Category: Lifestyle

How to Find Time for Fitness

Many adults admit to having little or no time to exercise, and statistics support the notion that men and women simply aren’t exercising enough. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 21 percent of adults ages 18 and older met the physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity (Note: The World Health Organization recommends that healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, while also performing muscle-strengthening activities involving the major muscle groups at least two days per week.)

Commitments to work and family can make it hard to find time to visit the gym or exercise at home. But the benefits of regular exercise are so substantial that even the busiest adults should make concerted efforts to find time to exercise. The following are a handful of ways to do just that.

· Embrace multitasking. Many professionals are adept at multi-tasking in the office, and those same skills can be applied when trying to find time for exercise. Instead of plopping down on the couch to watch television, bring a tablet to the gym or the basement and stream a favorite show while on the treadmill or the elliptical. When running errands around town, ride a bicycle or walk instead of driving.

· Cut down on screen time. A 2016 report from The Nielsen Company revealed that the average adult in the United States spent more than 10 hours each day consuming media. That includes time spent using smartphones, tablets, personal computers, and other devices. By reducing that screen time by just one hour per day, adults can create enough free time to meet the WHO-recommended exercise requirements.

· Make it a group effort. Involving others can make it easier for adults to find time to exercise. Instead of hosting work meetings in a conference room, take the meeting outside, walking around the office complex while discussing projects rather than sitting stationary around a conference table. At home, take the family along to the gym or go for nightly post-dinner walks around the neighborhood instead of retiring to the living room to watch television.

· Redefine date night. Adults who can’t find time for exercise during the week can redefine date night with their significant others. Instead of patronizing a local restaurant on Friday or Saturday night, enroll in a fitness class together. Parents can still hire babysitters to look after their youngsters while they go burn calories instead of packing them on at local eateries.

Finding time to exercise can be difficult for busy adults. But those committed to getting healthier can find ways to do so even when their schedules are booked.

Strategies to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Staying fit during the holiday season can be quite challenging, even for the most ardent fitness enthusiasts and disciplined calorie-counters.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, many people are offered a wide assortment of foods, beverages and other indulgences — typically in mass quantities. According to researchers at Stanford University, although the average person only gains around one pound during the holiday season, quite frequently that pound sticks around, and those extra pounds add up year after year. As a result, it doesn’t take too many years of holiday bundt cakes to gain a considerable amount of weight.

Holiday season weight gain is not unique to the United States and Canada. Investigators at Tampere University of Technology in Finland tracked weight gained in the United States, Germany and Japan during those countries’ festive times and found that each country’s participants gained weight, particularly during the holiday season. Annual holiday weight gain can contribute to weight-based problems such as obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The holiday season might not be the best time to start a diet, but holiday eating does not have to derail healthy lifestyles. The following are ways to avoid holiday weight gain and still enjoy all of the parties, adventures and time spent with friends and family.

Focus on festivity instead of food. When hosting holiday festivities, make the bulk of the celebration about an activity rather than food. If guests are focused on fun, such as a sing-a-long, dancing or tree-trimming, they may be less likely to overeat.

Don’t show up starving. Eat a light, healthy snack before participating in any holiday revelry. Hunger pangs may drive one straight to the buffet table.

Survey your options prior to eating. Guests should scope out the food choices and then make the smartest selections possible. Avoid creamy sauces, greasy foods and those that are heavy on cheese. Fill up on vegetables and then you won’t feel bad about splurging on a dessert.

Go sparingly on alcohol. People seldom realize how quickly calories from beverages can add up. A 12-ounce glass of beer has about 150 calories, a five ounce glass of red wine has about 125 calories and a 1.5-ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, or tequila has about 100 calories, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Furthermore, alcohol lowers inhibitions, so you may be more likely to overindulge in more spirits or extra food when intoxicated.

You can’t buy back calories with exercise. Putting in a marathon exercise session the next day probably will not undo the damage done from overeating the night before. Maintain a consistent workout schedule all through the holidays.

Holiday weight gain is not inevitable for those who take control and exercise discipline.

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Immune Boosting Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The hectic holidays and chill in the air can take a toll on the immune system making one more susceptible to cold weather challenges. Stay healthy and vital all season by taking the following steps.

Be Balanced

From eggnog and cookies to champagne toasts, you may be more likely to over indulge during the holiday season than at other times of the year. Be mindful of what you are eating and drinking at parties, and then balance out these extravagances with plenty of rest, regular exercise, healthy hydration and an otherwise nutrition-filled diet.

Get Some Support

“We are learning more each day about what weakens the immune system and how we can strengthen it for better health,” says Larry Robinson, PhD, vice president of scientific affairs at Embria Health Sciences, a manufacturer of natural, science-based ingredients that support wellness and vitality. “Good immune health requires more than just getting enough vitamin C.”

For some extra support this season and beyond, consider taking an immune-supporting supplement that goes further than a standard vitamin C tablet.  For example, NOW EpiCor Plus Immunity contains Zinc, Selenium, and vitamins D-3 and C, and can give you the nutrition you need to help you make it through the holidays healthfully. To learn more, visit nowfoods.com.

While all these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and this supplement is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, many experts believe they can help maintain your daily health.

Relax

The holiday season is meant to be joyful. Unfortunately, it can also be stressful. From navigating a shopping mall parking lot on the busiest day of the year to dealing with the extended family, stress can compromise your immune response. Use at least some of that time you may have off from work to truly relax, scheduling some down time for yourself — whether it’s curling up with a glass of green tea and a paperback, taking a bubble bath or doing yoga.

For a happy holiday season, take steps to treat your body right and to prioritize health and wellness. (StatePoint)
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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) georgerudy/stock.Adobe.com

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Plan Your Fall Foliage Excursion

Autumn means different things to many people. Students may embrace the dawn of a new school year, while others might embrace the crisp weather after a season of heat. One of the more widely enjoyed aspects of autumn is the chance to take in the brilliant foliage.

Although New England may be renowned for its bright, orange, red and yellow panoramas, dazzling displays of foliage can be witnessed anywhere temperatures descend enough for deciduous trees to shed their leaves.

The first step to a successful fall foliage excursion is to find the right spot. The Catskill and Adirondack Mountains of New York, Amish Country in Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes from Michigan to Ohio, and many other areas can be great places to witness nature at its most colorful. To make the most of fall foliage road trips, drivers can keep the following suggestions in mind.

· Get off the highway. To see great fall vistas, take a detour from major thoroughfares and visit small towns and mountain passes. Invest in some maps, as cellular networks may be inaccessible in remote locales.

· Avoid tourist-heavy areas. Drivers may prefer less crowded roadways to accompany the great scenery. Such drivers should visit areas that are not tourist meccas. Any area that plays home to forests and sprawling landscapes will do.

· Go on foot. To get the best photos, head out at sunrise or sunset. Soft, golden light dappled by leaves will bring out the golden tones in photos. Going on foot will help you discover the nuances of the season and slow down for a change.

· Don’t overlook overcast days. Traveling in the rain may not be fun, but overcast days might be ideal. On such days, the sun won’t be too warm and drown out the colors.

· Bring along binoculars. Wildlife is often mobile and abundant in the fall, as animals scurry to feed and gather supplies before the winter. As a result, autumn is a great time to spot wildlife that’s normally hiding in thickets and woodland areas.

· Plan for stops along the way. Don’t forget to bring some spending money in the form of cash so that you can enjoy the small farm stands and shops that often dot rural landscapes. Pick up farm-fresh produce or choose a plump pumpkin. Yard sales also are abundant this time of year. Small shops may not take credit cards, so if you plan to buy, cash is king.

Trees begin shedding their leaves as early as the beginning of September in Canada and the northern United States. As the days press on, the fall finery will gradually shift southward. For those who can afford to take a weekday off, do so, as weekends might be overcome with fellow nature enthusiasts.

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

“Sensitive skin” can describe a host of symptoms that affect the skin on people’s’ faces and bodies. Some may develop sensitive skin after using skin care products that contribute to irritation or make their skin feel uncomfortable, even if there is no outward appearance of change. According to Francesca Fusco, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, more than 50 percent of women categorize themselves as having sensitive skin. Although there are many treatments designed to treat sensitive skin, what drives irritation in one person may not produce the same effects in another. Therefore, alleviating sensitivity is not always an easy fix. Getting to the root of the irritation can help people develop a more customized plan for relief. Indoor and outdoor environment Changes in the weather as well as the air inside of a home can cause reactions in the skin. For example, cool, dry air and central heating can cause the skin to become dehydrated. Dirt and pollution also may play a role.

Pollution in the air can be absorbed by the skin’s natural barrier, eventually weakening it, say the sensitive skin experts at Simple skin care products. Age Skin can lose its elasticity and ability to recover quickly with age, making it prone to greater sensitivity. Couple that with the public’s quest for younger-looking skin that involves cleansing religiously, exfoliating too frequently and relying on a bevy of anti-aging lotions, and it’s understandable why skin may become less resilient over time.

Dry skin Lack of moisture can contribute to sensitive skin. A cleanser that is too drying is often the culprit behind unnecessary irritation. According to skin care expert Renée Rouleau, harsh detergents in commonly used facial cleansers can break down the natural lipids in skin. Furthermore, invisible cracks may form, enabling moisture to seep out and irritants to get in. Skin disorders Common skin disorders or allergic skin reactions may make skin more sensitive. Such conditions include rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or allergic contact dermatitis.

Injured skin may be more reactive to the environment and certain products as well. Allergies to food or environmental components may also make skin more sensitive. Patch testing can identify allergies. Some trial and error may be necessary to find a skin care regimen that works on sensitive skin. Test new products in an inconspicuous spot prior to use, choosing items that have as few ingredients as possible. Avoid items with alcohol, retinoids and fragrances. Antibacterial or deodorant ingredients also may cause problems, so choose moisturizing products and soap-free cleansers.
 
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How to Help Identify and Stop Cyberbullying

Today’s students have many new things to contend with as they navigate the school year. As a greater number of schools transition to providing lessons, homework and tests on digital devices, students spend much more time online. This connectivity can have many positive results. However, the same availability also opens up students of all ages to various dangers.

One of these dangers is a more invasive form of bullying called “cyberbullying.” The global organization DoSomething.org says nearly half of kids have been bullied online, with one in four saying it has happened more than once.

Cyberbullying has grown as access to computers and devices that offer an online connection has grown. Bullying is now just as likely to occur online as it is on the playground. Cyberbullies may bully classmates through email, social media, instant messaging, and other social applications. Since cyberbullying tends to target emotions and mental well-being, and reaches beyond the school campus into a student’s home, its impact can be even more serious.

According to the Megan Meier Foundation, which campaigns against bullying, peer victimization during adolescence is associated with higher rates of depression, suicide ideation and suicide attempts. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, according to data compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Cyberbullying occurs in many different forms. Here are some types of cyberbullying educators and parents can look for if they suspect their students or children are being bullied.

  • Flaming: This is a type of bullying that occurs in an online forum or group conversation. It’s achieved by sending angry or insulting messages directly to the person. Flaming is similar to harassment, but harassment usually involves privately sent messages.
  • Outing: This type of bullying is a sharing of personal and private information about a person publicly. When information has been disseminated throughout the internet, one has been “outed.”
  • Fraping: Fraping occurs when someone logs into another’s social media account and impersonates him or her. This could be a child or an adult impersonating the person and posting inappropriate content in his or her name. Sometimes this type of bullying is also called “posing” or “catfishing.”
  • Masquerading: Masquerading occurs when bullies create fake profiles so they can harass someone anonymously. The bully is likely someone the person being targeted knows well.
  • Exclusion: Sometimes direct targeting is not necessary. Students can be bullied simply by being deliberately left out, such as not being invited to parties or encouraged to participate online conversations.

Securing privacy online is one way to prevent cyberbullying attacks. Students also can be selective about who they share personal information with or whose social media friendships they accept. Thinking before posting and paying attention to language and tone can help curb cyberbullying as well. Students should stick together and report instances of cyberbullying if it becomes an issue.

The Best Ways to Cheer on Favorite Sports Teams

Autumn weather calls to mind sipping warm cider and raking leaves. But for sports fans, fall is all about sports.

American football, field hockey, ice hockey, and basketball are just a few of the sports that make autumn an exciting time for sports fans.

Even the most ardent fan may have room for improvement when it comes to supporting his or her team. Here are a few ideas to make cheering for a favorite team even more enjoyable.

Attend a game

Fans who never get to see their team play in person may miss out on a unique experience. The atmosphere and energy of sitting in a stadium or arena cannot compete with a television simulcast. Ardent fans can resolve to attend a game in person this season. Enroll in employee entertainment clubs to receive discounts on sports tickets among other types of entertainment.

Host a game watch

Build camaraderie with fellow fans by hosting a game watch. A routine sports night is a great way to get together with friends and family members. Gather a group at your house each week to watch a favorite team battle it out on the big screen. Or get together with fellow fans in the community at a sports bar or restaurant, combining a night out on the town with your passion for sports.

Get the kids involved

Spread the love of fandom to a new generation. Schools and youth organizations can encourage children to support local scholastic teams. Organize field trips to sporting events to involve as many students as possible.

Fall sports are heating up, and fans can do their part to support their favorite teams in various ways.

5 Ways to Get Acquainted With a New Neighborhood

Across the country, people are packing boxes, hiring trucks and moving short and long distances. The U.S. Census Bureau says that around 12 percent of the population moves each year. According to a survey by DuProprio, a Quebec-based real estate advice site, 28 percent of Canadians feel the need to move every five years. Surprisingly, DuProprio also found that 14 percent of owners wish they could move every year.

The main reasons people move are expansion of the family, a career change, retirement, empty nest situations, or when moving is more practical than large-scale home renovations. While some people stick close to previous home locations, a 2015 American Community Survey found approximately 16.9 million people moved to a different county in 2015.

Whether a move is across county lines or overseas, it can take some time to acclimate to a new neighborhood. These tips can help anyone get acquainted with their new surroundings and make friends in the process.

1. Host a housewarming party. Get to know immediate neighbors by hosting a party. After some unpacking is done, host a simple get-together for people who live nearby. Ask if neighbors can help out by bringing chairs. Offer light refreshments and some type of activities for children. The event doesn’t have to be extensive, just long enough to engage in some conversation and introduce yourself.

2. Walk and drive around. Scout out the area by driving around and making note of shopping centers, parks and places of interest. Schedule times when you will get out of the car and walk around on foot, which makes it easier to take everything in. Use a website like Walkscore.com to find places within walking distance of your new home. Bring the dog along. Dogs can be great ice breakers with new neighbors.

3. Check out community blotters. Community events may be posted in print and distributed through a local newspaper and also on municipal websites. Find out where the locals go on weekends or during the week. Communities may take pride in certain activities. It’s easier to get a feel for the neighborhood by spending time with the locals.

4. Become active in the community. Find a volunteer organization or join a local house of worship. Check with the local chamber of commerce for ways to get involved or clubs to join. Like-minded people can make living in a new locale more enjoyable.

5. Dine out once a week. If budget allows, try a new neighborhood eating establishment each week to get a lay of the land. You’ll identify hot spots and hidden gems and will also be able to mingle with the community. An app such as Open Table can help you find places to eat nearby.

Want healthier kids? Get a pet

If youngsters have been eyeing fuzzy kittens or boisterous puppies at nearby shelters or pet stores, parents may want to give in to those cries for a family pet. Pets are added responsibilities, but the health benefits associated with pet ownership may be well worth the investment of time and effort.

Caring for a pet is sometimes viewed as a childhood rite of passage, but there’s much more to the experience than just learning responsibility. Experts say a child’s emotional, cognitive, physical, and social development can be enhanced through interaction with a family pet. Studies continue, but the effects of family pets on children was heavily researched by developmental psychologist Gail F. Melson in 2003. Melson looked at literature on child-animal relationships and found that children who had pets were better able to understand biology and children who could turn to pets for unconditional emotional support were less anxious and withdrawn than their peers without family pets to turn to.

Data from a small study conducted by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University reported that adolescents who had animal experience were more likely to see themselves as important contributors to communities and more likely to take on leadership roles.

Pets also can help children develop into well-rounded individuals. Playing with a pet requires children to engage in physical activity and can help stimulate motor skills. An English study conducted in 2010 and published in the American Journal of Public Health found that children from dog-owning families spent more time in light or moderate to vigorous physical activity and recorded higher levels of activity counts per minute than kids whose families did not own a dog.

Pets may help with allergies and respiratory ailments as well. A 2012 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered that children who have early contact with cats and dogs have fewer respiratory infections and ear infections and need shorter courses of antibiotics than children who have not had contact with pets.

A study from Dennis Ownby, MD, a pediatrician and head of the allergy and immunology department of the Medical College of Georgia, found that having multiple pets decreases a child’s risk of developing certain allergies. He found that the children who were exposed to two or more dogs or cats as babies were less than half as likely to develop common allergies as kids who had no pets in the home.

Pets also may foster social interactions, which can benefit children who are shy. Inviting others over to meet pets can help children make friends and find others with similar interests. Children may also confide in pets and develop their self-esteem.

Studies have indicated that the type of pet a family has, whether it’s horses, dogs, snakes, etc., does not matter, as all companion animals have the potential to benefit children.

Pack Well For A Hike In The Wilderness

September may enjoy the title of National Wilderness Month, but any time of year is a good time to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the ways to immerse oneself in nature is to enjoy a day hike or overnight backpacking excursion.

Millions of people take to trails or create their own paths all across the world each and every year. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature, but it also has other benefits. The American Hiking Society notes that research has consistently shown that hiking as regular exercise can improve overall health and fitness. It also may lengthen and improve quality of life. Hiking as a form of low-impact walking can reduce risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and anxiety.

Preparing for a hike involves packing accordingly for the trip. These items should be brought along on hiking trips to ensure such excursions are comfortable, safe and successful.

· Water: Bring along water whether you’re hiking in warm or cool temperatures. Water can be heavy, so some experienced hikers prefer to bring a filtration device or purifying tablets so they can rely on natural water sources for their drinks.

· Proper footwear: Trail shoes may be adequate for shorter hikes or when you are not carrying much gear. Otherwise, opt for sturdy hiking boots with plenty of sole and ankle support.

· Nutrition: Bring along lightweight food to keep you well fed. Any number of situations, including difficult trails and getting lost, can prolong hiking trips. Nutritious snacks can help hikers maintain their energy levels.

· Rain gear/extra clothing: Dressing in layers and having a change of clothes enables you to adjust your attire according to the weather conditions. Wear water-repellant materials that wick away sweat.

· Sun protection: Sun protection encompasses sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

· Illumination: Pack a headlamp or flashlight, and don’t forget the batteries. Light will help you navigate if you are out after sundown. Flashlights also can be used to signal others if you’re lost.

· Navigational tools: A compass and map will help keep you on course. Remember, cell phones may not work in remote areas.

· Fire starter: A night spent in the wilderness may not be on the itinerary, but chemical fire starters, matches or even dryer lint can help start fires in emergency situations.

· Multipurpose tool: A multipurpose tool can be used to cut items, open cans and much more.

· First aid kit: Don’t forget a prepackaged first aid kit to treat minor or major injuries. Taking a first aid course is also helpful.

· Toilet paper: When nature calls in nature, a roll of toilet paper can make things much easier.

· Emergency shelter: Tarps, tents or even reflective blankets can be put to use if a day trip needs to be turned into an overnight stay.

Hiking is a fun way to enjoy the wilderness. Hikers must pack accordingly for every trip.