The Benefits of a Sauna Session

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Traditional sauna

This is the typical interior of saunas found at your local gym.

Many of you have likely heard that sitting in the sauna for as long as you can reasonably stand it, but for even 5-10 minutes, confers noticeable health benefits. How does a sauna work to provide you with those benefits?  Keep reading to find out.

Heart rate

When you sit in the sauna, the high temperature, which can reach over 180 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 degrees Celsius, causes your heart rate to speed up. Your heart rate, aka your pulse, can increase rapidly by more than 30% in 5 -10 minutes. This rate increase can almost double the flow of blood pumping through your heart! This is why you will always see warnings regarding heart disease outside of all public saunas in the U.S.

Perspiration’s Purpose

This increased circulation of blood flow goes to your skin, away from your internal organs. As your body begins to sweat to cool your body down and more blood flows to your skin, the existing toxins in your skin exit your body through your sweat. That’s the purpose of perspiration: to cool your body and get rid of waste products.

Your Skin

Your blood always remains slightly alkaline, so your body continuously pushes toxins out of your bloodstream into your organs, muscular tissue, nerves and bones. In addition to being the barrier to the external world, your skin is your body’s largest organ. Therefore, your skin often absorbs a high percentage of external and internal toxins. Pushing toxins out of your body through significant sweating in the sauna clears the path for even more toxins to exit your body each time you sit in the sauna.

Preferences and Warnings

I love to have the sauna at its hottest (180 – 185 degrees Fahrenheit). I can now sit on the top bench of the sauna for 45 – 60 minutes at this heat with only a limited break to refill my 24 oz. water bottle. However, this is what I can do. You may only be able to stand the sauna’s lowest bench at 160 degrees. If you feel faint, leave immediately. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after a sauna session as you could potentially sweat out so much water, you can significantly dehydrate yourself if you do not replace that water!


Here is a very brief video of me during one sauna session.

What has your sauna experience been?


Lack of Magnesium Can Cause Major Health Issues

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Magnesium is critical to many bodily functions.

Here is a blog post by Rich Carroll that discusses an issue I’ve been dealing with recently. I think it’s highly informative and provides a number of insights. I believe you will think so too. – TCW

Lack of Magnesium Can Cause Major Health Issues

One of the most important minerals that our body needs is magnesium. It is used by every organ in our body, and specifically, the heart and kidneys must have it to function normally. Although it is known that magnesium is a mineral for the heart and bones, fairly recent research has found that it plays a much greater role in overall health. Among other things, this includes in detoxification. If you have difficulty with muscle spasms, these are often caused by magnesium deficiency.

For as important as this mineral is to us, it is not easy to detect whether we have a deficiency, and there are estimates that say that 80% of Americans are not getting enough. A blood test alone will not reveal magnesium deficiency, as only about 1% of our total magnesium levels are in the blood. Having an understanding of magnesium’s importance and knowing the difficulties in detecting its deficiencies, how do we make sure we are getting enough magnesium? Here we will point out some of the difficulties involved in ensuring we get enough of this vital mineral.

1. Our food sources are no longer loaded with magnesium.

Obviously soil quality has a lot to do with the yields of magnesium-rich foods. It is estimated that an average diet from 100 years ago had yields twice as high in magnesium and other minerals as compared to an ordinary diet of today. Magnesium is one mineral that can be farmed out of soil, so eating food that normally yields high amounts of magnesium grown in depleted soil will obviously not yield as many benefits.

2. Herbicides can block absorption.

Another excellent reason to buy organic food is because certain herbicides can act as chelators to block minerals such as magnesium from being absorbed into the system. So even if we do consume foods that are magnesium-rich, they might be blocked by these chelators. Magnesium can also be effectively eliminated from foods by the way the foods are cooked or processed.

3. Other foods can inhibit magnesium absorption.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or eating a lot of sugar can cause the body to pass magnesium through the system before it is absorbed. In addition, elderly people, especially those that take medications, can also have problems absorbing needed magnesium.

Man in shorts on bike.

Insufficient magnesium can cramping during physical activity.

4. Supplements aren’t always the answer.

Many people look to supplements as the answer to a mineral-deficient diet, but there are a lot of complications to taking supplements. Not all supplements are absorbed the same way as vitamins and minerals from natural food. In addition, there is the issue of the synergistic relationships with other vitamins, specifically vitamin K2 and D3. When you supplement, you should know exactly the reasons you’re using the supplements, and you should keep them to a minimum.

5. There must be a good balance between calcium and magnesium.

When you get those muscles cramps, it could be that you have an imbalance of calcium and not enough magnesium. It is important, especially when you exercise, to not only drink plenty of water but to keep your calcium, magnesium and potassium ratios in mind. Otherwise you will likely have cramping issues.

About the Author:

We are learning that when you eat is as an important factor for losing weight and gaining muscle as what you eat.� Read more about creating delicious meal using garlic and other spices on our website.� �Rich Carroll is a writer and avid health advocate now living in Chicago.

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Rejuvenate and Revitalize with Smoothies / Juices: Video

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Smoothies can help you rejuvenate and recover from holiday festivities.

Are you worn out from the holidays? Eat too much, eat the the wrong stuff, or both (too much of the wrong stuff)? Don’t despair! You can rejuvenate, revitalize and restore by drinking juices / smoothies packed chock full of nutrients. And they’re delicious too!

Watch the video below for photos of how these smoothies positively impact the Wright Family (Me – Tiffany, Toccata, and Trevor).

 10 Smoothies for Energy & Health

Here’s wishing you athletic success and superb health and fitness in 2015!! To order the recipes, visit Worn Out??

How Women Can Enjoy Vibrant Health at 40+

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
Woman treading water

Have fun in the water! You can swim, do water aerobics, use a kickboard and/or fins.

Regular exercise is crucial to maintaining a toned physique and vibrant health as you grow older. If you have not been exercising regularly, then choosing to engage in an enjoyable activity such as swimming, walking, or running provides a good start. If your flexibility is not where it used to be or you’ve been engaging in high impact exercise for years, when you pass forty, high impact exercise routines such as aerobics may not feel as good. This is because the connective tissue becomes less elastic with disuse or misuse.

Because of this,  more women are switching to or taking up yoga and Pilates. To maintain my vibrant health, I incorporate a 10-minute yoga routine into my pre-work morning and do an hour of yoga twice a week because yoga helps greatly with flexibility but also with calming me and minimizing stress. Just as much as yoga and Pilates are good for flexibility, they also aid significantly with balance.

It is vitally important to keep the heart healthy with cardiovascular training as well. Power yoga can have cardiovascular benefits. In addition to walking/running/swimming, you can use the elliptical machines at the gym or head to a state park with cross country trails and do some cross country skiing or hiking. (For the skiing, you of course need snow which definitely has not been a problem in the northern states this winter!! Shucks, even some portions of the south had days where you could cross country ski on the streets!)

Resistance training and weight bearing activities not only strengthen and build your muscles but they also increase your bone strength. Muscles atrophy without use and your bones lose density without use. These two are related. You can pop extra strength calcium pills but, unless you have an ailment which causes calcium deficiency, nothing will impact your bone density like the simple act of doing weight training exercises. And that’s training with enough weights to make the last couple of reps difficult to lift, NOT just swinging weights or cables which, unfortunately, I see so many women do.

To reiterate, a well-rounded exercise program that keeps you in vibrant health and gives you a toned physique targets your cardiovascular fitness (your heart health), your muscle tone (and bone density), and your flexibility and balance. Do some type of aerobic exercise you consider fun and mix it up! Your body adapts to the same activity and becomes efficient at doing it so you won’t burn as many calories after you’ve “mastered” that exercise. For example, do a 45 minute weight workout followed by a 15-minute yoga practice. Or dance around the living room for an hour.

Here’s to your health!

Reducing the 4 Key Contributors to Disease and Stress

Friday, January 24th, 2014
Diabetes sugar testing

Once you develop diabetes, this will be a daily regimen!

According to an email I received from Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, Dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University (my undergraduate alma mater!), “Research has shown that just four behaviors—i.e., not smoking, eating five fruits and vegetables per day, engaging in 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week, and drinking only in moderation if you drink alcohol, which is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men—results in 66% less diabetes, 45% less heart disease, 43% less back pain, 74 % less stress and 93% less depression in addition to less absenteeism and higher presenteeism at work.”

Wow! If you want to avoid disease, radically improve your quality of life and increase your longevity, you only have to do these four things. And if you are already doing most of them, you only have to do engage in one or two more behaviors / activities!

Example: If you get together with your girlfriends or coworkers a few times a week and drink three Cosmos each time, cut that down to one Cosmo and add two cranberry juices with a twist of lemon or lime. Or better yet, skip the sugar and add a water or soda water with that same twist. Easy, eh? If you think about it in advance and plan an alternative, it is easy. You could have a water first, then a Cosmo, then a cranberry juice. The point is to socialize with your friends or coworkers and have a good time, right?

Example: If you find it hard to incorporate 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day into your diet, add a breakfast smoothie. You could get 4-5 servings all in one fell swoop. I do this and drink mine on my way into work on the weekdays, or on the way to the gym on the weekends. This is one way that I get the 8-12 servings of fruits and veggies I consume each day. And no, I’m not a vegan or vegetarian. (Admittedly, though, I often go a few days with no meat.) For samples, check out my smoothie recipe ebook.

Cigarettes age you.

Cigarettes age you…but the habit can be hard for many to kick.

Smoking ages you. But I know it’s hard to quit. The key is to replace your smoking habit with another, healthier habit. Why do you smoke? What do you get out of it? Do you smoke when you’re stressed, to calm down? Learn some deep breathing or instant relaxation techniques. Do you smoke when you’re bored? Get up and walk around or do some stretches. Do you smoke to socialize? Think of another reason or opportunity to socialize and go for it.

Here’s to your continued good health!