Category Archives: Health

Oldermanexercise

Sleep and exercise key to reducing stroke risk


Exercising regularly and getting the right amount of sleep each night significantly reduces a person’s risk of stroke, a new study has shown.

US researchers analysed data on almost 289,000 people who had been monitored between 2004 and 2013. The participants’ sleep was assessed, as well as their involvement with physical activity, such as walking, cycling and gardening.

The study found that those who got an average amount of sleep – seven to eight hours per night – were 25% less likely to suffer a stroke.

However, the same could not be said if they did not get enough sleep or if they slept for too long. In fact, those who got more than eights hours of sleep per night were 146% more likely to have suffered a stroke, while those who slept for less than seven hours per night were 22% more likely.

Source: Sleep and exercise key to reducing stroke risk

fitgirl1

Strengthening the most important muscle in your body

Like all muscles, your heart has to be trained in order to maintain its strength and conditioning. Whether it’s a quick run in the morning, half an hour on the stationary bike, or a leisurely walk around the neighborhood with the family dog, a few minutes of cardio each day can be a huge help to your hearts overall health.

Having a strong heart boosts your cardiovascular system, helps your body utilize oxygen more efficiently, lowers the risk for heart disease, and even allows the heart to better repair itself when damaged. There are four basic components to fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Cardiovascular endurance is vital because it directly coincides with how effectively you can increase the other fitness elements.

Follow these tips to effectively train your heart to become stronger:

Engage Your Muscles

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous aerobic exercise on 4-5 days per week. To get the most out of aerobics, focus on engaging the largest muscle groups (chest, legs, back, and abs) in a continuous, rhythmic manner. By doing this, your heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue, which results in a mini workout that supports and promotes your heart’s cardiovascular strength.

Cardio Intervals

If you’re looking to increase your heart health quickly, interval training is the way to go. Intervals work by incorporating high-intensity cardio with periods of lower, relaxed cardio. This results in an extremely effective and efficient workout. Studies have shown that doing 15 minutes of interval training has been linked to preventing heart disease as well as improving your overall fitness.

Bonus: Interval training burns more calories per minute than simply jogging on a treadmill.

Weight Training

Similar to interval training, weight training is an effective way to strengthen all the muscles in your body, especially your heart. The key to having a productive weight training session is limiting the rest period between sets. Most gym goers will rest for approximately 30-90 seconds between sets. However, if your goal is greater endurance (and a stronger heart) you’ll have to surrender some break time. But trust us, your heart will thank you.

Know When to Slow Down

Just as important as an performing an intense cardio session, is knowing when to slow down. Too much adrenaline in the system can be harmful to your heart’s health. If your heart rate is jumping up too high or you feel pain, lower the intensity of your workout to let your heart slow down, then once your heart has relaxed, up the intensity to a moderate pace, but don’t overexert yourself. Be sure to drink water during “cool down” periods since the heart tends to beat faster when the cells in your body are dehydrated.

Get Enough Sleep

According to studies, young and middle-aged adults who sleep for approximately 7 hours per night have less calcium build-up in their arteries than those who sleep less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours. Similarly, those who sleep more soundly during the night tend to have healthier arteries than those who don’t. Remember that the quality of your sleep is directly reflected in the quality of your training and ultimately influences how strong your heart is, or how strong it can become.

hh-raspberries

10 foods that protect your heart

February is Heart Health Month here in the United States, and we are celebrating at Synergy by sharing our heart health knowledge with you. We encourage you to pay special attention to your heart this month. After all, it is a hard working muscle in your body. At times, we get caught up in daily routines and neglect the heart’s needs. However, by making heart healthy choices every day, you have the power to strengthen not only your heart, but your overall wellness.

A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart, but unless you know which foods to turn to, you may have a hard time getting the most out of your diet.

Here are 10 superfoods to help protect your heart:

Salmon

This fish is a popular choice for heart health because it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in the prevention of blood clots, keep blood flowing throughout the body, and lower triglycerides that contribute to heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, aim for at least two servings of oily fish a week. The serving size is approximately 3.5 ounces, or about the size of a computer mouse.

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are another good source of omega-3. Nuts are a more economical option for getting omega-3 fats, and researchers say that snacking on about 5 ounces of nuts a week can help protect you from heart disease.

Fat-free/Low-fat Milk or Yogurt

Dairy products are known to be high in potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure. When you choose fat–free or low–fat dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, a known factor in raising cholesterol levels.

Raspberries

Filled with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C, raspberries and other berries are a healthy and tasty way to lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Chickpeas

Hail to the hummus! The chickpea is a popular and versatile heart healthy food. These little wonders are a fantastic source of soluble fiber – the fiber known to lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Oatmeal

Oats contain fiber called beta-glucan that helps lower LDL. Having as little as one and a half cups of oatmeal is all it takes to help lower your LDL.

Avocados

The reason these fruits have such a creamy texture is because of the “good” fats that are found in them. These fats help lower LDL and have anti-inflammatory function that protects arteries.

Olive Oil

A common staple in Mediterranean diets, olive oil is said to be a healthy alternative to butter and other oils, and limits your intake of saturated fats, which raise your LDL and can cause fat build-up inside your arteries.

Dark Chocolate

Yes … chocolate is on the list. Cacao, the plant that chocolate comes from, is rich in flavanols. These help lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and the antioxidants in chocolate help keep the “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your arterial walls.

Grapes

The resveratrol found in grapes contributes to a healthy heart because it keeps blood platelets from sticking together, reducing the risk of blood clots and preventing damage to blood vessels in the heart.

bodyprime-1

 

Our bodies speak to us in many ways, and they are particularly good at letting us know when they are unhappy. It’s all too easy in today’s world to fall into unhealthy habits involving lack of exercise, lack of sleep, heightened stress levels, and of course, our diets. It’s true, no one is perfect, and on occasion we indulge in foods that are deemed unhealthy. We may even go weeks, months, or years at a time without setting foot into a gym.

The important thing is that we recognize when our bodies begin to feel neglected and make necessary changes to reset our vital systems, enhancing their overall function and improving the way we feel.

If you struggle with any of with these 5 symptoms, it may be an indication that it’s time to start cleaning up your act:

  1. Weight Gain

Oftentimes, overweight bodies are unhappy because they are filled with harsh chemicals found in junk food. These chemicals not only prompt weight gain, they can actually make it difficult to lose weight. Eating an unhealthy diet of processed foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates, can lead to bloating, indigestion, and increased cravings for these potentially harmful foods.

  1. Brain Fog

“What was I just doing again? Oh, right.” If you have this thought multiple times a day in the middle of accomplishing tasks, there is a chance that your body doesn’t have the proper nutrition and energy levels to maintain focus.

  1. Body Odor

While this isn’t a pleasant topic to address, it’s certainly hard to ignore. If you are experiencing bad breath, frequent gas, and you smell bad no matter how much deodorant you apply, your body is trying to push out unwanted chemicals that are brewing inside. Get rid of them!

  1. Skin Issues

If you look in the mirror and feel like you’re staring back at your pimply teenage self, there’s a problem. In fact, a number of skin problems, including rashes, are a manifestation of a deeply rooted issue. Rather than trying to clean your skin from the outside in, try addressing the issues that exist within the body and work your way out.

  1. Lethargy

If you find yourself having a hard time keeping your eyes open in the middle of the day, either you’re sleep deprived or your body is feeling worn down by the unhealthy habits you have  gained. If you are sleep deprived, and spend most nights tossing and turning, this could be another sign that your body is in need of a system reboot.

5-honey-facts-fb

Some Things You Didn’t Know About Honey by By Dr. Mercola

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available in the 16th century. Honey production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, for instance, while animals other than humans – bears, badgers, and more – have long raided honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward.

Honey is truly a remarkable substance, made even more extraordinary by the process with which it is made. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet.

And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation (assuming you’re healthy). Before I delve into those, here’s a brief “lesson” on how honey is made…

How Honey Is Made (Fascinating!)

It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.

Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it (via regurgitation) to another bee’s mouth. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.

Once there, the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as “honey.” This honeycomb is then sealed with a liquid secretion from the bee’s abdomen, which hardens into beeswax. As Live Science reported:

Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the US, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent upon the nectar source. Lighter colored honeys, such as those made from orange blossoms, tend to be milder in flavor while darker-colored honeys, like those made from wildflowers, tend to have a more robust flavor.

Source: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Honey