Getting ready to take off for a vacation or booking your next flight for work is always somewhat stressful. You have to remember to make hotel reservations, bring your passport if you are heading out of the country and last but not least, pack that toothbrush. With so many different obstacles to juggle, it is easy to forget about your own health sometimes, but it is your immune system that that should be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to frequent travel. Everything from changing time zones to drinking foreign tap water can have some sort of physical impact on your body, so for the next time you find yourself taking the red eye flight away from home, here are a few tips to help give your immune system a much needed boost:
As simple as this tip can be, maintaining plenty of fluid intake is as essential as it gets when it comes to a healthy immune system. When you are traveling in a plane, the air pressure and drop in humidity can provoke dehydration, which is the biggest advocate for an unprotected immune system. It is recommended that while traveling you should drink 8 ounces of water every hour, and try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, especially when traveling by plane.
Antioxidants are your friend
When your body enters a location it is not familiar with, it becomes more susceptible to floating bacteria and viruses with which your immune system has never been acquainted. That is why ingesting plenty of healthy antioxidants is your best source for preventative action against illness. Loading up on vitamins A, C and E is the simplest way to keep your body in tip top condition. Some great foods bursting with antioxidants include:
- pinto beans
You can also get plenty of antioxidants by consuming just a few capsules of Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which is proven to defend your immune system while sprucing you up with some much needed traveling energy.
Colostrum is key
If you are not aware of all the immune boosting properties adding some colostrum can provide for your body, it is time to get with the picture. Everything from easing digestion to increasing your immune response is supplied through colostrum supplements, and the amount of proteins, antibodies and antioxidants each serving contains is practically unparalleled to any other vitamin supplement out there. Try taking a few capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus during your next trip, and get ready to conquer the world!
Look, it is always important to stay healthy and active. Running is a perfect form of exercise that not only improves cardiovascular activity, builds muscles and helps burn calories, but can also provide therapeutic ability for those looking to clear their minds. That being said, we can all point out someone who sort of takes the whole jogging thing a bit too far. Whether it is suspending your lunch break to get a quick 5k dash in or missing a friend's wedding because it was on the same date as the New York City Marathon, there is such thing as runner's obsession. While an addiction to sprinting is better than a dependency to cheeseburgers, there is a difference between exercise and a fetish. Here are 10 signs that you could be obsessed with running.
Your kids are always late to school
If you are often finding yourself having to explain your child's tardiness to your teachers as a consequence of good weather and a new pair of running shoes, then you just might have a problem. Remember, education is always first and foremost.
Justifying your dessert
When it gets to a point where every slice of cake or scoop of ice cream is being carefully calculated by how many calories in each spoonful divided by the amount of miles jogged this morning, perhaps it's time for an intervention.
You are in a meeting for work, fingers constantly tapping the table while your face is dripping with sweat. But this is not because you forgot to fill out your TPS reports. Your condition is the result of not being able to conduct your morning run because you accidentally slept in. Hopefully your boss doesn't notice.
Re-examining your wardrobe
This is your third weekend of shopping in a row, except none of these trips have resulted in a new dress or an expensive suit. Instead, your possession of compression shorts, headbands and tank-tops has increased by nearly 300 percent.
You are feeling a tad fatigued
You have canceled dinner reservations at your favorite seafood restaurant, turned down free tickets to the opera and chose not to spend the weekend at your father-in-law's beach house in Connecticut. Why? Daily marathon training has completely eliminated your social life. Remember that taking a break sometimes is just as important as reaching the finish line.
Knowing the neighbors too well
If you are finding yourself becoming aware of the fact that your nextdoor neighbor Carl only mows his lawn on Tuesday mornings, Cindy down the street never bothers to pick up after her cocker spaniel or that Chris likes to put up his Christmas lights in late October, perhaps your neighborhood jog is happening a tad too often.
Frequent beard compliments
If running has become such a huge priority to your mornings that simple hygienic actions have taken the back burner, you might need to step off the treadmill and look into the mirror. Remember, beards are always better on island castaways and guitarists in cheap sunglasses, not on young professionals such as yourself.
Your dog hates you
This could either happen because you take your dog with you every time you decide to run several miles, or you don't take your dog with you every time you decide to run several miles. It really depends on whether your pet shares your enthusiasm for exercise.
Awkward water cooler conversations
You are running so much that you have absolutely no idea who won the football game, which movie won best picture or which celebrity checked back into rehab. As a result, no one wants to talk to you at the office, and your colleagues have stopped inviting you to Friday happy hour. Enlighten yourself and catch up on your pop culture.
Your spouse is suspicious
Your poor significant other is spending another morning reaching across the bed and waking up to an empty indent of where the person they love once used to keep them company. Your spouse might start to suspect something if your excuses for your constant absences are, "I went out for a jog." Rekindle that fire and at least invite them along for the run.
Maintaining balance grows more important as we age, and if you notice yourself a bit wobbly now, it may be time to start strengthening your core. Your midsection plays an important role in staying on your feet, whether during athletics or when you're bringing in groceries. In addition to working out your abdominal muscles, you'll want to make sure that your major joints – the hips and knees, mainly – are steady and stable as well. A joint supplement can help to ensure that these parts of your body are ready for a challenge.
When it comes to the core, many people will turn to yoga or Pilates to gently strengthen their muscles. However, signing up for a class and sticking to a schedule can be tricky when you're busy. Instead, you can try out some of these balancing exercises at home on your own:
To start things out, try practicing simple weight shifts. These are as easy as standing with your feet hip-width apart, having your weight evenly distributed between both legs. From here, shift your weight to one side, as you lift the other foot off of the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds, or as long as you can hold good form. Then you should return to the starting position and practice the exercise on the other side. Overtime, you'll notice improvements to your balance, as you are able to complete more repetitions while maintaining perfect form.
Now, to focus more on your core, try completing a set of toe raises. To do so, you'll want to be barefoot. Standing behind a chair, lightly place your fingertips on the back of it. Keep your shoulders back, with your abdomen pulled in. Now, lift your heels off of the ground slowly, redistributing your body weight to the balls of your feet. Pause for a moment before returning to the starting position. You should be able to do this eight to 15 times. Completing this exercise requires your core to keep the body stable, and you will also find that it strengthens the calves.
Seniors who are looking to improve their balance can do so with the heel-to-toe walk. With your arms extended out to either side, take a step forward by placing the heel of your left foot directly in front of the toe of your right foot. When doing so, the heel and toe should be touching or almost touching. While performing this walk, you should keep your head straight and your eyes focused on something located directly in front of you. Continue walking heel to toe for 20 steps.
For something a bit more challenging, the liftoff helps to strengthen the abs in addition to the back, shoulders, hamstrings and butt. This is another great option for strengthening the core, which will ultimately improve your balance. To start, stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Bring your back parallel to the ground by hinging forward at the hips – you'll need to extend your arms down to help maintain your balance. Now, lift one leg from the ground and raise it out behind you. While doing so, bring your arms directly out from your sides. This puts all of your weight on one leg and you will need the muscles in your core to prevent you from falling. Keeping that hinged position, lower your leg and arm back to the starting position, and switch to your other leg.
Depending on your age and fitness level, you may want to start with varying balancing exercises. As you increase strength to the core, you'll find that you are able to complete more difficult routines easily.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and that can only mean that it's time to spring back into shape for the summer. You will never get that perfect beach body by sitting on the couch and watching television all day, so now is the time to get outdoors and look your seasonal best. Here are a few easy activities and exercises that are simple to do while also providing the best results for a toned figure.
There is nothing like waking up a little early in the morning to get on the bike and cruise through the backroads to catch a sunrise. Cycling is amazing for your body in a number of ways. Because riding a bike is a non-impact exercise, you are taking a lot of pressure off of your bones and joints that you wouldn't do with running, all while receiving essentially the same workout. And it's also great for gradual weight loss as well. According to Harvard University, just a 30 minute bike ride can cut more than 300 calories from your body, so you can wear off the aftermath of a hearty morning breakfast.
If you live near a large body of water, spending a couple hours every week canoeing can provide your body with a number of wide variety of health benefits. Thoroughly pushing and pulling a paddle back and forth through the water will drastically improve your upper body strength, and help sculpt those biceps and pecs. Just 30 minutes of canoeing can help you lose more than 200 calories, plus it is a great way to catch a sunset on the water!
Indoor rock climbing
While this isn't necessarily limited to the spring, indoor rock climbing is a fantastic way to boost not only your flexibility and strength, but it also provides your brain with a test of strategy. When you are hooked up and gripping your fingers on each stone, you are actively engaging your cardiovascular system, increasing muscle strength and eliminating more than 300 calories from your body, all in just a 30-minute workout. Indoor rock climbing is also one of the few exercises that actually challenges your motivation and desire to get to the top, so your pride and reputation are on the line for this activity as well!
Weekly sessions of kickboxing will be sure to put a little spring in your step for the summer! Kickboxing is a complete workout package, especially for those trying to trim a few pounds. An hour of participating in kickboxing or other versions of martial arts can help you burn anywhere between 750 to 900 calories, especially if you include agility exercises like jump rope, which are common warm up activities for martial arts. Not only is it a heavy workout, but kickboxing is a self defense skill you can keep with you for life!
Tossing around the Frisbee with friends is less of an exercise and more of an active form of leisure, but following the rules of ultimate Frisbee will not only increase the excitement, but up the ante in exercise as well. Ultimate Frisbee is played out in similar fashion to football, where teams throw the spinning device to each other in hopes of moving down the field and crossing the goal line for a touchdown. A full-on game of ultimate Frisbee can make you burn upward of 13 calories in a minute, which means playing a 90 minute game with your friends can help you lose more than 1,000 calories! Ultimate Frisbee the is the ultimate combination of exercise and socializing.
Stress not only comes in many forms, but also affects us in a variety of ways. Whether it is deadlines from work forcing us to skip lunch or pulling an all-nighter trying to finish a college paper, pressure never seems to take a break.
While those examples are the more general consequences of stress, one of the lesser discussed symptoms of stress is an unhealthy immune system. This can not only result in feeling under the weather, but can turn you into a coughing and sneezing fest on top of an already intense boardroom meeting. Keeping your immune system happy is essential to controlling stress levels, so here is an overview of how stress affects the immune system, plus some tips to combat against feeling both sick and anxious:
When posed with a situation that inflicts stress, our bodies go through what is commonly referred to as the "fight or flight" response. Adrenaline kicks through the body and activates a stress hormone called corticosteroids that can reduce the immune system's ability to effectively fight off unwanted bacteria and antigens. Stress doesn't simply go away easily. A strenuous event such as a car accident or mounting pressure from a boss tends to stick within our minds, leading us to constantly think about it, which in turn produces more and more corticosteroids.
Every time you conjure up more feelings of stress, your immune system is thrown through a limbo, leaving you susceptible to illness. Researchers from Ohio State University have also found that our moods are often influenced by our immune cells' reactions that occur when our brains signal stress. Using mice, the doctors found that repeated exposure to stress can produce the highest concentrations of immune cells traveling to the brain, which not only leaves the immune system more vulnerable to infection, but also force the cells to infiltrate areas of the brain linked to anxiety and fear, therefore inducing even more stress.
In another study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University, professors found that loneliness and isolation, in addition to chronic stress, can harm overall immune system health. After analyzing blood samples from people prone toward loneliness against those more socially active, the researchers discovered that the lonely test subjects had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins, which can regularly cause problems for immune systems.
Lisa Jaremka, a professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the study, said her team's research signals a clear connection between stress and poor immune health.
"It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems," Jaremka said in a statement. "The same processes involved in stress and reactivation of these viruses is probably also relevant to the loneliness findings. Loneliness has been thought of in many ways as a chronic stressor – a socially painful situation that can last for quite a long time."
Coping with stress
An important way to help ease the tension in your life and simultaneously boost your immune system is by learning how to recognize and handle stress factors. A few tips to help you alleviate stress include:
- Identify what is building pressure on your life.
- Understand what stressors you can and can't control.
- Eliminate unnecessary stress by avoiding people or environments that provoke tension.
- Express your feelings through writing or conversation with someone close instead of bottling your emotions.
- Focus on the positive and adjust your goals and standards accordingly.
- Find the time to do an activity you enjoy every day.
These are just a few ways to learn how to cope with stress. Being able to combine a number of these guidelines to your everyday life can put your mind at ease, but keep your immune system healthy.
If you are often finding yourself tossing and turning at night, you might not only be hurting your chances at a perky morning, but you could be damaging your immune system as well. Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have analyzed how consistent sleep deprivation can negatively impact your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness.
The researchers took a group of healthy men and assigned them to 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night before having to fulfill a typical workday. They discovered that the men who had at least three hours less than the normal eight hours of sleep at night had weakened white blood cells as well as significant changes in gene levels – two sure signs of a frail immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 50 to 70 million American adults who have some variation of a sleeping disorder. If you are struggling with obtaining the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, here are a few tips to help you get the slumber you need to be active and productive throughout the entire day.
Establish a routine bedtime
Getting your body to adhere to a strict time schedule is essential for receiving a good night's rest. If you find yourself tuning out at 10 p.m. one night then staying up until 2 a.m. the next, your body's internal clock will be confused. Once you have established your preferred time to fall asleep, try to stick to that time even on the weekends, which is often when sleeping routines are thrown out of sync. The same can be said for waking up in the morning as well.
Know what you are putting into your body
Guess what? If you are smoking cigarettes, eating ice cream or drinking nightly cocktails before bedtime, the odds are your sleep will suffer from it. Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine usually take hours to wear off, which will keep your brain wired and mind wandering while you are trying to get some shut-eye. Avoid these late-night temptations as much as possible.
Avoid lights at all cost
Many people resort to watching television, scanning computer screens or flipping through their electronic music players before falling asleep. All these lights right before rest can reduce your body's production of melatonin, the naturally produced hormone that helps you sleep efficiently and is regulated by light exposure. Try not to watch television or read from electronic devices before sleep to ensure proper melatonin regulation in your body.
Limit your naps
If you are someone who frequently needs a cat nap during the day to get by, you aren't doing your body any favors by catching up on lost sleep at night. Any naps that last for more than 30 minutes can affect your body's sleep cycle, and the best time for naps is during the early afternoon. Before napping, try to make sure your blinds or shades are closed so sunlight can not readjust your internal clock.
Get your stress out
The more your mind is at ease, the better your body will sleep. Simply making sure you are organized and know what you need to do for tomorrow is one of the more efficient methods of getting a healthier eight hours of sleep.
As if you needed another reason to work out during the day, routine physical activity is one of the best ways you will enjoy a deep and peaceful sleep at night. Don't exercise too closely to your bedtime though. Get a solid 30 minutes of a workout right around dinner time for the best sleeping results.
For those who can rarely find the time of day to hit the gym or squeeze in a quick workout, discovering new ways to stay fit and look ripped can be difficult to come across. Thankfully, there are a few techniques that can help tone those arm muscles and have you looking and feeling your best. Here are five simple and effective exercises that will help sculpt your arms in no time at all!
This is arguably the easiest way to increase flexibility in your arm muscles while also giving them an extra boost of brawn. Standing shoulder width apart, extend your arms straight out, and rotate them clockwise in a small tight circle. After 30 seconds, reverse the motion to counter-clockwise and increase the range of the circles, until you are eventually imitating a full-on windmill motion. Do at least five reps of 20 circles, and use five pound dumbbells for quicker results.
Clean and press windmills
This exercise can also strengthen your lower body, as well as your shoulders and biceps. Stand up straight and hold a weighted dumbbell directly above your head. Bend down and touch your foot with the non occupied hand, while keeping the dumbbell up in the air, and hold that position for a solid five seconds. Return back to an upright position and switch hands with the dumbbell, and repeat the same motion. Do at least five reps with each hand.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lift both your arms directly vertical while keeping your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lower the weights down to your shoulders, with your hands facing forward. Raise them back up again while keeping your shoulders straight, and do around 20 reps to give your shoulders and triceps a healthy burn.
Stand up straight and hold a five pound dumbbell in each hand. Bending your right elbow down to your hip, extend your left arm above your head, keeping the dumbbell weight high and steady. Be sure to keep that right shoulder lowered, and hold that position for a good 3-5 seconds before switching sides. Do 25 reps, and feel your triceps and core start to burn.
This is the quintessential lifting technique to give your biceps that extra bulge you have been looking for. Simply start by sitting on a bench or chair and grab a lighter dumbbell to start. With your elbow resting on your knee, hold your arm at a 90-degree angle, then lift the weight up to your chest in a gradual slow motion. After doing at least five reps with each arm, switch it up and grab a heavier dumbbell and repeat. Do at least three reps of five with each dumbbell at a more difficult weight.
If it were up to your kids, breakfast would be a bowl of gummy worms, lunch would be French fries dipped in ice cream and dinner would simply be chocolate. Thankfully, you are in charge when it comes to dictating your child's diet, so you can help encourage them to eat healthy and make sure they get the essential vitamins and minerals they need. But what about when you are not around? Do you think they will be able to make the proper nutrition decisions when they are out and about or around their friends? Informing your kids about what is good and what is bad for you can not only benefit them in the long run, but help you rest assured that you are raising a healthy decision maker. Here are a few tips on how to keep your child on the right path to balanced nutrition:
MyPlate is the latest nutrition guide put forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and features a very simplistic design that is easy to follow for children. The symbol resembles a game piece found in Trivial Pursuit, with four corners divided into serving recommendations of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, and a smaller circle of dairy off to the side. This new template implemented by the First Lady Michelle Obama is not only a straightforward approach toward teaching kids proper nutrition, but also allows them to understand the importance of which grains and protein sources are healthier than others.
Introduce your dinner
When you cook a meal for the family during dinner time, try actually discussing what each food is and why you chose it. Most of the time, kids are told that vegetables like broccoli and peas are simply "good for them," but they are never provided an explanation why. Give your child the details of how each food is broken down and used by your body for various health benefits. For instance, if you are serving a side of broccoli for dinner, discuss how despite its "different" taste, broccoli is full of antioxidants that will help strengthen your bones, your heart and also keep you from getting sick.
Commend healthy behavior
While it is never a good idea to "reward" your child for eating good fruits, providing a smile or a subtle favorable gesture that they are making a healthy decision will promote positive reinforcement, and let them know that they will have your approval when they are eating nutritionally. Instead of allowing your kid to eat a bowl of ice cream after eating all their carrots, reward them with a trip to the park, or a game of catch, something active that they still will enjoy.
Raid the fridge
If your child is seeing potato chips, fruit snacks or ice cream every time they open the pantry or freezer, then its easy to see where poor nutritional influences may arise. Always keep your refrigerator loaded with fruits and vegetables, and try not to leave high sugar junk food snacks within arm's reach.
Lead by example
What good will telling your children to be healthy be when you are always spotted with a bag of popcorn or spoonful of chocolate ice cream? We all know how observant kids can be, so the more you eat healthier foods in front of them, the better they will get the picture.
Avoid total restriction
It's important to understand that a little dessert here and there is not the end of the world. If your child comes home with an A on his or her homework, or his or her team won the championship baseball game, go out and celebrate with a pizza or sundae. Constantly condemning them from their sweet tooth could lead to nutritional revolt the older they get.
Peanut butter has long been a staple of the American diet. The creamy goodness is consumed in a variety of ways, and apparently, we can never get enough of it. According to the National Peanut Board, people in the United States spend an average of $800 million on peanut butter every year, while peanuts also provide the U.S. economy with $4 billion annually.
But is our passion for peanut butter healthy? The bad reputation associated with the spread has often been a subject of scrutiny for its abundance of fat and calories and major presence in the American diet. However, don't write off peanut butter just yet! It also has a number of beneficial qualities that can help your body out when consumed in moderation. Here is a list of some of the lesser known health advantages of consuming peanut butter:
If you haven't figured it out by now, having protein in your diet is vital for your health. Just a few of the ways protein help strengthen your body include:
- Boosting your immune system.
- Preserving and repairing muscles.
- Increasing metabolism and burning calories.
Just two tablespoons of peanut butter can provide you with eight grams of protein. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 4 to 8 should eat an average of 19 grams of protein, while teenagers and adults should consume around 50 grams per day. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein for kids, and spreading it on a slice of toast and finishing it with a glass of milk in the morning will provide you with the protein you need to get going in the morning.
Normally when a food item is constantly ridiculed at being high in fat and calories , it tends to be the last thing we want to implement into our weight loss dieting plan. However, peanut butter is one of the rare exceptions because when used in moderation, its protein and fiber content will actually make your stomach feel fuller throughout the day. So on the surface, eating a few tablespoons of peanut butter in a PB&J sandwich might seem like a bad choice, you will actually be less likely to indulge in afternoon snacks or bigger dinners that are the real causes of weight gain. Fiber also has a wide variety of uses for your body, including the ability to provide relief for your digestion system, keeping skin smooth and clean as well as help lower cholesterol.
Peanut butter contains more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients, such as folate, riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Vitamin E is normally a rare antioxidant to find in most foods, but you will receive enough of it from peanut butter to help improve cell signaling, which is crucial for providing a stable immune system defense.These antioxidants are essential in assisting you to fight back against clearing out free radical molecules from entering your bloodstream.
Alternative peanut butter
There are many different types of peanut butters out there that pack all the same health benefits. Try switching over to organic peanut butter, which has even more percentage of iron and fiber, while not sacrificing its signature sweet and creamy goodness.
There are many new products on the market promoting their inclusion of lactoferrin as a healthy ingredient, but what exactly is lactoferrin? Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in cow and human milk, and it is especially abundant in colostrum. It is also found naturally in our tears and saliva, and possesses a wide variety of healthy benefits for our bodies. Here are just a few ways that lactoferrin can help:
Lactoferrin has been proven to help regulate the absorption of iron throughout the body, as well as provide iron to the cells that need it. Iron is crucial for everyday vital bodily requirements, such as facilitating muscle function, supplying oxygen to our brains and bloodstream and preventing general symptoms of iron deficiency, which include fatigue, weakness and headaches. Without enough iron, your body will struggle with the strength necessary to carry on throughout the day.
Boost your immune system
Lactoferrin is also essential in providing an increased defense for our immune systems. Lactoferrin deprives unwanted bacteria in the body from the nutrients they need to continue spreading. Lactoferrin is able to boost your body with beneficial antioxidants, enhance oxygenation of the tissues and improve white blood cell health.
If you are having trouble maintaining healthy or clear skin, lactoferrin also works at reducing acne activity and preventing breakouts. In a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, researchers found that young adults who took lactoferrin supplements twice a day for eight weeks were able to reduce acne outbreaks by 22.5 percent, while 77 percent of participants reported fewer signs of acne activity.
These are just a few of the ways lactoferrin can help keep your body healthy and feeling great. A perfect way to get started taking lactoferrin is with Symbiotics Lactoferrin Capsules.