Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slim Down To Increase Vitamin D

Lose weight to gain vitamin D. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, overweight or obese women with low vitamin D can bring their levels up significantly by dropping 15 percent of their body weight. Why should you care? Well, vitamin D may be something of a nutritional superhero. Not only is it crucial for healthy bones, it may also play a role in keeping illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers at bay. To say that it’s important to get adequate amounts for your health is an understatement. Unfortunately, vitamin D can be somewhat tough to come by, because it’s present in only a few foods, like fatty fish and fortified milk. People who are overweight or obese (that’s 64 percent of us!) appear to be even more likely than the rest of us to have less-than-optimal levels of the nutrient. Taking off weight the healthy way takes patience and persistence (along with good eating habits and daily exercise).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wine & Sleep

Don’t turn to wine to help you get your zzz’s. Drinking might make you drowsy, but it does nothing for your sleep quality. Alcohol disrupts deep sleep, meaning you’re less likely to sleep through the night. Women may be even more vulnerable than men to the negative effects of alcohol on sleep. Women who drank to intoxication were more likely to report fewer hours of sleep, worse sleep quality, more frequent awakenings and longer periods of being awake throughout the night. According to research, having more than two drinks can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping through the night, skip the alcohol and institute a relaxing bedtime routine instead. Yoga, meditation, a warm bath or a good read can all help you wind down after a stressful day. Stress is often the root cause of intermittent forms of insomnia. If sleep problems persist, ask your doctor about other treatments for insomnia.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MAKING HEALTHY TREATS

Ice cream is loaded with fat, and sorbet is often full of sugar. Cool off with homemade frozen fruit pops instead. You can make your own by pureeing your favorite fruit combinations in a blender and freezing in ice pop molds or five-ounce waxed paper cups. If using cups, cover each one tightly with plastic wrap and then insert a Popsicle stick through the plastic (it’ll keep the stick centered). For extra-sweet treats, add white or purple grape juice to the pureed fruit, or if you like a creamy texture, add yogurt. It’s a fun and delicious way for kids to get a daily serving of fruit. Some of our favorite combos include: mango-banana-pineapple and watermelon-honeydew with lime and white grape juice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Engaging In High Levels Of Activity Can Reduce Stress

How do you dispel nervous energy and anxiety? Sweat it out. A new study suggests that regular exercise can help dissolve panic in people who suffer from anxiety. Researchers found that when faced with an anxiety-provoking situation, people reacted with less fear and panic if they had been working out beforehand. If you have problems with public speaking, starting a vigorous exercise program may help alleviate some of your symptoms. Even if you don’t have anxiety, regular physical activity offers a host of emotional benefits. It can help boost mood in people with and without depression. Past research has shown that people who scored highest in negativity experienced the most profound benefits, meaning those with the most emotional difficulties may get the biggest boost from their workouts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do A Good Deed

Doing a good deed — or just picturing yourself performing one — may increase your physical and emotional stamina. A study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that even the thought of helping others led to increased willpower and physical endurance. According to the researchers, we regard do-gooders as courageous, competent and less sensitive to discomfort. By putting ourselves in that role, we see ourselves as embodying those traits as well. Whether you’re on a diet and trying to steer clear of doughnuts or gathering the courage to speak in front of a crowd, helping someone beforehand could help you find the strength to succeed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

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