Health and Fitness Links

You may have heard Opra or Dr. Oz talk about it. You may have even read about it. There certainly has been a lot of talk about it. The “it” is the rage of body detoxification or, in other words, cleansing.

Though a few people may leap right on the detox bandwagon, you are possibly searching for additional information. Why should one engage in a detox regime? Here are some reasons to do just that.

1 – Drug or Alcohol Dependence

A dependence on drugs or alcohol is the greatest argument for why you will be able to profit from detoxification. Regrettably though, this detoxification is advocated only under the care of a medical doctor as there are or could be severe complications from withdrawal.

Although drug and alcohol habits are basic needs for detoxification, surprisingly very few individuals go into this class. If you only savor a glass of wine or a beer from time to time, you’re in all probability relegated as a social drinker, not an addict.

2 – Lack of Vigor

A large number of Americans endure lack of energy or fatigue. There are a lot of causes for this, among which is the lack of sleep. Some other causes could be physical. A thyroid condition is an example of a case that can leave you feeling exhausted and energy-less. Once you have determined that there is no hidden or undetected medical abnormality, you may want to look into a body cleanse or as it is commonly known as detox.

A lot of the foods and beverages we devour are filled with unnatural chemicals and other additives. These additives and chemicals, by all accounts are safe, but it is the accumulation of these ingredients that needs to be looked at. Fully discharging all of these toxins are a challenge, even for the healthiest body; hence, a cleanse is well-advised. As your body begins to rejuvenate itself from within, you will notice that you have much more pizzazz.

3 – Skin Condition

The escalation of toxins in the human body not only affects energy levels and our internal organs, but the skin too. Various forms of over-the-counter medications have been used by many who suffer from various skin conditions, only to be met with frustration. Yet, many of those same individuals observed an improvement with a full body cleanse.

While on a total body detox, several fast or ingest all-natural foods. However, if you wish to enhance the overall appearance of your skin, go a step farther. Change over to organic or natural skincare products, including lotions, creams, shampoos, and soaps.

4 – The Consumption of Unnatural Foods

There is some confusion when it relates to unnatural foods. Many view unnatural as safe. As there is a mammoth assortment of foods presently available for sale in department stores and grocery stores, these products are often deemed safe. Scientifically they are, but a lot are filled with fabricated chemicals and additives. Some of these remain and accumulate within our bodies. The purpose of a cleanse or body detox is to rid your body of these harmful toxins and it is highly advocated.

Another method to cleanse your body, without fasting, calls for consuming all-natural, organic foods. Some advocate doing this so for a week to a month. But keep in mind, that after you have cleansed your body you must be mindful of what you restart eating; otherwise the accumulation process will begin again.

5 – It Is Easy

Many are astonished to discover how easy and low-cost it is to cleanse the body. Since it is easy to cleanse or detox your body, why not at least give it a try?

As noted above, consuming organic foods for an elongated time period can help to cleanse or detoxify your body. That is the easiest plan of attack to take, however, it may be an expensive method as organic products can be more expensive; but there are additional alternatives. Some fashionable ways to detoxify the body have been water fasting, juice fasting, and the use of Acia Berry products. Because you have a lot of alternatives to choose from, choose the alternative that is the gentlest and easiest for you, both physically and monetarily.

In short, there are numerous reasons why a body cleanse or detox is advised. Whatever the reason for cleansing, you will be delighted with the results. Not only should those results include healthier complexion and more pizzazz in your step, but you can actually lose some with too! So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!

My Dad thought he was covered – medicare and a supplement – no worries.

Then it happened, the unthinkable, he developed a rare blood disorder several years ago and now nothing is the same.

He had the forethought to purchase a home health care insurance policy. Then one day he decided that it was too costly and cancelled it, because like many other Americans, he thought he was fully covered by medicare and his supplemental insurance. Boy was he wrong.

The reality of it all came to be when he had to be placed in a nursing home for a month because my mother, who had been taking care of him for the last three years, was just wore out and needed a break.

So, the doctor ordered my Dad to the nursing home for a short stay for rehab and for my mother to get some rest.

While at the nursing home/rehab center, they broke my father’s back. (a whole other story) Now my mother had to be there every day to make sure he was properly taken care of.

To add insult to injury, when he was finally released from the facility, he still needed home care for the broken back, which my mother did – some rest she got.

The cost of the nursing home? $9,000 for one month – not covered by medicare and, therefore, not covered by his supplemental insurance.

Seems that he did not meet the three day hospital stay before going into the nursing/rehab center for medicare to cover the first 21 days.

While I was complacent about the fact of needing home health care insurance, as was my Dad (he was very active until this blood thing happened), I have realized that it is time to wake up and make some plans! I didn’t want my husband or children to go through what my parents are still going through.

I started to do some research and discovered that according to a recent study, the risk for needing long-term care (either nursing home or home health care) was greater than 50%! And that is for people who are between the ages of 18 – 64!

The percent of those 65 and over was 75%! Another startling fact was that about 44% of all people who go to a nursing home stay 12 months or less; 22% stay between 1 and 3 years; 15% stay between 3 and 5 years; and 21% stay 5 years or more.

The average nationwide cost? Hold on to your hats – over $40,000 per year!

Now, remember, medicare and supplement medical insurance if they pay at all only fully covers the first 21 days; then they only pay a portion from day 80 through 100.

And guess what, YOU pay for the rest of the time. With 365 days in a year, less 100, balance of 265 days at $110 per day – my head hurts!

Although my Dad had the right idea of purchasing home health care insurance to help preserve his assets, his good health at the time made him a little short sighted.

Now, of course, he couldn’t afford it even if he could get it (which he wouldn’t be able due)!

After this family occurence, I decided I wanted to do something about this. I wanted to educate everyone I could about the costs of home health care – we are talking about help with the meals, laundry, cleaning, bathing, etc. – and that we needed to plan now, while we are still healthy. Of course, the younger you are when you take it out, the less expensive it is.

But don’t be penny wise and pound foolish like my Dad!

You know, my Dad insured his house – nothing has happened to it, but he still has the insurance (statistics show that your chances of a house fire is 5 in 1,000).

He paid for car insurance – never had to use it, (statistics show that your chances of your car being stolen is 10 in 1,000) but he is still paying for it.

But when it came to home health care insurance he cancelled it because he preceived it to be too costly and he didn’t use it! Statistics show that your chances of needing long-term care after age 65 is 400 in 1,000!

Think about it! Do some research for yourself – but be prepared! To qualify for medicaid, you cannot have any assets over $2,000 – what if you get better and go home, how are you going to live? Who is going to take care of you?In the aftermath of all this, I decided to join Bankers Life and Casualty Company as an Insurance Agent. They don’t just sell insurance – they sell peace of mind – the ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and remain comfortable, healthy and independent for as long as possible. They have been around for over 129 years and have been one of the only insurance companies in the country devoted to serving seniors’ needs. Is it affordable? I will let you decide – my Dad now wishes he had it.

How To Turn Super Sizing, Dietary Displacement and Portion Distortion To Your Advantage!
By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Ever since the independent film, Super Size Me was released, research on the relationship between increasing obesity and increasing portion sizes has skyrocketed and the results have been virtually unanimous.

There have been numerous well-designed studies published just in the last several years which confirmed exactly what we suspected (and much of what the movie suggested):

* Portion sizes have increased in restaurants and fast food venues on a major scale over the last several decades

* We self-serve ourselves larger portions in the home than we used to

* When more food is put in front of us, we almost always eat more

* most people underestimate how many calories they are eating

* All of these factors have contributed to the growing obesity problem and the related health problems that come along with it

The obvious solution would seem to be to decrease portion sizes across the board, and indeed awareness of and control over portion sizes in general is important.

However, research has demonstrated that perhaps an even better solution is to keep the portion sizes generous, but decrease the energy density (calories per unit of volume) in the foods you put on your plate.

Several studies revealed that eating more low calorie density foods, especially green vegetables, salad vegetables and other fibrous carbs, as well as very lean proteins, maintains a feeling of fullness while reducing energy intake.

In other words, large portions of highly nutritious, low calorie foods displaced the less nutritious, calorie-dense foods! Most people allow the bad foods to push out the good foods, but you can actually do the same in reverse!

In a study published in the Journal of The American Dietetic Association, researchers fed one group a compulsory first course salad which was kept low in energy density by using very low calorie dressing with no high calorie toppings no bacon, cheese or croutons, etc).

After the salad, the subjects were allowed to eat as much pasta as they wanted.

A second group was also allowed to eat as much pasta as they wanted but was not given a compulsory salad to eat beforehand.

The results: As you might guess, eating a low energy density first course enhanced satiety (fullness) and reduced the overall amount of calories that were eaten during the whole meal.

Since the research has repeatedly discovered that almost everyone will eat more when served larger portions from a larger plate or container, and there is obviously a serious issue of “portion distortion” occurring, another group of scientists and psychologists decided to test this even further by providing larger plates or containers of low energy density, high nutrient density foods before the main course and or in between meals.

When more of the low energy density foods were made available first, the subjects ate even more of these healthy foods, which filled them up even more and decreased the amount of high calorie density foods eaten in the main course.

Reporting their findings in the Journal of Nutrition Education And Behavior, the researchers said that there is a silver lining to all the negative findings about super sized portions and overeating that we have discoverd inrecent years:

That is, although we eat more when more is put in front of us, We can use this phenomenon in reverse by serving large plates, bowls or containers of healthy, low energy density foods like fruits, salads and raw vegetables as snacks and first courses.

“While a small bowl of raw carrots might make for a good afternoon snack”, said one of the researchers, “a large bowl might even be better.”

You can learn more about calorie density, low energy density foods (thermogenic foods), and choosing your portion and meal sizes with precision inside the Burn The Fat ebook. For more information, visit:

About the Author:Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to burn fat without drugs or supplements using the little-known secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and turbo-charge your metabolism by visiting:

The Benefits Of A Low Glycemic Level Diet
By Andy West

The United States is facing a health crisis. 31% of adults are
obese, as are 15% of adolescents and children with no sign that
this trend will be shifting any time in the near future. What’s
more, diabetes affects a staggering 18.2 million people in
America, which is over six percent of the population. Even more
shocking is the fact that this number increases each year.  In
short, the prognosis for many Americans’ health is not good.

So what can you do about it? The best thing you can do is to
take care of yourself and your children through proper diet and
exercise. Obesity can be eliminated and diabetes can be managed,
if not all together avoided. You can control the things you put
into your body, and from a chemical perspective, regulating
bloods sugar levels is the most effective way to release your
energy and fat burning capacity.

The Glycemic index is a system that ranks foods by how they
affect your levels of blood sugar. By following a low Glycemic
diet, you can control the dramatic rises in blood sugar that
pose serious threats to your health. Adhering to this
nutritional plan is not as complicated or difficult as you
might think. In fact, finding recipes and tips is as easy as
logging on to your computer.

There are a number of websites targeted for people living with
diabetes to help control blood sugar levels naturally. For a
comprehensive listing of sites that assist you in managing your
Glycemic level, take a quick look at Review Place. It has
reviews of sites like Glycemic Impact Diet, Living with
Diabetes Plan, Diabetic and Dieting Recipes and Hypoglycemia
Low Sugar Plan. These aren’t fad diets that make little sense
and achieve only short-term results. The plans are based on
scientific fact.

The beauty of these sites dealing with low Glycemic diets, is
that they essentially do all of the work for you. They not only
give recipes and health tips, but many go so far as to offer
prepared grocery lists to print on the go. Even better, the
recipes are not only healthy, but also tasty. You don’t feel as
though you are missing out on delicious food, you are enjoying
delicious, healthy food.

For example, Glycemic Impact Diet, also known as the GI Diet, a
member of the eDiets family, is a healthy nutrition plan you can
follow for life. It balances unrefined complex carbohydrates
with lean protein and healthy fat to help you stabilize blood
sugars and increase energy while losing weight. You can feel
fuller longer and avoid nasty sugar highs and lows.

A Low Glycemic Level Diet makes sense for anyone. It is not
just for individuals with diabetes, but any person concerned
with health and proper nutrition. If, as a nation, we all paid
closer attention to the Glycemic index and monitored or blood
sugar intake, we would see a sharp decline in the incidence of
diabetes and obesity. In turn, we’d experience healthier lives
and a better quality of life.

About the Author: Andy West is a freelance writer and marketing
communications specialist. For more information and reviews of
Glycemic Diets that can help lower your Glycemic level, please
visit ReviewPlace at


How Tai Chi Helps Older Adults Avoid The Painful Skin Condition
By Yoshi Kundagawa

Tai Chi for seniors is a martial art that originated in China,
and is normally practiced with the goal of living a long and
healthy life. Because Tai chi is becoming more popular, more
and more senior citizens are getting involved Tai Chi for
seniors and finding that they are living longer and healthier

Prior to Tai Chi being introduced into western countries, the
health benefit was explained through traditional Chinese
medicine, which is not supported by modern medicine. Tradition
Chinese medicine focuses more on the body and healing
mechanisms that come from within, rather than from a
pharmaceutical lab or doctors office. Many scientific studies
have been performed on the art of Tai Chi, and the results were
very favorable.

Some studies have shown that by practicing tai chi for seniors
over a long period of time can promote control of balance,
flexibility, and can even increase the condition of the heart
and cardiovascular system. Tai chi for seniors is also great
because it has shown to reduce pain that could be a result of a
fall in an elderly patient. Tai Chi can also help elderly
patients who may be experiencing arthritis, MS, Parkinson’s,
and even Alzheimer’s. The symptoms of ADHD can be reduced in
adolescents practicing Tai Chi, and one can even burn as many
calories as a skier when practicing the low-impact movements of
this martial art. Tai Chi provides many benefits for people of
all ages, but tai chi for seniors shows the most benefits. For
those who have ever suffered a heart attack, high blood
pressure, or heart surgery, Tai Chi for seniors will be simple
to practice and leave you feeling healthier and happier.

One scientific study showed a significant link between Tai Chi
and a vaccine. A group of healthy adults were giving VARIVAX,
which is the Varicella vaccine, and only half of them
participated in Tai Chi. The Varicella zoster virus causes an
infection and rash referred to as the chicken pox, and if the
virus were to be reactivated it is referred to as shingles. The
study showed that 16 weeks later, those who participated in Tai
Chi on a regular basis had a higher level of immunity to the
zoster than those who did not perform the martial art.
Performing Tai Chi does not directly prevent anyone from
getting shingles, but it does increase the effectiveness of the

Because old age brings along poor health, it is important for
the elderly to participate in an activity to stimulate their
mind as well as their body. Tai Chi for seniors is a perfect
activity, since it is easy to keep up with and has been added
health benefits. Tai Chi is a family oriented martial arts
program, and can keep you living a long and healthy life.

About the Author: Yoshi E Kundagawa is a freelance journalist.
He covers the mixed martial arts industry. For a free report on
Tai Chi for seniors, visit his blog:


Need to lose a few pounds? Hypnosis for weight loss is a great
way to shrink the waistline. Hypnosis for weight loss allows
you to change yourself in several healthy ways. It will work
with your chosen diet, a bit like having your own personal
assistant always by your side.

The first thing hypnosis for weight loss helps you lose weight
is retraining your body to not need so much food. Your body may
become addicted to food for several reasons, you may have eaten
due to boredom, to be social or to make yourself feel better.
Eating for reasons such as the ones previously mentioned is
unhealthy and can lead to health problems. With hypnosis for
weight loss you can retrain your sub conscious back to a
natural, healthy state.

The second thing hypnosis for weight loss can do is make you
have the energy you need to work out. Working out is important
when losing weight, because the scales do not tell you how much
muscle you have (unless you’ve bought one of the top of the
range body monitor scales, of course). Without muscle, you may
lose weight but you become fat on the inside, which is more
dangerous to your health than fat on the outside. You can use
hypnosis for weight loss to gain the energy you need to keep
your cardiovascular system running smoothly.

The third thing weight loss hypnosis can do for you is allow
you to get a better nights sleep. With less time sleeping
because of weight loss hypnosis, you will have more time. With
this time you can use it on more weight loss hypnosis,
exercising or spend it with the family or doing tasks you
otherwise wouldn’t have the time to do.

Weight loss hypnosis, its for your health.

About The Author: Discover how you can lose weight with
hypnosis at http://www.squidoo. com/lose- weight-with- hypnosis

Being a runner you have no doubt suffered from a “charley horse” or leg cramp.  Ever wonder why? 

In my experience, I discovered that if I wasn’t fully hydrated, then a cramp was definitely on the horizon.  In fact, there are several different causes for cramping, especially amongst athletes.   

Obviously, one cause is dehydration. This happens when we fail to intake enough fluids. How to know how much fluid to ingest? Well, if you don’t mind me getting a tab gross here, the easiest way is to check your urine. 

Contrary to popular opinion your urine is not supposed to be yellow, but rather clear or pale yellow. Therefore, if you are capable of passing at least one clear urine a day, then you are fully hydrated. 

Another method is to take your body weight, say 100 lbs. and divide that number by 2 (100/2 = 50)  Now, you should be drinking at least 50 ounces of fluid, preferably water, a day. This will help you avoid most leg cramps. 

Of course, dehydration isn’t the only cause for the leg cramps. Lack of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and phosphate may be another cause, especially if you are running in hot weather. Replacement of the lost electrolytes will definitely help. Try drinking some Gatorade or other sports drink about one-half hour before you go out for your run to be sure that your body is ready for the work. Also, be sure to drink a sports drink immediately after your workout. 

Over exertion, or fatigue, is the most common cause of cramping.  When your muscles are deprived of oxygen it leads to the accumulation of a byproduct called “lactic acid” in the muscle.  Once this accumulation of lactic acid becomes too great, the muscle revolts by going into spasm or cramping.

Try to listen to your body. You may be surprised at what it is saying. Pushing through the pain is not always a wise decision.  Try not to buy into the “no pain no gain” philosophy of exercise.

You do your body more harm than good and it could cost you weeks in recovery time; whereas, if you just rested one day, you wouldn’t miss that much training time and be well on your way to your goal. 

Curiously, another cause for leg cramping could also be due to you having one leg longer than the other.

Or you run with too much rolling in of the foot or too much rolling out of the foot. Proper form is crucial as well as the proper fitting shoes. 

These cramps are quite painful and usually disappear on their own, sometimes leaving the affected area sore for several days. 

Here are a few tips to help you get through the pain: 

Stop running and gently stretch and massage the cramping muscle. Hold the stretch until the cramp stops. 

Of course, the best way to conquer the leg cramp is not to get one in the first place! 

Here are a few preventive measures: 

Stretching – after a few minutes of a light jog/run, stop and stretch your muscles. Do light stretching, no jerking, and hold for 5 seconds.

Never, ever stretch cold muscles. If you have been running for awhile you would say wait a minute here, you are supposed to stretch before you run. Wrong. Current research has shown that stretching without warming up your muscles first causes more injury than prevention. 

After your run, take a few minutes, after your cool down of slow walking for 5 – 10 minutes, and perform the following:

Stretch the calf muscle: In a standing lunge with both feet pointed forward, straighten the rear leg.

Stretch the hamstring muscle: Sit with one leg folded in and the other straight out, foot upright and toes and ankle relaxed. Lean forward slightly, touch foot of straightened leg. (Repeat with opposite leg.)  

Stretch the Quadriceps muscle: While standing, hold top of foot with opposite hand and gently pull heel toward buttocks. (Repeat with opposite leg.)

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