Workout and Have Better Sex – Wait, What?

Working out is one of those necessary evils in life and I’d like to share with you a few simple reasons you should make it something you strive to add to your life.

Working out improves your sex life. If nothing else revs you up about working out, hopefully this will. It’s actually been scientifically proven that regular exercise can increase sexual drive, activity, and satisfaction. Physical endurance and muscle toning improve sexual prowess, and exercise jump-starts the sympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to the genital area.

Even low levels of exercise help keep you functioning properly. In fact, men can significantly lower their risk of erectile dysfunction by burning only 200 calories a day.

Lose weight and feel great! It’s no secret that excess weight wreaks havoc on the body. From minor aches and pains to heart disease and high cholesterol- working out will help you lose weight and potentially decrease and possibly remove many health woes. Working out also boosts immunity making you less likely to get sick. In fact, it is estimated that physically active people can save up to $1,000 a year in regular healthcare costs.

Gain confidence. Working out improves your confidence levels. As you get started on a workout routine your body will lose fat and get toned. Just knowing that you are working towards a new and improved body makes you feel better about yourself mentally and emotionally. Working out will inevitably give your self-image and self-confidence a boost, which is often one of the best motivators to stick to a workout program.

Improve brain function. Exercise causes a drop in stress hormones and acts as an antidepressant. If you have ever experienced a “runners-high” then you know exactly what I am referring to. In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain and exercise is definitely good for your heart.

Sugar and Your Body

It seems like sugar is in everything. A personal trainer I met said his clients often ask him  why sugar is so bad and how they can keep from consuming it. Here’s his take on a substance is as addictive as other white powders out there – yes, it’s that serious!

Sugar is sweet and releases a massive amount of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. The more you consume, the more your body wants of it. Junk food, sodas, even many energy drinks have a lot of sugar- much more than any foods found in nature. Because of this dopamine release people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to it.

What can sugar do to your body? For one, it can cause insulin resistance which causes obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Second, it can cause you to get cancer- many scientists that people who consume a lot of sugar are more at risk for cancer because of their consistently higher than normal insulin levels.

Insulin is a key hormone in stopping uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells- when your levels are high your body can’t control these growths as well. Lastly, it can mess up your metabolism causing weight gain which leads to a whole slew of other problems. There are several other things that sugar does to your body, but these alone should make you want to quash your sugar addiction.

Okay, so you know its bad- but how can you stop consuming so much of it? The first thing you need to do is make the decision to stop the consumption. Just like addicts can’t quit drinking, smoking and gambling unless they decide to get help, you must be the one to make the decision to cut back and then stick to the decision.

Consider alternative sweeteners like stevia or honey. Avoid processed foods and beverages made with fructose, aspartame, sucralose and other sugar aliases. Once you find the culprits with the most sugar in your diet it will be easier to cut back.

Don’t Overindulge at Thanksgiving

Want to hear a frightening but true statistic? The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day alone. That number is more than double the amount of calories that a man hoping to maintain his weight should consume in a day and more than three times the amount of calories a woman looking to lose weight should consume!

How then, when Thanksgiving is filled with some of the most tempting dishes we eat all year can we keep from overindulging?

Portion Control – I hate to say it, but one of the biggest factors that contributes to this over-consumption issue is overloading your plate. You don’t need all those potatoes and gravy and you certainly don’t need to go back for leftovers of mom’s stuffing just because it’s there.

Load the plate with veggies – If you really feel the need to pack your plate as much as everyone else’s, load your plate with vegetables. If you are heading out this holiday and worry there won’t be any veggies you like bring a vegetable dish of your own.

Drink up – No, I don’t mean alcohol! By the way though, you shouldn’t drink your calories at dinner, but we’ll save that for another post. When I say drink up, what I really mean is drink a lot of water. Drink a full glass before you sit down to eat and this will help you feel a little full preventing you from over eating.

Take a walk before dinner – Studies have shown that a brisk walk before a meal can help you suppress your appetite.

Only eat half of dessert – Nobody said you can’t have a slice of pumpkin pie, but if all you really need is the taste you can probably live with just half a slice and save those excess calories.

All of the above tips can be used at any big meal. Don’t restrict yourself too much because that does lead to binging, but there is no reason you need to stuff your face when you’re trying to maintain or whittle your waist!

ADHD Signs And Symptoms

Maybe you’re hyper and frazzled like your friends said, or maybe your ‘quarks’ are the warning signs of A.D.H.D.

You want to laugh, but don’t because you’re holding up the line. You’ve packed close to three hundred dollars worth of groceries on the belt and even though you told yourself to locate your debit card before going in the store, you didn’t.

It’s in my bag somewhere, you thought. So, you’re rifling through your bag, which is large enough to hold a small child, and you found a picture of your Aunt Claire holding a garden gnome, two screw drivers, some Tums, a digital planner from your best friend, and five pens, none of which work.

The man behind you sighs. The cashier stares. Sweat beads over your brow. It’s getting warmer and now you feel like crying instead of laughing and you can’t remember where you put your debit card. Sometimes you slip into the ashtray in the car, other times you shove it in your pocket. Once you found it in your shoe. You snicker as you recall your reasoning as the man behind you sighs again, and shuffles his feet.

You suddenly remember that you taped it to the mirror by the front door so you wouldn’t forget it. You apologize to the cashier, and the annoyed man behind and leave the store quickly.

Warning signs of A.D.H.D. can vary, but some are classic- present in most people afflicted with the frustrating, embarrassing disorder.

Impulsive-making rash decisions without forethought
Severe disorganization-misplacing key items
Difficulty following directions/paying attention
Racing thoughts/difficulty sitting still
Fidgeting -tapping items on a table, drumming fingers, bouncing a leg
Excessive talking
Difficulty falling asleep
Poor short term memory
Inappropriate behavior
Requires constant prompting to complete tasks

While most people experience some of these symptoms sometimes, people living with A.D.H.D. experience most of them most of the time. Often, these symptoms interfere with daily life and require medication to control. Untreated A.D.H.D. can slow academic progress, make it difficult to find and maintain employment, ruin personal relationships and lead to other illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Medication is not the only treatment for A.D.H.D. There are many tools you can use to manage this disorder, including a special diet.

If you are concerned that you, or a loved one are displaying the warning signs of A.D.H.D., seek an evaluation from a professional. As with any disease or disorder, misdiagnosis happens. The symptoms for A.D.H.D. are also present in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and others. Consulting a professional is the wisest thing to do.

Being diagnosed with A.D.H.D. doesn’t mean you can’t live a productive, fulfilling life. Some beloved actors, entertainers and musicians live with this disorder and use it to tap into a new level of creativity.

Cool Summer Workouts

Many people want to get more fit during the summer but find it hard to keep up with regular exercise in the heat. How can we stay cool and yet keep up the pace?

Summer is not the time to give up on exercise just because of the heat. Some people have no trouble sticking to their exercise routine no matter how hot it gets, but that’s not most people. There’s nothing to feel guilty about if you can’t take the heat, but it also does not mean that we forgo exercise until the weather gets cooler. The whole objective is to continue an active lifestyle for a lifetime, so we want to find ways to stay active throughout the year.

Where to Start Beating the Summer Heat

It’s best to let go of any expectations about exercise. There ought to be no rules about how, when, or where we should exercise and no rules about what type of exercise we should engage in. It doesn’t matter if running, walking, treadmills, or any other type of exercise is the latest rage. The important thing is that we move consistently. The body doesn’t care how we move – just that we move. It doesn’t even have to be considered exercise to be exercised. For example, playing with your kids or grandchildren in the pool may not be considered formal exercise, but, if kept at a steady pace, it can be.

Just because you walk the rest of the year doesn’t mean you have to walk in the summer. If you take such an all-or-nothing approach to exercise and you can’t take the heat of summer, you’ll probably do nothing when it’s hot. In addition, this type of thinking keeps you from being creative enough to find other activities that are good exercise and will keep you active all summer.

Six Steps to Finding the Right Exercise for Summer

Here are some steps to take in finding the right exercise for those “too hot” days:

  1. Make a list of places you can exercise that are cool enough for you. These may include shady areas, your house, the office, the mall, outside in the evening, and in water.
  2. Make a list of ways that you like to “move.” This list might include dancing, stepping, swimming, water aerobics, cleaning the house, jumping rope, gardening, using an exercise DVD, and so on.
  3. Review accurate information on how to exercise properly to get the results you wish to get. The objective here is to move at a pace that gets your heart rate up enough where your body needs to breathe deeply but not to the extent where you cannot have a conversation with someone while you’re exercising. We want to be breathing heavily but not to the point of pain.
  4. Decide which exercises on your list you would like to start with and how you will be able to make them “aerobic.”
  5. Set aside the time when you will engage in your summer exercise program. If you had a doctor’s appointment, you would make sure nothing interfered with that time. Your exercise time should be given the same priority. If anyone asks to see you during your exercise time, just say, “I’m sorry. I have a commitment then.”
  6. Nothing says that you have to do the same form of exercise all summer. The more you vary exercise, the more enjoyable it will be, and the more likely that you will want to continue it.

The summer heat doesn’t have to get in the way of your workouts as long as you know how to stay active and cool.

Essential Oils Healing Through Aromatherapy

Only Lavender and Tea Tree oils have been proven safe for children. Other oils are too strong. Diluting these oils in carriers is the safest way to use them on both children and adults- never infants.

Some allergies arise, even in presumably harmless essential oils, such as chamomile. It is important to read handling instructions for every oil type you are planning to use and even to test the oil for any side effects that may occur.

Here are some ways that aromatherapy can be used at home:

Inhalation, bath salts, and hot or cold compress, for physical or emotional health; as an additive to hair products; facial steam bath; massage; perfume (essential oils may be combined with carrier oils to create your own unique scent), and potpourri to add ambiance to a room or area of your home.

Aside from the three carrier oils mentioned above, there are a variety of carriers that can be used to dilute essential oils:

Sunflower oil (good for all skin types); avocado gel (for burnt/dry skin, massage, and facial oils); sesame seed oil; wheat germ oil; safflower oil; grape seed, evening primrose, comfrey, calendula, and black currant oil; water; cornstarch; talc; store-bought lotion, cream, shampoo, and more.

Aromatherapy compresses can be used to help with fever, sinus, headaches, dermatitis, and other physical ailments. With the use of a washcloth or cotton cloth, absorb the solution and wring any excess liquid from the cloth. Apply the cloth to the area to be treated.

A common therapeutic essential oil comes from spearmint. To treat acne or congested skin, 2-3 drops can be mixed in a carrier oil of your choice and dabbed on the affected area. The same number of drops can be applied to a carrier oil for hot or cold compresses (fever, flu, and colds) in a diffuser to treat fatigue, nervous tension, and stress; it can also be used to alleviate sore gums by being mixed into a mouthwash solution. This essential oil mixes well with basil, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen. It is not compatible with homeopathic treatment.

An alternative solution for fever can be created with 4 ounces of cold water, 3 drops of tea tree, and 2 drops of bergamot oil. For sinus problems, add 4 drops of lavender and 4 drops of eucalyptus to 1 or 2 cups of hot water. An alternative solution for dermatitis is to mix 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup Witch Hazel, 2 tsp. Baking Soda, 4 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of chamomile, and 2 drops of Bergamot with 1 to 2 cups of Cold Water.

There are many sources for aromatherapy solutions. The challenge is to find the combination that suits your needs most effectively.

Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress

Stress and anxiety can cause many health problems, from a weakened immune system to degenerative diseases. Fortunately for us, essential oils can be wonderful allies in times of stress and anxiety. Read on to discover how you can benefit from essential oils when you’re stressed.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for treating stress and anxiety. Place a drop or two of the essential oil on a tissue and inhale as often as you need to. This is especially effective during times of acute anxiety or panic attacks as it provides an instant calming effect. If you are prone to these attacks, keep some lavender essential oil with you at all times to use when needed.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil is another of the greatest essential oils for anxiety and stress. It provides a calming, soothing effect on the nervous system. Try inhaling a few drops on tissue in times of extreme stress or anxiety. Or, for tension and general stress, add ten or fifteen drops to a hot bath to help you relax and ease tensions.

WARNING: Do not use chamomile essential oil in early pregnancy.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is another of the best essential oils for the treatment of stress and anxiety. The sweet, woody scent gives a sense of relaxation and warmth. Inhale the oil to reap its benefits. Or, try adding it to a bath with another of the essential oils for anxiety and stress for maximum relief.

WARNING: Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, sandalwood essential oil should not be used during pregnancy.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Cardamom Essential Oil

Cardamom essential oil is one of the most effective essential oils for treating stress and anxiety. Its sweet, spicy scent is comforting and will give feelings of warmth and well-being. Inhale a few drops on tissue during times of acute anxiety, add it to carrier oil and massage into the neck and shoulders, or add a few drops to a hot bath.

Any application of these essential oils will provide you with reduced stress and anxiety.

WARNING: Don’t overdo it with this essential oil. It’s perfectly safe to use, but in large quantities or when applied directly to the skin, it may cause skin irritation. This is one of many essential oils that must be diluted in a carrier oil before direct application.

Weight Loss Tip – Eat More Not Less

If you equate the word “diet” with deprivation, you’re not alone. Yet losing weight doesn’t require starvation. Instead, it entails eating healthier foods.

From low-fat to low-carb to everything in between, there is certainly no shortage of diets promising to solve our weight-loss woes. Yet a number of these diets share one major flaw: They emphasize what we can’t eat instead of teaching us what we can.

While low-fat diets tell us to eat less fat because it is the fat in our diets that is literally making us fat, low-carb diets instruct us to steer clear of carbohydrates, claiming they are the real culprits behind our bulging bellies. Ironically, much of the current research suggests that in the long term, both dietary extremes are equally effective for losing weight.

In a study published in the issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after 12 months, study participants that were placed on either an isocaloric very low-carb or low-fat diet lost comparable amounts of weight as well as experiencing similar reductions in blood pressure, glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein. This particular finding was consistent with a number of earlier studies that essentially found the same thing.

Put simply, what we do eat may be fundamentally more important than what we don’t. And now, following the release of the new dietary guidelines, a number of health professionals are focused on getting us to eat more of certain foods even if, or especially if, we are trying to lose weight.

Several foods that public health officials advocate increasing in our diet are listed below.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

When prepared and consumed without a ton of added fats and salt, fruits and veggies are nutrient-dense, low calorie, high fiber, and thought to decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, including today’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease.

With all this going for them, fruits and veggies are likely to be encouraged regardless of the dietary philosophy we ultimately choose to embrace. In a USDA press release announcing the new Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended that fruits and vegetables should fill about half our plate during mealtime.

Eat more fish and seafood.

In addition to being an excellent source of the very important omega-3 fatty acids, many types of fish and seafood also supply ample amounts of vitamin D, a vitamin that health experts advise significantly lacks in our diet. In an issue of HEALTHbeat, a newsletter published by Harvard Health Publications, the Dietary Guideline’s recommendation to choose seafood in place of some meat and poultry is echoed by the Harvard Medical School.

Eat more whole grains.

In light of the growing anti-carb mentality that exists today, this recommendation might seem confusing. However, despite carbohydrates general bad rap, most health professionals still agree that whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. Unlike their refined or “processed” counterparts that are often loaded with salt and sugar, whole grains have neither but instead provide several important B vitamins and fiber as well as other desired phytochemicals.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, whole grains are believed to decrease the risk of both cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes and are being investigated for their role in the prevention of certain types of cancers.

For those confused about what constitutes a whole-grain food, Chapter 4 of the Dietary Guidelines, titled “Foods and Nutrients to Increase,” provides a detailed description of how to identify whole grains.

It is estimated the average American is currently consuming only 15% of the recommended goal for whole grains while consuming 200% of the recommended limit for refined grains.

Eat/Drink more fortified milk and milk products.

The Dietary Guidelines estimate that the average American diet is still not meeting the recommended goal for low-fat or non-fat dairy products. In addition to being good sources of protein and calcium, fortified milk and milk products are still the primary dietary sources of vitamin D.

The average intake of dairy products is estimated to be just above 50% of the established goal, while the average calcium intake is estimated at 78%, and the average vitamin D intake below 30%.

So what’s the take-home message?

Well, for starters, dieters can finally celebrate and focus on eating more instead of simply focusing on eating less. Whether low-fat or low-carb, many health professionals believe a diet that increases fresh fruits and veggies, fish and seafood, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is not only likely to assist individuals in meeting their weight-loss goals but will also foster long-term eating patterns that promote good health throughout the lifespan.

Valuable Tips To Lose Weight Easily

The process of losing weight should not be a very complicated one in order to achieve the best results.

You’ve heard it hundreds of times: if you want to lose weight, you should eat less and exercise more. It’s so simple and yet so difficult at the same time. When we are busy from morning to night, where should we find the time to exercise?

Your weight is normal if the BMI falls below 25. Between 25 and 30 is overweight; over 30, you’re in the danger zone. It should be noted that what is dangerous for health is the weight located around the waist because even the BMI has its limitations. For example, if you’re 20 pounds overweight in the buttocks and thighs, but your waist is normal, your excess weight does not present a hazard to your health. However, even if the excess weight is only around the waist, then there is the accumulation of fat within the abdomen and around vital organs.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight remains a lifelong commitment. We must put in lots of will, time, and effort. You must be willing to change some habits permanently and for good reasons, not to please others, but yourself.

You’re the only one who can help you lose weight fast and easily, but that does not mean you have to do everything yourself. Seek support from your relatives, who are available to listen to you and encourage you. The ideal candidate may be someone who also wants to lose weight easily.

Set your progressive objectives such as eating better and exercising regularly, rather than distant goals like losing 50 pounds. Make sure your goals are realistic and measurable, such as walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Think of a way of doing things gradually changing your habits and the reasons why you gained weight on previous occasions.

Determine the date you begin. Plan periods of physical activity, prepare menus with lots of fruits and vegetables and do not forget to drink plenty of water. Identify potential obstacles and plan how you will deal.

A simple diet is the best way to lose weight fast and easily. By cutting 250 calories daily, you can lose about half a pound per week. But by adding 30 minutes of walking 4 days a week, you can double your weight loss. The purpose of the exercise is to burn more calories but offers other advantages. The number of calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your activities.

Make physical activity and gradually increase the duration and intensity. Walking is a good choice, as well as swimming, cycling, running, and dancing. Think of different ways to move throughout the day: Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far from entrances, walking, gardening, doing the lawn. Even housework helps burn calories, and it is a very easy way to lose weight at home.

Tips On How To Lose Weight Fast

Gaining weight fast is easy. Losing it, that’s a little more time-consuming and complicated. Here are some tips on how to lose weight fast.

First, you need to determine how much weight you need to lose. Then set a reasonable time frame for specific amounts. Don’t set completely unrealistic goals like 10 pounds a week. It is possible, but it is also incredibly unhealthy. The only people that do this are wrestlers. Something like 1 or 2 pounds a week is much more doable and safe. But losing pounds isn’t the only factor.

You also need to realize that pounds don’t exactly determine how much healthier you’re getting. If you wake up 5 pounds lighter, it doesn’t mean that you are that much closer to your goal. It just means you burnt the food you ate for dinner off in your sleep. A more accurate measurement of your progress is determining your body fat percentage. Make sure that you also set a goal in this. Just don’t set one that is too unrealistic. Now, tips on how to lose weight fast.

Sprint Intervals

Doing sprint intervals is a great way to torch calories and fat. Not only during the workout but for hours after it as well. Contrary to popular belief, running at a low intensity for a long time does not burn fat very quickly. Running at a much faster pace will cause your body to burn more calories to meet the energy needs. But not only do you burn a lot of calories in a much shorter time, allowing you to do other things, your body is also in an increased fat-burning state. For both the workout and for several hours afterward. Much more effective than running for miles.

Here is a sample sprint interval workout:

    -Dynamic Warm-Up (15 minutes, make sure you're nice and warm)
    -Sprint at full effort for 30 seconds
    -Take a 30-second rest
    -Sprint at full effort for 30 seconds again
    -Repeat this for 20 minutes

You can adjust the times as you progress. Moving up to 60-second sprints with 60-second rests. Then 2-minute sprints with 60-second rest. Also, increasing the time of the workout from 20 minutes to 30 or more.

Clean Up Your Diet

You can run as fast and hard as you want. If you don’t eat healthily, you will never get to where you want to be. Simple as that. Start by writing up a meal plan for each week. Then determine roughly how many calories you are eating each day. Then aim to decrease that amount by 200 to 500 calories each day.

Here’s a sample of how it works:

    3,000 calories per day currently
    Decreased to 2,500 calories per day
    Over a week, that is a deficit of 3,500 calories.
    A deficit of 3,500 calories over a week will equal one pound lost. Plus, the fat burning from the intervals.

Do sprint intervals 3 times per week, and start eating healthy. You’ll be on your way to a fit, lean body in no time. As for motivation, currently, 60% of America is obese. Do you really want to be part of that statistic?