Thursday, March 05, 2009
Now that March is well under way, this is a good time to talk about kidney disease. Kidney disease can strike anyone at any time, even people who have seemingly healthy lives. Did you know that most people who have impaired kidneys don’t even know it? The symptoms include, lethargy, shortness of breath, swollen glands, bloody urine, frequent urination or inability to urinate. Kidney disease is another one of the many silent killers; oftentimes, much of the damage is done long before there are any visible signs. When you do see overt symptoms, you’re already at risk of kidney failure.
March is National Kidney Month, and the 12th of March is World Kidney Day. I urge you to get your kidneys screened. The National Kidney Foundation has a program it calls KEEP, or Kidney Early Evaluation Program. On World Kidney day, you can get a free KEEP screening in select cities around the United States.
Early detection is key, and the only way to know for sure is from proper a screening. For more information about the KEEP program and to find a screening center near you, visit the National Kidney Foundation’s Web site at the link below. Take care of your kidney so they will take care of you.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Finding time for your fitness, health, and exercise program can be difficult even for the disciplined person, and if you are an intermediate or novice, it can be even more of a challenge. For those of you who are like many people juggling a part or full-time job, college classes, a spouse, kids, or more broadly the demands of life, getting to a gym regularly is not an option. You look in the mirror and wonder how someone like you is supposed to maintain a regular exercise program. The answer is by starting a home gym.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that it must be expensive. Well, it definitely can be expensive; however, it doesn’t have to be. There are several effective and low cost pieces of equipment you can get to help you get a great work out at home.
1) Hand weights, whether steel or neoprene weights (those with a synthetic rubber covering) can be purchased individually or in sets in various dimensions such as 2lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, on up. They are available beginning around $10-$15.
2) A medicine ball – also called a weighted ball or fitness ball – strengthens your core muscles. These can cost between $10-$20.
3) Hand grips strengthen the muscles in the hand and may be purchased for as little as $5.
4) The Sparkpeople.com Starter Kit is an ideal purchase for your home gym. It includes a stability ball with pump, a resistance band, a pedometer, and a workout DVD, led by Sparkpeople.com’s Coach Nicole.
(Photo from Sparkpeople.com)
This kit is a great bargain. I bought each of the items separately before the kit was available and I paid nearly twice as much. This kit costs $24.95, and one of the neat features is that you can click a link to have it added to your Amazon.com wish list.
There are many other things you can add to your home gym, but these things I have suggested will give you a great bang for your buck without spending a ton of cash. You can get all of them for less than $100. I think that’s a great deal. So, renew your resolution to lose weight and get into shape and get yourself some things so you can workout at home. Believe me, it won’t take long before you will see results.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I know you usually see the phrase “Go Green” these days, but I thought I would talk about something different with Valentine’s Day approaching. People are focused on chocolate, which is fine in moderation. But if you are like most people, it’s not that easy eating rich, delicious chocolate in moderation.
So, I decided to talk about some delicious red foods you can incorporate into your diets, providing the health benefits of each. With a little imagination, you can really do a lot with them. But for now, this is just a primer on the benefits of some of my favorite red fruits and vegetables:
Strawberries – contain high levels vitamin C, are plentiful in antioxidants that help to fight various types of cancers, and small amounts of vitamin K, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and trace amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Beets – contain cancer prevention agents and are full of iron. In addition, beets are rich in sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosperous. Beets are also a great source of fiber and also contain vitamins A and C.
Watermelon – is full of beta carotene, which helps fight against heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions. Watermelon is particularly helpful in fighting breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and provides excellent protection against strokes as well as reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.
Red Swiss Chard – is a member of the beet family and provides many of the same benefits as eating beets. It is full of fiber, low in calories, and rich in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
Raspberries – like other red vegetables and fruits provide an excellent barrier to cancer causing agents. They are rich in vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
Red Carrots – are one of those things that most people don’t know about. Carrots actually come in six different colors (orange, red, black, purple, black, and white), though most of them are difficult to find. With a little effort, you should be able to find the red carrots in specialty markets or at a local farm. These carrots help to protect against cancers, have strong regenerative effects. If you'd like to see how these different colored carrots might look, look at this Web site: www.healthmad.com/Nutrition/S
Tomatoes – have compounds that help prevent cancer, cataracts, heart disease, and help fight cardio vascular disease. They also are rich in vitamins A and C as well as potassium.
Of course this is just a sampling. There are plenty of other wonderful red fruits and vegetables. Take some time and look around the produce section the next time you go shopping. You might be surprised at what you find.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
So, you’ve reached your desired weight. That’s awesome. Congratulations. It was tough, but you finally made it, and I know you are very proud of yourself. Now, your goal is to maintain where you are. Here are some simple steps to help guide you.
First, don’t make huge changes. Your body has become accustomed to your healthy lifestyle. Now that you have shed the extra pounds, don’t go back to your old bad habits. The strategies you have put into place these past weeks or months or years are strategies that you must continue.
Second, keep up with your exercise routine. The exercise will help keep your heart rate up, which in turn will keep the fire under your metabolism and help keep the fat off.
Third, be sure to weigh yourself regularly. The funny thing about weight is you can put on extra pounds without realizing it. Pay attention to your body and make adjustments as necessary if you see the number rise on the scale. It’s not as frustrating if you catch it in time.
Fourth and most importantly, figure out what works for you. Some people eat three square meals per day while others have 4 – 6 mini meals throughout the day. There is no magical technique that works for everybody. You do what is unique to you and your body.
Remember: the strategies you used to take off the weight are the same things you’ll need to do to keep it off. With a little commitment, dedication, and some sacrifice, you can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of your life no what your age and regardless how long you may live.
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