Tag Archives: chronic illness

Cancer – A Virus to Our Cellular HTML

Cancer – Think of it as a Virus to the HTML Programming our Cells

Cancer - Virus to our cellular HTML Best In Corporate HealthI sometimes get annoyed when people say/think “Everything causes cancer”. This thought often engrains a sense of helplessness within.The truth is, if we understand what cancer is, it helps us a deeper appreciation of prevention – we are certainly not helpless…A life to prevent cancer is a life to prevent all of our chronic illnesses,  infusing us with energy & power.  Let’s think of cancer as a virus that has reprogrammed and is spreading malicious coding to the  HTML of our cell’s genetic code.

Take a look at a beautiful website. Behind every beautiful site is HTML HyperText Markup Language, the “mother tongue” of our web browsers. Behind our being, is genetic code that dictates every cell of who we are, how we think and feel.  If we have one wrong little character in the HTML of our website it can completely destroy the function of that website. Well, the same is true for our genetic code.

Now, what is cancer? Cancer is a genetic mutation, something has reprogrammed the HTML of that cell. That cell is now reproducing incorrectly and potentially very dangerously, destroying healthy cellular function.  If our ecosystem is unable to shut that cell down, there is trouble. If our ecosystem is not optimized, the genetic saboteur is allowed to reproduce, and that deadly coding is reproduced.

Our bodies are a wonderland. Wonderland has an inner ecosystem that like any ecosystem needs to be kept in balance.  Chinese medicine describes our flow of Qi. Without the flow of Qi, our life’s force, the ecosystem is jolted out of balance.

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding our ecosystem.  Many times we are responsible for that attack: smoking, poor food choices, lack of physical activity…. And many times we do not know we are exposed to attacks on that biochemical terrain. Enter illness and disease.

Cancer is thought to be only 5-10% genetic. The rest is lifestyle, however, as mentioned above, our lifestyles consist of unknown as well as known carcinogens…..exposures that cause a cell to mutate.

Now……how magical are the powers of the right exercise? Exercise and nutrition are our body guards. When carcinogens attack, by empowering our body with the strongest possible biochemical terrain, one that is totally inhospitable to mutagens, we are able to fight the attacker and win.

Cellular Malware   (aka carcinogens and pathogens):

Certain chemicals (in our food, in our air, in our meds, in our soils……..)

Viruses and bacteria

Geophysical exposures, radiation…….anyone use a cell phone?

Hormonal imbalances…..including our big wide world of phytoestrogens endocrine disrupters…

Oxidative Stress & Inflammation…..at the root of all disease

Some nasty lifestyle choices: smoking, sitting, poor food choices, stress, alcohol….

Our body depends on us to supply it with sustenance to empower the ecosystem.  This not only includes our immune system, but our digestive function as well. Think of our digestive tract as the first step of our immune system. A great deal of our mood and “happy functions” come from that mysterious land called our enteric nervous system……Unfortunately – even if we eat “the right” foods, our digestive tract can be impeded by that same cellular malware. Keeping our digestive tract a “united front” against the cellular malware includes a healthy balance in our gut microbiome, and assuring we maintain healthy levels of stomach acid. Unfortunately, there is a detrimental abuse of antacids – as low stomach acid is frequently mistaken for high stomach acid. And of course our digestive health is jeopardized by all the usual saboteurs….poor sleep, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, and of course people who don’t listen to grandma – and don’t get their roughage. Cellular malware thrives without an optimized digestive tract.

Preventing Cancer: Building Our Cellular Anti-Malware: (Our Fab 4)
  1. Nutrition..
  2. Exercise & Physical Activity
  3. Sleep
  4. Minimize exposure to carcinogens, mutagens, pathogens……reducing oxidative stress & chronic inflammation

When the body is unable to fight intruders, our biochemical terrain allows mutated cells, aka cancer cells, to reproduce…and reproduce……until “we have cancer”. It is believed that everyone of us have cancerous cells lurking within, our goal is that we have the defences to shut down those cells, or force what is called apoptosis – cell suicide.

Front and center to the body’s defences are our immune and circulatory systems.

Our immune system is a pumpless system.  In other words, it can produce all of the wonderful superheroes in the world (lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, immunoglobins….) but if there is no pumping action from our muscles, or no muscles, the immune system can’t do its job.

Exercise is imperative for optimizing our body’s performance. Every study shows us that exercise and physical activity are an absolute necessity for every organ system of the body, and a necessity, the “managing partner” to chronic disease prevention…all of them…

Our vigilance to proactive health, by honoring  the 4 components of Anti-malware is vital to the destruction of cancer, and all chronic illnesses at every level:

Prevention: enabling the body to kill those intrusions, to build a strong inner ecosystem

Management: make it through treatment, minimizing risks of side effects of treatment, fighting fatigue, getting our immune system to work in our favor, and  studies show us –  help better response to treatment, including protecting the body from potential side effects of medication

Prevention of recurrence. Rebuilding and equipping the immune system

Cancer occurs because their has been a genetic mutation, a change to the genetic code. The body has been attacked..the body needs to fight the attacker. By honoring our Fab 4, understanding their power, the many layers and complexities of each……we will fight cancer & chronic illness. We are NOT helpless, at all.


Corporate health programs…what a wonderful way to affordably  make the world a happier, healthier place. Educate people to Prevent cancer 

Help control workforce oxidative stress:  Oxidative Stress is at the root of all of our chronic illnesses including cancers, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, depression…..inflammation ages us and leaves us susceptible to disease. 7 patents, 24 peer reviewed studies on pubmed, accolades from American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, National Institute on Aging….Washington State: “may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventative breakthrough in the history of medicine.”

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack – The Corporate Happy Place medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio



Frailty – A Leading Cause of Death and Disease

Frailty…The Need for Muscle Nurturance

Frailty, sadly because usually so unnecessary, is a leading cause of death. Frailty is usually referred to as a comorbidity…but if we start looking at it as a cause of disease and death, maybe prevention of frailty will explicitly be addressed and valued just as prevention of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and all of our other chronic illnesses.

The first answer that comes to mind when asked the #1 cause of death is always cancer, heart disease, some kind of chronic illness.

I am asking you to dig a little deeper understanding frailty as a cause of disease and death.

What leads to a number of the causes of cancer and heart disease……..If we focus on prevention of frailty, how many other illnesses could we prevent?

We have to connect dots here.  Remember, according to the CDC 80% of chronic illness is lifestyle – not genetic.

A 2014 study by the Japanese Geriatric Society concluded:

“Frailty is strongly associated with higher mortality, especially among women. Among men, the association was explained by baseline functional capacity, comorbidity and lifestyle factors. Changes in frailty status should also be taken into consideration when planning geriatric care, as such changes could indicate a more rapid decline in health.”

Prevention of Frailty Best In Corporate HealthWe all know what frailty looks like and have an idea of what it is – but from a systemic perspective, frailty is a consequence of cumulative decline in multiple physiological systems over a lifespan.

According to Johns Hopkins, frailty increases the risk of infections, illnesses that have to be treated in the hospital, falls and  disabilities, doubles the risk of surgical complications, lengthens hospital stays, and increases the odds of leaving forfeiting independence (moving to a nursing home or assisted-living facility) after a surgical procedure twentyfold.

So then, the next logical step is to ask ourselves, what caused the multiple physiological systems to break down. Please don’t say “old age”.

The brain, endocrine system, immune system and skeletal muscle are intrinsically inter-Frailty - workplace wellness programsrelated and are currently the organ systems best studied in the development of frailty. While frailty is most often associated with the elderly, some old people never get frail. Experts now regard it as a medical syndrome.

Diagnosing frailty:

  • unintentional weight loss (10 or more pounds within the past year, muscle loss)
  • muscle loss and weakness
  • a feeling of fatigue
  • slow walking speed
  • low levels of physical activity

Imagine if we lived in a world where people nurtured their muscle mass as much as they nurtured other aspects of their life: finances, cars, wardrobes……

Muscle is the ultimate example in life of use it or lose it.  At the ripe old age of 30 we start losing muscle mass if it is not worked…age related loss of muscle is called sarcopenia. However, many studies prove to us, and many people I personally know, we can build muscles at any age. People over 90 can build muscle.

Muscles deserve far more respect than they receive. For that reason, in every wellness program I include what I call “muscle nurturance”. Muscles are to be cherished through

  • food choices
  • exercise (yes we can destroy muscle tissue with incorrect exercise or overtraining)
  • Getting quality sleep
  • alcohol control
  • smoking – stop
  • certain medications

The misconceptions, lack of appreciation for our muscles is rampant, causing an avalanche of psychological and  physiological demise. Just naming a few consequences of muscle loss, and yes, please excuse my brevity here!

  • Our metabolism:  muscle  burns more calories — even at rest — than body fat. Average: 10 pounds of muscle  burns 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories
  • Imperative for diabetes control: Muscle pulls sugar out of the blood to be used as fuel, lowering blood glucose levels.
  • For each 10% increase in the ratio of muscle mass to total body weight, there is an 11% reduction in insulin resistance and a 12% reduction in prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. Ultimately, our muscles can help prevent diabetes.
  • Glucose control is imperative in prevention of all of our chronic diseases, including cancer and obesity
  • Control of oxidative stress
  • Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can cause us to make poor food choices
  • Lowering sugar intake, muscles will burn fat as a source of fuel
  • Strength training muscle does not have to be in a gym – it can be done in home or office, even with a desk job
  • There are numerous forms of activity that build muscle, not just weight liftingBest In Corporate Health Corporate Health Programs
  • Numerous studies prove strength training is critical in prevention and recovery from depression. Studies from Harvard & Duke concurred depressed people who follow a structured strength training protocol were able to overcome depression without medication, and for every 50 minutes of exercise per week the rate of depression decreased by half. This has been attributed to many physiological mechanisms triggered by strength training.
  • Strength training provides better quality sleep, and quality sleep is vital for muscle mass
  • Our lymphatic system (immune) is dependent on our pumping muscles to move the lymph throughout the body
  • Our heart is a muscle that needs to be trained, through exercise
  • strength training strengthens bones as well – drastic reduction in osteoporosis
  • studies from numerous institutions concur our focus and productivity our greatly improved with strength training and a higher lean mass ratio. This is attributed again to many benefits including glucose metabolism and hormonal balance, reduction of stress responses…….
  • Hundreds of studies on strength training and physiologically reducing stress
  • Muscles are one of our greatest regulators of hormonal balance…..this itself has hundreds of health benefits….
  • Of course the obvious: our physical strength, mobility…all dependent on muscle
  • Musculoskeletal injuries and depression cost millions in workplace absenteeism. Muscle work has a very strong role in the prevention and recovery of both
  • Alcohol can destroy muscle mass, in a number of ways
  • Harvard School of Public Health study: followed 10,500 US men aged over 40 for 12 years and found that of all the activities they did, weight training for 20 minutes three times a week had the greatest effect on preventing age-related abdominal fat.
  • Strong muscles help us breathe, oxygenate our body.

frailty - muscle nurturance in corporate health

Muscle is far more than looking good. Going for walks is great – however, it does not replace muscle work. Muscle training is often called the “new running for the over 40s.

Frailty occurs with loss of muscle. When we look at this partial list, no wonder frailty is associated with cumulative decline of physiological & psychological systems, and death. Our muscles are front and center to every aspect of our health and wellness.

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack – The Corporate Happy Place medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio