Strike A Pose

Yoga works wonders for anyone at any age

When she was just 14 years old, Kari Brodsky’s mother, Jane, invited her to her yoga class. “I’m a workout-aholic and when I first tried yoga, I found it to be really hard. That’s what got me hooked — I love a challenge,” she says.

Ten years later, this second-year dental student was still hooked on yoga. In addition to taking yoga classes, she teaches yoga to female and male soccer players at the high school level. In fact, Kari’s father, Barry, is the soccer coach for both schools and got her involved. “Most of the soccer players are already well-rounded athletes, and yoga offers them more flexibility. Plus it strengthens their knees, joints and feet, and helps prevent injuries,” Kari says.

It also just helps you feel better. Which is why yoga attracts people of all ages. “If anyone says they can’t get into yoga, they’ve never really tried,” says Kari. “It’s one of the few workouts that’s available to everyone. There are so many classes and so many levels — you can start at any age. Yoga is more of an individual accomplishment because you work at your own pace.”

Just look at the Brodsky family. Kari’s mother still practices yoga and her father recently started. What convinced him? “His knees. He was a high school athlete — football, baseball and basketball — he’s torn everything and is in pain every day. He swims every morning, six days a week and he’s been doing yoga for about four months now. He loves it,” she says.

According to Kari, yoga is an on-going teaching process. “You’re doing something that’s good for your body for an hour. It works muscles you normally wouldn’t work. It requires you to set time aside for breathing and controlling your breath,” she says, adding, “Whatever age, shape, size; anyone can do it.”

Let’s look at a few basic yoga poses.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

DOWNWARD POSITION 1

To start, position yourself on all fours.

DOWNWARD POSITION 2

Curl your toes under and push back through your heels, raising your hips and straightening your legs. (Make sure your heels are pushed toward the ground.)

Hands should be shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width. Palms should be on the ground, with fingers spread apart. Let your head relax. Move your shoulder blades away from the ears toward the hips. Breathe in and out through your nose.

PLANK POSITION

PLANK POSITION 1

Start at the top of the push-up position, keeping palms flat and fingers spread. Your head is extended and your body should be straight — your neck should be in line with your spine.

SIDE PLANK POSITION 2

From plank position, shift your weight over to the side you’re turning to. Stack your feet on top of one another, or if you need more balance, put one in front of the other.

Extend one arm up and push your shoulder blades together. Push your hips toward the sky. Turn your gaze up if you’re more advanced. Or look at the ground for better balance. (Looking up forces you to use your muscles to balance.)

WARRIOR I

WARRIOR I POSITION

Step forward with one foot so that you’re in a low lunging position. Turn your rear foot so that it’s flat on the ground. Bend your front knee over the ankle, so that your thigh is parallel to the ground.

Turn your hips to face forward. Bring your arms out to the side and up, with palms touching. Relax your shoulders down your back.

WARRIOR II

WARRIOR II TO REVERSE WARRIOR POSITION

From Warrior 1, exhale while left leg and left arm are forward (or vice versa,) and your other arm is extended behind you. Your hips turn open to one side.

With leg extended, lower your rear hand toward your leg, and extend your other hand skyward. Turn your gaze up toward your extended hand. Now you are in Reverse Warrior.

TRIANGLE

TRIANGLE POSITION

Coming out of Reverse Warrior, extend forward over your hips. Lower your hand to the ground and place it on the inside of your foot. (Or if you’re more comfortable, place it on the top of your foot or your shin.)

Extend your opposite arm to the sky. Pinch your shoulder blades together to open up your chest. Take your gaze up toward your extended fingertips.

BOAT

BOAT POSITION

Begin in a seated position with your feet on the mat and a straight spine. (You can hold your knees, if you like.)

Lift your feet up and reach your arms out to the side. Lower legs should be parallel to the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles.

Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle keeping your back straight and your abdomen tight. Straighten your legs as far as you can to make a “V” shape with your body.

NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Dunham’s Sports and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.

-Fitness Fanatic

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Listen Up!

With bone conduction headphones, you can take your tunes along without shutting down the rest of the world.

We love new technology, particularly when it relates to sports and recreation, so we were excited to discover a new type of headphone that’s well suited to an active lifestyle.

Many consider music an essential part of the sporting life. What could be better than a morning at the fishing hole with music keeping you company? Or maybe you fuel workouts with hard-driving tunes. Or perhaps you enjoy hiking under a starry sky while old melodies trigger memories. Whatever way you take your music, you probably listen through headphones.

Headphones come in various configurations. There are in-ear types, like the earbuds that came packaged with your smart phone. Then there are over-ear versions that work something like a pair of ear muffs. The principal disadvantage of both types is they prevent your hearing anything other than the music, since access to your ear is blocked. That can be dangerous. Fortunately, a solution is now available: bone conduction headphones from AfterShokz. And you’ll find them at Dunham’s.

Here’s How It Works

Sound is transmitted to the inner ear two different ways, through the ear canal and eardrums and through the bones. AfterShokz has developed proprietary audio technology that utilizes bone conductivity to deliver precise, pure sound without blocking the ear canal. Utilizing a concept called PremiumPitch+™, AfterShokz tunes the audio signal and transmits it in the form of mini vibrations through the cheek bones surrounding your ears. You don’t feel the vibration any more than you feel the vibration of your eardrum, but you hear dynamic sound with deep, rich bass.

You also hear all that is going on around you. Unlike in-ear or over-ear headphones, bone conduction headphones allow you to maintain situational awareness, an important benefit for anyone engaged in physical activity. For example, runners wearing AfterShokz bone conduction headphones can hear a car overtaking from behind, and a fisherman can hear the splash of a bass breaking the surface or a ski boat approaching.

Wireless or Wired

Dunham’s offers two AfterShokz models. Trekz Titanium headphones are a wireless design that is available in both Slate Grey and Ocean Blue. Lightweight and comfortable, they are sweatproof and secure. Arcing over the ears, they stay in place even in vigorous activity. Your music will be dynamic and your phone calls crystal clear for up to six hours on a single charge.

Also available is the affordable Sportz Titanium wired model in Onyx Black. Equipped with a microphone, the lightweight headphones deliver a superb audio experience while keeping you fully connected to your world and your environment for as long as 12 hours on one charge.

It’s brilliant new technology from AfterShokz, and it’s available now at Dunham’s.

-Fitness Fanatic

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Why You Need To Train Legs

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Leg day is the easiest session to skip in the gym. Leg training is tough — no doubt about it — and it can be tempting to forget your leg workouts in favor of easier training sessions or missing the gym altogether. Many guys and girls prefer to focus on the showier muscles — arms, abs, shoulders and chest — but leg training has many benefits that go beyond aesthetics. No matter how big your upper body is, Not training your legs will stunt your potential for your overall body. Having small legs will make your physique look odd at the least, if not ridiculous too. I was called chicken legs by a man who was like a second dad to me, my Brooklyn manager Dr Julie Levine who owned R & J Health studio. Those words were rocket fuel for me, it motivated me to prove him wrong, which thank God I did. In bodybuilding contests, judges don’t look at muscle mass in one area — they look at your whole package. This includes proportion and symmetry criteria, so if your legs are lacking, you won’t get far in the bodybuilding game. Even if you’re not looking to compete, small legs don’t look good when you’re at the beach or strutting your stuff in shorts.As you get older your legs become your best friend, helping you get out of a chair or car or bath tub.
 
For sport and athletic performance, working out your legs is vital, according to a 2013 study. A bigger squat, dead lift and power clean will translate to running faster on the sports field and jumping higher on the basketball court. Even endurance athletes can benefit from stronger legs. You’ll also build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury. Think you need cardio workouts to burn fat? Think again. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, burns a higher number of calories than easier upper-body moves such as biceps curls or lateral raises. This leads to increased fat loss, which is also partly caused by the release of hormones you get when training legs. Your leg muscles are so large that this hormonal response can even help you build upper-body muscle mass. Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training are crucial components in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis. If you’re using weight training purely to keep bones and joints healthy later in life, do front squats, stiff-legged dead lifts, calf raises, leg presses and any other challenging leg moves that take your fancy. If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone or joint condition, however, and are looking to training to manage your condition, consult with your doctor and a fully qualified trainer before starting a routine.
 
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Use the “Wet Test” to Determine What Kind of Feet You Have

1. Get your foot wet.
 
2. Then step on a surface, such as a sidewalk or a piece of dark construction paper, which will show an imprint of your foot.
 
3. The characteristics of the imprint will determine your foot type:
 
• Flat Footed/Pronated — Your feet are pronated if a complete impression of your foot can be seen.
• High-Arched Footed/Supinated — Your feet are supinated if there is a large open area on the imprint where the arch of your foot didn’t touch the ground.
• Neutral/Ideal — Your feet are neutral/ideal if a moderate space is visible in the arch area.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Keep Your Feet Happy, Every Day

What feels better than stepping outside into the spring air after a long, cold winter stuck inside your house? If you have tired, achy feet, staying on the couch might feel a lot better. But with advances in comfortable footwear, that walk in the park can feel a lot more like, well, a walk in the park!
 
Think about everything your feet do for you every day. We all know that we should get more physical activity and stand more throughout the day rather than sitting at a desk. But if you suffer from foot pain or an injury, some things can become difficult or nearly impossible to do. Who can think about exercise when it hurts just to get out of bed? And people who have to stand on their feet for their jobs are even more at risk for painful and debilitating foot issues.
 
One common foot problem is plantar fasciitis, which comes with pain in the heel. This can be caused by walking in or standing in shoes with thin soles, according to WebMD www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/understanding-plantar-fasciitis-basics. And heels or flip flops can also cause issues, including blisters, bunions and calluses. Even going barefoot can be dangerous for your feet, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.
 
Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly are a big part of keeping your feet in good health. Shoes that offer stability and cushion can help you dodge many of the foot ailments that can come from everyday life. And they can be fashionable and affordable, too! Shoes that offer cushioning right in the sole can help you avoid the potential cost of inserts to absorb shock.
 
adidas offers its Cloudfoam technology to keep your feet happy every day. Cloudfoam is made with a material designed to absorb shock and can provide a high level of comfort compared to other shoes.
 
Stu Utley from adidas says that any customer looking for comfortable, trendy shoes for an affordable price will benefit from adidas’ Neo line of shoes featuring Cloudfoam.
 
“Our shoes with Cloudfoam are great for everyday wear,” Utley says. “They are built to provide you with stylish comfort.”
 
And the whole family can get the benefits of adidas Cloudfoam technology. The Neo model comes in women’s, men’s and kids’ designs.
 
Skechers also has options for those who want to pamper their feet and stay stylish. You can get Skechers models with memory foam for men, women and children. That includes their D’Lites brand for men and women.
 
“Skechers memory foam offers additional cushioning with a slight rebound to reduce foot fatigue,” says Doug Kelley of Skechers. He called the Skechers shoes with memory foam “an athleisure product for every day.”
 
These cushioned options from Skechers and Adidas are best for light, everyday activities. They are great options for running errands, strolling through your neighborhood or walking your dog.
 
Remember those fitness resolutions you vowed to keep back in January? Keep your feet in good health so you can go out and make them happen! Try shoes with cushioning this spring.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Core Strength

Pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance.
 
Want to flatten your tummy, strengthen those shoulder blades, and build better posture? Pilates might just be the thing for you. Pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates in the mid-1920s, pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance without adding bulk to muscles or increasing risk of injury. Pilates has outlasted just about every exercise fad and attracts all types of people, from exercise enthusiasts and Hollywood celebrities to rehabilitation patients and reformed couch potatoes.
 
There are a variety of methods that are modifications of the original, among them STOTT PILATES®. The original “classic” pilates program promotes movements on a flat back, while STOTT focuses on the spine’s natural curves and rebalancing body muscles.
 
We are featuring STOTT pilates as part of our Let’s Get Physical series. STOTT offers hundreds of specifically designed exercises that blend body awareness and breathing with fluid, controlled movements to tighten your core, stabilize your spine, and improve the way you move, feel and look. The body’s core is the heart of this exercise program.
 
“The core is like a box, with your abs on your front, side and back, spine on the back, diaphragm on the top and pelvic floor on the bottom,” explains instructor Liz Smythe, who teaches at one of the nation’s top STOTT teacher training studios, Equilibrium, in Bloomfield Hills, MI. “Pilates strengthens all of this and improves everything I do.”
 
It will take at least two pilates sessions (class, private or at home) per week to reap maximum benefits. It’s ideal when combined with cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, swimming) and a great complement to weight training. Smythe demonstrates some of her favorite pilates poses.
 
THE HUNDRED (For abdominals and endurance)
 
To start, lie flat on your mat with your arms by your side and legs in the air with knees bent so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
 
Inhale, slightly nod your chin, exhale and curl up off the floor with your hands reaching toward your toes. Focus eyes toward your knees. Legs can stay where they are, or for more challenge, reach them out on a diagonal.
 
Begin inhaling through your nose for 5 counts and exhaling through a pursed lip for 5 counts until you reach 100 (10 sets). Gently pump your arms up and down, like you are pressing an imaginary nail toward the mat with your hands.
 
SPINE TWIST (Increases upper body range of motion)
 
Sit tall, engage abs and flex your feet. Move arms to the sides, relax shoulders.
 
Rotate from your abs to the right 3 times, going as far as you can the first time and attempting to go slightly further the next two times. Imagine you are getting taller with each rotation.
 
DOUBLE LEG STRETCH (Works the abdominals)
 
Lie flat on the mat with your legs in the air, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor (tabletop position). Hands are on the outside of the knees and upper body is flexed off the mat, eyes on the knees.
 
Exhale, simultaneously reaching your legs to a diagonal position and your arms up past your ears like you are taking off an imaginary top hat.
 
Simultaneously sweep your arms out to the side and back where they started, touching your knees as you also return your legs to tabletop position.
 
PUSH UP (Works triceps, pectorals and abdominals)
 
Stand straight, keep shoulders down and bring arms straight above your head.
 
Nod head, roll down toward the mat. Pull in abs and curve spine until your hands reach the mat.
 
Arms can go out to the side or straight back. Inhale. Lower your arms for 3 counts. Exhale as you push up, keeping the shoulders stable. Do six reps.
 
SWIMMING PREP MODIFICATION (Great for lower back pain)
 
Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and hips over knees, keeping the knees hip-distance apart. Spine is in neutral position following the back’s natural curve. Engage your abs as you lift your opposite arm and leg in the air.
 
Simultaneously move the arm and leg out to the side and back, keeping the rest of your body still.
 
Lower and repeat on other side. Kneel or sit on heels, extend arms overhead toward ceiling, then alternate arms in a swimming motion.
 
REFORMER: REVERSE EXPANSION (For balance and spine stability)
 
When visiting a pilates studio, you may find yourself utilizing some of the STOTT PILATES® specific equipment. Kneel on the carriage with your feet against the shoulder rests, ankles flexed, in an upright position. Spine is in neutral. Hold the straps with your palms facing forward and arms by the side of your body. Exhale. Reach the arms forward and upward as high as possible up to eye level, flexing the shoulders. Do not move torso, hips or legs. Return arms to starting position without falling.
 
 
 
NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Dunham’s Sports and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Five Spring Stars

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Some of the great joys of spring line the produce aisles of you local produce store or farmers market. Along with the delicious spring harvest comes some great opportunities to up the nutrition content of your diet, while enjoying it more! Fresh, seasonal produce reaps the most nutritional value. We’ve picked five of our favorites to share with you!
 
• Apricots‘ long growing season last from May to August. Fresh apricots are an excellent source of Vitamins C, E, potassium, and iron, as well as being a great source of beta-carotene. Additionally, two to three apricots offer nearly 50% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Did I mention they’re a great source of fiber with the low-overhead of three for 50 calories!
 
• Artichokes are available year-round, but the best time for truly fresh artichokes is from March through May. A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin. They are also a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. A 2-ounce serving has about 3 grams of fiber… all that for just 25 calories!
 
• Asparagus is one of the first foods to signal the beginning of spring. Fresh asparagus are at their peak from March through June. They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K; and are also a very good source of chromium, which heightens the ability of insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Additionally, asparagus is rich in of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. Finally, each one of those green spears is brimming with antioxidants that neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Preliminary research shows it may even help slow the aging process!
 
• Sweet cherries have a short harvest season, from late spring to early summer. They’re not only a highly sought-after summer favorite, they’re a true super fruit! Chock full of antioxidants, they help replace free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage. They are rich in the flavanoid queritrin, one of the most potent anticancer agents and contain ellagic acid, a naturally occurring plant phenolic known as an anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound, which some researchers say acid may be the most effective way to prevent cancer. It’s hard to find a treat that offers so much goodness along with great taste!
 
• Fava beans are a nutrient-dense food that provide a high amount of nutrients packed in a low amount of calories. You can get 10 to 19 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin B1 or thiamin, iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in just 1/4 cup of fava beans.They’re also an excellent source of folate, and manganese, supporting the immune system function and cardiovascular health while enabling metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol. Fava beans also have 9 grams of fiber in that 1/4 cup and are particularly rich in soluble fiber which may help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
 
Leap into spring with a with these high-nutrient and anti-oxidant rich foods for a great, fresh start!
 
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Sleep

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Busy schedules, stress, family, and medical issues can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. Four common problems that arise from lack of needed sleep are depression, memory loss, weakened immune system, and a lower tolerance for pain. Now, recent research indicates that the health costs of sleep deprivation is greater than previously thought.
 
A recent study restricted a group of young men to four hours of sleep for six consecutive nights. After the sixth night, researchers found levels of glucose spiked for the study participants while production of insulin, the hormone that removes sugar from the blood was reduced. The effect was so strong that the participants’ blood sugar levels rose to between normal and diabetic! Fortunately, blood sugar levels returned to normal after the individuals’ customary sleep patterns were restored, but long-term results remain unknown.
 
How much sleep is enough sleep? Requirements vary between individuals, however general guidelines are:
 
• Infants need about 16 hours a day
• Teenagers need about 9 hours on average per day
• Adults need 7 to 8 hours per day, keep in mind that individual requirements for adults vary widely.
 
Easier said than done? Many of us lie in bed at night, our minds racing with chores, careers and family issues. There are steps you can take that will help ease you into sleep.
 
• Go to bed the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
• Sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable environment.
• Exercise daily (but not right before bedtime).
• Turn off the electronics — yes, the computer and cell phone!
• Relax before bedtime. A warm bath or reading both help muscles relax.
• Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine late in the day.
 
Feel better … be better, get your sleep!
 
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Children and Cardiovascular Health

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We have watched with dismay in the last 30 years as the rates of childhood obesity more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents. Now we find there is more to this story. Recently published studies have found that kids are about fifteen percent less aerobically fit than their parents were at the same age! The findings of this research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013 in Dallas, TX.
 
For this large study, researchers analyzed 50 separate studies that concentrated on running and fitness between 1964 and the present that included more than 25 million children who ranged in ages from 9 to 17 years-old in 28 different countries. Timed runs, which were either a set amount of time or set distance, were used as the measure of cardiovascular strength and endurance.
 
The findings? Over the 46 years during which these studies were conducted, children’s cardiovascular endurance has decreased approximately five percent in every decade. This decrease in cardiovascular strength is accompanied by higher obesity rates. Along with sedentary lifestyles, researchers concluded that between 30 and 60 percent of the decline is directly the result of rising obesity. This decline is made evident by the finding that it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile now than it did in the 1980s!
 
How did this happen? Inactivity is the main culprit. Children no longer walk to school. Communities are designed without sidewalks, which discourages walking. Schools no longer offer daily physical education. Finally, our kids are sitting in front of the television or computer screens rather than becoming involved in physical activities.
 
This is a very serious situation, and the lack of a robust cardiovascular system can follow a child throughout his or her entire life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer some important guidelines.
 
• Kids should exercise for at least 60 minutes a day, most of which should be aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, gymnastic or bicycling. A minimum of 3 days per week should include vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
 
• Include muscle strengthening exercises, such as gymnastics, pull-ups or push-ups, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes of fitness activity.
 
• Don’t forget bone-strengthening activities! Try jumping rope, gymnastics, running or hiking, also at least 3 days per week.
 
• Stretching offers more flexibility and help protect your child against injuries. Include side-stretches or toe-touching bends or go for martial arts, dance or gymnastics.
 
Give your children the gifts of a lifetime … help them pursue active and healthy lifestyles!
 
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The Dark Side of Sodas

[Written by Peter Nielsen].

You may or may not drink cola or sodas, but you undoubtedly have a dear friend or family member who does! We’ve heard over and over again that sodas are an important factor in obesity, which is a huge cause for concern in it’s own right. Recent developments show that obesity is just the tip of the iceberg, and many more serious issues linked to soda consumption lie below the surface.

In news this week of was the story a 31 year old woman from Monaco who was hospitalized after fainting. Blood tests indicated that she had severely low potassium levels, further tests of her heart’s electrical activity revealed she had a condition called long QT syndrome, which can cause erratic heart beats. She told her doctors that since the age of 15, she had not drunk any water, just cola — about 2 liters daily! Doctors recommended she abstain from soda, which she did and after just one week, the woman’s potassium levels and heart electrical activity returned to normal. The case was presented this week at the European Heart Rhythm Association meeting in Athens, Greece.

Researchers also found six reports of excessive cola consumption that are thought to be causative factors in serious medical problems, including heart rhythm problems. Additional studies will examine whether those who drink cola excessively have lower potassium levels than people who don’t drink cola.

Admittedly, this is an extreme case. However there are more issues associated with soda drinking than the news of possible heart problems caused by cola and other soft drinks — a lot more!

• Drinking too much cola may cause excess water to enter the bowels, which in turn leads to diarrhea, and loss of potassium, the researchers said. High amounts of caffeine found in colas can increase urine production and decrease potassium reabsorption. Potassium plays a role in helping a person’s heartbeat, and low levels of potassium may cause heart rhythm problems

• In one experiment, the sugar from one soft drink damaged white blood cells ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria for seven hours.

• Sodas contain large quantities of phosphorus which, as mentioned above, leeches calcium from the bones when excreted. Heavy users of soft drinks will suffer from osteoporosis along and damaged arteries.”

• The Naval Medical Research Institute put human teeth in a cola beverage and found they softened and started to dissolve within a short period of time.

• One liter of an aspartame-sweetened beverage can produce about fifty-six milligrams of methanol. If someone drinks several sodas in a a single day, the amount of methanol produced is 32 times the EPA limit.

• Continuously high levels of sodium in the diet and the bloodstream causes a type of acute hypernatremia — an electrolyte disturbance that is defined by an elevated sodium level in the blood generally caused by a relative deficit of free water in the body — which keeps our sodium potassium pump slightly dysregulated and throws off the electrical system of the brain.

• It’s also important to note that aspartame, found in diet sodas, contains methyl or wood alcohol, which can affect fetal brain development.

What could be more important for your health if you’re a regular soda drinker than to quit the habit!

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