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5 Factors That Can Positively Impact Your Health
There are many things that impact your health, some positive and some negative. It's up to you to do all that you can to avoid the unhealthy ones. Of course, it won't always easy. Obstacles sometimes get in the way. But, by learning more about the following five factors, which positively impact your health, you'll be well on your way to better health. The factors covered in this report are quality nutrition, hydration, detoxification, oxygenation and alkalization. Hopefully, you're already familiar with a few.
Everyone needs to be concerned about quality nutrition, regardless of where they feel they stand health-wise. There are SO many benefits to proper nutrition that it’s somewhat difficult to know where to begin. Here are some of them for your consideration.
Recent data indicates that eating foods that are unhealthy for you actually puts you at a higher risk of productivity loss. Some studies put that number as high as 66 percent. All the more reason to think of healthy food as fuel for your brain, don’t you think?
Foods that contain a high water content help to moisturize your skin. They also contain antioxidants, which help to reduce the likelihood of cell damage and keeps your skin younger looking for a longer period of time. Go one step further and include foods like salmon, on the menu. Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are also beneficial to your skin.
By sticking to a healthy diet, you generally have fewer medical bills. In addition, you’ll probably eat less, which means you’ll save money on groceries. This is especially true if you’re one to eat a lot of sugary treats and/or fast food meals.
It probably won’t happen immediately, but eating healthier is a great way to reduce cravings. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates do an excellent job of stabilizing your blood sugar. This helps to alleviate a rapid drop in blood sugar, which causes a craving.
The calcium in milk and other dairy products helps to strengthen your teeth. Yogurt is known to contain microorganisms that are helpful in fighting the bacteria that causes bad breath. Research indicates that Omega-3, found in fish, may even reduce the chances of gum disease.
Although nothing is guaranteed 100 percent, quality nutrition goes a long way in helping you to live longer. Several studies indicate the possibility of low-meat, vegetarian or diets high in nut consumption very well adding years to your life.
The next time you feel a bit gloomy, why not take a minute out of your day to eat a banana or a couple of pieces of dark chocolate? The average-sized banana contains 10 mg of dopamine. Dark chocolate is packed to the brim with polyphenol. Both of these substances are known to give your mood a boost when you need it the most.
An added benefit to all of these things is the fact that learning to eat healthier automatically makes you more knowledgeable about nutrition. So, not only are you helping yourself, you’re helping your family as well. What could be better than that?
Staying hydrated is extremely important for overall health. What many people don't realize is that drinking plenty of fluids is also necessary for optimal heart health. This is especially true in warm weather.
Every single cell in your body needs water. So do your tissues and organs. The body requires water to lubricate joints, maintain proper temperature and remove waste products.
Keeping your body hydrated helps your heart pump blood through your blood vessels. It also helps muscles work more efficiently. In other words, when you drink the proper amount of water or other fluids your heart doesn't have to work as hard.
Water Is Best
Water is the best thing to drink, when it comes to staying hydrated... especially when you're exercising. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy the taste of water alone, try eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. These include, but are not limited to:
* iceberg lettuce
* green peppers
* citrus fruits
* and cantaloupe
As you can see, you have plenty of healthy choices. For additional options, doing a quick search engine search will bring up many other suggestions.
Sports drinks are recommended in very hot weather. However, if you're trying to steer clear of added sugar and extra calories, you might want to think twice. Any sugary drink, such as soda or fruit juice, tends to be harder on your stomach. And, anything with caffeine in it actually causes you to lose fluid, which obviously defeats the purpose.
How Much is Too Much?
You've probably heard or read somewhere that you need to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. While many people still believe this to be true, some physicians will tell you that it depends on things like climate, the type of clothes you wear and whether or not you're exercising.
Never let the fact that you feel thirsty be an indication that you’re getting dehydrated. If you're thirsty, you've ALREADY reached that point. If you perspire more than average, you need to drink more fluids. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you need to drink more fluids. If you're elderly or pregnant, you need to drink more fluids.
Believe it or not sometimes when you feel hungry, you actually might be thirsty instead. If you've eaten within the last two hours, try this trick. Drink a glass of water and wait approximately 10 minutes. If after that time, you no longer feel hungry, you'll know you were dealing with dehydration.
One of the best ways to monitor your hydration level is to keep track of the color of your urine. If it's pale or clear it means you're properly hydrated. If it's dark, you need to drink more liquids.
Don't ever take dehydration lightly. Not only can it lead to painful issues such as headaches and swollen feet, it can also lead to life-threatening conditions like heat stroke.
If you’re feeling sluggish and lacking energy, it may be time to consider body detoxification. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of cleansing the blood by removing impurities in the liver, where toxins are naturally processed. This allows the body to process and removes toxins more efficiently, which leads to improved health and a better quality of life.
Should You Detox?
It is recommended that everyone detox at least once every year. A detox program can help alleviate symptoms that are otherwise unexplainable, such as fatigue, skin irritation, allergic reactions or even bags under the eye. Even if you don’t feel like anything is amiss, detoxing helps to cleanse the whole body and leaves you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
Cleansing Your Diet
There are many different detox recipes and programs to choose from, all focused on cleansing the body and eliminating toxins. One very popular and tasty way to include cleansing foods into your diet is detoxifying juices and smoothies.
Replacing one meal a day with a detox smoothie goes a long way toward getting rid of toxins and maintaining your metabolism. Stay away from pre-packaged shakes or other chemically enhanced products - the best ingredients to use are all-natural fruits and vegetables. Popular options include:
* and carrots
Any natural fruits or vegetables will do, especially those rich in fiber or vitamin C. With so many healthy foods and flavors to choose from, you can concoct a smoothie that suits your taste and is an excellent addition to your diet at the same time.
Taking a break from eating gives our digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate. This means it will be more efficient when it’s time for it to work again. In order to give your digestive system a break, replace your meals with juices or smoothies for a day or two of fasting. This will be easiest if you do it on a day off, so that you can rest and avoid situations that might otherwise tempt you to eat. This detoxifying method may not be much fun during the actual fast, but it will be worth it afterwards when you feel energetic and refreshed.
Stay Away From Toxins
Toxins that we take in either through food or our environment get in the way of our body's healing processes. Stay away from refined sugars, saturated fats, coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol. Also, try to use natural alternatives to both cleaning and personal care products, to avoid exposure to minor levels of toxins.
Oxygenation is the process of oxygen molecules making their way into all tissues of the body. Oxygen is not only necessary for breathing, it also plays an important role in every metabolic process, which occurs in the body. Another term for oxidization is “medical oxygen saturation.”
How Oxygen is Used
Our bodies use oxygen for a number of different processes. When we breathe, the oxygen in the air that we inhale is diffused into our bloodstream. This oxygen-rich blood makes its way through our bodies and find places where oxygen is needed. Oxygen molecules in our body combine with certain enzymes to help out with many of our body’s processes. A waste product of these processes is carbon dioxide, which is transported back to the lungs.
Restoring Oxygen Balance
There are several easy things you can do to help restore your oxygen balance. This includes:
* drinking an adequate amount of water
* adhering to an alkaline diet
* exercising daily
* breathing properly
Without the proper amount of water, all body functions are diminished. Filtered water is the best choice, because of its smaller groups of water molecules, which provide better overall hydration on a cellular level.
Adhering to an alkaline diet is explained in more detail below. In a nutshell, it refers to eating more plant-based foods such as kale and spinach and eating less processed and animal-based foods. Along with the diet, it’s helpful to take an iron supplement. Women need at least 18 mg, daily. Men require no less than 8 mg per day.
The type of exercise you choose is completely up to you. Walking, biking and hiking are particularly good choices to help oxygenate your body. In fact, in this case, it’s actually more beneficial to walk for 15 minutes a day, as opposed to working out at the gym for two full hours.
Yes, there is a proper way to breathe. Whenever possible, avoid breathing from the chest. It’s much better to breathe slowly from your diaphragm and through your nose. Twelve breaths per minute are usually adequate.
Oxygen and Detoxification
A major factor in our health is how efficiently our bodies make use of nutrients on the cellular level. Another factor is how effectively waste and toxins are removed. Our body has several ways of getting rid of cellular waste. Much of it is dissolved into water and leaves the body through urine and sweat. But, some of this waste can only be neutralized by oxygen molecules, in a process called oxidation. Because our bodies need oxygen to process waste, avoiding environmental toxins and maintaining proper oxygen balance leaves us feeling great and could even help prevent disease.
Alkalizing your body is another wonderful way to stay healthy. Simply put, alkalization is shifting your body's pH to the proper level. In the event the thought of this makes you nervous, there's no need to worry. It's actually much easier than it sounds. The end goal is to have a body which is more alkaline than acidic.
Optimal pH Level
When your body is highly acidic, it tries to balance itself out by getting nutrients from your cells and bones. That's bad. The optimal pH level, to strive for, is just a little over 7. Once this number is reached, it greatly reduces the possibility of disease and cellular damage.
When your body reaches this level, it's generally easy to maintain, as long as you know how to do so. The process involves replacing the acid you eat and drink with foods that alkalize.
Increased Health Benefits
There are many benefits to an alkaline diet. Statistics indicate that if your diet consists of at least 70 percent of alkaline foods, you'll improve your quality of life substantially. Health benefits include an increase in energy, a more restful sleep, a slower aging process, a clearer mind and increase protection against certain kinds of cancer. That sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
Foods to Avoid
There are several foods and beverages to avoid on an alkaline diet. The top five categories include:
* processed sugar
* dairy products
Cutting down or eliminating these foods not only helps to balance your pH level, it makes you healthier overall.
Foods to Enjoy
There are many types of foods that are great for increasing your alkaline level. You don’t have to partake in a boring diet in order to get healthier. Think about incorporating some of the following items into your meal plan. It’s probably simpler than you think!
* leafy greens
* Chia seeds
* and broccoli
Consequences of an Unbalanced pH Level
When your pH level is out of whack, it has the potential of affecting your health in many ways. Excess acid is stored in fat cells. The reason for this is that the fat neutralizes the acid. There is good news, however. Once you reach a pH level of 7, it’s entirely possible to lose as much as a pound of fat per day.
Your arteries are affected by pH levels, as well. Why? When your body is highly acidic, it automatically produces cholesterol to protect the arteries. High cholesterol can lead to heart attacks. The upside to this is, just like the excess fat cells, the extra cholesterol will disappear once your body is properly alkalized.
Believe it or not, there’s also a possibility that you’ll shrink, if your pH level remains off balance for long periods of time. This occurs when calcium begins to dissipate from your bones due to the acid.
Once your body begins to balance out and become more alkaline, you may experience something that is often referred to as "alkalize and energize." This simply means that you'll start to automatically feel more energized and ready to take on the world. Congratulations!
Taking Things Slow
When it comes to information about these five factors, which positively impact your health, this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, it gives you a great starting point. What you do with the information is, of course, up to you.
If you feel overwhelmed, as many individuals do, tackle one area at a time. You're not going to feel transformed overnight. Obviously, it's going to take some time. But, with patience and due diligence, you'll start feeling much healthier before you know it. At that point, all of your hard work will be more than worth it!
The Benefits of Creating a Personal Fitness Plan
When you’re trying to get into good shape, you have tons of choices. Every day it seems there’s a new fitness program that’s being called the next best thing. Unfortunately, many of these hot new fitness trends may not be right for you or your fitness goals.
Instead of trying something and hoping for the best, why not create your own personal fitness plan. You’re a unique individual with your own skills and interests. You also have unique goals and challenges. The benefits of creating your own personal fitness plan include:
1. It’s based on your current fitness level – You know where you’re at right now and you know your limits. This is important because it gives you a realistic starting point. It gives you the room to improve and grow without having someone else’s expectations set upon you.
2. It’s focused on your goals – You want to get a beach body, great! You want to lose weight, fantastic. You want to improve your endurance and run that marathon next year, super! All of those goals are wonderful goals.
Your fitness goal, whatever it may be, is what you’ll frame your entire fitness program around. It’s what will keep you motivated and excited to exercise and succeed. That just doesn’t happen when you’re working on a goal that someone else has set for you.
3. It fits your personality – The truth is that there are different types of fitness personalities. When you identify yours, and we’ll help you with that, you’ll find that exercise is much more enjoyable. And it should be fun, right? Exercise shouldn’t be just one more chore on your schedule.
4. It supports your schedule – Speaking of schedule, when you create your own fitness plan you’re fitting it into your life, not the other way around. It becomes a realistic part of your life.
5. It caters to your motivation style – What motivates you may be different than what motivates someone else. With your personal fitness plan, you create a plan that fits your motivation style. It’s built into your plan and success is practically guaranteed.
When you follow the steps to create a fitness plan, you’re not taking the easy road. There’s a fine line between pushing yourself too hard and taking it too easy on yourself. This is why planning is important. Identify the types of activities you enjoy and what you want to get out of your fitness program – find what your fitness goals are. Then create a program that supports you to succeed.
Three Steps to Lifelong Fitness
Many people have a short-sighted approach to fitness. They look only as far as their next goal which may be to lose weight, train for an event, or get a better body for a vacation or reunion. However, fitness should be a lifelong goal. When you incorporate it into your life, you’ll live longer, be healthier and happier, and you’ll be able to age more gracefully.
What Does Lifelong Fitness Mean?
Lifelong fitness means making fitness a part of your life. It’s about creating a fitness habit that supports you to get and stay healthy. It requires a balanced approach. Train too hard and you put yourself at risk for injury. Train too little and you’re not doing enough to achieve your goals. Let’s take a look at three of the steps you can begin taking today to make fitness a part of the rest of your life.
1. Small steps – Instead of setting huge goals that may seem overwhelming or impossible, strive to set realistic goals and make lifestyle changes to support them. For example, someone who hasn’t exercised in years may feel burdened by the idea of exercising for an hour a day. That type of goal will be difficult to follow through on.
Yet, you could probably exercise for ten minutes a day. Gradually increase the time you exercise week to week from ten minutes to fifteen, to twenty, and eventually you’ll be at that hour mark. Your life will be able to slowly adapt, and your body will too.
2. Enjoyable activities – Fitness doesn’t have to mean “exercise.” Identify activities that you enjoy or are interested in. Like to dance? Take a dance class or go dancing once a week. Enjoy getting out in nature? Try hiking on the weekends. Love to play tennis? Join a recreational tennis club. Focus on moving your body and having fun. Make fitness a part of your life.
3. Build your community – One of the benefits of many fitness activities is that there are others who are doing the same activity. For example, if you enjoy running then you could join a running club. If you enjoy soccer then join a recreational team. Love to dance? Join a studio and take regular classes. Community is important to a feeling of identity and wellbeing. When your community supports fitness and good health, it’s a win-win.
You can also do little things throughout your day to increase your fitness. Become the person who parks at the back of the parking lot, takes the stairs, and walks every day to get some fresh air and sunshine. Your future self will thank you for it and you’ll reap immediate benefits too.
How to Find Balance between Strength Training and Cardio
When it comes to complete fitness, the ideal approach is to embrace both cardio and strength-training exercise. To burn the most calories and lose weight quickly, both need to be encompassed into your week. Additionally, both types of exercise provide significant health benefits. Ignoring one means you’re missing out. The trick then is to find a balance between the two different types of exercise and to create a personal fitness program that meets your needs and goals. Exercising to Lose Weight? The balance may be different depending on your fitness goals. For example, if you want to lose weight with exercise then you’ll want to add more strength training to your weekly workout routine. Consider focusing on strength training about three times a week. Add to that two interval training cardio sessions and one longer cardio session, and you’ll achieve the weight loss results you desire. Interval training sessions can be short, twenty minutes or so. They include short bursts of intense effort bookended by periods of moderate effort. Your longer cardio sessions should be at a moderate intensity level. Want to Get a Bikini Bod? If your goal is to sculpt and tone your muscles then the focus will be primarily on strength training. When you build muscle, you boost your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat. However, keep in mind that you also need to eat properly to give your muscles the energy they need to repair and get stronger. You also need to make sure that you’re not eating sugar and starchy carbs which can cause inflammation and weight gain. Strength train at least four times a week and add to that two to three cardio sessions with intervals. Competition Ready Finally, if you’re training for an event like a 5k or a marathon then the primary focus of your workouts should be cardio. Strive to do cardio five times a week with two to three strength-training workouts. The strength-training focus should be bodyweight. Squats, lunges, push-ups and sit-ups are a great start. Putting It All Together You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get the results you want. Interval training sessions and strength-training sessions can be less than thirty minutes – warm up to cool down. This makes it easy to get a good balance of both types of exercise into your day and your week. Identify your goals, create a plan to achieve them and track your success.
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