Banned in Europe, Safe in the U.S.
“Who determines whether chemicals are safe — and why do different governments come up with such different answers?
June 9, 2014 — In the United States, children can drink fruit juice beverages made with Red Dye No. 40 and eat macaroni and cheese colored with Yellow Dye No. 5 and No. 6. Yet in the U.K., these artificial colorings have been taken off the market due to health concerns, while in the rest of Europe, products that contain them must carry labels warning of the dyes’ potential adverse effect on children’s attention and behavior.
Atrazine, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is estimated to be the most heavily used herbicide in the U.S., was banned in Europe in 2003 due to concerns about its ubiquity as a water pollutant. Also widely used by U.S. farmers are several neonicotinoid pesticides that the European Commission says pose “high acute risks” to bees and has placed under a two-year moratorium. These pesticides — with which about 90 percent of the corn planted in the U.S. is treated — have been identified in numerous scientific studies as toxic to bees and are considered likely contributors to the alarming global decline of these essential pollinators.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration places no restrictions on the use of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing ingredients in cosmetics or personal care products. Yet formaldehyde-releasing agents are banned from these products in Japan and Sweden while their levels — and that of formaldehyde — are limited elsewhere in Europe. In the U.S., Minnesota has banned in-state sales of children’s personal care products that contain the chemical.
Use of lead-based interior paints was banned in France, Belgium and Austria in 1909. Much of Europe followed suit before 1940. It took the U.S. until 1978 to make this move, even though health experts had, for decades, recognized the potentially acute — even deadly — and irreversible hazards of lead exposure.
These are but a few examples of chemical products allowed to be used in the U.S. in ways other countries have decided present unacceptable risks of harm to the environment or human health. How did this happen? Are American products less safe than others? Are Americans more at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals than, say, Europeans?“The policy approach in the U.S. and Europe is dramatically different.” — Stacy Malkan
Not surprisingly, the answers are complex and the bottom line, far from clear-cut. One thing that is evident, however, is that “the policy approach in the U.S. and Europe is dramatically different,” says Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
An Ounce of Precaution
A key element of the European Union’s chemicals management and environmental protection policies — and one that clearly distinguishes the EU’s approach from that of the U.S. federal government — is what’s called the precautionary principle.
This principle, in the words of the European Commission, “aims at ensuring a higher level of environmental protection through preventative” decision-making. In other words, it says that when there is substantial, credible evidence of danger to human or environmental health, protective action should be taken despite continuing scientific uncertainty.
In contrast, the U.S. federal government’s approach to chemicals management sets a very high bar for the proof of harm that must be demonstrated before regulatory action is taken.
This is true of the U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act, the federal law that regulates chemicals used commercially in the U.S. The European law regulating chemicals in commerce, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), requires manufacturers to submit a full set of toxicity data to the European Chemical Agency before a chemical can be approved for use. U.S. federal law requires such information to be submitted for new chemicals, but leaves a huge gap in terms of what’s known about the environmental and health effects for chemicals already in use. Chemicals used in cosmetics or as food additives or pesticides are covered by other U.S. laws — but these laws, too, have high burdens for proof of harm and, like TSCA, do not incorporate a precautionary approach.
Same Study, Different Conclusions
What does this mean in practice? In the case of Red Dye No. 40, Yellow Dye No. 5 and Yellow Dye No. 6, it means that after considering the same evidence — a 2007 double-blind study by U.K. researchers that found that eating artificially colored food appeared to increase children’s hyperactivity — European and U.S. authorities reached different conclusions. In the U.K., the study persuaded authorities to bar use of these dyes as food additives. The EU chose to require warning labels on products that contain them — greatly reducing their use, according to Lisa Lefferts, senior scientist with the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. In the U.S., the study prompted the CSPI to petition the Food and Drug Administration for a ban on a number of food colorings. But in its review of these dyes, presented in 2011, the FDA found the study inconclusive because it looked at effects of a mixture of additives rather than individual colorings — and so these colors remain in use.
While FDA approval is required for food additives, the agency relies on studies performed by the companies seeking approval of chemicals they manufacture or want to use in making determinations about food additive safety, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist Maricel Maffini and NRDC senior attorney Tom Neltner note in their April 2014 report, Generally Recognized as Secret. “No other developed country that we know of has a similar system in which companies can decide the safety of chemicals put directly into food,” says Maffini. The standing law that covers these substances — the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act — “makes requiring testing [of chemicals] more cumbersome than under TSCA,” says Neltner.
The two point to a number of food additives allowed in the U.S. that other countries have deemed unsafe. Reliance on voluntary measures is a hallmark of the U.S. approach to chemical regulation.Among these are “dough conditioners,” additives to enhance flour’s strength or elasticity. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers one such chemical, potassium bromate, a possible carcinogen. This has led the EU, Canada, China, Brazil and other countries to ban its use. Although the FDA limits the amount of these compounds that can be added to flour and has urged bakers to voluntarily discontinue their use, it has not banned them. Earlier this year, the sandwich chain Subway made headlines by announcing it would discontinue using the dough conditioner azodicarbonamide, which is approved by the FDA but whose breakdown products have raised health concerns.
Do-It-Yourself Decision Making
Reliance on voluntary measures is a hallmark of the U.S. approach to chemical regulation. In many cases, when it comes to eliminating toxic chemicals from U.S. consumer products, manufacturers’ and retailers’ own policies — often driven by consumer demand or by regulations outside the U.S. or at the state and local level — are moving faster than U.S. federal policy. On June 3, the California-based health-care company Kaiser Permanente announced that all its new furniture purchases — worth $30 million annually — would be free of chemical flame retardants. The same day, Panera Bread announced that the food served in its 1,800 bakery-cafés would be free of artificial additives by the end of 2016. Any number of large manufacturing companies and retailers — Nike, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Apple and HP to name but a few — have policies barring chemicals from their products that U.S. federal law does not restrict.
This is also true of a number of cosmetic ingredients — for example, chemicals used in nail polish. After the EU banned a plasticizer called dibutyl phthalate from nail polish due to concerns over potential endocrine-disrupting and other adverse health effects in 2004, many global brands changed their ingredients. So while the FDA has not issued a regulation on its use, DBP is now found in fewer nail cosmetics sold in the U.S. In fact, the FDA actually bars only a specific handful of ingredients from cosmetics due to their toxicity.
Industry performs copious testing, but current law does not require that cosmetic ingredients be free of certain adverse health effects before they go on the market.
“Cosmetics regulations are more robust in the EU than here,” says Environmental Defense Fund health program director Sarah Vogel. U.S. regulators largely rely on industry information, she says. Industry performs copious testing, but current law does not require that cosmetic ingredients be free of certain adverse health effects before they go on the market. (FDA regulations, for example, do not specifically prohibit the use of carcinogens, mutagens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals.) So, even though the personal care products and cosmetics products industry has extensive voluntary ingredient safety guidelines — and obvious incentives to meet them — they are not legal requirements.
Warnings, Advisories and Voluntary Phase-outs
Also worth noting is that U.S. laws regulating chemical use in food and cosmetics were first developed to protect American consumers from being sold “adulterated,” mislabeled or otherwise dishonestly marketed products — rather than with an eye on toxicity (though the two goals often coincide). The law continues to work along those lines. For example, when certain hairstyling products were found to contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing agents at levels causing health problems for salon workers, the FDA issued a warning saying that the products should be labeled (either on the product container or company website) with an appropriate caveat about the products’ potential health hazards. As a result, despite ample scientific evidence about adverse respiratory health effects of formaldehyde exposure and that formaldehyde is a skin irritant and potential occupational carcinogen, these hairstyling products continue to be sold in the U.S.
The process for restricting chemical use under TSCA can also take years; in fact, only a handful of chemicals have ever been barred under TSCA.For the FDA to restrict a product or chemical ingredient from cosmetics or personal care products involves a typically long and drawn-out process. What it does more often is to issue advisories — as it has recently for the antibacterial ingredient triclosan, which is used in many soaps. In the meantime, based on growing scientific evidence of problematic health and environmental impacts — and indications that triclosan may not make hand-washing more effective — a number of manufacturers, among them Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, decided to eliminate the ingredient from their products. This spring, Minnesota became the first state to legally restrict its use.
The process for restricting chemical use under TSCA can also take years; in fact, only a handful of chemicals have ever been barred under TSCA. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers TSCA, often works with companies on voluntary phase-out programs — which also take years to complete — as it has with the flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs.
Meanwhile, U.S. companies manufacturing products that range from electronics to office products, sports gear, automobile parts and trendy clothing have been following the emerging science — along with international regulations, local policy and consumer demand — and developing policies and products that eliminate use of chemicals with well-documented hazards. While these voluntary efforts are resulting in products that contain fewer chemicals of concern, they do have limitations. One is transparency: Companies don’t always fully disclose such policy details. Another is that such policies don’t cover all products on the market, leaving many consumers — often those buying at lower prices — without comparable protection.
“It’s something in our psyche,” says John Warner, president of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, of the American predilection for deferring to marketplace rather than government solutions.
Options and Solutions
Consumer demand and concern, often from mothers worried about the implications of certain chemicals for children’s health, has effectively pushed certain products — such as baby bottles made with bisphenol A — off the market. Such action is harder to effect with pesticides, but public outcry has been instrumental in moving the U.S. away from use of DDT and other such chemicals. Currently, public awareness of neonicotinoids’ adverse effects on bees has been raised dramatically by pollinator health advocacy campaigns. Actually shifting the agricultural market away from these products is a more difficult proposition. While the EU has promulgated policy using the precautionary principle and called a temporary halt to some of these pesticides’ use, the EPA is slowly continuing its review of these products — while at the same time approving new pesticides also toxic to bees.
When it comes to determining chemical safety of a consumer product, Warner sees fundamental flaws in the current approach.What such an approach does not include is any guarantee of safer alternatives. Neither TSCA nor FDA regulations include such provisions. Many recently passed U.S. state chemical regulations, including California’s Safer Consumer Products program, have been written to address this concern, with language specifying that replacements for restricted chemicals be without adverse environmental health effects. That U.S. federal policies do not require as much pre-market information about chemical used in consumer products as does the EU system, adds to the difficulty of choosing safer alternatives.
When it comes to determining chemical safety of a consumer product, Warner sees fundamental flaws in the current approach. Restriction of hazardous chemicals in the U.S., EU and elsewhere — and in most corporate policies — is based on lists of chemicals of concern. By focusing on these lists, explains Warner, we fail to consider those chemicals not listed, a process that leads to what’s often referred to as regrettable substitutions. Instead, Warner advocates testing whole finished products and scoring them for health effects. Does a product exhibit carcinogenicity? Is it a neurotoxicant? Does it produce birth defects or adverse hormonal effects? Answering these questions would yield safer products more efficiently and effectively than our current system, says Warner, and would yield data that could be used objectively.
The global marketplace is playing a big role in turning one jurisdiction’s more stringent standards into industry standards because it’s often too costly to make different versions of the same product for different markets.Screening methods that incorporate a comparable approach to rating chemicals’ toxicity by health endpoint, such as the non-governmental organization Clean Production Action’s GreenScreen, are now being used by many companies to assess individual chemicals. Warner argues that looking at whole finished products through this lens would help flag problematic chemicals not previously singled out for scrutiny, whether they are long-used existing compounds or brand new materials such as those he and other green chemists are now formulating.
So what’s the bottom line? Again, it’s complicated. When it comes to manufactured products such as computers and cosmetics, the global marketplace is playing a big role in turning one jurisdiction’s more stringent standards into industry standards because it’s often too costly to make different versions of the same product for different markets. Similarly, individual U.S. state policies restricting chemicals not regulated comparably at the federal level have motivated companies to respond with new formulations that end up being sold nationwide. At the same time, built into the U.S. chemical regulatory system is a large deference to industry. Central to current U.S. policy are cost-benefit analyses with very high bars for proof of harm rather than a proof of safety for entry onto the market. Voluntary measures have moved many unsafe chemical products off store shelves and out of use, but our requirements for proof of harm and the American historical political aversion to precaution mean we often wait far longer than other countries to act.
Shifting policy, particularly in a way such as Warner advocates, is perhaps an even slower proposition. But as Stacy Malkan points out, consumer demand for safe products isn’t going away any time soon.”Leave a reply
It is with Great pleasure that we introduce to you Dr. Rick Munn and The Colorado Health and Wellness Center at My Hair Trip, the Sustainable Beauty Shop.
As many of you know, our space is rather large and we have space to spare. We have a large gallery that in the past, we have rented to photographers, massage therapists, Yoga and dance instructors, etc.
We have always hoped that the gallery would be used by someone permanently. We posted a public request for any renters needing space and that’s how we met Dr. Rick and Nicole Munn from The Colorado Health and Wellness Center.
We are thrilled that our shop will now also be home to Dr Rick and The Colorado Health and Wellness Center! We invite all to come down and check out what they are all about this Friday during the Art walk from 6 – 9pm. Dr Rick will be offering a FREE computerized spinal stress check for anyone interested, as well as, HALF OFF their First visit! So if you know anyone who is interested or who you think might benefit from Network Spinal Analysis this is a valuable and fun way to have them check it out!
What Dr Rick does is called Network Spinal Analysis (NSA – formerly known as Network Chiropractic) care helps people “break the cycle” of chronic pain, tension, overwhelm, exhaustion, and being stressed out, so they can fully express their vitality, passion, and clarity.
By creating novel, embodied strategies for new levels of health and personal growth, studies demonstrate that NSA care can help people with conditions ranging from back pain, ADHD, and infertility to PTSD and substance abuse.
It can also predictably enhance physical health, emotional/mental well being, and life enjoyment across the board. People engaged in Network Care tend to make healthy lifestyle changes more easily and spontaneously.
My Hair Trip and Colorado Health and Wellness are a match made in heaven! Thank you for taking the time to read this update and we hope to see you this Friday at 8th and Santa Fe!
Look Good. Feel Good. Be Good.
-The My Hair Trip Family –
New Place, New Hours, New Collaboration!
Come enjoy Colorado Health and Wellness’s New Center located in the Santa Fe Art District. This is a whole new direction and collaboration for 2016!
773 Santa Fe Dr., Denver CO 80204 (Santa Fe & 8th)
New Hours – We asked, You spoke, We listened!
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays: 3:30pm – 6:30pm
Tuesday & Wednesday Additional Morning Hours: 11:00am – 1:00pm
Ample street parking until 5:00pm then parking lot is available after 5:00pm located behind the center (access via alleyway, you can park in ANY slot after 5pm!).
The Santa Fe Art District is a hip and trendy location! Our New Center is no exception! You will be greeted by our friendly receptionists, upbeat music, and art everywhere. We are excited about this new collaboration! We look forward to seeing you there!
If you have any question or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
720-570-2500 (It’s the same number 🙂
Proof That Eating Organic Can Reduce Cancer and how to reduce pesticides in your system by 90% in one week.
Despite the massive amount of evidence, some people refuse to believe that buying organic is a healthier option. I can’t be the only one whose ever been told that buying organic is a waste of money.
For some reason, a lot of people have this idea that conventionally grown produce is not only safe but just as good as organic food. I even had one guy tell me that eating organic is a complete scam and means nothing.
Well, let’s take a look at just a few things pesticides have been linked to:
From the Department of Cancer Epidemiology at the Karolinska University Hospital,
In animal studies, many pesticides are carcinogenic, (e.g., organochlorines, creosote, and sulfallate) while others (notably, the organochlorines DDT, chlordane, and lindane) are tumor promoters. Some contaminants in commercial pesticide formulations also may pose a carcinogenic risk. In humans, arsenic compounds and insecticides used occupationally have been classified as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
and from the College of Family Physicians of Canada
There is increasing controversy over the use of pesticides in the community. Studies looking at pesticide use and cancer have shown a positive relationship between exposure to pesticides and the development of some cancers, particularly in children.
Results indicate that semen changes are multifactorial in the workers exposed to pesticides as there are numerous factors affecting sperm quality in occupational exposures. Majority of pesticides including organophosphoruses affect the male reproductive system by mechanisms such as reduction of sperm density and motility, inhibition of spermatogenesis, reduction of testis weights, reduction of sperm counts, motility, viability and density, and inducing sperm DNA damage, and increasing abnormal sperm morphology. Reduced weight of testes, epididymis, seminal vesicle, and ventral prostate, seminiferous tubule degeneration, change in plasma levels of testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH), decreased level and activity of the antioxidant enzymes in testes, and inhibited testicular steroidogenesis are other possible mechanisms. Moreover, DDT and its metabolites have estrogenic effects on males.
From the Department of Nutrition at Harvard,
Exposure to pesticides was reported by 7,864 participants (5.7%), including 1,956 farmers, ranchers, or fishermen. Individuals exposed to pesticides had a 70% higher incidence of PD than those not exposed (adjusted relative risk, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.3; p = 0.002).
A growing body of epidemiological evidence demonstrates associations between parental use of pesticides, particularly insecticides, with acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain tumors. Prenatal, household, and occupational exposures (maternal and paternal) appear to be the largest risks. Prospective cohort studies link early-life exposure to organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides (primarily DDT) with adverse effects on neurodevelopment and behavior.
These are just four instances out of thousands that prove pesticides are harmful. It’s literally impossible to disagree with the research that’s out there. The good news is that you can reduce the pesticides in your system in just one week.
HOW TO REDUCE THE PESTICIDES IN YOUR SYSTEM IN ONE WEEK
Eat organic food. Seems too simple, right?
Dr. Liza Oates from the School of Health Sciences in Australia performed a study that demonstrated how an organic diet, followed for one week, reduced pesticides by 90%. Here are the highlights of the study:
Organophosphate pesticide exposure in Australian adults is mainly through the diet.
One week of eating mostly organic food reduced urine pesticide levels by nearly 90%.
The clinical relevance of reducing pesticide exposure requires further study.
Eating organic food is a precautionary approach to reduce pesticide exposure.
So the next time someone tells you buying organic isn’t worth it, that organic food isn’t any healthier or that conventionally grown food is safe, just shove this article in their face. People love that.
It’s also important to note that this study was performed in Australia, where they are much stricter about what they will and will not allow in their food supply. America has much looser regulations, and as you likely know refuses to even label GMOs. So depending on your diet, it may take longer to rid your body of pesticides. The important part is that you recognize and make a concerted effort to eat organically, and locally if possible. Supporting organic food means more will be grown, and your money won’t go toward support farms that use pesticides.
article found at http://www.ancestral-nutrition.com/proof-eating-organic-can-reduce-cancer-reduce-pesticides-system-90-one-week/Leave a reply
More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness action steps.
We asked three experts — a naturopathic physician, a nutritionist, and a personal trainer — to tell us the top five simple-but-significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.
Besides giving you three different takes on how to pick your health battles, this list gives you choices you can make without being whisked off to a reality-show fat farm — or buying a second freezer for those calorie-controlled, pre-portioned frozen meals.
James Rouse, N.D.
Naturopathic physician, triathlete, chef, author and host of TV’s “Optimum Wellness,” health-tip segments featured on NBC affiliates in several major cities.
1. Think positive and focus on gratitude
Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.
2. Eat your vegetables
Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas and ovary. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colors — such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes and leafy greens.
3. Set a “5-meal ideal”
What, when and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A “5 meal ideal” will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus and avoid cravings.
4. Exercise daily
Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even 10 minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom-dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.
5. Get at good night’s sleep
If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit worrying about them.
Christina Reiter, M.S., R.D.
Resident consulting dietitian at the University of Colorado–Boulder Wardenburg Health Center for Nutrition Education and Therapies and former director of the nutrition program at Metropolitan State College of Denver.
1. Check your food ’tude
What we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centered on savoring flavor, eating to satisfaction and increasing energy, rather than focusing on weight. Check your balance of low-calorie foods, nutrient-dense foods (providing many nutrients per calorie), and foods that are calorie dense but nutrient poor. Most Americans need to eat more fresh whole foods (in contrast to processed, highly refined foods). Try to add more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes into your meals. Pair these carbohydrate-rich foods with a healthy fat or lean protein to extend satisfaction.
2. Eat like a kid
If adding more fruits and vegetables sounds ominous, look to “finger food” versions that preschool kids love — carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, grapes, berries and dried fruits. All are nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants.
3. Be a picky eater
Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and aim to eat more foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to cut your risk of cardiovascular disease and maybe even improve depressed moods. The equivalent of just 1 gram of EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid) daily is recommended. Eating cold-water oily fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout) two to three times per week will provide both EPA and DHA. Adding up to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and eating meat, milk and cheese from grass-fed animals will provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3s.
4. Use foods over supplements
Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 percent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
5. Get satisfaction
Both eating and physical activity are fun, sensory experiences! In both, aim for pleasure — not pain. Pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods you choose to eat, as well as your sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration and fatigue when you sit down to eat. Check in with yourself as you eat, rekindling your recognition of hunger, fullness and satisfaction when considering when and how much to eat.
Rick Olderman, M.S., P.T.
A physical therapist and owner of Z-Line Training in Denver, Colo., offering rehabilitation, personal training, Pilates instruction, motivational injury-prevention seminars, employee fitness program development and custom foot orthotics casting.
1. Give yourself a break
“I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last 10 pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodization program — breaking up your routine into various training modes — can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.
2. Think small
Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change. It’s easy to build from here by adding more healthy substitutions.
3. Keep good company
You can do all the right things — but if you have personal relationships with people who have unhealthy habits, it is often an uphill battle. The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Get your family or friends involved with you when you walk or plan healthier meals. Making healthy changes with a loved one can bring you closer together as well as motivate you.
4. Make a list … and check it twice
Take a few minutes and write down all the reasons you can’t begin an exercise program. Then look at the basis of each reason. For instance, if you wrote, “No time” as one of your reasons, then perhaps that’s based on a belief that an exercise program takes a lot of time. Starting with even five minutes a day will have a positive effect because you will have created a healthy habit where one didn’t exist before, and that’s a powerful mental adjustment. A closer look at your list will expose those false beliefs hiding behind each excuse.
5. Sign up for an event
Let’s face it, exercising just for the sake of exercising or losing weight can get boring. Spice things up by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where you can be part of a team. Doing so gives your workouts a new purpose, and it’s fun to be around others who are exercising just like you — not to mention that most events benefit nonprofit organizations, which doubles your feel-good high.
This article and more found at: