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Most People Are Deficient In Magnesium, But It Wouldn’t Be Detected In Blood Tests

Most People Are Deficient In Magnesium, But It Wouldn’t Be Detected In Blood Tests

Magnesium. You probably haven’t given it much thought. At best, you might know that magnesium is a mineral that our bodies need for optimal health. Why? What’s so important about magnesium? What happens if we don’t get enough of it, and how will we know that we’re deficient?

Magnesium is both a mineral and an electrolyte.

As a mineral, magnesium plays an important role in keeping the heart and bones strong. Actually, all of our organs need magnesium. The mineral adds to the production of energy and supports the regulation of other nutrients and cholesterol production in the body such as calcium, zinc, and vitamin D.

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Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body such as the breaking down of carbohydrates and fats. In fact, it out-performs all other minerals as a regulator. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Importantly, the body needs magnesium for energy and cellular production, proteins, enzymes, and antioxidants.

Our bodies are smart.

If we don’t consume sufficient amounts of magnesium, the body will take magnesium from other sources like our bones. Of course, as fascinating as it sounds this state of deficiency is less than ideal. Chronic magnesium deficiency leads to bone weakness. As the body works to remove magnesium from the bones to maintain symbiosis, calcium is released. As you can imagine, magnesium deficiency leads to an imbalance in the other minerals in the body, which causes problems throughout seemingly countless processes in the body.

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Unfortunately, it’s not easy to diagnose magnesium deficiency. There are several warning signs to look out for, symptoms of deficiency, including neurological, muscular, metabolic and cardiovascular warnings. Some of these include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Appetite loss
  • Muscular weakness
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, and tics
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty swallowing

Of course, these abnormalities may be associated with other medical conditions. Ideally, doctors should be able to rely on blood testing to pinpoint the root cause of these symptoms. It is possible to detect severe deficiency through blood tests. However, researchers admit that, “there is still no simple, rapid, and accurate laboratory test to determine total body Mg status in humans.”

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What does this mean for you and me?

It means we have to intentionally include magnesium-rich foods in our diet or take a magnesium supplement. The research is conclusive. Most Americans do not get as much magnesium from nutrition as is recommended.
It’s widely accepted in the medical field that it’s best to get nutrition from whole foods rather than rely on supplements. Some of the most magnesium-rich foods include leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens. Magnesium powerhouses in the nut and seed category include pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, cashews, and almonds. It’s also recommended to eat a variety of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. Tofu and other soybean-based products are good magnesium sources, as are black and navy beans. Check out the World’s Healthiest Foods website for a comprehensive list of excellent food sources to begin incorporating into your diet.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart Disease

Some medical conditions impair the body’s ability to absorb or retain magnesium. If you suffer from alcoholism, type 2 diabetes, or gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s and Celiac, you may be at a greater risk of magnesium inadequacy.

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In addition to evaluating your symptoms and diet, you can find self-assessments online for support. Please contact a health professional before making changes to your diet or before adding magnesium supplements. Make an appointment to talk about your concerns. It’s always best to get professional help.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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