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Everyday Habits That Shorten Your Life, According to Science | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

No one likes being told what not to do. But some rules, when followed, aren't restrictions at allthey are, in fact, easy and effective ways to stay free. Free from COVID-19. Free from pain. Free from debilitating anxiety, hearing loss, a brain injury or worse. Sometimes you have to stop doing things in order to do the things you want to do. With that in mind, we asked the country's top doctors and specialists to name the #1 things you should never do for your health. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 19 Ways You're Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts.

"Waking up in the morning allows us to be more productive. Our cortisol levels naturally peak around 7 to 8 am, so we can accomplish more things at this time, and it's better for our health," says Bilal Farooqi, an oncologist with Comprehensive Hematology Oncology in Florida. "People who wake up late are not going to be as productive, even if they are awake the same number of hours in the day. Cortisol levels tend to taper off in the evening and hit their low at night time, like 11 pm to midnight."

"People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reportedranging from mild symptoms to severe illness," says the CDC, which added some new symptoms last month. "Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

If not vaccinated, the CDC strongly recommends you wear a cloth face-covering in public settings where social distancing rules are hard to maintain. "Cloth face coverings," they advise, "should

Even if your state is re-opening, it's important to follow its social distancing guidelines if you are not vaccinated. If you are feeling healthy, that's a blessingbut it doesn't mean you may not make someone else sick. "Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease," says the CDC.

Think about how many people press an elevator button or a pin-pad at the grocery store checkout aisle. Even before the coronavirus, these surfaces were crawling with germs. Be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds after contact with things like a public restroom, a grocery cart or delivery food bags. And use your knuckle if you can.

If you're not feeling lonely during the pandemic, you likely know someone who is. Reach out to them using electronic communication. And if you are feeling lonely, don't be afraid to ask for help. Harvard Health reports a rise in mental health cases since the coronavirus. Many states are offering free helplines with emotional support and someone to talk to.

"The nose is the best organ for breathing," says Dr. Sharona Dayan, a board certified periodontist and founder of Aurora Periodontal Care in Beverly Hills. "It warms and humidifies the air to prepare it for the lungs, while the cilia work to filter toxins from the air. It draws nitric oxide from the sinuses to disinfect the air. Nitric oxide also dilates the blood vessels for oxygen, so there is 60 percent more oxygen in the air from your nose."

As for the mouth, well: "The mouth, on the other hand, delivers cold, unfiltered, dirty air to the throat and lungs. Mouth breathing also results in 60 percent moisture loss from the mouth. The saliva contains immunoglobulins that fight germs, so a dry mouth from mouth breathing is more susceptible to infections."

"While it's true that alcohol may help you to fall asleep faster, ultimately it interferes with your sleep cycle," says Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Director of Duke University's pediatric neurology sleep medicine program (and Mattress Firm's sleep health expert). "In otherwise healthy people, the initial induction of sleep by high doses of alcohol is followed later in the night by withdrawal, which causes frequent arousals and lighter sleep in the second half of the night and may result in an early morning awakening without sufficient rest. Second, alcohol can worsen existing sleep disorders and may even cause new disorders, such as sleep apnea."

"The use of sunglasses protects the eyes and is likely to reduce the likelihood of cataracts, pterygia, pingeulae, and macular degeneration," says Dr. Ming Wang, MD, PhD, an ophthalmologist in Nashville. "The best sunglasses are those that wrap around the face, as this blocks light from all sides and provides the most protection versus flat-fronted sunglasses. Ideal specifications would be 100% blocking of UVA and UVB light. Sunglasses should be worn on any sunny day for eye protection. However, in partial sun or clouds UV rays still do penetrate through and sunglasses are important to wear."

"Poor indoor air quality can be detrimental to health. High CO2 (carbon dioxide) and VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels in a bedroom can lead to sleep-disordered breathing," says sleep consultant Jane Wrigglesworth. "This disrupts a person's sleep pattern. Not only can that lead to exhaustion, it puts excessive strain on the nervous system and major organs. A constant lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, low immunity and depression."

The Rx: "We need to ventilate our rooms," says Wrigglesworth. "Opening the window is an easy solution, though if you have allergies, this might not be a good idea. If that's the case, keep your bedroom door open for air circulation. VOCs can be reduced with a HEPA air filter, and are excellent for allergy sufferers."

"Too many people either overdose on supplements, which can be harmful, or they do not take any vitamins," says endocrinologist Romy Block, co-author of The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion about Vitamins and Your Health. "Vitamin deficiencies can mimic serious health conditions like hypothyroidism."

The Rx: Ask your doctor which is the right multivitamin for your needs.

"Many people are turning to 30-day fitness and diet programs, enabling them to lose large amounts of weight within short periods of time. These types of diets do not work since they are not sustainable, and typically the weight gained back is more than the patient's original weight," says Daljeet Samra, MD, a board-certified physician in obesity medicine. "Patients need to aim for weight loss which is more conservative and over longer periods of time. I typically recommend a 1 lb per week target."

"I see patients daily that don't or have never seen a healthcare provider in their adult life. By the time they get to me, they need open heart surgery," says Jacob DeLaRosa, MD, chief of cardiac and endovascular surgery at Portneuf Medical Center at Idaho State University. "I also find myself diagnosing diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and malignancies."

The Rx: See your general practitioner at least once a year for an annual physical. These days, doctors can schedule some visits via telemedicine.

"I think that one of the worst mistakes people make is becoming obsessed with their health-using technology to monitor their physiology and micromanaging their food," says Dr. Ceppie Merry, Ph.D., FRCP. "Too many people are becoming orthorexic, a new medical diagnosis which refers to becoming obsessed with foods and avoiding certain foods. Stressing over health is counterproductive, as it releases stress hormones which increases our risk of a host of medical conditions. We need to have a healthy balance in our approach to health and wellness."

"Many women have a bad habit of calling their doctor and getting antibiotics before they even know they have a UTI," says Sophie A. Fletcher, MD, of the Sutter Health Group in Santa Rosa, California, an expert in female urology. "Frequent use of antibiotics causes bacterial resistance, and kills off the 'good' bacteria in the body that helps prevent UTIs."

The Rx: "The best prevention is proactive management," she says. "Taking a daily supplement, like ellura, with 36 mg of proanthocyanidins (PAC), prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall."

Two major breakfast mistakes: "Eating light yogurt that is full of chemicals and sugars and thinking that is healthy," says Jaime Harper, MD, an obesity medicine specialist in Avon, Indiana. "And assuming because a processed boxed product is endorsed by the American Heart Association it is good for you."

The Rx: Instead, read the ingredients. If you can't pronounce them, avoid them.

"Most people don't get enough fiber, which has multiple anti-inflammatory mechanisms," says Dr. Gerald Davies. Women should get 25 grams per day and men 38 grams. Meanwhile, avoid any high-glycemic white carbs that have more sugar than fiber.

The Rx: Here are 43 High-Fiber Foods You Should Add to Your Diet.

"Whether you are an elite athlete or a beginner, dehydration can lead to muscle cramps," says Dr. Allen Conrad, BS,DC,CSCS, team chiropractor for Blackthorn Rugby. "Dehydration can lead to shortening of the muscles, which can lead to injuries." Muscles and organs need water to function correctly, and drinking plenty of water can promote weight loss as well. Try and drink 8 glasses of water per day, and more if you eat salty or processed foods.

"Do not run dry. Most people do not drink enough water. It causes blood to thicken, which may increase the risk for heart and kidney diseases," says Dr. Thomas L. Horowitz, a family medicine specialist at CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. That said.

"I would say the worst health mistake you're making is drinking too much fluids," says Dr. Rena Malik, director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Many people in my practice come to see me for urinary frequency. When I ask them how much they're drinking, some are drinking upwards of 100 ounces a day."

The Rx: "The recommendation for kidney health is to drink 64 ounces a day," she says. "This includes what you're drinking at breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the fluids you get foods like soups, fruits and vegetables."

"Regular stretching can help prevent degenerative conditions including tendon injuries," says Conrad. "When a muscle or tendon loses flexibility, it is more likely to become injured during exercise, and regular stretching can help prevent conditions such as tendonitis from forming. Try and make stretching part of your daily routine to help prevent injuries."

"Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women over the course of their lifetime. Early detection helps reduce the risk of complications and of breast cancer-related deaths, with studies showing that annual mammograms decreased the risk of breast cancer-related deaths by 40 percent," says Anjali Mali, a breast imaging radiologist in Washington, DC.

The Rx: "With the exam taking only a few minutes and no referral needed in most states, there's no reason for an average-risk woman over the age of 40 not to be getting her mammogram," says Dr. Mali.

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.

"With the recent advances in orthodontics to expand the jaws, there is no need to remove teeth to make space for straightening teeth," says Dayan. "Expansion of the teeth in a forward and outward direction also helps to develop more beautiful cheekbones, fuller lips, and opens the space for the tongue to promote better breathing and sleep."

"The worst health mistake you can make for your hair is using hair products that strip the natural oils and dry it out," says Dr. Baiju Gohil, a board-certified surgeon and fellow of the American College of Surgeons. "Read the labels for your shampoo and styling products and avoid anything that contains alcohol or polyethylene glycol, which can dry out your hair; sodium chloride, which can make the scalp dry and itchy; and sodium lauryl sulfate, a very common shampoo ingredient that removes natural oils your hair needs to be healthy."

"The worst health mistake is not being literate on medical matters or asking enough questions," says Ariel Grobman, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist in South Florida. "Putting your faith in the wrong medical practitioner or in Dr. Google, and not being a watchdog for yourself and your family members when they're undergoing medical care, can overlook horrible mistakes. Recent studies of medical errors have estimated errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the United States, making medical errors the third leading cause of death."

The Rx: "Read up on your conditions, ask the risks and benefits of treatments for you and family members and ask questions," says Grobman. "Don't assume just because someone has a white coat or a degree that they have the entire situation under control at all times and have not overlooked anything."

Screenings now start at age 45. "The most common symptoms for colon cancer include change in bowel habits, such as thin stools," says Seth A. Gross, MD, associate professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Tisch-Kimmel Hospital. "Other symptoms to look out for include rectal bleeding and abdominal pain."

The Rx: "If you have any of the above, you should speak with your doctor to discuss the role of colonoscopy," says Dr. Gross.

"One of the greatest regrets your 60-year-old self might have is not wearing sunscreen in your 20s," says Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD, a dermatologist in Boca Raton, Florida. (So he would know!) "But even if you have been wearing sunscreen, here are some other avoidable mistakes:

The Rx: "Bottom line: Daily sunscreen use is critical; it needs to be as integral a part of your routine as brushing your teeth," says Fromowitz.

"It's surprising how little most people know about their family's health history. Yet the cancer history of a family is vital to understanding an individual's personal cancer risk," says Dennis R. Holmes, MD, FACS, medical director of the breast cancer program at Adventist Health in Glendale, California.

"Unfortunately, most people learn their family's cancer history only after they or another close relative has been diagnosed with cancer. To see if you should consider genetic testing, begin by talking to your close relatives to find out which cancers have appeared in your family. If you find cancer patterns that suggest a genetic tendency to develop breast cancer, contact your doctor to request genetic counseling and testing."

Rx: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends genetic counseling and testing of healthy individuals if there is a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree family history of any of the following:

"Protein supplements have increased exponentially in popularity over the past couple decades. However, people consume extra protein without understanding the correct amount to take or the damaging effects that an excess amount can cause," says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. "Risks of protein powder supplementation are not trivial. Extra protein is not used efficiently by the body and may impose a metabolic burden on the bones, kidneys, and liver," leading to insufficiency fractures, kidney stones and liver-function disorders, even precipitating the progression of coronary artery disease.

The Rx: "It is very important to consider your normal dietary intake of protein prior to consuming protein powder," says Kouri. "If you're not an avid weightlifter, and you consume meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs, you are unlikely to require protein supplementation in your diet. The recommended daily dose for adults is generally 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men, but that can vary depending on each individual's health."

"Vitamin D deficiency has reached pandemic proportions in modern society," says Kouri. "Studies demonstrate that it may be found in 50 percent of young adults and apparently healthy children and 25 to 57 percent of adults. As many as 80 percent of adult hip fractures are associated with vitamin D deficiency, and it has been shown to be associated with diseases such as prostate, colon and breast cancer; diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2; multiple sclerosis; hypertension; cardiovascular disease, worsening renal failure, chronic vascular inflammation, and schizophrenia."

The Rx: "The U.S. government's current recommendation of 230 IU vitamin D intake for the average adult severely underestimate the actual required needs of our population," says Kouri. "The actual required intake for most people should be 800 to 2,000 IU daily. This is difficult to achieve without supplementation, especially in higher latitudes and winter climates." Get some sun, toowearing your sunscreen.

"Over the past 30 years, soda and energy drink consumption has increased exponentially," says Kouri. "Several studies have linked sugar-sweetened drinks with weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, gout, and coronary artery disease. In addition, recent evidence suggests that increased intake of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas is associated with a higher risk of stroke."

The Rx: Drink spa water or a no-added-sugar drink like Spindrift instead.

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science

"The worst health mistake you can make is using Q-tips to clean out ear wax," says Grobman. "The ear produces wax to protect against infection and it causes water to drain out. It's a natural drying agent. Q-tips only push the wax in further and can injure the skin leading to infection and even perforation."

"Food is medicine, or food is toxic," says Dr. Martha E. Rivera of Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles. "If we eat clean, less processed foods, more foods from nature and more plant-based foods, we'll be able to digest this food, leading to less inflammation. Inflammation is a main driver of diseases: Diabetes, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity and Alzheimer's, to name a few."

"Given the obesity crisis, too many people are trying to lose weight, by eating less and exercising more," says Dr. Vera Tarman, a food addiction expert and author of Food Junkies.

"This is the worst thing you can do. Why? Diets work in the short term but do not last. Diets provoke a deprived mentalityjust wait for the binge to follow! They actually create weight gain you can diet yourself into obesity, because our body wants to hold on to our weight. And they can promote an eating disorder, such as binge eating or night eating."

The Rx: Instead, eat balanced meals, like those found at eatthis.com.

"Our bodies like to be cool when we transition from an awake state to a sleep state. Vigorous exercise can raise the body temperature long after you've finished working out, so it's best to avoid excessive physical activity before bed," says Dr. Kansagra.

The Rx: Science says the best time to workout is in the morning, before you eat.

"The bed should be reserved for only two activities: sleep and intimacy," says Kansagra. "All other activities should be performed outside your bed, and ideally, outside your room. You want to condition your mind to think about sleep when you walk into your bedroom, not about the latest assignment from work."

"Research has shown that foods that are blue or purple in color can help reduce inflammation," says Conrad.

The Rx: "The active ingredient called anthrocyans can reduce the inflammatory process naturally, and are commonly found in foods such as blueberries or eggplant." Enjoy also plums, red cabbage, cherries and blackberries.

"If you drink to stave off the effects of a poor night's rest with lots of caffeine spread throughout the day, you are doomed to have a poor night of sleep again, followed by a similar feeling of fatigue the next day," says Kansagra. "This can be a difficult cycle to break and eventually, once the caffeine is out of your body, the sleepiness will return."

"Unfortunately, there is no such thing as getting used to less sleep," adds Kansagra. "When you are chronically sleep-deprived, the feeling of sleepiness becomes the new normal, so people who are used to sleep deprivation often report that they feel fine. However, when sleep-deprived adults perform tasks that test certain brain capabilities, their performance continues to decline the longer they are sleep-deprived. So although you may feel like you've gotten accustomed to sleeping less, your brain is not necessarily performing at its best."

"Most people make a mistake by blindly counting calories instead of paying attention to the quality of the food, and how it contributes to, or how it damages our health," says Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, MD a Kansas City-based dermatologist. "One calorie from highly processed food cannot be the same as one calorie from fruit, for example."

"Many people would take and keep taking medicine prescribed by their healthcare provider without knowing what it's for and what possible side effects it could have," says Tonkovic-Capin.

The Rx: Ask your doctor what the medication does exactly, what side effects you may feel, what happens if you miss a dose and how soon you'll feel the positive effects.

"Smoking and the use of nicotine products are very harmful to skin, lungs, wound healing abilities, and all sorts of other important factors," says Inessa Fishman, MD, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Aviva Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics in Atlanta. " I see some younger patients in my practice who think vaping is harmless, when in reality they are exposing themselves to large doses of nicotine and likely many other harmful chemicals. Big no-no!" Being a smoker also puts you at "severe risk" for complications from COVID-19.

"Lack of sleep puts stress on the body and depletes the body of the anti-stress mood mineral magnesium as well as other mood enhancing nutrients such as B1," says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of 365 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power. "This may result in mood swings, grumpiness, lack of energy, fatigue, depression, anxiety, lack of focus and decreased cognitive ability."

The Rx: "Not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body," says Dean. "That is why I recommend a liquid picometer form of magnesium."

"Let thirst be your guidedrink water," says Morton Tavel, MD, clinical professor emeritus of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and author of Snake Oil is Alive and Well. The Clash between Myths and Reality. "One concern with sports drinks is that they deliver lots of calories. Some contain 150 calories, the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, which can be helpful to a distance runner or equivalent. But the rest of us, and especially children, definitely don't need sports drinks, for that runs the risk of adding to the burgeoning rate of obesity. Unless someone is exercising or competing in a sporting event for longer than 90 minutes, there is no reason to drink something with excess sugar and electrolytes."

The Rx: "In fact, even if you are an athlete and regularly exercise, I still would not recommend sports drinks at any time other than when you are actually in the middle of exercising," says Tavel. "This is the only time where a sugar and salt hit will not necessarily be bad for you. All in all, I would still go for just water and maybe a quick, bite-sized snack like fruit or nuts."

"I think the biggest health mistake people make at this time is ignoring the amount of sugar they put into their bodies," says Ziv M. Peled, MD, of Peled Plastic Surgery. "The scientific literature is now replete with data that suggests increased sugar intake result in greater insulin levels which in turn results in greater amounts of overall inflammation and fat deposition/storage. More specifically, people don't realize where that sugar comes fromlike ketchup and dairy. While being mindful of this intake may take a bit of work in the short term, over time it is a habit that can easily be incorporated into a more healthy lifestyle and is worth its weight in years and months of greater health and vitality."

The Rx: A book like Zero Sugar Diet identifies those added sugarsand helps you eliminate them.

"There are many areas outside of better diet or a new workout program that may be impacting your health and happiness without you even realizing it," says Dr. Jane Frederick, a fertility reproductive endocrinologist in Orange County, California. "For example, avoiding deep and meaningful connections in life can impact your health. The human experience is about connecting with other people, like marriage, close friendships, and staying in touch with family). People with strong social ties were found to be healthier and have a lower risk of death."

"Even at this data-driven age, we are still human beings and as such, find stories much more compelling than data," says Talya Miron-Shatz, Ph.D., a visiting researcher at Cambridge University and CEO of Buddy & Soul. "That neighbor who smoked when pregnant and has a gifted child does not mean smoking is good during pregnancy. It is not a good idea to base your decisions whether to exercise, vaccinate, test for a condition, or treat it on a story, even though we tend to assign stories greater significance than numbers."

The Rx: "Stories are compelling, but you have to stay on top of health information, the validated kind," says Miron-Shatz.

"As a pharmacist the worst mistakes I see include putting medications in bottles other than the ones the pharmacy provides," says Erin Pitkethly, a pharmacist and nutritionist at the Robinsong Health Low Carb Clinic. "Some people put them all in one bottle and then don't know what is what."

"Another mistake is assuming what works for your neighbor/best friend/brother will work for you," says Pitkethly. "Patients will take their friend's prescription medicationnot a great idea. It can be unsafe because of interactions and contraindications."

"One of the worst health mistakes I see in my practice is when patients stop their Plavix, aspirin or Effient or Brilinta," says South Florida Cardiologist Adam Splaver MD. "These medications are prescribed when you have had a stent. Stopping those meds prematurely without consulting a physician can cause you to have another heart attack or stroke."

RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say

"Being overweight is associated with 90 percent of diabetes Type 2, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, depression, poor sleep and sleep apnea, many types of cancer, truncated immune reactions and poor response to chemotherapy, to name a few," says Fishman.

RELATED: The #1 Reason You Could Get Cancer, According to Science

"Excess utilization of over-the-counter medication because masking pain can delay diagnosis of significant diseases," says Horowitz. "Acetaminophen can hurt the liver, and ibuprofen can affect the stomach and kidneys."

RELATED: I'm A Doctor And Warn You Never Take This Supplement

If you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, call your medical provider, and seek emergency care if you experience the following:

"The use of computers, cellphones and televisions in the hours before bed can interfere with a proper sleep cycle," says Wang, an ophthalmologist in Memphis, Tennessee. "This occurs because light that leans toward the blue end of the spectrum is similar to the natural daylight that we'd see around midday. Because that's the time when we're supposed to be most productive, our bodies react to that light by not producing as much melatonin, causing us to be more alert. This can lead to disruption of sleep for many people."

To protect your eyes from the negative effects of cell phone/computer eye syndrome, we should follow the 20/20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes of close reading, take a break for 20 seconds, look at an object that is at least 20 feet away, and blink consciously at least 20 times.

The Rx: "People should consider using a setting on their device to limit blue light exposure at night," adds Wang. "Most modern devices offer this. On Apple devices, it's called Night Shift. Other options include blue-blocking filters to place over a computer monitor or blue-blocking glasses, which are available from many online retailers."

"Ingesting artificial sweeteners is a huge mistake. Don't go near them," says Erika Schwartz, MD, an internist in New York City and author of Don't Let your Doctor Kill You. "For example, aspartame, when heated, turns to formaldehyde, which is used to preserve dead bodies. Table sugar is only 16 calories a teaspoon. It's a safer alternative. There is nothing real or good about fake sugar."

"First eat your salad, then eat your protein," says Schwartz. "Why? Salad increases digestive enzyme production, paving the way for faster and more efficient digestion of protein, which is otherwise more difficult to digest."

"The worst mistake you can make for your health is to ignore and not deal with mental stress," says Janet Prystowsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York. "If you do ignore it, it will likely cause all sorts of problems with eating, drinking, sleeping, social interactions, and physical condition."

The Rx: "Figure out ways to deal with the stress, including talk therapy, physical activity, hobbies, and positive social interactions," she advises. "Your health will greatly improve, and you will be mentally and physically stronger. It will be easier to eat and drink wisely and enjoy exercise. You will be at peace with yourself and others."

"Falls are common in older adults over 65 and can have devastating consequences, but they can be prevented," says Lauren Peterson, PT, DPT, a physical therapist and clinical director of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers of Oklahoma City. "When it comes to falls, there are three things that make up your balance system: your eyes, your inner ear, and your feet feeling the ground. Just like your muscles, these three systems need to continue to be challenged."

The Rx: "A physical therapist specializing in vestibular rehabilitation can develop a program to challenge your balance system and help keep you active," she says.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts

"When you grip your butt or thighs to perform pelvic floor muscle exerciseor Kegelsyou are not properly doing a Kegel," says Peterson. "In addition, if you are not properly coordinating your breathing, then you are not getting the full benefit of a Kegel."

The Rx: "Proper Kegels require that you can perform 1) sustained Kegels: 10 Kegels held for 10 seconds, and 2) quick flicks: 10 cycles of contract-and-relax in 10 seconds," says Peterson. "Oftentimes people need biofeedback to learn what a proper Kegel should feel like and to get the full effect."

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Everyday Habits That Shorten Your Life, According to Science | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

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Adapt to a Healthier Lifestyle by Reading Through Cheri Henry’s Experience! – Influencive

In this article, Cheri Henry answers some of the most relevant questions asked regarding the Speed Keto diet. She goes into detail of what prompted her to, and how she first started with Speed Keto, what she learned from the experience, how challenging it was to adapt to such a new diet plan, and so on.

She further explains how trying the Speed Keto diet would most likely result in a permanent change of her lifestyle, and how it has helped her family members as well.

I had become sedentary and unhealthy. After surviving Cancer and a stroke, I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes. My Dr. explained to me that unless I took control of my lifestyle I was in deep trouble.

Several of my Drs nurses were doing the Keto diet and I went home to research it. In the process I came across the Facebook group Speed Keto. After learning the program by reading and listening I determined this was doable for me. It was not just a diet selection, it was a life change that I could commit to.

The idea of fasting was a drawback to me but I unsuccessfully attempted it. The support group informed me that fasting was not a requirement. Since I was in it for life I took the approach that a steady and consistent Keto program was going to be my method of a healthy lifestyle change.

After mastering new Keto-friendly cooking methods and a developed taste for healthy foods, I was ready to take it public and visit restaurants and eateries. The support group made it very easy by listing choices and options when eating out. Whether it was a celebration or a last-minute choice to eat out, there was always something available to me on menus that would keep me on track. I never felt left out. It empowered me to take care of my new lifestyle choice.

My new found way of eating has been noticed by my family and friends as well as the change in my health. My sister has struggled the same as I have. I traveled to her home and taught her for one week how to shop and prepare the meals recommended on Speed Keto. She is now off and running herself towards better health and appearance.

I adopted the intermittent fasting tool to keep my metabolism burning. My last meal of the day is before 6 p.m. and I do not eat again until 12:00 the following day. I no longer eat out of habit. I look forward to the next meal and am very mindful of what goes into my mouth and fuels my body.

I have every intention of developing a Vegan Keto lifestyle at this point.

Published May 29th, 2021

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Adapt to a Healthier Lifestyle by Reading Through Cheri Henry's Experience! - Influencive

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5 Tips for Healthy Habits from the T2D Healthline Community – Healthline

Community members living with type 2 diabetes share advice on starting and maintaining healthy habits.

When you live with a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes (T2D) living a healthy lifestyle is essential. Healthy routines not only affect your physical well-being, but they can also have a positive impact on your mental health.

Taking steps to eat well and exercise regularly can help you feel more in control of your blood sugar levels. However, it can be challenging to turn a new behavior into a habit that sticks.

Heres what members from the T2D Healthline community recommend for starting and keeping up with new healthy habits.

Its a lot of work, and its easy to feel overwhelmed. It is possible to find a meal plan that feels more satisfying and less restrictive. I know I went way too far initially and restricted carbs to a point that I knew wasnt sustainable.

With the help of a great nutritionist, I was able to figure out a plan that feels way more comfortable and totally fits my health needs. I never would have figured it out on my own. Gwen

I remember that I am only human and that as long as I get back on track again, its OK. I try not to stay off track more than two days Karen

I try not to beat myself up over failures. For instance, 2 weeks ago I was on a 9-week workout streak. I missed a day and ruined my streak. Ive only worked out 1 day since (but Ive been busy with work, too).

Usually Id be mad at myself, or if I feel lazy. But I gave myself permission to just take a full-on break and get back to it when I feel up to it. No self-judgement. So, be kind to yourself! Mila Clarke Buckley, T2D Healthline community guide

Try to add as many fresh fruits and veggies that are low carb as you can. Try new things. I know its easier said than done some days, but try to make changes you can live with. One meal or snack at a time. Dont forget to add exercise. Find workouts you enjoy to help keep you motivated. You can do this. Sunflower 86

Food preparation for meals and snacks are very helpful. Cut up serving sizes of fresh veggies and fruit and put them in containers or ziplock baggies in the refrigerator so they are ready to go.

This way, you can grab a healthy snack on the way out the door. Try not to keep highly processed food around, so you wont be tempted by it.

Track all your foods daily good or bad by writing them down or using an app. It really helps to be able to actually see what you have consumed in a day and not just have it in your memory. Korie C.

Making changes to your day-to-day routine can feel overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start.

The main thing to remember is that even very small changes can make a big difference.

Its also important to know that youre not alone in your health journey. The T2D Healthline community is here to help.

Elinor Hills is an associate editor at Healthline. Shes passionate about the intersection of emotional well-being and physical health as well as how individuals form connections through shared medical experiences. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, photography, drawing, and spending way too much of her time running.

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40 Ways You’re Ruining Your Heart, Say Doctors | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

What could be worse than a broken heart? The fact that you may be doing the breaking. According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans every yearaccounting for one in every four deathsmany of them preventable. You can make easy changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Here are 40 things you've probably been doing that hurt your heartand what you can do to make it better. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 19 Ways You're Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts.

Most of us think stabbing chest pain is the telltale sign of a heart attack. In the movies, there's the classic scene where the man gasps, clutches his heart, and collapses. But heart attacks don't only strike menheart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. And in women, the symptoms can be much less dramatic. According to experts at the National Heart Association, women having a heart attack may feel:

The Rx: These heart attack signs may be subtle, but they're no less deadly. Man or woman, if you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital.

You're out shopping with a friend when your arm gets tingly and your words start slurring. This couldn't be a strokeyou're too young for that, right? Nope. Compared to 20 years ago, strokes are on the rise in people under the age of 45. A study in JAMA Neurology found that acute ischemic stroke hospitalization rates in women aged 18 to 34 rose nearly 32 percent. Researchers think this is linked to an increase in high cholesterol, tobacco use, high blood pressure and obesity.

The Rx: Know the signs of a stroke. This acronym is easy to remember: FAST, which stands for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties, and time to call 911.

If you notice a white or gray ring around your iris, and you aren't a zombie, it might mean you have arcus senilisa potential sign of high cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's not unusual if you're over 30 years of age. If you're younger than that, it could be cause for concern. Whitening in the cornea in younger people is a potential sign of familial hyperlipidemia, a common genetic disorder that increases blood fats and increases your risk of a heart attack.

The Rx: Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice these white rings around your cornea to check your cholesterol levels.

Taking care of your teeth isn't just about having a bright white smile. The American Heart Association's journal Hypertension says there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in your bloodstream (because it could get in through your bleeding gums). And, there is a connection between tooth loss and coronary artery disease.

The Rx: We know it's a pain but floss every night, brush your teeth at least twice daily, and go to your dentist for a cleaning.

Do you see red when a driver cuts you off in traffic, or your favorite football team fumbles the ball? Uncontrolled anger can lead to an increase in heart trouble, according to the Journal of American Medicine. When you get angry, stress hormones flood your body, which causes your face to flush, your heart to race and your blood pressure to rise. Chronically angry people have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease. And if you're a man, you're more likely to experience this rage: males reported "higher rates of anger attacks/aggression, substance abuse, and risk-taking compared with women."

The Rx: Anger is naturalwe all get ticked off sometimes. But unsuppressed anger is bad for you, and it takes a toll. You might seek anger management therapy to find ways to manage your emotions. There's no proof it will prevent a heart attack, but it can help your peace of mind.

There really is such a thing as dying of a broken heartit's not just something made up for romance novels. Broken Heart Syndrome is triggered by major stress, like the death of someone you love or an ugly breakup. It's a temporary heart condition sometimes called takotsubo cardiomyopathy that disrupts your heart's ability to pump normally. The good news is, broken heart syndrome is treatable and usually clears up within a few weeks.

The Rx: Don't try to deal with the stress of losing a loved one alone. Reach out for helpwhether to a trusted doctor, a therapist, or family and friends. No one has to go through that pain alone.

Want to get heart healthy? The American Heart Association says that owning a dog is associated with lower risk of heart disease. Not only are dogs great companions, they get more than wagging their own tailsthey get your tail moving. That's because dogs need to be walked every day, and dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get at least the recommended level of exercise.

The Rx: Consider adopting a pet from the Humane Society.

Heavy metal music gets your blood pumping, but it doesn't do much for your heart health. A study by the University of Florence found that patients who listened to classical, Celtic, or Indian music and practiced slow breathing for a half hour each day had significant improvements in blood pressure.

The Rx: Don't throw out your favorite AC/DC t-shirt. But be aware of the calming effects of classical, and add some Mozart to your musical mix.

Sleep is essential for your health. When people suffer from insomnia, they're not just exhaustedthey're at greater risk for all kinds of health problems. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep. Chronic insomnia is a sleep disturbance that happens at least three times per week and lasts for at least three months. This kind of insomnia is what puts you at greater risk. According to a report published in Hypertension, chronic insomnia is associated with a significant increase in hypertension.

The Rx: You don't have to live with insomniait is treatable. The National Sleep Foundation recommends talking with your doctor for treatment options.

There really can be too much of a good thing when it comes to sleep. According to a study conducted in the United Kingdom, sleeping more than 9 hours per night is linked to a 30% greater risk of early death. And napping during the day can be just as dangerous. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that women who take naps every day are 58% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

The Rx: Get a good night's sleep between 7 and 9 hours.

If you wake up feeling exhausted every morning, and your partner complains that you snore a lot, you may have a condition called sleep apnea. It's more than just annoyingit's dangerous. Symptoms include high blood pressure, waking up gasping for air, and the inability to concentrate. With this disorder, the muscles in the back of your throat fail to keep the airway open. Not only does this give you a terrible night's sleep and low blood oxygen levels, the National Sleep Association says it can lead to congestive heart failure, heart attack, and cardiac arrhythmia (a disturbance of your heart's rhythm).

The Rx: Snoring can be a major health problem, so ask to see a sleep specialist if you think you might have sleep apnea. They can give you a diagnosis and treatment to help you get some quality sleep.

For decades, we've been told to worry about our body mass index (BMI) when it comes to weight. But a study by the North American Menopause Society showed that it's not how much fat, but where it is on your body that matters most to your heart. Belly fat, also called visceral fat, is the most dangerous kind because it surrounds your vital organs deep inside your body. Women who carried fat mostly in their torso were three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who have more fat in their legs.

The Rx: If you're having trouble keeping the weight off, talk to your doctor for advice on how to manage your risk.

Do you only go to the doctor when you want a prescription, or think you have the flu? If so, you're not alone26 percent of people in one recent survey said they had trouble paying for healthcare services, and 20% had canceled a visit because they couldn't afford it. (Even if you can afford it, you might be too busy to go.) If you're skipping out on your annual checkup, you could be putting your health at risk. The cuff that squeezes your arm is an important part of your screening according to the National Heart Association, because high blood pressure usually has no symptomsso you won't know if it's out of control without going to the doctor's office. You may also have your cholesterol levels checked to see if you're at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

The Rx: We know it can be expensive and inconvenient, but see your doctor for preventative check-ups if at all possible.

Working at a desk, driving to work, binge-watching Netflixall of that downtime has a high price. Australian researchers found that every hour spent watching TV is linked to an 18% greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease, the same as smoking two cigarettes.

The Rx: You don't have to give up watching Westworld. But take breaks every now and then to get up, stretch your muscles, or jog in place to keep your blood flowing.

Being lonely really can hurt your heartin a literal way. According to research published in the journal Heart, people who reported not having close friendships or feelings of loneliness had a 32% higher risk of stroke, and a 29% increased risk of coronary heart disease. People who have a good circle of friends have a better chance of a longer lifesocial connections can help us feel more positive, recover from illness faster, and increase immune function.

The Rx: Pick up the phone and call your friends. If you're feeling depressed, talk to a doctor or a therapist to get help.

Does the weight of the world hang on your shoulders? You might benefit from a good laugh. Research has shown that laughter is linked to chemical changes in the body that reduce stress and increase pain tolerance. According to a study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, adults over the age of 60 who participated in weekly "group laughter sessions" had an increase in mineral bone density. Findings also show that people with a sense of humor are linked to a 73% lower risk of death from heart disease.

The Rx: The next time it's your pick on movie night, choose a comedy instead of a dark documentary.

By now you've probably heard that taking too many antibiotics isn't a good ideabecause bacteria become resistant to them and morph into "superbugs." But antibiotics can also be bad for your heart. According to European Heart Journal, long-time antibiotic use changes the microbiome in your gut and associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Rx: We're not saying to stop taking your antibioticsthat can lead to other health problems. But just be aware that long-term use of any medication carries risk, and talk to your doctor about it.

Hospitals are where you go to get wellbut laying in your hospital bed for too long without moving can put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). That's when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in your leg. When that clot breaks off and travels up to your lungs, it's a life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism. Warning signs of DVT include leg pain or tenderness, leg swelling, skin that feels warm to the touch, and red streaks on the skin.

The Rx: The American Heart Association recommends wearing compression stockings or getting out of your hospital bed quickly after surgery if possible. Talk to your doctor about how to manage your risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Oral contraceptive pills are a highly effective birth controlbut they increase risk of high blood pressure in some women. According to the American Heart Association, this is most likely in women who smoke, are overweight, have had high blood pressure during pregnancy, or have a family history of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a silent killer many adults don't even know they have it because there are often no obvious symptoms.

The Rx: Don't quit taking your medication without talking to your doctor first.

The science is clear: smoking is bad for your heart. According to the CDC, smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular diseaseand not just in the ways you might think. Lighting up can raise triglycerides (a fat in your blood), lower your "good" HDL cholesterol, make your blood stickier and more prone to clotting, cause thickening and narrowing of your blood vessels, and a whole host of other nasty side effects. The effects are significant for nonsmokers who breathe secondhand smoke at home or work, tooa 25% increased risk of heart disease and 20% greater risk of stroke.

The Rx: Quit the sticks. If you're having trouble kicking your smoking habit, talk with your doctor. And to live your happiest and healthiest life, don't miss this essential list of the Worst Things For Your HealthAccording to Doctors.

The mind-body connection is well known in the medical community. So, it comes as no surprise that mental pain can cause physical pain. Research shows that people with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have depression, and people with depression are more likely to have cardiovascular diseasethe two are linked. But they link is also proportional, which means the more severe your depression, the more likely you are to develop heart disease and die from it.

The Rx: Don't suffer from depression in silence. Seek help from a therapistthere's zero shame in taking care of your mental health.

There is debate about whether keto diets are good for your health, but the science is clear on one thing: too much LDL cholesterol is linked to heart disease. LDL causes fatty deposits to build up in your arteries, which reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart. The American Heart Association says it's vital for men and women to keep a close eye on their cholesterol.

The Rx: Start eating a heart-healthy diet and limit your red meat, saturated fats like coconut oil, and full-fat dairy. You can also increase your intake of "good" HDL cholesterol

Your mom was rightyou have to eat your vegetables if you want to be healthy. The CDC recommends 2 cups of fruit per day and 3 cups of vegetables for adults for a healthy diet because they are rich in nutrition and low in calories. And, according to an English study of 65,000 adults over more than 7 years, those who ate the most produce every day lowered their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 31%.

The Rx: Any amount of green is good for you, so don't be scared off by a high target.

Sorry donut lovers: even if you're at a healthy weight, a diet high in sugar may increase your risk of heart disease. According to a study published in the Journal of American Medicine, people who ate more than 25% of their calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets had less than 10% sugar. Now, not all sugars are "bad"naturally occurring sugars like lactose (milk) and fructose (fruit) aren't the same as added sugars, like the ones in your large vanilla latte.

The Rx: The American Heart Association advises women to limit added sugarless than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons. For men it's about 150 calories, or 9 teaspoons.

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science

Breast cancer is one of the scariest things a woman can go through. If you're over the age of 45 and have completed your cancer treatment, you have a greater risk of heart disease. According to a Brazilian study published in Menopause, when compared with women over 45 who had not experienced breast cancer, those who underwent treatment have a much higher likelihood of cardiovascular problems.

The Rx: You can manage your risk by making heart-healthy lifestyle changes, like eating less saturated fat and exercising more.

Diabetes is a common condition in the United Statesaffecting about 1 in every 11 people. It's what happens when your body can't make enough insulin, and sugar builds up in the bloodstream. According to the CDC, women with diabetes have a 40% greater risk of developing heart disease and a 25% greater risk of stroke than men do.

The Rx: If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about how to lower your risk of heart disease.

Some people think they can avoid the nasty side effects of cigarettes by chewing tobacco insteadbut it's not a safer option. Chewing tobacco is a smokeless tobacco that's placed in the cheek and sucked, and doing so raises your heart rate and blood pressure. According to the CDC, smokeless tobacco is linked to cancer, addiction to nicotine, and increased risk of death from stroke or heart disease.

The Rx: Just don't do it. If you're already chewing tobacco, see your doctor to get help quitting.

When you have trouble at work or an unexpected bill, can you handle it? Everyone feels and experiences stress differently. But when your stress gets out of control, you can feel it in your body because stress makes your body release adrenaline. That hormone makes your breathing and heart rate speed up temporarily as you prepare for "fight or flight." According to one study, "prolonged inflammatory response may inflict serious damage upon its host."

The Rx: If you are feeling super stressed, try doing some yoga or going for a walkor for a quick fix, watch some cat videos. Laughter really can be the best medicine.

If you feel exhausted all the time, it might be because you have anemia. This condition develops when your blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells (or hemoglobin). These cells carry oxygen. So, when you don't have enough red blood cells, your body doesn't get enough oxygen and your organs don't function properly. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, because your heart has to pump more to make up for the lack of oxygen in the blood which can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, anemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The Rx: Eat more leafy greens (like spinach) with high levels of ironor take an iron supplementto help combat anemia.

The next time you think about skipping exercise to sleep in, think twice. As many as 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are linked to a lack of exercise. In fact, being a couch potato is one of the top five risk factors for heart disease, along with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity.

The Rx: The American Heart Association advises adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. You don't have to compete in the Ironmanballroom dancing, a round of tennis, or a brisk walk will do the trick.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts

Love hitting the gym for hours at a time? You could be putting your heart at risk. A study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that adults who did more than three times the recommendations150 minutes of moderate exercise per weekcould be doing cardiovascular damage. Another study from Denmark found that people who jogged a lot, and at higher intensity, were more likely to die during the course of the study than those who exercised less often. In fact, it was almost the same risk as those who did not exercise at all.

The Rx: Don't overdo it20 minutes of moderate exercise every day is the sweet spot for heart health.

Here's a scary thought: almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and most of us don't even know it. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is called a silent killer because it often doesn't show any obvious symptoms. Hypertension is what happens when the force of blood is consistently too high. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80. When left unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to damage to your circulatory system, stroke, heart attack and other health problems.

The Rx: See your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure checked. Limit salt and alcohol, and try to exercise regularly.

You might think of aspirin as a harmless over-the-counter drug, and since it's been pushed as heart-healthy, why not pop one? It might surprise you to learn that aspirin can actually cause deadly complications in some people. The FDA warns that while aspirin can help prevent a heart attack by "thinning" the blood, that could cause the unwanted side effect of bleeding in the heart or brain.

The Rx: Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin for your heart so you can weigh the benefits and risks.

Sorry, carnivoresthat juicy steak is bad for your heart. A recent study published in the European Heart Journal found that people who eat red meatbut not vegetarians or those who eat only white meat like porkhave increased levels of the chemical trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). This compound is made by gut bacteria to digest food, and has been found to raise the risk of heart disease and early death. Not only that, but a diet heavy in red meat can actually change kidney function. Some people in the study had a ten-fold increase in TMAO levels after only a month of eating red meat, which didn't happen in people who ate poultry, fish, or other non-meat sources of saturated fat.

The Rx: Watch your intake of red meats. The American Heart Association advises baked fish, skinless poultry, and trimmed lean meatsbut no more than 5.5 cooked ounces daily.

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.

By now, you've probably seen bottles of probiotics on the pharmacy shelf. Many people reach for them to stay "regular," or help reset the system after taking antibiotics. Probiotics are "good bacteria" found in foods prepared by fermentation like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. So, when you pick up a container of yogurt and read "active live cultures Lactobacillus"that's your probiotic. Some scientists think probiotics may help lower risk of heart disease. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that certain yogurts decreased total cholesterol by 4% within one to two months.

The Rx: Studies on probiotics are ongoing, so more therapeutic uses are likely to come. It never hurts to eat a little yogurt (as long as it's not loaded with too much sugar).

Do you get dizzy or feel like you might pass out for no reason? You might have a low heart rate. This is sometimes a sign of a strong heartbut if it's too slow, it can be cause for concern. A normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute that means your heart isn't working too hard to pump blood. Elite athletes in top cardiovascular condition often have heart rates under 60 BPM. But if you're not training for a triathlon, it could be a sign of bradycardia, where your heart isn't pumping often enough. Left untreated long-term, this can lead to heart failure, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, and chest pain.

The Rx: A low heart rate doesn't always require treatment. If you're noticing dizzy spells or other troublesome symptoms, talk to your doctor.

RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say

Soaking in a hot tub is one of the best ways to relax and unwindbut for some, it can be dangerous. When you spend too long immersed in hot water, you could experience blood pressure that's too low. That's because heat can make your vessels dilate, which lowers your blood pressure and makes your heart work harder, which is taxing on an unhealthy heart.

The Rx: The Mayo Clinic says it's probably ok for people with stable heart disease to use hot tubs, as long as they limit the time to 15 minutes or less.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural remedy that seems to be everywhere right now. It's created by extracting only CBD from the cannabis plant. That way, you get the health-related benefits of cannabis without the "high"because CBD is not psychoactive. While the overall health benefits are still uncertain, recent research has shown a link to heart health, stating "a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress."

The Rx: The effects of CBD oil are still being studied, so it's uncertain exactly what the risks and benefits are. If you're taking other medications, be sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this remedy a try. And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

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How to manage COVID impacts on student health habits – Inside Higher Ed

The pandemic punch sent campus learning routines into a tailspin but also knocked out many college students healthy lifestyle routines. Attending class, getting sleep and eating meals in the same room, or in a crowded house, became the reality for millions of college students who previously got in thousands of daily steps even if they didnt block off time for exercise.

In a new Student Voice survey, conducted by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse and presented by Kaplan, 44percent of students report getting less physical exercise than before the pandemic, with loss of motivation being the primary reason identified for one-third of that group.

Psychologists have been talking a lot in the past year about motivation paralysis, says Jody Early, an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Washington at Bothell. The term refers to a desire to act on something but being unable to do so.

COVID-19 caused people to lose the normalcy in their lives, and not being grounded in routines results in this ongoing sense of uncertainty that can really have a toll on the body, Early explains. Its like having windows open on your computer draining the battery. Its draining to us, and we dont know whats going on.

The survey, taken by 2,002 college students between April28 and May2, reveals new lifestyle routines since the pandemic started that could negatively impact overall health. For example:

Student perceptions of their health are generally positive, with two-thirds reporting excellent (18percent) or good (48percent) overall physical health. But that still leaves one-third viewing their health as fair or poor. Fewer than one in five (18percent) students -- but 23percent of varsity and 26percent of club athletes -- rate their health as excellent. By political leaning, strong Republicans are most likely to report favorable health, with 33percent saying its excellent (and a total of 83percent selecting excellent or good).

The survey also reveals how much students agree that their college cares about their physical health. Nearly half agree either somewhat or strongly, while one-third are neutral and about one in five disagree.

Schools are recognizing the value of working toward a healthier campus environment that supports being physically active and making better choices with food, says Mary Hoban, chief research officer at the American College Health Association, which surveys students each fall and spring.

What does a college caring look like to students?

To some, its about events. Quinnipiac Universitys outdoor cycling class this spring, for example, made an impression on Charles Dunn, a rising senior studying biology who says the institution has been planning a lot around student health and wellness.

Campuswide wellness committees with student representation are another signal of officials prioritizing student health. Autumn Spyhalsky, who will be a third-year pharmacy student in the fall at the University at Buffalo, was selected for such a role. As a member of the wellness task force, she has provided input on the planning of a facility on North Campus (the hub for most undergrads) to offer health services, including mental health.

At Boise State University, attention to health is obvious. The BroncoFit program attends to the whole person by focusing on eight dimensions of wellness, including physical. In 2019, newly inaugurated Boise State president Marlene Tromp formed a presidents wellness committee to advise her, and the strategic plan completed this February by a separate group includes a goal about developing a thriving community, which incorporates whole-person wellness. An implementation team will work across the university to ensure everyone is moving toward the metrics using tactics suggested, even down to the curricular level, she says, adding that the phrase whole student appears in other strategic plans in higher ed, but people dont know how to actualize it.

Carolina Recchi, cofounder of EdSights, which uses AI-powered chat bots to help higher ed institutions improve retention and hence collects a lot of data on the daily life of more than 200,000 students at its client institutions, says campus leaders had great interest in seeing data this year about areas of student struggle. There was a lot of talk about mental health and wellness in cabinet and alumni meetings, but there wasnt as much action. Its understandable, but I think theres still the work to do. Its been more about coming to terms with the magnitude of the problem and getting data to back up future decisions.

In their comments, several Student Voice survey respondents connected the level of care to the level of COVID-related caution. Respondents who are currently taking all classes online from home were slightly more likely than those back on campus to strongly agree their college cares about health.

One student criticized his university in the Northeast for shutting down gyms and classrooms, plus decreasing physical activity and healthy food options. The only thing these restrictions did was make it harder for college students to make good decisions and make it easier for them to be lazy and unhealthy, the student wrote.

From DJ Pepitos perspective as chief programs officer at NACAS, the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, administrators are especially cognizant of food insecurity among students and other basic needs. Theres a heightened awareness now among campus leaders about the severity of basic needs issues across colleges today, she says. The NACAS Foundation awards up to $25,000 annually for related efforts through its Campus Care Grant.

Heres more on the choices students are making about their health and challenges they face in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as what higher ed institutions can do to support students now and moving forward.

As noted, the more than four in 10 students getting less physical exercise now compared to pre-pandemic are most likely to select loss of motivation as the primary reasons they are moving less. Its torture being in my room all day, says Spyhalsky, who has had very limited in-person learning this year. She will still force herself to go running or occasionally rock climbing or to the gym.

Silvia Saccardo, who co-wrote a study titled Lifestyle and Mental Health Disruptions During COVID-19 and who is still tracking college students health habits, says students were averaging about 10,000 steps a day before the pandemic but are only getting 5,000 to 6,000 now. Saccardo, an assistant professor in the Department of Social and Decisions Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, is focusing her current work on promoting vaccinations.

The next most common reason for a lower physical activity level cited by Student Voice respondents is less free time. One student at a university in the Southeast who used to run three miles a day wrote she barely has time to do anything for her mental or physical health anymore because of academic program stress. Im always miserable and sick, she added.

Gyms and athletic facilities being shut down is the third most common reason given for less exercise. Austin Towle, a U.S. Army veteran who began attending Pennsylvania State University this semester and who lives near campus, was still on active duty last March and working out daily at the gym as well as serving as a personal trainer for his company. When the gym shut down, it threw a wrench into everything, he says. Although the initially closed Penn State gym facilities opened partway through this semester, it was with limited capacity and other restrictions. So Towle, whose goal is to compete in a bodybuilding show in the fall, has been continuing workouts at a local family-owned gym.

One of my main groups of friends is through the gym, the bodybuilding team, he says. We meet and talk about diet and exercise and whats working for us.

Thats in stark contrast to the current habits of many college students. Nearly half of both those taking some or all in-person classes and those in school fully online right now report less structured meal routines. About three in 10 are eating more during the pandemic, and about one-quarter say the quality of their food has gotten worse.

Pepito says NACAS members involved in food services and dining will continue to make encouraging healthy habits a top priority as students return more widely to campuses this fall. I dont think healthy eating has just gone out the door. Its an increased request from students, she says. This generation of students is all about convenience and fast options, but still staying healthy.

Student reporting on sleep habits since the pandemic shows a somewhat even split between those getting less sleep, those getting more sleep and those getting about the same amount. Women, students struggling with mental health and students at two-year institutions (about 250 people in the survey sample attend community colleges) are most likely to be struggling to get enough sleep.

Dunn, who works as an emergency medical technician both on Quinnipiacs campus and at home in Old Saybrook, Conn., is getting only three hours or so a night now (but, he adds, he walks about 20,000 steps a day).

According to EdSights data, students who previously rated their wellness as good but who are now struggling report that mental health is the biggest challenge right now. The No.2 struggle? Sleep.

Sleep may also be impacted by food or housing insecurity, points out Hoban. Its hard to be healthy physically or mentally if you dont know where youre sleeping tonight.

Although Saccardos research shows students are sleeping more since the pandemic started -- mainly because theyre waking later each morning -- they are generally getting way less than the recommended seven to nine hours. That was the case pre-COVID as well.

The vast majority of Student Voice survey respondents arent turning to alcohol or marijuana because of the pandemic. Tenpercent report more marijuana use and 17percent report more drinking than before last March; 75percent dont use marijuana at all, and 53percent dont drink alcohol at all.

Our alcohol data measures excessive use, and it seems to be lower than before the pandemic, says Hoban. Theyre still drinking, but theyre not drinking as much to excess, from what I can see.

Regarding sexual activity, 6percent are engaging in more risky sexual behavior than pre-pandemic, while 4percent report being safer about sex. Responses from men, women and nonbinary students are about the same. Those identifying as lower class for socioeconomic status are by far most likely to be engaging in risky sexual behaviors (35percent, with a plus or minus 16percent margin of error).

As noted, few students (27percent) were immune from the physical impacts of increased screen time. But 32percent of those getting more physical activity since the pandemic say they have not had screen time impacts. When the data are filtered by those who are learning online only from home, 25percent report no tech-related health symptoms. In addition, women and nonbinary students are more likely than men to experience headaches, neck/shoulder pain and other symptoms.

Supporting students physical health tends to involve mental health as well. But during COVID-19, says Tromp at Boise State, college and university leaders placed most of the emphasis on physical health, with the priority of stopping the spread. When we saw a physical health crisis, we did not respond to the mental health crisis running parallel.

Survey respondents are split somewhat evenly on reporting that their physical health is better than their mental health, that neither is great and that both are OK. Only 11percent say their mental health is better.

Those rating their physical health as excellent are most likely to say both their physical and mental health are pretty good. Political leaning also seems to make a difference, with strong Republicans being by far most likely to say both are fine. Strong Democrats were most likely to report their physical health is better than their mental health, or that both are not great.

When considering actions to take, campus leaders should keep in mind how different individuals are. I have had students tell me they wouldnt walk into our new multimillion-dollar exercise facility because they feel they wouldnt fit in there, says Early from UW. Maybe helping students to move more isnt just about offering more intramurals but also an activity like drumming, she adds. We need to do a better job.

One survey respondent from a private institution in the Midwest agrees, writing, My college attempts to encourage healthy eating and exercise classes through a required gym class, but only gives advice in a limited scope and caters it to students of less-active backgrounds.

Following are seven actions to consider.

Coming next week to Student Voice: Student actions and opinions related to the COVID vaccine and college vaccination mandates

1. Create a wellness committee (or strengthen an existing one). Tromp says it should focus on both physical and mental health to build a plan for well-being and then act on it. Early from UW notes that it will take a while to get students acclimated this fall. Were not going to zip back into a state of everyone feeling better. Focus on more mental health and connections, and then that can feed into physical fitness, she suggests.

2. Develop tiered peer supports. Just as colleges have worked to train students to be a first step for peers needing mental wellness help, students could support peers with physical health. For example, Boise States BroncoFit Peer Health Educators (certified in standards set by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) work with fellow students across campus, encouraging them to develop responsible habits and attitudes toward high-risk health and safety issues. A new idea being developed as part of the universitys strategic plan implementation includes connecting individual students. Someone looking to work out more might get paired with a running or racquetball partner, while someone looking to adopt better eating habits might get a lunch buddy.

3. Continue popular new offerings. EdSights helped its client schools with campaigns around physical exercise in the past year, Recchi explains, such as pick your resource efforts where the college mascot would offer to share ideas for more physical exercise, better nutrition or more quality sleep. Most were on campus, but some did it virtual, she says. A lot of initiatives were born because of COVID but are working out really well. And remember, says Hoban, that some students, such as those with physical disabilities or people worried about stigma, had doors opened to them when health services and counseling became virtual and more accessible.

4. Find out what students think they need to adopt healthier habits. By now, people have new routines, Saccardo says. When students were asked as part of her study on what they need for fall in terms of support, some identified a desire to build better routines.

5. Incentivize healthy lifestyle choices. When Saccardos team gave students $5 for each day they reached 10,000 steps, the incentive helped restore pre-pandemic activity levels (but, she adds, did not have a positive impact on mental health, suggesting the need to intervene on not just physical activity but perhaps eating and sleeping habits as well).

6. Incorporate an understanding of student trauma. Many students have lost not only everyday habits to COVID-19 but also financial security and loved ones. Theres a lot of loss that has happened, says Early, adding that these losses are more pronounced for BIPOC students. As Hoban puts it, Not everybody is returning to normal. For some of our students, these impacts are permanent.

7. Preparefor the long term. I dont want people to lose this lesson, to have their wheels slide into the well-worn ruts again and stop thinking about mental health and physical health, says Tromp. This crisis showed us that if we dont care for the whole student, were not going to see the success we want to see. Its that comprehensive approach. It has to be integrated and it has to be ongoing. As shes been telling her senior leaders throughout this past year, the charge is this: to become a better university on the other side of COVID.

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Drop your habit: Smokers urged to quit on World No Tobacco Day | Health-e – Health-e News

As the world commemorates World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2021, South Africans are being urged to quit smoking,and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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Speaking to Health-e News, Medical Director at Pfizer South Africa, Dr Bha Ndungane-Tlakuladescribed smoking as one of the more harmful habits for overall health. It affects most organs in the body, so much so that if you smoke tobacco products, you are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than if you do not smoke, said Ndungane-Tlakula.

According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco smoking is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people a year globally. Over seven million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, while 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Commit to quit

This year the World No Tobacco Day is being celebrated under the theme Commit to Quit. Years of documented research and studies have shown that nicotine, the chemical found in tobacco products, is addictive.

Quitting smoking can be difficult. But, if it is coupled with the adoption of a healthy lifestyle,maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing alcohol consumption and regular exercise, it may add more than a decade of life expectancy during adulthood. Speak to your healthcare professional who can advise on the best solutions to help you live a better life for tomorrow today, advised Ndungane-Tlakula.

Making healthier choices

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa also advocates for better health choices. It cites heart disease and stroke as the second biggest killers in South Africa, after HIV. As part of its recommendations for better heart health, it discourages tobacco use.

Ndungane-Tlakuka also stressed the importance of nutrition in maintaining overall health. Many of our essential nutrients from the food we eat as our bodies cannot produce these nutrients enough on their own.

This means that most of our sources of nutrients and daily. Health-e News

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Best Supplements for a Flat Belly, According to a Dietitian – Eat This, Not That

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Having a tough time buttoning your jeans or are you not loving the way your belly looks when you try on that bikini from last summer? Whether it is because of an uptick in eating too many bloat-inducing foods or due to your preference for binging Netflix on the couch instead of hitting the gym, there are many reasons for having a mid-section that doesn't look or feel the way that you want it to be.

And while the best ways to support a flat belly are to exercise, reduce your salt intake, maintain your gut health, and eat a well-balanced diet, there are some supplements that may help kick your "washboard abs" journey into high gear. Although they won't be a magic bullet to rock-hard abs, when combined with a healthy lifestyle, they may help the cause.

Read on to find 8 supplements that may help you button your jeans without having to lay flat on your bed to accomplish that goal. Just get the green light from your health care provider before you add any of these to your routine, as some supplements may negatively interact with your current medication or not mix with certain health conditions. And for more, check out these10 Easiest Flat Belly Hacks You Need to Try.

If you aren't a tea drinker, taking a green tea extract supplement is a great option if you want to get a dose of EGCG, or a plant compound found in this type of tea to help flatten your belly.

Burning more calories can help you lose weight, and therefore lose belly fat. And since studies suggest that taking green tea extract or EGCG supplements can help you burn more calorieseven at rest, these pills can help give your body the boost it may need. And taking it a step further, taking in this compound can result in weight loss.

Plus, green tea catechin (a natural flavonoid) intake is linked to shedding belly fat in overweight and obese adults who exercise. (For more, check outWhat Happens To Your Body When You Drink Green Tea.)

It may sound funny to take in fatty acids in order to lose weight and to support a flat belly, but consuming sources of DHA and EPA, omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood (including krill oil), may help you get that flat belly that you want.

Fish oils are linked to many benefits, including managing blood sugars. When blood sugars are elevated, your body secretes more insulin. And when insulin levels are consistently high, weight loss can be difficult to achieve, and thus, your flat belly will be out of reach.

Kori Krill Oil provides superior absorption over fish oil because it delivers Omega-3 EPA and DHA in its natural phospholipid form. This also eases digestion and eliminates the fishy burps that many people experience with fish oil.

Bonus? Krill oil also supports heart, brain, eyes, joints, skin, and immune health too!

RELATED:Side Effects of Taking Fish Oil Every Day, According to Experts

Ginger isn't just a remedy for combatting nausea. This root, which contains a digestive enzyme called zingibain, may help combat bloating and gas caused by certain foods. Since a bloated tummy is the antithesis of a flat tummy, taking ginger may help you outespecially when taken after a meal that contains protein.

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Your gut can be home to a variety of live bacteria. Certain bacteriathink E. coli and coliformsare gas-producing in many cases and can cause people to experience bloat.

One way to combat these bacteria is to create an environment in your gut that has a lower pH, or a more acidic environment. Why? Many of these bacteria thrive in an environment that is less acidic (more neutral).

To accomplish this, taking probiotics, or live bacteria that actually offer a benefit to our health may help. Certain strains, particularly lactobacillus strains, can help lower the pH in your gut, thus making your gut more acidic. This helps to make the environment not super friendly to some potentially gas-producing bacteria. A tummy that isn't full of gas can mean one thinga flat tummy!

Whether you are an ice cream, milk, or creamy soup lover, dairy foods are a fan favorite for a slew of reasons. But, unfortunately, the natural sugar found in many dairy foods called lactose can be challenging for people to digestespecially as we get older.

To break down the lactose sugar, an enzyme called lactase is needed. As we age, we run the risk of not having enough lactase enzyme in our body to break down the lactose sugarleaving undigested sugar in our gut and causing bloat in some cases.

If you have a lactase deficiency, supplementing with a lactase supplement (like Lactaid) when you eat dairy foods that contain lactase can help you break down the natural dairy sugars, allowing you to enjoy an ice-cold glass of milk once again.

If you are retaining too much fluid in your mid-section, hibiscus may help you rid your body of the excess without negatively affecting electrolyte levels. Although more human studies are needed, adding hibiscus to your routine may help support your flat belly goal if your challenge is water retention.

Berberine has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for years and years. And recently, it has made its way into the Western world in a powerful way.

Among its proposed benefits, berberine may help decrease insulin resistance and inhibit the development of fat stores.

Taking berberine with Oregon grape extract may help fight belly fat by combining the benefits of berberine with the digestive support benefits that Oregon grape offers.

The simple act of taking in protein can help you attain your flat belly in a few ways. Protein helps your body feel more satisfied, and in turn, can help you eat less in the long run.

And whey protein, in particular, may reduce the long and short-term appetite and, in women, improve body composition by increasing lean mass without influencing changes in fat mass. And consumption of over 500 milliliters of dairy products that consist of casein and whey can increase satiety according to results of a meta-analysis.

A whey and casein protein-based protein powder, like Quest Nutrition protein powder, is a simple addition to your everyday life. Whether you are including a scoop or two to your smoothies, your energy bites, or even your classic recipes, this addition can help you feel more satisfied and possibly reduce the risk of overeating, which may lead to bloat.

Try some protein powder in these22 High Protein Smoothie Recipes from Diet and Fitness Experts.

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T1 partners up with EROM to manage gamers’ health – InvenGlobal

EROM's VP Euihyun Hwang (left) and T1's COO John Kim (right) commemorate the strategic partnership with T1 and EROM

*The following was sent to Inven Global as a Press release by T1*

Global esports organization T1 Entertainment & Sports announced today its new strategic partnership with EROM, a global healthcare and foods company.

Through the new partnership, T1 and EROM will work together to provide health foods and medical check-ups for its players and streamers, launch the special health food T1 Core Meal for gamers as well as create synergy to promote healthcare amongst gamers.

T1 Core Meal is developed by collaboration between Erom and T1 to provide healthy nutritious life for the professional gamers. It contains Lactium (1.14mg/bag) that is known for relieving stress and Raffinose (1.06g/bag) that is known for propagation of beneficial intestinal bacteria as well as pathogen suppression. Also, it is comprised of 55 organic materials along with two types of functional raw material.

Moreover, there are 13 types of vitamins, 3 types of minerals, zinc (8.5mg/bag) that is known for boosting immunity, selenium (55mcg/case), vitamin D for the strengthening bone density that can help professional gamers brain function and physical balance. All the above-mentioned nutritional elements are contained in one bag for simple and easy consumption.

The health of our players and streamers is our top priority at T1 and it is a great opportunity for them to learn how to manage their health and maintain the right conditions to perform well. I am also excited for both companies to promote the upcoming health food T1 Core Meal to improve the health of gamers, Joe Marsh, CEO of T1 said.

EROM VP Euihyun Hwang said, I am looking forward to our partnership with T1 since it is known to be one of the top global esports organizations in the world. T1s value of prioritizing the players health goes hand-in-hand with EROMs 23-year history and vision of people who love science. We hope that T1 Core Meal will be a leader in health foods in the esports market and that gamers all over the world will manage and enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

LIVHIM CEO Sunghye Lee explained, We hope to incorporate the values of both companies to introduce health foods and expand into the esports market. We will work together in creating synergy for the marketing strategies for the launch of T1 Core Meal in late July.

ABOUT T1 ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS

T1 Entertainment & Sports is a global esports joint venture that owns and operates the ultra-successful T1 League of Legends (LoL) Champions Korea (LCK) team, along with teams in competitive gaming segments that include VALORANT, Dota 2, Rainbow Six, Fortnite, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone and Apex Legends. The T1 LoL LCK team, previously known as SK Telecom T1, has won three LoL World Championships (2013, 2015, 2016). T1 unites esports enthusiasts around the world through its gaming culture and lifestyle, content creation, entertainment and merchandise. SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor launched T1 in October 2019 and have global operations based in Seoul, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. For more information on T1, please visit T1.gg.

ABOUT EROM

Erom co.,Ltd is a globally well-known healthcare company that produce health supplements as well as healthy drinks. Since the establishment of the company, Erom tirelessly invested in Research and Development to produce their products so that they can serve consumers with healthy food and beverages of highest quality. In 1999, Erom established their first global branch in United States and from that point, they have reached all continents with their health related products. Also, Erom is currently donating ten percent of their annual revenue to help those who are in need all around the world. In recognition to their CSR, in 2020, they won Gyeongido Good company award.

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Power naps: Health benefits, how to, and more – Medical News Today

While some European cultures enjoy a daily siesta or midday nap, these types of power naps are not as common in the USA. However, there could be some health benefits if people take power naps correctly.

Potential health benefits of power naps include enhanced memory, improved cognitive performance, and stronger logical reasoning. That said, napping for too long could upset a persons circadian rhythms, which can lead to increased tiredness.

Keep reading to learn more about power naps, including the optimal duration and potential health benefits, and some further information about the importance of sleep

There isnt really a perfect time to take a power nap. The ideal time will depend more upon individual factors, such as a persons individual schedule. For example, for people on a 95 work schedule, the best time to nap might be before or during the post-lunch slump, which is usually sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

For those working during the day, naps after 4 p.m. are not ideal. Taking a nap too late in the day can interfere with getting quality nighttime sleep and interrupt a persons circadian rhythms.

However, for shift workers or those who work nights, the ideal time for a power nap may be earlier or later.

There is some discrepancy among experts over what length of nap is most effective and beneficial.

Dr. Sara Mednick, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, states that by taking a 90-minute nap, a person can get the same benefits they would from sleeping 8 hours. However, another study suggests the ideal nap length is 10 minutes.

The science behind limiting the duration of a power nap boils down to something called sleep inertia. This term refers to the drowsiness a person may experience upon waking from a very long nap, which may significantly impair cognitive performance throughout the course of a day.

There are many health benefits associated with taking regular power naps, among them long-term memory improvement, enhanced cognitive function, and increased creativity. Research also shows that naps might be beneficial for heart health. A recent case study followed Swiss adults who took 12 naps per week. it found that over a period of 8 years, these same individuals had a lower risk of heart disease and strokes than those who didnt nap.

On the flip side, its worth noting that other research shows there may be negative long-term effects of regular napping. Research analyzed by the American Heart Association (AHA) shows that those who napped for an hour or more per day had 1.82 times the rate of cardiovascular disease than people who didnt nap. However, this is probably due to correlation rather than direct causation, as that group may have had underlying health reasons that led to them taking frequent naps.

Ultimately, if a person is able to take short naps on any given day and feels more alert upon waking, they should feel free to do so. The benefits of napping seem to outweigh any potential drawbacks. However, researchers must continue to study the overall effects of napping on health.

Though theyre quite different, napping and meditation seem to have several overlapping effects and benefits. While those who meditate are conscious and those who nap are unconscious, both groups enjoy an improved mental state afterward, accompanied by reductions in blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.

While both can be healthy habits, those who meditate reap additional benefits that nappers may not receive. A few of these include needing less sleep, an overall boost in mood, and increased melatonin levels which can promote a more restful nights sleep. Meditation also has the potential to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.

A person who incorporates both regular or semi-regular naps and meditation into their lifestyle can expect improvements in many physiological and psychological areas.

If a person consistently fails to get enough restful nighttime sleep and naps as a result, theyre in a better position than a person who doesnt get enough sleep and doesnt nap at all. This is because napping can help reduce a persons sleep debt, or the amount of sleep theyd ideally get to make up for the amount of sleep lost each night.

The American Psychological Association states that more sleep would make most Americans happier and healthier. The average American gets well below the recommended amount of 8 hours of sleep each night. While everyones sleep needs are different, a good nights sleep of at least 7 or more hours for adults aged 18-60 helps protect the immune system and the heart, and allows optimal brain function and mental clarity throughout the day.

People who are chronically sleep-deprived those who fail to get enough sleep over a period of 2 weeks or longer exhibit brain deficits similar to those who havent slept in 3 days. They are also more prone to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

Learn more about the importance of sleep here.

Overall, power naps can be an effective way to enjoy boosted energy, heightened focus, increased attention, and mental clarity. The ideal length is around 10 minutes, according to some research.

Naps should not be used as a substitute for getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, ideally 79 hours for adults aged 18-60.

When kept to about 1020 minutes per day, power naps can make a great addition to a healthy lifestyle and promote a variety of benefits for those who take them.

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Program helps overweight children form healthy habits to lose weight and keep it off – WWLTV.com

Dr. Staiano said not getting ahead of weight problems at a young age, can lead to a lifetime of health problems.

NEW ORLEANS Families in this area now have an opportunity to join a program geared to help children who are overweight.

A mother said the program is changing the way they grocery shop, cook and eat, as well as opening new doors for her teenage son.

When Collin Jackson was younger, he joined a family program at Pennington Biomedical Research Center that focused on weight and a lifetime of healthful choices.

He loved it. We went. He made new friends and it ended up being fun, Yet it was geared towards a healthy lifestyle change, not only for him but the family, said Clarencia Grimes, Collins mother.

Today at 13 years of age, it shows.

I never really noticed I was getting like taller and skinnier, until it was like pointed out to me, and then I looked in the mirror and I was like, Oh, I am getting kind of skinnier, said Collin Jackson.

We know that weight is a family issue, and that everyone needs to come on board to develop healthy habits, said Dr. Amanda Staiano, an Associate Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and a

Developmental Psychologist who specializes in childhood obesity.

Dr. Staiano said not getting ahead of weight problems at a young age, can lead to a lifetime of health problems. They range from:

So she is looking for 300 children in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas to join the Team Up program.

We know that this is really what it takes to help families to lose weight and to develop healthy habits, is to meet with their doctor, and to meet with a dietician regularly, to get the support and information that they need, said Dr. Staiano.

Team Up is for six to 15 year-olds through some of Ochsner's pediatrician clinics, but geared to full family participation.

Grimes said one of the things she learned from the program is that everyone has to be on the same menu, no matter what their weight. If you don't cook it for one, don't cook it for anybody, and if you don't buy it for one, don't buy it for anybody,

It just felt good. It was like I didn't feel singled out, Jackson said about the family eating the same meals.

Now Collin feels like he can persevere and accomplish anything, even with asthma. He is running and winning track events while laying the foundation for health and longevity.

There is a $200 compensation for those in the study.

Children will be randomly assigned to one of the 12-month programs. To qualify, children must be 6-15 and have obesity. The participants must also be current patients at one of the following locations:

The Baton Rouge Clinic AMC (Pediatrics)

The Baton Rouge Clinic Pediatrics at Industriplex

Our Lady of the Lake Childrens Health:

Greater New Orleans Area:

Ochsner Health Center Lapalco (Westside Pediatrics and Family Medicine)

Kenner Community Health Center (Access Health Louisiana)

St. Bernard Community Health Center (Access Health Louisiana)

For more information about the study or to see if your child is eligible, go toJoinTeamUp.org or call (225) 763-3194.

Many Blue Cross health plans offer a treatment benefit for children diagnosed as overweight or with obesity. To find out more about Blue Cross pediatric wellness benefits, go to bcbsla.com/healthierkids or call the number on the back of your Blue Cross ID card.

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