Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

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Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Reflections: body, mind, and spirit. Tips for lowering blood sugar and stress management

Here's what I've been doing for Body, Mind, and Spirit.


BODY

Last month I shared with you my experiment with using a continuous glucose monitor. This month I've studied a few more simple ways for lowering it. Here are six simple tips for lowering your blood sugar levels recommend in the book, Boundless by Ben Greenfield.

  • Strength training - One of many benefits of strength training is you increase your ability to drive glucose into muscle tissue. Strength training decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity.

  • Pre-breakfast fasted cardio - Research shows that exercising in the morning before eating is a potent strategy for controlling blood sugar. I implement this strategy on a consistent basis.

  • Postprandial walks - A Japanese study found that low-volume, easy walking for thirty minutes after a meal kept the concentration of fat in the blood 18 percent lower than sitting or standing after a meal. I experienced this first hand during my experiment with a continuous glucose monitor. Simple!

  • Standing - While not as effective as walking, standing is much more effective than sitting. One study found that standing for 180 minutes after lunch instead of sitting for the same amount of time reduced post-lunch blood sugar spikes 43 percent.

  • Plants, herbs, and spices - Here are some that will help decrease the length and intensity of blood glucose spikes: Ceylon cinnamon, berberine, rock lotus, and bitter melon extract. I personally use Ceylon cinnamon most every day and Kion Lean which contains bitter melon extract. While wearing the continuous glucose monitor I saw that despite eating a high-carb piece of pizza, my glucose hardly spiked when I consumed Kion Lean prior to the meal.

  • Fiber - Think of foods such as nuts, sweet potatoes, yams, dark leafy greens, legumes. Your body breaks down these dietary insoluble fibers into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs are comprised of either acetate, propionate, or butyrate. Long story short, this is all a very good thing as research shows this all helps with reduction of accumulation of fat in adipose tissue, the liver improves blood sugar management, and glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity is improved. Fiber is our friend.

Challenge for you:

Commit to doing one of the blood sugar lowering strategies into your week - do it every day.

MIND

Stress can be even more damaging than we realize, especially for our brain! As Dr. Mark Hyman explains, stress can shrink our brain. This is due to our stress hormone, cortisol, binding to receptors on the hippocampus, the region of the brain that’s responsible for memory, and wears it down. That’s why stress management is so important.


Even though we may already have stress management practices in place, it’s good to review how those practices are going. Do I need to change anything? Do I need to make more effort? I reviewed my journaling process and have discovered I could be doing more. One journal that has been helped in self-reflection is The Daily Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. Each day it provides a question for you to ponder and reflect upon in the morning and evening.


Challenge for you:

If you don’t already have one, start a daily practice of journaling, meditation, and exercise. Implement this now to maintain well-balanced stress levels.


SPIRIT

I am enjoying the soundtrack of The Passion - the Mel Gibson movie. It is available on Apple ITunes. Last year during Lent, some friends and I watched the intense and incredible movie. There has been some rumblings that a second movie is coming out. I enjoy listening to this as background music when I’m writing.


Challenge for you:

Unwind with a favorite soundtrack or album or discover a new one. Find something that works for you that helps you in creative process or to just be.


Question - This question I read by James Clear gave me pause. How would you answer it?

If someone took control of your life tomorrow, what’s the first thing they would change?

To your reflection and health,

Lisa Schaffer

GreenNote Fitness

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Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for books, podcasts, and more on body, mind, and spirit.

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