Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Information’

Active seniors can lower heart attack risk by doing more, not less

May 20, 2014

Maintaining or boosting your physical activity after age 65 can improve your heart’s electrical well-being and lower your risk of heart attack, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.senior

In heart monitor recordings taken over five years, researchers found that people who walked more and faster and had more physically active leisure time had fewer irregular heart rhythms and greater heart rate variability than those who were less active.

Heart rate variability is differences in the time between one heartbeat and the next during everyday life.

“These small differences are influenced by the health of the heart and the nervous system that regulates the heart,” said Luisa Soares-Miranda, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto in Portugal. “Early abnormalities in this system are picked up by changes in heart rate variability, and these changes predict the risk of future heart attacks and death.”

The researchers evaluated 24-hour heart monitor recordings of 985 adults (average age 71 at baseline) participating in the community-based Cardiovascular Health Study, a large study of heart disease risk factors in people 65 and older.

During the study, they found:

  • The more physical activity people engaged in, the better their heart rate variability.
  • Participants who increased their walking distance or pace during the five years had better heart rate variability than those who reduced how much or how fast they walked.

“Any physical activity is better than none, but maintaining or increasing your activity has added heart benefits as you age,” Soares-Miranda said. “Our results also suggest that these certain beneficial changes that occur may be reduced when physical activity is reduced.”

The researchers calculated that the difference between the highest and lowest levels of physical activity would translate into an estimated 11 percent lower risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

“So if you feel comfortable with your usual physical activity, do not slow down as you get older—try to walk an extra block or walk at a faster pace,” Soares-Miranda said. “If you’re not physically active, it is never too late to start.”

 

This article was sourced and appeared on: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-seniors-heart.html

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Raspberry & Pistachio Semifreddo

March 19, 2014

raspberry

30 Dr Seuss Quotes that may just change the way you think….

January 22, 2013

Dr Seuss was a smart man!

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week

January 3, 2013

turkey patties

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 450g minced turkey
  • 30g feta, crumbled
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped black olives
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 30g butter

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. With wet hands, shape the mixture into patties.
  2. Melt butter in fry pan over moderate heat. Add the patties and sauté for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve with fresh salad or left-over Christmas vegies.

Healthy Inspirations Coffs Coast

8 reasons to make time for your family to eat together

September 2, 2012

Soccer practices, dance rehearsals, playdates, and other scheduling conflicts make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past. Suddenly, we’re feeding our kids breakfast bars during the morning commute, sneaking 100-calorie packs at our desks, and grabbing dinner at the drive-thru window.

If you’re finding it difficult to get together with your family at the dinner table, here’s a little inspiration.

Dinner together can be a stress reliever

Believe it or not, if you have a demanding job, finding time to eat with your family may actually leave you feeling less stressed.
In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study of IBM workers and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office. (Interestingly, the effect wasn’t as pronounced among dads.) Alas, the study didn’t take into account the stress of rushing to get out of the office, picking up the kids, and getting a meal on the table.

Kids might learn to love their veggies

A 2000 survey found that the 9- to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families most frequently ate more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods. Their diets also had higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber.
Family dinners allow for both “discussions of nutrition [and] provision of healthful foods,” says Matthew W. Gillman, M.D., the survey’s lead researcher and the director of the Obesity Prevention Program at the Harvard Medical School.

It’s the perfect setting for new foods

A family meal is the perfect opportunity for parents to expose children to different foods and expand their tastes.
In a 2003 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children were offered some pieces of sweet red pepper and asked to rate how much they liked it. Then, each day for the next eight school days, they were invited to eat as much of the pepper as they wanted. On the final day, the kids were again asked to rate how much they liked it.
By the end of the experiment, the children rated the pepper more highly and were eating more of it — even more so than another group of children who were offered a reward for eating the pepper. These results suggest that a little more exposure and a little less “You can leave the table once you finish your broccoli!” will teach kids to enjoy new foods, even if they don’t like them at first.

You control the portions

Studies show that families spend more than 40% of their food budget on meals outside of the home. Eating out can be convenient but it’s also caloric — portion sizes in restaurants just keep growing! The average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than a homemade meal. When we are presented with more food, we eat more food, possibly leading to our expanding waistlines.

Healthy meals mean healthy kids

Studies have shown that kids who eat with their families frequently are less likely to get depressed, consider suicide, and develop an eating disorder. They are also more likely to delay sex and to report that their parents are proud of them. When a child is feeling down or depressed, family dinner can act as an intervention.
This is especially true of eating disorders, says Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, who has studied the impact of family meal patterns on adolescents. “If a child eats with his or her parents on a regular basis, problems will be identified earlier on,” she says.

Family dinners help kids “just say no”

Eating family dinners at least five times a week drastically lowers a teen’s chance of smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Teens who have fewer than three family dinners a week are 3.5 times more likely to have abused prescription drugs and to have used illegal drugs other than marijuana, three times more likely to have used marijuana, more than 2.5 times more likely to have smoked cigarettes, and 1.5 times more likely to have tried alcohol, according to the CASA report.
“While substance abuse can strike any family, regardless of ethnicity, affluence, age, or gender, the parental engagement fostered at the dinner table can be a simple, effective tool to help prevent [it],” says Elizabeth Planet, one of the report’s researchers, and the center’s vice president and director of special projects.

Better food, better report card

Of teens who eat with their family fewer than three times a week, 20% get C’s or lower on their report cards, according to the CASA report. Only 9% of teens who eat frequently with their families do this poorly in school.
Family meals give children an opportunity to have conversations with adults, as well as to pick up on how adults are using words with each other, which may explain why family dinnertime is also thought to build a child’s vocabulary.

Put a little cash in your pocket

In 2007, the average household spent $3,465 on meals at home, and $2,668 on meals away from home, according to the national Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When you take into consideration that the $2,668 spent on meals away from home only accounts for about 30% of meals (according to historical data), that’s about $8 per meal outside of the home, and only about $4.50 per each meal made in your own kitchen. You do the math!

By Sarah Klein, Health.com
October 25, 2011 — Updated 1157 GMT (1957 HKT)

Are you suffering from burnout?

August 19, 2012

Even if you love your job, do too much of it, and you’ll hate it.

That’s the conclusion of Mark Cullen of Stanford Medical School, who studies overworked execs. Pride yourself on your work stamina, how much you can take, and you can get taken—by the terminal exhaustion of burnout. That’s when productivity, not to mention your brain and body tank, but you can opt out of that.

Burnout is the last stage of chronic stress, and a job and life killer. If you’re good at endurance and believe your value lies in taking more of a pounding than the next person, you are a prime candidate for it. The irony of the professional world is that it’s the hardest workers who fall prey to burnout—1) the most conscientious, 2) the Type A’s, 3) the bravado warriors. They can take more, and so the usual warning signals of stress are ignored. The fact is that humans, as of yet, don’t have Pentium processors, only caffeine.

The hollowing-out of burnout happens gradually. Your body adapts to chronic stress so it looks like you’re handling things, but it’s an illusion. Adrenaline pumped out by the stress response masks the fact that it’s taking your body down and suppressing your immune system.

Doctors say that when patients arrive with burnout symptoms, there is always a long prelude: Heart palpitations, headaches, back pain, insomnia, irritable bowel, hot flashes, exhaustion. Ignore the signals leading to burnout, and you can wind up adapting to the stress response until your resources are gone. Burnout can trigger stroke, depression and a host of things you can do without, not to mention reduce the sense of accomplishment, interest and joy in your life to zero.

Opt Out of Heroics

Burnout is a three-way shutdown — mind, body, and emotions. It’s the depletion of all your energetic and emotional resources. The result is dramatically lower productivity, guilt, shame, cynicism, falling behind, not caring about the things that you used to.

One of the hallmarks of burnout is disengagement, the opposite of getting things done. This makes burnout a big problem for any organization, since it takes down the top talent. Productivity plummets for anyone with burnout, a cause of presenteeism—you’re there physically, but not mentally—and the sick days and medical bills mount.

Preventing burnout takes a vigilant mind, paying attention to the stress signals and doing something about them, not gutting them out with heroics (which only prolongs and deepens the stress cycle). You have to be proactive and break out of autopilot.

Recognize and dump the behaviors that drive the burnout trap—work overload, perfectionism, no refueling or recreation, un-viable schedules, nonstop busyness, chronic conflict, and giving too much of yourself emotionally. It’s also critical to build skills to communicate about key burnout funnels: lack of reward, control, and community, pieces organizations need to address too.

You Do, Therefore You Are?

You can turn down the stress by altering the way you do your tasks, deal with stress, expend emotion, and set boundaries. Regular recovery strategies are key to buffer stress and chronic exhaustion, which can be the start of the withdrawal from life that marks the downward spiral of burnout.

The tendency to overdo it drives the burnout beast, so you’ll need to wean off compulsive behavior. Why is it so hard to turn off the go button and stop? It could be you are getting all your value from performance. When performance is the sum total of your identity, and you pull back from constant busyness and production, you have no value.

Do less, and you actually get more done, the research shows. And you just might like your job again.

Information sourced from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-top-3-candidates-for-burnout-and-how-to-avoid-being-one-of-them.html

101 Ways to Feel Happy

August 14, 2012


Do you want to feel happy — or even happier — on a daily basis?

The simple solution is dipping into these 101 quick, easy and free ways to make you feel happy right now. They’ll help you get the big picture on how you can actively seek happiness and start to feel happier every day.

Once you’ve got started you can add more ideas of your own to make sure you get your daily dose of happiness. Life’s too short to be miserable and there are infinite ways to feel happy, it’s just a case of finding out what makes you feel instantly happy and taking a moment to enjoy those things every day.

In the long term living a life which is in tune with your values, doing work you’re passionate about and surrounding yourself with inspiring people will help increase your happiness.

But in the short term it’s about doing small things to please yourself, choosing activities that raise your happiness levels slowly but surely then keeping them there by repeating the process regularly.

Here’s the most important stuff you need to do to live in the moment and feel happier every day in one quick list:

  1. Smile.
  2. Connect with nature.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people in person or online.
  4. Do something you’ve always enjoyed.
  5. Do something you’ve never done before but have always wanted to try.
  6. Learn something new.
  7. Smell something that makes you happy: a mandarin, your lover’s perfume, chocolate, you decide.
  8. Reward yourself for your good habits.
  9. Eat something that makes you happy, but not too much if it’s fattening.
  10. Spend time with a good friend.
  11. Touch something that makes you happy: a cat, velvet, the bark of a tree? Take time to notice.
  12. Don’t worry now, worry later.
  13. Say, or sing, something that makes you happy.
  14. Challenge yourself, I dare you.
  15. Look at something that makes you happy.
  16. Stop procrastinating, do something.
  17. Take a small step towards your goal.
  18. Congratulate yourself.
  19. Tell someone you love them.
  20. Do a good deed.
  21. Face your fears.
  22. Read a book you love.
  23. Get outside.
  24. Spend time with inspiring people or read about someone who inspires you.
  25. Clear out your junk, literally.
  26. Let go of negative memories.
  27. Dwell on positive things from your past.
  28. Be creative.
  29. Dare yourself to do something.
  30. Give someone an unexpected gift.
  31. Change your habits just this once, do something unexpected.
  32. Watch the sunset.
  33. Get up for sunrise.
  34. Open a savings account.
  35. Be active.
  36. Plan for success.
  37. Eat something healthy.
  38. Trust your instincts.
  39. Follow your passion.
  40. Throw a party, or plan one.
  41. Avoid drama queens and energy suckers, you know who they are.
  42. Write stuff down, keep a diary.
  43. Set a goal.
  44. Clean your house, bit by bit.
  45. Say “no”.
  46. Spend a day alone.
  47. Devote a day to family.
  48. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
  49. Wear your favourite outfit.
  50. Be present.
  51. Go for a bike ride.
  52. Do something you loved as a kid that you haven’t done for years.
  53. Forgive someone, especially yourself.
  54. Go slow.
  55. Have a meal somewhere different: try a picnic.
  56. Avoid advertisements.
  57. Pick a bunch of flowers and put them in your house.
  58. Ban all media for the day.
  59. Let something slide.
  60. Display a colorful fruit bowl and eat one or two pieces a day.
  61. Be romantic.
  62. Play a game: try Uno or Monopoly with the kids and chess or poker with your friends.
  63. Make a smoothie.
  64. Have a siesta.
  65. Do something you’ve been putting off.
  66. Dream big.
  67. Start small.
  68. Seek out supportive and like-minded people.
  69. Understand that all things come to an end.
  70. Feed the ducks.
  71. Persevere: pick up something you gave up on.
  72. Start a new habit, a good one.
  73. Look at yourself in the mirror, pick what you like best and flaunt it.
  74. Seek sensuous activities and enjoy them.
  75. Look around for funny things and have a laugh.
  76. Rest up.
  77. Change your routine.
  78. Take a photo, and look back at old ones.
  79. Stretch your body.
  80. Meditate.
  81. Write a mantra.
  82. Focus.
  83. Don’t buy something — and see if you miss it. Put the cash in a savings account instead.
  84. Notice what makes you happy and use it in sad times.
  85. Ignore people who annoy you, stop being with them.
  86. Play hide and seek with some kids.
  87. Put a picture of something you want on your wall.
  88. Tell someone your dreams.
  89. Love yourself.
  90. Be grateful.
  91. Visualise.
  92. Unblock.
  93. Use your brain: try a crossword or sudoku.
  94. Make a good choice.
  95. Acknowledge your feelings.
  96. Go on a journey, long or short.
  97. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally connect with.
  98. Be grateful for life.
  99. Write a poem.
  100. Teach someone something you know well.
  101. Choose to be happy every day.

If you haven’t already had your happy fix today, or if you want to feel even happier, try these 101 quick, simple ideas. But maybe not all on the same day.

What makes you instantly happy?

Sourced from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/101-ways-to-feel-happy-on-a-daily-basis.html

Olympic Junk Food

July 29, 2012
2012 London Olympics Sponsored by McDonalds

2012 London Olympics Sponsored by McDonalds

London 2012 Olympic games — Best of our Best

By Michael F. Jacobson

The Olympic Summer Games — the quadrennial sports and advertising extravaganza — are now underway. Once again, we’ll be thrilled (and perhaps even inspired) by the graceful gymnasts, the lightning-fast sprinters, and the seemingly inexhaustible swimmers.

Less thrilling is the endless drumbeat of ads from long-time sponsors Coca-Cola (since 1928) and McDonald’s (since 1976). Their ads are too clever to nag you to fill up on Big Macs and large Cokes. Instead, they worm their way into your heart to create warm, fuzzy feelings.

Companies love to sponsor the Olympics. They reach millions of eyeballs with their seductive TV ads, and they know that some of the squeaky clean, healthy images of star athletes will rub off on their sooty reputations.

How ironic! The global event that showcases the fittest people on the planet is bankrolled — to the tune of about $4 billion — by companies whose foods undermine our health. Major sponsors pay roughly $100 million and provide 40 percent of Olympics revenues. And that won’t change until at least 2020. But the obesity epidemic is leading some to recognize the irony:

  • The London Assembly urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to adopt criteria for sponsors that would bar companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
  • The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said that McDonald’s and Coca-Cola’s sponsorship “sends out the wrong message” to children.
  • The Lancet, the premier British medical journal, lamented, “Harder to erase will be the long-term effect of Games-associated junk food advertising on people’s hearts and waistlines — definitely one Olympic legacy the world can do without.”
  • Even the IOC president, Jacques Rogge of Belgium, acknowledged a problem.

Of course, the companies have silky-smooth retorts. A Coke spinmeister said, “We believe all of our drinks can be enjoyed as part of an active, healthy lifestyle.” McDonald’s said, “Many athletes tell us we are their favorite place to eat.”

The next summer games will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Brazilians are one of the world’s biggest consumers of soda (fueled by Coca-Cola’s billion-dollars-a-year investments), and host to over 650 McDonald’s outlets. Experts predict that Brazil’s bulging waistlines may grab the world record from the United States by 2022. Will junk-food marketers get an Olympic carte blanche again?

I hope that the four-year breather will give Olympic officials and companies time to work out a deal: If you want to link your brand names to the games, you may only promote and sell your healthier products.

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-f-jacobson/olympic-sponsors_b_1703395.html?utm_hp_ref=health-news&ir=Health+News&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009