5 of the Heart-Healthiest Exercises

If you’re trying to keep your heart healthy, you probably want to know which exercises are best for your ticker and which you might want to lay off of. Well, here are 5 of the heart-healthiest exercises you can do (and the ones you might want to avoid).

  1. Walking Briskly

When you want to make sure you’re keeping your heart healthy, especially if it’s after a surgery or a scare, it’s best to start out slow. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to keep your heart rate up and to stay fit. In many cases, it’s even safer and healthier to walk quickly than to run or jog, so take a 30-minute power walk around your neighborhood to keep your heart feeling good.

  1. Stretching

Stretching is a great, heart-healthy exercise you can do every day. You can do your own stretches or participate in a group exercise like yoga. Stretching should never hurt and is something you can do gently to increase your flexibility and keep your heart rate up. You can stretch before or after walking or participating in another exercise in order to get the full benefits of this type of workout.

  1. Non-impact Sports

Sports that get your whole body moving but don’t require you to bang into other people are great for your heart. Swimming and skiing are two wonderful, weather-dependent sports, but there are plenty of different options you can get involved in. If you want to join a league, do that, but if you’d rather work out on your own, that’s fine too. You will also gain another benefit from participating in one of these sports: the rush of pride you will feel when you beat your best time or create a new personal record.

  1. Weight Training

Lifting weights can really help you keep your heart healthy and your body moving. Start with weights you can easily handle and work your way up as you continue to work out. When you do your reps, your heart rate will increase, and then when you take a break between sets, you will allow it to settle back to a normal pace.

  1. Core Strengthening

When you focus on exercising your core, it’s great for your heart as well. Whether you choose to do pilates or just crank out some sit-ups, strengthening your core will make you more likely to be active and less likely to experience issues like shortness of breath when you have to deal with your daily activities like cleaning or walking up the stairs.

Don’t Do What’s Bad for Your Heart…

If you start trying to push yourself to do an exercise you haven’t trained for, you could experience severe problems and put your heart in a dangerous condition. Remember, always build yourself up when exercising and never push yourself too hard. It takes time and patience to get to a point where you can go harder, and you never want to put yourself in a position where you have to do more than your body is capable of.

Study Finds Link Between Common Societal Behavior and Extreme Plastic Surgery

A recent study was able to find a definitive link between bullying and the extreme desire for plastic surgery in both those who are bullied and those who bully.

According to a study published in April of 2017 by the University of Warwick, bullies and victims of bullying are more likely to desire plastic surgery in an extreme way than individuals who are not affected at all by this common societal behavior. These findings resulted from researchers surveying nearly 2,800 adolescents aged 11 to 16 and studying their involvement in bullying as well as their desire for plastic surgery.

About the Study

In the study, 11.5 percent of those who were victims of this behavior reported an “extreme” desire for cosmetic surgery while 3.4 percent of those who bullied others were found to have this same intense desire. In addition, of those who had both bullied and been victims themselves, 8.8 percent had this aspiration. And only 1 percent of those who had never been affected by bullying displayed an intense wish for this type of surgery.

The study also found the reason a certain individual might want surgery could vary. Those who had been bullied hoped that it would help them with their low self-esteem and even with issues like depression and anxiety while those who had bullied others hoped to increase their status and enhance their appearance.

As a result of the study, more issues have come to light that remind doctors how important it is to screen patients for their reasoning behind their desire to get plastic surgery. Someone doing so for the wrong reasons (for example, to self-treat their depression or self-esteem issues or to become superior to others) may need to receive other suggestions, such as therapy.

How the Study Helps You

It’s good to be aware. When you know what to look for, you can avoid the pitfalls that usually come along with societal behavior, such as low self-esteem that can lead to extreme plastic surgery. Many people do not realize the impact that society has on them, and that is the biggest problem with people going overboard with changes to their appearance.

If you’re finding yourself feeling down on yourself and you’ve felt this way for a while, it’s time to examine the real reasons you feel this way. Is it because you really have something that needs to be corrected because you don’t feel comfortable with it, or is it more about what others around you are thinking and saying that is swaying your own thoughts about yourself? This question is an important one to consider, especially if you’re seeking plastic surgery.

Many plastic surgeons will refer you to a counselor if they suspect your reasons for wanting surgery are because of what you’ve been hearing around you. Counseling can help you feel good about yourself, so you don’t feel as though you need to drastically change your appearance. It doesn’t mean you won’t want to change your appearance, but you’ll want less of a change than what you would have wanted.

Extreme plastic surgery is dangerous, and that’s why it’s important that you consider why you want it. Taking a time out to discover the reasons behind your motivation for changing what you look like can make a big difference in how you see yourself.

Actually, research has found that people are less satisfied with plastic surgery when their reasons for it lie outside in society. That’s why most plastic surgeons don’t have a problem referring people to counselors. They want their patients to be happy with the results, and if they aren’t, they fear that their reputation may be at risk.

Think about it before you make a decision.

10 Signs of Leaky Gut and How to Heal Yours

The gut is the controlling power behind your body’s overall health. If the gut is healthy, then most likely the person is healthy. If the gut is not healthy, then the person typically has health issues. There is also a condition affecting nearly 80% of the population according to Josh Axe, certified nutrition specialist—DNM, DC, CNS and it is called leaky gut. This condition is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. For many, the pregnant, bloated result of the wrong foods and the leaky gut reaction is embarrassing in addition to painful.

What is Leaky Gut?

In layman’s terms, leaky gut is when there are holes in the intestinal wall that allows for toxins, food particles, microbes and more to leak out from the intestines and travel by way of the bloodstream throughout the entire body. Since these substances are unknown to the body, the immune system automatically detects them as foreign invaders and begins to attack them.

How Does Leaky Gut Happen?

There are many causes of leaky gut, but one of the biggest culprits is the gluten protein called zonulin, which breaks down the intestinal lining’s tightened junctions. Antibiotics, infections, age, stress, foods and toxins are also known causes for breaking apart the tight junctions of the intestinal wall lining.

Sugar, dairy and alcohol (all in excess) foods are suspected culprits of causing leaky gut. Infections causing intestinal wall damage includes intestinal parasites, candida overgrowth and (SIBO) small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

Toxins come from a whole slew of sources. Everything from everyday pain relievers like Advil and Motrin to antibiotics treating infections are toxic to the intestines. An array of environmental toxins like pesticides, air pollutants, BPA from plastics and mercury may contribute to a gut filled with holes. Steroids and acid-reducing drugs also play their own part in breaking down the tight junctions of the intestinal wall.

After the tight junctions are broken down or apart, the result is a leaky gut.

The immune system responds in a number of ways to the foreign invaders escaping from the confines of the intestines. If you are experiencing some or all of these 10 signs of a leaky gut, then you probably have some form of the condition and should see your medical physician.

10 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut

  1. Digestive issues; such as bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diarrhea
  2. Asthma
  3. Outdoor/Indoor – Seasonal Allergies
  4. Mood/Mind disorders; such as anxiety, ADD/ADHD or depression
  5. Hormonal imbalances, such as PMS
  6. Autoimmune disease diagnosis; such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus or thyroid disease
  7. Food intolerances/allergies
  8. Skin problems/issues such as eczema, rosacea or acne
  9. Candida overgrowth
  10. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue

Healing the Intestinal Wall

First and foremost, it is critical to remove all toxins and inflammatory causing foods from your diet to stop the endless cycle of chronic inflammation. Don’t eat these foods for at least a period of three weeks. The goal is to remove the bad things from the GI track that is negatively affecting the environment there. This includes infections, toxins and bad foods/drinks.

Replenish your body with all the good stuff your gut has been missing out on. Start adding in all the critical ingredients your body needs for proper digestion and absorption. This includes bile acids, hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes. Beneficial bacteria must be added back to your gut in order for the balance of good bacteria to be restored. All items are found in your local health food store or supplement provider.

Foods & Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut

Supplements and Herbs

  • Probiotics – minimum 50 billion IU daily
  • Digestive Enzymes – two with every starchy meal or meat meal
  • Herbs such as ashwagandha, licorice root and ginseng
  • L-glutamine

Foods

  • Blueberries
  • Coconut oil
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Goat’s milk kefir
  • Bone broth
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Pure olive oil
  • Seafood/salmon (rich in Omega-3s)

Don’t Ignore Leaky Gut Signs

Although you may think that since nearly 80% of the population may be suffering from leaky gut that it isn’t that big of a deal and can be ignored. Not so! Leaky gut and chronic inflammation goes hand in hand. What happens? Disease. Chronic inflammation leads to a plethora of unpleasant and even untreatable conditions and diseases, so leaky gut is definitely not something you need to ignore or you put your overall health and life at risk.

 

 

6 Powerful Fruits You Need to be Eating for Better Health

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Well, it sure is possible when you add blueberries, pineapples, pomegranates, acai berries, grapefruit and raspberries with the apple every day! If you are looking to improve your health naturally while enjoying pure deliciousness and sweetness picked right out of nature, then be sure to start packing in these six powerful superfruits to your daily food regimen.

Pineapples

When it comes to pineapples, the health benefits are monumental! Besides the fact that this delicious fruit is rich in Vitamin C that also helps your bones, it works in keeping your skin clear and beautiful. When you drink pineapple juice and eat the fruit, you can shed the pounds faster. If you are constipated or have irregular bowel issues, then get some pineapple into your snacks to get things moving again. Your teeth are healthier when you consume pineapple because of the bromelain which helps to prevent plaque and promote healthier gums. The health advantages of pineapple also includes the lessened risk of hypertension and maintaining good eye health. Pineapple tastes best fresh when bought in season—March through June, but the fruit and its juices are available year round.

Blueberries

These wildly popular sweet little berries are packed with nutrition that sets them apart from the rest of the fruit world. Referred to as a superfood, these low-calorie tiny fruits are nutrient dense. They contain an abundance of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, water and other nutrients. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which aids in the protection of our body from free radical damage and helps in the fight against cancer and ageing. Blueberries are shown to be beneficial in lessening the risk of heart disease by protecting the bad cholesterol LDL from damage. Several studies have released results indicating blueberries are effective in the reduction of high blood pressure. Improvement in memory function, brain function, glucose function and urinary tract health can all be attributed to the consistent consumption of blueberries.

Raspberries

These juicy, sweet little berries are consumed around the world and grow in a variety of colors. That’s right! Raspberries are not just the popular red and black colors we all know. There are varieties of raspberries that are yellow, purple and even golden. Each berry color is comprised of its own unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The color most consumed around the world is the red raspberry. Boosting brain power, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer, stabilizing blood sugar levels (glucose), detoxing the body, regulation of the immune system, lowering inflammation, improving eye health and decreasing the risk of macular degeneration are the long list of great benefits seen when you incorporate raspberries into your diet.

Grapefruit

This round juicy, large fruit is known for its unique taste combining sweet, tart and tangy all in one. Packed with Vitamin C and A, fiber pectin and lycopene; the nutritional benefits of grapefruits are potent and powerful. They are known for lowering cholesterol in people, while also being a major source of antioxidants to fight off a number of toxins and free radicals in the body. The low glycemic index of the fruit translates into helping people’s metabolism speed up and burn fat faster. Eating grapefruit regularly also supports healthy, clear skin. You can typically find delicious Texas and Florida grapefruits in season November through June, although they are available year-round.

Acai Berries

Called a superfruit; the Amazon rain forest berry Acai has become a favorite across the US. The demand has spread like wildfire as people yearn for the powerful benefits and delicious taste of Acai in their everyday lifestyles. This hot commodity fruit is found to be full of fiber, antioxidants and good fats. They boast high amounts of anthocyanins, a cholesterol balancing antioxidant promoting heart health. They are said to help during the weight loss process, aid in digestion and helps give skin a healthy glow. Lung irritation such as swelling and respiratory distress may be prevented with acai berries. Other benefits include anti-ageing effects, boosts the energy in a person and is good for a healthy libido. Try buying organically certified acai juice, berries and pulp if possible.

Pomegranates

This nutrient packed amazing fruit has more antioxidants than red wine! Free-radicals are dramatically wiped from the body when a person drinks pomegranate juice on a consistent basis. Cancer, heart disease and cognitive impairment may be prevented with pomegranates powerful antioxidants. They contain aromatase inhibitors which are used in the human body to inhibit estrogen production and this reduces the risk of breast cancer. They are great for building up the immune system and aiding in general overall better health. Incorporate them and juice into your regular routine for optimal benefits. When shopping for pomegranates, look for them in the frozen section unless of course they are in season and buy them fresh. This is usually from October to February when the freshest, deep-colored, ripe pomegranates can be found.

There are a surprisingly large number of people suffering from chronic inflammation and they don’t even know it. For some reason inflammation seems to be stereo-typically associated with swelling from injuries like ankle sprains and diseases like arthritis, but unfortunately inflammation is not like this at all. We are going to dive a bit more into chronic inflammation and why you may need to get onboard with a healthier diet of foods permanently to save your own life. Please consult your physician if you are concerned with chronic inflammation.

Acute Inflammation

At the onset of injury, it is part of the body’s natural defense system to trigger inflammation. It is necessary to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and fungi invading the system. They can enter the body is an injury as small as a cut. This type of acute inflammation takes over until the invading threat is gone, then it will subside, and the process of natural healing continues.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is plaguing millions of Americans and people around the world. It is the underlying cause to a great number of cancers and diseases. At this time, it is believed it may also cause allergies, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches but research continues. If you let yourself go for too many years suffering from the hidden effects of chronic inflammation, then you are at increased risk for developing an auto-immune disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a stroke, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and even neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Chronic Inflammation Can Hide

When someone endures low-grade chronic inflammation over an extended period of time, they are slowly being killed and don’t even know it. The body’s process of releasing pro-inflammatory substances turns into a very bad thing when it repeatedly happens over a long range of time. The end result is that the substances begin to attack the tissues, blood vessels, and healthy cells in the body that are in perfectly good health.

The silent attacks may go unnoticed for years, as they don’t always cause infection or pain. The inflammation and attacks may not produce physical signs either. So, inside a person could be slowly dying from raging hormones and inflammatory cells destroying their body. This gradual poisoning and break down of the immune system happens behind closed doors as people blindly believe they are in good health and continue on with their lives as if nothing is going on more important than work, family and play.

Don’t Eat These 9 Inflammation Causing Foods

  1. Sugar
  2. Artificial food additives
  3. Trans fat foods
  4. Refined grains
  5. Processed meat & red meat
  6. Alcohol
  7. Commercial meat, feedlot-raised
  8. Common cooking oils
  9. Dairy products

Healthy foods causing inflammation

Some healthy foods affect certain people and can even lead to inflammation causing pain in their body. Tomatoes affect people sensitive to solanine. Consuming them for this group of people can increase the risk of developing heart disease, encourage tumor growth, and makes arthritic joints sore. Red and green peppers and white potatoes are also part of the ‘nightshade’ family people with solanine sensitives shouldn’t eat.

One great resource for good fats is nuts and they are by far one of the most nutritious and healthiest foods in the world. But for people suffering with osteoarthritis, eating nuts can wreak havoc on their joints! The histamine found in nuts is found to cause painful joint inflammation in osteoarthritis patients because it actually attacks the joints themselves.

Pain Relief Tip

When painful inflammation has you searching high and low for a remedy, whip up the great tasting juice below to get relief from the painful symptoms of inflammation.

–If you are looking for a powerful dose of anti-inflammatories to get pain relief, juice a pineapple along with ginger, aloe and turmeric and then drink it.

Inflammation Fighting Foods To Stock In Your Kitchen:

Bone Broth Chia Seeds Flaxseeds
Turmeric Mackerel Salmon
Ginger Asparagus Almonds
Beets Broccoli Brussel Sprouts
Pineapple Blueberries Celery
Olive Oil Coconut Oil Strawberries
Cherries Oranges Swiss Chard
Bok Choy Walnuts Spinach
Collards Kale Apple Cider Vinegar
Apricots Avocado Basil
Parsley Rosemary Bell Peppers
Black Beans Buckwheat Cabbage
Cantaloupe Carrots Cauliflower
Cinnamon Cucumber Curry Powder
Dark Chocolate Eggs Fennel
Garlic Grapefruit Green Tea
Hot Sauce Kelp Kiwi
Lemon Lentils Oatmeal
Limes Onion Red Wine
Shitake Mushrooms Shrimp Shellfish
Turnips Sweet Potatoes Zucchini

 

All About Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a therapeutic method used for individuals who have suffered from both minor and major injuries or illness. Statistics show that more than nine million people per year use physiotherapy. This type of therapy is more common and popular terminology is physical therapy, and is often used in place of surgery. The therapy focuses on the person regaining their strength in various parts of their body, mostly in the legs, hands, but it can include any part of the body that needs rehabilitation. Most need assistance in helping with their balance and learning how to walk.

Physiotherapy or physical therapy helps the person gain back normal body functioning of hand movement, walking, and balancing. It helps them gain control over their body and its’ functions. In the beginning stages, the therapist will assist the patient with their needs and what type of therapy works best for that person’s particular needs and situation. This overall goal helps the patient adapt quicker to life, return to normal life, and helps them feel better about themselves.

Types of Conditions

One of the most common conditions physical therapy addresses is the results of a stroke.

Strokes happen when an artery becomes blocked in the brain due to a blood clot in the brain or somewhere else in the body. It prevents blood from flowing to the brain properly. When a stroke occurs, brain tissue is damaged or dies, which causes a loss of function in the body, and of course, it can cause death too. When many people suffer a stroke, damage to one side of their body occurs. This nerve and tissue damage results in a lack of movement and control of one side of their body.

Oftentimes, the person loses their ability to walk, talk or loses the loss of mobility with their arms. Physiotherapy is the main treatment most stroke victims will go through for rehabilitation purposes. This process includes teaching the person the ability of the person to use their limbs again and and focuses on their speech, if needed. The amount and extent of physical therapy depends on the extent of the damage, their health, and their age.

Therefore, the quicker a person is treated after having a stroke, the better their chances are to recover. Another reason that can cause the need for Physiotherapy is injuries from car accidents. Car accidents can cause mild to serious injuries to the body. Some injuries don’t manifest itself until weeks later, and can be worse than initial diagnosed. Even though most minor injuries like back or neck strain can necessitate physical therapy.

What’s Involved

The therapy sessions usually start at the hospital or a healthcare facility, and are designed and authorized by the therapist or the patient’s doctor. The treatment can end in the person’s home or at a gym once the patient’s condition starts improving in a way that allows for a less formal or medical environment. Physical therapy sessions that are appropriate for the person and their condition. The focus is on restoring muscle strength, stability, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and independence.

Sessions will start basic and low in intensity, and will usually increase to more difficult and intense sessions based on the person’s gradual progression. The workouts include basic walking, swimming, and aerobics. Repetitive exercises such as stretching and weight lifting greatly strengthen the muscles. It also includes exercises in restoring speech. Therapy includes the use of limbs that were not affected by the stroke and strengthening those that were. Contrary to popular belief, most physical therapy is not painful. The therapist’s focus is to minimize pain.

Different Treatments

Reflexology

Physiotherapy can include more natural-based treatments such as reflexology, which is the method of placing pressure at specific points to the hands or feet to stimulate the nerves and circulation in the body.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy can also be applied. This involves applying hot or cold treatments to reduce inflammation, pain, and tenderness. Both of these methods can increase the strength of the muscles.

Massage

Massage therapy is another method of physical therapy for more minor injuries sustained in a car accident or stroke. Back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain can be effectively addressed and treated with multiple massage sessions.

 

Surprising Causes of Migraines

People suffer from migraines know how much it can interfere in their life. Many sufferers are unable to function with it. Prevention is the best way to deal with it. Most sufferers find that keeping them away is much easier to deal with than trying to get them to go away when they are in pain. That’s why understanding the causes of a migraine is so important. That way you can decrease the episodes and severity of them.

Causes of Migraines

Genetics and environment are usually the causes of migraines. People who are genetically predisposed to migraines often are more sensitive to the environmental causes of them.

When a migraine starts, the changes in the brainstem tap the trigeminal nerve. This is a pain pathway, which is what causes so much discomfort.

Many studies have found that imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin lead to the onset of migraines. There’s not much more that is known about serotonin and other brain chemicals at this point, so there’s a lot of research that still needs to be done to understand their role in migraines.

What we do know is serotonin levels decrease during attacks. When this happens the trigeminal nerve releases neuropeptides, which then go to the outer covering of the brain. That’s what causes the pain. In addition to the neuropeptides, calcitonin gene-related peptides also can travel to the outer part of the brain to cause pain.

Triggers

Now that you know what causes the pain, it’s important to know what triggers it.

  • Hormonal changes – When estrogen levels rise and fall with a women’s menstrual cycle, migraines are much more likely to attack. Pregnancy can also increase the chances of a migraine. Some women find hormonal medication such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy causes migraines, as well.
  • Foods – Certain foods can cause migraines such as cheese, processed foods, and salt. Some people find they suffer from migraines when they skip meals.
  • Sweeteners and MSG – These additives have been found to cause migraines for some people. Some people have no idea that is the cause of their migraines until they eliminate them and see a reduction in attacks.
  • Caffeinated or Alcoholic Drinks – Caffeine and alcohol can alter brain chemicals, which can lead to migraines. Limiting those types of drinks can help with migraine management.
  • Stress – Stress is a common cause of migraines. Many people only suffer from migraine attacks when they are dealing with a highly stressful situation.
  • Strong Sensory Stimuli – Loud sounds, bright lights, and strong smells can spark a migraine attack for some people. This can hard to avoid, but trying to limit exposure as much as possible is wise.
  • Sleep Disturbances – Changes in sleep patterns can bring on migraines, especially when not getting enough sleep or trying to stay up all night and sleeping during the day. It’s best to stick to a sleep schedule and changing that schedule a little bit at a time when you have to have a different one.
  • Changes in Weather – Some people suffer from a migraine when the weather changes or there is a drastic rise or fall in barometric pressure.

People who suffer from migraines usually have a family history of them. Their first one occurs in childhood or adolescence. People often see the worst of their attacks in their 30s, and they usually decrease in frequency and severity after that age. Women usually find an improvement in their migraines after menopause.

Prevention Treatment for Migraine Headaches

Prevention can be much easier than treating migraines already underway. Speak to your doctor about possible prevention medications available. Many migraine sufferers take medication daily to avoid migraines.

A migraine journal can be helpful in identifying what causes them for you. Detailing exactly when you suffer a migraine, what you ate, what you did, and where you are in your menstrual cycle (if you’re a woman) can help you know when another one will hit, so you can at least ward off the pain and inconvenience of the headaches. Treatment is usually much more effective if taken before the headache has started.

Speak to your doctor about your migraines before trying any of the advice above. A physician is the best source of information for prevention and treatment of migraines.

 

 

How to Boost Weight Loss Hormones

Don’t you hate how you try so hard to lose weight, but it doesn’t quite work? It’s not easy.

There is one thing you can do – boost weight loss hormones.

Hormones can make you do things you don’t want to do, such as eat an entire pint of ice cream. However, when you can boost your weight loss hormones, you’ll be much more likely to put it down and walk away.

Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin manages how full you feel when you’re having a meal. Increasing the leptin hormone means you’ll feel full faster, which means you’ll consume less food.

Some people suffer from leptin resistance. When this happens, people don’t know they are full until they feel sick. If you’ve ever left a buffet feeling like you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy or you’re about to blow, that’s how people with leptin resistance feel every time they eat.

This causes them to feel hungry more often and yearn for more and more food, even while eating. The good news is it’s possible to turn resistance around.

Ghrelin is another hormone you need to consider. It’s the hormone that tells you that you’re hungry. When you eat, ghrelin levels go down. As time goes on, levels go back up, and that’s what makes you hungry.

Understanding how to increase leptin levels and keep ghrelin levels low, you will be able to manage your weight better.

Ways to Boost Weight Loss Hormones

Pay attention to these ways to increase leptin and decrease ghrelin hormones.

Sleep

Sleep deprivation significantly affects hormones, according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Many people with sleep issues such as insomnia and sleep apnea are overweight for this reason.

To avoid leptin resistance and increase leptin levels, it’s important to get at least 6.5 hours of sleep at night. Too much sleep can be bad too, so aim for waking up after 8.5 hours.

It’s also important to go to bed and wake up around the same time each night and morning, too. Your body likes habits because then it knows when it’s time to shut down and recuperate from the day.

Muscle Mass

Muscle mass is important to leveling your hormones. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day even during resting state.

Muscles also increase testosterone in the body. Low testosterone levels store calories as fat. When you can raise your testosterone levels by building muscle mass, your body will use calories more efficiently.

You don’t have to hit the gym to increase muscle mass. Do some squats, push-ups, and core strengthening exercises. They will use muscle fibers and boost your testosterone levels.

Eat the Right Combination of Foods

Your body needs fuel. The best fuel for your body is protein, fat, and complex carbs. You don’t want to overeat these types of foods, but you should be sure to get enough of them. Each meal should contain 20 grams to 25 grams, especially breakfast.

A great breakfast that includes all of the types of foods you need is an omelet with vegetables, avocado, and a piece of whole wheat toast.

Eat More Seafood

When people don’t get enough iodine in their diet can end up with a malfunctioning thyroid. You can get iodine from fish such as cod, tuna and shrimp. If you like seaweed, that’s the best source of iodine.

If you notice you’ve been gaining a lot of weight and your hair is thinning, you may be suffering from thyroid disorder. Make an appointment with your physician to be tested for it. If you can have it controlled, you will be better able to manage your weight.

Space Out Your Meals and Snacks

You should eat three meals a day and three snacks. You should keep your meals around 300-400 calories and snacks around 100 calories. Your metabolism is like a slow burning fire. You must kindle that fire to keep it burning calories. By eating throughout the day, you can do that and it will help you use calories efficiently.

These are the best ways to control your hormones. It can take some time to see the effects of sleeping more, eating the right foods, and increasing your seafood intake, but before you know it, you may see how much easier it is to keep your weight in check.

 

 

How to Increase Fluid Intake Without Drinking Plain Water

Did you know our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water? Our entire body functions on water each day. Without it, our body can’t move the way we need it to, and that can cause us to feel ill. In severe cases of dehydration, it can cause serious health conditions, hospitalization, and even death. The good news is that it’s not too hard to get enough water into your body each day. Many people believe they need to drink glass after glass of water, that’s not entirely true. You can get the fluids you need from many other sources besides a glass of water.

Fruit

Fruit has a lot of water in it. Actually, a watermelon has as much as 90% water. Oranges and grapefruit also have a high concentration of water in them. It’s great to turn to fruits during the summer months because they give you a boost of hydration AND they can stave off hunger.

Vegetables

Vegetables don’t have as much water as fruits, but they do contain some. The best vegetables to eat for hydration are celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Water Based Foods

Don’t forget all of those foods you consume that were made with water. For example, soup, oatmeal, and smoothies. All of these foods contain water, so you while you aren’t getting as much as you would drinking a glass of straight water, you are getting a decent amount of fluid in each serving.

Milk

Milk comes second to water as being the best choice for hydration. You may not feel like drinking milk in the summer heat, but if you throw some ice cubes in it, you may find it much more refreshing.

Soda

You’re probably thinking this is completely wrong, but actually, it is somewhat hydrating. Soda is made from carbonated water, which is…, well, water. The caffeine in it is a diuretic, but there still enough water in it to count as a fluid.

Juice

Juice may not be completely made of water, but it is mostly water. Reach for juice when you really need a drink but can’t stand to drink water straight. You can always water it down if you find it to be too sugary.

Coffee/Tea

For many years, people avoided coffee and tea because they thought it dehydrated you. This myth is no longer valid. It is now believed that it is better than nothing is when you need to hydrate yourself. It is a diuretic, but the water in it can help you become severely dehydrated.

What to Avoid When Dehydrated

The worst thing you can drink when you are dehydrated is alcohol. This may come as a major surprise and a bummer because many people like to have a few drinks on the beach, poolside, or wherever they are relaxing under the sun’s heat. Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages are highly dehydrating, so you could end up really sick if you don’t chase it with water. You should try to keep your alcohol to water ratio at least a one-to-one. This way you counteract the effects of the dehydration of the alcohol.

How to Drink More Water

Many people complain water doesn’t taste good or like anything at all. They say this is what keeps them from drinking as much as they should. You can help the taste of water simply by adding a flavoring to it. The healthiest flavoring is fruit. You can add lemon, limes, strawberries, raspberries, or any other fruit you like to the water.

You can also try to combine different fruits to make the water more flavorful. For example, you can do a lemon-lime water just by putting slices of lemons and limes in it. You can add mango and oranges to the water for an orange mango flavor. The options are endless, so you’ll never get bored with your water again.

Before you start guzzling water, it’s important to know, your body does better using the fluids if you take it in slowly. For instance, instead of drinking an entire glass of water in one sitting, sip on it every few minutes. This way you have a constant flow of fluids going through your body to keep all of your organs hydrated to work hard for you.

Cheers!

 

Why You Need a Running Journal and How to Use One

Running is an exercise that people either love or hate. Those who love it have either made themselves run until they’ve liked it, or they were born loving it. In any case, running emotions can ebb and flow. Some days, you’ll be able to take on 10 miles without even looking at your watch, while other days, 3 miles seems like a full marathon.

Journaling is an awesome way to figure out what is really going on with your running. It can help you figure out what is making you feel better about it one day, and not so good the next. There are reasons you go up and down, and knowing what they are can help you avoid some of the causes of it.

The other reason you should keep a running journal is that it can motivate you to push yourself to the next level of running. When you just run, you usually run slower than your body can really run. Pushing yourself just a little more will help you build that muscle you want, burn calories, and get a good workout. When you write down what you do, you’ll know how much more to do.

Now, you know the reasons you should keep a running journal. What you need to know is how to keep one.

You’re probably thinking all you have to do is pick up a notebook and start writing down how far you run, for how long, and that’s it. Sure, you can do that, but it won’t do you much good. A running journal is much more in-depth than that, and it has to be that way to be effective. The following are what you should include in your running journal:

  • Date
  • Time of run
  • Food eaten before the run
  • Food eaten the day before the run
  • How much water you drank the day before
  • Length of run
  • Speed
  • Route
  • How you felt before the run
  • How you felt during the run
  • How you felt after the run
  • Thoughts you had during the run
  • How those thoughts affected your run
  • What you did during the run (listened to music, listened to podcasts, etc.)
  • Level of energy from 1-5
  • Goals achieved
  • Plan or goals for next run

Each day, you should jot down notes for all of these and end with a plan for your next run. When you run, try to remember those goals you wrote down, so you can work on them. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and what you’re doing during the run. This all affects how well you run and how much you can push yourself. When you’re done with the run, write down some notes again.

Using Technology for a Running Journal

There are many ways you can start a running journal using a phone or tablet. Download a writing app or an organization app such as Evernote. You can even start taking pictures of yourself and your surroundings if you would like. It will be great to look at someday, as you reflect on how far you’ve come over the years.

Some apps will allow you to connect with others on social media. Depending on how comfortable you feel sharing your information with others, this may or may not be something you want to use for your journal. On one hand, it may inspire others to start running, but on the other hand, you may not want to be so open about how well you’re running. It’s up to you, but it’s good to know there’s an option.

Another idea is to blog about your runs. You don’t have to include your name in the blogs, so it would be anonymous. You can then simply write blogs based on each run. People will likely find the blog and start following your progress. It will likely motivate them and motivate you when you see how people are coaching you to achieve your goals.

Get Started Today

You can start journaling your runs today. Just get out there, run, and then write what it was like. Over time, you can look back and see how much you’ve improved. That will propel you to try to start running even more, which will greatly help your health and life is many ways.