Health

Protecting Against Preventable Illnesses

As humans we’re generally pretty robust, but things can still go wrong in a very bad way. Being such complex creatures allows us to do everything we can, however it also means there are so many different things that can stop functioning as they should. There are diseases we can develop or catch, and all kinds of other problems. While you shouldn’t fret about your health, you should still take steps to look after it. By doing so, you avoid all kinds of preventable illnesses and are more likely to go on and live a long happy and healthy life. Here are just a few of the preventable illnesses a proper lifestyle will help you to avoid.

Cancer

With good health care meaning, we’re now living longer than ever, it’s now estimated that one in two people will get cancer in their lifetime. While the majority of these are in much older patients, cancer doesn’t discriminate and affects people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Of course, not all cancers are preventable, and many occur seemingly out of the blue and due to nothing that the person has done wrong. However there are an awful lot of cancers caused by lifestyle choices too.

Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not eating the right foods, even working shift patterns can all contribute to certain cancers. Making a conscious effort to live well and look after our bodies can help to prevent many of these. Eat a diet with plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats to keep it nourished and running like a finely tuned machine. Exercise to keep it lean and strong, protect your skin from the sun and avoid toxins and chemicals as much as possible. You’re never going to be able to be 100% perfect, but taking steps to live in a healthy way will certainly prevent and protect against a wide range of cancers.

Cancer has a devastating effect on lives, once diagnosed you are likely to need radiation therapy and chemotherapy which can be hard on the body. Depending on the type of cancer you might need surgery too, for example, a facial tumor would need to be treated by a specialist such as DrAllison.org. Cervical or ovarian cancer could result in a hysterectomy surgery, or breast cancer, a mastectomy. The key to successfully avoiding certain cancers is to attend all of the screenings you’re invited to. These allow any changes to be picked up early where they’re in the most treatable stages.

Type Two Diabetes

In type two diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. As a result of this, glucose isn’t utilised by the body as fuel and instead stays in the blood. It causes all kinds of problems, from uncomfortable symptoms to life-changing conditions such as blindness and infections in the feet that can lead to needing amputations. Staying at a healthy weight, eating the right foods and exercise can all help to protect you against type two diabetes. It’s more common in certain groups of people: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It’s more likely to occur as you get older, and most importantly occurs most in those who are obese. Keeping your weight in check is incredibly important, you can’t change your age or ethnicity but you have control over this so take advantage of that.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, accounting for almost one in four deaths. The scariest thing is, it’s a preventable illness. Heart failure, stroke, angina, cardiac arrest and hypertension are just a few of the illnesses in the category of heart disease. They mainly occur due to fatty deposits in the arteries around the heart. They’re made up of cholesterol and waste substances, and restrict the flow of blood to the heart. Smoking and eating the wrong foods can contribute to this, as well as other diseases such as diabetes. Again, simply living a healthy life where you eat the right foods and do enough exercise are enough to protect you. Give up smoking and look after your body.

Osteoporosis

Once believed to be an inevitable part of growing old, research has now shown that osteoporosis is largely avoidable. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone loses density quicker than it’s replaced. This leads to weak and brittle bones, which can cause painful fractures very easily and in many cases a broken hip which can be fatal. Living healthily throughout your life, ensuring you get enough calcium and regular exercise will help to build up your bones.

Obesity Related Issues

As well as cancers, heart disease and diabetes, there are other obesity related issues that can be completely avoided with a good diet and exercise. Musco-skeletal problems such as back, hip, knee and foot issues can occur when you’re carrying too much weight for your frame. This can be disabling in some cases and create a vicious cycle where you’re unable to exercise and therefore gain more weight.

It can also cause sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing periodically in the night. This can lead to disturbed sleep and further health problems, particularly with the heart. It can lead to fertility issues, gallstones, and if you have a negative body image then mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression too. Find an activity you enjoy and stick with it to ensure you’re getting enough exercise. Stick to a food diary to track your macros to stop you from underestimating your food intake. If you have ongoing issues with your weight, try speaking to your GP. They will be able to refer you to a nutritionist or dietician and provide invaluable advice on getting on track.

What’re Your Thoughts

When your body is strong and healthy, you keep it functioning well, and also boost your immune system to give you better defences against disease. Follow common sense health advice, and don’t wait until things start going wrong before making a change!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Why It’s Important to Listen To Your Body

Taking care of your body when you are exercising should be your top priority. Without the body there to do the job, you can’t focus your energy into what you enjoy/is good for you. From eating the right food to listening to what your body is wanting and needing, it can be a pretty tough gig to constantly follow up everything that is happening. But there are some things that you may not be noticing with your body that could be a sign of something more meaningful and important going on. Here’s why it’s important to listen to your body.

Sleep

If you’re not feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep, you probably aren’t getting the amount of hours that you need. Although the recommended is a solid 8 hours, there are few people who can actually achieve this – we wake ourselves up more so than we should by looking at our smartphones in the middle of the night to check the time, or stresses and worries can start to creep upon us. Think about when the last time you slept through solidly was. If you can’t remember, it may be time to start going to bed earlier to try and get your 8 hours in. Another cause of feeling tired and restless when you wake up is sleep apnoea. This can come in two forms – obstructive and central – and it restricts your breathing so that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen while it is trying to rest. A simple sleep test will be able to determine whether or not you have it.

Heart Health

Most people aren’t aware of their heart rate and how fast it is meant to beat – it’s usually between 60 to 100 beats per minute, with a rise considered for exercise. It can be hard to constantly keep a check of your ticker, but if you feel like it’s not working as it should be it’s time to get it checked out before it’s too late. Even an irregular heartbeat can be a sign of something more serious; atrial fibrillation, or afib for short, is a condition that is brought on by a malfunction of the electrical system to your heart. Looking up afib information online is easy and can help massively with keeping you alert to the sign and symptoms of it.

Limbs

Pain in your arms and legs during or after exercise is commonly associated with going a bit too hard on your work out, but if it’s lasting any time longer than it should (a couple of days at the most), and you are feeling completely exhausted by what you have done, it could be a sign of adrenal fatigue. The best thing you can do is head to a doctor to get diagnosed and make sure that you’re not suffering more than you should be.

What’re Your Thoughts

Taking care of your body is of the utmost important, but it’s hard to do it unless you’re really considering the signs and symptoms it is offering to you. If you’re feeling unwell or unusual, don’t consider it as a one-off – get it checked out.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Is a Good Night’s Sleep Critical for a Healthy Life

The answer to that question is yes. Sleep has a very vital role in our lives and is an important requirement for our mental, physical and general well-being. It not only rejuvenates and revitalizes our body but also improves our cognitive functions and strengthens our memory. It affects your life quality plays a very crucial role in life safety.

Your day depends a lot on the quality and duration of your sleep. Your ability to work, feel and behave are all dependent on the quality and duration of your Zzzz’s. Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide(1), depression(2) and anxiety. Continuous sleep deprivation has also been linked to chronic health problems.

Weight Gain

Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can affect your satiety centre and cause you to gain weight. You are more likely to overindulge if you are sleep deprived. Getting a proper 8-hour sleep will ensure you take in fewer calories.

Productivity Issues

It is a no brainer that less sleep equals to less productivity. Not only that, sleep deprivation also causes the inability to think, react and concentrate. It affects your mood and mental health severely and may lead to poor decision-making skills.

Higher Risk of Cardiac Diseases

Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often end up having heart problems. When a person does not get the required amount of sleep, the body releases certain chemicals which keep the body from lowering its blood pressure and heart rate. If sleep deprivation becomes a regular thing, high blood pressure during the day becomes common and can easily lead to cardiovascular issues.

Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the human body is unable to break down sugar properly. This causes a starvation of your cells for energy since it is not getting energy through glucose. When the quality of your sleep is poor or you are sleep deprived, your body requires more insulin in order to maintain normal glucose levels. Sleep deprivation affects the body’s stress-control centre and causes hormonal imbalances which lead to problems in the regulation of glucose. When sleeplessness becomes a habit, the insulin producing cells stop proper functioning and give rise to elevated blood glucose levels which can cause diabetes. So, that late night chocolate cravings are not to be tended to if you want to continue eating sweet things later on in life!

Depression

Insomnia is a common occurrence among the depressed patients. People who have issues falling asleep, staying asleep or getting quality sleep are at a higher risk of developing depression as compared to those who get quality sleep(3). Sleep apnea has also been observed to cause depression.

Weak Immune System

Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality also weakens the immune system. Hence, sleep deprived individuals are more likely to catch a flu or fever. The human body produces proteins called cytokines that are released by the immune system to promote sleep. When you have an infection or inflammation or are under a lot of stress, some of these cytokines increase. Sleep deprivation causes the production of these cytokines to decrease. It also causes the infection fighting antibodies to decrease in number, thus weakening the human immune system and making the body vulnerable to common diseases.

Emotional Instability

Feeling irritated and emotionally unstable after a sleep deprived night is not uncommon. Recent studies have shown that a sleep deprived mind loses its ability to think rationally. A sleep deprived brain starts exhibiting primitive behaviour and regresses in its ability to think rationally and logically. Hence, the emotions start running amok.

Many psychiatric disorders that involve emotions are related to sleep deprivation. Abnormal patterns of sleep can cause mental instability. A good night’s sleep is very important to maintain a healthy mind and keep your emotions in check. Instead of going for anti-depressants or other drugs, go for a good night’s sleep and this may just be the simplest cure for your emotional and mental behaviour to get back to normal.

Safety!

Sleep deprivation can quite critically affect your life directly too. Sleep deprived individuals are at a higher risk for accidents on the road or at work. There have been many cases of fatal road accidents when sleep deprived individuals dozed off while driving.

The normal adults require a minimum of 8 hours sleep to lead a healthy life. Getting less than 8 hours can contribute to a great deal of physical as well as mental issues. A lot of people are not aware of the dangers of getting less sleep. They may think that they can function properly after getting only a few hours of sleep but if sleep deprivation becomes a habit, it can take its toll on the person’s health and safety in a horrible way. Your body and your immune system depend greatly on sleep. So, change into your Pj’s, turn off the lights and hit the bed for some Zzzz’s so that you can make sure you live a healthy and fuller life.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25133759
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16259539
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=16335332&ordinalpos=9&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Read Eugene’s latest post on sleep and bedroom designs.

Eugene Gabriel has his BSc (Hons.) Degree in Psychology. He has always been fascinated by the effects of good quality sleep, or the lack of it on human productivity and overall well-being. He has helped thousands of individuals suffering from sleeping problems by teaching them about the healthy changes they need to make in their lifestyle in order to sleep peacefully.

Whatever It Is, Stop Putting It Off!

We all know what it’s like. You’ve got that to-do list in front of you, you know what’s on there, you know you shouldn’t wait, but then you come up with some new excuse as to why you can’t possibly do it. You’ll get round to it later! It’s not that urgent! You just don’t have the time! Do these excuses sounds familiar? Everyone does this from time to time but putting off jobs that you could do right now is a pretty foolproof way to end up in trouble. Some things could just end up being inconvenient, but other could end up being genuinely dangerous if you don’t deal with them. So, to help you finally start crossing things off your to-do list, here are some things that you need to stop putting it off until later!

Medical Appointments

This is probably the most common, which is utterly bizarre considering how important it really is. Whether it’s because it’s inconvenient or because you’re afraid to go, it’s incredibly common that people put off medical appointments over and over again. Even if they’re worried about something, many people have a tendency to put it off until it’s so serious they can’t ignore it anymore. Of course, if they’d dealt with it sooner then it would have been much easier to sort out. If you’re feeling nervous or afraid then you should talk to your doctor about it, they’ll often be able to put you at ease, and practices like http://www.dentistrywithtlc.com/ are specifically geared towards those who are afraid of the dentist. Even if it turns out you’re completely fine, at least you’ll be able to put your mind at ease.

Updating Your Resume

Plenty of people find themselves stuck in jobs that they don’t want. But why is that? If people hate their jobs so much why don’t they find something new? Well, a lot of the time it’s because trying to find a new job can be so stressful and difficult at times that they would rather just stick with the bad job that they have. The first step in that process is always making sure that your resume is updated. It’s often the simplest part of the entire process but, because it’s the first step, it’s the one that people are often most reluctant actually to do. Once it’s finished and they’ve sent it off to employers, most people are excited at the idea of interviewing and starting somewhere new. Just set aside a single evening and get it done. It’s not going to take you long, and you’re going to be much happier in the long run once you do.

Getting Your Car Repaired

“I don’t need to take my car to a mechanic yet! It runs just fine!” These are famous last words if ever there were any. Your care might be running “just fine” as far as you can tell but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any underlying problems that could soon result in more serious ones. If you’re lucky, all that will happen is that your car will break down and you’ll need to call a recovery service. But if things go really wrong then there’s a chance you could get into a serious accident. Make sure that you’re taking your car in for a service regularly so that you know for a fact that it really is running just fine.

Getting in Shape

We all feel as though we could be in slightly better shape, but the vast majority of us tend to put it off for years at a time. Constantly saying things like “I’ll start it tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow as arrived, and it’s time to take control of your life and your body. If you want to get into better shape, look better and feel better, then there’s only one way that’s going to happen, hard work and dedication. Once you actually get started, you’re probably going to find that it’s something you enjoy a great deal. Exercise releases a lot of positive endorphins leaving feeling elated after a really great workout.

Saving Money

There’s never a “right time” to start saving money. No matter what, you’re always going to be in a position where you’ve got to be careful about how you’re spending, but many people don’t realise how much they actually spend on average. If you look at it in the cold light of day, you’ll probably realise that, if you cut back on little luxuries here and there then you’d have a lot more money to set aside each month. That way you’re going to be able to give yourself a financial cushion, save for a trip you’ve always wanted, or start putting money aside for your future.

Reconnecting With Someone

Relationships have their ebbs and flows, people come together, and they drift apart, it’s a natural part of life. But if there’s someone in your life that you wish you hadn’t let go of then there’s no reason not to reach out to them. Whatever happened in the past is just that: in the past. If you find your thumb hovering over the “call” button or constantly staring at a blank Facebook message, just reach out to them. The worst that happens is that things stay as they are, in which case you at least get some closure, but there’s always a chance that they’ve been doing exactly the same thing and miss you just as much as you miss them. Life’s too short to spend it holding grudges, so why not take the leap and reach out to someone?

What’re Your Thoughts

Taking risks and starting something is always going to be scary but by putting things off all you do if build them up in your mind until they become far scarier than they really are. By dealing with things straight away, you’ll find yourself feeling much more at ease.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

A Busy Life Shouldn’t Affect Your Health

When we lead busy lives it means our time is mostly taken up by work and spending time with our family and friends; it can be quite difficult to fit in living healthily through a nutritious diet and a rigorous physical exercise routine. Here’s some tips for why a busy life shouldn’t affect your health.

As our time is taken up, it can sometimes be easier for us to eat fast food or food which can be made easily; but this can mean that we don’t manage to get enough nutrition or vitamins in our day to day lives. It’s understandable that some people do eat food like this if they lead busy lives the last thing they will feel like doing is preparing a meal; which can take a while to get ready. But, in the long run, if you do not eat a balanced diet and do not exercise properly then this can affect your physical and mental health so you should try to help your body as much as you can.

If you are thinking of how to maintain a healthy diet and good exercise while you still function with your busy life; then there are aspects which you can control pretty easily and with minimum fuss and effort. For example, if you would like a change in your diet; then you could prepare a nutritious lunch the night before or you could pack some fruit or a smoothie into your bag so that you can easily make your daily nutritional values without feeling stressed or having to rush out of the office to the nearest health shop.

You should always try to drink lots of liquid, too, and try to stay as hydrated as you can. Water is a good choice of beverage, and if you want to explore the benefits then take a look at some Nikken reviews; which can allow you to make an informed choice. Try to avoid fizzy drinks, and also try not to drink too much caffeine as these types of drinks are not the healthiest and could have detrimental effects on your health.

If you are looking for ways of maintaining your physical exercise routine; but are finding that you sometimes can’t keep up with it because of your busy life. Then you could think about exercising at work. It will not be a fully blown workout but you will still reap the benefits of doing small exercises; and you may not even feel like you are working out! Exercises you could take part in are calf stretches while sat at your desk, you could lift heavy objects from storage areas, and you could take the stairs when traveling to your office rather than taking the elevator.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Keeping on top of our health is really important in maintaining a good outlook on life. Lots of us live busy lives, and sometimes neglect our health because of that. However, you should attempt to stay fit and healthy at all times.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Under Your Skin: Tips for Looking Fresh and Vibrant

Having better skin is something that many of us strive for, but it’s not something that is always easy to achieve. There are so many different possible causes that it can be difficult to put your finger on exactly what is causing the issue. Your best bet is to take a few courses of action to give yourself the best chance of seeing results.

There are a few simple changes that you can make to your skincare routine and lifestyle which can all add up to making a big difference in the end. Here are some skin tips for looking fresh and vibrant.

A Good Night’s Rest

Let’s start at the beginning (or the end depending on which way you look at it!). Getting a good night’s sleep is hugely important for our health and wellbeing – and this is certainly the case when it comes to our skin. This is the time when our body’s repair functions kick into action, helping to put right some of the damage that has been caused during the day. If you are sleep deprived, this can cause an increase of adrenaline and cortisol which are both common hormones linked to skin problems. What constitutes a good night’s sleep varies from person to person, but it is generally agreed that between 7 and 8 hours is good.

Try Water-Based Hair Products

Some conditioners (as well as volumizers and styling creams) have been found to clog pores and lead to acne. These products inevitably run down your body when you are showering, as well as when you sweat. Some brands specialize in water-based hair products so try these out if you find you have clogged pores and acne on your forehead (which is a telltale sign that they may be causing problems).

Keep Track of Your Dairy Intake

Though a certain amount of dairy in your diet shouldn’t cause you too many issues; too much can lead to acne breakouts according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health. It’s not been clearly agreed why this is the case, but it’s thought to be something to do with the natural hormones that are particularly prevalent in milk. While cutting down on your dairy is unlikely to solve the problem on its own; it should help those who are particularly prone to suffering severe acne breakouts.

Cut Out Bad Habits

We all know that bad habits like smoking causes a myriad of health issues, and causing skin problems is just another one to add to the list. Similarly, binge drinking sessions can cause facial flushing (due to damaged blood vessels), as well as dehydration which will inevitably dry your skin out. Eating too much junk food has also been linked to a variety of skin issues. Ultimately, following this advice can only be a positive thing for your overall health, not just your skin.

Avoid Excess Sun Exposure

Though the right amount of sun can be beneficial for our health; the link between UV rays and skin cancer continues to be shown over time. If you are out in the sun for a prolonged period of time; make sure to wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor. Also, don’t forget about the exposure that can occur even when you are indoors. If the sun is shining through the window of your office, home or car, you are still at risk. Wear moisturizer with an SPF factor to ensure that you always have some level of protection wherever you go.

Improve Air Quality

We’ve already talked about how smoking can be harmful to your skin, but even being in a smoky environment can be problematic as this can encourage the release of free radicals which damages skin and quickens aging. Other indoor pollutants can also cause issues. For example, if you cook with oil, you should always use the fan to prevent the air from becoming too dry. The same goes if you have an extractor fan in your bathroom. Also consider running a humidifier in your bedroom to further improve air quality.

Try to Reduce Your Stress

Again, this is another factor that spreads into all areas of life. Stress is often a cause of severe acne breakout as it increases the production of hormones such as cortisol which makes skin oilier and reduces its ability to fight off bacteria that causes acne. One of the best ways to combat stress is by taking some time to yourself every day. Whether you enjoy a relaxing bubble bath, listening to calming music or yoga; try to focus on your immediate surroundings rather than external factors which are beyond your control. When you are less stressed, you should also find it easier to get a good night’s sleep; which was the first point on the list (I’m sure you remember!).

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

If you take various medication, some of it may be causing skin issues. There are a range of options if you are looking for treatment for skin conditions, but it is probably best to get in touch with the professionals. Just some of the things that may cause issues are oral contraceptives, antibiotics, diuretics, and antidepressants. Always consult with your doctor before altering any medication.

Drink Green Tea

Try replacing your morning cup of coffee with green tea instead. It is packed with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which can help if you suffer from red and blotchy skin. It also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been found to hold back collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles. And also be aware that drinking it iced rather than hot is better for your skin.

Find Out If Your Water is Hard or Soft

Soft water doesn’t tend to remove soap well so you can end up with a residue on your skin. If this is the case be sparing with face and body cleansers. Conversely, hard water doesn’t allow for easy lathers so try non-soap formulas. You should be able to find out from your water provider about the hardness of your water.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Five Seemingly Innocent Things That Could Be Seriously Damaging Your Health

There are certain things that we know aren’t good for our health, and smoking cigarettes is the perfect example. There is nobody in the Western world that doesn’t know how harmful cigarettes can be for our health; both in the long and short term. But we are all guilty of doing little things which could actually have a really terrible impact on our health and wellbeing in the long term. From maintaining high levels of stress to listening to blaring music, we put our bodies through a lot. Here are some common causes things that could be seriously damaging your health.

Using Your Laptop for too Long

Do you ever come away from your computer after a long day with a terrible headache in the front of your skull, dry eyes, or even dizziness and nausea? Staring at a backlit screen for a whole day is putting all sorts of strain on our eyes, but using a computer is something that’s quite unavoidable. Quitting your job and throwing your PC out of the window is quite a drastic response; there are plenty of things we can do to help our bodies to deal with this strain. Firstly, regular screen breaks are a must; get away from the computer, look into the long and middle distance, and try to avoid too much bright light. A walk around outside with sunglasses on for just a few minutes is perfect. It is advised that a five-minute break is taken every 60 minutes, at least. You could always invest in an anti-glare film for your screen, which stops any natural or unnatural light from reflecting on your screen, making the likeliness of eye strain and headaches lower.

Listening to Your Music too Loud

Ever had the warning from your music device that listening to loud music could be damaging to your health, and just written it off as a nag, keeping your volume blaring? It might seem that your music isn’t too loud, but when it’s projected directly into your ears for long periods; it’s surprising how little volume can do long-term and irreversible damage – somewhere around 75-85 decibels depending who you ask. If you are experiencing reduced hearing, or any sort of ringing in your ears, it’s worth popping into a hearing clinic for some advice. Problems with hearing don’t tend to just crop up overnight; they are usually the result of long-term exposure to noise above the recommended level.

Wearing Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are a fashion staple. They suit women of almost any body shape and size, and look amazing. But actually, they could be doing our bodies a serious disservice, for more than one reason. Firstly, the tight waistband could be forcing your organs to move within your body; which could cause stomach complaints and digestive issues that last long after the jeans are off. This is especially the case if you wear skinny jeans while eating a large meal. In some cases, the tight waistband literally stops the food from being able to move properly; hindering digestion and causing all manner of discomfort.

Secondly, the tightness of the fabric around the top of the thighs can actually pinch the nerves there; especially when sitting down. This can cause a tingling feeling in the legs and feet, and over a long period of time could cause serious damage. And finally, tight jeans need to be washed more frequently. The continuous contact with skin can cause all manner of bacterial skin complaints which can be tricky to treat. If you’re a huge fan of the skinny jeans, try to avoid wearing them every day, and make sure they’ve got a bit of elasticity, especially around the tops, and just remember to keep them clean, and you should be a-okay.

Using Electronics Before Bed

In order to be happy and healthy, we need to sleep for the optimal amount each night. While this amount of time differs between people, most people can admit that they probably don’t get enough sleep. Whether it’s staying up later than we ought, or just not being able to switch off once we are in bed; many of us are suffering from some sort of sleep deficiency. A surprising but significant cause of this insomnia epidemic is the use of electronics both before bed and in the bedroom.

Electronics and screens act to energize our brains. The high amount of information we receive requires our brains to work at full throttle; which lasts long after we turn our phones off. A blackout period of at least an hour, although preferably two, before it’s time to go to sleep is a great way to convince your brain that it’s time to wind down. Use this time to catch up with your partner, read a book, or take a relaxing bath, and see how your sleep quality and energy the following day are improved.

Eating too Much Fruit

Fact or fiction: a healthy diet should mainly consist of fruit and vegetables? Well actually, it’s fiction. Vegetables yes, but fruit – less so. Most fruits are high in sugars, which are super calorific. When these calories aren’t burnt by your body, they can be stored as fats; which is probably the opposite of what you’re aiming for. On top of this, fruits which are highly acidic, such as apples and citrus fruits, could be damaging the enamel in your teeth; which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. The odd bit of fruit is fine, but make sure it’s washed down with a glass of plain water to avoid the acid staying in contact with the teeth for extended periods. And if you’re on a healthy diet, focus your meals and snacks on veggies, rather than fruit, for a lower sugar intake.

What’re Your Thoughts

Finally, don’t let things get you down. Stress and anxiety have been connected to high blood pressure and possible heart disease in the future; so keeping stress levels low is the key to a long, healthy, and happy life.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Top 10 Weight Loss Exercises

Losing weight can be a difficult prospect. With so much information out there, it can be tough to find the right method. In this article, I’ll be talking about some fantastic weight loss exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, and can help increase your metabolism so your body will burn off fat like butter.

There’s a common belief that only long distance or cardiovascular endurance type of exercises are good for weight loss. While you do lose weight while doing those exercises, they don’t increase your metabolism very much, because they don’t build much muscle mass. By doing some strength training, you will increase your muscle tone, and this will increase your metabolism. This can dramatically help you lose weight.

Squats

Squats are a great way to strengthen your upper legs, calves, stomach, and lower back. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath in. Pull you arms back behind you, and begin to swing them forward as you squat down. Put the weight on the balls of your feet. Swing your arms so they tips of your fingers barely touch the floor. Inhale as you stand up. Repeat as many times as you can. At first, you’ll be able to do ten or twenty, but you’ll be able to increase over time.

Push ups

Push ups are another great way to increase your lean muscle mass. They work pretty much every muscle above the waist. Start in the push-up position, and then raise your backside so that you are in an upside down V. As you lower your midsection, sweep your chest and face forward, and then lift them up. Your legs and waist should be just above the floor, and chest and face should be pointed forward. Return to the V position and repeat. This is fairly difficult, so don’t expect to do more than a couple the first time. Just keep at it, and be prepared to be amazed at the changes in your upper body.

Sit up

Build good looking abs with sit ups. There are countless variations, so just choose one that you are familiar with. A common one, which works plenty of muscles, is called the mummy sit up. Lay down on your back, like you are getting ready to go to sleep. Then sit up without bending your legs, or lifting them off the floor. When you can do twenty-five of these, consider yourself to have stronger stomach muscles that pretty much anybody you meet.

Walking

Walking makes the best exercises list not because it is extraordinary but because you do it every day. It is extremely easy to stick to a workout plan when it includes walking because it’s something you do anyway. Simply making yourself walk more or further is much easier task than keeping that New Year’s resolution to go to the gym three times a week!

Planks

A plank is a variation of a push up and really works the core muscles. It includes pushing up off the ground as if you’re going to do a push up, but instead holding the pose for at least one minute. A repetition of ten to twenty planks per day will shed the pounds quicker than with 500 pushups a day! It is a good idea to start out slow as just one of these can really make a difference in your overall weight loss.

Dance

Dancing is an incredibly fun and easy way to shed pounds quickly. It also falls into the category of walking in that it is something that is easy to do when you are cleaning house or just lazing around on a Saturday morning. Remember it is always the things that are enjoyable that help you lose weight fast and that is because you are more likely to stick to the regimen if you aren’t bored or feel like you are punishing yourself.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings are a safe and effective exercise for most people. It’s a great full body workout that recruits several different muscle groups. Kettlebell swings not only improve muscle definition, but they’ll work on your cardiovascular endurance as well. If you have back pain, these are a great low impact exercise to improve endurance and strengthen the muscles of the back without a lot of risk for injury.

Strengthening Exercise

Strengthening exercise builds muscular strength and is a great complement to aerobic exercise. Lifting weights or utilizing resistance training machines are a great way to build muscle strength, but you can also successfully build muscle in the comfort of your own home by doing sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts or taking a 2-5 pound weight with you when you go for a walk. Resistance bands can be purchased and used in the comfort of your home, as well.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is important because as we age, the full range of motion of our muscles and joints can decrease, and stretching can prevent this from happening. It’s easy to incorporate stretching into your exercise routine by stretching for at least 5-10 minutes before and after aerobic and strength-training exercise programs. And be sure you don’t overstretch, as this can injure your body.

Combo Workout Regimens

Combo workouts are quicker ways to lose weight. Doing the same workout every day can not only be boring but it can also prevent you from seeing true results. Once your body becomes conditioned to a workout it begins to slow down in way of progression due to muscle memory. But this is only one reason that combo workouts make such difference in your weight loss success.

These ten exercises should be enough to get you started. Don’t push yourself too hard, and add repetitions only when you feel comfortable. Give yourself a couple of months, and prepare to be amazed at how well these simple exercises will burn fat and dramatically change the way your body looks.

Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter

Indulge Your Spine

Your spine is a crucial part of your body. Without it, you couldn’t walk or even hold yourself upright. That’s why when something goes wrong with it, it can cause so much damage to your quality of life. A bad back can affect what you do on your job, as well as your personal life. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to give your spine healthy. Here’s some advice.

Let Your Spine Rest While You Sleep

Most people like to sleep on their sides or their front. This is natural, and something most of us have done since childhood. But sleeping on your side might not be such a good idea when it comes to looking after your spine; especially if you have a  herniated disc. It’s usually a much better idea to sleep on your back and ensure that the spine isn’t twisting. For extra support, put a pillow under your knees.

Your choice of mattress and pillows s also very important when it comes to looking after your back. According to Spine-Health, people suffering from back pain should choose a mattress that evenly distributes their weight, taking any unnecessary pressure off the spine itself.

Exercise To Strengthen Core Muscles

Another reason why people run into back pain trouble is that their core muscles aren’t strong enough relative to the demands they place on their backs. Weak muscles around the lower back, as well as the abdomen, mean that the body cannot adequately support the spine itself, leading to strain and damage, especially when moving in unfamiliar directions.

The solution to this problem is rather simple: train abdominal and other core muscles so that they become stronger. Abdominal muscles can be trained through a variety of simple exercises in no more than 15 minutes a day.

Buy Shoes To Support Your Spine

The type of shoes that you wear have a significant impact on the health of your back, whether you’re a keen hiker or just walk to work in the mornings. It turns out that shoes play an important role in how well supported your lower back is. The best shoes, including walking boots, provide a lot of support to your feet, keeping the legs and the lower spine in alignment. Of particular importance is the area around the back of the heels. This part of the shoe needs to be snug if your foot is to be supported.

Our bodies were designed to walk barefoot, so in some cases, the shoes themselves might be the problem. Shoes cause us to walk very slightly differently to how nature intended because of the fact that the soles of shoes are different to those of our feet. The good news is that you don’t have to walk barefoot everywhere if you don’t want to. There are not shoes by companies like Vibram that mold to the shape of your feet – and even your individual toes – allowing you the feeling of walking barefoot without exposing your feet to the elements. People who walk barefoot or in shoes that mimic the effect tend to have a better gait and, therefore, a healthier back.

Grab A Regular Massage

By now, the benefits of massage are well-documented. Not only does massage increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles of the back, but it also helps to release endorphins – natural feel-good factors. These endorphins are a type of natural painkiller; relieving the body of ailments and helping you to get on with your day.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from back pain but take regular massages can reduce their intake of painkillers; some of which can have detrimental side effects. Researchers believe that this might have something to do with the fact that massage helps to bring healing nutrients to affected sites around the back, speeding up the healing process.

You can indulge your spine by going to the spa next to your gym or having a massage therapist visit your home.

Practice Good Ergonomics While Sitting

The media has been harping on about how sitting is the new smoking. And while it remains to be seen whether sitting all day really is as bad as puffing your way through a pack of 20, anybody who has a bad back knows how sitting can aggravate it further.

Anybody who sits at a desk knows that there is a tendency to either lean into the computer screen or slouch back; which can stress the delicate discs in our spine. Official advice, therefore, is to avoid long periods of sitting wherever possible; including regularly getting up on your feet to go to the toilet or make a drink.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

A Guide to Staying Fit and Healthy Whilst Abroad

Our health and fitness can take a backseat whilst we’re abroad. Most of us are too busy sunning ourselves our delving into the local delicacies to worry about workouts or what we should be eating. It’s true that a holiday should be a chance to relax and enjoy yourself. But if you’re conscious of staying fit and healthy whilst abroad, take a look at this guide…

Fitness

Taking a break from work and the monotony at home is great, but taking a break from fitness altogether will make the adjustment harder when you return. Fitness abroad should be about having fun rather than completing a punishing chore. Going on hikes and swimming in the sea are great ways of staying fit, and making the most of your surroundings whilst abroad.

If you prefer some gentler exercise or need a rest from your rigorous regime at home, try some walking. Instead of getting a taxi or driving around, explore on foot. This is a great way to stay fit but also get around like a local. Hiring bikes is another fun idea to keep up your fitness whilst you’re away, without compromising on fun!

Medicine

If you want to enjoy your holiday as much as possible, come prepared with medicines. There’s nothing worse than being stuck abroad and not having the pain relief or treatment you need. https://www.canadapharmacyonline.com has information about some of the common illnesses people can pick up whilst on holiday, and what to take for them. Even if you’re only traveling for a week, it’s best to come prepared and take your health seriously. Problems which aren’t treated might ruin your holiday, or even get worse.

Eating Out

Trying local foods and cuisines is one of the best things about going abroad. It can be difficult to stop yourself from going overboard, especially if you’re eating out every day. If you’re at a hotel and they have a breakfast buffet opt for fruit, toast, and yogurt for breakfast. As a special treat have a larger breakfast once a week to treat yourself. If you’re eating out try ordering side salads to accompany a meal rather than chips or fried vegetables. In fact ordering a number of sides as your lunch is a good way to tailor-make a healthy meal.

Simple Workouts

There are also some simple workouts that you can do anywhere in the world. Indoors, outdoors, a hotel room, or a hostel, these exercises are completely travel-proof and will keep you fit.

Sit-ups, crunches, and planks are all great ab workouts that you can continue to do anywhere in the world. Squats, ski-sits, and leg raises will help to keep your leg limber for all the walking you’ll be doing. Lunges are another no-equipment-needed exercise that will help your overall fitness whilst your away. Stick to these suggestions and you should stay fit and healthy whilst you holiday.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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