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Exercise

Most people don’t give blood circulation much thought. Even when they have common symptoms of poor blood circulation like numbness in the legs and hands, cold hands and feet, fatigue and swollen feet or fingers.

Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious problems like cardiovascular disease and stroke. Luckily, there are things you can start doing today to improve circulation. But making these changes may not help much if you don’t avoid habits that cause poor blood circulation. These habits include Heavy alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, poor diet, inactivity, high caffeine intake.

Get a good massage

Massage creates pressure which forces blood in congested areas to flow. This pressure also allows easy flow of new blood to different body parts. Get a good massage several times a week if you experience the symptoms of poor blood circulation I mentioned above.

Add herbs into your diet

Some herbs are good for blood circulation. They strengthen the blood vessels and help unclog the arteries.

Research shows that gingko biloba and cayenne pepper improve circulation. Cayenne pepper strengthens the blood vessels and stimulates the heart while gingko Biloba improves blood flow which consequently improves memory.

Other helpful herbs include garlic, ginger, bilberry and parsley.

Keep your legs elevated

It’s hard for blood to flow from the feet to the heart since it has to flow uphill. In fact, this is the main reason poor blood circulation largely affects the legs. Elevating your legs will make it easier for blood to flow. Lift the legs above heart level and keep them elevated for 20 minutes.

Exercise every day

There’s a lot of research showing that exercise improves blood circulation. Even simple exercises like walking, climbing stairs can help. You may want to start with low intensity exercises if you’re out of shape and then increase intensity as you get fitter.

Reduce salt intake

Research shows that high salt intake can cause poor blood circulation. This is alarming because most people consume an average of 3.4 grammes of salt a day. That’s higher than the recommended 2.3 grammes per day.

Avoiding canned food and reading food labels can help reduce sodium in your diet.

Don’t wear tight clothes for long

Those skinny jeans can cut off blood circulation to the legs, research shows. In fact, one woman had to be hospitalised for four days because of squatting while wearing skinny jeans. On the other hand, clothes like the compression socks are said to improve blood circulation in the legs.

Drink more water

I don’t think you need any convincing that water is good for your health. Aim for two litres of water a day.

Here are tips that can help you drink more water.

Add nuts into your diet

Nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can improve blood circulation. According to this study, raw almonds and walnuts boost blood circulation. Nuts are also a great source of healthy fats. But eat them in moderation if you want to lose weight.

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1.) Change your walk. Stand and sit straight with your shoulders square and your head raised. Keep your abs contracted and your pelvis in a neutral position. This will not only make your butt more prominent, but it’ll also slim your torso a bit and make your chest look bigger.

2.) Butt Bridges. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Lift your butt toward the ceiling, then lower it. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3.) Squats. Stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart and your arms extended in front of you. Bend your knees to a ninety degree angle with your back straight, then rise back up

4.) Lunges. Stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart. Bend one leg behind you and the other leg in front of you.

5.) Do kick backs. Stand on one leg. With the leg that is free off the ground, kick it back until you see your butt squeeze into a bubble

6.)Leg lifts. Leg lifts (or raises) might sound like they’re focused on your legs, but really they’ll help work your abs.

7.) Twist crunches. Lie on your back on the floor and bend your knees. Put your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows bent. Lift one shoulder off the ground, and twist to the opposite direction. For instance, if you lift your left shoulder up, twist your body toward the right. Repeat, alternating shoulders. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Rest for between 30 to 60 seconds between each set.

8.) Try sports that build your leg and buttocks muscles. A hobby you enjoy could also simultaneously enhance your rear. Here are some possibilities:
Running
Cycling
Swimming
Gymnastics
Skiing
Volleyball
Soccer
Field Hockey
Cheer leading

9.) Pick the right pants. The right pair of jeans can seemingly transform your butt, making it appear round and perky. Consider the following next time you buy a pair of jeans:

10.) Pick the right fit for your body type. If you have a slim waist, try a pant that will hug your waists, such as skinny jeans or a tight-fitting boot-cut. If your waist is smaller than your hips, wear low-rise jeans (that hit at the widest part of your hips) with a fitted shirt.

If you have a thicker waistline, try wearing high-waisted jeans. The top of the pants should fit around the slimmest part of your waist, making it look small and your butt appear bigger.

Look at pocket placement. Small, high back pockets will make your butt appear larger. Additionally, pockets with embellishments such as sequins, stitching, or coloured thread can add more interest and “direct traffic” (or draw the eye) to your rear. Avoid jeans with big pockets or no pockets at all.

Avoid dark wash jeans, which will make your legs and rear look smaller (especially if you’re wearing a light-coloured top). Instead, try white, pastel, or light blue jeans.

Wear high heels. Heels change the natural curve of your spine, causing both your butt and your boobs to protrude more.

Avoid wearing heels for longer than two or three hours at a time. This will reduce the strain on your body.

For an extra-lifted rear end, ditch the kitten heels and go for stilettos.

If you’re unsure that this works, get in front of a mirror and stand up on your tiptoes (it will help). Take a few steps, and you’ll notice how the movements of your legs and rear are a little more exaggerated. Your legs should also look more toned, and your butt should appear to be an inch or two higher.

Menopause and Sex Life. Not two words you necessarily associate together but actually, the menopause can have a profound effect on your sex life, and not in a good way.

If you’ve had a healthy sex drive up to this phase of your life, it can make you feel under pressure to continue your sex life at the same level as before. Unfortunately, your body has other ideas! For a lot of women, they just feel too tired and then guilty at the fact you’re saying ‘not tonight’ again.

Be assured though, it’s totally normal to not feel in the mood!

Your ovaries stop producing oestrogen which can cause vaginal dryness and make sex painful and difficult, and over time lessen your desire as it just feels too much like hard work.

Hot flushes and night sweats also don’t exactly put you in the mood and make bedtime a sexy place to be! And the weight you’ve gained is seriously affecting your confidence and making you feel pretty rubbish.

Add to that a dip in your testosterone levels, which plays a key role in a woman’s sex drive and sexual sensation, and you can understand why so many women in their 40’s and 50’s have a reduced sex drive. Especially as our sexual desires naturally decline with age anyway.

The good news is you don’t just have to suffer through and accept this as your lot!

There are things you can do to help boost your sex drive and put you in the mood.

Here are few tips:

1. Diet. Certain foods have been found to increase libido:

– Magnesium rich foods including green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses boost levels of your sex hormones.

– Phytoestrogens such as flaxseeds and soybeans naturally mimic oestrogen in your body and increase your sex drive

– Spinach, garlic and coconut, can help boost your testosterone levels which affect your libido

2. Herbs can also be beneficial in helping to boost your libido, including ginseng which helps to boost testosterone, ashwaganda increases blood flow to the clitoris and other female sexual organs and maca root helps to balance hormones and improve sexual experiences and satisfaction.

3. If the feeling is more psychological, due to low mood and a lack of confidence in yourself, then talking about it can really help. Whether that is to your partner, a friend or a health practitioner, know that it is really common and you are not alone.

4. Building strong emotional bonds with your partner, doing things like holding hands, talking and cuddling can help build connection and intimacy with your partner, and put you in the mood.

5. Lubricants can make sex easier and more enjoyable. Go for a water-based one as the most natural way to increase moisture and maintain your vagina’s natural PH.

6. Exercise helps by boosting stamina and strength, which in turn increases your confidence and sex drive. Go for a walk, join a dance class, just do something that you enjoy!

So it is just another natural and normal phase of life and, if you follow the above tips, you can work with it!

The following are steps to take if you want to live longer…

Don’t overeat

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study, they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the ageing process.

Live healthy, live longer

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviours. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Get busy

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

Reach out

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

Eat fruits and vegetables

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.

Focus on fitness

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

We all want a lean and healthy body, and regular exercise is the only way to have it. But due to the busy lifestyle in this 21st century, we can barely manage enough time to do it. If you have been thinking about exercising regularly for some time, this article is here to motivate you with reasons why you need to hit the gym right now.

1. For an improved memory

Regular exercise not only provides more oxygen to your brain but also boosts your memory power. Recent studies have shown that increased blood flow due to vigorous exercise has a part to play in improving memory power.

2. For more energy

You may feel tired and weak after an intense training session. But with proper rest and nutrition, you will surely have more energy than ever before.

3. For better sleep

Suffering from insomnia? Don’t worry, just start exercising on a regular basis and this problem will be gone in no time. However, remember to exercise in the morning or afternoon instead of right before going to the bed.

4. For a stress-free life

Stress may be a part of your life, but you have the chance to fight it off with regular exercise. Endorphins released in the brain while exercising efficiently reduce stress, making you feel better at all times.

5. For superior immunity

Just exercise 3 to 4 times a week and soon your immune system will be strong enough to fight off flu, viruses and other diseases. Some researchers proved that those who exercise regularly are half as likely to get a cold than those who don’t do it at all.

6. For better sex

We all know regular exercise helps improve blood circulation all over the body. Thus, it helps increase sexual stimulation and reduces erectile dysfunction.

7. For superior confidence

Hitting the gym on a daily basis helps you look good and stay fit. When you feel better about yourself, you feel confident in doing whatever you do.

8. For living longer

It’s a known fact that staying fit and healthy is the key to living a long life and avoiding premature ageing. One study found that you will get the same benefits of quitting smoking if you take part in regular training sessions. Moreover, you can expect to add 10 to 20 more years in your life expectancy if you live on a proper diet and stay fit at all times.

Let’s admit that it’s hard for us to manage even one hour every day to go to the gym. No matter what, you must try your best in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.

In order to create change, you have to make the decision that you want to change. Here are some of the tips that work for me and my clients; they can help you start living a healthier life right away.

1. Replace one “bad” with one “good.”

Every day, pick out one “bad” food and replace it with a “good” food. Instead of french fries at lunch, have a side salad or veggie. Instead of a cupcake and sugary coffee at 3PM, have a small fruit salad and a cup of tea. After you do this for a few days, start replacing two “bad” with two “good.” You’ll be eating healthier in no time!

2. Get strong.

When you strength train, your body continues to burn calories for the next 24-36 hours (as opposed to just cardio, where you only burn for that duration). Strength training is vital to keep muscles strong, stoke your metabolism and create a leaner body. Add at least two days a week of weight training or body resistance exercises to your routine. If you’re unsure how to begin, consider investing in a personal trainer for a few sessions to show you the ropes.

If that bag of Doritos isn’t there, you can’t eat that bag of Doritos. Clean out your fridge, clean out your cupboards and set yourself up for success. Stock up on healthier options when you shop for food.

4. Downsize.

Avoid getting to that ravenous “feed me” state where you can’t stop eating. Try eating six smaller, well-balanced mini-meals instead of three larger ones. Use a smaller plate, chew slowly and put your fork down between bites.

5. Go for exercise bursts.

You can achieve amazing results (without spending hours at the gym) with shorter, higher intensity “bursts”. Even 4-6 minutes burns calories, tones muscle and helps condition you like an athlete. Try for 2-4 bursts throughout the day at least 5 days a week.

6. Put the brakes on after dinner.

Try to identify why you’re reaching for those mindless munchies in the evening. Learning what the triggers are can help you stop. Are you bored? Is it just a habit? Did you not eat a healthy, balanced dinner? Try a cup of peppermint tea first and make sure you’re set up with healthier snack options.

7. Take your breathing seriously.

Our breath is our life. Health benefits when we do proper breathing include better digestion, better nervous system function and deeper relaxation. Be aware and tune into your breath throughout the day.

Sex has some awesome health benefits. It relieves stress, boosts immunity, strengthens your heart and can burn up to 140 calories per half hour. (That’s if you get really busy!) Keep the sex spark alive for your relationship as well as your health.

9. Manage stress in real time.

The effect of repetitive stress wreaks havoc as toxic hormones flood our body. Long ago, we needed this “flight or fight” mode to survive. Today this response is more likely due to everyday stresses like conflicts with a partner or rushing to complete a deadline.

When a stressful situation presents itself, remove yourself as quickly as possible. Use breathing to calm yourself, count to ten, go for a walk, do what you need to do to stay calm. Taking a few moments during the day to meditate helps “train” you to implement calming techniques you can draw upon when needed.

10. Create a bedtime ritual.

Just like our parents did for us and we do for our children, creating a simple bedtime routine ensures an easier time falling asleep, staying asleep and better quality sleep. Aim to retire at the same time every night. Turn off all screens and dim lights 1-2 hours before bedtime. Have a relaxing bath, listen to gentle music, massage lotion or oil onto your body and make yourself a cup of chamomile tea. You’ll help reduce stress (fighting that nasty belly fat), depression, decrease inflammation and you’ll look and feel better.

Set yourself up for success and view positive change as a gift to yourself, a way to acknowledge and honor your body, mind and spirit. Try some of these suggestions and kickstart your healthier life today.

How you react to being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes does not have to dictate how you feel about the disease. Type 2 diabetes, while a lethal disease, is not a death sentence. Your life is not at immediate risk just because you are a diabetic. Even though it is a serious cause for concern and you most definitely should work on a solution, there is no need to damn yourself or lose spirit.

It is certainly possible to live well despite having to control the type of carbohydrates and fats you need to eat each and every day. But there is hope even in doing a few but essential things to change your health.

It is all about blood sugar. Hyperglycemia is the condition underlying this form of diabetes and most of its problems…

  • cardiovascular conditions,
  • nerve and kidney damage,
  • skin problems, and
  • impaired vision

are all caused by chronically elevated blood sugar. For this reason, the first step to living well is to control your food intake so the high readings no longer cause internal damage. Talk to your doctor to determine the target range you should strive for. He can give you practical advice tailored for you so you can make daily progress.Keeping blood sugar readings within a reasonable range is your most important task: this is needed to ensure the disease does not exacerbate and add insult to injury.

Let’s talk about nutrition. Eating healthily is the key to living well with Type 2 diabetes. By eating healthy foods, you will gradually reduce your blood sugar. What and how you eat makes a difference. Your doctor can fill you in on more details. Do not overlook the importance of having a quality diet. Keep your blood sugar levels in line with delicious recipes and daily meal plans.

Next, comes exercise. Increase your daily activity and develop several blood sugar busting exercise routines. Exercise is essential for everyone, never mind people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Without physical activity, our health is left vulnerable to unpredictable circumstances. Don’t invite illnesses upon yourself by being sedentary.

Type 2 diabetics can improve their condition with regular exercise. Learn to enjoy physical activity sooner rather than later, because it is one of the most important habits you can develop in your life.

Also, living well requires you maintain a healthy body weight. Work on dropping a few pounds if you are above the ideal range. Exercising and eating well are the two main ingredients for weight loss, so dedicate your efforts in these areas so your weight is no longer a problem.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels will shave years off your life. Lower your blood sugar, lose weight, and stop Type 2 diabetes and its complications in their tracks. Provided you are consistent; it will just be a matter of time.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

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Exercise Is Good Medicine at the Right Dosage

Modern fitness research offers many potent reminders that physical activity is one of the best “preventive drugs” for many common ailments, from psychiatric disorders to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.3

For example, one meta-review4 of 305 randomized controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of exercise versus drug interventions on mortality outcomes found “no statistically detectable differences” between exercise and medications for prediabetes and heart disease.

One of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels by optimizing insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. This is an important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease.

Another way in which exercise promotes good health and longevity is by forcing your mitochondria (those little “power stations” inside your cells that produce energy or ATP) to work harder, thereby producing more mitochondria (biogenesis) to keep up with the heightened energy requirement.

A side effect of this is a slowing down of your biological aging process.

However, as with other medications, there’s the matter of dosage. Too little exercise and you won’t get much benefit. (Worse yet, chronic inactivity has been shown to be an independent risk factor of chronic disease and early death.)

On the other hand, exercise too much, and you could do harm. As noted by Dr. Levine, while endurance athletes live longer than non-athletes — in general, nearly 20 percent longer than non-runners — the evidence also shows that going overboard does put your health at risk.

One of the risks of excessive high intensity cardio is you can develop enlargement of your heart that leads to something called diastolic dysfunction which can lead to heart failure and is really an epidemic in the U.S.

What’s the Ideal Dose of Exercise for Optimal Health and Longevity?

Research has shown that once you reach 40 to 50 minutes of daily vigorous exercise, or just over an hour of moderate exercise (such as walking), the benefits from your efforts plateau, and further efforts do not convey additional improvements in life expectancy.

One of the largest, longest, and most recent studies5 to shed light on this “Goldilocks zone” found that those who walked or engaged in other moderate-intensity exercise for 450 minutes per week (right around one hour per day, seven days a week) lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent compared to non-exercisers.

Those who exercised around 3.5 hours a day only reduced their mortality risk by 31 percent — the same risk reduction as those who met the guidelines of 150 minutes per week (about 20 minutes per day).

A second large-scale study,6 which focused specifically on intensity, found that spending 30 percent of your exercise time on strenuous, high-intensity activity can gain you an extra 13 percent reduction in early mortality, compared to never picking up the pace and breaking a sweat.

When it comes to endurance cardio, previous research (discussed in the TED Talk below) has shown that to optimize the health benefits from running you’ll want to run 5 to 20 miles per week — the ideal amount being 10 to 15 miles per week. Once you reach 25 miles or more per week, the benefits again disappear.

Also, if you run too fast — over 8 miles an hour — the benefits tend to go away (note we’re talking about speed in long distance endurance running here, not interval sprinting). Lastly, if you run seven days a week, the benefits also disappear. The ideal amount was found to be a 30-minute run, two to five days a week.

So, the key really is moderation — moderation in terms of intensity, duration, and frequency. The human body simply wasn’t designed to engage in long-term extreme athletic performance, like battling ocean waves for 8 hours a day for six months straight.

Exercise Less — Move More

Some people may be a bit confused by my exercise recommendations because on the one hand, I advocate high-intensity exercise, and on the other, I’ve repeatedly pointed out that non-exercise movement may be even more important than a regular exercise routine.

It’s really not a contradiction, if you stop and think about it. The fact of the matter is that working out really hard for an hour and then spending the majority of the rest of your day sitting down is not going to do you much good, because the latter counteracts the former.

Research has demonstrated that six hours of uninterrupted sitting counteracts the positive health benefits of one hour of exercise. So the foundation for good health is relatively constant or regular movement, i.e. avoiding sitting down as much as possible, because even just standing up produces beneficial biological effects.

I firmly believe that walking say 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day is key for health and longevity. Now that I’m a full-time resident of Florida, I walk barefoot on the beach for about one hour each day. I used to do two hours but realized that the extra time was not providing any additional health benefits based on the information reviewed in this article. Balance and moderation is the key.

This lays the groundwork or foundation, so to speak, on top of which you can then build your fitness to increasingly higher levels. For maximum benefits with a minimal time investment, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an ideal add-on, two or three times a week — and no more than that, as your body needs to recuperate in between sessions.