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    Health

    Walking Into the Beautiful Nature

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    Some exercises are absolutely intimidating. They are strenuous, necessitate moving parts of your body in directions you’ve never dreamed of, and they usually utilize little muscles you didn’t even know existed. It can be pretty embarrassing to show up to a class full of intermediate-advanced workout buffs and be the only one floundering through each exercise routine in the back of the room. Where it is absolutely recommended to go out there and try whatever you are able to in order to work your body out into a healthier, more physically capable you; there are still always the everyday safety zones you can retreat to that will ultimately get the job done. Walking, for example, is still always a great, yet basic, way to transform your body and your lifestyle.   Walking can be done everywhere and at anytime. As soon as one leaves his home, it begins. To top it off, neither a treadmill, nor a gym, are needed in order to follow through with this type of exercise. It is essentially free. Eventually, continuing a walking regime will lead to shedding pounds, and maintaining weight; with or without a dietary change. Of course, it is recommended to reduce calories, increase fruits and vegetables, and always take in as much water as possible; but usually after time, a healthier body will innately crave subtle changes naturally.   An hour long walk five days a week will lead to pound shedding. Many people will come up against an obstacle of not enough time or not enough stamina to execute a plan like this right off the bat. That is expected, and fine. It is encouraged to start with at least thirty minutes of even a casual pace. This will at least get the heart rate elevated for a few minutes, which is ultimately, and eventually, the key to losing weight. Even if you must wake up in the morning and do thirty minutes and then another thirty minutes after dinner, it is wise to get the length of time in somehow. Or perhaps you must creatively segment numerous fifteen minute short walks. Anything is better than nothing. It is, however, important to remember that the longer the duration in one setting, the greater the benefits to be reaped. Calories tend to burn faster after half an hour of walking, increasing the effect the longer the walk. Another crucial aspect is the speed of your gait. Initially, it may be suggested to walk to the level of your comfort, but in time it is imperative to speed up your step in order to see results. A slow two mph pace burns about 26 calories per ten minutes; thirty minutes burns about 79 calories. Increasing to three mph almost doubles the caloric burn. Walking four miles in an hour will reward you with a total of 370 calories burned. Keep a rate like that up and you will lose a pound every ten days or so; approximately 35 lbs in a year!     Walking not only helps you lose weight and tone your muscles, it also decreases cholesterol, reduces the risk of breast cancer, and helps prevent against heart disease. It is a well known form of stress management, increasing your natural balance of energy, and it will ultimately heighten your mood. Once you commit to walking, you will inevitably find the time you previously felt you lacked in order to continue stepping towards a better feeling, lighter you. Let’s face it: walking is something we do everyday as it is. It is free, convenient, low-risk of injury, and is all around positive. We should all commit to walking for our health, no matter what the level of intensity.   ...

    Run into Health and Happiness

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    Running has long been a prime choice of exercise for many disciplined individuals, but ridiculed by another half for its risks of injury and joint ailments. The controversy couldn’t technically be less up in the air, however. Running is a form of exercise that exceeds any bodily risks by offering an abundance of amazing and much needed benefits; both physically and mentally.   One typically takes up running initially because of the amazing ability to lose weight. In fact, aside from cross country skiing, running burns more calories than any other cardiovascular exercise. Burning an average of 80-100 calories per mile, mostly depending on the weight of the individual (more calories for more weight), it isn’t uncommon for a runner to be able to burn 500 calories in an hour. This rate is significantly higher than the fraction of calories burned by other activities. The body must reach a deficit of 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound, as it will likewise gain a pound when accumulating a surplus of 3,500 calories. Running five miles seven days a week will result in losing a pound a week, which is a really effective, rewarding form of weight loss.   Running utilizes the heart to pump extra blood and produce more oxygen to the body to maintain it while it is working out. During the process of running the arteries expand up to three times that of a sedentary individual, which in turn maintains their elasticity. Because of this, running supports and promotes healthy arteries and optimum blood flow. This directly correlates to decreased heart attacks. It is also a preventative approach to other heart risks; not to mention that it raises “good” (HDL) cholesterol, plus lowers blood pressure in general. Running also helps to fight against many diseases, including reducing the risk of breast cancer and stroke. In fact, running has become a common treatment option prescribed by many physicians when tackling early stages, or even simply high risks, of osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Runners also enjoy the use of up to the remaining 50% of their lungs that are typically not utilized. By creating a higher concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease), running causes a heightened immune system, boosting the body’s ability to reach its optimum general health while fighting against things as simple as the common cold or as serious as cancer.   Another phenomenal benefit of running is the strengthening of muscles and bones. Yes, running actually contributes to greater bone density and results in overall stronger bones and muscles compared to those of non-runners. The body naturally develops around the demand it is placed in, so inactive people with become weak early on in life, while those who run maintain that strength and density, aside from simply remaining more youthful, more coordinated, and definitely more energetic. Those who run are less likely to become afflicted with osteoporosis, and those who already have it experience less of the painful effects than those who don’t run.     There are endless physical benefits to running. Equally, there are amazing mental and psychological gains to this activity as well. Not only does running instill a sense of pride and confidence, it allows the mind a pathway to escape away from everyday stressors. It is also fair to say that running enhances focus and mental clarity and promotes problem solving. Biologically, running causes the brain to release beta endorphins which are essential in relieving pain, and also have the tendency to create a sort of euphoric or light, happy feeling. A runner’s high is real. Running has been proven to increase overall mood and has also been prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. Simply being an avenue of invoking focus, determination, and discipline is also very mentally strengthening. The overall effect of weight loss and the sense of accomplishment by tackling the challenge of running improve self esteem and the effects far beyond the moment of exercise.   Considering the compilation of the many benefits, both physically and mentally, running has been proven from every angle to be an incredibly healthy form of exercise for just about everyone. Of course, it is important to have a good pair of running shoes and to pay attention to your body, as with any other physical activity. However, for those who have always considered running to be a high impact activity that actually takes a heavy toll on the joints and body in general, think again. In every way, the body can benefit from this healthy activity. Joints, muscles, and bones become stronger and more youthful; the heart reaps benefits of lower blood pressure, higher levels of good cholesterol, and more expanded, elastic arteries; the immune system is directly boosted, along with endorphins to increase mood; and the body is given the best opportunity it can to be in the shape it rightfully is supposed to be in. It is an amazing way to sculpt yourself, physically, mentally, and definitely emotionally. Running is very likely the best gift you can give yourself. ...

    A Simple Way to Better Abs

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    There comes a time in most of our lives when we happen to pick up a Hollywood magazine and peek through the pictures of countless celebrities showing off their rock solid, totally chiseled bodies. One can’t help but to admire such physique, such a state of close-to-perfection. It is easy to chalk up Hollywood’s Finest’s blessed figures to having an abundance of money; and therefore any highly sought after trainer and training method imaginable. Not to mention a gourmet cook to closely monitor the intake of nutrients, calories and fat. What a life, huh?   In reality, though it may be easier to pay people to push you into physical fitness, certain rules still apply; whether you are financially wealthy or not. Excluding the plethora of abdominal exercises exalted as the body’s ultimate miracle worker, there is more to consider when imagining yourself in that itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini. The first of which is to ultimately take care of your body. We all have an innate muscular structure that would appear to be at least somewhat defined if it weren’t covered by the ever present layers of fat. So the first rule of thumb is to lose a bit of weight. Reducing your overall fat percentage will inevitably show a much nicer stomach, possibly already outlining the nice contour of your natural muscle tone.   Drink plenty of water. This will help maintain optimum metabolism, aid your body in pushing out toxins and decreased water retention that resides especially around the ankles and the midriff. This, too, helps in reducing fat intake because it helps your body naturalize the sensations of thirst versus hunger.   Cardio activity works to burn calories which will ultimately burn fat and slenderize the body. Less focus on a thousand abs crunches and more focus on your overall physical activity will ultimately change your body’s build. Whereas before professionals jumped on the ideal that in order to build the abs; one must perform continuous sets of curving the back, thus contracting the abdominal muscles. This does make a small difference, but an endless number of crunches will still not give you the body you are seeking on their own. On the contrary, the abdominal muscles’ innate purpose is to stabilize the spine, not curve it. This means that though the abs need to be worked out in order to reach their prime, the exercises that are most effective entail different posture than one may expect. Here are three basics positions to practice that will undoubtedly work your abs to better reach your goal of the quasi-desired six pack we all long for.   The first position is similar to a pushup position; but instead of placing your body over outstretched arms, you should bend the elbows, placing your straight body over your forearms. Hands should be facing forward and shoulders should be situated over the elbows. Hands may feel more comfortable if clasped together to form a sort of triangle on the ground. Now clench your abs, tightening as if anticipating a punch to the stomach. Hold this position at first for only 30 seconds before resting. Gradually increase your hold time to at least a minute, or perhaps longer.     The next exercise is what some call a mountain climbing position. This is best executed on a bench or similar apparatus (couch arm, etc.). In a diagonal pushup position, tighten your abs and slowly lift your left knee to your chest, maintaining the isolated muscle contraction. Pause for a couple of seconds, then slowly lower the leg back to the ground. Continue with the right leg and alternate for at least 30 seconds. After resting, resume the exercise for another 30 second set.   The third exercise is similar to the first, but it is a sideways position. First lie on your left side and then prop yourself up on your elbow, with your forearm parallel to the ground. Using your elbow/forearm as your base, raise your hips until your body forms a straight line sideways from your ankles to shoulders. Brace your abs, holding them tightly and hold for 30 seconds. Relax for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.   Eat right and follow these simple exercises, and your abs are sure to peek through. Contrary to what Hollywood magazines elude to, it doesn’t cost a thing to reap the benefits of educating yourself on how the body works, and what actually works best for it. Utilizing simple but appropriate practices that are specifically geared to naturally work your body out will make all the difference. Stick with the few suggestions listed above and enjoy that perfect little bikini you’ve been waiting for!   ...

    The Importance of Sleep

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    Sleep: it is quintessential to our lives. Every human being has the major basic functions in common. One of these vital necessities is the need to sleep. Though we all have different sleep patterns, sleep different amounts, and the quality of our slumber varies greatly, sleep is literally necessary to stay alive. Strangely, though it is just as important as breathing, many people live with agonizing and life altering sleep disorders. The importance of sleep is often overlooked.   There are many reasons our bodies need sleep. Sleep is our bodies’ way of rejuvenating. It is the period in which we lower the energy levels expelled each day, our muscles and soft tissue are repaired and revitalized, and our mind is able to process memories and things we have learned for the day. Although one day of sleep deprivation is not fatal, it will indeed cause alterations in mood, physical well being, and overall cognitive function. Increased periods of time without sleep with further these negative changes into hallucinations, poor mental clarity, and often provoked disease, or even death. Studies show that the majority of fatal car crashes are directly correlative to lack of sleep.   In order to evaluate and truly respect the importance of sleep, it is relevant to consider the symptoms that occur with the absence of proper sleep. First of all, the average duration of sleep should be around eight hours. Studies have shown that certain individuals are able to function with less sleep, with as little as six hours; however others are unable to function unless they have reached as many as ten hours of rest. Contrary to the common tendency of many to try to “sneak in extra Z’s” by hitting the snooze button over and over, this habit usually hinders the body’s collective sleep and reduces the time spent in REM (rapid eye movement).   A lack of sleep will quickly cause irritability, grogginess, the inability to make decisions or follow through with cognitive functions. It will cause hallucinations, dozing off during activities and even throughout the day, etc. A continued lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, anxiety, depression, lethargy and fatigue. A chronic, or pathological, sleep disorder will often result in an immune system deficiency. Severe sleep deprivation can ultimately lead to death. These inevitabilities clearly show the importance of sleep.     Often times, diseases in themselves will contribute to poor sleep. Many illnesses, serious pain, overactive thoughts or anxiety, a large upset in life such as a trauma or severe stress can all contribute to a poorer quality of sleep. Temporary sleeping troubles will usually subside if they are an immediate result of stress, however they can just as quickly slip into a serious condition. Treating sleep difficulty is imperative.   There are some simple tips to follow on your own if you are seeking a healthier sleep pattern. Eliminate caffeine in the afternoon and evening. The consumption of caffeine within a few hours before bed will directly inhibit your ability to fall asleep. Exercise, heavy meals, or drugs/alcohol will also diminish the quality of sleep if occurring shortly before hitting the hay. Instead, exercising earlier in the day will aid in ascertaining a healthy sleep regimen. Certain medications will increase adrenaline (such as decongestants) and disable the body from relaxing properly. Anxiety and an overactive mind will cause difficulty in allowing the mind and body to rest so practice deep breathing, meditation or prayer, focused intent on healthy sleeping etc. This usually gets the body ready for sleep and initiates a mental and physical relaxation. Establish a routine. This will help balance the body’s internal clock and ultimately inadvertently initiate the readiness and acceptance of sleep. Make sure your bed is comfortable and your environment is appropriate. Studies acknowledge that noise, light, even a partner with sleeping troubles will easily influence the quality of sleep. Be aware of your nightly surroundings and make sure they are not interfering in achieving a healthy sleep pattern. There are many alternatives to try before depending on sleeping pills. In fact, many sleeping pills have adverse side effects, including trouble sleeping!   Ultimately, there are many downfalls experienced when sleep is not prevalent. Life takes a grave turn for the worst quickly when it is unable to rejuvenate properly. In just a matter of days, the quality of life is altered when sleep is deprived. It is utterly an essential part of life, and there are many ways to try to achieve it; further more to enhance the state of rest you are entering. Proper sleep will absolutely boost your health, your mood, and the quality of your life. Face it, sleep it not a luxury; it is a necessity to staying alive.   ...

    The Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Style Diet

    Jun 26, 2022 |
    There are so many benefits to eating healthy and exercising. The positive response to such a lifestyle can often seem redundant due to its literally unending chime. Eating healthy allows for a more balanced weight, it offers one much more natural energy, feels good, decreases the chance of many life threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart problems; the list goes on. Likewise, exercise ensures a much more aesthetic physique; enables the joints and your body’s “hardware” to last much longer while more efficiently moving about; it, too, offers a valuable supply of energy; and also keeps the body in a more prime shape, ready to fight against foreign agents such as sickness and disease. Well, here is another gift you can add to the list of immeasurable benefits just by sculpting your lifestyle with diet and exercise: the reduction of the risk of Alzheimer’s. More acutely, sticking to a Mediterranean-type diet, plus the physical activity, you are able to reduce your risk of cognitive decline by up to 60%!   One of the first remarkable studies that led the medical society down the path of Mediterranean diet and exercise to prevent Alzheimer’s was back in 2006 when 1,880 senior men and women, averaging an age of 77 years old, were studied over a period of 5.5 years in New York. Intermittent studies performed every 18 months or so, were designated to chronicle the lifestyles and the results of those who did and did not stick closely to the suggested Mediterranean diet and physical activity. These studies provided hopeful results. Those who engaged in the highest amount of activities showed a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s by 33%. Furthermore, those who most closely revolved around the Mediterranean diet had reduced their risk by 40%. After further observation and clinical trials, it was estimated that the healthy combination of both Mediterranean diet and exercise resulted in an overall 60% risk reduction. Additional studies geared toward finding a relation to the lessened, or slower, decline of cognitivity also produced results that correlated with the benefit of a Mediterranean diet plus exercise.   Being able to have some sort of control in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s should be appealing to us all. Physical activity is a very broad field that does not need to be refined when specifically trying to prevent a mental decline. However, specifically a Mediterranean diet is suggested to promote the best results in this particular matter. So what does that entail? A Mediterranean diet primarily consists of high consumption of fish, with minimal red meat and poultry, a great amount of vegetables, legumes, cereals, nuts, and fruits, low-to-no dairy, and olive oil is used for all cooking purposes-providing the main source of fat. Moderate wine consumption is also part of this diet.     Of course, switching lifestyles at the ripe old age of 77 is not what gets you passed the risk of Alzheimer’s. Perhaps it may help a bit, but a long term lifestyle of health is the golden ticket. As with anything, a long term effect provides more substantial results. It is encouraged to adapt to a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible. If you love food and are not willing to give certain things up; compromise. Increase the fish and the vegetables. Use the olive oil and eliminate the chemicals. Mediterranean flavor is abundant, and for those who like to cook: there are plenty of recipes. A nice brisk walk is complemented perfectly by feeding your body something it naturally needs. The positive effects will be apparent. Why not enjoy these benefits-coherently-for as long as possible?   ...