Category: Health


Any commuters out there?  Travelers?  Do you sit all day? This blog is for you!!

Remember whether sitting or driving, it is important to:

Keep your heart up!

Keep your abs tight!

Keep your lumbar (low back) curve (big sock or small pillow cann help with that)!

Get into good posture then set your mirrors/computer/workstation to your body, do NOT set your body posture to your bad workstation!

Take breaks.  This will take muscular endurance, so most of you will not be able to fix your posture in one day.  Set goals and build up strength, for example start by sitting or standing in good posture for 1min, 5 min, 10min, 1hr…etc then take a break and slouch, its ok.  This way you are in control of your body and won’t find yourself in bad posture and not know how long you’ve been there. 

Take charge and remember this is not just about feeling better (which will happen) but even more important, good posture protects and supports circulation, lung function, proper digestion and sexual function, healthy muscles, better brain function, decreased stress and better looks…and it’s free hows that for return on investment!!

Do it, do it NOW!

Your Health Buddy & Coach,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP CSCS

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One of Jack's many 60 year old plus adventures: the ol' hand cuffed tow-boats swim...any takers?

When was the first time you heard the name Jack LaLanne?  I can’t recall because like many American’s I was too young to remember.  I do however remember being impressed. I’m not sure I even knew what the definition of that word meant, but the feeling was there.  The year before I was born, Jack LaLane towed 10 boats carying 77 people, for over one mile, in less than one hour.  He was 66 years old. 

His entire life was just that, impressive.  In a time when no one thought about what to eat, nutrients, calories, processed food, or working abs, butts, glutes or any exercise other than what life demanded of them, Jack was telling it like it was.  He was concerned.  He saw the trends moving toward inactivity and more and more unhealthy food.  He saw those trends clearly because as a child he was part of those trends. Jack has written of his childhood including addiction to sweets and junk food along with a poor physique and behavioral problems.  Jack is quoted saying “I was a miserable goddamned kid, it was hell!”

But Jack changed.  At age 15 after attending a lecture on nutrition, he reformed his diet eliminating sugar, began working out and began studying the human body.  After high school he attended and graduated from chiropractic college, and in 1936 at age 22 he opened his own (not to mention the first) fitness club in America.  In 1955 he won Mr. America, and by 1959 he was on national television taking Americans through all sorts of movements, exercises and callisthenics, while teaching them what health was and how to journey towards it.

50 years ago...Jack was explaining how you eat, move and think over time = your health. Pioneer!

This approach at this early time rightfully earned  Jack the title of Godfather of Fitness.  Unlike many early strongmen, Jack was concerned with health, not just strength and physique.  You can see from the picture on the left, Jack is showing the difference good nutrition, exercise and positive thoughts can have over a lifetime in reguards to health. 

He was telling people to exercise for health back when the medical community was endorsing cigarettes. “People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” Jack says, “The doctors were against me –

This puts Jack's accomplishements in perspective for sure...

they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive. Women would look like men and even varsity coaches predicted that their athletes would get muscle bound and banned them from lifting weights.” 

Jack proved them all wrong and became an authority on health, fighting the good fight as a health advocate for over 80 years.  His television show aired for over 30 years making it the longest running of its kind in history.   Throughout most of our lives, Jack played the seemingly never ending role as America’s inspiration for good health at any age.

Jack passed on Sunday at his home in Morro Bay, CA at the age of 96.  He was an inspiration to millions and one of my heros.

Rest in Peace Jack, You’ve earned it.

With Love,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

Jack at 91 "It's better to wear out than rust out"

Jack’s Feats:

  • 1954 Age 40: Swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks… an undisputed world record.
  • 1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in
    San Francisco, CA.
  • 1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.
  • 1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.
  • 1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.
  • 1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22
    minutes. “Happy” is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide
  • 1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1975 Age 61: Swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1976 Age 62: Commemorating the “Spirit of ‘76”, swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled and towing 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 Age 65: Towed 65 boats filled with 6,500-pounds of Lousiana Pacific wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1980 Age 66: Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than 1 hour.
  • 1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.

Jack Firsts:

  • Opened the first modern health spa
  • The first to have a nationally syndicated exercise show on television
  • The first to have athletes working out with weights
  • The first to have women working out with weights
  • The first to have the elderly working out with weights
  • The first to have a combination Health Food Bar and Gym
  • The first to have a weight loss Instant Breakfast meal replacement drink
  • The first to have a Coed health club
  • The first to combine weight training with nutrition
  • The first to have an edible snack nutrition bar
  • The first to sell vitamins and exercise equipment on television
  • The first to teach scientific body building by changing the program every 2 to 3 weeks
  • The first to encourage the physically challenged to exercise… to work around their disabilities
  • The first to do feats of strength and endurance to emphasize what exercise and nutrition can do for you
  • Developed the first:
    • Leg Extension Machine
    • Weight selector machine
    • Cable/Pulley machines
    • Calf machines
    • Wrist roll machines

JACKERISM’S:

  • Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.
  • Anything in life is possible and you can make it happen.
  • Your waistline is your lifeline.
  • Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.
  • Don’t exceed the feed limit.
  • The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.
  • Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.
  • Better to wear out than rust out
  • Do – don’t stew.
  • People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity.
  • First we inspire them, then we perspire them.
  • You eat everyday, you sleep everyday, and your body was made to exercise everyday.
  • Work at living and you don’t have to die tomorrow.
  • I can’t die, it would ruin my image.
  • If man makes it, don’t eat it.
  • If it tastes good, spit it out.
  • What’s it doing for me?
  • Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.
  • If one apple is good, you wouldn’t eat 100.
  • It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.
  • Make haste slowly.
  • Eat right and you can’t go wrong.

For more on this amazing individual please see his website @ http://www.jacklalanne.com/

WATCH THE WEIGHT FALL OFF

THESE ARE THE TOP 10 NUTRITION RULES FOR CREATING A HEALTHIER VERSION OF YOURSELF IN THE NEW YEAR (remember there are side effects associated with health that are much different than the side affects associated with sickness, but side effects nonetheless.  For example, healthier people are more energetic, more muscular, less fat, happier, and generally more pleasant, positive and useful.)

This is for long term change, the only type of change that matters, what’s the point of losing 10 pounds this week if in a year its back and then some…long term healthy relationships is our focus.

Lets get started:

TOP 10 NUTRITION ACTION STEPS to make it simple getting started or refocused.

  1. Add, don’t take away. People often associate change with terrible loss, and that doesn’t have to be the case.  First things first –  let’s focus on being sufficient in getting enough pure foods, and not focus on what bad stuff is in your diet.  You can’t get to a positive by running from a negative…you must run toward a positive (for example, you won’t ever be rich by trying not to be poor)!  Create the life you deserve!
  2. Fruits and veggies first: Eat a fruit or a veggie before every meal.  This ensures that you will get the nutrients your innate genetics need to produce health and homeostasis in your body!  Plus, it will take up some of the room in your stomach, so hopefully you won’t be able to fit as much of the bad stuff in.
  3. Always shop on a full stomach: The battle is won or lost at the point of purchase.  It is much easier to make logical decisions about what to purchase at the grocery store when we are not hungry.  We all know that if a food makes its way into the basket, it is going to be eaten.
  4. Stay on the periphery of the store: That is where the live and healthy foods reside.
  5. Real food goes bad; if it doesn’t go bad, it isn’t good for you:
    1. The more nutrients and health in a food, the more organisms want it.  If bacteria doesn’t want your food, chances are, it isn’t food, and you should toss it.
    2. Store food has been created to be stored, not to give you health, so try and avoid foods with labels or packaging.
  6. Understand the ingredients: Real food has real, natural ingredients like blueberries and almonds.  Fake food has “natural flavorings” to trick our tongues, and chemicals to preserve them.  Usually these ingredients read something like “monosodiumdiaoxylglutamicfuranicmethylwhattheheck???”   By the way – what the heck is a “natural flavoring??”  Last time I checked, “natural” isn’t a flavor.
  7. Keep the ingredients list to 5 or fewer: The more ingredients, the more man/woman has messed with the food, and therefore, the less likely it is a real food.
  8. If it has a health claim, it probably is NOT healthy: Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, explains that the loudest foods in the store (cereal boxes, dairy and juices) are often the most toxic, and the quietest foods in the store (fruits and veggies) are often the healthiest.
  9. Evaluate food choices by thinking about how you will feel post-consumption: It is absurd when you think about the 23 hours 57 minutes of pain, suffering and guilt you get when eating a donut/Big Mac/pizza, etc. for the 3 min of joy you get while eating it.  Think about what you would want to eat post-workout (for example, after you’ve just finished a really great workout, would you rather have a Big Mac or a smoothie?).
  10. There are NO failures – only feedback! Do not waste time or stress hormones on feeling guilty – look at what you eat in terms of choices, with a goal of becoming healthier.  This is not a diet (destination), it is a way of life (journey).

YOU CAN DO IT  – CREATE THE HEALTH (LIFE) THAT YOU WANT!

Create Health,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC

There's just sooooo many to chose from????

What supplements should you take? It can be darned confusing, and there are no shortage of opinions, advertisements and hype about supplementation. So, I’m here to shed a little light from the perspective of a Wellness doctor on this common question that we in the office get all the time… here goes.

Keep in mind – We wellness doctors understand that the best leadership is by example, so we try our absolute best to “walk the walk,” if you will, and so I will let you know exactly what I do and take when it comes to supplements. When it comes to being healthy and living the wellness lifestyle, what is good for one is good for all. We are all human, with same genetic requirements for nutrients to be healthy, and as long as we are sufficient in those nutrients and not toxic in others, we will express our natural right to be healthy. I do NOT take the following supplements to treat anything, I take them because based on what I have read, all human beings living in the western/modernized world are deficient in these nutrients, and I, fitting into this category, wish to be sufficient in all areas of my nutritional life… I take the following every single day,and these are my serving sizes:

Fish Oil (Innate Choice) – rougly 3.5 grams (3500 mg). The serving size on the bottle is 1 teaspoon and equals roughly 1,700 mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, but I’m a reasonably big guy, weighing 200lbs, and I’m very active, so based on what I’ve read, that puts my requirements for omega 3 fatty acids in the 3-6 gram category. So, after the fish oil, I get the other 1-3 grams a day of Omega 3 via grass-fed meats, fish or in the vegan-friendly form, which is ground flax seeds (another great brand of fish oil is Nordic Naturals, same guidelines on dosage).

A 120 lb. female should shoot for between 1.5-3 grams of Omega 3, with at least 1.5 grams of it from fish oil.

Children should be taking roughly 1/2 teaspoon for every 40 lbs. of body weight (800mg Omega 3/40 lbs.).

Probiotics (Innate Choice) – 2 capsules (15 billion organisms/capsule): one in the morning and one in the evening, taken with food (fruits, veggies) because that is the way we would have ingested them in our hunter-gatherer past. These are designed to supply healthy bacteria to your digestive system. It is important that your source of probiotics is chilled and contains certain strains of bacteria.

Children 2 and up 1 capsule / day.  Under 2 years old the infant should be breast feeding and mom should supplement.

Vitamin D – 5,000 IU’s (international units): This one is trickey because I recommend sunshine 1st.  2nd is supplementation and only in the winter if you live above (or below) the 35th paralell.  I started supplementing this last winter because I now live in the 41st paralell and because the information out there on how vital D is, was just too much to ignore. When I was living in Southern California or now during the summer here in New England, I rely on my skin to produce my vitamin D via sunlight. The winters in New England make it impossible to get enough D, so as soon as October hits, it will be back to 6 months of Vitamin D supplementation. I believe the RDA is 400 IU’s, which I just do not think to be adequate at all. Your skin can produce 10,000-20,000 IU’s of vitamin D in 10-45 minutes in the sun, and toxicity (impossible via sunshine on your skin) doesn’t begin to show signs until supplementing with 30,000+ IU’s daily for an extended period of time (weeks and weeks).

120 lb. females and teens should be supplementing with 3-4000 IU’s.

Children 1 year old and up should be supplementing with 2,000 IU’s, and infants (less than 1 year) should be taking 400-800 IU’s. Keep in mind the more sun you get, the less D you have to take. And the natural way is always the best! To find out exactly WHY I take vitamin D, see my blog posts dated July 9 & 16, 2009.

Multivitamin – (Standard Process Catalyn, although I will probably switch to Innate Choice soon) – 1 serving: I eat very clean and congruent, and so I am still only taking it sporadically. When trying to find a good multi, focus on whole food-based, meaning that it IS NOT SYNTHETIC!

I feel that if you are eating a truly sufficient and pure diet that this is the least necessary on the list. You should be able to get everything you need from your foods. However, this is very difficult to do in today’s world, so I feel that a whole food-based supplement could only help address any deficiencies that I may have missed. Basically I may be wasting money, but money is not as important to me as health, and a multi will only help my health, not hurt it. The absolute best way to supplement vitamins into your diet is to blend real fruits and veggies, then drink or add them to a smoothie (that is essentially what a multivitamin’s purpose is), but it is just a lot of work to do that every day, so now I sporadically juice and/or take the multi. Hope that helps.

Supplement 4 Health!

Your Health Coach & Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

You Need a Health Coach!!

Where are YOU spending your Time, Energy, Focus & Money?

What is your most valuable asset? 

YOUR HEALTH!  It is impossible to truely enjoy all of the wonderful things this life has to offer with out health.  Think about it, what does all the money in the world do for you if you get sick, can’t travel, can’t walk or worse can’t remember who you are.  Can you enjoy your family, your work, your hobbies without your health? NO! 

Anthing of value is worth protecting and promoting.  It isn’t good enough to have health insurance because that is only valuable in emergency situations once your health has already deteriorated.  How long would your car last if you relied only on your auto insurance for the health of your car and never serviced your car? 

Anything you wish to have more of or get better at requires coaching.  Think about it, there are coaches for everything of importance; relationships = counsilors, money = finacial advisors, sports = athletic coaches, faith = spiritual guides…and the list goes on!  So, if our health really is that important, why doesn’t everyone have a health coach?  We’ll I believe it is because our amazing body adapts to most any stressful thing we force it to (for a while), and because our cultural beliefs dictate that you shouldn’t go to the doctor unless you are sick.  That result is a nation of coachless sick people judging their health by how they FEEL.  How Dangerous!, How Inaccurate! 

This is where that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality has gotten us:  The World Health Organization ranked the health of the United States at 37th out of 40 of the world’s develped nations. That being said, you should also know that the US spends more $$$$$$$$ than any other country in the world on health care (really sick care), and takes over 50% of the world’s pharmeceuticals!!  (WE ONLY ACCOUNT FOR 4% OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION!!)  SAY WOW! 

Obviously our waiting until we “feel” sick mentality is not working.  Is it easier to accumulate wealth when you are broke or while you still have some working capital?  There is a HUGE difference between Health Promotion, Health Prevention and the Treatment of Symptioms.  Just like there is a HUGE difference between the Promotion of Wealth, the Prevention of Poverty & the Treatment of Poverty.

Promote, Prevent or Treat? Where do you spend your resources.

This concept is so important I used the same image here from the American Journal of Medicine TWICE.  This graphic says that although 70% of all deaths come from behaviors = lifestyle choices (how you eat, move and think), we still spend close to 98% on treating the symptoms of those poor or misguided lifestyle choices rather than addressing the cause!!!!!!!! 

This is why people need Health Coaches!  A Health Coach is someone who will not only teach you how to be healthier, but also teach you the why behind your lifestyle choices and help hold you accountable.  A coach is someone who keeps you on track, inspires you, pushes you and cares about YOU!  Our modern world is a TOUGH world to navigate let alone get or stay healthy in, which is why EVERYONE NEEDS A HEALTH COACH. 

Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioners are perfectly positioned for this role because we have spent thousands and thousands of hours learning how to teach and inspire HEALTH,  which is TRUE HEALTH CARE!  Our job is not to mearly treat symptoms (SICK CARE) but to educate, inspire and demonstrate what health is and help you and your family journey towards it.

Now go get coached 4 life,

Your Health Coach and Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

Should we run, should we hide or should we grab a few sombreros and hit the beach?

SPF # Sombrero

I know what your thinking, “get that man some shorts and some sunscreen STAT!”  I won’t debate the shorts, but if it was a choice between the other two, I’d opt to keep the sombreros and ditch the sunscreen.  That’s right, I said it!  The latest literature (and there is a lot of it) is saying sunscreen does more harm than good when it comes to cancer as well as a host of other chronic diseases, autoimmune and emotional disorders such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, the flu, depression and much more.

But how can this be?? The sun burns, and burns cannot be good, right?

As always the wellness answer is multifactorial, but here is the gist:

1.  Sunshine is GREAT

Sun directly responsible for all life on our planet (big shoes eh?).

Sun Improves our mood (ask anyone in New England)

Sunshine on our skin (UV-B rays) makes the precursor to Vit D.

2.  Vitamin D is GREAT

Vit D is used by our bodies to absorb calcium and, along with exercise, make

strong bones (major treatment of rickets = sunshine (less side effects than drugs).

Vit D also has cell normalizing (anti proliferation) properties, and because

cancer is cell proliferation gone mad, it protects against many cancers.

Vit D plays a vital role in our immune system and its ability to fight off pathogens

(in early 1900 the only treatment of merit for tuberculosis was sunshine).

3.  Sunscreen is ok?!

Sunscreens block UVB rays which keeps us from making hardly any Vit D.

This one is a biggie, it turns out that although sunscreen can limit sunburns, which are linked to skin damage and some cancers; the trade off is no Vit D, which is just not worth it because Vit D has such a vital role in our physiology.  (between 200-1000 genes in our body are turned on or off by the big D)

Many Sunscreens do not block UVA rays which causes much of the skin damage.

Many Sunscreens have harsh chemicals that your skin absorbs readily into your bloodstream.

4.  My Recommendations

If you are light skinned and don’t have a tan, (which is a very difficult thing to have in the north east) then build one up gradually by spending a few minutes in the sun when possible.  If you know you are going to be out for a long time in the sun, soak it up for long enough not to burn, and then apply sunscreen. To determine which sunscreens are best, check www.ewg.org, they have done a ton of research on 1000’s of types and narrowed it down to their top 10 healthiest and most effective.

Spending 2-3 x a week for 15-30 min in the mid day sun should ensure you enough Vit D if you are light skinned.  You want to get out of the sun or apply sunscreen after you turn slightly pink, that will ensure enough Vit D, and past that stage results in skin damage.  Those with a darker complexion need to spend a considerable amount more in the sun to obtain enough Vit D (I’m unsure on time but I have read that very dark skin is similar to an SPF of 30, so they will need to spend roughly 3x longer 1-3hrs, 2-3xWk).  If you are unable to spend enough time in the sun or live above 35 degrees Latitude during the winter (Boston is sadly 42 degrees) you should take an oral supplement to get enough D.

Current Recommended Daily Allowance for Vit D is a measly 200 International Units (IU’s) which is absurd considering that a light skinned person can easily make 10-20,000 IU’s in 15-30min in the mid-day summer sun. (But RDA’s were never based on optimum levels of health; they were based on minimum amounts required to avoid symptoms in the short term…that is a blog for another day).

Based on what I’ve read average adults should take about 2,000 IU’s daily if not getting enough sunshine to keep their Vit D at a healthy level.

5. My Real (wellness revised) Recommendations:

Get into sunshine as much as possible without burning.

ENJOY BEING A HUMAN ANIMAL

PLAY OUTSIDE IN THE SUN

SOAK UP THE RAYS OF THE LIFE GIVING ORB IN THE SKY

IT IS A GIFT TO WHICH WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL AND SHOW OUR APPRECIATION BY PLAYING IN ITS LIGHT.

Get Tan 4 Health!

Your Health Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

For More on this Topic and Action Steps:

16 Shocking Vitamin D Facts

10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Vit D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation & Doses