Google has over 70 million hits for the word detox. Designer juices are a 5 billion dollar a year business. We have been inundated with literature about the fact that we are surrounded by toxins and are advised to detox our bodies. We are lead to believe that the overload of toxin is more than a body can withstand. The meaning of the word detox originally stood for a cure for drug addiction. The word has been adopted by many companies promising to rid our bodies of toxins if a certain plan is followed. What toxins specifically are they referring to? Are these programs nothing more than starvation diets with little or no protein and fat? Is our body not naturally equipped as a perfect machine to cleanse itself? Our livers and kidneys are constantly filtering out waste. Our small intestine is on guard blocking unwanted agents from entering the bloodstream while our large intestine is busy helping waste leave our bodies. In addition, our skin, lungs and lymphatic system are eliminating toxins through sweating and breathing. It would seem if we fed ourselves more of the proper nutrients instead of cutting back, as these cleanses imply, we would actually encourage the body to do its job more efficiently. If you would like to give your system a break, try accomplishing it naturally via eating small but highly nutritional snacks 5 or 6 times a day for a week. Green leafy vegetables are incredible for blood purification. Water, exercise and proper ventilation in our homes are key to keeping our organs functioning. In other words, detoxing the body is really just an ongoing process, a way of life free of so much of the processed food we have been convinced to incorporate in our way of eating. Better digestion and complexion, increased energy and stamina, better absorption of nutrients, even weight loss are the results of eating clean without the high cost of resorting to commercial “detoxing” cleansers.
The tissues that comprise the human body (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fasciae) can get pretty beat up if you are a sports enthusiast or just an extremely active individual. Keeping these tissues in top shape will prevent future injury and long term pain. Foam rolling, stretching, sports massage, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, contrast bath therapy (hot and cold alternation) are just some of the modalities that should be considered as part of a regular exercise program. In keeping the blood flowing through these tissues they will remain healthy and most important flexible.
Source: Muscle & Performance July 2016
Exercise involves biological stress which can lead to controlled short term inflammation in the body. A study with mice is looking into how the immune system may fight cancer by increasing adrenaline. At the university of Copenhagen, scientists injected melanoma cells into two groups of mice. One group were given exercise wheels and the other group were forced to remain sedentary. After 4 weeks the active group showed better signs of fighting off the disease. This group possessed high levels of Adrenaline which alerted Interleukin-6, a substance released by working muscles, which in turn activated the natural killer cells. Lesions were both smaller and less in the active group.
The definition of alveoli comes from the Latin meaning “little cavity”. A large amount of alveolus (plural) are contained especially in the lungs. It is within these large organs that an extremely large amount of alveolus can be found. They are clusters that are situated at the ends of our intricate branchlike structures of air passages. Envision a tree contained within the walls of the lung with clusters of grapes hanging off all of the branches. They number about 350 million per lung and they are responsible for gas diffusion. To put their vastness in perspective, they cover about 760 square ft., a space about 40 times the area of our skin. Alveolus can be looked upon as tiny air chambers that are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the blood stream. An alveoli is the membrane in which oxygen from the air is allowed to enter the blood. The process in which they inflate and deflate occurs each time we inhale and exhale. Because of their composition it takes more effort to expand them, inhalation, which makes exhaling easier due to their elastic recoil. They are particular only to the lungs of mammals. The membranes of these sacks are so thin they allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass easily through them. This is referred to as the “gas-blood barrier”. So numerous, they are able to support the needs of a large animal. Since this exchange has to be done in large quantities and quickly, the number of alveolus makes this task possible. The capillaries in the alveolus push the oxygen depleted blood to an oxygen rich area allowing for the exchange. This is the process in which carbon dioxide rich blood is pumped from the rest of the body where it is released and oxygen is absorbed in its place. If this elastic recoil is compromised breathing can become a problem. They are so delicate that if they are abused by any toxins allowed to enter the lungs the walls will break down. They can combine with each other or totally collapse making the grapelike structures larger giving less area for this important exchange to take place. Simple congestion, or inflammation can cause them to swell and limit their effectiveness. Because they are so delicate, white blood cells are constantly on patrol absorbing any foreign particles in their vicinity. Aerobic exercise is a key factor in increasing their strength and durability. The more they are forced to expand the more oxygen rich blood is allowed to enter the system. This in turn can increase both our stamina and endurance.