The Secret to Staying Motivated

Stop focusing on losing weight! You’ll find the following five reasons more of a motivator to get moving.

Managing a hectic schedule can be a challenge and tasks with immediate payoffs can often fall to the wayside. Included in that checklist is exercise. Working out typically competes with other tasks that need to get done throughout your busy day. In order for it to make the top of the list, it has to offer something beneficial. A recent study focused on woman who kept track of instant results after exercising. Many found that they had more energy and felt an overall sense of happiness. They also worked out 34 percent more during the course of the year than individuals who made their appearance and weight-loss goals their primary focus. Since it can take months to see any actual physical changes, you’ll find that exercise can feel like just another obligation.

Focusing on the following five instant health benefits will help you retool your motivation and reap the benefits of exercise.

REWARD 1: Encourage Productivity and Brainpower

Skipping your workout to get ahead at work may feel like a wise decision, but you may reap more benefits out of a quick class at the gym. Research has indicated that 20 minutes of exercise can increase brain functioning and allow you to plan, coordinate and schedule. This ramped up focus can last up to an hour, so you need to plan your exercise when it can benefit you most during the day.

REWARD 2: Connect on a Healthy Level

Social communication can have a significant effect on your health and aid in preventing high blood pressure, mental illness, alcoholism, suicide and illnesses or diseases. Finding shared activities such as a Zumba class at the gym or running with a group can keep you on task and benefit your mind and spirit. People who make exercise a part of their daily lives were perceived as more outgoing, personable, kind and attractive to others than individuals who don’t work out.

REWARD 3: Healthy and Hydrated Skin

Facials can be a pricey affair. However, you’ll find that exercise and sweating to be an inexpensive way to score healthy looking skin. Getting your heart rate to rise will increase your blood flow and circulation to the skins surface. After the body uses some of the sweat droplets to cool its system, the rest will be absorbed back into the skin to give it a hydrated and healthy glow.

REWARD 4: Great Sex

A good workout can make your love making sessions more stimulating. A published study found that women who exercised 20 minutes before watching an erotic movie experienced increased genital arousal by as much as 150 percent. Working out stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases the blood flow and lubrication to the vaginal tissue. The rise in sexual arousal can last up to 30 minutes, so you may want to plan your workout at home.

REWARD 5: A Good Night’s Sleep

People who exercised moderately at least 30 minutes a day each week found that they were able to go to sleep faster each night. They also experienced less drowsiness during the daytime hours. A good workout can reduce stress and anxiety and aids individuals in getting a more peaceful rest each night. It doesn’t matter when you work out, as long as you get it in daily throughout the week.

10 Simple Rules for a Healthy Life

The following are tips for staying healthy, fit and happy for the rest of your life!

In order to stay healthy and keep the doctor away, you need to eat more than just an apple a day. Life is hectic and stressful for most people and bad habits such as high stress levels, limited sleep and too much alcohol can make it difficult for most people to maintain a healthy body. It can also increase your risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

1. Ditch the Smokes

Even if you’re an occasional smoke, your body is still at risk for heart disease and cancer. Recent studies indicate that cigarette smoking can kill one in five people across the nation each year. Smoking is a preventable cause of death and one of the worst habits you could ever have.

2. Sun-Kissed-Glow

Tanning beds and sun worshipers are more likely to develop skin cancer and deadly melanoma than those who stay out of the sun. Sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and wrinkles. Sunscreen can help prevent overexposure to the sun and keep your skin looking young, healthy and radiant.

3. Chocolate is Your Friend

Consuming foods that you actually like can be enjoyed in moderation. When the occasional treat beckons, and you must indulge, you can still stay focused and on track with a small sampling. A strict diet will only cause you to overindulge and binge.

4. What’s Your Number?

You’re doing your body a disservice if you aren’t familiar with your HDL and LDL cholesterol numbers. Your blood sugar levels and cholesterol should be checked on a regular basis and will help you make knowledgeable decisions based on your test results.

5. Get Moving

Research shows that a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can do a body good. Whether you hit the gym for your favorite boot camp class or take a brisk walk, you'll find that exercise has a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental wellness. If you can't fit in a full thirty minutes in the morning, you can break the time up until you reach your full thirty or more.

6. What Your DNA Says About You

Your family history can tell you a host of stories about your health. Genetics play a key role in your health, and it pays to know whether your father had prostate cancer or your grandmother had diabetes. Early health screenings can help you stay on top of serious health issues, especially those that run in the family. It can also play an important role in a physician’s care and treatment when they know your detailed familial history.

7. Make Time for Tea

Green tea is chalk full of antioxidants that are needed to ward off illnesses and diseases. It can also benefit those who are looking to lose weight. The next time you hit up your favorite coffee shop for a latte, skip the foam beverage and make it a green tea.

8. Say “No” to Soda

Soda is loaded with sugar and can ruin your hard-earned efforts of watching what you eat. Diet and regular soda can also be harmful to your health. Although diet soda is the lesser of the two evils, it is better than the calorie laden regular version. You may want to try replacing your favorite cola beverage with green tea or water instead.

9. Regular Health Exams

Breast exams and pap smears should be a yearly occurrence for women of all age groups. In between exams, women should also be doing their monthly self-breast exam and scheduling an annual mammogram once they’ve reached the age of 40.

10. The Colors of the Rainbow

Colorful foods are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and should take up a majority of your dinner plate. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein and legumes are packed with minerals and vitamins necessary for your body to run right. Healthy carbs are good for you when you replace them with healthy grains such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa.

How to lower blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is very common. According to a new study done by Harvard, high blood pressure helps contribute to 15 percent of the deaths in the United States. Additionally, the American Heart Association has stated that 28 percent of people in America have hypertension and do not even know it. You should see your doctor if you have not had your blood pressure checked within the last two years.

There are several medications that have been approved to treat hypertension. These medications are very effective, but they can cause side effects such as insomnia, leg cramps and dizziness. The good news is that the majority of people can lower their blood pressure without using any medication. The first step in lowering your blood pressure is to bring your weight down to a healthy number. After that, here are a few suggestions:

1.) Power Walk Hypertensive patients who walked briskly were able to lower their systolic blood pressure, or top number, by 8 mmhg. They were able to lower their diastolic blood pressure, or bottom number, by 6 mmhg. If you exercise regularly, your heart will not have to pump as hard. Attempt to work out vigorously for 30 minutes a day, most days out of the week. Once you have gotten used to working out for a while, try increasing the distance and speed.

2.) Breathe Deeply Meditative and breathing practices, such as yoga, tai chi and qigong help decrease stress hormones. These hormones help increase renin, which is an enzyme in the kidney that causes the blood pressure to increase. Try inhaling and exhaling deeply for five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night.

3.) Eat Potassium-Rich Produce Linda Van Horn, who is a professor of preventative medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medical, has stated that potassium-rich vegetables and fruits should be part of every blood pressure lowering regime. She recommends that everyone get between 2,000 mg and 4,000 mg of potassium per day. Dried fruits, orange juice, tomatoes, honeydew melon, bananas and potatoes are foods that are rich in potassium.

4.) Check The Sodium On The Food Labels African Americans, people with a family history of hypertension and the elderly are more likely to have high blood pressure because they may be more sodium sensitive. There is no way to tell whether a person is sodium sensitive, so everyone should watch their sodium intake. Eva Obarzanek, who is a researcher at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, recommends that people reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day. Eating less processed foods and putting less salt on your food are two things that you can do to reduce your sodium intake.

5.) Have Some Dark Chocolate Have a ½ ounce serving of dark chocolate every day. There was a study done that showed that 18 percent of people who ate dark chocolate every day were able to lower their blood pressure.

6.) Consume Alcohol In Moderation You can lower your blood pressure by reducing the amount of alcohol that you drink. However, there was a study performed by Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital that showed that light drinkers may be able to lower their blood pressure more than people who do not drink at all. There have also been studies done to show that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease. Women should only consume one alcoholic drink per day, and men should consume two at the most. It is important to note that excessive alcohol consumption can be dangerous.

7.) Switch to Decaffeinated Coffee The debate about the effect that caffeine has on blood pressure has been going on for a long time. Some studies say that caffeine does not affect blood pressure, but there was a study done by Duke University Medical Center that showed that consuming 500 mg of caffeine per day can increase blood pressure by 4 mmhg. Jim Lane, who is a professor at Duke, states that caffeine can cause the blood vessels to tighten. That is why it is recommended to switch to decaffeinated coffee if you are a coffee drinker.

8.) Drink Some Tea There was a study done that showed the subjects who drank three cups of hibiscus tea every day were able to lower their systolic blood pressure by an average of seven points after six weeks. Hibiscus contains phytochemicals that can reduce blood pressure.

9.) Work Less If you work more than 41 hours a week, then you can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure by 15 percent according to a study that was done by the University of California, Irvine. Haiou Yang, who was the lead researcher in the study, stated that working overtime makes it harder for you to exercise and eat healthy. Even though it is hard, try to leave work at a decent time so that you can have time to cook a nutritious meal and go to the gym.

10.) Listen To Relaxing Music According to a study done at the University of Florence in Italy, listening to music can lower your blood pressure. The study involved 28 people who were taking high blood pressure medications. The subjects were asked to listen to Celtic, classical or Indian music for 30 minutes a day. The results of the study showed that the subjects were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by an average of 3.4 points. After one month, the subjects were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 4.4 points.

11.) Get Help for Snoring Snoring is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. People who have sleep apnea have higher levels of aldosterone, which is a hormone that can raise blood pressure. In fact, approximately half of sleep apnea sufferers have high blood pressure. Daytime sleepiness and morning headaches are two other signs of sleep apnea. See your doctor so that you can get checked for obstructive sleep apnea.

12.) Get More Soy In Your Diet There was a study done by Circulation: Journal of The American Heart Association that showed that replacing refined carbohydrates with soy-based foods can lower your systolic blood pressure.

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