Your Weekly Wellness Vol. #3

 

WEEKLY WELLNESS

Volume #3

  

LOOK BEFORE BLUE LEAP

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die

According to Nat Geo Fellow and author Dan Buettner, there are five cities around the world where a majority of locals celebrate their 100th birthday like it's NBD. Buettner refers to these regions as “Blue Zones,” and they include: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. P.S. Thinking about how the current average lifespan for Americans, by comparison, is 78 has us...shook.

Fountain of youth

In his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, Buettner reports that all Blue Zones, aka the “power 9” (sounds like the next Avenger movie, right?) populations eat 95 percent plant-based and consume meat fewer than five times monthly, which is one of the key factors that has led to this remarkable longevity. But hold up, this isn’t The Game Changers part 2 (ICYMI: more on that here). Buettner’s study also reported that there’s more to longevity than just kale. People in Blue Zones tend to spend more time with close friends, move through their day with a sense of purpose, and have excellent stress-management practices. For example, for Sardinians, that means a glass of wine and a chat with friends each evening. Too blessed to be stressed.

So what does that mean for the rest of us?

Some serious (plant-based) food for thought. In other words, how we can apply lessons from the Blue Zones into our diet and daily routines stat. At the top of the list is the idea of giving up processed foods in favor of natural ones, as well as only eating when hungry. You can find more on living your best Blue Zone life (including recipes), right hurr

Admittedly, the Blue Zone diet can be sort of vague

Critics say that the truth about the Blue Zones is that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Living a long, healthy life requires a ton of factors coming together and simply mimicking the habits of those in these regions is not a guarantee of making it to the centenarian club. Damn it.

 

Keep calm and carry on

The key takeaway here is the Blue Zone is a comprehensive way of approaching life that involves a combination of holistic elements, including being mindful about your diet (I.E., eating mostly plants) hanging out with your BFF, and feeling that sunshine on your face and/or whatever relaxes you, makes you smile, and reduces stress. Whether it guarantees kicking it as oldies or not, these all sound like some pretty great ideas if you ask us. 

A TALE OF TWO WORKOUTS

The never-ending debate rages on.

No, not the 2020 presidential election. The debate over what type of exercise is better for your body—high-intensity or low-intensity training? TBH the answer is more complicated than when you’re kind of hanging out with your ex but you’re not technically back together but you would also be really upset if you saw him with someone else but you’re not even sure you want the relationship anymore. The bottom line is...it’s complicated and totally depends on your individual goals and how your body responds to exercise on a given day.

I’m busy. Break it down for me.

High-Intensity Training: Benefits include a spiked heart rate, which forces the body to increase all its functions at a super-fast rate. HIIT can produce many of the same health benefits as other forms of exercise – but in a much shorter time frame. Examples of HITT include: burpees, interval sprints on the treadmill, and tabata.

Low-Intensity Training: Can also lower body fat and increase your metabolism, but it’s all about gradual increase in strength and muscular endurance without putting stress on the joints. Examples of LITT include: yoga, walking, and pilates.

Team Low Intensity

“Something very powerful shifts within when you learn how to slow down your workouts by moving your body with more intention and less focus on the intensity of the movements,” says trainer Melissa Wood, founder of the #MWH method, a series of low-impact movements that combine yoga and pilates. “You'll start to realize when you move your body in a precise way, it effortlessly becomes more intense without pounding your body into the ground. I recommend practicing this way of life 7 days a week if possible. Even if it's not my workouts, getting movement in somewhere (just a walk or playing with your kids can count as movement) and a daily meditation is where you'll see long lasting results. I think people are so obsessed with instant gratification without actually doing the work. When you implement this practice into your lifestyle, you'll experience shifts in your mind and body beyond anything you could have imagined which is honestly what keeps me coming back.”

Team High Intensity

According to trainer Kenny Santucci, the many benefits to training HIIT include:

1. Faster results - rest periods in HIIT allow you to train with heavier weights as your body can recover during these designated periods.

2. Time efficiency.

3. Better strength- you can build muscular and cardiovascular strength at the same time.

4. Improved circulation due to the fluctuation between ramped-up heart rate and rest.

5. Afterburn- the high-intensity level of such workouts requires you to use more oxygen not only during, but also post-sweat session, resulting in calories burned when you're no longer working out

Hmmm. So which to choose?

What works for one person may not work for another. In fact, what works for you today, may not work for you tomorrow. While some people have tremendous results from HIIT, others find incredible strength, definition, and endurance from LIIT. Give both a go and see what works best for your body, mind, and lifestyle.

DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS

Under pressure
The next time you head to the spa to get some of that TLC you deserve, you might see a lymphatic drainage treatment listed on the menu. What does that mean? Lymphatic drainage refers to a detoxifying massage that uses very light pressure and long, gentle strokes to increase blood flow of lymph. FYI: Most lymphatic drainage massages take an hour to an hour and a half, and cost $280 upwards.

We’ll save you a Google search.
The lymphatic system is an extensive drainage system in the body that is used to balance fluids and defend against bad thangs (aka infections). The lymphatic vessels carry lymph—a clear, watery fluid with proteins, salts, and other key substances. Anyone else picturing a big plumbing system with Drano running through it? Lymph goes over all of our tissue and has a drainage system that ultimately connects and leads to the lymph nodes,” Dr Marvin Singh, a triple board certified integrative Gastroenterologist and the Founder of Precisione Clinic tells HelloWellness. Too long hated science class? Healthy lymphs = muy importante.

 See you later, Spanx.

LD (to clarify, that’s Lymphatic Drainage, not Lil Dicky) fans say the massage is great for pain relief, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, cellulite, and a long-ass list of other issues. Oh, and if you’re looking to get rid of extra water weight asap, it’s been known to be winning for that, too. P.S. There are two versions of lymphatic massages, the traditional massage, which uses gentle strokes (think: lighter than a Swedish massage) and the lymphatic sculpting massage, which uses a deeper pressure.

Is LD right for me?

Paging Dr Singh. “Lymphatic massages can be quite helpful,” he explains. Research shows that this technique can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from lymphedema, but it’s still tough to say what sort of effect LD has on the general population who might not require the massage for medical purposes and are seeking it more for aesthetics. But, hey, if it relaxes you, puts an extra pep in your step, and works for your budget, then enjoy, boo. 

BURN, BABY, BURN

So hot right now.
Like a moth to a flame, like Brad to Jen (who else is freaking out over the SAG Award PDA last night?!), we can't help but be drawn in.  Drawn in, that is, to doing more and more and more within a given day. Because hey, we’re just over here trying to excel in our career, reply to your email, maintain our social life, drink enough water, text everyone back, stay sane, survive, and be happy! Who can relate

What does being ‘burnt out’ really mean?
The term is thrown out a lot. I mean hell, we’re feeling burnt out just writing this newsletter TBH. To get specific, according to The American Psychological Association burnout is classified as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.” While stress involves having too much on your plate, burnout is all about feeling like you don’t have enough. Enough motivation. Enough energy. Enough care to perform the tasks at hand. Milton: I believe you have my stapler.

And what if I feel all those things?
When in the throes of full-fledged burnout, you are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level. For ideas for reducing stress symptoms of burnout, you may want to check out this article as a first step, which does a deep dive into the topic and provides suggestions on how to find peace of mind. Also, 50% of people in the workplace struggle with anxiety and burnout so remember you’re not alone friend!

I’m good, thanks.
If you’re not experiencing any of these problems, that’s wonderful! And also, what’s your job? And are they hiring? We’re kidding, but serious about the fact that it never hurts to keep the warning signs of burnout in mind and stay tuned into how you’re feeling. 

 

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