Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

The Heart of the Matter

February is National Heart Health Month.

With Valentine’s day nestled in the middle of the month, images of heart shaped tokens of love are everywhere. From the infamous heart-shaped box of chocolates, to heart shaped jewelry and special greeting cards, many people will be giving and receiving symbols of love this month. It’s no coincidence that the heart is the universal symbol of love, emotion and affection.

Physiologically, the heart is the ultimate connection between mind and body. It represents the very engine of life. Now, heart health is intimately intertwined with mental and emotional health. Therefore emotional stress can significantly affect the heart. “You almost gave me a heart attack!”  Can emotional stress really cause heart attacks or even worse, lead to death? Researchers from the Psychophysiological Investigations of Myocardial Ischemia (PIMI) study set out to examine that very question. Mental stress has long been associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and its complications.  Their research has demonstrated a greater than 2- fold increase in subsequent cardiac events, such as heart attack, in those who suffer from heart dysfunction in the setting of mental stress.

Chronic mental stress characterized by depression, lack of social support, or hostility have all been tied to an increased rate of heart disease. Heart disease comes in many forms and is the number one cause of death in the United States. The most common cause of heart disease is coronary artery disease (the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Chronic stress and anxiety can often have cardiovascular symptoms such as increased heart rate, palpations and increased blood pressure. It is extremely important to minimize the effect of stress on your heart over time.

A possible solution

Unhealthy lifestyles increase the burden of coronary heart disease. In addition to hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and consuming an unhealthy diet are also significant risk factors for CHD. Lifestyle modification is an essential population-based strategy for the prevention of CHD through risk factor reduction. In particular, lifestyle interventions have been shown to reduce blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals.

At The Lifestyle Clinic, we offer a collaborative, holistic approach to heart health. With alternative stress management techniques, and whole body nutritional support, our goal is to help your body deal with physiological and mental stress more efficiently. This way, the impact of stress on your heart may be reduced.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Rev up your New Years Resolution with High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training can help you get the most out of your workout.

Are you ready to shake up your workout? Do you wish you could burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? You should consider High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT.

What is High-Intensity Interval Training?

HIIT describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity with fixed periods of less-intense activity or rest.  For example, you might try jogging for one minute, then alternating and walking for two minutes. This type of training raises your heart rate and keeps it up.

A high intensity workout increases your body’s need for oxygen during the intense burst of activity, this causes your body to ask for more oxygen during the less intense activity giving your body many benefits.

How can High-Intensity Interval Training help me?

Whether you’re new to exercise or you’ve been exercising for several years, interval training can help you spice up your exercise routine.

You’ll improve your aerobic capacity and strengthen your heart.

HIIT increases the flexibility and elasticity of your arteries and veins more than continuous low intensity exercise.  As your fitness improves, you will be able to exercise longer and with more intensity.  HIIT is intended to focus on strengthening your heart, so it’s not recommended to include weights in your workouts.

To start, you can walk 2 minutes, run 1 minute.  Then as you become stronger, you can walk 1 minute and run 1 minute.  Eventually you will be able to run for more minutes while resting for a shorter period of time.

You don’t need special equipment or a fancy gym.

You won’t need to join an expensive gym or buy any special equipment.  It is easy to simply add interval training into your current workout routine.  Running, walking, biking, walking lunges, jumping jacks and jump roping are great for HIIT workouts. You can adapt your workout to whatever time and space constraints you have.

You can save time.

HIIT is the ideal workout for someone with a busy schedule.  Research shows that you can burn more calories in 15 minutes of interval training than you could jogging on the treadmill for an hour.  You can do HIIT training for much less time and get the same, and even more benefits.

You lose weight, not muscle. 

Combining weight training and HIIT workouts allows you to lose weight and fat instead of losing muscle.  This will help your body keep the muscle mass that you have worked so hard to gain.

You’ll increase your metabolism.

HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by 450% during the 24 hours after you finish your workout.  HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also increases your metabolism to burn calories and fat quicker.

To get started on your HIIT workout, consult your Naturopathic Doctor to find out if your heart is healthy enough to start this routine.

Resources

  • Mayo Clinic. Rev up your workout with interval training.
  • Shape. 8 benefits of High-Intensity interval training.
Weight Loss Natural Health Charlotte

Boost your Immunity, Naturally!

This cold, flu and allergy season, it is estimated that about 25% of adults will get sick despite flu shots and over the counter medications. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to naturally boost your immunity.

Following a diet rich in antioxidants is essential to supporting your immune system. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, antioxidants combat free radicals (chemical by-products known to damage DNA and suppress the immune system.) Choosing healthy fats (such as the omega-3 fatty acids available in oily fish, flaxseed, and krill oil) over saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products) may help increase your body’s production of compounds involved in regulating immunity.

For an additional immune boost, try adding garlic (shown to possess virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties) and ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory) to your meals on a regular basis. You can also make an Immune-Tea by boiling chopped garlic and ginger. Strain, then add honey, lemon and stevia to taste.

Drinking plenty of water and steering clear of sugary beverages, like soda and energy drinks, may also help fend off infection by flushing out your system.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Alternatives to the Flu Vaccine and Other Immune-Boosting Tips

When the flu bites, a sniffle and a sneeze these are a few of my least favorite things… Fortunately, some cases of illness can be easily prevented.​

Even once an illness has struck, natural and herbal remedies can help shorten the duration and get you feeling better faster.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… you’ve heard it a million times, but how does it relate to illness prevention? In short, giving the body what it needs by constantly supplying nutrients will help ensure that the body can resist any pathogen it encounters. Avoiding grains, sugars and other high starchy foods will ensure that the body is functioning at peak immunity. This should help the body fight back in case you encounter a virus or bacteria;​ especially during the dreaded flu season.

Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, washing your hands and eating well have​ ​all been shown to reduce the number of times a person gets ill per year and the duration​of an illness. At the start of flu season, the first thought for many is to rush to get a flu vaccine. Every year the flu vaccine changes based on estimates of which strains and types of the flu virus are going to circulate that season.

Moreover, the flu vaccine is not usually effective as a preventative.  In fact, getting the vaccine can lower immune function and increase your risk for other viruses and bacterial infections.

Before deciding if the flu vaccine is a good choice for you and your family, you’ll want to consider the effectiveness versus the potential side-effects. A few known minor side effects include swelling at the injection site, redness, low grade fever, and aches and pains. Some believe there can be even greater side effects including causing arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Autism and that the ingredients can be potentially dangerous.

Flu vaccines are said to contain mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde that can be potentially hazardous to your health. If you decide that the flu vaccine is not a good choice for your family (or even if it is), here are a few tips on how to boost the immune system to fight off that virus.

Natural Alternative Treatments for Cold, Flu and Illness

Consuming natural whole food versions of the following can help you kick that illness. If you are not getting enough in your diet, try them in a quality supplement form. For recommendations, consult your Naturopathic Doctor.

1. Garlic –
Powerful natural antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial. Garlic can tackle almost any illness.

2. Cinnamon –
Good for stabilizing the blood sugar. Cinnamon is an effective antiviral and antibiotic. Mixing 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of honey and stir to make a spicy and very effective tea that helps relieve cough and congestion and lower fever.

3. Ginger –
Helps with nausea and vomiting associated with the flu. Also, aids in fever reduction.

4. Chamomile –
Calms the nerves, helps children sleep better and reduces inflammation or fever.

5. Vitamin D3 –
Optimizing vitamin D levels can​ aid in immune function and​ help prevent illness ​before it arrives​.

6. Vitamin C –
Perhaps the best vitamin for colds and flu.​ Helps to support a healthy immune system​

7. Zinc –
Can prevent a cold or flu virus from reproducing and can help relieve respiratory symptoms.

Resources

Girlfriend's Guide to Breast Health Workshop

The Girlfriends Guide to Breast Health Workshop

You’re invited to a FREE women’s health forum!

Who: Dr. Stephanie Mottola and Dr. Kivette Parkes

Where: The Lifestyle Clinic- 1523 Elizabeth Ave #215

When: Saturday November 21st at 10 am and 12:30 pm

Learn how to take care of your breasts!

Topics include:

  • Breast and Lymphatic Massage
  • Reduction of Breast Soreness due to Hormonal Fluctuations
  • Encouraging Healthy Lymph Flow
  • Prevention of Cystic Breasts
  • Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
  • Eating the Best Foods for Breast Health
  • And many more!

Also learn healthy alternatives to mammograms!

Bring your best girlfriends, this event is free!

To reserve your spot, email thelifestyleclinic@gmail.com or call (704) 334-3761 with which session you plan to attend (10 am or 12:30 pm) and how many will be in your party. SEATS ARE LIMITED.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Having a Healthy Heart

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate.

Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, gender or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take. You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today!

One step to having a healthy heart is by having healthy mental health. A way to achieve this is by surrounding yourself with love. There is truth to the saying that love heals all wounds. Researchers are showing that our emotions affect our physical health. Love, gratitude, and appreciation can improve our physical health by improving our heart health, boosting our immune system, reducing stress and tension, improving mood, and reducing blood pressure and heart rate.

Research shows that emotions such as love put the body in a strong state of coherence – our hearts beat in a consistent and strong pattern that is healing for our central nervous and cardiovascular systems. It is the irregular heartbeats caused by stress and strong negative emotions that take a toll on our heart and health over time.

Here are five suggestions for cultivating more love in your life:

1. Social Support:

Research is showing that individuals with loving and supportive social ties to family, friends, or their community enjoy significantly better health. The key is to be part of groups that make you feel good, loved, appreciated, and supported. Spend more time with people who leave you with feelings of well-being and positivity. Find groups based on interests, hobbies, and lifestyle, religious or spiritual beliefs.

2. Hugging till Relaxed:

Hugging till relaxed is an exercise developed by marriage counselor Dr. David Schnarch that you can do with your partner.

To do this exercise, stand a few feet apart to begin with. Close your eyes and become centered and in-tune with yourself. Then shuffle forward and wrap your arms around each other for a hug. Try to stay balanced within yourself while sharing emotional energy with your partner.

3. Journaling for Love:

There are several journaling techniques that can help you cultivate more love in your life. A gratitude list is essential for shifting negative thought patterns into the empowered energy of appreciation. Love letters written in your journal can be a great way to say thank you or express love for people who have positively influenced your life. A free write on your most favorite memories can help you cultivate self-love.

4. Cultivating Self-Love:

More ways to cultivate self-love include doing Louise Hay’s Mirror Work. This exercise asks you to look in the mirror and lovingly say “I love you” to yourself. You can also decide to do more things to improve your mood and well-being such as treating yourself to a gentle massage or spa day, a night out with friends, or engaging in activities you love.

5. Putting Love into Action:

One of the most rewarding ways to increase the love in your life is to put your own love into action. Random acts of kindness, paying it forward, volunteering, or planning a special day for a loved one all help you help others. The positive emotions that are generated by loving actions can last throughout the day. Not only are you putting more love into your life, you are putting more love into someone else’s life.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

FREE Men’s Health Forum: Male Vitality Secrets Your Doctor Won’t Tell You!!!

Join us for a FREE men’s health forum: Male Vitality Secrets Your Doctor Won’t Tell You!!!

The Lifestyle Clinic will be hosting this FREE event on Saturday October 17th, 2015. Space is limited – this is a Men’s ONLY event, but please bring male friends and family (Husbands, Sons, Fathers, Friends, Uncles, Coworkers- all are welcome!).

Click below to find out more information and learn how to RSVP!

Mens Health Forum Updated Flyer

 

 

Naturopathic Medicine Charlotte NC Health and Wellness

Probiotics and Gut Health

There are over 400 species and thousands of strains of bacteria that are supposed to inhabit the lower intestines and colon. These are called probiotics, which means “for life”, and were initially discovered in the early 1900’s.

These bacteria have many roles in good health. An important function is to prevent food from decay, preserve antioxidants and vitamins, remove toxins and keep pathogenic organisms away. Another major role of probiotics is to maintain proper immune function. Among the various effects on the immune system, a specific action is to stimulate the action of white blood cells, which kill bacteria.

When buying a probiotic, you want a multi-strain product called “broad spectrum”. It should have at least 8-15 different types of probiotic bacteria. Avoid supplements with fillers or preservatives. Make sure it is a product that has been kept cold in the store and then keep it in your fridge when you get it home, unless it is a high-quality vacuum sealed product (these types you can get from a healthcare professional).

Look for supplements that contain prebiotics as well like: inulin and FOS. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about the right product and dosing for your health.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

New Detox Group

The Lifestyle Clinic will be hosting a new detox event Tuesdays, August 11, 2015 – August 25,2015.  Space is limited – Friends and family are welcome to join.  Cost is $146.00 which includes all supplements.  This two week detox-cleanse is designed to rid your body of toxins and leave you feeling more vibrant and energetic.  The group support gives you accountability and helps you stick to the plan.  Call our office 704-334-3761 or email us to register today.

Weight Loss Natural Health Charlotte

5 Healthy Fitness Tips

1. Lift weights and your spirits – Studies show that even a little bit of exercise can affect mood-controlling in your brain.

2. Mix it up – Missed your daily workout? Do strength training during commercial breaks of your favorite tv show. Lunges, squats, and crunches.

3. Change your scenery – Ditch the treadmill for some new terrain and explore a new path in your neighborhood.

4. Take a Class – The fact that you pay for it will push you to get your money’s worth and the energy from others will boost your own.

5. Buddy up – Working out with a friend is a great way to stick with a fitness routine.