100 Reasons You Should Exercise Today

We all have those days that we don’t want to work out even though we know we should. When you need a little motivation, look no further. Here are 100 reasons you shouldn’t skip your workout today. Print, save, pin or “like” this post so you’ll have easy access to it on the days you need it most.

100 Reasons to Exercise Now

  1. Because it makes you feel confident
  2. Because it helps you get stronger
  3. Because exercise helps combat depression
  4. Because you’ll feel proud of yourself
  5. Because you have goals you want to reach
  6. Because you’ll feel bad if you don’t
  7. Because you want to move forward, not backward
  8. Because it burns more calories than not working out
  9. Because it improves your heart health
  10. Because you want a great butt
  11. Because it prevents diabetes
  12. Because you want to be a good example to your kids
  13. Because you want to feel good in your clothes
  14. Because it reduces your risk of cancer
  15. Because your body was made to move
  16. Because you want to be an athlete
  17. Because you want to look better
  18. Because it lifts your mood
  19. Because you want to stand taller
  20. Because it reduces back pain
  21. Because it feels good
  22. Because it makes you feel accomplished
  23. Because you spend most of your day on your butt
  24. Because swimsuit season is always coming
  25. Because strong is the new skinny
  26. Because dieting only works so much
  27. Because it strengthens your bones, too
  28. Because it helps you lose weight
  29. Because it allows you to eat more food
  30. Because it’s the best way to spend “me” time
  31. Because it helps you de-stress
  32. Because it’s cheaper than therapy
  33. Because you want a strong core
  34. Because you want to take care for yourself
  35. Because you take pride in your body
  36. Because it strengthens your legs
  37. Because it helps your clothes fit better
  38. Because you want to push yourself
  39. Because you are capable of more than you ever imagined
  40. Because moving your body feels good
  41. Because it keeps your mind sharp
  42. Because it helps you beat belly bloat
  43. Because it helps you sleep better at night
  44. Because it gives you energy
  45. Because you want to stay healthy as you age
  46. Because you want to look younger
  47. Because you want toned arms
  48. Because it improves your balance
  49. Because it burns off last night’s dessert
  50. Because it boosts your immune system
  51. Because sweat is sexy
  52. Because you want to live longer
  53. Because you want to get better at your game
  54. Because you want to catch someone’s eye
  55. Because exercisers earn more money
  56. Because you’re more likely to eat better when you exercise
  57. Because you want to shave time off your running pace
  58. Because you want to breathe easier
  59. Because you want to see the scale drop
  60. Because exercise improves your sex life
  61. Because you are worth it
  62. Because being fit makes everything in life better
  63. Because you promised yourself that you would
  64. Because you deserve a better life
  65. Because it’ll help you drink more water
  66. Because you want to do real push-ups
  67. Because it reduces your health care costs
  68. Because you’ll miss fewer days of work
  69. Because you want to create a new future for yourself
  70. Because it’ll help you like what you see in the mirror
  71. Because it’ll makes clothing shopping more fun
  72. Because you want to look and feel incredible
  73. Because exercising can be fun
  74. Because it’ll give your skin a glow
  75. Because it’s a good way to spend time with your friends
  76. Because it’ll help you prevent the middle-age spread
  77. Because it reduces your blood pressure
  78. Because you don’t want to let yourself go
  79. Because you don’t want to squeeze into an airplane or rollercoaster seat
  80. Because it strengthens your spirit
  81. Because it’s a cheap way to entertain yourself
  82. Because you’ll be able to reward yourself
  83. Because you need a reason to wear those new workout clothes
  84. Because you’re tired of being tired
  85. Because not working out is not going to get you very far
  86. Because it’s a great way to spend time outside
  87. Because you made a commitment to yourself
  88. Because you’re tired of starting over
  89. Because there will always be another wedding, vacation or reunion
  90. Because you’re not a quitter
  91. Because it improves your cholesterol
  92. Because it boosts your metabolism
  93. Because it prevents age-related muscle loss
  94. Because if you can do this, you can do anything
  95. Because a fit body is a healthy body
  96. Because it beats sitting on the couch
  97. Because everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare
  98. Because you want to be stronger than your excuses
  99. Because not working out isn’t working out for you
  100. Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip

Which reason resonates with you?

Want more beautiful skin? Then get out and exercise!

It’s hardly news that exercise is great for your heart, lungs, and mental outlook. Here’s another reason to get moving: Regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin.

People tend to focus on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and those are important. But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant.

If you have dermatological conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis, you may need to take special care to keep your skin protected while exercising. But don’t let skin problems prevent you from being active. Here’s why.

By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin . In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products and toxins, including free radicals, from working cells. Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver. By increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system – it is cleansing your skin from the inside.

Exercise has also been shown to ease stress. By decreasing stress, some conditions that can be exacerbated by stress can show some improvement. Conditions that can improve when stress is reduced include acne and eczema. Although researchers are still investigating the link between stress and skin, studies show that the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin, are influenced by stress hormones.

Regular exercise helps tone muscles, of course. That doesn’t have a direct affect on skin, dermatologists say. But firmer muscles definitely help you look better overall.

The Healthy Skin Workout

For all its many benefits, however, exercise can pose risks to your skin. Fortunately, protecting your skin is easy.

The main danger if you exercise outdoors is sun exposure. Sunburns increase skin cancer risk and can rapidly age the skin, erasing any benefits your skin might get from exercise. The key is to make sure you have optimal levels of vitamin D in your system. I you exercise in the winter outside in the northern hemisphere, then you won’t receive enough of the UVB rays to produce vitamin D, so put on the sunscreen otherwise the UBA rays, which cause cancer and age the skin will still make it through. In the summer though, put sunscreen on your face, but let your skin absorb the beneficial UVB rays on your legs, arms, and torso.

Don’t count of sunscreen alone to protect you, however. Sweating can remove the sunscreen that athletes put on and there is evidence that sweating actually increases the chance of burning. After athletes sweat, it takes 40% less UVA rays to burn than when they are not sweating.

Another skin problem that can arise during activity is chafing, which can cause rashes. For people prone to acne, the irritation and increased perspiration caused by tight-fitting workout clothes may lead to a form of acne aptly called acne mechanica. The two keys to prevention are to wear moisture-wicking clothing, such as bras and hats, to keep skin drier and cooler and to shower immediately after exercising. Wearing loose-fitting workout clothes can also help. Make sure your skin is clean before you work out to prevent clogged pores that lead to acne. Avoid wearing makeup when you exercise. After showering, apply a soothing skin moisturizer or powder to help prevent skin irritation.

Rx for Exercise-Related Skin Problems

Several other skin conditions can be exacerbated by physical activity, including rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. That’s no reason not to exercise. The benefits of exercise outweigh any temporary problems it can cause. And there are simple strategies to prevent flare-ups when you work out.

For rosacea sufferers, increased body temperature and the skin flushing that accompany exercise can cause flare-ups. The best strategy, dermatologists say, is to exercise in a cool environment. One of the best choices is swimming, since the water keeps skin cool even when you build up body temperature. Brisk walking in an air-conditioned mall or waiting until the cool of the evening to jog outside are other good options. If you do get flushed and overheated while exercising, apply cool compresses to problem areas of the skin immediately after your workout.

Eczema or psoriasis sufferers can also experience flare-ups after strenuous activity, usually caused by salt from perspiration. Apply a moisturizer before a workout to provide protection from sweat. Be especially careful to moisturize your arms and legs and areas with skin creases, such as underarms and groin. If possible, exercise in a cool environment to reduce perspiration and the need for showering after exercise. Washing too often can cause dryness and exacerbate eczema and psoriasis.

Physical activity can definitely pose a challenge, but in the long run it will pay off with a toned, better looking body, and more radiant skin.

Vitamin D & C aid in muscle recovery and speed recovery from ACL injury.

Can vitamin D reduce muscular weakness in healthy and active adults? What role does vitamin C play in the recovery of knee injuries? Can simple vitamin supplements help the body with pain and stiffness due to vigorous exercise and do vitamins respectively improve healing after surgery? Scientists from  “USANA Health Sciences“ and researchers at TOSH (The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital), a special clinic for orthopedics in Utah, are trying to answer exactly these questions with a variety of studies.

With the first study, Tyler Barker Ph., physiologist at TOSH, and Brian Dixon PhD., USANA scientist, are trying to determine whether vitamin D can reduce muscular weaknesses after high impact athletic exercise. Vitamin D is known to prevent or reduce cardiovascular disease, and after all, the heart is just one big muscle. “The conclusion here is that vitamin D helps to shorten the recovery time by minimizing the muscle weakness“, Dr. Barker explains: „That could mean a significant difference in the individual performance and help prevent some of the unpleasant after-effects of high impact or unaccustomed exercise. In addition, it creates the basis for future studies at the molecular and cellular level“.

Dr. Barker classifies the study’s participants as “weekend warriors“, who are between 18 and 45 years old and to date have not taken any vitamin supplements. The athletes were randomly divided into three groups. One group receives placebos. The second group receives 200 IU and the third group 4000 IU (international unit) of a specifically formulated vitamin D nutritional supplement. The participants provide blood samples and their muscular strength is being measured, each time prior and after intense exercise. The scientists only test the participants during the winter months when the vitamin D levels are at their lowest levels. The study began this past winter and is expected to continue for an additional two to three years.

The second study involves patients of TOSH who have suffered injuries in the anterior cruciate ligament. The scientists hope that the study is going to help them find a complementary therapeutic approach for improving musclular strength after surgery. “As published in “Free Radical Biology and Medicine“, we discovered a connection between the plasma ascorbic acid concentrations prior to surgery and the muscular strength gain after the surgery“, said Dr. Barker: “Especially patients with a higher vitamin C levels before the surgery showed a better recovery process“.

According to the “National Institute of Health“ the human body requires vitamin C in order to produce collagen which the body uses to to create skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It supports the healing of wounds and maintaining cartilage tissue, bones and teeth. Vitamins C and E belong to the antioxidants that slow down the aging process and help to eliminate free radicals. Dr. Barker believes that lowering oxidative stress and adequate vitamin C and E levels can improve the chances of recovery after a cruciate ligament surgery.

Note that USANA Health Sciences provided supplements for use in these studies. USANA is also the supplement to choice used by the US Olympic ski team, snowboard team, speed skating teams, US Luge, along with numerous Canadian and international Olympic teams. USANA is also the only supplement the Women’s Tennis Association allows their players to use. In addition there are numerous individual Olympic, professional, and amateur athletes using the USANA products. To support these athletes USANA has funded numerous research studies to help elite athletes improve their sports performance, enhance post workout recovery, and aid in injury recovery.

Fish Oil for Strength

A recent study of women in their 60’s suggests that taking fish oil when strength-training leads to greater improvements in strength than training alone. Women who took fish oil were not only stronger but had a greater functional capacity, such as being able to rise faster from a chair.

A small study in Brazil looked at the potential benefit of fish oil on strength training in older individuals, based on the fact that omega-3’s play a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles (Rodacki, Am J Clin Nutr 2012). Forty-five mostly sedentary women in their mid-60s were given two doses a day of a gram of fish oil containing 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA. After twelve weeks of supervised lower-body resistance-training (3 times per week), the strength of those taking the fish oil had improved more than those who did not supplement. Functional capacity (e.g., the speed of rising from a chair) also increased more among those who took fish oil. There was no improvement in the strength of women who took fish oil without strength training, and taking fish oil for two months before training started did not confer added benefit.

ConsumerLabs.com is an independent testing organization who tests all types of supplements for quality, potency, contamination, etc. Below is what they had to say about fish oil quality:

Quality Concerns and What CL Tested for:
Because omega-3 fatty acids are obtained from natural sources, levels in supplements can vary, depending on the source and method of processing.

Contamination has also been an issue, because fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Mercury can damage the nervous system — particularly in a fetus. Dioxins and PCBs may be carcinogenic at low levels of exposure over time and may have other deleterious effects.

The freshness of the oil is also an important consideration because rancid fish oils can have an extremely unpleasant odor and taste. While you can sometimes determine this yourself if you take fish oil directly as a liquid, it can be masked by added flavors and not readily detected if you use a softgel and other encapsulated product. There may be safety considerations with rancid fish oils due to a variety of compounds produced, some of which are odorless, such as peroxides. A study commissioned by the government of Norway (where fish oil supplement use is extremely high) concluded there would be some health concern related to the regular consumption of oxidized (rancid) fish/marine oils, particularly in regards to the gastrointestinal tract, but there is not enough data to determine the risk (The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety, 2011). The study explained that the amount of spoilage and contamination in a supplement depends on the raw materials and processes of extraction, refining, concentration, encapsulation, storage and transportation. However, it saw no significant risk of contamination by microorganisms, proteins, lysophospholipids, cholesterol, and trans-fats.

Additionally, some capsules are enteric-coated and are expected to release the oil after the stomach to theoretically reduce fishy aftertaste or burp. If they release too soon they lose that potential benefit. If they release too late, the oil may not get absorbed.

Neither the FDA nor any other federal or state agency routinely tests fish or marine oil supplements for quality prior to sale. ConsumerLab.com, as part of its mission to independently evaluate products that affect health, wellness, and nutrition, purchased many dietary supplements sold in the U.S. claiming to contain EPA and/or DHA and tested them for their levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and, if listed, ALA), mercury, lead, PCBs, and signs of decomposition. Enteric-coated capsules were tested to see if they properly released their ingredients. One product was additionally tested for dioxins at the request of its manufacturer. Among the products purchased and tested, the majority was for use by people and a few were for use by pets. Most of the supplements were softgel capsules or liquids.

What CL Found:
Among the 24 products that ConsumerLab.com selected for review, only 17 passed quality testing, meeting requirements for freshness and purity, and containing their claimed amounts omega-3 fatty acids. Seven (7) products failed to pass testing due to having less omega-3 than listed, spoilage, contamination, or problems with the enteric coating.

To insure you’re taking a quality fish oil product make sure it is manufactured to pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards by a company which has been NSF certified as complying with pharmaceutical GMPs. Some companies claim their products are “Pharmaceutical Grade”, but this is only marketing as there is no definition of pharmaceutical grade for fish oil.

Going to Exercise, Have a Healthy Sports Drink

Sports drinks contain a fairly large amount of energy—a little more than half as many calories as the average soft drink. And, like soft drinks, sports drinks get most of their calories from sugar. These facts inspire many label-conscious runners to avoid using sports drinks during training. They see their workouts as opportunities to burn a lot of calories, and they don’t want to “counteract” that effect by taking in a lot of calories at the same time.
This is a reasonable way to think, but it’s mistaken, for more than one reason. First, research has shown that when people consume carbohydrate (such as the carbs in sports drinks) during exercise, they eat less during the remainder of the day. For example, at study conducted at Colorado State University found that when subjects consumed no carbohydrate during a workout, they ate 777 calories at their next meal. But when they took in 45 grams of carbs during a workout, they ate only 683 calories in their next meal. What’s more, the subjects consumed fewer total calories—including workout carbs—during the day in which they exercised with carbs than they did during the day when they exercised without carbs.
A second reason not to avoid using a sports drink during your runs simply because of the calories they contain is that the carbs in sports drinks enable you to run faster and longer, so you burn more calories in you workouts. Runners choose their pace by perception of effort. Consuming carbs during runs reduces perceived effort, so that the runner automatically runs faster at his or her chosen effort level. Studies have shown that athletes self-selected faster workout speeds when they consume carbs during exercise and thus burn more calories in a given time period.
Recently some runners have begun to avoid sports drinks during exercise not because of weight concerns but for a different reason. When carbs are consumed during exercise, the muscles burn less fat. Some runners fear that relying on sports drinks habitually during workouts will artificially limit the general increases in muscular fat-burning capacity that occur in training. This could conceivably limit endurance and hamper performance in longer races such as marathons.
Again, while such reasoning can’t be faulted, it is unfounded. This was proven in a recent study performed at the Australian Institute of Sport. Researchers divided a pool of trained cyclists and triathletes into separate groups and had each of them go through a 28-day block of training, with one group consuming carbs during every workout and the other group abstaining from carbohydrate intake during workouts. Performance was measured before and at the end of the training block in a cycling time trial. The researchers found that performance improved equally—7 percent on average—in both groups despite greater increases in fat-burning capacity in the no-carb group.
While this short-term study found that training with carbohydrate improved simulated race performance by the same amount as training without carbohydrate, literally scores of studies have found that consuming carbohydrate in races and time trials significantly enhances performance compared to competing without carbs. This fact points to one more reason not to avoid using sports drinks in training. Unless you don’t care about your finish time, you’re definitely going to use a sports drink during your races. Naturally, you’re not going to do anything during a race that you haven’t practiced in training. The more often you use a sports drink during training, the more comfortable you will be doing the same in races.
To summarize, there are no fewer than four reasons to go ahead and use a sports drink in your training runs “despite” the calories it contains:
  1. It will reduce the amount you eat the rest of the day;
  2. It will make you run faster and burn more calories;
  3. It will not impede improvements in your fitness by limiting your muscles’ fat-burning capacity; and
  4. It will give you valuable practice for using a sports drinks during races, which is essential.

Get your Vitamin D levels up before you break a bone.

The October 6, 2010 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports that nearly half of orthopedic surgery patients are deficient in vitamin D, a condition that impairs bone healing, muscle function and surgery recovery.

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and chief of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery Joseph Lane, MD and colleagues reviewed the charts of 723 men and women scheduled for orthopedic surgery from January, 2007 to March, 2008. Forty-three percent of the patients had insufficient preoperative vitamin D levels, defined as 20 to 32 nanograms per milliliter, and 40 percent had deficient levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter. Younger individuals, men, and those with dark skin were likeliest to be low in vitamin D.

Dr Lane explained that healing of bony tissue takes place two to four weeks following bone surgery, and sufficient vitamin D is needed for this process. “In the perfect world, test levels, fix and then operate,” Dr Lane stated. “If you are really aggressive right before surgery, you can correct deficient levels quickly, but you have to correct it, measure it, and then act on it.”

Sixty percent of trauma service patients had insufficient levels and 52 percent were deficient. A high percentage of vitamin D insufficiency was also observed in Sports Medicine and Arthroplasty (hip and knee replacement) services. “We frequently see stress fractures in the Sports Medicine Service and if you want to heal, you have to fix the calcium and vitamin D,” Dr. Lane noted. “With arthroplasty, there is a certain number of patients that when you put in the prosthesis, it breaks the bone adjacent to the prostheses, which can really debilitate patients.

“This study should serve as a wake-up call to orthopedists that vitamin D deficiency is widespread, not necessarily tied to age, sex or background and screening for it should be part of routine presurgical care for adults,” Dr Lane stated. “Meanwhile, patients who are planning to undergo any orthopedic procedure can request a screening (specifically, a blood test called the 25 hydroxyvitamin D test) or ask to be placed on a medically supervised vitamin D supplement regimen prior to surgery.”

“The take home message is that low vitamin D has an implication in terms of muscle and fracture healing, it occurs in about 50 percent of people coming in for orthopedic surgery, and it is eminently correctable,” he concluded. “We recommend that people undergoing a procedure that involves the bone or the muscle should correct their vitamin D if they want to have an earlier, faster, better, result. What we are saying is ‘wake up guys, smell the coffee; half of your patients have a problem, measure it, and if they are low, then fix it.'”

Vitamin D for the weekend warrior

Here is a news segment that aired In Salt Lake City yesterday about a study underway there to study Vitamin D and its effect on muscle recovery in weekend warriors.  http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story/Vitamin-D-could-help-muscles-recover/dHXwMxl8IEWCIGmF1tdf_Q.cspx There is the short print article then a more complete video  in the top right corner.
Research is quickly accumulating which is showing just how important this little vitamin is. Up until a few years ago there were only half a dozen studies a year on Vitamin D, over the last couple of years that has grown to be hundreds of studies a year.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter Offers Advice for Maintaining Vitality: How to Age Without Getting Old

NewsRx.com

07-01-10

Aging without getting old? It’s largely possible, according to the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Certainly, some diseases affect the quality of life and shorten life spans, but for the majority of adults, age is what one makes of it. Consider that some people seem old in their 50s and 60s, while others waltz through their 80s and 90s with a spring in their steps. The Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers ingredients for an “anti-aging potion.” Exercise: Being active and getting regular, moderately intense exercise is probably the No. 1 way to slow the aging process and improve vitality. Exercise can lower blood pressure and improve bone strength and cholesterol numbers. People often experience increased energy and strength with just a few sessions of physical activity. Exercise also can reduce stress and improve mood and sleep. A plan that includes at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, on most days of the week is recommended. The benefits are even greater when the exercise regimen includes strengthening exercises two or three times a week. Healthy diet: A healthy diet is the foundation for maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if needed. For those who are overweight, weight loss from even a small reduction in body fat – about 5 to 10 percent – may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Regular doctor visits: Regular visits allow a doctor to watch for signs of disease, through activities such as screening for certain cancers and other problems. And regular visits are important to managing ongoing medical concerns and medications. Brain challenges: Staying mentally fit falls into the “use it or lose it” category. Brains benefit from challenges, such as regularly reading, taking classes, learning new skills or engaging in stimulating conversations. Research shows that older adults with normal brain aging can learn just as well as younger adults, and it’s possible to increase brain cell connections regardless of age. Social connections: Social connections play a vital role in health and well-being, especially during times of change and transition that occur with aging, such as retirement, death of a loved one or downsizing a home. Connections with friends, relatives, a religious community or even a pet are motivators to stay healthy. Social connections can reduce stress and anxiety, protect against mental decline and provide a sense of purpose. Optimistic attitude: Although pessimism can be deeply ingrained in one’s personality, it’s never too late to examine thoughts, viewpoints and actions that sour one’s attitude. Bad things happen to everyone, but optimists tend to look for the positive, count their blessings, savor good times and simple pleasures and practice kindness to others as a way to direct thoughts beyond themselves (see also Mayo Clinic).

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 1-800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com.

The Top 6 Things You Can Do for Cold Prevention

Okay! Here is the culmination of scientific research and many years of pharmacy experience to sift out what really works for cold prevention and what doesn’t.
Remember, you want to do these things all the time, because you need to prevent the cold in the first place. Treating a cold is impossible. All those things in the drugstore can only help you feel a little better when you have one. There is nothing that can actually make it go away any faster.

I would venture to say that most of the recommendations in this list are not going to shock any of you. Most of them are common sense. Of course, knowing you’re supposed to do these things and actually doing them are two totally different things, right?
But seriously, if you regularly follow all of these recommendations, you’ll be amazed at the difference. They’re all important, but I would say that #1 and #6 are probably the most important.
These recommendations are based on the fact that the best way to both prevent AND treat a cold is to have your immune system functioning at peak efficiency.
So here’s how to do that:

  1. Wash Your Hands A Lot!!!!!
    This is absolutely the #1 most important thing you can do for cold prevention. 95% of the time, a cold virus gets into your body through touch. You touch something that has a cold virus on it, then you touch a mucus membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) and Voila! The cold virus has now entered your body.
    So for sure wash your hands before you eat. But also try to do it after you’ve been in “high-risk” situations: around someone you know who already has a cold, in a doctor’s office or hospital, after wheeling the shopping cart around the grocery store… I think you get the idea.
    For the same reason, keep your hands away from your face. If you don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the cold virus can’t get in.
    If you already have a cold, please please wash your hands even more. The best cold prevention is to have the “Typhoid Marys” not spread it around in the first place. Every single time you blow your nose, wash your hands. If you need to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth. But NOT into your fist- you get all the germs on the inside of your hand and then you just spread them around to everything you touch. Cough or sneeze onto the back of your hand or your forearm.
  2. Get Enough Sleep
    When you’re sleep-deprived, your immune system suffers (along with many other things).
    Everyone is different, some people only need 6 hours a night- others need 10. I’m sure you’ve figured out how much you need by now. Even an hour or two less increases the stress on your body and it adds up.
  3. Drink lots of fluids.
    I know you’ve all heard this a million times before. Yet still MOST people are going through life chronically dehydrated- an estimated 75%.
    Your body functions best when it’s fully hydrated. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism, speed up aging, reduce muscle recovery after exercise and reduce resistance to disease (hence its importance in cold prevention). Dehydration is also a major cause of headaches, daytime fatigue, muscle cramping, mid-day munchies (thirst is often mistaken for hunger), and problems with concentration and memory. Do I need to go on? Your body is mostly water- this should not be a surprise for anyone.
    If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
    The 8 glasses a day rule is actually a little low, but you usually get a glass or two of fluid from foods or juices also. To figure out what you need, take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. That’s how many ounces you need every day. Most glasses are 8 ounces, so if you divide that number by 8, that’s how many glasses you need. For example: 150lbs. divide by 2= 75 ounces per day divide by 8= just over 9 glasses per day.
    Don’t do it all at once or you’ll be running to the bathroom constantly and you’ll quit. Increase by a glass or two every week.
    Water is of course the best choice. It’s exactly what your body needs, it has zero calories and it doesn’t have other things in it that can actually make matters worse. Like caffeine & salt. I know coffee & tea have some good antioxidants in them, BUT moderation is key. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it is actually dehydrating. For every caffeinated drink you have, have an extra glass of water.
    And don’t even get me started on carbonated drinks… Most people drink way too many of these. If you’re having more than 1 per week (and that’s being generous), it’s too much in my opinion. Definitely daily is insane. There is NOTHING good about these things (and lots of bad things). Added to the huge list of problems that they cause, they are also dehydrating (even if it’s not caffeinated). Nuff said.
  4. Get regular exercise.I know you’ve all heard this a million times before too. Yet still MOST people are going through life as virtual couch potatoes.
    How do you expect your body to function optimally if most of it never gets used regularly? Would you expect your car to run properly if it hadn’t been used in several years?
    If you’re “lazy”, your immune system is lazy too. When you exercise regularly, your body keeps everything in your body in top shape (including your immune system), not just your heart and muscles. That’s why you need it for cold prevention.
  5. Relax and de-stressOkay, first I tell you to exercise, then I tell you to relax. No, these do not contradict themselves.
    First of all, regular exercise decreases your body’s release of “stress” hormones (cortisol) and increases release of “happy” hormones (endorphins).
    And it’s mental relaxation and stress I’m talking about.
    Basically, just take time to do things that you enjoy and relieve stress.
    People that run themselves into the ground (you know the kind I’m talking about) get sick much more often because their immune systems aren’t functioning properly due to the constant presence of “stress” hormones in their body.
    So kick back, relax and take some “me” time. And if anyone asks, just say you’re doing some cold prevention.
  6. Take a high quality supplement that has LOTS of antioxidants.This would actually be my #2 most important thing to do for cold prevention. But I’m putting it last on my list so you’ll remember it.

    Taking the right antioxidant supplement will give your body everything it needs to function optimally.
    Again, if your body is functioning optimally, so will your immune system. And an optimally functioning immune system will destroy cold and flu viruses before they have a chance to take hold.

    And this isn’t just theory- I can personally vouch for this. As a pharmacist, I used to get 4 or 5 colds per year, being around all those sick people everyday. Once those colds took hold, I was miserable for at least 1 week and the cough would hang around for 2 or 3 weeks. And I was a pretty healthy person to begin with- I was doing the other 5 things on this list…
    My family and I started taking high quality antioxidant supplements because I knew it was important to protect our good health. We never expected to feel any better- we already felt great!
    After 8 or 9 months, I realized that nobody in the family had been sick since we started taking them! Amazing! Especially when you consider that my daughter had been sick for 4 straight months the year before. (No, I’m not exaggerating. She caught every cold that went through her class, I’m sure.)
    Now, my husband and I get only 1 cold per year and our children get only 2 or 3 (they’re still young and in school and haven’t figured out the importance of rule #1 yet- handwashing!). AND when we get a cold now, it’s barely noticeable- your nose is just runny for a few days. No more being stuffed up and I don’t even get a cough anymore- we don’t feel miserable and it doesn’t even slow us down. Done and over with in 4 days. That’s the bonus of having an optimally functioning immune system- it gets going faster and doesn’t let the virus get too far along.
    This phenomenon is not exclusive to our family either. As you may have noticed by now, I am quite passionate about the importance of antioxidant supplements, so I have recommended them to my friends and family. They all report the same results of not getting sick when everyone else around them is.
    So for cold prevention alone, it’s totally worth it to take high quality antioxidant supplements. The added health benefits and disease prevention you’ll get are an added bonus (albeit an important bonus).

    If you follow these 6 rules, you’ll be the healthiest person you know. Not only do they work for cold prevention, but many other diseases as well…

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Thanks to Kathy Russ for this information. She is a pharmacist with 15 years experience.

Aerobic exercise no big stretch for older adults but helps elasticity of arteries

EDMONTON, Oct. 25, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) —

Just three months of physical activity reaps heart health benefits for older adults with type 2 diabetes by improving the elasticity in their arteries – reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, Dr. Kenneth Madden told the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Madden studied adults between the ages of 65 to 83 with controlled Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol to see how increased activity might affect stiffness of the arteries.

“The theory is that aerobic activity makes your arteries less stiff and makes artery walls more elastic,” says Dr. Madden, a geriatric specialist at the University of British Columbia.

An improvement was seen in the elasticity of the arteries of the group that performed the activity compared to those who didn’t exercise. “There was an impressive drop in arterial stiffness after just three months of exercise. In that time we saw a 15 to 20 per cent reduction.”

The subjects were divided into two groups to either receive three months of vigorous physical activity (one hour, three times per week) or to get no aerobic exercise at all. Subjects were classified as sedentary at the beginning of the study but gradually increased their fitness levels until they were working at 70 per cent of their maximum heart rate, using treadmills and cycling machines. They were supervised by a certified exercise trainer.

Dr. Beth Abramson, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, stresses the importance of lifestyle factors on heart health, especially with our aging population. “Almost everyone can benefit from active living,” she says. “The Foundation recommends that, like adults of any age, older adults – with the consent of their physicians – need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.”

Dr. Madden says that the exercise requirements may be viewed as controversial because of the age of the participants but the exercise level was safe and well tolerated. “There seems to be a knee-jerk reluctance to getting these older adults to exercise yet we used a vigorous level of activity and didn’t have any trouble keeping participants in our study. They enjoyed the activity,” Dr. Madden says. “People always underestimate what older adults can do.”

Dr. Madden notes that realistically, seniors need someone to help them get started. “We need to learn how to do it effectively and how to do it safely,” he says. “It could mean visiting your family doctor to find out about provincially funded programs, or joining programs for seniors that are offered at many local community centres.”

Dr. Abramson recommends that seniors choose activities they enjoy, such as walking, gardening, golfing, dancing, or joining a yoga or tai chi class. If weather is a barrier, she suggests climbing stairs at home, joining a mall-walking group, or strolling the halls of their apartment building or retirement residence.

In his next project, Dr. Madden wants to find out if there is a less expensive but equally effective way to reduce the stiffness of arteries in older adults. “Our first step was to prove that it was at all possible for older adults to have reduced narrowing in their arteries due to exercise,” he says. “Now we want to find out just how rigorous the levels of activity need to be to demonstrate the same results. The next step is to try studying a home-based walking program using pedometers. This is something easy for doctors to prescribe and cheap and easy for participants.”

The HeartWalk Workout, a special activity program developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help people with cardiovascular problems get regular, healthy physical activity is available online at heartandstroke.ca. It helps people slowly build up exercise tolerance until they can walk at least 30 minutes, five times a week.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

SOURCE: HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA

More active kids have easier time falling asleep

If you’re one of those parents who likes to let their kids run themselves ragged so they fall asleep more easily, you may be onto something: the more activity kids get, the faster they’ll drop off to sleep, according to a new study.

The study, in 591 seven-year-olds, also found that kids who spent more time in sedentary activities took longer to actually fall asleep after they went to bed.

Up to one in six parents of school-aged children report that their child has difficulty falling asleep, Dr. Ed A. Mitchell of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health by email. The study’s findings, he said, emphasize that physical activity isn’t only important for fitness, heart health, and weight control, but also for good sleep.

Mitchell and his team had children wear an activity-measuring device around their waists for 24 hours. They report their findings in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Most children took about 26 minutes to fall asleep after bedtime, they found. The more activity a child did, the less time it took him to fall asleep.

“We showed that one hour of vigorous activity (equivalent to running) reduced the time to fall asleep by almost 6 minutes,” Mitchell said.

“However, the average amount of vigorous activity was only 43 minutes,” Mitchell said. Also, he added, the children tended to be active in short bursts. “Their activity might better be described as stop-go rather than continuous as an adult might do when they exercise.”

And for every hour a child spent each day being sedentary, it took them 3 minutes longer to get to sleep.

The researchers also found that children who took less time to get to sleep stayed asleep for longer, and vice versa.

“Fortunately, difficulty getting to sleep wasn’t associated with other health problems,” Mitchell said, although getting less sleep has been linked to obesity.

SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, September 2009.

This also works for parents and adults too. If you exercise regularly you’ll find you sleep better, the only precaution is don’t exercise late in the evening – best to exercise in the morning and it will rev up your metabolism for the entire day and you’ll sleep like a baby.