How Essential Oils Can Benefit You

An essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid that is distilled from a plant. These are generally used for medical purposes, but their benefits carry over to emotional, cosmetic, and spiritual enhancement. The essence is distilled from different parts of the plant, including the leaves, roots, flowers, stem, or other plant elements.

Essential oils are extracted from plants using either distillation or cold pressing. This method of healing has been used for centuries, as in the 1600s and 1700s, physicians used scents to treat ailments. While traditional medicine eventually replaced the use of essential oils, they are now showing to be beneficial again.

Essential oils are not an oil at all, as they lack fatty acids. They are typically a clear, concentrated liquid. One must only use a little bit to get receive benefits. There are many uses for essential oils, but the most popular uses are stress and pain relief, nausea, and improvement in mood, sleep, memory, and energy.

Anxiety is a common problem people are looking to solve. Essential oils brings together the healing parts of the body to work in unity to create relief. After several trials, it has been shown that the use of sweet orange oil in aromatherapy has been effective to combat the symptoms of anxiety. When it comes to nausea, popular aromatherapy blends are the same as what is commonly suggested for consumption. This includes peppermint, ginger, and spearmint.

Essential oils are commonly used for emotional stability. They work in the brain’s limbic system, which controls temper and mood. Because aromatherapy is thought to bind to chemicals in the body, the reaction that occurs between the oils and the body’s natural chemistry can be therapeutic. Using essential oils directly on the skin can also have positive effects such an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, but it must be done under instruction or supervision, as these liquids are highly concentrated.

Furthermore, essential oils contain three types of medicinal organic compounds: phenylpropanoids, an antibacterial, monoterpenes, which helps to replenish cells, and sesquiterpenes, which delivers oxygen to the body’s tissues. These medical benefits of aromatherapy are in line with modern medicine products that are on the market today.

Due to their positive effects on the limbic system, aromatherapy has been said to help the symptoms of autism, ADHD, and depression. Many report success while using essential oils at bedtime or throughout the day in between activities. Some common oils used for emotional and behavioral issues are orange essence, frankincense, and an Indian grass called vetiver.

Essential oils can be diluted in water and then sprayed on the skin or shirt collar for the best results. They can also be inhaled through steam or dropped into a bath. Another common use is to add essential oils to an unscented lotion so it can be worn in specific places on the body.

We all know how powerful the sense of scent is. The benefits of essential oils go far beyond a pleasant scent, however, and encourage healing in the mind, body, and spirit.

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Diet’s Effect on Health

Food and health go hand in hand. Ever heard the old adage, “You are what you eat?” Eating real food with whole ingredients is a great start to a healthy lifestyle. Adding chemicals and pesticides to your diet does not benefit the body. When looking at health as a whole, doctors are starting to incorporate diet into their patients’ regimes. Medical students are beginning to receive more training when it comes to diet in order to improve the care they are able to provide.

Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans has implemented a radically different curriculum, teaching their medical students not only about nutrition in general, but also the practical aspects of cooking with real ingredients.

Because a lot of people do not know how to cook for themselves, medical students are being taught the necessary skills to teach their patients how to cook real foods at home. Schools are working in conjunction with Johnson and Wales to be able to have a reasonable curriculum for medical students to learn on top of their medical classes.

People do not know how to cook for themselves due to the wide variety of options of processed and pre-packaged foods. Heating something up in the microwave or grabbing a combo meal at a fast food restaurant is both convenient and inexpensive, so most people choose that route, even though it is detrimental to overall health.

It has been found that patients actually enjoy their meals more when they cook them from scratch. With their own decisions when it comes to ingredients and spices, people are able to create a perfect dish for their own liking. If you do not like to cook on a stove, the option to build your own salads or sandwiches is an easier and quicker route. This can be done at home, or out while at a restaurant or at work. This is a more healthy option to be able to control the ingredients that go into your meals.

Growing foods at home is a great way to get all of the nutrients straight from the ground. Eating a microbiological diet means eating foods that are grown within 15 miles of your home. This ensures that the nutrition is withheld in the ingredients and it is not lost in transit. Growing your own vegetables is a fun hobby that has limitless health benefits. Farmer’s markets are also a great place to find local produce.

It is also important to cook foods properly to ensure their safety. When meats are cooked at high temperatures for too long, they create carcinogenic compounds. Some of the highest risk cooking methods that promote certain cancers are pan frying, grilling, and charring. Other cooking methods that may be toxic involve the type of oil used. Certain oils such as soybean and corn oil degrade when heated and can turn toxic, while others such as grape seed oil, have a high temperature tolerance.

Having a good cookbook is a great resource for patients looking to improve their health. Doctors are working with patients more on their diets to create a life of whole health, rather than just adding medicine, but not giving the body the proper fuel to run on.

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The Not-So-Sweet Side of Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in more than 6,000 popular household products all over the world, including diet soft drinks. Pepsi’s diet drinks included this ingredient until consumer demand forced the company to replace it with an equally sweet substitute called Splenda.

Seth Kaufman, the senior vice president over the flavoring department of Pepsi, stated that consumers had voiced their displeasure over the negative side effects of aspartame. In an attempt to honor these opinions and appeal to their health-conscious consumers, Pepsi made the bold move to remove aspartame from their diet products.

As the general public became more aware of the dangerous effects of aspartame, more and more companies began removing it from their products. They are now seeking out healthier ways to manufacture products through the means of natural sweeteners.

Why are Consumers Concerned with Aspartame Consumption?

With the growing number of studies proving the detrimental effects of aspartame use, consumers are actively seeking to remove it from their diets. Unlike other natural sweeteners that pass through the body undigested, aspartame is metabolized and can exert negative effects such as headaches, increased hunger and metabolic disorders.

The Science Behind the Claims

The link between aspartame and headaches was documented in a report published in the British Medical Journal which also linked its consumption to depression. These studies were independently funded and reviewed by numerous experts, proving the validity behind the claims of aspartame’s dangers to health.

Related studies published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also pointed out aspartame as a main contributor to both neurological and behavioral disturbances.

What Makes Aspartame Toxic?

A professor at Arizona State University reported that aspartame interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify chemicals within the cells. It is these toxins that are responsible for the headaches and other effects associated with aspartame consumption.

Once an individual consumes aspartame, it is converted into a form of methanol, which the body cannot excrete. As a result, the individual will experience a form of methanol poisoning which is marked by dizziness, weakness, chills, vertigo, memory lapses, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

If the individual continues to consume aspartame after experiencing these effects, his or her chances of developing leukemia or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is greatly increased. Retinal damage may also occur, as well as birth defects in unborn fetuses.

Breaking the Addiction

Removing aspartame from your diet is pertinent for optimal health and overall well-being. Because this toxin excites pleasure centers in the brain, quitting its consumption can be a difficult task. Switching to products that contain natural sweeteners, such as stevia, can help produce the same sweet flavoring you crave, and give your body a chance to detox itself from aspartame.

Drinking plenty of fresh water each day and supplementing with herbal teas that contain ingredients known to detox the liver (such as dandelion root), can help eliminate aspartame cravings and help the body heal from its effects.

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Health of Making Exercise a Habit Early in Life

Although shunned for some of his ideas, the findings and benefits from following Dr. Joseph Michael Mercola’s prescribed practices cannot be denied. Two of Dr. Mercola’s findings, which are agreed upon by numerous health experts, are that a healthy gut and making exercise a habit early in life both have a huge impact on your overall well being.

Why You Should Move Your Body

Those who have made exercise a part of their life will usually have better overall health than their non-exercising counterparts. However, this goes beyond just going to the gym two or three or even five times a week. If your job requires that you sit at a desk for hours on end, then you should get up as often as every 20 minutes to stretch and get your blood flowing again. The longer you sit for an extended period of time, the shorter your lifespan. This is even more so for those who do not exercise at all or who began exercising later in life.

Exercise For a Healthy Gut

One of the best ways to insure your gut health is to exercise at a young age because this will set the foundation for its health later in life.

Signs of a Healthy Gut:

  • Daily bowel movements
  • Clear skin
  • Fresh breath
  • Food is eliminated within 18 to 24 hours

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut:

  • bad digestion, such as diarrhea
  • Eczema, rosacea
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bad memory, poor concentration
  • Diabetes

Foods to Avoid

To improve your gut heath at any age, avoid doing things, which might have adverse affects, like drinking coffee or alcohol, eating spicy foods and taking drugs. If you have bad gut health, then staying away from dairy products for a little while if you are sensitive to them might help.

Foods for a Healthy Gut

In addition to strengthening your gut by exercising regularly, drink plenty of water, eat yogurt without sugar, kimchi, miso, kombucha, kefir and other fermented foods. Onions and garlic are beneficial too. If you are not sure whether you get enough fiber, then taking a fiber supplement, such as psyllium husk will help with gut health.

The Importance of Gut Health

There are five feet of intestines in the human body, and 100 trillion micro organisms living in them, if you have a healthy gut that is. With the gut positioned right in the center of your body, it can wreak havoc on your entire body and cause great discomfort if it is not healthy. People have gone so far as to think they were having heart problems or had an extra terrestrial being living inside of them when it was just discomfort due to bad gut health. So you can see why taking the necessary steps to maintain gut health is so important.

Cardio and Weight Training

Cardio exercise is the least you can do, to ensure great gut health. If you haven’t yet built up the strength to jog for 45 minutes or swim for an hour, then High Intensity Interval Training, will work just as well. This is where you do as many reps as you can of a specific exercise in a certain amount of time. You could start off with 15 seconds of bending down and touching your toes and then standing straight back up. Do as many reps as you can in 12 to 15 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat. There is also speed walking, sprinting, brisk walking, butt kicks, squats, etc. However, none of these will take the place of two or three weight training sessions each week, which you should do in addition to your cardio exercise.

Basically, if you lead an active lifestyle, get adequate rest and follow a balanced diet where you eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, then you have a good chance of having a good mix of gut microbes. All of this will have you feeling less stressed and ultimately improve your overall health.

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The Real Way To Get Abs

If you find yourself obsessed with having a flat stomach adorned with a six-pack and you hopelessly workout without ever achieving said mid-section, then this article is for you. The good news is, there are some novel ways to get that stomach you need in order to get the complete body you want; and you can even have some fun in the process.

The secret to a visibly flat and muscle bound midsection is working your core. There are some specific exercises that you can do to get the job done, and here they are.

Perfecting Your Left and Right Hooks

This will get you that flat, muscular and sexy stomach you want. Incidentally, it will also give you a chance to release any built up tension, since it’s not recommended that you relieve stress by throwing punches at actual people. Concentrate on and tighten your abs in the process. Just engage your muscles as you would if you were preparing to take a punch to the gut. To make sure you see results with this exercise, then follow your trainer’s instructions on form, and make sure you carry the exercise out for the recommended amount of time.

Cycling

To make sure you are working your core muscles as well as all of the other muscles that get a workout while cycling, then remember to keep your core engaged. Do this by keeping your back straight. Further ensure your core is strengthened by keeping your chest expanded and your shoulders back. This doesn’t mean you have to sit up totally straight and keep your handlebars high, to keep your spine straight and still bend while cycling, just bend at the waist.

Weightlifting

Any weight bearing exercise, if done properly, engages your core, so it will be strengthened. With weight lifting, put some extra focus on engaging your core muscles with each rep by inhaling slowly and deeply, and when you exhale, do it quickly, with force, like you’re trying to blow out a huge candle.

Do Pilates

Pilates are intentionally for exercising and strengthening the core muscles. As long as you are doing them correctly, then your core will reap the intended benefits.

Jogging

You can connect with your core muscles while jogging too by maintaining correct posture: keep your shoulders back, chest open and butt tucked in. A way to practice engaging your core muscles is to walk backwards. You can do this easily on a treadmill because you can hold on to the handrails. Once you have walking backwards down, then practice jogging backwards. Engage your core, and remember what it feels like. Once you’ve got it down on a treadmill, you can practice jogging backwards out doors. After this, properly engaging your core while walking, running or jogging will be a breeze.

The Elliptical

Practice hands free on the elliptical machine, and this natural core strengthening exercise will pack double the punch. Adjust the settings so that you can feel it more in your legs whenever this exercise starts to feel like it’s getting too easy.

Yoga

Yoga, which can be deceiving by its looks, demands the maximum from whichever muscle group the pose is targeting. Those yoga poses that strengthen the core will do so in no time at all as long as you do them consistently and with the proper from. Some great yoga poses specifically for the core muscles are:

  • The Headstand
  • Warrior Three
  • Dancer Pose

Increase the core-strengthening effects of these poses by properly executing the breathing techniques. This means inhaling through your nose until your stomach is fully extended, then exhale through your mouth bringing your stomach in and up.

So not only will the above exercises work your core rather well, but they are also necessary. You can’t get strong flat abs by doing sit-ups alone. However, with these exercises, proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, you could get a satisfying set of lean abs.

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

The Real Way To Get Abs

If you find yourself obsessed with having a flat stomach adorned with a six-pack and you hopelessly workout without ever achieving said mid-section, then this article is for you. The good news is, there are some novel ways to get that stomach you need in order to get the complete body you want; and you can even have some fun in the process.

The secret to a visibly flat and muscle bound midsection is working your core. There are some specific exercises that you can do to get the job done, and here they are.

Perfecting Your Left and Right Hooks

This will get you that flat, muscular and sexy stomach you want. Incidentally, it will also give you a chance to release any built up tension, since it’s not recommended that you relieve stress by throwing punches at actual people. Concentrate on and tighten your abs in the process. Just engage your muscles as you would if you were preparing to take a punch to the gut. To make sure you see results with this exercise, then follow your trainer’s instructions on form, and make sure you carry the exercise out for the recommended amount of time.

Cycling

To make sure you are working your core muscles as well as all of the other muscles that get a workout while cycling, then remember to keep your core engaged. Do this by keeping your back straight. Further ensure your core is strengthened by keeping your chest expanded and your shoulders back. This doesn’t mean you have to sit up totally straight and keep your handlebars high, to keep your spine straight and still bend while cycling, just bend at the waist.

Weightlifting

Any weight bearing exercise, if done properly, engages your core, so it will be strengthened. With weight lifting, put some extra focus on engaging your core muscles with each rep by inhaling slowly and deeply, and when you exhale, do it quickly, with force, like you’re trying to blow out a huge candle.

Do Pilates

Pilates are intentionally for exercising and strengthening the core muscles. As long as you are doing them correctly, then your core will reap the intended benefits.

Jogging

You can connect with your core muscles while jogging too by maintaining correct posture: keep your shoulders back, chest open and butt tucked in. A way to practice engaging your core muscles is to walk backwards. You can do this easily on a treadmill because you can hold on to the handrails. Once you have walking backwards down, then practice jogging backwards. Engage your core, and remember what it feels like. Once you’ve got it down on a treadmill, you can practice jogging backwards out doors. After this, properly engaging your core while walking, running or jogging will be a breeze.

The Elliptical

Practice hands free on the elliptical machine, and this natural core strengthening exercise will pack double the punch. Adjust the settings so that you can feel it more in your legs whenever this exercise starts to feel like it’s getting too easy.

Yoga

Yoga, which can be deceiving by its looks, demands the maximum from whichever muscle group the pose is targeting. Those yoga poses that strengthen the core will do so in no time at all as long as you do them consistently and with the proper from. Some great yoga poses specifically for the core muscles are:

  • The Headstand
  • Warrior Three
  • Dancer Pose

Increase the core-strengthening effects of these poses by properly executing the breathing techniques. This means inhaling through your nose until your stomach is fully extended, then exhale through your mouth bringing your stomach in and up.

So not only will the above exercises work your core rather well, but they are also necessary. You can’t get strong flat abs by doing sit-ups alone. However, with these exercises, proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, you could get a satisfying set of lean abs.

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

Social Media’s Impact on Teen Health

According to recent reports, teenagers in the U.S. spend approximately nine hours per day consuming digital media of all types. If you factor in time for school and sleep, that doesn’t leave many hour in a day. While researchers are still studying the overall long-term effects of this behavior, just looking at the time spent alone is enough to raise concern over how teens could possibly be getting enough daily exercise.

Beyond the video game

While increasingly sedentary lifestyles due to the growing use of video games has been a concern for decades, the amount of time teens are spending using various social media sites, browsing the internet or watching movies or videos is quite alarming. In more recent years, the video game industry has tried to address these concerns by developing interactive games and technology that actually require the player to get up and move.

On the positive side

The seemingly endless volume of content that is instantly available 24-7 does have its advantages. Today’s teenagers are exposed to more worldwide current events, cultures, arts and new ideas than their parents were at their age. This means they’re more likely to be knowledgeable about things like politics, economics and environmental concerns.

When used appropriately, there’s even an upside to the many social media sites that keep cropping up. By joining groups associated with things they like (e.g. playing guitar), teens can talk to others with the same interests that they never would have had a chance to meet in person. They can even find job leads or check out potential colleges without ever having to go there for a visit.

Hidden dangers

In addition to lack of exercise, letting teens have unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet has other hidden dangers. For example, it’s far too easy to engage in or become a victim of cyber bullying. Another concern is the large number predators out there who see teenagers as vulnerable targets.

What parents can do

It would be nearly impossible to try to completely eliminate your child’s media consumption. Instead, parents could encourage children to be more active by taking them on a hike or suggesting they sign up for a club or sports team. Parents could also encourage their kids to read informative content by discussing interesting stories and sharing information on topics that might interest them. Parents should also discuss the effects of cyber bullying and make sure their children are not being bullied themselves.

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Be Smart About Your Resolutions

SMART goals – commonly defined as specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound – have been used in the corporate world since the early 1980s. The concept has stood the test of time because it works.

Anyone can set goals without these criteria, but if goals aren’t clearly defined and geared toward your real objective, you’ll likely lose interest. Also, if you’re not sure they’re achievable and you have no way to measure progress, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and confusion along the way. SMART goals give you the tools to make sure you’re setting the right goals, making steady progress and reaching the desired outcome.

While SMART goals are typically used in personal development, project management and employee performance scenarios, this concept may be useful outside the corporate world. Now that we’ve entered a new year, why not set SMART goals to help you follow through with your resolutions?

Resolution to meet your resolutions

If you typically make New Year’s resolutions but seldom follow through, you’re not alone. It’s easy to start out enthusiastically, especially with common goals like getting in shape. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get off track and lose your motivation. That’s where SMART goals come in.

Be specific

Specific goals outline the details of what you’re trying to accomplish. To do this, you need to state your overall objective (e.g., get in shape in 2016) and answer a few key questions like who’s involved (e.g., you and your family), what you want to accomplish (e.g., lose 15 pounds by April 30th), why it’s important (e.g., feel better, look better), and where, how and when you’ll take action (e.g., work out at the gym and at home six days per week).

Make it measurable

Measuring progress is the only way to make sure you’re on track to meet your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds by April, how will you know if you’re on the right track if you don’t step on a scale? While it’s best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, you can decide how many times per week you’ll weigh in, but make sure you stick to it and write it down.

Be sure it’s achievable and relevant

Goals geared toward your main objective must be achievable and relevant. For example, if your objective is to get in shape in 2016, setting a goal to become a world-class body builder in six months probably wouldn’t be achievable or relevant. However, the goal of losing 15 pounds by April fits both criteria.

Add a time frame

Committing to a deadline with milestones along the way will help keep you accountable for staying on track. If you start out thinking you have the whole year to accomplish your goal, you’ll be much more likely to procrastinate.

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Your Health and Fitness May be Limited by Your own Mind

We’re set to begin another year, and people are busy making their New Year’s resolutions. However, this year’s resolutions will likely be some revamped version of last year’s vow to eat healthier and exercise more, as most don’t follow through on their plans.

You probably have a million reasons why you don’t have time to exercise or eat right. While it’s true we are cramming more into our days than ever before, it’s possible that you’re using the excuse of being too busy to cover up other self-limiting beliefs.

Self-limiting beliefs that keep you from reaching your health and fitness goals

  • Afraid to try a new workout class because you might look foolish
  • Embarrassed to tell anyone you want to lose weight in case you fail
  • Want to eat healthy but don’t know where to begin
  • Afraid people will think you’re selfish for taking time for yourself

What you can do differently this year

Instead of setting goals you already know you won’t meet, or worse, giving up on improving your health and fitness altogether, try a different approach.

If you want to try a new workout, sign up for a beginner class. If everyone is on the same level, you won’t feel awkward or out of place. Plus, the instructor will be more likely to take time to make sure you know what you’re doing. Try getting a friend to sign up with you, even if the class ends up being a flop, you’ll have a lot of laughs, which has health benefits on its own.

Although you shouldn’t be embarrassed to tell people you want to lose weight, you could take the pressure off by saying you want to improve your health instead. The best way to succeed at anything is to have a good support system, so let your friends and family know your plans. They might even want to join you in your quest for better health.

Eating healthy can be confusing, but you don’t have to change everything at once and you don’t have to go it alone. Take small steps like switching to organic fruits and vegetables, cutting out processed foods or making one healthy meal each weekend. There are plenty of healthy-eating resources on the internet, or you could head to the local bookstore to check out the latest cookbooks.

Believing people will think you’re selfish for taking time for yourself is one of the most common self-limiting beliefs. However, when it comes to diet and exercise, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can’t be of much use to those who depend on you if you’re tired or run down. Eating healthy and getting regular exercise will boost your energy and your spirits, making you feel like there’s more of you to go around.

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Fitness and Food for Life

Recent research suggests poor lifestyle choices may contribute to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and other conditions associated with early death.

While no magic diet or workout will effortlessly give you a longer life, nutrition experts have a better understanding of what foods could prevent illnesses and diseases that drastically reduce our longevity. It’s also becoming quite clear how daily activity levels and regular exercise play equally important roles.

Sitting can be deadly

It’s been recently concluded that the time the average person spends sitting – eight to twelve hours or more per day – greatly increases the chance of contracting a disease or condition that leads to premature death. This holds true even for those who exercise regularly.

While exercising more may counter some of the effects of sitting, because basic activities such as driving, doing office work or watching TV keep us sitting throughout the day, to really make a difference we need to find ways to sit less often.

Start by noting the number of hours you sit each day, and make small goals to reduce that number each week. Take short walking breaks at work, or work standing up if you can. You could also cut back on your TV time, or at least get up and do a few chores during commercials.

Get moving

Everyone knows that doctors and health experts recommend daily exercise, so why are we still holding out for that magic diet or workout? If you don’t stop making excuses, you could be cutting your life short.

No matter what age you are or what condition you’re in, studies show it’s never too late to start exercising. While any adult who hasn’t been active should consult their physician – particularly if they’re being treated for an illness or disease – starting out with just 10-minutes sessions of activity can get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Foods to live by

In comparing the longevity of populations around the world, it’s clear that certain groups live significantly longer than others. Recent studies focusing on the local diet in these regions have shown a direct correlation between healthy food choices and an increased life expectancy.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as oats and barley are low in calorie and packed with fiber, which can help with weight control and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions. To give your brain a healthy boost add in unsaturated oils like olive oil and antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and walnuts, as they can help protect against age-related brain issues such as memory loss or dementia. To protect both the heart and the brain eat plenty of omega-3 rich fish and shellfish.

Bone loss and osteoporosis are another concern as we age, but calcium from dairy foods and dark leafy greens along with vitamin D from sunshine and supplements can help slow the degenerative process.

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