Archive for August, 2014

Swimming for Better Health

swimming woman
Many people want to get into better shape, but are not sure how. Look at it this way: running can be unpleasant, especially if you are prone to shin splints; cycling is hard on the knees; lifting free weights can hardly be described as fun, and not everyone can get into Yoga or Zumba. That leaves the best exercise of them all; one that many people enjoy without even realizing that it is an exercise: swimming.

There are few exercises that are better for your health than swimming. Swimming at full speed burns around 703 calories an hour. This is the reason why Olympic swimmers eat so many calories, yet remain in excellent shape. Besides burning calories, there are many other reasons why you should put on your favorite swimsuit and jump in the water.

Low Impact Exercise

Swimming is a very low impact exercise. If you have bad knees and hips, or even an injured back, then jogging and cardio dance classes are not for you. You will only hurt worse. Instead, an hour of swimming will not harm your joints or back. You will feel some pain, post swim, but that is only your muscles trying to bounce back from your workout.

Water Provides Resistance

This is the reason why swimming burns so many calories. No matter how hard you try to propel yourself forward, the water tries to hold you back. Because of this resistance, your muscles must work harder as you move through the water. Every single part of your body gets a work out, from the top of your shoulders to the tips of your toes. On top of this, thanks to the resistance put forth by the water, you can always lie on your back and float in the water if a break from swimming is in order.

Provides Mental Health Support and Clarity

Tired of working out in the same area as people chatting on their cell phones or blasting their iPods so loud that you can hear their music three treadmills down? Try using electronic devices in the water! Exactly, it cannot be done. The quiet surrounding serious swimmers in the lap pool will give you a chance to enjoy some self-reflection or meditation. As you complete each lap, you will feel your stress melt away and your thoughts begin to clear. Pretty soon, you will feel as peaceful as the blue water that you are swimming through.

Works Most Muscle Groups

Have you ever seen a professional competitive swimmer? If you have, then you know how defined their muscles are. Swimming works your entire body: your legs work to propel you forward and keep you afloat, your arms work to keep your pace on track as well as propel your forward, and your torso (back and abs, otherwise known as your “core”) gets a work out as it stabilizes you in the water.

Swimming is an excellent exercise for those who want to get into great shape. It works many different areas of the body at once, without hurting your legs and knees like a high-impact exercise. If simply swimming laps is not for you, try attending a water aerobics class. On top of that, if you enjoy boating, snorkeling and water sports, then knowing how to swim is necessary for your safety. Can many joggers say that?

Image credit:  “Beautiful Woman Smiling In The Pool” by David Castillo Dominici via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ 

How to Build your Muscles Safely After Injury

Recovery
Are you sick and tired of being skinny and being seen as a wimp? The solution to that is of course to gain weight and to build muscles but it is not as easy as you think especially when you’ve suffered an injury or an illness.

Nonetheless, it does not mean that it’s impossible. There are ways on how you can do it effectively without risking or re-aggravating your injury.

Tip 1: Figure out the amount of calories you need to gain weight

The first thing that you should look into is the amount of calories you need to consume in order to gain weight and build muscles. Calories are energy and unconsumed energy can turn into fat and muscles. If you’re doing weight training, it is highly recommended to consume 3,000-3,500 calories per day or even more depending on the intensity of your training.

Tip 2: Do the calculations – compute for your BMI and RMR

You need to also pay attention to calculations such as BMI and RMR. BMI refers to the body mass index while RMR refers to resting metabolic rate.

Tip 3: Set up a program designed to rehabilitate and condition your body

Setting up a program that is designed to rehabilitate and condition your body is essential when you are training after an injury. Simple warm up exercises such as treadmills and jumping jacks can help you improve your health and prepare you for more intensive training.

Tip 4: Eat a balanced diet – three big meals a day and a couple of snacks

Eating a balanced diet while training is a must. Three big meals and a couple of snacks per day is a good rule of thumb you can adopt.

Tip 5: Focus on weight training, but do not overdo it

If you are to gain weight and build muscles, you need to focus on weight training. Start with light dumbbells and then increase the weight and intensity as you go deeper with your weight training program.

Tip 6: Know what to eat. Avoid trans/belly fat and go high on protein

You need to know the types of food that will do you good and those that is considered bad for your weight training regimen. Avoid belly fat and go high on body-building protein.

Tip 7: Drink lots of water, fruit juices and milk

Drinking plenty of water, fruit juices and milk is recommended when you’re aiming to gain weight and build muscles. Eight glasses a day is the norm but don’t limit yourself to that. If possible, shoot for 10 glasses a day.

Tip 8: Rest properly – at least eight hours a day of sleep

Proper rest is also imperative when you are training. Make sure to get your eight hours of sleep per day so that you’ll be able to restore your body’s condition and avoid re-aggravating your injury.

Tip 9: Avoid binges and overeating cycles – it will do more harm than good

One common mistake of those who are trying to gain weight is that they eat on binges and ride overeating cycles. To put it plain and frank, such practice will only lead to a worse condition.

Tip 10: See a doctor, a gym instructor or a physical therapist to help you out

You should not act as if you know everything. It is still important to consult the experts on the matter. It won’t hurt if you see a doctor, a gym instructor or a physical therapist to help you out.

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Diet Supplement Overdose, A Case of Being Too Healthy

The lifestyle of Vitamins
people of the past and the present makes a big subject for comparison, and if we are to list them all, we may just be surprised of how huge are the differences. There might be no point to compare it all because the times have passed and even the lifespan of today’s generation have gone shorter.

Nowadays. Almost everything from bottled water to your regular oatmeal are fortified with vitamins and minerals. They read nice in the label, a reason you are likely buying it. Covering the nutritional elements you are not getting from the food you eat usually sounds promising, and you get more of them thinking it will provide positive effects for your health.

On the other-hand have you ever thought of the consequences of getting overboard with these vitamins and minerals? Yes, if you might not aware, there is such a thing as overdose in vitamins and minerals. It is called hypervitaminosis that is synonymous to vitamin poisoning. The bad news is, can hurt you if you will not be watchful.

Balanced or Overdosed?

We are very familiar with the word balanced. There is balanced diet, because we need to have balanced nutritional intake for our body to function properly. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, more of a single vitamin and deficiency of another is never better, the same in having more than what you need for your daily requirements.

What Happens When You Get Too Much?

Listed are a few of common vitamins that people take as dietary supplement, or a product of single type of food included in daily meals.

Vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for eyesight, bone metabolism, cellular health, and immunity function. But going over? This is what happens.

  • Coarse bone growths
  • Hair loss
  • Skin dryness and peeling
  • Liver problems
  • Discoloration of the skin.

Important: For Vitamin A, a healthy adult aging 19+ only need 3000 µg or 10,000 IU of daily value.

Vitamin D. The sunshine-vitamin also has adverse effect when you get too much of it. What are they?

  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Muscle weakness

 

Important: For Vitamin D, 250 µg (10,000 IU) per day is recommended for safe intake levels.

Omega-3. Many people get their dose of Omega-3 for its anti-inflammatory properties. People of old age especially those who are allowed to eat only on fish can have a risk for Omega-3 overdose. What happens when Omega-3 is too much?

  • Increased risk of bleeding.
  • Increase in blood cholesterol.
  • Blood clotting.

In case of Omega-3, people who are taking blood thinners or aspirin are warned not to take it. On the other-hand for normal consumers and those suffering from joint-related diseases, it is hard to reach the upper limit. It is difficult to over dose on Omega-3 among other supplements.

Important: For healthy intake, women need 1,100 milligrams of Omega-3 daily while men need 1,600 milligrams. For children and lactating women, the required amount also vary

Other nutrients to watch out are Calcium, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B.

.What You Need to Do to Avoid Vitamin Overdose?

  1. Watch your plate. Balanced diet is all about getting what you only need, if you eat food rich in Vitamin A today, you might just need to skip taking the supplement.
  2. Check your dosage. Before taking vitamins, it would be helpful if you know how much you need according to your age and health condition. Ask your doctor if you have special health cases.

Our health is all what we get and we have to protect it as we can. Remember that being sensitive to the nutritional needs of your body pays positively.

Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Braces, Keeping them in Tip Top Shape

Dental Braces
The teeth are the second facial feature that is most remembered after meeting someone. And mostly, people perceive straight teeth as better and equated it into all positive qualities for a person. People with straight teeth are perceived to be happier, friendly, healthy, popular, trustworthy and confident compared to those who have crooked ones according to studies.

According to statistics, in the US, there are 4 million people who have dental braces. Most of these are children and teens but about 25% are adults. And just last 2013, the rise in dentists performing orthodontic treatments, dental braces specifically, has risen by 34%.

Aims of dental braces usually are to correct teeth alignment, perform minor jaw form changes and improve smile. But what may be a rather a simple procedure may become a tasking thing after. It requires different care; it requires a specific maintenance for it to be clean and won’t induce the formation of plaques and cavities.

Maintenance Tips

Cleaning braces is tasking. When you failed somehow to remove some food particles tucked in brackets and wires, it becomes a magnet of plaque and teeth staining. Plus the fact that food bits sticking in your teeth is a major turn off and is unsightly. So instead of landing that job and acing those interviews, you may risk getting denied.

A simple brushing you used to do prior to your braced teeth won’t do. So what do you do now? Take these simple tips below:

Brush teeth regularly. Though simple brushing won’t do, but regular brushing can make a difference. Pay attention to brackets and fixtures, go around it. You can use regular and manual toothbrush they can do fine given you put time into it but an electric brush can be an easier option. Use the right toothpaste; choose one with fluoride to protect your enamel.

Floss. You may be discourage since flossing with dental braces isn’t an easy job but do it anyway. Try and try and you’ll get used to the trick later. Or if you have one, you can use a floss threader to get between your braced teeth. Remember that due to braces, it is easier for food particles to stay there and result to decay, discoloration and even tooth scarring.

Use a Interdental Brush. Interdental brush or wire brush is that small brush that can get through the wire, get close to brackets, go between braces and can even pass through your teeth spaces. But remember; don’t push it too hard in between your teeth spaces since it might cause some discomfort and even pain.

Use Mouthwash. But do it less frequently. Use it after brushing to make sure it finishes off what was left to be removed. Although it can help clean off spaces in braces that brush can’t reach, it may strip your mucous shield in your mouth which may have bacteria penetrate tissues later; it’s called a rebound effect. It can help, but use it sparingly.

Wear Guards During Activities. When you’re exercising, playing sports or in an activity that requires contact and injuries can’t be helped, use mouth guard. It can cause lesser damage when you bump your mouth and it can protect it as well from germs and bacteria.

Visit your Dentist regularly. Once you have your wires cut and the rubber band son brackets changed and removed, always request for a brush. Brushing minus the wires and the bands can help in reaching those hard to reach places.

Avoid Hard, chewy foods. OF course you shouldn’t limit yourself just because you have braces, but if you can certainly avoid chewing on hard foods that can break your wires or disengage your bracket, then do it.

Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net