Stress Kills: Is Yours Out Of Control?

Stress Kills: Is Yours Out Of Control?

Stress kills and is arguably one of the most silent killers on the planet, largely because people don’t realize something is going wrong, or they refuse to act on it.



But why does stress contribute to so many aspects of ill health, ultimately leading to death?

It is because often it is untraceable. You may not realize you are suffering from stress overload.

Interested to know if your stress is rapidly becoming out of control? Look for the following tell-tale signs:

Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body

A little pain here and there is normal and should be nothing to get worried over, but it can spell a worrying trend when it occurs too often. And this is the case with being overly stressed all the time.

Muscular pains most commonly occur around the back, neck or shoulder areas, and may be attributed to poor sleep patterns, although it is not always the case. Medication to treat the pain many only yield temporary relief, and should not be relied upon as a long term solution.

Frequent Colds And Infections

One thing associated with high-anxiety levels is the negative effect on immunity. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and leaves the body wide open to infection. This is especially troublesome during flu season and necessitates that extra precautions be taken (such as increasing anti-oxidant food consumption).



Poor Sleep Patterns

Insomnia is usually one of the first signs to appear when you are over-stressed, as cortisol does not work by itself. In fact, it recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels.

Fight with Stress

This is an important function in the mornings when you need that “get up and go” boost, but not at night when you should be unwinding. Use of heavy stimulant based supplements (such as with caffeine) too late at night will cause this to occur.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure involves multiple pathways all experiencing dysfunction for its development, with cortisol happy to oblige. High blood pressure, in this case, is precipitated by increases retention of water (which increases blood volume), faster heart rate, and blood vessel constriction. All these factors increase blood pressure, so care needs to be taken to manage cortisol and stress levels.

Loss Of Sex Drive

Both men and women require a normal level of testosterone to modulate sex drive, but this important hormone is suppressed when levels of the stress hormone cortisol are high. Cortisol and testosterone share a negatively inverse relationship, meaning that as one goes up, the other goes down. If this loss of sex drive occurs in a young person, who previously displayed normal behavior, it can be a clear indicator that an individual is overstressed.

Frequent Outbursts Or Mood Swings

It can be hard to maintain a level head when anxiety levels are high, causing you to lash out to anyone who seemingly irritates you. This is not normal behavior, especially if the individual was previously very level headed. If it does occur, it may be best to reduce workload and spend more time with family and loved ones in a bid to relax.

Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy

Stress can seriously affect your emotional well-being, especially since it can tear apart relationships with loved ones. You are likely to be irritable, picking fights, or feel pressured to perform. This can amount to depression, anxiety or feelings of disappointment. Depression is sometimes difficult to diagnose, especially in individuals who do not possess a strong support system.

Conclusion

If you find yourself experiencing one or more of the symptoms above with increasing frequency, it is time to take a step back from the burden you have placed on your shoulder. Sometimes, a short vacation, weekend getaway or just a simple trek in the great outdoors can do wonders for your wellbeing.







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The Biggest Loser Diet: What You Need To Know

The Biggest Loser Diet: What You Need To Know

Almost everyone in America is familiar with the television weight-loss show The Biggest Loser. Many people may not be familiar with their diet program. This article will give you the 411 on everything you need to know about The Biggest Loser Diet.



The Biggest Loser Diet

The Biggest Loser Diet follows a specific diet protocol that they call “The Biggest Loser’s 4-3-2-1 Pyramid. This pyramid allows a participant four servings of fruits and vegetables, three lean protein servings, two whole grain servings and one discretionary calorie allotment of 200 calories.
They also want you eating 5-6 times per day. The theory that The Biggest Loser proposes is that you will keep your hunger and blood sugar level by eating frequently.
On this diet, you will avoid caffeine (coffee drinkers may want to stay away from this one). However, you are required to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day.
The Good Points
We have to give it to The Biggest Loser they really are putting an emphasis on healthy servings of fruits and vegetables. Allowing four servings of each will help keep you full and gives you plenty of vitamins and minerals.
The Not So Good
The Biggest Loser program stays away from fat. All the protein is lean. While this may be great for someone who is required to be on a very low-fat diet, such as those with high cholesterol or heart disease, many people may find the absence of fat hard to deal with. Fat increases satiety in those who are dieting especially when it comes from good sources like cold-water fish, nuts, avocados, and wild game.
In addition to being a very low-fat diet, this diet can cause you to dip below the 1200 calorie range on any given day. Eating below 1200 calories can cause nutrient deficiencies and even end up interfering with weight loss as the body may respond to perceived starvation, and react by hoarding calories.
Will I Have To Exercise?
Absolutely. Exercise has always been a big part of The Biggest Loser brand, and they did not leave it out of their diet protocol either. The exercise can become problematic for those who end up eating on the low end of the calorie range, as you may not have enough fuel to run your body.
Consult a doctor for a recommended weight loss calorie target before eating under 1200 calories when exercising.




Is It Hard?
The hardest part about this diet protocol is the simple lack of calories. Some people may find themselves unsatisfied because of the lack of fat and the lack of caloric intake. When the body goes unsatisfied for long periods of time, you may end up overindulging (even when you didn’t mean to.)
If you like to eat frequently then this diet is right up your alley. The frequency that people are allowed to eat on The Biggest Loser Diet may make up for the lack of caloric intake and the lack of fat consumption.
For the average person, this diet is going to be difficult to maintain over a long term. If you enjoy the support offered up by The Biggest Loser program, then you may just need to increase your servings of grains and proteins until you get to a more realistic weight loss calorie intake.
Does It Work?
Absolutely. If you follow the protocol set forth by The Biggest Loser, you will lose weight. It is a hard program to follow that requires high levels of exercise and low amounts of calories. Because of the combination of exercise and low caloric intake, you are sure to drop weight.
Don’t be surprised though if you fail to lose weight as those on the television show do, and actually, such rapid weight loss is not typically recommended by experts, slow and steady ensure success for lasting weight loss control. Stick with your healthy eating and exercise and you will soon be on your way to a healthy weght.







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Beat The Ageing Process With 5 Key Tips

Beat The Ageing Process With 5 Key Tips

Ageing is inevitable. No matter how hard we try, it will catch up with us eventuality, but that does not mean that you have to sit back and let it prematurely take your youth away. No, there are things you can do starting right now to beat the aging process and maintain your youthful looks and vigor well into an age nobody will be able to guess!



The Ageing Process

These tips are extremely simple- there’s no magic pill here. Read on to find out the five keys tips you should be doing:

Sleep More

Sleeping is one of life’s simple pleasures and something that should come naturally to everyone. However, more than half of the USA’s adult population is chronically sleep deprived, in the sense that they get less than the recommended 8-9 hours nightly, many days running. Sleep is the one thing that everyone has going for them since it is the hit reset button for your body.

During sleep, repair ensues, so that proteins in the skin are fixed, hormone production is ramped up, and the process of rebuilding in general. Chronic sleep deficiency inhibits the ability of the body to fix structural defects, including in DNA, which can accelerate greying of hair, wrinkling of skin and deterioration of organs.

Get Your Veggies

Eat lots of vegetables. It doesn’t really matter which, but include a variety of different ones, as each brings something different to the table. Most vegetables are extremely low calories, making them perfect for bulk at mealtimes, as you can eat a lot, and not get a lot of calories. In addition, vegetables are full of fiber, which keep intestinal and colon health on point, as well as tons of anti-oxidants, vitamin, and minerals, which fend off free radicals and compounds that damage DNA and promote aging.



Shed Bad Recreational Hobbies

Sure, watching TV late into the night is a bad hobby, and it is damaging, but it is not bad in the sense we are referring to. The ways we are talking about, relate to drinking, smoking and eating junk food. Excessive alcohol consumption places undue stress on the liver that’s primary job is to remove toxins from the body, and in some cases makes it unable to do its job. This accumulation of toxins is bad for health, and kickstarts accelerate the aging process.

Smoking, on the other hand, is worse in many aspects. With negative effects ranging from the lungs to blood vessels and more, smoking can age you 25 years in just 5 years. Nutrient delivery suffers, so skin ages and wrinkles far sooner than it should, and you increase the risk of dying from complications of the lung.

Stay Happy

We don’t expect you to be euphoric all day long, but being happy has proven benefits over being sad, or pouty. This can be explained by endorphins, feel-good chemicals produced in the brain that boost mood, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce stress levels as well.

Practicing mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to develop your appreciation of the little things in life, and improve your happiness and outlook not to mention the fact that frowning just speeds up development of wrinkles and fine lines!

Weight Train

A little jogging or cycling is good during any point of life, but in order to diminish the effects of aging, weight training is a must. Not only does muscle help you fill out your clothing, but it can also help prevent skin from sagging, wrinkling, or your posture from stooping.

Nothing screams old like a hunched back and sagging skin, but luckily, weight lifting can delay this for years to come, not only that, but your overall mobility will be kept in check, and you will look great, so hit the weights!







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Cool Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Your Health

Cool Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Your Health

We all crave that time of year when we get to show off some skin and enjoy being outdoors in the warm, sunny weather. However, the best part about summer is that it brings us a plethora of fresh summer fruits and vegetables. And they’re all filled with amazing health benefits. Read on to find out some of the healthiest foods you can enjoy this summer.


Boost Your Health

Watermelons
How can you go wrong with a fruit that’s 92% water, tastes like summer and smells even better? Watermelons help keep you feeling full longer because they’re called hydrating foods, which means you curb your hunger and eat less. It also works wonders in lowering blood pressure levels, especially with overweight individuals.
In addition, they contain high amounts of antioxidants, as well as vitamins C, A and B6. It has high levels of lycopene, which fights against the damage of free radicals. The best part? It’s 44 calories per cup!
Tomatoes
Rich in an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic-acid, studies show that tomatoes help fight against high blood pressure levels. The substance surrounding the seeds contains salicylates, which prevent clotting of the blood.
Tomatoes also help preserve nerve and brain tissue, as well as promote the production of collagen in the skin to help keep your skin wrinkle-free while reducing the appearance of fine lines. Studies show that men who regularly consume tomato-based foods are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer.
Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots (aka stone fruits)
Colorful, juicy and delicious, stone fruits help protect against diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
Peaches contain beta-carotene, which keeps your skin glowing and bright. They also contain iron, potassium, fiber as well as vitamins A and C.
Plums are rich in nutrients, as well as phytochemicals, which help reduce the risk of many diseases and health conditions. And as an added bonus, prunes help ward off bone loss, due to their high levels of potassium and vitamin K.
Apricots are rich in vitamin A, which protects the eyes, and potassium.




Zucchini
Loaded with folate, potassium, and vitamin C, this versatile summer vegetable helps regulate blood pressure and contains antioxidants that protect cells from damage. A cup of shredded zucchini can be incorporated into any dish, sweet or salty.
And since zucchinis contain 95% water, they’re low in calories, have zero fat and cholesterol, and are rich in nutrients. One cup of shredded zucchini provides you with 35% of your daily vitamin C needs and is only 20 calories.
Sweet corn
These delicious, yellow jewels contain natural two natural compounds, lutein, and zeaxanthin that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. They filter out damaging free radicals that can lead to negative effects on your eyes, such as cataracts. Corn also curbs your appetite, boosts immunity, and helps control blood sugar levels.
Pineapples
High in bromelain – a proteolytic enzyme, pineapples help with the digestion process. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which means they ward off free radicals and protect the body from their harmful effects while reducing the risk of serious inflammatory diseases.
Cherries
The color of these round, succulent fruits is a clear indication of how powerful its antioxidants are and how much protection they offer against heart disease, mainly due to their high levels of pectin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Cherries are also great health-boosters since they contain melatonin, which is known as the “sleep hormone.”
Melatonin is secreted naturally by the body during the night, but foods rich in melatonin can help induce a restful sleep. It’s also a wide-spectrum, potent antioxidant. Moreover, melatonin helps with the conversion process of turning fat cells, which collect under our skin and around our organs, into brown fat cells, which work at burning calories instead of storing them.
Mangoes
Sweet and savory, mangoes pack a great amount of fiber, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. They also help with the digestion process as well as curb your hunger by filling you up for longer.
Figs
These summer snacks are packed with potassium and fiber. They’re also low in calories and fat.
Grapes
Like watermelon, grapes have a high water content, which makes you feel full and satiated. They also help protect against disease, such as Type 2 diabetes. They’re also packed with antioxidants and inflammatory properties, phytochemicals and vitamin C.







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Finding Hope In Uncertain Times

Finding Hope In Uncertain Times

There is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs or in our changing and unsteady political climate. The strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur.




But some people rise to meet uncertain times by finding hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ups and downs.
What does having hope mean? Think of how you handle difficult situations. Do you offer platitudes like, “I hope everything will work out”? Unfortunately, this is just a way of disengaging or checking out of a difficult situation. True hope comes from a source much deeper, your core. At your core, there are vital qualities that help to determine how much hope you yourself feel, as well as what you can offer to others. Optimism is an essential component in facing any type of uncertainty, from layoffs, to promotions, to moving, and to the current state of the world.

Finding Hope

Hope’s Primary Qualities
• Strength – You draw from inner strength to tap into your personal powers.
• Resilience – You bounce back when faced with setbacks and obstacles.
• Optimism – You stay positive despite the challenges ahead of you.
The above qualities are the antithesis of pessimism, complaining, and worry. Rather than be self-defeatist, you can be strong, resilient, and optimistic, and in this way improve your self-esteem.
Optimism is essential for handling a crisis but it can also serve as your core value on a daily basis. Uncertainty can arrive at any time, whether it appears in a personal issue, a business issue, a national event, or a global event. The situation doesn’t even necessarily need to be negative. It could be the uncertainty and excitement of starting your own business.



Now, let’s take a closer look at the qualities that were mentioned above.
Strength
Most of us are all too willing to give away our power. Yet, what could be a more hopeless situation than being without power? This can happen in both business and personal relationships. You can find yourself going along with something you disagree with simply because you don’t have the strength or power to speak up.
Retaining power means that you can stand up for yourself, that you can overcome resistance, that you can turn a catastrophe into an opportunity. True strength is in the core of your being. It’s a quiet calm that isn’t disturbed by events or the turmoil of emotions.
Inner strength established self-power that will anchor, uplift, and encourage you.
Resilience
We often see the elderly celebrated in the media for reaching 100. They are always happy to share the secret to their long life. They all have different secrets, from a cigarette and a glass of whiskey every day to 3 glasses of red wine a week.
The truth is that they didn’t win the gene pool lottery, nor were they immune to the woes of life. They were resilient. They faced hard times and bounced back, shook defeat off at every turn. Being resilient is the true secret to avoiding victimhood.
It isn’t about positive thinking. When we’re faced with sadness, it’s healthy to deal with sadness; when we lose a loved one, grief is natural.
Resilience and overcoming adversity comes from a strong sense of self.
Optimism
Society has taught us that life is difficult, that struggling is the norm. Society wants us to believe that the safest place for us is behind a wall. In this environment, optimism seems foolish and unrealistic. Yet, when we meet people who are truly optimistic, we are jealous of their cheerfulness. Attitudes of pessimism, skepticism, and cynicism come from fear and distrust. Life can take care of itself, that’s the attitude of optimism.

Finding hope in uncertain times is easier than you think, it’s within you.







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Natural Remedies For Aching Feet

Natural Remedies For Aching Feet

Foot pain is something that we have all experienced in our lives. After a long day at work, shopping, or yard work your feet can be tired, achy, swollen, and heavy. This achiness happens because when you are on your feet, there is a significant amount of stress being put on your feet. However, you aren’t doomed to suffer this pain with no relief. Below are some natural remedies that will ease your sore feet and have you feeling great again.



Alternate Hot And Cold – Alternating hot and cold baths alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in your feet, which boosts circulation and reduces the swelling and achiness in your feet. To do this exercise, fill one basin up with cold water and one up with hot water. While sitting comfortably, place your feet in the cold water for five minutes. Afterwards, switch to the hot water. Switch back and forth for a total of thirty minutes for maximum effectiveness.
Elevate Your Feet – Elevating your feet for fifteen to twenty minutes after you are on your feet for any length of time will increase the circulation in your legs and feet and help to reduce and pain and swelling.
Epsom Salts – Epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate. Magnesium is known to help reduce swelling and therefore ease the pain. There are two ways you can use Epsom salt to reduce the swelling in your feet. First, you can fill a basin with hot water, add Epsom salt and soak just your feet or, if you are looking to relax your entire body, you can fill your bathtub with hot water, add Epsom salt, and soak your whole body for forty-five minutes to an hour.
Soak In Essential Oils – An alternative to Epsom salts is to use essential oils, which can help to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling. Essential oils are used in the same two ways as Epsom salts. The best essential oils to use to increase blood flow are peppermint oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary oil.
Vinegar Soak – If you don’t have Epsom salts or essential oils in the house, a final alternative for a foot soak is vinegar. Vinegar helps to reduce inflammation and can be used in two ways. First, you can fill a basin with hot water and add two tablespoons of vinegar; it is additionally beneficial if you add some salt to the water as well. Soak your feet for about twenty minutes.
Secondly, you can put equal amounts of water and vinegar into two basins. Make one basin cold water and one basin hot water. Soak a towel that is big enough to wrap around your feet in the hot mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid. Wrap the hot compress around your feet for five minutes. Repeat the same process using the cold mixture. This process is thought to be the most effective because you are getting the benefits from the vinegar as well as from alternating hot and cold on your feet to maximize blood flow and reduce3 swelling and achiness.



Sore feet are not something that you must accept as a necessary evil when you are on your feet for any length of time. Taking preventative measures, such as investing in a good pair of shoes and stretching your feet throughout the day can help minimize the amount of time you spend with sore feet. However, if you do find your feet achy and swollen after a day out, use the natural remedies tips above to quickly ease the pain and be ready to go again.








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