Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cancer Prevention -Shira on Sports Medicine Radio

Cancer Prevention with Exercise

Cancer Prevention and management, and the prevention and management of all of our chronic illnesses……Exercise.

cancer prevention
Shira Litwack Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Shira Litwack is Interview with the Sports Medicine Specialists at NYU, February 2015 on the Sirius XM Sports Medicine Rehab show, in honour of Cancer Awareness month.

The role of exercise in both cancer prevention and management is unfortunately not well known. Over the last 20 years there have been hundreds of studies proving the importance of the right exercise for cancer prevention and exercise

It is very important to note that not all exercise is suggested, and there are contraindications.

Let’s understand different forms of exercise, and how we choose, based on the cancer and the other medical needs of the patient, how we look at exercise.

I always insist the “E” in Exercise is for effort – however my implication is both mental & physical effort.

The stereotype of exercise is that heart thumping bop till you drop – but that is only one aspect of exercise. Exercise is like a diamond – adds the brilliant shine to our being – and like a diamond is multifaceted – and without those many facets – doesn’t shine the same.

That push as hard as you can exercise mentality when taken to extreme, or with certain medical conditions can be a burden to our health if not tempered. Studies have shown that for certain people exercising over 80% max threshold  for 30 minutes or more can raise cortisol (stress hormone) levels over 80% – which can in turn actually prevent us from achieving our intended exercise goals.

Let’s look at two categories of exercise: Mentally engaging vs. habitual.

Habitual: Thats more of the stereotype – running, our “cardio” time – however I did promise exercise guru Dr. Steve Blair I would not perpetuate that term. We don’t really have to think about it. Habitual exercise is fabulous for cardio respiratory fitness, fat burn or as I call it “getting our ya yas out”. It is a fabulous time for extrospective thought. I always say I do my very best problem solving, brainstorming during cardio time. I have been known when asked a question to reply “Let me cardio on it”. Great time to pump the Ipod & soar, reach new levels of personal performance & pride. Yes, the sweat should be glimmering giving us that “healthy glow”. The stinkier the better – thats why showers were created.and can be oh so….

In fitness we often prescribe to the FITT formula: Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type. I propose we change this to FITTT: Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type & Telomeres. Telomeres are strands, like caps at the end of our chromosomes. Telomeres seem to be like the rings on a tree – an indication of the cell’s age. Science is showing us as telomere’s “age”  – shorten, shred – so comes the death of the cells….and we age. Exercise that increases heart rate, that makes us glisten like the most brilliant diamond – actually lengthen telomeres – the true science of why exercise is the best anti aging serum – not those over priced cosmetic serums you pay to have their marketing department dupe you. Gym membership: average $400/year less than 20% of a city’s population belongs to a gym. The “anti aging” cosmetic industry – billions.

Mentally Engaging: Focus. Soooooo important – an equally brilliant shine to our diamond. Aka “mindful exercise” – is about turning the focus inward. Breathe deep, focus on our breathing and every tiny movement of our body. Take it slow, listen to our body’s response to the movement, heed to the rhythm of our heartbeat – and please put the iPod away for this! Ever watch someone do bicep curls to Kanye? Strength training, yoga, Pilates, qigong, meditation….all of these merit mindful performance.

Besides the many physical, strength, endurance aspects of mentally engaging exercise there are an equal number of psychological benefits. Far too often in life we go around in what I call “robomode” ……we act without thought. Mindful activities – including mindful eating, mindful exercising provide tremendous brain boosting & cognitive strength – as well as discipline – how the body does crave discipline – which too needs to be exercised.   And yes, we can break a serious sweat during mentally engaging physical activity.

Breast Cancer Recovery with Exercise

Breast Cancer Recovery: Shira Litwack Interviewed By Dr. Jonathan Whiteson

Breast Cancer Awareness month – Listen to Shira Litwack on Sirius Radio interviewed by Dr. Jonathan Whiteson Director of the Cardiac and Pulmonary Wellness and Rehabilitation program at the Rusk Institute. Doctor Radio “Rehabilitative Medicine”, October 6, 2014 show

Breast Cancer Recovery with Cancer Exercise Specialist Shira Litwack
Shira Interviewed on Sirius XM “Doctor Radio” for Breast Cancer Awareness month

Exercise is a vital partner in both Breast Cancer prevention, in recovery, and the little spoken about prevention of metastases. We all know to exercise for heart health. Yes, heart disease kills more women every year than breast cancer.

Even if we are BRCA or PALB2 positive, the right exercise can help in the prevention. Most women who develop breast cancer do NOT carry the BRCA gene mutation, and many women who do carry the mutation do not develop breast cancer. Lifestyle choices are huge in the prevention of breast cancer.

However, this does go far beyond exercise. Often, people are exposed to mutagens, unknowingly, oxidative stressors and endocrine disruptors, all of which can feed cancer. Therefore, getting informed, can help dramatically in prevention.

and women….alcohol is NOT your friend, at all. 

A few quick bits on the role of exercise:

Physical Inactivity: The saddest part here is – most people do not know what this means. Its not about going to the gym X number of times per week. Its not about becoming a competitive athlete, and it is far more than going for walks – however a good start. Physical activity for chronic disease prevention/management requires cardiorespiratory, building muscle mass at all ages avoiding sarcopenia, cachexia, stretching & flexibility……The misconceptions here are terrifying – its not about hiring a personal trainer, and your physical activity should not be dependent on going to the gym. Physical activity is just as critical for emotional, psychological & cognitive health as it is for physical health. Let us find the exercise & physical activity that meets your personal needs. Remember: physical activity, exercise, training.

Obesity: Obesity is a chronic illness unto itself. Even if you insist you can’t lose the weight, it is no less deadly. Our body is not happy to be at that weight. Long term sustainable fat loss is a science. It is far more than calories in, calories out and throw in some exercise. It is NOT just about will power.
Obesity is the major contributing factor to certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes….just about every disease, contributes to emotional health issues, and obesity induced cirrhosis of the liver, which can lead to liver cancer has over taken alcohol cirrhosis of the liver & is growing exponentially.

Poor Eating Habits: Notice how I listed this separately to obesity. Ever heard of skinny fat syndrome? Just because a person appears to be at a healthy body weight, does not mean they are eating a healthy diet, it does not mean they have a healthy body composition. Our diet – is our very best defense against chronic illness along with physical activity. We are what we eat, digest & absorb.

Happy Couple Dr. Howard Markman/ Marcie Pregulman

The Happy Couple for the Happy Place

The Happy Couple or the Unhappy Couple – Studies repeatedly show this is a critical factor in our health.

Happy Couple for healthThere are very few of us who don’t know that out of control feeling of a distressed relationship airlifting all of our emotions & infiltrating our every thought process, aka – stewing.

Happy Couple? There are endless jokes of nagging, spousal henpecking…..the fact is the toll of a stressful relationship ranks up there with other poor lifestyle habits. Heart disease is our #1 killer, and is the #1 killer of women – killing 4X as many women as breast cancer, striking women more and more below the age of 45.

Multitasking is now a survival skill, and has become  yet another deadly lifestyle habit of our toxic environment like fast food, smoking, sedentary behavior. Our relationships are caught in the crossfire from the barrage of demands, potentially leading to high blood pressure,  gastric distress, poor eating habits, lack of concentration , adrenal fatigue, sleep deprivation- or picking up other nasty hazardous habits. All of these are gateways for chronic illnesses.

Howard J. Markman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology of the University of Denver and the Co-Director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies, one of the leading couples research center in the country.  He is one of the most respected couples researchers and couples therapists in the country.  Dr. Markman is internationally known for his cutting edge work on the prediction and prevention of marital distress and divorce and on research based relationship and marriage education and therapy programs.  He is the founder of PREP (Prevention and Relationship Education Program),  the most widely used, scientifically validated couples relationship education program. .   His programs are used around the world (e.g., Norway, Germany, Israel, Estonia, Sweden) including in the U.S. Military, supporting the men and woman fighting for our country and their families


According to Dr. Markman “Nagging is an enemy of love, if allowed to persist,”

Nagging, one person repeatedly making a request, the other person repeatedly ignoring it and both become increasingly annoyed—is an issue creating huge confrontation & relationship stress. While nagging provokes chuckles and eye-rolling, this dynamic can potentially be as dangerous to a marriage as adultery or bad finances. Experts say it is exactly the type of toxic communication that can eventually sink a relationship.  Dr. Markman published in the Journal of Family Psychology research indicating that couples who became unhappy five years into their marriage had a roughly 20% increase in negative communication patterns consistent with nagging, and a 12% decrease in positive communication.

Marcie Pregulman is the co-founder and President of Love Your Relationship. She has been a relationship coach for the last 6 years helping couples and individuals meet their relationship goals over the telephone. Marcie is a member of The University of Denver Psychology Department. She is a PREP trainer and leads workshops throughout the world along with Dr. Markman teaching couples research based skills to help and enhance their relationships.  According to Marcie, people divorce prematurely (and about 90% of those have not received help from a mental health professional and of those 10% many of those services were not evidence based services)  and there is research to suggest that couples that stay together through the problems are happy in the long run that they did.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Dr. Anton Marinov

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy…the magic of breathing Oxygen.

In honour of Movember – Gro A Mo to Save A Bro – thought we would do something very different. Movember is a month dedicated to bringing attention to mens health issues, with greatest emphasis on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health.

Prostate cancer strikes approximately 1/6 men in North America. Radiation therapy – yes it can save lives – however it can often have some very difficult side effects – this is just one of the many uses of our topic today – Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The chamber is transparent, and for anyone who fears an MRI, have no fear here.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for many medical conditions, including decompression sickness (a potential risk of  scuba diving),  serious infections, osteomyelitis, post surgical wounds not healing, thermal burns, damage from an edema, wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury. The number of applicable situations for HBOT is increasing all enabling oxygen to reach the  tissues after sickness or injury, preventing necrosis – tissue death.

It is also being used to reduce risk of surgical complications for smokers – again – one of the many devastating effects of smoking is poor oxygenation within the body.

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure, allowing the lungs to gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

The blood transports the oxygen throughout the body, helping fight bacteria and stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. There is also evidence that suggests HBOT can stimulate new blood vessel & capillary growth that have been damaged, due injury or other treatment procedures.

Our guest today –

Dr. Anton Marinov is the medical director of the Rouge Valley Hyperbaric Medical Centre, right here in our very beautiful Toronto. . Dr. Marinov completed a B.Sc. in immunology at the University of Toronto and his medical degree at Queen’s University. He obtained his royal college fellowship in anesthesia in 2008 and subspecialty training in Interventional Chronic Pain Management at the University of Toronto. Dr. Marinov has worked in the field of hyperbaric medicine for over 10 years and has been actively involved in research and education.

Fyi….A few other applications of HBOT  – how it is being used, around the world:

  • Reducing swelling & edema
  • shortening the inflammatory process
  • Increasing Range of Motion
  • Production of collagen
  • Increases growth of cells that form reparative tissue Fibroblastic proliferation
  • Scar tissue rehab
  • Angiogenesis – growth of new blood vessels
  • Osteoblasts Osteoclasts – bone reparation
  • Improving wound immune mechanism
  • Improve performance of white blood cells in Leukocyte activity
  • Antimicrobial

Hormones – Dr. Scott Isaacs – Hormonal Balance

Hormones – Dr. Scott Isaacs – Best Selling Author Hormonal Balance

Hormones seem to be the universal scapegoat.

Scott Isaacs, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. is a board-certified endocrinologist in Atlanta, Georgia, and widely considered to be one of the leading weight-loss experts in the country. Dr. Isaacs is a faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine and the medical director for Atlanta Endocrine Associates and their award-winning weight loss program.

Dr. Isaacs has been honored with numerous awards, including being listed in Castle Connolly Top Doctors for the past four years. His peers voted him Best Physician in Lifestyles Magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The online Citysearch Guide announced Dr. Isaacs’s weight loss program as its 2009 “Best of Citysearch” winner.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists also lists Dr. Isaacs’s books as a resource for practicing endocrinologists.  Dr. Isaacs has been profiled on,,, and many other websites.

Hormones Dr. Scott Isaacs Best In Health Radio
Hormonal Balance with Dr. Scott Isaacs

In addition to body weight and metabolism, hormones control mood, energy level, sex drive, the menstrual cycle, the biological clock and even one’s risk of getting certain cancers. Balancing your hormones, in other words, can help you achieve physical health, mental well-being and even a longer lifespan. Dr. Isaacs explains how to prevent common hormone imbalances from ruining well-intended weight loss plans. He offers advice on outsmarting hunger hormones, eliminating environmental toxins from the body, curbing PMS symptoms and the symptoms of menopause for women, balancing the effects of testosterone in men, increasing energy levels and reversing the symptoms of aging, all through his Hormonal Health Diet in Hormonal Balance.

Dr. Isaacs unveils a number of household habits that can disrupt hormone levels and set back weight loss goals. Dr. Isaacs can go into detail about the environmental hormone disruptors one comes into contact with on a daily basis, and why making small changes to your routine—like turning down your thermostat, throwing out your plastic food containers, and ditching the antibacterial soap—could mean finally losing those stubborn five pounds.

The latest research on growth hormone, its importance in healthy aging, and ways to boost it naturally. Growth hormone remains a very important hormone long after we’ve stopped growing, regulating body composition, energy level, and mood.  It is also a muscle builder, burning fat and increasing muscle mass, but by the time we reach age forty, our levels of growth hormone are half of what they were when we were teenagers. While growth hormone medications or supplements have been found to be harmful, Dr. Isaacs can share many ways of naturally boosting your body’s production of growth hormone that can make you feel decades younger.

Epigenetics -Mom’s Metabolic Health Dr. John Kral

Epigenetics –  Effects of Mom’s Metabolic Health During Pregnancy with  Dr. John Kral
epigenetics: changing our genetic destiny with our lifestyle choices
Cancer is thought to be 90% lifestyle choices. Epigenetics how we change our DNA for better or for worse

Epigenetics:  The Power of Nurture of Nature……how our environment & lifestyle choices (nurture) can change our genetic code (nature). This is a fascinating,powerful demonstration of how our lifestyle choices – good and bad – change our DNA.

The good news is…we are NOT helpless against our perceived genetic doom!

How a mother’s level of body fat impacts the gestational environment – the amniotic fluid – and can alter the developing baby’s DNA – yet another aspect of obesity. How obesity in pregnancy could affect “fetal programming” of adult disease.


DNA Methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that can turn up or turn down so to speak gene expression.

DNA was studied from siblings born to the same  parents – older sibling before the mother had weight loss surgery, younger siblings after mother had the surgery.

Children born before surgery had a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes & less insulin sensitivity – poorer metabolic health.

However – it must be noted this is not a hopeless situation –  by adopting a healthier lifestyle – these offspring can happily lead a healthier life.

Dr. John Kral, Professor of Surgery and Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY received his M.A. degree in Psychology in 1961 from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he then attended medical school, completed specialty training in Surgery and subsequently defended a Ph.D. thesis entitled Surgical Reduction of Adipose Tissue in 1976.

In 1972, Dr. Kral participated in establishing the program for surgical treatment of obesity at the University of Gothenburg as project coordinator


In 1980, Dr. Kral was recruited to St. Luke’s Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons to develop a program of surgical metabolism and anti-obesity surgery where he investigated eating behavior and continued studies on severe obesity and effects of long-term maintenance of significant weight loss on body composition after malabsorptive and gastric restrictive operations.  He was a member of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition Task Force that developed guidelines for surgical treatment of obesity 1982-85 was a co-founder of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery in 1983, and was the driving force behind the 1991 NIH Consensus Development Conference entitled Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity.

Dr. Kral’s contribution to our understanding of the metabolic influence on genetics & epigenetics over the years is truly astounding & my hope is we  all get a much better, deeper appreciation of the impact of the lifestyle choices we make  – for ourselves & for those we love.Because as complicated as so much of this sounds – please keep in mind – choices we tend to not really think about – food choices, saying I dont have time for exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol……all work at a much more omnipotent level than just our clothing size.

Fountain of Youth – Beauty from Within

The Fountain of Youth…Is In You…..Turn it on!

The Fountain of Youth  – there are many tales through history from Alexander the Great to Juan Ponce de Leon over searching for that elusive fountain of youth. The great news is, we don’t have to search because it is in every one of us.

There is nothing shameful about taking pride in how we look – think of our outer package as our own personal branding, our personal marketing package.

In 2012 American women spent 7 billion dollars on cosmetics with promises of anti wrinkles, anti…., anti…., anti aging. Just a btw – typical gym membership – bout $600/year – often including the towel service!!!

Please excuse the crude analogy – ever tried to paint a cracked wall?

The fountain of youth is our own sweat

The stinkier the better. Nothing smeared on our face & hair can replace the rewards of clean nutrition and good hard exercise. ..and as a medical exercise specialist I have to qualify that by saying everyone has to know their correct limits of a hard workout….

Fountain of youth from Telomeres
Tickle These Telomeres to activate Your Fountain of Youth

A little science geek here: Thanks to the great research of Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, we have a good look at the importance of exercise on cellular anti aging, true anti aging. Hard exercise can lengthen the telomeres, the cap end of DNA strands that protect the chromosome, protecting cells from the damage of aging. Science has also proven that exercise rejuvenates the mitochondria of the cells ( “the powerhouses”), keeping us young and energetic. Your exercise oxygenates your skin for a youthful glow, no offense to any $200 moisturizer, and your pumping sebaceous glands produce the very best hair conditioner you will ever use, designed just for you! Your clean, complete nutrition of lean proteins, whole grains, antioxidants, and ditching smoke, alcohol & sugar will provide your body the tools it needs to keep you young.

We all carry an aura – how we project our confidence, self esteem – others react to us based on our aura we emit. How good we feel about ourselves – whatever characteristics we base our self image on – determines the power of our personal ambience, that je ne sais quoi that makes each of us unique, dare I say our pheromones?

I call it our strut factor – whatever makes us feel really good about ourselves – strut our stuff – that attracts positive feedback from others – which in turn positively reinforces our own self image. We smile, and smiling is the very best infectious behavior there is.

And repeated studies do show, that people who feel good about themselves do tend to be more faithful to a health centric lifestyle. Others want to emulate people who they find positive, happy, people that “got their act together” – its a very motivating behavior cycle.

People who feel good about themselves smile, and make others smile. Smiling is the  universal form of communication.

Whats in a smile? Charles Darwin, perhaps the greatest and so far ahead of his time scientist, famous for his Origin of the Species theory of Evolution, also had another brilliant study

  • “The Facial Feedback Response Theory” smiling actually makes us feel better rather than smiling being a result of feeling good MRI imaging shows that smiling activates brain circuitry of happiness
  • A British study found that smiling can provide brain stimulation to the level of 2,000 chocolate bars – of course without the calories, fat & insulin surges!
    Smiling has been shown to curb the release of stress hormones such as cortisol & increase release of happy hormones such as serotonins & endorphins

In order to smile, we need to feel good about ourselves inside & out. And if we have a beautiful smile, we smile more & our aura can light up our world & be a guiding light for those around us. Sweat & Smile!

Endorphins – The Ecstasy of Exercise

Endorphins – The Physiological and Psychological Ecstasy of Exercise
Endorphins with Health Coaching Best in Health Radio
Happy Place Headquarters

Endorphins – the healthiest high of all…Runners high. Our body’s own special brew created from genuine, physiological ecstasy. Endorphins  (translated = endogenous morphine) are neurotransmitters produced in the pituitary gland & hypothalamus creating a euphoric reward in response to physical activity –   two obvious “endorphinators” being physical activity & orgasm. But rest assured, this exercise induced Happy Place, is not just for runners.

Many studies have shown endorphins are released more in response to completing a physical challenge from both the physiological & psychological sense of accomplishment. So contrary to the implication of runners high – the intensity of the activity although assumed as the big endorphinator – helps – but is secondary to the physical & psychological reward of accomplishment.

Good thing. I have witnessed repeatedly those with compromised health, those that are less conditioned  still can reap the exhilaration of neurotransmitter nirvana – creating that beautiful calling from within. Just like we are motivated, drawn to repeated sexual pleasure, us fitness faithfuls  keep coming back for more, further, driven harder to outperform ourselves – the healthiest competition of all – to set our own world’s record.

Endorphins and depression Health Coaching Best In health Radio
Studies agree exercise key to reduce symptoms of depression

Exercise is the one prescription for so many of our current chronic plagues – and has no bad side effects. How many medications can lay the same claim?   Depression, heart disease, cancers, diabetes, disease prevention, obesity…..all benefit from exercise, yet still remains  the most underutilized treatment of all. No – its not a quick fix – the psychological & physiological healing powers of exercise require a fidelity  – a commitment  to building a healthy relationship with ourselves.

The Par Q is the Canadian government’s “Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire”              ( proudly shared now by a number of countries) a series of questions if one is capable of adopting an exercise program – yes I get the necessity – however – we do know that physical inactivity is our #1lifestyle killer. This begs the question – why do we not have a questionnaire for physical inactivity? Why do we intimidate people from getting active?

Every elite athlete will agree, performance is a team effort. In order for exercise to echo its calling  – it needs a well functioning inner ecosystem. Its heartbreaking as an exercise enthusiast to hear people say “I tried exercise it did nothing for me” – ouch! Exercise is severely thwarted ( I have a better word but not going to use it!) in its ability to endorphinate when the rest of the ecosystem is is being held hostage by poor nutrition, excessive alcohol, food addictions such as sugar, salt and saturated fat, smoking & uncontrolled stress.

Again as a fitness lover, I find one of the most frustrating misconceptions about a devotion to health centricity  is that a healthy lifestyle is one that is restrictive and based on deprivation & sacrifice.

Let’s take  a look here….

An addiction is repetition of a behavior – despite its potentially destructive properties – it insidiously takes control of our actions, rendering  a person feeling helpless. The craving to smoke, being drawn to fast & addictive foods, believing alcohol is a means of dealing with stress…these are all instant gratifications created by unfortunate coping mechanisms over time.   Being submissive to a dominant force?

Now – whats the definition of slavery? Submission to a dominating influence. Its kind of like having the boss from hell over your entire being!

However thanks to sciences such as neuroplasticity, nutrigenomics our bodies are by far the most enigmatic specimens of all. I am convinced there is the gravitational  field (the field of force surrounding a body of finite mass (us) in which another body would experience an attractive force (a healthier us) – yes I hate physics too – I only like it on the Big Bang Theory!

Being creatures of nature – our inner ecosystem craves homeostasis – always gravitating toward an orderly, productive existence. Our healthful call from within – the evolutionary purpose of neurotransmitter nirvana is to keep bringing us back to our peaceful, well functioning ecosystem. Call it habits for habitat!

I have yet to meet an ex smoker pine away for their smokers cough or a “successful loser”  regret that 50 pound fat loss. I have many times witnessed in others (and experienced myself!) regret from indulging in poor food choices & that yuck feeling of lack of physical activity. In my many years of health coaching – I have had the great fortune of watching first hand, hundreds of times the  – out with the old in with the new –  breaking the chains of succumbed behaviors  with the passionate pursuit of  a peaceful inner ecosystem. That healthful calling from within – which guides us to  happy homeostasis, self respect & empowerment-  is no sacrifice at all, its pure liberation, freedom & exhilaration.


Sports Bra – A Woman’s BFF Best Fitness Friend

Sports Bra – Ladies – Truly Your Very Best Fitness Friend!

Sports Bra Ladies: Workouts are NOT the time to let it hang or for the frilly little number!

I see this mistake every day of my life. Sorry for being so blunt but not reigning in “the girls” during physical activity – Big Mistake! Irrelevant of size, for aesthetic, health, posture….

wearing the best sports bra is your most important piece of fitness equipment. 

Just because it is a name brand, or the brand makes frilly popular regular bras, does not imply the exercise bras are effective.

Sports Bra for breast health Best In Health RadioThere is no question, especially if we exercise in a public place such as a gym or going out for a run – we want to feel attractive – let’s face it, it makes us feel better about ourselves, which helps us maximize our effort and performance. The money women spend on the cutest workout tanks and shorts never ceases to amaze me. The fact is a good sports bra should reduce breast movement by 50%. Breasts can move about 14 cm up and down, side to side in training. A really good sports bra has been proven to reduce this up to 75%.

The most important investment in workout attire by far are the right workout shoes for your shaped foot and gait, and the the best possible workout bra. My picks are listed below.

Women have become much more in tune with breast health – a supportive bra is an imperative part of breast health.  But please choose a bra that still makes you feel attractive, yet meets certain criteria. Yes, you will find one.

First let’s understand why a good sports bra is so important:

Cooper’s Ligament – help her out please!!!!  Very simply – connective tissue that gives the Sports Bra Breast Cancer Recovery Best In Health Radio.breast that beautiful shape. The force of gravity, multiplied by impact…not a girl’s best friend. Nobody wants sagging breasts. A certain amount of impact is a necessary aspect of exercise – mineralize those bones – but as everything in life there are good points and not so good.  Movement and impact tears at the elastin & collagen, which are not as resilient over time to start with. And BTW – there are GREAT strength training exercises to give Cooper hope and strength! Cooper also believes in slow and steady wins the race……quick weight loss elicits rather spiteful hormonal responses – which further miff  Cooper.

Back, shoulder and neck strain: Posture is another gift. Both a lack of wearing the right fitting sports bra & a lack of a sports bra at all can cause great pain and erode posture. Wear a bra that offers support all around – so shoulders do not carry the burden which often causes us to curl forward, placing stress on the neck. We should still be able to keep good posture with shoulders back. Especially important for larger cup sizes.

I happen to be a big supporter of wider straps, racerback bras, not just a compression bra, but encapsulating (complete cups around each breast). Don’t like underwires? There are MANY sports bras available now that are excellent, without an underwire.

Breathing: Yes breathing is a critical aspect of exercise. Tugging breasts (ouch at just the thought) can easily cause a shortness of breath. Proper oxygen consumption during exercise, full deep breaths is #1 to fitness.

Heart Health:  I will say I have NOT seen direct  studies on this….however I refuse to believe heavy breast movement is good for the heart. Just the obvious shortness of breath is a huge strain on the heart.

A few other quick points:

I fully suggest a sports bra for active days. It doesn’t have to be the full support for athletic training – however breast movement can happen and challenge even at lower activity levels.

Please, no built in bra tops for working out. Poor impostor.

Do not ever put sports bras in the dryer, No fabric softener or bleach

Please do not choose a bra according to what your girlfriend wears. Your relative size between back width and cup size will severely influence choice of sports bras. Larger cup size, smaller back – slam dunk for the most difficult shape to fit.

Do Not expect an unbiased evaluation of proper fit and support of a sports bra from your favorite sexy bra store. Besides the obvious go tos of Victoria’s Secret, Lulu Lemon, depending on your level of activity, size, shape…..please look at Under Armour (I happen to believe they provide excellent chest armor), Nike, Shock Absorber,

Very few things in life are forever. Your sports bra is NOT one of them.

Lymphoma Leukemia and the Right Exercise

Lymphoma and Leukemia – The Right Exercise

Lymphoma-Exercise for Lymphoma Patients health coach best in Health RadioWith great thanks to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, we know there are 100, 000 people living with or in remission from a blood cancer in Canada. Leukemia is still the most common form of paediatric cancer in Canada. Survival rates are improving, however, we still have much to do in the fight against blood cancers.

What is unfortunately little known is a potential partner in recovery, far too often overlooked – Exercise. Exercise is far too minimized and under utilized as a vital partner in integrative oncology, and Lymphoma and other blood cancers are no exception.

Please note when I say exercise — I mean the right exercise –  exercise should not imply training for Iron Man or Triathlons, it should be viewed and revered for its therapeutic, restorative & rehabilitative wonders, right down to the cellular level.

First a bit about exercise and cancer recovery in general…not particular to blood cancers.

At the cellular level:

A lifestyle to prevent cancer is a lifestyle that protects us from all of our chronic illnesses, mental & physical, and it all starts with creating a hostile environment within destroying cells as they become cancerous. We need to create our “biochemical terrain” that is able to annihilate the inevitability of cells becoming cancerous because of a biochemical terrain that enables cancer to flourish.

3 of the most volatile “terrain setters”




Oxidation: As we know from exercise science, our fitness, health is completely dependent on how efficiently we use oxygen. Yes we need oxygen to live however our health, protection from the degradation of aging, cancer prevention is all about keeping a balance within between oxidative stress (producing free radicals)  and antioxidants, our best cancer prevention. Cells deprived of too much oxygen (estimated at 35%) can also morph into cancer cells – balance.

Inflammation: Another key to cancer prevention (and heart disease, aging, immunity, depression……) is inflammation, we need  tight control over inflammation. Leading causes: smoking, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, activation of stress hormones, alcohol, sugar, Omega 6 oils such as vegetable oils, trans fats…..Inflammation is a critical part of our body’s innate immunity – its attempt to heal itself, however, when it becomes a chronic condition, this “inflammatory state” the immune system attacks healthy tissue, mistaking them for harmful pathogens.

Glycemia: Simply put…cancer cells have a voracious appetite for sugar. As seen in our obesity & diabetes epidemics… do our populations, hence we are throwing gasoline on fires, fuelling cancer. Controlling blood glucose levels is an absolute must in controlling cancer

Even if a cancer is removed, that is only the start on the road to remission and the  celebration of “cancer free”. The biochemistry has to be to be able to attack and destroy any hidden cancer cells from multiplying, violating the patient once again, usually in a more toxic, vengeful form.

The right exercise, in the right amount, can help regulate all of these biochemical markers.

Glycemia: Let us all count the ways……but really our muscle mass is the real hero here. ..taking sugar out of the blood stream into the muscle…..just as strength training is a diabetics best friend. Sugar feeds cancer.  Exercise reduces Insulin resistance, lowering levels of blood insulin, a growth factor, discussed further below.

Inflammation: Again our muscle mass is key here to control the inflammatory chemicals secreted by cancer cells. A sedentary lifestyle allows protein loss from body tissues. Inflammatory responses are like wildfire without exercising the muscles, leading to muscle wasting and destruction of the immune system.  Cachexia is an unfortunate side effect of many cancer  treatments, exercise is the best retaliatory defense.

Oxidative stress: Now here we do have to be very careful of balance, slow and steady wins this race. The right type and dosage of exercise produces enzymes that reduces free radicals. However, too much exercise can produce free radicals.

And there is the obvious aspects of exercise:

psychologically uplifting: balancing hormones & production of serotonin

Surgery: Regaining functional capacity and quality of life

Cardiac and Immune function: optimizing these through treatment and beyond…the roleLymphoma survivors exercise for prevention of cardio vascular disease of Immune performance is completely overlooked in exercise

weight management……our list here is endless

Immune support is tricky with blood cancers. According to Dr. Keith Block, of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer treatment, immune stimulating supplement are a NO, as I have heard from every oncologist, but immune support to fight immune suppression, fatigue …is necessary.

This again is why the RIGHT exercise is necessary, because the wrong exercise can lead to excess free radicals, inflammation & depressed immune function.

Slow and steady is the very best advice here. The benefits of exercise are still necessary. Controlled physical activity can help people minimize the worse immune offenders being: smoke,alcohol, emotional stress, sugar consumption. Physical activity helps with NK (natural Killer) cell performance & T cell function.

With Leukemia, Lymphoma, and blood cancers, we  faithfully adhere to certain  precautions:

  • home workouts are better – the germs of a pool or fitness facility are an added risk
  • No unhealthy weight loss
  • Heeding to blood counts – your doctor will advise you on the status of blood counts, red blood cells, minerals…….
  • Supervised, skilled resistance great, Heavy weights – NO – respecting risk of osteoporosis
  • Appreciate the circulatory & relaxation & restorative side of exercises, flexibility, Range of motion,  the best support.

Unfortunately I have found that many people with blood cancers have a certain need to punish & repent  – why did I not eat right and exercise before, why did I smoke……..however, during treatment is NOT the time to over compensate. I personally find the toughest part of my job working with people with blood cancers is trying to keep them at the right pace, when often they want to go into overdrive and push much too hard.

According to Dr. Kerry Courneya, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer, University of Alberta, in a study of multiple myeloma, the most challenging physical activity wise of all the blood cancers, survivors who report exercise during and after treatment also report higher quality of life.

And according to the American Cancer Society…”Research strongly suggests that exercise is not only safe during cancer treatment, but it can also improve physical functioning and many aspects of quality of life. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve fatigue, anxiety, and self-esteem. It also helps heart and blood vessel fitness, muscle strength, and body composition”

Knowing how to work and analyze the needs of each individual client is of the utmost importance from the health/fitness professional. Blood cancers demand a very delicate balance for the necessity of physical activity throughout its powers of immune support, circulatory support, breathing & relaxation, supporting good sleep….but not overdoing it causing any immune stress, or stress on the blood cells.

And the most overlooked aspect of exercise….smile time. Again we are clouded by visions of exercise being about pain, misery, another cumbersome, dreaded thing in our life. A very cruel, inaccurate prejudice. The right exercise professional will design physical activity around other lifestyle demands, and show the person that exercise time is smile time, and puts us in our happy place physiologically, unlike anything else. Truthfully, my favourite thing for clients to say to me is “I hate exercise”.  That is an irresistible beckoning to show someone a new self love, open up an inner Genie in a bottle of pleasure, yes for people dealing with cancer as well. The trained exercise professional knows how to make physical activity a form of laughter therapy. As the person starts to reap the physiological & psychological rewards, the feeling of taking control, not being helpless in their recovery, is empowering and encouraging. This sense of optimism encourages the person to adopt other healthy lifestyle habits. I call is neurotransmitter nirvana.

More studies are currently underway on Lymphoma and exercise. It is well known that treatment for childhood lymphoma is associated with a very high rate of cardio vascular disease.  A Sloan Kettering 2014 study  that vigorous exercise in Hodgkins Lymphoma survivors can reduce their risk of CV events by 51%.

Again, please note there is a vast difference of exercise during treatment for Lymphoma vs. as a survivor!

And the truth is we often don’t know why exercise is so magical – we just know it is and it works.


Exercise Is Medicine and No Bad Side Effects

Exercise is Medicine – Definitely the Best Tasting!

Exercise is medicine with no bad side effects, No insurance copay, No expensive equipment, no worries about drug interactions…..we are born with the only equipment we need – our body with moving parts – or rather parts that are supposed to move. We are also born with all the motivation we need to move – just watch the anticipation in a baby trying to wildly writhe & wiggle day and night. Problem is, the fascination with sedentary body rot ( usually from watching parents or being planted in front of a television or computer for entertainment) so intimately a part of our obesogenic society, our innate energetic enthusiasm, is extinguished.

Exercise is the one and only prescription with no bad side effects. There is no drug that can lay that claim. However, we seem to want to pop a magic pill to exonerate us from any other onus. There is no pill, that can possibly provide the universal health benefits, protect us from aging, there is no competition to the healing powers of exercise. But yes, motivation is required. And I will add, as always, “no time” is a whine. Maybe there is no time for the gym, but I assure you there is time for physical activity. Perhaps no Eureka moment yet, but it is there. And with increased motivation, its amazing the time that is there.

Exercise is Medicine Health Coaching Best In Health RadioSo here is some motivation. Let’s discuss some of the medical miracles of exercise. First, I want to point out some the overall benefits of exercise to our health – all of these are contributing menaces to chronic disease, and exercise is medicine for all:

Reducing Excess Adiposity (weight management/obesity control):

Sleep Apnea

Getting us into our Happy Place (stress control) both physiologically & psychologically:

Controlling Eating habits (especially emotional eating – wrong foods for the wrong reasons)

Controlling addictive behaviors: well proven how effective exercise is a critical aspect of addiction recovery

All of these create a toxic biological terrain creating the perfect storm for chronic illness.

Now, our top killers according to the CDC – Center for Disease Control:

•Heart disease:


•Chronic lower respiratory diseases:

•Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases):

•Accidents (unintentional injuries):

•Alzheimer’s disease:


•Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis:

•Influenza and Pneumonia:

•Intentional self-harm (suicide):

Every one of these top 10 killers – physical inactivity, is a contributing factor – some, more directly than others. ….and yes, in many accidents as well, and most certainly a possible contributing factor in suicide, physical inactivity is just as deadly to emotional disorders as physical breakdown. Through inflammation, poor circulation, weakened immune systems, hormonal/chemical imbalances, blood fats, blood glucose levels, oxygen utilization, free radicals…. by increasing

Exercise is MedicinePhysical Activity



we have the potential to strongly influence our destiny.

More motivation? The fitness faithful of wildly successful people: AKA – need something done give it to a busy person. Yes – exercise increases circulation to the brain – more brain power, focus, concentration – but I also know its about that life saving skill called time management – we are in control of our time – we are not being led around in robomode stressed about a lack of productivity, complaining we have no time.  Carpe diem….Carpe the moment. Integrating concerted efforts of physical activity through out the day – is personal control and command of our behaviour – which is definitely a modern “naturally selected” survival trait.

And yes, there is a prescription for exercise. Yes, physical activity, get moving, get our steps….all very important. However, to maximize the potential benefits of exercise, there is an accurate dosage and choice of exercise, just as any prescription. But keep it moving. The M in Move, is for Motivation. The E in Exercise is for Effort – physical & psychological effort.

Exercise and Cancer – Both Art and Science

Exercise and Cancer Recovery

Exercise and Cancer? Unfortunately most people do not associate the two – but the truth is the right exercise is key in cancer prevention and cancer recovery.

It is well known that exercise through its many functions in weight management, circulation, immune system optimization…exercise is one of our best bffs in cancer prevention. There is no question cancer is a dreaded diagnosis – however a feeling of power and control vs. helplessness takes center stage in disease recovery.

Exercise and Cancer BestInHealthRadio.comIts not just about keeping busy. Its about knowing that we are taking active participation and control in our recovery. Exercise provides great psychological and physiological command in cancer recovery. Exercise and cancer treatments are true compatriots. The challenge here is exercise requirements are very different for different cancers, and different cancer treatments. And where the skill of the cancer exercise specialist comes in is the individual’s response to treatment. This can really make the difference in how well the body responds to treatment. Unfortunately, people tend to think exercise is exercise.

Albeit physical activity is always welcome and stimulates circulation, exercise demands need to be honed. The fitness program for cancer recovery is not only designed for activity, but it is also equally designed for rest. Many cancer patients have a very difficult time getting true rest. A good fitness plan to accompany cancer treatment assures good rest. Choosing the right type of exercise which also engages relaxation techniques (an equal partner to cardio respiratory, strength & stretching), encourages a deeper sleep. Sleep aids and supplements can either be very short lived, or have potentially nasty drug interactions with other treatment medications.

Exercise and Cancer Health Coaching on Best In health RadioCancer treatments themselves such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can dramatically decrease exercise strength and motivation. Therefore, the FITT (frequency, intensity, time, type)of the exercise program has to be carefully planned to support treatment. Certain cancer treatments, especially those used to treat childhood cancers, can have negative long term effects on the heart and lungs. The carefully chosen exercise protocol can help lessen long term side effects of treatment.

Recovery from Surgery: There are certain postural issues that arise after surgery (mastectomy) and lymph node dissections, and the complexities are compounded with reconstruction and radiation. Serious postural implications, muscular imbalances and tightness are the norm here, again compounded by followup treatments such as chemotherapy & radiation. Unfortunately, most people unknowingly add to muscular imbalances with training ( I see personal trainers do this too!) Postural deviations are not just about aesthetics, they can lead to chronic pain, balance issues which can lead to balance issues and increase the risk of falling and injury. Regular postural assessments and checks for muscular imbalances are a necessary component of cancer exercise training.

Cardio respiratory training can be a cancer patients path to rebuilding stamina and combatting fatigue and depression, endorphins are magical for all of us. However, yes for some cancers we need to really assure keeping body fat percentage in check. Other cancers, weight loss is a serious threat – so again we need to find that balance depending on type of cancer, treatment, and response to treatment.

Muscle cachexia is a serious threat to many cancer patients due to treatment, poor nutrient absorption due to compromised digestive capabilities. Choosing exercises that increase flexibility, preserve even encourage muscle hypertrophy, helps people with strength, sugar uptake (excess sugar in the bloodstream is lethal for cancer recovery)and of course enables people to continue with their functional demands.

Exercise is cancer treatments best partner. Worthy of its own article is the ability of again the right exercise to help treatments target the cancer cells, and preserve the healthy cells. Exercise enabling cancer treatment is truly an area worthy of the word infinite, and the even better news – more good news on this partnership is discovered regularly. The right treatment, dosage though, is front and center.

Integrative Oncology – Dr.Block Life Over Cancer

Integrative Oncology – Its About Time

Integrative Oncology – Dr. Block has been successfully treating people with cancer for many years – and is truly  pioneer in the field of integrative Oncology. His book

Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment 

was groundbreaking at release and still is a Bible of Integrative Oncology.

Integrative Oncology Health Coaching Best In health RadioFounded over 30 years ago the Block Center is one of the world’s leading cancer treatment facilities.  An outpatient clinic specializing in the treatment of the entire range of cancers, the Block Center is dedicated to providing a caring environment that emphasizes the unique biological, physical and psychological qualities of each person treated.  Individualized programs are designed to give the patient the best opportunity to live better and to improve the overall quality of life while undergoing treatment.

The Block Center works with each patient to:

  • Boost treatment effectiveness
  • Reduce traditional treatment side effects and toxicity
  • Avoid disease recurrence
  • Regain and improve physical strength and flexibility
  • Preserve dignity and respect individuality

The Block Center team includes board-certified oncologists, internists, physician assistants, oncology nurses, psychologists, social workers, registered dieticians, physical therapists, massage therapists, complementary care specialists, medical researchers and patient care coordinators. Please join us as we are truly honored to be joined by Dr. Keith Block, himself. Dr. Block is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Education, where he has collaborated with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Bar Ilan University in Israel.

Dr. Block has more than 90 publications in scientific journals relevant to nutritional and integrative oncology.

Listen and Learn with Dr. Block:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Emotional Eating |Promiscuous Eating

Emotional Eating….Promiscuous Eating with Dr. Andrew Siegel

Emotional eating, how many other descriptions do we have about our relationships with food?

Our world is obsessed with fad diets & gadgets, empty promises of “6 weeks to a bikini body”, overwhelming people with minutia & confusion – but perhaps one of the most real saboteurs of our health – our relationship with food – is ignored. Yes we have a relationship with food – not just the pop cliche of emotional eating – its understanding the complexities of why, when, how & what we eat.

Many of these relationships we just don’t notice – they were the “normal” of our upbringing, or it could be the way we cope with out hectic schedules & lifestyle. -Fact is, these habits can easily be problematic to our health, undermining our efforts, and yes be very frustrating to cope with!

“Promiscuous eating is the wanton, reckless, unselective, casual, & indiscriminate consumption of foods without regard to the potential consequences of this “indiscretion”.

Emotional Eating Promiscuous Eating on BestInHealthRadio.comIt is characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food & without a long term commitment to quality foods and eating for the right reasons & in the right manner. Promiscuous eating involves consistently & knowingly making poor food choices that are hazardous to our health & consuming foods for purposes other than satisfying genuine hunger.”…Can you relate?

Dr. Andrew Siegel received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School, where he was elected to the AOA Honor Medical Society. He completed a residency in general surgery at the North Shore University Hospital, an affiliate of Cornell University School of Medicine and pursued residency training in urology at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. Thereafter, he did a fellowship in female pelvic reconstructive surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine prior to joining Bergen Urological Associates in Hackensack, New Jersey, where he has been in practice since 1988.

Dr. Siegel is an avid believer in remaining young, healthy and fit through the practice of exercise, nutritional conscientiousness and intelligent lifestyle choices. He is the author of FINDING YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Health, Wellness, Fitness and Longevity, published in 2008. His second book, PROMISCUOUS EATING— Understanding and Ending Our Self-Destructive Relationship with Food, was published in 2011. He is passionate and enthusiastic about wellness advocacy and his goal is educating the community about healthy lifestyles and preventative measures that help ensure maximum fitness, nutrition, disease avoidance and longevity.

Endocrine Disruptors, Obesogens Dr. Blumberg

Endocrine Disruptors – Dr. Bruce Blumberg

Endocrine Disruptors and Obesogens – Much of the research on the epigenetic saboteurs are thanks to this incredible researcher – Dr. Bruce Blumberg.

endocrine disruptors interview with Bruce Blumberg Best In Health RadioFurther to our previous show with Dreamfilm Producer Bruce Mohun of “Programmed to be Fat” A David Suzuki Nature of Things production – Today we at Best In Health Radio brings you Dr. Bruce Blumberg – whose research was at the Center of this fascinating show. Bruce Blumberg received the Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987. His postdoctoral training was in the molecular embryology of vertebrate development at the Department of Biological Chemistry in the UCLA Medical School from 1988-1992. Dr. Blumberg was appointed as a Staff Scientist at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA in 1992 where he focused on the molecular endocrinology of orphan nuclear receptors and their role in embryonic development and adult physiology. Dr. Blumberg joined the faculty at U.C., Irvine in 1998 where he is currently Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. His current research focuses on the role of nuclear hormone receptors in development, physiology and disease. Particular interests include patterning of the vertebrate nervous system, the differential effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on laboratory model organisms compared with humans, interactions between xenobiotic metabolism, inflammation, and cancer, and the role of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals on the development of obesity and diabetes. Dr. Blumberg and his colleagues originated the obesogen hypothesis which holds that developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can induce permanent physiological changes. EDC exposure elicits epigenetic alterations in gene expression that reprogram stem cell fate to favor the development of fat cells. Exposed animals are predisposed to develop more and larger fat cells, despite normal diet and exercise which is likely to lead to weight gain and obesity over time.

Obesogens: Programmed to Be Fat with Bruce Mohun

Obesogens – Chemicals Not Just Calories for Obesity

Obesogens – chemicals that are making us fat unknowingly – and our unborn children fat.

Bruce Mohun – Dreamfilm Canada – Science Journalist

Bruce is a science journalist who has produced, directed, hosted and written hundreds of hours of television. His most recent award is a Gold Medal from the New York Festivals for “The Downside of High”, named best health & medicine documentary.  His programs have aired on CBC, Discovery, Knowledge, TVOntario, Access, and SCN.   His documentary Deciphering Dyslexia won a 2008 Freddie Award (the Oscars of health & medical media), and the Helen Hayes Award for best consumer program at the 2008 Freddies.  Hiding from the Wind, about the world’s fastest bike, won a Leo Award for Best Science and Technology Documentary in 2003, and his documentaries have been screened at the New York Film Festival and the Image and Science Film Festival in Paris. He won the 2003 Science Council of British Columbia’s Eve Savory Award for Science Communication and the 2004 Canadian Federation of Biological Sciences’ Gordin Kaplan Award for Science Communication.

Obesogens On the developing Fetus Interview Best In Health RadioToday we will be discussing Bruce’s latest documentary on David Suzuki’s the “Nature of Things” – “Programmed to be Fat”. Understand the term “obesogens”. A new scientific theory points the finger at chemicals in our environment that are setting humans up for obesity before they’re even born. Exposure to environmental chemicals such as Bisphenol A, pesticides and herbicides during fetal development may be changing our physiology forever. That, say some scientists, could explain the alarming statistics on obesity – like the fact that the number of overweight infants rose 74% in just twenty years. And not to be overlooked at all – we will be discussing the award winning “The Downside of High” – helping people understand the serious health impact of using marijuana.


Nicotine on the Fetus: Dr. Alison Holloway

Nicotine and Other Prenatal Obesogens & Development of Type 2 Diabetes

Nicotine and the many other destructive  chemicals we infuse into our developing children.  In our continuing series with researchers featured on David Suzuki’s Nature of Things “Programmed to be Fat” – we bring you Dr. Alison Holloway. Dr Holloway received her BSc in Zoology from the University of Toronto in 1992.  She then obtained her PhD in Zoology from the University of Guelph in 1997.  She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto and then in 2003 obtained a faculty position in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University where she is currently as Associate Professor.

Nicotine On the developing Fetus Interview Best In Health RadioDr Holloway’s current research investigates how fetal and neonatal exposure to chemical insults can increase the risk of adverse metabolic outcomes in the offspring during postnatal life.  The chemicals that are of interest to her laboratory including chemicals that we may intentionally expose ourselves to through lifestyle choices such as cigarette smoking or the use of over the counter natural health products; man-made chemicals in the environment and medications.  The majority of the work in her lab at this time focuses on whether children born to women who smoke are more likely be obese and/or develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Update on Dr. Holloway’s Research:

“Recent epidemiological studies have shown that there is an increased risk of obesity and hypertension in children born to women who smoked during pregnancy. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is an important risk factor for overweight and adiposity in children between 5 and 7 years of age, and the effect of maternal smoking to increase obesity in the offspring has been shown to persist even after adjustment for a wide range of confounding factors, including birth weight, socioeconomic status, and maternal diet. Similarly, maternal cigarette smoking has been associated with increased blood pressure in the children of smokers at 6 years of age, an effect that is not wholly attributable to the effects of maternal smoking on birth weight or the child’s current weight. Taken together, these studies suggest that it may be a direct effect of intrauterine exposure to the chemicals in cigarette smoke that accounts for the increased risk of obesity and hyper- tension in the offspring of women who smoke during pregnancy.”

Musculoskeletal System: Framework Dr. DiNubile

Our Musculoskeletal System…Our Framework according to Dr. Nick!

Musculoskeletal System? Who would think learning about all of our aches and pains could be entertaining? Follow Dr. Nick on FaceBook – yes it is possible!

Dr. Nicholas DiNubile – Author Framework – Your 7 Step Program For Healthy Muscles, Bones & Joints

Musculoskeletal System Interview with Dr. Nick Best In Health radioNever judge a book by its topic. When I set out to read Framework I did think it would be torturous – how exciting can a book be about our muscles, bones & joints. However, Dr. Nick has a true talent to make it easier to understand, entertaining & we really learn the many “dumb things” we all do to destroy our bodies. Framework gives us new appreciation for our beautiful bodies & how to keep them running smoothly.

Dr. DiNubile is an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine in private practice in Havertown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of the bestselling book, FrameWork- Your 7 Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones & Joints and also the FrameWork “Active For Life” book series. He is Executive Producer and host of the award winning national PBS television special, Your Body’s FrameWork and has served as Orthopaedic Consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Team and Pennsylvania Ballet for many years. He was a long time advisor to Yahoo! Health, where he hosted “The Training Room” Blog, and FitTips with DrNick can be heard every week on WIP 610 Sports Radio. He has been chosen in “Best Doctors in America” and was named a USA “Top Doc” by US News & World Report. He has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, HBO Real Sports, National Public Radio, and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and numerous other publications. He is one of the most quoted doctors in America.





What Is Cancer? Our Cellular HTML

What is Cancer? Think of it as a virus to our cellular HTML

What is  Cancer – No – Life does not cause cancer as some think.  This thought often engrains a sense of helplessness within. The truth is, if we understand what cancer is, it helps us better understand prevention – give ourselves control and motivation…

A life to prevent cancer is a life to prevent all of our chronic illnesses, and infuses us with energy & power.   Think of cancer as a virus that has messed with the HTML of or cell’s genetic code.

Take a look at a beautiful website – say this one…..behind every beautiful site is HTML HyperText Markup Language, the “mother tongue” of our web browsers. Behind our being, is genetic code that dictates every cell of who we are. If we have one wrong little character in the HTML of our website it can completely destroy the function of that website. Well, the same is true for our genetic code.

What Is Cancer Health Coaching Best In Health RadioNow, what is cancer? Cancer is a genetic mutation, something has reprogrammed the HTML of that cell. That cell is now reproducing incorrectly.  If our ecosystem is unable to shut that cell down, there is trouble. If our ecosystem is not optimized, the genetic saboteur is allowed to reproduce, and that deadly coding is reproduced. Here lies the problem why people think “life causes cancer”….

In our “advanced” world….we have created thousands of potential mutagens to destroy cell stability

Our bodies are a wonderland. Wonderland has an inner ecosystem that like any ecosystem needs to be kept in balance.  Chinese medicine describes our flow of Qi. Without the flow of Qi, our life’s force, the ecosystem is jolted out of balance.

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding our ecosystem.  Many times we are responsible for that attack: smoking, poor food choices, lack of physical activity…. And many times we do not know we are exposed to attacks on that biochemical terrain. Enter illness and disease.

Cancer is thought to be only 5-10% genetic. The rest is lifestyle, however, as mentioned above, our lifestyles consist of unknown as well as known carcinogens…..exposures that cause a cell to mutate.

Now……how magical are the powers of the right exercise? Exercise and nutrition are our body guards. When carcinogens attack, by empowering our body with the strongest possible biochemical terrain, one that is totally inhospitable to mutagens, we are able to fight the attacker and win.

Attackers (aka carcinogens and pathogens):

Certain chemicals (in our food, in our air, in our meds, in our soils……..)

Viruses and bacteria

Geophysical exposures, radiation

Hormonal imbalances…..including our big wide world of phytoestrogens endocrine disrupters

Some nasty lifestyle choices: smoking, sitting, poor food choices, stress, alcohol….

Our body depends on us to supply it with sustenance to empower the ecosystem

Nutrition…the right exercise optimizes our digestive system for absorption of the good and destruction of the bad


Physical activity


Minimize exposure to carcinogens, mutagens, pathogens

When the body is unable to fight intruders, that is when the biochemical terrain allows mutated cells, aka cancer cells, to reproduce…and reproduce……until “we have cancer”. It is believed that everyone of us have cancerous cells lurking within, our goal is that we have the defences to shut down those cells, or force what is called aptosis – cell suicide.

Front and center to the body’s defences are our immune and circulatory systems.

What is Cancer: Medical Exercise Health Coaching Best In Health RadioOur immune system is a pumpless system.  In other words, it can produce all of the wonderful superheroes in the world (lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, immunoglobins….) but if there is no pumping action from our muscles, or no muscles, the immune system can’t do its job.

Exercise is imperative for optimizing our body’s performance. Every study shows us that exercise and physical activity are an absolute necessity for every organ system of the body, and a necessity, dare I say the “managing partner” to integrative oncology.

Exercise is vital to the destruction of cancer at every level:

Prevention: enabling the body to kill those intrusions, to build a strong inner ecosystem

Management: make it through treatment, minimizing risks of side effects of treatment, fighting fatigue, and many studies tell us help better respond to treatment, building back musculoskeletal challenges created by the cancer and the treatment.

Prevention of recurrence. Rebuilding and equipping the immune system

A topic for another article is exercise at the cellular level, which is vital for prevention, recovery, and prevention of recurrence….and anti aging and anti all of our chronic illnesses….the real science geek, yes, however, this really helps us understand cancer prevention & management.

Let’s summarize…..

What is cancer? Cancer occurs because their has been a genetic mutation, a change to the genetic code. The body has been attacked..the body needs to fight the attacker.

  • The right exercise enables the body to fight that invasion, through it’s many magical ways, some known, and we still have many ways yet to discover.
  • Food Choices are critical in either feeding or destroying cancer cells
  • Being aware of environmental exposures, choices
  • Eliminating oxidative stressors
  • Lifestyle choices

yes….much is within our control

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place… we make them affordable to EVERYONE……

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health and Best In Health Radio

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario…offered internationally

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations

Mattress – Your Most Supportive Partner

Hip pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, poor sleep habits, sleep apnea, fatigue, insomnia, stress, allergies… could easily be time to invest in a new mattress.  Quality sleep is an excellent investment in our health. A good night’s sleep is just as vital to health as healthy eating, exercise and breathing. It is not defined by the number of hours, a good night’s sleep is defined by quality sleep and how refreshed we wake in the morning. If we wake up feeling like we were hit by a speeding locomotive – this is not acceptable. Unfortunately, this is often blamed on “I’m getting old”, or “I guess I did too much yesterday”. I urge everyone to make sure they are sleeping on a good, supportive mattress.

Choosing a mattress for your health; health coaching best in health radio
Sleep- a modifiable lifestyle habit

Hip pain and shoulder pain are extremely common, and are usually scapegoated onto our activity or our lack of activity. Lower back pain is the number one reason for workplace absenteeism. Baby Boomers are suffering in exponential numbers from aches and pains, and unknowingly much of it is controllable, it is not a necessity of ageing.

If you wake up with a stiff, sore back, does the pain subside after about a half hour? That is a good sign your sleep surface might not be right for you. If you wake up frequently, toss and turn, don’t feel your sleep is restful, consider the mattress.

Here is an experiment. Go sleep on another mattress in your home for a night. Wake up feeling different? If you are travelling sleeping in a nice hotel bed, pay attention if you wake up feeling better… hmmm… We tend to notice pain, but we can often miss the relief of waking up without pain – not acknowledging it.

When choosing a mattress….pressure points

Make sure you do some of your own research first. Speak to health professionals who have an in depth knowledge of posture, pain… and yes pressure points. For this reason pocket coil and memory foam mattresses are dominating mattress production. There is still a great deal of variance in both of these categories.

Pressure points: Consider a Back sleeper, stomach sleeper, and a side sleeper.

Mattress - health coaching Best In Health radioBack Sleeper: Back of the head, shoulders, buttocks, heels

Side Sleeper: Ear, shoulder, elbow, hip, thigh, leg, heel

Stomach Sleeper: Elbow, ribcage, thigh, knees, toes

Very simply put:

When sleeping, the body has all its weight resting against the mattress, you are not supporting yourself. Your body weight presses against certain areas of your body that take most of your weight due to their placement. This differs slightly between men and women, as women have their weight centred around their hips, whereas men are more top heavy and have their weight centred on their shoulders. Regardless of sleep position, hips and shoulders take the brunt of the pressure. If your sleeping surface is too hard or is just angering your pressure points, you will sleep badly and we hold the body in tension to support ourselves. And just throwing this one out there – this is also really bad for breathing!!! A mattress is comfortable when it supports your sleep position and cradling the pressure points, not fights them. The surface presses up around the pressure points supporting the area protecting it from pressing heavily against the mattress.

One more to throw out there –  sleep apnea – holding our breath while sleeping is a potentially serious problem. Yes, your sleeping surface can make a huge difference to sleep apnea. Another factor to consider when choosing a mattress.

People often hang on to a mattress far too long. Mattresses have also evolved over the last number of years. The thought use to be “buy the firmest mattress you can”. Well, now we know that is just not the case. As you will see researching a mattress, many decisions need to be factored into purchasing the right mattress. Buy yourself the very best Christmas gift – buy yourself a gift of health – a good mattress.

Just like being a good parent, we need a mattress that treats us with tender loving care, yet is firm and supportive.