One of my neighbors who just became pregnant knocked on my door the other day. She knows I’m a big fan of aqua aerobics, and wanted to know what I thought about water workout routines while she is carrying. I would have just said she’d be fine to do aqua aerobics while pregnant, but I wanted to be objective, so I went and did some research on her question.
A great option for exercise during pregnancy. According to Womenfitness.com, aqua aerobics is a workout routine that can help Mom stay fit through the entire course of pregnancy. There are a lot of advantages, such as taking weight off your legs and back, so you feel better doing the workout. Unlike trying to work out with weights, aqua aerobics doesn’t use much equipment. You can usually get by with a foam noodle, which you can get here, and get in a great workout.
Low-impact is a big plus. The water provides buoyancy, so the body only has to support 50 percent of its weight. That buoyancy is experienced when doing something like lunges, a great leg exercise. On the land, when the person steps out to initiate the lunge, the impact can be somewhat jarring. In the water, the foot landing is much more gentle and soft. When the back starts to announce itself during the pregnancy, and muscles and joints begin to ache some, the lightness of being in the water is a great experience, which still lets you get in a good workout.
Help with delivery. This is great news to hear for expectant Moms. The journal of Reproductive Health published an article stating that water aerobics done by women who were low risk or sedentary reduced the amount of pain killing medication requested by women during pregnancy.
When you’re in the water. Even in the water, you will sweat, so make sure you keep a water bottle handy. Take frequent sips while you work out, so you stay well hydrated. Make sure to wear a bathing suit with a supportive top, and an abdominal support as the pregnancy progresses. Move as slowly as necessary so you don’t exhaust yourself. It takes a while to fully appreciate the work you get from the resistance of the water. If you’re outdoors, don’t forget the sunscreen.
What is a good workout routine? Most water classes are done in water that is waist deep to chest high, so you don’t need to be able to swim to participate. There are workouts that focus on cardio or strength work, but most will include a blend of both. They will start with a warmup period, possibly by walking back and forth across the pool. Then elevate the level of intensity for an interval, followed by a low intensity interval for a rest period. Tailor the length of the intervals to your fitness level, and then cool down after the workout.
Prepare for fun. The common thread through most water aerobics classes – they’re a lot of fun. Yes, everyone is there to work out and stay fit, but people smile and laugh a lot when they’re doing it. Possibly it’s the enjoyable effect of being in the water. It’s like when kids jump in the pool, and immediately start laughing as they play – the same effect happens with adults. You’ll have a lot of fun when you’re doing aqua aerobics – which makes you want to keep doing it.
Aqua aerobics is a safe and enjoyable workout option for a woman throughout the term of a pregnancy. So give it a try – let the cushioning effect of the water give sore muscles and back a break – and just enjoy yourself!
Cancer organizations have spent several years offering the public tips on how to prevent skin cancer. The most common are also the most well known, such as:
- Avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Always wear sunscreen with at least 15 SPF or higher
- Reapply sunscreen often, especially if you go in and out of the water frequently
- Don’t use tanning beds
There are other ways that many people don’t even think of that are extremely simple. When used frequently enough, they can easily become habit.
The body needs sunlight. Just like any other living thing, sunlight provides people with nutrients they need to survive. Completely blocking out the sun would be equivalent to doing without a healthy, nutrient rich food. There are ways to get the sunlight a person needs without endangering the health of their skin. Chelsea from pureskintone.com offers some great tips on her site.
Know the side effects of any medications that are taken on a regular basis. Antibiotics, for example, can cause a person’s skin to be extremely sensitive to sunlight. The same can be said for many over the counter and prescriptions medications. Individuals who rely on herbs to supplement their health should also look into any side effects for those as well. St. John’s Wort is an herbal remedy that has shown to cause extreme sun sensitivity in people with certain types of skin.
A person should examine their skin often for areas of discoloration, new moles or dark spots. Individuals who are susceptible to other types of cancers or skin conditions should report any changes to their physician. This will help to catch melanomas in their earliest stages and hopefully, prevent its progress.
Maintain proper skin care. Wash skin with gentle cleansers and avoid harsh chemical treatments that can damage skin. Chemical peels and years of heavy makeup can damage skin. Using mild cleansers and making sure all traces of makeup are removed at the end of each day, allows skin to breathe and rejuvenate itself. Moisturizing the skin as needed will keep it supple and help it to maintain its elasticity.
If a person works outside on a daily basis, make sure to seek out shade whenever possible. That, in addition to using adequate amounts of sunscreen can help protect the skin from excessive amounts of ultraviolet rays. Wearing a hat with a wide brim will keep sun off the face and neck as well.
The skin is not the only thing that is sensitive to sunlight. A person’s eyes can also be damaged. When remembering to cover the rest of the body, it doesn’t hurt to covert he eyes as well. Extremely dark lenses are not needed. Lenses are available that prevent UV rays from damaging the eyes as well as the sensitive skin that surrounds them. Making sure the eyes are covered when going outside will become second nature, just like wearing a hat or clothing that blocks sun from having direct contact with the skin.
The Affordable Care Act has been attracting a media circus as of late because of the roll out of health insurance exchanges, particularly the fact that many still aren’t aware of the health benefits they are now entitled to. Many are curious to know what it really entails and just how effective it can be in helping people in need of healthcare, especially since we’ve been hearing a lot of people complaining about being dropped from their existing policies in the past, as well as of those people who are finding it hard to navigate exchange application forms.
But now the new provisions protect citizens from being dropped by their current insurance providers, and the exchange policies will be required to cover the following (and meet a basic level of coverage as dictated by the ACA): ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.
Each state is required to create an exchange setup, and they can do this by running it on their own, teaming up with other states or partnering with the federal government. As of now, the only states who have their own exchange setup include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, new. Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and DC. For those who live in other states, the federal government will be the one tasked to facilitate exchanges.
The ACA also vetoes price discrimination based on race, gender and preexisting conditions, but people will be able to compare and choose between four categories: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. A local insurance agency I talked to recently said that it also requires insurance companies to allot at least 80% of all insurance premiums to medical care and will be forbidden to collect on annual or lifetime caps. Insurance providers are also required to provide policy holders with a summary of the benefits they offer and the coverage of their chosen plans. What’s more is that the new provisions now allow people’s children to remain as their parent’s beneficiaries until the age of 26.
Denial of care
There have also been cases in the past where insurance providers would not pay for hospital services, especially emergency services, because some hospitals are excluded from their network. And so people would be forced to pay in cash or to find other healthcare providers that are within their insurer’s network. With the new provision, people won’t be dealing with such experiences anymore because they will now be allowed to choose the institution that would serve as their primary healthcare provider.
As for preventive services, the ACA now required coverage of the following: adult and childhood immunization, HIV screening for all ages, obesity screening and counseling, diet counseling for at-risk adults, alcohol misuse screening and counseling, type 2 diabetes screening for adults with hypertension, counseling on STD prevention for at-risk adults, well-woman visits for women under 65, osteoporosis screening for at-risk women over 60, breast cancer mammography screenings for women over 40, and vision screening for children.
Today, there is a growing concern for the environment. Among environmentally conscious homeowners, using organic fertilizers on their lawns and gardens is safer for their family and pets. Synthetic fertilizers are manufactured products containing harmful chemical mixes that give the soil a quick burst and feed them with high doses of nutrients. While these chemicals encourage quick grass growth, they kill vital soil life and make your lawns more susceptible to pests. Because of this, you will need more chemical treatments to solve weed invasion, pest issues and lawn diseases. Eventually, it becomes a never ending cycle of chemical treatments that lead to further destruction of soil life and diminished lawn return.
What is Organic Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizers are all-natural compounds that contain one or more natural elements. Common examples are plant or animal manures, wood ashes, bone meal, rotten produce, by-products of fish, corn gluten, cottonseed meal, seaweed, soybean meal and any other matter that is subject to decomposition.
Organic fertilizers nurture healthy soil to help grow vegetables, raise flowers, and produce a beautiful carpet of grass across the lawn. These all-natural ingredients improve soil structure, microbial life, moisture retention and drainage of the soil. Typically, these fertilizers take time to break down and make their nutrients available so the best time to apply is a few months before planting season. This is to allow the microbes to absorb the organic matter and transform nutrients for plants.
Why Choose Organic Fertilizer for Your Lawn?
Organic fertilizers are not just better for your lawn but are also healthier alternatives for the environment and your family’s health. The negative effects of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns greatly impact animals and human beings. Children are especially vulnerable to these chemicals than adults because of body weight, organ system and developmental delay factors. Upon exposure, they are likely to take in more of the toxins relative to body weight and are less able to clear out toxic elements.
Studies show that increased exposure to lawn chemicals make children susceptible to certain cancers because their suppressed immune system can no longer detect cancer cells. The amount of toxic chemicals in the environment also gives rise to learning and developmental disorders in children. Furthermore, young infants and toddlers exposed to weed killers are more likely to develop asthma by the age of 5. This is partly due to their crawling behavior and proximity to floors, lawns and soil. Children younger than 6 years of age also have the tendency to ingest these harmful chemicals through the soil.
All-Natural Fertilizers for Your Garden
One of the most important aspects of gardening is building up the fertility of the soil. A healthy soil equates to healthier plants. Fertilizing is a way of caring for the soil and replenishing its nutrient content that was greatly reduced by plant use and erosion. The safest and healthiest way of providing care for your lawns and gardens is to prepare a homemade organic fertilizer, produced in a completely natural manner without any synthetic components added. It’s not only cheaper but also good for the health.
Keeping your home sparkling clean is a way to live healthy. All of us know that constant exposure to dust, dirt, and air pollution produces harmful effects to our bodies. Contrary to popular belief, these pollutants don’t just exist outdoors. In fact, a study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicated that the stale air we inhale inside our home is even more contaminated than the air outside. How could that possibly be? Let’s take a look at each section within our home.
Also noted, older homes are usually harder to keep dust free. Manufactured homes may be the way of the future, learn more about them here. Below are descriptions of individual rooms and parts of a home.
The Living Room. This area appears to be well arranged with modern furniture, electronic appliances, carpet, drapes, ceiling fan, mirrors, wood frames, and other ornaments. But these things accumulate dust and dirt easily when not cleaned regularly. Organic compounds are also present in some manufactured wooden furniture. Both these chemicals and dust particles can cause allergies, dizziness, nausea and possible respiratory problems to humans. To reduce their ill effects, curtains and upholstery have to be washed and changed at least once a month. Floors must be mopped daily and carpets vacuum cleaned weekly. Wooden furniture can be cleaned with a dry cloth. Windows and doors need regular cleaning as well because these parts of the house are often exposed to outside air.
The Bedroom. This is a solitary place where occupants sleep and usually do their paperwork. It typically contains a bed, desk, chair, computer and book shelves. To keep it spotlessly clean and germ-free, the entire room must be dusted daily and vacuum cleaned once a week. Bed covers and pillow cases are to be washed weekly to keep them fresh and fragrant. Mirrors, closets, doors and window panels have to be wiped clean from time to time.
The Bathroom. It is considered the most sensitive area of the house because this place is always wet. Moisture and stagnant water are breeding places for disease causing germs, microorganisms and mosquitoes. Keeping the area dry is a way to get rid of these harmful bugs. The toilet, floor, tub, shower and sink must be cleaned and sanitized daily with the use of eco-friendly bathroom disinfectants to remove grime. Natural disinfectants are safer to use than commercial cleaners because they don’t contain toxic ingredients that are injurious to health.
The Kitchen. It is one area of the house that must be tidied and cleaned all the time. Our family deserves only the best food on their plates so we have to make sure the kitchen environment is germ-free. The floor has to be mopped every day and the countertop wiped with damp cloth. Wash the sink on a daily basis as well to remove greasy substances. Defrost and clean the refrigerator periodically to protect the food from bacteria. Once in a while, clean the kitchen cabinets with insecticides to get rid of ants and cockroaches that breed inside the area. Have your gas stove checked regularly for possible gas leaks to maintain a chemical free environment.
Indoor pollution is hazardous to health but we so often neglect to execute simple cleaning. Daily cleaning and maintenance ensures a dust free environment and clean air flow. A home that is free from pollutants is a safe place for healthy living.
Imagine these: classic cinnamon rolls, apple turnovers, chewy snickerdoodle cookies, a banana foster milkshake and a glass of coquito – all made with cinnamon… and all bad for you? That doesn’t sound right, but apparently, research has found that cinnamon can be detrimental to your liver.
What exactly is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of certain trees. True cinnamon comes in the form of ceylon, but it is said to be quite pricey. That is why the food industry opts to make use of another variety, called cassia. And it is this cheaper variety that causes damage to the liver.
Cinnamon has been known to produce a lot of health benefits. To name a few, it helps control blood sugar; it has anti-bacterial properties that is effective against candida yeast infections, and digestive and respiratory infections; it can ease the pain associated with arthritis; it can improve memory, alertness and concentration; and it can even mitigate the effects of PMS.
So how come cinnamon became a health threat all of a sudden?
The culprit, research says, is coumarin. It is a fragrant organic compound that can be found in a lot of plants. And because cinnamon comes from trees, it most likely contains this naturally-occurring substance. However, cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of coumarin than ceylon. It is said that there is little difference in coumarin absorption between cassia cinnamon and isolated coumarin. And since we consume more cassia than ceylon, there is a higher possibility that consumers end up developing liver failure, especially if you’re one of those individuals who has a unique sensitivity to coumarin.
Limiting your daily intake
Because of the rather disturbing discoveries about cinnamon, the Danish government has already started regulating pastry, since the use of cinnamon is common in these type of foods. They now have a new recommendation with regards to daily intake of cinnamon in efforts to protect public health. The US Department of Health also recommends limiting intake of cinnamon to 6 grams per day. So I guess we’ll have to cut down on all our cinnamon-spiced favorites. Or if you’re going to do some baking using the popular spice, it’s probably time for you to know how to tell the difference between cassia and ceylon cinnamon. When looking at ground cinnamon in the supermarket, however, it will be hard to distinguish one from the other. As a quick tip, look for cinnamon sticks instead. To identify which is which, cassia cinnamon sticks look like thicker layers of rolled bark, while ceylon sticks are made up of thinner ones.
Most of the time people spend their days indoors. They sit in front of the computer, watch TV, talk on the phone for hours and so on. But that kind of lifestyle is nowhere near healthy. If you’re one of those individuals, it’s about time someone tells you that you need to get out more. Spending time outdoors does a lot of good to your body, from children to middle-aged individuals and the elderly. This is why:
- Air – We all need oxygen to breathe and we need oxygen for our body to function properly. And the best source for oxygen? Outdoors, of course. It’s clean, it’s fresh, and it’s invigorating! Unlike the air you breathe indoors, it isn’t toxic. It isn’t contaminated with various chemicals from furniture, paint, glues, and other items you use inside your home.
- Exercise – When you’re outside, movement is compulsory, thus allowing you to do some form of exercise which is one of the keys to achieving overall wellness. Exercise helps you improve your circulation, flexibility, bone density and muscle strength, and can even prevent your from experiencing PMS. In fact it’s even great for natural healing – and these are just to name a few.
- Sunlight – The human body needs to be exposed to a good amount of sunlight, particularly that of the early morning sun. Sunlight gives you vitamin D, an essential vitamin which has been known to help your body fight against cancer, heart disease, bone disease, diabetes and many more.
- Sound – You know how spa facilities like to play the sound of running water or playful winds in the background? That’s because different sounds coming from nature can be quite therapeutic. They can help relieve stress and can even be used to aid in meditation.
- Colors – Some people find gardening quite therapeutic, and that has something to do with the colors they see in their garden. Colors are a result of different wavelengths of light that strike through your retina and they produce what is called “energy medicine,” which actually stimulates your brain and can, in turn, raise your brain function and prevent memory loss.
- Microbes – While many will tell you that microbes are harmful to your body, that isn’t 100% true. There are good and bad microbes, and you will want to expose yourself to the good. Exposing yourself to good microbes found in nature boosts your immune system because they prevent the bad from settling and thriving in the body.
Eight years ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a draft guidance for whole grain label statements, but up until now they still haven’t released the final guidelines. Because of this, various companies would create their own notions of what “whole grain” products ought to be, and it is creating much debate among them. According to a Los Angeles-based FDA law firm, “…manufacturers and Importers of foods…require legal advice on regulatory statutes involving Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Kellogg’s, for example, says that food products should only be labeled as whole grain if the products contains a good amount of fiber, but General Mills strongly disagrees. For the makers of Trix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, fiber should not even be a criterion. They explain that “whole grain is the entire seed of grains such as wheat, rice, corn or oats and includes all three parts of the grain (the bran, the germ and the endosperm) in the same proportion as the intact grain. Consumers should not be misled as to what constitutes a whole grain merely to justify certain enrichment practices.”
There is also the issue of how manufacturers should put a number on whole grain statements. General Mills thinks that “quantified whole grain statements should be communicated by the gram amuont of whole grains in context of the daily recommended amount (48 g/day minimum) rather than as a percentage of the grain that is whole.” To this, New York University’s Dr. Marion Nestle disagrees. The professor, who works at the university’s nutrition, food studies and public health department, believes that it would be better for consumers if they were presented with a percentage of the total grains. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) thinks so too. According to them, “companies exploit the whole grain halo by tacking it on products mostly made with white refined flour.”
Yes, even those with the Whole Grain Stamp. “In our experience,” says director for food and nutrition at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council Cynthia Harriman, “many of these products would not in fact qualify for the Whole Grain Stamp.” And she warns that consumers should be wary of products that claim of being made with whole grain because a lot of these products have not actually been reviewed for their whole grain content.
As for the FDA, Harriman says that “if a package refers to percentages, they must always be as a percent of the total weight of all ingredients. So FDA would not be okay with wording such as ‘60% whole grain’ on a loaf of bread if the intent is to convey that 60% of the grain is whole grain.” And they still need to figure out how to carry that out onto the Whole Grain Stamp.
From Water Aerobics to Golf to Metal Detecting
You may not realize it now, but staying active even after the age of 60 can do wonders for your body. One needs to engage in strength, flexibility, balance and endurance exercises to maintain health. You can choose to do one, but doing all of these let’s you reap more benefits. Besides, older adults don’t necessarily have to do such strenuous exercises to keep themselves fit. Just doing simple activities can already make a difference. These low-impact activities can be in the forms of tai chi, water aerobics, rowing, weight lifting or, more commonly, walking.
The Benefits of Walking
Walking can give us a whole lot of health benefits. For younger people or middle adults, it helps put off signs of aging. As for the elderly because it is quite good for them be ause it is less strenuous, putting less stress on your bones and joints, therefore lowering your risk for injuries. Just walking for 30 minutes a day can give you a healthy body and help you fight against different health problems that are associated with aging. The benefits of walking include the following:
- It improves balance, coordination and joint flexibility.
- It improves muscle strength, endurance and energy levels.
- It reduces the risk of falls and therefore injuries.
- It helps prevent the development of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by strengthening bones and joints.
- It reduces the risk of developing common psychological problems such as Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
- It provides the elderly with continued social relationships that can help reduce stress levels and the risk of depression.
The CDC also has some great information about the benefits of walking and exercise.
Activities that Include Walking
From simple household chores to hobbies and actual exercise regimens, there are a variety of things older adults can do to that involves walking. At home, simple cleaning around the house – sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, lawn mowing and gardening – gets them moving. As for different hobbies they can get into, the can do rowing, yoga and tai chi, swimming and water aerobics, golf, metal detecting, hiking and nature walking, ballroom dancing, cycling and so much more. They can also join gym classes specific to seniors, or simply go jogging or brisk walking.
Eat Healthy, Cook Healthy
Cooking is one of your passions, but you’re too afraid that the thing you love the most might also be your biggest downfall, that is if you start gaining a lot of weight. Of course, you can’t just cook something up and throw it away as soon as you’re done with the plating. And even if you don’t live alone, you don’t want to risk your roommate or your partner or your family’s health all for the love of food. With that said, you need to learn how to cook healthy. I suggest you try cooking recipes one healthy ingredient at a time. For starters, let’s talk about grains.
So Let’s Talk About Grains
Barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, rye and wheat are a few examples of grains. As for grain products, there’s bread, breakfast cereals, couscous, crackers, pasta and tortillas. All these should be a regular part of your meals. Also keep in mind that whole grains contain the dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins that are lost when grain is milled and processed. These are essential to health, and therefore, it would be wise to choose whole grains and whole grain products over refined grain products.
Incorporating whole grains to your everyday meals is easy. You can mix them with greens when preparing salads and side dishes. Popcorn is also a type of grain product that is a good source of fiber. Your kids will surely have no objections when given the treat. But make sure not to top it with the usual butter and salt that tastes just absolutely sinful. They contain too much fat, sodium and calories. There are a few popcorn seasoning available in the market that are a much healthier alternative for that.
Grains Make For Easy Preparations
You can add anything to a grain dish – herbs, fruits, nuts, spices and even cheese. For example: basil, garlic, rosemary, thyme can make rice more savory. You can always switch it up. With breakfast cereals, you can pair it with bananas one day, apples the next day, and strawberries on a different day. Some ethnic cuisines also include a lot of grain recipes, so now you have the perfect reason to try out several of those recipes. Moreover, some of the most popular dishes are made with grains; dishes like corn salad, multigrain waffles, oatmeal cookies, risotto and sesame pancakes.