Stress and You

Common responses to stress are listed below. Think about how stress affects you.

Aches and Pains*

  • Headache
  • Backache
  • Neck ache
  • Stomach ache
  • Tight muscles
  • Clenched jaw

Energy Level and Sleep*

  • Feeling tired without a good reason
  • Trouble sleeping

Feelings

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Helplessness
  • Out of control
  • Tense

Other Emotional Signs

  • Easily irritated
  • Impatient
  • Forgetful

*Some physical signs of stress may be caused by a medical condition or by medicines you take. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your physical symptoms, ask your doctor if stress might be the cause.

How Do You Respond?

When you are under stress, do any of these behaviors apply to you?

  • I eat to calm down.
  • I speak and eat very fast.
  • I drink alcohol or smoke to calm down.
  • I rush around but do not get much done.
  • I work too much.
  • I delay doing the things I need to do.
  • I sleep too little, too much or both.
  • I slow down.
  • I try to do too many things at once.

Engaging in even one of these behaviors may mean that you are not dealing with stress as well as you could. Learn some ways you can fight stress with healthy

Tricks to Avoid Extra Calories

Don’t wait until the new year to work off those extra calories. Avoid overeating with these simple and easy-to-follow guidelines.

1. Don’t Skip Meals

Saving space in your belly for a huge Christmas dinner is a bad way to prevent overindulging. In fact, it can have the very opposite effect. According to Canada’s Food Guide, skipping meals, which makes us extremely hungry throughout the day, only encourages us to pack in more calories when we finally sit down for a meal. Your body has become so desperate for food that you eat quicker and unknowingly take in more than you would have had you spaced out your meals throughout the day.

2. Drink Water

Drinking two glasses of water is an age-old technique to fill you up that works. Drinking two glasses of water prior to your meal means your stomach will start off more full, so you won’t feel the need to overeat.

3. Limit Meat

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that we eat no more than 75g (2-1/2 oz.) of lean meat per serving, which is about the size of

Change bad habits to healthy lifestyle

hat is easier said than done, of course, but some simple tips can help you tackle even the most indulgent and hardest-to-kick habits. Rani Whitfield, M.D., a Baton Rouge, La., family practitioner and American Heart Association volunteer, is on a mission to help people change their unhealthy habits.

Regardless of your age, you can benefit from Whitfield’s simple habit-changing tips.

First, he says, know that it takes 60 to 90 days to create a new habit. You have to keep after it. If you forget sometimes, or if at first you don’t figure how to make it work with your schedule, keep after it.
It helps to remember that an unhealthy habit is attractive because it gives instant gratification—that immediate “feel good.” But you pay later. On the other hand, a healthy habit means you put off gratification but get a much bigger payoff down the road.

Think of your task as replacement rather than deprivation. Says Whitfield, “Kojak sucked on lollipops because he was stopping smoking,” said of the famous 1970s TV detective. Of course, too much candy

Easy to be healthier

1. Give yourself a break

“I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last ten pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodization program — breaking up your routine into various training modes — can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.

2. Think small

Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead, keep

Loss weight with superfood swaps

Dieters often have an all-or-nothing mentality.

They cut out all their favorite foods – pizza, pasta, tacos, fries and cookies – to lose weight, but then they feel deprived, get discouraged and quit before they’ve reached their goal, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based registered dietitian nutritionist. “I run into this issue with everybody.”

Blatner, who has helped thousands of people trim down over the past 15 years in her private practice and online classes, recommends a different strategy: Satisfy those cravings by swapping superfoods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and other plant-based foods) for C.R.A.P., her acronym for overly processed foods that contain: Chemicals you don’t use in your kitchen; Refined flour and sugar; Artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors; and Preservatives.

The secret to the plan is that dieters satisfy their cravings instead of denying them. Practically speaking, that means you:

  • Eat a slice of sprouted whole-grain toast with 2 tablespoons of almond butter and mashed fruit sprinkled with chia seeds instead of a Pop-Tart or bagel for breakfast.
  • Have plain 2 percent Greek yogurt with fresh berries instead of

Cholesterol

LDL (bad) cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to make too much.

Eating foods with saturated fat or trans fats also increases the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to help lower your LDL blood cholesterol.

The female sex hormone estrogen tends to raise HDL cholesterol, and as a rule, women have higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels than men. Estrogen production is highest during the childbearing years. This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease.

Older women tend to have higher triglyceride levels. As people get older, gain weight or both, their triglyceride and cholesterol levels tend to rise.

At one time, it was thought that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might lower a woman’s risk of heart disease and stroke. However, recent studies have shown that HRT does not reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women, and the American Heart Association recommends it not be used for cardiovascular prevention.

The American Heart Association recommends LDL (bad) cholesterol-lowering drug therapy

Protein for Weight Loss

This is list good proteins for your weight loss program

Beans

One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.

Pork Tenderloin

This great and versatile white meat is 31% leaner than it was 20 years ago.

Soy

Fifty grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol by about 3%. Eating soy protein instead of sources of higher-fat protein — and maintaining a healthy diet — can be good for your heart.

Lean Beef

Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

Protein on the Go

If you don’t have time to sit down for a meal, grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar, or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein and is low in sugar and fat.

Protein at Breakfast

Research shows that including a source of protein like an egg or Greek yogurt at breakfast along with a high-fiber grain like whole wheat

More of YOGA

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

  • Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
  • Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
  • Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
  • Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.
  • Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
  • Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

 

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up

What should you know about your heart rate?

Even if you’re not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level — and it might even help you spot developing health problems.

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Normal heart rate varies from person to person. Knowing yours can be an important heart-health gauge.

As you age, changes in the rate and regularity of your pulse can change and may signify a heart condition or other condition that needs to be addressed.

Where is it and what is a normal heart rate?

The best places to find your pulse are the:

  • wrists
  • inside of your elbow
  • side of your neck
  • top of the foot

To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.

Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because you’re not exercising. If you’re sitting or lying and you’re calm, relaxed and aren’t ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 (beats per minute) and 100 (beats per minute).

But a heart rate lower than 60

Happiness is good for health

Happiness is one the most important assets we can have. If you are not happy, then life can become pretty meaningless.

An unhappy person is not at their optimum at work, as a parent, or as a friend. You must look after yourself before being able to look after others.

So how do you become happy?

Whilst there’s no magical wand you can wave to become happy, there are several things you can do that will help. Here are 10 ways to be happy in life.

1. Connect with Friends and Family

Whilst we all differ in how much time we need to spend with people, we ALL need to connect. Put the effort in to reconnect with family you haven’t seen for a while, and friends you’ve neglected. Give someone a call out of the blue. Pop round for a visit. It’s easy to get bogged down with work and family commitments, but you MUST make the time to connect with people. It’s worth it.

2. Have a Long-Term Goal

You need something to work towards. Something to motivate yourself to keep going. It could be to save up

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.  Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure.

Which fruits and vegetables are best?
That’s easy: They’re all good! If you eat many different types of fruits and veggies, you’re sure to get all the different types of nutrients you need. The American Heart Association recommends filling at least half your plate with fruits and veggies in order to make it to the recommended 4-5 servings of each per day. The good news is that all produce counts, which means canned, dried, fresh and frozen varieties can help you reach your goal.

When buying canned, dried or frozen vegetables and fruit, be sure to compare food labels and choose the products with the lowest amount of sodium and added sugars.

Take the Next Step

If you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies every day, you may be ready for the next step: include more color. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. Some of these nutrients

Say NO to going old

Do you want to have a body that can support you well into your old age? Do you wish to have mental clarity, quality relationships, good working internal functions, or even an overall feeling of well being? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is what can get you there, or at least improve your condition. There are three specific things that you should do:

1. Exercise

You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is unavoidable. Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body was meant to move, and when it does not, it can become unhappy and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repair systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general well being. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind.

Exercises include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, elliptical workouts and jogging. Yoga, and pilates are also good exercise workouts; however, they should be

Trans fats

What are trans fats?

There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats. Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.” Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages. In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.

Why do some companies use trans fats?

Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Several countries (e.g., Denmark, Switzerland, and Canada) and jurisdictions (California, New York City,

Should you take multivitamins?

Our bodies need many different vitamins and minerals to function properly.

Vitamins and minerals also offer us protection against a host of ailments, including heart disease and some cancers, such as colon and cervical cancer.

The good news is that we can get most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily by choosing the right foods and eating a wide variety of them.

Still, many people take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy — just to be sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies require.

“A multivitamin is a good idea for the trace elements,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill.

“You want a multivitamin for all those little things at the bottom of the ingredients list. The ones at the top of the list are familiar and the ones we can’t avoid if we’re eating enriched foods. It’s the trace elements at the bottom that are the ones often missing.”

Trace elements include chromium, folic acid, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Daily Vitamin: Our Needs Change With Age

Deal with stress

  • Positive Self-Talk
    Self-talk is one way to deal with stress. We all talk to ourselves; sometimes we talk out loud but usually we keep self-talk in our heads. Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “Things will work out”) or negative (“I’ll never get well” or “I’m so stupid”).
    Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk helps you calm down and control stress. With practice, you can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.To help you feel better, practice positive self-talk every day — in the car, at your desk, before you go to bed or whenever you notice negative thoughts.
    Having trouble getting started? Try positive statements such as these:

    • “I’ve got this.”
    • “I can get help if I need it.”
    • “We can work it out.”
    • “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
    • “Things could be worse.”
    • “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
    • “Some day I’ll laugh about this.”
    • “I can deal with this situation.”

      Remember: Positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that cause you stress.

  • Emergency Stress Stoppers
    There are many stressful situations — at work, at home, on the road and in public places. We may feel stress because of poor communication, too much

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

While the uses for white vinegar are plentiful, apple cider vinegar has arguably even more applications. Its wide-ranging benefits (rivaling the number of uses of tea tree oil and other nifty natural helpers) include everything from curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, and some people have turned to apple cider vinegar to help with health concerns including diabetes, cancer, heart problems, high cholesterol, and weight issues. Read on for more reasons to keep apple cider vinegar handy in your pantry.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Tummy Troubles

For an upset stomach, sip some apple cider vinegar mixed with water. If a bacterial infection is at the root of your diarrhea, apple cider vinegar could help contain the problem, thanks to its antibiotic properties. What’s more, some folk remedy experts contend that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms. Try mixing one or two tablespoons into water, or clear juice like apple juice.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Cures Hiccups

Take a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar; its sour taste could stop a hiccup in its tracks. One teen took the hiccup remedy further and created a lollipop that includes apple cider

Healthy life, longer life

Don’t overeat

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

Social butterflies

For many people, interacting with other people gives great sustenance in terms of brain health. We are a highly social species, but you don’t have to be a social butterfly to siphon off the rewards.  Joining a book club, a community group, a choir or a sports team are all ways of upping your game if you find it difficult to raise your share of social interaction. Or you could decide to have a regular coffee morning with a friend. It turns out that social interaction is like a pungent fertiliser to your brain. It will stimulate your brain cells to grow new connections and strengthens those already formed. New cells also spring to life in key memory areas of the brain, something that will stand to you. Why not arrange a regular time to meet with friends and go to a play or watch a film together?

Getting involved in more social activities can be rewarding in it self, but it can also lower your risk of developing dementia. Taking part in lots of different leisure activities was found in one study to be associated with a 38% lower risk of developing dementia in people aged over 65.  Activities included going to clubs, visiting friends or being

healthy brain

A healthier brain – rev it up. The idea of steady brain decline is plain wrong. We now know that we can tune up our brain by engaging in social activities, being more physically active and challenging ourselves mentally. Attitude and Lifestyle are important too.

There is no magic pill which improves memory or brain health.  But we can kick start improvements ourselves by taking positive steps.  Regular exercise like taking a brisk walk in the park or physical activities like gardening can nourish our brain and recharge batteries, galvanising brain power. Medical studies reveal that the fitter you are, the healthier your brain becomes. And if you flex your legs with a friend, all the better; staying socially active also polishes your thinking machine. Exercising 3 times a week in people aged over 65 has been linked with a reduced risk of developing dementia. Yet another way to top up memory and all round brain health is to put your mind in gear with mental stimulation. You don’t have to learn quantum physics though; everyday activities such as going to work, playing cards, and playing music count. Just make sure it’s a little difficult – you shouldn’t be able to do

Healthy Lifestyle

Are your kids always running around? Now is the time to take advantage of their energy and talk with them about the benefits of lifelong fitness and good nutrition.

Help your children develop positive attitudes toward healthy lifestyles now, and they’ll be more likely to carry healthy habits with them into adulthood.

Getting Started

Identify Different Types of Fun Physical Activities

According to the document 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adults should engage in physical activities for 60 minutes each day. This is especially important for young children and adolescents–to ensure they continue to build strong bones and muscles.

Try activities such as jumping rope and dancing to keep your family excited about exercise. Every family is different so work with yours to create a list of physical activities everyone enjoys doing together, then brainstorm a list of new activities to try, such as bicycling, gardening, hiking, or kicking a soccer ball in the park. As your family thinks of new activities, keep adding them to the list.

Decide When to Play Together

Choose one or two activities to participate