20(15) Evidence-Based Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness Tips You Can Use

This week’s blog includes 20(15) Evidence-Based Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness tips you can use as we enter into 2016.

1. Lift weights 3-4x/week


Weight lifting  builds muscle strength and muscle mass and preserves bone density. It enables  independence, and vitality with age. In addition, strength training also has the ability to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes, while also improving sleep and reducing depression.


2. Do  High Intensity Interval Training (HIT)  2x/week

Low-volume HIT can rapidly improve glucose control and induce adaptations in skeletal muscle that are linked to improved metabolic health. It is also a good strategy for weight loss.


 3. Incorporate Self Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling) into your exercise routine

Self Myofascial Release has been shown to be effective for:

  • Flexibility
  • Athletic performance
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Balance
  • Improve arterial stiffness
  • Improve vascular endothelial function
  • Reduce cortisol levels post-exercise
  • Increase parasympathetic activity
  • Reduce sympathetic activity


4. Meditate 15-20 minutes every day

Meditators experience fewer symptoms of aching muscles or joints and well as less use of drugs and tranquilizers. In addition, meditation is great for stress reduction and some types of hypertension.
5. Try Intermittent Fasting 1-2x/week

Intermittent fasting (IF) and caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to  extend lifespan and increase resistance to age-related diseases and improve the health of overweight humans. Both IF and CR enhance cardiovascular and brain functions and improve several risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke including a reduction in blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity.
6. Incorporate NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) into you day

NEAT  is the energy expended that is not from sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting. NEAT may be a carefully-regulated ‘tank’ of physical activity that is crucial for weight control.
7. Replace the chemicals (EDCs- Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals) in your home (e.g. self-care products, cleaning supplies, etc) with natural products.

EDCs represent a broad class of molecules such as pesticides and industrial chemicals, plastics and plasticizers, fuels, and many other chemicals that are present in the environment or are in widespread use. EDCs have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism, obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.
8. Get enough sleep (7-9 hours)

Sleep loss, either behavioral or disease-related, and poor quality of sleep might promote the development of obesity and diabetes mellitus, and exacerbate existing endocrine conditions.

9. Eat a rainbow of plant based foods every day

Pigmented fruits, vegetables and herbs contain phytochemicals which  are powerful antioxidants that can be used  to treat or manage a plethora of chronic diseases including various types of cancer, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular abnormalities.
10. Incorporate Omega 3 fats into your diet

Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio), exert suppressive effects.

Sources of Omega 3 fats

Fatty Acid Food Sources
ALA , (LNA) alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) Flaxseed, canola oil, English walnuts, specialty eggs
EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5 n-3) Fish, fish oils, marine sources
DHA, docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3) Fish, fish oils, specialty egg/dairy products


11. Incorporate prebiotic foods into your diet (e.g. Yogurt, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi)

Prebiotics can change the gut microbiota composition.  This concomitantly improves stool quality, reduces the risk of gastroenteritis and infections, improves general well-being and reduces the incidence of allergic symptoms such as atopic eczema. Changes in the gut microbiota composition are classically considered as one of the many factors involved in the pathogenesis of either inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
12. Try trigger point dry needling for your myofascial pain

Dry needling is an effective therapy for myofascial pain (MP).

MP is a common, painful disorder that is responsible for many pain clinic visits. MP can affect any skeletal muscles in the body, There are approximately 400 muscles in the body.

MP can cause local or referred pain, tightness, tenderness, popping and clicking, stiffness and limitation of movement, autonomic phenomena, local twitch response  in the affected muscle, and muscle weakness.
13.  Manage your stress

Stress may be defined as a threat to homeostasis (physiologic balance).

The physiologic response to stress involves activation of the central nervous system,  with consequent stimulation of the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system.

Stress can adversely affect the endocrine and nervous systems and the immune response.


14. Eat fewer refined carbohydrates

Most carbohydrates in Western diets are highly processed, including bread, rolls, pizza, white rice, and most ready-to-eat cold cereals and sugar. These types of carbohydrates are particularly harmful for overweight and obese individuals, and can aggravate  insulin resistance.

In addition, diets high in sugar and non-nutritive sweeteners can adversely affect  ADD/ADHD and cognitive performance in children.


15. Drink Tea and coffee

Tea and coffee are are rich sources of phytochemical antioxidants that have free-radical scavenging capacity,

Moderate consumption of tea may protect against several forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, the formation of kidney stones, bacterial infections, and dental cavities.

Coffee consumption may help prevent several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease (cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma).



Have a happy and healthy New Year!

Dr. Geoff

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin