The reality is you have more control over your lifespan than you may think. Genetics only play a small role in how long you live. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy is 78.8 years. If you want to live to the average, or surpass it, you should start making changes in your life now. The secrets to living longer go far beyond the obvious acts of eating healthy and reducing stress. Simple things such as improving your oral hygiene, making new friends and getting enough sleep all play a role in how long you will live. Did you know that having a positive attitude can actually add years to your life? It’s true, individuals with that have positive emotions encounter more happiness in their lives and happiness is strongly related to how long you will live. Start today and take action; use these tricks to make positive changes to your life and further your longevity.
With Halloween in the rear-view mirror and the holiday season right around the corner, the sugar temptations are in full force. The leftover candy bowls at home and at the office are surely calling your name. Couple this with the enormous amount of holiday cookies that are about to invade and we have a serious sugar epidemic on our hands! Thankfully, there are ways to help fight these sugar cravings. But let’s first look at why our bodies seem to cry out for sweets in the first place. Sugar makes you feel good. It’s that simple. Sugar releases serotonin which helps your brain achieve a bit of a natural high. Sugar also acts a catalyst to release endorphins that further relax you. And let’s not forget that sugar also happens to absolutely delicious! We know all too well that this “high” is extremely short lived. You are bound to crash and feel even lower than before. So the easy fix is to get more sugar, right!? Wrong. Here are 5 ways to avoid the temptation and stay on a healthy track this holiday season. 1. Keep Fruit Close By Fruit is the number one way to combat your cravings for sweets. With fruit, you get natural sweetness combined with essential fiber, nutrients, and anti-oxidants. The key here is to make sure you always have some fruit handy. Make sure candy and treats are far from reach and replace them with nature’s candy instead! 2. Run Away From Your Cravings Seriously. When you feel the need for a donut or candy, get up and change the scenery! Walk around the block or the office to get your mind off the craving and onto something else. The common thought of eating just because you’re bored is not a myth. Stay active and focused on tasks to keep your mind right and steer clear of temptation. 3. H2Over Sugar Many times you are sure your body is calling out to you and begging for sugar. The reality is that you may very well be thirsty. Dehydration is often confused with sugar cravings. Like fruit, keep water close-by at all times. This way, you’ll be sure to keep sipping and fight the sugar urge before it even happens. 4. Naturally Raise Your Serotonin Sugar isn’t the only way to boost your serotonin levels. Healthy lifestyles can raise them too! A strong diet, regular exercise and an effective sleep schedule can all naturally lift you up in the same way sugar does. With increased serotonin in your body, you are much less likely to crave sugar in the first place! 5. Grab Some Sugarless Gum Sugarless Gum is a great way to combat sugar cravings on two fronts. Its sweet taste can satisfy your sugar desires. Also the act of chewing and generating saliva is a great way to fight hunger. There are many ways to fight sugar. But it all starts in your head. Make a conscious effort to use these tips to fight your cravings and you are sure to have a much healthier and happier holiday season this year! By Pat DeRiso Sources: webmd, body ecology
It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing and cold is in the air. I’m not just talking temperature, but disease. Unfortunately, along with apple picking and football comes an increased chance of catching a cold. Everyone is well aware of how annoying a cold can be and it's not always easy to shake-them-off. Let’s go over some at-home remedies to battle these symptoms this fall. The best defense is a great offense. By making smart lifestyle choices you can greatly increase your chances of avoiding getting sick in the first place! To bolster your health levels, be sure to incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Besides the obvious benefits, regular exercise can work to keep nasal passages from blocking. It is also suggested to make sure you do not have a vitamin C deficiency. To avoid this, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. In addition, drinking plenty of water may seem like straight-forward advice. However, most people still fail to do so. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and make a conscious effort to sip periodically. Before you know it, this will become automatic for you! Maybe it’s too little too late for you and you have come down with some cold and flu symptoms already. Let’s take the fight to them! REST. REST. REST. You may be saying, “Well that’s obvious”. The problem is, people simply do not rest enough. When you’re sick and you feel even the slightest bit tired, it is imperative you listen to your body. Take frequent naps and try for a 12-hour sleep overnight. Your body does its battling when sleeping. Be sure to send in the troops as often as possible by hitting the pillow! Hot or Cold Therapy Depending on your personal preference, applying hot or cold therapy to congested sinuses can be extremely beneficial in easing pain and inflammation caused by cold and flu symptoms. Using gel packs that can be heated or frozen makes for an effective and targeted method for relief. Alternatively, for heat therapy you can use a damp washcloth heated in the microwave for around 50 seconds (test for safety before applying to skin). For cold therapy you can apply a bag of frozen vegetables. Add a Pillow When sleeping or resting, it is recommended you add an additional pillow below your head. This will help with the overall drainage of nasal passages. It is important to keep your head elevated to achieve this. If the use of two pillows under your head is too much on your neck, try placing a pillow, blanket, or other similar items under the mattress to get a more gradual incline! Blow Your Nose! Getting that mucus out of your nose is crucial to recovering from your cold. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to blow your nose. Turns out, we’ve been doing it all wrong. The recommended method of blowing your nose is to cover one nostril and gently blow through the other. Most people tend to blow their nose hard. This is not recommended as it can cause earaches and other ailments. Whenever you have the sniffles, blow your nose. Fight the urge to sniff mucus back into your head and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose. Get Steamy Hot showers can work wonders for cold and flu symptoms. The steam will relax you and effectively moisturize your nasal passages. This will break-up mucus and make for a faster recovery! To take steam therapy to the next level, follow these simple instructions. Boil water in a lidded pot for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and place your head over the pot while draping a towel over your head to guide the steam to the desired area. Do this for about 15 minutes as often as possible during the day! Hot Liquids The benefits of hot liquids such as teas and soups are threefold. They will work to relieve congestion in the nasal passages while helping to prevent dehydration. They will also soothe inflammation in membranes within the linings of your throat and nose. This is another tip that may seem obvious, but it is crucial that you make a conscious effort to consume these liquids. It is too easy to avoid it and assume cold water is enough. Don’t make that mistake and get some hot beverages as well! For a Sore Throat - - - Get To Gargling One of the best methods for fighting a sore or scratchy throat is to gargle. This can work to moisten the throat as well as bring some temporary relief. For the best results, be sure to throw in at least a teaspoon of salt into some warm water. Do this as often as possible, but at least 4 times a day. In addition, it is recommended you drink sparkling water or club soda at least 3 times per day. These are just a handful of methods you can use at home to fight common cold and flu-like symptoms. Feel free to explore the sources below to learn more about how you can get back to your healthy self! However, it is always best to consult your doctor for best practices to address your personal health issues. By Pat DeRiso Sources: webmd.com, PainHealthWeb
Everyone is well aware that they should be drinking plenty of water. It is well documented that H2O provides countless physical benefits from healthier skin to increased amounts of energy. Not to mention the fact that it is a zero calorie beverage! However, a new study out of France has revealed a new reason to keep sipping on water: an improved mood. The study included about 50 participants who drank varied amounts of water per day. 30 people who drank very limited quantities of water per day were asked to increase their intake for three days. On the other hand, the other 20 people were instructed to do the exact opposite. These were folks who normally drank large amounts of water and they were asked to greatly reduce their water consumption. The results were very clear. The group that began drinking increased amounts of water instantly felt the health benefits. These people reported feeling more positive and up-beat at the end of the study. Additionally, they felt distinctly less fatigued, more alert and focused as well a decrease in negative effects such as headaches. As you can imagine, the group that had to cut down their water consumption for a few days experienced the opposite results. This group reported a worsened mood, an increase in headaches, higher levels of confusion, and more fatigue. But the most alarming results of the study are how quickly the contributors experienced changes. Remember, these findings were documented after changing water intake over only 3 days. Imagine what a conscious overhaul of this simple lifestyle change could do for your mood and body! Although it is abundantly clear that water positively affects mood, scientists are unclear why. However a study conducted through the University of Connecticut did find a direct correlation between even mild hydration and cognitive performance. Researchers speculate that this may be a result of neurons in the brain detecting a problem in the hydration or electrolyte levels. This would then affect the areas of your brain that regulate mood. Regardless of the reasons why your mood is improved from drinking water, the benefits are evident. To really feel the benefits and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the goal should always be to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. A great tip is to bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. This is especially beneficial at work. Having your water bottle constantly within arm’s reach will promote increased sipping and will absolutely increase your overall water consumption. I never leave my house without it! Get more H2O into your body and your mood will certainly thank you! By Pat DeRiso
As the day goes on many of us feel fatigue setting in. Our eyelids become heavier and heavier as we stare into our computer or smartphone screens. Why do we feel like this? And what can we do about it? The answer includes more than just getting more sleep. There are many factors to reactivating a more alert, energized you. Here’s a list of 5 ways to stop yawning and feel more perky today! 1. Drink More Water Water does much more than just quench your thirst. Even slight dehydration (as little as 2%) can cause fatigue. The problem is that most people don’t drink nearly as much water as they should. But how much is enough? Take your body weight and divide it by 2. Health experts say to drink that number in fluid ounces of water each day. Tip: Buy a refillable water bottle and sip on it all day long. The ounces will pile up quickly and you will most certainly feel less tired!