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Volume 10

Q: Cory, where can I go to have my athletic fitness tested and receive an overall assessment of my health and biological age?

A: Try the kinesiology department or the department of exercise physiology of any local university. Complete fitness assessment is also offered by privately run fitness studios and wellness clinics in major cities. Try phoning some of the local gyms in your area, although they will most likely not be equipped to test your biological age (BA), just provide a fitness assessment. For BA you need to analysis your blood chemistry and determine several other markers combined with fitness testing, such as skin elasticity and visual acuity.

A complete fitness assessment should include a body composition analysis and measurement of the following: height and weight, muscle strength, muscle endurance, aerobic capacity, flexibility, gait & neuromuscular balance, blood pressure and resting heart rate. Lifestyle plays an enormous role in how we age, but not chronologically. The clock is always ticking and we’re all aging the same based on how we measure age with the passage of time. Biological age (bio-age) or vital age has more to do with how you’re aging and what effect life has had and is having on your form, function and performance. Ideally, your bio-age as an adult should be less than your chronological age. The following websites will give you an idea of what you should look for www.beyondfitness.ca / www.optimahealthsolutions.com

Q: Cory, what is your take on honey for athletes, say for energy and recovery?

A: Honey is best consumed in its natural raw state, preferably non-pasteurized. It has a relatively low glycemic index (55) thus you can add it to a pre-workout shake to enhance stamina and endurance. But it’s also great for restoring muscle glycogen. Australian research shows it has a very positive restoration effect on depleted muscle cells. I add a heaping tablespoon of liquid raw honey to my post-workout protein shake. Raw honey has enzyme value, is alkaline forming and acts as a natural antibiotic. Refined sugar (sucrose) has none of these qualities. One tablespoon of raw honey provides 17 grams of carbohydrates, mainly in the form of fructose (38.5%), glucose (30%) and maltose (7.2%). Honey also has antioxidant properties.

Q: Tracy, I am a 50 year old woman and have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. Can you explain a little more about this disease and tell me what natural food substances and supplements I can take to offset the symptoms.

A: Hashimoto's thyroiditis was first described by the Japanese physician Hashimoto in 1912. Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Antibodies react against proteins in the thyroid, causing gradual destruction of the gland itself and its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Common symptoms include fatigue, mental confusion, memory problems, depression, decreased interest in daily activities, concentration difficulties, sleep disturbances, reduced sexual interest, brittle nails, dry/coarse skin, dry/brittle hair, hair loss, sensitivity to cold and loud noises, weight gain, muscle weakness, constipation, muscle cramps and increased menstrual flow.

It is said that anyone suffering from an autoimmune disorder should lead a quiet lifestyle. Not always possible. Take a long walk in the fresh air, train each muscle group intensely one time per week to strengthen the immune system and use yoga as a relaxing and healing full body stretch. Drink plenty of filtered water and eat a diet rich in enzymes, fresh organic fruits and vegetables and raw green salads (chlorophyll). There is some evidence that soy may have a negative effect on the thyroid. Kelp, seaweed, salmon and tuna are rich in iodine. Use supplements such as Vitamin B2, B6, B12, C, E, tyrosine, beta-carotene, melatonin and zinc to maintain a healthy thyroid.