Exercise Relieves Stress, Pump up Endorphins!

Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
You know that exercise does your body good, but you’re too busy and stressed to fit it into your routine. Hold on a second — there’s good news when it comes to exercise and stress.

Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.
Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
-It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
-It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
-It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

5 Habits to Live Longer!

With improved medicine and better education about how to care for ourselves, we’re living longer nowadays and healthier too. But there are plenty of little things you can do every day to supercharge your longevity.
1-Step away from the remote.
Participants who watched four or more hours of TV per day were nearly 50 percent more likely to die from any cause than those who limited their TV consumption to under two hours.
2-Eat a handful of nuts every day.
In recent years we’ve heard all about the benefits of omega-3s and their heart-health goodness. But if you can’t stomach those fishy-smelling capsules, try adding nuts to your daily diet. In a 30-year study, Harvard researchers found that people who ate nuts every day were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause during the study, than those who didn’t. The more frequently people ate nuts, the lower their risk of death was.
3-Ease up on the red meat.
It’s alright to enjoy the occasional steak or treat yourself at your favorite burger joint — just don’t overdo it.
4-Go for a jog.
We know the immediate benefits of exercise — the post-workout endorphin release, a clearer mind, and lower blood pressure just to name a few. But do many of us think of the long term benefits other than what exercise can do for our waistlines?
5-Find your Zen.
A study at University of California-Davis found people who regularly practice meditation have higher levels of telomerase. That’s the enzyme responsible for lengthening the telomeres at the ends of your chromosomes, which affect aging.

Make Resolutions you Can Keep!

The new year is here! While many, many people plan to use this landmark time to get healthier or lose weight, the problem with these goals is that they are difficult to maintain. Most people want to see a significant weight loss within a few months or hope to change eating habits within a few weeks. Unfortunately, weight loss can be more complicated than that, but here are some tips to help you reach your goals.
Set Realistic Goals- First, choose a resolution that is attainable. For example, set a time frame that within 3 months, you will lose 10 pounds. This would be a healthy way to lose weight, about 1-2 pounds per week.
Ease into Exercise- Additionally, you can try to set a time to exercise with friends or family. If this is difficult, try to have your workout attire ready to go each day as a reminder to take action. Take breaks or walks during your work day to help get in the 30 minutes that you might not have time for later in the day. Once you do this for a couple of weeks, it will become more habitual. Most cell phones and other technology can help you set an alarm that will remind you to exercise.
Make Your Health a Priority- Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is to make all of this work in your hectic schedule. It usually helps to maintain a list of things you need to do. To help with your cooking, try to plan a menu each week so you will know exactly what you need at the grocery store – and to minimize the possibility of ordering take-out. If you must eat lunch or dinner out, remember that healthy choices, such as salads or wraps, are better options. However, moderation is also OK. Occasionally having the dinner that you enjoy will not hinder your ultimate weight loss goal.
In sum, don’t try to put too much on your plate. Take each day as it comes, and do not get frustrated if you slip up every now and then. Don’t be afraid to start again!

Easy Tips to Live Longer!

The standard advice for how to live longer includes typically vague lifestyle changes that can be challenging for people who have bad habits and busy lives: don’t smoke, drink only in moderation, exercise, lose weight, sleep well. That’s all great advice. But there are also several specific and very simple (and cheap) ways to up the odds that you — or your children — will live longer, healthier lives. Here are five simple longevity tips, all based on recent research:
-Move your Butt!: For those whose butts are stuck in chairs at the office or on the couch at home for long periods, breaking the habit can be incredibly healthy. Sitting fewer than three hours a day adds two years to your life expectancy, a recent study found. Other research found a seated culture fuels about 173,000 cases of cancer a year. Sitting also raises risk for diabetes and obesity, two things known to shorten life.
-Drink Coffee: While coffee can have negative side effects for some people, the most recent research — in multiple studies — finds coffee is generally not harmful. And a report in the May issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests drinking more coffee — up to six cups a day — can help you live longer. In the study, death rates for avoid coffee drinkers decreased from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes and the overall category of “any cause.”
-Add More Fiber: Anyone still clinging to their gummy white bread (or white rice) is stacking the odds of a long and healthy life against themselves (or their children). Whole wheat bread and other foods naturally high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables and rice, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, infectious and respiratory diseases, obesity and even some cancers.
-Cut the bad Fat: But cut the right fat. The human body needs fats to function, but more and more evidence finds a deadly correlation with saturated fats — the fats from meat and other animal products. Polyunsaturated fats — fats from plants, including nuts, avocados and other vegetables — are a basic aspect of the Mediterranean diet.
Take a Hike! Walking is good for you. No doubt about that. But can walking help you live longer? Likely. A study in 2006 found that elderly people who could walk a quarter-mile had higher odds of being alive six years later.

Workout with your Best Friend!

So you can’t afford a personal trainer? Maybe your pet can serve as your exercise buddy. One up-and-coming trend combines man and beast for a program that helps people and their pets get fit together. There’s even a medical study to show it can work.
In a 12-month study, experts at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago demonstrated that both people and pets were more successful in staying with a weight loss program when they did it together.
Both the people and their pets were placed on a balanced, low-calorie diet and given a 30-minute moderate activity plan to do together, three times a week. When compared to dogs only and people only, the combined people-pet group lost the most weight — the people, an average of about 11 pounds, the dogs, about 12 pounds.
Don’t have a furry friend with whom to share your workouts? Experts expect more of us to connect with fitness and diet buddies via the Web as we turn to Internet weight loss programs to slim down and shape up.

Exercise Can Lower High Blood Pressure!

Regular exercise can help to lower your blood pressure, as long as you keep it up. That’s because exercises make the heart stronger so that the heart can pump more blood with less effort.
By maintaining exercising and being more active you can lower your systolic rate 4-9 mm Hg, which is more or the same as some of the prescription medications that the doctor would normally prescribe. Therefore, you can possibly just exercise and not have to take those medications. As we all know exercise is good for all of us for so many reasons and this is just another great reason to exercise regularly and not to stop, because if you discontinue the regular exercising, the blood pressure will jump right back up. It does take about 3 months initially for the exercise to begin to lower your blood pressure.

How does Exercise helps on Depression?

Can a few laps around the block actually solve your emotional problems? Probably not, but a regular exercise program might help. A review of studies stretching back to 1981 concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression. It also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.
How does exercise relieve depression? For many years, experts have known that exercise enhances the action of endorphins, chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Endorphins improve natural immunity and reduce the perception of pain. They may also serve to improve mood. Another theory is that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which may directly improve mood.
Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease and cancer, and boosting self-esteem. How often or intensely you need to exercise to alleviate depression is not clear, but for general health, experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, on all or most days of the week.

The life-changing benefits of Exercise

By focusing on activities you enjoy and tailoring a regular mild to moderate exercise routine to your needs, you can experience the health benefits of exercise and improve your own life by:
Easing stress and anxiety. A twenty-minute bike ride won’t sweep away all of life’s troubles, but exercising regularly helps you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
Lifting your mood. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good.
Sharpening brainpower. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
Improving self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.
Boosting energy. Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise a day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.