already been overweight, fatigue (so of course the patient won’t have energy or desire to exercise), medications (steroids for example) and their side effects, emotional distress and stress overall, inflammation, coping mechanism (some of us are emotional eaters).

Please try making these smalls changes, they can help prevent or at least decrease the effects of any disease. Other factors come in with a healthier lifestyle like exercising, less stress, balance life. I can eat super healthy but then just sit watch TV and be angry at everything, that won’t help much. Balance is key. Stay safe and healthy!

Pic: My great grandmother (middle with me) my aunt is in the left and my grandma is the one on the right.

So, what is a virus?

It can be complicated but I will try to give a simple explanation:

Viruses are the most abundant “life” form on Earth, (alive or not?) They are billions, and billions of viral particles all over the world. Are they alive? Depends on location, outside of a cell its inert/dormant, so it can’t reproduce or produce anything.

For a virus to spread, first it needs to find a way into a cell. Viruses have ways of tricking cells into letting them in, because is not that easy entering a cell. Typically, a portion of the viral capsid, the protein shell of a virus, will have a strong affinity to bind with one or another protein dotting the surfaces of one or another particular cell type. The binding of the viral capsid with that cell-surface protein serves as an entry ticket, easing the virus’s invasion of the cell. Once it does that it can spread easily in our body and we can spread it to others in different ways: airborne, droplets, human secretions- blood, semen, contact… that is one of the reason we are asked to please wear a mask and gloves during the COVID-19 sad situation.

The viral genome, is an instruction kit for the production of proteins the virus needs. This genome can be made up of DNA, as is the case with virtually all other creatures, or RNA which encodes genetic information just as DNA does but is flexible and less stable. Most of the ones infecting us are RNA. Besides that a virus also needs, another gene for its own version of an enzyme known a polymerase. The viral polymerases, inside the cell, generate numerous copies of the invader’s genes. Viral genomes can also contain genes for proteins that can co-opt the cellular machinery to help viruses replicate and escape, or that can modify the virus’s (or ours) own genome.

Viral mutation rates are much higher than bacterial rates, and RNA, unfortunately, viruses, including the coronavirus, mutate even more easily than DNA viruses do. Viruses don’t always kill the cells they take hostage. Instead, some become chronic like HIV, they are called Retrovirus. These silent genes can activate when our immune response is weakened, setting off new rounds of viral replication. Viruses can be so complex, and they are very different, easy mutations etc makes them hard to pin. Viruses can be encoded in a variety of ways, some are based on a 2ble or a single strand like Corona Virus, like mentioned before some are from DNA strands like Herpes.

Your immune system may be able to fight it off, however viruses technically do not die, they can lay dormant, sometimes we might never show signs or symptons that we have a virus. For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics , like we know, do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections, but again, nothing really “kills”them or get rid of them completely.

There are some vaccines to help prevent certain viruses, also medication like I wrote before and natural remedies like: Pau D’ Arco, Colloidal Silver, St John’s Wort, Elderberry among others. Really try to be healthy, eat well, exercises, get medical check ups, holistic health (Acupuncture, Chiropractic…), less stress and in our current situation…please: STAY HOME, be safe!

Pic: Anna Shvets, pexels.com

Quarantine-Continue Education or Free Online learning

Sad, stressful and difficult times we are living. Many of us are not working and have to stay home due to the COVID-19 situation (hope it gets better soon). I have walk the dogs, dance, sings, play Wii, exercise, cook, eat, Netflix and Chill, texts, social media etc What else we can do, that it is not (sometimes) that expensive, we can learn and even use it in our professional and/or personal life? Taking C.E. credits or just taking free or low cost classes online.

There are so many new websites or youtube videos were you can learn new skill, now some colleges, gyms or schools are offering free online classes. We can learn how to knit, prepare dinner, dance, podcast editing, personal development classes, Yoga. I took a Zoom Yoga Class with, Meg McNeal a Yoga Instructor that practices in NY.

I have also been taking C.E.credits for Chiropractic and HR/PR certifications (needed a refresher, haven’t work in Human Resources or Public Relations in a while)

For regular classes, a lot of websites are offering specials or 1 week free trails. I have taken courses from Coursera (you can even do a degree because of their alliance with different Colleges),Udemy, ChiroCredit, LinkedIn, but there are many more like Khan Academy, Udacity, edX among others. If you get bored and want to learn a new skill or obtain more knowledge about a topic I highly recommend doing an online course. Be safe!

Pics: Logos from Udemy, edX, Coursera and LinkdedIn.

http://www.udemy.com

http://www.coursera.com

https://www.linkedin.com/learning

http://www.edx.org

New way to repair nerves?

Nerves, they transmits impulses of sensation to the brain or spinal cord, and impulses from these to the muscles and organs. They are like super important messengers. They are also very delicate structures and are susceptible to various types of injury. Several researches and studies have been conducted trying to find ways to re generate them.

One strategy is to apply polymer microspheres to deliver vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to the nerve repair site in a controlled sustainable release manner. It promotes angiogenesis and neurogenesis (genesis-growth), and thus leads to a better functional outcome. Another strategy is to counteract the lack of healthy Schwann cells at the nerve repair site by supplementing functioning Schwann cells derived from nerves prepared in an in vitro system. Well now a new research have been done.

Dr. Wenlong Huang, Dr Derryck Shewan and Dr Alba Guijarro-Belmar from Aberdeen University’s Institute of Medical Sciences found triggering a molecule called Epac2 led to “significant improvement” in the growth of nerves that been severed following injury. The study has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, with city researchers modelling human spinal cord injury in rat nerve cells in a dish.

They have managed to regrow spinal nerves in rats after activating a molecule found in nerve cells by using their very own gel. It is the first time that activating this molecule has been found to boost nerve growth like this.

The treatment was delivered using hydrogel – a new dual-function technique that can carry a treatment to a specific area and slowly release it locally, and it also provides a physical scaffold to support injured nerves across the site.

In another first, not only did Epac2 stimulate growth, the researchers also found that it changed the internal environment at the injury site, making it more amenable to healing.

We hope this treatment can continue to grow and be successful, it will be a huge step forward for people with neuro-degeneration. For more info: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/breakthrough-for-spinal-injuries-as-aberdeen-university-experts-find-new-way-to-repair-nerves/

Pic credit: Robina Weermeijer: Unsplash

Public Health

Lots of us do not give enough credit to “Public health” and the many fields involved in it. Public Health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. Works to track disease outbreaks, prevent injuries and shed light on why some of us are more likely to suffer from poor health than others. We might only think of them when outbreaks, diseases like CONIV-19 “attack”our safety, but it is so much more than that. According to the CDC: Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases. Some of the functions are:

  1. Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
  2. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  3. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the communities.
  4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  6. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of healthcare when otherwise unavailable.
  8. Assure a competent public health and personal healthcare workforce.
  9. Research for new insights and innovation solutions to health problems.
  10. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.

Public Health is not something new, Greeks and Romans practiced sanitation measurements, in 1898 “The Public Health Law”was establish in United Kingdom. 1918 they worked worldwide with the 500 million infected with Influenza, 1955 Polio vaccine was introduced. They also work with biological warfare, natural disasters, attacks for surveillance and disease treatments. Other things they are in charged are for example food labeling and promotion physical exercise, banning tobacco from places. it is a broad spectrum of workers and fields that involve Public Health.

Each public health core science helps us to protect and promote the public’s health by providing public health practitioners with the answers they need.

Let’s appreciate all the workers in this field. For more info: https://www.apha.org/what-is-public-health

Pic: Anna Schvets, Pexels

Smart Watch

I used to never wear a watch, until I got my SmartWatch! Technology has come so far that a “watch”is like your personal assistant or your health “coach”, it keeps track of everything! From yeah! telling the time, too how many steps, calories burn, did you drink water? how is your VO2 level? You got mail! Mom texted you, remember “x” appointment…it’s like a James Bond movie but without so much action.

According to an article in HealthTech Magazine, smart watches can even help detect diseases.

Apple is one company that’s focused on early detection of Atrial Fibrillation. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine shared that their watch, which uses an optical sensor to analyze the wearer’s heart rate, has the capacity to accurately identify irregular heart rhythms. Samsung recently released its Galaxy Watch, the company developed a device that will soon allow wearers to detect the heart condition, atrial fibrillation, through its electrocardiogram. Also, at the end of 2019, Omron Healthcare announced the release of their new HeartGuide, a smartwatch that is considered to be the first clinically validated, wearable blood pressure monitor. 

Once again health technology has come a long way to help individuals to live a better life! I have to admit since I have mine, I have been a little obsessed on how many steps, miles etc I can go and monitoring even my period with it. ha!

IG: dr.yamila_dc