Springtime is here, and with it come warm weather, sunshine and longer days. For many of us, it also brings increased energy and the opportunity to be more active. You don’t have to have a fancy bike or a gym membership. Here are five tools you can use to get active this spring!
A sense of adventure: Try stopping the car and exploring the area; you may discover some new favorite spaces. Do you reflexively get behind the wheel to do an errand? Try walking there; it may take longer but you will feel great when you return.
Comfortable shoes: Head to your local sports store to find the best style and fit of shoes for you. Keep in mind that not all shoes are created equal; the activities that you will be doing matter. Running shoes are not the same as trail hiking shoes, and you want to be sure you give your feet the best shot at supporting your body through your springtime activities.
Hydration: Water, water, water. Staying hydrated is key to feeling great, as your activity increases and the temperature rises.
Go-anywhere bag: I try to keep a bag packed and ready for action, sitting in a place where I simply can’t ignore it. Start with the basics: shoes, socks, shorts, shirts and sunglasses. Placing the bag in a grab-and-go spot will help inspire you to grab it and just go.
A tracker: Whether it’s a stopwatch or an app on your smartphone, a tool to track the time and activity can be a useful tool for inspiring you to reach a new level of fitness.
With a few basic tools, the long-awaited springtime will be full of fitness and fun. And there’s no better feeling than enjoying the sunshine while you do something good for your body, mind, and soul.
Find more tips here: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1041669/tools-for-getting-active-this-spring
Getting your flu shot isn’t the only way you can help prevent the flu. What you eat can also help lower your odds of coming down with a nasty bug.
Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, which helps your white blood cells fight off microbes.
Tuna fish is an excellent source of selenium, which helps protect cells from damage and boosts your immunity.
Mushrooms are packed with beta glucans, which help your immune system better fight infection.
Sweet Potatoes are rich in vitamin A that fights free radicals that could weaken your immune system.
Green tea offers amazing antioxidant benefits.
Yogurt has probiotics which helps your body maintain a strong immune system.
Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, which can reduce cold symptoms by 23%, studies have found.
Garlic, Onions, and Leeks contain broad-spectrum antiseptic and immunity-boosting compounds.
Ginger contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes that target rhinoviruses, as well as substances that suppress coughing. It’s also a natural pain and fever reducer and a mild sedative.
Honey is a natural antiseptic which works like hydrogen peroxide. It’s a great cold and flu-friendly sore throat reliever, and its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties help fight infections from viruses and bacteria.
Black pepper can ward off the sniffles. Mix black pepper with ground ginger and vinegar to help increase the absorption of both herbal and over-the-counter medications. Black peppercorns are particularly high in piperine, a compound known for its anti-fever and pain-relieving properties.
Almonds provide the immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E, which can reduce your chance of catching colds and developing respiratory infections.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.
You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.
For more information, visit: http://www.heart.org
If one of your resolutions this year is a healthier lifestyle, chances are that reducing your processed sugar intake is on your list.
Below are foods that can help reduce and or eliminate sugar cravings:
Apples: One of the best fruits to help fight sugar cravings is the apple. Apples taste very sweet and they are also high in fiber. Fiber makes the stomach feel full and helps satisfy sugar cravings.
Sweet Corn: Sweet corn is great for fighting sugar cravings because it tastes sweet when cooked, and because of its high fiber content, one will feel quite full after eating it. It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Sweet Potato: Another vegetable that tastes sweet when cooked is the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can be chopped up and then fried to make sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes will not only satisfy sugar cravings, but also supply the body with vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and iron. The nutrients in sweet potatoes can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.
Cinnamon: One of the main ingredients in cinnamon has powerful insulin-boosting effects, preventing the blood-sugar spikes that cause sugar cravings.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are high in serotonin. Studies suggest that low serotonin levels are among the main causes of sugar cravings. The serotonin tells a person’s brain that his sugar cravings have been satisfied. Tomatoes are also high in chromium, a mineral that reduces food cravings, regulates cholesterol, fat and blood sugar levels.
• The tallest Christmas tree was a 221-foot Douglas fir displayed in Seattle in 1950.
• Artificial Christmas trees were first created in Germany using green-dyed goose feathers.
• Over 93 million Christmas trees are sold each year throughout the world.
• Celebrating the New Year is a tradition that dates back nearly 4000 years.
• The first use of a Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball in 1907 was the result of New York City banning fireworks because they were too dangerous.
• In Guatemala, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, but people don’t exchange gifts until New Year’s Day.
• It is still believed in Britain that eating a mince pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring 12 months of happiness.
• In Japan, fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas day. It is the busiest time of year for restaurants such as KFC and people even place orders in advance.
Keep your expectations modest: Don’t get hung up on what the holidays are supposed to be like and how you’re supposed to feel.
Lean on your support system: If you’ve been depressed, you need a network of close friends and family during the holidays.
Don’t assume the worst: Don’t start the holiday season anticipating disaster.
Forget the unimportant stuff: Don’t run yourself ragged just to live up to a holiday tradition.
Volunteer: Try volunteering. You could really find some comfort from it.
Head off problems: Think about what people or situations trigger your holiday stress and figure out ways to avoid them.
Don’t overbook: People really need to pace themselves or they’ll get overwhelmed. So don’t say yes to every invitation.
Give yourself a break: This is not an easy time of year for a lot of people. Be gentle with yourself. It is the season of kindness and forgiveness. Save some of it for yourself.
Stick to a budget: The cost of holiday shopping mounts quickly and can make people feel out of control and anxious. So draw up a budget long before you actually start your shopping and stick to it.
The benefits of pumpkin
are hidden little treasures that most people aren’t aware of… As we usher in autumn, remember that pumpkins aren’t only for carving!
Balances Blood Sugar: Two plant compounds in this super food, (trigonelline and nicotinic acid) boosts cells’ sensitivity to insulin by 51%. This wards off the blood sugar fluctuations that lead to fatigue, mood swings and weight gain.
Eases Aches & Pains: Enjoying pumpkin-enriched foods daily can reduce the risk of arthritis by as much as 48% and cut existing stiffness and pain by 33%, reports British researchers. The credit goes to the winter squash’s beta-cryptoxanthin, a plant compound that works to sooth joint inflammation and promote the healing of damaged tissues.
Boosts Immunity: Just 2 Tbs. of pumpkin puree provides 88% of the daily value of vitamin A, a nutrient that revs the production of infection-fighting T cells. The payoff: Australian researchers found that increasing intake of vitamin A can cut the occurrence of sick days by 38%.
Aids in Weight Loss: Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. A fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less, and thereby shed pounds.
Good for Skin: The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free, Health magazine reported.
Mood Booster: Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the ingredient in turkey. The amino acid is important in production of serotonin, one of the major players when it comes to our mood, WebMD reports. A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds may help your outlook stay bright.
Source: Huffington Post
Fall is a great time to start a fitness program, because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and winter months. There are lots of fun outdoor exercises for fall you should take advantage of while you can.
Take a Hike. Hiking is one of the best outdoor exercises for fall, hands down! You get to enjoy the foliage, the clean air, and the beauty of nature as a whole. Hiking is also an excellent way to get fit while spending time with friends and loved ones.
Enjoy a Long Walk. If hiking is a little too intense, then a simple walk is another fantastic outdoor exercise for fall. Just pop in your ear buds, load up your favorite playlist, and take off for a long walk as the sun starts to go down.
Just Jog. Walking and hiking both protect you against the cooler temperatures, but going for a run is even better. As long as you dress appropriately, you can really get your blood flowing with a jog or a more intensive run. Try the track at the local high school or YMCA, or check out the running paths in your area. Whatever you choose, you’ll be giving your heart a fantastic workout!
Hop on Your Bike. The temperatures are perfect for a ride, especially if you choose a route that intersperses straight stretches with hills. Even riding by yourself is great; you get into a meditative state that makes it easy to forget the day’s stresses.
Think about Rollerblading (yes, that’s right) or ice skating when you’re looking into outdoor exercises for fall. Both provide a pretty intense workout.
There is so much to enjoy about the autumn months and just by thinking outside the box, you can come up with plenty of activities and exercise opportunities to stay in shape while getting ready for those holiday months ahead.
For more information and ideas to stay strong, check out the 10 Tips for Fall Fitness at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/10-tips-fall-fitness
We all need vaccinations/immunizations to help protect us from serious diseases and to keep communities safe. Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and tuberculosis (TB). Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization. It’s also important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
The CDC provides a quick reference guide to help determine who and when individuals should be vaccinated. If you have a child age 6 or younger, find out which shots your child needs by going to: http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/kidstuff/newscheduler_le/ Or, find out which shots adults and teenagers need by going to: http://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched/
If you are an employer and wish to educate and encourage responsible vaccinations, you can get a complete communication toolkit which provides key messages, sample media materials, social media content, and event ideas. You can also get eye-catching NIAM logos and banners, External Web Site Icon for each weekly theme to place on your websites and social media platforms. Simply go to: http://www.nphic.org/niam-toolkit
Being active is one of the best ways you can keep your bones and joints working well. Exercise can help to maintain bone density, lessen joint pain, keep off extra weight that can stress your joints and help your balance so you avoid falls that can damage bones and joints.
- • Do strengthening exercises two to three times a week.
- • Use hand-held weights or resistance bands. The amount of resistance or weight should tire your muscle without causing joint pain.
- • Work each major muscle group, including your arms and legs, as well as your core and the muscles that support good posture.
- • Give yourself at least a day between strength training so your body can rest. Our muscles actually gain strength during the recovery.
- • Do weight-bearing exercise (such as climbing stairs, dancing, hiking, or walking).
- • Your goal: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. That amounts to about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- • Stretching and yoga are good for joints
- • Do these at least 3 days a week
- • Warm up first. Don’t stretch a “cold” muscle
- • Add balance exercises, like standing on one leg or Tai chi, to improve balance