December 12, 2008
Leafy Greens Fight Cancer
People who eat leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach daily, are half as likely to develop lung cancer as those who eat them fewer than five times a week. These green veggies are loaded with Vitamins A, E and flavonoids, which may all take part in cancer prevention.
December 11, 2008
Manage Your Debt to Manage Your Health
Money is one of the top sources of stress in American life. So you’ll be healthier overall if your finances are in order. One study found that those with the most health complaints also tended to have the highest debt ratios and to be the most worried about money.
If money is a source of stress in your life, take the necessary steps to resolve any outstanding issues. Keep your bank accounts balanced. Sit down with your family to make a budget. Figure out how much you need to save. Find ways to trim expenses. Make plans to pay down your credit cards. If necessary, meet with a financial planner. And remember, planning your money and food go hand in hand!
December 10, 2008
The Big Stretch
Did you get your heart rate up and strengthen your muscles during your workout? Great! But don’t forget to stretch. Consider some light stretching before you begin and then do a lengthier stretching when you are done. Post-workout, your muscles are warmed up and your stretching will be more effective. You’ll also be less prone to any aches and pains from exercising with proper stretching. Stretch each muscle group three times, trying each time to stretch a bit further – but don’t bounce, just hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
December 8, 2008
Exercise to Stay Pain-Free
Studies show that 81% of people with arthritis who exercise at least 3 times a week live almost completely pain free. So if you are one of the people who are suffering today, find out about exercise that can help you keep fit and pain free at the same time!
December 6, 2008
Many people have become dependent on anti-depressants and sugar fixes for feeling good. But we need to remember to work at being our healthiest, and these tips may be just what the shrink ordered:
- Regular exercise is a great way to elevate your mood. Even if your motivation levels are low and you find it difficult to muster the energy to head out the door, the rewards are well worth the effort. Exercise increases the circulation of natural endorphins, which are responsible for making us feel happy.
- Eating can also affect your mood. Not eating enough or often enough, and consuming unbalanced meals, can negatively affect blood sugar levels. This can leave you feeling tired and sometimes unable to concentrate as well as you normally do.
December 5, 2008
Keep Your Heart In Shape
There’s no doubt that healthy eating and regular exercise are key to maintaining healthy blood pressure and lipid levels. Here’s how to keep your heart in tip-top shape:
- Cut back on the salt – avoid the shaker and look for other spices to add flavor to your foods, like Mrs. Dash or lemon juice.
- Read labels on prepackaged items – the sodium can be quite high.
- Opt for healthy unsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats (found in fatty meats and processed snacks and baked goods).
- Incorporate fish into your diet a few times per week due to their fatty acid content. Flaxseed is a great source of these fatty acids as well.
December 4, 2008
Do you dread grocery shopping? Here are some tips to ensure a quick and efficient trip to your local store:
- Weekends are not a good pick if you don’t like the crowds. Try a midweek morning if that works for you, or a stop on the way home from work. Produce is freshest between Tuesday and Friday anyway.
- Make a list of the items you purchase regularly (like milk or eggs) and photocopy it. Then circle each item needed to save time from making the same list over and over again.
- If you clip coupons, keep them in an envelope that won’t get lost.
- Know your store! Take the time to cruise the aisles so you know where everything is.
December 3, 2008
The next time you pick up a broom, rake or sponge, take heart knowing that you’re doing something good for your health – especially if you have hypertension. Everyday, around-the-house activities have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension or hypertension by researchers at Indiana University.
As effective as special diets and regular exercise regimens, four hours of accumulated daily “lifestyle physical activities” (a.k.a., chores) did the trick in lowering the blood pressure levels of research participants. Such activities, coupled with medication (if needed), can now be considered an essential component in blood pressure management, experts say.
November 28, 2008
Fight Colds and Flu
Worried about catching the flu or getting too many colds this winter? Although there is no way to guarantee that you won’t get sick (even if you did get the flu shot), there are some things you can do easily to try and stay healthy:
- Wash your hands! Every time you return home from an outing, head to the sink and wash hands briskly with soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds. Have your kids wash their hands as soon as they get home from school as well. This is truly the best way to avoid unnecessary germs.
- Minimize your exposure to others who may have the flu while they are sick.
- Take care of yourself! Eat well, get enough shut-eye and try to keep stress levels down. The holiday season is picking up – which means your stress levels may be on the rise – but not taking care of yourself can have harmful effects on your immune system.
November 27, 2008
Sleep Less, Weigh More
Skimping on sleep may be curtailing your efforts to lose weight, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Sleep deprivation affects behavior (i.e., not making good choices when we are tired) and appetite-related hormones. It was found that both adults and children who obtained fewer hours of sleep were more likely to be overweight.
In children ages 5-10, the risk of being overweight or obese increased by 42% in children who were sleeping 10.5-11.5 hours per night compared to those sleeping 12-13 hours per night. The risk was more than 3 times greater in children obtaining just 8-10 hours per night. The risk of being overweight and obese increased in adults who slept less than 7 hours per night.