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Webmaster | 31. October 2008 @ 13:00

1. Feeling overwhelmed and got to keep going? Drink a glass of water and go for a 10 minute walk. You'll feel 100 times more refreshed on your return.

2. Instead of drinking coffee to get a caffeine-induced high try sipping ginger tea to pep you up. Add a little honey if you like.

3. Give the chocolate bar a miss and eat a banana. The chocolate bar will give you a sugar-high but you'll come quickly crashing down to earth - the banana releases its energy more slowly and will keep you going for longer.

4. Sprinkle a cotton handkerchief with a few drops of peppermint oil. Sniff it whenever you need a quick lift.

5. Try some yoga stretches or even just stretching your arms high above your head for an instant lift.

6. If you generally feel tired in the afternoon, have more lean protein at lunchtime and include protein with your afternoon snack to keep your energy levels steady.

7. Take a warm (not hot) power shower to feel clean, fresh and re-energised.

8. Reduce your social commitments so that you can catch up with sleep and get an early night a few times a week.

9. Anything hanging over you? If you have a task which you've been putting off for too long, make the effort and do it. You'll feel so much better once you do.

10. Other people often have either a boosting or draining effect on us. Think about who has an effect on your energy levels and make plans to see less of any friends or family who drain your energy and more of those who give you a lift.

About The Author: Copyright 2006, Janice Elizabeth Small

Janice Elizabeth is a weight loss coach and author of "The Diet Exit Plan". Get her FREE 15 page report "How to lose weight without dieting - 7 secrets the diet industry doesn't want you to know" at http://www.SimplySlimming.com TODAY!

HT~ Optimum Health :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 30. October 2008 @ 13:00

Diabetes! Why Must So Many Children Suffer?

Diabetes, the body's inability to metabolize sugar properly, is something that most people have to just live with for the rest of their lives. You can control it, of course, with proper diet and by taking medication. But the fact that an increasing number of young children and adolescents are prone to it nowadays is a cause for concern.

It is not surprising that with the increase in the number of overweight children and growing obesity problems diabetes too is growing proportionately. Lesser physical activity among children Children these days is also creating health problems.

Physical Inactivity, Extra pounds and Stress

Being overweight doesn't help. The extra burden those extra pounds put on your body weaken its response and ability to handle stress. And this kind of stress increases manifold, especially when your body is still growing, and is yet to achieve full size.

These extra pounds come from a life of physical inactivity in children, too much time sitting at the computer and at meals is taking its toll in increased weight. Children's bodies, already hampered by excess weight, have no way, therefore, to cope with their diets, rich in fat and sugar. Very simply put, the body cannot metabolize, or burn, these high levels of fat and sugar, causing an imbalance that leads to diabetes in so many children.

You are what you eat

In today's fast paced world, more and more families rely on easy to cook, processed foods that have a high fat and sugar content. In the past, our diets contained wholesome and nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.

This can place a tremendous pressure on the body. Like the camel who can take only so many straws, the body can, and will tolerate many elements of stress. But like the camel with the last straw that broke his back, too many stresses interfere with the normal functioning of vital organs, the liver and pancreas. The result -- disease, maybe even partial or total dysfunction.

Would you really want to damage something so inherently part of your nature?

Children will be children, of course, and they can make poor health choices by eating the wrong foods. But isn't it really up to families to encourage and incorporate a healthy lifestyle at home? And when they don't, children are more likely to fall prey to health problems and are more prone to diabetes.

At the end of the day, everyone in the family needs to pull together as one team on the same side -- the side that keeps illnesses like diabetes and other unhealthy issues at bay.

Most people groan and moan at the thought of healthy living. But it doesn't'thave to be such a grind. Physical exercise can be fun when done together as a group. Family members can take turns in coming up with new and interesting, but healthy recipes to cook every day. Slowly but surely, the benefits of healthy living will rub off on everyone.

About The Author: Martin Grandley operates the website and writes for Diabetes Firm which a site dedicated to diabetes issues and contains all the very latest news and views diabetes related. For more details please visit http://www.diabetesfirm.com.

HT~ Diabetes :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 29. October 2008 @ 13:00

Using St. John's Wort to treat Depression

Depression comes in many forms and with the overabundance of anti-depression drugs currently available, it is often tricky for doctors to prescribe the right one for their patients.

Some patients suffer from a mild depression, also known as dysthymic depression. This includes symptoms of sadness and a loss of interest in activity. Many times this kind of depression goes unnoticed and untreated, but can last for many years.

Other types of depression include major depression and bipolar depression. There are others as well, and can include disorders relating to pregnancy and traumatic events.

A lot of the medications used to treat depression include complicated chemical balances that need to be adjusted to the particular patient, and can also have multiple physical and emotional side effects. Some patients report feeling worse after having taken traditional medications or they report needing to switch from medicine to medicine as one wears off and becomes less effective.

So what does a person with depression do? What does a person do if they don't have access to a trained psychiatrist that can prescribe them medication?

The newer trend in handling depression begins with a healthier lifestyle. Eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as avoiding sugars and caffeine can create a more wholesome environment in the body and an increased resistance to the everyday stresses of life.

Physical exercise helps to ease mood swings that are caused by depression. It also strengthens the body so that it can deal with stress more effectively.

St John's Wort is a herb that has been used in Europe for centuries to treat depression. It is now popular in the United States.

St. John's Wort works by stabilizing the mood and reducing the amount of swings in the overall demeanor of the patient. And because it's not created with chemicals, it can also have fewer side effects.

It's still in the testing stage, to establish its depression alleviation properties beyond doubt. But you don't need a prescription to get it in the grocery store. So for those who can't make it to the doctor's office, or folks who find the medical fee too high, St John's Wort is easily available and conveniently accessible.

As with any medication, you should consult your doctor before taking St John's Wart to treat depression. Sometimes depression has other underlying physical causes that need to be ruled out before medication is prescribed.

About The Author: Stephen Gainsly runs the website Depression HA,inc. which a site dedicated to depression issues and has an amazing array of news and views depression related. Please visit http://www.depressionha.com for any questions or comments about this article.

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Webmaster | 28. October 2008 @ 13:00

1. Walking everyday promotes weight loss. If you move at a fairly brisk pace you can burn between 240 and 440 calories per hour of walking. This can translate into approximately one pound of weight loss per week or 52 pounds per year.

2. Walking everyday will increase your energy level. Energy comes from energy. That’s why the more you move, the more you feel like moving.

3. Walking everyday will support you in feeling good about yourself. There is an incredible sense of accomplishment that accompanies doing something that’s good for you.

4. Walking everyday will improve your ability to cope with stress. It will help you relax and better manage the unexpected twists and turns of everyday life.

5. Walking everyday will improve your appearance. A regular walking routine will help you to lengthen and tone your muscles. This will make you appear slimmer.

6. Walking everyday will increase your overall sense of well-being. Regular physical activity will increase the release of the hormones that make you feel happier and emotionally balanced.

7. Walking everyday will increase your mental acuity. Research has shown that people who walk on daily basis think more clearly are better able to focus and concentrate.

8. Walking everyday will help you become physically fit. It will improve your stamina and strengthen your muscles.

9. Walking everyday will help you stay active. The more time you spend walking the less time you will have to devote to sedentary activities like watching television and mildewing on the couch.

10. Walking everyday will help you stay healthy. It increases the efficiency of your heart and lungs. It also reduces your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and your risk of major illnesses such as heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.

About The Author: Jacqueline D. Stanley: Author, Speaker, Chief Encouragement Officer at Lettuce Is Not Enough University: The Place to Learn How to Live Well and Lose Weight. www.lettuceisnotenough.com

HT~ Optimum Health :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 27. October 2008 @ 13:00

1. Drinking more water everyday will keep your skin looking smooth and supple. Applying expensive creams and lotions to your face is not an effective way to conceal the effects aging has on your skin. The real fountain of youth can be found in a glass of water.

2. Drinking more water everyday will help you cut calories. Most popular beverages are loaded with calories. A can of soda can have as many as 240 calories per serving. Drinking 1 or 2 of these each day is a recipe for gaining weight. Choosing to drink water instead is the calorie free way to quench your thirst.

3. Drinking more water everyday will help you distinguish thirst from hunger. If you allow your body to become dehydrated it will be difficult to discern whether that gnawing feeling in your stomach is a call for food or a call for water. And if you keep eating food when what your body really needs is water, you will gain weight.

4. Drinking more water everyday will help your think more clearly. Research has repeatedly shown that staying hydrated is necessary for the human brain, which is 85 percent water, to function at optimal levels. That is why many school systems throughout the country now encourage students to keep a bottle of water at their desks and to drink it throughout the day.

5. Drinking more water everyday will help you feel better. Your body is about 75 percent water and 25 percent solid material. Doesn’t it make sense that you would need to drink water on a daily basis to ensure that your body has all the water it needs to perform at optimal levels. It is a mistake to believe that thirst is the only indicator of a need to drink water. Constipation, achy joints and fatigue are also signals that your body may be dehydrated.

About The Author: Jacqueline D. Stanley: Author, Speaker, Chief Encouragement Officer at Lettuce Is Not Enough University: The Place to Learn How to Live Well and Lose Weight. www.lettuceisnotenough.com

HT~ Optimum Health :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 26. October 2008 @ 13:00

One of the hardest symptoms to deal with during a depressive episode is feeling disconnected from reality. This feeling causes sufferers to retreat further and further into their own world. They become isolated from their loved ones and friends and the loneliness deepens the depression.

Here’s three ways to stop isolation from making depression worse.

1. Have at least one person you can turn to and have regular contact with 3-4 times a week. Someone you can call when you need to talk, someone who can be with you just watching TV or going to a movie. You don’t have talk about how you feel if you don’t want to and be clear that you don’t want to be questioned about your feelings. Hopefully, they’ll understand this and will be there for you when you need them.

2. There will be times when you just want to shut out the world and have your own space. Many sufferers just want to be alone in a quiet room such as their bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. But try not to make it a daily or regular habit. Schedule this once, maybe twice a week at most and be strict with it. It’s about a balance. Yes, shut the world out for a day or two each week. For the rest of the week, be around people, especially the special person we discussed in the first paragraph.

3. When you do shut the world out, do it in a way that helps you rather than hurts you. So, instead of retiring to a dark room and lying in bed to brood about your problems, try these: Mind puzzles – logic problems, crosswords, spatial puzzles etc. – jigsaw puzzles, draw or paint, play a musical instrument, write stories, watch TV or a movie, or read a book or a magazine and listen to some music. With a book and music, avoid anything too heavy or deep. Keep it nice and light. In this way, isolation doesn’t become a period of deep introspection where you worry or fret about problems or go over the past or beat up on yourself. You get the peace and tranquillity but not the torment that can accompany it during a depressive episode.

If you feel isolated and that life seems like a “virtual reality”, then please put these techniques to use. Isolation is a part of depression and the key to lessening the impact is to understand how it happens and use it so it helps you beat depression instead of keeping you trapped in it.

Copyright 2006 Christopher Green

About The Author: Christopher Green is the author of “Conquering Stress”, a special program which will show you how to conquer stress, depression and anxiety without taking powerful drugs. For a free e-course please click here => http://www.conqueringstress.com.

HT~ Depression :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 24. October 2008 @ 13:00

Today, the number of women turning to herbs for menopause relief is staggering. With great concern about hormone replacement therapy in recent years, we now see women interested in avoiding chemicals and toxins, preferring a natural path. Because there are so many women now seeking alternatives to traditional treatment for menopause, more investigation is being done to find new options in addition to those that have been used by naturalists for hundreds of years. If you are like so many women who want to find relief from night sweats, hot flashes, joint pain, insomnia, and depression the natural way, then we believe this article will expose you to some excellent options.

First, a great herb for menopause relief, especially when it comes to many of the annoying symptoms is called Dong Quai. In Chinese medicine, Dong Quai, the root of the angelica sinesis plant, helps with many menopausal symptoms. Interestingly, while many women will use this natural herb for menopause relief alone, in Chinese medicine, it is always used as a supportive herb. Regardless, many studies have been performed whereby women taking 1500 mgs of this herb three times a day had improvement in symptoms.

Another popular herb for menopause relief is red clover. Affordable and easy to find, this herb has been used in the United States for more than 100 years. Containing phytoestrogens, which are hormone-like substances, found in certain plants such as soy, red clover is wonderful for treatment of vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Typically, a woman would take between 40 and 60 mgs for about 12 weeks. The reason this is not a long-term treatment option is that red clover has been shown to stimulate cancer cells in the breast.

Next on the list of herbs for menopause relief is black cohosh. This herb is a member of the buttercup family and considered one of the most popular, natural treatment options for menopause. You can purchase black cohosh as a supplement from a health food store or in brand form such as Remifemin. When it comes to anxiety, depression, night sweats, and hot flashes, black cohosh works exceptionally well. Other herbs for menopause relief to consider include evening primrose oil, chaste tree berry, tribulus, St. John's Wort, soy, and ginseng, which seem to ease symptoms overall.

In addition to herbs for menopause relief, you have many other options such as vitamin E. In recent years, a number of studies have been performed showing that vitamin E brings relief for miserable hot flashes. Wild yam is also an option, which can be found in many types of progesterone creams. For this, women experience fewer and less intense hot flashes, the number one complaint among menopausal women. With so much negative attention on hormone replacement therapy, you might consider herbs for menopause relief. In many cases, the natural approach is more successful in treating the body during the change of life than traditional drugs.

About The Author: Dawn M. Olsen is an Advocate for Better Women’s Health through Education, Recipe Developer, Soy Food Enthusiast and the Author of "Menopause A to Z - A Definitive Guide to Modern Menopause available online now at http://www.MenopauseAtoZ.com.

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Webmaster | 23. October 2008 @ 13:00

Most women would love to know if there was a natural yeast infection cure. If your yeast infection is not that serious, you can treat it naturally. There are a lot of ways and steps on how to prevent yeast infections from occurring.

The first natural yeast infection cure is simply to eat a well-balanced diet. You should eat well and never skip meals. It is important to take your diet seriously because there are some foods that may cause and ignite the growth of yeast. Eating chicken, beef, fish, vegetables, yogurt, seeds, nut, eggs and oils is beneficial in the fight against yeast infections. What you should avoid eating are those foods made with refined and simple sugars. This includes brown sugar, white sugar, raw sugar, molasses, grain sweeteners and honey. If you can’t or don’t want to exclude sweet tasting food from your diet you can use Stevia as a substitute. Eating a lot of raw garlic can be helpful. You should avoid drinking milk and alcohol. You should also avoid eating mushrooms, fruits and dried fruits.

It is important to avoid foods that contain mold or yeast. This includes cakes, muffins, baked goods, cheese, breads, melons, dried fruits and peanuts. Increasing your fiber intake can help. You can take one teaspoon to one tablespoon of soluble fiber which contains psyllium husks, guar gum, pectin and flaxseeds. This can be mixed in an 8 oz glass of drinking water which should be taken two times a day. It is necessary to drink this during an empty stomach.

Taking nutritional supplements is also effective. One capsule of Acidophillus contains probiotic lactobacillus which should be ingested daily. This controls growth of candida, by keeping our intestinal tract more acidic which discourages the growth of candida or yeast. Acidophillus produces hydrogen peroxide, which directly stops and kills candida. Many researches have proven that supplementing with hydrogen peroxide will reduce the occurrence of the antibiotic generated yeast infections. Controlling bacteria can help in restoring the microbial balance in the digestive system, thereby, fighting the growth of yeast.

Good hygiene habits prevent the production of yeast. You should aim to stay fit and healthy. Poor hygiene can contribute to yeast infections. If you tend to wear synthetic clothing, your skin will not breathe freely which can encourage yeast growth to take place. You should avoid wearing tight clothes and go with loose, breathable cotton items. People who perspire heavily should understand clearly that wearing tight, synthetic clothes invites the growth and formulation of yeast.

Now that you know and understand there are steps to you can take to achieve a natural yeast infection cure, it is important that you take these suggestions on board and stop yeast infections from reoccurring.

About The Author: Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Yeast Infection. To access more articles on Yeast Infection’s or for additional information and resources visit this Yeast Infection related webs http://www.yeastinfectionresources.info http://www.manageyeastinfectionresources.info.

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Webmaster | 22. October 2008 @ 13:00

Maintaining an optimal body composition has eluded a majority of our nation. With diet books on the best seller lists, supplement ads displaying surreal before and after photos and infomercials touting the latest gizmo, it’s likely you have tried and failed many more times than you care to count. You are most likely left feeling confused, without hope and more desperate. Hopefully you are not one of the ones to suffer acute or chronic side effects.

With gastric bypass and liposuction becoming a popular answer to over fatness, you have to stop and wonder are there real fat loss secrets that work. Secrets that not only are not harmful, but leave you in the best shape and health of your adult life. Secrets that can change your shape and allow you to live longer, stronger, vibrant, energetic years. Secrets that anyone can afford. Secrets that can be a natural part of ones lifestyle. Secrets that have had proven results time and time again with the longest lasting effects.

I’m here to share the secrets with you.

As a 19 year fitness industry leader who had transformed the bodies of thousands of people just like you, I can tell you with 100% guarantee that there is a way. It’s not quick, it’s not easy and it does not work like magic! It takes work, patience, dedication, and consistency, however it works every time and the results are astounding.

The formula includes first making up your mind, then working on your meals, followed by your muscle, then motion and finally recovery. I don’t have room here to share all of the pieces with you; however I am including two of the components Muscle and Motion. The following is an excerpt from my program “Feminine, Firm & Fit – building a lean strong body in 12 weeks. Now men, do not stop reading here! These principles apply to both men and women and will change your body and your life – even faster than the women because you have a faster metabolism, more muscle and a greater capacity for your cardiovascular system. For the full program, go to FeminineFirmandFit.com

Cardiovascular Techniques That Optimize Fat Burning

Variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s the key to Fat Burning when it comes to Cardiovascular Conditioning. The following methods will also help steer clear of plateaus and get the most return for investment of time. Change leads to progress.

Here are some key cardiovascular fat-burning secrets:

1. Vary your cardio exercises – Alternate between two or more cardiovascular activities like walking and cycling or kickboxing and step aerobics. It will help to optimally develop cardiovascular fitness, maintain the element of fun in exercise, help to avoid over training and injury and ultimately expend more calories. By varying activities, you are training your body to become efficient at several activities, which is more challenging than simply walking.

2. Incorporate several cardio techniques – The Feminine, Firm & Fit Program prescribes different cardio techniques for you. You’ll find descriptions of these techniques below. Changing techniques forces your body to adapt, which makes it more efficient. Vary the intensity and modify impact styles. The underlying principle is that change is what keeps the body progressing and making improvements. By using different techniques, you are challenging your body to become efficient at varying intensities.

3. Plan your cardio workouts in phases – Organize your workouts into a cyclic structure. For example, for the first two to three weeks exercise at a lower intensity for 45 to 60 minutes and for the next two to three weeks, exercise at your highest intensity for 20 to 30 minutes. The following couple of weeks go at a moderate intensity for 30 to 45 minutes. You can also have a transition week where you perform light amounts of exercise 2 to 3 times weekly for 15 to 25 minutes. This system allows you to maintain a high level of fitness, prevent injury and avoid over training.

4. Circuit train – Perform several strengthening exercises interspersed with short cardio segments. For example, perform a leg press, a pull down and an abdominal crunch (you’ll find out how to do these exercises in the next chapter) followed by 3 minutes of cycling. Then do 3 more strength exercises followed by 3 minutes of stair climbing. Circuit training is lively and less tedious than some other routines, so people tend to stick with it longer. It’s also an efficient calorie burner, increases muscular strength and decreases body fat. This technique has been prescribed in Week 9 of your Companion Journal.

5. Exercise first thing in the morning – Morning exercisers tend to be more consistent with their exercise regimen. The odds that you’ll skip a workout increase with the passing of time, as interruptions arise and fatigue sets in. Those who exercise later in the day are also working against their body’s natural circadian rhythm, which is automatically set for heavier activity early in the day and slowing down in the evening. In addition, exercising in the evening adversely affects the natural release of hormones by your body.

6. Eat a “primer” meal before working out – Having a small balanced meal prior to exercise will help burn fat. After you eat, blood sugar rises and exercise acts like insulin to help regulate blood glucose. Eating (the right foods) will boost energy for a more intense workout, so you will burn more calories. Exercising on an empty stomach after a night of fasting induces a hyperglycemic state and ultimately limits you from giving your cardio session your best effort. You can get more information on how food affects your workouts in Chapter 6, Fuel Your Body.

7. Give it your best effort – With each session strive to work a little harder than the last one, unless you are doing a recovery session. Walking is a great exercise, but eventually, you must graduate from your starting level. If you keep walking at the same pace, the same course, the same amount of time and in the same heart rate range, the results will be diminishing. In order to change your body, push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to now.

Important Cardiovascular Techniques:

Warm Up and Cool Down - Always take 5 to 10 minutes to gradually warm up to your target heart rate range. At the end of your workout, cool down for 5 to 10 minutes so that your heart rate is at the low end of your range before you stop exercising. The time you spend on warming up and cooling down should be added to the recommended cardiovascular session training times.

Below are detailed descriptions of the cardiovascular training techniques suggested above for maximal fat burning? These techniques should be performed as they appear in your Feminine, Firm & Fit Companion Journal each week.

Continuous Training – This traditional form of training incorporates working within your target heart rate range and maintaining that pace for the duration of your session. This will help to build your aerobic base, improve your health and burn calories.

Interval Training – Interval training combines brief periods of high intensity exercise interspersed with periods of lower intensity exercise in the same workout. This will help increase your cardiovascular efficiency and burn more calories in the process. The lower intensity allows for recovery between the higher intensity intervals. For example, alternate between brisk walking and running, i.e., run 1 minute, then walk 2 minutes, repeat for the duration of your workout. As you become more conditioned, decrease the length of low-intensity recovery periods (walking) and increase working intervals (brisk walking or running).

Cross Training – Cross training combines a group of aerobic activities into one workout at steady or varying intensities. For example, take a 15-minute bicycle ride to the local track; walk or run for 15 minutes on the track; bicycle home for 15 minutes. Cross training can also mean choosing a different activity for that session. For example, if you typically walk, you might try swimming or a kickboxing video. If you have access to the necessary exercise equipment, you might use the rowing machine for 15 minutes, hit the stair climber for 15 minutes and then use the skier for 15 minutes. Not only will cross training help reduce your risk of injury but it will also prevent boredom, challenge your body in new ways and keep you progressing toward your goals.

Fartlek Training – Funny name but great results! Fartlek means ‘speed play’ in Swedish. This training method is similar to interval training (see above) but the intervals are not measured by time or distance – they are irregular. For example, race-walk until you see a car coming then walk until you reach a mailbox. Then jog while the sun is behind a cloud and walk until you reach a mailbox. Pay attention to how you are feeling so that you accelerate when you are feeling energetic and then cut back the intensity when you are feeling too exhausted.

Periodization – Although periodization will not be covered in this 12-week Program, we wanted to mention it because it’s a great way to vary workouts seasonally throughout the year. During the winter months, use a treadmill indoors; in the spring move your walk outside; swim in the summer and hike in the woods during the fall. Also, if you play a particular sport like tennis or golf, you would have in-season, post-season and pre-season workouts that vary to help you maximize during your sport’s season.

Strength techniques that Boost Fat Burning and Produce Results

The following are Key Fat Burning Secrets:

1. Warm up before a strength training session – Warming up increases blood flow to muscles by 55%, a better muscle contraction is attained, sweating begins earlier which helps to regulate your body temperature and there is a faster neuromuscular connection. Warming up initiates carb and fat enzymes and hormones. It also reduces perceived exertion during strength training.

2. Multi-joint exercises – Choose exercises that work compound muscle groups – meaning more than one muscle group at a time. They are the most time efficient and give most mileage per exercise. Examples include the squat, lunge, and push ups. The Feminine, Firm & Fit Program incorporates exercises that work several muscle groups simultaneously.

3. Exercise first thing in the morning – (see cardio fat burning secrets)

4. Eat a “primer” meal prior to working out – (see cardio fat burning secrets)

5. Eat 5 – 6 small meals a day – (see Chapter 6 Fueling Your Body)

6. Train with intensity – Graduate from the “pink weights.” Do not be afraid to increase resistance and challenge your muscles. In order to change, push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to doing now.

Important Strength Training Techniques:

Just as with aerobic activity, changing strength training routines will lead to progress. The following exercise variations will be incorporated throughout the 12 weeks to challenge muscles and help you steer clear of fitness plateaus. Variety in your routines will make the difference in your outcome.

One and One Half Range of Motion – One and one half range of motion is a full range of motion followed by a half range of motion. Here’s an example using a squat. Start in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Begin by lowering down until the knees form a 90 degree angle. Then come halfway back up, go down again to the 90 degree angle and return to the starting position. That counts as one rep. Toes should be visible throughout the entire range of motion. Use slightly less resistance when performing one and a half range of motion exercise.

21s – The range of motion for 21s is split into 3 parts. Seven repetitions are performed at the top part of the motion, 7 reps at the bottom part of the motion and finally 7 reps throughout the full range of motion. Example: Biceps Curl - first curl at the top of the range from the mid range toward the shoulder for 7 reps, then the bottom of the range from the hip level to the mid range for 7 reps, and then the full range of motion from the hip level toward the shoulders for the final 7 reps.

Super Slow - Super slow exercises are performed using very slow and smooth movements. While some proponents take “slow” to extreme, lifting for 4 seconds and lowering for 6 seconds is enough of a change from your typical speed to take away any momentum so the muscles are doing all the work. Use about 10% less weight with Super Slow training compared with a typical 2 and 4 count. Example: Biceps Curl - curl up for 4 seconds and lower for 6 seconds. Repeat each repetition without resting until you reach momentary muscle failure.

Breakdowns – Breakdowns consist of completing one set to momentary muscular failure. When another repetition cannot be completed with good form, reduce the resistance by 10 – 20% and perform additional repetitions to failure. Expect to get another 4 – 6 repetitions.

High Reps / Lighter Weights – Working at the higher end of the repetition range is a variation worth incorporating. This involves using a resistance that will allow you to complete repetitions for up to 90 seconds before reaching failure. You should choose a resistance that will allow you to perform the exercise for 90 seconds at which point you should be fatigued.

The Workouts

Each of the workouts includes exercises for all of the major muscle groups. Do not skip exercises. You should perform the exercises in the order they are listed in your Companion Journal. Every 3 weeks the exercises will change and within each of the three week periods a variety of the techniques as described above are incorporated and prescribed in your Companion Journal.

Be sure to schedule strength training workouts for 3 non-consecutive days in your 12-week Planner located in the beginning of the Companion Journal. Stick to that commitment the same way you would any other.

Summary of Key Points:

- The resistance chosen should be challenging, but do not lift too much too soon.

- Taking a day in between workouts is important for recovery.

- Increase the resistance or slow down the speed when you reach 90 seconds for any exercise.

- Incorporate the advanced techniques listed in the Dynamic Coaching CD and in the Companion Journal.

A few more tips on strength training:

1. Breathe! Exhale on the working phase, which is typically but not always the lifting motion. Inhale while returning to the starting position. Never hold your breath. An easy way to remember how to breathe is to exhale on the exertion. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

2. Occasionally change equipment by incorporating a combination of machines, free weights, fitness tubing and body weight exercises. They each have advantages and the variety will help steer clear of a plateau.

3. Move at a minimum rate of 2 seconds on the lifting phase and 4 seconds on the lowering phase. You can always go slower, but shouldn’t go faster.

5. Beginners should start out with light weight and work on form for the first few sessions. Then gradually add resistance to your workout.

6. Learn the names of the muscles to become more aware of where they are and how to create a balanced exercise program. We have included pictures indicating the major muscle groups to help you.

7. Stretch immediately after each strength exercise to help increase strength and flexibility.

8. Stimulate each major muscle group 3 times weekly taking at least 48 hours for recovery.

Here’s one more reason to strength train - if you gain 5 pounds of muscle over time, you can expect to burn up to an additional 250 calories a day. That translates into 17 - 25 pounds of fat lost at the end of the year – without cutting a single calorie. In 12 weeks of progressive strength training, 3 times weekly, expect to increase your lean body mass by 3 - 5%.

If you apply the techniques shared above you will be on your way to a fitter, leaner more energetic body. It’s NEVER too late and there is no time like the present. Make a resolution to live every day like you are going to be your physical best. The effects of beginning an exercise program and sustain it are so far reaching on your life. For the complete Feminine, Firm & Fit program including the important Chapter 6 (Fueling Your Body for Fat Burning) can be purchased at FeminineFirmandFit.com

About The Author: Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year, Editor Personal Fitness Professional Magazine, Editor of Wellness and Fitness Entrepreneur Magazine, Board of Directors for the Personal Trainer Business Alliance, Lead Exercise Physiologist National Exercise Sports Trainers Association, Former Lead Fitness Expert for eDiets and eFitness. Kelli has 3 science degrees in the areas of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Exercise Physiology and Biology. She has attained over 20 Fitness and Nutrition Certifications. She is the author of Feminine, Firm & Fit and co-author of The Power of Champions. Kelli is available for seminars, personal training, online training, phone coaching, grocery shopping tours, seminars and more. For more information about Kelli please visit KelliCalabrese.com or call toll free 888-871-5900.

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Webmaster | 21. October 2008 @ 13:00

Crohn’s Disease, unlike ulcerative colitis, may affect any region of the digestive system. From the mouth to the anus, depending on which area of the body is affected, there are different types of Crohn’s Disease. Each encompasses slightly different symptoms and varies in intensity. You should be familiar with the various forms as your doctor may refer to your condition as one of the following five types of Crohn’s Disease.

The most common type of Crohn’s is Ileocolitis, which affects the ileum, or lower part of the small intestine, and colon. Common symptoms experienced with this type is pain or cramping in the lower right part or middle of the abdomen, as well as diarrhea and weight loss. As with the other forms, as a result of inflammation, damage to the intestinal wall is common and may cause additional complications.

Another form is Ileitis, which only affects the lower part of the small intestine, or ileum. There are similar symptoms as Ileocolitis, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and may include the formation of ulcerations or abscesses in the lower right area of the abdomen. Weight loss may also occur as a result of excessive diarrhea.

Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease, on the other hand, involves the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum, and the stomach. Loss of appetite usually occurs, as well as weight loss as a result, and nausea. Vomiting may also occur and be a sign of bowel obstruction. This form is particularly difficult to deal with as it affects nutritional intake and may lead to malnutrition.

Jejunoileitis is another type and causes inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine in patches. Abdominal pain is common, as with most forms of Crohn’s disease, but may vary from mild to intense. Pain usually occurs after meals and may include diarrhea. Fistulas may also form. If fistulas or abscesses form, they may lead to other complications as well.

Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis affects the colon only and not any other part of the intestines. Because of the effect on the lower digestive system, rectal bleeding is common, in addition to anal disease, such as ulcers, abscess, and fistulas. Other symptoms include diarrhea as well as joint pain and skin lesions, which may occur in other forms on Crohn’s but is more common in this type. This form, in particular, is easily misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis, because both disorders affect the colon.

About The Author: Sarah Jenkins is an acclaimed writer on medical matters, and has written extensively on the subjects of Attention Deficit Disorder, Bird Flu and Crohn’s Disease.

For more of her articles, go to http://www.imedicalvillage.com now.

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Webmaster | 20. October 2008 @ 13:00

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease is often a difficult process. Because it mimics other diseases, Crohn’s may appear to be a myriad of other ailments. Likewise, the symptoms experienced vary from patient to patient, so there are no set guidelines to follow or sings that intrinsically point to Crohn’s.

There is not a single to test to establish the existence of Crohn’s Disease definitively. However, there are several procedures that are done to ascertain if Crohn’s, as well as other digestive tract disorders, are at fault for symptoms being experienced. One such area of examination is stool samples. It must first be determined that the inflammation in the bowels is not the result of an infection. With Crohn’s, inflammation occurs as though there is an infection, but none exists. Therefore, obtaining this information may rule out many possible culprits.

Other tests that may be done are blood tests, a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a barium enema, small bowel x-rays, a capsule endoscopy, or a CT scan.

Blood tests may be used to check for signs of infection as well as anemia. As stated above, the existence of an infection would rule out Crohn’s disease. However, if anemia is present, Crohn’s may be more likely. One of the possible symptoms of Crohn’s Disease is rectal and intestinal bleeding. Due to this excessive blood loss, many people will become anemic. Therefore, the existence or nonexistence of anemia is another step in diagnosing digestive disorders.

Another option is a colonoscopy. This procedure is done with the insertion of a lighted tube with an attached camera through the rectum into the colon to check for signs of Crohn’s Disease. However, there are risks to this procedure, including perforating the colon wall and bleeding as a result. Another consideration is that Crohn’s Disease may only occur in the small intestine and not the colon; therefore this procedure would be ineffective in that case.

Similar to a colonoscopy is a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is the long tube without the camera. The doctor would check for similar things as in a colonoscopy and the same side effects exist. However, this procedure can only examine the last two feet of your colon and would be ineffective on diagnosing problems in higher regions.

A barium enema may be used to provide a silhouette o the digestive tract through an x-ray after barium is inserted in enema form. This, like the other tests that are used, is not as effective as a colonoscopy but may provide valuable clues.

About The Author: Sarah Jenkins is an acclaimed writer on medical matters, and has written extensively on the subjects of Attention Deficit Disorder, Bird Flu and Crohn’s Disease.

For more of her articles, go to http://www.imedicalvillage.com now.

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Webmaster | 19. October 2008 @ 13:00

A good understanding of nutrition and how to use the information will be extremely rewarding for anyone. We can all prevent disease and fight infection utilizing a powerful medicine 'Food' Using nutrition and supplementing your diet is the key to fat loss and muscle gain. Have a look at these Nutritional Secrets and discover how to stay disease free, feel great, look good and live longer.

Lets take a look:

How Much Protein Do I Need - Protein is a normal part of out diet; a nutrient widely distributed among animal and plant foods, and it plays many essential roles in the body. Dietary protein has two possible fates - it can be either used in growth and repair or burned for energy, like carbohydrate and fat. Sedentary person: 0.75 grams/lb/day, Recreational athlete: 1.00 grams/lb/day, Serious athlete: 2.00 grams/lb/day.

Protein Cycling - Since strength training greatly increases the rate at which protein is broken down in the body, it follows that 0.75gms per Pound is inadequate. On the other hand to increase the intake of protein to say, 3.0gm per Pound straight away would trigger mechanisms to eliminate the excess protein.

One way to overcome this is to increase the protein in steps until a maximum efficiency point is reached and then it is drastically reduced. This obliges the body to compensate by increasing the efficiency for the absorption of protein and amino acids.

Why Carbohydrates? - Carbohydrates supply energy to out body, fibre for prevention against disease and taste and texture to food, they are found in cereals, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Recommended: 4 to 12 grams/lb/day. Over the last 30 years, research into food and blood glucose response has completely changed our carbohydrate classification system.

It has been learned that it is impossible to predict the impact on blood glucose levels by certain foods, instead people are fed carbohydrate foods and the response measured. This response is known as the Glycaemic Index (GI), it is a measure of how quickly carbohydrate foods are digested and absorbed, as indicted by elevated blood glucose. The slower the rate of blood glucose increases the lower the GI.

Super Foods - In the food industry super-foods are called "functional foods". These foods provide a health benefit beyond the simple provision of nutrients or energy, and usually target a specific disease or condition. In most cases media headlines about the disease-fighting capacity of foods are hyped up versions of current research reality. Below is a summary of what some super-foods can and can't do for you.

Vitamins and Minerals - In general an adequate intake of vitamin and minerals can be achieved with a balanced diet. However, there may be a strong rationale for supplementation in specific nutrients.

Herbals - The latest herbal super-stars include Echinacea, gingko, and St John's Wart. They don't pitch themselves as lifesavers, but more as life-maximizes, helping you to get through the day with less disruption from colds, memory failures, blue moods, and more.

Supplements - To supplement or not to supplement, that is the question on more consumers' lips than ever before. There are various reasons why people may be interested in supplementation. Concern about getting adequate nutrients from our food supply. A Suspicion of pharmaceuticals and a belief that diet alone will not achieve optimal nutrition.

Studies suggest that a number of supplements may deliver on advertising claims. However, consumers can spend large sums of money on products that have little or no proven efficacy.

The Bottom Line On Supplements - your diet that might achieve your goals but choose only products that shows the amount of active ingredients on the label. Be aware that "natural" does not mean 'safe'; some herbal supplements may have unpleasant side effects. Don't treat serious medical conditions yourself. Discuss supplement use with your doctor. If you are pregnant or are breast-feeding consult a doctor before taking supplements.

Only Eat the Good Fats - Eat the good fats and feel and look great, Authorities now agree that fat is essential for maintaining optimal health. If good healthy skin and fast metabolism is what your after then you must eat some fat. The good fats are found in fish, nuts and seeds, avocados and cold pressed oils. Avoid fried foods and saturated fats as these raise cholesterol and clog arteries.

Eat A Variety Of Foods - For protection from the majority of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer you need a variety of foods that deliver that mix of nutrients and minerals. Aim to eat different coloured fruits and vegetables.

Try to eat a different food each month. Eat an apple a day as the apple pectin cleanses the body's digestive system by removing toxins and therefore preventing degenerative health problems such as cancer.

In conclusion, I am sure if you can apply even just a few of these tips to your everyday eating habits I am pretty sure you will see the results in the not to distant future.

About The Author: Gary Matthews is the author of the popular fitness eBooks Maximum Weight Loss and Maximum Weight Gain. Please visit http://www.maximumfitness.com right now for your 'free' weight loss or muscle building e-courses.

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Webmaster | 16. October 2008 @ 13:00

Although our focus is on elder care options it is important to remember that life-changing conditions that threaten independent living are not limited to the elderly. People of any age can experience challenging conditions due to illness or injury that interfere with normal activities of daily living. When a decline in function renders a person unable to live independently, there are many care options to consider in regards to the kind of care they’ll receive and who will provide it.

It is my desire that the following summary of care options will be helpful to those needing care.

Hospitals

Hospitals usually keep patients with acute medical conditions until the acute condition is resolved. However, this is not always long enough to allow the patient to become independent and safe enough to return home.

Hospitals serve an important function by saving the lives of those with life-threatening conditions, but when patients are medically stable they must move to another type of facility.

Because the present healthcare environment imposes tight funding restrictions on hospitals, it forces them to reduce the duration of a patient’s stay. The allotted time is rarely sufficient to return patients to their prior level of function. At this point, patients and/or their family members must decide what to do next.

The care option that’s right for your circumstances depends on availability, accessibility, price, expectations and the patient’s age, condition and recovery potential.

Swing Bed Programs

Progressive hospitals offer Swing Bed Programs. To move from acute care to Swing Bed is no more than a paperwork move. However, patients on the Swing Bed Program can continue to qualify for Medicare benefits as long as they make progress in physical therapy, and as long as they demonstrate good rehab potential.

Rehabilitation is the key in these facilities. Patients are involved in therapeutic exercises, functional training, balance training, and gait training. The Swing Bed Program functions as a skilled nursing facility.

Regional Rehabilitation Centers

Qualifying patients may transfer from an acute hospital to a regional rehabilitation center. These patients receive intensive rehab that usually consists of a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Stays are typically one to three weeks, after which the patient must either transition to their home or to another care facility.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, referred to as care homes, convalescent homes, rest homes, and elder care centers, vary in size and type. Skilled nursing homes can, in some cases, carry on the rehabilitation the hospital began. If the patient is able to consistently show physical progress and good rehab potential, Medicare may reimburse for a certain number of days.

Physical therapy and occupational therapy can include therapeutic exercises and training in activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc). When patients reach a plateau in their progress, they are either discharged or sent to a non-skilled nursing facility. Medicare does not provide financial assistance for non-skilled facilities.

The best nursing homes provide restorative services. A restorative aide performs simple exercises and assisted ambulation with patients that do not qualify for the skilled services of a licensed physical therapist. Nursing homes are a good choice for individuals who require lots of care or who lack the rehab potential to progress to a rehabilitation facility.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

ALFs provide care for individuals who have a much higher level of independence than do those who require a nursing home. They usually have a private apartment-like setting where the residents can be reasonably independent. Meals and varying levels of care are provided.

Assisted living facilities are designed for those who have a good degree of independence, yet are not able to live independently in their own homes. ALF’s typically do not offer physical therapy, exercises programs or restorative therapy services, and Medicare offers no assistance.

Adult Foster Homes

These facilities offer a home-like environment and the best possible staff-to-resident ratio. The State allows a maximum or five residents in Oregon Adult Foster Homes. Other states vary. Residents are given home-cooked meals and activities that are relevant to their interests.

In Oregon, adult foster homes are licensed as level 1, level 2 or level 3, based on the experience and capabilities of the care providers. Level 1 foster homes provide for functional residents who require only minimal assistance in their activities of daily living. Level three residents require care in several activities of daily living and may even be bed bound.

Although adult foster homes specialize in elder care and retirement age residents, people of any age can live in them.

Family Caregiving

Sometimes, families want or need to care for their loved ones in their own home. This seemingly overwhelming task can be handled in two ways: One way is by hiring personal in-home caregivers to provide the needed care. Someone needs to coordinate the caregivers to ensure consistency. When 24-hour care is needed the expense can far exceed any of the above options.

A second option is to personally care for your loved one yourself. This could necessitate leaving your job. This ambitious task can be done if you take care of yourself to prevent burnout and to avoid falling ill. If you take this route you might consider having a personal caregiver come in once or twice a week to relieve you.

Transitional Care

Often, patients are not ready to return home after leaving the hospital. Various life-changing conditions, such as a hip fracture, knee or hip replacement or stroke can make it impossible to safely transition home. Even conditions like pneumonia or bowel obstructions can start the deconditioning process that makes a person less stable on their feet and puts them at risk for falling.

It’s imperative to maximize a patient’s level of function in order to ensure their safe transition home. Transitional care units have emerged to fill this gap. Transitional care units provide various degrees of rehabilitation that can include physical therapy and occupational therapy.

About The Author: Tom LeBlanc PT has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. His experience includes working in all of the above caregiving environments. He is currently developing a FREE TeleSeminar on Caregiver Secrets. He also hosts Home Entrepreneurs News (www.home-entrepreneurs.com), a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business seekers find the business that is right for them. One of his “featured Businesses” is detailed in his article, Become a Personal Caregiver.

 All Rights Reserved Home Entrepreneurs Corporation

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Webmaster | 15. October 2008 @ 13:00

Omega 3 is known to have amazing affects on many aspects of health, but it should not be treated as a miracle cure – in order to remain fit and healthy, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle which an Omega 3 supplement will enhance and support. With a little effort and common sense you will find you become healthier and happier.

These tips and general suggestions make a good start in allowing natural sources of Omega 3 to do their work.

• Wherever possible make sure you eat whole, natural, and fresh foods.

• You should try to eat five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Also make room in your diet for more peas, beans, and nuts.

• You can increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids by eating more fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil and green leafy vegetables. For instance, you can obtain an adequate doseage of omega 3 fats by eating two salmon a week, or by taking a gram of omega 3 fatty acid supplement daily.

• Use olive and canola oil in cooking.

• Drink water, tea, non-fat dairy and – good news! - red wine (two drinks daily or less for men, one drink or less for women).

• Lean protein such as skinless poultry, fish and lean cuts of red meat is the better alternative.

• Try to avoid trans-fats and limit your intake of saturated fats. So avoid fried foods, hard margarine, commercial baked goods, most packaged and processed snack foods and high fat dairy, as well as processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats.

• Limit your consumption of glycemic foods. Glycemic foods are foods made with sugar and white flour that increase blood sugar levels. Increased blood sugar levels stimulate the pancreas to release insulin, upsetting the body’s natural balance. Chronically high insulin levels are believed to cause weight gain, as well as atherosclerosis of arteries.

• Finally, take twenty minutes’ moderate exercise a day – it’s easier than you think.

Conclusion

Looking after your body and ensuring it has enough Omega 3 is simpler than you might imagine, and the benefits are enormous.

Copyright 2006 David McEvoy

About The Author:Dave McEvoy is an award winning personal trainer with over 20 years experience; he also runs a high quality health supplement website. http://www.mind1st.co.uk.

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Webmaster | 14. October 2008 @ 13:00

Crohn’s Disease is a difficult disorder for those that suffer from it, both physically and mentally. This disorder causes inflammation of the intestines, which can be very painful, as well as other physical side effects that can be wearisome emotionally.

In the list of physical side effects associated with Crohn’s Disease there are diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, ulcers, intestinal bleeding, loss of appetite, and malnutrition. Basically, what takes place is the intestines swell; as a result, certain areas of the walls develop sores which bleed; the inflammation is painful as well as the ulcers that form. Because during the swelling process excess water and salt are released, sufferers experience diarrhea as the body tries to expel extra fluid.

All of the physical characteristics of Crohn’s Disease are painful and challenging. However, dealing with the pain of a chronic illness is often detrimental to one’s mental state as well.

Misconceptions regarding the cause of Crohn’s Disease also fuel the emotional distress of sufferers. For years, people have been inaccurately told emotions play a role in Crohn’s Disease and other inflammatory bowel disorders – either that it was a figment of their imaginations or brought on by mental unstableness; neither of which are true.

Another difficult aspect to deal with is the strain and embarrassment of excessive diarrhea and gas. When out in public, sudden urges to go to the restroom that sometimes lead to accidents are humiliating. Other people rarely understand the depth of the disorder.

Likewise, people do not typically understand the amount of pain experienced by someone with Crohn’s. Either met with disbelief or misunderstanding, sufferers typically feel as though they must constantly explain themselves and a disorder they would probably rather keep private.

Many of the physical side effects of Crohn’s can be treated with medication or surgery. The fact that no cure exists can be disheartening, but help is available. The important thing for people suffering from Crohn’s to remember is that they are not alone, their symptoms are treatable, and they do not have to suffer the effects of Crohn’s Disease indefinitely.

When symptoms flare up, sufferers should seek the care and advice of a physician. If the emotional stress of the disorder becomes unbearable or too much to handle, psychological help may be needed as well. Getting help from a trained professional familiar with the effects of chronic illness may be very helpful in helping sufferers of the disease cope with their circumstances. More information on coping with this disease is available in ebook 2 of “A Complete Guide to Crohn’s Disease and Possible Treatments.”

About The Author: Sarah Jenkins is an acclaimed writer on medical matters, and has written extensively on the subjects of Attention Deficit Disorder, Bird Flu and Crohn’s Disease.

For more of her articles, go to http://www.imedicalvillage.com now.

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Webmaster | 13. October 2008 @ 13:00

How many times have you heard a person say they are overweight because they have a slow metabolism? I hear it everyday! Frustrated weight loss enthusiasts constantly blame a slow metabolism for their weight woes. But is that really the case? True, some people, genetically, have challenged metabolisms, while most others use it as an excuse for why they can' t lose weight.

Let's eliminate this excuse by firing up your metabolism to its full genetic potential. While following your best weight loss program, doesn't it make since to speed up your metabolism to its greatest genetic potential possible?

There are certain tactics available to power boost your metabolism. Some are lifestyle techniques, while others are nutritional tricks. Before I list all of the metabolism boosting tricks, let me explain exactly what metabolism is.

Metabolism is the way your body uses energy, as measured in calories. One way the body uses calories as energy is to sustain vital body functions like heart rate, cell development, breathing, cell repair, and temperature control. This accounts for up to 75% of the calories you burn daily. The other 25% of metabolism is the result of physical activity, digestion and absorption of food. The rate at which your body burns calories is its metabolism.

The following tips below will help you increase your metabolism to it greatest possible potential. However, please be aware that the calories you take in and your activity level play a much greater role in weight loss than metabolism alone. It is best to go through the weight loss battle with your metabolism firing on all cylinders.

Metabolism Boosting Tips and Tricks

1. Increase Your Physical Activity - This is no secret, but really works!Individuals who exercise regularly burn more calories and have more metabolically active, calorie burning muscle mass than those who are less active. Cardiovascular activity boosts metabolism by burning calories, while strength training slows the metabolically active muscle loss in aging people. Both of these activities have shown to increase metabolism immediately after participating in the activity, while the long term results of strength training help burn even more calories 24 hours a day, even while sleeping.

I recommend doing 30 plus minutes of aerobic activity, 3 to 5

days per week, in addition to doing 2 short, 24 hour metabolism

boosting strength training sessions each week.

2. Protein Consumption - Some evidence suggests their is a

slight metabolic boosting power in higher protein diets

versus high carb, low protein diets. Please be aware that the vast majority of weight loss results from decreasing calories, and increasing activity, not by changing the percentage of carbs versus protein in your diet. Very high protein diets have shown to cause potential health challenges.

3. Sleep - Getting 7+ hours of sleep each night may affect hormones

that regulate body weight and appetite. In a current, rather large, ongoing study, people who slept less, have a tendency to weight more.

4. Don't Skip Meals - It is important not to wait more than 5 hours

between meals to eat. Waiting longer and skipping them has a tendency

to slow your metabolism down, and deprive you of crucial energy. It is also important to rev up your metabolism by breaking the fast at breakfast each and every morning to give you energy, and prevent binging at later meals. Please note: It is also always important to closely monitor your overall caloric intake.

5. Weight Loss Supplements - Certain weight loss supplement which contain a stimulus effect can slightly boost your metabolism. Please note that I am not promoting weight loss supplement to increase metabolism! Some supplements have stimulant properties which increase metabolism by raising the heart rate. Such pills can also produce unwanted side effects like anxiety,heart palpations, elevated blood pressure, and insomnia.

I recommend following the first 4 tips in order to tune up your metabolisms engine so you are burning food at the highest rate your body can possibly handle.

For more detailed information regarding weight loss and metabolism visit www.WeightLossAssistant.com, and Wellness Word Multimedia Newsletter at www.WellnessWord.com.

About The Author: Jim O'Connor, Beverly Hills celebrity fitness consultant, has conducted thousands of personal fitness consultations with celebrities, business executives, and highly motivated individuals throughout Los Angeles. He is the Chief Exercise Physiologist for Wellness WORD, LLC, a health, fitness, and nutrition promotion company. Jim is the author of a well known, world wide multimedia newsletter called Wellness WORD, published online every other week promoting the health and fitness truth. He also is the author of a popular ebook called Home Gym Shopping Secrets. Get The Wellness WORD "Multimedia" Newsletter delivered every other week for NO CHARGE to your inbox, and find out what the neat multimedia tricks Jim uses. For access click http://www.WellnessWord.com.

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Jim O'Connor - Exercise Physiologist / The Fitness Promoter

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Webmaster | 12. October 2008 @ 13:00

“I tried that diet and lost 8 pounds in the first week!”

“I’ve gained three pounds in one day! It must have been the cookie I ate or maybe the mashed potatoes!”

Stepping on the scale can become an anxiety filled event that leaves people wondering where they went wrong when the numbers don’t go in the right direction. This leads to panic and usually ends with blaming a particular food item that really wasn’t the culprit. Everyone who has been on a journey to lose weight has been there before. Even though you are following your plan and exercising regularly the number may go up 1-2 pounds or even up to 3-4 pounds creating unnecessary guilt that we have failed somehow. If it’s not always food that makes our weight creep up then what is it that causes these fluctuations on the scale?

When trying to lose weight the scale often becomes the only measurement of success and this makes it difficult to remember that every time we step on a scale it is measuring every part of our physical being at that moment in time, which means it measures our fat, muscles, organs, tissue and water weight. Body fat is not the only thing being measured. While organs and tissue don’t change much; fat, muscle, and water do change which can result in fluctuating numbers on the scale.

Water weight can affect your total weight anywhere from 1-10 pounds and sometimes even more. It is important to understand what kinds of dietary factors can make these fluid shifts happen. To start, many of the high protein, low carbohydrate diets can cause a dramatic shift in your water weight. This is because as you cut back carbohydrate intake your body starts breaking down the stored carbohydrates (glycogen) to use as energy, and this breakdown causes the body to excrete large amounts of water. Once the body begins to use stored fat for energy, weight loss slows. This is the reason why most people lose a significant amount of weight right away on a low carb, high protein diet. Extreme low carb, high protein diets can potentially lead to dehydration because of this significant fluid loss.

When a person following a low carb plan eats a carbohydrate-rich food they can easily gain 1-3 pounds. However, this weight gain can be misleading because it is usually your body replenishing the fluid it lost and not gained fat. This 3 pound fluctuation becomes frustrating for many people and they end up yo-yoing back and forth with fluid weight thinking that it must be the half cup of rice they had the night before that caused them to gain that 3 pounds when in fact eating the rice just allowed them to regain some of the fluid they had lost from following a strict low carb plan. The fact is carbohydrates do not affect your weight quite that simply. Excess carbohydrates can strongly stimulate insulin production, which promotes fat deposition and increases appetite. This kind of weight gain will happen gradually, not dramatically overnight.

Sodium is another dietary component that can lead to fluid gain. Sodium can cause the body to retain fluid, leading to these frustrating daily weight fluctuations. Some people are more sensitive to sodium than others. Watch your diet and see if your weight gain corresponds with a high sodium meal the day before. For example, eating out in restaurants can often increase your sodium intake significantly.

The best way to tell if you are retaining fluid is to pay attention to your body. If you get indentations on your ankles and lower legs from your socks then you are retaining fluid. If you wear rings and they become tight and leave an imprint in your fingers when you take them off then you also retaining fluid. Any kind of puffiness in your skin is a good indication of water weight.

The bottom line is that it takes 3500 calories to gain or lose 1 pound of body fat. This equates to an extra 500 calories a day over 7 days to gain a pound. This means if you gained 3 pounds in one day you can chalk it up to fluid weight otherwise you would have had to consume 10,500 extra calories that day which is not likely! True weight gain happens gradually and likewise we lose it gradually. Check your weight weekly instead of daily and look for overall trends. If you are seeing dramatic daily changes in your weight, it is likely the ever-changing shifts of our body’s water weight.

© Meri Raffetto, 2006

About The Author: Meri Raffetto - Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She specializes in weight management and offers online programs to help people reach their weight loss and health goals. For more information visit http://www.reallivingnutrition.com.

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Webmaster | 11. October 2008 @ 13:00

Most of us want fast results when we are sick and miserable. Typically people buy non-prescription drugs over the counter because they don’t know there are other treatments available. For many health conditions using herbal remedies derived from plants is a healthy alternative. It is best to plan ahead and learn which herbal remedies may work for a specific health condition.

The following list of common herbs is an example of possible health benefits for treating some ailments. Herbal remedies are prepared in many forms such as teas, herbal extracts (tinctures), capsules or loose/dried in a bag.

Chamomile

This herb is popular as a tea and can calm nerves, relieve stomach distress, prevent ulcers, and help fight infection. Chamomile may be used to relieve morning sickness during pregnancy, to treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis, and may be used to speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.

Dong Quia

Dong quai has been used in Asia for thousands of years as a tonic for the female reproductive system. It also balances and strengthens the female organs and regulates their functions.

Feverfew

Several studies confirm feverfew's value in preventing migraines. Feverfew may be used as an anti-inflammatory for relief of arthritis, to relieve some types of menstrual problems, and as a digestive aid.

Garlic

More than 1,000 scientific studies have shown health benefits of garlic. Garlic has been used as protection against colds and flu. In addition, garlic may help lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure and protect against bacterial and fungal infections. Studies have shown that garlic may have a positive role in the prevention of coronary heart disease, thrombosis and arteriosclerosis.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries to control nausea and for reducing inflammation.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal is found in popular herbal blends for relieving intestinal and gallbladder inflammation. It also has been used to soothe inflamed or infected mucous membranes. Goldenseal may be used to reduce colds, flu and other respiratory infections especially at the beginning of infection. Goldenseal has both anti-infective and immune-system stimulating properties that may shorten the course of the illness.

Licorice

Licorice is an important herb for treating a host of ailments. It may help as an anti-inflammatory and to soothe stomach upset and control coughs. Licorice Root has properties similar to cortisone and estrogen. It stimulates the adrenal glands and may help the body cope with stress.

Peppermint

Peppermint oil calms the stomach, the intestinal tract, and the nervous system. It can also reduce the inflammation of nasal passages and relieve muscle pains.

SAFETY

Herbal remedies may be safer and have fewer side effects than prescription medicines. Always read the label and use only the recommended dosage. Do not take any herbs during pregnancy --- check with your doctor first. If you are currently taking any prescription medicines always check with your doctor before using herbal remedies or before starting any health supplement program.

Herbs are a healthy alternative for treating many health conditions. Read and save articles like this in a small notebook and create your own research library with health benefits of each herb. There are many resources available online that outline specific health conditions and recommend herbs.

Herbs can be purchased online or at local health food stores. In addition, for treating specific health conditions, you may want to work with a naturopath or an acupuncturist.

Copyright 2006 Wayne McDonald

About The Author: Wayne McDonald is a licensed Life Practitioner and a Health Practitioner. Learn more about Herbal Remedies and how to Treat Any Illness Without Side Effects using only Natural Herbs. Find a complete list of ailments and suggested herbal remedies at http://www.holisticwebdirectory.com/native-remedies.

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Webmaster | 10. October 2008 @ 13:00

It’s perfectly natural for everyone has periods when they feel down. Bad moods are simply a part of life and some would say that they help you to appreciate the good times. But depression is something quite different. One sign of depression is that your ‘down time’ goes on for more than a couple of hours per day. The other is if you have two or more of the symptoms on a consistent or regular basis: Low Self-Esteem, Fatigue, Sleep Problems, Appetite Changes, Weight Swings, Feelings of Guilt, Worthlessness, Suicide or a general loss of interest in your normal activities. Then consider doing something to break the cycle and get out of it, below are five things you can do right now to effect a change in how you feel.

Change your posture. There is a definite body posture that triggers or deepens depression. The signs are, moving slowly or lethargically, shoulders slumped, head down looking at the ground. These postures are known to increase negative thoughts and emotions. When you break out of this posture – even by doing something as simple as looking up towards the sky or jumping up and down – you interrupt this pattern and change your way of thinking.

Reduce the sugar in your diet. Just by reducing your intake of cakes, biscuits, chocolate and processed foods could make you feel better. In a study at the University of South Alabama, Professor Larry Christenden found that reducing the sugar levels in the blood helped to lift the mood of 25% of patients.

Laugh. Laughter is known to increase the levels of endorphins and stimulate the left frontal lobe of the brain where happy thoughts and feelings are created. Simply laughing out loud for no good reason, watching a comedy programme, or being with people who smile will have the right effect.

Share the problem. A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking through a problem with someone will help you gain a fresh perspective. If there’s nobody around then listening to a self-help programme would work in the same way.

Go for a walk. Studies have proven that exercise is just as effective as Prozac in reducing the symptoms of depression. In fact Professor Tylee of Maudsley Hospital, London says “It’s top of the list of things we’re recommending doctors ‘prescribe’ to patients”. Try it and you’ll find that three 45-minute sessions every week will work wonders.

The key here is to take some action to break the pattern. Whilst these techniques may not necessarily treat the root cause of the problem they will certainly help to reduce the effect of depression long enough to help you find a way to beat it long-term.

About The Author: Jim Brackin contributes tips, help and advice on popular psychology to variety of magazines like Cosomopolitan and Women's Own. He is the body language expert for Sky News (UK) and developed www.personaliteye.com and contributes to www.virtual-therapist.com.

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Webmaster | 9. October 2008 @ 13:00

As our lives become more complex, we need creative time-management twists to juggle all the things we want to do. This article will give you tips on how to fit exercise into your busy schedule, even if you have a sedentary lifestyle.

The first step is to drop the all-or-nothing, perfectionistic thinking that says "It has to be at a gym. It doesn't count if you don't breathe hard. It doesn't count if you don't do it for at least 30 minutes non-stop etc. Any physical activity is more beneficial than NO physical activity. So open your mind and let's create new solutions.

We all get stuck from time to time sitting at our computers, waiting for one thing or another:

*Long print jobs

*Slow or large downloads

*Large files to open

*Inspiration on what to write or do next

*“Instant” messages

*iPod Updates

Here's how you can put that time to use:

1. Get a medicine ball and/or exercise band at your local sporting goods store or on-line.

2. Put these items near your computer in an easy to reach location.

3. Begin compiling a stack of exercise ideas from magazines or books which you will also keep near your computer (consider starting a three-ring binder so you can easily find the book and flip through it at will).

4. When you encounter a wait period (or just need a little break), do a set of arm or leg exercises. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

Chest Press: Strap an exercise tube around the back of your office chair and do occasional chest presses. Hold one handle in each hand and position your hands so they are at chest level. Sit up straight. Push forward and extend your arms straight in front of you or, for variation, cross your hands in front of you. Repeat 10-15 times or until you become fatigued.

Overhead Tricep Lifts: Hold a 3-5 pound medicine ball in both hands. Lift it over your head with arms extended. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower the ball so that it ends up behind your neck. Continue lifting the ball from behind your neck to over your head. Use slow, steady, controlled movements. Repeat 8-10 times or until you become fatigued.

Bicep Curls: Depending on your strength level, you can use one or both arms for this exercise. Hold the medicine ball in your hands in front of you as if you are offering a gift to someone or holding a large cup or bowl in your hands. Your arms should be in an “L” shaped position at your sides. Bring the ball up to your chest slowly and then back down slowly. If you are strong enough, you can also do one arm at a time lifting the ball from the “L” shaped position up to your shoulder and back down again. Repeat 12-15 times or until you become fatigued. Perform equal amounts of repetitions for each arm.

Leg Lifts: Stretch your legs out in front of you and put your ankles and feet together. Place the medicine ball in the cradle created by your ankles so that the ball is resting on the top of your foot and your lower leg at the same time. Depending on your strength level, you can do this exercise a variety of ways:

Lower Leg Lifts: Lift your legs from the floor until they are almost completely extended. Maintain a small bend in the knees, do not lock your knees. For more of a challenge, hold your legs in the lifted position until you begin to feel your muscles shake or burn, then lower. Repeat 10-15 times.

Full Leg Lifts: Scoot up in your chair so that your buttocks are almost at the edge of your seat. Put your hands on the armrest to support your body. Extend your legs in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Lift your legs as high as you can off the ground. For extra challenge, hold your legs in place before lowering. Be sure to continue sitting up straight as you do this exercise and hold in your abdominal muscles for support.

Copyright 2006 Sheri Zampelli

About The Author: Sheri O. Zampelli, M.S., CCH is a clinical hypnotherapist in private practice. She is the author of From Sabotage to Success – How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior and Reach Your True Potential. She helps people create liveable solutions for their weight and eating challenges. For more information, visit her website at http://www.donateyourweight.com.

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Webmaster | 8. October 2008 @ 13:00

Despite major advances in understanding stress, depression and anxiety, most sufferers are still being told four myths about the root cause of their problem.

This raises an important issue: How can you conquer these illnesses if you don’t understand the root cause?

Time to bust the myths and reveal the exact cause of these harrowing problems.

The first myth to bust is that a period of serious illness can cause you to become depressed. This could be anything from a nasty virus that confines you to bed for a month or something far more serious such as loss of a limb, cancers, injury, or heart attack for example.

None of these illnesses can cause depression, anxiety or stress. It’s easily proven. Because millions of people suffer from serious illnesses every year but only around 20% of them will become stressed, depressed or anxious. If illnesses cause mental breakdown, every person who becomes seriously ill will enter into mental breakdown. They don’t.

The same explanation applies to traumatic experience. This could be death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce or moving house for example. Again, every single one of us will experience traumatic times such as these. Yet not everybody enters into a mental illness, even those who have suffered extreme trauma. Therefore, traumatic experience cannot be the root cause.

Next up is genetics, another frequently given root cause. But it’s completely untrue. There is no proven link between genetics and these illnesses. In fact, rather than genetics, learned behavior from family members who suffer themselves is the only real link to a family-inherited disposition to stressful illness.

I’ve saved the most widely accepted myth until last and I’ll bet you’re familiar with this reason and you may even believe it to be the root cause of your problem. It’s the reason given by the medical community and which has spawned a $12 billion drugs industry to combat it. The myth is of course depleted levels of neurotransmitters in the brain – the so-called “chemical imbalance”.

Neurotransmitters are “happy chemicals” which help to regulate your moods. So, if levels are low, you feel low. To boost these levels, powerful drugs are prescribed. Yes, they boost levels. But let’s ask a question:

Are low levels of neurotransmitters a cause or a symptom?

Well, every human being on earth right now will experience many occasions in their lives when things go wrong and when bad things happen – in short, times when they won’t be their usual happy selves.

During these times, their levels of “happy chemicals” will drop, and life will seem a bit of an effort. So, does this mean that everybody on the planet will descend into an episode of stress, depression or anxiety? Obviously not.

And do you just wake up one day and feel anxious or depressed because levels of neurotransmitters have dipped below the critical level? No. Because that would mean you’d wake up one day and feel great because levels have risen above the critical point. You know this just doesn’t happen, even after taking antidepressants.

And when you’re in the fog of mental turmoil, you also experience physical pain, you cannot sleep or you sleep too much and the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion is also present. But if a chemical imbalance in your brain is at the root, how come you experience physical pain in your legs, arms, and more commonly, your back?

You can see that this is too simple an explanation. This is borne out by the fact that 70% of people who take antidepressants will descend into second and even third episodes of mental breakdown if they stop taking the drugs. This is because antidepressants treat ONE of the SYMPTOMS of mental illness – depleted levels of neurotransmitters.

So what, exactly, is at the root cause of mental breakdown? It’s all down to flawed modes of thinking. Because the only difference between people who experience an episode of mental trauma and those who don’t is because of flawed perceptions and explanations repeatedly performed by sufferers.

The following example describes this more clearly:

Two people suffer the death of a parent. One is absolutely distraught and finds it very difficult to cope and descends into a depressive episode. The other, although sad at the loss, is coping and doesn’t descend into depression. The only difference lies IN THE WAY THEY MAKE SENSE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THEM. The actual event has no meaning by itself. The meanings only lie within the minds of the individuals affected.

To beat anxiety, stress and depression, you need to learn the powerful and effective modes of thinking used by people who don’t become stressed, depressed or anxious no matter what happens to them. Once learned, you will come out of the fog permanently.

Copyright 2006 Christopher Green

About The Author: Christopher Green is the author of “Conquering Stress”, a special program which will show you how to conquer stress, depression and anxiety without taking powerful drugs. For a free e-course please click here => http://www.conqueringstress.com.

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Webmaster | 7. October 2008 @ 13:00

As women, especially American women, much of our femininity is centered on our breasts. No matter where you look, there are pictures, billboards, commercials, television shows, and movies with women with these beautiful breasts and ample cleavage. The thought of losing one or both breasts, to breast cancer, can be devastating for many of us. Sure, there's reconstruction, but will it ever really look the same again? Even if you have reconstruction, you'll never have sensation there again and, for many of us, that definitely affects our sexuality.

I went through two separate mastectomies, for my breast cancer, despite the fact that I wanted them both done at the same time. Two different surgeons told me that wasn't necessary. They found out, later, that it was, as I had the same breast cancer in both breasts. Through these surgeries, I learned a few things about what to expect, and how to get up and running again, after a mastectomy for breast cancer.

The first thing to realize is that, apart from the emotional aspect of such an operation, this is a simple surgery. The breast is composed, mostly, of fatty tissue and, of course, milk ducts and lobes. The removal of this breast tissue is way easier than operating on an organ, but carries much more emotional impact for most of us. Most surgeons will get as much of the breast tissue out as they can to help alleviate the chance of a recurrence of your breast cancer. You will typically wind up with a horizontal scar about four inches long. The scar may be red for quite a while but, ultimately, should fade to where you can hardly see it anymore.

You want to be sure to take loose-fitting, button-down shirts (raiding your hubby's closet is helpful) with you, to the hospital, as you won't be able to raise your arms over your head for a while. You will also need a sports bra and I would highly recommend one that fastens in the front. They will put that on you after your surgery. Typically, you should be able to stay in the hospital for one night. If you're going to have lymph nodes removed, a small pillow, to slip under that arm, will help make you more comfortable. Check with your local American Cancer Society as they may have small pillows for you. An extra pillow to hold to your chest, if you need to cough, sneeze, or laugh, can help keep your incision from hurting.

When you wake up, you will have a couple of drain tubes for each side you have done. These tubes are important as they allow the excess fluid, which your body will produce, to drain out. If you didn't have them, the fluid would have to be aspirated with a needle. The drains, even though they're no fun, are better than that. These drains will have to be emptied a couple of times a day and you will have to write down how much fluid you drain so the doctor will know when you've slowed down enough to remove them. You may not know where to put these drains under your clothing. I pinned mine up to the sports bra and that way, they didn't pull when I moved.

When you get home, plan on having someone there to help you for the first few days. You won't be allowed to reach into your cabinets and definitely won't be able to clean house or pick up your children, if you have little ones. You'll be sent home with pain meds and definitely take them if you need them. Studies show that you will heal faster if you keep yourself out of pain, so don't be afraid to take them as prescribed.

If you have a recliner, you might consider moving it into the bedroom as you won't be able to lie flat for a while. You'll need to sleep in a partial sitting position. If you don't have one, or don't have space for it in your bedroom, lots of pillows will work, too. That's what I used. Just be sure you have enough pillows to keep yourself comfortable propped up.

If you would like someone who's been there before you to visit with, be sure to call your local American Cancer Society and ask for a Reach 2 Recovery volunteer. This is an American Cancer Society program where they try to match you with one of their volunteers who have as similar experience as you're facing. This woman will come visit you and will bring you all sorts of brochures and information on conventional treatment. She will also bring you a list of exercises you can start to do to regain your mobility and range of motion.

This is VERY important. It hurts to stretch your arm up, after surgery, but if you haven't had reconstruction, and you don't start soon, you will lose that range of motion. I would recommend starting to gently, slowly reach your arm up … let your body be your guide … the day after your surgery. This is ONLY if you have not had reconstruction. If you have, let your plastic surgeon tell you when to start stretching. Push to where it hurts just a little, but do not push too far past that. Little by little, you'll find yourself able to stretch a little farther every couple of days.

Most of all, allow yourself to heal emotionally, as well as physically. Some of us just can't look at that incision right away. That's OK. Take as much time as you need. I know I felt like some kind of freak with no breasts and, even six years later, I still do sometimes. But remind yourself that these scars are your battle scars. They do not make you less of a woman. They make you a warrior.

About The Author: Melissa Buhmeyer is a breast cancer survivor and has been so for seven years. She is also the founder of http://www.breastcancer-treatment.us, a site focusing on breast cancer treatment options, news, articles, and survivor experiences.

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Webmaster | 6. October 2008 @ 13:00

Taking every opportunity to distribute my marketing material for my new book, I stopped by a children’s clothing store one Sunday afternoon. Upon leaving the parking lot, my six year old son caught a glimpse of “those ribbons with two lines”. In my half-engaged attention, I acknowledged his observation that there were “more than three” on this one particular car. From his persistence to gain my feedback, I began to focus on our conversation. I informed him that I was not exactly clear of what he meant by the description of this two-lined ribbon. “You know…the red one…the boob problem…and the…”. Ground zero! I realized that he was speaking of the Awareness Ribbons that so emphatically adorn various vehicles these days. I started to chuckle at his innocence in remembering my recent 15-minute explanation of breast cancer as “the boob problem”. After we enjoyed the moment, I struck a more serious note to remember that the disease is far from funny and can leave heartache and devastation in its vicious path. In fact, according to Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer affects 110 women every day.

My first encounter as a Personal Trainer with a recovering breast cancer client came quite a few years ago and meeting her was quite an experience. If you have ever met a breast cancer victor you will notice that their eyes reflect a beautiful understanding of life. My encounter with my client came while I worked at a swim and racquet club. Even the way she approached me was filled with grace. Wanting to strengthen her body after the illness, she inquired about a weight training routine. She had a beaming, yet subtle smile with each simple question that she asked of me. To look at her would never disclose of her recent pain. Her hair was a typical short style of a middle-aged woman and her legs still presented the years of tennis that kept her fit. I was honored to take the position as her trainer and we worked together on a program toward rebuilding her body for not only the purpose of strength and endurance, but to attain a touch of inner peace as well.

Recovery from breast cancer is not so different a program than simply exercising to avoid such a catastrophic event in a woman’s life. If you have followed fitness for any amount of time, visited your doctor or taken a class in school, the informative path to righteous living is well paved with getting the blood flowing and the heart pounding. In turn, you increase your chances of avoiding disease (heart-related, cancer, diabetes). Likewise, if you have successfully battled the disease and yearn for a method of attack against it recurring or simply want to lessen the unpleasant after affects, the all-knowing finger will be pointing in the same direction…the local gym. Even as early as the 1980’s, research was proving that aerobic exercise improved fatigue levels and nausea in post cancer patients. Fast forward to present and the benefits have multiplied over the years. Subsequent studies indicate that weight training, aerobic exercise, and fitness emphasizing mind and body (i.e., yoga) all have a substantial impact of up to 25-50% improvement on pain, fatigue, overall optimism, the general fitness level of the individual and how much a person can improve their quality of daily life, complete with energy-draining tasks.

It is clear that exercise plays a tremendous role in helping breast cancer survivors feel better. So what are the details of program design? First and foremost, you want to stay clear of stress on the surgical or stitched area. Next, and just as important, begin with the usual 10-15 minute warm-up, no matter if you are doing weight training sets, a cardio routine or a number of yoga poses. It is after this warm-up that variety begins. For resistance/weight training exercises, you will want to start the initial phase of your program with a lowered weight volume but with up to double the repetitions. Elastic tubing and bands are also a good start for the first phase. Though you may not be directly working the muscle tissue in your surgical area, many muscles work together in stabilizing another muscle’s contraction. The lesser weight will insure that your wound is not overexerted to soon. The standard 2-3 sets are appropriate with 15-20 repetitions.

Another area of exercise is that of cardiovascular training. Cardio machines such as the treadmill or elliptical machines are acceptable and can be used for 3-4 days per week. In your initial phase of a recovery fitness routine, you may want to follow an interval program where you begin the session with a higher-intensity minute followed by a low-intensity minute totaling up to thirty minutes. As your condition improves, you can reduce your low intensity minute to 30 seconds and eventually eliminate it all together.

Finally, mind and body exercises such as yoga go a step further in fitness. Not only are you strengthening your body, you are also tapping into inner peace with each slow and controlled breath. Ideal for achieving relaxation, this type of training can be utilized for as little as 5-15 minute a day and still present positive results.

While breast cancer awareness has reached far heights as that of former president, Bill Clinton, who signed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000, it does not stop the fact that the disease continues to take more and more lives. While a cure is currently elusive, preventative measures are not. Engaging in a fitness program that includes healthy eating, routine exercise and positive mental development is a safe bet of increasing longevity.

About The Author: Sherri L Dodd is the creator and author of Mom Looks Great - The Fitness Program for Moms. She is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer, Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant and Kickboxing Instructor with over fifteen years of exercise experience. She has lectured to groups on her fitness plan and is a freelance writer on the topics of fitness and general nutrition as well as the humorous side of motherhood.

momlooksgreat.com

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Webmaster | 5. October 2008 @ 13:00

What it is

Sciatica is the name people give to a pain in the buttock, leg or foot brought on as a direct result of some form of irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It runs all the way from the lower back splitting at the base of the spine and terminating in the foot.

The discs which cushion the vertebrae in the lower back become progressively thinner and harder as we get older. This stresses the lower back and often causes a variety of lower back pain disorders, including sciatica.

Sciatica is usually caused by a prolapsed or 'slipped' disc bulging and pressing on to a nerve. It doesn't usually cause permanent nerve damage since the spinal cord is not present in the lower part of the spine and a prolapsed or herniated disc in this area does not pose a risk of paralysis.

The cause

The most common cause of sciatica is a prolapsed (slipped) disc, pinched nerves or some form of arthritis. It usually starts with back pain which sometimes improves only to be followed by hamstring or calf pain. It may also include numbness in the toes depending on which branch of the sciatic nerve is irritated.

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle behind the gluteus maximus. Piriformis syndrome is most common among women, runners and walkers.

Spinal stenosis is the name given to the narrowing of the nerve channel (vertebral canal) of the spine. This narrowing causes compression of either the spinal cord within the vertebral canal, or the nerve roots that exit the spinal cord. People with spinal stenosis experience sciatic pain symptoms in the legs and feet. It usually results from degenerative arthritis causing a narrowing of the spaces in the vertebral canal. Manual workers are more prone to developing symptoms of spinal stenosis but it seldom affects people under 30 years of age - unless it is due to traumatic injury to the vertebrae.

The spine is made up of a series of connected bones called "vertebrae." Spondylolisthesis or isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs when a cracked vertebra slips over the vertebra below it. Poor posture and curvature of the back or weak abdominal muscles can contribute to this slippage, which can press on the nerve. The presence of this spondylolysis usually does not represent a dangerous condition in the adult and most treatments concentrate on pain relief and increasing the patient's ability to function.

The Cure

Some cases of sciatica which result from inflammation get better with time and heal themselves perhaps within six weeks to three months.

Recent studies have shown that bed rest is not necessarily the best way to treat sciatica. It is better to remain active, starting off with some gentle stretching and exercise. Swimming is particularly useful, as it is not a weight bearing exercise. The good news is that herniated spinal discs usually do heal on their own, given time.

There are many different treatments for sciatica and it is important to discuss these with your health practitioner. Accurate diagnosis to determine the exact cause of sciatic pain is also equally important. The most conclusive diagnosis is usually gained by a having an MRI scan. However having said that skilled medical practitioners, and I include Osteopaths and Chiropractors, are often able to determine the suspected cause by carrying out a physical examination

Stretching and exercising are a must if you really want to progress along the road to rehabilitation and if you are in extreme pain this is probably the last thing you will contemplate doing.

Since getting mobile and becoming flexible is extremely important you might require some pain management to help you get going. For mild cases of sciatica your doctor may start off by recommending non prescription medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, known as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. A downside of these drugs is that they may cause stomach upsets or bleeding.

If your pain is not relieved by analgesics or NSAIDs, your doctor might prescribe narcotic analgesics (such as codeine) for a short time. Side effects of these include nausea, constipation, dizziness and drowsiness, and continued use may result in dependency.

Sciatic pain is usually nerve related and responds well to treatment with low doses of tricyclic anti-depressant drugs like amitriptyline, dothiepin, nortriptyline, lofepramine, desipramine, clomipramine or imipramine combined with acupuncture or the use of TENs machines. The low dosage of the tricyclic drug acts by closing “a pain gate” blocking the message to the brain.

Other medications like Corticosteroids taken orally or by injection are sometimes prescribed for more severe back and leg pain because of their very powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Corticosteroids also have side effects and the pros and cons of taking them should be fully discussed with your doctor.

In extreme cases spinal injections of corticosteroid into the epidural space (the area around the spinal nerves) or facet joint (between vertebrae) may be given. This is usually carried out by a specialist with follow up injections at a later date.

Other treatments to manage sciatica include traction; manipulation by a skilled osteopath, physio therapist or chiropractor; Chemonucleolysis (injection of a special enzyme into the disk).

There is a fairly new procedure called IDET which stands for Iintro Discal Electrothermy). When a disc is herniated the water content of the inflamed disc causes it to bulge and press against the nerve. IDET dries up the disc very quickly, in less than 20 minutes, a process which might take weeks or months if left to dry up naturally

As a last resort you may consider surgery to remove fragments of the prolapsed disc are then removed.

As I mentioned earlier it is important to stay active and continue with an exercise and stretching program. Especially do exercises to develop your back and stomach muscles. This will help stabilize your spine and support your body.

It is also important to maintain a reasonable body weight, ensure you have a good posture, sleep on a mattress that is neither too soft nor too hard, be careful when bending or lifting heavy weights.

This information in this article should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. You should always consult with your health care professional especially relating to the suitability of supplements or drugs and on all health matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention. If you suffer from progressive weakness in the leg or bladder or bowel incontinence this constitutes a medical emergency and you should seek immediate medical attention - you may have cauda equina syndrome a serious condition due to compression of the nerve roots in the lower end of the spinal canal.

About The Author: Bill Morrison has his own website http://www.help4urback.com where he describes his own personal experiences coping with lower back pain and sciatica. He also includes personal recommendations for people who suffer from sciatica or lower back pain including what books to buy, TENs machines, and what web sites to check out.

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Webmaster | 4. October 2008 @ 13:00

So you have tried dieting to reduce weight. You have also popped all kinds of weight reducing pills you can get your hands on. To your delight your effort seemed to work as you begin to lose body fat steadily. Then one day, before you reach your desired weight, you begin to notice that your weight seemed to stay the same even though you are still on the diet and popping those weight reducing slimming pills. To your horror, you discover that the weight you had lost is beginning to pile up once again. Instead of reducing weight, you are now gaining weight. Sounds familiar?

What happened? Simply put, slimming pills and fad diets are only short term strategy to reduce weight and keeping body fat at bay. To reduce weight and lose fat forever, your caloric expenditure must surpass your caloric consumption. Aren’t you doing that in your diet? Yes you are. But when you are on a diet, you go hungry and your body will signal to your brain to conserve fat for energy because your body is built with a mechanism to conserve fat during famine and it will not know whether it is famine season or that you are on a diet. In this instance, your body will consume your muscle for energy instead of your body fat and this spells trouble because your muscle is a great calorie gobbler. So with less muscle, your fat burning capability grinds to a screeching halt.

What about those weight reducing pills you are taking? If you are popping appetite control pills, your body will react like you are on a diet, so the same thing happened. What about pills that help to increase metabolism or reducing starch intake? Sure, they will help to burn a few calories or restrict some calories from turning into body fat, but are enough calories burnt or restricted to reduce weight permanently or are you going to take those unhealthy weight reduction pills forever? Obviously not, isn’t it?

So to reduce weight and lose fat forever, we need to do 3 things.

• Cardio exercises – Do cardio exercises at 65-85% of your maximum heart rate to burn tons of calories

• Lift weight – Train with weights to grow muscle or at least prevent muscle loss. The more muscle you have, the higher will be your natural fat burning capability. You will burn fat even when sleeping. In other words, you lose fat permanently.

• Eat small frequent meals – This will signal to your brain that food is in abundance and that your body need not conserve fat in case of famine. So eat 5- 6 meals at 3 hourly intervals. However, do make sure that your meals are small and that your caloric intake do not surpass your caloric expenditure.

When you incorporate these 3 elements into your lifestyle, you will not only reduce weight and lose body fat, you will also keep the weight from creeping back. That means, you will reduce weight and able to maintain your ideal weight forever.

About The Author: Chris Chew is a fitness personal trainer of actors, fashion models and male pageant winners.

Check out his free articles at :- http://www.sgfitness.com/site/1388195/page/634691

http://www.sgfitnessonline.com/fitnesstips.htm

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Webmaster | 3. October 2008 @ 13:00

Because of the fast paced nature of our society, overcoming or reducing stress has made it to the list of top ten New Year’s Resolutions. Approximately 19 million Americans suffer from stress related illnesses. The hormone, cortisol, is released during stressful events. When stimulated constantly, over time, it can lead to mental disturbances and a risk of infection and disease. Learning to manage stress leads to healthier and happier living. Here are seven solutions for regulating stress.

· Adequate Sleep. Sleep is the number one defense against stress. It allows the mind and body to rejuvenate. When we awaken refreshed, we are more able to handle stressful situations. For the average person, adequate sleep is eight to ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

· Meditation. Meditation is the opposite of the fight or flight mechanism. It is a deep state of restful awareness that counters stress. Practicing twenty minutes a day helps us to remain calm is stressful situations. Deep breathing, relaxation techniques or visualization are all helpful in lowering cortisol levels.

· Exercise. Resistance Training or lifting weights has proven to be very effective in controlling stress. A high intensity workout, of no more than sixty minutes, is a successful strategy in stress management. A moderate aerobic workout, such as walking or bicycling for thirty to forty minutes, three times a week, is also effective. A balance of both types of exercise is optimal.

· A Balanced Diet. A healthy diet containing B vitamins and magnesium helps to relieve chronic tension. B vitamins are essential for stress management. Magnesium helps to ease muscle tension, stress and anxiety. When exercising to reduce stress, a balance of carbohydrates and protein is necessary.

· Laughter. Laughter boosts the body’s immune system and reduces the amount of hormones, such as cortisol, that your body produces during stressful times. One way of using laughter is to picture the ridiculous. The next time you feel that you are losing your mind, picture your brain flying out of your head and landing someplace silly, like in the soup. Go to a good comedy show or rent a tape. As well as reducing stress, laughter has healing properties.

· Attitude. Chronic stress is a factor of how we perceive the events surrounding us. We can remain optimistic when confronted with challenges or a new situation. How we perceive situations is a choice. When looking at a situation, break it down into manageable components. Instead of making sweeping negative statements, look at the situation realistically and create steps for resolving it.

· Be social. Studies have shown that people who are more active socially are better able to handle stressful situations. If you don’t have one, set up a network of friends and family who are listeners. When you feel stressed, call someone in your network to talk or set up a date to do something fun. Allow your friends to be supportive.

Try one or more of these solutions if your New Year’s Resolution is to reduce stress in your life. Any one these will aid you in reducing stress levels. Choose one that is slightly above your comfort zone but workable for your lifestyle. Learning to manage stress will lead to a happier, healthier you.

About The Author: Constance Weygandt is an author, speaker and balance mentor. For more information on health and fitness or to receive her newsletter, visit her at http://www.balancedwellnessonline.com.

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Webmaster | 2. October 2008 @ 13:00

How to get that flat stomach look and get rid of big tummy, pot belly and beer belly fast?

By exercising your Transversus Abdominus Muscle. This is the muscle in your abdomen that holds your stomach in giving you the flat belly look. This muscle acts like a corset around your tummy by holding your tummy in and if the muscle is weak, your belly will be distended more easily making your tummy looking much bigger than it should just like having a beer belly. This is one of the reasons why people have pot belly or beer belly besides simply blaming it on tummy fat. This is the muscle that can help you get that flat stomach look. If you want to get that flat stomach look, you must strengthen this muscle.

Just to have a feel of how this muscle work, try blowing out all the air in your lungs and pull your tummy in. There, you have just used your transversus abdominus muscle to execute that movement.

Start the exercise by exhaling all the air from your lungs hard. At the same time, pull in your tummy as tight as you can and at the same time visualizing your belly button is about to touch your spine. Do breathe lightly in that position and hold the posture for about 45 seconds. Then repeat the exercise for a few more sets. You will then be teaching your abs muscle to continuously hold your tummy in giving you flat stomach look.

The beauty of this exercise is that you carry it out everywhere and anywhere without ever going to the gym. It is so discreet that people will not even notice you exercising even when you are waiting for the office lift or at your desk at work.

A more effective version of this exercise would require you to be on all fours in a crawling position. Then execute the exercise as described above except that this time, you are on your hands and feet. Do both exercises every other day and when combined with a fat loss routine of a proper diet, weight training and cardio exercises, you will get that flat stomach look in no time along with that glorious six pack abs.

About The Author: Chris Chew is a fitness personal trainer of actors, male pageant winners and fashion models. Check him out at http://www.sgfitness.com and http://www.sgfitnessonline.com.

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Webmaster | 1. October 2008 @ 13:00

Have you heard about coconut oil yet? People are adding coconut oil to their diets and are getting incredible results. They are losing weight, getting more energy, and getting healthier. Coconut oil is safe to use, and does not turn to fat in your body. It raises the metabolism, so you burn more fat and have more energy. It does not increase your cholesterol, but actually helps lower it. Coconut oil is wonderful diet addition for just about everyone.

Coconut oil is full of healthy benefits. Next to mother’s milk, it is nature’s highest source of medium chain fatty acids (MTC’s), which raise the body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss. It has fatty acids such as lauric acid and monoglycerides, similar to mother’s breast milk.

When lauric acid is consumed in the body, whether through mother’s milk or coconut oil, it enhances the immune system to help the body fight infections, diseases, bad bacteria and yeast invasions. Lauric aid is known to be anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

Coconut oil raises the metabolism, which helps people who are trying to lose weight and people suffering from thyroid problems. Coconut stabilizes the blood sugar levels, helping with diabetes. It also protects the heart cells from damage.

Coconut oil helps relieve the symptoms of menopause, and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women who suffer the effects of PMS have found the symptoms lessened when coconut oil was consumed often in their diet.

Coconut oil does not raise cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who use coconut oil have lower cholesterol than those who do not, even when the people consuming coconut also eat other high cholesterol foods like eggs and meat.

Unlike refined vegetable oils, coconut oil does not become rancid easily. When oil becomes rancid it becomes toxic as it oxidizes and causes free-radical damage in the body. The unsaturated oils in cooked foods can become rancid within hours of cooking it, even in the refrigerator. Coconut oil is so stable that it can be left a room temperature for at least a year, and it will not become rancid. Some coconut oil producers say coconut oil will last at least 3 years at room temperature before becoming rancid. Since it is such a stable cooking oil, you can use coconut oil in place of other oils, margarine, butter and shortening, for all your cooking needs.

Coconut oil smells good, tastes pleasant and is so good for our bodies that some people consume it straight, by the tablespoon, and use it in place of other oils on their salads. Many people also use it as an ingredient when juicing or making smoothies.

If all this good news isn’t enough, coconut oil one of the best things you can apply directly on your skin and hair. It not only gives temporary relief to skin problems like rashes, but it aids in healing and restoring skin to a younger appearance. It has also been known to help with people who suffer from yeast infections in the skin, and there is solid research that shows the MCTs in coconut oil do overcome yeast infections. Coconut oil also makes an excellent massage oil.

About The Author: By Dianne Ronnow. © 2005 Mohave Publishing. All rights reserved. http://Coconut-Oil-Diet.com.

Dianne Ronnow’s best selling book, "Coconut Oil Diet Secrets” reveals how thousands of people are losing weight and getting healthier with coconut oil diets.

This was originally published and sold as a popular PDF download ebook, but we decided that the information in it was too important to sell to a select (or lucky) few who found it and bought it. So, for a limited time, we are offering this ebook FREE at http://Coconut-Oil-Diet.com. Check out the site now and start losing weight today!

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