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Health, Life Balance
There are moments when you may feel as though you are running low on energy.  When you have had a busy day, or perhaps a fun-packed weekend full of physical activity, it’s easy to understand why you may feel tired.  But what if that tired feeling doesn’t go away?  And what if your lack of energy is having a noticeable impact on your mood, or irritability? There are many factors that can contribute to fatigue, but some of the most overlooked causes are frequently hydration and nutrition.  It is almost as though eating well, and getting enough water each day is “too simple” to be the root cause of any of our health concerns. Find out which vitamins and nutrient deficiencies may be contributing to changes in mood or energy, and discuss your nutritional needs with your physician for recommendations.

Calcium
Inside the body, calcium has a greater function than simply building and maintaining bones.  Did you know that calcium is a key component to building blood vessels, and is also important to reducing symptoms and risks for Type 2 diabetics? Not only is calcium required for internal health, chronic low levels of calcium in the body are linked to depression in women, and exacerbation of pre-menstrual syndrome irritability and moods.  Estrogen is related to calcium production, and some studies have shown improvement with diet and supplementation.  The average recommended amount of calcium for adults is approximately 1,000 mg. per day.

Target Foods:  Milk, kale, yogurt, bok choy, broccoli, okra, and almonds.

Iron
Without sufficient amounts of iron in your body, cells lose the ability to transport oxygen and build strong muscles.  Not only is iron a little more difficult to acquire from dietary sources (particularly for vegans or vegetarians), but there are certain health conditions that can actually impair the absorption of iron into the body, including thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and certain types of cancer.  Eating fruit with your iron supplement, or adding honey or molasses to high-iron foods can aid in absorption, according to the Iron Disorders Institute. Problems with iron deficiency are more prevalent in women than they are in men.   Symptoms of low iron can include depression, fatigue and lethargy.  The recommended amount of iron per day for women is 18 mg., and men should average 8 mg. per day.

Target Foods:  Spinach, seafood, beef, chicken, pork and legumes. A multivitamin like Advanced Immune Defense™ can help bridge the gap between daily dietary nutrition, and the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to help stay active, energetic and healthy.  

Next time you are at the doctor’s office, review your supplement needs with your primary care advisory, and share Advanced Immune Defense™ on our website, to see if our daily multivitamin is right for you.    
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Fitness, Life Balance
Next time you are at a family restaurant you may observe something that is a little different.  Traditionally families that go out to dine together talk and share stories, but increasingly whether it is at home, at a restaurant or while shopping, children are figuratively glued to their mobile devices or to at-home game systems.  Things certainly have changed. Continue reading “How Parents Can Intercept the Xbox: Fitness & Offline Fun for Kids” »
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Life Balance
We all sleep, but is it healthy sleep? You may be surprised to learn that according to research by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the National Sleep Foundation, unhealthy sleep behaviors of adults in the U.S. are now a public health concern. Approximately 35% of those surveyed reported insufficient sleep (less than 6 hours) and 62% said that they experience a sleep problem several nights a week. An estimated 40-70 million Americans suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorders.

Unhealthy sleep patterns increase the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, and depression.  They have been linked to traffic accidents, occupational hazards and reduced productivity.  Factors contributing to poor sleep hygiene include 24-hour access to media and technology, unconventional work schedules, and medical issues such as chronic pain or obstructive sleep apnea.

Healthy sleep is vital to good health and emotional well-being:
  • You fall asleep easily.
  • You regularly sleep 7 to 9 hours in a 24 hour period (sometimes including a nap) without long periods of wakefulness.
  • Upon waking, you feel refreshed and alert.

During sleep, our brains are active and our bodies replenish themselves. There are five stages of sleep: stage 1 is light sleep; in stage 2 the brain waves are slower; stages 3 and 4 are deep sleep; and stage 5 is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, when breathing and heart rate increase, blood pressure rises, and we dream.  This cycle takes 90 to 110 minutes and repeats three to five times a night for healthy sleep. Most adults experience occasional insomnia, due to stress or worry or excitement, but if you are frequently unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, or if you suspect that your sleep insufficiency is related to a medical issue (e.g., if you snore loudly or stop breathing regularly in your sleep,) your doctor may order a sleep study or other tests to determine a course of treatment. If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious and you just can’t quiet your thinking, here are some  things you can do to promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Before bed:
At bedtime:
  • “The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise” may not put you to sleep in 60 seconds, but it really does promote relaxation and a calm feeling.
  • See: http://www.medicaldaily.com/life-hack-sleep-4-7-8-breathing-exercise-will-supposedly-put-you-sleep-just-60-332122

What are your favorite tips for improving the quality of your sleep?  Leave us a comment or share a link to some online resources, and help everyone train healthy sleeping habits for improved wellness.
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Health, Life Balance
Getting outdoors is both beneficial and fun, especially when shared with family or friends.  But convincing your family to get less “screen time” and more fresh air can be a challenge in today’s connected society. It can difficult to come up with fresh ideas for unplugging and enjoying regular outdoor and athletic activities together. Here are few simple ideas we’ve found to help inspire healthy new habits that will get your entire family moving in the right direction.

Bike Riding
There is something magical that happens when kids and bikes connect. Does the wind in your hair, and the feeling of adventure  bring back found memories? Why don’t you pack up the bikes and head to a bike path or city park and explore!  Not only will you be headed for an exciting day of outdoor exploration and learning,  but you will also be improving your muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance and balance.

Hiking
Prefer to keep two feet on the ground?  Why not have a nature themed scavenger-hunt at your local or national park?  Explore and reconnect with nature in a fun and interactive way.   Get the kids involved in making scavenger list of what they expect to find at your preferred locale.  At the end of the day, compare lists and talk about everything you saw.  Maybe pick one thing and research it as a family project?  Inspire the next generation of conservationists, while reinforcing the value of outdoor fun.

Volunteer Dog Walking
Give back to the community, and show children that being active can also involve helping out as a volunteer!  Explore opportunities with your local animal shelter as a dog walker. The dogs win, families people win, and children can learn a lot about the value of volunteering and becoming responsible pet owners. And it doesn’t feel quite like exercise when you are playing or walking four-legged friends.

Backyard Volleyball
You don’t have to leave home to get out and enjoy the fresh air, all you really need is a length of string and a beach ball for some affordable, outdoor and old school fun.   Set up your own volleyball court, and invite friends and other families over for a tournament. A fun way to get everyone moving, enjoying fresh air and the benefit of healthy exercise (and competition).

Teaching children to balance screen time and healthy, physical activity is an important part to modeling a healthy lifestyle.  For more inspiration, surf for outdoor fitness ideas on  Pinterest.
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Allergies, Health, Life Balance

It might sound funny, but for many allergy sufferers it could be true; your job might be making your allergies worse. Anyone who has seasonal allergies knows about keeping the windows closed and the air conditioner on during high pollen count days, but sometimes you follow all the “rules” for minimizing your contact with allergens and still feel congested and awful. Take a look at your surroundings at the workplace (where you spend the majority of your day anyway), and think about what allergens exist there and how you can avoid them or help ease the trigger.

Continue reading “Are You Allergic to Your Job?” »

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