Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Fix Your Fatigue

Feeling fatigued and can’t seem to shake it? Most issues with being fatigued are linked to problems that can be easily fixed. Look at these five areas of your life to help explain your tiredness.
  • Diet. Caffeine or sugar can seem like a quick fix when you need an energy boost, but they actually make things worse. After blood sugar levels spike, they crash, making you more fatigued than you were before. A better solution is to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein and to steer clear from crash diets. 
  • Water intake. Research shows that even mild dehydration affects your mood and it makes you feel more tired. Drinking just a little less water than you normally do can cause fatigue to occur. Be sure to track your water intake to ensure you’re getting the appropriate amounts.
  • Sleep. You should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but millions of Americans have trouble doing this. If you’re one of them, avoid caffeine, alcohol and large meals in the hours before bedtime. Turn off electronics in the evening, especially before going into your room. Try going to bed at the same time each night and keeping your room quiet and dark. 
  • Exercise. When you start to work out, you feel much less fatigue than those who stay on the couch. When you move more, you not only use more energy, you also have more on a daily basis. Scheduling time to work out and be consistent with how often you exercise can help you feel better overall.
  • Stress. Fatigue sets in when you are dealing with more than you can handle. The first step in changing the way you deal with stress is to figure out your body’s stress signals (like anger, headaches, tenseness, or inability to focus). To cope, try short, regular periods of meditation, talks with friends or family about your challenges, regular breaks from work and taking time for yourself. 
If you’ve taken all the steps to address the five most common causes of fatigue and you’re still worn out, talk to your doctor.

Source: WebMD

Monday, March 11, 2019

Six Tips for Safe Stretches

Stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility and avoid muscle soreness after a workout. Using these tips can ensure you’re stretching safely and protecting your muscles and joints at the same time.
  1. Warm up first. Muscles stretch more easily when they’re warm. To warm up, you can walk in place for give minutes or even dance to a few songs. Moist heat packs or a warm shower are other great ways to warm up quickly. 
  2. Avoid pain. Stretch only to the point of mild tension, never to the point of pain. If a stretch hurts, stop immediately! Check the instructions and start from the beginning. 
  3. Pay attention to posture and good form. Posture counts whether you’re sitting, standing, or moving. Good form while stretching can translate to good form while you’re lifting weights, which means you have a lesser chance of injury. 
  4. Focus on the muscle being stretched. You’ll notice that one side of your body often is tighter than the other. Work on balancing this over time. 
  5. Breathe. For most stretches, you can just breathe normally. Sometimes, though, it is better to use yoga breathing or practice meditation while stretching to pass the time. 
  6. Practice often. You’ll make the most progress through daily stretching. At the very least, your goal should be to stretch at least two to three times per week.
Source: Harvard Health

Monday, March 4, 2019

Improve Your Cholesterol Profile

Certain health conditions, your diet, age and family history can affect your cholesterol levels. While you can’t change your age or family history, you can change your lifestyle to improve your cholesterol profile.
  • Focus on fats. But not the bad ones! Avoid saturated fats, which increase unhealthy LDL levels, and steer clear of trans fats, which both raise LDL and lower protective HDL. Instead, substitute these with unsaturated fats, like those found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils. 
  • Choose whole grains. Whole-grain breads, pasta and cereal help prevent a blood sugar roller coaster and make you feel full longer. Many of these foods contain fiber, which help to lower LDL levels. 
  • Make other healthy choices. Maintaining a healthy diet is always beneficial. Start small, like substituting fruits and vegetables during times when you want to reach for a bag of potato chips. Especially try to make healthier dairy substitutions, like fat-free milk instead of whole milk or low-fat yogurt instead of sugar-filled versions. 
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol to healthy levels, then talk with your doctor about other solutions.

Source: Harvard Health

Managing Medications

Prescribed medications come in several forms and are taken in different ways. Even though they are meant to improve health, taking medicat...