Exercise. It can improve your health on all levels. We’re not just talking about being fitter and stronger. We’re talking about overall health and longevity.
Regular exercise improves your heart health, brain health, muscle and bone health, diabetes, and arthritis. Beyond those, it also reduces stress, boosts moods, increases your energy, and can improve your sleep.
The benefits of exercise come from improving blood flow, and reducing inflammation and blood sugar levels. They come from moving your muscles (including your heart muscle) and pulling on your bones.
You don’t need to go overboard on exercise to get these amazing health results. As little as 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days/week is enough.
And you don’t have to do a particular kind of exercise. All four types of exercise have health benefits. They are:
- Endurance (brisk walking, jogging, yard work, dancing, aerobics, cycling, swimming)
- Strength (climbing stairs, carrying groceries, lifting weights, using a resistance band or your body weight, Pilates)
- Balance (standing on one-foot, Tai Chi)
- Flexibility (stretching, yoga)
Don’t forget, all exercise counts, even if it’s not doing a sport or in a gym. Weekend hikes, walking to the store and doing household chores also count towards your weekly exercise goal.
Let me take a minute to prove to you how healthy exercise really is. Here are a few key points. (more…)
Guess how many people have high blood pressure?
It’s said to be the “#1 risk factor for death and disability in the world.”
If you have high blood pressure, it’s best that you are monitored by your healthcare professional. And if you’re on medication for high blood pressure never change that without speaking with a medical professional.
Today, we’ll talk about what exactly blood pressure is, and which foods and lifestyle factors can help with it.
What is high blood pressure?
It’s something your doctor commonly checks. You can even do it yourself in many pharmacies, or purchase at-home blood pressure monitors. There is an inflatable tube placed around your arm that gets blown up and tight. It measures how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your blood vessels.
If your vessels are stiff, the pressure increases. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because for many people there are no symptoms as it slowly creeps higher and higher.
This measurement is important because elevated high blood pressure for too long can cause serious damage. In extreme cases, it can result in blindness, kidney damage, stroke, or even a heart attack.
Here are a few of the foods and drinks that can help with blood pressure. (more…)
Well…yes, they do really work. The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use mindfulness and meditation.
Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re on the same page when we say “mindfulness” and “meditation.”
“Meditation” is the ancient practice of connecting the body and mind to become more self-aware and present. It’s often used to calm the mind, ease stress, and relax the body.
Practicing “mindfulness” is one of the most popular ways to meditate. It’s defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Mindfulness meditation is well studied in terms of its health benefits. I’m going to talk about a few of them below, and refer to it as “mindfulness” for the rest of the post.
The link between mindfulness and health = stress reduction
Have you heard the staggering statistics on how many doctors’ visits are due to stress? Seventy-five to ninety percent!
So, if you ask me, it makes a ton of sense that anything that can reduce stress can reduce health issues too.
Mindfulness reduces inflammation, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and improves sleep. All of these can have massive effects on your physical and mental health.
I’ll briefly go over the research in three main areas: mood, weight, and gut health. But know that the research on the health benefits of mindfulness is branching into many other exciting new areas too. (more…)
Its causes are absolutely everywhere and there isn’t one of us that can escape it. Would you agree?
Our natural “fight or flight” stress response can sometimes go a little overboard. It’s supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve fought or flew. But, that doesn’t happen too much in our society – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic.
You’ve probably heard of the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.” It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep at night.
Did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and even lowers your immunity?
Do you experience any of these? Well, then read on because I have a list of foods, nutrients and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally! (more…)
You totally want to ditch your scale, don’t you?
You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”. I mean, it doesn’t define you (obviously).
What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.
Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).
Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):
Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.
THAT is what I’m talking about here. (more…)