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Tag Archive | "Sleep"

Five simple time-tested tips for aging well

HEA-Aging-well(BPT) – A health renaissance is taking place in America as more people are embracing aging well and being proactive rather than reactive about their well-being. Prevention has become the focus, and many aging Americans are turning to time-tested methods for keeping their bodies and minds healthy so they can live longer, higher-quality lives.

Kristen Johnson, certified personal trainer, registered dietician and nutrition expert at www.ontargetliving.com points out five time-tested strategies for aging well:

Daily exercise

“Daily movement is the real fountain of youth. It keeps us healthy from the inside out,” says Johnson.

She notes that quality over quantity is what really matters.

“When it comes to improving overall fitness, high-intensity exercise for a short amount of time may be much more beneficial than low intensity for a long amount of time,” Johnson says. “Research suggests that fat-burning hormones like human growth hormones and testosterone are stimulated by high-intensity exercise, while fat-storing hormones like cortisol may be lowered. Try increasing the intensity and frequency of your exercise, while decreasing the time spent.”


The foods you eat influence how you look and feel, from glowing and confident to lethargic and sick. Selecting foods that people have eaten historically as nutritional powerhouses can help boost overall wellness.

“Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats and lean proteins,” says Johnson. “These foods naturally contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all contribute to healthy aging.”

A few to focus on:

  • Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for eye and skin health, thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A.
  • Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables will have an abundant amount of antioxidants, and these help prevent oxidation and cell damage. Examples: raspberries, kale and cabbage.
  • Carbohydrates like healthy grains, beans and potatoes help you produce serotonin, a calming and satiety hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety’s negative effects.


Supplements help fill nutritional gaps, especially as the aging body requires greater amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Johnson points out the importance of omega-3s for aging well.

“Omega-3 fats are essential for getting you healthy from the inside out, all while helping improve hormonal balance, brain health, weight loss and metabolism,” she says. “Omega-3 fats are also extremely helpful for healthy skin, hair and nails.”

Her favorite? Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. “This contains EPA and DHA, both of which contribute to a healthy heart and brain,” she says. “Cod liver oil also helps improve cellular function, energy and mood. Did you know cod liver oil can actually taste good? Try their delicious orange flavor.”


“Chronic lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to age the human body,” Johnson says. “Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on the appearance of skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol.”

She notes that adequate sleep can positively influence cognitive ability, mood, weight loss and skin rejuvenation, so it should be a top priority for an aging-well routine. While the right amount of sleep will vary between individuals, the goal for most adults is around 7 to 8 hours a night.

Social activity

Human interaction can decrease as people age, but it’s more important than ever to form and maintain bonds with others. Participating in social activity is a fun way to enjoy life and reap real health benefits.

“The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause for more than 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases,” says Johnson. ‘”When you are socially active and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you may be less likely to feel lonely, unhappy, or unfulfilled, all of which can cause unwanted stress.”

Finally, there’s no need to become overwhelmed; start an aging-well routine by taking one small step and building healthy habits over time. This is what will lead to long-term success.

“Remember that it’s never too late to start living a healthy and happy life,” Johnson says. “Give yourself more reasons to smile and laugh! Did you know research suggests that happy people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives?”

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Snoring solutions to improve relationships, health

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) For many people, snoring makes a night of restful sleep a far-off dream. The noisy interruptions may even have a detrimental effect on relationships and health.

More than a quarter of Americans say that a snoring bed partner makes them annoyed or angry, according to a recent survey from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). Forty percent of women also claim snoring in the opposite sex is a turnoff, and nearly one in 10 Americans went so far as to admit that snoring has hurt at least one of their romantic relationships. One in five says that a snoring partner could even drive them out of bed.

Beyond the bedroom

In addition to pushing couples to sleep apart, snoring can cause health worries. Snoring is a tell-tale sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure to diabetes and depression.

“Because it can be embarrassing, snoring can often be the elephant in the room when it comes to addressing relationship frustrations and health concerns,” said Kathleen Bennett, D.D.S., president of the AADSM. “But it’s important that your significant other is made aware of their snoring and the effects it has on you, your relationship and their personal health, so they can begin taking steps to remedy it.”

Seeking treatment

There are several treatment options for sleep apnea, according to AADSM experts. It is important to speak with a physician to determine which option is best for you.

The first line of treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. But according to the AADSM, up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate this form of treatment.

“Sleep apnea is traditionally treated with a CPAP machine, which includes a constantly running motor, tubing and a face mask. It’s a great treatment, but it’s not the only option,” said Dr. Bennett. “Many people are surprised to learn that dentists can help treat sleep apnea with an oral appliance, a device similar to an orthodontic retainer, that’s effective, less cumbersome and more discreet.”

Oral appliance therapy uses a small mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway, making it a sleeker, more attractive treatment option for many sleep apnea sufferers. An oral appliance prevents the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. The devices, which are a proven and effective sleep apnea treatment, also come with the perks of being silent, portable and simple to care for. A patient must first be diagnosed with snoring or sleep apnea by a physician. Then a dentist can examine the diagnosed patient and provide a custom-made oral appliance, which is covered by many medical insurance plans.

Additionally, upper airway surgery is a potential treatment for some patients. A detailed examination of the entire upper airway is necessary before your doctor can decide if you are a candidate for surgery.

If you or your significant other suffers from sleep apnea or loud and frequent snoring, visit www.LocalSleepDentist.com to learn more and find a dentist in your area who can help.

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Beyond the Scale: What you need to know about diabetes risk factors


Whether you have diabetes or not, understanding this disease and how it can be controlled can significantly improve your overall health.  PHOTO SOURCE: (c) MichaelJung - Fotolia.com

Whether you have diabetes or not, understanding this disease and how it can be controlled can significantly improve your overall health.
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) MichaelJung – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) When it comes to Type II diabetes, many only consider weight when examining their risk. Diabetes is complicated however, and risk factors are numerous.

Some of the confusion is potentially reflected in statistics. From 1980 through 2011, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes more than tripled, from 5.6 million to 20.9 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have prediabetes or are undiagnosed.

On the bright side, cutting-edge research has uncovered strategies for avoiding, controlling and even reversing diabetes.

“It’s tempting to think that there’s not much you can do except take medication and hope for the best,” says George L. King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of the new book, “The Diabetes Reset.” “However, anyone can improve their body’s response to insulin and its ability to metabolize glucose in the blood.”

Each individual’s glucose control problems are unique, which is why King offers a range of evidence-based, diabetes-fighting strategies in his book. Here he shares a few:


A recent study by Dr. King and his Joslin colleagues has shown that insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk can all be significantly improved by switching to a low-fat, high-fiber diet consisting of 70 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent fat and 15 percent protein, including 15 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.

This dietary approach, known as the Rural Asian Diet, is easy to maintain, as it doesn’t call for restricting calories or totally avoiding any particular food group. While many diabetes experts promote restricting carbohydrates, this diet distinguishes between refined carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates, which are high in fiber, and will be converted into blood glucose much more slowly.

Weight Loss

If your BMI is above 25 and you’re able to reduce your body weight by 5 to 7 percent, you can reduce your insulin resistance and improve your glucose metabolism. Be advised, many doctors feel that BMI is of limited value in determining a diabetes risk because it doesn’t distinguish between fat and lean tissue or between different types of body fat. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous type of fat in terms of diabetes risk, so many doctors use waist circumference as an additional measurement.


Your muscles can lose insulin sensitivity due to inactivity. This can be largely reversed through a combination of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week plus weekly strength training sessions. Together, these activities can increase your muscles’ ability to oxidize fats, glucose and other fuels, while also helping you lose weight.


There is mounting evidence that lack of sleep can contribute to insulin resistance and possibly causes damage to the pancreas, putting you at heightened risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Attempt to get seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep every night to improve insulin sensitivity.

More diabetes-strategies can be found at www.workman.com.

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Five germ-fighting tips to keep kids healthy this school year

While you can’t avoid germs, you can take steps to strengthen your family’s immunity and overall health. Soccer champion, Christie Rampone with daughters Reece and Rylie.

While you can’t avoid germs, you can take steps to strengthen your family’s immunity and overall health. Soccer champion, Christie Rampone with daughters Reece and Rylie.

(StatePoint) School is a great place to learn, play and make friends. Unfortunately it’s also a great place for germs to get very well acquainted….with your family! With 20 to 30 kids in a classroom and even more on the playground, it’s hard to avoid the germs that cause such illnesses as colds, flus and more.

Three-time Gold Medalist, wife and busy mom of two, Christie Rampone knows the importance of good health. As captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, she travels over two hundred days a year, often with her young children in tow. So stress, fatigue and staying healthy are daily battles. Since days off are not an option for Rampone, she is offering five “stay healthy” tips that parents can follow all school year long:

• Eat healthy: It’s no secret, a balanced diet is key for a healthy immune system. By focusing on a variety of fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks, your family will get the nutrition it needs to fight off germs during the school year.

“Some of my favorite healthy snacks are carrots, celery and apples. They are easy to pack and extremely nutritious,” says Rampone. “The trick is to create variety, because kids tend to grow tired of the same things quickly.”

• Get plenty of exercise: Frequent, moderate exercise is important for good health and strong immunity.  On a daily basis, encourage kids to play sports, run, bike ride or dance, all to keep their bodies fit, hearts pumping strong and minds happy. Better yet, join in on the fun yourself!

• Sleep at least seven hours a night: Sleep is crucial to good health, both mentally and physically. A recent study showed that when you get less than seven hours sleep at night, you’re three times more likely to come down with a cold or flu.

• Take supplements as needed: Government recommendations call for five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But how many of us really get them?  To help fill the gaps, look for nutritional supplements supported by published clinical research. Rampone, who has battled Lyme disease, which wreaks havoc on the immune system, has been using such supplements for herself and her entire family.

• Don’t forget about you: As a parent, your first priority is usually the kids. But you need to make sure that you also take care of yourself too, especially during the chaotic school and work week. Make sure that you drink enough water and get a few minutes each day to relax and recharge your immune battery.

More tips to keep kids healthy this school year can be found at www.epicorimmune.com.


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