3 Tips to Stay Energized

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By Steve O’Dell

stretchbridgeStaying energized is absolutely critical to living a productive and happy life. That got me wondering… and then researching…

Here are 3 scientifically proven tips I’ve learned over the years that help me stay naturally wired and ready to conquer my day. Carpe Diem!

1 – Exercise – At least a little bit, every day.

You want to feel more energized, well here’s the secret… spend more energy. Seems a little backward, huh. Maybe, but it works and it’s scientifically backed.

Researchers at the University of Georgia studied 36 people that suffered from chronic fatigue by placing them into three research groups. Group 1 completed 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, the equivalent of running uphill, 3 times a week. Group 2 completed 20 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise, the equivalent of a leisurely walk, 3 times a week. Group 3 did not exercise. The results? Both groups test experienced increased energy and the control group… well, they didn’t.

2 – Drink Healthy

As we millennials like to say, you are what you eat (or drink). Which means that, when you drink soda all day, you are nothing but an effervescing stew of sugar and artificial flavors. Let’s just forget energy drinks – unless you want to be a pool of chemicals? And what about that angelic brown gasoline that hijacked our mornings? It’s no better, highly caffeinated drinks are like high-interest rate loans on your energy bank account. They provide a short spike, but you need to front the bill eventually.

So what’s the solution? Some high-quality H2O.

We are made of water – literally, 50-60% of our bodies are that polygamous marriage between an Oxygen and two Hydrogens. Stay healthy by following the millennial expression… you are what you drink. In this case, water.

It’s recommended to drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Why that amount? Nobody knows. It doesn’t matter, the point – drink water often throughout your day. A funny and practical way to understand your hydration levels – look in the toilet after going to the bathroom. Apple Juice = Dehydrated. Lemon Lime Gatorade = Hydrated.

If you want to get the extra kick without the high-interest rate, try a natural caffeine like matcha green tea. It’s got a light caffeine boost to give you some energy, but instead of the jittery spike, has an amino acid called L-theanine which distributes the caffeine in your blood over 4-6 hours. No more nausea, jitters, or upset-stomach,  just clean and focused energy.

Remember this, Green food and drink = Green Bank Account.

3 – Meditate

yogaposeWant more energy, sit cross-legged in total silence with your eyes shut for at least 10 minutes. This will give you more energy. Surprised? Yeah, me too. The proof is in the science, so let’s take a look.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that meditation can increase your energy levels. In the study, there were two groups, a control group that read every day and the experimental group that meditated each day. After each session, the groups followed up with a Profile of Mood State test at 5 and 10 minutes intervals. The experimental group performed better in both follow-up periods. And, in an extra measure of depth, scored higher on executive functioning tests later on as well.

If you’re intrigued, it’s easy to get started… just sit still for 10 minutes without distractions.

In Conclusion

There you have it ladies and gents, by following the tips outlined in this post, you can stay more energized and feel a lot better, too. You’ll be so darn productive that you’ll finally be able to watch that Netflix show your friends have been nagging you about.

 

Shape America #BIGFEATS

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#BIGFEATS

May 1-7, 2018

National Physical Education and Sports Week

SHAPE America’s National PE & Sport Week, held annually from May 1-7, celebrates the value of effective physical education and sport programs in schools around the United States. This year, Shape America will be highlighting some of our exceptional members and rising stars who are accomplishing “Big Feats” with their work — and leaving their mark on health education, physical education and sport.

During this week, and the entire month of May, look for these inspirational success stories and take advantage of free activities, lesson plans and advocacy resources from SHAPE America that can benefit your school and community.

Looking for a cool idea for May Week?

Take part in Project ACES – the world’s largest exercise class, on May 2.

How To Prepare For World Immunization Week

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By Monica Mendoza

doctorAround the globe, doctors and healthcare professionals continuously battle deadly diseases that negatively impact the lives of millions of people, and one tool that they effectively use toward that goal is vaccines. Immunization is perhaps the single most important healthcare decision a person can make that can save his or her life from vaccine-preventable diseases such as cervical cancer, hepatitis B, pneumonia, polio, tetanus, rubella, mumps, measles, and whooping cough.

While the act of immunization may seem simple enough, there is still a need to drive awareness and education on it. According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), the level of global immunization coverage has seemingly reached a plateau at 86 percent, with no significant increase in the past year. It is estimated that as much as 19.5 million infants are still left out on basic prescribed vaccines.

The good news is that the annual celebration of World Immunization Week by the WHO is a great opportunity for all stakeholders and the general public to do their part, no matter how small, in increasing awareness and spreading information about the importance of vaccines in saving lives. There are many ways that you can do your share in preparing for World Immunization Week:

  • Promote it with a custom wristband in your local schools and communities. A custom wristband reminding people of World Immunization Week is a simple but effective way to encourage more and more individuals to get vaccinated against some of the most common healthcare conditions. It can also be a great fundraising activity for your local charity or organization. Other ways that you can promote World Immunization Week is through posters, flyers, and events in your own community or locality.
  • Spreading the news on social media is another way to help without even costing you anything. Your social media network alone is a great place to start to discuss the importance of immunization, especially for infants and children. Be sure to check out official articles, announcements, and thought pieces from reputable sources such as the WHO and share them responsibly on the Internet so that the spread of fake news can be prevented. There are numerous misconceptions or misinformation about vaccines and immunization, and they need to be countered with facts and data from official scientific reports and studies.
  • Check with local legislators on how you can help support any laws, bills, or resolutions related to healthcare and immunization. There are many proposed healthcare measures in terms of government legislation that need the active voice of citizens. Lend some time in attending hearings and sessions where you can learn more about issues and how you can contribute positively in effecting legislation for the good of the general public.
  • Visit your doctor and see how you or your family members can benefit from vaccination from dreaded diseases. There are different vaccines prescribed for various life stages, and it’s a good idea not to miss out on the opportunity to get yourself protected from diseases. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is why healthcare experts and governments are adamant in promoting immunization because deaths from certain diseases can absolutely be avoided if only for the simple act of vaccination.

As science and technology steadily progress further in the field of medicine, more and more vaccines are being effectively developed against a bigger number of diseases and health conditions. Vaccines are perhaps one of the most important medical innovations in modern history, and by all indications, it will definitely continue to play a vital part in global healthcare in many more decades to come.

Game Changing Research Supports BNP-CNS Training Program

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By Warren Potash

stretchTeen female athletes at puberty have the following challenges that same-age males do not deal with and contribute to the up to 10 time increase in injuries; all too often ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries:

  • Lack of neuromuscular spurt at puberty (as compared to males)
  • Female Triad – osteoporosis, eating disorders, and amenorrhea [loss of period]
  • Wider hip to knee ratio [“Q angle”]
  • Jumping using quads and landing hard
  • Running upright
  • Possible hormonal changes
  • Muscular imbalances and weaknesses
  • Lax [loose] joints
  • Playing sports without training
  • Growth plate and joint development
  • Lack of coordination
  • Properties of ligaments and tendons
  • Tendon response to exercise
  • CNS Fatigue (Central Nervous System)

The GOOD news is that Neuromuscular Training (NMT) offers the best opportunity for every female athlete to minimize her risk for injury. Recently in 2018, T E Hewett, PhD and his colleagues published A School-Based Neuromuscular Training Program and Sport-Related Injury Incidence: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (Journal of Athletic Training: January 2018, Vol. 53, No.1, pp 20-28). Their conclusion is “Participation in an NMT intervention program resulted in a reduced injury incidenceThe protective benefit of NMT was demonstrated at both the high school and middle school levels.” [http://natajournals.org/doi/10.4085/1062-6050-173-16?code=nata-site]

In 1995, Warren Potash and his colleagues introduced their lower body stabilization training program (NMT) as integral for developing an optimal foundation for every teen female athlete to train to play sports. More than 600 teen female athletes have benefited (as well as elite pro male athletes) from our BNP-CNS Training Program (Balance, Neuromuscular control, Proprioception-Central Nervous System); i.e., our neuromuscular training program with great success.

There are numerous evidence-based research papers that have shown the beneficial effects of NMT and now, the conclusion of “reduced injury incidence…” Other valuable research shows that adults who coach do not want to include NMT in their practices. Now, Hewett has proven what W. Potash has known for decades – NMT minimizes the risk for injury for every female athlete.

Adults need to appreciate and understand why it is time for the athletes and their coaches to emphasize this approach before, &/or after practices… before the season and during the season. Local Physical Therapists and ATC’s (Certified Athletic Trainers) can provide a proper training program.

Warren Potash was one of the first trainers to embrace lower body stabilization as being integral to training teen female athletes. W. Potash’s book: They’re Not Boys, Safely Training the Adolescent Female Athlete and he and his colleagues CEU courses online are also available at www.issaonline.edu.

Website: www.learn2trainsafely.com.

6 Healthy Reasons To Include More Oats In Your Diet

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By Monica Mendoza

oatsSimple they may be, but oats have a lot to offer beyond just being an easy-to-cook breakfast staple. In fact, there are many ways to incorporate more oats into your daily meals, like pancakes, salads, smoothies, muffins, and no-bake cookies and biscuits. You can even use oats to replace rice in various recipes, like congee or pilaf. If you have limited culinary skills or don’t have much time to cook, then there’s also ready-to-drink, delicious milked oats.

With the question of availability and variety out of the way, here now are several healthy reasons why you should start eating (and drinking) more oats.

Oats Have a Great Balance of Nutrients

Oats are among the healthiest, if not the healthiest, whole grain foods you can eat. They are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and contain about 17 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, which is higher than most kinds of grains. Dry oats also contain a variety of vitamins including vitamins E, B1, B5, folate, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.

One cup of oats also contains just 4 grams of fat and about 300 calories per cup. This makes it a good choice for weight loss since it can make you feel full even with a small serving.

Oats are Rich in Soluble Fiber

Oats contain about 11 grams of soluble fiber per 100 grams. This includes beta-glucan, a powerful fiber which reduces both LDL or “bad” cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also contributes to the growth of good bacteria in the stomach and intestines, thus promoting better digestion and bowel movement.

Beta glucan and other fibers in oats also help make you feel fuller quickly and for longer, since it slows down your digestion. What’s more, beta-glucan has also been found to increase the production of cholecystokinin, a kind of hunger-fighting hormone. Both of these actions may help in the process of losing weight and decreasing the risk of obesity.

Oats are Rich in Antioxidants

In particular, whole oats have a high concentration of the polyphenol called avenanthramide, which helps lower blood pressure by increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that dilates the blood vessels, which in turn results in better blood flow. Avenanthramide has also been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Oats also contain vitamin E, which is scientifically proven to help strengthen the immune system. Vitamin E also helps keep the skin healthy, balancing its pH and at the same time keeping it soft and moisturized.

Oats are Gluten-Free

Those with celiac disease will be happy to know that oats are naturally gluten-free, so they can enjoy the nutritional benefits of these whole grains without worrying about aggravating their medical condition. To be on the safe side, check the labels to make sure that the oats you are buying aren’t made or processed using the same equipment as other non-gluten-free grains like wheat and barley.

Oats Reduce Risk Factors for CVD

Researchers have yet to arrive at conclusive evidence that oats and other whole grains can directly reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders. However, oats have already been proven to reduce risk factors for heart disease like high cholesterol levels, hypertension, and diabetes.

Oats can Help Boost Your Energy in a Healthy Way

Do you feel lazy during the mornings? Eating oats for breakfast might just be the ticket to feeling more energized. Oats are a good source of both good, slow-digesting carbohydrates and proteins, which helps energize your body and make you feel more alert. And because the natural sugars in oats are processed much slower compared to other kinds of sugar, your energy levels are more or less consistent until they are fully digested.

It’s a common enough food that we sometimes take it for granted. But with all of these health benefits, and possibly more that have yet to be discovered, it’s about time that we pay more attention to the humble oat!

Benefits of Fitness Gadgets

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By Ryan Varela

joggerEveryone wants to stay fit and healthy. However, achieving this goal takes a lot of time, patience, and effort. Activities such as eating well-balanced meals, having complete rest and sleep, and practicing regular exercise should be regularly done to attain this ultimate goal.

With the fast-pacing innovations in technology, several tools are being created to help you stay fit a lot easier and bearable. The use of fitness gadgets and wearables is one of the most common techniques used by fitness conscious people. These tools will easily keep track of your progress and achievements. It also offers a lot of benefits that will greatly help you in staying fit and well at all times. Read on and learn what you can get when you use these fitness gadgets and wearables.

Personal Accountability

Fitness gadgets and wearables allow you to track your progress and to compare it with your goals. The results obtained will psychologically encourage you to do more activities such as walking more steps, running faster, or sustaining a heartbeat. Some research shows that wearing a fitness gadget can increase the level of activity to about 30%.

Individual Goals

Fitness gadgets and wearables help you to build and to achieve your individually tailored goals. The use of these tools will allow you to set realistic goals for yourself with the help of different guides, workouts, and techniques. It will encourage you to be back on track and to stay on it until such time that your body already adapted to the changes that occurred.

Variety of Trackers

Fitness trackers and wearables come in different forms and types. Each of them has their own unique features and specifications. Some even come in customized designs to fit in the personality of the users. Choosing the best model primarily depends on your needs and your wants in order to properly perform the workout routines. This may include a GPS for better tracking of the distance you run, a heart rate feature for better monitoring of the heart rate through your watch, and a lot more.

Heart Rate Monitoring

Fitness gadgets and wearables can help monitor your heartbeat. This works using a transmitter that detects the electrical activity of the body. There are a variety of models available in the market that caters this feature. Some basic models include a display for easy monitoring while a more complicated model has an alarm, countdown timer, and program for better monitoring.

Monitor Sleeping Patterns

Some fitness gadgets and wearables have the capacity to manage your sleeping patterns. This feature will allow you to determine the number of hours you sleep in order to understand its quality. It can also send an alert for you to know the time you were restless and the time you were able to sleep. This tool will review all your sleeping patterns and will give recommendations on what sleeping habits will work best for you.

Hands-free Experience

Most of the fitness gadgets and wearables lack annoying cords and are hands-free. This gives you a hassle-free experience and better tracking, both during fitness and sleep. The hands-free feature will definitely improve your overall fitness experience.

Self-awareness

familyjogFitness gadgets and wearables will bring awareness to all the activities you perform. It will give you an overview of the number of steps you have, the amount of calories you burn, and the hours of sleep you get on a per day basis. Knowing this will give you a better understanding of how your body works as well as the things that should be improved and lessened to enhance overall wellness.

Motivation

Fitness gadgets and wearables will motivate you to continue working or to strive harder. This will keep track of your activities and how often you perform them. It can serve as a basis whether you are already doing your best or if you can do more. Indeed a great motivation to compete with yourself in order to know your own capabilities and strength.

All in one

Everything you need to stay fit is definitely put into one amazing tool. The fitness gadget and wearable is the ultimate thing that you can have to easily monitor all your hard work. It is equipped with amazing features that are specifically designed to handle all your needs. Additionally, these gadgets can give the best tips and techniques to improve your routines for better wellness and development.

The use of fitness gadgets and wearables is an emerging solution that helps motivate people to work hard and strive more to improve health and wellness. This tool together with the aid of Medicare can help a lot in order to achieve the goal of having a healthy and fit body. What are you waiting for? Go grab your own unit and enjoy every step of the way!

– Ryan Varela is the CEO of Boost Health Insurance which provides customized and affordable health care plans for thousands of customers across the United States. Ryan has nearly a decade of experience in the health care industry and continues to serve the greater need to educate and deliver access to affordable options to those who need health care the most.