Category Archives: fitness and health

How to Stop Feeling Tired

Are you always feeling tired? Do you want to find out how you can stop feeling constantly tired? The initial step in order to stop feeling tired is to make sure that you are getting enough rest and sleep. However, this does not mean that you should sleep every chance you get – that is not it. It is more of the quality of sleep that you should be routing for rather than the quantity of it.

Another way in order for you to put a stop to your “why am I always tired?” feeling is to drink plenty of water all throughout the entire day. Dehydration is considered one of the many causes of tiredness. Not only that, dehydration can also lead to other sorts of problems such as bad skin and headaches to name a few. Drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water per day stretched throughout the day can greatly increase your body’s energy levels.

Nutrition also plays an important role in terms of keeping you invigorated and energized. If you are not eating enough or if you eat a very large meal in one sitting, the tendency is that you will feel heavy, bloated, weak and lethargic. One great eating tactic that you can do is to have six smaller meals per day rather than the usual three full meals per day. Doing so can help keep you energized all day long. You should also make sure that you are eating more of the right types of foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, grains etc.) and less of the wrong ones (fatty foods, junk foods, sugary foods etc.).

Lastly, try not to get dependent on coffee, energy drinks, energy pills and drugs because what these things do is provide you with only a temporary energy surge. Not to mention the fact that consuming too much of these things can be hazardous to your health.

Introduction to Kettlebell Exercises

While a relatively new phenomenon, the kettlebell actually has long history. The Russian military for instance has used the kettlebell in all of its physical training routines for centuries and there are traces of its use though out recorded history. It is really a global exercise and one of the best choices for fitness that no nation can claim to be the first to introduce. Its inception can be tied however to the invention of the cannon and it is possible that cannoneers use it in its earlier days as a way to stay in shape or limber. The kettle ball looks exactly like a cannon ball with an iron handle attached. They come in any number of weights that range for about 10 lbs to as much as 100 lbs.

The first time kettlebell exercises became popular among the general populace was when Karls Ernst, a kettlebell exerciseswell known strong man in Germany and Eastern Europe in the mid eighteenth century started using them in his act. They became so popular the kettlebell became the symbol for strongmen from that time forward and is even used in cartoons. Kettlebells are not merely ornamental however. They work well because of the shape of the weight and the way it is suspended from the handle. This configuration make kettlebell exercises one of the best resistance forms obtainable with any weight lifting set. Their use requires not only strength from every muscle from the hands to the shoulder but also requires speed and coordination. They are perfect for not only reducing fat but for increasing lean muscle mass much more quickly than other weight programs. There are movements like the seated Russian twist and Turkish get-ups that work parts of the body and muscle groups that normally take a battery of other exercises to get toned in.

Photo: WilsonB

Boost Your Fibre Intake with a Healthy Smoothie

If you are thinking that your fibre intake needs to increase, then a smoothie is a great way to achieve this.  Smoothies contain the whole fruit goodness of fruit, whizzed to a pulp and contain soluble fibre which not only helps to lower cholesterol levels but also helps to regulate our blood sugar levels and helps us to avoid those ‘slumps’ when we reach for the biscuits or sweets to give ourselves a boost again.

In the long term, the Insoluble fibre contained in smoothies is even more important as it can help us to reduce our risk of developing very serious conditions that affect our digestive systems, such as bowel cancer.  Insoluble fibre helps our bodies to produce more bulky stools that are softer to pass and thus help us to avoid constipation and piles (haemorrhoids).

It is very important to remember that if you are increasing your fibre intake, you need to increase your fluid intake at the same time as fibre soaks up water and could make you feel a little dehydrated if you do not.  The current recommended daily intake of fibre is set at about 38 grams per day for men (reducing to 30 grams for men over 50) and 25 grams per day for women (reducing to 21 grams per day for women over 50).

Nutritionists recommend that you should not try to boost your fibre soluble fiberintake by increasing your consumption of wheat bran too much.  It is not commonly known that the phytates in wheat bran can effectively rob our bodies of vital minerals as they bond to them in our bodies and make them unable to be absorbed.  This is another reason to turn to smoothies for your additional fibre as fruits and vegetables are accepted as the best source of dietary fibre, along with nuts and seeds which can also be added to your smoothie.

To avoid feeling bloated and the embarrassment and discomfort of flatulence, increase your fibre intake gradually, in small steps, giving your body several days between each addition so that it can adjust to this new and healthier way of eating.

A smoothie maker will be a good investment as you will know the exact ingredients and be able to calculate the fibre content accurately as part of your recommended daily intake.  Enjoy your smoothies and look forward to a healthier you!

Photo: tiffanywashko

Speaking with Your Child About Eczema Treatment Options

Children can be temperamental creatures. When they are suffering from eczema, their mood can worsen. This can make treating their eczema more difficult. If you learn to talk to them about their treatment, it can make the healing process easier on the both of you.

It is best to broach the topic according to age group. Talking about the treatment for eczema in children is a different conversation with a 5 year old than it is with a 12 year old. Therefore, the following tips are broken down into preschool/young children, school children, and teens.

YOUNG CHILDREN- Of course it will be difficult to explain treatment options to the very young. This does not mean that you should make decisions about their treatment without explaining it to them. In basic terms, tell them how the treatment will make them better. Especially if the treatment involves something they do not like, such as a wearing wet bandages or avoiding a favorite food. They may complain less if they know it will stop the itching and hurting they feel.

SCHOOL CHILDREN- Now you are at an age where you can have a more detailed conversation about treatment. You should use days that they are more uncomfortable as times to broach subjects you are worried about, such as uncomfortable treatments and withholding

eczema in children

Eczema on backs of child's knees

favorite treats. This will make the point of “if you do this, this discomfort will stop” more understandable and memorable. On days that they are not suffering, try to reinforce your decisions by pointing out how good they feel because they stuck to their treatment.

TEENS- At this age, your child should be able to understand the details and fundamental points about how to cure eczema. They have a better understanding of how the immune system works. Therefore, they will understand why they must avoid certain eczema triggers. They will also be more aware of the lasting effects of scars. Therefore, they will be more willing to stick to a treatment regiment. Finally, a teen can best understand the pros and cons of a treatment. Explain the options to your teen as thoroughly as you can. You should give your teen a say in which treatment option you select.

Photo: Care SMC

The Food Pyramid, Fats, and Healthy Cleanse

Fats together with carbohydrates have been marked wrongly as being completely unhealthy. This is not so as some types of fats have been proven to be good for our minds and our bodies. On the food pyramid, you are allowed only certain amounts of fats for healthy living.

Simply put fats are nutrients from different foods which helps the body in many ways such as building tissues, producing hormones, as well as providing energy to the body. Fats also act as the body’s reserve food for future use, this is because the body stores the fats that have not digested or used up as fuel for rainy days. It’s something that your body has learned to do down through the history of man, as far back as the Stone Age and beyond.

Fat is also important as it gives food a great flavor and texture. The only bad thing about fats is that they are high in calories and therefore when taken in excess like any other food group may result to health problems.

food pyramidThere are several types of fats which include:
1)    Unsaturated fats: these are considered as healthy fats as they are beneficial to the body and especially the heart. They are derived from plants and fish. There are three types of unsaturated fats:
•    monounsaturated, these are in fruits like found in avocados and olives, different nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashew nuts) peanut, and also canola oils
•    polyunsaturated,  these are mostly derived form vegetables like corn and sunflower
•    omega-3 fatty acids, these are derived from fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and even albacore.

2)    Saturated fats: these types of fats are derived from meat and other animal products such as milk eggs, cheese and butter. Other sources of this type of fat include coconut oil and palm oils. Too much of this type of fats may cause high cholesterol and more often than not increase the risk of getting heart disease.

3)    Trans fats: this type of fat is found in margarine, many baked products, fried foods (junk foods) like saturated fats they are also high in cholesterol. Trans fats in processed foods like margarine, shortening and any product containing hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils of any kind should be avoided for best health. Trans fats have been clinically proven to be far worse than any other type of fat, especially when combined with large amounts of carbohydrates as found in things like flour, sugar and starches.

The new food pyramid places a lot of emphasis on taking more unsaturated fats and less of the other types due to the health implications. If you’re trying to undergo a healthy cleanse of your body then you should really try and steer clear of bad fats altogether. You are really trying to help your body to become a better working machine and the best way of doing this is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, less fatty protein-rich foods like lean meats and beans, and to drink plenty of water.

Photo: Beth Rankin

What Exactly is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

If you have ever taken a long plane journey or been confined to bed for several days, you may have suffered from deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT. The condition is caused by a blood clot forming in a deep vein, due to inactivity, usually in the leg but occasionally in other parts of the body. It’s a serious condition that can frequently cause long-term problems and can even be fatal.

The most serious effect of DVT is when an affected clot travels to the lung, a medical condition known as pulmonary embolism (PE); in fact, over 10% of those with DVT also have PE. The symptoms of PE can include sharp chest pain, rapid breathing and sudden coughing and PE can cause high blood pressure, even heart failure.

The symptoms of DVT aren’t always apparent, although there are some common warning signs. The most obvious symptom is a painful feeling in one or both legs; if you have been sitting still for a long time, you won’t experience this until you get up or try to walk. The affected leg can be discolored or feel warm to the touch and the veins in your leg may be visible.

DVT can be difficult to accurately diagnose, partly because the symptoms aren’t always noticeable and partly because many other

deep vein thrombosis

Compression stocking to prevent DVT

medical conditions have some or all of the same symptoms. Although deep vein thrombosis can affect anyone who has sat still for a long period, those particularly at risk include the elderly or overweight, and those with varicose veins or a blood clotting disorder.

Although it’s impossible to entirely prevent deep vein thrombosis, there are certain steps you can take to minimize the risk. If you are sitting still for a long period of time, especially in a cramped airplane seat, try to get up every so often to exercise your lower leg muscles. In fact, the condition has become so firmly associated with flying, that it is often described as economy class syndrome.

This guest post has been written by Healthier Tomorrow.

Photo: twinkleboi

Cause of Snoring, and the Cure

Snoring is one of the most annoying conditions seen in a lot of people. It is common among both males and females. More a physiological irregularity than a disease, it is a vibration caused by the result of a unrestrained flow of the air in the narrow airways of the nasal passage. The result is a whistling-like sound that occurs during sleep.

Snoring is caused mainly by the reduction, or blocking of respiration airways. There are gadgets and equipments available in the market, which claim to reduce snoring, like silentnite snore guard. Among these modern things used to reduce snoring, a nasal strip is also one, which has to be applied on the nose before sleeping. These nasal strips claim to clear respiratory passage and hence vibration reduces and snoring is avoided.

A snorer, as derived by researchers, inhales through the mouth more than the nose while sleeping. To remedy it, a stop snoring treatment has been found. In the form of a chinstrap, in order to keep the mouth shut in a forward position while sleeping. This enables the patient to inhale through his nose and not through his mouth. Thus it prevents from snoring.

Some people prefer the use of no snore pillows, which are designed to keep the nasal or the respiratory pathways open. They help with

snore guard

Snoring disturbs your sleep (and everyone else's!)

unobstructed flow of balanced air without giving rise to vibrations that cause snoring. However, keeping a check on your body weight can also prevent snoring, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all fat people snore. Regular exercise will definitely help in keeping all your snoring troubles at bay.

One should also take care to see that there is no mucus accumulation in the respiratory passage as this will again yield to snoring due to the vibrations of air. Apart from that reducing smoking and drinking will also contribute a great deal in controlling snoring as these cause constriction of the respiratory methods. Maintaining a side lying method will also help in reducing snoring to a great extent. If all else fails, I recommend that you use a snore guard.

Photo: Ned Raggett

Important Tips to Help You Build Muscles Fast

Although building an attractive and strong chest is no easy task, it does not need to be as difficult as people make it. If you understand the best way to do chest building exercises, you can gain mass quickly without having to strain or risk messing up your muscles by over exercising. I have a number of tips in this articles that should be invaluable for people who are trying to build up chest muscles and get the best out of their chest building programs.

If you follow the right way to build up muscle mass, you will find the process straight forward and yielding the results you expect. I have compiled a number of tips that you will find beneficial in the process of getting started with your muscle building program. When doing bench press or chest press exercises, it is important to put more focus on the inward (or downward) repletion rather than the outward (upward) movement. Contrary to common beliefs that the best accomplishment is when they are at the peak of repletion, actual muscle building happens during the lowering of the weight. You should therefore not rely on gravity while bringing the weight down.

During the bench press exercise, it is vital to vary the angle of the elbow by moving the hands to different positions along the weight bar. Although it is important to use weight machines, free weights will be very important in this stage. Altering the elbow handles will have build musclesconstructive effects on different parts of the chest muscles, resulting in better and distributed growth. Another thing that should not be overlooked is the muscles building diets. Since you are not trying to lose weight, you have to maximize the amount of calories you eat because these will be used to construct the muscles. Proper diet will means eating foods with good nutrients and minerals.

Photo: JMRosenfeld

The Key to Losing Weight Quickly

Many researches had proven that green tea weight loss diet is effective in providing obese patients who want to have a safe and quick weight loss. This article will provide you with the reasons why quick weight loss is indeed achievable through green tea weight loss diet.

A green tea diet or a green tea pill is one of the newest and fastest ways of losing weight especially if you want to shed off a few inches and pounds without undergoing complicated and risky methods to realize your goals. It is practically an easy and quick weight loss regimen. Many dieticians and nutritionist recommend green tea diet or green tea pill to their obese patients because it is 100 percent natural, it increases metabolism rate and it aids in your body’s fat burning process. If you want to have a quick weight loss that is guaranteed of success, you might want to consider green tea as part of your weight loss diet regimen.

Green tea helps you attain a sustainable and quick weight loss by increasing your body’s metabolism rate by 40 percent. If this is done regularly with a good exercise program and appropriate diet, you will eventually find yourself on your way to accomplishing your weight loss goals by simply adding Green tea to your diet.

There are many ways of using Green tea to help you have a quick weight loss. One way of using green tea to help you lose weight is by taking green tea in liquid form. There are different choices and products which are available for Green tea. Furthermore, green tea is marketed through many quick weight loss related sites over the internet, drugstores and in health stores. Green tea is also available in loose leaf Green tea form. One of the mistakes that people make when taking in green tea is that they tend to brew it. This will eventually decrease the healing capabilities of Green tea.

Green tea can also be found in pill form. This is by far one of the most common appearances of green tea. The important thing is to find the right Green Tea dietary supplement that has an adequate amount of EGCG which increases your metabolism rate in order for you to have a quick weight loss.

Simple Ways To Treat The Fear Of Driving

It is funny how a road accident, a near miss or even a film that a person may have witnessed, involved in or watched as a kid can become such a big problem when they are grown. Most cases of people fearing to drive are caused by these past events and memories. The fear of driving is a very serious problem among many people today, where private transport is very important because people have very busy schedules and convenience and privacy is a major issue. Different people suffer the fear of driving a car phobia under different circumstances, while driving over bridges, in busy traffic, freeways, intersections, at night, through fog or in one way streets. As much as the fear of driving may seem simple, it is real and has the capability of ruining someone’s life socially and professionally.

Can you overcome the fear of driving?

That is the main question that people suffering from this condition ask themselves almost all the time. My first suggestion in the process of trying to overcome this fear is gain confidence in driving. If you have not driven much, take some driving lessons then a road test, pass it and when you have a license, half the battle will be won. Get a Frisbee to help you get the feel of a steering wheel in order to learn more how to control a car and get some virtual driving experience.

You can get a driving instructor or get help from a friend to instill more confidence in you while driving. Since the phobia of driving all happens in the mind, it can only be gotten rid of in the mind. Every time you think of driving or are driving, focus your thoughts on something else so as not to leave room for “what if’s” that often manifest to become negative thoughts and eventually fear.