5 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

Posted by Aaron W.

Find out about the everyday, easy-to-find foods that can help you improve your cholesterol. These 5 foods will keep you and your doctor smiling when the blood work results come back!

5 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

Posted by Aaron W.

Find out about the everyday, easy-to-find foods that can help you improve your cholesterol. These 5 foods will keep you and your doctor smiling when the blood work results come back!

% of Adults, Adolescents, Children Overweight

Posted by Aaron W.

The trend of overweight individuals in the U.S. has risen significantly over the past 40 years, see the statistics gathered by the Census Bureau for yourself.

Welcome

Posted by Aaron W.

I hope you find this blog helpful and easy to use, and I hope you can use it to improve upon you own health. Take on your own health!

4 Keys to Weight Loss

Posted by Aaron W.

The National Weight Loss Registry has comprised a list of 4 keys to weight loss, based off their study of over 5,000 participants who have lost weight (over 30 lbs) and kept it off (at least 1 year).

Healthy Back? 5 easy steps

Posted by Aaron W. On 2/22/2012 0 comments
From Harvard HEALTHbeat


Reno NV Low Back Pain
1. STAY FIT
Weak back and abdominal muscles — due to deconditioning or age — cause or exacerbate many cases of low back pain.
A stretching and strengthening regimen should target the back, abdominal, and buttock muscles.
Certain aerobic activities are safer for your back than others. For instance, bicycling (either stationary or regular), swimming, and walking lead the list of low-risk, high-benefit activities for most people’s backs.
Sports and activities such as football, tennis, gymnastics, wrestling, weight lifting, rowing (crew), running, aerobic dance, and ballet involve a relatively high risk for back injury because of the extension, lifting, or impacts involved.

2. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
The heavier you are, the greater the load your spine must carry. To make matters worse, if the bulk of your weight comes in the form of abdominal fat, rather than muscle, your center of gravity can shift forward — a condition that puts added pressure on your back.

3. KICK THE HABIT
Scientists believe that the nicotine in cigarettes contributes to low back pain in two ways. First, nicotine hampers the flow of blood to the vertebrae and disks. This impairs their function and may trigger a bout of back pain. Second, smokers tend to lose bone faster than nonsmokers, putting them at greater risk for osteoporosis, another common cause of back pain.

4. LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
If you use a backpack, you can take steps to protect yourself. For starters, use both of the pack’s straps instead of slinging one strap over a shoulder.  When carrying a heavy load, put the heaviest items as close as possible to the center of the back, and use the hip strap for support.  Above all, remember to bend from your knees when picking up your pack.

5. DEVELOP BACK-HEALTHY HABITS
Everyday activities, from vacuuming your house to sitting in front of the computer for hours, can take a toll on your back, particularly if you aren’t schooled in proper body mechanics. But you can take some of the pressure off your back by following these simple tips:
  • While standing to perform ordinary tasks like ironing or folding laundry, keep one foot on a small step stool.
  • Don’t remain sitting or standing in the same position for too long. Stretch, shift your position, or take a short walk when you can.
  • When bending from the waist, always use your hands to support yourself.
  • When sitting, keep your knees a bit higher than your hips and bend them at a 90-degree angle. Sit with your feet comfortably on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor, put a book or a small stool under them.
  • Because vacuuming can take a toll on your back, tackle rooms in chunks, spending no more than five to 10 minutes at a time doing this task.

Picture from renochiropractic
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Chocolate... healthier than before

Posted by Aaron W. On 8/29/2011 0 comments
From University of Cambridge

Regularly eating chocolate could cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by about one-third, says researcher Oscar H. Franco, MD, PhD, of the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
chocolate heart sandwich cookies

CAUTION:
Chocolate still has sugar, fat and calories; all of which can cause weight gain and heart disease.  Seriously.


FINDINGS:
The components in chocolate that might explain chocolate's protective effects were not explored in this most recent research study.  Based on previous research though, the researchers credit what are called polyphenols, antioxidants that increase the body’s production of the chemical nitric oxide.  An increase in nitric oxide production in turn might lead to improvements in blood pressure and blood flow though arteries.

Still, the study doesn't prove chocolate lowers the rate of heart disease.  That's because it's not fully known what other characteristics (besides relatively high chocolate intake) the study's participants hold (regular exercise, plant-based diet, etc) that may account for the decreased rates of heart disease.

The good news is, chocolate (any kind) is not bad for you in appropriate quantities.


Picture from thedecoratedcookieblog.  check out their chocolate.
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Tax your Coke & Coco Puffs?

Posted by Aaron W. On 8/28/2011 2 comments
From The Lancet

It sounds a bit crazy and even a bit against most peoples idea of freedom, but governmental regulations on junk food and beverage is being seriously considered.  Don't kid yourself, it's likely to happen.
it's own food group
Add $1.49 per hole for tax.. you total is...


“By imposing tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and limiting marketing of unhealthy foods to children, governments can lead in making it easier for children to make healthy choices,” said lead author Steven Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

WHY MIGHT THIS WORK? The authors note that special taxes and marketing restrictions to discourage smoking have been effective in tobacco control.

Thankfully, in addition to taxes and advertising, the authors recommend:
  • school-based education (nutrition, exercise)
  • physical activity programs for children
  • weight loss interventions

Press release
Photo from frankieleon (flickr)
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Get your cardio

Posted by Aaron W. On 8/27/2011 0 comments
From American Journal of Physiology

In a head-to-head comparison, aerobic exercise beat resistance training and a combination of the two, as the most efficient and most effective way to lose the belly fat that’s most damaging to your health.


Viceral fat (intra-abdominal fat), the focus of this study, has been associated with increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.

Pandemic of Lifestyle Diseases
Courtesy colros (flickr)
“Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass,” says Slentz. “But if you are overweight and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories.”

The combination of aerobic with resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic training alone.

Dangers of Visceral Fat - Web MD video
Truth about Fat - Web MD article


Full article
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Allergic?

Posted by Aaron W. On 8/25/2011 0 comments
People who like to eat out and have food allergies have another ally.

Allergyeats.com is a free, user-friendly website, that provides valuable peer-based feedback about how well (or poorly) restaurants accommodate the needs of food-allergic customers. The peer ratings and feedback allow food-allergic and gluten-intolerant diners to quickly and easily find restaurants that will accommodate their specific dietary requirements – and avoid the ones that won’t.

Benefits:
  • 600,000 restaurants listed nationwide
  • 15,000+ monthly users and 5,000+ food allergic fans regularly sharing ideas
  • info on restaurants’ menus (including gluten-free)
  • allergen lists
  • nutrition information
  • certifications
  • Endorsed by the Asthma & Allergy Assoc of America amongst others
Go forth, and avoid them nuts!

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Is Sex Exercise?

Posted by Aaron W. On 6/09/2011 0 comments
From Harvard Men's Health Watch:

At some time in his life, nearly every man gets exercised about sex. And as many men get older, they wonder if sex is a good form of exercise or if it's too strenuous for the heart. These questions may sound like locker room banter, but they are actually quite important — and they now have solid scientific answers.
♥ Sex
  1. Treadmill vs. Mattress - the treadmill won.  During sex, the men in the research (avg age 55) raised their heart rate only 72% as high as a treadmill workout.  The women in the research basically yawned during the experiment.
  2. Sex as Exercise - A man's heart rate rarely gets above 130 beats per minute with systolic blood pressure rarely exceeding 170.  The research suggested that a bout of ping pong in your man cave uses as much oxygen consumption (METS) as sex.  Their conclusion: if you can walk up 3 flights of stairs without difficulty, you are safe for sex.
  3. Sex as Sex - Fewer than 1/100 heart attacks and 1/200 fatal arrhythmias is sex-related.  Overall, a healthy 50-year old man's risk of a heart attack during sex is 2 in a million.
  4. Sex and Survival - Sorry, sex itself can not be proven to be protective to the heart.  However, Harvard suggests that the positive findings in several studies probably has more to do general life satisfaction... which probably leads to better sex.
  5. Viagra? - Apparently, 70% of men with erectile dysfunction respond to ED pills.  As the commercials say: men taking nitrates in any form should NOT use ED pills.  There are other ways...seriously.
  6. Safe Sex - Avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly, eating healthy, staying lean, and avoiding too much alcohol is the best way to keep sex safe.  That and a prophylactic.
Full article
Photo courtesy Andy Freer
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On being a vegetarian (two) (316/365)From Science Daily:

Vegetarians experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than meat-eaters, suggests new research from Loma Linda University published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as exhibiting at least three out of five total risk factors: high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high glucose levels, elevated triglycerides, and an unhealthy waist circumference.

What they found:
  • only 25% of vegetarians had metabolic syndrome
  • 39% of meat eaters had metabolic syndrome
  • Vegetarians have lower triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure, waist circumference and BMI
"This work again shows that diet improves many of the main cardiovascular risk factors that are part of metabolic syndrome," says Gary Fraser, MD, PhD, principal investigator of Adventist Health Study 2. "Trending toward a plant-based diet is a sensible choice."

Go to Diabetes Care for full article. 
Photo credit: labspic
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Why some Foods = Sleepy

Posted by Aaron W. On 3/10/2011 0 comments
From Discovery Health News




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Hold Your Breath Sucker!

Posted by Aaron W. On 3/08/2011 0 comments
From Discovery News

THE GIST:
  • The new record for breath-holding is 19 minutes and 21 seconds.
  • There are tricks to holding your breath for long periods of time, but the practice can be dangerous.
  • There may be long-lasting health consequences to extreme breath-holding.
SETT_120206040
A Swiss freediver held his breath underwater for 19 minutes and 21 seconds, according to news reports this week. The gasp-inducing feat beat the previous world record by 19 seconds, and blew away the record of 17 minutes and four seconds that magician David Blaine set on Oprah Winfrey's talk show in 2008.

Is it really possible to survive without inhaling for that long? And is it healthy?

"It is, as a matter of fact, possible -- with certain tricks," explained Claes Lundgren, a physiologist at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in New York.  It is probably not, however, good for you, and consequences can be deadly.

Full Article

Thanks to Bryan Condra
Photo courtesy: FATHOM
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11 Ways to Better Sex

Posted by Aaron W. On 3/06/2011 0 comments
Harvard Medical School says...

The physical transformations your body undergoes as you age also have a major influence on your sexuality. Declining hormone levels and changes in neurological and circulatory functioning may lead to sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal pain.
Dildo, Newfoundland
Dildo, Newfoundland anyone?
  1. Educate yourself. Plenty of good self-help materials are available for every type of sexual issue. 
  2. Give yourself time. As you age, your sexual responses slow down. You and your partner can improve your chances of success by finding a quiet, comfortable, interruption-free setting for sex. Also, understand that the physical changes in your body mean that you’ll need more time to get aroused and reach orgasm.
  3. Use lubrication. Often, the vaginal dryness that begins in perimenopause can be easily corrected with lubricating liquids and gels. Use these freely to avoid painful sex — a problem that can snowball into flagging libido and growing relationship tensions. 
  4. Maintain physical affection. Even if you’re tired, tense, or upset about the problem, engaging in kissing and cuddling is essential for maintaining an emotional and physical bond.
  5. Practice touching. The sensate focus techniques that sex therapists use can help you re-establish physical intimacy without feeling pressured.
  6. Try different positions. Developing a repertoire of different sexual positions not only adds interest to lovemaking, but can also help overcome problems. For example, the increased stimulation to the G-spot that occurs when a man enters his partner from behind can help the woman reach orgasm.
  7. Write down your fantasies. This exercise can help you explore possible activities you think might be a turn-on for you or your partner. Try thinking of an experience or a movie that aroused you and then share your memory with your partner. This is especially helpful for people with low desire.
  8. Do Kegel exercises. Both men and women can improve their sexual fitness by exercising their pelvic floor muscles.
  9. Try to relax. Do something soothing together before having sex, such as playing a game or going out for a nice dinner.
  10. Use a vibrator. This device can help a woman learn about her own sexual response and allow her to show her partner what she likes.
  11. Don’t give up. If none of your efforts seem to work, don’t give up hope. Your doctor can often determine the cause of your sexual problem and may be able to identify effective treatments. He or she can also put you in touch with a sex therapist who can help you explore issues that may be standing in the way of a fulfilling sex life.
Full article HERE 
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Hospital Visitation: Choice is YOURS

Posted by Aaron W. On 3/06/2011 0 comments

From ConsumerAffairs.com

Obama Pride Gay New hospital rules go into effect today, permitting patients to designate who may visit them. It's the result of an executive order by President Obama and is intended to address the issue of gay and transgender patients whose partners may be prohibited from visiting them at some hospitals.

The executive order applies to all hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid and expressly forbids denying visitation privileges because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Any hospital that fails to comply risks losing its federal funding.


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Hangover Cure? 8 Things to Try

Posted by Aaron W. On 12/24/2010 1 comments
From US News & World

Nope.  Sorry, no sure-fire cure... no matter what grampa says.  But everyone is different, and I've listed what some of the experts (Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic) think will help you the day after.

    LOVE HANGOVER
  1. Drink lots of water.  Alcohol makes you pee. That, and the alcohol, can lead to dehydration, prompting the hallmark dizziness and lightheadedness of a hangover.
  2. Eat, but don't binge. Crackers and toast can boost blood sugar that may have dipped while drinking.  Also consider pretzels and a banana to replace the salt and potassium lost through urinating so much.
  3. Get your body working faster. When alcohol gets into the system it's got to be metabolized. There's no way around it. The fructose in sports drinks, fruit juice and honey may help burn the alcohol more quickly... even exercise.
  4. Retreat under the covers. You may have gotten your usual eight hours, but it was probably interrupted by a few trips to the bathroom and a lot of tossing and turning, decreasing the quality of your snooze.  Think about a nap before the 'events.'
  5. Take a pain reliever but sparingly. They'll likely alleviate a headache, but aspirin can upset an already irritated tummy, and acetaminophen could lead to liver damage.  Don't go over the recommended dose. In fact, try half a dose and see if it works.
  6. Pace yourself. The body can typically metabolize an alcoholic drink—a glass of beer, a one-shot mixed drink—each hour.  Food slows down alcohol absorption and provides a little distraction.
  7. Customize your request. Ask the bartender for a little more orange juice and a little less vodka.
  8. Choose wisely. Darker-colored alcoholic beverages—bourbon, scotch, tequila, brandy, ales—have a greater amount of chemicals called congeners, which are more likely to cause a hangover.
Happy Holidays!!

Click here for Roadkill T-shirts
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Weight Loss Drugs...what works?

Posted by Aaron W. On 12/24/2010 0 comments


From Medscape

Intro:
The few drugs that have actually reached the market in recent years promote weight loss either by boosting the body's basal metabolic rate, blocking the absorption of dietary fat, or suppressing appetite.  People who take these drugs typically lose weight for the first 6 months until they reach a plateau that can't be surpassed without increasing exercise or caloric restriction.  Long-term safety is also a big issue, plus the weight lost over those 6 months is commonly put back on.


diet pillPharmacotherapy is not indicated as a first-line therapy for obesity, and should not be initiated until all nonpharmacologic attempts at weight loss (diet, exercise) have failed.

Drugs Currently on Market
Drugs in the Pipeline and Future

Conclusion:
Obesity is a chronic, relapsing, biologic condition that may well require long-term pharmacotherapy, in the same manner as hypertension and diabetes.  To date, however, the average amount of weight lost with most pharmacologic agents has been modest at best, and the typical patient will most likely remain overweight or obese even with ongoing treatment.
 
Weight-loss drugs are expensive; neither Medicare nor most insurance plans cover them. In addition, most are associated with adverse effects.

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Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Posted by Aaron W. On 12/21/2010 1 comments
The simple answer: YES.

In 2010, everyone ages 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine. It is especially important if you
    Flu shot badge
  • are over age 50
  • have heart disease, diabetes, immune problems, or other chronic conditions
  • live with or care for someone at high risk of getting the flu
  • come into contact with many people in a doctor’s office, classroom, or other setting

So says:
Harvard
WebMD
Johns Hopkins Hospital
UCLA

Photo courtesy: uihero
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Kick-Ass Prosthetics

Posted by Aaron W. On 12/21/2010 0 comments
If you're feeling sorry for yourself, try checking out these folks who needed a prosthetic leg.  After you're done being grateful, then you can begin feeling jealous. 

Bespoke Innovations lives by the definition of it's name (bespoke actually means to customize to suit).  They follow their mission by making unique, stylish prosthetics for people by learning about who their patients actually are.  Check it out.




For more photo go to: core77
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