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HOW Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

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My old buddy Gregory Niro said to me the other day: “I am so tired that my bed has issued a search warrant for me.”

I laughed of course, and asked of him, what I am asking you as well: Does your sleep time meet your age needs?

Along with healthy food, water and oxygen, we the humans, just like our dumb friends-animals, need healthy sleep to survive. Indeed, for humans slumber is a vital thing for enjoying overall health and well-being. We spend up to 1/3 of our lives asleep, so the overall state of our sleep health remains an essential question throughout our life.

Having a good night’s sleep is important, but not so many of us actually make those standard 8 hours of sleep their ‘must have.’  In fact, multitudes of us, ”indebted with sleep,”  have forgotten what being thoroughly rested feels like! Matters become even more complicated when we undermine our sleep urge with stimulants like coffee, energy drinks, alarm clocks, or external lights—including those from electronic devices. All these ‘sleep enemies’ do interfere with our circadian rhythm [or natural sleep/awake cycle].

What everyone should know is that sleep needs vary across age profiles, and are also dependent on individual’s lifestyle and health. To decide how much sleep you need, it’s important to find out not only where you fall in the sleep times chart, but also to realize which lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep [such as work schedules and stress level]. So, to get the doze you need, you must have the big picture in mind.

Ask the experts!

The National Sleep Foundation made it their mission to champion not only sleep science, but sleep health for individual age groups as well. On the eve of their 25th anniversary, they are releasing the update of a world-class study that took more than 2 years of research to complete. The results include their most-cited guidelines on how much sleep you really need at a particular age. You can read this research paper published in Sleep Health.

About 20 leading scientists and researchers joined together to form the National Sleep Foundation’s expert panel, tasked with updating the official recommendations. The panel included 6 sleep specialists and representatives from leading organizations including: the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Anatomists, American College of Chest Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Geriatrics Society, American Neurological Association, American Physiological Society, American Psychiatric Association, American Thoracic Society, Gerontological Society of America, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and Society for Research in Human Development.

The panelists participated in a rigorous scientific process that included reviewing over 300 current scientific publications, and voting on how much sleep is appropriate throughout the lifespan. “Millions of individuals trust the National Sleep Foundation for its sleep duration recommendations.

As the voice for sleep health it is the NSF’s responsibility to make sure that our recommendations are supported by the most rigorous science,” says Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation and chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Individuals, particularly parents, rely on them for this valuable information.

Sleep

What is your age? How much sleep do You need?

Though research cannot exactly pinpoint the amount of sleep people need at different ages, the new chart, which features minimum and maximum ranges for health, identifies the “rule-of-thumb” amounts experts have agreed on. However, it’s important to pay heed to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep. So, these are the 5 questions you need to answer for yourself to find the number that works for you:

  1. Are you productive, healthy and happy on 7 hours of sleep? Or does it take you 9 hours of quality ZZZs to get you chock- full of energy?
  1. Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk of any disease?
  2. Are you experiencing sleep problems?
  3. Do you depend on caffeine to get you by throughout the day?
  4. Do you feel sleepy when driving?

Sleep Time Recommendations: What has changed?

The NSF has committed to regularly reviewing and providing scientifically rigorous recommendations,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, Chair of the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council.  So, the public can feel confident that these recommendations represent the best guidance for sleep duration and optimal health.

A new range, “may be appropriate,” has been added to acknowledge the individual variability in appropriate sleep durations. The recommendations now define times as either (a) recommended; (b) may be appropriate for some individuals; or (c) not recommended. The panel revised the recommended sleep ranges for all children and teenage groups. A summary of the new recommendations of NSF includes:

  • Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

(Announced in February, 2015)– The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued these new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation .

The National Sleep Foundation convened experts from sleep, anatomy and physiology, as well as pediatrics, neurology, gerontology and gynecology to reach a consensus from the broadest range of scientific disciplines. The panel revised the recommended sleep ranges for all six children and teen age groups.

“This is the first time that any professional organization has developed age-related recommended sleep durations based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety,” said Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD.  The NSF is providing these scientifically-backed guidelines on the amount of sleep we need each night to improve the sleep health of the millions of individuals and parents alike.

Truly, the NSF’s recommendations will help individuals make sleep schedules that are within a healthy range. They also serve as a useful starting point for individuals to discuss their sleep with their health care providers and other care takers.

National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Duration Recommendations Chart:

Age Recommended May be appropriate Not recommended
Newborns0-3 months

 

14 to 17 hours 11 to 13 hours18 to 19 hours Less than 11 hoursMore than 19 hours
Infants4-11 months

 

12 to 15 hours 10 to 11 hours16 to 18 hours Less than 10 hoursMore than 18 hours
Toddlers1-2 years

 

11 to 14 hours 9 to 10 hours15 to 16 hours Less than 9 hoursMore than 16 hours
Preschoolers3-5 years

 

10 to 13 hours 8 to 9 hours14 hours Less than 8 hoursMore than 14 hours
School-aged Children6-13 years

 

9 to 11 hours 7 to 8 hours12 hours Less than 7 hoursMore than 12 hours
Teenagers14-17 years

 

8 to 10 hours 7 hours11 hours Less than 7 hoursMore than 11 hours
Young Adults18-25 years

 

7 to 9 hours 6 hours10 to 11 hours Less than 6 hoursMore than 11 hours
Adults26-64 years

 

7 to 9 hours 6 hours10 hours Less than 6 hoursMore than 10 hours
Older Adults≥ 65 years

 

7 to 8 hours 5 to 6 hours9 hours Less than 5 hoursMore than 9 hours

As it was already mentioned above, the recommendations are the result of multiple rounds of consensus voting after a comprehensive review of published scientific studies on sleep and health.

Improve your sleep from now on: Make sleep your highest priority

To get on the road to healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and routines. Check how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Also, pay close attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night’s sleep compared with a good one.

Ask yourself, “How often do I get a good night’s sleep?” Just like your good ‘diet of life,’ a critical component of your overall health is a ‘sleep of life.’

So, to pave the road to better sleep, follow these 7 simple and effective healthy sleep tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual [e.g. yoga, acupuncture, or relaxing bedtime music]
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and lighting.
  • Sleep only on a comfortable mattresses and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Always turn off electronics before bed.

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness during daytime, or when you need to be awake and alert, snoring, leg cramps or tingling, gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep, prolonged insomnia [or other symptoms] that is preventing you from dozing off, you should consult your primary care physician or a sleep professional to determine the underlying cause. You may also try using the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary to track your sleep habits over 1-2 week period and show the results to your physician.

Most importantly, make sleep a top priority. It is wise to schedule sleep cycles like any other activity, so put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night. But don’t skip it as a thing you will do only after everything else has been done – stop doing other things so you can get the sleep you need so much. Don’t make a moonwalker of yourself!

For more information on healthy sleep, visit National Sleep Foundation’s new publication, sleep.org, today!  To view the full research report, visit SleepHealthJournal.org.

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11 Proven Health Benefits of Eating Fish Regularly

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Many of us enjoy having fish every once in a while, but many skip this type of food just because they are not aware of what it can do for their health.

It is proven that people in the West don’t consume fish in big amounts, but fish is not only tasty, but also extremely healthy and it keeps you fit and in shape.

It can also reduce the risk of getting common diseases and it works best if you consume it at least once or twice a week.

Here are some of the proven merits of adding fish to your diet:

1. Fish is loaded with nutrients

That is why it should be consumed so often. Fish is among the healthiest foods in the world. Fish also provides energy (kilojoules), selenium, protein, zinc, iodine, as well as vitamins A and D. Apart from these, fish contains the well-known omega 3 fatty acids found in the fish oil. Omega 3s are very important as the body cannot produce them itself, but it needs them for a healthy body. The National Institute of health recommends 4g of fatty acids daily. The best fish are salmon, tuna, sardines, and halibut.

2. Fish prevents heart diseases

There was one Danish study of 49,000 women included, published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, which found that women who ate little or no fish had an increase in heart issues and a three-fold higher disease risk, compared to those who ate fish regularly. Eating fish regularly works in a way that reduces inflammation and blood clots, betters blood vessel elasticity and the “good” cholesterol, and also lowers blood fats and blood pressure. All this is done with the help of omega 3 acids, which also reduce abnormal heart rhythms.

3. Fish helps in brain development

It is again thanks to the omega 3s. These EFA omega 3s that you can find in salmon in particular contribute to children’s brain development. DHA (docosahexaenoioc acids) are also important in brain and eye development. Studies also show that ADHD symptoms could also be lowered by omega 3 intake. Pregnant and nursing women are also recommended to add fish in their diet, but the one which is low in mercury and they should consume it in moderation.

4. Fish improves grey matter and prevents age-deterioration

Older generations often suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s, but fish can slow down this aging process and decrease the risk of getting these diseases. One study proves that consuming fish helps in increasing the grey matter in the brain. People who consume fish regularly are proven to have bigger cells in terms of memory and learning parts of the brain. Researchers at the Radiological Society of North America found that people who eat baked and broiled (not fried) fish have bigger brains and cells, which leads to lowering the risk of cognitive decline. The reason behind this is that fatty acids help brain tissues development and create larger cells

5. Fish may make you happier and treat depression

Depression is a big taboo disease spreading more and more each day. Studies show that people who consume fish regularly do not develop depression. Omega 3s help in treating depression as well, and can be used along with antidepressants.

6. Fish as a Vitamin D source

Vitamin D is usually consumed on a warm sunny day, but also by eating saltwater fish. Our body cannot produce vitamin D, but fish can help. Salmon (one three-ounce serving of it) has 75% of the daily recommended need of vitamin D.

7. Fish reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases

People nowadays often suffer from autoimmune diseases, which happen when the body attacks its healthy tissues thinking it should act against them. One such disease is type 1 diabetes and fish is thought and proven effective in treating it. Omega 3s help in lowering the risk of developing children and adult diabetes. Fish may help managing the blood sugar levels of these people.

8. Fish helps in asthma prevention

Asthma is a common disease sometimes found in children as well as adults. Children who consume fish regularly are less likely to develop asthma, according to the research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Children should consume fish in moderation because of the possible toxins fish may contain. The recommended dose for children is to have fish once a week.

9. Fish improves eyesight

Omega 3 acids are known to protect the retina (the back of the eye). If older people eat fish two or more times a week, their risk of age-related macular degeneration is reduced. Breastfed babies with mothers consuming fish may develop better eyesight, probably because of the fact that the omega 3s are transmitted in the breast milk.

10. Fish improves sleep

Lack of sleep is often caused by not being able to sleep normally. Sleep disorders can be caused by a lack of vitamin D as well. Research says that incorporating fish in your diet can improve your sleep and energy levels. The best results were proven with the help of people eating salmon for the purpose of a 6-month study. There were 95 men of a middle age consuming salmon three times a week, and their sleep improved significantly, probably due to the presence of vitamin D in the fish.

11. Fish is easy to prepare

Fish can be consumed in different ways, and it is a taste you will want to try every day. It is not good to fry it because it loses its health benefits. Wild fish is better to consume because of the richness of omega 3 acids.

There are many more benefits of eating fish, some of which include:

  • reduces the risk of cancer;
  • reduces the risk of delivering a premature baby;
  • improves your hair and skin;
  • creates conditions for a stronger sperm.

Enjoy your fish diet and always be careful of how you choose fish in the market!

Sources: kobejones.com.au
seafood.edf.org
medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/fishfood.htm

Frying Vegetables In Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Healthier Than Boiling Them And Prevents Cancer

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If you decide to change your diet, it will be a much more difficult process than you think. We aren’t talking about the ingredients that we consume, we aren’t talking about eating healthy, organic food, we are talking about changing your whole lifestyle.

Starting from changing your eating habits, changing your cooking methods and taking into considerations many facts which will improve your health and life in general.

However, not everything that we hear and read about healthy habits it’s true. In general, there has to be a deep explanation or research behind everything we read.

For instance, a research done by a Spanish university, has shown that frying vegetables in extra virgin olive oil is actually much heathier than boiling them in water.

It turns out that the process of frying the veggies increases their antioxidant capacity and therefore prevents many diseases such as cancer. We consider frying as the worst cooking method and in fact we have been fooled.

Frying can actually improve the quality of your meal, this is far from what we used to believe, that frying can only cause fat and that frying can affect our heart health and our metabolism. According to the research, opposed to our belief, the process of frying helps the vegetables retain their healthy properties and compounds and this is not the case with the process of boiling as we thought.

Potatoes, tomatoes and other veggies have a greater antioxidant capacity while fried in extra virgin oil and therefore are much more potent and powerful to fight severe diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

The study was focused on various cooking methods in order to prove which method helps the vegetables retain their healthy compounds and to our surprise, it was the frying process with extra virgin olive oil.

The research included frying and boiling some particular vegetables, frying method showed increased fat and reduced moisture in the vegetables.

As the researchers concluded, the frying method increased the phenolic fraction, but on the other hand it also increases the energy density due to the extra absorbed oil.

Frying in extra virgin olive oil can intensify the phenolic composition and if the phenolic content is high in raw vegetables, so is the content of phenols.

As for the boiling method or the hydrothermal methods, it’s best if you consume the vegetables together with the water in order to promote the phenolic content.

Why should you use extra virgin olive oil? Here’s a list of health benefits:

  • Reduces the chance of Alzheimer disease
  • Prevents depression and boost your mood
  • Reduces the chances of type 2 diabetes
  • May protect from breast cancer
  • Helps with skin cancer
  • Fights osteoporosis

7 Stretches In 7 Minutes For Great Lower Back Pain Relief

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Why do we have lower back pain?

Lower back pain is one of the most common pains people have. There are many different causes of lower back pain. Of course, one of the commonest is a sedentary job. Lower back pain actually appears because of a variety of problems with any parts of the complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine. Typical sources of low back pain include:

  • the large nerve roots in the low back that go to the legs may be irritated
  • the smaller nerves that supply the low back may be irritated
  • the large paired lower back muscles (erector spinae) may be strained
  • the bones, ligaments or joints may be damaged
  • an intervertebral disc may be degenerating

An irritation or problem with any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body.

Many lower back problems also cause back muscle spasms, which don’t sound like much, but they can still cause severe pain and disability. While lower back pain is extremely common, the symptoms and severity of lower back pain vary greatly.

When this pain becomes so intense that it makes it difficult for you to get things done, it’s high time you tackled the problem!

Doing these stretches can help strengthen your back muscles and reduce the amount of pain that you feel in your lower back. There are many issues that may arise with your lower back. If you are struggling with the pain, and these stretches do not really help, then you should seek medical help for your problem.

The best thing about relieving lower back pain is that it doesn’t have to take long.

You can complete these 7 stretches in just 7 minutes.

Lower back exercises

1. Hamstring floor stretch

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Start this exercise lying flat on your back on the floor. Pull one leg up straight to stretch out the hamstring. Hold it for 30 seconds and then repeat the pulling with the other leg.

 2. Bound ankle pose

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While sitting on the floor, bring your feet together. Hold on to your ankles. Hold this position for 30 seconds, take a 10 second break, and then hold for 30 more seconds.

3. Knee to chest

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While lying flat on your back on the floor, bring your knee to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise again with the other leg.

4. Spinal stretch

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While lying on your back, cross one leg over the other and hold. Keep your back straight on the floor while crossing your leg over. Hold the position for half a minute and then repeat on the other side.

5. Piriformis stretch

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Again, lie on your back and bring up one leg to a 90 degree angle. Bring the other leg up and cross it over your raised leg. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch legs. The easiest way to think about this stretch is like you are sitting in a chair with your legs crossed, the only difference being you’re on your back on the floor.

6. Quadriceps stretch

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Lie down on the floor on one side and pull your top leg up towards your back. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then turn over and do the same stretch on your other side.

7. Lunges

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Stretch one leg forward and bend down. The back leg should be straight out behind you. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Source: muscleandfitness.com

5 Surprising Ways to Get Great Skin

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There are so many bad ideas out there about how to achieve great skin. Here are five ways to get on the right track, regardless of ‘the rules.’

 

There’s so much misinformation out there regarding skin care, not to mention plenty of old-wives’ tales (some of which are actually right) and lots of well-intentioned bad advice. That’s because skin care is tricky, and depends on your skin type. However, there are some tried and true rules — most of which violate at least a rule or two you may have heard elsewhere — that really do work for all skin types.

How have I learned the information below? From speaking with skin experts, makeup artists (natural and conventional) and testing out literally thousands of products over the last 10 years that I’ve been reviewing natural beauty products.

1. You don’t need to wash your face with hot water to get it clean.

In fact, hot water can cause redness and irritation in people with sensitive skin, and for those with normal skin, it can still dry out delicate facial skin, leaving it more susceptible to all kinds of issues, from red, flaky dermis to acne. Wash your face with mildly warm to air-temperature water. It will get the job done without irritating your skin. The same goes for the rest of your body; it may feel good to burn it up in the shower, but especially as cool weather draws closer, this is guaranteed to irritate your skin.

2. Oil is good for your skin, not bad.

 

Many vegetable oils are old-school ways of moisturizing the skin that we have long ignored. (I can’t be the only one who has heard stories of her great-grandmother lathering her hands up with olive oil and then wearing cotton gloves to bed). You can wash your face with coconut oil or slather it on after you’ve showered; same with sesame oil and olive oil (go with the smell you prefer). After using an oil a couple of times, you will notice that your skin — whether oily or dry — evens out and is either less oily or more naturally moisturized. Most new formulations of high-end beauty products contain skin-protecting oils because they work (use argan or sea buckthorn oils on your face if you want to start with a lighter lipid first).

3. You don’t need to scrub to exfoliate.

woman smashing strawberry on noseSmashing strawberries or other fruits on your skin can be better than exfoliating. (Photo: schankz/Shutterstock)

Scrubbing with most drug-store brand cleansing scrubs is much too harsh for most skin types (more frequent and harder face-washing can actually exacerbate acne, so lighten up). Instead of using toxin- and chemical-packed scrubs in a tube, exfoliate naturally using fruit. As long as you are not allergic (obviously), rubbing the inside skin of a fresh mango, mashed strawberries, or fresh pineapple chunks directly on your face, leaving the natural, fruit acid AHAs on there for a few minutes, then rinsing off, is the best exfoliator you can get. This method may be a little too much for extra-sensitive skin, but works well for all other skin types.

4. What matters most for healthy skin is not what you put on it, but what you eat.

A healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lots of water, and maybe a skin-benefiting tea, minimal alcohol and plenty of sweat-drenching exercise will make skin glow more than any expensive cleanser or moisturizer. You’ll feel great too.

5. Chocolate doesn’t cause acne, but bread and pasta might.

woman looking at bowl of pastaDon’t worry about chocolate causing breakouts. Pasta and bread might be the culprits. (Photo: Blue SkyImage/Shutterstock)
There have never been any conclusive studies linking chocolate-eating to acne, though there have been some that connect high-glycemic foods to breakouts.

What are the funniest/silliest skin-care myths that you have heard? Post your response in the comment section.

Source: mnn.com

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health

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Small changes can make a big difference

It’s challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round — but neglecting your health, even for a few months, can cause some serious problems.

But even if you have only a few minutes to spare, you can use that time to improve your well-being.

Amy Hooberman, MD, a primary care doctor at Rush University Medical Center, recommends incorporating the following activities and strategies into your day. “They don’t take a lot of time,” she says. “But when these simple steps become habits, they can have a positive effect on your overall health.”

1. Put away the salt.

A saltshaker on the dining table makes it all too easy to consume excess salt, which can lead to high blood pressure. So put the shaker in a cabinet or pantry and bring it out only when you’re cooking.

“It’s also a good idea to taste your food before you salt it,” Hooberman says. “You may find it doesn’t need it.”

You can also try spicing up your food with lemon or lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, herbs or a salt-free seasoning blend. Stock your fridge and pantry with your favorite fresh and dried herbs so you’ll always have them on hand to flavor your foods.

2. Take a slow breath.

Whether you’re sitting, driving or walking, you can enhance your health by taking a few seconds to focus on your breathing.

“When you slow down your breathing, it helps you relax,” Hooberman says. This relaxation response releases body chemicals that relieve stress and may improve immune function. Deep breathing can also lower your resting heart rate. People with lower resting heart rates are typically in better physical condition than those with higher rates.

3. Sit up straight.

Next time you’re at your desk or on the phone, take a moment to think about your posture. Then straighten up your back, tuck in your stomach and put your feet flat on the floor with your legs uncrossed. “You’ll feel more relaxed right away,” Hooberman says.

The few seconds this takes can help you avoid back pain — one of the most common health problems in the United States and a leading cause of disability.

4. Take the stairs.

The next time you’re going to a higher floor, bypass the elevator and climb the stairs instead. You’ll get your blood pumping, exercise your lungs and work the muscles in your lower body.

“It’s a great way to add physical activity to your day without having to block out time to exercise,” Hooberman says. “I tell my patients to try to walk 10,000 steps each day. Taking the stairs is great exercise and counts toward that total.”

5. Eat an extra serving of nonstarchy vegetables.

Want a snack? Munch on a carrot instead of a cookie. Making dinner for your family? Serve broccoli or spinach as a side dish instead of mashed potatoes. Add green peas to your brown rice, or slices of red or yellow pepper to your sandwich.

The next time you’re going to a higher floor, bypass the elevator and climb the stairs instead. You’ll get your blood pumping, exercise your lungs and work the muscles in your lower body.

It’s no secret that vegetables — especially dark, leafy greens — are good for you. But there’s another benefit to packing more veggies into your daily diet: They’re rich in fiber and contain lots of water, so they’ll leave you full and satisfied without a lot of calories and fat.

“All of these small steps can add up to a healthier you,” says Hooberman.

Source: rush.edu

The Kardashians’ top 10 weight loss secrets revealed

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The Kardashian-Jenner sister’s have become fitness icons for millions.

Each sister represents a different body shape, now you can find out how they keep their enviable figures.

Want to get that killer Kardashian body? Here are 10 of their weight loss secrets:

  1. Work-out early
Pic: Getty Images
Pic: Getty Images

The up and at ’em attitude of the Kardashian’s plays a major role in keeping fit.

Ignore that snooze button and squeeze in a quick workout before work to keep you in great shape.

The best part? Getting your workout in before work means you don’t need to do it in the evening! Woohoo!

2. Keep healthy snacks nearby

Pic: Alamy
Pic: Alamy

Snacking can be the downfall of even the most strict diets.

Avoid temptation like Khloé, who says she “doesn’t have an excuse” to go for unhealthy options with healthy alternatives around.

A good way to prevent cravings when you’re on the go is to keep a lunch box of healthy treats in your bag.

3. Avoid empty Carbs

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

Post-pregnancy Kim used the Atkins 40 diet to loose her baby weight.

Using fiber-rich carbs like brown rice provides sustainable energy unlike low-quality carbs found in sugary foods and white flour.

Brown rice, bread, and pasta are all rich in fibre, which helps to keep you fuller for longer, and also aid digestion.

4. Go full-fat

Pic: Getty Images
Pic: Getty Images

Kourtney swears by drinking full-fat products such as milk and cheese to keep her diet balanced.

Full-fat dairy products are more filling than fat-reduced products.

They’ll keep you going for longer, and according to recent studies, the acids in full-fat milk can help speed-up calorie-burning in the body.

5. Drink Tea

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

Tea is an important part of a balanced diet, and can help aid weightloss.

The Kardashian sister all confess to using detox teas in order to stay slim.

The health benefits of adding tea to your diet are endless, and could be just what you need to get the figure you want.

6. Team-up

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

Going for a jog or going to the gym with a partner is always a good way to work-out.

The Kardashians work together to motivate each other and help push each other to keep going.

This is a great way of making your workout more exciting, as you can introduce some healthy competition and catch up with your friends at the same time!

7. Drink more water

Pic: Getty Images
Pic: Getty Images

Kim Kardashian’s number 1 weight loss tip; increasing water intake can help with weight loss and in workouts.

In weight loss, water is important in maintaining balance in the body, as well as helping to rejuvenate and keep you going.

Add a little fruit to water to liven up the taste, and up your sugar levels in a healthy way.

8. Shake it up

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

The Kardashians are big fans of protein shakes after workouts.

Protein shakes help repair the body after muscle damage in workouts.

Combining protein with carbohydrates post-workout helps repair muscle tissue and restores energy levels, helping your body to recover.

9. Find a balance

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

The Kardashian’s follow strick workout routines and diet plans, but also balance it with occasionally indulging in treats.

It’s easier to feel motivated if you balance your meals and snacks with occasional treats to keep you satisfied.

Sneaking in a cheeky cheat meal every so often helps to prevent diet failure as you’re not totally depriving yourself of treats.

10. No days off

Pic: Rex
Pic: Rex

With Kendall travelling constantly for her modelling career, she never skips on a workout when on the go.

Avoid making excuses to relax your workout routine when travelling by finding ways to develop workouts on the go.

Look for ways to incorporate exercise and a balanced diet into your holiday plans; go for a hike, pack a salad, and keep up with the Kardashians.

Source: evoke.ie

 

10 Natural Home Remedies For Sunburn!

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Summer is at its peak and we all love it, but staying for too long in the hot sun can be fatal for your skin. If you are not careful enough, you might end up with a serious skin issue, causing even skin cancer.

Most people don’t get this serious and they don’t bother to protect themselves from the sun, but sometimes even if you put sunscreen you are still at risk of getting all red and itchy. Your skin might age significantly if you are constantly exposed to UV rays.

No matter how much you protect your skin, you can get sunburned at any point of your life. I rarely get sunburned, as I am very careful not to expose my skin to the sun too much, but many of my friends do.

No matter when it happens, you have to act quickly and carefully. Fortunately, there are numerous natural ways to stop your itching pain in no time. You don’t have to worry about going to the pharmacy and looking for a relief for hours. These things are probably sitting in your cupboard, at least most of them.

Here are some of them:

1. Aloe Vera

sunburn

This amazing plant works best when you have it fresh and not in the artificial form of lotion or gel. Having the plant is a real treasure.

It will immediately cool your skin and give you a fresh start of treating your red skin. If you are not fortunate to have this plant at your home, buy a good-quality gel containing no preservatives.

2. Oatmeal

sunburn

I didn’t think this works for real, but my friend tried it last summer and it turned out it is the cheapest and the most enjoyable treatment for sunburned skin, especially if you are an oatmeal lover. You all have it in your kitchen.

But you never thought it will help you cure your skin. You will need dry oatmeal, gauze or a tablecloth. Wrap the dry oatmeal in the gauze and run tap water through it. Now discard the oatmeal and soak compresses in the liquid you got. You need to reapply every 2 or 4 hours.

3. Lettuce

sunburn

Lettuce is your easiest salad choice, but you can also use it to treat your red skin. Imagine you come back from the beach and all you have is this green salad and the pain is unbearable – so why not using it to relieve your pain?

You will need lettuce and cotton balls. Boil the lettuce leaves in water, drain it and keep the liquid. Put that in the refrigerator to cool for a couple of hours and then use it cold to treat your skin. Dip cotton balls into the liquid and press them on the skin. Another option is to wipe onto the area.

4. Baking Soda

sunburn

If you aren’t a salad lover, you must keep this ingredient somewhere in your kitchen. You may not use it for baking, but it will sure help you in the summer heat. You only need cool (but not cold) water to make a paste-like substance.

Use that to put it on your irritated skin. Soon you will feel no heat on the skin and then you can remove it. Another alternative is to prepare a tepid bath with sprinkled baking soda inside. When you are finished, don’t use a towel, but let the solution dry on your skin. It will soothe the pain and won’t harm you.

5. Vinegar

sunburn

You probably haven’t even heard about this one, let alone tried it. Some don’t like it, but always keep it in their kitchen cupboards. And it is also an enjoyable treatment for your itchy sunburn.

This is so because you add white or apple cider vinegar (one cup) in your tub with cool or lukewarm water. It will keep the pain away in no time, causing no harm to your skin. Another alternative is to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spritz onto the burn, or use cotton balls for this procedure.

6. Fat-free Milk

sunburn

A real solution for the skin irritated by the sun is cold milk. However, it is best to use a fat-free one. You will need a cup of fat-free milk, four cups of water, and a couple of ice cubes. Mix these ingredients and apply compresses for around 15 to 20 minutes.

You will love this cooling effect, but make sure you reapply every two to four hours for the best results.

7. Yogurt

sunburn

This old one works best for taking out the heat from your irritated skin. You just need to apply it to the sunburned area. After a couple of minutes, rinse it off by showering with cool water, but don’t use a towel. Just pat your skin dry.

8. Tea

sunburn

Freshly brewed tea is the best for itchy skin after sunburn. Make sure the tea has cooled enough to use it. For the best cooling effect, add mint if you prefer. The reason why tea helps is because of the tannic acid in the black tea. Tannic acid withdraws heat from the skin and restores pH balance.

9. Cucumbers

sunburn

These salad friends are a must during the summer. Despite having a good salad, you can keep a few to help you with sunburn.

They have analgesic and antioxidant qualities. You need them chill and mashed in a blender in order to create a paste. This paste needs to be applied to the irritated skin, including the face if you need to.

10. Essential Oils

sunburn

Some essential oils such as Lavender and helichrysum can help you recover from sunburn. The procedure is very simple: you just need to mix the oil in a bottle of water and spritz on your irritated skin. Good luck!

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Source:

prevention.com
medicinenet.com

7 Easy Lunches for Type 2 Diabetics

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Sticking to your diabetes diet at lunchtime is easier than you think. Here’s a week’s worth of ideas to keep your midday meal interesting and healthy.

If breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day, lunch can often be the most hurried. A recent survey found that 62 percent of Americans rush through lunch at their desks, and even when we manage to leave the office, fast-food restaurants and food courts often prevail over more healthy options. But they don’t have to be your only option — and, in fact, they shouldn’t be your first choice if you have type 2 diabetes.

In general, try to pack your own lunch whenever possible — the health benefits, not to mention the cost-savings, can be enormous. Short on prep time? Put these quick and nutritious lunch ideas on your menu to fill you up and keep your blood sugar in check.

1. Salads

Salad should be in regular rotation for lunch. You can create a different salad every day of the week by varying your toppings. Try grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish, but avoid heaping on a lot of fattening ingredients, such as bacon bits and heavy cheeses.

Salads with lots of raw vegetables are best, including carrots, cucumbers, radishes, celery, and spinach. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on top, add a few dried cranberries, and garnish with some avocado chunks to give it zip. Choose a salad dressing made with vinegar and olive oil to avoid added sugars found in fat-free and low-fat versions, and limit the serving to one tablespoon for a side salad and two tablespoons for an entrée-sized salad.

2. Sandwiches

As with salads, there are many ways to spice up a sandwich. Start with whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat tortilla. Pick a lean meat, such as turkey, ham, or grilled chicken; layer on your choice of veggies; add mustard, low-fat mayonnaise, or hummus to the mix — and you have a filling and tasty lunch. Stay away from greasy chips, French fries, and other fattening sides. Instead choose fruit, a few pretzels, or carrot and celery sticks to complement your meal.

3. Hearty Soups

Soup can be a good option for lunch, with many healthy choices to consider. Chicken noodle, chicken and rice, and tomato (made without cream) are all good choices. Others include butternut squash, gazpacho and other chunky vegetable varieties, miso, and pasta and bean soups. Avoid cream-based soups and chowders. Remember, soup freezes well. You can make a large batch and freeze it in individual containers; with a microwave you have a nearly instant lunch.

4. Pasta

As long as you choose whole-grain pasta, you can eat all types of noodles, such as penne, angel hair, or spaghetti. Top it with a healthy tomato sauce, then throw in chicken, shrimp, or turkey meatballs, and a variety of vegetables. Add a crisp salad and you have a healthy and filling lunch.

5. Pizza

Pizza can be a good choice — in moderation. Choose a thin-crust variety, ask for light cheese, and include vegetables as the topping instead of fatty meats like pepperoni.

6. Tuna, Chicken, and Shrimp Salads

When you make these protein-based mixes, you can control the mayonnaise and the good-health factor. Choose low-fat mayo, and not too much of it. Add fiber and bulk with chopped celery, diced bell pepper, and chopped onions to taste. Serve on whole-grain bread or scoop onto a bed of lettuce.

7. Veggie Stir-Fry

For a more exotic lunch, go for a bowl of vegetable stir-fry and brown rice. Avoid the fast-food version, which can be high in fat and sodium, and make it yourself by sautéing the vegetables with a healthy cooking spray and soy sauce. Prepare it the night before for dinner, making enough to bring leftovers for lunch.

More Healthy Lunch Tips for Type 2 Diabetes

To better control type 2 diabetes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose low-fat or fat-free salad dressings and watch how much you use.
  • Pick whole-grain bread over white bread.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Follow the diabetes food pyramid: Eat more grains, beans, and starchy vegetables and less fats, sweets, and alcohol. In between, and equally divided, are protein choices, non-starchy vegetables, fruit, and milk and dairy products.
  • Choose lean protein sources, such as turkey, ham, chicken, lean roast beef, and fish.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Stay away from fatty chips and mayonnaise-based salads, like potato salad. Complement your meal with sliced carrots and celery or fruit salad.
  • If you are craving a sweet after lunch and fresh fruit just won’t do, reach for sugar-free, fat-free frozen yogurt. Be careful of sorbets and sherbets that are loaded with sugar.
  • Avoid sugary beverages; drink water and tea instead.

Consult with a certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian to get more lunch ideas. How much and what types of food you should eat varies, depending on your specific needs — a dietitian can help create a meal plan that is right for you.

 

Source:

everydayhealth.com

10 Morning Rituals To Charge Your Weary Body, Mind And Metabolism

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Can you too start the day straight away off?  

It’s a great sentiment, but how can you create a morning routine that will make you happy, healthy and strong? The good news is that we figured that out for you. It’s a lot easier than you may imagine!

Here are our 10 beneficial early morning habits that will set you up for success for all day long:

1. Stretch dynamically

You would think that after a long night’s sleep, you would automatically feel refreshed and on the go to take on responsibilities. However, even a good night’s rest can come tough on the body because of the positions we doze off in. Sometimes sleeping can actually stiffen the body, and dynamic stretching is the way to stimulate and loosen those taut muscle tissues of yours.

So go ahead and get right into the ‘child’s pose’ and stretch out your back. In turn, it will increase your blood flow, and reduce stress and tension as well. If you’re not definite what to stretch, go from top to bottom, starting with the stiff neck, shoulders, chest, back, quads, hamstrings and calves.

2. Wake up on time!

You know what they say, the early bird catches the worm! So, pressing the snooze button, forsaking ten more minutes of sleep for a busy morning, a skipped breakfast, and the inevitable stress of getting the youngsters off to school and yourself to work on time, is just not right for you!

This terrible morning ‘bravado’ can lead to mental-health issues such as anxiety and depression, in addition to stress. None of these complaints is a good motivator for working it out, is it?

Instead, make sure your alarm clock is effective. What type of a ‘waker’ are you? Are you more likely to get out of bed with a loud ringing, or do you need a more gradual whistle? There are a ton of applications you can try to suit your needs. So, it’s really about finding what works for you best, and stick to it!

3. Set your ‘internal clock’

You know that when you travel, your body is set to your ‘home time to hit the hay,’ and when it is time to rise and shine? Well, for some individuals, that internal (circadian) clock might not be accurate, even at home. It’s not because they are lazy or bad-mannered people – it’s just who they are.

Harvard Medical School carried a study that discovered that those who sleep more than 9 hours a night secrete more of the hormone melatonin than those who sleep 6 hours, or less. So, we recommend that you check with your health professional to find out if supplementing with melatonin might be right for your body clock.

4. Have a cup of lemon water

If your stomach gets easily upset, it can wreak havoc on your energy levels. So, do take care of your digestive system with a mug of warm water with lemon. We deem that this morning habit increases the flow of digestive juices, helps to cleanse the body, and resets your pH balance, making you less acidic, which helps reduce the risk of a disease. It may also give your metabolism that ’nudge’ it desperately needs in the morning, and help you combat food cravings. It is actually a supercharger-drink!

5. Save your workouts for the morning

The next time you exercise, take notice of how you feel before and after. That post-workout glow is not just from your glistening, sweaty and flushed skin. Being physically active renders a huge energy boost! The early-bird gym session gets your heart pumping vigorously and the blood flowing freely, thus helping you feel alert.

6. Be a bookworm in bed

In order to get a good night’s sleeping, we know we must keep technology out of our bedroom. The lit-up screens on our phones and laptops can be too stimulating at night, and the stress from work can also keep us awake until late. But according to a story on Telegraph.co.uk, perhaps it is not such a bad thing to do when you wake up. Checking emails, reading the news on the Net, or other good reads, are a good way to wake up your mind.

7. Eat an iron-rich breakfast

Breakfast should be the ‘king meal’ of the day. There is no doubt about that. But if it is poor in iron, you might be setting yourself up for failure energy-wise. Doctors say that iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to concentrate. It is so because iron affects the amount of oxygen your body receives. So make sure your breakfast includes foods like: eggs, leafy cruciferous vegetables (e.g. the cabbage, turnip, broccoli, or wallflower), peanut butter, beans or tofu. And have some orange juice while you are at it! The vitamin C will certainly help your body with iron absorption.

8. Dress like you mean it

No matter how you work – from home or you do shifts – you still need to put on a ‘work garment’ when you wake up. Indeed, wearing comfortable clothes plays with your mind and your motivation as well. It somehow makes you think it is relax time.

9. Don’t sleep all weekend!

Try to have a proactive weekend, this very weekend! Keep to your sleep schedule, even on weekends. In this way, you will be able to squeeze in that weekend workout, have 2 more productive days off, and you will eventually stop calling your Mondays ‘manic Mondays.’ Or you will dread them a little less… at least!

10. Take it easy and meditate

A sober head will make you more fixated, and it will allow you to tackle with all of your tasks for the day. You won’t get bogged down, or make pretexts if you’re thinking clearly. It takes only 5 minutes in the morning to meditate.

You don’t know how? Find a quiet place in your home, get comfortable, play some relaxing music (or not, if you prefer the silence), close your eyes, and focus on your slow breathing. Even just doing this for 1 single minute every day will bring mental clarity, spiritual well-being and ‘set the stage’ for the day.

We voted this the best morning routine of all!

Sources:
Activevegetarian.com
Telegraph.co.uk

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