Sunday, February 28, 2016

Article # 602. Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes prevention: 5 tips for taking control
When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It's especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you're at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you're overweight or have a family history of the disease.
Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it's never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association.

Tip 1: Get more physical activity

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
·         Lose weight
·         Lower your blood sugar
·         Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.

Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber

It's rough, it's tough — and it may help you:
·         Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
·         Lower your risk of heart disease
·         Promote weight loss by helping you feel full
Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Tip 3: Go for whole grains

Although it's not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word "whole" on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Tip 4: Lose extra weight

If you're overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Tip 5: Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices

Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn't known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.

When to see your doctor

If you're older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:
·         You're age 45 or older and overweight
·         You're younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Article # 601. Health Benefits of Cycling

There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling. Let's look at a few of the major benefits:

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise

You can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and without spending a fortune. Many people are put off doing certain sports because of the high level of skill that seems to be required, or perhaps because they can’t commit to a team sport due to time pressures. Most of us know how to cycle and once you have learned you don’t forget. All you need is a bike, a half an hour here or there when it suits, and a bit of confidence.

Cycling builds strength and muscle tone

Contrary to normal perceptions, cycling is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since every single part of the body is involved in cycling.

Cycling increases muscle tone

Cycling improves general muscle function gradually, with little risk of over exercise or strain. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will gradually begin to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end and hips.

Cycling builds stamina

Cycling is a good way to build stamina. It is very effective in doing so, because people enjoy cycling and they wouldn’t really notice that they have gone farther the last time they went cycling.

Cycling improves cardio-vascular fitness

Cycling makes the heart pound in a steady manner and helps improve cardio-vascular fitness.  Studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.

Cycling eats up calories

Cycling is a good way to lose those unwanted pounds. Steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride.

Cycling improves heart health

According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues.  

Cycling improves coordination

Cycling is an activity that involves the whole body. Therefore, arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination are improved.

Cycling reduces stress

Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well-being and self-esteem.  Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.
When incorporating cycling into an over-all fitness program, there are many aspects to consider. Here are some important things to remember:

Consult your doctor

Most people can do cycling. However, it is still best to consult your doctor when thinking about incorporating a cycling activity into an overall fitness program. They shall advise you regarding your limits and capacities and what you should avoid doing.

Cycling is a base training activity

Let’s say that the doctor says that there is nothing wrong with you engaging into cycling as a part of your overall fitness program, what do you do next? Remember that cycling should be considered as a base training activity.  Base training activities are those, which provide endurance and aerobic training at the same time. Re-align your fitness program such that biking becomes the starting activity for the week. Other activities such as circuit training should be done so as to complement the benefits of cycling.

Start slowly and then increase your cycling

For beginners, they should employ a program wherein cycling is done three times a week. Doing it two times a week is also fine, but this depends on the capabilities of the person undergoing the training.

Increase speeds gradually

Gradual increase in speeds is an important aspect of fitness cycling.  Cycling can also be strenuous to the body and the key towards successful fitness cycling is to be patient and not hurry in increasing your limits.

Better safe than sorry

Cycling is great fun but it is important to get the right equipment for the activity. Head gear, knee-pads, elbow pads should all be in place when cycling.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Article # 600. STRESS


Millions of people are dealing with stress, anxiety and depression today due to a job loss, fear and worry about the economy, relationship issues, financial problems or unruly children that won’t listen or behave. To get rid of stress related to these debilitating issues, many people tend to rely on prescription medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills. While these prescriptions medications work for a time, they come with several unpleasant or even dangerous side effects, and the benefits wear off over time so eventually you may have to switch to other types of medications.

The one thing most people don’t know and are not told by their doctors is that for most issues that result in bouts of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as, fear, worry, sadness and anger is that you already have the tools inside of you to completely get rid of stress once and for all, and without the use of medications and their unpleasant and even dangerous side effects

What Causes Stress

Stress is natural response mechanism to difficult situation, and in some situations stress is actually helpful. I am sure you are now asking how can stress be helpful. Stress over getting a good grade in a class can motivate you to study harder and focus in class. When interviewing for a new job, stress will motivate you to learn about the company and managers you are interviewing for, write and ask good questions, have a perfect tailored resume, dress sharp and arrive on time. In these situations, stress is temporary and will usually subside after the event, and the associated energy continues to flow through you. When a person feels stress, this increases the production of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

In normal situations, as the stressors are eliminated the production of stress hormones is reduced to normal levels. Stress becomes a problem when the energy associated with the stressors becomes stuck and no longer flows through you. The stuck energy presses against organs and tissue, and results in more serious health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, anger, depression and even disease when stress becomes chronic.

A common cause of stress and anxiety today is workplace productivity demands on employees and feeling devalued by managers and demanding bosses. Employees feel stress to perform well at work or risk being fired, which can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Rather than taking dangerous prescription medications to reduce stress, you can actually eliminate stress and the causes of stress naturally. Subscribe to my blog to get the tips on how to eliminate stress completely.