Oct 26

The Bad Effect of Modern Life Environment on Your Health

Modern life can be taxing. Today we live faster, work more, and have less free time than ever before. In addition, our ‘conveniences’ often come at the expense of the purity of our environment.

It’s no wonder we are the ‘stress generation’. Did you know that you hear more news in one DAY that your great-grandparents heard in an entire year? Combine the stress caused by too much information with the changes in our environment and the food we eat and you end up with a losing combination.

Here are the top three environmental factors that have a negative impact on your life and what you can do about each.

Air pollution

This problem can sneak into your home or office without you even noticing. And the problem is very real. From airborne pollutants to toxic mold, our breathing is under attack.

Many cities now routinely warn citizens to stay indoors during certain parts of the day, particularly in the summer, due to elevated ozone levels. Of course, summer is the time when our children and we often want to be outdoors.

The good news is that this is a problem with several solutions. Today we have a wide variety of air filters from which to choose. Ranging from those that simply filter our air to more expensive models that ‘treat’ the air, be sure you get a filter that traps super-small particles and defends against ozone as well. And change your filter often. Experts now recommend changing filters up to once a week.

You may not be able to change the air outside but you can make a difference in the air your family breaths when they are in your home.

Water pollution

If you remember high-school science, you will remember that there is no new water. That’s right, the water you drank today is completely re-circulated from the clouds above. Makes air pollution take on a completely new meaning, doesn’t it?

Water is essential to life. When NASA speaks about the possibility of life existing on Mars or any other planet, what they look for is whether that planet has or has ever had water. The majority of the human body is made of water. We cannot live without it.

Like our air, our water is polluted with chemicals and toxins from various sources in the environment. Thankfully, water filtration is sophisticated. Having an effective home water filtration system is within the reach of virtually everyone.

Whether you’ve choose a ‘whole house’ filter or one that runs from the faucet, be sure that the particle size that it filters is sufficiently small. Look specifically to see that your filter will remove contaminants like lead, mercury, and asbestos.

Chemical residue

If our air and water are both polluted, where does that leave our homes? By cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, we are on the road to providing a safer environment for our families. However, we’re not there yet.

Every surface in our home collects dust, dirt, germs, and grease that need cleaning regularly. That’s no problem, you say! You can just pick up your handy dandy bottle of all-purpose chemical cleaner and begin, wait, did you say chemical cleaner?

We filter chemicals out of our air and water and then put them right back into our home environment by cleaning every surface in our home with chemical cleaners, exposing our families to their vapors in the process.

Modern advancements come to the rescue in the area of cleaning as well. For the first time, we have easy access to methods of cleaning that will do a great job without bringing us the chemicals and toxins that we don’t want.

In each area of household cleaning you undertake, be sure to choose products that won’t leave a chemical residue or strong chemical odors in the air. Your health and your lungs will thank you.

By making a few simple changes, you can have a permanent impact on your life and the lives of your family members. Why not start today? Take back your peace of mind and begin the journey to happier and healthier lives.

Oct 19

Limiting the Use of Processed Food to Improve Your Health

Processed FoodIt is best to limit the use of processed foods to improve your health (processed meaning things were done to it, it is not directly or closely linked to the whole, natural food; usually these foods are in boxes or bags), unless the whole grain rice with spices, herbs and other food in a box with no unnatural additives is much better for you than the usual fast food.

Read those labels as well. If you cannot pronounce or understand what an ingredient is, do not consume it. If a product says ‘enriched’, this does not make it a better product.

In fact, things are enriched when they have had those enriching items taken away. Processing foods uses heat, cold, light, drying, or crushing which all serve to deplete vitamins and minerals in the food. To replace these essentials means the food was already compromised.

Look for foods that are as close to their natural state and as fresh as possible. The best foods are fresh straight from the earth. The next best is fresh from the produce or bulk section. Then comes frozen, dried, and canned, respectively.

You may wonder how the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) affects your health besides flavor and price. Processed foods, as mentioned above, typically contain less vitamins and minerals than the original foods that made them up.

If you eat food mostly from packages or boxes and are not reading labels, not only are you not getting valuable nutrients, but also you are consuming items that may be depleting nutrients in your body. Sugar uses B vitamins from your body. Preservatives and additives put an extra burden on your liver, whose job it is to break these compounds down so your body can get rid of them.

What your body cannot get rid of, it will store in fat, so these chemicals will not be running around causing harm where they do not belong. No where in nature will you find a body needs ‘blue dye 2′ or ‘propylene glycol’ necessary and good for survival.

Fat is the best storage place for these toxins. Fat is found not only right under your skin but also lining your nerves and in your brain. These may not be places you wish toxins stored.

We commonly hear that fat is bad and cholesterol is bad from the media. We do need fat and cholesterol to live. Fats and cholesterol are large components in healthy skin, all your cells, hormones, and your brain and nerves. They are also a good source of energy when needed. It is not good to severely limit these items from the diet.

It is the quality of the fats that you consume that makes the difference. Some fats that are good for your body are called essential fatty acids, or EFA’s. Your body cannot make these fats, therefore the essential aspect. You can find these helpful fats in flax seeds, fish, evening primrose oil, borage oil, and some other oils and foods.

If you eat fat mainly from grass-fed animals, butter, fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, and get some EFA’s in your diet, you will do well. Margarine contains fats called ‘trans fatty acids’ which helps it stay solid at room temperature. These trans fats contribute quickly to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Trans fats are also found in many processed foods like chips, fries, and some diet foods.

Please read labels. Do not eat any foods that say ‘trans fatty acids’ or ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’. Hydrogenation is the process that forms the trans fats.

Oct 12

Increasing Your Life Energy

Energy is the natural resource in shortest supply, especially for the 100 million Americans who are suffering from chronic or incurable illness. Just thinking of everyone who needs you can sap out what little energy you have left. Maybe you feel like you can’t possibly get it all done. But you know you have to.

People depend on you everyday. Your family, friends, coworkers, clients, and even your pets! To meet the demands of life today, you can’t afford to have your energy depleted. So here are some ways to easily boost those energy levels right away.

Breathe. Go out the door (get as bundled up as necessary) and close the door. Take in deep breaths for 10 minutes. You would not believe just how much better you’ll felt. If where you are is smoggy, or if there are no way you can get outside, get an air purifier and you will have the benefits of the negative ions anyway.

Exercise is the energy creator. Move your body, no matter how little. If you cannot even move your ankle or wrist joints around in circles, imagine yourself doing it. You know you need it, so why fight it? Take a walk, even if it is winter. If you can’t walk outside, walk in a mall. Stretch, elongate those tight muscles. Dance! Put on your favorite music and move around (again if you cannot move even minimally imagine yourself doing this.)

It feels so good. If you’re bedridden or for some other reason can’t exercise today, at least visualize doing it in your mind. We are meant to exercise. The nervous and endocrine systems need stimulation to release endorphins (those feel-good, energy enhancing chemicals).

Pump up your energy in your attitude. Think of life as a school. When you quit learning, you begin dying. Open your mind; learn something new every day. Make it a game! Write down your new find in a spiral notebook – nothing fancy. It’s fun to look back and see how much more knowledge you’ve captured over time.

Clutter – the silent energy sucker. You’ve heard it before – what’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside. Surrounded by clutter? It has a real physical effect on your energy levels. Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you to clean out your garage or over-stuffed closet all at once. Set a timer and just take 15 minutes a day to de-clutter your space. It’s all about baby steps.

Keep your water intake high. Studies show lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. In fact, a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

Let it go. There is a direct relationship between buried anger and your energy levels. Holding onto a grudy or not moving on in your life hurts you more than it hurts anyone else. It only helps you physically and energetically to acknowledge that people have their limitations. If you were hurt, you don’t have to trust that person again. Forgive and letting go is a selfish act you do to make yourself feel better. Be a little selfish!

Money can’t buy you happiness. But most people refuse to believe it. If you find you are doing things you find unpleasant just for a paycheck, you can be assured your energy is depleted.

If you dislike your job or if you have not been able to work because of your condition, try this exercise. Scan the newspaper for 10 jobs in 4 different fields you could do. These don’t have to be jobs you WANT to do. Just ones that you COULD do. This exercise is meant to teach flexibility.

It re-frames you in a light you don’t normally see yourself. With this expansion of possibility, you’ll feel less trapped. More hopeful. More energized! Once you see something you might like to do ask friends if they know of a way to do this in the amount of time you have.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking these tiny things won’t make a difference. Each little step you make will help your body in powerful ways. These suggestions are just a beginning to discovering more energy in your life.

Oct 05

Improve Your Health with Walking

Improve Your Health with WalkingMany people today are afflicted with “coach potato-itis!” They come home from work, switch on their TVs and forget that their bodies need maintenance. But one day reality comes crashing through when their doctors say, “You have a problem!”

Did you know that walking is one of the simplest activities you can do to dramatically increase your level of health? Through a fun and inexpensive walking program that promises many benefits, such as;

Increase your energy level. Since walking is an aerobic exercise, it helps the heart and lungs become more efficient. Both PCOPF (the President’s Council on Physical Fitness) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) state that a regular walking program can lower resting heart rates and blood pressure. It can help burn excess calories and increase muscle tone too.

Walking can enhance your mental health. Taking regular walks can help reduce stress and enable you to sleep better. It can also help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. When you walk, your body produces endorphins which produce a feeling of wellbeing.

It’s fun! The President’s Council on Physical Fitness (PCOPF) calls walking the most popular form of exercise. It can be very enjoyable taking walks with a friend or loved one or even in groups.

Here’s what you’ll need as you begin your new walk-for-health lifestyle. Purchase a pair of comfortable shoes, sunscreen or a hat and sunglasses. Choose loose-fitting garments. Bring along a bottle of water on warm days.

But before you briskly stride out the door to begin your new adventure, you’d better check with your doctor first if you experience any of these symptoms:

Persistent dizziness

Chronic shortness of breath

High blood pressure

Heart problems

Chest pain

When you’re ready to begin walking regularly, there are some precautions to take. Walk during daylight hours or at night only in well-lit areas. Be sure to obey all traffic rules for pedestrians. If you decide to wear headphones, make sure you can still hear what’s going on around you – like cars honking. Stop and rest if you start feeling sick to your stomach, dizzy or experience unusual pain.

Try to walk whenever possible as part of your daily activities.

For example, park a distance from stores so you can get some extra exercise going to and from your destination.

Why not visit local parks to enjoy the beauty of nature while you’re exercising?

Check out the neighborhood where you live to find good routes.

On rainy days you can walk in malls instead of doing without your exercise time.

It’s a good idea to make a habit of selecting stairs instead of elevators when you need to spend time in office buildings.

It’s more fun if you have a companion. This is good exercise for dogs too – they love to go for walks!

Experts recommend thirty minutes of brisk striding per day. It’s best to walk every day, but you only really need to walk five days a week. This can be broken down into smaller segments of time – three ten-minute walks instead of one long 30-minute one.

Try to stride as fast as you can without overexerting yourself. You can tell when you are going at a brisk pace because your heart will beat faster and you’ll breathe deeper. However, your heart should not be racing and you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

So get off the couch, put those chips down, slip on your comfortable shoes and start striding your way to better health!