Is sitting the new smoking?

It is good to move our DNA and restore our health through natural movement. The sitting itself isn’t really the problem; it is the repetitive use of a single position that makes us literally become ill in a litany of ways.

For example, muscles will adapt to repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup, which in turn leads to less joint range of motion. This muscle and joint ‘stiffness’ can lead to a stiffening of the arterial walls within these muscles. The positive news is that, because we’ve all been sitting (static) the same way for decades, changing our static positioning (i.e., standing more) can improve our health. However moving intermittently throughout the day is still the best for our health.

We need to see that it’s the constant STATIC nature of our sitting position throughout the day that is causing the bulk of our problems.

The solution isn’t to simply stand more. If we do, we’d be swapping out one STATIC position for another—not solving the root of the problem and potentially creating other challenges.

What we want to do is create a DYNAMIC workstation such that we’re moving more—in TINY ways—throughout the day.

Now, is sitting the new smoking?

 Sitting and smoking are different: sitting itself isn’t the creator of ill effects the way smoking a cigarette is. Sitting–the position—is perfectly harmless when ‘consumed’ appropriately. It’s not like putting your butt into a chair makes you ill; as they say, it’s the dose that makes the poison.

So, short answer: No, it’s not.

Language can also get us into trouble when we’re seeking solutions, because we keep equating sitting with not moving, but in many cases, the physical effects of sitting are just as much created by repetitive geometry (always sitting in the same way) as they are by the metabolic changes that come with being sedentary. So sitting differently can improve your health in the same way that standing can—which is great news for the millions of people who aren’t yet quite fit enough to stand for considerable amounts of time. Yes, even you—who want to change your risk profile for disease but feel trapped by your current physical limitations—can change how you sit and improve your health on a cellular level.

So don’t just sit there, keep moving through out the day. Stand and do some emails.

Have a blessed day and stay healthy,

Dr. Eppinga

5 Health Tips on Keeping Your Mind and Brain Healthy

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1. Keep well hydrated. Your brain needs water to survive and perform at its best. Any signs of dehydration, your brain will not be functioning at its optimum level.

 

2. Eat healthy with lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish, avocados and walnuts are good examples of food with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3 fatty acids in its structure and for its neuronal function.

 

3. Exercise is my number one prescription for anyone – exercise makes you feel good by releasing endorphins in your body. Exercise does a lot as you can read by clicking on my previous post here: http://drpetereppinga.com/?p=135

 

It also releases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, (BDNF for short) which aids in memory formation. By having your heart pumping and your lungs breathing at a good pace it brings lots of needed oxygen to your brain cells and gets rid of all the toxic chemicals and free radicals your brain produces. Exercise prevails over any medication.

 

4. Focus on the good things in your life and don’t focus on the bad things. If you’re alive you’re going to experience pain. The only people with no problems in this world our in the graveyard. So you have a choice when you wake up in the morning to focus on the good or the bad. The more you focus on the negative your going to apply negative meaning to your life and you will not feel good about it. Your emotions for the day are mainly going to be gloomy and pessimistic which nobody wants, and soon you will be in the doctor’s office asking for anti depressant pills.

 

A good way to focus on the positive is to tell yourself positive affirmations in the morning and through out the day. I have a list that read from in the bathroom and a list on my phone that I read through out the day. I also use scriptures from the book of proverbs in the Bible. As I find the writers of the Bible are very positive in what they have to say about their outlook on life.

 

5. Have fun in life and get plenty of sleep. Take time to schedule fun time in your days and when experiencing happiness enjoy it and focus on that instead of negative things for the rest of the day. What you focus on will expand whether it be good or bad.

 

A human brain is 75% water and has the consistency of tofu or gelatin. The human brain consists of approximately 100 billion neurons (which is as many cells as there are stars in the Milky Way). Each neuron has somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses, equaling about 1 quadrillion synapses. If all the neurons in the human brain were lined up, they would stretch 600 miles. Keeping your brain healthy is keeping your mind healthy. Let your brain experience something fun today!

 

Love my Life and yours,

 

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Health Tip – Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding your baby is an experience to enjoy. It is the ultimate bond between a mother and her baby. Starting out right helps to ensure breastfeeding is a pleasant experience for both you and your baby. It should be trouble free and natural for most mothers.

In this short blog I am going to talk about the 5 benefits of breast feeding and link you to a website that I recommend to all my patients who want to learn more about breast feeding.

I know many mothers will choose to formula feed their babies and that is okay. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad for not breastfeeding their babies. I only want to give you information and you can decide for yourself on what you want to do.

5 Reasons to Breast Feed

1. Nutrients and Protection from Infections – Breastfed babies from the research have decreased rates of infections including respiratory infections, ear infections and diarrhea. Infections also tend to be worse for anyone with poor nutrition.

2. Provides a bonding relationship – you get a lot of cuddle time with your baby. Who can ask for anything more!

3. Benefits to Mom – Research suggests that breastfeeding provides a measure of protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones later in life.

4. Benefits to Not Stopping – Research shows that breast milk is so important that it is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Beginning at 6 months of age babies need a variety of foods in addition to breast milk, which continues to provide nutrition and protection. As recommended by Health Canada “Any amount of breast milk is always good for babies”. I have met many mothers who continue to breastfeed their babies until they are two years old or more.

5. Convenient, Portable and Easy on the Budget – the milk is the perfect temperature and your milk is always with you. Well I guess “easy on the budget” can be a 6th reason but I wanted to keep it to 5  ….  sorry!  🙂  …. breastfeeding can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars!

Unfortunately breastfeeding doesn’t always go perfectly. The difficulties you may experience can be difficulty attaching the baby to the breast. This can be for many reasons including lack of practice, confidence or knowledge. Remember breastfeeding is a learned skill and practice makes progress. If you are experiencing difficulties seek help early from a health care professional. There are many people who have experience and expertise in positioning and attachment/latch difficulties. Please speak to your doctor or health care provider if your experiencing difficulty as they can direct to the right place to get help in your local area.

Learn from the best at the International Breast Feeding Centre  – Jack Newman – He is a world leader on the topic of breastfeeding. Information on his website is available in most languages. Here is the link below:

https://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=17

Doctors, nurses and health care professionals are here to assist you…..YOU are making the journey.

Love My Life, Your Life and Your babies too!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

Concussions and Your Brain the Most Illustrious Jewel Ever Made

What is a concussion?

Concussion from the Latin word concutere “to shake violently” or concussus “action of striking together” is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. This injury is caused by excessive, rapid movement of the brain inside the skull. “This movement causes damage that changes how brain cells function, leading to symptoms that can be physical (headaches, dizziness), cognitive (problems remembering or concentrating), or emotional (feeling depressed).”-Thinkfirst.ca

A concussion can result from multiple ways some examples would be: a blow to the head or body in any number of sporting activities (hockey and boxing), falling from a jungle gym, being in a motor vehicle collision, or slipping/falling and hitting your head.

What is different about a concussion?

The brain is inside of the skull and even with modern technology like CT scanners and MRI’s it is difficult to see a concussion.

To give an illustration if you bang your arm we can visually see a bruise on the arm but with the brain that bruise is hard to see.

Your brain is everything about you that is why I decided to write a book about it. It is mission control and even acts as a filing cabinet. In a concussion many different things can go on, some files may be spilled all over the place and it takes time for organization of those files.

As we cannot physically see a bruise on the brain other cognitive or emotional impairments may come out. These symptoms of a concussion can be: headache, balance problems, difficulty with vision, sadness, feeling slowed down, nausea, drowsiness, or confusion to name a few. It is important to remember that this is not an ALL-INCLUSIVE list. For a more complete list please visit Thinkfirst.ca

Final power thoughts to consider:

Don’t make things worse. With an injured brain you need to take baby steps to getting back to play or regular activity again. Talk everything over with your doctor and he or she can come up with a safe plan with you for return to play or regular activities.  Thinkfirst.ca is also a fabulous source to read up on concussions and I send my patients to this website if they wish to learn more about concussions.

Here is the link:

http://thinkfirst.ca/programs/concussionqanda.aspx#Whatisaconcussion

It may be difficult to know how you will do if you have been diagnosed with a  concussion by a doctor. There are 7 billion human brains on the planet and each one is different. You are wonderfully and fabulously made! However the studies I have come across have lots of statistics available and about 80-90% will be back to play or regular activities in about 4-6 weeks, this also depends on the injury. The discussion with your doctor will give you a better idea.

Be mindful of the fact to communicate with everyone. This includes your parents, teachers, co-workers, boss and coaches.

Take care of yourself. Your Brain is you! Keep that Jewel running like a Lamborghini (my favourite car by the way).

Love My Life and Yours,

Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

Order Your Brain 3 Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

I am so excited to announce the release of my book available in June 2013 it is titled:

YOUR BRAIN – Three Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

All of your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories or dogmas are in your mind, which is contained in YOUR BRAIN. In other words whatever you impress in your mind will become expressed in your physical life. Your brain has the ability to change your life and this book will teach you how to look after your brain and maximize its potential.

You can now Pre order your book and we will send you a copy in June when they are available. You can purchase by clicking the buy now button under the book. 

I recently graduated from medical school and during my medical training I became deeply fascinated with the brain. I loved everything about it and how it works. We know little about it and it is responsible for our life. Your mind is housed in your brain, and it is your mind that will determine who you are.

In this book, I give many interesting facts and insights to your brain. There are several ways in which we need to take care of it, including proper sleep and exercise, in order to reap all its benefits and for it to function optimally. This 3 pound piece of fat truly does contain your destiny and you need to learn about it and look after it. Just like maintaining a car, you have to understand how it works and look after the engine, the same is for your brain and mind. As you look after it properly you will get the best results for your life and reap all of its benefits.

I wrote this book with the intention to help you find your destiny in God. There is a reason as to why you are here. God sees your life from the end. From the moment of conception to the end, he knows your life. God never starts anything that is not already complete, including YOU. My desire and hope is to make God’s vision for your life clearer to you. There are many tools in this book to help you see this vision and complete your destiny.

I am sure when you are done reading this book your life will not be the same. A wise doctor once told me, “There are two things that will change your life, the people you meet and the books you read.” This is a book that will change your life and will draw you closer to the Creator of the Universe. The electronic version for kindles and iPads will be available in mid June.

Love My Life and My BRAIN!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

Aboriginal Teen Suicide Prevention

Love my Life t-shirt is to remember all those who have taken their life by suicide. The Haida design is of an eagle and a raven inside of a heart. Allan Weir is the Haida artist who did the magnificent design. Allan and I unfortunately have had our own cousins take their life in Haida Gwaii and this shirt is to remember them.

The purpose of this shirt is to reach out to the youth specifically the Aboriginal youth to prevent suicide. The websites provided on the shirt allow youth to read about mental health issues themselves. Mincheck.ca allows youth to fill out a questionnaire that will tell them more about how they feel and if it is necessary to contact a mental health professional in their local community or call the number provided on the website. Please check out www.mindcheck.ca for more information on filling out the questionnaire.

Remember suicide is 100% preventable and depression is a common complaint that I have seen in the emergency room and family practice setting. There is hope out there and different treatments available. A great elder once told me, Honour your life and Esteem others better then yourself. I wanted to leave the same message with you to Honour your Life and get help if you need it.

You have a purpose for your life and you are not an accident. You are an original. When the Creator made you He threw away the mold so that there would only be one of you in this world. The Creator has great things planned for your life! Never let anyone’s opinion of you determine what you will do with your life. Be proud of who you are. If you’re Aboriginal be even more proud of who you are and know that you are intelligent and capable of doing anything with your life!

“Look up hold your head high……be proud of who you are!” I put this on the bottom of the shirt and made the letters upside down so the person who is wearing the shirt will be able to read it as reminder to be proud of who they are. They will have what is called a positive affirmation about themselves. I have seen many youth looking down and not making eye contact with me when I shake their hand. I just wanted to remind them and you to look up and be proud of where you come from. You are going to do great things for your community.

Stay blessed! Love my Life!

Peter Eppinga M.D.