HEALTH TIPS ~
IS KEY TO LOWERING STROKE RISK ~
Excess pounds strain the entire circulatory system and can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. Losing as little as 5% to 10% of your starting weight can lower blood pressure and other stroke risk factors. But, you must keep off the weight for good, not just during the diet. Try a few tips to help shed and keep off pounds: Move more. Exercise obviously burns calories, but you can increase simple everyday activities - walking for local errands, pacing while on the phone, taking stairs instead of the elevator. Skip the sipped calories. Sodas, lattes, sports drinks, energy drinks, even fruit juices are packed with unnecessary calories. Instead, try unsweetened coffee or tea, or flavor your sparkling water with a lemon or lime wedge, a fresh mint sprig or a few raspberries. Eat more whole foods. If you eat more unprocessed foods - such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains - you'll fill yourself up on meals that take a long time to digest. Plus, whole foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and tend to be lower in salt - which is better for your blood pressure, too. Eat healthier snacks. You can eat snacks as long as you snack wisely. Try carrot sticks (sweet, crunchy alternative to crackers or potato chips), air-popped popcorn (but skip butter and salt, and season with tasty spices instead). Enjoy a satisfying blend of carbs and protein, with a dollop of sunflower seed butter on apple slices.
Put The FUN Back
Into Your Exercise!
Find activities you enjoy and aim for thirty minutes a day of "exercise" on most days of the week. Daily housework, gardening, washing windows, using the stairs, carrying your groceries, walking at the mall or riding bikes with the kids all add up to exercise that benefits your heart. Tips: Increase activity by parking at the end of the lot, or get off the bus a stop early and walk to your destination. Don’t forget that you can grab ten minute intervals here and there during the day to exercise; the minutes add up. Strive for at least three, ten minute bursts of exercise daily, and you’ll have completed that half hour of better health. An after-dinner stroll is always an easy and pleasant way to actually enjoy your daily fitness goals.
Although previously frowned upon, dentists now recommend chewing sugar-free gum, which may help to fight heartburn and relieve reflux by stimulating the production of acid-neutralizing saliva (digestion actually begins in the mouth’s saliva). For those who suffer from dry mouth, chewing gum is especially good for producing that important saliva that can help to stave off tooth decay and gum disease.
FOR BEAUTY ?
Nourish Your Skin: Fine lines and wrinkles are deeper when you're dehydrated. Water is nature's own beauty cream. Drinking water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, making your face look younger. It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, helping your skin glow. Stay Slimmer With Water: Trying to lose weight? Water revs up metabolism and helps you feel full. Replace calorie-filled beverages with water, and drink a glass before meals to help you feel fuller.Drinking more water helps amp up metabolism - especially if your glass is icy cold. Your body must work to warm up the water, burning a few extra calories in the process.
GO FOR THE GOAL!
To achieve long-term goals (diet or exercise regimen?), you should first have short-term goals: steps in your health journey that will lead to success. Each time you reach a milestone, set and strive for another smaller step. These smaller goals can help you build the strength, know-how and willpower you need to achieve any permanent lifestyle changes. Smaller steps also give you a feeling of great achievement when you reach yet another step along the way and taste the victory. This week take a look at your major target, and consider what smaller steps you can take to achieve that end goal. You might want to make a list and check off all the smaller steps you conquer along the way to victory and the wonderful feeling of success.
Control The Controllable ~
It's important to remember that the reason you’re stressed may be out of your control. Don’t let factors such as weather, politics or others’ actions cause you to worry. Instead, focus only on things you can control, such as your reaction to the stressor. By sorting out what is actually manageable and what is not, you can work on the issues that are within you and your own reactions and, hopefully, reduce your stress overall. Whenever you feel anxious this week, pause and think about whether or not the issue is within your control. Acknowledging that you are not at fault can help you relax and plan your next step. Don’t forget to take a few long, deep breaths; they’re such a great help for relaxation.
Exercise or Fun?
It is both, according to health experts. Dancing strengthens your joints (good way to avoid arthritis), improves posture and balance, and boosts self-esteem and confidence. In addition to its mental health benefits, dancing is also a fun way to trick the body into exercise. It can raise your heart rate anywhere from 80-120 beats per minute (equivalent of any strength-training or aerobic program) and build the heart’s strength and endurance. Dancing - a blend of isometric and isotonic resistance - builds attractive muscle tone without a lot of muscle mass. It’s a great workout when you’re on your feet and moving around for two hours - and also burning quite a few calories. Go dancing this weekend - for exercise - and FUN!
SERVE YOURSELF HEALTHY
The actual serving size of our favorite foods is often significantly smaller than we assume (like something that fits into the small palm of your hand, as opposed to the whole turkey platter) When checking nutrition labels, look for the suggested service size; it’s usually near the label top and can help you avoid some serious damage to your diet. Learn about portions this week by laying out some of your favorite foods according to their suggested serving size. Consider whether or not the amount matches your usual consumption (you may be very surprised). For expert guidance, check out the Mayo Clinic Guide to Portion Control - it can be very helpful.
TIME TO LOSE YOUR BELLY
...if your waistline is larger than 40 inches (men)
or 35 inches (women).
A big tummy and body-mass index greater than 25 can lead to metabolic syndrome, which raises your risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Hospital doctors tell us that losing as little as five or ten pounds - along with healthier eating habits and regular exercise - lowers your risks and will have a positive effect on your health. Today is Your Day to Start!
FOR TOOTH CARE ~
Keep your toothbrush rinsed: Wash it off with tap water before and after every time you use it. Keep it as dry as possible: Bacteria love a moist environment. Make sure your toothbrush has a chance to dry thoroughly between brushings. Avoid toothbrush covers: They create a moist, enclosed breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and loss. Don’t store your toothbrush near the toilet: Keep it as far from toilet’s bacterial environment as your space allows. Keep it upright: Store it straight up in a holder, rather than laying it down. This will allow it to drain well. Keep your brush to yourself: No matter how close you are to your brother, sister, spouse or roommate, don’t ever share brushes. Don’t even store your brushes together in the same cup with other people’s brushes. Whenever the brushes touch, they swap germs. Did you know that
GREEN TEA is rich in fluoride and may help to reduce tooth decay? A great smile takes some extra care, but aren’t we worth it?
TAKE CARE OF THE SKIN
Proper skin care can delay the natural ageing process and prevent many skin problems. These simple skin-care habits will help you protect your skin and keep it healthy and glowing for years to come: Protect Yourself from Sun: Avoid sun during high-intensity hours; wear protective clothing (sunglasses & hat, etc.); use and reapply sunscreen often. Don’t Smoke: Smoking accelerates skin’s normal ageing process and contributes to wrinkles. (Damage from smoking can be seen in young adults who have been smoking for as few as ten years). Wash Skin Gently: Cleaning is essential when caring for your skin. The key is to treat your skin gently, using warm water, gentle soaps and patting dry. Moisturize Regularly: Moisturizers help maintain skin’s natural moisture levels. (They work by providing a seal over the skin to keep water from escaping or by slowly releasing water into your skin). Include AVOCADO in your diet: Its nourishing high-fat content helps fight the ravages of age, sun and wind damage as it softens and smoothes the skin.