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The Runner

To be a runner.

What is a runner?  Who is a runner? A runner is a person that goes out and runs any number of miles or minutes.  Being a runner doesn’t mean you spend countless hours every day running.  It means you went for a run.

What does running do for the body?

Improve Your Health

Believe it or not, running is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol while also helping you increase lung function and use. In addition, running can also boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.

For women, running can actually help to lower your risk of breast cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke. Many doctors today recommend running for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack. By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced.

Running for just an hour a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners   . And for those already hitting the recommended physical activity guidelines, an extra spurt of exercise can lower the risks of heart disease even more. 

Lose Weight

Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight. You will find that it is a leading way to burn off extra calories and that it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute, following only after cross country skiing.

Core Stability

A strong core improves posture, strengthens limbs, and helps make everyday activities a breeze. And whether we feel it or not, running engages that midsection, strengthening those all-important muscles. Bonus: A solid core in runners can improve performance, too.

Boost Your Confidence

Not all of the benefits of running are physical. Running can provide an noticeable boost to your confidence and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling much happier.



Achieve goals

Studies suggest that people who set and meet (or exceed) long-term fitness goals (like signing up for a half-marathon!) are more committed and satisfied with their exercise routines than those who trudge along aimlessly. And who doesn’t feel good about crossing items off their bucket list?

Relieve Stress

Stress can actually cause a number of health and mood problems. It can also diminish appetite and sleep quality. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones. Running also helps to reduce your chances of developing tension headaches.

Eliminate Depression

When you are depressed, the last thing you likely want to do is to get up and go for a run. Yet you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood. In fact, there are few things in the world that can better or more rapidly treat depression than exercise such as running.

It may seem surprising to learn all of the different ways that running can improve your health, but the truth of the matter is that these are only a few of the many benefits that it can offer to your body.  Running really is incredibly beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, and you will find that even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, more focused, and better able to enjoy all that life has to offer.

Why I run…

Running is a peace of mind for me, my time to connect and just be.  During a run, no one can bother me; the stress of life cannot take over.  Just moving and breathing is all it takes. There are weeks I run 20 to 30 plus miles, and then there are weeks, like the past two, where I have ran a total of 11 miles.  You don’t have to be training for a marathon to run, do it for yourself.  20 minutes a day may just be that change you need.,,20841202,00.html

What do you know about what your gut tells you?

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of research articles popping up in my healthy living subscriptions about probiotics and the connection it has to our gut. From depression and anxiety to IBS and eczema, there are many studies showing the benefits probiotics have on treating and helping these and many other conditions.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They are naturally found in your body, but you can also find them in some foods and supplements. A couple of types of probiotics that are essential are:

Bifidobacterium lactis HN019

Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC55730

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001

Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12

There are other strains that are beneficial, but these are the recommended for dietary support.

Why should you choose to take a probiotic? Well, as noted above, there are many benefits. Researchers are still trying to figure out which strains are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Diarrhea from infection, food poisoning, or antibiotics
  • Treat urinary tract infections
  • Prevent or treat yeast infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Eczema
  • Reduce the risk of bladder cancer returning
  • Protect against colon cancer
  • Improve the immune system

Probiotics and Weight loss

The theory is that probiotics may affect the way that energy (calories) is digested and therefore could help regulate the process by which energy can be used by the body, including becoming fat. There is still quite a bit of research being done on this subject, so people need to remain cautious. Probiotics are not magic diet pills, continue to follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

The Bottom Line
Probiotics are a current trend that is actually healthy for our bodies. Taking a supplement or including one serving of yogurt or another food with probiotics per day, can really help you reap the benefits.


The Truth About Creatine

Many people think of creatine as just a supplement that is used to build muscle. This is true, but that is not all that it does to benefit the body.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid made naturally in the body, but it can also be found in meat and fish or taken in higher doses as a supplement. It’s available on its own, but you’ll also sometimes see it in meal-replacement shakes and other supplements. 

So, how can Creatine benefit you?

Improves Glucose Tolerance

Throughout several studies, it has been found that oral creatine supplementation can offset the decline of muscle GLUT4 protein content in skeletal musculature during disuse atrophy and also, increases GLUT4 content during subsequent rehabilitation training. Based on the present findings, it is warranted to evaluate the potential of long-term creatine supplementation as a strategy to prevent or treat disease conditions characterized by peripheral insulin resistance.

Congestive heart failure (chronic)

Research supports the use of creatine supplementation in people with chronic heart failure. Several studies have reported a positive outcome of improved muscle strength and endurance.

How Creatine Affects Older Adults

With aging and inactivity, muscle wasting or atrophy most often occurs in fast-twitch muscle fiber. These fibers, which are recruited during high-intensity, low-endurance movements such as weight lifting and sprinting, are the most profoundly affected by creatine.

An abundance of recent studies has found creatine to have beneficial effects in older adults, especially when combined with a resistance training protocol. 

These are just a few highlights of the many benefits you find with Creatine.

Other Benefits

The use of creatine is thought to enhance the brains ability to survive the metabolic and physical trauma associated with conditions of neurodegenerative disorders. 

Creatine is also suggested for the use of bone fracture healing and osteoporosis. 
There have also been other studies done that say creatine could help slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, as well as help
improve the strength of people suffering from muscular dystrophy.

One of the most heavily researched supplements in the history of sports nutrition (over 200 studies to date, over the last decade), creatines efficacy cannot be denied. 

Here are a few places to learn more about Creatine: