Archive for August, 2015

Health Benefits of Deep Breathing

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Deep breathing exercises is perhaps one of the simplest exercises we can do. Whether we are in the office or feeling stressed at home, all it takes is a few minutes to enjoy the health benefits that deep breathing brings.

Stress Reliever

Deep breathing helps take your mind off stressful situations. It forces you to concentrate on performing the exercise momentarily clearing your mind and reducing your stress level. This can be done anywhere, anywhere. Whether you’re in the middle of a stressful meeting or at the gym, deep breathing does not only help you clear your mind but also relaxes the different muscles in your body.

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Mind over Pain

Feeling the urge to pop a pill for that bothersome headache? Go natural and take a few deep breaths. Focus on your breathing and momentarily distract yourself. Pain can be caused by an aching muscle or poor circulation. Deep breathing gives your body time to relax and recuperate. This could also act as your starting point for mediation.

Strengthen your lungs

People suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma or bronchitis can benefit from deep breathing exercises. This trains your body to make deeper and longer breathes. Deep breathes can improve air flow to the lungs and improve air capacity.

Improves Meditation

Deep breathing exercises enhances your meditation technique. Breathing is an essential discipline in yoga. Deep breathing brings you closer to the level of consciousness needed to perform yoga.

Improve your workouts and sports performance

Proper breathing technique improves overall physical performance. Deep breathing exercises improves lung capacity and make more oxygen available for your muscles. This is exactly what running out of breathe means. Your lungs are unable to compensate for increased oxygen requirements during high impact or prolonged physical activities.

Relaxation

Deep breathing helps relax your mind and body. Performing deep breathing exercises after a physically exhausting activity helps relax your muscles. It also brings much needed oxygen to the different cells in your body. Deep breathing exercises help relax shoulder muscles while releasing pent up stress. If you’re having a hard time going to sleep, deep breathing exercises sets your body up for relaxation and good night sleep.

Detoxification

The simple act of exhaling helps you release harmful toxins from the body. Exhaling for example helps remove carbon dioxide a byproduct of cell activity. It also improves the flow of oxygen back to the body that feeds the cells.

It is amazing how a few deep breathes can do wonders for your mind and body. These are very simple to perform and can be done almost anytime and anywhere. So the next time you feel stress building up or find yourself too tired to move a muscle, take a few deep breathes to rejuvenate your mind and body.

 

 

Reading and Understanding Food Labels

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Reading and understanding food labels can be really tricky. However it is important especially for homemakers to know how to read and understand such nutritional labels. Basically, food labels provide a detailed and comprehensive account of what is included in a particular food item. In a similar manner, food labels also provide the types of vitamins, minerals and nutrients one can get from a particular food item.

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The problem however is that food labels are often filled with unnecessary jargon that may confuse the average homemaker. Hence below are some tips on how to read and understand food labels in a clearer manner.

Always be a doubter

When it comes to food, giving the benefit of the doubt is not that wise. A good rule of thumb is to always know exactly what type of food you consume or what ingredients are included in the food you consume. You need to be always sure.

If you are in doubt as to what a particular food label means, try asking your dietician or even your general physician. Additionally, it would be a lot wiser if you do not simply believe everything that’s being presented to you. Try to find out the truth yourself, with the Internet, it’s a lot easier.

Know what ingredients are included

You need to also pay close attention to the ingredients included in the food item you are considering to buy. Find out how was it made and from what was it made. Needless to say, a potato chip does not necessarily contain potatoes. That’s a bitter pill to swallow but that is how some food manufactures do business.

Apart from the actual ingredients, the nutrients contained should also be looked at. In general, opt for a food item that has greater amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to food items with heaps of carbohydrates and calories.

Check the serving size per calculation

Another important thing that you should consider is the serving size per calculation. Find out whether the food label is based per serving or if it’s for the whole package. You need to be really cautious here as most food manufacturers use such trick whenever they’re food are deemed unhealthy due to high amounts of calories.

Scrutinize the types of fat included

There are various types of fat and it is important that you find out what exact types are included in the food item you are considering to buy. There are healthy types and unhealthy ones so you need to really master the trick here. Basically, saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and tropical oils should be avoided as much as possible.

Do not forget the calories per serving

The calories per serving is another vital factor in food labels. Actually, it’s the first thing that you should look at as calories are energy and unused energy will eventually make you fat. Make sure that the calories per serving is sufficient enough but not too high.

Since 1994, the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA has obliged food manufacturers and distributors to put a food label at the back of their food items in order to equip consumers with the right knowledge on what they are eating and how healthy they are.

Now it’s up to you to reap the benefits of the transparency created by the FDA.

 

Recovering After a Workout

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Feel exhausted after a grueling day at the gym? This would not come as a surprise since a serious workout requires huge amounts of energy. Your level of exhaustion may depend on the intensity and length of your workout. Just like a machine, you should load up on fuel to run the entire length of your workout. Deciding to take better care of your health by working out is a big step. But before deciding on this new path it would be a good idea to consult your doctor.

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Fuel up your Body

Exercising a good way to loose excess body fat. And most people make the mistake of skipping meals to enhance their weight loss efforts. This way, they’re burning fats while preventing additional fats from entering the body. This looks good in paper and it surely is a quick way of shedding unwanted pounds.  This might work for the first few days but depriving your body from its natural source of energy would lead to serious health concerns in the long run.

Eating before and after workouts provides the body with much needed energy not only during workouts. It also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for the next day at the gym. A healthy diet does not involve skipping meals but one that tells you to eat the right type and recommended amounts. If you plan to use exercise as part of a weight loss program, consult your doctor or a dietician for proper food intake and schedule.

Hydrate

More than half of our body is composed of water and when we exercise, we lose some of these as sweat. Water is essential in our body’s everyday processes. And without adequate water levels our body is unable to function optimally.

Dehydration is a serious threat to our health. And we should keep ourselves hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water. Dehydration can cause dizziness and weakness. And when you’re working with weights at the gym, this could lead to a serious accident.

Get some sleep

Sleep is not overrated. Sleeping gives our time to recover and get much needed energy for the next day. Spending a few hours at the gym is an excellent way to get a healthy body but we should also give our body much needed time for rest. Without sleep, going to the gym the following day would not be possible or even be dangerous. Seven to eight hours of sleep is all that’s needed for our body to repair and get itself ready for the next day.

Gradually increase the intensity of your workout

Aside from performing warm-up exercises before working out, gradually increase the intensity of your workout. Build your cardio and strength before progressing into heavier weights. Workout injuries are often caused by overdoing your exercises. Having a healthy and slimmer body can’t be achieved in a day.

Listen to your body

When you’re tired get some rest. To keep workouts healthy and free from injuries, simply listen to your body. Pain is our body’s way of telling something is wrong. Listen to your body for any signals such as pain or tiredness.

 

 

 

 

Dangers of Omega 3 Overload

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

 

Omega 3 Overload

The benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids are well documented. A diet that includes this essential nutrient can lower our risk for cardiovascular disease and decrease the levels of cholesterol. However, its benefits go beyond preventing diseases. It is also essential for normal body functioning.

But what happens when we take in more than the healthy amounts of Omega 3?

The recommended daily dose for Omega 3 is 800mg to 1,000 mg. This is equivalent to eating two fish dishes weekly. However, people who are planning to reduce their triglycerides by using Omega 3 fatty acids, higher dosages could be taken upon your doctor’s advice. There are no set levels for children. It is only advised that they avoid eating fish that are contaminated with chemicals or mercury. This is also readily available in Omega 3 supplements.

 The Good Side of Omega 3

Omega 3 supplements have been flying off the shelves and for good reason. Medical studies have proven that these essential fatty acids are important for many processes in the body including brain development.

This essential nutrient counteracts the effects of bad cholesterol. It prevents plaque buildup, improving blood flow. It reduces the levels of triglycerides and lowers blood pressure. Omega 3 can also reduce the risk for abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmia. Overall, Omega 3 is a wonder nutrient that could not only reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases but also help people suffering from it.

Pros and Cons

There are some risks associated with consuming large amounts of fish. However, this is more associated with eating contaminated fish. The amount of chemicals contained in fishes could be attributed to species and where this was harvested. Fish that have longer life spans for example have a higher risk of containing mercury in their system. If you feel that your fish may contain large amounts of mercury, information is available in your local health boards.

Sources of Omega 3

Fish is the most popular source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Of note, anchovies, mackerel, halibut, swordfish, salmon, fresh water bass, shrimp, calamari, oysters and herring are rich sources of Omega 3. This could also be sourced from plants that include soybean, canola, olive and flax oils.

Omega 3 is now also available in dietary supplements. This however, should not be considered as medications for treating cardiac problems. It is intended to be an alternative source for Omega 3 for people who can’t take it from natural sources.

Dangers of Omega 3 Overdose

The dangers associated with taking large amounts of Omega 3 is directly associated with its benefits. One example is its anti-inflammatory properties that could help people suffering from arthritis. When you reduce the chances of clotting it increases the possibility of bleeding. And the best way of avoiding this is to eat well rounded diet. Take your recommended dose of Omega 3 but don’t forget meat for example. It helps in the normal balance of nutrients in the body, making sure that you are getting all the recommended amounts of nutrients.