Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Jun 13th

Benefits of owning a pet

We all know that owning a pet is work especially a dog and it’s all about unconditional love, but it also provides few health benefits to pet owners:

1)       Decreases Stress

In a 2002 study at State University of New York at Buffalo, researchers found that when conducting a stressful task, people experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a spouse, family member or close friend was nearby. Promises Treatment Centers, which specializes in addiction, not only recommends its patients consider getting a pet, but even allows pets in its rehabilitation facilities, according to David Sack, MD, CEO of Promises. “One of Promises’ core beliefs is that we need to remove obstacles that prevent people from getting help,” Dr. Sack says. “We are committed to making Promises a safe and reassuring homelike environment. And what could be more like home than to have your pet accompany you?”

2)      Lowers Blood Pressure

While some studies have found a stronger connection than others, having a pet has the potential to lower blood pressure, especially in hypertensive or high-risk patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “If you have a dog around, your blood pressure is lower,” says Marty Becker, DVM, veterinary consultant for Good Morning America and author of the upcoming book Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual. “

3)      Eases Pain

Believe it or not, pets can be the best medicine, especially when a person is dealing with chronic pain such as migraines or arthritis, says Dr. Becker. “Just like Valium, it reduces anxiety. The less anxiety, the less pain,” he says. One study from Loyola University found that people who use pet therapy while recovering from surgery may need significantly less pain medication than those who do not.

4)      Lowers Cholesterol

According to the CDC, another heart-healthy result of owning a pet is lower cholesterol. People who own pets–and men, in particular–have significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who don’t have pets.

5)      Improves Mood

A lot of the health benefits of owning a pet may stem from the mental and emotional benefits. “People who have pets are less harried; there’s more laughter in their life,” says Dr. Becker. “When you come home, it’s like you’re George Clooney. You’re a star.” This is a primary reason pets are used in various forms of therapy. “At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, they’re using dogs to help soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Katy Nelson, DVM, associate emergency veterinarian at the VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. “They’re finding the guys who have a pet are able to re-enter society a little bit easier. They’re showing a decreased suicide rate, one of the biggest health threats [veterans] face. These guys who have a pet have someone they’re responsible for, someone who cares about them. And they don’t have to explain what they’ve been through.”

6)      Helps People Socialize

While it may seem a bit counterintuitive, owning a dog actually increases a person’s opportunities to socialize, according to Michael Landa, CEO of natural pet food brand Nulo and founder of Los Angeles–based dog-walking service The Pet Staff.  If you own a business, it also helps you meet prospects.  A 1999 Canadian study found that pet owners were more ‘socially engaged’ than non–pet owners. In addition, an Austrian study “found that pet ownership led to an increase in social contact, more socialization within neighborhoods [such as neighbors chatting as they walk their dogs], and even a greater perception to observers that the neighborhood seems ‘friendly.’”

7)      Prevents Strokes

Although dogs are often touted for their health benefits, cat owners can see gains, too. Felines are just as beneficial to your health as dogs. “If you have a cat, you’re 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack, and you’re 40 percent less likely to have a cardiovascular incident like a stroke,” Dr. Becker says. In addition, pets can aid in the recovery of a heart attack. “If you have a heart attack and you have a dog, you are [significantly more] likely to be alive a year later,” Dr. Becker says.

8)      Prevents Allergies and Improves Immunity

Dr. Becker says pets can dramatically improve immunity and prevent allergies. “A study found that children ages 5 to 7 from pet-owning households attend school three weeks more per year than those who don’t have pets,” he says. He also says that the more pets you have earlier in life, the fewer allergies you will develop. “Kids who grow up on farms and around animals don’t have allergies,” he says. “That dander on that hair, that’s natural immunotherapy.” But he notes that this effect is not reversible: Getting a pet as an adult will not minimize allergies, it only helps prevent certain allergies from developing in children.



June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health Tip for week Oct 5th

  • Whey Protein is good for weight loss and more…

Let’s start by defining what is Whey Protein.  Whey is a complex milk-based ingredient made up of protein, lactose, fat and minerals. Protein is the most abundant component of whey and includes many smaller protein sub-fractions and minor peptides. Each of these sub-fractions has unique biological properties. Manufacturer takes liquid whey and “dries it” making whey protein powder.  With modern filtering technology, it allows companies to isolate some of whey’s highly bioactive peptides, such as lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase, which occur in only minute amounts in cow’s milk.

Benefits of Whey Protein:

Jarrow's Whey Protein

  • The protein in whey has a high biological value, meaning it’s easily absorbed by the body.
  • Also, easily and quickly digested by the body which is able to quickly utilize most of the amino acids in whey protein to help with tissue repair and recovery after exercise.
  • When isolate, whey protein is very low in fat and carbohydrates. This is because the refinement process used to create whey protein powder removes nearly all of the fat and sugars in the liquid, leaving a final product that is almost 100% protein by volume.
  • Improve immunity and even stave off muscle wasting.
  • Support satiety (minimize hunger), improve insulin sensitivity which helps with weight management, and optimize muscle mass.
  • Research suggests that whey may help reduce stress, moderate cortisol, and support healthy serotonin levels, thus imparting feelings of well-being.
  • It boosts glutathione levels, facilitating immune function, and aiding in the fight against cancer.

First, you need to understand that whey protein is not an anabolic steroid – it’s a food.  The goal of drinking whey protein is usually to add weight (in the form of additional muscle), not to lose it.

That said, muscle growth will replace fat so ultimately you lose body fat and change your body fat percentage to favor lean tissue.  In summary, having whey protein as a supplement in your diet could help you become leaner overall … and yes, that would probably include losing some belly fat.

There are lots of research supporting that whey protein may thus help to improve whole-body wellness by supporting healthy weight, mood, and biochemistry.  Click here if you are interested to read and learn more about it.

However, be careful of the whey protein powder sold in the market.  There are so many types and everybody has different preferences and opinions on which ones are good.  My recommendation is to read the ingredients.  The main ingredient should be whey protein and it should be 100% natural.  If the list of ingredients is long, you are likely to get more stuff like sugar substance in replace of whey protein.  In other words, you are getting cheated.  You will probably get 50% of whey and 50% of sugar to make it taste good.  Also, look for those ones with less chemicals.  If you don’t know a word or the word is long, it is more likely to be chemically processed and genetically modified.  The most expensive whey powder doesn’t necessarily mean the best.  It’s just marketing.   In summary, look for one that has a short list of ingredients and 100% natural whey.

I highly recommend Jarrow’s brand.  At AF Performance, we sell Jarrow’s 2 lb Whey for $29.95 (no tax) along with other doctor’s brand which you cannot get at regular Vitamin Shop or supermarket like Metagenics and Thorne.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment