Monday, 20 November 2017

Rachael James: Fitness Trekker!


JAMES DUPRAJ
Rachael James is TT’s very own super woman. Born with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome (MVPS, a heart condition) and emphysema (a progressive lung disease), Rachael has defied the odds. A fitness instructor at a corporate firm, she has found heart and strength through a life of health and fitness.
Her first experience with her MVPS occurred in her early 20s, when she had severe heart palpitations, which often led to blackouts brought on by stress and anxiety.
“I’ve also endured episodes of my heart rate dropping to a mere 32 beats per minute during my sleep causing loss of oxygen throughout my body, and waking up out of breath and traumatised,” she shares. Her symptoms ranged from blurred vision, chest pains, headaches, and nausea. “When I was first diagnosed with emphysema, my lungs were as aged as an 84-year-olds,” she adds.
She says it is her positive mindset and determination despite these health challenges that have
given her the strength to live a healthy lifestyle, as well as her faith in God. “I put my trust in Him and believe that my testimony can save others,” she says of her belief that has helped her weather obstacles.

As she points out, it is the consistency of her fitness regime and training that has allowed her to live a fairly regular life despite her medical conditions.
“If it wasn’t for exercise, I wouldn’t be here today,” she says of the healing and therapeutic powers of keeping fit. She gets regular health check-ups both privately and publicly to keep abreast with her diseases’ progress, and her doctors are constantly in awe of Rachael’s miraculous wellness. They also agree that it is her passion for fitness that sustains her everyday health.
“I live a normal life, per se. I am always conscious of my environment, staying away from second-hand smoke, polluted air, and dust,” she says of the precautions she must take to ensure her wellness. She also pays attention to her diet, as what she puts into her body is what she gets out of it. A wife and mother of three, she also attributes her health and physical strength to her family and supportive friends who believe in and look up to her.
“My health treatment at present is actually exercising; I am not on any daily medications,” she says of the truly restorative powers of exercise.
“I monitor my pulse and blood pressure daily and I keep a positive and clean frame of mind, a genuine heart, and I always give thanks to the Almighty for His grace upon my life,” she comments on how she stays on top of her conditions.
Although born in Arima, at the age of 16 she moved to Marabella, where she lived close to the Trintoc Sports Club. “I was very intrigued by the activities there, especially track and field,” she says of her entry into the world of fitness. Exercise would soon become a passion of hers, and despite her diagnoses, continued to be a pillar of consistency in her life.

Two years ago, Rachael started her very own group called Fitness Trekkers. She says the founding of the group was due to her own personal experiences in which she witnessed the ways in which a commitment to physical fitness has extended her life.
“When the group was created, we only had four members. Today, the group has over 45 members!” she says proudly of her Trekkers. Her group’s activities include hill training, beach calisthenics exercises, gym sessions, and stairs training every weekend.
She says seeing the group’s expansion since its inception gives her a sense of fulfillment, as she firmly believes “fitness is your medicine”. Through the group’s activities and the support each member extends to others, she is spreading her message of a culture of fitness that can improve and impact positively on lives of all persons, no matter their age or state of health.
“I would like to see my group expand in numbers enormously,” Rachael says of her hopes for Fitness Trekkers in the future. “This will prove that people are becoming more aware of a healthy lifestyle.” She also hopes to someday open her own gym, to continue her legacy of health and fitness.
“It gives me great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment knowing that my story can encourage and help people who may have similar health conditions,” she says. Although she has come up against her own health setbacks, she knows that the strength she has gained and continues to nurture should not be kept to herself.
“As my cardiologist says, ‘if it wasn’t for your fitness regime, you wouldn’t be here today!’” she adds. Fitness has quite literally saved her life, and she is willing to share this testimony with others. “I would advise all individuals, be they young, old, sick, or well to make fitness a part of their daily lifestyle today.”
She also considers herself lucky, as her professional life as a certified fitness instructor (AFAA) is married perfectly with one of her life’s passions. “I conduct after work training sessions with Massy Gas Products and Yara Limited, which is fulfilling because I am able to experience positive visual and emotional changes in persons who I train.
“It’s a dream come true, working in this field. It makes me feel content, inspired, and accomplished.”

Her very existence and resilience is a testament to the ways fitness can save or extend lives, and she does not take this for granted. Her goal now is to share this message with others, to hopefully improve qualities of life for those who are seeking inspiration and motivation.
“As the Fitness Trekkers motto says, ‘Train insane or remain the same’!”

To get in touch with Rachael or find out how you can join Fitness Trekkers, email rachaeljames.fitness@gmail.com
http://newsday.co.tt/2017/11/19/rachael-james-fitness-trekker/

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Best supplements to fight a cold: Take THESE six nutrients so you NEVER have a sick day!


BEST supplements to fight a cold include vitamins and minerals, says an expert. Here are the six key nutrients you should stock up on this winter.

Best supplementsGETTY
Best supplements: There were 34 million sick days last year, many due to colds
Colds are a common winter illness, and are the main reason for absences from work.
Indeed, they were responsible for 34 million sick days last year, and cost the UK economy approximately £15 billion.
They found that 47 per cent of people in the UK take a multivitamin or multimineral supplement, with immunity as the key reason.
Additionally, 23 per cent were more likely to take a supplement when they felt run down, while 17 per cent did so when they could feel a cold coming.
“Winter brings particular challenges including more colds and flu, low mood and dry skin,” explained Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietician from the HSIS.
“Topping up your diet with a daily multivitamin and multimineral provides an easy and effective way to plug dietary gaps and support health in the colder months.”
Best supplements

Best supplements to fight a cold: Take THESE six nutrients so you NEVER have a sick day

BEST supplements to fight a cold include vitamins and minerals, says an expert. Here are the six key nutrients you should stock up on this winter.

Best supplementsGETTY
Best supplements: There were 34 million sick days last year, many due to colds
Colds are a common winter illness, and are the main reason for absences from work.
Indeed, they were responsible for 34 million sick days last year, and cost the UK economy approximately £15 billion.
While being struck down with a bug is often down to bad luck, ensuring you are fully topped up on particular nutrients can help protect you.
According to research by the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (HSIS) people in the UK are cottoning on to the immune system-boosting benefits of vitamins and minerals.
Best supplementsGETTY
Best supplements: Particular vitamins and minerals can help fight a cold
Winter brings particular challenges including more colds and flu, low mood and dry skin
Dr Carrie Ruxton, HSIS
They found that 47 per cent of people in the UK take a multivitamin or multimineral supplement, with immunity as the key reason.
Additionally, 23 per cent were more likely to take a supplement when they felt run down, while 17 per cent did so when they could feel a cold coming.
“Winter brings particular challenges including more colds and flu, low mood and dry skin,” explained Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietician from the HSIS.
“Topping up your diet with a daily multivitamin and multimineral provides an easy and effective way to plug dietary gaps and support health in the colder months.”
Best supplementsGETTY
Best supplements: Vitamin D and zinc can help boost the immune system
These are the six vitamins and minerals Ruxton recommends people ensure they get enough of this winter.
Vitamin A 
It is essential to the function of immune cells and to the structure and function of the cells of the outer layer of our skin and the linings of all of the body’s hollow structures, for example, the nose, throat, stomach and gut, which form a barrier as our first line of defence.
As central heating can dry skin, making it more vulnerable, vitamin A can also help fight this from the inside out.
Foods rich in vitamin A include oily fish, egg yolk, fortified margarine, butter and full-fat milk.
Vitamin C
This antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals; many immune cells actually use free radicals to attack pathogens and the antioxidant function of vitamin C helps to protect the cells themselves from oxidation.  
It is also used in the production of immune system cells called leukocytes, which are white blood cells.
Food sources include oranges, strawberries, kiwi, kale, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.

The HEALTH benefits of taking vitamin D supplements

 
Best supplementsGETTY
Best supplements: Vitamin A, C and B12 can also help fight a cold
Vitamin D
Deficiency in this key vitamin raises the risk of auto-immune diseases and infections.
Laboratory tests show that vitamin D arms and activates our immune systems T cells and can also help relieve low mood.
You can find it in foods such as oily fish, eggs yolks, fortified margarine and red meat.
It is particularly important to get enough through dietary sources during the colder months when there is less sunlight.
Public Health England now recommends that people take 10 micrograms of vitamin D as a supplement during winter.
Vitamin B12
It is crucial for the functioning of the immune system because of its function in the synthesis of proteins which are used in the construction of immune cells.
Dietary sources include meat, liver, kidney, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and fortified breakfast cereals.
Zinc
This mineral activates the T cells that fight infection, supporting basic cellular functions, helping to stabilise cell membranes whilst also acting as an antioxidant.
Stock up on red meat, liver, shellfish, egg yolks, dairy products, wholegrain cereals and pulses.
Selenium
It helps to protect the body’s cells from damage, whilst maintaining its defence system by stimulating the production of T cells in the immune system.
Find it in whole wheat, meat, eggs, fish and brazil nuts.

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