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Lifestyle Habit Nearly as Bad as Smoking
Before you retire to the couch after a long day of sitting at a desk, you may want to reconsider. New research shows that our sedentary lifestyle, and the lack of fitness that comes with it, is worse for us than we may have believed. New research shows that being unfit is almost as likely to shorten our lifespan as smoking.
According to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that assessed various lifestyle factors, having low aerobic capacity is almost as likely to kill us as smoking. It turned out to be worse than having poor cholesterol profiles or high blood pressure.
In the unusually lengthy study, middle-aged men born in 1913 were assessed for various lifestyle factors for 45 years to determine the effect of smoking, aerobic capacity, cholesterol profiles and high blood pressure on the age of mortality. Of course, smoking was the most likely lifestyle factor to kill a person early, but low aerobic capacity as measured by peak oxygen uptake (better known as VO2 Max) was linked to higher mortality than the other cardiovascular factors assessed. The men with the lowest VO2 Max had a 42 percent higher risk of dying of premature death than the men who were the fittest, and about 21 percent higher risk than men with average aerobic capacity.
Of course, you can always hit the stairmaster or join a spinning class to boost your aerobic fitness, but improving your cardiovascular fitness is easier than you might think. Here are some ways to boost your fitness levels fast:
Walk, Walk, Walk
Walk to work, walk to meetings, walk around your neighborhood or walk around your kids’ playground at sporting events. It doesn’t matter where you walk as long as you walk. And, make sure you keep your pace brisk enough to elevate your heart rate but low enough to carry on a conversation.
Hike for Cardiovascular Health and Happiness
Hiking in nature is an amazing way to boost your fitness because it often has undulating terrain that helps to vary the intensity of the exercise. Additionally, the plants and trees growing there increase the level of oxygen available to us, which can help improve our cardiovascular health but offers other health benefits as well. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, found that those who walked outdoors in nature have a significantly reduced risk of mental illness, compared to those who simply walked in urban areas.
Bike to Boost Oxygen and Brain Health
If you live too far from work to walk there, why not try cycling? Not only will you boost your physical fitness levels, you’ll also give your brain a boost too. That’s because research shows that when inactive middle-aged men and women begin cycling on a regular basis, they give their long-term memory a boost, too. I’m sure the same results can be expected for other age groups and fitness levels.
Take the Stairs
When choosing between elevators and stairs or ramps and stairs, opt for the stairs whenever possible to give your aerobic fitness a boost.
Get the Kids Involved
If you think your kids will come between you and any time you might have for exercise, why not head to the park and get active together? Whether you throw a ball around and chase after it, run races or participate in some other activity, you’ll be helping him or her to develop a healthy attitude toward activity while boosting your own fitness.
Join a Dance Class
Combine socializing with a new dance class to master the tango. Or perhaps belly dancing or Hawaiian dance is more your speed? Find a local dance class and move that body.
Exercise Even if You’re a Couch Potato
If you really can’t pull yourself away from the television, why not use commercial breaks as your time to give your fitness level a boost? Run on the spot until the commercial break is over, do jumping jacks or hop up and down on a mini trampoline.
11 Liver Cleansing Foods For Detox
These foods should be a regular part of your diet, but they can also be incorporated into detox drinks and are particularly important when you’re trying to cleanse your body of leftover toxins and to keep your body weight to normal.
You should try to incorporate at least three of these foods into your meal plan each week and perform at least one proper liver cleanse (focusing only on water and liver-friendly foods) per year.
Eat these foods regularly to keep your liver healthy:
Garlic is more than a delicious spice. It’s jam packed full of surprising nutrients which activate the enzymes in your liver, helping your body flush all the nasty toxins out. Add some garlic to dinner every night and your liver will thank you for it.
Beets and carrots
Beets and carrots both contain high levels of beta-carotene and plant flavonoids which improve overall liver function and help keep free radicals out of your bloodstream.
Green tea is something of a miracle. The catechins cleanse your liver, the caffeine keeps you alert and the flavonoids prevent free radicals from nesting in your body. Drinking a large amount (one liter or more) of green tea speeds up your metabolism as well.
Avocados are one of the most powerful health foods out there and one of the only fruits that’s high in protein as well as omega fatty acids. It also helps the body produce glutathione, a compound essential to proper liver function.
Apples contain a large concentration of pectin as well as large amounts of water and dietary fiber which help cleanse every part of the body and stimulate proper liver function.
The unfortunate truth is that wheat and flour aren’t actually any good for your body and they’re actually inhibiting your liver function (not to mention your weight loss). Studies are discovering more negative effects of these traditional grains all the time—and there’s no question that alternative grains like rice and quinoa have much higher nutrient counts.
Broccoli and cauliflower are among the most nutrient-dense vegetables. They increase enzyme production in your liver, helping your body tackle all the nasty toxins you’ve ingested.
Lemons & Limes
You might not want to eat these on their own but they make great accents in all kinds of food and drinks and they have incredibly high vitamin C and water contents. Vitamin C is essential for synthesizing toxic materials into substances which can be harmlessly absorbed by water. This lightens the load on your liver, allowing it to function more normally.
Walnuts contain a high concentration of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids which help your body process fats and other toxins. Make sure you chew the nuts extremely well, until they are somewhat liquefied, before swallowing so the nutrients are all digested properly.
Everyone should have more leafy greens in their diet. Leafy greens contain a large amount of water, important nutrients and plant chlorophylls. The plant chlorophylls actually leech toxins directly out of your body and bloodstream while everything else goes into your system to keep it running. Try to focus on spinach, mustard greens and arugula instead of regular lettuce.
It might be an acquired taste but grapefruit has a powerful combination of vitamin C, antioxidants and a high water content that will improve your liver function and cleanse your bloodstream. Try having a cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice if you don’t want to just eat one.
It is possible to undo the damage you’ve done to your liver through years of processed food, overeating and alcoholic drinks—and to reduce the damage of future drinks or restaurant splurges. All you have to do is incorporate as many of these liver cleansing foods into your diet as possible.
5 Heathy Reasons To Add Probiotics To Your Diet
One of the most overlooked aspects of healthy eating is incorporating probiotics into one’s diet. The fact that probiotics are technically a form of bacteria tends to turn people off. However, there is bad bacteria and good bacteria, and probiotics are the latter. By recognizing that they are good bacteria and having a better understanding how probiotics work, you will see how useful they can be for your overall health. Here is a closer look at five of the many benefits of making probiotics a regular part of your diet.
1. Soothes Indigestion
Probiotics have been shown to play a role in preventing and relieving various types of indigestion and abdominal pain. Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or have frequent bouts with gastroenteritis have found that taking certain probiotics can help lessen both the frequency and severity of symptoms. Probiotics play a major role in the digestive process, helping to breakdown dairy products and carbs that can sometimes lead to indigestion, making it easier for you to eat such foods without regretting it later. There is also evidence to suggest that probiotics can help to counteract some of the negative side effects of antibiotics, including diarrhea, which is common some medications.
2. Pregnancy Friendly
Probiotics are not only safe for pregnant women, but they are potentially quite helpful in relieving many of the negative side effects pregnant women often endure. The nausea and indigestion many pregnant women feel can be reduced with the help of probiotics. The regular consumption of probiotics can also reduce the chances of their baby having complications like eczema, asthma, diabetes, and even premature birth.
3. Child Development
Once a baby is born, probiotics can be helpful in his or her development during the first few years of life. For instance, putting a healthy dose of probiotics in a baby’s diet can expedite the development of both their immune and digestive systems. This, in turn, will help reduce potential food allergies like milk and soy. If a baby is better able to digest such foods, they can avoid conditions like colic, increasing the likelihood that the baby will be both healthy and happy.
4. Lose Body Fat
Certain probiotics have shown to be associated with the loss of body fat. One research study showed that use of the probiotic lactobacillus gasseri over an extended period of time led to a reduction in belly fat, only to have the body fat return once the subjects stopped taking the probiotic. Other research studies suggest that probiotics can help play a role in weight management, particularly with women who just gave birth and are trying to lose the weight they gained during the pregnancy.
5. Vaginal Health
Probiotics have been shown to help balance out the bacteria in the vagina and urinary tract, much like they do in the digestive system. Potential problems like yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis can be remedied or prevented with the help of probiotics. Regularly eating foods that contain probiotics can help prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections of yeast infections. Probiotic supplements can also be used in conjunction with medications prescribed for yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, as they can help balance out the bacteria and prevent any side effects of the prescribed antibiotics.
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