Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My adventures with T-Tapp 3

What have I learned so far in my adventures with T-Tapp?

1)  There is something special about the way T-Tapp gives me extra energy and a sense of well-being.  Most exercise, if not overdone, gives me a similar result.  However, T-Tapp does seem to be tops so far.  My husband has noticed that I have been having more energy and a lighter, sunnier mood lately.  I'm not ready to second all of the T-Tapp hype, but I have to say that I am pleased with this effect of T-Tapping.  
2)  You can overdo T-Tapp, especially if you are hypothyroid and especially also if you are obsessive.  I dove right into a T-Tapp "boot camp" plan while greatly upping other aerobic exercise at the same time.  After five days, I was exhausted and had to rest for four days.  Doh.  After my crash and burn experience, I have tried it again with more moderation.  This time, I feel stronger.
3)  I will probably alternate T-Tapp with straight aerobic training.  A new study  indicates that the best exercise method for losing weight and reducing belly fat is aerobic.  Next in effectiveness is aerobic training plus resistance.  Resistance training alone builds lean muscle faster than the other methods, but does not reduce fat.  In fact, if you do resistance training alone and don't change your diet, you can actually gain weight and increase your waist measurement.  This is because the lean muscle that you are building is still sitting underneath any excess fat that you might have.  So, the study concludes that if you are short on exercise time, your exercise minutes are best spent in aerobic conditioning. T-Tapp does provide some aerobic benefit along with using your own body weight to provide resistance. For me, it seems to work as interval training, and I can feel the aerobic heat.   Plus, I believe that there is some value to resistance training, as there are many benefits to building lean muscle.  So, T Tapp would seem to me to be a winner there. However, I don't know yet if it's enough to give me the aerobic benefit that I need.  Just to be sure, I will work some aerobic conditioning into my workout plan. 
4.  If you join the T-Tapp forums, you can get personalized answers to any question you might have regarding T-Tapp, especially when it comes to correct form or how much and what T-Tapp to do in your current health condition.  I ran into a couple of little snags and asked about them.  I received prompt help.
5.  T-Tappers focus more on inches lost than on the scale.  As in point 3, T-Tapp exercises provide enough resistance to build lean muscle and, what's more, to build lean muscle alone the spine.  At the same time, many T-Tappers experience fat loss.  In the beginning, this may be a trade-off.  Since a pound of new muscle is denser than a pound of lost fat, you might find that you fit into a smaller size while weighing virtually the same.  As you progress, you should lose weight as well.  I'm still too early in my journey to comment one way or the other, but I'll let you know.  Again, I might have to add cardio at times to achieve the fat loss.  

I do want to lose weight, but I also want to gain muscle strength.  As you know, Hashimoto's disease can accelerate loss of muscle tone.  Aging does as well.  So, I am all for a program that will help me develop lean muscle in a way that my hypothyroid body can handle. 


Saturday, March 8, 2014

My adventures with T-Tapp 2

Whew!  Today's T-Tapp workout made me sweat.  The exercises look easy, but the emphasis on holding an exact form renders them more taxing than they look.  I thought that yesterday's session of my T-Tapp boot camp might have made some sciatica flare, but it seems to be ok today.  I am enjoying my after-workout glow.  (Just a reminder:  I am also walking and riding a recumbent bike.)                  

After working with various patients with lymphatic edema, Teresa Tapp became interested in creating exercises that stimulate the lymph system.  Thus, the program was first developed with this in mind, and benefits to the lymphoid or lymphatic system is one of the program's major claims.  As I understand it, the benefits are related to the fact that the exercises use seldom used muscles along the spine and also work through all layers of muscle. 

This much is true:  The lymph system does not have a pump, as blood circulation has the heart, and body movement is the major mechanism for moving fluid through the lymph vessels, glands, and nodes.  Even the muscles used in breathing are vital for lymph movement and drainage, though we also need to move other muscles to move lymph fluid. 

We've all seen the damaging effects of inactivity on the lymph system.  Have you ever known someone who was suddenly wheel chair bound and began to experience swelling in the legs and ankles?  I have.  I also knew an older woman whose work required her to stand in one spot all day.  Each day, gravity would pull her lymph fluid downward, and her lack of movement, combined with her age, rendered her unable to move it upward, where it could drain properly.  

It stand to reason that T-Tapp, with exercises and an emphasis on breathing, would benefit the lymph system.  T-Tapp also recommends staying hydrated.  New studies indicate that we don't need to drink as much water as many exercise experts recommend.  Even so, drinking enough fluids is essential for circulatory health and would help the lymph system too, I should think. 

Is T-Tapp more beneficial to the lymph system than any other form of exercise?  I would love to know.  That is a question for someone with more knowledge of human physiology than I have.  

At any rate, I expect T-Tapp to help my lymph system at least as much as the same amount of time spent in any other exercise.  As someone who is hypothyroid with sluggish body systems, I am grateful that any movement helps our systems function at their best.  If T-Tapp is the best workout for lymphatic health, perhaps I will be able to detect that in concrete, measurable ways.

Have you ever studied the body's lymph system?  It's fascinating!  I am awed by the intricate systems the body and how they all work together. There are so many tiny details, such as valves in our lymph vessels to keep fluid from flowing backward, that must be in place for the body to function.  To me, the body is strong proof that we are God's handiwork.   

Checking T-Tapp's claims are leading me into research in which I re-familiarize myself with human anatomy and also learn new things.  I guess that's a benefit, too!  

To your health!

Friday, March 7, 2014

My adventures with T-Tapp

Me standing next to hubby and giant sequoia in an attempt to look slimmer by comparison to the huge tree.  Is it working?

If T-Tapp can deliver on all of its claims, it would be the perfect exercise for those of us with hypothyroid disease.  This program was created by Theresa Tapp and consists of anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes of very specific muscle movements.  Here are a few of the claimed benefits:

1)  Helps to reset your metabolism to burn at a faster rate.  Obviously, that -- if true -- is great news for those of us whose metabolisms have been slowed by hypothyroid disease.
2)  Is a left-brain-right-bran exercise that has a positive effect on neurotransmitters in the brain.  If true, can we say good-bye to brain fog?
3)  Builds internal core muscles at a rate of up to five to seven pounds in one week!  This ups your calorie burning by as much as 350 calories a day without any changes in diet.
4)  Works muscles at both ends, not just one end as traditional exercises often do.  Creates strong muscles without bulk in the middle.  Also, works more of the muscle so a single movement accomplishes more than a traditional exercise might.
5.  Stimulates body to use glucose as fuel to support movement instead of storing glucose as fat.
6.  Activates and cleanses the lymphiod system.  Reduces edema.
7.  Improves posture.
8.  Drop inches and dress sizes within a week to 8 weeks.
9.  Helps to balance hormones.
10.Increases bone density, which is an issue for those who take replacement hormone as I do.
11. Improves balance
12.  Improves digestion.

These are gleaned from Tapp's book, Fit ad Fabulous in 15 minutes.  I've simplified these and pulled them into a list.  Tapp gives her reasons why the T-Tapp programs provide these benefits more efficiently than other systems.  I will have to do some research to know if some of the scientific basis for the program is valid.

I have the book and two workout DVD's.  I tried T-Tapp a while back and found that it gave me some pain and soreness, and not in the good "I've exercised and can feel it way", but in a way that concerned me.   One thing to note about T-Tapp is that it depends on following the correct form, and I wonder if I might have been doing it incorrectly.  At any rate, I am going to give it a second try and record my results.

Here's my plan:

Tapp cays that the benefits of T-Tapp can accure if you begin by doing her program 3 times a week.  However, if you want to lose dress sizes quickly, she outlines various "boot camp" strategies.  Two lose three dress sizes, you being by doing the fifteen minute Basic Plus Workout or the 45 minute Total workout for 10 days in a row.  After that, yoou switch to an every other day workout schedule for four to six weeks.  Following that, there is another step-down in how many workouts you do a week.  Once you have builtt a certain amount of muscle, the theory is that you can follow a maintenance schedule, rather than a building schedule.

T-Tapp requires no equipment other than a good pair of cross trainers.

In addition to the workout, Tapp includes a way of eating to consider, as well as the suggestion to brush your skin with a brush that she sells.  This supposedly reduces celluite and improves the skin function.  I won't be trying the eating plan, but will most likely brush my skin to see if it has any effect.  She also recommends water to stay hydrated.

Tapp suggests that during the first phase of T-Tapp that you not confuse your body with other types of exercises, other than walking.  She offers fitness challenges on her sites, as well as an online community.  To participate in the challenges, your results must come from T-Tapp.  I will walk and also use a recumbent bycycle during my trail run.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

What happens when Hashimoto's has run it's course far enough that the thyroid has actually died?  This is a question I am researching.

My endocrinologist said something that led me to believe that I am at this point.  That makes sense, as my current dosage level represents an increase that occurred during a time when my thyroid was creating extreme symptoms:  strange problems in muscles and nerves, extreme fatigue, and slowed thinking.  The increase in dosage helped tremendously, and my further tests have shown that I have remained stable on this dose for two years.  I suppose that period of intense symptoms might have been my thyroid's last little struggle to cope.

I am so thankful that I have a team of wonderful, caring doctors who do want me to experience my best health possible.  They are all very well educated on the subject of Hashimoto's, and all do listen to me and suggest things to try to improve my overall comfort and energy level.  I would not trade any one of them.  Yet, in asking each what happens when the thyroid dies, I've received slightly different answers. I'm a little confused as to whether the Hashimoto's goes away or whether it continues to attack other areas of the body.  

So, I'm just beginning to research this question.  This article doesn't exactly answer that, but it does explain why a thyroid dies.  It also mentions that Hashimoto's not only affects the thyroid, but the gut, brain, and pancreas, as well.  I'd need further research to decide whether to go to the bank on that supposition or not, but it does make sense.

If you know of any links to research in this area, please leave it in the comments.    I'd also love to hear from long-time Hashimoto's patients about how the progression of the disease does or doesn't affect their health.

Here's to your health!