The Way You Breathe Matters

The Way You Breathe Matters

If you are reading this, you are breathing. We tend to take breathing for granted unless we are having difficulty – then it is all we can think about. Have you ever paid attention to how you breathe, whether through your nose or your mouth?

You may think it doesn’t matter because both routes provide air for your lungs. Actually, the way you breathe matters.

Your body’s primary means of breathing is your nose, with your mouth being the backup route to bring air into your lungs. But some of us grew up with restrictions to nasal breathing, such as allergies causing congestion or a deviated septum. As a result, it became a habit to breathe through our mouths.

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6 Foods That Help You Sleep Better

6 Foods That Help You Sleep Better

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night can be challenging.

If you’re struggling to get a full eight hours, there are a number of ways to support your body. Here are some foods that can help you sleep better.

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Fall Into A Healthier Routine

Fall Into A Healthier Routine

As fall approaches the leaves are changing color, the air is getting cooler, and it’s officially time to start the transition into autumn. This can be a difficult time for many people who are used to enjoying the summer sun and activities, but autumn brings its own unique set of delights. You can fall into a healthier routine.

One of the best things about autumn is that it’s a great time to reset your routine and start fresh. If you feel like you need a change, now is the perfect time to make some adjustments to your wellness routine. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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Many are frustrated by weight gain during the holidays. Before you start another diet, there are some important tips I'd like to share.

Before You Start That Diet ….

It’s the beginning of a new year. Across the US, there are many who are frustrated by the bigger number on their bathroom scale and are choosing the diet they will use this time around. Would this be you, too? Before you start that diet, there are some important tips I’d like to share.

Losing weight is more than eating less and exercising more. When the body can’t eliminate toxins, it stashes them in adipose tissue – fat cells. Weight loss releases not only fat, but toxins too. That’s often why you feel sluggish when dieting. Read more

With fall approaching, we can can expect cooler temperatures and a potential increase in viral threats. It's vital to boost the army within.

Boost Your Internal Army

With the approach of fall, we can look forward to cooler temperatures, the holidays, and sadly, a potential increase in viral threats, such as flu and it’s cousin, Covid-19. I don’t address this to depress you, but rather to encourage you to take steps to prepare yourself.

I’m not encouraging you to seek out a vaccine either. Rather, I am encouraging you to focus on strengthening your inner army – your immune system. It has far more influendce on your overall health than you likely realize. You have the power to strengthen it with your daily choices, and I’d like to outline the primary areas for you. Read more

Are You Waking Refreshed or Groggy?

What changes have you noticed about your health in these past months of sheltering in? Many are finding themselves more relaxed about it as time passes. And how about your sleep – are you waking refreshed or groggy? Do you fight to make yourself get out of bed in the morning?

Cortisol and melatonin are key players in our sleep patterns. Cortisol rises to wake you and its levels are changing throughout the day. Your cortisol levels normally peak in late morning and then falling through the rest of the day. As cortisol falls in the evening, melatonin rises to prepare your body for sleep. Read more

Arm Yourself Against Illness

‘Tis the season – the flu season is being heralded all around us. Are you prepared? And how can you arm yourself against illness, be it flu or cold or other form?

Though there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, supporting your immune system is what I consider the best way (even ahead of vaccines). Read more

Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Did you celebrate on Saturday when the time change gave you an extra hour of sleep? I hope you actually slept rather than using that time to work, play, or do anything else.

I’ve written often about the value of sleep for our wellness. Losing (or gaining) an hour of sleep can happen more than in the fall or the spring. It can happen when your schedule gets overwhelmed, or you work shifts. It’s the circadian rhythm everyone talks about.

Science and Your Sleep Rhythm

Science is constantly learning more about the body, and more recently has discovered that each of our cells also has its own clock. Never saw that in your high school biology text, did you?

To optimize your health, it is important to pay attention to and honor our built-in patterns of waking, sleeping and eating, commonly referred to as our circadian rhythm. This rhythm affects the core function of your body as it rises and falls at certain times of the day. For example, growth hormone production usually rises at night while you are sleeping. If your stomach is not full of food at that time, the growth hormone will help to repair your stomach lining.

Circadian Rhythm Tips

To leverage these daily rhythms, we just have to do a few things — sleep at the right time, eat at the right time, and get a little bright light during daytime. Let’s look at these areas more closely.

Sleeping less than 6 hours a night limits your body’s ability to heal and restore after the day’s demands. Studies have also shown that this shortened sleep dramatically increases the risk of insulin resistance, which is at the core of many chronic diseases. Shift workers, who are often deprived of regular sleep, are more likely to develop insulin resistance, leading to diabetes and more.

Effective sleep is influenced by your body’s production of melatonin, which is heavily controlled by light exposure. In the days of candles and lanterns, lights used at night did not interfere with melatonin. Today’s electronics, LED and fluorescent lighting emits a blue light that does. Solution? You can either change your light sources in areas that you frequent in the evening, or you can wear blue-filtering eyeglasses at night.

Circadian Rhythm and Eating

Circadian rhythm in humans is also impacted by your mealtimes. Just like many cleanout functions occur in your brain during deep sleep, our other organs need downtime. Your digestive system has a Migrating Motor Complex that acts something like a street sweeper, cleaning through your intestinal tract when you give it time between meals and don’t snack frequently. If you have constipation, this MMC doesn’t function; and if you eat every couple of hours, it also doesn’t engage.

In time-restricted feeding trials, it has been discovered that mice whose feeding are restricted to a window of 8-12 hours are protected from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation and a host of other diseases. In order for your digestive system to benefit from circadian rhythm, fast for at least 12 hours a day. This could be comprised of fasting for 3 hours before bedtime, 8 hours of sleep, and fasting an hour when you wake to allow your melatonin to level off.

How Can I Help You?

How can you keep rhythm with your circadian rhythm? Just like you would dance – one step at a time. You won’t change things suddenly, but small changes, step by step, can restore your rhythm and help you flow into wellness. Let’s chat and see how we can help you feel better!

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

5 Ways to Ditch the Brain Fog

Ever have those days where you can’t seem to think straight? It can feel like your brain is actually foggy, and you can’t get to your thoughts. Fatigue often accompanies brain fog — including feeling easily irritated, forgetting things or having trouble learning new things, feeling unmotivated, anxious, lacking concentration and even insomnia. Frustrating, and the good news is you can do a lot to clear the fog in your head.

Here are a few tweaks you can start implementing: Read more

Arm Yourself to Fight Illness!

We all know someone who has been sick in the past month – perhaps you, a family member, or a friend. The media is touting this as an especially bad flu season. What should you do to protect yourself?

Despite all the encouragement to get the flu shot, I do not recommend that as your primary strategy. The flu shot can actually hinder your immune system, as it comes with a nasty dose of mercury that is dangerous to your body. Read more