What Type of Health Insurance Covers Migraines?

Headaches and migraines can be quite a pain in your life because with the nausea, visual distortions and upheavals in your social life, you tend to suffer much more than you deserve. There are many types of health insurance but most of us have never even wondered if there is health insurance for people who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines.

Migraine health insurance does exist which is great news for all of us considering the amount of effort and money that goes into treating the condition and effects of migraines. Normally looking for a health insurance policy that covers migraines is not an easy job itself because it requires understanding what therapies are good for headaches. It also requires you to haggle over the costs normally provided by migraine health insurance and all associated expenses. Some of the most common tips and recommendations regarding the types of health insurance that cover migraine have been presented here so that you can literally avoid the additional headache involved with trying out different policies before you find the most convenient one.

First and most importantly, make sure you know the fine print of any migraine health insurance policy that you lay your hands on. In fact, all medicine industry representatives and physicians agree with this recommendation because they know that many people who buy such policies without going over the minute details. The main reason for this is most insurance plans have many fine print details using difficult language that is hard for common people to interpret. However, because it is almost necessary to do it anyway, migraine health insurance companies should be asked direct questions about the policy instead. In short, know everything and anything to avoid any sort of frustration or complications later on.

Secondly, finding and then keeping a doctor that is also a migraine specialist is a great thing that you can do for yourself. This is because you cannot deal with your chronic headache condition and look for types of health insurance that covers migraine on your own. Once you have a good healer for yourself, knowhow the medicine industry works, then together, you can work out a case that will cover the treatment required as well as the medicine that works well for you. When there are two people in your team, then both of you can verify the documents that need to be sent to the insurance company. With the help of your doctor, you should also keep a journal that highlights the details of your migraine issues, the medications you take and the intensity and lengths of your migraine attacks.

In addition to all of this, do some individual research on your own regarding the Types of Insurance plans that cover chronic headaches and migraines. It is possible that the treatment prescribed by your physician, such as acupuncture, may not be offered by your preferred benefit plan at all. This is another way your doctor

Health Tips: Effective Diet for Gout

The diet for gout suggested in the early days was so tough and strict that it was almost impossible to follow. However, over time, the medication for gout has improved so much that now the diet for gout does not include missing on your favorite foods and drinks. You must always remember to balance the diet that you are having, excessive use of any particular items can be dangerous for your health in a number of ways. As far as the diet for gout is concerned, here are some of the basic tips that can help you prevent the disease from occurring or in case you are already suffering from it:

Decrease the Usage of meat & poultry:
Many people are not aware of the fact that the main cause of gout is excessive use of meat and meat related products. These products are high in purine, which is considered the main reason for aggravating gout related problems. Therefore, you will have to limit your use of red meat, poultry and even fish to not more than 6 to 10 ounces per day.  Along with this, say a complete no to organic or processed meat, which is full of toxins causing damage to your liver and general body working.

Avoid alcohol:
The use of alcohol is usually associated with problems in elimination of uric acid from the body. It is particularly true for excessive drinking of beer and rum. Therefore, if some symptoms of gout are occurring in your body, the best thing would be to avoid the use of alcohol for some time. Once the symptoms settle down a little, you can have around 150 ml of beer or wine without facing any threat from this problem.

Take in plant proteins:
The main purpose of increasing plant proteins in your diet is to reduce the amount of saturated fats that you take in on daily bases. Replace it with red beans, salads and fruit and vegetable juices in such a way that the body does not remain under nourished. Plant proteins may not be as rich in nutrition as red meat but they are exceptionally good in reducing the chances of occurrence of gout.

Drink as much water as possible:
Water is an essential part of the body; whether you are looking for diet for gout or not, you need to be careful about your water intake. Make sure that you take in at least seven to eight glasses of water or other fluids on average to keep the body systems in good shape.

Add whole grain products to your diet:
It may be a good idea to replace your regular bread and cereal with whole grain products, which are higher in fiber content but lower in calories. Along with this, they are great for the digestive track of the body and play an important role in the elimination of uric acid and urea (the main ingredients leading to gout). Apart from this, make sure that you eat a lot of natural fruits and vegetables since they have no particular side effects and are a great source of proteins and vitamins to keep the body’s immunity system strong.

Health Risks Associated With Breast Implants

Almost all surgeries that are performed today have some risks associated with them. Breast implants are no different and even though the technology has developed enough to minimize breast implant risks, it is important to be aware of these risks before you make any decision. During your decision-making process, you need to choose a well reputed surgeon and has a lot of experience in this particular type of surgery. You need to discuss your surgery and case in detail with the surgeon and amongst the procedural details, you should definitely discuss the breast implant risks as well to make sure that he or she knows exactly what they are doing and how they would deal with any possible complications.

Some of the more familiar breast implant risks are associated with almost every surgery, namely, excessive bleeding, infection and problems with the anesthesia. As far as dealing with the anesthesia is concerned, make sure that a board certified anesthesiologist is present and that you do not eat or drink from the night before your surgery.

Even so, you may experience nausea after the surgery but this should probably go away in a couple of days. Other breast implant risks like infection can easily be dealt with using antibiotics; the only thing you need to see is that you should not be allergic to any of the medication prescribed to you. Sometimes excessive bleeding can also occur and you can minimize all breast implant risks related to excessive bleeding by avoiding the usage of vitamin E, aspirin and other blood thinners days before the actual surgery.

One of the special breast implant risks is capsular contraction in which the body forms a scar tissue around the foreign implant and this scar tissue can contract. Different surgeons have different beliefs about how to avoid this problem. Some of them think that instead of sub-glandular placement, sub-muscular placement should  be used. Others believe that regular massage after the surgery reduces the breast implant risks of capsular contraction. Another risk you need to be aware of is that of deflation and rupture; sometimes it is normal because implants are not bound to last your lifetime and therefore, with age, this can happen to them. Sometimes, the implant can truly be faulty, especially when it was not properly applied during the surgery or simply because the implant was overfilled. Breast implant risks related to deflation and rupture can be minimized, and these can easily be remedied as well.

Other Breast Implant Risks include displacement of implant or bottoming out, symmastia, Mondor’s cord, loss of sensation or complications with the scarring. With bottoming out, the implants tend to move downwards because they lose tissue support. With symmastia, the condition looks as if there is no definable cleavage; the Mondor’s cord is a hard vein like feeling under the breast or around the armpit. Either sometimes women lose sensation in their breasts or the sensation can intensify and sometimes, the scar can heal quickly or it can take time. Do not forget to discuss each of this Breast Implant Risks and their implications with your plastic surgeon.

5 Ways to Prevent Diabetes

The number of Americans that are diagnosed with diabetes is on the rise. There are several things that you can do to prevent diabetes. The following list contains 5 ways to prevent diabetes from being a part of your life.

1. Avoid Processed Food
It’s not just sugar that you need to watch when trying to prevent diabetes. Processed foods contain excess salts as well as fats and sugars that are not good for your body. Avoiding processed foods can help you to avoid diabetes. Replace the processed foods with whole, natural foods that contain very little fat.

2. Ideal Weight
It is important to reach your ideal weight. The heavier you are the higher your risk for diabetes. Doing your best to stay at your ideal weight is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes. Exercise and eat a well balanced diet as part of a healthy life style and reaching your ideal weight will be easy.

3. Fiber
Eat plenty of fiber. Eating fiber helps to regulate the sugars in your body. Consuming your daily recommended amount of fiber will help you to say free of diabetes. You can find fiber in many vegetables such as; carrots, green beans, potatoes and sweet corn. There are also many fruits that contain fiber including; bananas, blackberries and raspberries. You may also want to consider foods such as whole grain breads and bran cereals.

4. Exercise
Exercise is essential to preventing diabetes. You should try to exercise for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week. Incorporate aerobic, cardio and strength training exercises into your work out. Staying active during your everyday life is also important. Make an effort to walk instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Every little bit that you do will help you to stay diabetes free.

5. Visit the Doctors
Regular check-ups are important. If you are obese make sure that you are staying on top of your blood sugar levels. You should discuss with your doctor a healthy meal and exercise plan and tell him/her of any changes in your body. If diabetes runs in your family history discuss the symptoms and prevention methods with your doctor to avoid diabetes from being a part of your life.
There are several things that you can do to prevent diabetes. The most important things to remember are proper diet and exercise.

Follow these 5 suggestions to help you to diabetes.

How To Prevent Colds And Flu

One of the best ways to prevent colds and flu is to get a flu shot during the flu season. Though this is not a natural method, it is very effective. Other than this, there are certain simple rules that you can follow to prevent cold and flu.

Clean hands

Washing your hands will ensure that you do not get the flu virus on your bare hands, either for doorknobs or telephones that have already been touched by an infected person. Since cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact, you should be careful while touching public objects that may be infected.

Use a tissue while sneezing

Do not cover your mouth with your bare hands while sneezing. You will simply pass on the virus to someone else. You should also not touch your face as the flu viruses enter through the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Fluids and fresh air

Since fluids flush your system, it helps to wash out the toxic materials and helps to rehydrate you. Apart from this, a few strolls in the park can be good for you, especially during the winter season, when central heating makes you susceptible to catching cold.

Exercise and food

The right kind of exercise can help you to prevent colds and flu. Aerobic exercise makes the heart pump larger quantity of blood and increases your body temperature. This helps to increase the body’s natural immunity system.

Foods containing Phytochemicals are also great as a flu remedy. Phyto means plants and these are natural vitamins that make you stronger. In addition, even low fat yoghurt is believed to reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent.


Smoking makes you very susceptible to cold and flu. It dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in the lungs and the nose.

Sleeping and resting

A good night’s sleep can boost up your immunity, thereby helping to prevent cold and flu. However, once you catch a cold, you should be ready with certain cold and flu remedies. Perhaps the most potent remedy is rest. You should be adequately rested as this will give your body the chance to heal itself. Avoid going to work, as this will affect the quality of your work, and might also infect your co-workers.

You should have plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they contain the vitamins that are necessary to maintain a good immune system. Another good flu treatment can be done through nasal irrigation, which helps to clear the sinuses of mucus carrying the cold or flu virus. Including zinc in your diet is also important to prevent cold and flu.

Elderberry is known to have great powers to prevent common cold and flu. Red Wine is also found to have decreased the chances of contracting flu by 20%, if you have a glass of wine daily. Garlic is yet another powerful anti-viral that usually tends to kill the cold viruses. Other immunity boosters that can help to prevent colds and flu are Echinace, Echinace , Andrographis, coconut oil and ginger.

Remember that in case of cold and flu, prevention is better than a cure.

What Causes Sore Muscles?

I woke up this morning and I could hardly get myself out of bed. Why are my muscles so sore? It feels like someone was beating me with a bat all night long. Sound at all familiar? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about as it has probably happened to you before – you exercise or do some strenuous work and wake up the next morning with sore muscles – even thought your muscles weren’t sore the night before.

You may be experiencing something known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS). Whatever exercise, activity or project you did, you tried to do too much, too quickly. Now, you have the sore muscles to deal with.

What causes sore muscles?

Theories on the cause of muscle soreness have evolved over the years. Just a few short years ago, lactic acid would have been blamed as the culprit for those aching muscles. However, that theory has all but been dismissed today.

During high levels of physical activity (i.e. exercising and/or weight training), your body produces lactic acid because the muscle’s demand for oxygen gets too high and the blood cannot deliver all the oxygen it needs. In order to produce energy needed for the muscles to function, the body begins a process that works without that oxygen and its through this process a byproduct is created: lactic acid. The lactic acid builds up and gets locked inside your muscles and since it is an acid, it has the ability to cause a burning sensation within your muscle‘s tissue.

For many years, lactic acid build up was thought to be the cause of sore muscles. Today, new science has proven that this is not totally correct. The results show that lactic acid does not remain in the muscles for any length of time. Lactic acid is completely washed out between 30 and 60 minutes after the physical exertion (workout, exercise, etc). With most muscle soreness being noted 24 to 36 hours after the exercise, the cause of sore muscles isn’t a result of lactic acid in the muscles.

Research has indicated that the cause for sore muscles is micro-trauma to the muscle fibers. When you overdue any physical exertion, whether it be during work or play, you do some localized damage to the muscle fiber membranes. This damaged muscle can then become inflamed, which can cause soreness in your muscles.

Some other factors which could cause sore muscles include:

  • Damaged muscles release chemical irritants, which can irritate pain receptors.
  • There is an increase in blood flow to the area because of the increased activity of the muscle. This increased blood flow can cause swelling, which can irritate pain receptors.

Just remember, whenever you overdo an exercise or over exert yourself physically, there is the possibility you won’t wake up feeling like superman. You will wake up because your muscle fibers have microscopic tears due to being fatigued from the exercise, and thus are swollen and sore.

By moving the sore muscles, you can gradually return them to their normal state. Don’t try to exercise at your previous intensity, though, since the damaged muscles have lost some of their strength. Give the muscles some time to heal before attempting to exercise or work at the same level that originally caused the muscle soreness.

How do I avoid sore muscles?

While there is no “cure” once you have sore muscles (other than time), there are tricks to help you avoid sore muscles:

  • Make sure that you stretch and warm up properly before any physical activity. Stretch and cool down at the end of the activity. This will help you avoid the sore muscles in the future.
  • When you exercise, gradually increase the intensity of the workout. This will allow the strength and endurance of your muscles to grow.
  • Make sure that you are using the correct form when exercising, as incorrect posture and positioning can cause sore muscles.

The best way to think of sore muscles is to equate it to an injury. When you are injured the only way to recover is to rest. You cannot push yourself or you will cause more damage or even more serious injury. The same holds true with your muscles. You do not have to stop activity completely, but you will have to rest for several days in order to give the muscles a chance to heal.

The Top 5 Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol

Can a handful of walnuts help prevent a heart attack? How about a bowl of oatmeal, or even a baked potato topped with some heart-healthy margarine? A few simple tweaks to your diet may be enough to lower your cholesterol to a healthy level and help you stay off medications.

Walnuts, almonds and more
Many studies have shown that walnuts can significantly reduce blood cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which helps keep blood vessels healthy and elastic. Almonds and some other nuts also have a similar effect.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease.
But all nuts are high in calories, so be sure to limit yourself to about a handful. As with any food, eating too much can cause weight gain, and being overweight places you at higher risk of heart disease. To avoid gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

Oatmeal and oat bran
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, psyllium, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines. Ten grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber. If you add fruit, such as bananas, you’ll add about 4 more grams of fiber. To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal or oat bran.

Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Research has supported the cholesterol-lowering benefits of eating fatty fish because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids also help the heart in other ways such as reducing blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — significantly reduces the risk of sudden death.
Doctors recommend eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. However, to maintain the heart-healthy benefits of fish, bake or grill it. If you don’t like fish, you can also get omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flaxseed or canola oil.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the beneficial effects, but you won’t get all the other nutrients in fish, like selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, just remember to watch your diet and eat lean meat or vegetables in place of fish.

Olive oil
Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but leave your “good” (HDL) cholesterol untouched.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day to get its heart-healthy benefits. To add olive oil to your diet, you can saute vegetables in it, add it to a marinade, or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a substitute for butter when basting meat.

Some research suggests that the cholesterol-lowering effects of olive oil are even greater if you choose extra-virgin olive oil, meaning the oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants. But avoid “light” olive oils. This label usually means the oil is more processed and lighter in color, not fat or calories.

Foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols
Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks fortified with plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent. The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams — which equals about two 8-ounce (237 milliliters) servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.

Plant sterols or stanols in fortified foods don’t appear to affect levels of triglycerides or of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Nor do they interfere with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, E and K.
The American Heart Association recommends foods fortified with plant sterols for people with levels of LDL cholesterol over 160 milligrams per deciliter (4.1 mmol/L).

Consider your diet first
Before you make other changes to your diet, think about cutting back on the types and amounts of fats you eat, which can raise your cholesterol. That way, you’ll improve your cholesterol levels and health overall.

When cutting fat from your diet, focus on saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats, like those in meat and some oils, raise your total cholesterol. Trans fats, which are sometimes used to make store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes, are particularly bad for your cholesterol levels because they raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), “good” cholesterol. You should try to limit the number of calories you eat daily to less than 10 percent from saturated fat, and eliminate as many trans fats from your diet as possible.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat made by your liver. Some cholesterol comes from the food that you eat. Foods that come from animals – such as eggs, meat and dairy products – have cholesterol in them. Foods that come from plants don’t have cholesterol. But it’s not just the cholesterol in foods that counts. Foods high in saturated fat (hydrogenated vegetable fats, tropical fats (coconut and palm oil), and animal fats) can also raise your cholesterol level.

Why is a high cholesterol level unhealthy?

Some cholesterol is needed for good health but too much cholesterol in your blood can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The extra cholesterol in your blood may be stored in your arteries (large blood vessels) and cause them to narrow. Large deposits of cholesterol can completely block an artery. If an artery that supplies blood to your heart becomes blocked, a heart attack occurs. If an artery that supplies blood to your brain becomes blocked, a stroke occurs.

Cholesterol travels through the blood in different types of packages called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) deliver cholesterol to the body, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) remove cholesterol from the bloodstream.

Too much LDL cholesterol is bad for the body because it builds up in the arteries, while the HDL form is good because it helps remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. It’s the balance between the different forms of cholesterol that tells you what your cholesterol level means.

When should I start having my cholesterol level checked?

If you are 20 years or older, talk to your family doctor to see whether you should have your cholesterol tested. If you have no risk factors, routine screening usually begins at the age of 40 for men and 50 for women or earlier if they have stopped having regular menses.

How often you have your cholesterol level checked depends on your age, family history and what other risk factors for heart disease you have. If your cholesterol is up, your family doctor can also advise you when to have follow-up cholesterol levels done.

Other risk factors for heart disease

  • Being a man of 45 years of age or older
  • Being a woman of 55 years of age or older
  • Having a male parent, grandparent or sibling who had heart disease before age 55
  • Having a female parent, grandparent or sibling who had heart disease before age 65
  • Smoking
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes
  • Having a total cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio above 4
  • Having an LDL cholesterol level above 2.0 mmol/L (in the presence of other risk factors)
  • Having an HDL cholesterol below 1.0 mmol/L
  • Being very overweight
  • Having excess fat around your waist (more than 102cm for men and 88cm for women)
  • Having already had a stroke or a heart attack
  • Having already had angioplasty or heart surgery
  • Not exercising
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Being on hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years

What is Metabolic Syndrome (or Syndrome X)?

It is a condition involving the combination of risk factors for heart disease such as being overweight ( or excess abdominal fat), high cholesterol, high glucose and high blood pressure. Since each of these risk factors individually puts you at risk for heart disease, having 3 or more of them together increases your risk 6 times more for a heart attack or stroke. Syndrome X is the result of inactivity and a diet rich in saturated fats. It can be controlled with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation.

What should my cholesterol level be?

Your doctor will measure your cholesterol level. If the total level is high, a second test may be done to measure the levels of HDL and LDL.
If your total level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. If your total level is high only because of a high HDL level, you’re not at higher risk.
Target LDL, HDL and total cholesterol:HDL levels
Your doctor can determine your target levels based on your risk factors for heart disease using your age, gender, total and HDL cholesterol, blood pressure level, medications and smoking status

Target LDL, HDL and total cholesterol:HDL levels

  • An LDL cholesterol level of less than 3.0 mmol/L is best
  • An HDL above 1.0 mmol/L is best
  • If your risk is low, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 5.0 mmol/L and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 6.0
  • If your risk is moderate, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 3.5 mmol/ and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 5
  • If your risk is high, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 2.0 mmol/L and total cholesterol HDL-C ratio should be less than 4.0
  • An HDL cholesterol level of less than 1.0 mmol/L means you’re at higher risk for heart disease.
  • If you have diabetes, your LDL should be less than 2.0 mmol/L.
  • If you’ve already had a heart attack your LDL needs to be less than 2.0 mmol/L.

What can I do to improve my cholesterol level?

You can do a number of things to improve your cholesterol level. Eating healthy food can help lower your LDL cholesterol level, and a healthy diet may help protect the body from the damaging effect of cholesterol. You can raise your HDL cholesterol level by quitting smoking if you smoke, losing weight if you are overweight and exercising.

Following a healthy low fat diet almost always lowers cholesterol levels. If healthy eating, exercising and other changes don’t work after about three to six months, your family doctor may want to discuss using medicine to lower your cholesterol level. This is a lifelong treatment, so it should be thought about only if healthy habits don’t work.
What sort of foods are healthy choices?

Lowering your cholesterol level by eating healthy foods low in fat is easier than you might think. It mostly takes a bit of common sense and a real interest in improving your health. You don’t have to quit eating your favourite foods, although you might need to eat them less often or sometimes replace them with healthier choices. Foods low in total carbohydrates, saturated and trans-fatty acids, but high in complex carbohydrates, protein, mono- and polyunsaturated fat can help you lose weight.

Eat more of these foods (Omega-3 fatty acids):

  • Fish, poultry without the skin, lean beef
  • Skim or low-fat milk
  • Sherbet, sorbet, ice milk
  • Egg whites
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Baked potatoes
  • Clear soups
  • Unsaturated vegetable oils: corn, canola, safflower, sesame, sunflower, olive, soybean
  • Angel food cake
  • Graham crackers, animal crackers, fig bars, vanilla wafers, lady fingers
  • Pretzels, air-popped popcorn, bagels, English muffins
  • Pancakes or cereal with low-fat milk
  • Fruit

Eat less of these foods:

  • Sausage, organ meats (like liver)
  • Whole milk
  • Ice cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Buttered or fried vegetables
  • French fries
  • Creamed soups
  • Saturated fats: butter, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, bacon fat
  • Cheesecake
  • Pastries, doughnuts
  • Potato chips
  • Refined carbohydrates and sugar
  • Eggs and bacon

10 Essential Health Tips

1. Reduce Stress
I know it is easier said than done, but stress busters come in many forms. A simple technique recommended by many experts is to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. Some examples include: Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible.

2. Cut the Fat Out
A healthy diet is important. Avoid fatty foods such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). When eating dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream – you should make sure that you eat the low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise.

3. Exercise
If you can’t make it to a gym daily, then make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Take the stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it’s a stress buster. Think ‘move’ in small increments of time. It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that’s great when you’re up to it.

4. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we’ve seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or ‘tough guy’ stance of Hollywood smokers.

5. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day for women and two for men can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Seat belts help prevent injuries – so use them.

7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it’s because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don’t?

8. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can’t live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It’s a good pollution deterrent.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There’s a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. You can’t be unhappy when you’re smiling or singing.

10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn’t mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you.