Do You Want to Live a Long and Healthy Life?

Do you want to live a long and healthy life?

Here are five tips that will help to extend your lifespan:

Enjoy Time With Your Friends

Many studies have shown that having a strong network of friends, acquaintances and community can help you live a longer and happier life.Active Seniors

Having companions around you will help reduce your stress and give you a sense of belonging. This powerful feeling has numerous effects on your health and mood.

Move Somewhere Else

Did you know that where you live can actually affect your longevity? All of the subtle environmental influences of a particular location such as air and water quality, climate, and other health factors can have an effect on your body over time.

A recent study conducted in St. Louis, Missouri found that low air quality and dirty streets tripled the amount of disabilities that elderly residents suffered later in life.

Keep Your Brain Active

Your brain is a muscle, and you can keep it active and youthful throughout your life span by continuing to use it and challenge it.

If you never stop learning and continue to fill your life with mentally challenging activity this can have very positive effects on your longevity and can help prevent degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Don’t Retire!

Ok, you can quit your 9-5 job if you really want to, but don’t let old age stop you from contributing to the community in some way.

Start volunteering or become involved in some sort of project or organization. Older people who are involved in their community in this way tend to live longer and retain their health and mental function for longer.

The feeling of taking part in this way brings happiness, vitality, and a sense of purpose.

Stop Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know that non-smokers are twice as likely to live past the age of 90 as those who smoke?

Even if you are already hooked on the habit, quitting will still improve your health and the longer you stay off smoker the more your body will repair the damage done.  

These are just a few ways that you can keep yourself healthier and live a long and happy life!


How to Boost Your Energy Level

TiredAre you feeling lethargic and tired?

Having low energy levels can make even the most basic tasks seem daunting and can really negatively affect your productivity.

When we are at work and we feel our energy levels start to drop we are more likely to get distracted and be lead off task, or make errors and mistakes in our work.

How can you lift your energy levels so that you can get more done and take on life?

  • Get some exercise. Go for a ten minute walk, do some yoga, or dance around the room to a good song. Getting your body moving will increase circulation, boost happy endorphins and give you a burst of energy.
  • Take a quick nap. This doesn’t work for everyone because some people find that sleeping in the middle of the day makes them feel even groggier. However, if you can lie down for a quick 10-30 minute snooze this can sometimes really reinvigorate you.
  • Talk to someone who inspires you. When you speak to a positive friend this can really boost your energy.
  • Choose something small and easily achievable on your to-do list and get it done. The satisfaction of checking off that item will make you feel great and give you more energy.
  • Avoid reaching for sugary snacks to give you a boost of energy. Sure, they will make you a bit hyper for a while but then you will get a post-sugar-binge crash and that is not pretty. Instead, look for healthy treats such as granola bars, fruit, nuts and water which will give you lasting energy.
  • Breathe deeply! You might be feeling less energetic because you are not getting enough oxygen, so sit up straight and take a few deep breaths in through your nose and exhale slowly out through your mouth.

These are just a few ways that you can revitalize yourself quickly and get your energy levels high again so that you can achieve something great today!

Did You Know Your Friends Can Make You Sick?

Angry GorillaWe all know how having a frustrating friend or negative roommate can be annoying, but did you know that it can actually be bad for your health?

Bad Interactions Increase Inflammation

A study from the University of California in Los Angeles has linked negative social interactions with increased inflammation, an immune system response to fighting infections.

Inflammation itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can lead to health problems further down the road. If the body suffers from chronic inflammation it can lead to several health issues including hypertension, coronary heart disease, depression, diabetes and even cancer.

How the Study Worked

The study had 122 healthy young adults keep a diary of their social interactions, such as conflicts with messy and rude roommates, competition with others at school, and time spent with friends.

They then measured the levels of cytokine in their bodies. They found that the study participants who had the most negative or stressful interactions with others had a higher level of cytokine which is a protein that causes inflammation.

Effects Accumulate Over Time

The researchers hypothesized that repeated exposure over many years to a negative social situation could cause serious health problems especially in people who are genetically predisposed to heart disease or arthritis.

So how can you avoid negative social situations from having an adverse affect on your health?

One strategy is to surround yourself with supportive, positive, and encouraging people who you get along with.

However, you can’t always control who you spend your time with and you might end up with an irritating co-worker or neighbor that you are forced to interact with.

When you do have to deal with a person who grinds your gears, approach the situation as calmly as possible and try not to focus on your negative feelings.

Deal with them in the best way you can and don’t dwell on how much they stress you out.

Want Beautiful Skin? Foods to Eat to Make Your Skin Glow

Beautiful SkinHave you ever heard the expression “you are what you eat?”

When it comes to beautiful skin, it couldn’t be truer. The healthier your diet is, the more your skin will look firm, even, clear and healthy.

If you have a poor diet it can leave your skin looking blemished, sallow, dry, red, irritated or otherwise unattractive.

No matter how many expensive face creams and cleansers you spend your money on, changing your diet will have a much greater effect of the overall look of your skin.

Here are a few delicious and healthy foods that will give you glowing and beautiful skin:

Water: The number one change you can make to your diet to improve your skin is to drink more water. It will help your skin look moist and soft, and it will flush out toxins from your body.

Cantaloupe: High in antioxidants, this delicious fruit will help your body to absorb free radicals and reduce skin problems.

Broccoli: This vegetable is very high in Vitamin A, which is the vitamin which encourages your body to create new skin cells. If you eat more broccoli, your skin will be renewed more quickly and the healthy and fresh skin will show through.

Salmon: This tasty fish, as well as other fishes such as tuna and sardines, is full of Omega 3. This is a type of “good fat” which our body needs, and it will help to reduce inflammation in the skin.

Grapefruit:  This zesty breakfast treat is high in Vitamin C, which helps to delay or reduce wrinkles in the skin.

Lean Red Meat: If your skin is looking pale and sallow, you might have an iron deficiency in your diet. Lean red meat which is low in fat is a healthy way to increase your iron intake. If you don’t eat red meat, eggs are an alternate source.

Almonds: This snack is filled with Vitamin E, which protects your skin against sun damage.

Include these healthy items on your next supermarket shopping trip, and see if they make a difference in the health and appearance of your skin!

Bored With Your Workout — How to Spice Up Your Fitness Routine

Do you find that after a few weeks of going to the gym at the same time and doing the exact same exercises you become bored?Workout Tips

If your workout gets in a rut, you can feel unmotivated to go to the gym and this can get in the way of accomplishing your fitness goals.

Also, if you always do the same exercise each time you work out, you won’t enjoy the benefit of strengthening all of your muscles. Just sticking to one exercise routine is not the best way to achieve overall fitness and better health.

So what can you do to keep your fitness routine varied and interesting and keep yourself motivated?

Here are some tips:

Try a Class

Check the group exercise class schedule at your gym or your local recreation center. There will likely be a good selection of different classes to attend, such as yoga, dance, Pilates, kick-boxing, step aerobics, and many more.

Make it your goal to try as many as you can until you find your favorite. Classes can be a great way to work out, because you are more likely to push yourself more than when you exercise by yourself.

You will also work different muscle groups, and meet other people who are motivated and living a healthy lifestyle.

Challenge Yourself

Here’s another way to kick start your motivation for working out. When you go to the gym, take a small notebook and pencil with you.

When you do an exercise, such as push-ups, sit-ups, lifting weights, swimming lengths do as many as you can without stopping until you just can’t do any more.

Make a note with the date and write down the details of how many you did. Now, your goal for your next workout is to beat all of your past records. You can also make a goal to try a new exercise every time you workout.

Keeping score in this way helps you to track your progress, and it also gives you a goal to aim for. If you are trying to outdo your own performance, you will push yourself harder and be more motivated.

You can even promise yourself a reward if you manage to beat your previous totals, such as going to see a movie or doing something else you enjoy.

Bring a Friend

If one of your friends is moaning about how they need to get in shape, bring them to the gym with you! Most gyms will offer free guest passes or let your friend come for the day at a discounted rate if they are with you.

You can challenge and encourage each other, and teach each other new exercises. Just make sure that you don’t spend all of your time socializing!

These are a few ideas for mixing up your fitness routine and getting yourself motivated.

Have fun working out!

How to Stay in Shape When You Work From Home

Whether you own your own business, work remotely, or freelance, working from home is fantastic. You don’t have to worry about morning traffic, you can work in your pajamas if you so desire, and you can create your own work environment.

However, one of the downsides of working at home is that it can make it harder to get motivated with a fitness regime. It’s easier to make yourself go to the gym on your way to and from the office, or ride your bike to work, but how can you stay fit when your only exercise is walking downstairs to your computer chair?

Staying fit and active is very important and will help you be more productive and successful in your work. Here are a few things you can do to stay in shape when you work from home:

  • When you first wake up in the morning, do 20-30 minutes of exercise before even turning on the computer. You can go for a jog or a walk, do some yoga, or dance around to your favorite music, whatever feels good. This will wake you up and make you more productive at work, and will also mean that you make sure you get your exercise done before getting caught up in your work.
  • Buy a few simple tools for working out at home, such as a yoga mat, barbells, jump rope, or kettle balls.
  • While you are sitting at your desk all day, take a break every hour and do five or ten minutes of physical activity, such as jumping jacks, pushups, squats, lunges, or sit ups. This will give you a burst of energy to keep you focused on your work, and will help you burn calories throughout the day.
  • Look for a group exercise session at your local community centre or gym, such as yoga, dance, martial arts, or aerobics. Working at home can be lonely, so these types of classes give you a chance to meet other people while also keeping in shape. When you make friends in the class who you look forward to seeing, you will be more likely to make the commitment to going every week.

Getting enough exercise can be a challenge when you work from home. With these tips you can turn exercise into part of your routine.

Trying to Lose Weight? Eating to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Did you know that the food you eat before and after working out can have an impact on how effective your exercise regime is? Strawberry Smoothie

Working out takes energy, and the food that you use to fuel that energy makes a big difference. When you fuel up on the right nutrients you can superpower your workout and make the most of your time in the gym.

What to Eat Before the Gym

Some people swear by working out on an empty stomach, but studies have shown that because you have no food in your system to use as fuel this can cause your body to burn your muscle reserves for energy.

You are going to the gym to build muscle, not deplete it so it is better to eat a small meal before working out to give yourself some energy.

This meal should include lean protein, lots of fiber, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and a small amount of fat. These types of foods take longer to absorb and make you feel fuller for longer, and they provide lots of fuel to energize you for your workout.

A great pre-workout snack would be whole wheat bread with peanut butter and a banana, scrambled eggs and toast with fruit, or a protein shake or smoothie made with yogurt and fruit. If it is less than one hour before the workout, go for a small meal but if you have more than two hours before you get to the gym you can eat more.

What to Eat After the Gym

Once you are finished working out, you should be drinking lots of water to replenish the sweat that you have lost.

Within one hour of finishing your workout, you should have another small snack with high quality protein, because this will help build your muscles and aid your body in recovering.

Nourishing your body with healthy proteins and complex carbs before and after a workout will give it the fuel to build muscle and become stronger.

Tips for Breaking the Junk Food Habit

Do you find yourself struggling to lose weight and constantly craving sweets, desserts and salty snacks?

Have you ever said to yourself, “After this last bucket of fried chicken I am going to eat healthy” only to order the same meal the very next week?

Studies are showing that junk food is so hard to give up because it actually becomes a Junk Foodpsychological and physiological addiction in the body. The cravings for these foods which are high in sugar, salt and fat become deeply ingrained and it is hard to break the habit.

Here are some tips for reducing the amount of junk food you eat and living a healthy life:

Know What You Are Eating

Most people who eat lots of fast food and junk food don’t even realize how bad it is for their bodies. Do some research about the nutritional content of these foods, read about their affect on health, and watch videos such as “Super Size Me” and “Food Inc”. Watching these programs will also put you off eating these foods.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If you are in the habit of eating junk food, even simply seeing one of your favorite unhealthy snacks will make you crave it. Stop stocking your cupboards with cookies, potato chips, chocolates, and other treats because they will be very tempting for you.

Plan Ahead

It’s easy to say that you will resist that bag of potato chips every time, but when you have finished work late and you arrive home absolutely starving you might just find you can’t help snacking before dinner. The trick is to plan your meals ahead so that you never find yourself getting very hungry without a healthy alternative to eat.

If you know that you sometimes arrive home late, try cooking up larger batches of healthy meals on the weekend which you can easily microwave for a fast but nutritious meal. You could also stock your fridge with healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables and yogurt that you could snack on while waiting for dinner to cook.

The good news is, once you overcome the initial difficult period of withdrawal from these greasy, salty, and sweet snacks you will find that you don’t really miss them. Your body will crave them less and you will be on the path to leading a healthy life!


Need to Exercise? Use These Quick Tips to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Workday

Do you get frustrated because you want to live a healthier lifestyle but your job keeps you sitting at a desk all day? quick exercise tips

Sedentary work can cause us to gain weight and suffer from eye strain, back pain, and lack of energy. However, it is a lot easier than you think to add physical activity to your workday, even if you are chained to a desk.

Adding in small bursts of exercise to your daily routine will not only help you keep fit, slim and healthy, it will also give you more energy to take on the day and boost your mood.

Here are a few ideas to get a little exercise even if you’re super busy:

  • Wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you normally would and try going for a jog around the block or doing some yoga stretches. It will be difficult at first, but once you get into this habit you will feel strange without it.
  • If it is possible, ride your bike or walk to work rather than driving. This is a super easy way to fit exercise into your routine, and you will save money on gas!
  • If you work on a high floor of an office building, take the stars instead of the elevator. It makes a little bit of difference, and it is one of the easiest ways to grab 5 minutes of exercise in your busy day.
  • Replace your chair with an exercise ball. By sitting on this large ball, you will be forced to keep your abdominal muscles and back muscles flexed, which will strengthen your inner core. You will burn more calories just sitting there, and it will also help to avoid back strain.
  • Instead of eating at your desk, use your lunch break to get some fresh air and walk to a nearby park to enjoy a picnic instead.
  • Throughout your day, whenever you finish a project or a report reward yourself with a short break and do some stretches, pushups, or calisthenics in your office. This will invigorate you and clear your mind for the next project.

These are just a few ways that you can fit exercise into your busy workday. Have fun keeping fit!

If you have good ideas of your own, please share them! I’d be interested in hearing how you fit fitness into your daily routine.

Do You Do These? Three Unhealthy Habits You Might Not Be Aware Of and How to Kick Them

Eating While Distractedfacebook addict

How many times have you been eating while watching TV and thought that you had another few bites left but then realize you have devoured the whole thing? Not watching television while eating will actually help you lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

Since your mind is so entranced by the television, cramming the food into your mouth becomes automatic and it is hard to notice when you have eaten too much.

How to kick it: When you make dinner, sit down at the table instead of on the couch. If you live with a partner, converse and enjoy each other’s company while you eat. If you live alone, give yourself some quiet time to focus on how yummy the food tastes. Savour each bite slowly and chew it well, and stop when you feel full.

Skipping Breakfast

“I don’t have time before work.”

“I’m just not hungry in the mornings.”

“I’m trying to lose weight.”

No matter what your excuse is for not eating a morning meal, this is an unhealthy habit that you need to kick. Studies have shown that people who eat a healthy breakfast in the morning perform better on tests and are more alert.

Also, forget about skipping breakfast to lose weight, as studies have shown that this will actually make you more likely to indulge in an unhealthy mid-morning snack or eat more at lunchtime. When you starve your body your natural metabolism tends to assume that you have ended up stranded on a deserted island and that you might not get a meal again for days.

Once your body is in starvation mode, you will horde more calories when you finally do eat something.

 How to kick it: If you can’t stomach a large breakfast first thing in the morning have a simple piece of multigrain toast and jam before you leave for work, and then bring fruit, nuts, and yogurt to eat at your desk an hour later.

3AM Facebook Sessions

We’ve all done it. We can get so distracted doing something online, whether it is watching clips from your favourite television shows, chatting with friends, or clicking through funny forums, that we don’t even notice that we have stayed up way longer than we need to being hypnotized by the computer’s glow.

Studies have shown that using electronic devices such as computers right before bed can increase the risk of insomnia. The bright flickering screen hinders the natural release of the hormone melatonin, which is what puts you to sleep.

Lack of sleep makes you less alert, more susceptible to illness, more emotional, and not to mention those bleary eyes are so not attractive!

How to kick it: Create a “computer curfew” for yourself that is at least 2 hours before bedtime. Shut down your laptop. Take a relaxing bath, listen to music, or read a book instead.