Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Four non-medicinal ways to fight off anxiety

Anxiety and anxiety disorders are very common in today’s high stress world. Because so many people are discovering that they suffer from these types of disorders, more people than ever are going on medicines. Many of the medicines that fight anxiety disorders are addictive, or have difficult side effects. While certainly this is not true of all of them, it is quite common among them as a general rule. For this reason, more people than ever looking for natural or non-medicinal ways of fighting anxiety disorders and anxiety in general. Here are four outstanding options to give a shot before you start taking medicine:

Acupuncture

This traditional healing process and is designed to balance the flow of energy that the Chinese refer to as Chi. This energy travels along pathways that are referred to as meridians throughout your body. An acupuncturist will insert extremely thin needles all along these pathways to reestablish your energy flow. While some find it hard to believe in acupuncture, few would argue its benefits. Acupuncture is extremely relaxing and will help you feel better.

Meditation

Much like acupuncture, meditation has been around for centuries. There are many different forms of meditation that one can practice and all of them can be beneficial for anxiety. The general idea behind meditation is to focus your thoughts on a single point of emphasis and blocking out all other distractions. Most people have experienced meditation at one time or another. Have you ever caught yourself staring off into outer space and completely lost in your own thoughts? That could be considered meditation.

Dietary changes

What we eat has a huge effect on how we feel. With anxiety, certain things have been proven to cause a spike. Caffeine is perhaps the worst offender of the lot. Drinking a ton of soft drinks, coffee, caffeinated tea and other sugar filled drinks can literally cause a panic attack. If you are able to eliminate these things from your daily intake, you will have a head start on beating anxiety every single day.

Lifestyle changes

Much like dietary changes, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in your anxiety levels. Smoking, for example, is one of the worst things you can do if you suffer from anxiety or stress. In addition to the thousands of health reasons to quit smoking, heightened anxiety levels can be added to the list. The nicotine in cigarettes and cigars can literally send your anxiety levels through the roof.

Drinking alcohol is another way to increase your anxiety. Not only does it make it more difficult to handle anxiety disorder, it also physiologically increases the odds of you having one. When you have a drink, you are setting yourself up for panic attacks and various other problems. The more alcohol that you ingest, the worse the panic attack can sometimes be. Like anything else, different people respond in different ways to these lifestyle changes. Certainly it will help a great deal if you stop.

What you should know about palpitations

Palpitations are often described as a rapid or a slow heart rate. When the heartbeat is rapid, you often feel very aware of your heart beating in your chest. Sometimes it will feel like a flutter in the center of your chest and other times it might feel as though it is thumping really hard and fast. You may even have chest pain, fainting spells or dizziness.

When the palpitations are described as a slow heart rate, most people complain of fatigue, nausea, dizziness and short of breath.
When should you contact your physician?

As always, you should call the doctor anytime you have something new develop. Where palpitations are concerned, signs and symptoms that should be addressed right away include:

•    Fainting
•    Irregular heartbeats that don’t return to normal
•    Irregular heartbeats that is painful
•    Chest pain of any kind
•    Vomiting
•    Diarrhea
•    Shortness of breath
•    Rashes

Never allow any new signs or symptoms to be left untreated where you heart is concerned. Get some treatment and advice from your professional.

What can I do to lessen my chances of palpitations?

Try to eliminate caffeine entirely or at least cut back. Caffeine is a stimulant and will increase the odds of palpitations a great deal. Other stimulants will cause similar problems. These include diet pills, smoking, drinking and a bevy of drugs.
Exercising is one of the best ways to avoid palpitations. Exercising that heart muscle keeps it strong and powerful and it also helps it stay “regular” and normal.

Try to eliminate stress and disorder from your life. Stress is a horrible problem in our society and the cause of many of our health problems. Try yoga, meditation or spiritual guidance to calm those choppy waters.

Go low-fat in your eating. The less fat you put in your system the better as far as your heart is concerned.

Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Panic attacks are one of the most common ailments that we have in our society, yet they are also among the most misunderstood. For many that are lucky enough to avoid them, panic attacks are simply the products of weak minds or constitutions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Panic attacks are insidious, real and very capable responses from your body to a perceived threat. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a panic attack ironically is the best way to begin to overcome them.


Here are a number of symptoms of panic attacks and how to recognize them:

Breathing irregularities

Panic attacks often present with shortness of breath, over-breathing (hyperventilation), shallow breathing and accelerated heartbeat. These breathing problems are usually result of breathing too rapidly and not being able to stop without help from medical care or returning to a perceived safe place.

Chest pains

When someone has a panic attack, they often tense their muscles both voluntarily and involuntarily. This can lead to not only chest pains, but also to muscle aches all over the body. The joints in particular can really stiffen up.

Feeling of unreality

This is commonly referred to as depersonalization. It is one of the oddest and most uncomfortable feelings it the world though it is generally totally harmless. The feeling is kind of like everything around you is happening and you are there, but you are not real and active in the things happening.

Dizziness or weakness

This is common as well as your body is using oxygen to fight off whatever you feel threatened by. This can make you feel weak, dizzy or even faint. Ironically, fainting is the quickest way to ensure your body goes back to normal function.

Feeling hot, sweaty or chilled

This can go either way, but sweating is a hallmark sign of a panic attack. This is also another natural response to perceived danger and something we all do. People with panic disorder, however, do it when nothing is threatening them that the average person can see.

Sense of impending doom or danger

This is something that all people with panic attacks feel. It is like a train is rushing down the tracks to run over you, and you can’t do anything to move out of the way. As a matter of fact, nobody can even see the train except for you. This feeling of alienation is a big reason why many with panic disorder have depression or develop it when left untreated.

Tingling anywhere on the body

Hands, feet and arms are all fair game. This is one of the most common symptoms of panic attacks and it is perfectly normal and nothing to be afraid of.

This list of symptoms is in no way comprehensive, though it is very indicative of what a person with panic disorder goes through. If you, or someone you know, have panic attacks on a regular basis and want to understand more about why, contact your local doctor for a checkup. There are wonderful treatments for this problem now.

Why pay to exercise when you can create a gym at home?

There’s always some new crash diet or fitness fad claiming to have the secret to a healthy body, but we all know that hard work, good diet and exercise are the only real ways to have a healthy body and mind.  Finding the time and motivation to exercise is hard enough, but when you know you’ve got to travel all the way to the gym and pay for the pleasure of feeling unfit and embarrassed next to all the fitness enthusiasts surrounding you, willpower starts to suffer and the excuses to stay on the couch come thick and fast.

Many people have chosen to work out at home instead of paying to work out at a public gym, and it has become easier than ever to create your own gym at home. After the initial cost of setting up your home gym, you’ll never need to travel out to an expensive fitness club again.

It may be hard to believe, but you don’t need to fork out lots of cash to set up your own gym; a lot of the equipment can be bought cheaply or second-hand, and you’d be surprised at how little is actually needed to get a good workout.

First of all you need to find the space to house your gym – this is probably the most difficult part of setting it up, as you need to find somewhere comfortable that is large enough to move around in. The best place to try this would be a shed, log cabin or garage, somewhere out of the way that is likely to be left unused for the majority of the year. Make sure there’s no damp, and that you can weatherproof the structure ready for winter – after all, you’ll have no excuse not to work out!

Now you need to think about your fitness goals – if you’re looking to build muscle as well as increase your cardio fitness, you’ll need to invest in some free weights and a bench. You can pick these up pretty cheaply, and these items will cover a lot of your exercise needs. You might want to pick up some resistances bands as well, to give a bit of variety to your workouts, and even a barbell if you’re really into weight training. You will also need some foam mats for support and an exercise ball for core workouts.
As for cardio, you have two options: You could spend no money and take up running or walking to increase fitness, or you could pay out for an exercise bike or cross trainer so you have somewhere to go when it gets cold and dark in winter. Either way, you’ll be able to fulfil your fitness needs. If you do want to get some equipment, treadmills and bikes are often cheaply available second-hand, if you spend a little time looking for ones in good condition.

Make sure the space you’ve chosen is wired up for electricity, otherwise all this equipment will be useless! If you’re not clued up on wiring and DIY, find an electrician who can sort this out for you. Then you’ll also be able to install a few extra luxuries, like a mini-fridge for drinks and snacks, and a fan to keep the room cool – you could even install a TV to keep you motivated while you train!

Quick Ways You Can Stop the Spread of Germs

Germs have been known to cause disease and just general fatigue and illness, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with a high proliferation of bacteria all of the time. You can do some things to cut down on the spread of germs — that’s well within your power to control, so don’t think that it won’t happen.

First and foremost, you will want to make sure that you wipe down any surface that’s been touched by a human hand. Whether you’re sick or healthy, you have bacteria on you all of the time. There is always mold around you in the air. These two combine together to form a pretty toxic environment if you don’t keep to your regular cleaning schedule.

Don’t forget that you will need to wipe down the handles of the refrigerator and all of the doors occasionally. This will keep your home clean from top to bottom. You need to think about dusting as well, since excess dust can irritate your lungs as well.

Make sure that you don’t just encourage more hand washing with just you — you will also want to make sure that your family members are going to get in on the hand washing game. It might be a matter of providing soap everywhere next to the sinks, so that everyone can get their hands washed regularly.

If you are sick, you will want to make sure that you actually get the problem taken care of instead of just letting it linger. The longer you’re sick, the longer those germs are going to circulate in your home. That will end up not only keeping you ill, but possibly infecting other members of the family. That’s why illnesses usually circulate around a family before it actually leaves the house. Cleaning the home more often can make it easier for you to really keep everyone safe and well.

Another point that you will want to think about when it comes to your cleansing, you will want to make sure that you avoid all of the antibacterial soaps and body washes. All that does is provide the bacteria with a chance to become resistant to the antibiotics. The rise of “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics has changed the way we handle health care in the world now, and that’s not a good thing at all.

There does come a point where you can only do so much, but the tips in this guide will help you get things done over time, providing you and your family with a higher level of health!

Proper Eating During Pregnancy Matters!

A new baby is exciting, and finding out that you’re pregnant definitely changes a lot of things. One of the first things that needs to change is that you need to eat right as much as possible. While a lot of popular media acts as if pregnancy is just a time where you “wing it” and hope for the best, you need to make sure that you are actually as strategic as possible. The nutrition that you engage in while pregnant will make all of the difference when it’s time to actually enjoy the baby when it’s born. That’s because the food that you eat during pregnancy actually goes to the child a swell as you. It’s your level of nutrition that will determine how healthy your child is.

So, what does it mean to have a proper diet while being pregnant? Well, it means getting plenty of healthy fats and oils, getting good amounts of vegetables, and it also means that you will need to get a good amount of protein. Carbs have their place too — you will want to get carbs from veggies and fruit as well. You don’t want to get too high in carbs because they do turn to sugar. Raised blood sugar levels while pregnant is not good either. Your doctor can work out a good nutrition plan for you when it comes to the health of both you and your growing child, so don’t leave them out of the mix either.

Yes, it can be difficult to get the nutrients that you need while pregnant because morning (and sometimes even evening) sickness is common. You’re going to have cravings for things that might be outside of the way of eating that you used to enjoy. In addition, it can be hard to keep things down when you might be used to eating just about anything and everything. There’s nothing that says that you have to get all of your nutrients from actual food — though that’s the best way to do it. Reality is reality, and that means that you might need to get a good pre-natal supplement that you take during your pregnancy. Otherwise your body could be missing vital micronutrients that you need to have a healthy, active pregnancy.

Don’t forget that you will also need to get some rest and not worry too much. Stress has a lot of strain on the body, and this is no time to be stressed out. Stress and pregnancy do not mix well, and too much stress can keep you from keeping your child the way you would expect to keep them.

So, when it comes to a great pregnancy, nutrition is definitely part of it — don’t forget to get started as soon as possible!

Managing Stress While Raising a Family

Stress can be hard — and raising a family compounds your stress. You don’t have to feel like you have to deal with stress all on your own. Believe it or not, you’re actually in great company. There does come a point where you will have plenty of time to reflect not only on the things that are causing you stress, but you will also need to find solutions that work.

It’s not just you that suffers from stress, either — you will want to make sure that you think about the other people in your family. You will want to make sure that you talk to other family members and make sure that they’re going to be okay as well. Children deal with stress too, and they often take cues from you. So the more that you can work on your stress, the easier it’s going to be to actually get through stressful situations while setting a good example for your children. For example, if you keep everything bottled up and you never get any assistance at all, your children will feel like they can’t do anything but hold it all in. That’s been shown through several studies to have a negative effect on the body overall.

The last thing that you will want to do is think that you have to go through life without getting the help that you need.

The best way to manage stress is to write your feelings out in a journal. It’s private, it’s cheap, and you can get everything out without fear of making people feel like they’ve offended you. It’s better to make sure that you can manage your stress on top of raising a family without losing your cool. The last thing that you will want to do is take the stress of your life out on your family. All that will do is make your family feel like they can’t come to you when they need help, love, or affection.

Another way is to join a support group online. Online is a nice touch because it’s automatically anonymous and private. You’re asking for help through the comfort and convenience of your own home internet connection, which can be easier than trying to find a support group online.

There’s a lot of different tactics that you can take online. If you’re serious about managing your stress, having a support group is definitely the way to go — why not find one today?

Keep Your Groceries Safe – Here’s How!

We talk a lot bout food, but we don’t often talk about how to keep your food safe. You will want to make sure that you start thinking about how to keep your food safe for the long run instead of just thinking that your food will automatically be that way. There’s a lot more to the problem than just buying your food and taking it home.

First and foremost, you need to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you really want to make sure that your food stays cold when you’re coming out of the store, you might want to invest in insulated shopping bags. This will keep your coldest foods truly cold until you can get them into the fridge. That’s one way to cut down on the rise of dangerous bacteria that can keep you from enjoying the things that life has to offer.

Next, you will want to ensure that you clean your fridge from time to time. Bacteria can grow on virtually any type of medium. This means that if your fridge hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it’s probably filled with a lot of bacteria that can make you and your family sick. Think about it — how many times has something gotten cracked open in the fridge and the contents spilled down to the edge of the fridge? You never know how far a spill has gone, or where it has dried onto. You will want to wipe up spills immediately, but at least once every two weeks you’ll want to take everything out of the fridge and make sure that you sanitize the shelves that all of the food sits on. It can be tempting not to do this, but that’s not a good idea if you’re really worried about food safety.

Let’s not forget that preparing your food is equally important. You want to make sure that you actually cook your food until it is warmed internally to a temperature that will kill bacteria — usually 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Undercooking some of your meats might be more flavorful, but you will want to make sure that you still focus on food safety first rather than thinking that you won’t be taking too many risks. Deadly bacteria can be lurking in the meat. So if you must have your meat done rare or severely undercooked, you will want to make sure that you go ahead and get your meat from higher quality sources — organic, grass-fed beef makes the best steak and that would also mean less hormones and steroids in the meat as well. That’s always a good thing.

So the takeaway here is that you always need to focus on safety — why not get started today?

Is Regular Intimacy Really That Important?

We like to push the envelope and answer the questions that other people feel that they don’t nee dot answer. So when one of our readers simply asked whether or not regular intimacy is really that important, we had to sound off.

First and foremost, the simple answer is definitely yes. For starters, intimacy is a way of connecting with your partner. It feels good, and it has a lot of cardiovascular benefits as well. Anything that gets you up and moving is definitely a good thing. However you will need to make sure that you keep things in perspective. Our thought of regular and your thought of regular might be two different flavors of regular. It might be a point where you need to think about everything involved in the act of intimacy from a more realistic point. If you are working all day and your partner is also working all day, intimacy might not just happen. If you’re unhappy with the level of intimacy that you’re getting, you might nee dot start thinking about things that you can do to raise it.

You have to be honest and open with your partner. You want to make sure that you let your partner know that you want more intimacy, but you have to also be more specific. If you’re always looking for sexual encounters that are hours long — you might not be able to get what you want. But intimacy doesn’t have to just mean sex — it could mean more cuddling, more time to hold each other close. You might also want to try to do some activities together that aren’t just about sex — painting, cooking, and even cleaning the house together can inspire feelings of intimacy.

However, a lot of people don’t bother to have this honest discussion and simply make demands. If you try to make any adult do something they don’t want to do, you’re going to get resistance — why would you want to put yourself through this, really? There’s just too much in life that goes on for you to feel that you have to push someone into something they don’t want to do. If they go along with you, they’re only making themselves angry and why would you want your partner to be upset?

At the end of the day, regular intimacy is really that important, but so are proper expectations based on your relationship — think about it and then be about it!

Don’t Wait Til New Year’s to Embrace Better Health!

If you’re like many people, then you’ve probably set numerous New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that for some people, New Year’s resolutions just don’t work at all. It’s better than nothing, but the truth is that you have to do more than just wish for something better to come into your life. It’s not enough — you’re going to have to figure out how to take some action steps that are going to lead right to the goals that you want.

So, on that note, let’s go back to talking about health. Indeed, you have a lot of different goals that you could set within the world of health. The truth is that taking care of your health should be a top priority year around — don’t wait until the last minute to think about your health.

Before the clock even rolls over to a New Year, you should think about the type of health that you actually want. For example, you might want to think about going to see your doctor if you haven’t seen them in a while. Now, the idea of going to a doctor can be scary because you might feel that it’s impossible — after all, there’s a lot to think about.

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to figure out what is going to launch you into better health the soonest. Will it be lifestyle changes like getting better sleep and lowering your stress levels? It might sound silly that something so “small” could result in better health, but you just might be surprised. So many people believe a few hours sleep don’t really matter, but this is the only time where the body has time to repair itself and heal wounds. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is also the time where the body finishes digestion and begins actually suing the nutrients that you’ve taken in over the course of a day.

You really only get one body in your entire life, so why wouldn’t you want to use your body to the fullest? These tips are just designed to get you thinking in the right direction. Don’t wait until New Year’s to start making changes in your health. Make them now while you’re thinking about it — and then strengthen your goals at New Year’s — now that’s something worth celebrating!