Health and Wellness

At Heritage, we care about you -- your life, your family, but also your health. That's why we started a health and wellness ministry, led by Scott Siewert. Check back periodically for new and updated articles regarding wellness. 

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forward head posture and the cell phone
by r. scott siewert

The issues with the use of cell phones while driving is well documented and regulated. Many studies are now linking cellular technology with sleep disturbances, anxiety, stress, and to a lesser extent, depression and personality variables such as self esteem, self identity, and self image.

Physicians, therapists, trainers and physical educators are becoming concerned that the increased muscle activity in the neck and shoulder region when texting or surfing on a smartphone increases the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. It has been clearly shown that two handed texting is associated with increased cervical flexion while one handed texting had a relation with attending neck posture. Changes around the neck caused by forward head lean and/or increased cervical flexion with habitual texting is not favorable and presents spinal complications over time.

We may not be able to control or affect cellular usage in the population, but coaches, personal trainers, gym owners, exercise physiologists and others can all affect how we view and strength-train the head, neck, traps and scapula in our workout regimes. Inclusion of exercise for the cervical spine will decrease postural problems linked to constant use of this communication technology and it’s important for a healthy lifestyle.

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never stop exercising by r. scott siewert

There is compelling evidence that exercise is medicine and physical inactivity has profound deterioration effects on health. Even late in life, an increase in physical activity has striking benefits. The decline of structure and function of muscle mass over decades may represent the most dramatic change to our physiological system. Maintaining lean muscular tissue must be taken seriously; it’s decline effects mobility, overall nutrient intake and status, disease, pulmonary function and much more, including our independence in daily living.

In a meeting on biologic gerontology (the study of aging) in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1988, Dr. Irwin H. Rosenberg recognized the serious need to label this loss of lean tissue and introduced the term SARCOPENIA, which originates from the Greek roots of the word sarx for flesh, and penia, for loss. Fighting sarcopenia should be a goal. Maintaining a normal body weight and maintaining functional skeletal muscle mass should always be at the forefront of any intervention strategy to achieve “healthy aging.” Why you need to know: Because sarcopenia is a leading contributor, frailty and early death in older adults. Two supplements have been shown along with a resistance training exercise program to combat sarcopenia by maintaining or boosting muscle mass and performance.

Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate or (HMB,) a product of the amino acid LEUCINE, has been found to enhance lean muscle mass, prevent its loss, and promote improved muscle function. Vitamin D3 has important effects on aging muscles, including producing significant greater muscle strength and exercise performance. Anyone concerned about maintaining optimal muscle mass, strength, and function into their Golden Years should consider resistance exercise programs and supplementing with a combination of HMB and vitamin D3.

sugary drinks linked to aging of the brain: article original source, Toledo Blade

Drinking sugary beverages is associated with markers of accelerated aging and early signs of Alzheimer's Disease, a new study reports. Researchers used data on more than 4,000 people older than 30, examining their brains with MRI and measuring memory with psychological tests. All completed well validated food questionnaires. 

Sugary beverage intake is an indirect measure of how much sugar we get in our diets, which is difficult to measure. The study, in Alzheimer's and Dementia, found that on average, the more sugary drinks consumed, the lower the total brain volume and the lower the scores on memory tests. Brain shrinkage is tied to an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease. 

Compared with those who drank no sugary drinks, those who drank one or two a day had a reduced brain volume equivalent to 1.6 years of aging, and lower memory scores equivalent to years of aging. Those who drank more than two had decreased brain volume equivalent to two years of normal aging and lower memory scores by the equivalent of 11 years. The researchers took into consideration diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, and many other health behavioral characteristics. 


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wondering: by r. scott siewert

Never underestimate the power of God to place people in your life who you need, and who need YOU as well. Here is a small thought that came to me, especially after seeing the movie Christopher Robin. (When you are a bear of little brain sometimes it helps to have a friend like Piglet….)