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Health Improvement Topics

3 Tips to Living a Healthy Lifestyle

We all know that being overweight can lead to a short lifespan or overall lower quality of life. That said, you’ve probably thought a time or two how you can shed those extra couple pounds. Whether you have been dieting for a while or just getting started, we all can use some tips and reminders to keep us on a healthy track. Some people are going to tell you to cut certain foods out of your diet, but we believe in the overall healthy living lifestyle approach. Keep in mind our four simple tips that can be easily applied to almost anyone’s daily routine.

Create a Diet Plan

This first step is crucial in determining the outcome of your healthy lifestyle changes. Even though you are dieting that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be eating regularly and enjoying delicious and nutritious food. Look into recipes that have healthy and high quality foods that you actually enjoy eating. If you don’t enjoy the food, you aren’t going to stick to your diet very long. You are going to want to look for a majority of your ingredients to be found in nature. Make sure your foods don’t have preservatives. That means you may need to clean out some refrigerator space. Natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, and organic meat are low in salt which means they will expire sooner than foods. It is important that you have a fully functioning refrigerator. Also, now is the time to invest in appliance repair services if you need them. When embarking on your new diet you are going to be cooking your meals at home. That means you can say goodbye to the fast food.

Write It Down

Keeping a food diary or writing out your meal plans for the day, week, or even a month at a time will help you to choose healthy meal options. It is also important to write your meals and snacks down because you may lose track of how much food you consume throughout the day. This is also a way to keep you on pace and spread your calorie intake throughout the entire day avoiding late night hunger. The average individual who isn’t dieting should take in 2,000 calories daily. However, a majority of the population wouldn’t be overweight if that was the standard. According to Live Strong, it is reported that the average American underestimates their calorie intake by about 25% likely consuming between 2200-3300 calories a day. Having a note in your phone or even using a smartphone app can be a mobile and convenient way to keep you in a healthy range.

Remember Portioning

For most people, completely eliminating foods for their diet is impossible. If this goal is set, it can often lead to unhealthy behaviors such as guilt and over-eating. We know you are highly motivated to live a healthier lifestyle, but it is important to establish realistic goals and set yourself up for success. Be sure to carefully measure out your portions properly when cooking. In addition, with items such as potato chips never eat them directly out of the big bag. Measure out a serving size on a plate; this will help you to avoid potentially over-eating. Lastly, telling yourself you are going to completely eliminate a food will most likely cause you to only want to eat that food, and in large amounts. So, have that soda once every week or two. Rewarding yourself sporadically will help to reaffirm your hard work and keep you fighting the good fight.

Safe Drinking Water

There are many different benefits of drinking water that include – maintaining the balance of bodily fluids, control calorie intake, energizing muscles, improving the health of your skin, improve your kidneys, and help maintain normal bowel functions. If you are drinking water that has really high mineral counts, bacteria or other contaminates then you could be damaging your body – rather than improving it. Many organizations are constantly monitoring the quality of drinking water to make sure that you don’t consume anything that would be harmful.

Home Tap WaterOne of the major players in monitoring your drinking water is your city and state government. While there are federal laws saying what is acceptable conditions for the water to be consumed, state and local governments are the ones in charge of following those laws. There are many cities that provide their residents a report every year about the safety of their drinking water. The City of Fresno provides their citizens with “Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR)”. These reports provide information about drinking water standards, policy if a source fails standards, how water quality affects people, and the assessment of last year’s water contaminants.

Source of Water ContaminatesTo prevent yourself and others in your city from drinking harmful water you will want to make sure that your elected officials are maintaining federal guidelines for safe drinking water. The only issue with these reports is that the sample isn’t coming from the end of your drinking faucets. What do you think that water has come in contact with on its travels to your cup? A great way to make sure that your home’s piping is finding an expert plumber that has the ability to see all of the internal areas of your pipes. There is a Mr. Rooter that serves the city of Fresno who provides in depth diagnostics of your piping system. They can evaluate the integrity of your system and be able to tell if there are any contaminates in your pipes. Not only can they tell if there are bacteria and other hazardous materials in your pipes, but they can also clean them out with their HydroScrub® cleaning tools.

While your household plumbing system should be checked at least twice a year – you can use devices like water filters to purify your water. These are generally very inexpensive and are great methods for making sure that you are drinking safe water. Until you know that you don’t have any contaminants in your plumbing system I would recommend using water filters. By using all of these tools you will be able to continue improving your health by drinking clean and healthy water from your faucet.

Taking Care of Stress Fractures

Persistent athletes frequently experience pain and injuries. Sometimes it is easier to ignore a problem and continue regular activity than to take a break or alter the exercise. If you are experiencing pain around your shin, ankle, or lower back during a workout, you may have a stress fracture and need to take some time off to heal.

runner

A stress fracture is caused by overworking a muscle. This means that the muscle is worked until it can’t continue to handle the stress and perform properly, so it transfers some of the pressure to your bone. Your bone can crack and fracture under the increased pressure, leaving you with a painful injury.

The pain from a stress fracture will not go unnoticed. During activity, you will feel an ache or shooting pain in the affected area until you ease off or take a break. You are more prone to these injuries if you increased activity too quickly, switched the surface you are running on, or if you changed/are in need of shoes or other equipment.

The best treatment for a stress fracture is rest and ice. The ice can take down any swelling, and resting for several weeks will take the pressure off of your bones. Try swimming, biking, or another form of exercise to take up while your injury heals. When it’s time to return to your original activity, start easy. Then, slowly work your way up to your original workout. You can also take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce the pain.

If you are experiencing any type of pain that doesn’t go away with 6 weeks of rest, see an orthopedist such as Dr. Miller at OrthoVirgina. A doctor will take x-rays and further examine you to determine the core problem.

Dealing with Allergies

Have you been experiencing cold or flu like symptoms with no explanation from a doctor? You may be suffering from allergies. Even if you have never had allergies in the past, they can develop over time and you could react differently in regions where the plants and pollen count vary- like in Sanford NC. If you aren’t spending time outside, there are plenty of allergies caused by the indoors.sneezing girl

There are several solutions to treat and prevent allergies. When your usual sneezy season starts approaching, regularly change your pillow cases, stop opening the windows, and shower twice a day to wash off any excess pollen that is stuck to your hair or skin. You may also consider a nasal rinse to wash out the cavities in your nose that trap irritants regularly.

Many residents of Sanford North Carolina medicate their symptoms. Medicines with antihistamines stop the symptoms of allergies such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and itchy or sore throat. You could see your doctor for a prescription, but over the counter drugs can usually do the trick.

Make sure that your air conditioner is clean. If the unit is functioning properly, it will filter out any pollen, dust, and microorganisms that will trigger your worst allergy symptoms. Make sure you change your filter regularly to keep it from malfunctioning. If you have any questions or issues with your air conditioning unit, contact a professional for air conditioning repair in Sanford.

Allergies can be difficult to predict each year, so it’s usually safest to start taking precautions in March. Get plenty of sleep and take your vitamins to make sure that your allergies don’t turn into bacterial or viral infections. There are plenty of medications to treat your symptoms, but they can take a couple of days to build up in your system and fully kick in.

Shop for Your Health

One of the benefits of living in Richmond VA is that there is plenty of shopping. Instead of worrying about splurging on your monthly trip, take time to spread out your shopping budget over a couple of weeks and go frequently. Studies have shown that there are actually health benefits to going shopping.

jewelry shopping

One of the obvious health benefits of shopping is the walking involved. Spending an entire day at the mall may hurt your wallet, but walking from one side to the next at a fast pace can be a great way to stay active. Some people even wake up before the stores open to go walking in indoor malls because it is a large weather protected area with plenty to look at to keep you busy. Window shop during your walk, then go back and revisit the stores when they are open to make your purchases.

Shopping is also great because it makes you feel better about yourself. Did you have a long day at work, or did you win an award you would like to celebrate? Instead of getting some cake and champagne, run to a store and buy yourself a reward. This is something you will be able to look back on forever to remember that moment. For instance, visit a jeweler in Richmond VA to buy a charm bracelet or costume ring as a present to yourself.

Shopping with friends is also a great way to bond and form a support group. Shopping and talking to others is therapeutic for some people and an important way to stay social in their lives. If you are going to go to the mall, you may as well go with a friend!

Finally, shopping for discounts can also be good to exercise your mind. Whether you are thinking back to which items in your closet will match a skirt or you are trying to figure out which top is a better deal, you are using your brain to find solutions. This is much more mind stimulating than spending your afternoon in front of the tv.

In the end, there are plenty of good excuses to get out and go shopping in Richmond. The stress relief, social aspect, and exercise are all great reasons to spend some time with your friends at the mall.

Prevent Sperm Damage

Not a lot of men are concerned about preventing any damage to their sperm; because it isn’t something that most men think about. There are many different factors that will lower the health of your sperm and lead to infertility issues in the future. When it comes to infertility everyone thinks about the female, but it can also be a fault on the male’s side as well. Male Infertility has become a growing concern and now that we have made medical advancements we now know what causes low sperm counts in men. Besides any type of genetic disorder or disease there are many other factors that can affect the sperm count of males. These factors include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Smoking
  • Drugs
  • Obesity
  • Stress

When you look at this list you are probably thinking that these also lead to poor overall health. By making sure that you don’t partake in these items you will not only be improving the health of your sperm but your general health as well.

Malnutrition and obesity go hand in hand when it comes to preventing these issues. Making sure that you eat nutritious food and not consuming junk every day will lower your obesity chances and prevent damage to your sperm. There are thousands of resources that deal with how to create the right diet and any of these would be fantastic for reference.

Smoking and drugs can be lumped together as well because a majority of individuals do none or both of these. By not smoking and partaking in illegal or abusing prescription drugs you will be increasing your sperm’s health and your general health. You will have greater cardiovascular ability along with less addictive behaviors.

Stress is one of those factors that can be very difficult to manage. I have found fantastic resources on how to manage your stress that may be very helpful for you. Managing your stress can be hard for some because the stress levels can change depending on the environment that you are in and most people can’t always control their environment. By lowering your stress level you will also be saving your sperm and increasing your general health.

Remember these different factors and make sure that you stay away from them if you have not been affected by them yet. If you have started any of these then understand that not only is your general health in danger but so is your sperm count.

Prevent Respiratory Damage

By taking the time to take preventative safety precautions can greatly improve your health. Sometimes there are many different preventative measures you can take like stretching before you work out, consuming a healthful diet, and wearing a helmet while cycling. But not a lot of individuals think about the damaging effects of smoke inhalation from fires. The long term effects of smoke inhalation are very serious and most common effects are hoarseness of voice, uncontrollable coughs, and breathlessness. If you are trying to improve your health then you will want to make sure that you are never exposed to fire smoke for long periods of time. If you already have asthma then you also may experience worse symptoms over a long period of time.

Home fires are always unexpected for homeowners and if you don’t have a warning system then you may find your lungs damaged from the smoke inhalation. The best warning system that homes have are smoke detectors and you should have one in every room. The devices should always be placed at the highest point in the room. This is because smoke always rises up and if your detector is lower than the accumulation of smoke it may not go off. Each detector should be checked at least once a month to insure that the device is operational. You can find a great informational video on how to install a standard smoke detector.

If you want the most reliable detectors that don’t rely on the use of a battery then you should purchase a hard wired smoke detector. While these are more difficult to install you will not have to worry about testing and battery replacement as often. If you are looking for an electrician to install these hardwired smoke detectors then I would suggest locating a Mr. Electric franchise location. Their electricians are experts in smoke detector installation and are very affordable.

By preventing the respiratory damage to your body you are making big steps in improving your overall health. The damage that could be done to your cardiovascular system could drastically change your life and leave you in very bad health state. Take the time to make sure your smoke detectors are operating correctly and are reliable.

Is alternative medicine a hoax?

There are countless remedies out there that most people would easily place into the category of pseudoscience. If you happen to have paid top dollar to have your house’s Feng Shui maximized, and you really did start sleeping better, running faster, and jumping higher, than by all means correct me. There are other questionable health products that are much less easily identifiable, though. The shelves of every GNC and Vitamin Shoppe are lined with cans and barrels of isolated amino acids, synephrine, casein protein and more. There are very few regulations on what is allowed to be put on shelves and sold as safe for public consumption. There are virtually zero regulations on backing up supposed results with clinical studies.Meditation

Here’s where the gray area of all this comes into play. You have to ask yourself what is “real” in terms of results and health benefits. I’m not just talking about the possible real benefits of the placebo effect, although that is part of equation. If you bought a lifting supplement or hired a palm reader that made you lift harder to see results or start a business to realize your predicted future, were those outcomes not a direct result of those products and services?

Let’s look at one more example in the realm of massage therapy. I personally go to a spa on occasion at Massage Envy of Short Pump, and I think many people would agree that there are very real healing aspects of massage both mentally and physically for recovering athletes both injured and in regular performance. Some alternative practitioners attribute a portion of the health benefits of massage to realign spiritual chackra’s that have become misaligned. You can draw your own conclusions on the reality of chakra’s, but one school of thought is that these auras a misnomer for the very real and very physical effects your mind has on your body. There are countless stories of laughter being linked to cure disease. Mental illnesses are now clearly understand as very calculable as chemical imbalances. For these same reasons, even if you don’t need massage or another type of alternative therapy, the calming effects on the mind can in turn have very real physical benefits.

Common Sports and Exercise Injuries

Working out regularly is great for your health. However, pushing yourself as an athlete can be strenuous. Whether you are playing a sport in college or training for a triathlon, make sure that you stop and take a break at the first sign of abnormal pain. Aches in joints, your back, or a strained ankle are all common sports injuries that need immediate rest and attention.

One common sports injury is tennis elbow. This is when the tendons in your elbow are strained from tennis or any other physical activities. If the pain becomes unbearable, frequent, or persistent, make sure you visit a professional to check it out. Find a surgeon, such as Dr. Desai in Richmond VA, who has experience with these specific injuries and the least invasive technology to correct an issue.Sharapova_tennis_return_0874

Hernias are another common sports injury. Typically in men, this is a weakening in your muscles or surrounding tissues. These are caused by lifting too much weight or putting extra strain on your body. The danger of a hernia is that your intestines make poke through the weakening and cause an obstruction. This requires immediate medical attention and sometimes surgery. Any abdominal pain, groin pain, or unusual bulges in your skin could signify a hernia.

If you encounter tennis elbow, a hernia, a sprained ankle, a stress fracture, or any other type of injury the most important step is to immediately stop pushing yourself and take a rest. Working hard on top of an injury can only complicate the problem, and you should not continue without the consent of a doctor.

Soy-whey-protein-dietIf you are recovering from an injury, eat a healthy diet to help you heal as quickly as possible. Make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables to get all the necessary vitamins to keep your immune system strong while you heal. Also, get calcium through milk or milk products and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. This will help strengthen your bones. Water is always essential to keep you nourished any time. You should at least 7 glasses of water each day, and there is no harm in shooting for more. Protein will help you build muscle, and it is especially important to eat some after physical therapy or other forms of exercise.

Two Trainers Opinions on Crossfit : Pro vs Con

Pro:
Some CrossFit gyms are better than others, and I think CrossFit HQ’s intent was for the market to do the handywork in making sure good ones thrive and bad ones eventually go. Our programming may look “random” but it is very specific and thought out, usually in X week cycles in order to improve on specific things. I’ve never been yelled at to go faster or push harder, just to “keep up the good work, you can do it”. I’ve never puked, and I’ve never been injured. And yeah coaches get their certification over a weekend, but that’s no different than personal trainers taking a test in one day — someone doesn’t just decide they’re going to get CrossFit certified and go the next day, there’s a ton of education and training that goes into it. And I could go on… People can exercise however they want, but its hard to watch someone discount a method in front of a “live audience” by citing a ton of misconceptions and inaccuracies like so many anti-crossfit articles do today.

Kipping pullups aren’t programmed in WODs to build “less muscle.” They are programmed in order to get a metabolic reaction while doing high rep pullups in a workout.Crossfit Girl with Barbell In fact, when crossfitters want to build their lats they do pulling movements like rows, weighted pullups etc. And any Crossfit gym that know what they are doing will program strict pullups on the regular in addition to kipping/butterfly pullups. Crossfit teaches that a correct “kipping pullup” is performed with a rigid body, keeping everything tight. The people you see flailing aren’t performing the movement to the proper standard.

Only thing with sprints is it only works one metabolic pathway and the body has 3. That is why the “constantly varied” aspect of crossfit is so effective because you can target all 3.

 

Con:
It’s pretty simple. You have just a few eyes on clients in a group training scenario that incorporates high risk, high volume, Olympic weight lifting technique. Crossfit gyms are bound to have sports medicine and physical therapy specialists on speed dial just by the nature of their program. Barbells & kettles are tricky weapons of choice and drill the lumbar/SIJ if used improperly. Basic math. So many things will slip through the cracks when you encounter programs with minimal biomechanical specificity. Everybody has different, weird distortions in their posture that produce asymmetry. People just need to be extra thorough before doing Crossfit. Corrective exercise screenings with a PT and incorporating that knowledge for at least 3-4 weeks would be wise. Cycling Crossfit into your routine for a few months at a time can be beneficial, but doing it year round is lunacy.