June Health newsletter

Let’s talk about children’s cancer research, steps for a healthier heart, eating crickets and 5 minutes of exercise.


Starting June 1st, I am going to attempt to ride 500 miles in the month of June (road and mountain) in honor of Grayson Miller, a 7 year old with lymphoblastic leukemia, who is fighting the good fight; and in memory of two good riding buddies of mine who died from cancer – Steve Schonebaum and Eric Webster.  Please join me by either riding with me on one of our rides and/or donating to the Great Cycle Challenge at www.greatcyclechallenge.com/riders/BenjaminGriffes

There are over 75,000 people nation-wide who are riding, and all donations will go to further the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.  I’m committed to raise $2,000.


10 Small Changes for a Healthier Heart by Joel K. Kahn, M.D., cardiologist and clinical professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine

  1. Start fidgeting. A recent study of women found those who fidgeted/moved had a lower risk of health disease, and basically burned about 300 extra calories per day.
  2. See a dentist. Having gum disease increases your risk of heart disease 2 to 3 times more than those people with healthy gums.
  3. Add ground flaxseed to your diet. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day contains nutrients that help reduce your blood pressure.
  4. Drink 2 cups of hibiscus tea a day. This tea is high in antioxidants and helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  5. Sit in a sauna. Studies from Finland and Japan show that dry or wet heat helps strengthen hearts, improve breathing, reduce chronic fatigue and chronic pain.
  6. Eat garlic daily. Garlic is an immune system booster and antioxidant that helps clean your arteries, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  7. Walk barefoot in the grass. Believe it or not, getting “grounded” helps your heart, eases inflammation and improves your circulation.  30 to 40 minutes a day going to barefoot may reduce cardiac events.
  8. Give your digestive system a rest. Studies have found that intermittent or periodic fasting can help with disease prevention, weight loss, lower blood pressure, and lowered risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  9. Stand for 5 minutes every half hour while awake. It is very important to get up from sitting often, and stretching can be included.  This helps relax muscles, but also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and weight.
  10. Get busy in bed.  A 10 year study in Britain found that men who had sex two or more times per week reduced their risk of heart disease by 50%.  Research regarding women hasn’t been confirmed, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to try either.


Did you know that eating 25 grams of powdered cricket meal helps improve your digestion?  A study in Scientific Reports found improved gut enzymes and lowered blood levels of inflammatory proteins.  (There are other studies showing the benefits of eating crickets, BTW)


While I am a strong proponent of exercising outside, and for longer than 5 minutes, an article by exercise physiologist Tom Holland (TeamHolland.com) suggests that even 5 minutes of exercise is better than nothing.  Here is what he suggests:

  1. Do a one-minute warm-up, like jog in place or jumping jacks.
  2. Do 30 seconds of squats. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and lift your arms over your head at the same time.
  3. Do 30 seconds of push-ups. If you’re not strong enough to do this with your legs straight, start with your knees on the floor.
  4. Do a 30 second plank. Hands and toes on the floor like you’re going to do a push-up.  If this is too hard, put your forearms on the floor instead.
  5. Repeat these 3 exercises again.
  6. Do a 60 second cool-down. This can be swinging your arms around you, moving your hips like you’re doing the hula dance or just stretching your back side to side or hands above your head and leaning backwards for 30 seconds.

Done daily, or as often as you can, will reap benefits over the long run.



Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke. – Will Rogers

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for. – Will Rogers

We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by. – Will Rogers

Rail-splitting produced an immortal president in Lincoln, but golf hasn’t produced even a good Congressman.  – Will Rogers

An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh. – Will Rogers



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