Wellness Wednesdays – 1/10/18

Wellness Wednesdays is a MVMag.net-exclusive feature that curates the best health & wellness content from around the Valley and the web.

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WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK

For Increased Skeletal Muscle Health, Keep Sipping That Cup of Joe

One of the recurring themes we seem to revisit on Wellness Wednesdays is just how many surprising health benefits one can take advantage of by drinking coffee. And apparently, we can add positive effects to skeletal muscle to that list, as an article published in Volume 143 of scientific journal Life Sciences shows. “Summary of current literature suggests that coffee has beneficial effects on skeletal muscle,” writes the article’s author, Amie J. Dirks-Naylor of the Wingate University School of Pharmacy. “Coffee has been shown to induce autophagy, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate glucose uptake, slow the progression of sarcopenia, and promote the regeneration of injured muscle.” Dirks-Naylor suggests there may be even more benefits to sipping a regular cup of joe: “Much more research is needed to reveal the full scope of benefits that coffee consumption may exert on skeletal muscle structure and function.”

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HEALTH IN THE VALLEY

Align the Body Electric

by Holly Ruocco

Breaking the Cycle of Pain (sponsored)

Managing chronic pain is a challenge at any age, but it’s even more of a predicament as we grow older, especially in the face of conflicting advice and traditional treatments that may include surgery and potentially addictive medications that can do more harm than good. News headlines abound about an opioid epidemic that often begins with medication prescribed to treat chronic pain. But there are alternatives to pills and surgery. For over 23 years (18 at my Salem, N.H., office), I have helped alleviate the pain of thousands of patients, first through the practice of chiropractic care, then through alternative allergy therapies and over the past year with robotic laser therapy. (read more)

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WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB

Why Is Fiber So Good for You? We May Now Have the Beginnings of an Answer

While the question of whether or not fiber is good for you has been fairly obvious to scientists for a while now (spoiler alert: the answer is yes), the question of why it’s so beneficial has proven more elusive. Now, thanks to a number of studies carried out by Professors Fredrik Bäckhed of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg and Andrew T. Gewirtz of Georgia State University, we might be a bit closer to understanding. Both Bäckhed and Gewirtz’s studies revealed that different types of fiber “feed … particular set(s) of bacteria, which send their own important signals to our bodies.” Thus, a diet rich in different kinds of fiber is just as important as consuming fiber in the first place. (via The New York Times)

Spent Years Being Lazy? No Worries: Regular Exercise Can Fix That

The human body may be susceptible to many different kinds of problems, but perhaps even more impressive is just how resilient it is in the face of said problems. Case in point: an article by Maggie Fox of NBC News explains the way researchers now believe introducing regular exercise to even the most dedicated couch potato can undo years of sedentary life. “A two-year program roughly following the American Heart Association’s exercise guidelines helped a pack of middle-aged couch potatoes tune up their hearts and lower their risk of heart failure,” writes Fox. “After two years, the results were clear. Those who had worked out at least four days a week had healthier hearts and arteries, and were fitter as measured by oxygen uptake, the team reported in the journal Circulation.”

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LOCAL HEALTH HAPPENINGS

January 11

The Lowell-based food justice nonprofit Mill City Grows has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of this month’s Whole Foods Market 5% Community Giving Program. When you shop at one of 38 New England Whole Foods Markets – including Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and ALL Massachusetts locations – 5% of net sales will be equally shared between Mill City Grows and other recipients of Whole Cities Foundation grants. So if you’ve got to make a Whole Foods grocery run, make sure to do it on Thursday, Jan. 11! MillCityGrows.org

January 18

With the holiday season at an end in mid-January, you finally have some time to refocus on creating a sustainable healthy, balanced lifestyle. Join the YMCA of the North Shore in Plaistow for a Nutrition Workshop from 7 to 8 p.m. This session will include tips and tricks to maintaining a balanced diet all while juggling a busy lifestyle. Plaistow, N.H. | NorthShoreYMCA.org

January 28

Blizzard Blast is a 3-4 mile Winter Obstacle Run that will be the only one of its kind in New England! Runners will be tested with a fun wintry obstacle course at Shedd Park & Pavillion from 9 a.m. to noon. Lowell, Mass. Facebook.com/Events|

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