Category: Healthy Activities

Maintain A Healthy Heart

Eat Lots of Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains

While eating meat might not be the worst thing you can do for your cardiovascular system, nutritionists and dieticians recommend that you consider meat a “treat”. Doctors and nutritionists have investigated how to maintain a healthy heart. They have discovered that people who eat mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains have a much healthier cardiovascular system than those who live off of meat and potatoes.

Former President Bill Clinton was a big fan of McDonald’s until he started suffering from chest pains and had to undergo surgery to open up his coronary arteries. Now, he swears by his vegan diet, although he does admit to eating fish occasionally and having a bite of turkey on Thanksgiving.

The diet he follows was recommended by his cardiologist to reduce his risk of further arterial blockages, cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Clinton was an avid jogger for a good part of his life. So, exercise is not everything. Diet plays a major role.

Watch Out for Salt

Limiting salt is an important part of how to maintain a healthy heart. While sodium is an essential dietary element, most Americans get ten times as much salt as they need every day. When you eat salty foods, excessive sodium in the bloodstream pulls fluids into the blood vessels causing them to stretch and raising the blood pressure.

Eventually, the vessels return to normal size, but if the process goes on and on over time, the vessels can become weak. Small divots can form on the interior walls of the vessels and make a perfect spot for fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream to become stuck. The fats become oxidized and hardened. This is what happens in atherosclerosis, the most common form of heart disease.

Limit Saturated & Trans Fats-Substitute Healthy Fats

For many years, it was thought that limiting your cholesterol was an important part of how to maintain a healthy heart. Now, it seems that saturated fats and trans-fats are the real culprits. If you cut out cholesterol completely, your body will just produce more of it. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of hormones and other compounds within the body.

Trans-fats are artificial ingredients. They appear on ingredients labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils”. It is very important to look for those four words, because manufacturers are allowed to use the claim “No Trans-fat” when there is less than a half-gram of partially hydrogenated oils per serving. Since serving sizes are often small, this can add up.

It seems that our bodies do not know how to process trans-fats efficiently, which is why avoiding them is a big part of how to maintain a healthy heart. When consumed, trans-fats cause blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels to rise significantly. The more fats there are in the bloodstream, the more likely plaques are to form and that is the beginning of atherosclerosis.

Saturated fats have a similar effect on blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels. But you need some fats in order to be healthy and to absorb fat soluble nutrients from other foods. So, choose olive oil and other healthy fats instead.

You can tell saturated fats from healthy oils by how solid they are at room temperature. For example, butter is highly saturated, as are margarines made from vegetable oil. Olive oil on the other hand is highly unsaturated.

Ballet Dance Classes

Having ballet lessons can be the best answer because it gives lots of rewards for your children. Any good dance academy or school provides well-organized classes that are performed in secure and controlled surroundings. These classes will each be emotionally and physically demanding for them leading them to maintain their focus and interest.

As their own talent increases, same goes with their self control, their co-ordination and self-discipline. Consequently their self-confidence will get better too. In addition, a perfect positive outlet will be offered for their energy, which can be very abundant.

Commencing ballet dance lessons from a young age is actually helpful as young children are much more receptive than grownups. Youngsters learn faster and have less inhibitions so it’s much more likely that they’ll be less insecure or shy about performing a certain move.

A common misunderstanding about ballet is that it’s only for the upper class and also the very wealthy. This might be the situation many years back but definitely, it’s no longer true as of the present. Nowadays, fine ballet clothing that is needed by ballet dancers need not be high priced. Famous dance brand suppliers such as Bloch, Dance Gear and Capezio are now creating high quality dance wear such as ballet shoes and dance leotards at quite affordable costs.

Two of the most significant dance clothing items that a kid must posses when going into ballet class are the dance leotards and soft ballet shoes. This sort of ballet shoes is very light-weight and normally has a leather, satin or canvas upper part and sole made of suede. It was created to look after the student’s ankle and feet which makes them secure while in class. The dance leotard is the next critical item of dance wear for ballet. This is a skin tight garment that is typically crafted from Lycra. It is made to be body fitting so the teacher sees the placement of the student’s body.

Looking around for dancewear is a wonderful idea when your kid is thinking of taking on ballet class, because prices of the dance wear can vary. It is better to purchase from a dance pro shop because they can provide expert consultancy concerning the suitable dance wear that’s required.

Predictors of Healthy Aging

Intellectual Predictors of Healthy Aging

Healthy aging requires keeping our minds active before and especially after retirement, regularly learning something new and participating in new activities, maintaining an interest in and passion for reading and current events, and often reflecting on the good things in life.

Emotional Predictors of Healthy Aging

Emotionally healthy people are optimistic, generally happy with life, rarely hostile, recover quickly from angry episodes, and tend to live longer. They cope well with stress, maintaining a good sense of humor and a positive attitude, regardless of how the circumstances in their life unfold, and they continue to develop many outlets for recreation and relaxation.

Relational Predictors of Healthy Aging

Those who remain healthy as they age tend to feel supported by a large social network of family and friends. They tend to frequently help others, have many younger friends, remain in successful marriages or enjoy a full single life, attending social functions and sharing happy events with others.

Spiritual Predictors of Healthy Aging

Spiritually connected people tend to fare better as they age. Spiritual commitments and practices, such as daily prayer, meditation, or regular church attendance, help them to maintain a strong sense of personal purpose and meaning in life as well as ongoing appreciation of the beauty and power of nature and its natural rhythms and cycles.

Sexual Predictors of Healthy Aging

Those who age successfully continue to feel joyful and passionate about life. They tend to continue to derive sensual and sexual pleasure, within their own body, in physical and emotional contact with others, and in connection with the natural environment.

Stop Smoking Unconsciously

All of which is unnecessary.

If you smoke and want to quit, you’ve probably tried patches or gum. Or maybe you kept it simple and quit cold turkey. Both strategies have similar succeed rates, which is a polite way of saying they don’t work. Nicotine supplements assume the problem is chemical. It’s not.

As for relying on willpower…

Well, what makes quitting cold turkey so hard? If you don’t want to smoke, then stop. If you have cravings, ignore them. It’s not this easy – otherwise you would have quit years ago. But why isn’t it this easy?

Smoking is an unconscious problem. This is why hypnosis will help you to stop smoking. Knowing that you should quit is a conscious solution. In other words, they don’t match. And what happens when the conscious and unconscious minds disagree?

It’s the same as any dieter who promises to skip dessert, but caves at the sight of cake. Or the person who swears to get on better with the mother-in-law but rises to her challenge. Or the entrepreneur who can’t switch off the TV and get to work.

You can’t fight your unconscious.

But you can reason with it.

If your unconscious mind wants you to smoke, then there’s nothing you can do about that. Here’s the good news: that’s not what your unconscious wants. It knows as well as you do that smoking kills your wallet, body and attractiveness. It gives you the urge to smoke anyway because it wants something else.

Your unconscious mind thinks that smoking adds value. What that supposed value is varies from person to person, but you can find the answer with a little introspection. Think back to when you started smoking and you’ll probably find the answer.

For example, maybe you smoked as a teenager because you thought it made you cool. Hey, maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. As an adult, it doesn’t make you cool. People think you reek and have poor self-control. Your unconscious is working off old information. It wants you to be popular. A noble goal, terribly executed.

Miracle Of Breath

As a child we breathe easily and deeply, as an adult many things change the way we breathe.

Our posture, our stress, and of course smoking. Breathing is the only automatic process that we can control or override.

A child can hold their breath to get something they want. We can stop breathing to swim underwater, and we can breathe slowly and deeply to relax and release stress.

Breathing is certainly a big part of the miracle of living, but smoking interferes with that miracle 24 hours a day. As a smoker every breathe is slightly labored, causing your heart to work a little harder to supply your muscles and brain with enough oxygen to move and think.

But under load such as climbing stairs or exercising that heart stress is more noticeable as you struggle to suck in enough oxygen and many people find themselves puffing on exertion.

An average persons heart will beat 115,200 times per day. If your breathing is just restricted by 5% that means an extra 5760 beats per day. 2,102,400 per year or 42,048,000 over 20 years which is the average time a person smokes.

And it does all of this to not even give you the same energy as a non-smoker.

Your heart is not a super human machine, it will feel the strain, and between the impact of reduced circulation in your arteries and a stressed heart it is little surprise that smoking causes heart disease and heart attacks.

Unless you have been on another planet for your smoking life you would already know this, but have you ever stopped to think about exactly how it affects your heart, and do you care?

The figures above are based on a 5% reduction but it could easily be much more. I see clients who are breathing hard from just walking a short distance from their car to my clinic.

I notice that even after sitting in a chair for more than 30 minutes their breathing remains a little strained. This is a hard way to live, when you reach this stage your life becomes restricted, you have little energy for life and even your sleep will be compromised.

Being Healthy Can be Fun

Undoubtedly children that are encouraged to eat a healthy diet and lead an active lifestyle will be in a better position both physically and mentally. So what can be done to lure our youngsters away from hours in front of the TV or computer?! Too many kids miss the opportunity to enjoy healthy activities in the fresh air.

There are a number of outdoor products on the market tailored to meet the needs of children, whilst maintaining a high standard of safety. The Early Learning Centre (ELC) offers some great products for your garden. With the summer finally in our midst it’s a great time to check out what’s available on the market. A fantastic product that is loved by all has got to be the trampoline. It is thought that the Eskimos, who used to toss each other up into the air on a walrus skin, came up with the first official type of trampolining. Here in the UK trampolining is said to have kicked off when a number of people holding a large blanket would toss a person into the air and catch them.

Trampolining is not only fun, it is healthy and an ideal method for children to remain active in a safe environment. The ELC site offers a buyers guide to trampolines to ensure you select the most suitable type for your children. Bounce surrounds and trampoline covers are also available.

In fact, who’s to say exciting forms of exercise like trampolining should be limited to children? Why not get one big enough for you to enjoy too. Not only would this help you to keep off the pounds, it would set a great example to our younger generation.

Plan for Healthy Exercise

On a daily basis, do some type of easy, low-intensity, steady-state movement. The goal here is not to reach your maximum heart rate or burn a certain number of calories. It’s to move in an easy way, generate some brain food, stimulate your joint receptors, de-stress, etc.

Walking is ideal for this type of regular movement. Humans have walked since, well, since we were humans! We should be able to walk, safely, with good posture, and good balance, throughout our entire lives.

If you can do so while keeping your heart rate in a nice, low, non-stressed range, then easy jogging, cycling, swimming, stand up paddling, kayaking, etc. can be nice, easy, steady-state movements for you, too.

Once or twice each week, add some “bursts” to your cardio-type exercise for “training” purposes. This challenges your body in a different way, more effectively trains your cardiovascular system than old-school cardio, and improves your overall metabolic efficiency, thereby helping you burn excess fat more easily.

Examples here are sprinting, hill running, and bursts of “sprints” while doing just about any other type of cardio exercise – cycling, stand up paddling, rowing, and even on some cardio machines, like the treadmill and elliptical.

When you’re doing this for training purposes, the work out itself is brief. For example, you may do ten 100 meter sprints with a minute of walking in between and be finished with that workout in 15 minutes, including your warm-up.

Another way to incorporate the concept of “bursts” is to play certain sports that are inherently based on bursts of activity followed by short recovery periods: soccer, hockey, basketball, football, tennis and other racquet sports, and so on.

Two or three times each week, lift heavy things. Yes, this means do some resistance training. Join a gym, hire a trainer, take a boot camp, or do it at home. Nowadays, you really don’t ‘need’ to join a gym, unless that floats your boat. There are many fantastic choices readily available now to help you get a great work out in at home.

When you challenge your muscles by moving through some full range of motion (functional movement patterns) with some added resistance, you create lean muscle mass (not bulk) that helps you burn fat more effectively… and look better, more fit, and more toned. It also helps your posture, balance, and protects your bones for years to come.

On a daily basis, do something that challenges your body to move outside its ‘rigid’ comfort zone! In other words, stretch regularly, do some “spinal hygiene” exercises (stretch and bend in a way that moves all 24 of your vertebrae!), and postural exercises. I’d also recommend adding like yoga on a regular basis.

When it comes to movement (and flexibility) the saying “use it or lose it” is really quite accurate!

Play. In addition to your “work outs” and “training”, add plenty of fun things to complete the picture of a healthy, active lifestyle. There are countless examples. Any type of active play with your kids is an excellent place to start: bike rides, jumping on a trampoline, swimming, playing catch, hula-hooping, jump rope, going tubing, etc.

Quit Smoking Marijuana

One women told me her life had closed down. Smoking every evening she didn’t feel like going out and doing normal fun things like the movies or going to a restaurant.

She avoided staying at anyone else’s home and worried about being caught smoking while on holidays. Travel always involved extra risk of buying from unfamiliar people.

She was just sick and tired of smoking, but felt trapped in the loop of smoking to relax and reduce stress, but felt increasingly stressed about the effect it was having on her life and her health.

There was nothing cool about smoking anymore, she just felt like she was over it, except like so many bad habits humans have she kept doing it in spite of her wishes.

This is where hypnosis was so helpful. Consciously she wanted to quit, but her unconscious was locked in an old framework, back to the days when she did enjoy it, when her friends smoked and they laughed about getting the munchies and she felt pretty cool.

These memories were still alive in her unconscious mind, plus all the times she used pot to escape from her feelings and stresses.

Hypnosis goes to the heart of the problem and quickly helps you to let go of the past beliefs and introduce the new helpful beliefs and strategies which allowed her to stop smoking marijuana and recover her life.

In addition to hypnosis experience shows that some other strategies need to be used as well. One thing that upsets new positive habits more than anything else is a stressful event. So we need to develop ways to manage stress on a day to day basis so that if something big comes along then we have the emotional resilience to cope with it.

This applies to everybody, but especially to anyone making a big change in their lives. Lastly creating a reward system. Small rewards for daily successes and perhaps a big reward for being free from pot for one year.

How to Swim Faster

Long distance swimmers training for Triathlons or the Half Ironman, listen up because this article applies to you. You’ll be adding some “Fartlek” training to your training repertoire to increase your pace a little whilst also improving the speed at which you recover.

Fartlek is Swiss for “Speed Play”, it sounds fun and it is. Fartlek trains the body to switch gears and recruit different muscle fibres; it is often used by long distance runners to improve running speed, but can just effectively be used by swimmers to improve their times too.

During your laps you will be working at Pace 1 and Pace 2. Pace 1 is a steady long distance maintainable speed, Pace 2 is 50-70% maximum sprint speed, depending on your fitness level. As you get better these two speeds will gradually speed up. There’s four stages to the Fartlek, depending on fitness levels and your commitment, it may take a week or a month to advance through each of the stages.

  • Stage 1: Start your regular swim session with your usual warm up. The Fartlek session will be 10 laps. Swim half the length of the pool at Pace 1, then sprint the rest of the length of the pool at Pace 2. There’s no stopping when you finish the lap, just tumble-turn and slow down during Pace 1. Pace 1 is recovery, Pace 2 is at speed. You may need to adjust your pace so you can finish the entire 10 laps. At this stage burn-out halfway through the session is not the goal.¬†Incorporate Fartlek into your training at least three times a week on alternate days.
  • Stage 2: When you are ready, move onto doing 10 laps Fartlek training alternating each lap at Pace 1 followed by a lap at Pace 2. Remember, no stopping at the end of each lap.
  • Stage 3: Now you should be ready to alternate Pace 1 and Pace 2 for 10 laps, but with Pace 2 at maximum speed. It should burn and you should be breathless during recovery at Pace 1. If you’re not feeling it, push harder.
  • Stage 4: Really ramp things up by changing the recovery verses speed ratio. Aim for 12 laps, but we now swim one lap at Pace 1 followed immediately by two laps at Pace 2.

Toxic Fixation

It has become a trend these days, which people follow just in a frenzy to imitate others and look like them. And especially, if we talk about youngsters, they think that smoking gives the impression of being cool, modish, as they see their friends, parents, relatives indulging in the same. But if you mull over it… Is that really so?

It is commonly said that children learn from their parents, be it a good habit or a bad one. Do you really want your child to follow you on these lines and walk a toxic smoky path? Think!

Although smoking is banned in many public places and cigarette companies are no longer permitted to market their product on TV, radio etc. Nonetheless even when you watch a movie where your favourite movie star is shown smoking on screen, it always displays a message below, spreading the awareness that this practice is injurious to health. And remember, it’s only a part of a movie just because that particular role or script demands the character to smoke.

Even so, the tobacco smoke contains nicotine, an addictive substance which strikes your brain within fifteen seconds of its inhalation; carbon monoxide which is a noxious gas and can weaken the proper functioning of your body system; tar, which contains plentiful cancer inducing chemicals, most of which sit back in your lungs.

Subsequently, smoking invites awful ailments like cancer, heart diseases, strokes, lung infectivity, hampering the growth and proper health of a fetus during pregnancy and much more.It is also a major cause for premature ageing and dullness of your skin, ahead of lowering your stamina. In due course, it seizes the entire organs of your body and you are likely to depart this life ten years earlier than your non smoking peers. You don’t really wish to come under its grip and witness such a dreadful scenario. Do you?

Yet again, by and large, as time passes by, smoking becomes an addiction which is, then, hard to thrust aside. What if you are stressed in your life, is this the only way out to get relieved and feel relaxed? I doubt.
One can cling on to good habits too, in order to feel at ease. Look around, listen to soothing melodies, share your feelings with your acquaintances, practice meditation, go for long walks. Further, instead of smelling the fumes of a cigarette, breathe in the aroma of the scrumptious food in front of you and you will, unquestionably, feel good.