Tag Archives: wellness

nature and nurture with grounding

Grounding or earthing is all about taking little steps that can make a big difference in your life no matter where you live, work or play. The earth’s gifts abound everywhere, buoying spirits and benefitting bodies by nature’s sheer presence alone. In the past few decades a number of well-researched books by doctors and scientists have made the connection between nature and human health. Recently published new ones are springing up on the shelves at a fast clip. Included in many are the positive effects that just looking at nature can have on depression, immunity, vitality, productivity, creativity, memory and even cognitive functions.

In their book, Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality Eve Selhub, MD and Alan Logan MD relays that spending just 20 minutes in a vegetation-rich area of nature improves emotional strength, perspective and vitality. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who lived within a half mile of a green space experienced less anxiety and depression than those living farther away. That’s sure sounds like an appealing alternative to taking medications — at least worth a try. And it’s free.

Then there are two studies by Roger Ulrich of the University of Delaware worth citing. His findings reveal that just viewing nature can encourage healing and lowers the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood by 13 percent. A must read are Richard Louv’s works. He expounds on the topic and coined “Nature Deficiency Syndrome.” This phrase says it all.

The healing effects of a natural view are also increasingly being understood in stressful environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, and military sites as well as for people who work in windowless offices – that’s lots of us. Studies reveal that nature is an effective means of relieving stress and improving overall wellbeing. The Japanese call the grounding effect of looking at trees shinrin-yoku, which means “forest bathing”. They actually prescribe this for patients as part of medical care.

Newly published books, including Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder’s book Radical Beauty makes the connection between nature and being grounded as one of their six core pillars and The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams, just now hitting bookstores, shares rich data and findings supporting the outstanding wellness benefits of the outdoors.

It goes without saying that living in the suburbs, near a park or close to the water offers endless opportunities to restore yourself. But even if home is in a concrete jungle or you can’t get outdoors easily from your high-rise office perches in the city, there are steps you can take to get grounded and partake in nature. One of the best things about grounding is that it is accessible almost anywhere, at any place and at any time. Sounds like early tree huggers knew a thing or two!

 

The Doggie Paddle/Swim is something you both can do to keep fit and healthy!

The Doggie Paddle/Swim is something you both can do to keep fit and healthy!

Editor’s Note: Our 4-legged furry friends do so much for our health, so we must do everything we can to keep them fit, healthy and grounded.

Animals now have many similar ailments as humans, such as obesity (according to the Association for Pet Obesity, an estimated 54% of dogs and cats were classified by their veterinarians as obese in 2014), high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, anxiety and more.

Colleen Demling offers some expert tips for keeping your furry friend healthy.  Guess what—some ideas you’ll even be able to do together!

BY COLLEEN DEMLING

As a dog owner, the owner of a dog training company,  and someone who is very focused on health and fitness, I know that the cost of taking care of your fury friend can be high, but much of that is often for emergency care.

I also know that research is constantly revealing ways animals can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, ease stress, and more for humans.

Just as with humans, focus on wellness and prevention. Here are some tips for keeping your furry friend (and maybe you, too) healthy and fit.

  • Talk To Your Veterinarian

While most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, just like us, no one form of workout is right for every dog so talk to your veterinarian before starting their exercise regimen. Make sure your vet educates you on the signs of exhaustion or overheating. If your pooch pants excessively or hyperventilates, if his tongue and gums turn brick red, or if he can’t keep up and stands or lies listlessly, stop exercising and seek immediate veterinary care. These may be signs of a heat stroke, which is potentially fatal.

  • Doggie Paddle With Your Pooch

Not only is swimming fun and a great work out for both of you, its great for dogs with arthritis as well as dogs with short noses that are not efficient for breathing. Taking a dip in the cool water can help overcome heat exhaustion that’s caused by exertion.

  • Interval Walking and Jogging

Dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, whereas people without dogs walk about 168 minutes. Take longer walks a day and if your dog is healthy enough, try adding a few sprints in between to boost their metabolism as well yours.

  • Playing Fetch For Your Abs

Tone your tummy while your dog sprints for his favorite fetch toy. Sit on the floor and, as you hold the toy in your hand. come up for a crunch and pretend to throw. Alternate between throwing and faking it and you’ll get a good abdominal workout while your pup works its cardio.

  • Obstacle Course

Creating an obstacle course is great agility and circuit training for both you and your companion. For yourself, set up specific stations like jump rope, hula-hoop, kettle bells, etc. For your dog, set up stations like hurdles, mazes, and sprints.  There are several companies that even specialize in working out with your dog including www.leashyourfitenss.com and www.k9fitclub.com.

  • Puzzles

Just like us, it’s as important to keep mind agile as it is the body. Train your dog to think by teaching them to hunt or play hide and seek with their favorite toys or treats.

  • Nutrition

As hard as it may be to resist those big puppy eyes when they beg, it’s imperative to not feed your dog human food as it can take years off their life. Small, low-activity dogs need only about 185 to 370 calories daily, while a large pooch between 67 to 88 pounds may need between 1,000 to 2,000 calories, depending on activity level and gender. Yet many of our dogs get far more food than they need. More than one-third of U.S. dogs over 1 year old are overweight.  Consult with your veterinarian about your pets diet and what treats are right for them.

ABOUT COLLEEN DEMLING

Colleen Demling, CPDT, CBCC owns, www.pawtopia.com, one of the most successful dog training companies in San Diego. She has been featured numerous times on local and national TV and Radio.

ABOUT PLUGGZ

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

cellphonegerm

 

We wash, scrub and sanitize—but no one is able to live in a totally bacteria-free environment.  “If you’re breathing, there will always be some bacteria,” said Carol Alt recently on her health show.

We, at pluggz, think you’d be shocked to know that some of the most unlikely places that are full of germs, possibly leading to illness and disease.

For those concerned about chemicals, there are some pretty great organic green products on the market; also keep in mind that many essential oils, like tea tree and clove, have anti-bacterial properties.

Some of the most unpleasant surprises include:

  • Handbags

They have more bacteria than toilets, says Initial Washroom Hygiene. Of all the bags they swabbed, 20 percent had bacteria-related contamination that crossed inside to hand and face creams, lipstick and mascara.

Stick with the leather or vinyl bags, since they tend to be cleaner than cloth.  If you’re in a public restroom, hang your bag on a hook, rather than leaving it on the floor.

  • Shopping cart handles

They’re handled by many people every day, and swabs have revealed saliva, bacteria and more.  What’s more, raw food also carries some pretty nasty pathogens.

A lot of stores now have disinfectant wipes near their carts.  If yours doesn’t, bring your own or use a cart handle cover.

  • Money

This is one of the worst offenders. One paper bill can be handled by dozens of people. Also note that viruses and bacteria live on surfaces for several days.

If you handle money, wash your hands frequently, use disinfectant wipes—and for heaven’s sake, wash those hands before eating!

  • The kitchen sink 

Dirty dishes transfer a lot of bacteria!  Kitchen sinks also often house dirty, sometimes smelly sponges–and that odor is caused by bacteria!

Keep kitchen sink free of dirty dishes, and throw those sponges in the microwave to nuke for 2 minutes to kill bacteria. If that’s not possible, throw them in the washer or just replace them.

  • Bathtub

Kind of ironic, isn’t it? The very place you go to get clean is full of bacteria–even more so than toilets!

Make sure you clean the tub after each bath or shower.

So now we turn to you–what are some of the things you do to stay as bacteria-free as possible?  We’d love to hear!

 

 

 

reallybigveggies

 

When many hear the word “inflammation,” they think of something acute, such as a blow to the knee, which causes pain, redness and swelling. Acute inflammation, in small amounts, can be good because it protects and heals the body by drawing blood to the site and sending in those disease fighters, white blood cells.

Chronic inflammation is insidious and potentially much more harmful.  It can last for several years or months, and is being more and more identified as the cause of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disorders.

Chronic inflammation starts out, as what many think of, innocently enough– often in the mouth.  It gets ugly very quickly.

We’ve all heard of gingivitis, right? It’s common but if you think it’s not a big deal, think again. It’s gum inflammation, with bacteria.  Research reveals that mouth bacteria can enter the heart and lead to heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke and bacterial endocarditis. (Ever wonder why dentists make some take antibiotics before teeth cleaning?)

Let untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, where the bone and gums actually separate from the teeth to form pockets. Those pockets become infected and produce even more bacteria.

You should also know that some chronic inflammatory diseases, such as continual UTIs or cystitis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), some types of inflammatory bowel disorders, or even hepatitis, can increase risk factors for cancer.

STAY GROUNDED

Grounding, sometimes referred to as Earthing, is one big way to fight inflammation. The Earth is a powerful energy source and it contains electrons.  When we connect by walking barefoot or wearing a grounding shoe, we absorb those electrons which, in turn, fight those rogue cells, free radicals.

Without a regular connection to the Earth, people can develop call an electron deficiency, leading to imbalances and potentially to significant health problems.

 

dog

In the past, both wild animals and cavemen were naturally grounded, having regular contact with that powerful energy source, the earth.  All were lean and healthy.

We may have evolved from wild animals or cavemen, but animals can still teach us a lot about grounding:

  • Diet.  Wild cats ate rodents and birds.  Wild dogs consumed their entire prey, including brains, kidneys, liver and more.  Today’s pets still do best with a diet as close to nature as possible, with anatomy that includes shortened intestines and a lack of certain enzymes—not to mention an increase in allergies.  We should eat close to nature, too. In fact, the caveman wouldn’t eat anything that wasn’t hunted or picked.
  • Get outside, get active.  Wild animals and cavemen spent their days walking, running, hunting and climbing.  Today, pets stay mostly indoors, and shoes, asphalt, wood, rugs and plastics keep us from making contact with the earth.  Both humans and pets now experience weight issues, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, increased inflammation and more.
  • Sense of community.  Dogs, especially, are social and travel in packs. In fact, the wild dog would have a special howl to alert the other dogs of a new puppy, and the other dogs would howl and dance in celebration.  Human beings are also naturally social, but we all live separate, lonely, isolated lives. Maybe it’s time to start reaching out again!
  • Positive thoughts:   Some pets have one mood, pure joy and happiness, and reveal that mood even in the worst of times. When an animal does get mad, it’s all over in minutes, without any grudges or resentments. Some pets had terrible starts to life, but now live in warm and loving homes. We call that hope. Some animals, like horses, have big, generous, loving hearts—and some just make us laugh. .