This may well be the most important blog post that I have written.

Movement for health and well being.

I must say first up that I am not a doctor and do not give you any advise on what you should do. One thing that I have learned is we are all totally unique and none I repeat  none of us are the same. So what is good for one person may be different to another. The following is purely from my experience.

Once I hit 50 years old, for me I really had to take stock of what was happening with my health. Particularly as I have Parkinsons disease. But that is manageable. I have drugs to counter act most of the symptoms. I am willing to go on drug trials to test new Parkinsons drugs. I have to say the path to new therapies is just so slow. Though Clyde Campbell from the Shake it up Foundation assures me that there are numerous trials on progress at the moment.

I was really amazed at how quickly the covid vaccinations appeared. Not just one but several. That was just incredible. So I thought why can’t Parkinsons   also be cured in a much faster time? Considering it is the second most prolific chronic brain disease worldwide. Well the answer is simple. It takes money and awareness.  The most difficult thing is that Parkinsons is not just an old person’s disease. It is happening through out the community to people men and women of all ages.

So I will jump onto any trial that I believe will make a difference. The problem is many of the side effects for the experimental therapies are not clearly defined. I went on one new drug trial Cusn1, and it blew my liver enzymes off the page. It took 12 months for them to return to normal.  I am on 2 current trials and will keep my fingers crossed.

As we age, we need to start taking responsibility for our health. When we see celebrities like Shane Warne and Jock Zonfrillo, just die at their peak. Still such a young age and so many other men and women just die, for seemingly no reason. But the signs are usually there. There is always a niggle or an ache that is just ignored.

I have had the most obvious tests done for the last 10 years. The PSA test. Come on men, it is time to man up. Get your PSA test done. It is your first step against Prostate cancer. It is a simple blood test. I watched my father die from prostate cancer. Not a pretty sight.  

Monitor your blood pressure. Quite often our blood pressure can spike in the doctors surgery. I have my own blood pressure machine and take it at least  3-4 times per month. My blood pressure was quite high for many years. The esteemed Cardiologist Dr Ross Walker always said to me that it will stay high whilst my personal situation remains in such turmoil. And I have to agree. My blood pressure has dropped considerably since I committed to my beautiful wife Liz, so for optimal health your home life needs to be in order.

Have a heart check at 50 – 60. Get a referral to see a  good cardiologist. This is just preventative. They will do an ECG, blood lipids to measure your cholesterol. They may even do an echocardiogram. Based on those results, they might then suggest a CT Calcium score.

These are all benchmark tests that are non invasive and will give you a really good base line as to your cardio health.

Type 2 Diabetes is  a modern day chronic illness. It sneaks up on us quietly, over many years and is primarily a lifestyle disease. In particular diet related. It may initially show up on your glucose blood test. But the fasting glucose blood test is quite variable. One of the better tests in the HBA1C test which tests your glucose for the last 3 months. What is also a good to monitor of your glucose is what is called a CGM or Constant glucose monitor. Any one can purchase the disposable monitor, you can order it on line. It monitors your glucose over 14 days. I just finished my first 14 days and was amazed at what I was eating and drinking that spiked my glucose.

The best advise I can give you is to just move. You need to reduce your belly fat. Many of us really suffered through the covid lock downs with sitting and lack of exercise.  So now is the time to take action.

Do a little bit every day. Get up from sitting and walk around your room or office for 2-3 minutes every hour. Lift yourself. Start with 3 push ups on your knees, maybe also a plank on your knees. That will take you just 30 seconds. Work up to hand weights. I now go to the gym and lift heavy weights 3 times per week. It takes maximum 15 minutes. You do not need to be spending hours at the gym.

 Cut out the sweet juices and all soft drinks, Yes that includes Pepsi max. they just have to go. Start to reduce cakes, muffins, croissants white rice, pasta and white breads.No need for the tim tams or cadbury caramel breakaway chocolate bars. Mmmmm.

Reduce red meat and dairy. Try salmon once or twice a week. I have salmon on Tuesday nights and Barramundi on Friday nights. Note I said not to stop meat all together. Include good fats, cold pressed olive oil and lemon as a salad dressing. Include avocado a handful of almonds or Brazil nuts. A hand full of blue berries.  Give anything in a packet a big miss. Eat fresh.

Drink Plenty of filtered water. You might like to include a glass of tap water once a day. The reduction of fluoride in your water may have adverse effects on your teeth. I learned this from experience. If you are getting up at night to pee, you might want to reduce your water consumption around midday. 

Alcohol. Reduce your intake to max 1-2 glasses of dry white or light red like a Pinot Noir. I put 2-3 ice cubes in my wine, it works well. Try to have at least 2 alcohol free days a week. Better still give it up completely. Oh and coffee. I have substituted my morning coffee for a herb tea, usually Turmeric Tea, it reduces inflammation in the body.  when I get up. I am quite sensitive to caffeine it gives me heart palpitations, so I aim to drink a small decaf soy flat white once every couple of days. Speaking of inflammation, the Serum High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein blood test is a good one to check inflammation in and around your body.

Bowel. Once you turn 50, you get a free bowel screen test every 2 years, I am a great believer in this test as a family member took the test a number of years ago, and was positive for for blood. Subsequent tests revealed a large tumour in her bowel which was removed just in time.

Skin Check. There is no use just putting your head in the sand about this. As kids we all got belted by the sun. The UV Levels in Australia are quite strong. I recommend the SunSmart App that keeps you in touch with the UV levels.

I do not diet, rather I make lifestyle choices, so you instigate these changes from now and forever over time. Forget about cheat days, though you may slip up, don’t berate yourself just start again. I do not believe in cheat days. If you want to eat a bar of chocolate or a sausage roll, do so. Just go back to your plan as soon as you can. Renew and recycle as in my latest book, Warrior upgrade.

It is great if you have a GP that you cn discuss thing with. if they won’t, then got to another GP.

These days there is such excellent information and resources online  Check out  Dr Peter Attia, and Dr Mark Hyman.

What about fasting? Yes but no to starving yourself.   I Eat my dinner as early as I can, usually done by 6-6.30pm. I then will not eat again until 12pm the following day. I will then not eat until dinner that night. I consciously reduce the portion of my. meal by half.  I feel the discomfort of hunger and just grin and bear it. If it gets too hard I will snack on a handful of almonds and or a handful of blue berries. What I found out from the CGM. (Constant Glucose Monitor) Is that this may only slightly raise me glucose. But the key is to not to eat too much. Try not to snack at all but if you do, you  need to avoid all cakes, muffins and any foods in a packet.

I have put together a short course of some basic martial arts movement. Best you do not stress about this. Take it one step at a time. All this is so you can get the most out of life and live to a ripe old age

Northstar Ju Jitsu

Northstar Ju Jitsu is also taught by senior Black Belts at their own studios'.

These are independently run from the Headquarters .Andy Dickinson Sensei is the head of and founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu and oversees the teaching of his program.

All Black Belts are graded by Andy Dickinson Sensei.