5 Tips For Reducing Pollution In Your Home

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By Elizabeth Rago

homelivingroomA recent study linked the exposure to poor air quality to heart disease and stroke. Indoor air quality (IAQ) has increasingly become a topic of conversation in regards to the immediate and long term effects pollutants can have on you and your loved ones. What steps can you take to rid your home of poor IAQ and ultimately bring peace of mind?

1. Clean the air.

What if you could filter out elements like allergens, dust, pollen, and stale tobacco smoke and increase the humidity in your home to a consistent level? The Mayo Clinic suggests the addition of humidifiers in homes to ease symptoms of the common cold and other respiratory conditions, but warn consumers about the importance of proper maintenance of humidifying units. You see, damp filters and standing water promotes the growth of mold and bacteria, causing further harm to your family’s IAQ.

2. Air out the dry cleaning.

Dry cleaning is not technically “dry” as the chemical solvent perchloroethylene (PERC), rather than water, is used during the dry cleaning process. Classified as a human carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PERC has shown to cause cancer in rats during studies where the rodents have ingested or inhaled fumes over a period of time. Remove the plastic bag immediately when you get home and allow your garments to air outside or in a well-ventilated room away from your family. You can find a certified dry cleaner in your area through America’s Best Cleaners, which holds members under strict guidelines and site inspection standards.

3. What are you inviting in?

Be educated about what you bring in the house. Paint, for example contains volatile organic compounds (VOC) and is a key component of the composition of oil based paint. Make sure you always apply paint in a well-ventilated area. Companies like Yolo are now making more environmentally responsible alternative paints.

nosmoking4. Quit smoking.

Children are very sensitive to secondhand smoke as their lungs continue to develop physically. Asthma and
other respiratory illnesses are triggered by secondhand smoke from pipes, cigarettes, and cigars.

5. Find a reputable remodeler.

Home improvement is very common today and whether you are “doing it yourself” or commissioning a professional to make aesthetic changes to your home, consulting a reputable remodeler/home remodeling advisor can make or break the quality of your indoor air.

Disturbing the environment while rehabbing your home stirs up elements like mold, so making sure you have adequate ventilation is key. The EPA suggests for new structures, “When building new homes, homebuyers today are increasingly concerned about the IAQ of their homes. Builders can employ a variety of construction practices and technologies to decrease the risk of poor IAQ in their new homes using the criteria from EPA’s Indoor airPLUS as a guide.”

Making the decision to provide quality indoor air for your family will ultimately result in a happier, healthier environment that paves the path to wellness.

– Elizabeth Rago is a writer for Venta Airwasher specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. Connect with Elizabeth on Google+.

Reducing Stressors In Your Life – Part 2

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By Liran Hirschkorn

womanContinued from part 1 of this article…..

Knowing what life insurance company and policy is the right one for your family can add stress. In order to circumvent that, you can consult one of the many websites operated by experienced life insurance professionals. These professionals provide information on multiple life insurance companies in the industry. You can consult with them to determine which of those companies can offer you the best plan based on your financial and health information. Once the life insurance policy has been finalized, you will be able to breathe a little easier.

Professional Stress

In a world where work earns you money and money determines the quality of life you are able to have, an unstable career can lead to anxiety. Jobs where the boss expects the impossible or where you still don’t feel all that certain of your continued employment can make every task you try to complete stressful. There are some options at this point to relieve the stress.

• Save as much of your pay check as possible. It might relieve some of the tension if you need a few months to locate another job.

• Search for a new job that can offer you a healthier environment to work in.

• Learn as much as you can and do the best job you are capable. The proficiency will follow or it won’t. If you feel like it doesn’t, see bullet points one or two. Some people are not suited for certain jobs. There is no shame in that.

Home Relationship Stress

Especially if you have a stressful professional life, stress in the home can be a problem. Your home should provide an atmosphere to unwind and escape from stress. Whether it’s a roommate, sibling, the children, or your partner, strained relationships in the home can lead to constant stress.

Although relieving the stress in the home can sometimes be a delicate process, you do have options.

• One tactic is to remove yourself from the situation. This can be a long-term or short-term removal. It can be a hard decision to decide on a long-term removal, but sometimes relationships become cancerous. Time away can allow each party to view the problem objectively, so that the best solution can be found.

• See a relationship councilor. Marriage, family, and even personal councilors can allow you to talk your way through issues. Through them you can gain new insight on the dynamic of the relationship or the source of the tension.

• Talk out the issue with the other party. Explain why their behavior is causing stress and try to find a way to stop or at least post pone the behavior until a day when your stress isn’t already high.

Stress can be a serious condition that can take a physical toll on your body. In order to relieve the physical symptoms or prevent physical symptoms from occurring, it is important that you pin point the stressful situations in your life. Once pin pointed you can work on relieving the stress from those areas. People with stress free lives a physically and mentally healthier.

– Liran Hirschkorn is an expert in the insurance industry with over 12 years of experience. He is the founder of ChooseTerm.com, where he helps individuals across the country get competitive term life insurance rates. Liran also specializes in high risk insurance, helping people with pre-existing health conditions get approved for life insurance.

Reducing Stressors In Your Life – Part 1

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By Liran Hirschkorn

stressWe all know about stress and have felt it at one time or another. That exam you were sure you failed, the standard you failed to live up to, and the constant interpersonal squabbles can all contribute to a stressful life. Most people experience some stress at some time or another. A little stress is natural, but experience too much and you should be concerned.

Why Reduce Stress?

While moments of stress can heighten awareness and allow humans to do remarkable things, prolonged stress can have negative effects on the body. When people live long periods of time without relief from stress, tension in the body builds until body begins to physically react to the stress. These symptoms include tension headaches, chest pain, problems sleeping, high blood pressure, upset stomach, and depression. If you experience long term stress symptoms, you should try to remove or alleviate some of the stressful situations in your life.

How to Reduce Stress?

Stress comes from various factors of people’s lives. In order to reduce stress you should determine where your stressors are coming from, and how you can reduce the amount of stress you experience from each area. Below I will list a few possibilities and how you might relieve the stress in each situation.

Anxiety over Death and Responsibilities

The thought of personally getting mortally injured or sick is a stressful enough possibility without adding anxiety over your family’s welfare. Even if you don’t have kids, there are siblings, parents, and grandparents that may now or at one point in the future rely on your emotional, mental, or physical safety.

Some of this stress can be relieved if you’re assured that your family will be cared for. You can meet with lawyers and write up a will. The document will designate who the caretakers will be for any children, and who will receive any assets you leave behind. You can make inheriting any funds that you leave dependent on the heir caring for parents or grandparents when they can no longer care for themselves.

If your anxiety is derived from how your family will make enough money to survive if you pass away, you can relieve some of the stress by investing in a life insurance plan. This will leave you slightly less money each month, but that money is an investment in your own peace of mind and your family’s safety.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Liran Hirschkorn is an expert in the insurance industry with over 12 years of experience. He is the founder of ChooseTerm.com, where he helps individuals across the country get competitive term life insurance rates. Liran also specializes in high risk insurance, helping people with pre-existing health conditions get approved for life insurance.

Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%

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boyjumpingropeFrom Your Health Journal…..”I read an interesting article I wanted to promote written by Carol Mulligan of Sudbury Star entitled Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%. In a Canadian suburb called Sudbury – politicians, groups, and individuals are being asked to work together to reduce childhood obesity by 20% in the next five years. Looking at the feedback from the article already, not much sympathy as one individual did not want to see limited tax money being used on this, while another said simply allow your kids to go outside to play more! But, it is not always that simple. Childhood obesity is on the rise all over the world as well as illness associated it such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, weak joints, and type 2 diabetes. Change is needed, as well as education of both parent and child. Please visit the Sudbury Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

The Sudbury and District Health Unit has given itself a B on a report card rating its performance in three key areas to reduce the number of overweight and obese children.

The health unit’s medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, was a member of the Healthy Kids Panel, which released a report in March called “No Time to Wait,” with 23 recommendations to tackle childhood obesity.

The unit gave itself an A for creating healthy communities, a B for offering programs and services to start children on the path to health and a C+ when it comes to changing the food environment.

While the report was commissioned by government, the panel doesn’t intend to wait for the province to act to address childhood obesity.

The health unit presented its report card Thursday to the Sudbury and District Board of Health, and sought its support to get working on the challenge.

The board passed a motion asking for the SDHU to be named one of 10 pilot communities in which a program will be tested to reduce childhood obesity.

Sudbury has higher than average rates of childhood obesity, with about 29% of children aged 12-17 overweight or obese versus the provincial 21%.

Obesity rates are higher among boys than girls, and among aboriginal children.

The health unit will aim to reverse the trajectory of obesity rates steadily increasing over 30 years. That could be because we are eating calories equivalent to an extra meal a day, registered dietitian Leslie Andrade told the board.

Obesity affects children’s mental, physical and emotional health, said Andrade, and requires urgent and immediate reaction.

The Healthy Kids Panel identified a three-pronged approach and it was those measures against which the SDHU measured itself.

The SDHU has adopted a balanced approach philosophy it aims to integrate into its healthy weights, healthy eating and active living programs.

That philosophy acknowledges the importance of eating well, being active and having positive self-esteem, said Andrade.

“If someone has a low self-esteem, the evidence does show they’re more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours that can lead to overweight and obesity,” said Andrade.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Is Self-Help the Secret To Reducing Childhood Obesity?

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femalestrainingFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very educational article from Time magazine written by Bonnie Rochman entitled Is Self-Help the Secret to Reducing Childhood Obesity? Childhood obesity is growing all over the world, and in the United States, one in three children are considered overweight, while one in seven are considered obese. Along with this, obesity related illnesses are up – including weak joints, heart disease, asthma, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Education is a key ingredient to reducing childhood obesity, but some families do not have access to this! Studies at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine indicate that a self-help treatment program for overweight children and their parents, guided by clinical experts, may be an effective solution to help children lose weight. The researchers state parents can help their kids lose weight without such costly and time-consuming intervention by relying on a self-help “coaching” method that requires only bi-weekly guidance from a pediatrician. Please visit the Time magazine web site (link provided below) to read this complete article. It was very interesting, well written, and well thought.”

From the article…..

There is no shortage of strategies to lose weight, but which work best for children?

One in three U.S. kids weighs too much, according to the latest government statistics, but parents don’t have too many appealing options when it comes to helping their children slim down. The gold standard treatment for childhood obesity that’s typically endorsed by weight-loss specialists involves six months of weekly clinic visits lasting 90 minutes each during which families learn the basics of nutrition and are introduced to ideas such as ”stimulus control” — or bringing only healthy food into their homes lessen the temptation from more calorie-ridden, unhealthy products. But many parents can’t afford the time or money that requires.

Now researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) say parents can help their kids lose weight without such costly and time-consuming intervention by relying on a self-help “coaching” method that requires only bi-weekly guidance from a pediatrician. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the scientists found that using the self-help model resulted in a 12-year-old of average height losing five pounds over the five-month study period compared to children who received no guidance about weight loss. Those kids who got no treatment during the study period actually gained weight: a 12-year-old of average height put on five pounds. “We saw significant losses in the guided self-help kids while the control group continued to gain weight,” says Kerri Boutelle, lead author and a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UCSD.

The more flexible approach — which reduced face-to-face treatment time from about 36 hours over six months to less than five hours over five months — could potentially help more families and broaden the reach of childhood-obesity treatment, say the study authors. “This is the first time this kind of model has been tested and it looks promising,” says Boutelle.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Reducing Childhood Obesity

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momkidsrunFrom Your Health Journal…..”An interesting article by Kacy Capobres from FOX Latino who discussed childhood obesity in the Latino community. At roughly 43 percent, the number of Latinos ranging from 2-19 who are overweight is 5 percent higher than in the non-Latino community. This is a significant number, and now leaders will come together to discuss how to address this concern. I think this is a great story of adult leaders in a community caring about their youth, and trying to work out a plan to a happy and healthy future of good health. Obesity rates are growing steadily around the world, and change is needed. Education is the key, and sticking to a ‘health’ plan. So many Americans suffer from heart disease, cancer, weak joints, type 2 diabetes, and low self esteem – – all related to obesity. I look forward to more stories on FOX Latino about this. Hopefully we will read more about the improvements made to this community.

From the article…..

Childhood obesity has long been a problem in the Latino community. Now, government and health officials in New York are gathering for a first-of-its-kind summit to discuss ways to address the issue.

On Tuesday, the New York Senate Puerto Rican and Hispanic task force announced that they will be inviting 100 key leaders in the Latino community to tackle childhood obesity among Latinos.

“The summit is very timely because Hispanics have obesity at three times the rights of the average population,” Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, told Fox News Latino.

Friday’s “Early Childhood Obesity Hispanic Leadership Summit” will try to come up with strategies that would keep the weight off Latino children.

The programs will focus on education programs in the nation’s schools and child care as well as the impact of the quality and quantity of healthcare in early childhood. The goal, organizers say, is to figure out how federal and state programs could help the community combat obesity.

Significant ethnic and economic disparities are contributing to the prevalence of obesity among U.S. children and adolescents.

At 43 percent, the number of Latinos ages 2-19 who are overweight is 5 percent higher than in the non-Latino community.

To read the full article…..Click here

Reducing Sugary Drinks

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From Health Journal…..”As childhood obesity numbers continue to rise, many experts are trying to figure out what are the main causes. To some, they feel that technology is causing sedentary lifestyle, where children are involved in less physical activity, and sitting too long. Others point the finger at diet, as children are not eating healthy. Some, as this article suggests point the finger at the ‘liquid candy’ kids ingest each day. Some studies show that almost 40% of calories consumed each day by children is from liquid. Simply cutting the sugary drinks can significantly help many children lose some extra pounds, along with 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day. Do kids need to cut the sugary drinks completely? Not necessarily, but moderation is the key. Cutting back a little bit over time can help, and eventually lead children towards a healthier lifestyle.”

From the article…..

A Columbia-based nonprofit is kicking off an anti-obesity campaign designed to get parents and children in Howard County to kick the soda habit.

The Horizon Foundation plans to hold a “Dump Sugar” event Tuesday morning, where organizers will dump 10 tons of “sugar” (actually white sand) at a local middle school.

Ten tons signifies the amount of sugar that the average middle school student would consume if he or she drank one 12-ounce soda each day for one year, organizers said.

Soda and other sugary beverages are considered to be one of the major culprits in the obesity epidemic. A quarter of Maryland children are obese or overweight, organizers said.

To read the full article…..Click here