Archive for December, 2013

New Year, New You

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Fitness woman happy smiling

Everyone wants to be healthy and the start of a new year is always a good time to start fresh.  If you are looking for some ideas on how to get healthy in 2014, here are some suggestions.

Portion Control – The best way to start downsizing your body is by downsizing your plate… and the contents on your plate.  Studies show that if you use a smaller plate or bowl that it will promote weight loss because you are not overeating at any one meal.

Be Active – One common bond between people that are healthy and trim is that they are all active and remain active throughout the year.  If you shoot to add at least 30 minutes of some sort of exercise into your day, each and every day, you will begin to notice significant changes over time.  Stick with it even on the days where you lack the energy because exercising always helps to boost your energy.

Cut the Salt Out – According to studies, the average American eats close to twice the recommended daily allowance of sodium in their day.  Besides making your feel and look bloated, sodium also can significantly raise your blood pressure.  Processed meats contain some of the highest amounts of salt of any food so it is extremely important for you to read labels and be a conscious shopper when it comes to sodium.  People that cut the salt out of their diet have been shown to have a decreased risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and better weight management.

Increase Antioxidants – When your body processes food it releases free radicals…. as does cigarette smoking and radiation.  As time goes by, damage from free radicals can cause cancer, infection, heart disease and inflammation.  That’s why you should increase your antioxidants.  You can defend your body from the harmful effects of free radicals by eating a diet rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants can be found in pomegranates, chocolate and coffee.

Quit Smoking – Although it nearly goes without saying, if you are a smoker you really should try to make a resolution to quit smoking.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons ten times over, so make 2014 the year that you put the “butt” out for good!

Wear Sunscreen Year Round – According to the National Cancer Institute, most skin cancers do not begin to develop until after the age of 50, but sun damage starts at a much earlier age.  Sun exposure can also make wrinkles appear before their time.  You should resolve to wear sunscreen year round because you can still be exposed to the sun’s harmful rays even in the winter.

 

 

Myths about the Common Cold

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

winter immune boostersSure we have all heard the common wives tales about the common cold… feed a cold and starve a fever, and so on and so forth.  But what tales are indeed true and which ones are myths?  Here we touch on a few of those true tales and debunk some others.

Chicken Soup:  So grandma always said that chicken soup is good to fight the common cold and she was half right… chicken soup has been shown to relieve inflammation.

Wet hair: Going outside with wet hair will not cause the common cold… but that doesn’t mean that you should do it either.

Feed a cold, starve a fever:  This is the one that you often hear people recite when they are sick.  But being sick often kills your appetite and force feeding certainly won’t help things.  What you should do instead is remain hydrated and get enough calories.

Wearing a coat: Common colds and the flu are caused by viruses not by temperature. And while they do circulate more during the winter months, you are more likely to pick up a cold or the flu inside more so than outside so wearing a coat or not wearing a coat does not indicate whether or not you will catch a cold.  Studies show that you can actually prevent some colds by getting physical exercise outdoors during the winter months.

Vicks Vapor Rub on Your Feet:  A widely spread email last year stated that you should put Vicks Vapor Rub on your kids feet and put socks on them to get rid of a nagging cough.  This myth was debunked and experts suggest that you should stick to using the vapor rub on your kid’s chest and throat instead.