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.
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.
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.
- Diet: Refrain from heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine two to three hours before bedtime.
- Environment and Light: Turn off TVs, computers and other electronic devices that give off light. An exception may be made for atmospheric sound machines or soft, soothing background music that can mask environmental noise and promote relaxation.
- Adult coloring books, journaling and creative writing provide opportunities to relax and engage in satisfying and creative activities.
- Tai chi, also called movement meditation, has been found to be effective in achieving a relaxed state prior to sleep. See http://www.examiner.com/article/what-physical-meditation-is-and-how-to-do-it and http://www.ezsleepsolutions.com/articles/tai-chi-qigong-for-insomnia-by-matthew-rochford/
- The “8 Minute Yoga Workout for Sleep” that can be done on your bed! See http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/yoga-routine-before-sleep/
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation can relieve tension. See http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/progressive-muscle-relaxation-topic-overview
- “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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your skin is your body’s largest and most visible organ, so keep it feeling, and looking, as fresh and young as possible. Healthy skin is a must if you want to avoid cosmetic cover-ups or costly surgery fixes for skin problems later in life. With a few simple changes to everyday behaviors, you can keep your skin healthy and youthful looking for years to come.
Allergy season is upon us, and many are feeling the effects of pollen, animal dander, and other common allergens. There are other allergy triggers you may not be aware of, including some that may be in your home. Here are some lesser known allergens to watch out for:
After a long winter, summer’s here and it’s heating up fast, but don’t turn to ice cream and cold soda for relief from the heat. Here are some simple, healthy, fruit-based smoothies you can make yourself; they’ll help keep you going through a long day, either at the office or at home keeping up with a busy family.