Hiking for Fitness

hiking Hiking for FitnessHiking is a great way to get outside, get some fresh air, enjoy your environment and get in some excellent exercise. It’s an easy, inexpensive addition to your workout at the gym. Find a local Conservation Area, National/State Park, or just a trail in your neighborhood.

It is wise to be prepared for your hike. Be sure to check your physical condition and limitations with the condition of the trails. Consider factors such as weather, terrain and altitude before you go. Preparation for the trip is very important, the more tough the terrain is; the more training may be required ahead of time with your trainer. Work with your trainer and let them know your plans. They can maybe even suggest some exercises to help warm you up before your hike. Hiking involves a lot of up and down hill and other terrains, each of these can put different strains to your body. Start small then slowly build yourself up to something more challenging.

It is important to prepare for your hike so you don’t end up with sore, blistered, tired feet. To start, pick a trail that best suits your own fitness level. Don’t be afraid to start on more level terrain and a short hike. Any type of hike is a benefit to health. If you plan on hiking over hilly or difficult terrain, make sure you take the right gear with you. Maybe a walking stick, hiking boots, a backpack with snacks will all be required. Whichever distance and terrain you choice, it is important to warm up and stretch before heading out.

Eating right is very essential if you want your hike to be a success. Make sure you have a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and all the good stuff your body needs to keep it fit and healthy and to keep you going throughout your hike. Bring some yummy, healthy treats along with you.

Here are 3 great reasons to start hiking:

  1. Experience Nature: The only way to truly experience the outdoors is by walking. It puts you in a hands-on situation and allows you to absorb every nuance of natures’ beauty. You will get to enjoy the sounds, smell and feel of the seasons.
  2. Get Great Exercise: Hiking provides the steady exercise that doctors recommend for weight loss and heart issues. Walking or hiking, unlike jogging, will not jar your joints or cause undue stress on your legs and back.
  3. Hike to Relax: Hiking allows you to let go of your stresses. Take a deep breath and get away from it all for just a little while.

Plan your hiking route, get some friends and family together and go out and enjoy what nature has to offer all while getting a great workout.

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Girls Night Out

girlsnight Girls Night OutSometimes you just need to get out. And what is better than a night out with your best girlfriends? Whether you’re studying at university or working hard in a company throughout the week, regardless of your age and interests, one of the best stress relievers for women is a girls’ night out. A fun night out can take off the pressure of the mundane and lift your spirits. What makes these evenings out so special is the relationships built between you and your friends, the need to break loose from everyday life and have fun.

Women are constantly searching for something new and different to do for a great girls night out that doesn’t always involve a bar or a highly overrated movie. When you consider the fact that most women have different tastes in books and poetry, book readings or signings are often very hit or miss, physical activity takes some of the fun out of things, and dancing inevitably leaves an odd girl out. Dinner is a great idea, but often is over far too soon.

Here are some ideas for fun and different girl’s night out.

Paint Your Own Pottery Shop – enjoy an evening of painting, laughing, joking and dishing with your friends.

Relaxing Time – if you and your friends usually have tight, busy schedules with hardly any time for yourselves as you shuttle between responsibilities at the office, at home and as a mother, a relaxing night out is what everyone craves. Plan for a mini massage, facials or for manicures and pedicures.

Bowling – This is an old idea that is definitely enjoyed by many. It’s something different and fun. Usually gets a laugh or two as well.

Try a New Hobby – Plan a cooking session, jewelry making class or cake decorating class. It’s useful and a great time doing something different with your girlfriends.

There are healthy benefits of female bonding. A study by Australian researchers found that female friendship wasn’t just good for the soul; it’s good for your health. Researchers concluded that the presence of good friends in a woman’s life increased life expectancy. Researchers in California concluded that girlfriends are stress-busters for women and have an impact on overall mood. It seems that when we’re around friends, the mood-elevating hormone oxytocin is released, increasing feeling of euphoria. Women with abundant friendships decrease their risk of illness and not having regular contact with girlfriends was as detrimental to her health as smoking or packing on pounds.

Now that you know the importance of having regular girl’s night out and have a bunch of ideas to make your girl’s night out fun, get to planning your next get togethert. Send out an evite to your girlfriends, and catch up, relax, and de-stress.

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Backyard Oasis

oasis Backyard OasisWhat better way to unwind from a busy day at work or being out with the kids, then to step outside to your backyard (front yard or balcony) oasis? Your own little comfortable space that allows you to feel relaxed and calm can be a great benefit to you. It’s a chance for a mini vacation, just steps away from your living room.

Decorating your outdoor space is as important as decorating your interior space. It requires just as much structure as an indoor space would. Like your interior space, the first thing you must determine is the color scheme for your outdoor space. You may want to consider making your outdoor space seem like an extension of your home interior décor. This can be accomplished by continuing with the same color palette as you did indoors.

Once your color scheme is determined, it is important to determine the primary functions of your outdoor space. You need to decide on what elements you would like to incorporate into your space. From there, you can decide on the furniture that will fit your theme and that you will find comfortable in your space.

There are some great ways to bring a little vacation oasis to your own yard. Maybe one of these ideas suits you.

  1. The Bistro: Just two chairs and a table, a great book and maybe a nice glass of wine. Accessorize it with a few candles and if you have the room, a lush garden.
  2. Hang patio drapes: Your porch will feel like a summer getaway with outdoor panel curtains. Hang a wire between two posts and drape them over.
  3. Outdoor dining: When the weather is beautiful, you can dine out(side) anytime. Weather-resistant furniture such as teak or cast iron make great outdoor tables. Have a pergola or trellis? Hang chandeliers, lanterns.
  4. Copa Cabana: Nothing evokes a vacation more than a cabana. Inside, scatter lanterns, maybe even add some floor pillows to get more comfortable.
  5. Beach Chaise: Get a comfortable outdoor cushioned chaise and matching umbrella in a wonderful pattern or vivid colors.
  6. Outdoor living room: There are many great options of outdoor chairs, couches and loveseats. A great way to enjoy an outdoor experience. Add in a fire pot or fire pit for a cozy night “out”.

An outdoor oasis can extend your living space – bringing the comfort of the indoors to the outdoors – all while taking you away from it all. With the perfect furniture, plants and equipment that suit you, you’ll have a mini-vacation, right in your own backyard.

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Let the Sun Shine In

sunnymood Let the Sun Shine InHave you ever wondered why we feel better on sunny days and have unexplained headaches and fatigue when it’s grey and miserable outside? Pleasant weather has been proven to improve moods, memory, and broaden our cognitive thinking skills.

Rapid drops in atmospheric pressure may affect blood pH, blood pressure and tissue permeability. There are well-researched and known ways weather can affect human health, such as joint pain, during the cold front, and less researched, but quite common symptoms that affect cardiovascular system and cause headaches and fluctuations in blood pressure.

Another way that has proven how the weather impacts the mood is through a condition called SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a condition which is characterized by depression during the winter months. The main cause of this condition is lack of sunlight. What happens is your body’s internal clock goes out of sync and its upsets the body’s routine. Some of the symptoms of SAD include: depression, sadness, fatigue, sleeping too much, loss of appetite, increase in appetite (particularly carbohydrates), increase in weight, decrease in activity, apathy and irritability. The amount of sunlight people are exposed to can have a large impact on mood because it affects the amount of vitamin D people absorb. Vitamin D, which is produced in skin exposed to the hormone of sunlight, has been found to change serotonin levels in the brain, which could account for changes in mood.

If you’re in a good mood, chances are, bad weather will likely not bring you down. But, if you’re already feeling crummy, a cold, dreary day could easily make your mood go from bad to worse. A study published in 2008 found that climate-related factors like temperature, sunlight, wind and precipitation had no notable impact on positive mood, but that temperature, wind and sunlight did have an effect on negative mood, while increased wind and decreased sunlight had a mostly negative effect on negative mood, though these effects varied from one individual to another.

Temperature can also affect our mind and behavior, independently of sunshine. The more it departs from an ideal of around 20˚C the more discomfort we feel. The higher the temperature, the more people are likely to act aggressively. Rates of aggression are higher in hotter years, months, days and times of day. Heat may also increase verbal aggression. A recent study of new media coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics found that stories filed by American journalists contained more negative words on hotter days.

A study by psychology researcher Matthew Keller and colleagues showed that beneficial effects of warm and sunny conditions on mood were only seen in people who had spent more than 30 minutes outdoors that day. Good weather even had negative effects on mood for people confined indoors, who perhaps gazed enviously outside at the solar fun they were missing. So, get out and enjoy the weather when it’s beautiful, and stay positive on the days where the weather is not the greatest.

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Street Drugs

drugs Street DrugsThey are appearing out there faster than we know. There are newer street drugs coming out all the time. Street drugs are easy to get, and can have some serious side effects. If you know what’s out there, you can help protect your friends and family. Here are some of the more common street drugs that are making an appearance in our community and in the news today.

Molly – Molly is a form of the drug Ecstasy but with a few alterations. It is a potent hallucinogen. Users report feeling stimulated, euphoria, an increase in sociability, insomnia, hallucinations and psychosis. Side effects of high fevers, low temperatures, anxiety attacks, fits of rage and manic depressive behavior can exist. However, you can never know how a drug will affect someone.

Bath Salts – Also known as Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Fine China, White Girl and Bliss. Bath salts come as a white power or crystals and resemble bathing products like Epsom salts. However, the drug bath salts are synthetic stimulant like MDPV, methylone or mephedrone. They can be swallowed, snorted, smoked or injected. The effects of the drug are headache, heart palpitations, nausea, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks and violent behavior. The drug can cause heart attacks, kidney failure, liver failure, suicide, an increased tolerance for pain, dehydration, and breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue.

Krokodil – Krokodil is a desomorphine, a cheap derivative of codeine that’s mixed with gasoline, oil, alcohol or paint thinner. It is shot into the body with a hypodermic needle. The drug will cause dark, scaly patches of dead and decaying skin. Users become severly disfigured for life, suffering serious scarring, bone damage, amputated limbs, speech impediments, poor motor skills and varying degrees of brain damage.

2C-P – A little-known synthetic hallucinogen is a long-lasting drug with intense psychedelic effects that don’t begin until a few hours after the person takes it, but they can last for 10 to 20 hours.

Butane Hash Oil – Also known as Amber, Honey, Wax, Ear Wax and BHO. It is a highly concentrated form of the active ingredient in marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol or TCH). Use of the drug is called dabbing. A small dab of the substance is placed on a hot, metal surface and then inhaling the puff of smoke. Effects of the drug are loss of consciousness.

It is important to get to know the many different names given to the common street drugs out there. Educating yourself on names of street drugs is the first step in protecting your kids. Listen to what your teenagers are talking about with their friends. If you notice any of these names pop up in conversation it could signal a good time to sit your kids down to discuss the harmful effects drugs have, not only on the body but on people’s lives as well.

Here are some other names for these common drugs:

Methamphetamine – Christmas tree, Cinnamon, Cristina, Lemon Drop
Heroin – balloon, Bart Simpson, Big Harry, bulldog, channel swimmer
Cocaine – Angie, Batman, Bernie, Blizzard, aspirin

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have only barely skimmed the surface on the new list of street drugs and alternate names of drugs. Do your own research, become a little more familiar with names and effects. Maybe you can help someone you love that may have started experimenting. A great reference is your local police department. They’ll have a lot of information on the street drugs that are most common in your area.

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Eye Spy

eyespy Eye SpyYour eyesight is one of the most valuable things that you have and losing it or having it damaged can be devastating. It is therefore very important to visit your optometrist regularly. The eye is complex and the number of things that can go wrong is quite staggering. Luckily, with medical advances it is now possible to fix many minor optical ailments. Every one or two years you should get your eyes examined. An eye doctor does more than just determine your prescription for glasses. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eyes are checked for common vision diseases as well as assessed for how well your eyes work together because your eyes are an indicator for your overall health.

Eye exams are an important part of your overall health maintenance. Your doctor will check for a few things during a comprehensive eye exam, most importantly he or she will check for any visual problems or diseases that may cause vision loss. The ophthalmologist will likely look for any refractive errors which are easily corrected with prescription glasses or refractive surgery; focusing problems that may have developed when you were a child; and eye diseases like glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

When doctors do eye checkups on patients they are looking for a condition called amblyopia, where one eye has a different vision than the other one. It’s through the exams that the eye doctor can correct the problem by a method called patching, where a patch is put on the other eye for a short period of time. The refraction of the eye is also tested during eye exams. This tests what your condition is, whether you have farsightedness or nearsightedness or astigmatism and the doctor prescribes the patient with the correct lenses or glasses to allow the patient to have the correct vision. Another such eye condition which can be tested is Strabismus. This is where the eye doctor checks whether your eyes are perfectly aligned or not. If they’re working properly and together without any change in their alignment, then there’s nothing to worry about. If they are misaligned, you might have to go through eye alignment correcting treatments.

As technology has grown exponentially, experienced through the advancement of home and office computers, many individuals now spend a surmountable time in front of a computer screen, whether for business or leisure. While computers can increase productivity, this environment places extra stress upon the eyes, which can not only create short term vision problems, but can lead to longer term eye care issues. Spending a lot of time on other stimulants like television and game consoles will also have an effect on your eyes. Prolonged and repetitive users of such technology should consider a regular eye examination every year.

It is extremely important for children to have regular eye exams. As children develop their vision needs to grow along with them, annual exams will show the doctor if their vision is developing properly. If your child is exhibiting any signs of learning disabilities the first thing you will want to do is schedule an eye exam as vision is very important in learning.

Our eyes are one of the most important things that we can take care of; without them, we have a decreased quality of life, and if you don’t take care of them, they have an impact on the rest of your body; such as headaches, tension, and strain. Eye exams are virtually painless and relatively quick, but they can mean the difference between healthy vision and the dark; so plan your visits annually or at least every other year.

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Tea Time

teatime Tea TimeFor centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent research supports these claims: Studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. There is a wide range of tea flavors within every type of tea and a host of different preventative health benefits.

Black tea, green tea, and white tea are all made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant, but they all undergo different processing. All three types of teas contain significant amounts of catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that help to fight off cellular damage in the body. As a general rule, the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you’ll get in your brew.

Most Common Teas

Black tea: The most common type with the highest caffeine, made with fermented tea leaves.
Green tea: Made with unfermented leaves, it has a high concentration of catechin, EGCG.
White tea: It is the least processed and made with the new growth buds and young leaves. Uncured and unfermented.
Oolong tea: Made with partially fermented leaves. Oolong teas are full bodied in flavor and aroma.

Benefits of Tea:

  • Tea can boost exercise endurance.
  • Drinking tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • The antioxidants in tea might also help against cancer.
  • Tea helps fight free radicals as it is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity – helps destroy free radicals in the body.
  • Tea is hydrating to the body.
  • Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays.
  • Tea helps with weight loss and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular tea drinking might also counteract some of the negative effects of smoking and might even lessen the risk of lung cancer.
  • Tea can help the body recover from radiation.
  • Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
  • Tea might be effective in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative disease (Alzheimer’s).

So, sit back in the morning, at break, or after dinner and relax with a nice cup of tea. The benefits are worth it.

For more articles go to http://thegym.lifestyleezine.com

Tea Time

teatime Tea TimeFor centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent research supports these claims: Studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. There is a wide range of tea flavors within every type of tea and a host of different preventative health benefits.

Black tea, green tea, and white tea are all made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant, but they all undergo different processing. All three types of teas contain significant amounts of catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that help to fight off cellular damage in the body. As a general rule, the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you’ll get in your brew.

Most Common Teas

Black tea: The most common type with the highest caffeine, made with fermented tea leaves.
Green tea: Made with unfermented leaves, it has a high concentration of catechin, EGCG.
White tea: It is the least processed and made with the new growth buds and young leaves. Uncured and unfermented.
Oolong tea: Made with partially fermented leaves. Oolong teas are full bodied in flavor and aroma.

Benefits of Tea:

  • Tea can boost exercise endurance.
  • Drinking tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • The antioxidants in tea might also help against cancer.
  • Tea helps fight free radicals as it is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity – helps destroy free radicals in the body.
  • Tea is hydrating to the body.
  • Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays.
  • Tea helps with weight loss and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular tea drinking might also counteract some of the negative effects of smoking and might even lessen the risk of lung cancer.
  • Tea can help the body recover from radiation.
  • Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
  • Tea might be effective in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative disease (Alzheimer’s).

So, sit back in the morning, at break, or after dinner and relax with a nice cup of tea. The benefits are worth it.

For more articles go to http://thegym.lifestyleezine.com

Tea Time

teatime Tea TimeFor centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent research supports these claims: Studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. There is a wide range of tea flavors within every type of tea and a host of different preventative health benefits.

Black tea, green tea, and white tea are all made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant, but they all undergo different processing. All three types of teas contain significant amounts of catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that help to fight off cellular damage in the body. As a general rule, the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you’ll get in your brew.

Most Common Teas

Black tea: The most common type with the highest caffeine, made with fermented tea leaves.
Green tea: Made with unfermented leaves, it has a high concentration of catechin, EGCG.
White tea: It is the least processed and made with the new growth buds and young leaves. Uncured and unfermented.
Oolong tea: Made with partially fermented leaves. Oolong teas are full bodied in flavor and aroma.

Benefits of Tea:

  • Tea can boost exercise endurance.
  • Drinking tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • The antioxidants in tea might also help against cancer.
  • Tea helps fight free radicals as it is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity – helps destroy free radicals in the body.
  • Tea is hydrating to the body.
  • Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays.
  • Tea helps with weight loss and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular tea drinking might also counteract some of the negative effects of smoking and might even lessen the risk of lung cancer.
  • Tea can help the body recover from radiation.
  • Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
  • Tea might be effective in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative disease (Alzheimer’s).

So, sit back in the morning, at break, or after dinner and relax with a nice cup of tea. The benefits are worth it.

For more articles go to http://thegym.lifestyleezine.com

Tea Time

teatime Tea TimeFor centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent research supports these claims: Studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. There is a wide range of tea flavors within every type of tea and a host of different preventative health benefits.

Black tea, green tea, and white tea are all made from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant, but they all undergo different processing. All three types of teas contain significant amounts of catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that help to fight off cellular damage in the body. As a general rule, the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you’ll get in your brew.

Most Common Teas

Black tea: The most common type with the highest caffeine, made with fermented tea leaves.
Green tea: Made with unfermented leaves, it has a high concentration of catechin, EGCG.
White tea: It is the least processed and made with the new growth buds and young leaves. Uncured and unfermented.
Oolong tea: Made with partially fermented leaves. Oolong teas are full bodied in flavor and aroma.

Benefits of Tea:

  • Tea can boost exercise endurance.
  • Drinking tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • The antioxidants in tea might also help against cancer.
  • Tea helps fight free radicals as it is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity – helps destroy free radicals in the body.
  • Tea is hydrating to the body.
  • Drinking tea is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tea might provide protection from ultraviolet rays.
  • Tea helps with weight loss and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular tea drinking might also counteract some of the negative effects of smoking and might even lessen the risk of lung cancer.
  • Tea can help the body recover from radiation.
  • Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
  • Tea might be effective in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative disease (Alzheimer’s).

So, sit back in the morning, at break, or after dinner and relax with a nice cup of tea. The benefits are worth it.

For more articles go to http://thegym.lifestyleezine.com