Dr. Johnson - Red Deer Advocate
Fatigue, sweet cravings and mental fog … three of the most common symptoms I observe when patients have overused their stress response system in their body, otherwise known as the adrenal glands.
The majority of us living in North America are being exposed to more stressors than ever on a daily basis. Living in a fast-paced world with growing societal demands has, in my opinion, started to take its toll on our bodies, significantly impacting our personal well-being and health.
Stress is unavoidable, even desirable in some situations.
Our bodies coping strategy is using an organ system call the adrenal glands to produce a hormone called cortisol.
When it comes to aging well, many of us search for secrets to unlocking the fountain of youth. However, aging is inevitable and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
It is a time of life where we can simplify — worry less about the “what ifs” and “should have” and more about what we have always wanted to do. The key is to stay healthy and prevent disease so that we can be in good shape long into our older years. Keep your mind sharp, your energy up and your vitality strong by avoiding these common aging pitfalls:
• You are what you eat: This old adage holds some truth! There is no question that processed and packaged foods high in sugar, saturated fats and sodium wreak havoc on our body. These foods literally weigh us down and increase our risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The most important foods to focus on as we age are protein and veggies. While protein rebuilds old and damaged tissues, vegetables protect it with anti-aging antioxidants and rich nutrients. To keep your body lean and strong, make sure you are eating a variety of lean proteins like chicken, fish, turkey and legumes, as well lots of colourful vegetables.
• Don’t lose your muscles! Our muscle mass begins to decline as we age, and is slowly replaced by body fat. This can make us feel tired and weak, and increases our risk for injury. Resistance training is the key to a healthy fat/muscle ratio. Use free weights or resistance bands to build lean muscle, or better yet, work with a personal trainer. The most important factor is to be consistent, and aim for at least three 30-minute weight training sessions per week.