High Stress: It’s Like Smoking Five Cigarettes Per Day, Says Researcher

High Stress

High Stress


It’s impossible to avoid stressful situations, whether at work or in your private life. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel burdened by the stress. If you do, there’s a good chance that those negative emotions are hurting your heart, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

So ask yourself, “Are you stressed?”

When researchers asked nearly 120,000 adults (age 43 to 74) that very question, and then tracked the subjects for 14 years, they found that those who initially felt the most stressed were 27 percent more likely to be diagnosed or die from coronary heart disease (CHD).

“While it is generally accepted that stress is related to heart disease, this is the first meta-analytic review of the association of perceived stress and incident CHD,” said study author Donald Edmondson, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, in a press release.

CHD is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. More than 385,000 people die from CHD each year. Edmondson states that the increased risk from a high level of perceived stress is equivalent to a 50 mg/dl jump in LDL (bad) cholesterol or smoking five cigarettes per day.

To help tackle a high stress level, start by hitting the gym, since a sense of improving oneself can initiate more positive thoughts. And in the office, try utilizing these tips from the American Academy of Physicians:

  • Don’t worry about things you can’t control.
  • Solve the little problems. This can help you gain a feeling of control.
  • Prepare to the best of your ability for events you know may be stressful, such as a big meeting or presentation that you’ll be leading.
  • Try to look at change as a positive challenge, not as a threat.
  • Work to resolve conflicts with other people.
  • Talk with a trusted friend, family member, or co-worker about your stress.
  • Set realistic goals and avoid over-scheduling.

Arturo Espitia Certified Personal Trainer Everett, WA

Contrary to Theory: Westerners Metabolic Rates are Similar to Hunter-Gatherers

Western Metabolism

Western Metabolism


This may come as a surprise: While obesity and health problems are on the rise among westerners, fit and healthy hunter-gatherers don’t expend more energy than westerners, according to a study published in PLoS ONE.

Researchers measured the daily calories burned (energy) among the Hadza people, a group of hunter-gatherers who live in northern Tanzania, and compared them to energy burned by American and European adults. Contrary to theory, they found that westerners and hunter-gatherers use the same amount of energy. However, hunter-gatherers use more of their energy on physical activity, which may contribute to their overall wellbeing. The researchers also found that while westerners are burning the same amount of energy as hunter-gatherers, westerners are undernourished and overfed.

So what should you make of these findings? First, real food and regular movement matter. “You have to nourish your body, maintain strength and flexibility, and regularly move to balance hormones and decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome,” says Amanda Carlson-Phillips, vice president of nutrition and research at Core Performance. What’s more, counting calories is an oversimplified way of looking at weight loss. While calories do matter, Carlson-Phillips says you need to focus on quality food and increasing your metabolism with activities like weight training.

Arturo Espitia Certified Personal Trainer Everett, WA  Paleo  Crossfit

The Best Stretches for Rock Climbers Thomas Knox February 21, 2012

Rock Climbing Stretches

Rock Climbing Stretches


Mobility through the hips, back, and shoulders is crucial for rock climbing. It’s what allows your body to get in the proper position to push and pull your way up. Include these three moves in your pre-climb routine:

Overhead “Face-the-Wall” Squat

Benefits: Improves your hip and spine mobility, and helps build total-body stability and control.

How to do it: Stand facing a wall (or a rock or tree if you’re at the mountain) with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes about an inch from the wall. Rotate your legs so your toes are facing out to 45 degrees. Lift your arms straight overhead. Without your face touching the wall, drop your hips back and down while keeping your heels on the ground. Lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor, and then press back up. Repeat for 4 to 6 repetitions.

Floor Posture Slide

Benefits: Works on spine and shoulder mobility while training the stabilizing muscles of your shoulders.

How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet together flat on the floor. Place your arms straight out to your sides with your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Keeping your lower back on the ground, slide your arms above your head while straightening your elbows until your biceps are beside your ears. Do 4 to 6 reps.

Lateral Squat with Overhead Reach

Benefits: Improves your hip and shoulder mobility.

How to do it: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead. Keeping your chest up, shift your hips down and to one side by bending one knee and keeping the other straight. At the same time, reach the hand of the side you are shifting your weight toward over your head. Return to the starting position by pushing through your hip. Repeat the move in the opposite direction. Complete 4 to 6 reps in each direction.

Arturo Espitia Certified Personal Trainer Everett, WA

Study Says: Eat Fish, Live Longer

Eat Fish - Live Longer

Eat Fish – Live Longer


While it’s been widely shown that the omega-3s found in fatty fish are good for your body, especially your heart, it can also help you live longer, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington [HuffingtonPost.com].

Researchers analyzed 16 years of data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) on 2,700 U.S. adults over the aged of 65. They looked at the proportion of blood omega-3 fatty acids in the adults’ blood samples, and, after taking dietary, lifestyle, and other factors into consideration, found that participants with the highest levels of fatty acids in their blood lived an average of 2.2 years longer than participants with lower levels.

They found that one type of omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, was linked to a 40 percent decreased risk of death from coronary heart disease. EHA was linked to a lower risk of death from heart attack, while DPA was linked to a lower risk of death from stroke. Overall, the participants with the highest levels of all three fatty acids had a 27 percent lower risk of death from all causes.

Arturo Espitia   Certified Personal Trainer Everett, WA  Crossfit

12 Healthy Snacks Around 100 Calories

12 Snacks around a 100 calories

12 snacks around a 100 calories


In recent years, 100-calorie snack packs have become an easy snack choice for people looking to control their portions. While these cleverly marketed snack packs may help you mind your calories, most are still the same unhealthy, processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients. Skip the pre-packaged foods in favor of real food. Try the healthy, low-calorie snacks below.

  1. Half a medium apple with 2 tsp natural nut butter (102 calories, 5.5 g fat, 2.8 g fiber, 2.5 g protein)
  2. A 1/2 cup of carrot sticks with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (100 calories, 1.3 g fat, 1.7 g fiber, 14.6 g protein)
  3. A banana drizzled with 2 tsp of semisweet chocolate chips (91 calories, 2.8 g fat, 2 g fiber, 1.2 g protein)
  4. Two cups of air-popped popcorn with 1 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (84 calories, 1.1 g fat, 2.3 g fiber, 4 g protein)
  5. A third a cup of low-fat cottage cheese topped with 2 tbsp of salsa and five blue corn chips (109 calories, 3.1 g fat, 1.2 g fiber, 10.4 g protein)
  6. A small baked sweet potato with 3 tbsp of fat-free Greek yogurt and 2 tbsp of salsa (94 calories, 0 g fat, 2.7 g fiber, 6.3 g protein)
  7. A skinny latte with 8 oz of fat-free steamed milk with a shot of espresso and a sprinkle of cinnamon (92 calories, 0.6 g fat, 0 g fiber, 8.7 g protein)
  8. One piece of celery, 2 tsp natural peanut butter, and 2 tsp dried cranberries or raisins (103 calories, 5.4 g fat, 1.9 g fiber, 2.4 g protein)
  9. Half of a large red bell pepper and 2 tbsp hummus (95 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g fiber, 3 g protein)
  10. Half a cup of fat-free Greek yogurt, 3 tbsp blueberries, and three almonds (102 calories, 1.8 g fat, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein)
  11. A stick of low-fat string cheese and four whole grain crackers (95 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0.6 g fiber, 6.9 g protein)
  12. A hard-boiled egg topped with 1 tbsp of guacamole (103 calories, 7.6 g fat, 0 g fiber, 6.8 g protein)
    Arturo Espitia Certified Personal Trainer Everett, WA

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