Archive for March, 2011

Simple Home Remedies for Headaches

Millions of people suffer from the pain and discomfort of headaches; in fact more than 45 million people get repeat headaches, day after day. Headaches are one of the most common complaints and the most widely treated with home remedies. Physical and emotional stress and lack of sleep are common triggers for headaches but there can be an array of reasons why you’re constantly getting headaches. Oftentimes, simple lifestyle changes and relaxation can often remedy these pains. But if you have consistent headaches that do not respond to treatment you may want to get in touch with your health care provider.

There is also an assortment of home remedies that may help your headache pain go away that is as easy as a quick trip to your pantry. Here are some ideas from

• Lemon- Useful as a remedy for various types of headaches. The juice of three or four slices of lemon squeezed in a cup of tea often causes immediate relief. You can also take the crust of a lemon, pound it into a fine paste and applied to the forehead or temples.

• Apple- Also a remedy for all sorts of types of headaches. Remove the upper rind and inner core of a ripe apple and eat with a little salt on an empty stomach.

• Henna- Useful for headaches resulting from exposure to hot sun. Rub henna flowers in vinegar and apply to the forehead.

• Cinnamon- Useful for cold air headaches. Mix cinnamon with water to create a fine paste and apply over the temples and forehead.

• Marjoram- If you have a nervous headache, an infusion of marjoram leaves in tea often helps.

• Rosemary- This herb can be helpful in curing headaches resulting from cold. Take a handful of the herb, boil it in a liter of water and put it in a mug. Cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam until the headache is relieved.

• Hot foot bath- Keep legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water for fifteen minutes.

• Proper nutrition, exercise and positive thinking- The best way to prevent headaches is to build up a resistance through proper nutrition, physical exercise and positive thinking. And drink lots of water!

Five Ways to Refresh Your Exercise Routine for Spring

Just as soon as the ice and snow begin melting after a long winter there is a startling realization that swimsuit season is around the corner…proceed with the panic. Once the mercury starts to rise, getting back in shape for the spring and summer is on everyone’s mind. But instead of hitting the exercise hard, experts suggest easing back into your springtime routine.

Here are some tips to get you started from WebMD:

Start Slow- Take the necessary time before jumping into your spring diet and exercise plan. If you haven’t worked out much all winter then it’s important to start slowly. By easing into your regimen you will be more successful in keeping with your diet and exercise plan. Commit to regular exercise and slowly increase the intensity as your fitness level improves.

Take it Outside- You’ve more than likely taken your regular exercise routine to the treadmill during the winter months. But now that it’s getting nicer outside try walking or jogging in the park or around a track. Both your body and soul will love the fresh air.

Plan a New Menu- You need to really look at your diet and the amount of calories you are consuming on a daily basis. Choose foods that are low in calories but are filling to help you fight off the hunger throughout the day.

Take Up a Sport-
It’s a new season, so why not try a new activity or sport? Playing a sport can break up the monotony of your typical workout routine and can provide fun as well as connection with others. Try tennis or golf this spring.

Protect Your Skin- If you’re spending more time outside then it’s essential to wear sunscreen in order to protect yourself from ultraviolet rays. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and choose a waterproof kind that doesn’t run off when you sweat.

By keeping these five tips in mind you’ll go from winter weight to bikini body safely and happily and in no time!

What are the Health Benefits of Acai Berries?

The acai berry represents a new trend in weight loss. It has been highly hyped by marketers who refer to it as an elite super food with anti-aging and weight loss ingredients. It’s even used in cosmetic and beauty products. But are all these claims true?

According to WebMD, the acai berry is a reddish, purple fruit and usually about an inch long. It comes from the acai palm tree native to Central and South America and contain several substances called anthocyanins and flavonoids. These are both powerful antioxidants that can help defend the body against free radicals. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can interfere with aging and protect against disease such as heart disease and cancer by neutralizing free radicals.

However, few studies can actually confirm that acai berry juice can actually stimulate weight loss. Studies do show that acai fruit pulp contains a higher antioxidant capacity than cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. But so far acai berries show no known health benefit that’s any different that other similar fruits.

There’s no doubt that fruits and berries are a crucial aspect to any healthy diet and weight loss regimen. And although the acai berry may not actually help you lose weight, it is beneficial to you, like other berries in the same family.

Those with allergies to pollen, however, should be cautious. Some allergy sufferers have been sensitive to this berry and should avoid it.

In conclusion, should you incorporate the acai berry into your diet? Of course! It has a place in a healthy diet, just like all fruits. Should you base your weight loss regimen solely on this fruit? Probably not.

Spring Cleaning Workout: Tidy Up and Get a Workout All at Once!

It’s that time of year again! The sun is starting to shine….and shedding light on your dirty house. Spring cleaning season is in full swing. Sure, you would be hard-pressed to find a woman or a man who says that they actually enjoy the thoughts of spring cleaning. But, if you just take into consideration how many calories are burned while you are doing your spring cleaning, then you may be a little more excited when spring rolls around this year.

As with any physical activity, cleaning up around the house and garden can actually burn calories as well as stretch and tone muscles. Some sort of moderate activity for at least 30 minutes a day can bring tremendous health benefits, even if it’s just using a little elbow grease around the house.

However, when it comes to losing weigh while cleaning, intensity and speed are vital so here are some tips from WebMD for making your next cleaning session a workout session:

• Listen to fast music in order to pick up speed and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

• Tighten your abs during chores to make it more of a workout, plus it prevents you from slouching.

• Strive for large up and down movements like when cleaning the shower door. Make big pronounced movements and move those arms!

• Carry heavy baskets of laundry up and down some stairs to get your heart pumping.

• Climb on a stepladder to reach high dusty spots, keep it up and it’s almost like being in a step class.

• Do lunges while vacuuming, just remember to keep toes pointed ahead and to not bend your knees further than 90 degrees. You’ll feel these burning your thighs in no time.

The actual amount of calories burned while cleaning will depend on your weight, gender and age, but there calculators that you can find online (FitDay or NutriStrategy) that will help you to calculate your actual calories burned. But here’s a general idea of how many calories you can burn by just taking care of a few things around the house.

Gardening: 226 calories

Window washing: 226 calories

Scrubbing floors (on hands and knees): 291 calories

Laundry, ironing: 84 calories

Sewing repairs: 36 calories

Dusting: 97 calories

Scrubbing toilets, tub: 246 calories

Vacuuming: 317 calories

Cleaning gutters: 258 calories

Moving furniture, household items: 387 calories

Painting, papering, plastering: 317 calories

Sweeping: 194 calories

Mopping: 153 calories

Mowing the lawn: 148 calories

Washing dishes: 77 calories

So dust off your mops, break out the cleaner and begin to sweat off the weight!

Editor’s Note: The calories burned estimates listed here are based on one hour of cleaning for a 155 pound woman.

Nail Health 101: Finger Nails Can Detect Dangerous Medical Conditions

Did you know that by taking a good look at your finger nails you may be able to get a good read on your health? Certain nail conditions are early warning signs for more serious health conditions. So the next time you get a manicure be sure to pay close attention to the look of your fingernails. If you see any ridges, dents or areas of unusual color or shape you may have an illness that requires immediate medical attention.

According to your nails are composed of laminated layers of protein call keratin. Healthy nails are smooth without too much ridging or grooving. They’re also uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.
Normal nails may develop vertical ridges but these are harmless and often become more prominent with age. Nails can also acquire white lines or spots but these are often just due to injury and grow out in time. However, not all nail conditions are normal. Here are a few conditions outlined by to look out for:

Yellow Nail Syndrome- Yellow coloring of the nails may be a result of a respiratory condition such as chronic bronchitis or lymph edema. This condition is often accompanied by thick nails and slow growth, often resulting in discoloration. Cuticles may also detach from the nail bed in places.

Nail Pitting– People with psoriasis, a skin condition that often produces scaly patches; often encounter pitting or small depressions in the nails. Pitting is also associated with other conditions such a chronic dermatitis of the fingers or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

Nail Clubbing- The term clubbing refers to when the tips of your fingers enlarge and nails curve around the fingertips. This is often cause by low oxygen levels in the blood caused by lung disease. Clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular and liver disease.

Spoon Nails- Koilonychias or spoon nails refer to soft nails that look scooped out. The scooped out area is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Spoon nails may be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.

Terry’s Nails- This condition makes your nails appear opaque with a dark band around the tip. This can often be associated with aging but it can also be attributed to illnesses such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, liver disease, or malnutrition.

Beau’s lines- These are indentations that run across the nails. These can appear when growth under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or by severe illness such as uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory diseases, peripheral artery disease, or high fever caused by pneumonia, scarlet fever, mumps, measles or malnutrition.

Onycholysis- With this condition your fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. Detaching nails are commonly associated with injury or infection, thyroid disease, drug reactions, or psoriasis.

By keeping an eye out for these nail conditions you have may be able to detect a much worse medical condition.