- Created on 20 September 2013
How do you lose belly fat? Why is it so important to take control of your midsection?
Aside from aesthetics, belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat. Large waistlines are indicators of multiple conditions and diseases.
But how do you lose it? Unfortunately, it does take more than just crunches. But to get rid of it, it may help you to understand a little more about where it comes from in the first place:
* One source of belly fat is obvious: lifestyle. A poor diet and/or lack of exercise can influence the accumulation of fat cells.
* Another source of belly fat are genes – look at your parents/relatives. If they tend to have more belly fat, you probably will, too.
* Yet another source of midsection weight gain is a fat-inducing hormone called cortisol. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When you're stressed, cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. Things can even get even worse with poor lifestyle choices mixed in.
So how can you fight back?
If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you're tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.
2. Perform short bursts of exercises
1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.
3. Reduce your sugar intake
Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, which has zero sugar and is a great source of craving-busting protein.
Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal. This spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.
4. Get your Vitamin C
When you're under extreme stress, you secrete more cortisol. Vitamin C helps to balance cortisol spikes – and is also a great way to support your immune system, limiting colds. In addition, Vitamin C is essential to your body's carnitine production. Carnitine is a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel.
If you're going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it'll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits...and oranges, of course.
5. Eat Fat
Though it sounds counterproductive, it takes fat to burn fat. Like I said above, it's sugar that gets you fat, not fat. Good fats include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts. These foods are full of nutrients that help keep you satiated throughout the day.
6. Slow down your breathing
This is a very simple method that you can use even when you're in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you're feeling tense and uptight check and see how you're breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down the breathing. This works best if you focus on slowing down the exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself "slow down".
- Created on 19 September 2013
Although the allergy season has gotten off to a late start, this fall could be a "perfect storm for allergy sufferers," according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. And residents in 10 cities across America will be feeling it more than others.
AAFA has published their annual ranking of fall "allergy capitals" - the most-challenging places in the United States to live in for people with allergies.
The rankings are based on average pollen levels, resident reliance on over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications, and the number of board certified allergists in each city. Topping the list this year is Wichita, Kansas, which ranked second last year.
The remainder of the top 10 for 2013 are:
2. Jackson, Mississippi
3. Knoxville, Tennessee
4. Louisville, Kentucky
5. Memphis, Tennessee
6. McAllen, Texas
7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
8. Dayton, Ohio
9. Chattanooga, Tennessee
10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The full list includes 100 cities across the country. Charleston, South Carolina, made the biggest jump on the list from No. 42 to No. 26.
Ragweed is the biggest culprit in causing fall allergies, according to AAFA; there are 17 different species found in the United States, and it's found most often in rural areas in the Northeast and Midwest.
"Scientists estimate that a single ragweed plant can release one billion grains of pollen over the course of ragweed season," an AAFA fact sheet states. "Ragweed pollen grains are light and are easily dispersed by the gentlest of breezes."
Weather plays a big role in the severity of allergy season. Higher-than-average temperatures in the fall can produce more pollen, which is distributed over wider areas by strong winds. Mold caused by flooding or storms is also attributing to outdoor allergens, the AAFA says.
"Extreme weather conditions are resulting in greater exposure to allergens, triggering seasonal allergy symptoms to peak earlier and last longer for many people."
- Created on 19 September 2013
In light of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, in the death of Trayvon Martin, anger flows in our community. We all feel angry at times; it's a natural response to threats and attacks, injustice and disappointment. Anger is a powerful emotion and releasing the pressure that builds inside is essential to deal with deep-seated problems and move on. But if anger isn't dealt with in a healthy way, it can have a significant effect on your daily life, relationships, achievements and mental well-being.
Learning how to express anger can protect your heart, mind, and health. Here's the right way to do it.
The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad. It's perfectly healthy and normal to feel angry when you've been mistreated or wronged. The feeling isn't the problem—it's what you do with it that makes a difference. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others.
Mastering the art of constructive anger takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff can be huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.
What Kinds Of Problems Can Be Linked To Anger?
Anger in itself is neither good nor bad; it becomes a problem when it harms us or other people. Anger is the emotion most likely to cause problems in relationships in the family, at work and with friends. People with a long term anger problem tend to be poor at making decisions, take more risks than other people and are more likely to have a substance misuse problem.
It is linked to poorer overall physical health as well as particular conditions, such as:
* High blood pressure
* Colds and flu
* Coronary heart disease
* Gastro-intestinal problems
Emotions And The Heart
There are many studies and analysis with evidence that supports the link between emotions and heart disease. To be specific, anger and hostility are significantly associated with more heart problems in initially healthy people, as well as a worse outcome for patients already diagnosed with heart disease.
One study showed that chronically angry or hostile adults with no history of heart trouble might be 19% more likely than their more placid peers to develop heart disease. The researchers found that anger and hostility seemed to do more harm to men's hearts than women's. Among patients already diagnosed with heart disease, those with angry or hostile temperaments were 24% more likely than other heart patients to have a poor prognosis.
Some doctors now consider anger a heart disease risk factor that can be modified, just as people can lower their cholesterol or blood pressure. "We're really good at treating heart attacks, but we're not that good at preventing them," says Holly S. Andersen, MD, cardiologist and director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Stress is not as easy to measure as your cholesterol level or your blood pressure, which are clearly objective. But it's really important that physicians start taking care of the whole person — including their moods and their lives — because it matters."
Bottling Up Anger Bad for Men's Hearts
How you cope with anger may affect your cardiovascular health, especially if you're a man. If you tend to bottle up your emotions, you may be in more danger than men who vent their anger appropriately.
Men ages 50 to 85 who expressed a moderate amount of anger had almost half the risk of nonfatal heart attacks over two years, compared with men who expressed less anger. They dropped their risk of having strokes even more — by 58 percent.
In other studies, suppressing anger has been linked to high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. But this area of research is still relatively new, and more investigation is under way.
Venting some anger may be healthier than the two extremes: letting loose a lot of anger or bottling it all up. Because anger is often viewed as a bad thing, many people try not to express it. But the heart-healthiest route might be to learn how to channel anger effectively.
Understand How We Express Anger
Usually, anger manifests itself in one of three ways. Outward expressions of anger include yelling, screaming or violence, and even less threatening approaches like sarcasm. Inward expressions include feelings like seething, biting your tongue, or suppressing angry feelings. Neither of these approaches is healthy. The third way to express anger is control and channel it into more acceptable methods of expression.
Here are some tips that will help you deal with anger, constructively:
1. Recognize that anger is a valid emotion and is necessary for survival. Anger has the capacity to wake you up to things that need to change and to help you take the first steps towards changing your situation.
2. Identify what is making you angry. Displacement is a common reaction to anger. Rather than expressing anger towards who or what is actually making you angry, you may become irritated with your spouse or children, friends or colleagues, minor inconveniences or even yourself. If you find yourself being generally angry, trace back your anger to it origin.
3. Practice relaxation techniques. Anger can be an overwhelming emotion because it is so physical–your heart and mind may race, your muscles can tense and you may feel sick. Focus on relaxing your body and mind to help look at the situation more objectively.
4. Be assertive as you express anger rather than being aggressive or physical. Clearly and firmly discuss why you are angry with the person who has caused your anger, emphasizing your needs. If she tries to argue, do not engage in the argument. Just come back to your own needs.
5. Express your anger safely if you need to be physical. Sometimes a physical expression of anger can be helpful. If you need to, hit a cushion or throw a pillow rather than lashing out at yourself, another person or an animal.
6. Use anger to fuel constructive or creative activity. If expressing your anger did not diminish it, seek a physical activity to direct it towards. Dance, exercise and drumming are three ways you can work off the extra energy of anger. Projects that you find personally rewarding can also help you deal with anger.
- Created on 18 September 2013
In the pursuit to maintain good oral hygiene, there's no underestimating how crucial regular visits to the dentist's office can be. Visiting a dental hygienist periodically may not only prove essential to preserving an attractive smile, but for an array of health reasons as well. There are many risks associated with poor oral hygiene such as gum disease, cavities, infections and worse, but these risks can most often be entirely averted with just two yearly teeth cleanings.
But according to a new study, for many people, once-a-year dental cleaning may be enough to prevent gum disease that leads to tooth loss.
"Twice-yearly cleanings have been recommended for over 50 years without supporting evidence," study author William Giannobile, a professor of dentistry and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan, said in a university news release.
But the results of this study "showed that one yearly cleaning is likely to be enough for patients with no risk factors," he said. "Patients with one or more risk factors, which represent over half of the population, should visit at least twice a year and likely more in some cases."
For the study, which was published online June 10 in the Journal of Dental Research, Giannobile and colleagues looked at data from more than 5,100 adults who visited the dentist regularly for 16 straight years, had no history of gum disease and received one or two cleanings each year.
The researchers examined the link between the frequency of teeth cleanings and long-term tooth loss in the participants, as well as three key gum disease risk factors: smoking, diabetes and genetics.
Two dental cleanings a year provided significant benefits to people with one or more of the three risk factors, while people with two or three of the risk factors may require more than two cleanings a year. But one cleaning per year appears sufficient for people with none of the risk factors, according to the study.
"The future of health care is personalized medicine," Giannobile said. "This study represents an important step toward making it a reality, and in a disease that is widespread, costly and preventable."
"We have long known that some individuals are at greater risk of [gum] disease, but tools haven't been available to adequately identify those at increased risk and prevent disease progression," he said.