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Faster Weight Loss Through Speeding Up Your Metabolism?

Tips on How to Increase your Metabolism for Better Weight Loss The internet abounds in resources on how to lose weight. Sleeping has nothing to do with weight loss. Staying awake at night is the last thing you should do if you’re trying to lose weight. Just because you’re not moving when you’re asleep, it doesn’t mean that you’re putting on weight. However, studies have shown that making sure you get a good night’s sleep every night weighed about five pounds less than those who did not. This is because staying up late at night every night or even most nights can actually slow down your metabolism. This gets in the way of your body being able to use your food for energy, so it ends up getting stored as fat.

High levels of stress can affect your thyroid gland that keeps your hormone levels where they should be.

With a slow metabolism you can gain weight and even be depressed. By relaxing and doing activities you enjoy, you will keep your weight at a healthy level. So many of us are in such a rush in the morning, that we forget to eat breakfast and many of us think that it is only extra calories anyway. A healthy breakfast will speed up your body’s system of processing food and it will also boost your much-needed energy for the day. Some people find breakfast foods unappetizing, or they’re in a hurry and skip breakfast altogether; this could be okay. An hour after waking up and not later, eat something healthy, though. This will help you to have better weight loss results and be happier as well. In your workplace, try to move around a lot if it’s possible; shake a leg, too, instead of sitting at your desk the whole day.

This will not only help you shed off some pounds, keep fresh blood pumping to your heart, but keep you in good health as well. A good practice is to take a walk on your lunch break and get up from your desk every hour or so, and stretch a few times as you take deep breaths. We feel pressured and harassed in the modern world we live in that we don’t seem to have time for taking care of ourselves. Here I have presented you with some simple tips on habits that can increase your metabolism rate in order to lose weight. These are no-sweat tips not only on how to shed off unwanted pounds but also promote a happier and healthier lifestyle for you. Always bear in mind that your weight has a lot to do with your general health.

Weight loss can be as simple as increasing your metabolism rate.

6 Tips to Improve Hospital Employee Engagement

Memorial Health System in Springfield, Ill., embarked on a journey several years ago to improve its employee engagement. In a 2004 survey of employees at Memorial Medical Center (the health system’s flagship hospital), employee engagement scored in the 30th percentile nationally. As a result, making Memorial Health System "a great to place work" was established as one of the health system’s three strategies. Over the next five years, the system steadily improved in this area, and in 2010, the hospital scored in the 94th percentile for employee satisfaction. The system has been named an "Employer of Choice" for three years, and its affiliate, Memorial Physician Services, earned the award twice before the system applied as a whole. Brad Warren, senior vice president and chief people officer, and Brian Tieman, system director, employee relations, say making engagement an organizational imperative was a key driver in the system's success. Here they share six tactics for other hospitals looking to improve their employee engagement.

1. Make engagement part of your hospital's core strategy. Employee engagement directly impacts a hospital's success, and as such, it should be part of a hospital's overall strategy — not just a task assigned to the human resources department. “Engagement is critical in any service-oriented business,” says Mr. Warren. "We believe great patient care and service is best delivered by employees who are engaged and passionate about our mission," he says.

2. Gain support from senior leadership. Senior leaders must show their commitment to improving engagement in order for improvements to take hold. "No one will believe engagement is a priority unless [the senior leadership team], takes engagement very seriously and displays that level of engagement by modeling the way," says Mr. Warren.

Buy-in from leadership throughout the health system should come naturally. "The only way for Memorial Health System to fulfill its mission to improve the health of the people and communities we serve is to have the unfailing support of employees and their understanding of how their work supports our mission, vision and strategic goals,” he adds. “That level of support will require the highest levels of employee engagement."

3. Hold managers accountable. Senior leaders can best demonstrate their commitment to engagement by holding the leaders who are their direct reports accountable for improving engagement scores and encouraging those leaders to do the same for those who report to them. "Senior leaders need to be actively involved in ensuring a sense of accountability to the teams under their direction," says Mr. Warren. "Without this, we could become complacent."

At Memorial Health System, every department supervisor, manager or director across all affiliates meets with his or her leader to go over employee survey results and develop an action plan to address any deficiencies in the department. "We have made changes in staffing if results did not improve," says Mr. Warren.

4. Provide training. If hospitals plan to hold supervisors accountable for improving engagement, they should offer training to enhance supervisors' skills in this area.

Memorial Health System holds training sessions it cleverly calls "Great Place to Workshops," which are open to any supervisor within the organization. These sessions, offer supervisors training on leadership and provide management tools and techniques. The health system also holds a special workshop each year solely focused on helping mangers interpret employee survey results and develop action plans around them, says Mr. Warren.

The system also demonstrated its commitment to training by adding an organization development division within its human resources department. These specialists work one-on-one with managers of lower-scoring departments to develop action plans to improve engagement. They also staff open "survey labs" where managers can drop by for help interpreting survey results, developing action plans and tracking improvement progress.

5. Share best practices. Hospital leaders should also facilitate the sharing of best practices to improve employee engagement. Memorial Health System holds workshops that give managers the opportunity to share best practices for survey participation and engagement and has created best practice tip sheets featuring some of the most popular ideas. The system also invites managers of departments that have experienced significant improvements to speak and answer questions about their successes at the Great Place to Workshops.

"Having our own managers share their best practices is very well received," says Mr. Tieman. "Employees enjoy hearing success stories from their colleagues, not just, for example, by a best-selling author."

Examples of the best practices include rewarding departments that meet survey participation goals with a free luncheon or other activity, holding regular department themed events to encourage camaraderie and sending employees birthday cards in the mail thanking them for their hard work throughout the year.

However, the most successful best practice the health system uncovered seems to be one of the simplest — involving all employees, not just managers, in engagement efforts. Some departments have "green teams" — teams of employees that work throughout the year to encourage survey participation and move survey scores from the red levels that require improvement to performance that reflects attributes of an engaged workforce.

"Ultimately what has made a difference in our engagement journey is that it has been a collective effort between employees and leaders, not leaders doing it alone," says Mr. Tieman. "Yes, the manager is the leader, but every employee is part of the solution."

6. Focus on employee relationships with front-line supervisors. Memorial Health has placed extra emphasis on improving employees' relationships with their front-line supervisors in response to research suggesting this is one of the most crucial links to engagement.

Improving that relationship involves training supervisors to be more open and supportive with employees. Memorial Health System has had significant success in this area. In 2010, 83 percent of staff at Memorial said they agreed with the statement "My manager or immediate supervisor is receptive to staff suggestions," up from 41 percent in 2006.

Another key responsibility of front line supervisors is helping employees understand how their role supports the organization's mission, vision and goals. "The more information we can provide on how the work of all employees in all professions and walks in life impacts our success, the more success we'll have," says Mr. Warren.

Supervisors should not only model passion for their job but also help employees develop passion for their work through giving it meaning. "Part of the role of the supervisor is to connect our vision and mission to the work employees under their direction do every day," he says. "This is something that really can only be done through a personal relationship."

Mr. Warren adds, "’Value of employees’ is one of our seven organizational values. That tells you how critical we view employee engagement to be to our success. Buildings are important, standards are critical…but the best strategy for creating great patient experiences and delivering high-quality, patient-centered care is through the hands and hearts of engaged people."

Tips For Lowering Cholesterol Naturally

There are many tools for lowering cholesterol naturally that you may want to consider if you have high cholesterol. Many people go on crash diets or change all sorts of things about their lives, taking drastic measures to lower their cholesterol.

You do not need to do any of these things to lower your cholesterol, however. Using natural products, changing your lifestyle gradually and introducing healthier foods are some of the best ways of lowering cholesterol naturally.

Cholesterol is a type of fat made by your liver. Some of that fat comes from the food you eat, while some of it is already in your body. All of the foods that come from animals have some form of cholesterol in them, whereas plant foods do not have cholesterol in them. Foods that are high in saturated fats can raise your cholesterol level considerably, so having a balanced diet is really the best way to approach the cholesterol situation.

Not all cholesterol is bad for you, however. Some cholesterol is necessary for good health, but too much of it can raise your blood pressure and make medical problems such as heart attacks or strokes more common. When you have extra cholesterol in your blood, it causes your arteries to narrow as they become clogged. This may even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked with cholesterol.

Using Natural Products to Lower Cholesterol
Lowering cholesterol naturally using natural products is one of the best ways to accomplish your goal. Remember that herbal treatments and other natural remedies have been around a lot longer than the conventional pharmaceutical treatments you are likely to find at your drug store.

Herbal treatments come from trees, plants and other natural sources, meaning that you must be careful about what you are taking. Herbal treatments typically are not regulated, so it really is a “use at your own risk” situation.

Many natural products seem to reduce cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates natural herbal products, but much of the investigation into the products is not completed to the same high level as conventional medicines. Therefore, it is important to be careful when you are considering herbal treatments of any kind. Always consult your doctor before trying anything new when lowering cholesterol naturally.

The following products have been recognized for their effectiveness in lowering cholesterol:

- Garlic
- B vitamins
- Soy
- Fiber
- Chromium
- Grape seed extract
- Vitamin C
- Pantothine

There are many other natural products and herbal remedies that may assist in lowering cholesterol, so consult your doctor or locate a good herbalist for more information. You want to be careful when it comes to combining cholesterol medication and natural remedies, as some of the side effects may clash.

Making Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do to help lower cholesterol naturally and changing the way you choose to live your life is one of them. You may have to make lifestyle changes to lower your cholesterol levels and start putting yourself back on the road to health, but do not despair. Making some minor lifestyle changes is not very difficult and, in fact, many of the changes you make will benefit you in other areas of your life. With lower cholesterol, you will start feeling more energetic and you will have more vitality.

Exercise – this is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your cholesterol levels and keep them down. Try getting moderate exercise a few times a week (about 30 minutes a day for a few days a week). Ease yourself into a program and get your body moving, but take it easy. You don't need to run for miles or do thousands of weight lifting exercising in order to stave off the effects of high cholesterol. You just need to get active and start introducing your body to other forms of exercise beyond reaching for the remote control.

Quit smoking – this is arguably the second most important thing you can do. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do, quit. Smoking actually lowers the level of good cholesterol in your blood, making it a lot harder to fight off the bad cholesterol. It also creates a higher risk of heart disease and can really zap the energy in your lungs. You can bring down your cholesterol and drastically lower your risk of heart disease if you quit smoking now, so what's stopping you?

Watch what you eat – eating a proper diet is not that complicated, especially when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. You will want to maintain a healthy balance in your diet, but you should also integrate a lot more fruits and vegetables. Remember that fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, so that will help out a great deal with your goal. Also cut down on your consumption of saturated fats, as these typically are not good for your diet. Use whole grains as much as possible and eat plenty of natural fiber products.

Keep your stress down – keep a lid on your anger and other emotions that you feel physically. You will want to try to find time in your day to de-stress from work properly without turning to destructive devices like drinking or smoking. Getting proper exercise is a great way to blow off steam, so try going for a quick run next time you feel angry. Part of lowering cholesterol in a natural way includes keeping your body away from harmful reactions such as stress because stress puts a strain on your system and can contribute to heart problems.

Dietary Changes
As we touched upon briefly, making some dietary changes is a good idea when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. You will want to achieve the balance of lowering high cholesterol foods and increasing the level of low cholesterol foods you eat. High fiber products and foods low in saturated fats are important in a low cholesterol diet, of course, but you will also want to integrate fruits and vegetables.

There are a number of dietary options for low cholesterol out there and several hundred diet books and websites that promise to lower your cholesterol. The truth is that there is no one single plan that can help you lower your cholesterol. Instead, you will need to work with your family and your doctor to find a dietary plan that best works with your lifestyle. Here are a few pointers:

-Eat more fruits and vegetables

-Avoid trans fats and saturated fats

-Use whole grains and whole wheat products instead of standard white products, such as flour or rice

-Stay away from high levels of carbohydrates

-Use low-fat dairy products, especially skim milk, instead of conventional dairy products

-Use lean meats, such as turkey, chicken or fish, instead of red meat

-Use olive and canola oils when cooking

-Attempt to use low-fat alternatives for dips and sauces

There are a number of other dietary secrets that you can use, but these are some basics. Try to find your own way to eat healthy and keep your cholesterol levels down. If you work with your diet, you will start to find that some of the solutions to your problems are right in front of you. Making a dietary change is not that difficult, after all.

Lowering cholesterol naturally can seem like a daunting and complicated task that will transform your whole life and have you eating unbuttered whole wheat bread and water for every meal while you run laps around your block. The truth is that there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your cholesterol, but the effort is worth it. Try using some natural products, make some subtle lifestyle changes and try adding some healthy foods to your diet. You will find that lowering your cholesterol does not have to be an impossible goal and that it really isn't all that hard to do!

Always Consult Your Physician First
Although it is helpful to get health information by reading and talking with friends, make sure you consult your doctor first before trying any new treatment or changing your diet. Remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate the strength, purity or safety of herbs and supplements. Be sure to always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, speak with your doctor before taking medical action or changing your health routine. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. LifeScript disclaims any liability for the decisions made by its readers based on the information provided.

Simple Tips for Relieving Common Digestive Problems

Although many television viewers are bombarded with advertisements for medications that claim to relieve or prevent digestive discomfort, some recommendations from Fox News may help people control these conditions without medical intervention.

Individuals who experience uncomfortable sensations in their chest and throat after they eat may suffer from heartburn. The news organization suggested that people who have these symptoms should avoid eating in large quantities, along with fried foods and carbonated drinks.

Those who suffer from disruptive bowel activity may benefit from increasing their fiber intake. However, the news source noted that individuals who have irritable bowel syndrome should only consume fiber from natural foods, not dietary supplements. Apples, beans and citrus fruits are all healthy sources of fiber.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 70 million Americans have digestive diseases.

Certain foods and medications may exacerbate symptoms of these disorders, so keeping track of which products cause discomfort may help people avoid future complications or identify potential allergies.

The NIH added that overweight individuals are more likely to suffer from digestive problems, but participating in regular exercise may help reduce occurrences of heartburn or bowel troubles.

10 Health Benefits of Eggs

Some of you may have eaten eggs over the Easter weekend so I thought I'd post ten health benefits of eggs (and it doesn't count if they were chocolate eggs!)

1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.

2. In another study, researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.

3. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.

4. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

5. They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.

6. They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.

7. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person's lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.

8. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.

9. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.

10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

Advantages of Eating Fish Foods / Fish Food-Advantages of Eating

Regular consumption of fish can reduce the risk of various diseases and disorders. Selected research findings indicate the following:

Asthma - children who eat fish may be less likely to develop asthma.

Brain and eyes - fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids can contribute to the health of brain tissue and the retina (the light sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye).

Cancer - the omega 3 fatty acids in fish may reduce the risk of many types of cancers by 30 to 50 per cent, especially of the oral cavity, oesophagus, colon, breast, ovary and prostate.

Cardiovascular disease - eating fish every week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing blood clots and inflammation, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood fats and boosting 'good' cholesterol

Dementia - elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Depression - people who regularly eat fish have a lower incidence of depression (depression is linked to low levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the brain).

Diabetes - fish may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.

Eyesight - breastfed babies of mothers who eat fish have better eyesight, perhaps due to the omega 3 fatty acids transmitted in breast milk.

Inflammatory conditions - regular fish consumption may relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and autoimmune disease.

Prematurity - eating fish during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of delivering a premature baby.

A Few Natural Tips for Women

Between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and female endocrine disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), women can have it tough. But thank goodness the natural products industry in constantly evolving with new research, new discoveries and new ways to help aggravate, thwart and prevent women’s health woes.

NewsMax.com listed a few natural supplements that are good for women with PCOS’s many symptoms. The list included chaste berry for fertility, buckwheat and omega-3s for polycystic ovaries, saw palmetto for testosterone reduction, ginseng for menstrual irregularities, and biotin (a B vitamin) for improved glucose tolerance and management of insulin resistance.

On a separate note, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found high intake of B vitamins—specifically thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) only sourced from food—significantly lowered the risk of PMS in women (Feb. 23, 2011). Researchers conducted a case-control study nested within the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort. Participants were free of PMS at baseline (1991). After 10 years of follow up, 1,057 women were confirmed as cases and 1968 were confirmed as controls. Dietary information was collected in 1991, 1995 and 1999 by using food-frequency questionnaires.

Intakes of thiamine and riboflavin from food sources were each inversely associated with incident PMS. For example, women in the highest quintile of riboflavin intake 2 to 4 years before the diagnosis year had a 35-percent lower risk of developing PMS than did those in the lowest. No significant associations between incident PMS and dietary intakes of niacin, vitamin B-6, folate and vitamin B-12 were observed. Interestingly, intake of B vitamins from supplements was not associated with a lower risk of PMS.

Which foods are rich in thiamine and riboflavin? Thiamine is found in pork and yeast, with cereal grains an important source due to their ubiquity. Other food sources include oatmeal, flax, kale, eggs and oranges. Riboflavin can be found in milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables and almonds.

9 Tips for Saving Your Vision

If you spend two or more hours a day in front of a computer, you might suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms include headache, inability to focus, burning or tired eyes, double or blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain.

Computer screens are the culprit. Our eyes don’t process screen characters as well as they do traditional print. Printed materials have well-defined edges and screen characters don’t. Our eyes work hard to remain focused on screen characters and to temporarily relieve stress, our eyes drift and then strain to refocus. The constant muscle flexing causes fatigue. Keep in mind that computer screens aren’t the only screens that matter — most of your electronic toys, such as cell phones and PDAs, also cause eyestrain.

1.Use proper lighting
Most office settings use bright, often harsh lighting. The more light the better, right? Unfortunately, that’s not true, but the solution to harsh bright lights is simple. Knowing that the bright lights are hurting you is often the bigger problem.

If you have a window, use blinds or curtains to limit the amount of sunlight beaming in. Use lower intensity bulbs and tubes inside. If you have both, turn off the indoor lights and open your blinds or curtains until you’re comfortable.

If you’re used to working in bright light, you might feel a bit out of sorts at first. Give yourself some time to adjust to the softer lighting. If you can’t control the lighting, consider wearing tinted glasses.

2. Reduce environmental glare
Glare is reflected light that bounces off surfaces such as walls and computer screens. Often, you don’t even realize you’re compensating for it, so finding glare might take a bit of effort. There are a few things that you can do to reduce the glare:
a. Paint bright walls a darker color and use paint with a matte finish
b. Install an anti-glare screen and/or a glare hood on your monitor
c. If you wear glasses, consider applying an anti-reflective coating to the lenses.

Glare screens help only part of the problem. They cut down on glare from the computer screen. Unfortunately, they won’t help your eyes focus better.

3.Use proper computer settings
One of the simplest ways to reduce eyestrain is to adjust your monitor’s brightness and contrast settings. There’s no right or wrong setting. Just experiment until you’re comfortable.

If the background gives off a lot of light, reduce the brightness. In addition, keep the contrast between the background and characters high. Generally speaking, your settings are probably too bright, but a setting that’s too dark is just as tiring.

4. Maximize comfort by adjusting text size and color
Adjusting the on-screen text’s size and color can provide relief. First, try enlarging the text. You’re probably using the smallest size you can to view more text on the screen, but that compounds the problem. Instead, enlarge the text to two to three times the smallest size you can read.

Almost all software and most browsers will let you adjust text size. When possible, use black text on a white background. And avoid busy backgrounds. Sometimes, you have no control, but do so when you can.

5. Take a break
If you work at a computer most of the day, work in a few breaks. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that computer workers take, at a minimum, four 5-minute breaks in addition to the customary two 15-minute breaks during the day. If you don’t take those two 15-minute breaks, take a five-minute break for every hour you sit at the computer. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a 15-minute break for every two hours of computer use.

6. Clean your screen
The easiest tip of all is to clean your screen frequently. Dust, fingerprints, and other smears are distracting and make reading more difficult. Often, you don’t even see the dust; you just look right past it. Make it a habit to wipe off your screen frequently. Every morning isn’t too often and is easy to work into your routine.

7. Position copy correctly
Glancing back and forth between a printed copy and your computer screen causes eyestrain. To ease discomfort, place the printed copy as close to your monitor as possible, in addition, use a copy stand if possible to keep the copy upright.
This is the one time you might want more light. A small desk lamp will suit your needs, but position it carefully so that it sheds light on the printed page but doesn’t shine into your face or reflect off your monitor. Remember to use soft light.

8. Position yourself correctly
Keep your distance from the monitor; most people sit too close. Position your computer monitor about 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. Your screen’s center should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes. This arrangement provides the best support.

If you can’t change the distance between you and the monitor, adjust the text accordingly. For instance, if you’re sitting farther away than you should, increase the text size. It’s not the best solution, but it’s better than straining to see something that’s too far away.

9. Get computer glasses
If you just can’t get relief, you might need special glasses you can wear just for working at the computer. You can’t pick these at your favorite discount store. You’ll need a prescription from an eye doctor.

Don’t depend on prescription reading glasses to negate CVS either. Reading glasses help with distances of 16 to 21 inches. In contrast, computer glasses work for distances of 18 to 28 inches. It’s unlikely that the same pair of glasses will accommodate reading printed material and working at your computer.

10 Tips to Help with Improving Your Nutrition

There are so many books on nutrition and so much information on how to eat well. Hopefully these 10 tips will help sort out the best information out there and direct you towards books that focus on the type of information you truly seek about healthy eating. But there is one fact that you can not get around if you want to continuously make good decisions about what you put in your mouth. You must do meal planning.

Planning your meals is critical to a healthy eating program because it places you in fewer situations where you eat desperately. When we eat in a desperate state - we eat too much and not the right foods (primarily fast foods). Meal planning is essentially like a teacher preparing their lesson plan for the next day or upcoming week. Look ahead a day or two and figure out your schedule and when you are going to fit nutrition into your day. If you know you have a lunch date then plan for a healthy dinner and think through your lunch suggestions so you can avoid restaurants that offer too many unhealthy choices.

1. Do not skip the grocery store and learn to make 5-10 dishes that you enjoy and fit the health bill This is an essential part of meal planning.
2. Do not be intimidated by the process, embrace and look forward to the positive changes it will have on your mental focus and your performance while training.
3. The problem with high protein and fat diets like the Atkins is that it may help you to lose weight, but it sacrifices your health.
4. This program is intended to improve your overall health. This type of eating program poses problems because of its lack of carbohydrates.
5. Without carbs, the fat that you eat is broken down for fuel. This process is called ketosis, which can cause dehydration and those who take medications for hypertension.
6. Glycemic Index (GI) refers to the degree a food increases your blood sugar which can increase your weight gain. Therefore, foods with a high GI are not best for several reasons: they leave you feeling hungry, they cause food cravings and they contribute to weight gain.
7. Studies show that people who suffer from heart attacks due to a high fat diet also had very low intakes of fiber in their diet.
8. Breakfast is a critical meal because it balances out your cravings through out the day and helps to prevent hunger spells. When you do not eat breakfast, you are also more likely to crave carbs.
9. Fat is a good part of the your diet. You want higher unsaturated fats than saturated fats. A low fat diet does not satisfy the body overall. When the good fats are part of your meals, i.e. olive oil, nuts, avocado etc. is helps to make you feel full sooner than a low fat diet. It is not uncommon for more calories to be consumed by a low fat meal than a meal that is high in fiber and complex carbs - for example, sweet potatoes with butter and grilled chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese).
10. Insulin resistance does often occur in overweight people. It is the inability of insulin to properly process fuel, fats or sugars. So a balanced diet will also increase the proper digestion and absorption of foods in the body to keep you energized and your blood chemistry balanced which affects your skin, hair, nails, ability to train efficiently, feel sleepy, grumpy etc...

Dental Health 101: Ten Tips for Parents of Kids with Smiles

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month - a time for parents to focus on healthful habits and practices to ensure that their children enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles and healthy well-being.

“Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases, and can cause problems that continue into later life,” says veteran San Antonio cosmetic dentist Dr. Edward Camacho, DDS. “The dental health of a child should be a top priority for parents, starting even before a baby is born.”

Dr. Camacho offers these ten tips for parents:

1) Get the true picture – Everyone understands that you should take care of your teeth to avoid toothaches, maintain your looks and keep dental bills at bay. Many people, however, don’t understand how crucial oral health is to our total health picture. Tooth problems can lead to diabetes, heart disease, systemic infections, an inability to eat or speak properly and other maladies – some life-threatening. Crooked or crowded teeth can contribute to gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Straight teeth are no longer just for looks.

2) Dental health starts in the womb – By the second trimester of pregnancy, a baby’s teeth are forming. To make sure development is normal, mom should consume generous amounts of foods containing calcium, including dairy, products, whole grains and leafy greens.

3) Avoid baby bottle tooth decay – Don’t use the nursing bottle as a pacifier, or let the baby fall asleep with a bottle containing any form of carbohydrates. Even human breast milk can lead to tooth decay if it remains in a baby’s unrinsed mouth. A better option is to give the child a bottle of water. Never dip a pacifier in sugar, honey or anything sweet. Mothers can also transmit the bacteria that cause tooth decay to their infants through kissing, sharing cups or utensils. It is recommended that new mothers chew gum, consume mints or candy with xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar. Xylitol reduces the amount of a specific type of bacteria (strep mutans) that causes tooth decay. Spry makes xylitol sweetened gum, mint and candy.

4) Protect the baby teeth - Although they’re only with the child for a few years, baby teeth serve an important role in the development of the mouth, serving as space-savers and guides for permanent teeth. Loss of baby teeth can lead to crowded or crooked permanent teeth. Baby teeth are also important to the normal appearance of the face, proper nutrition and speech. And, of course, cavities and infection can affect the child’s overall health.

5) Tooth brushing – Even before a child’s teeth begin coming in, you should develop the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums after feeding, using a damp cloth or gauze. When the first tooth arrives, usually between the ages of 6 and 10 months, you should switch to a small soft-bristle brush. Take care to brush behind the teeth and around the gum line, using just water without toothpaste. From ages 2 to 6, add a small amount of toothpaste – no more than the size of a pea (Spry makes an infant tooth gel with xylitol which reduces bacteria that cause decay). Until about age 7, parents should handle the tooth-brushing, or at least personally supervise. Make sure the kids learn proper brushing techniques, using a circular stroke to reach all surfaces.

6) Flossing – As soon as your child has two teeth touching, you should begin flossing between the teeth. It’s as necessary as flossing for adults, and introducing the practice early will teach the child the proper habits of tooth care.

7) Tooth-friendly diet -- Parents should train their children early toward a healthy diet that has limited candy, soft drinks and other sweets that can fuel the development of cavities. Cheese is an especially healthy snack, because it adds calcium, stimulates saliva production and counteracts chemicals that can eat away at tooth enamel.

8) Prevent decay with xylitol-New research suggests that products containing xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar, can prevent tooth decay and even Otis Media (ear infections). Oral bacteria do not use Xylitol therefore no acid is produced to eat away at enamel. Xylitol also reduces the quantity of caries causing bacteria creating additional protection between meals as well as inhibiting the bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Look for products that only use xylitol as the sweetener. (Young children should avoid non-liquid products such as gum, mints or lozenges until they can effectively chew or suck long enough to gain a benefit without swallowing or choking.)

9) Visit the dentist regularly – Parents should take their children to the dentist by their first birthday, and then continue twice a year. This is also a strategy session to work out a plan for lasting dental health. Ask about dental sealants that can protect teeth against decay. Make the trips fun, so that the kids learn that the dental office isn’t a place to be afraid of.

10) Don’t let small problems become big ones – A toothache is a sign that a cavity has reached an advanced stage. It might also indicate a more serious problem, such as a cracked tooth, an infection, jaw problems, etc. Parents should inspect their kids’ teeth regularly, paying attention to anything unusual, and encourage children to be aware of the first twinge of pain or any changes in their mouths.

“Poor dental health can affect everything from overall physical wellbeing to appearance, self-confidence and emotional health,” Dr. Camacho said. “It’s critical that parents understand the importance of the life skill they are passing along to their children.”

Red wine and dark chocolate show real love on Valentine’s Day

Susan Ofria, clinical nutrition manager at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital suggests showing real Valentine’s Day love with red wine and chocolate that both contribute to a heart health. She also has some other heart healthy eating tips to share, in a February 10 news release from Loyola University.

The beauty of indulging in dark chocolate and red wine explains Ofria, is you don’t even have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils, given the known health benefits of higher levels of cocoa found in dark chocolate and resveratrol in red wine that is shown to lower blood sugar levels and boost good cholesterol numbers.

Ofria suggests looking for chocolate with cocoa content that is 70 percent or higher this Valentine’s Day. “Truffles, souffl├ęs and even hot chocolate can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids) as long as dark chocolate with a high content of coca is used.”

You may want to sprinkle chocolate on berries, also good sources of heart healthy nutrients in keeping with February’s national heart health theme. Ofria explains, “Berries are a good source of beta carotene and lutein, anthocyanin, ellagic acid (a polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber.”

Valentine’s Day brings a special focus to the heart. Other tips for heart healthy eating include oatmeal for breakfast that is high in soluble fiber, potassium, niacin (a B vitamin) and folate.

Snacking on almonds and walnuts provides omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, niacin, vitamin E that are a good source of magnesium needed for heart and overall good health. Preparing or ordering meals that incorporate kidney beans, brown or golden flaxseeds, salmon and tuna are other heart healthy ways to show love on Valentine’s Day.

Loyola Medicine: "Go for the Dark Chocolate, Red Wine to Keep Your Honey Heart-Healthy This Valentine's Day"

Health Tips: Best Way to Shovel Snow

Dr. Dizon recommends for residents to know their limits when shoveling snow.

"It is physically demanding work," he said. "We don’t normally get this much snow at once."

For those who are young and healthy, they need to be mindful of muscle or joint injuries when shoveling. They should also be careful to not fall while shoveling.

Senior citizens, or those who are sedentary, are at risk of a heart attack because "they don't realize how strenuous shoveling snow can be."

Even if residents have a snow-blower, it still can be a strenuous activity that could be hazardous to residents who are not physically active.

"If you are not physically active, I would try to avoid shoveling snow and get someone else," Dizon said.

Use Proper Techniques

When shoveling, residents should dress warmly and wear proper gloves, footwear and headwear to avoid frostbite.

"At times you are working hard, you don't realize you are having problems," he said. "You are warm, but your extremities are feeling the effects of frostbite."

Dizon recommends snow shovelers to bend their knees and avoid twisting or lifting snow. Snow should be pushed if possible.

"It is better to take a little at a time than to take one huge chunk at once," he said. "You think you are saving time and you could injure your back."

Basic Health Tips Can Keep Out Trouble In School

Hand washing is the basic step towards maintaining a healthy body. The teachers should teach the students the importance of the hand wash.

According to a study, it has been found that lack of hand washing and improper food can cause gastrointestinal trouble. In a confined classroom, area where the students study the virus of gastrointestinal sickness can spread very quickly. This study was published in 2010 issue of the Journal of School Health, which dealt with the food processing in various schools and universities.

A gastrointestinal illness is short-lived. The symptoms are cramps, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. It does not need medical treatment. However, the victim should be provided with water because sometimes dehydration takes place. The victim should have adequate fluid intake. In some cases, the children are admitted in hospitals for the speedy recovery. In case of E. Coli contamination, the victim can die of food poisoning.

The co-author narrates that there has been 121 outbreaks of gastrointestinal sickness. Around 51 percent of these involved bacterial infections and mostly the viruses were being transmitted by the food. Around 12 percent of these were transferred by drinking unsafe water.

Food-borne illnesses are “grossly underreported” to public health authorities, said Lee.

The author says that hand washing before having meal is the best solution to prevent the viruses from the entering the body.

Tips to help you get the most from your cardio training sessions

Effective cardiovascular training is a crucial factor in for many fitness related goals including athletic goals, weight loss & general health. In this article I would like to add to your knowledge and understanding of cardio training so you can design a program that leads you to your goals.

When I was just starting out in fitness, I was certain that I could achieve all my goals by running an hour (or more) everyday. I figured the more cardio I did (no matter what the type), it would make me a better volleyball player, lose the weight I wanted to, and be in great shape since I had so much endurance. I was wrong! While I did develop a lot of endurance, I still struggled to be as fast as I wanted during volleyball matches, reacted a little slower than I hoped, and had trouble staying at the weight I wanted. In other words, I was in good health and decent shape but the results I was after stayed just out of my reach.

It wasn’t until I learned to apply the simple tips I’m about to describe that I finally the results I wanted. In order to get the most benefit from cardio training, I recommend making continual adjustments and tweaks to three variables:

* Duration: Length of time spent for each individual cardio session
* Intensity: Level of difficulty achieved during each cardio session
* Variance: Varying the type of cardio performed each session

Remember, the purpose of each training session is to stimulate the systems of the body with a certain type of load (weights, cardio, etc.) elicit an adaptive response from each session. A cardio training plan that continually adjusts each of the three variables places a new stimulus on your muscles, tissues and cardiovascular system and challenges the body differently each time you workout.

A simple example is that of marathon training. A standard training schedule for beginners starts with 3-5 miles or so at week one and gradually increase distance runs (load) each week. The body adapts to each distance you run and each week you have the ability to sustain more.

Adaptive response to exercise:
The bodies response to the demand placed upon it during an exercise session

Duration
Obviously the length of your cardio training sessions has an impact on total calories burned, cardiovascular endurance, and cardiovascular health. While basic recommendations from ACSM and AHA are to do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week or do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week, for healthy adults under the age of 65, it’s also important that your cardio training correlates with your personal fitness goals whether they be weight control, fat loss, or performance oriented.

For example, if your goal is weight loss you may want to increase your cardio from 20 minutes 3 times a week to 30 minutes 5 times a week, this would allow you to burn more total calories each week. Or, if your goal is to become a better basketball player, you may want to train for speed 2 times per week and train for endurance 2 times per week.

As I said before, you should also consider intensity and variance when designing an effective cardio training plan. In my next post, I will detail three different types of intensity training that you can incorporate into your plan, I’ll describe what I mean by the word variance and how you can use it to get better and more individualized fitness results, and I will give you an example of how I helped one client go from struggling to walk uphill three minutes on a treadmill to finishing her first marathon.

The points I’ve listed here are the basic principles I use when designing training programs for my clients. By using the combined information from this and next weeks post not only will you get better results, your routine will become more fun and interesting.

Five tips to keep your heart healthy and happy

Chances are, one of your New Year's resolutions is to get fit, and that means staying heart healthy.

In this Health Minute, John Lisk looks at five ways to keep your ticker going strong.

A healthy heart means healthy arteries, and healthy blood pressure. When arteries become clogged from cholesterol and fat, they shut off blood flow that's needed to keep the body running and the heart pumping. When blood pressure is high, it can weaken the heart and other organs.

So, what are some of the best ways to keep the heart in top shape? Read labels. Doctors say look at what you are eating, especially when it comes to trans fats.

And, try a little laughter. Researchers still say that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine, especially for your cardiovascular system.

Some researchers have found that music can have the same effect. Studies have shown that listening to your favorite music opens up your vessels, much like laughter does.

And, move. A brisk walk for 30 minutes every day can also make a big difference.

And, doctors say, to say in touch with friends. Studies have shown that being socially active gets ride of stress, and losing stress can reduce your risk of heart disease by 25 to 30%.

15 health tips for the new year

Year after year we make resolutions to exercise regularly, eat well, and give up smoking and other bad habits. Following such basic rules can cut heart disease risk by 80 percent, diabetes risk by 90 percent and cancer risk by 50 percent, according to the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study. But most of us fail to keep our promises to ourselves. Some American experts have given the following tips for practical ways to get – and stay – healthy.
1 .Wear a pedometer. New research suggests that routinely wearing a pedometer encourages people to walk about an extra mile each day, lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking and a total of 10,000 steps per day.

2. Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body. Too many people neglect resistance exercise, particularly women for whom it’s crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week.

3. Don’t pop too many vitamins. Enthusiasm for vitamin pills is high, but evidence for their benefits is low. Try to get vitamins from foods and consider a multivitamin for insurance. Any woman thinking about getting pregnant should make sure to take a folic acid supplement. Women should get at least 1,000 mgs of calcium per day (1,200 mgs/day if you’re past menopause) from food and/or supplements. Everyone should also get 800 international units of Vitamin D per day.

4. Eat at least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are beneficial for the heart and brain and may even lower risk of cancer.

5. Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin for heart protection but don’t assume that it’s right for you. A recent clinical trial suggested that healthy women younger than age 65 don’t get heart protection from aspirin. Women who are the best candidates for long-term aspirin are age 65 or older or have a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. And be aware that aspirin has some serious risks, including gastrointestinal bleeding.

6. Drink water. No matter where you are, water should always be the first thing you reach for when you’re thirsty. Water truly is essential.

7. Sleep eight hours a night. A number of recent studies have confirmed that you really do need at least eight hours a night. Among the many benefits: Adequate sleep makes you feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, boosts memory and reduces the likelihood of being in a car accident.

8. Keep sugar and caffeine – the “legal evils” – to a minimum. It’s hard to believe, but decreasing sugar actually increases people’s energy, by minimising the highs and lows that sweet foods triggers. Different people react differently to caffeine, but most of us are probably overstimulated already – adding a stimulant just adds to things like road rage.

9. Consider acupuncture and massage as valid therapies for chronic problems, such as back pain and neuropathy. Seeing a good massage therapist for neck strain may work better than taking extra strength Tylenol and/or Advil regularly.

10. If you smoke, quit. There is nothing good about it. If you’re having trouble quitting, start smoking less today – smoke only half a cigarette, and skip as many of your usual smokes as you can – and get help right away. Get some guidance about why it is you smoke to figure out how best to stop doing it. Smoking cessation groups can be extremely helpful and supportive, and medications like a nicotine patch can help decrease the cravings. Acupuncture may also be useful.

11. Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating. If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to overeat, especially in the evening. Instead, of sacrificing all day and gorging later, it’s better to eat enough during the day to avoid hunger pangs and uncontrolled eating at night. Eat every four hours or so, and make sure to eat a “second lunch” – think of it as another meal rather than a snack – in the mid-afternoon to keep your energy up and make you less hungry in the evening.

12. Budget your food as you do your money. A rough guideline for daily caloric intake: Multiply your ideal body weight by ten (ie, 1,200 calories if you want to weigh 120 pounds) and then add another 600 calories if you’re moderately active, a few hundred more if you’re very active. Divide those calories out across the day to keep yourself well fed.

13. Eat three different foods at every meal. Don’t eat a scoop of tuna for lunch – eat tuna on a roll with a salad.

14. Eating won’t solve emotional problems. Many people eat to make themselves feel better when they’re upset. It works in the short run; certain foods can temporarily boost mood. But in the long run, you’ll have the same emotional problems – plus the extra weight.

15. Don’t drink too many calories. It’s easy to drink calories without noticing: that latte may have nearly as many calories as a cheeseburger. It’s okay to have one as an occasional treat, but consider it a meal, not a drink.

Three tips to save health care firms big bucks

Health care providers don’t anticipate the reimbursement rates they get from insurance companies or the federal government to take a giant leap any time soon.

So they’re looking to collect every dollar they’re entitled to under current contracts.

And Bob Stevens, CEO of Crescent Springs-based Bottom Line Systems, is helping them. His company looks for cases where providers have been underpaid.

Bottom Line Systems collected more than $70 million in additional reimbursement for clients over the last year.

The 14-year-old company has 200 employees and serves clients, including hospitals, physician practices and infusion companies, in 20 states. It’s recently been growing revenue by 10 percent to 20 percent per year.

Stevens, who also is a partner in the Crestview Hills-based law firm Dressman Benzinger LaVelle, offers several tips for providers seeking to maximize their revenue in the new year:

• Review contracts carefully. Nearly every dollar that passes through a hospital is covered by a contract or a regulatory system. Knowing the fine print in every agreement is the only way providers can know whether they’re being reimbursed properly.

• Test every payment. Nowadays, periodic audits and sampling are not enough, Stevens said. “There’s so much complexity and opportunity that when you go ahead and review all the claims, the payoff is more than worth the effort.”

• Don’t be afraid to seek outside help. Stevens’ firm operates almost entirely on a contingency basis. “We’re at risk, so I wouldn’t be doing the review if I didn’t think it was worth it,” he said.

A typical hospital, Stevens said, can increase its net revenue between 1 percent and 3 percent by implementing such a review process.