Archive | Healthy Lifestyle

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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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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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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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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