What Is Optimal Health Anyway

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

This happened to me recently. I had a woman attend one of my health lectures using a walker. She had just come from dialysis and was wearing a surgical boot. I asked her if she had any health concerns, and she said no. That’s right, she told me that apart from the wound in her foot that wouldn’t heal and her failing kidneys she was otherwise in good health.

I’m very thankful to live in a world with such amazing, life-saving technology as dialysis, but I’m also amazed that someone in this state would consider herself to be in a good state of health.

What does it mean to be healthy anyway? It stands to reason that there should be an accepted definition of health to use as a starting point. It so happens that the World Health Organization has one.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

This definition has not been changed since 1948. It pretty much says it all.

The word health comes from the same root word that gives us the word holy. It’s about being whole. Being healthy is about being in balance. Balance doesn’t mean that you never lean to one side or the other. Balance is about how quickly you come back to center. Physical health is greatly influenced by genetics, environment and diet. Someone who falls and receives a scrape should expect to heal. First their genes will influence potential. Some people may not form blood clots well. Some people may have other disorders that slow their ability to rebuild tissue. Others heal very quickly.

The environment may influence healing processes as well. If you keep scraping your knee, how quickly would you expect it to heal? Damaging influences need to be taken away. What other things are affecting your body that it is also trying to deal with? If your body is trying to deal with constant lung irritation due to bad air, the resources of your body might not be able to cover other battles, like an infected wound.

Diet is about raw materials. You are what you eat. If you are providing your body with good foods that are not saturated with preservatives you have the raw materials the cells need to perform the tasks of healing. Sometimes it is difficult to eat the recommended amounts of fresh whole foods on a daily basis, so high-quality dietary supplements can help ensure that you have the raw materials your body needs.

Studies have shown that people with better diets seem to enjoy better health. This means that they still get sick from time to time. They are still at the same risk for car accidents and paper cuts. What makes them healthier than others is measured by how quickly they come back to their balance. How is your state of balance?

What Are The Health Benefits Of Hiking And Trekking

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

Today more and more people, especially in Europe and America, are adopting hiking and trekking as a major outdoor event. Not only in these countries, but the trend of hiking and trekking is also increasing in many other parts of the world. But have you ever thought, what are the health benefits of hiking and trekking? Are these outdoor events really beneficial for health? Is hiking or trekking for everyone or has some age bar? Does hiking only has health benefits or are there any psychological benefits too?

These are some questions which quite often strike in our mind. If someone seeks answer to these questions, although most of them are subjective in nature as far as the degree of benefits is concerned, but certainly the response would be positive. Most of the people would immediately say, “Yes there are countless benefits.” No doubt, there are many benefits of hiking and trekking ranging from controlling obesity to preventing heart disease to improving the quality of air we breathe.

While many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started, the hiking is relatively much simpler and more beneficial than any other exercise. Literally, anyone can put on a pair of shoes along with few necessary gears and equipments and start moving into the woods for a little fresh air—this is called hiking. The scenery, accessibility and diverse nature of hiking trails make this heart-healthy pastime attractive for people of all ages, fitness levels and income brackets. Moreover, except few points, hiking and trekking don’t require any special expertise and skills.

Hiking or trekking allows us to maintain our body in good working condition by walking which is really a good exercise. It improves our physical as well as mental health and the list of benefits from hiking and trekking is infinite. Hiking is essentially walking that is considered to be one of the most perfect forms of exercise for your body. You can get a chance to spend some quality time together with the Mother Nature, so it also provides a mental health antidote. Everyone can find trails to suit their physical strengths. And unlike other activities or sports, it is a pursuit that allows people to determine their own limitations.

Many research findings and studies show that hiking is an excellent way to lose extra pounds and improve overall health. To improve overall health, we don’t necessarily need to do heavy and painful workouts, but just a short brisk walk of few minutes can be more than sufficient. According to the American Heart Association, it’s best to walk vigorously for 30 to 60 minutes 3-4 times per week. But even low- to moderate intensity walking can have both short- and long-term benefits . Similarly, According to Walking for Health, people “won’t find a better way to lose weight than walking.” The results will be more permanent and pleasurable than any diet or weight loss scheme.

For example, in December, 2001, the US surgeon general called the increased rate of obesity in the United States an epidemic. The report states that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, and the number is increasing year after year. In addition, thirteen percent of children are overweight. The report recommends that communities create safe sidewalks or walking trails to encourage physical activity . Not only these, but there are many more research findings that clearly show multiple health benefits of hiking and trekking.

When it comes to enlist the health benefits, then the list may go endless consisting of several mental as well as physical health benefits, such as losing excess pounds, preventing heart disease, decreasing hypertension or high blood pressure, improving and maintaining mental health, slowing the aging process, preventing osteoporosis, improving the quality of the air we breathe, preventing and controlling diabetes, improving arthritis, relieving back pain (which has become an epidemic in the modern contemporary world along with healthy habits for a healthy life i.e. team building skills, positive attitude, kindness, empathy,

At last but not the least, hiking has countless health benefits and the beauty is that it doesn’t cost you much. Moreover, while at hiking you can take other family members and your young children along with you without much difficulty. Indeed, it is a good idea to spend more time with your family and children. For young children, it helps improve their physical stamina and team building skills.

Friends, just go for a hike, and see what we mean. Happy hiking!

Travel Health Insurance

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

Travel health insurance is a temporary policy that provides coverage while you’re on vacation or in transit. It either works in conjunction with, or independent of, your regular major medical coverage. Travel health insurance is commonly offered if you use a travel agent, book a cruise or go on a package tour. more information……myhealthidea.com

Here are four reasons to buy travel health insurance even if you already have a major medical plan:

Price

Most travel insurance is cheap compared to the cost of your trip. Although we’d all rather spend our vacation money having fun, if something does happen it will be worth every penny in most cases. Typically, coverage costs no more than a dinner out on a trip. more information……myhealthidea.com

Out of network coverage

While most major medical plans will offer some protection anywhere in the world, under many circumstance, they won’t offer coverage at their full amounts. For example, if you get sick on a cruise ship you might find your basic co-pay plan will only cover 50 percent of a doctor’s visit on board the ship or– perhaps even none. The travel health insurance policy, however, will cover this and a whole lot more. Out of country travelers, too, find this coverage very beneficial for covering them when nothing else will.

Availability

In most cases, some form of travel insurance is available to people without medical examination required. It may not cover preexisting conditions, but it can make dealing with a crisis away from home a whole lot easier.

Peace of mind

Just having this low-cost coverage while away from home can give you a certain peace of mind. Since vacation is about relaxation, ensuring this can really help make a trip.

While travel insurance can be a huge perk for those who need it, not everyone does. If your major medical coverage will remain in full force during your trip, there’s probably no reason to go to this extra expense. Check with your regular health insurance to find out for sure, before you turn down coverage.

Although this type of coverage is usually offered through a booking agent, you can buy it on your own. Just Googling “travel insurance” will turn up many competing vendors for this type of policy.

Vacationing is about having fun, relaxing and doing new things.

Unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen to travelers. When they do, travel insurance can provide an extra level of comfort and peace of mind.

Travel Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance while traveling to foreign countries is an often-neglected area. Falling ill or getting injured during international travel on business or pleasure can be an extremely traumatic affair. You are far away from home in an alien land, unsure of the medical facilities available and probably not carrying enough money. You may want to be evacuated and taken home. The potential financial burden could be overwhelming and worrisome.

To avoid this dilemma, wise travelers are prepared by carrying health insurance coverage. Check to see whether your regular health insurance takes care of medical costs in other countries. If it does, what is the extent of your coverage?

You can purchase travel insurance with global coverage or coverage for specific countries for a period of five days to three years. There are no age restrictions, and single trip or multiple trips can be covered. Multi-trip coverage includes all of your travel plans. For a nominal increase in the fee, your coverage can include hazardous sports activities. Coverage for children may be free in some plans.

Decide what type of coverage you require. If you are traveling alone, there is no point in taking out a family policy. If you are not intending to participate in hazardous sports you will not need that coverage. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it is essential to check that it is covered.

Carry your medical records with you if possible. Hospitalization, ambulance services and prescription drugs should be included in the package. If you have a serious pre-existing medical condition, the evacuation policy may be advisable. For travel to Canada, insuring with a Canadian company has advantages. Also, remember that international travel health insurance does not cover health insurance in your country.http://www.myhealthidea.com

Stretching For Health

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

Lack of flexibility is now seen to be a major cause of general health problems and sports injury and is being linked to everything from stress. back pain, and even osteoarthritis. It also means that nagging injuries, especially around your joints take longer to heal.

Latest studies show that up to 60 percent of the general population with bad backs and knees have tight hamstrings and hips and the main cause is a lack of flexibility.

Active-Isolated Stretching (AI)

Olympians have been employing Active-Isolated Stretching (AI) now for about 10 years, but it has only recently been brought to the public’s attention.

I have used this technique on my clients for quite a while now with great success, while adding renewed life and spring to tired out muscles. AI stretching prevents injury, as conventional stretching can cause real harm such as muscle pulls and tears.

AI stretching does what stretching is supposed to do; it transports oxygen to sore muscles and quickly removes toxins so recovery is faster. It also works as a deep massage technique because it activates muscle fibres during the actual stretch.

How to Stretch

Before stretching, dress in loose clothing and try and acquire a five-foot length of rope and tie a loop in the end. The purpose of this is to loop the end of rope around the exercising appendage to squeeze the last couple of inches of stretch from the exercise.

Find a comfortable place to stretch either on your bed, a carpeted floor or on a mat.
Isolate the muscle or group you want to stretch then contract the muscle opposite. This causes the isolated muscle or group to relax straight away and when it does it is ready to stretch.
Gently and quickly stretch the isolated muscle until it can’t be stretched any further; now give yourself a gentle pull with your hands or rope. Go as far as you can and then hold the stretch for no more than 2 seconds then release, do this for a total of 5 repetitions on the isolated muscle or group.

The reason for just a 2-second stretch is because when a muscle realizes that it is being forced into a stretch it contracts to protect itself from being overstretched.
If you can beat this contraction you’ll be well on the way to a greater Range of Motion.

Remember to hold for no more than 2 seconds, release, return to the normal position and repeat for the five repetitions. Try not to have any hesitations between stretches and make it as fluid as possible. Try to stretch every day if possible, remember to:
 Work one target muscle at a time.
 Contract the muscle that is opposite the targeted muscle, which will relax in preparation of its stretch.
 Stretch it gently and quickly.
 Release it before it realizes that it has been stretched and goes into its protective contraction.

Below are two exercises that can be done straight away even while you are at work to stretch that tension and stress from of your body.

1. Lie down on the floor with your buttocks against a wall and your legs straight up the wall. Slowly flex your toes towards your knees, hold for two seconds and repeat five times. This will loosen up your lower back and stretch your hamstrings and hips giving instant relief for tired backs.

This exercise can be done while at the office anytime you start to feel that stress and tension building up.

2. Sitting in a chair and putting one leg out straight, flex your toes towards your knee, now lean towards that foot, stretching your hands towards it and letting your head and shoulders follow, hold for two seconds and repeat five times. This will create a stretch right across your lower back and neck.

A flexible body is:

 More efficient

 More easily trained for strength and endurance

 Enjoys more range of motion

 Stays balanced more easily and is less prone to injury

 Recovers from workouts more quickly, and feels better.

The Health Benefits Of Regular Exercise

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

I am sure that most people realise that there are many benefits of exercising on a regular basis, most of these people however still choose not do so. This article gives information on how our health can benefit from this exercise which hopefully will encourage more people to start.

I am one of the many people who basically finds it hard to gain any inspiration to exercise. I have over the past couple of years started a fitness routine and have not only enjoyed it(to my surprise) but have never felt so healthy.

It is a strange situation, the thought of starting the exercise is like a choir, but afterwards I feel brilliant. Despite this, I then find it hard to begin to exercise again on the next day. It is weird!

The benefits of exercise:

Helps to lower levels of stress

Helps to improve posture

Helps people to sleep

Helps you to gain stronger muscles

Increases heart and lung efficiency

Lowers the risk of heart disease and lung disease

Helps overall circulation

Helps to reduce blood pressure

Helps people to lose weight

Helps to reduce depression

Helps to reduce cholesterol levels

Helps to reduce symptoms of arthritis

As you can see in the above the list, there are many reasons as to why people should start to exercise. These are only a few out of many health benefits I could mention.

On a personal front, I have found that by exercising on most days, helps me to manage my stress levels. I am by nature a person who is quite anxious and even paranoid, exercising helps me to manage this negative part of my brain and helps me to see things in a much clearer way.

I am also somebody who basically loves food. This exercise is a great way of keeping my weight down, a form of diet which lets me eat exactly what I want.

Depression has been a regular feature of my life, however since starting my fitness regime, I do not think I have been depressed once.

Even though the thought of this exercise does not exactly fill me with joy, I will continue to force myself to do it as the benefits are huge.

I would strongly advise other people to also start exercising. I hope that they find it as rewarding and beneficial as I have.

Pedometers the Magic Pill For Better Health

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

If there were a pill you could take that could help you lose weight,
get in better shape, and live a longer, healthier life, wouldn’t you
want to know about it?

The good news is, there is such a pill, and it doesn’t require a
prescription, nor is it available ¡°over the counter.¡± It’s a simple step
counter, or pedometer, and it has powers you would not believe to
improve your health and wellness, lose weight, and live longer.

What’s a pedometer? It’s a simple electronic device you wear on
your waistband that counts steps. Technically, a pedometer
calculates distance, as opposed to a step counter, which only
counts steps. The pedometer still counts steps, and uses a user-
input stride length to calculate the distance. Other pedometers
show calories burned, elapsed exercise time, steps per minute, and
on and on. All you really need is something that accurately counts
steps. Other features can be nice, but many are not necessary.

Why is it important to count steps? It’s a primary indication of the
activity you are engaged in during the day. Studies have shown that
you don’t need to dedicate a specific time to exercise, per se, but
smaller bouts of activity can have the same effect as one longer,
extended period.

That means that making small changes in your daily routine can have
tremendous effects on your health. Park farther from the store, take
the stairs instead of the elevator, pace while you’re on the phone,
walk with the dog instead of just letting her go, and go down the hall
instead of sending an e-mail or picking up the phone.

By taking more steps-essentially increasing your daily activity and
burning more calories-you are becoming more physically active.
The American Medical Association says that by increasing your
activity level, you will:

¡¤ Increase stamina
¡¤ Stimulate weight loss
¡¤ Lower blood cholesterol
¡¤ Lower blood pressure
¡¤ Improve self image
¡¤ Improve mood
¡¤ Enhance quality of life

As if that weren’t enough, the AMA says you will also:

¡¤ Sleep better
¡¤ Strengthen your heart and lungs
¡¤ Decrease stress
¡¤ Increase energy
¡¤ Maintain appropriate weight
¡¤ Lower triglycerides
¡¤ Control blood sugar levels/diabetes
¡¤ Feel better
¡¤ Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
¡¤ Improve productivity
¡¤ Build an maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
¡¤ Increase muscle tone
¡¤ Reduce risk if dying prematurely

If any of these benefits are important to you, it’s vital that you begin
to move more. The American College of Sports Medicine
traditionally prescribes the following as the appropriate level of
activity in order to get these benefits:

¡¤ Frequency: 3 – 5 days per week
¡¤ Intensity: 60% to 90% of maximal heart rate
¡¤ Duration: 20 – 60 minutes

If you can’t take 30 minutes to exercise, try three 10-minute walking
sessions throughout the day. Walk briskly to get the maximum
benefit. If you have been sedentary, check with a doctor and start
slow.

Your new life begins today, and it will be a healthier, longer, and
happier life!

Prostate Health

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

It can be frustrating and confusing to find out what really works for a man’s prostate health. In this article I’ve summarized some of the major guidelines and recommendations you should know. And if you’ve found something that has really worked for you, which you have verified through trial and observation, please let me know. I’d like to be able to share it with others.

First, read the following list of helpful hints related to improved prostate health and benign prostate enlargement.

1. Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are mostly related to an enlarged prostate. Candida and infections like prostatitis are also related. Candida is a common and insidious condition you should be sure to eliminate. At my website I have a simple self-test for candida.

2. Do pelvic exercises to increase circulation by tightening your pelvic muscles intentionally at least 100 times a day. Raise your awareness of the inner world of your pelvic area. Give separate consideration to your buttocks, lower abdominals, scrotum, urethra, and sphincter.

3. Use Prosperon to raise your testosterone level naturally.

4. Drink plenty of water, every day, to flush out your system.

5. Move to a low animal-protein and grain-rich diet, or some variation on the macrobiotic.

6. Keep your weight in check.

7. Keep a journal in order to track and recognize, as soon as possible, what is working for you, and what is not. Think about your symptoms for yourself; don’t just depend on your doctor!

8. Realize that hormones are hormones and vitamins are vitamins. When his PSA test results were too high, a friend decided to heal himself by doing an anti-parasite treatment. It did no harm, but your prostate has to do with hormones, and needs to be dealt with on this level.

You can’t put fresh oil in your car when you’re out of gas and then wonder why your engine won’t work!

9. Visualize that you are much healthier and that your prostate and urethra function well. Approach your body with love, as it is part of your temple where the soul resides. ACCEPT .

Melatonin: An excellent study done at Tel Aviv University showed that the melatonin receptors in
the prostate could suppress prostate enlargement. Researchers found that an enlarged prostate is
due to the imbalance of estrogen and testosterone that occurs as we age. They further noted that
the excess estrogen also interferes with the normal metabolism of melatonin (J. Clin. Endoc. Metab.

82 (1997) p. 2535 – 41).

Their advice then, is to take 1-3 mg. of melatonin supplement every night. (Stick with this dosage;
as with most medicines, more is by no means better.) Take it ONLY in the darkness of night, in order not to interfere with the body’s natural production of melatonin before sunrise. Go to bed by ten o’clock also, to get a good night’s rest.

Good luck, warmly, Pieternel

© 2005 Pieternel van Giersbergen. www.pieternel.com

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