How Exercise Changes Your Genes

Exercise does much more than make you feel good and/or relaxed; exercise changes your genes. More specifically, it changes the activity level of your genes, even reversing the stress-related damage to your genes. In addition, it reduces the activity level of your inherited genes that place you at greater risk for certain diseases; and it helps repair genes that have already been damaged by stress, thereby reducing your risk for additional diseases.

 

The exercises that change and repair your genes are not limited to just walking or running. Any exercise or habit that activates the mind-body connection is more than sufficient, especially when done on a regular basis. Yoga, qigong, tai chi, and even breathing exercises (like meditation): they can all reduce your “bad” gene activity and/or repair stress-related damage your genes. Equally importantly, they can reduce the inflammation in your body – the cause of many of your physical ailments.

 

Red DicePreviously, there was the belief that exercise had to be done on a daily basis. Kenneth Cooper recommended 10,000 steps per day. But new research debunks that old belief. Weekend warriors can improve their health – and […]

Blog, Health|

Friendship versus Career? Don’t Neglect Your Friendships!

Too many Americans are chasing career success, making sacrifices for some professional or financial goal. Too often those sacrifices include less time with their families and less time with their friends. That is a massive mistake – a mistake that lowers their happiness and reduces their health. Surprise. Our survival depends more on our friendships than our work.

 

That importance of friendship has been demonstrated in numerous studies throughout the animal kingdom. Monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons, horses, hyenas, elephants, and dolphins create lifelong friendships; and that is only the beginning of the lengthy list. For almost all species, the greater the quality of the friendships, the better the health and the longer the longevity for the animal.

 

Rhesus monkeys with close friendships show reduced levels of stress hormones and improved health. Horses, when they are grooming each other, show slower heart rates. Baboons with close friendships are four times more likely to live to an older age. And those positive effects are noticed in most species – even dogs and cats with their owners.

 

With humans, friendship appears to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and improve the immune system. How […]

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Netflix “13 Reasons Why”: A Hidden Lesson

Netflix is currently offering a series, titled “13 Reasons Why”, a story of a high school girl who commits suicide, leaving 13 recorded tapes for the 13 people who helped cause her suicide. The series has received critical acclaim and commercial success, as it addresses several important topics: mistreatment by others (including bullying), teenage depression, and suicide.

 

If you were born in the 1990s, you have a higher risk of developing a depression than if you were born in the 1980s. If you were born in the decade of the 2000s, you have a high risk of depression than if you were born in the 1990s. The prevalence of depression is rising with each decade. By 2030, it will be the number one diagnosis in the world. Worse, suicides are also rising.

 

What is causing this rising tide of depression and suicide? There are researchers who blame the chemicals, contaminants, and toxins in the world – from air / food / water – as possible culprits, claiming that those elements are disrupting the normal functioning of the chemistry in the brain. After all, over the past 50 years, we […]

Blog, Teenagers and College|

Millennials’ Changing Gender Identity and Sexuality: Why Now?

When I was growing up, a person’s gender and sexuality were so much simpler. A persona was either male or female, gay or straight. Today, people’s gender and sexuality can be almost anything – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, genderqueer, aromantic, two-spirit, etc.

 

Recent research shows that nearly a third of young people view their sexuality as somewhere between 100% heterosexual and 100% homosexual. Facebook, with its one billion users, now offers 60 options for users’ gender. In California, there is a bill that would add a third gender option on all identification documents – like birth certificates and driver’s licenses – listing male, female, and nonbinary.

 

Celebrities, like Miley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart, have been tabloid examples. Each of them have dated men and women; and each of them have described their sexual preferences as “fluid.” Some surveys have claimed that there are 100-200 shades of sexuality. What a contrast from 25-50 years ago when a male actor would hide his homosexuality, even getting married to a woman, just to save his career.

 

Today, fortunately, we have become more and more tolerant, especially the younger generations. Young people […]

Blog, Transitions|

Rising Rates of Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer

A recent study just revealed a rise in the rate of colon and rectal cancer in those people under the age of 55. That includes Generation X and Millennials. Anyone born in the 1990s has twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer as someone born in 1950s. Since screening for colon cancer is not typically recommended until someone turns 50, many of these cancers are being detected in advanced states, making them much harder to treat.

At this point, the researchers claim that they cannot determine the cause of the rising rate of these colon and rectal cancers in this younger population. Doctors worry that too many of these people are ignoring the early signs of colon cancer, including consistent bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stools, or weight loss. They are also concerned that too many people are ignorant of the medical conditions that are associated with a higher risk for these cancers.

The human gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is an organ system responsible for consuming and digesting foodstuffs, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste.

People with GI disorders are individuals with increased […]

Blog, Health|

Sick and Tired of Our Post-Election Stress?

Since the election, there has been a constant, almost daily, stream of unexpected decisions, enormous conflict, multiple marches protests/ demonstrations, and subsequent chaos. For many people, it has reached a point of overload. They go to bed with their heads still spinning from the daily events, the evening news, or the cable talking heads. They yearn for a bit of relief, a few moments of peace, and a reduction in their own emotional turmoil.

 

I’ve always viewed life as shaped like an ice cream cone. You stand at the very bottom of the cone. Right above you, there is your family and closest friends. Above them, there are your classmates or your work cohorts. Above that larger group, there is your neighborhood and your community, all expanding outward. At the top of the cone, as you progress upward, there is our national and global world. Today, the top of the cone tasty like ice cream; it looks more and more like the ocean – with us caught in the perfect storm.

 

Cone icon. Simple illustration of cone vector icon for web

Each one of us can choose where we want […]

Blog, Health|

Millennials: Rising Above Economic Inequity

I want to address the economic disparity between the millennials and the other generations in the United States. The millennials should receive a higher level of understanding of their financial straits, and the millennials deserve a much higher level of respect for how they are taking ownership of their lives, prioritizing their values in a far better fashion than most of us.

 

Everyone is aware of the economic inequity in our current world. There are the 1%, who are wealthy and living well, and then there are the other 99%, who are struggling with no improvement in their finances for decades. A recent article confirmed how the combined financial worth of the world’s 8 richest individuals is now equal to the total financial worth of half of the 7 billion people on this planet.  Yes, 8 individuals in our world have more money that half of humanity.

 

Hashtag Millennials appearing behind torn brown paper. Millennials also known as Generation Y are the demographic cohort following Generation X.

The impact of that financial disparity may be hardest on the millennials. The median household income for millennials is just $40,581. That is […]

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The Kids Are Not All Right

Normally, I want to present my own original material. However, in the recent Time Magazine, there was a very informative article, titled “The Kids Are Not All Right”, written by Susanna Schrobsdorff. Every teenager and parent should read the article. But since many people do not have access to Time Magazine, I am going to highlight the key points in this blog.

 

young sad woman in pain sitting alone and depressed at urban subway tunnel ground looking worried and frustrated suffering depression in female loneliness concept ** Note: Visible grain at 100%, best at smaller sizes

In the past several years there has been an explosion of increased anxiety, increased depression, and the act of self-cutting in our teenage population. Research shows that there are around 3 million teens who have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. Further research reveals that there are over 6 million teens with anxiety disorder. In addition, for self-cutting, just the hashtag admissions of self-harm behavior have jumped to 2.4 million in the past year. Those statistics equate to a sizeable number of teenagers who are emotionally in turmoil.

 

In 90% of […]

Blog, Connections|

Are You Drifting? Dissatisfied? You Can Fix It!

Everyone, from time to time, drifts away from his or her desired path. That is true for careers, marriages, relationships, finances, personal passions, hobbies, health, faith, etc. We all go astray. It is part of the chaos of life. But it can be corrected. It can also be prevented. You have to stop, take an inventory of your life, create a plan for the necessary changes, and then follow that plan toward a better future.

 

There are several fundamental starting points. You have to admit you spend more time planning your next vacation than you spend time planning the next 5 years of your life. You have to admit you waste time overwhelmed or distracted by the small events in your life, losing your focus on the bigger and more important components of your life. Lastly, you have to admit you settle, far too often, for something good as opposed to fighting for something great.

 

Plan word on a puzzle piece with Perform, Practice, Prepare and Progress connected to it as a blueprint for success in job, career or life in meeting a goal or objective

Now, how to combat […]

Blog|

Here’s Your Best Advice to Yourself

When I attended my daughters’ college graduations, I listened to the speeches and then retired promptly to my own computer to type my imaginary commencement address, highlighting what I would have recommended for their lives. After attending my own recent reunion (see blog at boomerhealthinstitute.com), I realized something. What people recommend for others is usually what they are secretly recommending for themselves.

 

So, let me ask you. What are you recommending for your children as they progress through life? Does it differ much different from what you are recommending for your own life? Take a look at my two imaginary college commencement speeches. Do you agree with the suggestions? Are they striking a familiar theme that you offer to your own children? Give me some feedback. I would love to see how we vary in our approaches to a happy, successful, rewarding life. I think you will discover that your advice to others is your best advice to yourself.

 

Dear Skyler,

At your two graduation speeches, your classmates were told you were brilliant and should now turn that brilliance into action. The various speakers were good, but if I had addressed your class, I would have offered a far different message. Typical for […]

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