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Friday, September 24, 2010

Top 10 Health Tips for 2010

A little over a month into 2010 many of the resolutions that you made in January probably has fallen by the wayside. When the ball dropped on New Years Eve you might have resolved to go to the gym more often or to eat less fast food on, now, in February those promises seem as stale as the fruit cake in the back of your refrigerator. You might be feeling that you still want to change a few things this year but your earlier resolutions didn’t work out; below you will find 10 tips to bring a positive change to your life in 2010: 

1.)  Make room for mini meditations through out your day, close the door at your office, hold your calls, and just relax for five minutes. Hubert Benson, the co-founder of Harvard’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, recommends doing this a few times throughout the day. It allows you to turn everything off and recharge

2.)  With states increasing cigarette taxes and cities banning smoking in bars and restaurants there has never been a better time to quit smoking. Many employers, faith groups, and even some local governments offer resources to help you stop smoking for good. 

3.)  Make an effort to have a social life.  Getting bogged down in the stresses of daily life is easy to do. Make a promise to yourself to hang out with your friends at least once a week.
4.)  Be aware of your health. Get a physical this year, even if you had one last year you need to make it an annual event. Being proactive is the best way to maintain a healthy life.
5.)  Stay positive. It sounds simple, but if you try and keep a positive outlook on life you will find that you enjoy your work, family, and life in general a lot more.
6.)  Cut the calories back. This year instead of trying the next fad diet resolve to simply cut back your calorie intake. 

7.)  Exercise daily. That doesn’t mean become a gym rat it means incorporate some kind of physical activity into your daily routine. It could be something as simple as going for a walk through the park every day, or going for daily bike rides. 

8.)  Make “wellness” a verb. Don’t think of health and wellness as something to reach for, or something to achieve. Think of as the way you live your life. 

9.)  Cut back the caffeine. Instead of drinking a pot of regular coffee every morning switch to a 50/50 coffee or caffeine free soft drinks.
10.)  Add a little “green” to your life. Mom really was right growing up, be sure to add fruits and vegetables to your meals every day.
These changes, for the most part, are easy to work into your daily life and maintain all year long.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Basic Health Tips To Practice Everyday

In today’s world, we seem to be moving at a lot faster pace but not getting any exercise. Our movement seems to be by computer, telephone, car, train, plane and a multitude of other fast paced modes of transportation along physical and informational highways.
We never seem to have the time to actually exercise by riding a bike or swimming, hiking or just playing a nice game of football at the park down the street. We have a telephone, computer, gps and Ipod in one hand and a shake, hamburger and fries in the other. This is surely a recipe for unhealthy living.
We need to learn to empty both hands and let them relax a little. Sit down or lay down and let the world slow down around you. This doesn’t mean drop into your bed in exhaustion, it means take some time to yourself, sit by the pool, read a book or other form of literature (reading the Wall Street Journal doesn’t count). Listen to some relaxing music, practice some deep breathing techniques and really learn how to help your body totally relax.
Eat a more balanced meal ( this doesn’t mean balancing a shake and a hamburger in both hands while trying to control the steering wheel) and eat at regular intervals. Actually sit down and have a nice healthy bowl of soup, or a nice balanced meal with meat, veggies and other good for you items. Take time to yourself, get reacquainted with your family and friends.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Avoid Weakened Muscle’s Disasters

Avoid Weakened Muscle’s Disasters
Most people do not realize that the loss of lean muscle mass later on in life is NOT an unavoidable effect of aging, but usually comes from simple inactivity. Most people become less physically active after the age of 30, which coincides with an increase in muscle loss. Much like the loss of sight or hearing, many accept this as a normal and unstoppable consequence of getting older even though it is not. To reduce this trend, maintain a normal level of health consciousness, with exercise and a healthy diet being the central focus.
This is especially important as our bodies become older, because the eventual outcome of inactivity is often the loss basic muscular strength and even the ability to take care of ourselves. When muscles weaken due to lack of use, lifting simple objects becomes harder if not impossible without injury, the risk of falls and other weakness related injuries increases, and the very ability to maintain healthy activity becomes almost unthinkable, making the effects of inactivity exponential.
One statistic that should motivate you to keep up with muscle activity is the fact that almost one quarter of all people of retirement age or above who have a fall that results in a fractured hip will live no more than one full year after the accident. The main reason for these falls is that the inactive person soon weakens to the point that regular balance during walking is severely effected. Even if you have never been involved in heavy physical activity before in your life, before this happens to you, considering strength training for you muscles should definately become a part of your everyday activities.
There are several benefits to even the lightest forms of muscle strength training, just a few of which are listed here.
  • An increase in lean muscle mass- This adds to not only your ability to lift and maintain body strength, but also aiding in the burning of calories essential to maintaining proper weight control.
  • Increased bone density- As we age, our bodies begin to lose the ability to efficiently process calcium for bone strength. Strength training helps to maintain bone density, warding off significantly the chances of hip fractures, broken wrists, and other forms of bone injuries that can seriously debilitate your ability to remain active in the future.
  • Decreased blood pressure – Exercise, not only provides you with a stress release, but as a result, has an active ability to keep blood pressure at a manageable level, further reducing the chances for heart disease, strokes, and hypertension related disease.
  • Lower cholesterol levels and decreased obesity risks- Cholesterol and weight gain seem to be constant enemies as we get older. Muscle strength training helps to control these two factors, sometimes much more effectively than medicine alone can.
The benefits of muscular strength training touches almost every aspect of an aging person’s health, many of which are some of the most damaging and prevalent debilitating conditions known to afflict the aged, such as heart disease and muscle fragility. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. With regular physical activity, including strength training, a healthy diet, and a positive outlook, you should be able to slow down the effects of muscular and bone frailty, and thus avoid being a statistic.

Combat Insomnia Without Medication

Combat Insomnia Without Medication

Insomnia 1Many people suffer from a sleep disorder known as insomnia. Insomnia is caused by many different factors including stress and an irregular sleep cycle. Most people opt for the chemical method of dealing with it because it doesn’t take any effort or thought. Take a pill, go to sleep. What they don’t consider is the side effects that come from these types of pills, not the least of which is addiction.

Natural remedies exist for dealing with insomnia, including research to find out the root of the insomnia. Relaxation is important to sleep quality. You need to learn to really relax your body in order to allow it to fall asleep naturally. Progressive muscle relaxation helps the body to systematically release tension, this means start at one point of your body and make it relax. Extremities like toes are a good place to start, or start from your center and radiate the relaxation outward picturing the stress releasing from your body through your fingers and toes, which ever works for you best. You may want to exercise before you begin the relaxation technique as exercise will strengthen, tire out, and help to relax the muscles, giving you a head start.

Follow the same routine every night so your body gets into a habit and is conditioned for a sleep response.