All posts filed under “Exercise

turkey
comment 0

Four tips to a healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here! This means it is time to bring on the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and don’t forget the pies! We have four tips that will help you stay healthy throughout your thanksgiving feast.

The first tip is to…eat breakfast! This may seem like a shocker because most people save themselves for the big thanksgiving feast but this can have negative effects on your body. You become more tired and you tend to eat more than what your body actually wants. Eating breakfast gives you more energy throughout the day and allows your stomach to have a capability of letting you know when you are full.

Our second tip is listening to yourself. You know yourself better than anyone. Listen to yourself when you think you are full. There is no shame if you do not participate in 3rd or 5th servings.

Our third tip is to savor every bite. The more you enjoy your individual bites, the slower you will eat which will allow your stomach to catch up to your mind. This can help you establish the full feeling better.

Our fourth tip is stay active. Take your family and friends on a walk before and the meal. Play a game of football in the backyard or enjoy a game of tag. Stay active throughout the day will help you digest your food better, especially the slightly heavier foods such as your mom’s favorite stuffing recipe. Not only will this help you but it will also keep the little ones active and out of the kitchen!

The most important tip though is to enjoy yourself. No one loves counting calories or worrying about dieting on a big holiday. Listening to yourself and including a few more physical activities throughout the day are the two most important tips that you can add into your holiday routine. Enjoy the day and the time you spend with your loved ones!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by kristin :: thekitchensink

hiit
comment 0

Short workouts are in!

Most people do not like to work out because it does not fit into their schedule. However, what about working out for 30 minutes at a higher intensity? Thirty minute, high intensity workouts are just as intense as working out for a longer period of time. In fact, they might even be more efficient as you are likely to take more breaks or not work out at such high intensity for a longer period of time. A high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine is the perfect way to fit workout in your schedule as well as help get your fitness level up.

Studies have shown that interval training can help burn more fat and increase your fitness level. HIIT is a combination of short bursts of energy, to get your heart rate going, and periods of rest (10-30 seconds) or low intensity (30 seconds -1 minute). HIIT is perfect for all individuals. It is easy to modify any routine to fit any fitness level. The most important thing to remember when doing a HIIT is to keep moving! If you feel that you won’t last the remaining 30 seconds of your jumping jack set, that’s okay just do a modification of a jumping jack or jog in place. The point of the routine is to keep moving for 30 minutes.

Check out this great article for getting started with making your own HIIT routine.  Remember, modifications of exercises are okay! How do you find them? Write modification in front of any exercise name in google or YouTube for videos and articles on a variety of modifications. Don’t forget to change up your routine once in a while. Once you are used to adding a 30 minute HIIT into your schedule, change the routine every other day so you can really reach your full potential!

If you just can’t find 30 minutes in your day, try getting in three 10 minute workouts or walks throughout your day. This will be the perfect way to take your breaks at work as well. Walking after you eat can help your digestion and sugar levels as well as burn some calories. Try and take a walk after breakfast, after lunch and dinner. No one likes working right after they eat so a quick walk will help clear the mind, get your exercise in and help you digest. It is a win-win situation.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Tony Alter

Summer Jog
comment 0

Exercise triggers brain cell growth and improves memory

Recent studies by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) shed new light on a link between exercise and memory. By exercising regularly, you can increase your ability to retain learned and new information. Scientists examined the muscles during exercise to determine which proteins are released. The studies revealed that a protein called cathepsin B is released during aerobic exercise. The protein travels to the brain after being released. Cathepsin B triggers new brain cell growth, scientists believe this is key in the link between memory and exercise.

Researchers discovered an increase in the protein cathepsin B when examining mice who regularly ran on exercise wheels. The mice who exercised produced greater amounts of the protein than the mice that did not exercise. Further, mice that released cathepsin B displayed better results in memory tests than the mice that did not.

Dr. Henriette van Praag, a neuroscientist at the NIA states, “Overall, the message is that a consistently healthy lifestyle pays off.” In humans, the release of cathepsin B is also triggered by exercise. This means that simply increasing physical activity can aid in an individual’s ability to perform better on complex tasks and memory retention.

To read the full article click here

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  andreviebig

 

A mother and child fast asleep.
comment 0

The connection between sleep and sickness

Sleep leading to sickness

Recent studies have confirmed what most people kind of already knew; sleep is good for you. Too little sleep can be directly related to cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune function as well as a lot of other health issues related to a lack of sleep. In a long term sleep study, over 22,000 participants reported their sleeping patterns in parallel with their health from 2005 to 2012. This study found that getting six or less hours of sleep per day had a direct correlation with experiencing sickness of flu-like symptoms and that the more sleep people got, the less they faced these negative health outcomes.

Sleep should be on the agenda

A lack of sleep isn’t just important to bodily functions, it also sets the tone for the rest of the day and many people don’t realize how much sleep may determine their plans and activities. As mentioned earlier sleep can cause a plethora of negative health issues but even more so is the lifestyle that usually comes with not sleeping enough. Turns out, short sleepers are also more likely to have negative health behaviors like not exercising and poor nutrition which in the long run can be detrimental to health. Creating good sleeping habits can translate into other positive health behaviors because of the increased energy and productivity that accompanies being well-rested.

Sleep is serious business

An interesting point Dr. Sanjay R. Patel of the Center for Sleep and Cardiovascular Outcomes at the University of Pittsburgh makes is that “society does not stigmatize the person getting in their car and driving after only four hours of sleep the way it does the person driving after drinking, even though the risk to others on the road may be the same.” Meaning that a lack of sleep can be just as detrimental to motor function and cognitive skills as drinking, but is largely overlooked and the seriousness of the matter is rarely emphasized. He goes more in depth about just how neglected the science of sleep is by mentioning how little physicians usually discuss sleep with their patients due to the lack of training and attention given to sleep in medical school.

While sleep may still be a little bit of a mystery it is clear that adequate sleep is closely related to good health. Not getting enough sleep is not only bad for the body, but also makes it harder to create and sustain other healthy habits, so get those Z’s!

For the full article, click here.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Sima Dimitric

 

Hiking in nature can be very beneficial both physically and mentally.
comment 0

How hiking helps the brain

Hiking kicks out negative thoughts

Rumination is defined as the tendency to continuously think about upsetting situations, causes, and consequences that might be burdening an individuals mind. Luckily, the National Academy of Sciences recently conducted a study which found that going on nature-filled hikes can significantly curb these thoughts, encouraging not only physical well being but also mental prosperity. By measuring neural activity and levels of rumination in the two different groups, researchers found that urban environments have distinct correlations with depression and negative disposition while the natural environments show to lower levels of rumination as well as neural activity in the part of the brain that is intimately linked to mental illness.

Hiking can boost brain power, and help keep you focused

Other studies contrasting urban vs. natural environments have found that not only can hiking in nature prevent negative thoughts, it can also greatly improve cognitive performance! Researchers realized that a nice long hike away from urbanization and technology can reduce mental fatigue, boost creative thinking, improve memory, and even remarkably reduce symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Along with all of these incredible benefits, it is proven that people who work out outside are much more likely to continue their routine rather than quit shortly after starting. Whether it’s for a minute or an hour, everyone should make an effort to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the tranquility of nature whenever possible. Good for the mind, body, and soul, hiking in nature is an excellent way to stay healthy and happy.

 

For the full article, click here.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Loren Kerns

 

 

Erase Stress
comment 0

Stress: how to cope better with life’s challenges

What causes stress

Imagine you are walking down a beautiful trail, taking in the scenery, smelling the flowers and enjoying your day. Your brain is having a positive response to the relaxing environment, serotonin is released, and you feel happy, at ease. Now imagine, around the next turn you are face to face with a brown bear. In an instant the chemicals in your brain change drastically, digestion in halted, your heart beat speeds and blood flow to your muscles increases. These chemical changes are your body’s instinct to defend itself, your fight or flight response. These changes are also called stress.

Stress can be a good thing in moderation, or when you need that boost to dive out of harm’s way. But stress can cause unhealthy physical symptoms when it goes on for too long. Stress in everyday life can negatively impact physical and mental health. Most often, there is no fight or flight response needed, yet your body prepares to run, working overtime. This can cause you to feel anxious, worried, afraid or uptight.

What changes may be stressful

Simply, any change can lead to stress. This can be good change or bad change. Although, it may not be the change itself causing stress, rather how you react to it. It is also important to remember that stress is different for everyone. Going to the grocery store might be stressful for one individual and therapeutic for another.

Can stress hurt my health

Stress can cause or complicate health problems. A few possible signs of stress can include

  • Anxiety
  • Neck and back pain/tightness
  • Head aches
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression

How can stress be managed

Firstly, try and recognize the common signs of stress. Shoulder and neck tension, as well as clenched fists are often early warning signs of stress. The next step is to select a method to deal with your stress. Ideally, avoiding the thing that causes your stress is best, but that is not always an option. Here are some tips for dealing with stress,

  • Choose a hobby – something you love, or want to get better at
  • Try not to worry about the things out of your control
  • Take care of your little problems first – this can help you to feel more in control
  • Try to prepare for the stressful things in advance
  • View change as a positive challenge, forward momentum
  • Exercise regularly
  • Choose healthier food options

Why Exercise

Exercise is a great way to release pent up energy, as well as release your “happy” brain chemicals. For example, serotonin production is increased during exercise. Serotonin increase has been shown to improve mood and increase energy.

The silver lining

If you are feeling stressed, you get to choose your hobby, something you love. These hobbies can include music, puzzles, walking, yoga, and video games; the list is infinite, because there isn’t a correct answer.  Get lost in the things you enjoy, and remember to take a deep breath.

Contact your doctor if you want help or advice on how you can tackle stress.

Sources:

FamilyDoctor.org

For the full article, follow the link here.

  Feature photo by  Alan Cleaver

diabetes
comment 0

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes – what’s the difference?

Diabetes occurs in two forms: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually develops at a young age. It’s caused by a damaged pancreas that produces very little or no insulin – the hormone your body needs to carry glucose to your cells. Only about 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1.

Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed later in life. With this type, it becomes harder and harder for your body to use the insulin it produces. Type 2 is much more common than type 1 – at least 90 percent of people with diabetes have this form.

Prevention and treatment

Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented or cured. Genetics most likely play a role – its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin and follow other measures to manager their blood sugar.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or delayed through a healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. For some people with type 2, these practices may be enough to keep their blood sugar under control. Others may need to take medication or insulin.

Sources: American Diabetes Association

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by : Alden Chadwick

Healthy Snack
comment 0

Five myths about colorectal cancer

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. It’s easy to forget which cause is associated with each color awareness ribbon . In fact, you may have never seen the blue awareness ribbon at all. The blue ribbon raises awareness and supports individuals with colorectal cancer.

blueribbon

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death in the United States. Even with thousands diagnosed, there are still a number of myths surrounding colorectal cancer. Test your knowledge with the 5 myths below.

Myth: Colorectal cancer is a man’s disease.

Truth: Women are almost as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer as men. Each year approximately 71,000 men and 64,000 women are diagnosed.

 

Myth: Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented.

Truth: Colorectal cancer almost always begins with a small growth called a polyp. Early polyp detection and removal can help prevent colorectal cancer. Common detection tests include: colonoscopy, Flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, or CT colonography.

Other ways to lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer include:

  • Healthy weight can lower chances of colorectal cancer.
  • Engage in physical activities; Walk, hike, sports swim, etc.
  • Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Avoid refined grains. Choose grains that are whole wheat.
  • Limit your red meat and processed meat intake.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to 1 drink per day for women, 2 per day for men.
  • Avoid Tobacco use.

Myth: African Americans are not at risk for colorectal cancer.

Truth: In the US more African American men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. At this time the cause is unknown.

 

Myth: Age doesn’t matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer.

Truth: Colorectal cancer is more prominent in individuals over 50.

 

Myth: It’s better not to get tested for colorectal cancer because it’s deadly anyway.

Truth: Colorectal cancer is often treatable. However, only 4 in 10 people are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is most effective.

So, remember the blue. To find out if you’re at an increased risk for colorectal cancer and what you can do to help decrease your chances of getting this disease, please read Colorectal Cancer Early Detection.

For the full article Visit: Five Myths About Colorectal Cancer

 

 caption-arrow  Feature photo by : Matteo Paciotti

Blazers Win!
comment 0

NBA Players Putting Their Hearts Into Medical Research

Despite the excellent shape of most NBA superstars, professional basketball players have the highest rate of sports related sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the United States. In fact, NBA players are close to 30 times more likely to die from SCD. Unfortunately, there is limited information on the structure and function of professional athlete’s hearts.  As a result Doctors and researchers have been unable to conclude why NBA players have greater risk. A new study from Columbia University Medical Center and lead researcher Dr. David Engel has examined over 500 current NBA players. This baseline data is just the start of research that will track the player’s heart structure and function through retirement.

The tallest current NBA player reaches a whopping 7 feet 3 inches! The league wide average is a height of 6 feet 7 inches and 222 pounds. There is no denying that these men are huge; but how do their hearts size up? The study revealed that the heart and Aorta size increase with the size of the athlete. This was expected. The researchers also found that the left ventricle, which pumps blood from the heart to the rest of the body, was larger than most adults. Further, the left ventricle was still proportional to the size of the athlete; however there were some noticeable differences.  The wall of the left ventricle was noticeably thicker among many athletes. This can be a sign of decreased heart function.

The research also established a correlation between the left ventricle thickening and ethnicity; as well as total heart mass and ethnicity. With the new data, the research team is able to consider possible treatment for some of the world’s biggest stars. However, at this time, researchers find it very challenging to link a specific physiological difference to an increased risk for SCD. Over the next few years, the research will continue, hopefully pinpointing the cause of increased SCD in NBA players.

For the full article, visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157439.html

Source: Healthday. “NBA Players Putting Their Hearts Into Medical Research: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Loren Kerns

 

man
comment 0

Exercise for men’s health

Men, they bear the social burden of having to be strong both mentally and physically. Yet the highest rate of depression is in men who are 40-59 years old, and 41% of men who live in high-income countries do not exercise enough. Being aware of these conditions might not change these numbers but it can help those who are affected by them. Here are ten facts about how physical activity helps improve mental health as well as overall health.

  1. Exercise releases feel good chemicals in the brain, this can ease depression
  2. Exercise can improve sleep
  3. Exercise can increase energy and stamina
  4. Weight loss may be achieved
  5. Self-confidence may be improved
  6. Reduce your risk of chronic disease
  7. Improve learning skills
  8. Helps boost decision making skills
  9. Decreases stress
  10. Strengthens heart as well as muscles

It is suggested that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Exercise is a great way to boost mental and physical health but it is important that you check with your doctor before you being your mood improving journey. Physical activity is also a great way to get involved in the community, and build connections and support within families. If you or somebody you know is suffering from physical inactivity or mental health issues, there is no better way to show your support than by getting out there and exercising with them. How will you being your journey?

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nick Page