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Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal

Edward Kendall from Mayo Clinic won the 1950 Nobel Prize for his research on the medical use of cortisone. This drug helped in simulating cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone released by the adrenal glands.

That and many other steroids, such as prednisone and prednisolone, have since been proven useful in treating an array of conditions. They help to relieve ailments, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

But, steroid use has come at a high price and that price is addiction.

Steroids Dale Guide reports that steroids can aid bodybuilders and athletes in boosting their muscle mass and overall athletic performance. But, as many have realized the hard way, steroids have an inherent risk of addiction, mainly when used for a long time.

There are several concerns that stem from long-term steroid use. These are the medication’s side effects, the imbalance in hormone levels, and withdrawal symptoms.

Steroid withdrawal symptoms occur when a patient attempts to discontinue the drug or decrease his usual dosage abruptly, causing symptoms that mimic other health conditions. In this article, you’ll learn what those symptoms are and how you can overcome the condition.

Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms

These signs will appear after extended steroid treatment has been abruptly stopped.

Abdominal pain

Many steroid users begin to experience intense pain in the stomach region. Others may suffer from a burning sensation throughout the abdomen.

Anxiety

While many individuals report that they suffer from depression, there are those who experience intense anxiety. It arises from changes in hormone levels and HPA.

A decrease in appetite

This is not surprising, given that the majority of steroids work by stimulating an individual’s appetite. When you quit taking steroids, your appetite will decline significantly.

Fatigue

Another common symptom of steroid withdrawal is fatigue. It’s because you are not taking cortisol anymore.

Muscle soreness

Some patients have experienced muscle soreness after discontinuing steroid treatment. We recommend that you purchase some over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain.

Physical weakness

It is also not unusual to experience a general sense of malaise. You are likely to feel very weak and achy, but this is just your body’s response to working without the drug that it has been supplied with regularly.

Diarrhea

This is more of an immediate side effect following the discontinuation of steroid use. If you fall prey to this condition, you should consider purchasing Imodium, which can be bought over the counter.

Dizziness

It’s a widespread withdrawal problem from any drug and not just steroids. Luckily, it may wear off in a few weeks or once the drug is out of your system.

Headaches

Some patients start using steroids to treat headaches. Consequently, coming off of the drug may lead to more severe headaches. Some patients may get constant headaches while others experience full-blown migraines.

Joint pain

It is also common for steroid users to feel pain in the joints because of the inadequate cortisol production. It could also stem from the inflammation that comes with the withdrawal process. If you experience joint pain, avoid engaging in rigorous activities as it will only stress your joints further.

manage joint pain

See Also: Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

What Influences Steroid Withdrawal?

Regardless of the medication that one is taking, some factors can make withdrawal more difficult. The list includes duration, dosage, and individual physiology.

If you’re experiencing steroid withdrawal symptoms, it’s probably because of these factors:

Time Span

As a rule of thumb, the longer the time you take your steroids, the longer it will take for your body to readjust to normal functioning.

Using steroids for up to a month or a year causes your body and brain to rely on the drug exclusively. As a result, it becomes incapable of functioning well in the absence of the drug.

In contrast, an individual who has been using steroids for just a short period will have an easier time discontinuing the drug.

Dosage

Steroids are used in treating a vast range of illnesses. Consequently, the dose that your physician prescribes will rely on the condition he’s treating.

If you choose to take a dosage higher than the one you have been prescribed, you’ll have a harder time withdrawing. Conversely, those on low-maintenance dosages will find it easier to withdraw.

Individual Factors

steroid withdrawal factors

Withdrawal symptoms will vary considerably from one individual to another. People on high steroid dosages are likely to suffer severe physiological responses. Others get lucky and barely experience any adverse effect.

Just remember that the symptoms you encounter may be entirely different from what another individual will experience.

See Also: The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

Why People Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Differently

Throughout history, researchers have questioned why some patients experience withdrawal symptoms while others don’t. This all boils down to the production of corticosteroids.

Ideally, this process is facilitated by a feedback mechanism. It involves three parts- the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and the brain.

Scientifically, the three constitute the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPAA). When you continuously take steroids, it inhibits the HPAA mechanism.

The dose of steroid varies from one patient to another. Usually, taking high doses for a couple of days or small doses for an extended period causes adverse effects on HPAA functioning. Since there will always be a variation in the manner in which individuals take steroids, they can be affected differently.

Tests for Diagnosing Steroid Withdrawal

Given that steroid withdrawal symptoms always vary, health practitioners find it challenging to diagnose this problem. The most recommended technique is a good history and physical evaluation of the patient. The physician will need to pay close attention to the individual’s history of steroid use and treatment.

Other tests that may prove useful are cortisol level, Complete Blood Count (CBC), BUN level, and creatinine level. The cortisol test is for measuring the concentration of cortisol in blood while BUN test determines the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood. CBC, on the other hand, is essential in evaluating an individual’s overall health.

Treating Steroid Withdrawal

You may find this peculiar but the best treatment for steroid withdrawal is to administer a steroid course to the patient. Then, after a short while, your physician will start to reduce the steroid dosage gradually.

This way, your body can start adjusting to its normal functioning, including synthesizing steroids.

However, patients have different reactions. As such, health experts will have to account for the patient’s specific symptoms, type of steroids, as well as the individual’s compliance.

Based on how dependent your body had become to steroids, the withdrawal treatment can last anywhere from a few weeks to one year.

Is Steroid Withdrawal Avoidable?

Yes, there are ways to prevent steroid withdrawal. The best way is to use steroids only for the short-term and in a conservative approach.

Short-term use (although this will differ depending on the type of steroid) is highly unlikely to stimulate steroid withdrawal. However, this condition can be prevented by tapering the dosage with time.

Final Verdict

Steroid withdrawal results from the abrupt discontinuation of steroid treatment. The most common symptoms of this condition include joint pain, muscle soreness, fatigue, and anxiety.

Thankfully, you can avoid steroid withdrawal by ensuring that you take these drugs for just a short period. Also, instead of quitting steroids cold turkey, try to reduce your dosage gradually.

The post Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop suggests you use coffee to clean your poop chute. Don’t.

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No matter what Gwyneth Paltrow’s dubious health website tells you, please talk to your doctor before shooting coffee into your colon.

In an article titled “The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics,” Goop writer Dr. Alejandro Junger suggests a specific brand of enema device for people who want to use a home system and know what they’re doing. Goop links out to the device which immediately advertises itself as “a clean way to do coffee enemas” for the low low price of $135.

If you don’t know what an enema is, it’s a procedure (usually performed by doctors) to clean out someone’s colon by injecting fluid up their butt. The product linked in Goop’s article claims to work well with coffee, and also claims that shooting coffee into your colon is good for your liver, removes “toxins,” and relieves depression, confusion(?), allergy symptoms, and severe pain. Read more…

More about Health, Coffee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop, and Enema

Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen

Nuts are healthy as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. However, a majority of people on a weight loss regimen avoid including them in their diet because they fear their fats and calories.

That is a mere misconception. In reality, nuts can help you lose weight.

How?

We’ll share with you the best nuts for weight loss but first, let’s unravel the truth first.

Studies on How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts are rich in calories. A large part of them contains fat which is a concentrated source of energy. 1 gram of fat has up to 9 calories while a gram of protein contains only 4 calories.

This high concentration of fats and calories makes many people on a weight loss diet assume that adding nuts can make them gain weight. To bust this idea, a lot of studies have been conducted over the years.

One particular study involving 8865 men and women over a 28-month period found that those who ate two or more portions of nuts every week increased their chances of losing weight by 31% compared to the placebo group. Another review involving 36 studies reported that taking nuts is not associated with increased body weight, waist size or BMI.

In a controlled study, where the participants adhered to a strict diet, the inclusion of different types of nuts to their diet did not lead to changes in body weight. More importantly, where the nuts were included in a diet of people on an unrestricted diet, nut consumption did not cause weight gain.

A study involving 65 obese patients compared a low-calorie diet which has complex carbs to a low-calorie diet enhanced with nuts. They took equal amounts of cholesterol, calories, protein, and saturated fats.

After a 24-week period, the people on the almond diet had reduced weight by 62%, fat mass by 56% and waist circumference by 50%. The groups also experienced improved cholesterol, including reduced LDL and triglycerides. The other group did not encounter such benefits.

How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts have a complex structure, which means that unless they are chewed up completely or ground up, a large proportion only passes the gut without digestion. As such, they are not absorbed and are lost in fecal matter. It explains why nuts are weight loss friendly.

Here are some of the best nuts for weight loss you can add to your diet:

Walnuts

walnut

Apart from being heart-healthy, walnuts contain unsaturated fats which help reduce abdominal fat. They come in handy for people on a weight loss regimen as they also improve insulin metabolism. They are unique as they are rich in polyunsaturated fats, unlike other kinds of nuts that have high levels of monounsaturated fats.

Walnuts have Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Walnuts have 183 calories and 18 grams of fat of which 2.5 grams of fat contain ALA. It makes walnuts a rich source of the essential fatty acid.

A research on 245 women showed that a diet rich in walnuts helped them lose weight, reduced the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and improved the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

You can add these nuts to your salad or mix them with your breakfast oats.

Cashew Nuts

cashew-nut

A serving of cashew nuts contains five grams of protein and thirteen grams of fat. Cashew nuts are also an excellent source of magnesium. In fact, a 100-gram serving of cashew nuts provides up to 73% of the daily value of magnesium.

This mineral is essential for regulating the amount of carbohydrates in the body and metabolism of fat, which helps you lose weight.

Apart from taking raw cashew nuts, you can also try spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast to up your intake of these healthy nuts.

Pistachios

pistachios

Their unique color and flavor make them a favorite ingredient in morning green smoothies, morning snacks, and baked recipes.

A serving of pistachios has three grams of dietary fiber which is 12% of the recommended daily intake. Dietary fiber helps the body feel satiated for long, which helps rid of intense food craving. This helps you lose weight fast and burn more calories.

A study involving participants who included an afternoon snack of pistachios achieved lower triglycerides and body weight.

See Also: How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

Nut Recipes You Should Try Out

Banana Bread

banana bread

If you want to avoid gluten products, then this banana bread is the right snack for you. You can eat it for breakfast, dessert or snack.

A snack of gluten-free banana bread made of walnuts allows you to enjoy the benefits of ALA while enjoying the satiety of protein. Plus, walnuts can add a delicious crunch to this snack.

Ingredients

For this recipe you will need:

  • A couple of overripe bananas
  • Brown rice flour
  • Walnuts
  • Applesauce
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond milk
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Apply oil and flour on the baking pan and set it aside.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients (two eggs, coconut oil, bananas, honey, almond milk, applesauce) in a mixing bowl.
  4. Then, fold in the dry ingredients (baking soda, brown rice flour, baking powder, walnuts, gluten-free oats, coconut flour, salt) and combine until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
  6. You can sprinkle some oats over the butter.
  7. Allow the batter to bake for 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for twenty minutes in the baking pan.
  9. Allow it to cool on a wire rack and cut it into slices for breakfast.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

Conclusion

Clearly, nuts are essential for people who want to shed off a few pounds. The right proportion of the best nuts for weight loss also provide numerous other health benefits.

The post Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50

Let’s be honest.

Turning 50 doesn’t really mean much anymore when people are healthier and living longer than ever. However, society still sees this as a milestone. That being said, for some women over 50, a whole new chapter of growth and excitement could be opening up. If you are one of those women, this means a lot more free time for new experiences.

Being over 50, whether male or female, also means physical changes could be occurring in your body. For women, the list includes arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, heart disease, and a loss of flexibility. There’s the horror of menopause, too.

In the words of Dr. Christiane Northrup, a renowned expert in women’s health, “Getting older is inevitable; aging is optional.”

If you’ve seen women in their 80s and 90s doing yoga, you know this is true!

The gentle exercise of yoga and the inherent practice of mindfulness can drastically change the way you see your own body and life. It’s also an inexpensive tool to combat stiffness, arthritis, and chronic pain.

Interested in trying yoga? Here are a few yoga poses for women over 50 you can try today.

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward Facing Dog is a yoga classic that no practice is complete without. Down Dog, as it’s called colloquially, stretches the entire back while allowing the neck to relax. This makes it a favorite for those with chronic lower back pain as well as those who work behind a computer all day. It also helps strengthen the shoulders, but exercise caution and listen to your body if you’re recovering from a shoulder injury.

See Also: Top 10 Yoga-Before-Bed Poses to Reduce your Back Pain

Modified Tree Pose

modified tree pose

Tree Pose is a balancing pose. Like all balancing poses, it brings strength to the feet and a mild workout to the abs. Tree Pose also provides a gentle stretch to the hips.

From a spiritual perspective, yogic wisdom holds that balancing poses inspire confidence. Similarly, core strengthening is meant to cultivate willpower while hip openers are said to release emotional blockages. God knows you’ve probably accumulated some of those.

To modify this pose, place your hand on a sturdy chair before executing the balancing aspect of the pose.

Crescent Pose

crescent pose

Crescent Pose, also known as High Lunge, builds strength in the legs while delivering a delicious stretch to the hips, chest, shoulders, and the all too forgotten ankles.

For a milder pose that requires less balance and muscular engagement, feel free to perform this pose with one knee on the ground. If you have knee troubles, be sure to use a thick mat or put a towel under your knee.

Triangle Pose

triangle pose

Triangle Pose or Trikonasana is one of the best poses for a full body stretch. While opening the entire front body, this pose also delivers a much-needed stretch to the ankles, hips, legs, and back. Women who are braving menopause particularly love this pose, claiming it helps relieve constipation and lower back pain.

Restorative Bridge Pose

restorative bridge pose
Via breastcanceryogablog

Restorative Bridge Pose is a modification of the Bridge Pose. It creates a more restful posture, which is perfect for nights when you can’t fall asleep. This relaxing pose is also said to help relieve digestive discomfort while opening the chest.

For this pose, you’ll need a block or bolster. Simply assume the position of traditional Bridge Pose. You can use your prop to support your lower back. Then, relax and allow gravity to deliver a gentle stretch to your lower back.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Treat Yourself

No matter what your age is, there’s no question that yoga can radically change your life.

If you’re craving for more flexibility or relief from chronic pain, yoga might be one of the most cost-effective solutions you can find. If you are dealing with menopause, yoga can help you survive those painful days and sleepless nights while the meditative aspect of the practice can help with your mood.

As a woman, you’ve probably been taking care of other people your entire life. However, you have to remember that taking care of yourself is actually the first step in helping others. Take time to do something for yourself by introducing yoga into your routine. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

The post The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Meeting and balancing the requirements of your special child can be very challenging at times. Urgent medical matters usually take preference over dental care. According to research, these children are more likely to suffer from dental problems as compared to children without any disabilities.

If your child has down syndrome, seizure disorders, learning disabilities or cerebral palsy, here’s a quick guide to proper dental care for children with special needs.

Dental Visits

dental visit

Make sure not to skip any dental visits and find a dentist who understands children with special needs. You can learn a lot from them. If your child is having a hard time sitting still during his dental exam, you can plug in some earphones with music so they can be comfortable.

Daily Oral Healthcare at Home

Allow your child to brush his teeth where he is comfortable. The bathroom is not the only place where your child can brush his teeth. Make sure to provide enough light, steady and clean water, and a good sized mirror. Have a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste ready, too.

Create a Positive Atmosphere

Your approach to oral care is important to your child. A positive attitude will make your child’s approach to dental care a lot more fun.

Explain and demonstrate all the steps to your child. Make sure to appreciate his effort the best way possible to ensure good behavior and consistent good practices.

Establish a Routine

oral hygiene routine

Developing a consistent routine can help create a sense of familiarity. This can increase your child’s confidence in taking care of his oral health. You can set the routine according to what your dentist recommends. Maintain a record of what is effective and what is not so that you can refer it to the dentist on your child’s next visit.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Make sure to kick-start your child’s dental routine as soon as you get home from the hospital by wiping his gums with a wet gauze pad. Once your child’s teeth have erupted, make sure to brush his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist when you can start using fluoride toothpaste and how much you can use.

Serving healthy and well-balanced meals with limited use of sugary or starchy foods can encourage healthy teeth and limit tooth decay. They can also encourage your child’s baby teeth to grow and develop properly.

Remember to brush your child’s teeth after eating. If that isn’t always possible, have him drink water or rinse out his mouth after eating to neutralize or wash away the acids.

Make Your Child Comfortable with Oral Care

Giving your child a lot of time to become familiar with his dentist’s clinic can help reduce his anxiety to a large extent. You should help your child find his comfort zone, help him explore the dental clinic, and understand the dental procedure as much as possible.

Timings Matter

Some people are able to cope better at different times of the day and the same goes for children.

Mornings are ideal as children still have a lot of energy. However, for children who are diabetic, make sure to ask his doctor as there are certain procedures that need special requirements. One good example is blood sugar.

Break Stereotypes and Work with What Your Child is Comfortable With

It is not necessary for your child to get his dental check-up done in a dental chair as has been stereotyped for adults. He can have his check-up done wherever he feels comfortable. He can get his teeth and mouth checked whether he’s in his wheelchair or sitting on your lap.

I hope that these 8 oral health care tips help your children maintain good oral health and experience healthy and happy lives without being plagued by dental problems.

The post Dental Care for Children With Special Needs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Theranos gets $100 million in debt financing to carry it through 2018, with some caveats

 Theranos has secured $100 million in debt financing. Yes, someone gave the blood testing company known for handing out questionable test results money.
First reported by Business Insider, the company reportedly told investors it had secured the money from Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based private equity firm that was acquired by Softbank earlier this year.
Of course, this is debt… Read More

How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

I’ve got a secret to tell you.

Your body has one powerful tool it can use to start burning fat like crazy. That same tool can also make you gain weight and store all those excess fats in all areas of your body.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s your thyroid.

It’s that tiny gland located in your neck, right below the Adam’s apple. It has dozens of different functions and effects, but perhaps the most important one is metabolism regulation.

thyroid gland
Via webmd

What is metabolism?

In layman’s terms, metabolism is the speed and intensity of all biochemical reactions and processes happening in your body. It is defined by a lot of different factors, among which endocrine regulation plays a crucial role.

Actually, that’s why some people are naturally thin while other folks are chubby.

Imagine it as an engine and the fuel is your body fat.

The faster it goes, the more fuel it burns.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So, how do you kick-start your metabolism, especially if its natural rates are much lower than you’d prefer? Is there a way to safely tweak your endocrine system to boost the rate of your body’s chemical reactions?

That’s where your thyroid plays a crucial role.

Thyroxine: The Ultimate Metabolism Booster

Thyroxine, also known as T4, is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Its primary role is to be transformed into triiodothyronine (T3), which is the active form of this hormone.

Yep, thyroxine isn’t that active. So, why do we call it the ultimate metabolism booster in this article?

The main trick here is that you can’t elevate T3 levels directly, but it is possible to improve T4 secretion. Thyroxine will then be converted into T3 and this will skyrocket your metabolism, resulting in a significant fat loss.

Now, let’s get specific and take a good look at what your thyroid needs and how to boost your metabolism through it.

The Essentials for Having Good Thyroxine

Iodine

This is the staple component of all thyroid hormones: none of them can be synthesized without iodine. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that iodine deficiency quickly results in hypothyroidism. It’s a health condition during which your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

Studies indicate that almost 2 million people around the world have a certain degree of iodine deficiency and it often remains undiagnosed due to the mildness of the symptoms.

Weakness, fatigability, decreased mood, and excess weight are among the usual ones. Most people would think that they’re just bad effects of chronic stress and would do nothing about them.

Selenium

This essential micro-nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland. It doesn’t only improve the production of thyroid hormones but it can also help alleviate the course of some health conditions, like Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that gradually destroys the thyroid, often without any prominent symptoms besides mild reduction in hormone levels.

Just imagine, taking 0.2 mg of selenium daily can improve the antibodies count by a whole 21% during Hashimoto’s!

Vitamin C and Zinc

A study published in 2008 analyzed whether there was any consistent vitamin C and/or zinc deficiency in patients with benign thyroid diseases. It turns out that all of the examined patients had low levels of these nutrients, suggesting that they may also play a crucial role in keeping your thyroid healthy.

Vitamin D

Multiple studies, including this one from 2013, showed that people with low thyroid hormone levels usually have low vitamin D levels as well. This emphasizes the importance of this vitamin in maintaining a healthy thyroid function.

On the other hand, studies affirm that over 40% of American adults have a certain level of vitamin D deficiency. Who knows, maybe this is one of the reasons why excess weight and obesity are all over US?

But, fear not.

We won’t let you go with just this vague piece of advice. Below you’ll find a fabulous list of 10 specific foods that increase thyroxine secretion. Eat them regularly and you’ll be able to boost your metabolism in no time.

8 Foods that Boost Thyroxine Naturally

Seafood

seafood thyroxine rich food

All kinds of seaweeds (algae), shellfish (oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, octopuses, squids), and fish (preferably wild-caught) are fabulous sources of iodine.

The best thing about increasing your iodine intake naturally, instead of looking for some sort of shady supplement, is that you can’t overdose on dietary iodine. Your body will take as much as it needs, increasing your body’s thyroxine synthesis to its natural levels.

Brazil nuts

brazil nuts thyroxine food

This is one of the richest sources of dietary selenium ever. A single ounce (6-8 nuts) of Brazil nuts contains over 500 mcg of selenium!

The RDA for this nutrient is 55 mcg/day, so snacking on 1 to 3 nuts will be more than enough to skyrocket your thyroxine production. Also, these nuts are just delicious, so that’s an all-win advice.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds thyroxine rich food

A cup of these beauties provides almost half of your recommended daily value of zinc (6.6 mg out of 15 mg).

Bonus benefit: A study has revealed that pumpkin seed extracts could reduce the risk of breast cancer. These seeds are rich in dietary fibers, magnesium, and plant-based omega-3s, too.

Guava, Blackcurrant, Red Pepper, Kiwi

guava thyroxine rich food

Can you guess what do these 4 delicious foods have in common? They are all incredibly rich in vitamin C.

Just imagine:

A single guava can give you more than 6 times your RDA for ascorbic acid. Surely, that’s more than enough to support your thyroid.

Cod liver oil

cod liver oil thyroxine rich food

A single teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 440 IU of vitamin D. This is more than enough to cover your recommended daily dose of this valuable nutrient.

Sunlight

sunlight

This is your most reliable and accessible way to get some vitamin D. 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sunlight exposure 2 or 3 times per week should be enough—and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen right after that!

You see, vitamin D can be produced in your body from the cholesterol in the skin and that’s a great way to get enough of it at all times.

Quick Recap

If you want to boost your metabolism and lose weight for good, one of the most reliable ways to do that is to support the function of your thyroid gland and to help it to produce more thyroxine (T4).

This hormone is inactive itself but quickly transforms into triiodothyronine (T3), boosting your metabolism big time. We can’t elevate our T3 levels directly, but T4 is under our control.

To keep it soaring and healthy, keep track of the following things:

  • Have enough iodine in your diet. Stack on seafood and don’t worry about having too much of it. You can’t get an iodine overdose from eating shrimps.
  • Control your selenium intake. Most people don’t get enough of it but if you want to have healthy thyroxine levels, you should. Snack on 1 to 3 Brazil nuts each day and you’ll be great!
  • Zinc, zinc, zinc. Another micro-nutrient that most Westerners don’t get enough of in their diet is zinc. Don’t follow their path and get your zinc straight for a healthy thyroid. To do so, just carry a pack of pumpkin seeds with you every day. These little fellas are not only a fabulous source of fibers but also a sheer zinc bomb! One cup per day gives you more than half of the recommended daily amount.
  • Keep track of your vitamin C. No, no need to eat lemons. Instead, opt for guava, blackcurrant, red peppers, and kiwi.
  • Go for a walk! 10 minutes of sunlight exposure is more than enough to make your body produce the vitamin D it needs. Just don’t forget to put on your sunscreen after those 10 minutes, not before them.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

The post How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Can Stroke Prevention Save Your Life

No one wants to think about the possibility of having a stroke, but someone in the United States has a stroke an average of every 40 seconds. It could be life altering or even life ending.

The good news is that it is possible to survive a stroke and it’s also possible to prevent one from happening in the first place. You should take steps to understand your risk factors, make lifestyle changes, and finally plan for your best possible outcome should the worst happen.

Do You Have Risk Factors For Stroke?

There are certain risk factors that make you more prone to developing a stroke. According to the National Institutes for Health, here are some of those risk factors:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Personal history of stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Existing heart Disease
  • Smoking
  • Malformations of brain blood vessels
  • Age
  • High Cholesterol
  • Gender
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
  • Stress and Depression

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

When you have any of those risk factors, it’s important to check your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to prevent stroke. Eat a healthier diet, be more physically active and quit smoking. Seeking medical treatment for other risk factors is also crucial.

stroke risk factor

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

How To Know If You Are Having A Stroke

When you or someone you love is having a stroke, it isn’t always immediately obvious. Someone having a stroke may just seem tired or even a little drunk, so early warning signs are often brushed off.

According to the American Stroke Association, you should think FAST. It’s an acronym which stands for:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call

Another easier method is to have the person stick out their tongue and see whether it is lopsided.

No matter what, if you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, you must get to the nearest emergency room immediately or call 911.

call 911

Stroke Prevention: Giving Yourself A Better Chance Of Survival

Obviously, getting yourself to the hospital as soon as you suspect a stroke is crucial to your survival. Preventing a stroke from happening in the first place is also a great idea. But if you know you are at risk and you have already done everything you can to prevent a stroke from happening, it’s time to plan for the worst-case scenario.

How do you give yourself the best chance of surviving a stroke once it already starts?

With a little planning, you can identify which hospitals in your area will give you the best chance of surviving a stroke. It starts with identifying the Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

A hospital with a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is one where the doctors, nurses, and other staff have been trained to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for stroke patients. These healthcare professionals are constantly updating their training to be on the cutting edge of research that will allow patients to recover more quickly and more thoroughly.

This research is not only used to stop your stroke as quickly as possible, but it is also used to put you on the right path toward recovery. It can help you get your life back as quickly as possible.

It’s not always easy to identify which hospitals in your area are certified as comprehensive stroke centers. This is why it is important to do your research ahead of time and talk it over with your family. When you make a plan before anything bad happens, it will be that much easier to get where you need to go in an emergency. It could save your life.

Learn more about Comprehensive Stroke Centers from this infographic. A little bit of preparation could lead to a 7% reduction in death when the absolute worst happens.Comprehensive Stroke Centers

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The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

The 21st century is the Golden Age of Exercise. Never before has there been such a keen fixation with being fit. People go crazy over yoga, spin class, the treadmill, the elliptical, and the good old jogging/running.

While the significance of exercise can’t be over-emphasized, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Research has shown that overtraining syndrome or engaging in too much exercise does indeed have significant side effects.

Illnesses

Too much exercise puts those who exercise for more than two hours at risk of getting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). According to the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Sports Journal, too much stress on the body, such as engaging in strenuous exercises, can actually cause the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

It weakens the lining of the gut, leading to the entry of germs into the bloodstream. This poisoning is a major cause of MS and a host of other illnesses.

Multiple Sclerosis has been known to bind people to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives and it would be somehow ironic to lose your mobility because you couldn’t keep your legs off the treadmill.

Abnormal heart rhythm

Another side effect of overtraining syndrome is the occurrence of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms. Research suggests that excessive endurance exercises can cause changes in the heart muscles. These changes expose athletes to arrhythmia that increases the risk of cardiac death.

This is a sharp warning to those who self-righteously think that only smokers and drug addicts are at risk of arrhythmia. If your resting heart rate has increased by more than five beats per minute, you might want to pick the sofa over the treadmill. Your heart will thank you for it.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Weak immune system

It is a well-known fact that exercise makes one stronger. However, too much exercise does the opposite.

During exercise, a hormone called cortisone is produced. This hormone is essentially beneficial to athletes as it decreases swelling, stimulates gluconeogenesis, and increases the breakdown of protein in the liver. Unfortunately, it’s also immunosuppressive, which means that it can make athletes more prone to getting sick because of a weakened immune system

Weak bones

bone pain

Research suggests that overproduction of cortisol interferes with bone building.

When the hormone is in the bloodstream, there is more bone tissue being broken down than being deposited. This explains why people who are over-exerting themselves are more at risk of getting fractures. Moreover, as bone density decreases, conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are more likely to happen.

Ill mental health

Exercising has been known to release the feel-good hormone dopamine. It’s one of the reasons why athletes keep going back to the gym.

Overtraining, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It releases the same biochemical markers as those diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition to that, athletes who overtrain can also experience apathy, irritation, and hostility, which are similar symptoms of clinically depressed people.

Sleep disorders

sleep disorders

Too much exercise can also affect a person’s sleeping habits. People who overtrain experience insomnia at night. They may also find themselves extremely tired during the day and feel sleepy. This can definitely affect your productivity at work.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Eating disorders

Less common but equally troubling is the effect of overtraining on people’s eating habits.

Most people exercise as a way to lose weight. And while normal exercise routines do deliver intended results, those that overtrain become prone to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. One good reason is the false belief of people that consuming food would only get in the way of them achieving the body they want.

Conclusion

While health and fitness remain key reasons why many choose to exercise, the biggest reason is still aesthetics. With images of toned arms, firm thighs, sculpted calves, and rock-hard abs continue to be in demand, who wouldn’t feel motivated to exercise?

For as long as the standards of beauty are this high, people will continue to get their sweat on. It is important, however, to keep track of how much pressure we are putting on our bodies so that we can avoid the side effects listed above.

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6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness

Living with chronic illness comes with its own set of unique challenges but it doesn’t mean that life has to be one terrible ordeal.

Often, we don’t look ill and we can still manage to hold down a job. We have families and a bit of a social life. Despite these things, we still feel terrible.

It’s like having the flu every day, with maybe an odd hour or two of relief.

Living with a chronic illness brings with it the challenge of honoring ourselves while also living up to the expectations and responsibilities of being alive. Often, that includes extreme pain, exhaustion or a hidden disability.

The hardest part can be that because we don’t look ill and we do our best, family and friends can forget. They can even become frustrated with us. As a result, we become frustrated with them and we get angry at ourselves for being ill.

These feelings of guilt and frustration can lead to arguments. Sometimes, they can also push us into a deeper sense of depression and deprivation.

Why us? What did we do wrong?

Despite all the questions you may have in your mind, remember that there is a way to live well. It can be a challenging work but living with chronic illness is possible.

Below, I’ll show you how.

First, we need to grieve

grieving chronic illness

We need to grieve for the life we are not going to live or might never live. We need to grieve for the lost time, missed events, and missed opportunities.

And grieving is tough, especially when we are told we can think our way out of it or we, on some metaphysical level, asked for this. This ‘magical’ thinking or any other general new age BS does not help us when we are deep in the mire of seeing our lives crumble beneath us.

We are ill.

Most of us are still desperately searching for a cure. But to continue with this journey, we must accept where we are.

Grieve the loss of the life you don’t have. Grieving comes in waves and must be honored.

However, you should remember that grieving does come to an end once there’s acceptance. So, accept how life is and get on with it.

Let’s live it well- even within the restrictions of the disease.

Which means boundaries

Boundaries keep you safe. They keep your pain down and they keep you sane. They don’t mean brick walls.

Instead, think of them as flexible fences that control what comes in and goes out. Learning to set your fences can be hard. But once done, you’ll wish you were able to do it years ago.

Boundaries let you stop worrying. And when you worry, you increase your stress levels and even your pain. It becomes an endless cycle that damages you more.

Strong boundaries ensure things get done, toxic people stay away, and you stop over giving.

So, sort out what type of boundaries you need. Get others on board, remind them when they are overstepping your boundary, and stick to your guns.

The boundaries you put in place will be unique to you.

Honesty with yourself and others

I feel this follows on naturally after the grieving process and boundaries.

You are going to disappoint people.

You can’t do everything. You’ll have limits due to your illness.

Being honest about this is the best way forward. Explain that you only have so much energy. Give a warning when that energy starts to deplete and plan how you’ll leave if this has not already been done. Then when ready, put your plan into action.

Do not push through!

Pushing through is for emergencies or once in a lifetime events only. The consequences of pushing through are harsh. They mean days in bed, increased pain and increased brain fog.

And often for what? So other people will like you more?

People without a chronic illness can bounce back after 5 minutes, but what about you?

You’ll crash and can’t move.

Listen to your body. Honor when it talks to you and for the love of all that is, don’t push through!

Drop the guilt

It is not your fault that you are ill and it is not your fault that you have limitations. It’s just not your fault so stop feeling guilty.

I can’t stress this enough.

It has taken me years to drop the guilt but finally, it is happening.

This is life.

By accepting ourselves as we are, we make it easier for others to accept us as we are. If we present to the world who we really are without the guilt, the world will reflect that back to us. People that can’t honor this will walk away.

Pamper days that are more than pamper days

Pamper days to me are ‘women going to a spa’.

Well, that is not enough.

Living with chronic illness means we miss out big time.

For me, a pamper day is planning a day where I don’t miss out. I don’t do what anyone else wants or needs me to do. This day is for me to experience what I need to experience to feel alive. This may be a visit to an art gallery, a trip to friends, a simple stroll or a wheelchair visit outdoors.

Too often, we are bounded to our beds and houses and this is bad for us on all fronts.

If you can’t get out, bring the pamper day to you. Have your friends come around and cook for you, have a tea party or a picnic in the back garden. Do what feeds your soul and not what feeds others!

pamper days

But again, don’t push through.

Be strategic about coping with your energy/pain levels.

Love

I am so lucky that I have a partner who understands that I have an illness one can’t see. It wasn’t always like this, but we are now at a point where our routine honors his needs and mine. He knows I’m not pulling a fast one. He can now recognize when exhaustion sets in and if I need to be in bed, then I’m in bed.

It has taken time and patience to get here. Education and seeing medical results have been instrumental, but I’m so glad we have hung in there.

It hasn’t been easy for my daughter, either. She can’t remember a time that I was not ill. As a result, she can read me like a book and sense within a second when I’m flagging. I have done my best to parent her the best I can, but this has sadly meant she has grown up way too fast for my liking.

She spins it and says she is independent and she is. I can’t deny that her love has helped immeasurably, but at a cost to her childhood.

But, what if you don’t have love?

Join clubs or groups. You can even search for virtual ones. Facebook seems to be a suitable place for support and advice. Just try and avoid the toxic groups. We need support, not a pity party.

Which brings me on to toxic people.

What if you have a toxic relationship?

If you do, then get help or just get out. Toxic relationships stress us immeasurably.

We are far better off without them.

There is nothing worse than being ill and living with toxic family or friends. They will make you worse and you deserve better.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies are often complementary to the regular medical care many of us have. Some find them a bit ‘woo’ but I do believe the right ones have a significant role to play.

If we are truly fortunate, we have an integrative medic that practices both conventional and complementary techniques.

My illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, needs to be treated with several complementary therapies. Diet change has been one and I strictly follow the Auto Immune Protocol. My emotional and mental well-being has been improved with therapies like EFT. I take supplements to correct blood test results and they have improved my fatigue levels.

I still can’t do everything I want to do, so I do the best I can. I no longer beat myself up for it.

I don’t believe I am to blame for this illness and I will no longer allow people in my life that disrespect me because of it.

I see conventional medicine and alternative medicine as a partnership where they complement each other. Together, they can help a person live well.

See Also: Common Health Conditions Treated with Alternative Medicine

My life is more balanced, more loving and more fun. I have grieved, I have dropped the guilt, I have a fantastic doctor and I am loved. All these things make living with chronic illness a little easier.

The post 6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance

Many people apply for a health insurance in the hopes that whenever they have medical problems, it can help them cover the costs.

Health insurances are pretty expensive and they take a sizable portion of your total salary. It is really helpful as it can truly cut your health expenses down.

Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t aware that there are certain medical services not covered by insurance. Below are just some of them:

Liposuction/Weight Loss

Obesity is rampant and a number of people suffer from being overweight. This is why a lot of people undergo weight loss procedures that can cost them a lot of money.

Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with getting the procedures as long as you can pay for them. However, it’s important that you understand that they aren’t covered by your insurance so you may need to pay for them on your own.

Also, note that there are weight loss procedures that would require you to visit the doctor a couple of times and each time you visit, you’ll need to hand out cash.

Lasik Surgery

lasik surgery

If you’ve worn glasses all your life, Lasik surgery can be a godsend for you. This procedure makes use of a laser to fix your cornea and improve your vision. This is ideal for people who are suffering from astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Despite its amazing benefits, Lasik surgery can easily cost you more than $1,000 per eye. If you do not have the money to pay for the surgery, you can get a personal loan to cover the costs.

Breast Implants

A lot of women are always concerned about their figure and that is why breast implants have become quite common.

The implants and the entire operation would cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000. That is pretty expensive and you might not be able to pay for it as of the time being. If that’s the case, you can request a reasonable payment plan but not all doctors will be fine with that.

Acupuncture

acupuncture

Acupuncture has a lot of health benefits. You can get this procedure to detect and even heal some of your bodily ailments.

Unfortunately, it can cost you around $100 up to $1,000 and one visit to the acupuncturist will not be enough.

See Also: How Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking

Dental Procedures

Certain dental procedures are covered by your health insurance but only if they are deemed as “medically necessary”. For example, if you’ve suffered an accident where your jaw has been severely damaged, a dentist can help correct it and it should be covered by your insurance.

However, if you only plan to get dental services for the sake of cosmetics, then you may need to pay for them by yourself. This includes services like teeth and gum augmentation, braces and porcelain veneers. Prices vary depending on the dentist.

The best thing you can do is get dental procedures from a dentist who has affordable rates or you can apply for alternative funding such as personal loans or credit card line.

Infertility Treatment

Infertility is another treatment that isn’t covered by your health insurance. In vitro fertilization can cost you around $2,500 to $5,000 per cycle.

And you know what’s worse?

You’ll probably need more than one cycle.

Cosmetic Surgery

Let’s face it:

Every one of us likes to look beautiful and it’s the reason cosmetic surgeries became quite popular. Unfortunately, despite their popularity, they aren’t covered by medical insurances.

Depending on which body part you want to enhance, a cosmetic procedure can easily cost you thousands of dollars. The cost can greatly increase since you have to buy medicines for the procedures, too.

Paying For Medical Services Not Covered By Insurance

The procedures above are just some of the medical services not covered by insurance. If you are thinking of getting them, you need to be prepared as they can get costly.

So, what should you do?

Well, you can get a personal loan to pay for them. It is very easy to apply for one as long as you have a good credit score.

See Also: What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Plan

Now, the main takeaway here is this:

If a medical procedure is purely for cosmetic purposes, there’s a good chance that it won’t be covered by your medical or health insurance.

The post 7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Early cancer-detection startup Grail is reportedly trying to raise more money

 Just months after Grail raised a $900 million Series B round, the startup that aims to detect cancer early on is looking for additional funding, CNBC reports. Prior to the $900 million round, Grail raised $100 million last year to develop initial studies of its blood test technology. Citing sources, CNBC says Grail is mostly focused on sovereign funds. Grail has reportedly been in touch… Read More

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How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

Many of us think that safe and proper cleaning of blood spills is as simple as taking a mop and a bucket of water mixed with bleach. But to tell you a fact, there is no simple thing about a blood cleanup.

Aside from the fact that it can be potentially infectious, blood is hard to clean because of its ability to attach tightly to the fabric and penetrate into porous materials. As such, a stain might look clean but has dangerous bacteria just beneath the surface.

The harm caused by blood led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to publish the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. The BPS is a set of guidelines that aims to protect workers against health hazards made by bloodborne pathogens.

OSHA Standard

The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to comply with OSHA’s guidelines and encourages them to create an Exposure Control Plans if it is highly likely that workers and employees will have contact with blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids in the performance of their work duties.

Even though most workers and employees, such as those working in banks and financial institutions, do not perform duties in which there is an anticipation of contact with blood, employers should have the appropriate knowledge in case of bloody accidents.

In the guidelines, OSHA also demands employers to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection.

Employers should implement the use of universal precautions, treating all blood, bodily fluids, and items contaminated with blood as potentially infected with HIV, HBV, and other pathogens. Vaccinations for hepatitis B should also be available within ten days of initial work exposure.

blood contamination

Employers Imperative

If you own a particular business, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines and regulations made by OSHA concerning biohazard waste. One way of being a good citizen is to comply with government regulations that put importance on the health and safety of everyone.

Materials Needed to Manage Minor Spills

Before you start the process of blood cleanup, you will need these materials:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Registered disinfectant product that has a broad spectrum pathogen elimination
  • Biohazard bags
  • Biohazard labels
  • Brush and dustpan or forceps/tongs
  • Leak-proof sharps containers
  • And disinfectant wipes

biohazard suit

Here’s how to clean a blood spill on a surface:

Equip

It is necessary that you equip yourself with the proper protective materials, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and protective eyewear to protect yourself from any splashing. Be sure that your protective wear fits comfortably and does not have any holes so that no pathogens can penetrate your body.

Remove

Use your available materials, such as a brush and dustpan or forceps and tongs, to remove sharp shards of broken glasses that could cut through your protective gear. Then, place each piece into a leak-proof sharps container and do not remove them with your hands.

First Cleaning

Cover the blood spill with cloth towels to absorb as much blood as possible. Keep in mind that the disinfectant will not work if the blood still covers the surface. Then, throw the towels in a biohazard bag.

Second Cleaning

Before you proceed with the second cleaning, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room where the spill happens. Then, you can pour the disinfectant onto the surface and let it absorb for ten minutes. After that, scrub from the outside toward the center of the spill area with cloth towels. Again, discard the towels into a biohazard bag after the second cleaning.

Third Cleaning

Again, place some more towels and put disinfectant onto the surface of the spill. Then, put the towels in a biohazard bag and leave the surface to dry.

Dispose

Same as with the towels, you should dispose your protective equipment into a biohazard bag. Seal the bag and put it into a second container then label it. Call your local health department for proper disposal.

Decontaminate

You should use a registered disinfectant to decontaminate any reusable materials, such as brooms, dustpans, and buckets. Then, scrub the equipment and rinse it with water.

Check

Final checking is essential for you to be sure that your body is not contaminated. Check if there’s any drop of blood splashed onto your shirt or your feet.

Wash Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with water and disinfectant soap. You can also use disinfectant wipes.

Report

It is crucial that you fill out an incident report. Do this following any cleanup.

Takeaway

It is vital that you know how to clean blood spill in your workplace. It is one way of maintaining the health and safety of the workers and employees in your area. This guide can help you with that.

The post How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Revisiting What You Need To Know About Eye Health

Taking care of your eyesight has never been more important.

As we spend a lot of time in front of our computer, mobile phones, and other gadgets, the more we become at risk of having dry eyes, early macular degeneration, and other eye problems.

Although employing the 20-20-20 rule can help mitigate the negative effects of staring too long at your screens, it’s usually not enough. To help preserve your eye health for the rest of your life, here are some of the most important things you need to do.

You Only Get One Set Of Eyes

Full eye transplant is still, as of writing, unavailable in regular medical practice.This means you have to take care of your eyes so, that they can last your entire lifetime. And since you don’t know how long that will be, it’s especially important to do everything you can to protect your eyes.

You can prevent physical damage by always wearing UV protective sunglasses when you’re outside. If you are doing any woodwork or you are working with chemicals, make sure you have your protective goggles on.

See Also: Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision

Eye Exams Can Save Your Eyes

Because eye problems, like macular degeneration, often occur gradually, you might not notice anything amiss until it is too late. This is why getting regular eye exams is crucial to maintaining your ocular health.

Common problems that are easier to treat if detected early include:

  • Cataracts – Caused by UV light exposure
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage to blood vessels caused by poorly controlled diabetes
  • Glaucoma – Has multiple causes and can only be controlled with early detection
  • Macular Degeneration – Multiple causes, including blue light exposure and screen time

Most people are concerned about losing their vision but only 14% of people with existing eye problems go in for routine eye exams. If you want to avoid such problems, make sure to see your eye doctor regularly.

Proper Nutrition Can Help

proper nutrition for eyes

As the old saying goes: Garbage in, garbage out.

If you are eating poorly, it can affect several areas of your health. Diabetes and hypertension are two good examples of health problems caused by poor dietary choices. They also happen to be the two most common causes of eye problems.

To preserve your eyesight, try making better lifestyle and nutrition choices. You can start by adding the following foods to your diet:

  • Beta-Carotene– One serving per day helps your eyes absorb light energy and adjust to different light levels

Sources: Carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash

  • Zeaxanthin and Lutein– One serving every other day prevents macular degeneration and cataracts

Sources: Eggs, spinach, broccoli, corn, and kale

  • Zinc– Two servings a week improve liver function to protect against macular degeneration

Sources: Beef, poultry, oysters, and beans

  • Omega-3 fatty acids– Two servings a week reduce inflammation to protect against macular degeneration and dry eye

Sources: Tuna, mackerel, salmon, trout, and anchovies

  • Vitamin C– One serving daily prevents cataracts

Sources: Tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers

  • Resveratrol– Reasonable consumption can prevent problems with blood flow in the eyes

Sources: Red wine, peanuts, and blueberries

See Also: 7 Foods That Can Improve Your Eyesight

In Summary

Your eye health should never be taken lightly.

In addition to improving your diet, making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and getting more exercise can help improve and preserve your eyesight in the long run. Remember to rest your eyes and see your eye doctor regularly to make sure problems are detected early.

To learn more about preventing eye diseases and lifestyle-related blindness, check out this infographic.

what is 20/20 Infographic

The post Revisiting What You Need To Know About Eye Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Not Drink Salt Water

More than half of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but most of it has a very high salt content. This makes it unsuitable for human consumption. If you are wondering why, here are 6 good reasons that will discourage you from drinking salt water.

Your body will get dehydrated

drink water

The human kidneys are only able to eliminate a small amount of salt from the body at a time through urine. In order to remove huge amounts of salt, the kidneys need to produce a lot of urine to flush the salts out.

Essentially, when you drink salt water, your body will require even more water to dilute and eliminate all of it. In the end, you will just get more dehydrated from urinating too much.

See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated

Your cells will shrink

The human cells are made up of semi-permeable membranes that allow water to move in and out of them freely.

When you drink salt water, you increase the concentration of sodium outside of your cells. So, to bring back balance, water moves from the cells to the external space and this causes the cells to shrink.

When cells shrink too much, they become unable to perform their tasks and this leads to health problems.

Your blood pressure will increase

increased blood pressure

When you have excess salt in your body, the amount of sodium in your blood circulation increases. This attracts more fluid, which increases the strain and pressure in your blood vessels.

As you get more dehydrated from your body trying to flush out as much sodium as possible, your vital organs suffer and this can lead to organ failure. If not managed properly, this condition will be followed by a comma and eventually death.

You overwork the kidneys

Your kidneys play a huge role in excreting salt and water that the body does not need.

When there’s a high concentration of salt in the body, your kidneys will have to work extra hard to maintain balance. An overworked kidney can fail anytime and this can lead to further health complications.

A scaly and dry appearance

Salt water has a way of messing up with the skin by making it dry, flaky and ashy. This happens when skin cells lose water due to dehydration. You’ll see this start on the lips before moving to other parts of your body.

Frequent cramps

Another common problem that you will get when you drink salt water is cramps. It can happen when sodium builds up in the extracellular space of the cells. The high concentration of sodium outside the cells causes water to move outside.

Cells that form muscles will start to shrink and you can end up with muscle cramps. With time, your joints will become weaker, too. Eventually, this could hinder your ability to move.

Salt water animals are able to survive in such a saline environment since their cells are different from those found in humans. Their cells act like osmotic conformers, which means that their cells have the same salinity as their environment. An intake of salt wouldn’t cause a disruption in their physiological equilibrium.

Other animals, like fish, usually have specialized cells which cope with osmosis. They excrete excess salts, which allows the fish to consume salt water without any problem.

See Also: There Are Huge Health Benefits of Drinking Water But How Much Should You Really Drink?

There are many negative effects of drinking salt water. Therefore, make sure to filter your water before drinking it. You can invest in whole house filters or portable ones, which you can easily take with you when you go camping or hiking.

The post 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Drink Salt Water appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Unhealthy Behaviors That Affect Your Mental Health

Bad mental health habits are behaviors that have a negative effect on the way we think and the way we feel about ourselves.

We often believe our mood and our mental health are solely dependent on external factors and we only have little ability to control them. We often wonder why we get so easily irritated, upset, sad, lethargic, and bored in life. As a solution, we try to improve our mood and cope with stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors. This, unfortunately, makes our mood even worse.

Yes, our mood is affected by our brain chemistry. But, remember this:

Our brain chemistry is largely affected by our behaviors and habits in life. If we treat ourselves with care and know what makes us happy, we are going to have a more balanced brain chemistry.

Here are a few common bad mental health habits that are making you unhappy and unsatisfied with your life:

Bad Sleep Routine

bad sleep routine

Even if you get enough sleep, having a regular sleep routine matters a lot.

Going to bed early promotes more happiness and energy in life. Studies have shown that going to bed late may be linked to depression and poorer mental health in general. The reason could be that negative thoughts are more likely to appear in our mind at night.

So, by staying up late, you get more and more overwhelmed with worries and negative thoughts. Also, by being a ‘night owl’, you socialize less with people and may start to feel isolated over time. You’ll also be less productive and less energetic the next day.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

Not Taking Time to Relax

Many of us live with a lot of stress and have a lot of thoughts going through our minds on a daily basis. We may have a stressful job or suffer from anxiety or other problems. Most of us may be hyperactive and constantly seeking new stimuli without realizing that they are making us feel worse.

Taking some time during the day to relax and be with yourself without distractions can significantly improve your mood and well-being.

Lack of Physical Activity

It is a well-known fact that physical activity is necessary in order to maintain a healthy body. But, exercise has huge benefits for your mind, too.

When you exercise, your blood flow improves and your body releases feel-good chemicals. You are also releasing the tension build-up from excessive stress and anxiety. Your muscles feel and work better.

Spending a Lot of Time with Toxic People

We all know people in our lives that just make us feel bad whenever we are interacting with them. They may put us down, undermine our success, not respect our boundaries, and find ways to ruin our mood when we are happiest.

If you are continually trying to change those people, you are just wasting your time and making yourself more miserable. So, try to avoid toxic people as much as possible.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Lack of Personal Goals

Goal-oriented behavior is what activates our reward system. This has a huge influence on our mood and happiness. If you don’t push yourself to achieve your goals, even small goals, you will not feel fulfilled and you are likely to seek unhealthy ways to activate your brain reward system.

Also, not focusing on achieving your goals leaves you feeling like you are stagnating in your life and that can easily trigger poor mood and depression.

Excessive Use of Technology

excessive use of technology

Most of us enjoy our computers, phones, social media and we naturally want to watch the news and see what is currently happening in the world. Even though those tools are great at making our lives and work easier, they can also be great tools for distraction.

They also promote inactivity and tend to be overly stimulating to your brain. Your brain doesn’t like too much stimulation and you may find it more difficult to relax and unwind after spending hours on social media.

Not Being in Touch with Your Emotions

Our emotions often feel too intense and too difficult to deal with, so we tend to suppress them. We distract ourselves with all kinds of unhealthy behaviors.

The problem with that is that we don’t get to process our emotions and face our real problems. We fail to find out through attention and awareness what truly makes us unhappy, anxious, angry or sad.

Poor Nutrition

Our nutrition affects everything in our body, including our brain chemistry. A deficiency in certain nutrients can cause imbalances in our system. Even if we don’t have any serious deficiencies, our eating habits can still affect our mental health. Overeating and not eating enough are both unhealthy behaviors that can affect our relationship with food and our overall mental health.

The post 7 Unhealthy Behaviors That Affect Your Mental Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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You Need To Stop Telling Women Where To Breastfeed

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see stories of women who get shamed in public for breastfeeding their babies. These stories often involve outrageous circumstances. For example, there are women who shop at lingerie stores who ask to feed their babies in the fitting rooms. Instead of being allowed, they are often redirected to an alley.

There’s also a hashtag trending on social media: #IPumpedHere. This hashtag highlights the degrading conditions in which women are forced to prepare meals for their babies upon returning to work.

In reality, however, women are allowed to feed their babies or pump almost everywhere in the United States. How is that possible? Read on.

The United States Is The Lowest Rated Developed Nation For Breastfeeding Policy

breastfeeding policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be breastfed for at least 12 months. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, recommends two years. For those who can’t and won’t breastfeed, formula milk makes a great and safe substitute but it’s not the best for growing babies.

There are many reasons why women in the United States make the decision not to breastfeed. One of those reasons is the negative reactions women who decide to breastfeed in public gets.

There are laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby in public in 49 states. There are also laws at the federal level protecting a woman’s right to pump when she returns to work.

Unfortunately, these laws only cover women who work at businesses with more than 50 people and limited to one year after the birth of a child. Because of these and many other issues, only about half of babies in the United States are breastfed until six months of age.

Laws For Breastfeeding In The Workplace

When mothers return to work, they will often need to pump at least twice a day. This helps keep their milk supply up. Without pumping, their babies will not be able to get the amount of breast milk they need to be healthy and to grow. Preventing women from pumping can also lead to pain and discomfort.

Federal law requires that companies with 50 or more employees follow these guidelines for working mothers:

  • Provide adequate break time for pumping for up to one year after baby’s birth
  • Provide a space, other than a bathroom, for employees to pump with a locking door
  • Employers are not required to compensate employees for this time
  • Provide electricity and refrigeration for pumping and storage

Why Support Mothers In The Workplace?

mothers in the workplace

The biggest reason to support mothers in the workplace is that it is the right thing to do.

When women have options, they are going to be able to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. This, in turn, will lead to stronger families. In addition to that, keeping women engaged in the workforce longer allows them to grow faster in their careers instead of having to start over from the bottom every time they take a break to have a child or care for an aging parent.

Women do the majority of the unpaid caretaking and it can take a significant toll on their earning power in the long run. And if you still need more reasons to support women in the workforce, the United States won’t be able to compete in the global economy with other industrialized nations if we keep marginalizing the talent of women and forcing them off to the sidelines when they don’t always want to be there.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Breastfeeding Mothers, Know Your Rights

Knowing your rights and being vocal about exercising them is going to be important. Don’t be afraid to talk to your company about your needs because you might find that they are more willing than you think to accommodate you with a pumping room and break time.

If you are going to be breastfeeding in public, and you will be breastfeeding in public more than likely, be ready to confront and diffuse any uncomfortable situations. Remember that you have the right to breastfeed your baby and no one has the right to tell you not to.

The post You Need To Stop Telling Women Where To Breastfeed appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin

If there’s one trait all Japanese women share, it’s their fresh, glowing skin. It doesn’t matter if she is 20 or 60 years old, every Japanese woman seems to have a flawless, radiant complexion.

This begs the question, what is their beauty secrets to having porcelain-like skin? How do they manage to look younger and more graceful as they age?

While there’s no magic formula for youthful skin, these lovely ladies do have certain beauty secrets that help them maintain their fair complexions.

Here are some of Japan’s most treasured beauty ingredients, which are used in most of their makeup and skin products:

  • Tsubaki flower

tsubaki flower

Tsubaki, also known as camellia, is a flowering plant found in southern and eastern Asia. The tsubaki flower offers a range of benefits for the skin.

The oil extracted from camellia seeds is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and numerous polyphenol antioxidants. Its creamy, non-greasy nature makes it a great moisturizer for rough skin. The oil also has many properties that keep your skin fresh, supple and moist.

Tsubaki flower oil contains vast amounts of omega-9 oleic fatty acid, which increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It is absorbed into the skin as easily as water and it boosts cell growth. It lends flexibility and support to the skin, too.

The oil permeates right down to the inner layers of the skin, nourishing it from the inside and hydrating any dry patches. It is a natural transdermal carrier that transports essential proteins (elastin and collagen) and nutrients, replenishing skin cells and repairing damage caused by heat, dryness and aging.

Camellia oil is free from irritants and is suitable for use on sensitive skin. It opens up the pores and allows the body to remove harmful toxins naturally through sweat glands.

  • Yuzu

yuzu

Yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit of Chinese and Tibetan origin. It was first introduced in Japan during the Tang dynasty. Both the pulp and the seeds are beneficial for your skin.

The fruit is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has vast stores of vitamin C and flavonoids. Because of that, this fruit can help combat the harmful radicals that can cause premature aging.

Yuzu fruit is a popular skin revitalizing and nourishing agent. It tones the skin naturally and adds to its firmness and vitality.

Regular use of yuzu moistens and refreshes the skin layers. The oil extracted from yuzu softens and nourishes the skin, giving it a supple and radiant appearance. During winter solstice, it is an ancient practice to take relaxing and rejuvenating yuzu baths at home or in onsens.

  • Sakura

sakura

Sakura, also known as cherry blossom, is one of the two national flowers of Japan (the other is chrysanthemum). It is one of Japan’s best-kept beauty secrets and is used extensively in skin creams and perfumes.

The sakura flower is rich in antioxidants and helps cleanse the body of impurities and pollutants that damage the skin. Its store of essential fatty acids fortifies the skin’s natural barriers, making it smooth and supple.

Sakura extract promotes a firm, mature complexion, regenerating the skin from the inside out. Its anti-glycation properties promote collagen formation in fibroblast cells.

Sakura extract cleans and whitens the skin and combats signs of anti-aging. It inhibits the production of melanin, a dark-brown or black pigment, thereby restoring uneven skin pigmentation. The extract also promotes skin cell growth and combats cell death caused by advanced glycation-end products (AGE).

It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and heal irritated skin. Furthermore, sakura flower reduces the oxidative damage that causes signs of anti-aging.

  • Ume

ume

Ume is a flowering plant used in Japan for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. The common name for ume is plum blossom. The fruit is a rich source of natural antioxidants called phytochemicals. These substances help to combat the effects of oxygen radicals in the body, keeping the internal systems functioning smoothly. It prevents signs of premature aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.

The ume fruit has abundant stores of vitamin C, which detoxifies the body of impure chemicals. This property helps promote a radiant and healthy skin complexion. Ume contains anti-aging nutrients that help to reduce wrinkles and dark spots. You can find it in various Japanese face masks and creams that can help soothe, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.

  • Rice bran

Rice bran is a byproduct of rice milling. It contains vast reserves of antioxidants, vitamins B and E and essential fatty acids that combat harmful radicals in the body. It is rich in tocotrienols, which are absorbed into the inner layers of the skin. They form the first line of defense against free radicals. Tocotrienols also restore damage caused by oxidative rays, repairing the skin and slowing the skin aging process.

Rice bran cleans the skin from the inside out, causing it to appear fresh and healthy. The phytonutrient and oryzanol in rice bran acts as an effective sunscreen, protecting the skin against lipid peroxidation caused by UV light. Gamma oryzanol contains ferulic acid, which has anti-aging properties.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

  • Algae

Algae refers to a diverse range of photosynthetic organisms known for their nutritive and medicinal value. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them ideal for treating irritated skin. They have potent antioxidant properties that help to eradicate free radicals and pollutants from the body.

Algae also combat the effects of oxidative damage to plasma and red blood cells. They support skin cell repair and growth, healing your skin from the inside out and cancelling signs of aging caused by dead skin cells.

  • Green tea

green tea

Green tea is an herbal drink made from steaming or roasting fresh Camellia sinensis leaves. It’s a popular component of traditional Japanese medicine. Today, you can find it in skin creams and beauty masks.

Green tea is very beneficial for skincare. It contains a store of antioxidants that help in flushing out toxins from the skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for soothing itchy skin and healing blemishes and scars.

Green tea is rich in tannin, an astringent that works really well in treating dark circles and puffy eyes. Its reserves of antioxidants and astringents help to soothe inflamed blood vessels under the eyes, thereby reducing swelling or ‘bags’.

The free radicals floating in the body cause the skin to sag, wrinkle and age prematurely. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C and catechins, which combat the dermal damage caused by these radicals.

The catechins present in green tea act as a defense against acne-causing bacteria. They also regulate hormonal imbalance in the body, one of the main causes of acne.

Furthermore, green tea acts as a natural skin toner that cleanses impurities, reduces large pores and hydrates the skin. Using it regularly can give the skin a fresh and healthy appearance.

See Also: How To Reduce Caffeine In Green Tea

These ingredients are some of Japan’s biggest beauty secrets. Using them regularly will keep your skin healthy and radiant as you age.

The post Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

The post How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight

I was always an obese dude….

The type that couldn’t fit into any clothes comfortably and started to sweat after walking 10 steps.

Now, this always sucked and it’s something I suffered from since I was a kid. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to live this way for the first 24 years of my life.

I think I was actually starting to get comfortable with this odd figure. But then, I entered the professional workforce and things started to change very quickly.

I immediately realized how important it was to be in shape and not because of health or anything like that. It was because overweight people were treated differently.

I’d heard studies of this in college, about how overweight people were less likely to be hired because they were viewed as lazy. It’s something I always laughed about and never took seriously…

Until I started to witness these observations first hand.

I can’t say that didn’t suck but I’m honestly glad it happened.

Not because I like being viewed as lazy, but because it forced me to start my journey of losing weight and helping hundreds of others along the way.

The Start of My Journey

I knew I had a lot of work to do all around, but I first started with my diet.

I grew up not really knowing what “healthy” food was, but I knew enough to realize that it wasn’t Taco Bell and Mountain Dew.

So, I started searching around for healthy diets and finally settled on one that followed the traditional “low calorie” approach.

I liked this diet because I knew low-calorie diets were the best way to lose weight and this diet was also pretty flexible.

It told me certain foods to stay away from and as long as I stayed under my calorie limit, I’d be good to go.

After that, I took a test that they’d created, telling me how much to eat based on weight and goal. Then, I went to the grocery store right after.

I immediately stocked up on fruits and veggies, along with a bunch of Weight Watcher’s Meals that would serve as my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

fruits overload

See Also: Five Incredibly Easy ways to Add Sprouts to your Diet

I figured this was the best selection for me as the meals tasted pretty good and they’d help me keep my portions in check.

So, I started on this diet the next day. I set a deadline of 30 days before I was going to weigh myself. I don’t know the exact reason why I picked 30 days, but I knew that weighing yourself everyday would do more harm than good.

During the first 2 weeks, things weren’t really that bad. They were kinda nice actually.

I immediately realized an uptick in energy and started to lose some pounds around the midsection.

I was excited and wanted to weigh myself everyday, but I stuck to the plan and continued to stay away from the scale. However, days 15 to 21 hit and I noticed a huge shift in my mood and willpower.

I had really lost all my energy and I was absolutely hangry.

At first, I thought this was just a normal “correction” as I’d been making changes to my body, but the symptoms kept getting worse and worse.

I tried my best to plow through them and hit day 30, but I was noticing a significant decrease in my work. So, on day 25, I finally caved in and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of BDUBs, but I’ve never eaten as much as I did on that day.

I completely destroyed a large serving of boneless wings and then had some chips and queso to top it off.

Needless to say, I was absolutely miserable the rest of the day. However, as sad as it sounds, it was still better than being “hangry”.

Then I “Yo-yo’ed”.

Even though I’d had a very large cheat meal during that day, I still wanted to go home and see if I’d made any progress over the last 3 weeks.

Right when I got home, I jumped on the scale and to my surprise, I’d actually lost 11 pounds!

Now, that felt amazing. I’d never been able to really lose weight before and you’d think that would be enough to keep me going. But, like many other “yo-yo’ers”, I told myself I’d jump back on the diet soon. I just wanted to recollect my thoughts before going at it again.

So, I continued to eat “normal” for the next 4 weeks and after that, I was ready to jump back on my diet kick.

I decided to weigh myself on a Sunday before I was going to start. To my surprise, I’ had gained all my weight back…plus 10 lbs!

I couldn’t believe it. I was actually eating a little better than I had in the past so I figured I’d stay a few pounds under my normal weight. Instead, I reached an all-time high.

This was extremely depressing and I thought this was just a “me” problem.

I figured that my slow metabolism was out to get me and that I’d never been able to lose weight. Then, I started to dig into this problem and realized many others were having similar difficulties.

The most publicized examples were actually “The Biggest Loser” contestants. During my research, I came across a lot of articles where they were losing weight during the show. Then, months after the show was over, they were gaining it back and then some!

Now, this obviously intrigued me as I was having similar issues. That’s when I discovered the concept of “ghrelin’ and “fat burning mode”.

We’ll talk about these two concepts throughout the rest of this article, but as a quick overview:

Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it helps control your appetite. This obviously has a lot of importance with dieting and can be a good thing. However, when you use the typical “low calorie” diets that are being preached today, then it does the exact opposite.

Why?

Because this style of dieting doesn’t lower your ghrelin levels, meaning you have the same appetite as you did when you started losing weight.

Now, that’s bad enough. But, on top of this, your metabolism actually decreases when you start to lose weight.

There are some fancy words for why this happens, but in short, it decreases because you’re smaller and don’t need as much energy….

And that means you have the same appetite but with a slower metabolism, a dynamic duo that essentially guarantees weight gain, whether that be in 1 month or 1 year.

This was an important discovery for me when I came across the concept of fat burning mode. These two are what really helped me kick-start my journey.

What Is Fat Burning Mode?

So, like with everything medical, there’s a lot of geeky terms that go into it. But, in the simplest form:

Our body has two different sources of energy- ketones and glucose.

Ketones are produced when fat is burned and glucose is produced when carbs are burned.

Since we have 2 different sources of energy we can burn, that also means we have 2 different “modes” that we operate in- glycogen burning mode (glucose) and fat burning mode (ketones).

Now, to be 100% accurate, we are technically always in both modes at the same time, but there’s always a primary mode and a secondary mode.

The secondary mode always uses minimal fuel, almost to the point of non-existence. From what I understand, we keep this secondary source alive just so our body knows that the backup source is still available.

Okay, that’s easy enough. But, how do we determine which one is primary and which one is secondary?

That’s actually the easy part of the formula. Glycogen burning mode always trumps fat burning mode.

It’s not because it’s a better source of fuel or anything like that, but because our body has to regulate glucose very closely.

Why?

Because glucose is sugar and our blood can only handle so much sugar at one time. Once our blood sugar hits the limit (which doesn’t take much), then insulin has to kick in and start removing sugar from the bloodstream.

Now, this is a good thing but that only leaves so much energy left in our system. That’s why we’re supposed to keep eating small meals while in glycogen burning mode.

Makes sense? Alright, here’s the true kicker.

Guess what happens with the excess sugar after insulin removes it from the bloodstream?

That’s right. It gets converted into stored energy- a.k.a body fat.

Now, that’s bad enough and shows how easy it is to gain body fat. Here’s where things get worse.

The typical western diet is full of carbs and that means we’ve pretty much been stuck in glycogen-burning mode our entire lives.

See Also: 5 Science-Proven Health Benefits of Low Carb Diet

This is also why people work countless hours to deplete the glycogen in their body and start burning fat or, even worse, starving themselves while doing so.

And to show you the full cycle, that means it’s extremely easy to gain body fat but then you have to work your tail off just to access this stored energy.

Starting to see the problem here?

Alright, so I know that sounds depressing, but here’s the good news.

I’m a minimalist and I wanted to find ways to enter fat burning mode without living in the gym, starving myself or losing muscle along the way.

After years of research, along with the help of some unconventional doctors, I finally found that way.

And in the remainder of this article, I’m going to show you how you can benefit from this research as well:

How to Enter Fat Burning Mode Without Living In the Gym Or Starving Yourself

Step 1: Drink Exogenous Ketones

I actually came across this concept in my earlier days of researching the two different energy burning modes. Through that research, I kept seeing the phrase “exogenous ketones”.

At first, I thought the word sounded extremely fancy and it was some complex subject. However, as I soon learned, I realized that it’s really just a way of saying ketone supplements.

Anyway, when I was doing this research, I came across a story of an individual who started drinking these ketones and began to notice a great reduction in belly fat within a month after she started.

Now, she liked the results. However, she was drinking the ketones for energy and wasn’t quite sure why this was happening. So, she went to the doctor to make sure everything was okay.

It took her a few weeks to find a doctor that actually understood this subject. Once she finally did, he explained to her that by drinking these ketones, she was telling her body to burn fat.

Now, this makes sense as ketones are the source of energy that’s created by fat burn. To be honest, I was a little skeptical to think it was this easy.

So, I decided to test it out and sure enough, within 4 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds- without doing anything different!

Now, that felt great and I’ll show you how to further amplify these results in the next steps. First, you need to make sure you enter fat-burning mode by drinking ketones, so here’s what I advise:

  1. Buy exogenous ketones. I personally recommend KetoCaNa by Ketosports. Those are good enough by themselves but if you really want to crank it up, buy MCT Oil Powder by Quest Nutrition along with it. This works well as KetoCaNa is exogenous ketones and MCT Oil creates ketones once it hits your liver. So, you’re pretty much getting a military grade dosage when you do this. Helpful hint: might be best to start with just KetoCaNa before moving to the full 1-2 punch.
  2. Make a ketone shake every morning with a blender bottle full of water along with your preferred ketone source and drink it. I personally use 2 scoops of MCT Oil along with one scoop of KetoCaNa. But, again, it’s going to differ by person.
  3. Try not to eat breakfast as this ketone shake will be more than enough to get you going.
ketone shake
Via beautynutrition

And that’s it. That’s all you need to enter fat-burning mode.

This trick can work for anybody. However, if you’re diabetic, please consult with your doctor before trying anything out. Insulin sensitivity or restriction can do some funny things with glucose and I want to make sure your body is able to handle both modes before you try it out.

Step 2: Keep Carb Intake Under 20g Per Day

Now that we’ve entered fat burning, it’s important to keep this going.

Technically, you would lose some fat if you just drank a ketone shake every morning and waited to eat until lunch time. But, since we’re already getting into fat burning mode, why not keep it going. And on top of that, the process really isn’t that complex.

As I mentioned earlier, carbs create glucose and that’ll put you into glycogen burning mode. So, the only way to get around that and stay in fat burning mode is by keeping your carb intake low.

Now, everybody is a little different and there’s really not a one-size-fits-all answer, but the one route that does work for everybody is keeping your carbs under 20g per day.

So, why does this differ for everybody then?

Well, because the only time your body turns back into glycogen burning mode is when glucose hits your liver. Some of the glucose that you consume is used up by your muscles, so that’s really where most of the flexibility comes in.

In other words, if you just finished a serious workout and used all the glycogen in your muscles, then you could probably afford a little more than 20g and still stay in fat burning mode.

If you don’t eat carbs, that’s fine, too. Your body can create glucose out of protein. I’m just letting you know why you can have some carbs and still stay in fat burn.

The last thing I wanted to point out is that when I mention 20g of carbs, I mean in general- not any of that “net carb” stuff.

If you’re not familiar with “net carbs”, a lot of people will use the formula of total carbs – fiber= net carbs to determine their daily carb intake.

The logic behind this is that fiber doesn’t turn into glucose and shouldn’t be included as a carb. To some extent, I do agree, but I’ve also seen a lot of people get kicked out of fat burning mode by eating too many carbs in general.

I’ve done a lot of research on this and I can’t really find an exact answer. But, from what I’ve gathered, excess amounts of fiber can turn into glucose.

Again, don’t quote me on that, but I’ve seen what it does so I know it’s important to stay careful with it.

Alright, so since we’re restricting carbs, then what types should you eat?

I always recommend green and leafy vegetables, like broccoli.

It’s important to consume these types of carbs as they’re full of nutrients (like fiber) and they don’t turn into glucose that fast, giving you even more leeway on your total intake.

And that’s really everything you need to know about staying in fat-burning mode, well from a carb standpoint. We’ll cover the rest in the next section.

As a quick recap:

  1. Keep your daily carb intake under 20g (to start).
  2. Try and spread carbs throughout your day/meals. Try not to eat all of your daily carbs at once, but if you’re starting at 20g, you’re probably fine either way.
  3. Get your carbs from healthy sources like leafy vegetables or avocados.

That’s how you stay in fat burning mode. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but once you start to feel the effects and see the results, staying away from carbs gets pretty easy.

On top of that, you don’t have to starve yourself either, you just have to…

Eat A Lot of Dietary Fat (High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb Diet)

Now that we’ve entered fat burning mode and learned how to stay out of glycogen burning mode, it’s time to take care of everything else.

And by everything else, I guess I should just say ghrelin.

Remember that hunger hormone that I talked about earlier? The one that forces everybody to yo-yo diet?

Yeah, that’s never going to go away and if we don’t control it, we’re at an uphill battle.

That’s where this next step comes into play. It’s highly important to not starve yourself and, instead, eat a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet.

Why exactly does this diet work so well? Let’s break it down into sections, starting with fat.

High Fat

The first thing I like to mention with fat is that it absolutely has nothing to do with making you fat.

Well, I guess if you ate an absurd amount of it, like to the point of vomiting, then maybe. But, as we discussed earlier, body fat is nothing more than stored energy.

And since it’s stored energy, then there’s no reason why we should believe fat is what causes fat (unless you eat excess amounts).

On the other hand, remember when we talked about how glucose is quickly converted into body fat? And not because it was a lot of calories, but because our body can only handle so much sugar in the blood at one time?

Yeah, that’s also the reason why it’s so easy to gain weight while in glycogen-burning mode. You could easily eat 3 big meals and gain some extra body fat with every meal.

Fat, on the other hand, lasts a lot longer and really doesn’t create any metabolic issues. This is why you’ll hear a lot of people eat a high-fat diet while they’re intermittent fasting, because the sustained energy can last them all day.

In other words, don’t worry about the constant small meals that you’re supposed to eat while in glycogen-burning mode.

Then, in addition to this, fat also helps control ghrelin.

This is helpful for curbing your hunger, but it’s also helpful as it lowers your ghrelin levels as you lose weight. This means you won’t run into the high appetite and slow metabolism problem that most yo-yo dieters incur.

So, how much fat should you eat then?

I’ll give you ratios in a second, but from a practical standpoint, just eat fatty foods until you’re full. Don’t worry about counting calories, weighing out food or any of that junk- there’s no need to do that with high-fat meals.

Why?

Because the body is really good about self-regulation when in fat burning mode and it’ll let you know if you need food or not.

At the same time, I realized ratios are easier to follow in the beginning. We’ll get there soon, but, first, I wanted to cover exactly what “fat” is.

I do this because when most people hear fat, they instantly think of snickers and candy-things that make us fat.

When I say fat, I mean healthy fats, like:

Grass-fed beef (any beef is okay, but grass-fed is always better)
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
Pork (pork chops, pulled pork, even bacon)
Butter (just make sure it’s real butter)
Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cheese
Avocados
Eggs
Pepperonis
Cream cheese
Coconut oil
Olive Oil
Avocado Oil
Walnuts
Etc…

In all honesty, the only fats you really need to stay away from is trans fat and “seed oils”.

I think most people are aware that they need to stay away from trans fat, but here’s the problem…

Food companies are able to hide the fact that their food contains trans fat by titling it “hydrogenated oils” which is the exact same thing.

A Big Fat Recap:

  1. If you’re counting calories, try and make sure 75% of your calories are from fat.
  2. Make sure you’re eating healthy fats.
  3. Avoid trans fats or “hydrogenated oils”.
  4. Avoid seed oils like vegetable oil, sunflower oil and canola oil as these oils are highly inflammatory and not good for you.

Protein

We’ve talked a lot about carbs and fat, but we haven’t mentioned protein yet.

And that doesn’t mean protein isn’t important. That just means it’s a little more flexible than the other two.

Before jumping into the specifics of protein, it’s important to remember that protein’s main function is for muscle repair and growth, not energy.

This is also why bodybuilders love it so much and the exact reason why it’s been so severely misunderstood over the recent years.

Now, people think they can just eat protein all day and make muscle, when that’s simply not the case. Muscle has to be created from somewhere (i.e. breaking down muscle from lifting and repairing it with protein), so please keep that in mind.

The second thing I want to point out is that when you consume too much protein (i.e. more than your muscles need), then the excess protein will turn into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Now, this is also a highly debated issue. Some health bloggers make it sound like one bit of chicken creates glucose in the blood while other bloggers offset this by saying 100% protein will keep you in fat burning mode.

And I’m here to tell you they’re both wrong. I’ve tested both analogies and both strategies have kicked me out of fat burning mode.

Here’s how you can cut through the noise and avoid this.

Protein is important and something you should consume. Unless you’re lifting every day, then you probably don’t need to eat 300g of it.

Like everything else, the amount will vary by person. As a 6 ft, 175-pound male, I try and stay under 100g per day.

With all that said, from a practical standpoint, if you can eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, then you’re probably okay.

I know this can be hard at times, especially when you’re eating a lot of meat-heavy meals. So, to offset that, I’ll usually melt a bunch of butter and dip each bite of meat into it- problem solved!

Protein Recap:

  1. Try and consume 20-25% of your calories from protein.
  2. Too much protein can be a bad thing, but it takes a lot to get there.
  3. Just try and eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, and you should be okay.
  4. Protein is important, but not the saving grace that many think it is.

Carbs

We’ve already talked about this subject and I don’t have too much more to add. But, there are some other things I wanted to relay for the purposes of clarity.

As we discussed earlier, we can only convert back to glycogen-burning mode after glucose hits the liver. That can only happen when the muscles don’t use all the glucose that you’ve put into your body.

In other words, if you eat some extra carbs right after lifting heavy weights, then you’ll probably be okay as the muscles will soak it up.

On the other hand, as we discussed with protein, your body can also make glucose with protein so you really don’t need to eat carbs. That’s why there’s no such thing as an essential carb.

But, if you are going to still eat carbs, just try and eat them from healthy sources, like berries and veggies.

These foods will help provide other nutrients and be helpful overall. Just make sure you’re careful with how much you eat. Some foods, like apples, can add up in a hurry!

Carb Recap:

  1. Try and stay under 20g of carbs each day.
  2. Try and get your carbs from healthy sources.
  3. You really don’t need carbs, just up protein if you don’t.
  4. These amounts will vary by person and how active you are.

Feel the burn…

And that is your complete guide to burning fat.

If you follow these simple steps and stick with it for a few months, I absolutely guarantee you’ll love your results and keep going.

As with any hard changes in your diet, it might feel weird at first. But, with the help of everything I’ve put in this guide about the best way to lose weight, I have no doubt that it’ll help you progress with your weight loss goals.

The post How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home

When an average person hears the words “essential oils”, he’d probably associate it with something that can improve the smell of a home. And though that is true, there’s more to essential oils than just bringing a pleasant fragrance.

So, if you are planning to get a new house, here’s an essential oils guide you might find useful.

Lavender

lavender oil

Widely used for its calming effects, lavender is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular essential oils. Of course, the reason is obvious. This oil brings a soothing effect when you’re stressed or irritated. Aside from that, it can also treat burns and relieve irritated skin.

To treat burns, simply put two drops of lavender oil on the affected area. In a few minutes, the swelling and pain will be relieved.

Peppermint

Having a hard time dealing with nausea? How about headaches? Do you want to improve energy levels?

You might need to have a bottle of peppermint essential oil at home. Massage a drop of this oil to your forehead and temples to relieve a headache. To relieve nausea, inhale straight from the bottle but be careful not to get it in the eyes.

Lemon

lemon oil

For those of you who have a congested chest or itchy throat, you will need several drops of lemon. When paired with honey, it can effectively soothe a sore throat!

If you want to use it in the kitchen, you can, too! Mix at least 5 drops of this essential oil with 4 ounces of an unscented liquid dish soap to get rid of grease in your kitchenware.

Eucalyptus

To add an antimicrobial effect to any DIY homemade cleaning recipe, make sure to add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Five drops of this oil added to 16 ounces of water can effectively inhibit the growth of mold. Also, 10 drops of this added to a bucket of water can help ease the job of cleaning the floor.

Frankincense

Although it is a bit expensive, frankincense essential oil can effectively get rid of stress and relieve headaches. It can even help make bath time extra relaxing!

After washing your body with soap, put a few drops of frankincense essential oil to your washcloth. Then, wipe it over your body while rinsing with warm water. The steam will instantly infuse with the oil, giving you the refreshing and relaxing feeling you need.

Oregano

Oregano might be a popular kitchen ingredient but it also has some other uses at home. It has antimicrobial properties that help the body combat illnesses. No wonder why it’s a must-have! To fight flu and illnesses, diffuse this oil in your favorite diffuser. It’s that easy!

Tea Tree

tea tree oil

Another powerful ingredient in homemade cleaners, tea tree essential oil deserves a spot in your home. Not only does it have soothing properties that heal rashes and itching, it also has properties that aid in stopping athlete’s foot.

Normally, this oil is diluted with a carrier oil, such as organic coconut oil, in a 1:1 ratio prior to applying to the skin.

Wild Orange

Apart from its pleasant smell, wild orange has got many good properties. It does not only work as a sedative, it can also be used for treating an upset stomach. Simply combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with a drop of wild orange essential oil for an instant massage oil.

Vanilla

Here’s something you might not be aware of: Vanilla essential oil has properties that can neutralize the free radicals present in your body. It can protect it against illnesses and diseases.

It also brings about a calming effect that makes it ideal for relieving restlessness and stress. Put a few drops of this oil into your bath or rub the oil on your temples for a quick relaxation.

Rosemary

If you are feeling confused or indecisive, you will need the fragrance of rosemary essential oil. It does a pretty good job at clearing your head and supporting digestive functions.

When combined with peppermint essential oil, it can improve one’s focus and insights, too! Just mix 3 drops of this oil with 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and rub on your upper neck. It should effectively improve your memory and keep you focused the whole day.

Actually, there are still lots of essential oils out there. These are only ten of them. Nonetheless, if you want your family to reap the benefits of these oils, then this essential oils guide can help you get started.

The post 10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

Fresh fruit and veggie-based juices are the perfect way to get your daily dose of nutrition without the extra calories. While juicing won’t give you the figure of your dreams overnight, it’s a great way to enhance the effects of a proper diet and exercise program.

How Does Juicing Help You Lose Weight?

Here’s how fresh fruit and veggie juices can help you lose weight:

  • You’re delivering vital nutrients to your body in an efficient manner, allowing it to directly absorb vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Raw fruits and veggies are typically quite high in water content to keep you hydrated. They help control hunger, too.
  • Raw fruits contain tiny amounts of fructose. When you juice with 75% veggies and 25% fruit, you won’t be overdoing the sugar.
  • Green leafy veggies are high in protein to help build muscles while other ingredients can help with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

5 Juicing Recipes For Weight Loss

Green Gut Buster Detox

green gut buster detox

Packed with the goodness of raw fruits and green leafy veggies, this detoxifying drink helps to counter the effects of junk food, holiday binges and parties. This recipe is rich in vitamin C and health-boosting polyphenols which make it one of the best juicing recipes for weight loss.

To make this Detox juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 10 kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 2 celery stalks (leaves removed)
  • 1 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 green apples (cut in half)
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger

Preparation Tip – Increase or decrease the amount of apples to add or reduce the sweetness. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Fruit Punch Energy Booster

fruit punch energy booster

This sweet and tangy juice is the perfect way to start your day since it wakes you up and gives you the energy and nutrients you need in the morning. Loaded with vitamins and minerals from fruit and greens, it’s also the ideal pre-workout fuel for your body!

To make this Booster juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 apples
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 2 cups pineapple
  • Juice of 2 limes

Preparation Tip Add lime juice and ice after juicing the other ingredients to prevent oxidization. Increase or decrease pineapple and apples as per your taste.

Tropical Carrot-Apple Tummy Tucker

tropical carrot apple tummy tucker

Carrots are rich in beta carotene (which helps your body process vitamin A), B vitamins, vitamin K and potassium. In this recipe, the sweetness of carrots is perfectly balanced with the tangy flavor of apples. It’s a drink that’s both nutritious and delicious.

To make this Tummy Tucker juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 3 large carrots (chopped)
  • 2 cups pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 2 pieces fresh ginger

Preparation Tip – Use firm apples to produce a clear juice and add green apples if you want more tartness.

Sneaky Green-Berry Metabolism Booster

sneaky green berry metabolism booster

If you don’t tell anyone that this drink has leafy veggies in it, they will never know it’s a green smoothie. Mixed berries add a rich flavor as well as a gorgeous color to this juice, masking the “green” flavor and color of spinach.

To make this Booster juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water

Preparation Tip – Adding a few chopped beets will intensify the color and mineral content of this drink.

Flat Belly Antioxidant Delight

flat belly antioxidant delight

This drink delivers a huge payoff in terms of antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals from fresh carrots, citrus, and green vegetables. Carrots also help to regulate blood sugar.

This juice is so tasty that even veggie-hating kids will love it!

To make this Antioxidant juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 1 carrot
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 stick of celery
  • ¼ head of cabbage
  • ¼ head of lettuce

Preparation Tip – Juice the oranges and add to the smoothie container with ice before juicing the other ingredients. Stir well before serving.

See Also: 4 Best Teas To Help You Lose Weight

Pro-Tips for Proper Juice Storage

There are simple tricks to help keep your juices longer.

For one, you can add lemon to slow down oxidation. You can also use a proper smoothie storage solution if you want to make larger batches of juice at a time. While green smoothies and juices can be whipped up in a jiffy if you have the ingredients at hand, it can still be a hassle to make them each time you want a guilt-free snack or healthy drink.

Smoothie bottles that pump out excess air will help keep ingredients fresh and preserve their health benefits, so you can just grab one from the fridge before leaving the house or when you want a quick snack!

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

The post 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Doctor takes a break from giving birth to deliver another baby

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A doctor in Kentucky and her patient will always remember their babies’ birthdays. 

Amanda Hess, an OB/GYN in Frankfort, Kentucky, was in the hospital as she prepared to give birth to her daughter. While she waited, Hess heard another expectant mother who was closer to giving birth. 

The doctor went to the room, where a woman who happened to be one of her patients was fully dilated. The doctor on call was on his way to the hospital, but the baby was coming. So Hess stepped in and handled the delivery right before she went back to her own room to give birth.  Read more…

More about Obstetrician, Doctors, Birth, World, and Health

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Do You Know What To Do In A Ride Sharing Accident?

Ride sharing and ride hailing are often lumped together, but the two services are completely different. One is more like a taxi while the other is more like a bus. What’s not different about the two is that there is still a lot of confusion about who is legally responsible if there is an accident.

Because drivers don’t usually need commercial insurances even though they are performing a duty for which they are getting paid, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay up in the event of an accident.

To clear things up, here’s what you need to know.

Ride hailing is common

ride sharing

Over half of adults in the United States have heard of a ridge hailing or ride sharing app, but only about 15% have used one. This brings a lot of confusion about what it is, what the legal ramifications are as well as its regulations.

Most people who use these services are affluent and between the ages of 18 and 49. 29% of college graduates have used these services as well.

A little over a third of all adults believe that ride sharing services should be treated like commercial taxi services, while about the same percentage of frequent ride sharing users believe the same thing. Even though the liability is the same, most people don’t believe ride hailing drivers are no different from taxi drivers.

More states and municipalities are starting to realize the legal gaps that are occurring with these services and are making attempts at patching them up. It’s likely that more regulations will be passed in the future to protect both driver and passenger.

If you are a driver, you may not be covered

Driving for a ride sharing or ride hailing service can be risky if you don’t pay extra for commercial insurance. Unfortunately, this is a catch-22 because most companies pay so little that you would pay more for commercial insurance than you would end up making in fares.

Currently, New York City requires drivers to carry commercial insurance, which is as much to protect the drivers as it is to protect the riders. What if you are in an accident on your way to pick up a fare and your insurance doesn’t want to pay up? Or worse, if they do pay up and end up raising your rates for the next several years?

It’s definitely worth checking into your coverage before deciding to work a side hustle. The coverage provided by the ride sharing and ride hailing services might not be enough to protect you.

If you are a passenger, you might not be covered, either

Between 2014 and 2016, for-hire vehicle accidents more than tripled. As more and more people are using these services, there will understandably be more accidents.

A ride sharing insurance coverage can fill in the gaps when the driver’s insurance doesn’t want to pay out. However, as lawsuits involving these services are also on the rise, you could find yourself caught up in the middle.

If you are a ride sharing or ride hailing passenger and you are in an accident, here’s what you need to do:

ride sharing accident

  • Get help at the scene

Getting a police report ensures that the facts won’t change after you leave the scene. Getting medical attention is the first step in documenting any injuries you may have.

  • Get information from the driver

Again, gathering the facts at the scene is the best way to ensure they don’t change. Get as much information as possible, like contact information, insurance details and data on the ride hailing service you got.

  • Have your injuries treated

You may think you are fine, but car accident injuries can become more serious over time, particularly if there’s no prompt treatment.

  • Keep track of medical bills and expenses, including any lost work

From day one, write down any work you missed because of the accident and any bills you accrue. Keep receipts whenever possible as this will help you get reimbursements.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For 

  • Decide whether you will need to hire a lawyer to recoup your costs

Sometimes, insurance companies are happy to pay up right away just to close the case. Other times, they may not be as willing and you’ll need help to get reimbursements for your expenses.

See Also: Timeline Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Coverage requirements vary based on location

From state to state and even from city to city, coverage requirements can vary widely.

The state of California requires an additional $1 million in liability coverage when drivers are en route and while they have passengers. Minnesota requires an additional $1.5 million in coverage for the same situation. In some places in the world, like France, ride hailing and ride sharing drivers need to be licensed professionals.

Knowing a little about the risks now, do you think these services should be treated like professional driving services or are you OK with taking the risk?

Learn more about what to do if you are involved in a ride sharing accident from the infographic below.

The post Do You Know What To Do In A Ride Sharing Accident? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Why Runners Should Get a Sports Massage

Sports massage is a form of physical therapy that is designed to help athletes prepare and recover from intense training and activity. This style of massage aims to prevent injury while supporting the repair of damaged muscles, tendons and soft tissues.

When is the right time to get one?

sports massages

There is no right answer for this question as it’s subjective. Generally speaking, however, there are four main categories of sports massage: Pre, post, general and injury-specific.

Each category has a different purpose.

Pre-event

The main purpose of this style is to prepare the body for intense exercise or for an event. While some people prefer a light session, others request intense, deep work a couple days before or the night before an event.

The nature of the session depends on the request of the client. Trained masseuses adjust their routines to suit the wants and needs of their clients, especially the intensity of the session.

The athlete should feel light and refreshed after the session, not still and sluggish. Pre-event massages usually involve light strokes, dynamic/isolated stretching, and deep tissue techniques.

Post-event

The goal of a post-event massage is to minimize the onset of muscle soreness. In most cases, a runner will need a post-event massage within 26 hours of an intense workout or event to stop the body from becoming sore.

Since the muscles can undergo micro-trauma and tearing, it’s important to help the body heal. Unlike the pre-event massage, the post-event massage is lighter but slightly deeper.

It uses slow, flushing and controlled strokes as to avoid causing further damage to the muscles. It incorporates static stretching into the session, using 30-second holds to massage certain regions on the body.

Apart from the massage, athletes can also take ice baths after stretching to decrease post-work out trauma. The combination of these two treatments can drastically speed up recovery.

General massage

The purpose of a general massage is to loosen tight muscles, enhance range of motion, release trigger points and minimize the chance of injury. Generally speaking, runners tend to respond better to deep tissue work when experiencing a general massage.

It is the job of the masseuse to alter the intensity of the massage to ensure that it’s effective but won’t cause further damage. If the runner continues to experience painful, burning aches more than 36 hours after a general massage, it’s usually a sign that the masseuse has applied too much pressure.

Injury massage

Injury massage is slightly more specific than the previous styles. It is usually done to heal a specific damaged muscle, ligament or tendon. This style can be incredibly effective when applied appropriately and by a trained expert.

Similarly, athletes are advised to work alongside a doctor or physical therapist before establishing a proper treatment plan. Every injury is unique and each treatment plan should depend on the extent or nature of the injury.

Common injuries among runners

Tendinopathies- This is an injury to one or more tendons. Trained masseuses use deep, stripping strokes on the tendon and also perform cross-fiber friction to help heal the area. You’ll need to apply ice to the injured tendon for 10-15 minutes.

Ligamentous- This is an injury to one or more ligaments and is treated similarly to tendinopathies. It also incorporates deep, stripping strokes and cross-fiber friction.

Strained muscles- Strained muscles should be treated no more than twice a week since the muscles also need time to relax between sessions. Masseuses apply deep work around the area and use light, flushing strokes on the strained muscle.

When the muscles start to heal, the masseuse will use deeper strokes and cross-fiber friction on the actual area of injury. Gradually, the intensity of the static stretch will increase and resistive stretching will be introduced towards the end.

Iliotibial Band- This is one of the most common injuries among runners. Also called as Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, it is usually detected through pain on the outside of the knee. Treatment usually includes intense, deep massage techniques in order to work three of the gluteal muscles: the tensor fasciae, latae and the band.

Achilles Tendinopathy- This is an injury associated with the Achilles heel. Masseuses usually start with deep, stripping techniques, since the muscles and Achilles are connected, and these can tug on the tendon when tight.

Runner’s knee- Runner’s knee is easily distinguishable because it causes pain behind or around the knee. Although common among runners, it is exclusive to them. In most cases, the underlying cause is muscular imbalance in the four quad muscles.

See Also: How Runners Can Easily Improve Their Foot Strength

Study

sports-massage-runner
Via fitagainsportstherapy

Physiotherapist and chiropractor, Greg Lehman believes that one of the main benefits of sports massage for runners is pain relief.

“Pain changes how we function and can even inhibit healing. Massage may also help with recovery after a workout and may help get us out of a stress dominated state of our nervous system.” 

He also put emphasis on how relaxation is an overlooked, yet critical aspect of a runner’s training regime. He explained that stress can impact all elements of training, including mental strength and focus.

Studies have shown that regular massage therapy can reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol. At the same time, it can also encourage the production of hormones, such as oxytocin, which increase happiness and relaxation. The benefits of massage suggest that runners, and most athletes for that matter, can recover faster after a hard workout or an event with the help of sports massage.

Conclusion

All runners are prone to injury and sports massage is one good way to prevent that. If you aren’t comfortable seeking help from a massage therapist, self-massage is a free and easy alternative you can try.

 

The post Why Runners Should Get a Sports Massage appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Simple Tips On How To Form A Habit

Do you still remember your New Years Resolutions? How many of them have you put into practice?

Let me guess: Little to none of them.

And you’re not alone.

Good habits seem to be very hard to form while bad habits just sneak up on us when we least expect them. That’s how it feels, at least

But, guess what? Good and bad habits actually form the same way.

As a Certified Fitness Coach and 100% Vegan, let me give you some tips on how to form habits.

Pull the trigger

Habits start with triggers.

You feel stressed out? You’ll feel compelled to smoke a cigarette. You’re about to go to bed? You’ll have to brush your teeth.

These are simple triggers that initiate reactions. And like these triggers, you also have to identify specific triggers that can help you build better habits.

Ask yourself: How are you reminded of the habit?

Build a checklist

Generate a trigger by creating a checklist. All you need is a blank paper, a pen and some duct tape. You duct tape the blank paper to an open spot in your home, like your fridge.
Then, write the name of the habit that you want to form on top of the checklist.

Put some small check boxes on the left side of the paper with your target dates. These dates should reflect the frequency of the habits you want to build. For example, if you want to go to the gym once or twice a week, you need to write down the dates of your planned workout days for the next two months. You should have a total of 18 dates for that. Every time you go to the gym on your specified dates, you check off the box.

Bonus Tip: Use your signature

An even better way to check off the habit is by using your signature. If you put your signature on the checkbox after finishing the habit, you’re telling yourself that you’ve done the work the right way. You’re using the self-serving bias to your advantage.

The self-serving bias means that you want to enhance your self-esteem and self-worth with your actions. The signature is a reflection of yourself.

Think of it this way:

You’re putting your signature on the stuff you agree with. You’re enhancing your self-worth by completely nailing the habit. Because of that, the habit is more likely to stick.

Start Small

walking exercise

If your goal is to go to the gym four times a week, don’t start with that habit.

I know that you might be extremely motivated this very moment, but the key to long-term change in your habits is consistency.

Start with a 5-minute walk, two times a week. When you have low expectations, it dramatically increases your likelihood of forming a habit that will last long.

Why?

Because having time for a 5-minute walk every day is easy while 2 hours of exercise isn’t. You can eat one banana every day but you’ll find a full day of eating healthy harder.

Start with smaller goals as much as possible and it will make you less likely to procrastinate.

Overcompensate

Starting small won’t only make habit formation easier; it can help you compensate on certain days, too.

What you will find, after a certain period of time, is that you’ll be able to easily go for a ten-minute walk, instead of the planned five-minute walk. You’ll be progressing in an easy, playful way and this will increase your motivation. Plus, it will make habit formation feel like something that you ‘want’ to do, instead of ‘needing’ to do.

See Also: Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life

No need to feel sorry now. What are you waiting for? The year isn’t over yet. Take your New Year’s Resolutions out of your closet and start forming new habits the simple, fun and sustainable way.

If you enjoyed this article, please watch and share my video below.

The post 5 Simple Tips On How To Form A Habit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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GOP lawmakers snap up surging health insurance stocks as they gut Obamacare

Paul Ryan ally Rep. Mike Conaway [R-TX, @ConawayTX11, +1 (202) 225-3605] is the proud owner of $30,000 worth of stock in UnitedHealth, who stand to benefit enormously from Rep Conaway’s efforts to destroy Obamacare and replace it with a system that allows insurers to charge more and kick more than 22,000,000 Americans off their insurance.

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5 Tips For Smashing Your Weight Loss Goals

Let’s be honest. We all wish we are a few pounds lighter on the scales.

Well, I did.

I’m getting married in July of this year. And last December 5th, 2016, I got the biggest kick up my sagging, wobbly behind has ever had.

That day, I stepped on my bathroom scale and found out that I gained over 20 lbs. I looked and felt awful. I realized that I simply could not get married in July looking or feeling like that!

I guess, sometimes, everyone needs a kick!

I am a 30-year-old male, career-driven and comfortable in my relationship. I was so comfortable that I didn’t notice that my waist expanded 6 inches. I neglected my health.

What I am trying to say is that it is very easy to form bad habits and repeat them day in day out. But, once realization hits you, you’ll be able to kick those bad habits away- with focus and dedication.

I’m now 23 lbs lighter, leaner and happy. My future wife is pretty happy, too.

And as a way to help you go through the same thing, here are some of the ways to lose weight I found effective:

Food prep

food prep

This is the easiest thing to get right and the easiest thing to neglect, too.

Proper food prep is one of the best ways to lose weight. As they say, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.”

Spend an hour on a Sunday night batch cooking your food for the next 3 to 4 days. Make sure you are getting all of your key food groups, including your greens, in your meal plan.

I am not saying that getting an occasional treat isn’t allowed. Prepping your food is just a way to make sure you don’t always resort to ordering fast food.

See Also: Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

Understand your Macro splits

Macros, short for macronutrients, are simply the following food groups: proteins, fats, carbohydrates.

We all need them and each is vital for our metabolism to work correctly and efficiently. You can quickly search for a Macro calculator online and you can easily get a handful of options, like this one: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm

Once you have your splits, write them down and make sure to follow them when preparing your meal plan.

Download Myfitnesspal

This app allows you to track all of your daily food intakes. It also enables you to input your macro splits in the format of either percentage or grams. You can use it to track your actual weight loss, too.

I found that by downloading this app, I was able to easily keep an eye on what I was eating, how many calories I had consumed and how much I have left. It’s a very cool, motivational tool that keeps your eyes on the prize.

It was a huge help in making sure I don’t overeat or take on too many calories. The app has a very cool barcode scanner. You can use it to scan all of your food and keep an eye on your calories!

Exercise

exercise regularly

Exercise has so many benefits. Not only can it help you lose and maintain a healthy weight, it can also make you feel great.

I’m not talking about spending 14 hours a day in a gym. Just engage in cardio and weight training if you can.

I try to do 20 to 40 minutes of cardio a day, 5 times a week. If you don’t like running, then head to Youtube and look up HIIT workouts. A gent called Joe Wicks creates great workout videos you can check out.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), a personal favorite of mine, is sharp, explosive and great at blasting belly fat. It is short but highly effective. If you regularly follow a healthy eating regime and you combine it with HIIT, you’ll be able to see results very quickly.

Weight training is also key to building muscle and burning fat. The internet is a good source for workouts. If you have the budget, however, you can always invest in a good personal trainer.

When choosing a good coach, always ask to see the portfolio of clients they have previously worked with. This is one good way to ensure that you’ll be dealing with someone who knows how to get results.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Set short term goals that add long-term results

It’s easy to realize you are overweight and tell yourself you are going to lose 50 lbs in 3 months. Doing it, however, is a different ball game.

I had weeks where I would bust my ass and lose 3 to 4 lbs. In other weeks, I’d only lose 1 lb. It is easy to get frustrated with these numbers and that’s alright. Results take time and effort.

I found that setting short term goals (4-6 weeks) were more motivating. Once you hit that short term goal, you can set a new one and repeat. We all have an end goal and whether that is 20, 30, 40 or 50 lbs of weight loss, it won’t happen overnight.

Be realistic, dedicated and honest. If you cheat on your diet, no problem. Move on from your mistake, start fresh the next day and work on smashing your goals.

Finally, don’t be afraid to allow yourself a treat once in a while. Work hard, eat well but don’t feel guilty for eating a guilty pleasure every now and again. I personally have one cheat meal a week- not a cheat day.

Hopefully, all or some of these tips have been helpful. They were a great help in my weight loss journey and they should be able to provide the same results to you.

Good luck and smash your goals!

The post 5 Tips For Smashing Your Weight Loss Goals appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Cure Your Skin Today: The Best Adult Acne Home Remedies

When your face is breaking out, you just want to crawl into bed and not come out all day long. And as you feel embarrassed, you can’t help but wonder: Wasn’t acne supposed to be left behind in your teenage years?

Adult acne is frustrating, embarrassing and difficult to deal with once it develops. Its causes are far more complex than teenage acne which makes it even harder to eliminate.

Fortunately, there are a few great natural remedies for adult acne that you can use to lessen the severity and duration of your acne breakouts. From kitchen herbs to common vegetables, you can help your skin glow again by mixing up a few things at home.

Choose one of these common at-home remedies to improve your skin’s condition!

Crushed Peppermint

crushed peppermint

One great way to treat your skin’s acne is to apply a peppermint paste on the acne-prone areas of your skin. Peppermint is known to have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

You can find peppermint leaves at your local store or you can even grow your own!

To make a peppermint paste:

Crush up 3 or 4 peppermint leaves.
Rub the paste on affected or acne-prone areas of your face.
Allow the paste to sit on your skin for about 10 minutes.
Rinse your face with cool or lukewarm water.

Always test this paste on a small section of your skin before using it regularly. Peppermint can be irritating to some skin types!

Zinc Supplements

zinc supplements
Via ods.od.nih.gov

Zinc is often used to naturally help regulate hormones. You see, one of the most common causes of adult acne is unbalanced hormones.

By regularly taking zinc supplements, you may be able to calm down some hormone fluctuations that can be causing your acne problem. Simply put, zinc supplements can help treat acne!

Oatmeal and Honey Paste

oatmeal honey paste
Via jewelpie

Oatmeal and honey are two great ingredients that can do wonders when it comes to treating acne.

As you know, oatmeal can absorb liquids. And just as it can absorb water, it can help absorb oil from your skin, too. Honey, on the other hand, can work to tone your skin. It has antiseptic properties, too.

Here are the ingredients you need to make a simple oatmeal and honey paste:

⅛ cup honey
½ cup cooked oatmeal

Mix these two ingredients together and allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, liberally apply to oily skin for 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Repeating this technique one or two times a week can help boost your skin’s oil control. This, in turn, can reduce the number of acne breakouts you get.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil
Via keeperofthehome

Tea tree oil is a very popular and effective way of treating acne spots as soon as they appear.

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and antifungal. This means that it can keep your skin very, very clear of any bacteria!

Before using tea tree oil on your skin, however, you need to dilute it. Using undiluted tea tree oil on your skin can actually worsen inflammation, so you should use a 5% solution instead.

It’s super easy to use. All you have to do is apply a small amount of tea tree oil directly to the problem spots and leave it on overnight.

This home remedy can help reduce the severity of mild to moderate acne breakouts.

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been praised as a miracle acne solution for years now, and there is a good reason for that. This miracle worker is packed with magnesium, acetic acid, and potassium – all of which can help kill bacteria on the skin!

This type of vinegar has many acne fighting properties. It can:

  • Clear up excess oil
  • Balance the pH level of the skin
  • Work against bad bacteria

Thanks to these three properties, apple cider vinegar can provide you with some relief from adult acne.

There are two great ways to use apple cider vinegar.

For one, you can use cotton swabs to apply it directly to the affected areas. Secondly, you can boil one cup of apple cider vinegar with water and use its steam to treat your skin.

Yogurt & Honey Mask

yogurt honey mask

Another great way to make use of the acne-fighting power of honey is to combine it with a great skin hydrator, like yogurt. A simple combination of these two ingredients can do wonders for your acne-prone skin.

When you have acne prone skin, it can actually be exacerbated if your skin becomes dehydrated. Whether you realize it or not, dehydrated skin causes your face to overproduce oil and that puts you at more risk of acne.

Hydrating your skin is simple with this yogurt honey mask. All you need is:

One tablespoon raw, organic honey
One tablespoon of yogurt (preferably organic, but not required)

Mix these two ingredients together and then apply it to the problem areas of your face, paying close attention to where you break out most often. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before gently removing the mixture using a damp rag.

See Also: 6 Vitamin-Packed Smoothie Recipes for Glowing Skin

Say Goodbye To Adult Acne

Don’t spend any more days hiding at home or piling on makeup just to hide those frustrating breakouts. There is no need to hide if you take advantage of these natural remedies for adult acne.

It’s very simple to work with the antiseptic and hydrating ingredients that we already have in our kitchens. In fact, there are many fantastic herbs that can fight acne. You just need to know exactly how you can use them for your skin’s needs.

Whether you choose to combine oatmeal and honey or work with crushed peppermint instead, your skin will surely say “Thank you” for trying these solutions at home! Get glowing, clear skin with these easy at-home remedies!

The post Cure Your Skin Today: The Best Adult Acne Home Remedies appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What’s Behind America’s Lagging Life Expectancy?

American life expectancy is on the decline for the first time in decades and there are a number of factors that come into play. Today, let’s talk about two important variables that are affecting our normal life expectancy — obesity and opioids.

The Greatest Threat Comes From Obesity

obesity

More Americans are becoming obese. Roughly a third of the people in the United States are. This leads to a number of health problems as well as a decline in overall life expectancy.

Obesity as a cause of early death is the easiest to prevent. Being just 40 pounds overweight can shave 3 years off of your life expectancy while being 100 pounds overweight can shave off a decade.

There are a few things that have made America number one in terms of obesity, one of which includes our diet. We eat more processed foods than anyone else, and we only get an average of 30% of our daily calories from fresh unprocessed foods.

Government subsidies have made these processed and fast foods more profitable for decades, and it has made this diet a cultural norm for everyone here. Our attitudes toward work play a role in our weight issues, too.

When we work more and play less, we become so stressed out that we often turn to food for comfort. This can also contribute to obesity.

Obesity on its own is bad enough for your body, but it also increases the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to heart disease and stroke.

If this sounds like you, here are some simple ways in which you can turn your health around:

  • Only drink water and say goodbye to sugary drinks
  • Go for a walk every day
  • Eat more fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables

See Also: Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

Opioid Deaths Are On The Rise

Opioid prescriptions have been on a steep rise for decades, and this has led to an increase in addiction. People start off taking pain medications with a prescription for various reasons. When their supply runs out, they are left with a dilemma: buy it on the streets or seek addiction treatment.

Since addiction treatment still hasn’t surpassed the advances in opioid prescriptions, many still prefer to buy their supplies off the street. Eventually, the habit becomes too expensive to maintain such that addicted people switch to cheaper and more readily available heroin.

This has led to a surge in heroin-related overdose deaths. In 2014 alone, nearly 30,000 people died from heroin overdoses, and that number has continued to skyrocket. There has been constant news regarding people passing out from overdosing with heroin while driving, sometimes with their children in the car. It has become a serious national health crisis.

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit 

Socioeconomic Disparity In Life Expectancy

socioeconomic class

What is probably the most shocking thing about the latest American life expectancy statistics is the disparity between different socioeconomic classes. The life expectancy for lower-class Americans has gone down significantly over the past several decades, while the life expectancy for higher class Americans has gone up dramatically over the same period.

In 1980, the poorest American man could expect to live to 76.2 years, while the poorest American woman could expect to live to 82.5 years. Today, that same man will only live to 76.1 years, while that same woman will only live to 78.3 years.

Upper-middle-class men and women have made the most significant gains in life expectancy during the same time period. Upper-middle-class men could expect to live to see 79.9 years in 1890, while upper-class men could expect to live to see 82.6 years.

Today, those same men can expect to see 87.8 years and 88.8 years respectively–a significant increase. Upper-class women have made similar gains, going from a life expectancy of 86.1 years in 1980 to a life expectancy of 91.9 years today.

Do upper classes experience less stress, healthier lifestyles, and receive better medical care than the lower classes? Learn more about the decrease in American life expectancy from this infographic.

What can you do to increase your chances of long-term survival?

American Life Expectancy is Falling—But Why?
Via: MesoTreatmentCenters.org

The post What’s Behind America’s Lagging Life Expectancy? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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11 Best Tips To Help You Lose Weight Naturally

Losing weight can be easy as long as you know the right things to do. However, since there are a lot of confusing tips on how to lose weight naturally and quickly, the process becomes challenging and frustrating.

For long-term health, it is essential that you avoid the weight loss quick fixes that promise astounding results and stick with these tips.

Keep a food diary

food diary

The most important step towards achieving the right body weight is keeping a food diary of everything you eat each day. This needs a lot of commitment and this is something that you should be ready to undertake if losing weight is your top priority.

If you have excessive body fat and on your way to obesity, you must put your health first. Having a food diary is important since it will give you a clear idea of what you eat and drink and how they are contributing to your weight issues.

Reduce your sugar intake

Eliminating or limiting the amount of sugar you take can be a tough job. One easy way to start is to pay close attention to food labels so you’d know how much sugar is in the food you purchase.

Eat your breakfast

The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It will help boost your metabolic rate which means you’ll burn more calories during the day.

If eating a proper breakfast isn’t feasible, a diet smoothie is a good alternative. You should eat about half of your daily calories in the morning.

Sleep

Have you ever asked yourself why you consume a lot of food after a sleepless night? The reason is very simple.

Most of your hormones are affected by sleep. This includes leptin which reduces your cravings and ghrelin which boosts your appetite.

When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces more ghrelin while the amount of leptin decreases. Because of this, you’ll find yourself frequently breaking your diet.

As a solution, try to get a maximum of seven to eight hours of sleep. Switch your thermostat off while you sleep and make sure your room is completely dark. This type of environment can boost the production of melatonin, a hormone that can promote better sleep.

Avoid stress

When you are under stress, your body produces two types of hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol can increase your food cravings and push you to eat more than you should. This is commonly referred to as “Stress Eating disorder”.

This condition can make it very challenging for you to achieve the proper body weight. In addition to this, stress can also increase your risk of heart diseases.

Avoid unhealthy eating habits

Having too much fat in your diet won’t help you lose weight. Eating too many sweets and foods with high glycemic index won’t do you any good, too. Such foods can increase your blood sugar level at a very high rate and this can affect the way your body utilizes fats. Instead of eating these foods, go for foods that are low in carbohydrates.

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits

If you are really committed to losing weight, then it is important that you make fruits and vegetables as parts of your diet. Fruits contain essential nutrients that are needed by your body. In addition to this, certain fruits have fiber that can help suppress your appetite. Take, for example, oranges.

Remain focused

Some people might see the process of losing weight as a very difficult task, but that isn’t always the case. With the right motivation and goals, it should be much easier.

When setting your goals, it is important to be realistic about what you can achieve. You can write down your goals and place them in areas where you’ll see them often. The more you get reminded, the more you’re going to feel motivated.

Increase you water intake

drinking-water-everyday

Ensure you drink between six to ten glasses of water each day and be sure not to include carbonated drinks and juices when counting. Water helps increase your body’s metabolic rate as well as the process of eliminating toxic and harmful substances from your system. Water keeps your body hydrated, too.

Take your time when eating your food

For weight loss, it is essential that you develop the habit of eating slowly. It will give your body enough time to send the right signals to your brain that you’re already full.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is a very good way to achieve your weight loss goals. It won’t only help you burn excess calories, but it can help improve your energy level, too.

Exercise is one of the most crucial elements in weight loss. As such, it is critical for you to incorporate a comprehensive workout plan in your overall weight loss strategy. If you are unsure where to start, you could find a personal trainer to help you with your daily workout routine.

See Also: 6 Ways to Lose Weight (and Still Have Fun)

The post 11 Best Tips To Help You Lose Weight Naturally appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Apple might have a secret team working on glucose sensor technology for diabetes

 Apple has hired a group of biomedical researchers to work on a secret project to monitor diabetic patients using sensors, according to a CNBC report. An estimated 371 million people have the disease worldwide and in the last few years, several tech companies have been trying to come up with better solutions to help those afflicted. Virta is a newly launched startup tackling type 2 diabetes… Read More

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India-based doctor booking platform Lybrate quietly raises $3M more

 Indian health tech startup Lybrate has raised $3 million in new funding, according to a filing in the U.S., where it is incorporated.
Lybrate declined to comment on the filing, nor would it provide details of the investors who participated in the round.
Make what you will of that cagey response. The company last raised $10.2 million led by Tiger Global in July 2015, which is some time ago. Read More

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The Real Deal With Health Myths And Facts

Growing up, you might have probably heard tons of health myths already. Avoiding the pool when you just ate lunch and sleeping while your hair is still wet are just some of them. These claims seem so real that even though there aren’t enough studies to back them up, we still continue to believe them.

To help set the record straight on the most popular health myths and facts, we’ve done the hard work of doing the research for you. Read on.

Being cold gives you a cold 

cold myths

False. While it’s true that more people get sick during the winter, it isn’t just because of the cold weather. Viruses, for example, spread more easily when the air is dry.

This happens for two reasons. For one, microorganisms from a sneeze or cough are slowed down by water droplets in the air. The longer they are suspended, the more they are likely to be inhaled by another person.

Another reason for frequent colds in the winter is how close people are to each other. When they are cold, people tend to stick closer to each other for warmth.

See Also: 6 Myths You Were Told About the Common Cold and Flu

Sugar makes kids hyper

False. This is an idea a lot of parents actually believe in. In reality, however, studies have found no evidence linking hyperactivity in kids to sugar consumption.

Kids may seem to act more boisterous while eating treats, but the reason is more closely linked with psychology than biology. Children consider sweets as rewards which make them excited.

Just imagine getting half a dozen kindergartners together for a birthday party complete with cake and ice cream, the fun meter will surely be off the chart. Parents can easily lose patience and would put all the blame in those sweet treats.

Toilet seats are covered in germs

False. This isn’t to say that eating your lunch on a toilet is perfectly fine. When it comes to bacterial buildup, the flushing handle, soap dispensers and door handles in your bathroom have probably more bad microorganisms than your toilet seat.

Most harmful bacteria quickly wither after making contact with dry bathroom’s surfaces. If you’re a toilet texter, try keeping your phone in your pocket until you’ve washed your hands.

Your cell phone can give you cancer

False. Speaking of cell phones, we’ve all read articles about how deadly they can be. The truth is, cell phones and microwave ovens do emit low energy or non-ionizing, electromagnetic radiation, but the levels are not high enough to be a health risk.

Currently, there is no known link between non-ionizing EMR and brain tumors. If there was, with nearly 4 billion people using mobile devices and Wi-Fi, we would have seen the number of brain tumor patients to have skyrocketed over the last 2 decades.

Cracking knuckles causes arthritis

False. The popularity of this statement makes it all the more surprising that it’s false. Fortunately, the gruesome noise isn’t actually made by bones snapping together or even arthritis. Theories suggest that it’s the popping of tiny bubbles trapped in fluids.

Some believe knuckle cracking may actually be good for people. So as long as it doesn’t hurt you, snap-crackle-pop away.

You should change your toothbrush after having a cold

False. Once you recover from a cold, your antibodies make it almost impossible to be infected again by the same rhinovirus. In that case, there’s no need to change your toothbrush or chapstick to stay healthy.

However, be sure not to share your toothbrush with anyone else. This is to prevent the spread of other infectious and communicable diseases that are far more serious than a cold.

Organic food is pesticide-free

False. The term “organic” is associated with pesticide-free foods that are as safe as those grown in your own backyard. This is far from the truth, though, because certain pesticides are still allowed in the farming of organic produce.

These so-called “organic pesticides” aren’t much safer than their synthetic counterparts as they’ve also been linked to serious health problems.

See Also: 7 Top Most Techniques Of Identifying Organic Foods

Eating chocolate gives you acne

acne myth

False. This statement has sent shivers down the spines of many chocoholics for decades. It’s hard to even know where this myth came from, but it was most likely rooted in the dietary concerns of parents over their teens eating too much pizza and candy.

Acne actually occurs when our skin secretes too much sebum. It mixes with dirt and oils that can clog your pores. Chocolate lovers can rejoice over the busting of this myth.

Talcum powder increases ovarian cancer risk

True. Knowing the difference between health myths and facts can sometimes be confusing and intimidating, especially if they turn out to be true. Just look at tobacco and lung cancer.

Although more research needs to be done to determine the exact link between talc and ovarian cancer, there is already a strong correlation between the two. Until there’s a strong evidence that can prove otherwise, don’t put your health at risk and avoid using products with talc.

At one point, these were all real concerns that science eventually debunked. Many of them were born from our fear of death, disease and vulnerability.

Knowing that we can’t protect ourselves from everything makes us more susceptible to believing false statements. Before you actually believe in anything you read online or hear from your friends, make sure you do your homework first.

Being familiar with health myths and facts shouldn’t be that hard, especially with how advanced today’s technology is.

The post The Real Deal With Health Myths And Facts appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways To Use The Mind Muscle Connection For Better Workouts

Ever wonder why some people are so committed to working out? Maybe it’s because you have never experienced and truly enjoyed the feeling of what many weightlifters call the ‘pump.’ It’s the stimulating and euphoric feeling that directly results from the mind muscle connection.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s actually easy to achieve.

We are not always in the prime position to reap the full benefits of exercise. If we are simply going through the motions and repetitions, we miss out on the good stuff. We miss out on that euphoric feeling and “pump” that comes with exercising.

As a guide, here are 5 tips to help you achieve the right mind muscle connection for a better workout.

Touch the muscle you are trying to work

Before starting out with your routine, you should do a pre-ritual. It will mentally prepare you to give your best in your workout. Flexing and touching the muscle you are about to exercise can help you build the right mind muscle connection. It will bring awareness to the muscles.

Think positively

think positively

Arnold Schwarzenegger believed that the origin of all of his power came from “channeling positive energy into his muscles during every exercise.” He created such a positive emotional attachment to them that each time he steps into the gym, he aims to re-experience the rush of endorphins his mind and body work together to create.

In practice, we must learn to imagine the strength we are gaining and embrace the struggle. Remember why you are working out and visualize the body and physique you are trying to achieve. Because, when we become aware, we generate more happy feelings and endorphins in our body.

Understand the feeling of the muscle working

When we take the time to visualize and experience the feeling of the muscles we are working out, we subconsciously remember what that feels like during the exercise. This helps us to know whether or not we are working our muscles properly. Armed with this knowledge, we can determine if we need to make any adjustments to our exercise routine.

Sometimes, touching our muscles and flexing them is not enough. Try to do a lightweight isolation exercise that focuses on the muscle you are trying to work so you can get an idea.

Check your ego

check ego

Sometimes, we get caught up in reaching that PR that we forget about proper form.

For example, when we add more weight without establishing a good foundation, we are only tricking our minds into thinking we can handle it. This is the primary reason for muscle imbalances, which eventually turn into pain.

The body is a complex mechanism with hundreds of muscles, bones, and tissues. All of these things work together to help you complete a move.

This makes it essential that you know what other muscle groups are used in every exercise you do. If your primary focus is muscle X, don’t allow yourself to become lazy and allow other muscles to compensate for it.

Take a 5-minute warmup before your workout

Rushing into anything rarely produces the best results. When we jump from one task to another, it becomes harder to gain immediate focus, especially if we haven’t cleared our minds enough to focus on the present moment.

When our workout becomes focused on getting the job done, we rush in order to advance to the next task on our list. This makes us miss the whole purpose of working out.

Don’t jump right into the thick of things. You can take as little as 5 minutes to calm your mind and clear your thoughts before your warm up. Get lost in your music, float around and stay loose.

Think about getting into “the zone.”

See Also: 5 Essential Items to Enhance Your Gym Experience

Moving forward

If we cannot feel the muscles we are trying to work on, then what is the point of exercising? Achieving the ‘pump’ or muscle stimulation is the primary purpose of lifting weights. If you have experienced this, then you are in on the secret. You have a very good idea of what makes a good mind muscle connection.

The ‘pump’, however, is something anyone can achieve.

By making your mind work together with your muscles, you can progress at a much faster rate. Don’t just move the weight, lift it purposefully! You will soon discover how exercise can make you experience that ‘pump’ feeling, and it can be the driving force that keeps you progressing in the gym.

How do you channel your inner beast?

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

 

The post 5 Ways To Use The Mind Muscle Connection For Better Workouts appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Retirement Made Easy: Tips To Make The Transition Simple

At some point in your life, you may have to retire. This phase can be challenging, intimidating, and even overwhelming, especially if you’re not really sure how to make the necessary adjustments.

To make your transition more simple, here are some of the best retirement planning tips you can try.

Ease Into Things

retirement hobby

Suddenly stopping working after so many years can be incredibly tough so avoid rushing the process.

If working part-time for your employer is an option, consider it. If not, you might want to do some freelance work in your field for a while.

You can also use your hobbies to get more involved in work and find ways to stay busy. It might be teaching piano, sharing your love of painting, or crafting and selling your items online.

At your retirement party, network with other coworkers who’ve already retired to see what jobs they’ve taken up. There are a lot of options, so find something that can keep you busy and your mind occupied.

See Also: 10 Amazing Business Ideas For Stay-At-Home Retirees

Make Sure You Are Financially Prepared

Just because you feel like you have saved enough money does not mean you are already financially prepared for retirement. You need to have a plan for how you will tap your retirement savings for living expenses, including taxes.

There are strategies you can use to minimize taxes. Talk to your bank and check your employer’s retirement policy to find out where you are at before retiring. Know how you can make the transition and keep all your money.

Think About Where You Will Live

Many retirees want to stay in their homes but others may want to move to places that are warm or have lower taxes.

Before you actually retire, make sure to map out a plan for your living situation. Talk to your family and see if they have an opinion on where it might be best for you to live. If you have health issues, it might be a good option to also look for institutions that can help you with mobility or medications.

Take Steps to Stay Healthy

retirement health benefits

Numerous studies suggest that healthcare spending takes a large bite out of people’s retirement funds. These expenses can easily hit the six-figure level for many retirees.

To stay in good health, you’ll need regular checkups, especially if you have existing health issues. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider to keep a plan in place for your future.

Find Things to Do

Boredom and loneliness can be real issues for retirees. Apart from making the transition harder, they can be bad both for physical and mental health, too. That’s why it’s important to find things to do.

Many retirees like to travel. However, since that can be expensive, it may not be an option for all people. If this sounds like your case, you can try volunteering, going to shows and concerts at your local event center, or playing sports. You can try bowling and golf.

See Also: Retirement Activities that are Financially Viable

Retirement is an exciting but scary experience. However, by following these retirement planning tips, you’ll be able to experience a smoother and easier transition. Just be sure to keep your options open and be prepared beforehand so you can have a great start in your retirement years.

The post Retirement Made Easy: Tips To Make The Transition Simple appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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A British store is launching cafes where people can chat about mental health

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Finding somewhere safe to talk about your mental health without judgement can be tough

But, comedian Ruby Wax is trying to do something about that. Wax has teamed up with Marks & Spencer to launch “talk-in” sessions where people can share their thoughts in a safe, anonymous environment.

“Frazzled Cafe” meetings will be hosted fortnightly at M&S Cafes after hours and led by trained volunteers. The retailer says people who are feeling ‘frazzled'” can meet to talk and share their personal stories in a “non-judgemental” space. 

More about Health, Peer To Peer, Mental Illness, Lifestyle, and Uk

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7 Signs Of Overworking (And What To Do About Them)

A lot of people work more than they should and don’t get enough rest. Paired with being underpaid, these things can easily make anyone unhappy. They can also cause a handful of health issues.

If you are wondering if you’re at risk of these negative effects, here are some of the telltale signs of overworking.

You Have Trouble Sleeping

trouble sleeping

Studies have found that overworking can negatively impact your sleep. The stress you get from working too much in a day can disrupt your sleep cycle. The result is what sleep experts call “sleep debt” and it can raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

What to do: Make sure that you get enough sleep every night, preferably 7 to 8 hours. Don’t listen to “sleep experts” that say you’ll be fine with just five hours of sleep.

Your Work Quality Suffers

Researchers have found that stress and exhaustion brought by overworking can reduce efficiency in workers. Inefficient workers are more likely to make mistakes and poor judgment. They find it harder to communicate and they take a longer time to finish their tasks

What to do: Take lots of breaks while working. Don’t work if you can’t think straight. Outsource admin or writing tasks so you can use your time to rest.

You are Gaining or Losing Too Much Weight

When you’re stressed, you’re less likely to pay attention to your eating habits. Because you’re too worried about work, you may not notice that you’re eating less or more than what you are supposed to.

What to doLog your food intake and count your calories to make sure you’re having enough for the day. Try to move away from your desk and do little exercises even for a few minutes while working.

You Find it Hard to Be Creative

Wonder why some days you can easily finish a 2000-word article while there are days you can barely write 500 words?

Lack of creativity is one of the signs of overworking.

If you continue working even when your mind is troubled, you’re less likely to finish anything. You can even end up staring at the same blank page for hours.

What to Do: Relax after an hour or two of working. Do something that inspires you, like watching a movie or reading a good book.

See Also: Here’s How to Get Creativity Bursting Out of Your Eyeballs

You Get Pissed Off Easily

pissed off

Overworking makes you more irritable than usual. If you find yourself getting mad more easily or being rude to almost everyone, it’s time to take a break from work.

What to Do: Don’t make decisions when you’re mad, tired or depressed. Try to calm yourself by taking a bath, having a nap or taking a walk.

See Also: How To Make Better Decisions: 4 Smart Strategies You Can Use

You Look Older than Your Age

There’s nothing bad about growing old- we’ll all get there eventually. The problem, however, is when you start looking older than your actual age.

If you are still in your 20’s but you already look like you’re in your 40’s, there’s something wrong with your lifestyle. And it could be that you’re working too much.

What to Do: Stop stressing too much at work. Negative facial expressions won’t only drain your happiness but they can also make you look older. Smiling and staying positive, even under pressure, keeps the wrinkles away.

Your Heart Rate Increases

When you’re calm, your heart rate will stay at a normal range (60 to 100 beats per minute). However, if you’re overworked and stressed, your body compensates by increasing the blood flow to your heart and brain. This results in your heart rate increasing.

What to Do: If you find your heart rate increasing, try to get some rest. Take a short nap or sleep longer at night to conserve your body’s energy.

The post 7 Signs Of Overworking (And What To Do About Them) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna shines hope on the future of genetic modification at SXSW

 Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR Cas9 technology, or the ability to program genes using a special enzyme, spoke about the promises of this technology on stage at SXSW this afternoon. In a keynote today, Doudna noted that while this technology is very young (less than five years old), “it’s been deployed very rapidly for existing applications,” she said. For example,… Read More

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Tracking Your Workout Activity: Several Ways You Can Do It

A lot of people struggle with starting a workout regimen. A lot of them lay out several excuses in order to postpone their training sessions.

This is where motivation kicks in.

Depending on the type of your personality, you have to find one specific motivation to get you up and running for your workout program. One of the best and most interesting motivators you can find is technology.

No matter if you are an amateur or a professional, you can take advantage of the latest technologies in order to track your progress. If you love the old ways of tracking workouts, you can always choose to do so as well. The most important thing is that you organize and track your progress.

Why should you track your workout?

When you start a workout regimen, the exercise selection is fairly small and you can easily remember the number of reps per workout you can make.

However, as you get in better shape, the more routines and variations you can make. It now becomes impossible to keep all the information in your head.

This is one good reason why tracking your activity is a necessary step.

Additionally, writing down everything that you do during every workout is going to show how fast you are progressing. It’s a good way to get a clearer idea of what changes and adjustments you need to make. By doing this, you can create a more efficient regimen that is going to bring you better results.

What are the best ways to track your progress?

It’s quite simple to accurately track your progress. First of all, it all depends on your personality. You can focus on a few important details or keep track of all workout-related information.

Here are a few examples:

Calendar

This is the most common way of tracking your workout activity. This type of tracking allows you to plan out the days on which you are going to perform your workouts. Thanks to modern smartphones, you can have a calendar with you at all times.

Electronic calendars can store more information about your workouts. Plus, there are reminders that you could set to notify you about your upcoming workout schedules.

If you prefer an old-school approach, you can hang a calendar on a wall and track your activities with a pen. This is the easiest way of tracking your workout progress. However, it does not a lot of space for details, except your schedule and the number of repetitions you are able to perform.

See Also: 5 Ways to Make a Workout Schedule that WORKS

Online websites

There are lots of great online tools that can help you track your workout progress. One good example is bodybuilding.com. Apart from tracking, the website offers a big community of people who share the same interests as yours. This is a perfect way to acquire new information about different exercises and workout routines.

Another website that offers a lot of tracking details is thesquattingrack.com. In this site, you have to input a whole set of information about your current workout progress. From there,  you can track your personal records, like weight lifting and squatting. You can even track your body measurements and nutrition plan.

Based on all this information, a graph is projected to give you an overview of your progress curve. Since all the data is straightforward, you can easily see what kinds of adjustments would make your workouts more efficient.

Workout gadgets

workout gadgets

As consumer technology quickly developed in the past couple of years, an increasing number of people begun relying on various types of gadgets, too. These devices are groundbreaking, as they offer numerous detailed data about a person’s physical activity throughout the whole day.

There are a variety of trackers out there and it all comes down to your personal preference. These are some of the most popular fitness gadgets in the world that are used by millions of people:

Fitbit Blaze is a great choice for people who want to wear a tracker that is also fashionable. This Fitbit product serves its purpose perfectly, just like the majority of their other gadgets.

Garmin Vivosmart HR offers a variety of different notifications for you throughout the day. The optical technology behind this useful gadget is fit for precise measurements of your heart rate. It is a perfect device for those who want to stay in the target HR values to maximize calorie expenditure during the workout.

Jawbone UP2 is a device with a greatly simplified design. It tracks all of your activity throughout the day and the software that it comes with is fairly easy to use. If you prefer having a screen on your tracker, however, this is probably not the best choice for you.

Keep in mind that this device is much cheaper than the competition, despite offering accurate information.

Misfit Shine 2 is a beautifully designed tracker with an incredibly accurate data tracking feature. If you want a device that offers top notch data, this is probably the one you should go for.

These are only some of the trackers that are available on the market today. The thing with wearable technology is that it constantly monitors your body’s state even when you are asleep.

The goal of these devices is to improve your whole lifestyle by providing you with accurate details about your calorie expenditure and activities.

Smartphones

smartphone workout

If you are someone who doesn’t like carrying a lot of different gadgets, you can turn your smartphone into a great activity tracker. These devices are equipped with various sensors that can be used to track your daily activity levels.

The more important part when it comes to using your smartphone as a fitness tracker is picking the right software for your device. If you do your research well, you’ll be able to find the best solutions on websites like CrowdReviews.com.

With the right application on your phone, you can get almost all of the details as the abovementioned trackers have to offer. You can track your heart rate during the workouts as well as the calories burned and distance covered. The majority of tracking apps can also show you graphs of your progress.

Most of the apps are free, but if you want advanced options unlocked, you may need to invest a little bit of money – roughly around $2-5.

If you are satisfied with basic information about your day, Google Fit is a great way to track your progress. Other big companies such as LG and Samsung offer their own fitness trackers that can be integrated with Google Fit.

With so many options, it really comes down to personal preference. No matter what method you choose, the most important thing is that you keep your tracker with you at all times.

Tracking workouts and progress can be quite motivating. It will just depend on how much time you are willing to dedicate to it. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily make plans for your next routine.

See Also: Finding your Fitness Passion

The post Tracking Your Workout Activity: Several Ways You Can Do It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Jumping Rope Taught Me About Life And Fitness

We often judge activities based on how much they can change us physically. However, when it comes to their mental effects, we rarely care.

I used to be a runner. Treadmill or no treadmill, rain or snow, I ran every day from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning and I hated every minute of it. From the moment I tied my laces until my last mile, running scared me.

So, why did I do it?

I used to be a chubby kid. I was ‘that kid’ who deliberately tried to get sick for sports day. During college, every time I ran, I had billions of voices shunning me down. At times, I heard the voice of my soccer coach calling me a ’tractor’. Other times, it was my classmates commenting on my man boobs from the sideline as I struggled to finish the race.

So, to me, running during college was a way to prove something. It was unhealthy, but I had to do it to cope.

However, I realized that I had to let go. I had to grow. That is when I came across jumping rope.

It has been a year and a half and jumping rope didn’t only alter my physique, it has helped me develop my character as well, by teaching me lessons about life and fitness.

Here are some of them.

Patience

jumping rope goal

There are a handful of jumping rope benefits once you get the hang of the activity. If you’re just starting out, you may need some trial and error before you get the right form. That process requires patience and perseverance. There’s no place for ego.

I used to run despite hating it because I felt I had to prove something to someone. It was as if I was still competing with my friends in high school.

Because I failed multiple times before finally getting the right form, jumping rope made me realized that I was just competing with myself. I did not have to get better than anyone else- just myself.

And that change in mindset helped me optimize everything.

Failure helped me touch base with reality and develop patience. It killed all that toxic thoughts that were bottled up inside. This made consistency easier.

Focus

As my form started getting better, my ego got bigger, too. In the middle of my workout, I would often find myself thinking about how cool I looked.

And those were the times when the rope would get stuck between my legs. Reality would hit me, forcing me to focus on what I was actually doing.

Thus, jumping rope trained me to stay focused. My coordination got better and I experienced improved balance.

These things significantly changed the quality of my work.

Reflecting on Failures

jumping rope focus

When we hit bottom, the obvious advice people give us is to try again. And, although that’s good, there’s something essential that we miss.

Reflecting on our failures.

What went wrong? Was it something out of control or something that can easily be changed?

Jumping rope is all about having the right form- knees bent, elbows drawn in and jumping no more than an inch.

Every time I fail at my routine, I’d reflect on whether it was due to a wrong form or lack of focus. After knowing what went wrong, I make the necessary adjustments and do it again until I get a more favorable result.

I’ve started applying this to the other areas of my life and it has optimized everything I do.

Doing Less

In a world that is so driven by accomplishments, we often lose sight of what is really important. A lot of us want more degrees, achievements and recognitions. Because we aspire to do so many things, we usually end up finishing nothing.

Think about how that applies to fitness. We have so many ways to get fit and, yet, most of us still fail to achieve our body goals.

As I got more acquainted with jumping rope, I started doing High Intensity Interval Training for thirty minutes every day. That’s it. No running or any other form of cardio.

This helped me gain clarity on what I really needed to do to accomplish my keystone tasks. It included practicing Intermittent Fasting, eating the right foods, hitting my macro numbers, and giving my hundred and twenty percent during HIIT.

It turned out that the combination of HIIT workouts and intermittent fasting is exactly what I needed to get lean.

See Also: How To Start Interval Training The Right Way

Movement is Essential

Working out can mean effort and extra time. When you are not used to it, it’s easy to consider it as a burden, which leads to inconsistency.

As proof, just think about the people who refuse to work out just because they don’t have the time.

But, what if moving your body was essential? What if it was a requirement to living a healthy life?

After every HIIT session, I felt great from the inside. It’s as if my body was thanking me.

My exercise routines last for thirty minutes a day only. Since it was short, I felt motivated to start doing it consistently until I was able to see positive results.

This feeling and the results I got helped me learn an important lesson about our bodies: they are made to move.

Jumping rope helped me fall in love with fitness. Working out wasn’t something I had to do anymore- it’s something I want to do.

See Also: Finding your Fitness Passion

Over To You

Jumping rope benefits are endless. More than your body, you can also use it to train your mind.

This, however, is not a plea for you to go start jumping rope. Instead, it’s a plea for you to go explore the different ways you can help your body and mind. See what works for you and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly.

The post What Jumping Rope Taught Me About Life And Fitness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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With $37 million in funding, health startup Virta aims to cure type 2 diabetes by watching what you eat

 Type 2 diabetes is a disease affecting 415 million people globally and Virta, a Silicon Valley-based health startup, believes it has something unique to reverse it – remote monitoring of everything you eat.
Most people with the disease end up having to constantly monitor their blood sugar with the prick of a needle and diabetic pills or can “cure” it with bariatric surgery. Read More

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Can You Heal the Chakras By Being Grateful?

Can gratitude heal your chakras?

The short answer is yes.

Whenever you experience an energetic imbalance due to strong and persistent thoughts and emotions, your body experiences the imbalance, too. The body keeps all the information, such as your persistent negative thoughts and emotions, until you take care of their underlying causes.

Unfortunately, many people focus on addressing their symptoms, rather than treating the root cause of their problems. They medicate themselves until they feel better, like western medicine.

Although it does offer relief, it isn’t long lasting. Unless you take care of the underlying emotional issues, the symptoms will flare up again as the corresponding chakras remain blocked and unbalanced.

Let’s look at the destructive potential of persistent negative thoughts.

If you’ve ever been through a difficult emotional time, such as a relationship ending, loss of a loved one, or bankruptcy, you know exactly how these instances affect your body. You’ll experience a number of physical symptoms, like upset stomach, headache, hot flashes, and muscle tension. You can also suffer from insomnia, indigestion, fatigue, pressure around the heart, difficulty breathing and so much more.

If this is an isolated incident and you are able to bounce back quickly, that’s great. The problem, however, is that life rarely offers isolated incidents. Even your tendency to negatively talk to yourself counts.

The problem starts when the emotional trigger isn’t resolved quickly. As you drown yourself in that situation, stress hormones begin to flood your system and cause actual changes in your DNA. These physical changes correspond to energy blockages within the chakras which, in turn, causes a lot of symptoms.

So, how can you avoid all those things? Start with gratitude.

being grateful

Gratitude helps you see your problems in a better light. Instead of seeing them as situations you are powerless against, it enables you to see them as learning experiences and growth opportunities.

I realize this can seem far-fetched when you’re in the thick of a struggle, but there is no harm in practicing gratitude. So, what have you got to lose?

Practice gratitude very first thing in the morning, upon waking. Give thanks for the new day, hope and all the things you’ll get to experience. Things like health, friends, family and even your pet are some of the things you should be thankful for.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

As an added challenge, in addition to writing down all the things you’re grateful for, you should also express the reason why. This will help you truly feel the power of gratitude.

In addition to the positive things, you should also express thanks for the struggles you are experiencing, like the difficult people who have made life hard for you. Again, express why these difficulties and hurtful people are actually blessings in your life.

It may take some digging and introspection, but there is always a benefit, even if you can’t see it immediately. Other than helping you heal, you can also learn forgiveness and compassion. It will make you tougher and more capable than you ever believed, too.

Just keep digging until you see the benefit. That doesn’t mean you have to like the person or be happy with the situation. You just have to know what’s really causing you troubles so that you can easily get rid of their root cause.

chakras

See Also: How to Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Take it as a challenge to learn to be grateful, forgiving, and compassionate. You will soon feel be able to feel the difference of healing chakras.

The post Can You Heal the Chakras By Being Grateful? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision

Eye safety in the workplace is a commonly overlooked issue. Unless a worker is assigned in a hazardous environment, he’s not likely to wear any protective eye gear.

Unfortunately, the industrial setting isn’t the only place you can compromise your vision. Even working at home can negatively affect your eyes.

As a guide, here are some of the ways you can promote eye safety at work.

Maintaining Eye Safety in Factories/Industrial Settings

Job-related eye injuries are common, especially for carpenters, mechanics, plumbers and other craft workers. Serious injuries could leave your vision impaired for life so make it a point to protect your eyes while at work.

Here’s how:

1. Understand the Risks

Most eye injuries are caused by small particles or larger objects hitting the eye. It’s a fairly common incident among people who work in factories and construction sites.

In addition to that, exposure to chemicals, radiation and bodily fluids could also raise the risk of injury, contamination and blood-borne diseases.

If you work in an industry where you’re exposed to these dangers, pay special attention to your environment and gauge how at risk you are.

2. Protect Your Eyes

safety goggles

The best way to prevent eye injury while at work is to wear protective eye gears, which are considered 90% effective. Because of this, most industries require workers to wear impact-resistant safety goggles, protective glasses, face shields or helmets.

You can also get prescription safety glasses or special eyewear that can protect against radiation and chemicals.

3. Replace Eyewear Regularly

Replace glasses and protective gears if they show signs of damage. In addition to their negative effects on your eyesight, they can also potentially cause injuries.

If you wear contact lenses, make sure to have them replaced before they scratch your eyes. Scratched eyes can disrupt your vision and make you more prone to infections.

They can also increase your sensitivity to light, too.

If you wear prescription glasses, it’s a good idea to consider LASIK eye surgery to get rid of them. It’s safe, painless and the best choice for vision correction.

Maintaining Eye Safety in an Office

Industrial settings are not the only ones that can put your vision in danger. Working at an office or from home can also affect your eye health, especially if you spend long hours in front of a computer.

Digital eye strain has become a common complaint. In fact, over 70% of Americans suffer from it today.

To make sure you don’t end up adding to that number, here are some of the best tips you can try:

Modify Your Workspace

eye safety in the office

The area where you work should be set up in an eye-friendly manner to prevent strain and improve comfort.

Ideally, the center of your computer screen’s display should be 10-15 degrees below your eye level and 20-24 inches away to keep your eyes and neck comfortable.

Keep the brightness of your computer screen at a level that matches the area around it. Make sure to reduce the color temperature and enlarge the text so you can read easily.

See Also: 8 Ways To Set Up An Awesome Home Office

Install Proper Lighting

The wrong lighting can affect your eye comfort, especially if there’s glare on your computer screen or work surface.

To ensure proper lighting in your office, avoid placing lights directly over your head or behind you. If you use a desk lamp, ensure that it doesn’t shine straight on, over or behind your computer screen.

Use blinds or drapes to reduce glare from windows. You can also install adjustable lighting so you can choose a comfortable level of illumination for your work.

Take Frequent Breaks

If you stare at a computer screen for too long, your eyes are going to get strained. Give them a break by following the 20-20-20 rule.

This technique involves looking away from the screen every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Blinking 20 times every few minutes can help as well.

Stepping away from the computer for 5-10 minutes to stretch and walk around also improves eye comfort. In addition to that, moving around reduces muscle strain and boosts productivity, too.

See Also: 7 Foods that can Improve your Eyesight

No matter what your job is, your eye safety in the workplace should be a top priority. It won’t only ensure your health, but it can also boost your productivity and efficiency.

If ever you face an eye injury, blurriness or loss of vision, seek medical attention right away. The earlier you receive medical help, the more you’ll be able to prevent severe eye damage.

The post Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Healthcare facilities widely compromised by Medjack, malware that infects medical devices to steal your information

The healthcare industry is a well-known information security dumpster fire, from the entire hospitals hijacked by ransomware to the useless security on medical devices to the terrifying world of shitty state security for medical implants — all made worse by the cack-handed security measures that hospital workers have to bypass to get on with saving our lives (and it’s about to get worse, thanks to the Internet of Things>).
(more…)

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Is My Cat Going To Drive Me Crazy?

Studies have previously suggested a link between cat ownership and the development of neurological diseases such as schizophrenia. However, a new study published in Psychological Medicine by Francesca Solmi and colleagues at University College London failed to find such a link.

Why would researchers suspect such a link in the first place? This is because of a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma can infect any warm-blooded vertebrate, including people, but it only reproduces in the gut of feline species. When a cat becomes infected with the parasite, it excretes infectious oocysts into the litterbox or elsewhere in the environment for one to two weeks. A new host can acquire the infection through ingestion or inhalation of these oocysts.

Toxoplasma presents a clear danger to two primary groups: immune-compromised patients and unborn children. The latter is why doctors advise pregnant women to avoid changing the litterbox, to wear gloves and a mask while gardening, and to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Importantly, Toxoplasma can also infect people who consume undercooked meat since the parasite can encyst in muscle tissues of infected animals.

wash fruits and vegetables

See Also: The Importance of Personal Hygiene for Healthy Living

Given these multiple routes of parasite transmission, it is no wonder that Toxoplasma has spread widely around the globe with an estimated one-third of the human population carrying this parasite. Despite its prevalence, most people have not heard of Toxoplasma because it rarely causes symptomatic disease.

However, reports have surfaced over the last fifteen years that Toxoplasma infection may be producing neurological changes in people. Taking up residence as tissue cysts in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle, the parasites are never eradicated from the body. Given the parasite’s predilection for the brain, it is tempting to speculate that neurological problems may ensue.

Well-documented studies do indeed show that Toxoplasma causes mice and rats to lose their fear of cat urine. That seems like an oddly specific behavioral change until you recall that the cat is where the parasite completes the sexual stage of its life cycle.

Since 2001, Robert Yolken and E. Fuller Torrey at Johns Hopkins have published many correlative studies showing a link between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia. Other neurological problems have also been linked to Toxoplasma infection, as have personality changes.

cat ownership

Since cats are the definitive host and one means of parasite transmission, investigators have been trying to find a link between cat ownership and the development of psychotic symptoms. Yolken and Torrey have published studies suggesting a correlation, but the latest study by Solmi and colleagues contradicts these data.

There are important differences in study design that may account for the discrepancy. The newer study by Solmi’s group used a much larger sample size (nearly 5,000 individuals) than previous studies, and accounted for several confounding variables that could have been misconstrued as a link between cat ownership and neurological disorders. The current study also followed individuals in real-time since the 1990s; previous studies have been retrospective, which relies on the participant’s recollection of the past.

It should also be noted that the current study tracked individuals up to eighteen years for psychotic experiences, which are typically predictive of schizophrenia later in life. Previous studies supporting a link were based on a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia.

None of these studies address whether Toxoplasma actually causes neurological issues in people. This is still an outstanding question that deserves further research. It is estimated that 60 million people in the US are infected with the parasite yet 3.5 million people in the US are schizophrenic. If Toxoplasma is involved with schizophrenia, there must be another factor at play in this relatively small subset of patients.

To date, there is insufficient evidence to declare pet cats to be a cause of mental health problems. Nevertheless, simple precautions can be taken to safeguard you and your cat from getting infected with Toxoplasma. Keep your cat indoors. Do not feed your cat raw or undercooked meat. Finally, clean the litterbox promptly, as it takes a day for the oocysts to mature into an infectious state.

 

The post Is My Cat Going To Drive Me Crazy? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Is My Cat Going To Drive Me Crazy?

Studies have previously suggested a link between cat ownership and the development of neurological diseases such as schizophrenia. However, a new study published in Psychological Medicine by Francesca Solmi and colleagues at University College London failed to find such a link.

Why would researchers suspect such a link in the first place? This is because of a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma can infect any warm-blooded vertebrate, including people, but it only reproduces in the gut of feline species. When a cat becomes infected with the parasite, it excretes infectious oocysts into the litterbox or elsewhere in the environment for one to two weeks. A new host can acquire the infection through ingestion or inhalation of these oocysts.

Toxoplasma presents a clear danger to two primary groups: immune-compromised patients and unborn children. The latter is why doctors advise pregnant women to avoid changing the litterbox, to wear gloves and a mask while gardening, and to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Importantly, Toxoplasma can also infect people who consume undercooked meat since the parasite can encyst in muscle tissues of infected animals.

wash fruits and vegetables

See Also: The Importance of Personal Hygiene for Healthy Living

Given these multiple routes of parasite transmission, it is no wonder that Toxoplasma has spread widely around the globe with an estimated one-third of the human population carrying this parasite. Despite its prevalence, most people have not heard of Toxoplasma because it rarely causes symptomatic disease.

However, reports have surfaced over the last fifteen years that Toxoplasma infection may be producing neurological changes in people. Taking up residence as tissue cysts in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle, the parasites are never eradicated from the body. Given the parasite’s predilection for the brain, it is tempting to speculate that neurological problems may ensue.

Well-documented studies do indeed show that Toxoplasma causes mice and rats to lose their fear of cat urine. That seems like an oddly specific behavioral change until you recall that the cat is where the parasite completes the sexual stage of its life cycle.

Since 2001, Robert Yolken and E. Fuller Torrey at Johns Hopkins have published many correlative studies showing a link between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia. Other neurological problems have also been linked to Toxoplasma infection, as have personality changes.

cat ownership

Since cats are the definitive host and one means of parasite transmission, investigators have been trying to find a link between cat ownership and the development of psychotic symptoms. Yolken and Torrey have published studies suggesting a correlation, but the latest study by Solmi and colleagues contradicts these data.

There are important differences in study design that may account for the discrepancy. The newer study by Solmi’s group used a much larger sample size (nearly 5,000 individuals) than previous studies, and accounted for several confounding variables that could have been misconstrued as a link between cat ownership and neurological disorders. The current study also followed individuals in real-time since the 1990s; previous studies have been retrospective, which relies on the participant’s recollection of the past.

It should also be noted that the current study tracked individuals up to eighteen years for psychotic experiences, which are typically predictive of schizophrenia later in life. Previous studies supporting a link were based on a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia.

None of these studies address whether Toxoplasma actually causes neurological issues in people. This is still an outstanding question that deserves further research. It is estimated that 60 million people in the US are infected with the parasite yet 3.5 million people in the US are schizophrenic. If Toxoplasma is involved with schizophrenia, there must be another factor at play in this relatively small subset of patients.

To date, there is insufficient evidence to declare pet cats to be a cause of mental health problems. Nevertheless, simple precautions can be taken to safeguard you and your cat from getting infected with Toxoplasma. Keep your cat indoors. Do not feed your cat raw or undercooked meat. Finally, clean the litterbox promptly, as it takes a day for the oocysts to mature into an infectious state.

 

The post Is My Cat Going To Drive Me Crazy? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Is My Cat Going To Drive Me Crazy?

Studies have previously suggested a link between cat ownership and the development of neurological diseases such as schizophrenia. However, a new study published in Psychological Medicine by Francesca Solmi and colleagues at University College London failed to find such a link.

Why would researchers suspect such a link in the first place? This is because of a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma can infect any warm-blooded vertebrate, including people, but it only reproduces in the gut of feline species. When a cat becomes infected with the parasite, it excretes infectious oocysts into the litterbox or elsewhere in the environment for one to two weeks. A new host can acquire the infection through ingestion or inhalation of these oocysts.

Toxoplasma presents a clear danger to two primary groups: immune-compromised patients and unborn children. The latter is why doctors advise pregnant women to avoid changing the litterbox, to wear gloves and a mask while gardening, and to wash fruits and vegetables before eating. Importantly, Toxoplasma can also infect people who consume undercooked meat since the parasite can encyst in muscle tissues of infected animals.

wash fruits and vegetables

See Also: The Importance of Personal Hygiene for Healthy Living

Given these multiple routes of parasite transmission, it is no wonder that Toxoplasma has spread widely around the globe with an estimated one-third of the human population carrying this parasite. Despite its prevalence, most people have not heard of Toxoplasma because it rarely causes symptomatic disease.

However, reports have surfaced over the last fifteen years that Toxoplasma infection may be producing neurological changes in people. Taking up residence as tissue cysts in the brain, heart, and skeletal muscle, the parasites are never eradicated from the body. Given the parasite’s predilection for the brain, it is tempting to speculate that neurological problems may ensue.

Well-documented studies do indeed show that Toxoplasma causes mice and rats to lose their fear of cat urine. That seems like an oddly specific behavioral change until you recall that the cat is where the parasite completes the sexual stage of its life cycle.

Since 2001, Robert Yolken and E. Fuller Torrey at Johns Hopkins have published many correlative studies showing a link between Toxoplasma infection and schizophrenia. Other neurological problems have also been linked to Toxoplasma infection, as have personality changes.

cat ownership

Since cats are the definitive host and one means of parasite transmission, investigators have been trying to find a link between cat ownership and the development of psychotic symptoms. Yolken and Torrey have published studies suggesting a correlation, but the latest study by Solmi and colleagues contradicts these data.

There are important differences in study design that may account for the discrepancy. The newer study by Solmi’s group used a much larger sample size (nearly 5,000 individuals) than previous studies, and accounted for several confounding variables that could have been misconstrued as a link between cat ownership and neurological disorders. The current study also followed individuals in real-time since the 1990s; previous studies have been retrospective, which relies on the participant’s recollection of the past.

It should also be noted that the current study tracked individuals up to eighteen years for psychotic experiences, which are typically predictive of schizophrenia later in life. Previous studies supporting a link were based on a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia.

None of these studies address whether Toxoplasma actually causes neurological issues in people. This is still an outstanding question that deserves further research. It is estimated that 60 million people in the US are infected with the parasite yet 3.5 million people in the US are schizophrenic. If Toxoplasma is involved with schizophrenia, there must be another factor at play in this relatively small subset of patients.

To date, there is insufficient evidence to declare pet cats to be a cause of mental health problems. Nevertheless, simple precautions can be taken to safeguard you and your cat from getting infected with Toxoplasma. Keep your cat indoors. Do not feed your cat raw or undercooked meat. Finally, clean the litterbox promptly, as it takes a day for the oocysts to mature into an infectious state.

 

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Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it

To provide the best for a baby, parents make sure that the child is always cared for and nurtured in the best possible way in a secure environment. However, when their child is affected by any kind of disease, then the parents’ role becomes even more crucial. They are then required to put more effort in caring for their children which makes parenting a job harder than it already is.

Different allergies can make the child’s and parents’ lives problematic just as much as a fever or a disease. The sensitivity or allergy can range from a red rash, dry skin, red skin, rubbery patches on the skin and itchy skin. These complications arise due to different conditions but can be treated with care and caution.

Here are certain guidelines to help you deal with your children’s allergies.

Clothing Items

clothing tags

Some clothing items or fabrics with embroidered characters can be a reason for itchiness and rash on the skin. Several tags can also produce itchiness and make the kid irritable if the tag is touching the kid’s skin directly. Elastic bands that are exposed on trousers for kids can also produce rashes and have an itchy effect after being relieved of the elastic garment.

When shopping for your child’s clothes, run your hand through the article of clothing before purchase. If it feels slightly irritable then refrain from buying it.

Remember, all kids’ skins are softer than adults therefore making your child more inclined to having skin irritation. Also, opt for softer clothes that are light and don’t stick to the body too much. If the kid has an elder sibling, then use hand-me-downs as they are softer in comparison due to numerous washings.

Shoes and Outdoor Activity

Outdoor activities are great for kids with sensitivity problems. Camping outdoors, cycling, playing in the local park are few of the many activities that your kids can do to keep them occupied outside.

A kid boxed up in the house is likelier to worsen in condition if he is not exposed to the sun and natural environment too often. Sweat can also be a factor to irritation and itchiness so children are best dressed up in loose clothing and strappy footwear instead of enclosed ones.

Playing outside with sandals or slippers is a much better decision than having your children wear shoes all the time. This way, kids can take them off anytime they feel uncomfortable. There are also no shoelaces that need tying all the time and feet can get sweaty and grow at a healthy pace.

See Also: Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Detergents, Lotions, and Soaps:

Personal care and cleaning products such as soaps, lotions, and detergents contain chemicals. These chemicals can be harmful to a kid with sensitive skin. They could be even more harmful if a child has an exposed wound or rashes. It worsens the condition and can produce a more complicated wound or sensitivity.

To minimize the effect, keep track of the product that you buy and use products that are made from organic materials rather than using products made from chemicals. Fragrance-free products also have minimal skin sensitivity effects and are better than their fragrant counterparts.

Food Allergies

food allergies

Allergies related to food can also be the cause of some serious skin problems for the kids. It is always favorable to switch to foods that are organic as opposed to chemically treated inorganic foods.

Similar to personal care and cleaning products, the chemicals in foods are known to cause skin-related problems. Design your grocery list in a way that caters to your child’s nutrition just as well as it caters to your child’s allergies. If the problem persists even with your changes in the kid’s diet, then consult a pediatric dietitian. They can pinpoint the food that is causing the allergy and making your kid’s skin sensitive.

See Also: Shifting Your Family To The “Real Food” Diet 

Vitamins

Vitamins are a huge source of nutrition and can be helpful in the proper nourishment of the kids. The lack of these vitamins can be devastating for a child’s health. Health-related problems can also lead up to skin sensitivity. These problems can be avoided by simply keeping track of your kids’ vitamins intake. Your pediatrician can help guide you in making sure that your child’s nutritional needs are being met.

It is always a good idea to listen to your kid if they are telling you about a certain rash, patchiness or dryness in their skin. It will be beneficial for you and your kid to tackle the problem in its earlier stage instead of having the condition worsen over time and causing the child suffering.

 

The post Have a Child with Skin Sensitivities? Here’s How to Deal with it appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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