About Len Saunders

Len Saunders is an award winning / best-selling author, motivational speaker in the fight against childhood obesity, and nationally recognized for his innovative wellness events. Recently, you may have seen Len on such media giants as CNN, Good Morning America, CNBC, The Today Show, ESPN, Nickelodeon, MSNBC, The Fox Channel, as well as the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

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.

Are Grains Healthy? Important Myths Debunked

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By Kelly Newman

grainWhat once used to be an ordinary food item has now become the talk of the town. Yes, I am talking about the fantastic grains whose nutritional goodness is now a point of disagreement. Years ago before the Paleo and Ketogenic diets came to light grains were a staple ingredient. However, campaigns such as clean eating have given the grains a bad rap and turned them into a dreaded food. In this article, I’ll try to reveal some facts about how favorable grains are! But first, let’s discuss the basics!

What Are Grains?

Grains or Cereals are the edible seeds of certain grasses. These can be further categorized, common types of grains are:

  • Wheat
  • Millets
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa

Nutrients Contained In Grains

Grains are famous for their carbohydrate content. Although carbs are a vital source of energy, yet the term connected with grains gives a somewhat negative impact. If we go a little into details we find out that there are two types of grains:

  • Whole grains/ the unprocessed ones
  • Processed grains

Are Grains Unhealthy? Understanding Refined and Whole Grains

The seed in its original form consists of:

  • Bran– It is a source of Fiber, minerals, vitamin B, and antioxidants
  • Endosperm– It contains starchy carbohydrates and proteins
  • Germ– This is the most nutritious part that includes not just carbs but fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

During processing of the grains, the bran and germ of the kernel are cut off. This means most of the nutrition is eliminated hence refined grains are unhealthy whereas whole grains are beneficial for health.

Grains Contain Phytates, So They Are Harmful!

Another common belief is that grains contain phytates which combine with minerals in the body and prevent them from getting absorbed. For this reason, maybe grains should be avoided? Well, that isn’t true either!

Like nuts and seeds, whole grains also contain phytic acid. However, it only poses a danger if such foods are consumed continuously in large amounts along with a poor diet. So they are perfectly healthy, and you can eat them as much as you’d like.

Carbs Will Make Me Fat!

I have seen a lot of people avoid carbs as they believe it will make them fat and will cause blood sugar to increase. Again I’d like to point out that these characteristics vary with the type of carb you consume. As whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, the digestion takes time, and thus they do not cause the blood sugar to spike.

Low Carb Diets Are Better For Weight Loss!

healthywordsFat was the macronutrient that always considered as the enemy, but the belief began to change. A lot of people now prefer low carb diets as they think they are healthier and efficient. Well, there is a twist; low carbohydrate diets can have beneficial results in the more extended run. A low carb diet can help shed pounds as quickly as some natural cleanse for weight loss.

In a nutshell, carbs aren’t the real enemy; it is the processing that makes them unhealthy. Remember that eating a balanced diet is imperative for good health so don’t give up on them entirely.

– Kelly Newman is a Fitness Trainer and blogger. She loves to write about everything related to fitness and diet and wants to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. She works with the team behind healthlisted.com and does extensive research to provide people actionable health and nutrition information.

Tips When Talking To Your Doctor About Your Child’s Health

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By Ala Alkhatib

doctorFor a parent, there is nothing more important than your child’s health. You will go to any extreme to ensure that your child remains happy and healthy. Considering your busy lifestyle, it may not be possible to schedule a regular appointment with your child’s doctor. Sometimes, it is very difficult to get an appointment quickly as most pediatricians will be overbooked or overscheduled. Thus, you need to take advantage of the minimum amount of time that you spend with the doctor.

When it comes to child’s healthcare, it is always advisable to take the child to the same doctor again and again rather than switching doctors. This way you are able to build a strong bond between the doctor, the child, as well as the parent – – which make both the doctor’s and parent’s task easier.

Here are several things you need to keep in mind while talking to your child’s doctor about his/her health

Be well prepared: Before seeing the doctor, make a list of the things you should discuss with him / her. This includes the child’s general health, the specific condition, when symptoms first appeared, and the frequency of occurrence. For example, If the child is throwing up a lot, you should keep note of when the vomiting started, what triggered this response, at what interval it occurred, and what home remedy you tried. Also, make a note of all the questions you want to ask the doctor.

Prioritize things: When it comes to your children’s health, you will always have a lot of worries. In addition to writing notes down, you should also prioritize them in order of importance.  For example, if you are consulting the doctor for your child’s ear infection, that should be your first priority.

Provide all information: Report to the doctor if there are any other health concerns that should be aware of….do not leave anything out. If there is an X-ray or medical report, remember to carry that as well. If the child is on any new medications or if he / she is allergic to anything, remember to mention this to the doctor. This includes even the multivitamin and painkiller which the child may have had. It is also useful if you can provide a complete report of the child’s health including the blood group, history of allergies (food, drug, and others) and immunization schedule.

Be informed: The internet provides a whole lot of information about each and every aspect of health. While it is a good idea to get some information from the internet, do not go overboard. Familiarize yourself with few medical terms related to your child’s illness. If the doctor mentions any of these names, it will be easy for you to understand.

groupkidsRemain focused: Pay complete attention to what the doctor is telling. Turn off the cell phone to make sure that you are not distracted. Also, do not discuss things that are totally unrelated to the current health condition like the behavioral problem of the child.

Do not hesitate: A mother is a child’s best doctor. A doctor spends just ten or fifteen minutes examining a child. But it is the mother who knows the child well. If you feel that there is something amiss and your child needs a hospitalization, do not hesitate to tell the doctor. Pointing out certain facts that the doctor missed out will help him to make a proper diagnosis.

Use the latest technology to communicate: When it comes to communicating with today’s doctors, the latest technology like WhatsApp and Email comes handy. Ask your doctor whether he is comfortable communicating through these means and if so remember to get the doctor’s phone number and email id. If you have missed out on any important report, the same can be sent via email or WhatsApp.

Communicate with the nurse: Before seeing a child’s doctor, you will often meet the doctor’s assistant or nurse who will check the height and weight of the child. It would be a good idea to share the child’s health condition with them. They might be able to provide some tip which the doctor would most likely forget in his busy schedule.

Above all, make sure that you meet the doctor at the right time. If by any chance you are not able to reach the clinic on time, let the clinic staff knows beforehand. Also, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the appointment procedure of the clinic as well as insurance formalities to avoid unnecessary delays.

– Ala’a Alkhatib is a passionate digital content marketer based in Jordan who has previously worked in a variety of industries including software, transportation and aeronautics. She is currently helping people live healthier by integrating their doctors into their day to day schedule more efficiently. She is also a frequent user of Cura app having been known to use it to chat with doctors in all kinds of place – even while on the bus!

6 Simple Ways To Boost Productivity And Work Performance

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By Jenny Perkins

consultIn today’s dynamic professional environment, the ultimate goal for both the employee and the employer is higher productivity. The business world has become increasingly competitive, and clients want to see results. The workplace has become stressful, challenging and requires you to multitask efficiently. Now you do want to earn appreciation and get yourself a promotion, but how? Some employees try hard but still aren’t able to bring their A-game. Well, no need to sweat it and keep reading as I will disclose simple tricks to boost your productivity.

For Employees

Give Your Day an Energetic Start

People who don’t wake up feeling fresh and energetic may be unable to make the most of their capabilities. It is essential to begin the day with positivity, to clear up all the negative thoughts and start fresh. The first thing you should do is plan a morning routine that you can conveniently follow. Wake up a little early and plan a few activities that can kick-start your day. You can try yoga or meditation; it will de-clutter your mind and improve your focus and concentration throughout the day. Another beneficial habit is to remind yourself of your goals and targets each day, don’t forget about the bigger picture as that will keep you motivated.

Focus on One Task at a Time

You may be assigned multiple tasks in a day which would automatically get you thinking that it is best to multitask. Well, it is not, research shows that it takes longer for you to complete an activity when you focus on various things at one time. It is best to minimize distractions and create your workspace.  Limit the usage of social media, don’t even check other emails, just complete one task at a time and try your best to ace it.

Don’t Stress Out

We tend to make mistakes when we are stressed or worried. You already have a lot on your to-do list, and your boss assigns you another task, and this is when you feel you have lost control. Stop right there and practice breathing exercises to refocus your mind. Afterward prioritize the projects by deadlines, stakeholders or importance. Choose some tasks to get help with and work on the others that you think you can manage alone. Now take a deep breath and begin.

For the Employer

Arrange Bring-Your-Pet to Work Days

petMany leading organizations including Amazon, Google have endorsed the idea of bringing pets to work. Research shows that dog-owners who bring dogs to work report lower stress level and higher workplace satisfaction which eventually leads to higher productivity. Of course, there are a few things that you would need to take in consideration, but always remember that happier employees are productive employees.

Get Your Team to Meditate Together

Meditation offers plenty of benefits; it boosts focus, concentration and can help improve team coordination leading to better results. Implement in-office meditation sessions to assist your employees in reducing stress and improving their work performance.

Promote a Safer and Healthier Workplace                               

The work environment mainly impacts employee performance. Promoting a healthy workplace would lead to less absenteeism and higher productivity. Train your employees regarding the importance of safety and provide them the required equipment. Motivate them to adopt healthy habits and offer health-care benefits based on preventive care.

– Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.

Simple Dietary Changes To Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Submitted By Richard Adams

healthyheartIt’s been said that the human heart is the most important muscle in the body. Bearing in mind the fact that heart disease is currently the number one killer in the developed world this might not be far from the truth. The good news is that keeping your heart in good condition needn’t be rocket science.

Two of the biggest changes we can all make are to eat better and to exercise more. While they’re both important, it is arguably our diets that are most easily changed. In this guide we’ll therefore be looking at some simple and efficient changes you can make to protect your cardiovascular system…

Reduce Your Intake of Saturated Fats

One factor that virtually every cardiologist can agree on is that saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels, which in turn puts you at greater risk of heart disease. Studies comparing diet with the risk of heart disease have shown that every additional 10 grams of saturated fat consumed per day leads to a 0.03mm increase in the thickness of artery walls; a well-known metric used to measure the appearance of atherosclerosis.

Luckily, not all fats are bad, and many experts believe that unsaturated fats are positively beneficial in your diet. Generally speaking most saturated fats are solid at room temperature, so to keep your heart healthy aim to reduce your consumption of fatty meat, butter, cream and cheese. Some plant oils such as coconut oil and palm oil are also high in saturated fats.

In contrast great sources of healthy unsaturated fats include oily fish, avocados and many nuts and so these should be incorporated regularly into your diet.

Increase Your Fiber Intake

Fiber doesn’t just “keep you regular” – it has also been found to help control your cholesterol levels, and in doing so to help protect you from heart problems. Scientists think that it does this by binding to cholesterol in the food that you eat, so that it is excreted rather than being absorbed into the blood.

This positive impact of fiber on heart disease has been shown time and again in rigorous scientific analysis. For example, one group of scientists followed over 300,000 people for a period of ten years, cross-referencing their intake of fiber with cardiac events. They found that consuming an additional 10 grams of fiber per day was associated with a 14% decrease in the risk of serious heart problems. Indeed, some studies have found evidence that fiber consumption has an even bigger effect on heart health than diets that are high in saturated fats.

So what fiber should you be eating? Much of the research to date has focused on wholegrains, which are known to not only be high in fat but also lead to a slow, steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, meaning more balanced blood sugar. One group of scientists, for example, found that people who consumed 2 servings of wholegrains per day were 21% less likely to suffer from heart disease than people not regularly consuming them. Other great sources of fiber include brown bread and whole meal pasta, together with a whole host of different fruits and vegetables.

At the same time, it isn’t always easy to consume enough fiber with today’s hectic lifestyles. For these individuals the easiest solution is to consider a fiber supplement. Popular options with impressive results demonstrated include psyllium husk, inulin and guar gum that can be bought in powder or tablet form.

Eat More Garlic

healthywordsCholesterol is a normal part of life, and in moderation it is crucial to our survival. Among other things, for example, cholesterol is a key component that makes up the walls of every cell in our bodies.

Problems arise either when the delicate balance between LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and HDL (“good”) cholesterol fails, or when LDL cholesterol is attacked by free radicals in the environment around us.

Experts believe that garlic plays an important role in preventing this chemical reaction that turns LDL cholesterol into OxLDL – a far more dangerous version – which can lead to atherosclerosis and, ultimately, heart disease. In doing so, garlic helps to protect our cardiovascular system.

Focus on Oily Fish

Omega 3 oils are positively associated with reduced inflammation and, as a result, a lessened chance of circulatory problems.

A study tracked almost 85,000 nurses for a period of 14 years. During this time regular questionnaires were completed on diet, while health checks recorded any cardiovascular risk. The study found that the more fish the women consumed, the lower their odds of suffering from coronary heart disease.

The impacts of dietary omega 3 oils have been borne out in numerous other experiments. One experiment provided healthy male volunteers with either 14 grams of fish oil per day or a placebo for a period of six weeks. The experts found cholesterol levels fell by an average of 22% in those participants supplementing with omega 3.

Most health experts recommend that to keep your heart healthy we should all be eating at least two portions of fish per week, with at least one of these being “oily” fish like mackerel or salmon. For people who don’t have the time or inclination to regularly cook fresh fish, studies suggest that fish oil in supplement form offers similar benefits to the heart, though these do of course omit some of the other beneficial nutrients found in whole fish.

Take Plant Sterols

Plant sterols are naturally-occurring compounds that mimic the overall shape of cholesterol in the body. As a result, plant sterols compete with cholesterol in the body, cutting down the amount of cholesterol that binds to cholesterol receptors. The impact of plant sterols can be considerable. Studies have shown, for example, that an intake of just 2 grams of sterols reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by an average of 10%. Even better, plant sterols are regularly available in supplement form, so it is easy to top up your levels on a daily basis.

Reduce Salt Intake

healthyheartThe human body maintains a careful balance of sodium and potassium – two chemicals that we think of more commonly as “salt”. This balance is crucial as it allows your kidneys to draw excess water out of the body and dispose of it in the form of urine. Excess salt in your diet, however, upsets this balance. As the kidneys are unable to extract water efficiently the end result can be raised blood pressure (hypertension). As you might imagine, this effect can also damage the kidneys when taken to excess.

High blood pressure is known to be a factor in all sorts of unpleasant health conditions. For example, one study on the impact of high blood pressure found that it was responsible for 62% of strokes and 49% of heart disease.

At the same time, studies have looked at the impact of reducing salt intake on the risk of cardiovascular disease. One investigation involved 744 participants who reduced the salt intake by roughly 25% for a period of 18 months. Comparing those patients that had reduced their salt intake with the control group who had not, the risk of developing heart disease reduced by a quarter simply by controlling salt. In other words you want to protect your heart; it therefore makes sense to minimize your salt intake.

Conclusion

Keeping your heart healthy doesn’t need to be rocket science. While you should also consider including regular exercise in your weekly regime there are a host of simple dietary changes that can be made. Cut down on salt and unhealthy fats while bulking up on fiber and oily fish and you’ll be well on your way to long-term heart health. Lastly, as we have seen, supplements like plant sterols, psyllium or cod liver oil capsules can give you a little extra boost when you need it.

– This guest post was written by the expert nutritionists at Simply Supplements, who provide a wide range of different supplements including psyllium husk capsules. Click the link to learn more about fiber supplements.