Me and My Cubii: a Convenient Exercise for MS.

On frequent occasion I am asked to review a product. They’re often sent or mailed and sometimes they are great and sometimes a flop.  

I was rushing through a bunch of emails one day and responded to an email from Dave at Cubii.  OK, Dave, sure, go ahead and send me your product.  I was moving so fast I never did prepare myself for what was to come. 

Well, a pretty hefty box was delivered to my front door.  Hmmmm.  I really didn’t remember it was coming.  

On the outside of the box was an image of a small stepping machine.  



My interest was piqued.  What is this and how could it help me? 

Intimidated at first, I walked around the box for several days.  

Then, one day when feeling especially strong and curious, I pulled the box out of the hall and into the familiar room.  And slowly I began to unbox the gift.  

I was expecting a much bigger project.  I’m still laughing at how easy it was to unpack and set up the Cubii.  

First of all, everything is simple, easy and well-marked. The box even comes with its own screwdriver.  

I don’t think it took even five minutes to put together.  

The Cubii is so easy to set up - Check me out:  





I’m not one for too many gadgets but for someone with balance issues and heat sensitivity, this little device came just in the nick of time.  In fact I was just grousing about the 90F weather and how I was needing some exercise.  

So, I plopped my bum down on a comfy chair and started walking away. Seemed like a great time to watch TV, so I turned on some cooking shows.  Oh, how I love my cooking shows!  

Ten minutes was done in no time.  Wow.  OK.  That was easy!   

I don’t have a desk that will work with the Cubii, because that would be cool.  Walking and writing at the same time without any chance of falling.  

My Cubii sits in front of a comfy chair in the den. I don’t spend much time there but it’s a nice space.  I can Cubii while watching TV, talking on the phone, playing games on my app or even reading.  The exercise is very gentle. When my legs are stronger, the tension can be increased to make a more rigorous workout.  For now, I’m into gentle.  

Interestingly, my knees felt great after this little workout. The angle seems quite beneficial to my weak and damaged joints. My core is also used while walking.  These pictures show it best: 


It’s super easy:     



I told my neurologist about it and she was psyched.  I am too!  

Now its a part of my morning routine.  Cup of decaf, some morning news and my Cubii.  Thank you, Dave, for reaching out to me!  I appreciate the sponsorship! 

For more information about Cubii click HERE.

COUPON:  for 10%OFF  use code:  GWMS10  good thru 12/31/19


This post was sponsored by Cubii. Thank you for helping those with MS live better!  


  

10 Ways You Can Prepare To Age Well With MS

By guest writer, Anita Fernandes.

Everyone has to make lifestyle changes as they age but for people with multiple sclerosis, this will mean a lot more adaptations and adjustments.
MS often causes “accelerated aging” where you need the kind of care given to people in their 70s while you are still in your 50s. Preparing to age well with MS will help you anticipate and overcome the challenges you will face so that you have a healthier and happier life. 
1. Create a daily routine 
Everyone should have a regular daily routine but when you have MS, your schedule is your best friend. Pushing yourself even slightly can cause fatigue so your daily schedule should focus on conserving energy. For instance, you can use a bath bench when showering so that you don’t get tired. Your morning routine is the most important as this will ensure that you are not too tired and have a better chance of having a good day. A regular routine also lowers your stress levels and improve your mood. Studies show that a positive mood is associated with decreased fatigue. 

Caroline @thegirlwithMs on one of her walks.
2. Learn to adapt 
One of the toughest things about living with MS is accepting that you have limitations. Most people see this as a loss of freedom and so they make choices that have a negative impacton their health. For instance, if heat aggravates your symptoms, you will have to say good bye to your weekly warm soaks. Instead, you can treat yourself to a massage which would be as relaxing and will help relax your muscles. Adaptability skills are very important as progression will bring with it new symptoms. 

3. Never skip your follow-ups 
You may have a lot of reasons to skip your medical appointment – you’re having trouble walking, you don’t have anyone to drive you to your appointment or you are just plain frustrated and fed up. Skipping your follow-ups will have a negative impact on your health and MS symptoms so this is one of those times when you need to force yourself to move. Contact your city office and find out if they offer free ride services for people with disabilities. 

4. Prepare for Progression
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst – cliché but true. One of the best ways to prepare for aging with MS is to prepare for progression. It’s never too early to start researching accessible housingassisted living and adaptive driving. Today, there areplenty of resources for information on aging with MS – everything from home care, transportation, in-home services, home modification and general legal services.

5. Learn to prioritize 
Living with MS requires you to focus on managing your symptoms and you might sacrifice activities that are “not essential” but improve your quality of life. Your health is a priority but hobbies and activities of interest are also important for your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Determine your priorities and then decide which tasks can be delegated to family, friends or helpers. Schedule your day so that you can perform important activities when your energy levels are highest. 

Caroline and Tim visiting the “Wall” at Reagan Library. Do what you can, when you can!

6. Start a health and wellness program early on
Health and wellness programs for people living with MS help people improve their mental and physical health. You can choose from a wide variety of adaptive exercise such as dance, aquatics and yoga. MS Focus offers several free classes or partial or full funding for gyms and wellness centers if required. Health and wellness programs help to reduce the stress and frustration with your limitations and instead appreciate all the things your body can do. 

7. Seek and Accept Help
People with MS are often embarrassed to ask for help and don’t want to impose on others. This is a huge mistake as it can severely impact your health and quality of life. Seek help and assistance as this will completely change your lifestyle and improve your mobility and freedom and allow you to enjoy a wider range of activities. 

8. Give back 
Living with MS requires help and assistance from family and friends. This can make you frustrated and guilty as you start to feel like a burden on your loved ones. Figure out ways in which you can help them as well as give back to your community. This will help you deal with negative thoughts and emotions and improve your self-worth. 

9. Work with a psychiatrist or psychologist
MS is associated with various psychiatric comorbidities including depression and anxiety. MS and mood disorders can cause a vicious cycle where MS leads to psychiatric comorbidities and these disorders have a negative neurologic impact. Working with these mental health professionals will help you learn new coping techniques to ensure good quality of life as you age.  

10. Keep a Positive Attitude
Living with MS means dealing with pain and frustration on a daily basis. Keeping a positive attitude when you have MS can be quite the challenge, especially on bad days. However, it is important that you don’t give in to negative emotions as this can lead to mental health issues. Your positive attitude will go a long way in helping you age well with MS. 
Simple steps like a regular diet, sleep and exercise schedule will help to alleviate your MS symptoms. When living with MS, it is important to work towards overall health and wellness as this will let you lead a more comfortable and happier life. 


That moment when I had to say hi to the beautiful and talented Jennifer Tilly.


Thank you @Everydayhealth for providing this wonderful article by guest writer, Anita Fernandes.  


Author Bio -Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable. 

Brain Restoration, Sleeping with Sabrina and NAD+

2:07 AM and I’m wide awake.

Seems to be a trend for me lately. Sleep will happen, eventually, but at what cost to my health?  I’m ready for a change.

During one of my conversations with Stephen Camp, the founder of Avior Nutritionals, maker of Myetin, he brought up the concept of brain restoration.

Brain restoration?  We can restore our brains?  I love this concept!


Courtesy iStock

I definitely wanted to learn more.

So, he set up a meeting with a functional medicine specialist, Dana Leduff, CHC and practice manage for Dr. Knight at Knight Integrative Medicine.

Have you ever heard of NAD+?


I have heard mentions of it but really do not understand it fully.   I was psyched to learn how brains restore and what this means for us living with MS.

NAD+ levels decline as we age, or so the research indicates.  AND it is critical for cell generation and health.



“NAD+ creates calming neurotransmitters in your brain,” Leduff told me.   OK, my MS brain definitely needs calming.

I took this straight from the Wikipedia - “Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a cofactor found in all living cells. The compound is called a dinucleotide because it consists of two nucleotides joined through their phosphate groups. One nucleotide contains an adenine nucleobase and the other nicotinamide. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide exists in two forms: an oxidized and reduced form, abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH respectively.”

We are talking about the oxidized version, NAD+,in this article.  But what does this mean for me?

“NAD+ is a cofactor involved in the Kreb cycle.  It stimulates ATP which is the fuel equivalent that runs all of our cells,” Leduff explained, “NAD+ is a kick start for the engine.”

The Kreb Cycle is also known as the TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle).  It’s basically the chemical reactions to release stored energy through oxidation of acetyl-CoA derived from carbohydrates, proteins and fats into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and carbon dioxide. It provides the process to make the fuel we need to run our engines. NAD+ is this fuel.

“It affects a lot of other metabolic pathways.  If depleted or burned through, adding NAD+ could help gain greater resilience,” she said, “We could have more stockpiled.”

“Imagine having a bad starter to your car,” she said.  Well, that’s easy to do!


“If you could take a product that could provide NAD+ it could help the Kreb cycle.”  Which in turns help the brain restore by helping mitochondria reach a healthier state.  

“An out-of-balance level of NAD+ may be a result from genes that don't make enough or don’t break down the macronutrients to pure NAD+,” Leduff informed me.  “When they become in balance it could create changes in circadian rhythm and sleeping patterns.”

Leduff further explained, “As in gardening, we need soil enriched with the right things.  In the human body, NAD+ provides the right fuel.  It turns a bunch of switches on that might have not been activated due to limited fuel.”

“We want to send as many healthy microbiomes to the brain,” informed Leduff as these could help restore the brain

Research claims benefits.


One interesting article I found was put out by the Translational Medicine of Aging.  The title hit a chord with me, “Therapeutic potential of boosting NAD+ in aging and age-related diseases discusses NAD+, it’s benefits and clinical usage.”

NAD+ is synthesized by natural NAD and several precursors.  Precursors have shown possible benefits in research.  But, “NAD+ in Myetin is the activated form of NAD+ which the body can use in its current form and is not affected by any genetic polymorphisms,” stated Leduff.

One precursor, NR, was found to be beneficial for glucose levels in diabetics.  In neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s it’s been shown to help memory, motor function and mitochondrial function as well as protect from neuronal cell death.

Another precursor, NAM, helps with oxidative stress and more:  In the model of obesity, it has able to restore glucagon storage to similar levels as age-matched standard-diet mice as well as ameliorate diet-induced hepatosteatosis, oxidative stress and inflammation.

The study found that inhibiting the age-related decline in NAD+ levels is critical for preventing age- or disease-related frailties. It also found that strategies that could potentially boost NAD+ levels include exercise, fasting, and maintaining a healthy diet, and by boosting with supplements.

But these precursors are not the same as NAD+,” Leduff explained.  “And there are many precursors available for sale.”

“Whenever claiming to be a particular molecule. We want a form that’s most bioavailable otherwise those genetic mutations could make  the process more sluggish or not happen at all so the body can’t benefit from it.

Leduff warns, “Many companies claim to have NAD but they are talking about “precursors” of some form.   Avior Nutritionals  has the only blend available that is the pure active form of NAD+.”

Leduff suggested that patients who want to find more personalized health plan, could find their answers in functional medicine.



Sleeping with Sabrina


After talking mitochondria a bit, I still wanted to learn more.  So, I connected with sleep specialist and certified brain fitness coach, Sabrina Cadini .

She does not have MS.

“I was sick and we couldn’t figure it out for a long time, so I decided to heal myself with self care, nutrition, sleep, etc.,” Sabrina said.   A familiar story to so many of us.

“I wanted to share my story and inspire others - switched to coaching. We need to educate people today that there are other options.”

What is a brain fitness coach?

“We help others take care of their brain before it’s too late.  We help with nutrition, exercise, sleep, and self-care.  Are they too stressed or do they need to enhance their brain function?” Explained Sabrina.    

“The body and brain are so tightly connected,” she said, “ For example, if people move the body releases hormones and detoxifies the body - it’s a chain reaction.  They don't realize how the body works and just follows the medicine prescribed.”  

Mitochondria


“I can’t say enough about mitochondria!” Shared Sabrina.

“These energy powerhouses are some of my best friends when I work with my clients. Considering that mitochondria can also help us with cell growth and the support of the nervous system, I can’t ignore their importance in my coaching practice.

“None of my clients knows about mitochondria, but when I explain the critical role of mitochondria as the source of our cellular energy, their view of everyday life and optimal lifestyle completely shifts. They feel more motivated to follow my program that focuses on nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress management to improve their energy levels and overall health.

“Since mitochondria are directly connected to sleep and most specifically to our circadian rhythm, I always stress the importance of a good night’s sleep. If our circadian clock is impaired due to lack of sleep, or inconsistent sleep patterns, our energy production will decrease, and our overall health can be impacted: symptoms can include fatigue, pain, and susceptibility to illnesses. This, in turn, can negatively affect the circadian rhythm, creating a vicious cycle.


Circadian Rhythm 


“I’m also learning a lot about NAD+ and how mitochondrial dysfunction can result from declining NAD+ levels in our body. I have to say, I feel blessed to live in this era where science and genetics are making progress every day, and more and more research studies give hope to many people suffering from chronic and autoimmune diseases.




Sabrina suggests that once we understand our biological clock, it’s better to understand what we’re doing and going through.

Hormones with light and darkness really run the show. Melatonin night time.  Cortisol and adrenal during the day.

“Understand and take better care of yourself,” Dana recommends, “Be more respectful for sleep routine when the night comes.”


Sabrina’s Sleep Tips


“Unplug,” recommends Dana, “the use of technology is a big disrupter.”

“Watch the blue light  - the kind we absorb during the day via sunlight - but if we keep absorbing it then we can’t produce melatonin so it disrupts the circadian rhythm.”

Then, Sabrina gave me these great tips to help reset the circadian rhythm along with NAD+.

Sleep Tips 

1. Reduce blue light/devices
2. Software called Flux changes color of screen based on time zone to adjust/tint with red as the day progresses
3. Windows 10 on a PC?   Look for screen tint, regulated with red/blue light.
4. Rescue TV, devices, etc.
5. Put phone in airplane mode - reduced EMF (electromagnetic fields)
6. Swannies - Blue light blocker glasses
7. Keep room where you sleep as dark as possible.
8. Consistency is KEY -
1. Regular time to bed, regular sleep patterns
2. Do not catch up on sleep - “if it’s gone, it’s gone.”
9. Exercise can help sleep patterns.  Don’t exercise later in the evening as its stimulating and may cause problems falling asleep.
10. Caffeine - stop by 3pm - leave 6-8 hours before bedtime.
11. Napping - less than 30 minutes, or might enter deep sleep and feel more fatigued upon awaking
12. Relaxation techniques:  yoga, breathing, meditation.

I’m definitely beginning to understand better.

NAD+ is critical for our cells and fueling our brain and body.  It helps keep all those scientific parts in balance and the mitochondria healthy so it can send harmonious energy to the brain.  “Calming neurotransmitters,” Dana called them.

And understanding how the circadian rhythm plays a role sort of ties the whole brain/body connection together in one tight package.

Very curious for sure.  This NAD+ and its role in helping me sleep.   Self-care at its  finest.

Just one more way we can say #takeTHATms!