About Kayla Repp

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So far Kayla Repp has created 48 blog entries.

Food Reactions: Navigating Dietary Restrictions for Wellness

In the journey toward wellness, maintaining a healthy relationship with food is crucial. Part of this involves an awareness of chronic conditions caused by overindulgence, such as diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and high blood pressure. For others, it can involve understanding why certain foods make you feel uncomfortable or ill after eating them. These uncomfortable symptoms are suggestive of three possible reactions: food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. These conditions can significantly affect you and your family’s quality of life, and careful navigation and intervention can reduce risks and improve overall health. Understand the Differences: Allergy, Sensitivity, and Intolerance To understand uncomfortable reactions a person can have with a particular food, it’s helpful to understand the way doctors and other nutritional professionals classify the reactions. Allergic reactions involve our body’s immune system and may be triggered by even [...]

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Health During Women’s Health Month

May is women’s health month. This month brings more awareness to the importance of health for women and girls and encourages actionable ways to make it a top priority. Our plates are constantly full as women. We care for other people and things daily, while our own needs often slip to the bottom of the to-do list. Let this time be your reminder to take stock of your health and learn to prioritize your care. Prevention Regular preventive physicals and screenings are a necessary part of healthcare. They help establish baselines, acknowledge family history, and monitor any changes in health that could become more serious. While preventive health is equally important for men and women, there are a handful of conditions that are more prevalent in women, including Breast Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Osteoporosis, and Stroke (Advent Health1). For many [...]

Reshaping Your Workout Routine Post-Pandemic: What’s Changed?

If there was one thing that the pandemic highlighted, it was health and the importance of taking care of our bodies to the best of our ability. Many schedules and routines have completely shifted in the post-pandemic era. As we step back into a workout routine or start one for the first time, we might wonder what has changed over the last few years and how to make those changes advantageous. More Reasons to Exercise According to U.S. News, the top three reported reasons to exercise before the pandemic were to control weight, feel good, and live a long and healthy life. Post-pandemic, the top three stated reasons changed to reduce stress, feel better mentally, and look better physically (U.S. News1). The Mindbody organization conducted a post-pandemic survey and found that 78% of Americans say “wellness is more important than [...]

The Connection Between Stress and Blood Pressure

Stress affects the body in many ways, including blood pressure management. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, when left unmanaged, can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and more (American Heart Association1). Stress is acute or chronic, so each has a unique connection to blood pressure. Exploring these different connections will help us find healthier ways to manage stress and control our blood pressure. Times of Acute Stress Acute stress is typically emergent and temporary, such as slamming on your brakes in traffic to avoid an accident. Our body enters flight or fight mode to protect itself during an emergency. It naturally produces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to initiate specific body functions like increased heart rate, blood flow to muscles, and respiration. This reaction also temporarily raises blood pressure as a result. Responses like these are [...]

Butterflies in Your Stomach – A Great Example of the Gut-Brain Connection!

Have you ever felt "butterflies in your stomach" before a significant event or during moments of stress? This sensation is not just a metaphor but a vivid illustration of how closely our gut and brain communicate, influencing our overall health and well-being. The notion that gut health and well-being are connected is not new. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, famously stated, "All disease begins in the gut", over 2000 years ago. Throughout history and across various cultures, dietary practices have long been devised with a focus on promoting overall health. Your Brain and Belly talk in several ways. Your brain and gut have bidirectional communication through several different mechanisms including: Direct nerve connections. The vagus nerve, a key player in the autonomic (“fight or flight”) nervous system connects directly to nerves lining the intestinal walls. These nerves are sometime called [...]

Stress Less: Response vs. Reaction

Stressful situations arise often, but they are not always in our control. However, the way we respond or react in these situations is something we can control. While these two words may sound similar, they are two very different approaches to managing stress. Let’s explore how your approach can make all the difference in daily stress management. It’s Natural to React Our bodies naturally react whenever they encounter a stressful situation. Once our brain recognizes a real or perceived threat, it tells our automatic nervous system (ANS) that it is time to act. The ANS first signals our sympathetic nervous system by increasing stress hormone production and initiating our flight or fight reaction. This reaction causes quick changes in bodily function, such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, contracted muscles, and digestive changes. When the stressor passes, [...]

Prioritizing Wellness in a Busy World

Keeping up healthy habits can be a tall task when juggling all the responsibilities of daily life. Wellness often slips down our priority list the busier we get. Knowing the importance of health is easy, but it is often harder to make time for it. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you add quality to your years while navigating a busy schedule. Set Realistic Goals Set yourself up for success by making goals that are realistic and attainable. Begin with smaller, more manageable plans that you can build upon as you go. This gradual approach will help build resilience and confidence along the way. As you set your ambitions, let them align with your current schedule and season of life. Then, revisit your approach often, as we all know how constantly changing our schedules can be. This reflection [...]

Functional Fitness: How It Can Improve Daily Life

Functional Fitness: How It Can Improve Daily Life Regular exercise comes with a wide range of physical and mental benefits. It lowers the risk of health conditions, enhances sports performance, increases endurance, and improves mental health, but did you know it can also help improve your daily life? Exercise should also benefit your everyday activities. According to Mayo Clinic1, “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.” These functional exercises benefit any age and promote quality of life now and in the future. The Benefits of Functional Fitness We use muscles each day for tasks like picking things up off the floor, standing up from a chair, carrying groceries, pushing a door open, walking up and down stairs, and [...]

Benefits of a Balanced Diet: Micronutrients

What are micronutrients? Your body is a complex machine that requires many types of fuel to function smoothly. Micronutrients are one of these essential fuels. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to operate properly and achieve optimal health. Apart from vitamin D, which we can produce with exposure to sunlight, our body is unable to produce individual micronutrients. Therefore, we must obtain them from our diet or through supplements. The amount and type of micronutrients found in food varies, which is why consuming a wide variety of nutritious foods is essential to ensure adequate intake. There are approximately thirty micronutrients we need to consume regularly. Iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, iodine, folate, and zinc are examples of the micronutrients that are essential to our health. Why are micronutrients important for our health? According to the World Health [...]

Balancing Hormones with Exercise: The Link Between Fitness and Hormonal Health

Exercise can impact each system of the body, including the endocrine system. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine1, “The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs. It uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and mood.” Exercise influences hormone production, making the two directly related. Let’s explore a few areas where fitness and hormonal health are related. Blood Sugar and Exercise Insulin is a hormone that helps our bodies properly use or store glucose. During exercise, insulin production slows down so our bodies can focus on using the glucose for energy rather than storing it for future use. The body will also increase the production of the hormone glucagon during exercise to prevent blood sugar from going too low. Glucagon helps convert glycogen (stored glucose) [...]