As May turns into June and the temperature steadily increases, we start finding any reason to get outside and get moving.
After spending the long, cold winter cooped up indoors (where we may have packed on those few extra pounds we like to call winter weight), the arrival of shorts, tank tops and bathing suits has managed to sneak up on us and is inspiring us all to knock off those pounds.
I know I can speak for myself, and I am sure for a few of you, when I say that I am sick of looking at that wall in front of my treadmill and exercise bike and I now want to take my exercise outside!
There are many added benefits to an outdoor workout to include production of vitamin D3 when the sunlight hits one’s skin, which is important to bone health and metabolic function, decreased depression, anger, and tension due to enjoying ones workout outside and saving money on those monthly gym memberships.
On the other hand, it is important to remember that exercising in the heat can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Here are some tips to remember to ensure a safe workout when exercising outside this summer...
My husband and I are always busy. We enjoy cooking, but we have so many projects going that sometimes it's tough to prepare a healthy meal in a hurry.
Both of us have daytime careers. We also have after-hours activities; I dance and sew while he writes.
Fortunately, we only have dogs to depend on us when we're not meeting deadlines. Over the years, we've eaten many ready-made meals from Trader Joe's and freezer pizzas. But, we haven't owned a microwave since 2005, which drastically cuts back on our convenience food options.
With my health scare at the beginning of the year, it was time to make some dietary changes… fewer preservatives, less processed food, even more produce. But, we're busy people and it is hard as hell to cook every meal from scratch without losing valuable production time.
I know many of you feel me on this one. How the devil can we eat healthy when it takes so long to make meals?
Finding a good aesthetic plastic surgeon can be a daunting challenge for many patients.
Thankfully, there are some relatively easy first steps that can be done to narrow the field down.
There are many excellent surgeons, and most patients will end up visiting with a few surgeons that they like and trust. The following information represents a guideline to make your search easier, and is essentially the process by which I would personally find a plastic surgeon.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life."
Music shapes our lives.
Almost everyone has a favorite song, or a song that brings you back to a memorable time in your life.
There might be a handful of songs you’ll never forget the lyrics to, no matter how long it’s been since you heard them.
You may have a favorite soundtrack (I have many) or immediately think of a movie when you hear a certain tune. For me, the movie Pretty Woman always comes to mind when I hear Prince’s song, Kiss… you know, that scene where Julia Roberts is in the big bathtub, headphones on, oblivious to Richard Gere watching her rock out in the bubbles.
There are also iconic artists.
We lost David Bowie earlier this year, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Joey Feek, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, just to name a few.
It’s a fact. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (43.8 million, or 18.5%) experiences mental illness in a given year, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.
We also know how exercise is one of the best drug-free ways to improve mental health and wellbeing, and not just in the short term. Research has shown that exercise can alleviate depression for the long run as well.
But, just why is exercise so beneficial for alleviating depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses? What is it about exercise that makes it such an effective all natural anti-depressant?
I see that homeless woman walking the streets near my home. She’s forever clutching her purse close to her breast, like it is the last semblance of who she once was.
Her jeans, dirtied by months -- probably years -- of wear with no washing, hang from her skin-and-bones body. Her hair, gray, frizzy and snarled, is in stark contrast of the past I envision… someone who never missed that appointment for touch-ups. Someone who left the salon feeling beautiful and refreshed.
She talks to herself, too. Not that we all don’t do that from time to time. But hers is a concerted conversation with who knows who. Maybe her previous self?
I have wondered how she got to this place. How she was a woman who had a full life, perhaps a family, possibly a career, and now she is just… this.
I think I might now know. Not necessarily her story, but stories of countless others who suffer from debilitating anxiety.
I’m one of those patients who researches everything on the Internet. I work for RadioMD, so of course I would.
About seven weeks ago, shortness of breath resulted in a fainting spell in my ballet conditioning class. I’m aware of an anaerobic asthma condition but usually don’t need my inhaler for ballet conditioning. I stepped out to catch my breath, blacked out, and woke up after 30 seconds of bonding with the floor.
I was breathing fine when I awoke and refused the ambulance offered to me. My husband zipped in to collect me. He knows I’m strong-willed and independent, so he didn’t argue when I said I’d see a doctor the next day.
I kept that promise. But, it was more complicated than it set out to be.
Both coffee and tea have their benefits, but which is better?
The debate continues…
As a tea connoisseur, my go-to beverage will always be tea. Tea has been a part of our global civilization for much longer, but coffee comes a close second in our choice of morning beverages. Teetotallers, like myself, will never cease to enlighten you about the benefits of a cup of warm tea to start your day, but coffee addicts are not far behind.
At the crux of it all, however, lies the fact that we are all alike because of our need for caffeine every morning. Some like their coffee strong, while some others like it milder with milk and sugar. With the latter, most of the benefits of coffee are lost. It can happen with different varieties of tea as well, as I found out. But, even among the many variants of tea (green, oolong, black, and white), I find white tea most refreshing. Also, it has more health benefits than coffee.
With summer and warmer weather comes getting out more often for dinner and hosting backyard BBQs.
And, with that, it follows that people tend to imbibe in their favorite alcoholic beverages a bit more often.
Wine seems to get the lion’s share of accolades when it comes to health benefits, particularly red wine due to the heart-healthy resveratrol it contains. Beer, on the other hand, often gets blamed for being laden with “empty calories” and causing the dreaded beer gut.
Emerging research is putting that myth to bed.
Turns out, beer has a number of health benefits. According to Men’s Health, beer can do everything from safeguard your heart and boost your immunity to bolster your bone health.
Between 2001 and 2001, the number of personal trainers in the United States grew by 44%. And that’s simply for one reason. More and more people are seeking the services of a personal trainer. According to the International Health and Racquet Sports Association, the number of people who have hired a personal trainer has jumped from 0.5% in 2003 to over 3% in 2013.
Problem is, however, many people don't know what to look for in a trainer, and most never bother to ask some very important questions of the trainer they are hiring.
In fact, it's really important to "interview" a personal trainer before hiring him or her to make sure they are a good fit and more importantly, that you don't get injured. According to the American Society of Exercise Physiologist, an estimated 50% of all health club members have suffered minor injuries.
There are many people who prefer to use one side of the body for certain activities, and the other side of the body for other tasks. Also known as cross-dominance, mixed dominance, or mixed handedness, it is often confused with ambidexterity, in which a person can use either side of the body equally well, with no preference for one side over the other, for activities like writing or throwing a ball.
As a cross-dominant individual, I write, paint, draw, and perform medical procedures with my left hand, but throw a ball and hold a racket with my right hand. Consequently, the right side of my body favors gross motor tasks, while my left side dominates when it comes to fine motor skills.