The Benefits of Running

running

We all know those people who are completely addicted to running. They would run marathons, triathlons, and trails. But, why do we run? What is so important about running that we feel the need to do it?

Runners love the feeling and energy that they get from running. Running helps to strengthen all muscles within your body. You may think that it’s only your legs that are getting stronger, but there’s more to it than that. You lose a lot of fat when you exert yourself through running.

Your heart is beating at such a rate that helps it to gain strength as well. After all, the heart is a muscle that allows the blood to flow through your veins and supply you with sufficient oxygen. Your lungs begin to strengthen because of the escalated rise in breathing through the exercise. Your body begins to adapt to this increased level of expended energy and thus you begin to develop efficiencies within your body to help you maintain the outflow of energy.

Your entire core builds from running. Your metabolism kicks into overdrive and your body begins to burn calories. With all these benefits, you may ask yourself, why don’t I run more? Get out there and get active!

 

Go to Sleep: Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Some nights we just lay down in our beds and we’re out like a light, while other nights we toss and turn relentlessly. Approximately 50-70 million adults in the United States have sleeping disorders. As our lives progress, we are bombarded by external factors that affect our mental capacity by the time the sun goes down and the moon shows itself. Every day we have stresses that may come from work, school, children or even your spouse. Sleep is such a vital part of our well-being and most of the time we choose to look past it.

By looking past our sleep issues, we are forsaking the health benefits that come from having a good nights’ rest. If we slept more, we would be able to focus better, have energy and nap less. So what can we do to fix this? There are lots of sleeping medications on the market that your doctor is able to issue with just a scratch of a pen on paper, but what if you don’t want to take medication to help you do something as simple as sleeping?

We have a few suggestions that may be of some assistance to you if you have trouble falling asleep:

Get Out of Bed

If you lie down and find yourself tossing and turning, the best thing to do would be to just give up and get up. Don’t knock it just yet! Studies have shown that if you lay in bed it may reflect negative emotions within your mind and may prevent you from ever settling down comfortably within your bed. Instead, get up and go to another room or sit somewhere else and find something to do. You could read a mundane book or delve into your current hobby- however, do not turn to any electronic items. The blue light from technological devices will impact your melatonin levels and prevent you from sleeping well. Whatever you choose to do make sure it’s being done well away from your bed. When you feel yourself growing tired then you may try again.

Temperature

Keep your bedroom cold to help you sleep better. When your brain is sent signals that your body is getting cold then it releases melatonin to level your body temperature. Your body will feel the need to go to sleep and you’ll drift off. Your body temperature usually drops to its lowest point between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Turn the Clock Around

This doesn’t have any relation to time travel. What this means is to turn your clock around so that you’re not able to see the time. If you keep looking at the clock and you see the minutes passing by, it will create nervous energy and you’ll never fall asleep. Sometimes watching the time causes too much pressure that you continuously worry and your mind will begin to race. So turn the clock around and do yourself a favor and leave it that way. You will fall asleep on your own, in due time.

Inform Yourself: Gout

 

gout

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes inflammation within the joints.

What causes gout?

High levels of uric acid in your blood can cause crystals to form in the joints. These crystals are needle-like and will often cause intense pain.

Signs to Look For

If you experience severe pain that comes with tenderness, warmth, and redness to the area, then that is a sign that you are having a gout flare-up.

Who Gets Gout?

Many people in the United States suffer from gout. About 6 million men and 2 million women will experience gout-like symptoms and will have to learn how to keep it under control. Women are not as prone to gout because the usual age of occurrence is 60 and by that time a woman’s estrogen levels are able to protect her from developing the disease

Treatment

Monitoring your diet is a vital part of gout maintenance. Any food that contains purine should be limited. Please keep in mind that some foods may affect you more than others and you should keep track of which foods are causing the flare-ups. Here are a few foods and beverages that have high levels of purine and which you should consider when you are preparing your meals or ordering your food:

  • Diuretic medications
  • Sodas
  • Red meats (Beef, pork, lamb, bacon)
  • Alcohol
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Shellfish
  • Certain Seafood (Anchovies, Sardines, Herring, Mackerel)

As always, speak to your doctor about ways to prevent a flare-up if you do suffer from gout. Knowing what triggers it may help you keep the pain at bay. Also, don’t take any medications until you speak with a medical professional. Gout doesn’t have to stand in your way to living a normal life.

 

Wellness Tips Wednesday: Aging Joints

joints

As you begin to age, your joints are beginning to go through a stressful period. Joints are very reliant on your core strength, living a healthy lifestyle and keeping up consistently with an exercise regiment.

There are some additional steps that you could take to ensure that those joints age gracefully.

Eat Fish

Fish consists of omega-3, which has been scientifically proven to help fight inflammation of the joints. There is a wide selection of fish to choose from, but they range from tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring. Try incorporating these into your diet to help alleviate pain and stiffness associated with aging joints.

Warm Up

Before beginning your exercises try to get a warm up routine in before beginning. Diving right into exercise is like a jolt to your joints since they’re not used to the movements. Try to loosen them up by doing a few stretched and moderate exercises to wake them up from their slumber.

Moderate Work Out

When working out, try to take it easy. Follow the signs that your body is giving you and don’t press too hard. Getting into a fitness routine may be a bit difficult but don’t over exert your body. Pushing too hard during exercise may do more damage than good, so begin with a light 30 minutes and track the way that your body responds.

Monday Mood Booster: Part 10

Having a rough day? We present to you our final installment of the mood booster series with additional tips. Make a great impact on your life by utilizing these tips and have a great week!

Nap

When everything seems as it’s closing in and you just feel frustrated with the blows that life is dealing, then grab a blanket and settle down in bed or on the couch and take a nap. If you are looking for a way to calm anxiety, reduce stress and perk up your brain power then turn to powering down and taking a 20-minute nap. You’ll take up refreshed and energized to keep your day going.

Hot Shower/ Bath

If your mood has sunken to a new low, just hop into the shower. Get the water warm or steaming and step into your new oasis. The hot water helps to improve your mood because the water acts similarly to a hug or embrace. Our natural instincts associate warmth to emotional and physical comfort. This is a natural and quick way to improve our mood.

Scent Therapy

Scents have a methodical way of calming your mind and it’s portable. You have the chance to use scent therapy everywhere and anywhere. Different scents could give you different results. We all know lavender is calming and has the power to help you sleep. The scent of citrus is known to provide a quick energy boost. Studies have shown that people have improved concentration when they are exposed to fragrances. Getting a diffuser is a great way to take advantage of this mood booster.

frutis

Foodtastic Friday: Is it Ready Yet? Part 3

If you’re looking forward to eating fresh fruits for the summer, then we have some advice on what to look for when you’re at the grocery store. Stock up on all your favorite fruits while the season is in its prime!

Cherries

Cherries are great during the summer seasons and are a great source of vitamin C. Ripe cherries are still attached to their stems. They are firm and dark. If a cherry feels soft to the touch then that means that they are past their prime, however, they are still edible.

Coconuts

If you are able to see the “eyes” of the coconut, then place your fingers there. In comparison to the rest of the coconut, the eyes should feel soft and dry. Additionally, you should be able to hear the water on the inside sloshing around when you shake it.

Oranges

Oranges are another form of vitamin C and are easy to detect for ripeness. If the orange appears to be too pale then that means that it hasn’t reached its prime. If the skin looks leathery, then that means that it’s overripe. If the orange is bright and the skin is firm then it’s ready to be eaten.

heart

Wellness Tips Wednesday: Heart Health

The heart is the most vital part of your body, treat it right and it will serve you well. We have some tips to help you accomplish this mission and it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Eat Fish

By including fish into your diet, you will be able to maintain a healthy heart. Fish, especially salmon, tuna and sardines are great providers of omega-3, which is a fatty acid. Omega-3 is able to help keep heart disease at bay. The recommended serving should be consumed at least twice a week.

Numbers are Important

Having an idea of what your blood pressure stats are, is highly important in knowing where you stand with heart health. Getting your blood pressure checked helps you to know your blood sugar levels, triglycerides and your cholesterol. By knowing your numbers, you’re able to better understand how your diet and exercise could be impacts. Your doctor will always give you the best advice on how to maintain or improve your numbers.

No More Fats

Curb your appetite when it comes to highly fatty foods. It’s understandable that cheeseburgers are delicious, ice cream is yummy and pizza is an amazing quick meal. However, by eating too many fats, your heart may not be able to handle the calories and you may fall into some trouble. Keep tabs on your calorie intake, the fats within your foods and the grease as well. Think smart to preserve that heart.

Monday Mood Booster: Part 9

We’ve got your weekly tips prepared to ensure that your week gets off to a great start.

To-Do Lists

Gather all your activities that you have set for the day and create a list. Make it easy to read and in a checklist form. Make it a personal goal to accomplish everything on the list. When you accomplish each activity check it right off. By keeping an organized list of all your accomplishments, you’re able to visualize the end of your day like a finish line.

At the end of the day, you’re able to view your list and visually see all of your tasks performed in a single day. This method can keep you motivated to get your tasks done and maybe you’ll develop a habit of this.

Wear Color

Swapping out those dark and dreary colors for a more joyful color has the ability to transform your mood. Psychologists have speculated that color can give your mood a positive outlook. Bright red, pinks and yellows are what you should go for. They stimulate your mind to enhance your mood. Dress your way to a happier day.

Choose Your Words

You have the ability to control your mood depending on the types of words that you use when speaking about yourself. If you talk down to yourself, you’re in the process of tricking your mind to believe all the negative things that you tell yourself. Common comments that are known for bringing people down would be: “I can’t do this”, “Nothing is going right” and “I hate the way I look”.

By using positive words, you’d be able to convince your mind to reflect those words on your emotions. Instead of “can’t” say, “can”. Use positive words in reference to your self-image and always say things in a glass-half-full manner. So instead of, “nothing’s going right”, tell yourself “Some things are going right, and others need a bit of work”. Being able to change up the way you choose your words is important for your emotions.

Foodtastic Friday: Is it Ready Yet? Part 2

produce8

The summer months brings us lots of yummy produce. Eating healthy will always involve your fruits and veggies. Create nutritous meals with ripe and ready fruits and vegetables.

It may be hard to differentiate between the produce that is ready to be eaten and those that should be left to ripen. We have a few tips to help you select the best of the bunch.

Peaches

Peaches are juicy and packed with vitamins, so why not have them readily available? Ripe peaches tend to have a red and yellow color. The red parts are usually from where the suns’ rays hit the peach while the yellow is the part that faces away from the sun. The scent of the peach will be aromatic without having to cut into it. However, if the area around the stem shows a green color, then that would mean that it’s not fully ripe.

Corn

Corn on the cob is a barbeque favorite, so select your corn wisely. Ready to eat corn has a green husk that has a bit of moisture to it. The silk threads within the husk should cling to the kernels and the kernels should be bright and plump. If you touch the husk and it’s dry then it’s no longer at its peak.

Tomato

Tomatoes are great for fresh salsa or creating your favorite pasta dish, however, picking the right tomato is usually a challenge. First thing’s first, don’t judge the tomato by the color. Instead, judge the tomato by the feel. Lightly squeeze the tomato and if it yields slightly then it’s ready. If it’s too firm then it’s not ready yet and you may have to wait a few days. If it’s overly squishy then it’s past its prime.

Wellness Tips Wednesday: Heart Health

heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Can you believe that something that provides us with life could turn against us? The heart should be the main concern for everyone since it’s the powerhouse that keeps us going.

Heart health is so important to maintain, therefore, we have a few tips to keep you well and away from heart disease.

Blood Pressure

We’ve familiar with those devices that doctors wrap around our upper arm. It squeezes you really tightly to check for blood pressure. So what exactly is blood pressure? There are two numbers that are recorded when you go to check your blood. The upper number on the machine displays the systolic blood pressure and it tells your doctor how much blood is exerted against the artery walls when your heart is beating.

The lower number is your diastolic blood pressure and provides your doctor with how much blood is being exerted against the artery walls when the heart rests between beats. Keeping track of your numbers is a great way to detect abnormalities as soon as they occur. Speak to your doctor if your numbers are too high and they may be able to provide you with assistance on getting your heart in control.

Smoking

Smoking is the main cause of 1 in 5 deaths within the United States. The chemicals within cigarettes are capable of damaging the heart, lungs, blood vessels, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bladder, bones etc. However, since heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, we can ask ourselves if there is some sort of connection between the two.

By smoking, the chemicals are able to damage your blood cells and increase the plaque build-up within your arteries. Blocked arteries would then subject you to experiencing chest pains, heart attack and/or heart arrhythmias, which could potentially lead to death.

Whether you smoke on occasion, are within the home of someone who smokes or you’re a constant smoker, you still run a high risk chance of developing health risks because of the toxins within cigarettes.

It would be best to quit smoking or stay away from those who smoke. If you’re having trouble with quitting there is always help available to assist you with your mission.

Exercise

We’re all familiar with having our heart rate speed up when we exert our energy. If you really want to prevent heart disease then investing your time into exercising could help. You could increase the good cholesterols and reduce the bad cholesterols just with exercise. You could reduce your chance of death from heart diseases by 20-25%.

Always ask your doctor before diving into a new exercise regimen. You should only attempt it once you have a doctor’s approval. The goal would be to get at least 30-minutes of exercise daily.