Is Missing a Day of Exercise Bad?

Is Missing a Day of Exercise Bad?

A busy schedule, waning motivation and tough workouts can all make you think twice before heading to the gym. While missing one day of exercise won’t completely derail your process, making it a habit can. Before you skip a workout, consider your motives. When in the name of rest and recovery, skipping a day can be beneficial. When the result of a lack of motivation, missing exercise can hinder your progress.

Regular Exercise

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle or simply live a healthy lifestyle, exercise is an integral part of your health. Exercise helps to keep your heart strong, burn calories and increase your energy level, so it’s important to create an exercise routine that you’re comfortable with and that you can commit to on a daily basis. Missing one day here and there won’t negatively affect your overall health and wellness, but it could be the start to a dangerous habit of skipping exercise on a more regular basis.

Rest and Recovery

When you’ve participated in a strenuous workout, such as endurance running or weightlifting, giving your body a day to recover can help you come back stronger. Continuing strenuous exercise when your muscles and joints are sore could result in injury. Still, just because you engaged in high-impact exercise doesn’t mean you should automatically skip your next workout. Interspersing days of high-impact training with days of lower-impact exercise methods can help you stay healthy, on track and injury-free.

Staying Motivated

When you’ve worked out recently, it can be tempting to allow yourself to take a day or two to avoid the gym and participate in other hobbies. But getting off track can make it difficult to get back on once again. Making exercise part of your daily routine is what turns it from a daily annoyance into a daily habit. Stay motivated by setting easy-to-achieve goals and offering yourself incentives. For instance, if you go to the gym every day for a week, you get a pedicure or a new top. This helps you get your foot in the door even when you don’t necessarily feel like working out.

Exercise Alternatives

Even if you don’t feel like going to the gym, it doesn’t mean you have to do without exercise altogether. On days where you’re tempted to skip a workout, plan another physical activity instead. Whether it’s a pickup game of volleyball at the beach, a hike or even parking far away from you building, it doesn’t have to be formal to be exercise. By making a conscious effort to move your body more, you’ll be able to squeeze in exercise on days where your motivation is lacking.

Migraines and fatigue may start in the gut, experts say

 

If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating the piercing pain, sensitivity to light and sound and nausea can be.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 38 million people suffer from them and more than 4 million who get them on a daily basis.

What you may not realize and what your doctor probably isn’t telling you is that  migraines may be linked to your gut health. More specifically, the cause of migraines can be caused by “gut hyper-permeability,” a condition often dubbed leaky gut syndrome.

 

“Migraines are the result of a perfect storm,” said Dr. Vincent M. Pedre, an integrative and functional medicine doctor in New York City and author of “Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain.”

Dehydration, not sleeping well, blood sugar fluctuations, artificial sweeteners, even a glass of wine can cause migraines. For women, hormonal shifts at the beginning of their menstrual cycles can be the culprit. For men, , an age-related testosterone deficiency known as “andropause” can trigger an incident.

Yet experts agree there are also inflammatory factors at play which can lead to gut hyperpermeability.

Leaky gut is activated by zonulin, a compound that our bodies produce to open up the tight junctions or the cells that line the inside of the intestines to let nutrients through.

When those tight junctions open up too much and allow undigested food particles and pathogens to get through, it elicits an immune response that can cause migraines.

Frequent use of antibiotics, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, an overgrowth of yeast and stress and food sensitivities can all increase the hyperpermeability of the gut.

Up to a third of people with leaky gut may not even experience GI issues, a common symptom of leaky gut syndrome, Pedre said.

What’s more, conventional NSAID pain killers like ibuprofen also increase intestinal permeability within 24 hours of taking them and also when they’re taken long term, according to a review in the Journal of Gastroenterology.

Stress, in particular, affects the production of gastric enzymes, which aid digestion. If you’re not sufficiently breaking down proteins and your gut is hyperpermeable, your immune system is exposed to partially digested proteins that lead to an immune response.

Foreign proteins can also make their way into the bloodstream because of your own unique genetic predisposition.

“Your immune system is essentially going to be attacked by those foreign proteins and your tissues could look similar to those proteins,” said Shawn Stevenson, a nutritionist in St. Louis, Mo. and bestselling author of “Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies To Sleep Your Way To A Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success.”

The same immune response that causes migraines can also lead to fatigue, along with the auras that precede migraines by one or two days or after the migraine has passed, Pedre said.

Gluten can increase gut permeability

“Most people can eat bread and gluten for their lives and not have anything they know to be a problem but that it doesn’t mean it’s good for them,” Stevenson said.

Although food sensitivities can trigger migraines, gluten, in particular, can cause hyperpermeability of the gut whether you have celiac disease, are gluten sensitive, or not, Pedre said.

If you suspect you have leaky gut syndrome, here’s what you can do about it.

See your doctor.

Leaky gut is controversial and not typically validated by conventional medical doctors so you should try to see a functional medicine doctor, integrative physician or homeopath  who can help to identify the underlying cause of your migraines.

Although there’s a test—the lactulose mannitol test—to screen for gut permeability, it’s not perfect. Instead, your doctor will probably run a test to look for food sensitivities.

“If a person comes back with a whole bunch of foods they are reactive too, we know that they have a leaky gut,” Pedre said.

Do an elimination diet.

“One very powerful way to lower our inflammation in the body is through the diet,” Pedre said.

Talk to your doctor about a four-week elimination diet which excludes common food triggers and includes anti-inflammatory foods. Then slowly re-introduce the trigger foods and pay close attention to your symptoms. Although gluten might be the culprit, it can be something as inconspicuous as cinnamon, Pedre said.

Drink plenty of water.

Hydrating and re-hydrating after a workout or on a hot summer day is key to ward off migraines. When you’re dehydrated, the tiny capillaries in the brain get smaller, which makes it painful for the blood to pass through and circulate around the brain, Stevenson said.

Try bone broth.
Bone broth is trendy and experts say drinking it can help restore the gut microbiome. Chia seeds and okra are good choices too.

Take supplements

Supplements such as aloe vera gel powder, L-glutamine, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), fish oil and curcumin can help.

Eat probiotic-rich foods.

Try adding foods rich in probiotics into your diet like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir as well as prebiotic foods like Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and onion.

Reduce stress.

It’s one of the most difficult things to make room for in your life, but stress-reduction activities like yoga, meditation and spending time in nature are important to restore gut health and prevent migraines.

“If you only change your diet but you’re still living in this rushed, stressed out way, then you’re missing part of the picture,” Pedre said. 

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Is Your DIET causing Alzheimers?

An important new study released in London conclusively links diet and Alzheimer’s disease, providing even more evidence that you can protect your brain by watching what you eat. 

At the recent Alzheimer Association’s International Conference in the U.K, researchers revealed that following either a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet or its close cousin, the MIND diet (see picture below), can reduce future cognitive impairment by up to 35 percent.

Although earlier studies had linked heart-healthy diets to better cognitive function, today’s study, by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, is important for having the size (6,000 adults who participated in the Health and Retirement survey) and type of subjects (cognitively healthy at the start) to conclusively link diet and Alzheimer’s and “make the results quite generalizable to a broader group,” says lead researcher Claire McEvoy.

And while the two diets studied vary slightly — the main difference stems from MIND’s bigger emphasis on leafy green vegetables and its restriction on all fruit but berries — McEvoy says focusing on particular foods is not the point. “The diets as a whole seem to have the greatest benefit. Foods and nutrients seem to work together to provide the benefits.” As for how healthy choices like spinach and blueberry salads work their brain-saving magic, ideas vary. “It could be that they reduce inflammation, which has been strongly implicated with cognitive decline,” McEvoy says. Or, she adds, the diets’ power could be related to “the profound positive effect that a high-quality diet has on the vascular system,” which in turn affects brain health.

But while science shows that the diets work as a whole, the benefits of decisions like choosing whole grains over processed flour or cooking with olive oil aren’t all or nothing. The study’s results, says Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, show the positive effects of improving nutrition even a bit. “Of course, you get the biggest result if you follow the diet completely, but even little changes can have a significant impact.” 

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