In this issue of To Your Health:
Give Yourself an Immunity Boost
A Total-Body Workout in 5 Easy Steps
The Spread of Social Obesity
     September 4, 2007 [Volume 1, Issue 18]
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Give Yourself an Immunity Boost

Can't shake that cold or flu? Stress, lifestyle habits and structural imbalances may be spoiling your body's ability to fight infection or illness. Give yourself an all-natural immunity boost by learning the warning signs of disease and ways to build your resistance.

You have two types of immunity – innate and acquired. Innate immunity comprises white blood cells, stomach acid, skin resistance (such as the natural oil that covers the skin to keep invaders out) and various chemicals in the bloodstream. This immunity is automatic and normally takes care of small invaders. Acquired immunity offers more serious protection. It's like an army of Pac-Man "T cells" ("T" from the thymus gland) and "B cells" (from bone marrow) that consume whatever they are programmed to destroy.

Nerve impulses communicate to the immune system the need for an immune response. When an invader enters your body, the first response is a nervous system signal. However, if spinal vertebrae are misaligned and pinching on a nerve, messages to the immune system may be impaired, and the immune system will not respond correctly.

By the time discomfort occurs, the immune system has already been breached. However, the diseased condition initially may have manifested as sleeping problems, food cravings, irritability, fatigue or joint pains – which many people dismiss as "normal."

Maintaining a strong immune system is essential for your long-term well-being. With a better understanding of that precious system and what interferes with it, you can make the lifestyle choices and decisions to enhance it – and the rest of your life. Talk to your doctor for more information.

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A Total-Body Workout in 5 Easy Steps – Part 3: The Legs

When putting together a weight-lifting routine, don't forget the legs. Many men in particular want big chests and biceps and forget about the legs. This is not advisable – you'll end up looking disproportionate and you'll be more susceptible to injuries. Additionally, it is counterproductive. The body likes to grow all at once, so making sure you work on upper and lower body evenly helps your overall appearance.

Leg training is more important than training any other body part when it comes to achieving your overall goals. Here are a few exercises to build lower-body strength and tone your legs.


Stability Ball Squats
Leg Press


Standing Calf Raise


Stability Ball Leg Curl
Hamstring Curl

Ask your doctor for more information on how to perform these exercises and for an overall assessment of your health and fitness needs. Good luck, and enjoy your workout! Next month, we'll focus on firming and toning the back and shoulders.

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The Spread of Social Obesity

Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States. According to new research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, obesity isn't just about food and exercise – it can be described as "socially contagious," meaning it is influenced by the habits of those around us.

After studying 12,000 socially interconnected people who had participated in the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that people are 57 percent more likely to become obese if they have a friend who becomes obese, 40 percent more likely if a sibling becomes obese and 37 percent more likely if a spouse becomes obese. If one of two mutual friends becomes obese, the other's chance of becoming obese increases by 171 percent, even if they are hundreds of miles away from each other. Correlations were particularly strong with family and friends of the same gender.

On a positive note, when a family member or friend lost weight, those with close social bonds also lost weight. Of course, genetics and other factors continue to play a role in obesity and should not be ignored. If you're looking to lose weight, build a strong, supportive social network with like-minded people and talk to your doctor before making any changes in your diet or exercise routine.

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