0 Comments

Top Natural Solutions for Ringing in the Ears

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ear that can be annoying to live with. Unfortunately, there is no medical cure, but our healthy living tips explore the holistic treatments for sufferers. The official number of tinnitus sufferers is almost 50 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, so you are not alone in suffering with this common problem.

Healthy habits and lifestyle changes may help Tinnitus sufferers.

Healthy habits and lifestyle changes may help Tinnitus sufferers.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is an ongoing ringing, hissing or buzzing noise in a person’s ear. It may affect the sufferer’s hearing but is not necessarily restricted to those with some degree of deafness. Tinnitus often develops after an ear infection, damage to nerve endings in the auditory canal, or exposure to a loud bang.

Our hearing works when vibrations caused by sound pass through the bones of the eardrum and reach a fluid-filled cavity in the inner ear. Tiny, sensitive hairs pick up the vibration and send an impulse to the brain through the auditory nerve. If these hairs are damaged or for some reason permanently vibrate, the brain “hears” non-stop noise vibrations which are known medically as tinnitus.  

To prevent tinnitus you should only play music at 60% when wearing earbuds, and wear ear plugs when operating noisy machinery or at a concert.

Doctors may prescribe a hearing aid to help control the noise, but there are some healthy living tips to help you live with tinnitus.

Related:  The Inside Scoop on BPPV

Healthy Living Tips to Treat Tinnitus Naturally

Some people suffering with ringing in the ears find that some food, drinks and medication can affect their symptoms. Keep a diary of the days when the ringing is worse and see if there is a common cause. These may include caffeine (tea, cola and energy drinks as well as coffee), salty foods, taking aspirin or after drinking alcohol.

If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking affects the blood flow to the nerve cells that control your hearing. Nicotine also creates a kick of adrenaline which can make the tinnitus sound much worse.

Other healthy habits for tinnitus include creating soft background noise from a radio, white-noise machine or even a fan to help mask the ringing.

Stress and worry can make tinnitus even worse, so introduce some relaxation techniques into your life. Yoga, tai-chi, meditation and muscle relaxation CDs can all help reduce ringing in the ears.  

Of course, getting your overall health checked out by your doctor is a healthy habit to consider if you develop tinnitus. The ringing noise may be caused by other conditions such as a buildup of ear wax, fibromyalgia, hypertension, thyroid issues or Lyme disease. Hopefully these healthy living tips will help improve the problem over time.

 

 

 

 

0 Comments

The Inside Scoop on BPPV

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Dizziness and vertigo may be caused by any number of health issues. Most causes are minor and treatable through healthy living tips and exercises developed as healthy habits. The most common cause of vertigo, particularly in the elderly, is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is an inner ear condition.

Healthy habits such as regular Epley maneuvers can cure balance problems in the inner ear.

 

If you think you may be suffering from BPPV, lie down with the affected ear toward the floor. BPPV will trigger a brief but intense feeling of the world spinning around.

What Causes BPPV?

The inner ear is a series of semi-circular canals filled with fluid, nerves and fine hairs for hearing. BPPV is caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals called otoconia. These crystals are normally attached to the lining but if they break loose and tumble around the inner ear, they abnormally touch the sensory receptors causing dizziness, vertigo, disorientation and loss of balance.

The best non-surgical treatment for BPPV is to maneuver these loose particles into an area of the inner ear where they cannot trigger the receptors. This is done through simple repetitive exercises that move the head around and can be completed in just a few minutes. Healthy habits include repeating these exercises regularly to maintain efficacy.  

Related:  Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

Healthy Living Tips for BPPV Using Particle Repositioning Maneuvers

Particle positioning maneuvers are a safe and natural way to treat BPPV. They are 95% successful and the only side effect may be initial nausea or vomiting triggered by the BPPV.

If the sufferer has not ascertained which ear is affected, the Brandt-Daroff Maneuver is the best option. Those who know which ear is affected should use the Epley Maneuver.

  1. The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver

Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor. Lay your head down sideways and tuck your feet up onto the bed so you are lying on one side. Keep your head in a fixed position, focusing on the head of an imaginary person stood about six feet from the bed. Lie still until the dizziness (if any) subsides. Return to the sitting position for 30 seconds then lie down on the opposite side, keeping your eyes fixed at that same imaginary point. The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver should be done three times a day and repeated five times per session for two weeks.

  1. Epley Maneuver for DPPV

Sit on the bed with your legs stretched out in front toward the foot of the bed. Turn the head 90 degrees to the left then lie down on your back, maintaining the head’s position. After 30 seconds, move the head to the right side and rest another 30 seconds. Roll the body onto the right side for 30 seconds then sit up in the original position. Rest for one minute. Repeat the cycle three times as a healthy habit for helping to alleviate BPPV each night before sleep.

If these maneuvers do not cure vertigo within two weeks, sufferers should consult their doctor to diagnose the cause.

 

 

 

0 Comments

Understanding Balance & Tips To Stay Steady On Your Feet

by Institute for Vibrant Living

We take many aspects of life for granted, such as the ability to balance. Healthy habits are important for maintaining many everyday activities such as walking on an uneven sidewalk, stepping off a curb to cross the street, or getting out of bed without falling over. Let’s look at how all the amazing parts of our body work together for perfect balance, and pick up some healthy living tips to keep it that way.

Healthy habits help maintain balance

 

Understanding Balance

Balance is defined as the “ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support.” We need perfect balance to stand upright, see clearly as we move around, and live a normal healthy life.

Related:  Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

Lack of balance is shown by a range of symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and the inability to walk steadily in a straight line. These can cause nausea, feelings of disorientation, and problems with sight, hearing, concentrating and remembering things. It takes a combination of systems all working synergistically together to maintain balance.

Balance requires:

  • Muscles, bones and joints that provide motor control. Movements and postural adjustments that help us stay balanced are driven by the brain through sensory receptors and motor impulses. Information from the joints and body relay information to the brain.
  • Vision to provide sensory input through sight, giving a sense of distance and proportion. Rods and cones in the retina provide fine detail and visual information about how the body is orientated in relation to other objects.
  • The inner ear contains semicircular canals filled with fluid that detect turning movements. It sends sensory information to the brain to make compensatory adjustments to the rest of the body
  • Nerves are used to detect changes in the body as we move around. For example, pressure on the front soles of the feet tells the brain that you are leaning forward. Movement in the neck tells the brain which way you are looking. All these allow the brain to make fine adjustments so that the body remains upright and balanced through an ongoing series of large and small movements.

Healthy Living Tips to Support Balance

Fortunately, all these activities go on subconsciously or proprioceptively, allowing us to think, move and get on with life while the body and brain control the task of keeping us upright and safe.

As balance requires a coordinated combination of several systems, if one component ceases to function correctly, it is likely to affect our balance. Disease, injury or aging can affect sight, muscles, joints, the nervous system and the brain, resulting in imbalance.

Balance also depends on other more subtle factors.  Make sure to get enough sleep, as being tired can affect your balance.  Side effects of prescription drugs can dizziness and a feeling of being imbalanced and off-center.  Having a clear mind also helps with balance, therefore stress can impact your ability to remain balanced.  Hatha yoga is one of the best ways to safely and naturally improve your ability to be balanced.  

By taking care of the body holistically, we can support the interaction of different components that allow us to balance. Healthy habits include taking supplements that support vision, active cognitive function and supple joints and bones. If just one part of the whole becomes incapacitated, your balance is likely to suffer as a result.

0 Comments

Seven Common Causes of Balance Issues

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Even the healthiest adults may encounter balance issues, particularly as they grow older. While some imbalance issues may require medication, other balance problems can be cured by understanding the cause and adopting healthy habits to prevent them.

Healthy living tips for the inner ear support balance

Here are some healthy living tips and advice about how to deal with seven common causes of imbalance, so you can feel a bit steadier on your feet.

1.     Migraine

Some people suffer visual disturbances, flashing images, partial blindness in one eye or dizziness as part of what is known as a migraine aura. Take preventative headache medication at the first signs of a migraine to avoid it developing into a cluster migraine and try to avoid any trigger foods such as chocolate, strawberries and red wine.

2.     Inflammation of the Inner Ear

The inner ear is made up of several semi-circular canals lined with hairs and nerves to sense when we turn our head or move. This is the balance control center of the body. Unfortunately the quantity of nerve cells steadily decline after the age of 55. If healthy habits are ignored, it can result in a loss of balance, vertigo, BPPV or acoustic neuroma. A knock on the head, low blood pressure or an ear infection can also affect the balance in the inner ear. Get a regular checkup with a health professional to ensure that your whole body is healthy as part of balance support.

Related:  Can I Stop Hearing Loss with Vitamin Supplements?

3.     Heart arrhythmia

An irregular heartbeat can cause momentary loss of balance or co-ordination. Any irregular heartbeat, such as racing, throbbing or a rapid pulse should be checked out by a medical professional to avoid more serious health issues.

4.     Peripheral neuropathy

The brain relies on peripheral nerves to transmit sensory information which helps the different systems in the body to control balance. Physical injury, diabetes, repetitive stress and metabolic disorders can disrupt the nerve messages to the brain, resulting in balance problems.

5.     Depression and anxiety

Lightheadedness can be brought on by panic attacks, feelings of anxiety, hyperventilation and other emotional stresses. Regular exercise and good social support can help negate these serious health issues, helping ease anxiety and reducing associated dizzy spells.

6.     Standing up too quickly

Another cause of imbalance is suddenly standing or sitting up, or getting out of bed too quickly. Rapid movement can cause a drop in blood pressure, a common cause of unsteadiness. Healthy living tips for better balance include getting into the habit of rising slowly and steadily from a chair or bed.

7.     Muscle weakness

Regular exercise may help improve muscle weakness. In rare instances, loss of balance and weakness may be due to medical problems such as MS, Alzheimer’s, lupus and brain tumors.

If you are suffering from momentary balance issues it makes sense to get your overall fitness checked out by a doctor regularly as one of the healthy habits to ensure your whole body is functioning well.  Other commonsense healthy living tips include adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise suitable for your age and ability. Not only will this diagnose any health issues, it may also prevent balance issues in later life.

 

 

 

 

0 Comments

Best Diet for Stress Relief – Best Foods For Stress

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Sometimes the simplest and oldest ideas for dealing with stress management can also be the most effective. We hear a great deal about superfoods and innovative stress-busting techniques, but when it comes down to an effective diet for stress relief, there are three food staples you need.

Eating these foods can significantly help stress management

Here’s are the best foods for stress:

Whole Grains Aid Stress Management

People who start the day with a bowl of whole grain cereal have lower cortisol levels, according to research. We know that highly refined, processed and fatty foods increase anxiety and mood swings, but whole grains can counter those feelings by providing steady energy levels, high spirits and calm nerves. These benefits come from a variety of sources found in whole grain foods including B vitamins.

Vitamin B is known to have mood-lifting properties which are part of any stress management process. A three-month trial at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia confirmed that a diet high in B vitamins significantly lowers stress levels. Professor Con Stough reported that B vitamins found in whole grains are “integral to the synthesis of neurotransmitters critical to psychological well-being."

Good sources of B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid are:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Durum wheat
  • Wild rice
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Millett
  • Oats

Fruit and Vegetables Lower Stress Hormones

Loading your plate with fruit and vegetables at every meal helps neutralize free radicals that are known to be stress-related. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale contain folate which produces dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that is responsible for reward-motivated behavior and feelings of happiness. A study on 2,800 seniors found that those who consumed more folate had a significantly lower risk of depression.

Related:  Tasty, Versatile Kale is an Antioxidant Powerhouse

A similar study by the University of Otago in New Zealand found that students who ate more fruit and vegetables were calmer, happier and less stressed than their counterparts. They also found that healthy eating predicted a positive mood the following day.

More specific fruit and vegetables to support stress management include blueberries. High in antioxidants and phytonutrients they also promote killer white blood cells in the body that counter stress.

De-stress with Omega-3 Fish Oil

Good old omega-3 fish oils once again come to the rescue when it comes to stress management. The fatty acids found in salmon and other oily foods contain anti-inflammatory properties. According to Lisa Cimperman from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, omega-3 counteracts the anxiety hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

To put the theory to the test, a study on medical students from Oregon State University found that taking omega-3 fish oil supplements lowered anxiety levels by 20%, compared to the control group who took a placebo.

As one 3-ounce serving of cooked wild salmon contains around 2,000 mg of omega-3, it’s easy to follow the American Heart Association recommendation of two servings per week for a healthy heart and sensible stress management.   For consistent daily support, consider omega-3 supplements too.

0 Comments

The Inside Scoop on BPPV

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Dizziness and vertigo may be caused by any number of health issues. Most causes are minor and treatable through healthy living tips and exercises developed as healthy habits. The most common cause of vertigo, particularly in the elderly, is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is an inner ear condition.

Healthy habits such as regular Epley maneuvers can cure balance problems in the inner ear.

 

If you think you may be suffering from BPPV, lie down with the affected ear toward the floor. BPPV will trigger a brief but intense feeling of the world spinning around.

What Causes BPPV?

The inner ear is a series of semi-circular canals filled with fluid, nerves and fine hairs for hearing. BPPV is caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals called otoconia. These crystals are normally attached to the lining but if they break loose and tumble around the inner ear, they abnormally touch the sensory receptors causing dizziness, vertigo, disorientation and loss of balance.

The best non-surgical treatment for BPPV is to maneuver these loose particles into an area of the inner ear where they cannot trigger the receptors. This is done through simple repetitive exercises that move the head around and can be completed in just a few minutes. Healthy habits include repeating these exercises regularly to maintain efficacy.  

Related:  Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

Healthy Living Tips for BPPV Using Particle Repositioning Maneuvers

Particle positioning maneuvers are a safe and natural way to treat BPPV. They are 95% successful and the only side effect may be initial nausea or vomiting triggered by the BPPV.

If the sufferer has not ascertained which ear is affected, the Brandt-Daroff Maneuver is the best option. Those who know which ear is affected should use the Epley Maneuver.

  1. The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver

Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor. Lay your head down sideways and tuck your feet up onto the bed so you are lying on one side. Keep your head in a fixed position, focusing on the head of an imaginary person stood about six feet from the bed. Lie still until the dizziness (if any) subsides. Return to the sitting position for 30 seconds then lie down on the opposite side, keeping your eyes fixed at that same imaginary point. The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver should be done three times a day and repeated five times per session for two weeks.

  1. Epley Maneuver for DPPV

Sit on the bed with your legs stretched out in front toward the foot of the bed. Turn the head 90 degrees to the left then lie down on your back, maintaining the head’s position. After 30 seconds, move the head to the right side and rest another 30 seconds. Roll the body onto the right side for 30 seconds then sit up in the original position. Rest for one minute. Repeat the cycle three times as a healthy habit for helping to alleviate BPPV each night before sleep.

If these maneuvers do not cure vertigo within two weeks, sufferers should consult their doctor to diagnose the cause.

 

0 Comments

Dizziness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

by IVL Products

From time to time everyone experiences bouts of dizziness.  Symptoms include an unsteady or spacey feeling, lightheadedness, and/or loss of balance.  While dizziness sometimes comes from something as simple as standing up too quickly, it can also result from a number of health problems, ranging from minor to serious.  Knowing what causes dizziness helps people access proper treatment and put an end to uncomfortable episodes.

A number of underlying health conditions cause dizziness, but are usually not serious.

Dehydration

Not getting enough fluids throughout the day can cause dizziness.  Dehydration can result from a strenuous workout, extra-warm weather, or just forgetting to replenish fluids.  The solution is as simple as rehydrating by drinking an adequate amount of water and a little rest.  If the feeling hasn't subsided within 15 minutes, people should contact a medical professional.    

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when low levels of glucose in the blood affect normal function.  Episodes produce a range of symptoms like intense hunger, anxiety, sweaty or clammy skin, and dizziness. 

Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence among people with diabetes.  According to a review study published in the Public Library of Science, people with type 2 diabetes experience an average of 19 mild episodes and one severe bout of hypoglycemia each year.  Drinking a glass of juice or eating complex carbohydrates like toast and jam help restore blood sugar levels quickly, making feelings of dizziness and other symptoms subside. 

Related:  Natural Health Solutions: Blood Sugar Levels

Benign Positional Vertigo

When people get out of bed and the room spins, they are most likely experiencing benign positional vertigo, or BPV.  Due to changes in the inner ear, this condition becomes more common with age.  In fact, according to the Vestibular Disorders Association, BPV is responsible for roughly 50% of the episodes of dizziness in people over the age of 50.  To realign calcium carbonate crystals in the ears, doctors may suggest repositioning techniques for the head.  Anti-nausea medication may also provide relief.

Stroke or Heart Attack

In addition to dizziness, people who have a stroke or mini-stroke may experience weakness on one side of the body; loss of movement, vision, hearing, or speech; blackout or memory loss; and/or severe headache.  Individual experiencing a heart attack may feel chest pain or have profuse sweating; discomfort in the neck, jaw, or arm; and/or nausea.

People who experience any of these symptoms in combination with dizziness should get immediate medical help.  Treatment for stroke or mini-stroke includes anticoagulants to break up clots and medications to lower blood pressure.  Serious stroke may require surgery and/or additional treatment.  Depending on the seriousness of a heart attack, treatment may include lifestyle changes, rehabilitation, medication, stents, or surgery. 

Additional conditions that may cause dizziness include:

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Certain medications
  • Ear Infection
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Meniere’s Disease

Not a disease in itself, dizziness is a symptom of an underlying health problem.  Occasional dizzy feelings are common and causes are usually not serious.  However, people should seek medical help immediately if they experience any symptoms of stroke or heart attack, or if they experience recurring episodes of dizziness with no known cause. 

0 Comments

Sleeping: How Much Do You Really Need?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As a general life rule, either too much indulgence or too much restriction of virtually anything that is considered “good”—even essential—usually leads to problems. Sleep is a perfect example. Sleeping too few or too many hours can create a serious and negative impact on your health. These less than optimal amounts of sleep is associated with premature aging, increased mortality, and a higher incidence of disease including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

Trouble sleeping?  Check out these gentle, natural approaches to help you get the full benefit of a healthful, restful night’s sleep.

The magic number of hours for sleep appears to be seven to eight hours.  In a study published in the journal Sleep in August 2010, and conducted by researchers at the West Virginia University’s faculty of medicine, study participants who slept fewer than five hours a day including naps, had more than double the risk of angina, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Those who slept more than seven hours also had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The participates who slept nine hours or longer were one-and-a-half times more likely than seven-hour sleepers to develop the disease.

A study published in The Journal of Sleep Research in 2009, looked at the association between sleep duration and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.  Researchers found a statistically significant increase in all-cause mortality, especially of cardiovascular disease and cancer in those who slept either too many or too few hours.  In another study conducted by UCSD and published in 2002, researchers found a 15% increased risk of mortality in those who slept more than 8.5 hours or less than 4.5 hours.

Too Little is Too Big of a Problem

How big of a problem is disrupted sleep in America? According to a study published in 2006, fifty- to seventy-million Americans chronically suffer from sleep disorders that hinder daily functioning and adversely affect health and longevity. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll of Americans and the majority (63%) said they do not get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Nearly one third (31%) reported sleeping less than seven hours a night. One in five adults stated that they were so sleepy during the day that it interfered with their daily activities. Seven in ten adults (69%) said they experience frequent sleep problems.

Chronic Disease and Accelerated Aging

A Harvard University study published in 2010 followed 56,000 U.S. adults and found that sleeping less than seven hours a night increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Another study published in the journal Lancet in October 1999 found several biological signs of “accelerated” aging in healthy young men after they slept only four hours per night for one week. Those signs included changes in their glucose and stress hormone (cortisol) levels compared to that typically seen in middle age. According to researchers, the physiological changes observed in the sleep deprived young men could predispose them to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss.  

Related:  Link Between Sleep and Inflammation

Sleeping at the Correct Times

As important as the number of hours you sleep is to your health and longevity, the exact times that you go to sleep and wake up is equally important. Staying up late or working the night shift, even if you get seven or eight hours of sleep, has a significant deleterious effect on various hormone levels and inflammatory markers. Sleeping at the “wrong” times increases your risk of the same chronic diseases associated with sleeping too few hours: diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, depression and cancer—especially breast, prostate, endometrial and colorectal cancers. For example, a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism in August 2010 found that staying up until 2 a.m. upset the body’s internal clock and caused fatty acids in the blood, called triglycerides, to become abnormally high. High triglycerides are known to increase the risk of heart disease.

In another study, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonia, Texas, reported that epidemiological studies find an increase of breast, prostate, endometrial and colon cancer in individuals who work at night or whose circadian rhythms had been disrupted for other reasons. Disruption of the normal circadian rhythms has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes (Mosendane et al 2008). In contrast, going to bed before 10 p.m. and getting up by 6 a.m. can reduce your risk of all of these conditions by as much as fifty percent.

15 Tips for Better Sleep:

  1. Eat three nutritious meals a day. The evening meal should be light and early. 
  2. Exercise regularly, preferably early in the morning. If you exercise in the late evening, it may keep you awake.
  3. Go to sleep by 10 p.m.
  4. Eliminate or severely restrict stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing to bed.
  6. Avoid spicy foods at the evening meal. 
  7. Do not bring work-related material into the bedroom and turn off the television, and avoid the news or negative information.
  8. Keep your bedroom dark.
  9. A gentle massage of the hands, feet, and neck before sleeping can aid in relaxation.
  10.  Stress can definitely interfere with sleep. So practicing an effective stress reducing technique such as Transcendental Meditation, Qi Gong, or yoga can be very beneficial.
  11.  Make sure that your room is dark. If you can’t make it completely dark, wear a comfortable eye mask. It can also be helpful to keep your room quiet and cool.
  12.  Avoid alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the sleep hormone melatonin. Alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, but it can also cause you to wake up in the middle of night.
  13.  Listen to soothing music before going to sleep. According to a 2005 study conducted by Marion Good Ph.D., R.N., at Case Western Reserve University, listening to soothing music for 45 minutes in bed improved subjects sleep quality by an average of 35% over a three week period.
  14.  Take a warm bath in the evening. A 1999 study published in The European Journal of Applied Physiology found that a ten minute evening bath helped the elderly to sleep better.
  15.  Don’t bring your electrical devices into the bedroom. The electromagnetic frequencies they produce can disrupt the flow of melatonin. Shut off your cell phone, Wi-Fi, and any other electrical devices in or near the room where you sleep. Don’t use an electric blanket (or at least unplug it before you go to sleep.) Choose a battery operated alarm clock instead of an electrically powered clock radio.

If you have trouble sleeping, please try all the gentle, natural approaches presented above, rather than using pharmaceutical medications which can disrupt the full health-producing benefits available in sleep. You may also want to create a ritual that is most relaxing for you—one that best prepares you to ease into this extraordinarily powerful, health-promoting, sublime activity. Soothing music, warm baths, gentle massages, perhaps reading an uplifting book or hearing the calming voice of an enjoyable book on tape, or simply being in quiet meditation or prayer, you may find is the perfect approach that consistently and magically lulls you to health-giving, life-enhancing sleep.         

0 Comments

Three Running Gadgets for a Safer, More Enjoyable Workout

by Cindy Gray

With an interest in health and fitness on the rise, many people are hitting the pavement or the trail on a regular basis.  Walking and running make two of the best options available for aerobic exercise, and they don't require a fancy gym membership.  Many people get by with a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothing, but some walkers and runner like to take it one step further.  Three running gadgets can help people monitor progress, have more fun, and stay safe while logging miles

People monitor progress, have more fun, and stay safer with running gadgets.

Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers make great motivators. These nifty walking or running gadgets track distance, steps taken, calories burned, and some even monitor quality of sleep.  Most products provide users with the ability to sync information to smartphones or computers for the preparation of charts and graphs. The ability to visualize progress over time helps keep people inspired.

Mp3 Player or Wireless Headphones

An Mp3 player or a set of wireless headphones loaded with favorite music makes any physical activity more enjoyable.  A recent study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows additional benefits before, during, and after running.  Scientists from Brazil examined the effects of music on 15 runners before, during, and after a timed 5K trial run.  

Results from a host of physical tests showed that pre-run music aroused runners and better prepared them for the run.  Music during the run generated faster times for the first two laps but did not affect the remaining lap times.  Post-run music resulted in a faster recovery time for runners, which is the time it takes the body to return to its pre-run state.

For optimal safety, walkers and runners should limit the use of headphones to treadmills.  To increase safety outdoors, people should keep music low enough to hear cars and other noises and always run against traffic.

Related:  Nine Tips for a More Effective Workout

ID Tag or Wrist Band

In lieu of carting around a wallet, runners rely on a simpler means of identification.  Companies like Road ID make wrist bands, shoe tags, or necklaces for recording name, contact information, and blood type in case of emergency.

People don't have to depend on an expensive gym for regular exercise.  Walking and running make great options, and these activities are even safer and more fun with the use of a few running gadgets.  A fitness tracker, Mp3 player, and an ID tag make great additions when hitting the treadmill, track, road, or trail. 

0 Comments

Lack of Exercise - Effects on Three Areas of Health

by Institute for Vibrant Living

It's not breaking news to hear that exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and managing weight loss, but lack of exercise effects are evident on our hormones, energy levels and digestion. That's three more reasons to find a type of exercise you can enjoy three to five times a week to ensure a long and healthy life.

Lack of exercise effects can negatively impact on your whole body health

The American Heart Association recommends that whatever your age you should be aiming for 30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing or exercise to stay strong, fit and healthy. Here are some less well known facts about the lack of exercise effects on our overall health.

Lack of Exercise Effects on Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the body. They affect almost every physical and mental function. Hormones control a vast array of functions in the body and mind, including:

  • Growth hormones stimulate protein synthesis to build muscles and strengthen bones
  • Endorphins block pain and control appetite
  • Testosterone controls metabolism, sexuality and libido
  • Estrogen increases fat breakdown, controls mood and libido
  • Thyroxin (T4) manages energy levels
  • Epinephrine directs and controls blood flow
  • Insulin controls blood glucose levels and fat production
  • Glucagon raises blood sugars and breaks down fat for fuel

 

All these hormones are secreted during exercise to keep the entire body functioning as nature intended. Lack of exercise effects on hormones means reduced triggers that stimulate the all-important hormone production throughout the body.   How is your hormone health?

RelatedTips on How Not To Sabotage Your Health Goals

Fitness Fights Fatigue

Exercise does not actually lower energy levels, conversely it increases them. Studies on poor energy levels in children were undertaken by Dr. Karen Heath from the University of Cape Town Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. She reports that causes of lethargy in children could simply be a lack of exercise.

Regular exercise increases the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the cells. Exercise increases blood flow and the demand for cell energy. Conversely, lack of exercise means naturally low energy levels. Exercise also increases glucose circulation, making use of blood sugar and avoiding the possibility of hypoglycemia and insulin spikes. Exercise also builds muscle so the effects of lack of exercise include lean muscle mass and a lack of energy.  Exercise fights fatigue and low energy in many surprising ways.

Lack of Exercise Effects on Digestive Health

If you have a sluggish digestive system, you probably suffer from irregular bowel movements and constipation. Exercise helps by raising the body's metabolic rate, pushing food through the digestive system faster so that it retains some of the water in the stool. Regular exercise helps to stimulate peristalsis, which stimulates health bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation and toxic overload.

Lack of exercise effects also means a slower heart beat and breathing rate. This fails to stimulate the intestinal muscles which contract to evacuate the bowels efficiently and frequently.

As Harvard School of Public Health researcher I-Min Lee, ScD reports, "Physical inactivity has a large impact on the health of the world…comparable to that of cigarette smoking."  By adding regular physical activity to your life you will be in better shape in terms of hormone production, energy and digestion. Isn't that worth the effort?

0 Comments

Do You Need to Invest in B Vitamins? Take This Quiz about the Benefits of B Vitamins

by Health News

If you are unsure about the benefits of B vitamins, take our quiz to see if you need to be getting more B’s in your diet. 

Q: Do you feel like you are not as strong as you used to be? Do you commonly lose your keys or having trouble remembering how to get home from a store you’ve shopped at for years?

A: Weak muscles, fatigue and low energy are symptomatic of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Confusion, feeling depressed, and having trouble remembering things that you can’t imagine ever forgetting are also signals.

Your body needs vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your cells to be converted into energy. A low red blood cell count means your cells become starved for air and your body shuts down your muscles to conserve energy. Brain cells that are deprived of oxygen begin to die off, leading to reduced cognitive function like memory loss and confusion.

To get the 6 mcg recommended daily amount (RDA) of B12 in your diet every day, eat eggs, dairy products, meats and fortified foods. Vegans should take a supplement. 

Q: Do you have cracked skin at the corners of your mouth that no amount of moisturizer will heal?

A: A vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with a variety of skin ailments including painfully cracked skin at the corners of your mouth called cheilosis. A lack of vitamin B6 is also associated with an inflamed tongue, sores around the mouth, painfully cracked lips, and greasy or dry, flaky, peeling skin.

A vitamin B6 deficiency is pretty uncommon in the U.S. since many foods contain it. Since a deficiency in the vitamin also known as pyridoxine or pyridoxamine can also cause nerve damage, fatigue, and loss of balance—so getting the 200-milligram RDA is essential for good health. You can find it in nuts, chicken, fish, most vegetables, and bananas.

Q: Are you running to the bathroom more frequently?

A: Loose stools due to Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s or celiac disease can cause a folic acid or B9 deficiency.  Being deficient in B9 is linked to anemia, fatigue, gray hair, mouth sores, and tongue swelling. 

Children who do not get enough folic acid may experience growth problems and pregnant women are at higher risk for delivering a low-birth weight baby.

You can get plenty of folic acid in your diet from foods like tomato juice, eggs, asparagus, chicken and pork and fortified cereals.

Related:  Hearing Problems Linked to Folate Deficiency Study Finds

Q: What do widespread muscle pain, constipation and loss of sensation in the hands and feet have in common?

A: These are all common symptoms of a thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency.  The disorder is uncommon in the U.S. and tends to be a problem in countries where white rice is the main food source like South East Asia.  The bran in the outer covering of white rice is where the much-needed thiamine resides.

In the U.S. and in developed countries alcoholics are at risk for developing health issues due to a vitamin B1 deficiency.  However, if you consistently eat a diet of high carbohydrate low-nutrient foods like pretzels, chips, candy and most other common junk food items, you could be at risk for neurological disorders. Instead of vending machine fare, choose eat whole grain breads, peas, beans and fortified foods.

Q: Are your eyes itching, watering, bloodshot, and suddenly light sensitive?

A: If you are experiencing any of those problems with your eyes and have eliminated allergies as the culprit, you may be lacking enough vitamin B2 or riboflavin in your diet.

Riboflavin is essential for many metabolic processes in the body including normal cell growth and functioning, helping other B vitamins undergo the chemical changes necessary to be used by the body and is a powerful antioxidant. 

In addition to vision problems, a lack of vitamin B2 is also linked to skin disorders, anemia, and swelling of the throat and tongue. You can get plenty of it (0.5-0.6 mg/day) in your diet by eating dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, milk cheese and yogurt, whole grains and meat.

Related: 

Q: Are you feeling unusually fatigued even after a full night’s sleep and a cup of coffee?

A: You could be deficient in any number of the B vitamins. A lack of them in your diet causes anemia, which is characterized by muscle weakness and extreme fatigue. B vitamins are essential for helping the body convert food into energy and supply your cells with oxygen for energy.  Because the B’s work together in the body, not getting enough of one kind means you may not be metabolizing others leading to a variety of health issues.

B Happy

The benefits of B vitamins are well researched and documented. Getting enough of them in your diet is fairly simple. If you consume a variety of lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, there is no reason you can’t B very happy and healthy!

0 Comments

Discover the Stress-Busting Benefits of Exercise

by IVL Products

When you feel stressed out, it’s common to hear well-meaning advice such as “don’t sweat it.” But sweating (when it occurs during exercise) may be the best medicine to combat stress.  Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of exercise for mental and physical health. 

People who suffer from chronic stress often have jam-packed schedules.  These busy folks cannot fathom how they could squeeze exercise into their already hectic lives. But it is essential to make time for physical exercise. When you are swimming, playing tennis, walking in the park, working in your garden or concentrating on yoga poses, your body produces endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that help fight stress and anxiety. Exercise also reduces stress-induced cortisol which has been linked to serious health problems including heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and heart disease.

A study published in the journal Sports Medicine and Science found that regular exercise can help people cope with even the toughest stressful situations. The study found that cancer patients who embarked on a 10-week program of light to moderate aerobic exercise had significantly increased energy levels and a more positive outlook on life. Another recent study found that quality of life and even medical outcomes improved among women with breast cancer who engaged in regular physical activity.

RelatedDetoxification Through Diet

Another benefit of exercise is that it helps to improve the quality and duration of sleep; and coping with stressful situations is much easier when you’re well-rested. Experts caution that you should get your exercise at least five hours before bedtime so that your body has the time to cool down before sleep. As an added bonus, regular exercise helps you maintain a healthier weight, reduce body fat and improve muscle tone.

Bear in mind you don’t have to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon to reap the benefits of regular exercise.  Studies have shown that even 10 minutes of exercise a day can help to improve your mood.  As your fitness level improves, increase the amount of time spent exercising. Enjoy the benefits of exercise and sweat away the stress. 

0 Comments

Get the True Strains and Sprains Facts

by IVL Products

The terms strains and sprains are often used interchangeably, but in medical jargon they actually refer to different injuries. In simple terms, a sprain is damage to ligaments while a strain refers to muscles. Both sprains and strains injuries are likely to occur during sports activities.

Sprains and strains relate to different parts of the body

What are Strains?

A strain is often referred to as a “pulled muscle.” It is caused by lifting heavy objects, overstretching during exercise or tearing as the muscle suddenly contracts. It is a very painful condition with sudden onset. As well as straining muscles in the hamstring (back of the thigh), other common strains occur in the neck or back muscles.

Strains also refer to damaged tendons and fasciae. Tendons, fasciae and ligaments are all made of collagen and are strong and stretchy. Their different names refer to which parts of the body they connect. Tendons (also called sinews) connect muscle to bone and withstand tension. Fasciae are fibrous tissues wrapped around a muscle or organ.

Strains fall into three categories in terms of severity:

  • Grade-1 strain causes some inflammation, swelling and mild discomfort
  • Grade-2 strain is characterized by swelling, severe inflammation and possibly discoloration or bruising due to hemorrhaging
  • Grade-3 strain is the most severe and may disguise a fracture or more serious injury, which may need surgery. A doctor should be consulted if you feel you have a Grade-3 strain

How do Strains and Sprains Differ?

Each year over 600,000 people reported ankle sprains in the U.S. alone. A sprain refers to damaged ligaments, which are fibrous bands of tissue connecting bones. Ligaments stabilize joints and help prevent excessive movement within the ankle, wrist, thumb and knee joints.

Related: Natural Relief for Chronic Joint Pain

A sprain occurs when a joint is stretched beyond its normal capacity and you may hear a “pop” as the joint is sprained. This usually occurs during exercise or sports activity. Ligaments in the joint are torn or over-stretched when you suddenly change direction, land awkwardly, receive a sudden blow or collide with a solid object. Ouch!

A Grade-1 sprain is when a ligament is painfully overstretched or torn but does not cause any instability within the joint itself. There may be bruising, pain and swelling but the joint will still bear weight

A Grade-2 sprain is more serious tearing of the ligament accompanied by moderate pain, swelling and bruising. It may be difficult to support a person’s weight. An x-ray is recommended to check whether a fracture also occurred.

A Grade-3 sprain is when there is a complete rupture of the ligament in the joint. It causes immediate loss of function and severe pain and swelling. The patient will not be able to apply any pressure or weight to the affected limb may require surgery.

How to Treat Strains and Sprains

If you suffer from strains and sprains, follow our advice for RICE therapy. This includes resting the injury, applying ice, using a compression bandage and elevating the injured limb.

0 Comments

Improve Your Memory With Supplements

by Institute for Vibrant Living

It’s no overstatement to say that your brain can be considered the “leader” of your entire body. After all, it controls everything that you do, think, feel, see, and hear—both consciously and subconsciously. 

Maintaining the health, wellness, and optimal functioning of your brain is essential if you are to remain capable of carrying out the many complex activities of human life in its most evolved state. And the key to this optimal functioning depends on a variety of neurotransmitters and hormones.

Improve Your Memory With Supplements

In addition to memory and emotions, these brain chemicals are also responsible for stress, blood pressure, pleasure and pain, motivation, learning, attention, muscle movement, energy, thyroid function, reproductive function, sleep, and even your very heartbeat. In other words, virtually every body function you can think of.

While many people realize that the brain performs all of these functions, most of us think of memory and/or comprehensive first and foremost when we think brain health. And, in our darker moments, these thoughts may turn to Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.

This makes total sense when you consider that more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia in the U.S. And while most adults fear the idea of Alzheimer’s, the majority of treatments for the disease center around treatment rather than prevention. Ludicrous, isn’t it?

That’s exactly what researchers from Switzerland thought. Rather than look at ways to treat the disease, they foods at ways to prevent the disease by focusing on maintaining a healthy neural function in an effort to protect against the development of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as well as B vitamins and vitamins C, D, and E all play a role in brain health and work to delay brain aging. This makes perfect sense!

First of all, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which is known to fight the free radical damage that has been associated with both dementia and Alzheimer’s. Similarly, vitamin E is an antioxidant powerhouse, working to prevent cell damage throughout the body.

To this point, a Johns Hopkins University study examined the use of vitamins C and E in 4,740 patients ages 65 and older. Researchers found that the people who took both vitamins had significantly lower incidence and severity of Alzheimer’s disease compared to the people who took one or neither of the nutrients.

Vitamin D supports brain and nervous system function and correlates with cognitive function and mood. Additionally, there is evidence that low levels of vitamin D are correlated with low mood and poor cognitive performance. 

B vitamins are a group of 11 separate water-soluble vitamins that are known to support brain health and boost energy levels. Within this group, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid appear to be the most beneficial for brain health.

Vitamin B6 is important to a healthy inflammatory response, and one disease in particular that has been associated with inflammation is Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 is also critical for the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

Similarly, vitamin B12 is also important for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Plus, it helps in DNA synthesis, nervous system health, and brain functioning. 

Folic acid is known to prevent neural tube defects in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and research indicates that folic acid helps with brain health, DNA synthesis, and neurotransmitter function. Additionally, folic acid deficiencies have been associated with depression and dementia. 

Lastly, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is a natural brain booster. Your brain needs DHA to create healthy nerve cell membranes. Your brain uses nerve cells for mood, attention, and memory.  

Given all this, it’s no wonder the researchers concluded, “The use of vitamins and DHA for the aging population in general, and for individuals at risk in particular, is a viable alternative approach to delaying brain aging and for protecting against the onset of AD pathology.”

What does this mean for you? Simple. If you aren’t already, immediately start taking a high-quality multinutrient and fish oil supplement that is high in DHA. Your body—and your brain—will thank you.

0 Comments

Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

by Nancy Maneely

Many people will experience balance problems as they age.

Common symptoms of balance problems include:

  • Occasional feelings of unsteadiness or sudden dizziness are not uncommon
  • Vertigo, the feeling that you or the things around you are spinning, is another often-reported symptom
  • Disturbances of the inner ear are a common cause of these events

Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON TYPES OF BALANCE DISORDERS:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)– In BPPV, you experience a brief, intense feeling of vertigo or sudden dizziness when you change the position of your head, such as when rolling over to the left or right, upon getting out of bed, or when looking for an object on a high or low shelf.  In BPPV, small calcium particles in the inner ear become displaced and hit the inner ear balance sensors, causing dizziness. A doctor or specialist can treat BPPV by carefully moving the head and torso to dislodge these particles. For some people, one session will be all that is needed. Others might need to repeat the procedure several times at home to relieve their dizziness.
  • Labyrinthitis – Inflammation of the vestibular system, the part of the inner ear responsible for balance. To maintain your body's position, the labyrinth interacts with other systems in the body, such as the eyes, bones and joints. The cause is usually a viral infection, or less often, a bacterial infection.
  • Ménière's disease – This is a balance disorder that causes a person to experience vertigo, hearing loss that comes and goes, tinnitus (a ringing or roaring in the ears), and a feeling of fullness in the ear. Ménière's disease is caused by changes in fluid volumes in the inner ear. People with Ménière's disease can help reduce its dizzying effects by lowering the amount of sodium in their diets. Limiting alcohol and caffeine also may be helpful.

 

 

 

TOP NATURAL REMEDIES

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Omega-3 (fish oil)
  • Ginger root extract
  • Turmeric
  • Boswellia

NATURAL EXERCISE PRACTICES

  • Yoga
  • T’ai Chi
  • Qi Gong

IMPACT OF FALLS ON AN AGING ADULTS LIFE

Natural Remedies for Balance Problems

One of the biggest health risks to elderly adults may surprise you. Most would guess heart disease, cancer or other medical disorders. These certainly are a concern for senior citizens, but one of the most dangerous health hazards the aging population faces is falling.

More than one-third of adults ages 65 years and older fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths. More commonly, falls can lead to a prolonged period of rehabilitation, diminished function, depression and declining health. And in many instances, people become more isolated after a fall.

Are you concerned about you or a loved one falling while getting up from a chair or sofa? Give yourself, and them, the security needed to live safely and independently.

1 Comments

High Blood Pressure Remedies + Tips to Reduce Triglyceride Levels

by Health News

No one wants to hear that they have high blood pressure or high triglyceride levels.  Of course, many people aren’t aware of the significance of triglycerides.  These lipids are stored in your fat cells.  Individuals eating the wrong kinds of foods, such as a lot of fats and carbs instead of healthier options like fruits and vegetables, may be shocked to learn that they can have dangerously high triglyceride levels.

The reason that triglycerides must be treated with great care is that they can play a significant role in different serious diseases.  Heart attacks, strokes and a hardening of the arteries (or atherosclerosis) are all possible results of having high triglyceride levels.  Fortunately, there are ways that those with high triglycerides can lower those levels.  In this article, we will take a look at a few high blood pressure remedies and ways that you can lower your triglyceride levels.  As a bonus, these heart healthy foods are also good for digestion.

High Blood Pressure Remedies + Reduce Triglyceride Levels

Not All Fat is the Same

If you have high triglyceride levels and are seeking to reduce the fat in your diet, realize that not all fat is the same.  It has been found that omega-3 fatty acids, such as the ones found in wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, can work to lower triglyceride levels.  These two types of fish are not just good ways of lowering your triglyceride levels, but also exceptional heart and brain foods as well.  Making the switch from fatty red meat choices to salmon and sardines is a savvy choice.  In general, switching your unhealthy fats, such as trans fat, for healthy fats is a major step in the right direction.

Skip the High Carb Diet

If you like or love your carbs, you might want to consider reducing them in order to get your triglyceride levels down.  Diets that are high in carbohydrates can cause your triglyceride levels to soar. 

Drop the Pounds and Lower Your Triglycerides

One of the single best ways of reducing your triglyceride levels is to lose weight.  Consuming less calories and losing weight will lower your triglycerides and also help keep you healthy in a variety of different ways.

Exercising Will Help Lower Your Triglycerides

Exercising and losing weight work quite well together.  If you want to see those pounds drop quickly and your triglycerides follow, then consider adopting a lifestyle that includes both losing weight and exercising.

Make Healthier Food Choices

If you have high triglycerides, then different food choices are in order.  If your current diet is comprised mostly of carbohydrates and fattening foods, then it’s time to make the switch to healthier foods.  Pack your diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and smart protein choices, such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines.  Greatly reducing or eliminating your processed food intake in favor of whole food choices will do wonders to improve your health and lower your triglycerides as well.

0 Comments

The Latest Anti-Aging Research and The Role of Supplements

by Health News

Healthy Digestion Tips and Anti-Aging researchIn recent years, a great deal of research has been given to anti-aging.  This should come as no great surprise, considering the millions of Baby Boomers scheduled to enter retirement.  Around the world, millions of Baby Boomers will be exiting the workforce, and they have billions in savings to spend.  This means that companies are seeing major dollar signs.  As a result, there has been a tremendous amount of research in recent years in the quest to find a way to slow or even stop aging.

Today, many experts feel that there are ways to greatly slow the aging process.  Few, however, are bold enough to flat out state that aging may soon be a thing of the past.  After all, no one wants to claim that the Fountain of Youth is around the corner and that many people alive today could live forever.  Whether or not slowing the aging process to this extent is possible is most certainly still up to debate.  Of course, for the time being, this issue remains in the realm of science fiction!

This is not to state that there is not considerable concrete research being done on anti-aging and healthy aging.  Numerous foods and supplements are receiving considerable attention for their ability to contribute to slowing the aging process.

One compound that has received considerable attention is resveratrol.  Resveratrol is a compound discovered in red wine, but also found in small amounts in grapes, raisins and a handful of other foods.  Testing indicates that resveratrol may actually serve to slow the aging process at least when in a concentrated pill form.  The amount of resveratrol found in red wine is considerable, but the real benefit of resveratrol is to be found in a supplement.  Whether or not resveratrol will actually extend the human lifespan is still to be seen.

Additional research is also taking place around the world with a wide variety of supplements and compounds.  For example, recent experiments fed mice a drug called rapamycin.  As a result, the lifespans of these adult mice was extended between 9-14 percent.  Some scientists also believe that they will be able to extend the human lifespan by deleting a gene in the body called SIRs.  As genetic research continues to evolve, we will likely hear more about these types of procedures.

Resveratrol may get the majority of the headlines about anti-aging, but there are many foods that you can eat in the here and now that can contribute to healthy aging.  Green tea, extra virgin olive oil and omega-3 rich foods, such as walnuts, wild Alaskan salmon, and sardines can all contribute to healthy aging.

It is important to realize that at the heart of anti-aging is a healthy diet that avoids fast food, processed foods and excessive calories.  Sugar, trans fats, chemicals and preservatives and high levels of sodium can all serve to dramatically harm your health and shorten your lifespan.  The foods that you don't eat can ultimately play just as important of a role in longevity, as the anti-aging foods and supplements that you take.  Seeing healthy aging as a process with many aspects and parts will go a long way towards helping you live a long and healthy life.

What are the steps you are taking on the road to healthy aging?

Healthy Aging: Guide to a Healthy Digestive System

0 Comments

5 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Healthy Foods

by Nancy Maneely

Effectiveness of Healthy Foods“Eat healthy food” is advice we hear at least once a day. It comes from everywhere: TV, magazines, our doctor, well-meaning family and friends. So, we make smart selections at the grocery store and feel very good about choosing an orange for a midday snack rather than, say, a donut.

That’s a great start … but really, how do you know your body is getting the benefit of the healthy foods you eat? Unfortunately, your body doesn’t issue an itemized receipt every time, listing the calories and nutrients that were effectively utilized. In fact, you might be surprised at how little of the valuable nutrients actually reach their goal – that is, being absorbed and put to work doing what they are meant to do: keep you functioning at an optimum level.

Here are five simple ways you can increase the effectiveness of the food you eat:

  1. Take a digestive enzyme supplement. What are digestive enzymes? Our bodies make their own digestive enzymes that break down food in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine into smaller, absorbable molecules. However, while all fresh food contains enzymes, our modern habits destroy them. We grow fruits and vegetables in depleted soil, gas them to prolong shelf life, and cook them at high heat. All of this reduces their enzyme levels.
  2. Take a probiotic to increase friendly flora. Friendly bacteria help produce the enzymes we need to break down food. They also support immune health and help protect the vulnerable cells along the linings of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
  3. Chew your food! Mom’s advice was sound. Chewing produces amylase that breaks down carbohydrates and stimulates digestive juices.
  4. Slow down. The chemicals needed to for healthy digestion are produced when we are relaxed. A calm, quiet atmosphere signals the digestive system to kick in.
  5. Avoid taking antacids. In the stomach, high levels of acid are necessary to break down food (and kill off bad bacteria like H. pylori that can lead to stomach cancer). There are natural ways to reduce the problems of heartburn and acid reflux. Drinking enough water, reducing salt, eating fewer fats, and taking digestive enzymes and probiotics can take care of the problem.

Do you take probiotics or digestive enzymes? What benefits have you experienced?

0 Comments

Video Blog: How To Naturally Slow Down Aging

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Dr. Christine Horner shows you some of the reasons some people appear to age faster than others, and how to become one of those people.

Sarah James from Wyoming writes, "Getting old is not as bad as feeling old, why do some people age faster than others, what can I do to slow things down?" 

That's a great question, as a plastic surgeon I noticed when people would come into my office, that suddenly as we start to get older, there are certain people that look really old at forty and some people that look really young at sixty, so what's the difference? Well we can definitely look to our diet and lifestyle, the good old diet and lifestyle as far as making the big difference.

When we look at our genes we know that they do have an influence, but they've done lots of twin studies, so these are some of the best ones where they have the same genes and they will find that the twin that has the healthier diet and lifestyle has all the indicators as far as having slowed aging and even on their chromosomes they have the little ends of them that telomeres that correspond to lifespan they'll be longer in the twin that has the better diet and lifestyle. Wow, so how about calorie restriction, I mean I've read that the only proven test or theory that we have for extending life is actually not eating as much, have you found that to be true in your reading. 

Yes, so it actually, that was the first experiment they did on rats back in the thirties and they thought well lets see what happens if we restrict calories to the rats and they thought that they would become less healthy and in fact it was the opposite. So they became healthier, their heart rate slowed, their blood lipids became better, their blood pressure went down, and their life span increased fairly significantly so it was tested then on monkeys and then actually there was a human test on it, where they had people that went into the desert of Arizona and lived in a bubble for two years, and they did calorie restriction and they found all the same parameters, as far as improved blood lipids and blood pressure, and all the things that help with aging, they also looked genetically to see what genes we have that are turned on as far as longevity genes, and the length of our telomeres at the end of our chromosomes. 

So, calorie restriction is most proven, but there' actually some supplements that we can take that have the same gene activations and lengthening the telomere without having to starve yourself. 

Ok, so what are those? 

Believe it or not resveratrol which is a substance that comes out of grape skins, so this is the French. You like to talk about the French and their drinking of their wines, and one of the reasons is because of the substance resveratrol, and so resveratrol actually to get enough of it you need to take it in supplement form but it activates the same longevity genes and all the different patterns that we see in calorie restrictions. 

Well I have to stop you there, so the French live longer than we do but they smoke, they drink red wine the eat cheese, pâté. What's up with that? I mean how do they get to live that type of lifestyle and live longer than we do? Please explain that. 

So you know the interesting thing is that when we look at that culture as well as other cultures say like the Japanese the Japanese will smoke 10 times more than Americans do, but they have like 10 times lower instances of lung cancer. Well why is that? 

Well it's because of how we eat. So if you're eating you know fast foods processed foods, burgers and fries and colas and so forth it accelerates the damage you know that occurs, VS eating a diet that is full of fruits vegetables, and the French eat very well.

The Japanese eat primarily a plant based diet and they're also eating smaller portions. So you know Americans we do all these supersized and the French do these little tiny portions so the calorie restrictions definitely tells us we don't need to be eating as much as we are and cultures of extraordinarily longevity, they eat about a third of the calories of what Americans do so we can cut down our portion size and make sure that we're eating nutrient dense foods that are primarily found in plants. 

That's why sometimes I have gone into a French restaurant and the entrée cost thirty five dollars and I have to use this microscope to find it on the plate. 

You savor it more? Ok, ok. 

So the other troubling thing is, we're living longer in America but we have just as many or more chronic diseases, many rates of cancer are going up cardiovascular disease is not going down, so how do we bring those two back to into some parody so we're actually living longer but we're living at a high quality of life rather than a lower quality of life, just with more years? 

So some things kind of skew the statistics on life expectancy that most people just don't think about and
has to do with infant mortality, because we're averaging life expectancy, so if we actually have a better longevity or of our infants then it skews the whole life expectancy so sometimes it seems like we're living longer than we actually are because of that. 

In addition to that we also have a lot of different technologies that help to keep us alive as you point out there seems to be an increase in a lot of these different diseases so I say hey if your going to be around you might as well take care of yourself because you want to enjoy your life and not be sick. 

So this is where it's really important to pay attention to your diet and lifestyle. I think that western medicine is going to save you, they can but you don't want that kind of assistance. 

So lets just say if we have one or two things that will really help promote longevity at a high quality. What would those one or two things would be for you? 

Well again we're talking diet and lifestyle, so eating lots of plants, getting lots of exercise, getting plenty of sleep, stress reduction. 

I'm listing more, and a few key supplements you can take like the resveratrol. 

Great, well thank you very much Dr. Horner for sharing your views on how to promote longevity. 

If you have any questions about aging, or any other health matter please click on the link below, we'd love to hear from you.

Healthy Living Starts Here... Free Resource Guide

0 Comments

Can I Stop Hearing Loss with Vitamin Supplements?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Can I Stop Hearing Loss with Vitamin Supplements?Hearing loss is a very common medical condition, believed to affect more than 28 million Americans. It can be caused by multiple factors including aging, excessive exposure to loud noise, illness, chemicals or physical trauma - or any  combination of these.

Animal studies have already shown that intake of antioxidant vitamins along with magnesium can protect against hearing loss. A recent study looked at the association between daily intake of the antioxidant vitamins beta-carotene and vitamins C and E and magnesium on hearing thresholds in US adults.

Data on hearing thresholds was assessed from over 2500 participants aged 20 to 69 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This study clearly showed that higher intakes of magnesium along with beta-carotene and vitamin C were associated with better hearing thresholds. In other words, dietary intake of antioxidants and magnesium is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss.

Similarly, studies have shown that a lack of folic acid, a B vitamin, is linked to susceptibility to age-related hearing problems. For example, a Dutch study reported that folic acid supplements delayed age-related low frequency hearing loss in middle-aged people, suggesting that supplementing with folic acid may help to lessen this type of hearing loss.

Sensori-neural hearing loss (SSNHL) is another type of hearing loss - one that can happen suddenly, without warning. In such cases, a person typically experiences complete or partial loss of hearing in one or both ears.

Occasionally, a viral upper respiratory infection or very loud noise may precede SSNHL. In such cases, hearing can recover within a twenty-four hour period if attended to. However, if not treated properly, hearing loss may become a permanent condition.

Some doctors prescribe Niacin, another B vitamin which seems to improve blood circulation to the inner ear, to treat SSNHL. Niacin may also help some people with tinnitus, but only if their condition was originally caused by circulation problems.

Source: An Ear Health Supplement for Better Hearing.