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Monday, June 30, 2008

4 Tips Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the number one killer today. Men and women are both likely to become victims. Men typically suffer more heart attacks, but women’s can be deadlier, so it is important for both genders to monitor their heart health by making a number of simple lifestyle adjustments.

1. Eat smart.
The American Heart Association and other health organizations, as well, publish guidelines for sensible diets that promote heart health. Get a copy at their website or ask your doctor to recommend a diet for you. Typically, you should try to limit your consumption of red meat to perhaps a few ounces once or twice a week. Cook chicken and fish in casserole dishes instead, and experiment with vegetable recipes to try new and exciting variations. Don’t forget the raw veggies with low-fat dip and fresh fruits for desserts or snacks.

2. Watch your fluid intake.
Most of us don’t drink enough water each day. Unless you have special medical restrictions, aim to have eight glasses (eight ounces each) of water daily. In addition, you can drink other beverages, but avoid sugary, nutrition-less products like pop or sweetened fruit juice. One or two cups of tea or coffee are probably all right, but keep in mind that caffeine can dehydrate you and make you jittery, so limit your intake.

3. Get daily exercise.
Your doctor can recommend a hobby, routine, or workout that will benefit your physique and health. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 to 60 minutes daily is a great way to incorporate aerobic activity in your lifestyle, tone muscles, and enhance your metabolism. Your circulation will thank you, too, as it becomes more efficient at pumping blood through your body and breaking up plaque buildup in your arteries, thus allowing your heart to pump more easily. Just be sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and don’t overdo it. Let your doctor know if you experience shortness of breath or painful limbs.

4. Learn to manage stress.
Everyone experiences stressful events throughout their day. From getting up late to missing the train or having an argument with a family member, stress is all around us. We just have to learn to keep conflict and disappointments in check by reminding ourselves of the blessings and joys that surround us, often unnoticed. You may want to keep a journal to write about negative feelings instead of keeping them bottled up inside, where they may eventually explode.

In addition, cultivate a good support group of friends, family members, and social contacts. Get out and have fun. Meet new people and discover new ideas. Life will become more enjoyable, and your heart will benefit from your upbeat attitude. Consider volunteering in your community to make a difference in the lives of others. As you make new connections and continue to nurture old ones, you will feel healthier and benefit from a positive lifestyle.

Source : Charless K / Articles Emporium

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

5 Tips to Boost Your Spirits

If you are feeling like everything is getting on top of you, or you are finding it difficult to cope or function, or you are feeling down in the dumps, then try these 5 easy-to-do tips to relieve tension and stress and boost your spirits:

1. Take a relaxing bath. Add music, candles and a glass of your favourite drink: beer, tea, hot chocolate, wine or even champagne. Close the door and forget about everything else for an hour or so. This helps to increase levels of calmness and the calmer we feel, the less likely we are to get stressed out or depressed.

2. Comedy night: get in your favourite nibbles: chips, tortillas, salsa, crackers, cheese, pizza, chocolate, cookies, ice cream etc. Crack open a bottle of wine or pour yourself a beer or two and spend a full evening watching your favourite funny films or comedians. Laughter raises our spirits and is a great antidote to the stresses and trials of modern living.

3. Get out of the firing line: Take off for some peace and quiet for a day or better still a weekend or a week. Take a journal, relax and gather your thoughts. When we are under pressure or struggling to cope with a major situation or event in life, seeing solutions to our problems can be really difficult. Distance from problems can bring clarity and relieve tension. I love going to the coast when I feel like this and it always, without fail, helps me to calm down and find solutions. I do not know why but there are something really soothing about being near the ocean. Being near water, come to think of it.

4. Increase calmness and feel great by indulging in massage. Share a massage with your partner ・create a relaxing atmosphere by softening the lights and have oils and towels to hand. Lavender oil is particularly relaxing. Or, treat yourself to a massage from a professional masseur or masseuse. For a really invigorating massage, visit a Turkish baths if you are fortunate enough to have one nearby. Massage is very relaxing and increases intimacy between lovers. It is one huge stress buster as well but be warned, it is addictive! Not a bad thing to be addicted to though, and it will do you no end of good.

5. Spend a week without watching any television. Television can fill your mind with negativity, bombard you with image manipulation via commercials and give you a distorted view of reality by showing you everything that is bad about the world. Famines, disasters, murders, violence, war ・the list is endless ・and news programmes and soap operas are full of such events. So give your mind a break from this assault on your senses. Abandon the television for a week and do something more rewarding instead: Read a book, listen to music, socialize, workout, go for a walk or try your hand at something new. If you need to hear the news, listen to a radio news bulletin once a day. But try and avoid them for one week, replace them with something more life enhancing and see how you feel.

The above ideas are very simple to implement but they are also very effective in helping to relieve stress and tension. Give them a try and watch your mood levels rise!
Source : Chris Green / article emporium

Saturday, June 21, 2008

5 Tips for Pre-natal Pregnancy Yoga Practise

Pregnancy is a physical as well as mental experience. Women often becomes hyper aware of all the changes their bodies are going through. Yoga allows pregnant women to adapt to these changes more gracefully and to feel proud and a sense of appreciation for their bodies. Yoga exercises can increase flexibility, strength, circulation and balance. Many pregnant women find that regular yoga exercises help to reduce swelling, back and leg pain, and insomnia.
However, Yoga must be practised very carefully among pregnant women, as improper exercises will bring negative effect on both moms and babies. Here are some tips for pre-natal pregnancy Yoga practise:

1. The general yoga exercises are recommended for the first 2 months. You must consult your doctor and find very experienced Yoga teachers. With proper guidance, you can practice some yoga right into labor. If you new to yoga then you should start slowly.

2. Breathing exercises are beneficial if done twice a day. The breathing exercises provide more oxygen and energy both to the mother and the child.

3. Some yoga poses that can help a pregnant women dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy, ensuring smoother and easier delivery, and faster recovery after childbirth. Pregnant women should pay attention not to overstretch the body - the ligaments around the joints become loose and soft during pregnancy. The abdomen should stay relaxed at all times. Difficult and poses that put pressure on the abdomen and other should NOT be done during advance stages of Pregnancy. No any kind of pain or nausea should be felt during and/or after yoga. If this happens, you should stop yoga practise and contact your GP.

4. When carrying out standing poses with your heels to the wall or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to both you and your baby.

5. Deep relaxation is crucial to give rest to body and mind, and you will benefit more from a good sleep. Deep relaxation helps the nerve system change from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity. Parasympathetic activity is associated with the restorative processes of the body, which is needed both by the pregnant woman and the child.

Source : Ami Porter/Article Emporium

7 Tips for Beautiful Skin

Almost women, part of their morning and evening routines involve a skincare regiment of applying cremes, moisturizers, tonics, lotions, and the like. Why do women put themselves through this? To combat the signs of aging, and to maintain youthful looks and beautiful skin!
Some women probably do not realize that what they are putting on their skin may actually be undermining what they are trying to prevent to begin with. In fact, the average woman puts twelve products on her skin daily, most of which contain harmful chemical preservatives. Dr. Myron Wentz, founder and chairperson of USANA Health Sciences has this to say about beauty in the June/July 2005 issue of the "USANA Health Sciences" magazine: "Some say that beauty is only skin deep. Nonsense! I believe that true beauty is a reflection of true health, and true health begins deep inside each and every cell in the body. But true health and true beauty have an outer component, which is why we require protection from environmental insults such as solar radiation, pollutants in our environment and the drying effects of air. . . The fact is, you simply cannot contain a healthy body if your skin isn't healthy. And your skin can't be healthy if your are subjecting it to toxic substances that are ultimately absorbed into your body." So, what can women do? How can they combat environmental pollutants, the affect of solar radiation, and the drying effects of air? How can they be sure they are using the very best products on their skin so they can be healthy inside and out? Here are 7 tips to assist in this process:

1. Be very aware of what is in skincare products. Use products that are all natural as much as possible.

2. Look for products that contain Dermal Surface Renewal Technology. DSR smoothes away existing signs of aging such as laugh lines, crows feet, and dullness.

3. Use products that have regenisomes. Regenisomes penetrate the skin to speed cell renewal after sun exposure. They also use the light of photosomes to undo sun damage, and have ultrasomes to renew skin while sleeping.

4. Find products with Proteo-C and Proflavonol-T. These two vitamins protect the skin from premature aging caused by the sun, pollution, and other environmental factors. They also provide advanced nutrition to the skin to keep it appearing smooth and firm.

5. If possible, use products that are paraben free. Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives that are widely used in personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair styling products, make-up, facial masks, skin lotions and creams, and deodorants. They also are typically found in baby lotions, shampoos, and other personal care products for infants and children. In addition, parabens are in many foods and pharmaceutical products. Researchers are beginning to find parabens in benign and malignant human breast tumors. While some studies have challenged their toxicity in many products and question their long term affect on humans, using products that are paraben free can eliminate the risk of exposure to this harmful chemical.

6. Drink plenty of water! Water hydrates skin and hair as well as flushes toxins out of the body.

7. Limit stress or learn to manage it effectively. Stress is harmful both emotionally and physically. Find that stress reliever activity that works best and use it on a daily basis!
Follow the above 7 tips to true beauty and health.

Source : Article Emporium

Thursday, June 19, 2008

10 Tips to Beat Stress

Here are 10 common-sense tips which can help you beat that stress :

1. Stop beating yourself up
You don't need to be perfect. It is OK to do work that is good enough. Perfectionists are often the first victims of stress. You don't have to excel all the time. When you take on a task, check what is expected. There is no point in writing a 24-page report when all that is needed is a brief memo. And we all make mistakes. If you give a dud presentation, write it off to experience. It does not mean you personally are a failure.

2. Stop saying yes
Don't take on more than you can handle. Be assertive. It is OK to say no to other people's demands. You just need the right technique. Try saying: 'Yes, I can do this report but that will mean I cannot make that meeting.' Or simply say: 'Thank you for asking me but I am afraid I would not be able to meet that deadline.' Let people know how busy you are. You can put a red card on your computer when you don't want to be interrupted, a green one when that's OK.

3. Stop and think
Stand back, take a few minutes to weigh up your workload and plan your day. Make sure that you don't let emergencies – like the crisis in accounts – overtake those that are more important but less immediately pressing – such as planning next year's spending. Delegate jobs where you can.

4. Stop and talk
Express yourself. It is good to talk. Communicating with other people – colleagues, friends and family – is a great way to beat stress, whether you are pouring out your worries or just passing the time of day. Talk to your boss or line manager too or, if appropriate, to anyone else at work who might be able to help, such as the human resources team. When you have a particular problem don't be afraid to seek help from others. If colleagues, friends or family can't help, try helplines where they exist.

5. Stop rushing
We all have different ways of working. Some people love to live life in the fast lane. But most of us cannot work at breakneck pace every hour of the day. If we do, our performance suffers. Build in time to unwind and reflect.

6. Stop for lunch
Take a break. Making sure you have lunch, or a mealbreak during your shift, means you get a vital rest from work demands, a chance to socialise with colleagues or friends, and ensures you eat properly too. You should aim to have a balanced lunch and try to avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine if possible. Not eating properly – snacking on crisps and chocolate bars or binge eating at the end of the day – is a sure sign of stress and may make you ill. It is also a legal requirement that you get a meal break during your day.

7. Stop and take a walk
Exercise your stress away. The adrenaline we build up under stress needs a release. Sport and exercise – whether walking, cycling, swimming or whatever else turns you on – is one of the greatest stressbusters. It gives your mind and body a positive challenge. It is virtually impossible to think negatively while pedalling. Try it!

8. Stop and breathe
Taking a few minutes out to relax during a busy day is important. Breathing properly is a great way to do it. You can practise deep-breathing exercises from yoga or meditation. Or try this simple exercise. Sit quietly at your desk, shut your eyes and try to concentrate. Let stressful thoughts float away. Breathe in for three seconds, then out for nine. Repeat for a minute or two.

9. Stop working late
Staying healthy means keeping life in balance. Working long hours – whether that means staying late in the office or putting in extra time on shifts – is bad for your health, your performance and your family. We all need time to unwind, to be with family and friends, to have space for ourselves and to enjoy hobbies or sports that have nothing to do with work. Work smarter, not longer.

10. Stop taking work home
It is easy to feel under pressure to take work home, just because everyone else does. The culture expects it. Break the mould. We all need boundaries between work and the rest of life to keep sane. Smarter organisations are now discouraging staff from working beyond reasonable limits. Remember the motto: Work to live, not live to work.
Source :4Health

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

8 Tips to Losing Weight

What's the secret? It's no secret, really. Everyone knows what to do : To lose weight, you just have to burn more calories each day than you take in. What's exciting is that both researchers and successful dieters are beginning to figure out how to do it. Here's how you can, too:

1. Make a commitment
Making a firm commitment is a critical first step toward successful weight loss, says Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., associate chief of the human physiology laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and author of the best-selling book Strong Women Stay Slim. Take advantage of the interest you have in losing weight today, she says. Don't say, "I'll start after the holidays," or "One of these days I'll be ready." Buy new exercise shoes and weights, take a walk, plan this week's meals and make a shopping list today.

2. Set realistic goals
Losing one pound a week -- and keeping it off -- with sensible eating and exercise is probably a sensible goal. Dropping three dress or suit sizes in eight weeks isn't. One way to figure out how many calories you can eat and still lose weight is to keep a food diary for a week and figure out how many calories you're consuming now. Then create a food plan that provides about 500 calories per day less than you're eating now. As long as you're also exercising, you'll lose about one to two pounds a week -- the maximum you should shoot for. Quick weight-loss programs actually make it more difficult to lose weight, says Nelson, because they slow your metabolism.
Instead of focusing on the scale, some people find that it helps to set a more tangible goal - like fitting into a pair of jeans they can no longer wear, or simply feeling more comfortable in clothes that have gotten too tight.
And be sure to reward yourself when you reach a significant goal. Schedule a massage, buy yourself a CD you've been wanting, or treat yourself to a big bunch of fresh flowers or tickets to an event you'd enjoy.

3. Stay conscious
Give some thought to the triggers that make you overeat. Do you eat when you're sad? Frustrated? Angry? Once you identify those food cues, you can consciously choose another way to respond to them. Maybe a phone call to a friend or a long, hot bath would do the trick. When you're ready to eat a meal, sit down at the table and focus on what you're doing -- don't read or watch TV. Making mealtimes a deliberate activity helps avoid those hurried, distracted snacks and quasi-meals we grab on the fly that result in calories consumed but not enjoyed.

4. Plan for success
Successful weight loss requires significant changes in your lifestyle and planning ahead. Making grocery lists, stocking your pantry with healthy food, and scheduling time for workouts will make those changes easier. Think ahead about how to circumvent defeat, too. If asked to bring hors d'oeuvres to a party, make it a vegetable plate. If you have trouble keeping yourself motivated, enlist a friend as your weight-loss buddy.

5. Get moving
Exercising not only burns calories and compensates for the slower metabolism that comes with eating less -- it makes you healthier. It can be fun, too, if you choose a sport or activity you love. A daily stroll can put you back in touch with the joy of movement. From there, try swimming, dance, skating, or anything that gets you going. Or just make small changes in your daily routine, like taking the stairs when you can instead of the elevator.
You don't have to be a super athlete in order to burn enough calories to lose weight, either. According to a study reported in the September 10, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, moderate exercise can be just as effective as vigorous exercise. Women in the study were asked to reduce their calorie intake and were then given exercise programs of varying intensity. After a year, the women who exercised moderately lost about the same amount of weight as the women who worked out more vigorously and for longer periods. That's good news for people who prefer a half hour on the treadmill to an hour in a spinning class.
It's also a good idea to build strength training into your workouts. The less muscle you have, the harder it is to lose weight and keep it off. Here's why: Muscle is metabolically active; it takes energy, in the form of calories, to sustain it. Fat isn't, and it doesn't. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Two or three 30-minutes weight-lifting sessions each week will make a big difference in your body composition and, therefore, in the number of calories you burn each day. For help on planning a workout routine and sticking to it, try our fitness contract and our Working Out topic page.

6. Eat healthfully
You can be well nourished while you're losing weight, says Nelson. In fact, eating well makes it easier to lose weight because you'll feel better, and you'll have more energy to stay active. Ideally, your daily intake of calories will break down like this: 45 to 65 percent from carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent from protein, and 20 to 35 percent from fat. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 7 percent of your daily calories in saturated fat, and of those, less than 1 percent in trans fat.
And make sure you load up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They'll help provide lifelong protection from a host of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Keep in mind, too, that when you're planning your diet, you're making lifelong changes. Don't deprive yourself of foods you like or that your body needs. Just eat less of the more fattening ones (an occasional scoop of Haagen-Dazs, not a pint). For meal planning tools and ideas, try our Healthy Eating topic page.

7. Track your success
Successful "losers," studies show, chart their progress. Writing it down keeps you from fooling yourself about how much you're eating and exercising. And watching those numbers drop on the scale can be a great motivator. What's more, research shows that people who keep a food diary, even if they're not consciously eating less, lose weight. "If you write it down, you know if you're eating enough fruits and vegetables or if you can eat an extra snack," says Nelson.

8. Bounce back
One holiday blowout doesn't ruin your chances for successful weight loss. And an extra piece of cake is not a mandate to polish off the platter. Everyone gives in to temptation once in a while -- the trick is to gently guide yourself back on track. There are no "bad" foods, and there's no point in beating yourself up for succumbing to some high-calorie treat. The more consistently you make wise food choices, the better you'll feel and the quicker you'll reach your goal. Just remember that controlling your eating is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It's calling the shots for yourself every day of your life.

Source : AhealthMe

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5 Tips to Get a Healthy Pregnancy

You can take these five crucial tips to protect your pregnancy. By following these tips, you can dramatically reduce the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, birth defects, and other complications. As a bonus, you'll be giving yourself the strength, energy, and confidence you'll need to thrive throughout the pregnancy and birth. Here are 5 tips to get a healthy pregnancy :

1. Eat well
Your growing baby has only one source of building materials: The foods you eat today will become part of his brain or his toes or his heart tomorrow. With so much at stake, this is not the time to go on a low-calorie diet. According to the American Dietetic Association, pregnant women should get between 2,500 and 2,700 calories a day.
It's also not the time to skimp on any of the food groups. If you're like most women, you probably already get plenty of protein every day from eggs, meat, nuts, and other sources. But you may have to make an extra effort to reach other important goals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says pregnant women should get at least three servings of fruits, four servings of vegetables, six to nine servings of grains or cereal, and at least four servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products every day.
Now that you're pregnant, take a few extra precautions at mealtime. To avoid food poisoning, make doubly sure that all meats and fish are fully cooked. Don't eat fish that contain high levels of mercury, including shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel. Tuna also contains mercury, but it's safe to eat as long as you don't have more than six ounces in a week. (You can have up to 12 ounces each week if you stick to canned "light" tuna.)

2. Take your supplements
No matter how careful you are at the dinner table, you'll probably have a shortage of two key nutrients: folic acid and iron. Not getting enough folic acid raises the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine. Women who could become pregnant should get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily – and more if they become pregnant. The federal Food and Drug Administration urges all pregnant women to get 800 micrograms of folic acid every day; while the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 micrograms daily, with a safe upper limit of 800 micrograms daily for pregnant women under 18 and 1000 micrograms daily for pregnant women over 18. Your doctor can help you choose the prenatal supplement that’s right for you.
Start taking iron supplements after talking with your doctor at your first prenatal visit. The usual dose is 20 or 30 milligrams each day. Iron in your bloodstream helps deliver oxygen to every part of your body, as well as to the placenta, which feeds your baby. If you don't have enough iron, you can become anemic, increasing the chance that your baby will be born prematurely or underweight.
A good prenatal vitamin will include both folic acid and iron. Most practitioners recommend that women start taking daily prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant, and continue using them through the pregnancy until they stop breastfeeding. Pregnancy can also drain your body of calcium, so you'll want to boost your calcium intake as well.

3. Don't smoke or drink alcohol
Growing babies can't cope with cigarettes and alcohol. The more you smoke, the more you restrict the baby's oxygen supply and raise the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, and other complications. It's a good idea to avoid secondhand smoke as well. Likewise, federal experts say there's NO safe level of alcohol during pregnancy. Heavy or binge drinking during pregnancy can damage a baby's brain and may cause a devastating birth defect called fetal alcohol syndrome. Even light drinking has been linked to learning disabilities and other problems. If you're having trouble giving up smoking or drinking, ask your doctor for help.

4. Take your medicine carefully
The medicine cabinet isn't off-limits just because you're pregnant. If you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, medications may be crucial to your health and your pregnancy. Your doctor may change your prescription or your dosage to give you the maximum benefit with the fewest risks. You should also check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter drugs such as pain relievers or allergy medicine. Some options will be safer than others. For instance, aspirin and ibuprofen may raise the risk of miscarriage, but acetaminophen (Tylenol) is known to be safe during most pregnancies.

5. Get regular prenatal care
Ideally, you should start getting prenatal care even before you conceive. If you plan to get pregnant, your doctor can check your overall health, make sure your vaccinations are current, and generally help you get your pregnancy off to the best possible start. Once you become pregnant, schedule a prompt appointment with your family doctor, an obstetrician, or another health professional.

Source : AhealthyMe/Chris W