How to Improve Metabolic Health
We have one, three hour seminar program on the topic of metabolic health.
• Aerobic Fitness
• The Hourglass Diet
• The Autonomic Nervous System
• Healthy Sleep
This three hour, interactive seminar is designed to provide participants with a good idea of what they, themselves can do to improve their metabolic health.
It's hard to define exactly what metabolic health is, other than to say that good metabolic is a symptom that your body is functioning at the peak performance level.
People in good metabolic health don't have elevated blood pressure, blood cholesterol or blood sugar.
People in good metabolic health have high levels of aerobic fitness, they are close to their ideal body weight, they sleep like logs, they don't get headaches. They don't rely on drugs to mask the symptoms of poor metabolic health.
The rise and rise of the practice of junk medicine has perverted the course of good metabolic health. Whilst, taking a drug to mask the symptoms of poor metabolic health may be a necessary course of action for the short term, it's not the wisest long term course of action.
For most people, restoring poor metabolic health to good is something only they themselves can do.
The keys to good metabolic health lie in
- a regular, vigorous aerobic exercise program
- a diet the matches energy input with energy output and supplies the body with the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.
- an autonomic nervous system that's efficiently modulating key body system functions.
- healthy sleep.
Your level of aerobic fitness is a good indicator of the condition of the metabolic system responsible for transporting oxygen to working muscles: - the heart, lungs and blood vessels. However, to restrict the importance of aerobic fitness to the cardiovascular system does it a grave injustice. On the contrary, your level of aerobic fitness is perhaps the best indicator of the health status of most of the important body systems.
Only 10 to 15 percent of people over the age of 30 years participate in sufficiently vigorous activity (of the huff and puff variety) each week to maintain reasonable level and reap the benefits of aerobic fitness.
According to the research, the stimulus to improving aerobic fitness is at least three vigorous aerobic sessions a week of at least 20 minutes a session. And if 20 minutes is good, 30 minutes is better and 40 minutes is best.
Along with time, the intensity of your aerobic exercise needs to be taken into account. They say that you need to get your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) to gain an aerobic training effect. 70% is probably more like it. 80% is achievable and sustainable for people in good aerobic condition and something worth aiming at. Maximum heart rate is said to be 220 minus your age.
The people we see who are in the best of health are those who have a vigorous aerobic training program, for 40 minutes on most days of the week. I see little evidence that ambling around the block for 10 minutes does much for the cardiovascular or any other system, or that it has much of an impact on lowering stress levels.
Read more about the benefits of physical activity.
COUNT AERABYTES, NOT TIME
We've coined a new name for the aerobic fitness prescription, the aerabyte, as in ‘a byte of aerobic exercise’. A prescription without a dosage and frequency is a poor prescription indeed.
Until now the prescription of aerobic exercise has been grossly deficient. If you're serious about becoming aerobically fitter, merely recording time, steps or distance is pointless unless effort and frequency is also taken into account. Enter the aerabyte.
Aim for a minimum of 400 aerabytes a week (APW). 600 is better and you'll keep yourself in good metabolic health. If you want to achieve huge gains in your aerobic fitness, aim at 800 APW. As for the time it will take to get your 800 aerabytes per week, this will depend on the amount of effort you expend in each workout. What's happened in our sedentary society is that people do not realise just how little activity they do. Unless you have a manual job, the quickest way to get your aerabytes is to exercise with vigor for 200 or more minutes a week.
If you're diabetic or have high blood pressure you'd want at least 800 APW a week to manage your condition.
THE HOURGLASS DIETIt's a big ask in our society expecting to stay healthy without being fit. It's also a big ask expecting to stay healthy if you're eating
In this one hour seminar you'll learn how to eat from the top of
In a nutshell the Hourglass Diet is a model that has good food at the top and junk down the bottom. Once you get the hang of the difference between good food and junk food, the battle is half over.
The Hourglass diet contains
nutritional guidelines that encourage you to:
THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
The autonomic nervous system runs sub-consciously the essential metabolic processes of your body like digestion and respiration, all of it under unconscious control. You don’t have to worry about your heart rate, when to take the next breath, what’s happening to your breakfast, it’s all automatically controlled from the spot in your brain known as the limbic system.
It has two 'branches' the sympathetic nervous system, designed to help the body deal with stressful situations (whether they be good or bad), and the parasympathetic nervous system designed to bring the body back to a relaxed state of homeostasis.
The autonomic nervous system governs many of the major functions of the body, digestion, respiration and brain activity ...
The autonomic nervous system is a bit like the air conditioner in a large building. Just as the air conditioner ticks over quietly in the background, maintaining a steady temperature all day without the inhabitants being aware of what’s happening, so the autonomic nervous system ticks over in the background managing body system functions and helping them to meet the demands of changing conditions.
The sympathetic nervous system gets over-stimulated by stress. We develop the flight, fight or freeze reaction. Adrenalin pumps, blood vessels contract, blood flows from our gut and our head out to our skeletal muscles. Blood pressure goes up.
A regular vigorous aerobic exercise program washes out of the body the chemicals released into the blood stream by an over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system.
Exposure to stress for extended periods of time, leading to over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system negatively affects metabolic health.
The para-sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by relaxation, meditation and distraction from busyness. Lack of this stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system also negatively impacts on metabolic health.
Meditation is one way of getting in control of our bodies and our minds. It is a particularly good way to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. When that happens, muscles relax and blood vessels dilate to the very core of your body. You feel more relaxed generally and your blood pressure comes down.
The state of deep relaxation is useful in calming the body and re-establishing equilibrium within the nervous and endocrine systems.
A good night's sleep is an essential pre-requisite to a healthy functioning metabolic system.
The number of hours sleep we need is a highly individual matter.
There is a normal spread of hours from 5 through to 9. Some people even get along very well with just 4 hours sleep a night. It is all they need. For most healthy, stimulated people 9 hours would appear to be too much.
In association with Integrated Health Systems
7 Salvado Place, Stirling (Canberra) ACT 2611 Australia
61 2 62887703