Check Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a kind of fat in your blood. Your body makes its own cholesterol but you also
get it from the foods you eat like meat, potato chips, cookies, and eggs. Some people have
too much cholesterol in their blood.
Cholesterol can build up on the inside the blood vessels of your heart. If too much
cholesterol builds up then blood cannot flow to your heart. This can cause a heart attack.

Most people do not have any signs of high cholesterol. The only way to know for sure is to
go to the doctor and ask for a cholesterol test.

If your doctor tells you that you have high cholesterol, there are things you can do to lower
your cholesterol. You can make changes to your diet and exercise at least 30 minutes most
days. There are also medicines you can take to help lower your cholesterol.

Talk to your doctor today about how to best control your cholesterol.

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Do I need to change what I eat?

If your answer to any of the following questions is “Yes”, you may need improve your nutrition. You should discuss with your doctor how best to do this.

• has your doctor discussed with you about an existing medical problem or a risk factor which could lead to one, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol?

• has your doctor suggested to you that this condition could be improved by better nutrition?

• do you have a history of diabetes, cancer, heart disease or osteoporosis in your family?

• are you currently overweight?

• do you have questions about whether the kinds of food you are currently eating are appropriate?

• are you unsure whether you should be taking vitamins?

• do you think that it would benefit you to see a registered dietitian, a member of the health care team who specializes in nutrition counseling?
Will it be hard to change my eating habits?
It will probably not be easy to change your eating habits but the good thing is that even very small changes can make considerable improvements in your health.. The critical thing is to keep choosing healthy foods and to stay in touch with your doctor, and your dietitian if you have one, so they can monitor how your progress and advise you as you progress.

Here are some suggestions that can help you improve your eating habits:

• identify the strengths and weaknesses in your current diet.

– do you eat at least four 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables every day?
– do you get enough calcium?
– do you eat whole-grain, high-fiber foods regularly?

If so, you’re on the right track. keep it up. If you are not, add more of these foods to your daily diet.

• keep a diary of your food intake by writing down what you eat and drink every day. This record will help you see if you need to eat more from any food groups (such as fruits, vegetables or dairy products) or if you need to eat less of a food group (such as processed or high-fat foods).

• if you haven’t already done so, consider asking for help from a dietitian, especially if you have a medical condition that requires you to follow a special diet.

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4 Effortless Ways to Fitness

Most of us would enjoy being fitter but very few of us have the time and energy that it would take to put in the exercise necessary to do so. Fortunately, there are many different ways that you can fit in some effortless exercise that will help you to be able to get fit, and lose some weight too if that is what you are attempting to do. Here are four different ways that you can do this. Just adding these four simple things into your present life without you ever realizing what you are achieving.

Parking your car

Instead of parking your car as close as possible to work or to the store, you should park some distance further away than the usual parking lot. This means that to get to work or to the store you will have to walk instead. Those few minutes that you are going to spend walking to the store or to the office and back to your car again are going to add up to a lot of exercise over time.

Clean Your House

Housecleaning is one of the best exercises that you can do for several different reasons. First of all, it is physical activity that we need to do and cannot be put off for too long. Secondly, if you live in a clean house that will make you feel more comfortable and less stressed. This reduced stress will go a long way to help you with those fitness goals we are trying to achieve.

Enjoy Your Children

Your children sure are bundles of energy and you can use your interactions with them as a great source of exercise for you. Take them to the park on a regular basis and be active with them in as many ways as possible. Through these activities not only will you enjoy some exercise but your family bond will be strengthened as a result of that increased togetherness.

Don’t Use the Phone

At work, instead of picking up the phone and calling somebody that is on the other side of the office, get up from your desk and walk over there to talk to them. It may seem small but this little bit of activity will add up over the weeks to a considerable amount of physical activity.

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Eating Disorders

We are aware that healthy eating is important to maximize our health, but unfortunately, many people develop problems with their body image which prevent them from maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. The severity of these eating disorders varies significantly from person to person, but they are all alike in one respect – they are very detrimental to a person’s health.

The most common kind of eating disorder that a person may develop is anorexia. Anorexia occurs when someone is overly concerned with their weight and simply refuses to eat. The unfortunate aspect of anorexia is that very often the person concerned is not overweight but they believe that if they were to lose weight, their new thinner body would be more beautiful. This kind of thinking results from a distorted perception of what their body actually looks like.

Someone suffering from anorexia usually tries to hide it by discarding the food without anyone knowing, cutting the food into small pieces to make it look smaller, or skipping entire meals then often having to lie about that. Anorexia is extremely dangerous because it does not allow a person to lose weight in a healthy way. Reducing the amount of fat in your diet is fine, but failing to get adequate amounts of proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, and other nutrients can make your body lose muscle weight and weaken. For many, the wasting continues to such an extent that it cannot be readily reversed, even by hospital treatment.

Another common type of eating disorder is bulimia. With an anorexic person the rapid weight loss is very observable, often being the key factor which alerts other family members. Someone who has bulimia however, may or may not be losing weight. A person suffering from bulimia is trying to achieve the same end result as a person with anorexia – forced weight reduction. But the bulimic person does not have the will power to give up eating food, and instead vomits or uses laxatives after meals to rid the body of these foods. Like anorexia does, this can rob the body of key nutrients, and it can also lead to significant problems in the digestive system, throat, and mouth, which are usually unable to cope with regular induced vomiting.

The third main type of eating disorder is binge eating. This is a combination of anorexia and bulimia in most cases. A binge eater will, like a bulimic, not deprive themselves of food. Rather, someone who is a binge eater will eat enormous amounts of food in a single sitting, often cheaper foods of low nutritional value. But instead of vomiting as the bulimic person does, a binge eater will then refuse to eat at all and exercise rigorously for a day or two, but then commence an eating binge once again. This can lead to major problems with maintaining a health, stable weight.

Eating disorders can affect both men and women of any age. However, most commonly, victims of these eating disorders are teen and young adult girls, who seem to be those who have greatest difficulty in developing a sensible attitude to their body image, wanting to become thinner as they believe this will make them ‘more beautiful’.

Many people die every year as a result of complications arising from these eating disorders. However, as a result of the increase in the number of people suffering from eating disorders over recent years, the psychological and physical factors involved are now better understood and professional assistance is now widely available.
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

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Happiness Through Good Health

The most important factor in enhancing your happiness is to make sure that you take proper care of your body.

Getting a good night’s sleep will certainly contribute significantly to how relaxed and happy you feel.

A second important aspect of your lifestyle that will help you maintain your level of happiness and contentment is a well balanced diet – keeping your intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein in proportion and helping to maintain your daily calorie intake at appropriate levels.

And the third critical factor in maintaining your health and well-being is the benefit you will get from a regular exercise program.

Taking care of your physical health is an essential part of taking care of your mental well-being. If you don’t get adequate nutrition, or sleep or exercise, there is no way you are going to be able to maintain a positive attitude, no matter how hard you try to.

Real happiness and contentment is going to be way beyond your reach if you just aren’t well fed and well rested.

Ensure that you get the rest you need. Trying going to bed a little earlier than usual if you are feeling tired.

Eat smaller meals and eat them more frequently – this will help to keep your blood sugar levels regular.

Eat fresh foods; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are essential in a healthy diet and make sure you include adequate amounts of proteins as these help develop your long-term energy.

When you exercise your brain releases endorphins – which are known as the “happy hormones” – in other words, exercise can put you on a ‘high’.

Regular exercise that pushes you enough to make you breathe harder also helps you to burn fat.

So your regular exercise has the overall benefit helping you to stay physically fit as well as those endorphins which will give you a burst of energy and a feeling of well-being.

Taking control of your own body in this way – through diet and exercise is the way to make yourself happier.

Making better food choices, getting plenty of quality rest and getting more regular exercise is the optimal way of increasing your “happy factor”.

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Guide to Better Health

Everyone can improve their health if they decide to follow these five simple guidelines:

  • be optimistic,First, put aside any fears and worry and try to find the positives in your life. There are health professionals who recommend not watching or listening to the news. Reading the daily newspaper in the morning starts your day off on a negative path. The news brings you crisis after crisis, tearing you down.Change your thinking to one of optimism and gratitude. Thinking of things you can be thankful for is a great exercise every morning. Be thankful for life, for family, for the ability to see and to think. Develop of list of all you can be thankful for. The important thing is to develop a positive, thankful attitude to all around you.
  • eat right.Eat more whole foods, less processed foods, and overcome your addictions to junk food. That may be hard for you to hear and perhaps even harder to follow, but it is so vitally important to your overall health.

Besides eating the right foods you need to be careful not to overeat. Overeating causes us to age faster, increases wrinkles, and greatly increases our chances of acquiring many diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. If you need to, decrease the amount of food you eat.

At the same time increase the percentage of whole foods in your diet. Whole foods improve your health and improve your immune system. Eat 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and reduce the amount of sugar and salt in your diet. You will notice a difference in your energy level and your overall health.

  • get adequate sleep.If you do not sleep enough your body is not going to function efficiently. It will even slow down your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose extra weight.

Also, a lot of hormones are secreted in high levels during sleep which allows your body to recuperate and repair. For example, if you are an athlete or a body builder, not getting enough sleep will increase your chances of injury or failure.

  • exercise regularly.Everyone should try to exercise every day, raising your heart rate a little bit and keeping it there for 20 minutes or so. If you can’ do it every day or every other day, at least do it every three days. Studies have shown that after sitting for 72 hours the body’s metabolism starts to decrease. This is what contributes to increasing weight and all the medical conditions that can arise from that
  • find a purpose in your life.Even people who have experienced horrendous illness have been able to survive for a long, long time because they have had a strong reason to live. They have become incredibly useful individuals within their family and social and community spheres despite their illness. They have been sustained and driven by their powerful purpose.

These five guidelines towards better health are very basic and within reach of most people. Followed closely they can lead to a longer, healthier and a more fulfilling life.

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How to Read Food Labels

If you are concerned about your nutrition it is critical that you read the labels on all the food you buy in order to know clearly and accurately just what is in each of those foods, and how much of each of these ingredients.

Reading food labels is the most effective way of determining the right kind of food you should be buying in the supermarket. It lets you make sensible food selections. Through the “Nutrition Facts” section on the packaging in the grocery, you should be able to identify the number of serving sizes provided in that product.

In addition, with food labels, you can clearly understand the amount and kinds of nutrients that are provided in the item. Usually, it contains the information on saturated fat, sodium, total fat, fiber, and cholesterol amount “per serving.”

However, understanding and reading these food labels can at times be very confusing.

To further have a clear and more comprehensive understanding of the items stated in the food label, here is a list of things that you need to know:

1. Serving size

This is the primary item you will see in a food label.

The amount of servings stated in the food label refers to the quantity of food people usually consume. However, this does not necessarily mean that it reflects your very own amount of food intake.

2. Nutrients

This refers to the list of available nutrients in a particular item. It is also where the nutritional claims of the product based on the recommended daily dietary allowance are stated. Usually, the nutritional amounts are based on both the 2,500-calorie diets and the 2,000 recommended dietary allowances.

In order to understand the numeric value of each item, you should know that the “% daily value” that the food label indicates is actually based on how a particular food corresponds to the recommended daily dietary allowance for a 2,000 calorie.

3. Ingredients

This refers to the list of the ingredients that were used in manufacturing the product. The listing is usually arranged from the main ingredients that have the greater amount by weight down to the smallest quantity. That is, the actual quantity of the food includes the biggest quantity of the main ingredient or the first item and the minimum amount of the very last ingredient.

4. Label claim

This refers to the kinds of nutritional claims that may appear on a particular food item. For example, if an item says it is sodium-free, it has less than 5 milligrams per serving or a low fat item actually contains 3 grams of fat or less.

Agreed, reading food labels can be very tedious and confusing but once you understand what the food label is listing, it makes it easier for you to watch your diet because you can control the amount of food that you eat.

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Stress can affect you in many ways

Feeling stressed occurs when you feel that the demands that are being made on you are beyond your ability to cope with them. For example, you may feel that you are under pressure to do something and you fear you may fail. In addition, the more important the outcome, the more stressed you feel.

You can feel stressed either by:
• external situations – children misbehaving, you have too much work to do, you have a deadline to meet; or
• by internal triggers – that is, the way you think about external situations.

Stress can affects you in many ways, including:
• emotionally – where you react with anxiety, depression, tension, anger
• how you think – poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, apathy, hopelessness
• how you behave – increased drinking and smoking, insomnia, accident proneness, weight problems, nervousness, gambling etc.

How stressful any specific situation can be is affected by:
• how anxious you feel generally at that time;
• how severely the situation affects you;
• whether you have ever experienced anything similar previously;
• whether you have any control over what is happening
• how long the event affects you
• how important the outcome is to you
• whether you have friends and social support to help you cope.

Stress can cause physical illness

When you feel you are under stress, your body kicks into high gear to deal with the perceived threat. Your heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure will all increase. The longer the stressful situation lasts, the greater the demand will be on your body.

The more frequently you are placed under stress, the more often you have to use energy to cope – both mentally and physically. Eventually your body can develop illnesses as a result of this continued stress. These can include cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, proneness to infection and chronic fatigue.

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Vitamin D – How Do I get It?

The D vitamin is the only vitamin that is not obtained from foods that you eat. Rather, the natural source of Vitamin D is obtained by sunlight on the skin.

Most people these days are well aware of the dangers of too much exposure to the sun but fortunately the amount of time you have to spend in the sun to receive a sufficient dose of the D vitamin is extremely small and just a few minutes a day is sufficient. This small amount should not have any adverse effects from the amount of ultra-violet light received.

The most important function of the D vitamin is to help control how much calcium is absorbed from food. The majority of the calcium is used to build strong teeth and bones but calcium is also needed to transmit electrical impulses along our nerves and to help muscles, such as the heart muscles, to contract.

Vitamin D is critical in ensuring that there is always sufficient calcium in the blood to perform these tasks. Other functions that require the D vitamin are concerned with your immune system and it is believed that it is also a contributing factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer particularly colon cancer.

The D vitamin is created when the ultraviolet in the sunlight reacts with a type of cholesterol that is found under the skin naturally. This is converted into a more active form of the D vitamin in the liver. Some of the vitamin D remains in the liver and kidneys to help reabsorb the calcium from the blood. The remainder of the D vitamin is dispersed to the bones to help them retain their calcium and the intestines to aid absorption of calcium from food.

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Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism.

This is possibly the most frequently used word in the weight loss – and weight gain – vocabulary.

Every day people are talking about – or writing about – their struggles or their triumphs over the holiday bulge in terms of whether their metabolism is working, or not.

Indeed some medical people refer to metabolism in trying to explain why starvation and water-loss diets are not scientifically or medically responsible; because these diets do not influence or take into account metabolism – there is that word again!.

As a result of the widespread usage that this term seems to enjoy in our world, you would possibly assume that people understand just what ‘metabolism’ refers to, and that they have some basic information when it comes to how to speed up their metabolism.

However, you will find that your assumption is wrong.

Unfortunately many people really do not understand the concept of metabolism and metabolic change but this is hardly their fault.

There is so much information floating around out there, much of it over the Net or through a “friend of a friend who has a personal trainer”, that it is easy to see that there can be some confusion and some conflicting messages.

As a result of this widespread use of the term ‘metabolism’ many people mistake their own weight loss or weight gain episodes as a matter of metabolic change. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it is not.

There are certain scientific ways to increase the rate of metabolic change, and thus enable the body to burn more calories.

Eating certain foods more frequently is one way to do this. Yet another way to visibly lose weight – at least on a temporary level – is to sit in a steam room for a few hours.

The first of these, that is eating the right foods, is a real, proven weight loss method through increased metabolic change, the second method – sitting in the steam room – is temporary because the lost weight is merely water, and will return quickly once you begin your water intake again.

The point to remember here is that some people mistake their own weight loss attempts as being related to metabolic change; and, as you can see with the steam room example that is not always the case.

Another major reason that people do not have clear, consistent information about metabolism is because, unfortunately, some food and supplement producing companies really do not want you to understand the true facts.

They are trying to get you to believe that a consistently buying “low fat” food is going to somehow speed up your metabolism.

It is true that some low fat foods can play a significant part in an overall eating program that is designed to speed up metabolism, but just eating foods where the packaging that highlights “low fat” will not do anything.

It is even possible that many people actually gain weight when they eat too many “low fat” products. Many of these products are heavily loaded with calories from carbohydrates or proteins which must be burned off or they turn into body fat.

Every year, millions of people attempt to retake control over their health and the shape of their body and each year millions of people feel that they have “failed” because no matter how hard they have tried, they find themselves unable to speed up their metabolism.

It is argued that the medical and nutritional sector as a whole has simply not provided people with the information that they need to know in order to speed up their metabolism. Considering the size of the nutritional field and the fact that so much of it is influenced by commercial enterprises trying to make profits you can see why there is a lack of clear, consistent, and helpful information flowing out to people like us.

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Wellness

Wellness refers to your condition of good physical and mental health, especially when you are able to maintain it through proper diet, exercise, and good habits.

Nutrition refers to how you nurture your body, to your ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. That is your ability to provide your body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that you can continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

But do we know if we are really well? How do we tell?

The obvious place to start would be by examining your eating habits. Since you are a product of what you eat, if your eating habits are unhealthy, or if you do not provide for the nutrition you need, you’re not going to be a healthy individual.

Do you take in more calories than your body actually needs?

Are you supplementing your vitamins and minerals to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowances?

If you’re not making the most basic of efforts to take care of your nutritional needs, you aren’t a well individual. You may not look sick, you may not have any noticeable symptoms of ill-health, but you’re not the well individual you could be.

Next, you should look at your exercise habits, if there are any. For sure, if don’t have any regular exercise routines to examine, you do not have wellness.

Everyone, no matter what their age, benefits from exercise. It keeps your body conditioned, your mental sharpness working at full speed, and as a result of this you get a boost to your cardio health, extra calorie burn, and more oxygen to those cells!

Are you eating healthy?
Are you having regular exercise?

Then these key factors will determine your degree of wellness.

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