Hello Old Friend

By:- 


I made up a few lyrics for the New Year to document my relationship with my treadmill.  Sang to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Sound of Silence.”  (If you don’t know this song click here for the YouTube version.)

Hello treadmill my old friend,

Its great to see you there again,

I know I broke up with you in 2016,

But now I see that this was the wrong thing,

And my body… that is soft, round and thick, 

Still remains,

I miss the sound…… of running…..

Okay, so I broke up with my treadmill in 2016.  We both saw it coming.  We grew apart.  I knew this would happen.  I have to blame myself.  I didn’t carve enough time out for you.  I know that’s all you really wanted from me, treadmill.  Then I know you heard about those times with the street – it was just about the running.  I had no feelings for the street.  You have to believe me.

But I want to call a truce.  Treadmill, please take me back.  We had such a good thing going.  You, me, Netflix.  It could be like that again.

I promise to dust you off and actually plug you back in.  I will come to see you at least 5 times a week.  Me and the street – we are over!  It’s cold outside,  and winter and I broke up a long time ago.

Today, my old friend treadmill is my favorite : )

Daily tally:

Avery 0/0, Brooke +1/0, Kate 0/0, treadmill +1/0


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

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Depression: Taking the First Step

By: Patty Wolters

The sun and moon switch in the sky, every morning, every night. You, however, don’t want to get up, or you stare at the ceiling unable to fall asleep. The weather girl telling you another day without the sun is ahead of you, or you long for a long cold winter to numb your feelings. The love of your life no longer feels the same way about you. You got fired, you lost your house. Maybe, your physical health prohibits you from following your dreams. So many reasons why a person can get depressed.

Are you really depressed?

Every now and then, you feel down, don’t want to get up, or you get moody watching the weather girl, that doesn’t automatically mean you are depressed. Every human being has his/her ‘bad days’. I call that being depri, it is a Dutch abbreviation from depressie (depression). Taking a sick day, watching a movie and eating your favorite snacks, will make you feel better.

Do you feel gloomy every day, see only dark colors in your future? Feel like sleeping all day long, or aren’t able to sleep at all? Feel the need to eat constantly, or don’t have any desire to eat? Thoughts like “Why even bother, I will never feel happiness again” and maybe even “I just want to die?”

When you recognize all described feelings and situations and if they are applicable to you (almost) every day and for longer than two weeks in a row … Depression could be the reason why you feel stuck. Stuck in those painful emotions and thoughts. Overwhelmed by feelings of being alone and nobody understanding you.

You know you are depressed for sure?

Let me tell you… No… Let me reassure you: you are not the only one! I am a person who has to be aware of not becoming overwhelmed with sad and negative thoughts about the world around me and about myself. It took me a while to accept, that not everyone will understand me, or get what is important to me. That isn’t easy and feeling alone, in this world full of beautiful souls, well…that happens to me too.

If you become depressed once, you most likely will have to deal with depression throughout your life.

Now, that isn’t very hopeful, is it? That is why I wanted to write this article. To let you know, there IS hope. There really is!

Sure, you should go to a doctor, psychologist, therapist and if you google, you will find all the necessary information you need to educate yourself about this mental condition and where you can find the support you need. Did you know, for instance, food is also a big influence on how you feel? You don’t need to become the next famous bodybuilder; however, exercise can be helpful too. But…

Taking that first step, the first step back up that negative spiral, it will be tough. Reaching out to another person, ignoring those feelings of shame or being unworthy might seem impossible. You probably don’t even trust yourself anymore, and now I tell you to trust another soul?

Yes, I do. Because you know what? You have nothing left to lose…

Right?


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

Student Athletes Emulate the Pros in Abusing Painkillers

By: NewsUSA

Sometimes we’re so caught up in all the pro sports stars whose lives have been wrecked by misusing prescription painkillers that we forget the problem extends down to the amateur level.

And, yes, that does mean college and even high-school sports.

At least one study put the number of college student athletes who’ve used prescription medications to enhance their performance at as high as 53.3 percent. And another recent study on high school athletes, published online in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, reported that 12 percent of male seniors and 8 percent of female seniors admitted to abusing painkillers.

To former ESPN.com columnist Gregg Easterbrook — who wrote about painkillers in his book The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America — it’s no surprise that the largest percentage of those young abusers play football.

“Youth and high-school players see an example that appears to be of men so tough, they laugh at pain,” he wrote. “The message sent is that young players should use their own bodies recklessly.”

So what’s a concerned parent to do?

Well, if your child is experiencing neuro-musculoskeletal-related pain from playing sports– spinal pain, say, from too many tackles or strained soccer kicks –first know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last March began urging physicians to avoid prescribing opioids for chronic pain in response to a record high 28,647 deaths involving the highly addictive drugs in 2014.

Know, too, that the most popular non-pharmacologic alternative to routine care is drug-free chiropractic care.

“Doctors of chiropractic play a key role in sports health care by providing hands-on care that help improve range of motion, flexibility, muscle strength, and other key performance factors,” notes the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress  Sherry McAllister.


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

New Year, New You

exercise1

By: 

Well the decorations are down, the champagne has been popped and everyone has kissed at the stroke of midnight. Happy New Year and welcome to 2017.

Now the mince pies have disappeared for another year and the party invitations have slowed to a stop and it is time to get back into health and fitness mode. Have you made a new year’s resolution yet?

For many people, January is the time to start thinking new year, new you. All of the promises you didn’t follow through on last year can be forgotten and a fresh start can be made. If you want to make a fresh start this year and begin a journey to  new, healthier you but don’t know where to start, then here are a few places to begin.

Think About Your Diet

Sounds simple. But you need to think about everywhere you went wrong last year and put a plan in place to correct it. It is easy to say your going to start a diet or eat better, but it is possible you have done that unsuccessfully every year to date. Where did you fall down before? Were you too strict and depriving yourself so much has caused major binging? Did you just lack the motivation to actually stick to it? Have a serious chat with yourself and workout where you went wrong, this can help you be successful in the next 12 months.

Think About Your Workouts

Similar to your diet think about what you could have done better and which route you want to go down this year. Maybe you didn’t really know what you were doing in the gym last year and therefore just did the odd bit here and there and never really saw results. Maybe you reached your fitness goals last year and now you need a new plan to maintain them. Maybe your work or personal situation has changed from last year and you need to think of a new regime for fitness that fits around your new circumstances. Figuring all of this out now will help you moving forward.

Set Goals

Once you have worked out what went wrong before, you can start setting goals for the coming year. Start by making them realistic. Keep in mind what went wrong before when it came to your goals, if you tried to achieve too much too quickly, set a more realistic time frame this time around. If you weren’t strict enough with yourself previously, then set mini milestones every few weeks to measure your progress and keep you on track. Try giving yourself something to reward yourself with at the end which is going to keep you motivated. Maybe if you meet your goals you can reward yourself with a holiday at the end, an excuse to wear a bikini and show off your newly achieved bod?

Try Something New

A new year is about trying new things. Think about your health rather than just fitness. Could your health do with improvement? Maybe you need to try adding some supplements to your diet? Maybe you want to try adding fermented foods to your meal plan once a week to boost your immunity? Or maybe you want to stop drinking coffee all together and try green tea instead?

The same goes with fitness. Maybe gym sessions didn’t work for you last year so maybe you want to try mixing it up with some fitness classes instead? Or go running outside instead of going nowhere on a treadmill year round.  

Remember Fitness Can Be Fun

exercise2

The possibility is that you failed to meet your goals last year in both fitness and nutrition because you simply bored yourself to death. Make it an aim to actually enjoy yourself when it comes to fitness and nutrition this year. This is why trying new things is so important.

If you found that hitting the gym became a miserable, lonely chore then try finding a like minded gym buddy that has similar goals for 2017. Make going to the gym or a fitness session a social event. Having someone relying on you to accompany them will give you a sense of responsibility to keep up with your workouts. Also, it can be a good laugh having someone alongside you.

The same goes for eating. Don’t think the only way to lose weight is by starving yourself on a diet of salad. In today’s online society there are so many websites offering free, healthy and more importantly tasty diet recipes. Use this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons, master some new cooking skills and try exotic ingredients. Also, why not make it social? Throw a dinner party once a month and deliver a menu of the tastiest healthy dishes you have discovered in previous weeks! I’m sure your friends will not only love it, but enjoy the guilt free second helpings knowing everything is low on calories!

Make this year the one that the new you works and sticks! Happy New Year folks!


Note: Images by Pixabay. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

Organic or Natural? An Introduction to Important Health Food Terms

tomatoes

By: 

Sometimes, reading the packaging of a new health food is more confusing than it is reassuring. Is organic the same thing as natural? Is there such a thing as unnatural food? What is the difference between enriched and fortified food?

Don’t feel bad – in some ways all of these terms are supposed to confuse you; they sound good enough to make you want to buy the foods, even if aren’t exactly sure what you are putting in your body.

In order to clear up the fog a bit, here is a quick reference guide for a few of the most popular “health food” terms for you to have a better idea with regards to the differences between the labels and to decide whether they are the best choice for your diet.

Fair Trade:

There are slight variations to the definition of Fair Trade depending on the certifying organization. For people living in the US, one of the most common labels is the Fair Trade Certified™ label. Fair Trade USA has the following general definition of a Fair Trade Certified™ product:

Fair Trade Certified™ products were made with respect to people and planet. Our rigorous social, environmental and economic standards work to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses. When you choose products with the Fair Trade label, your day-to-day purchases can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.

Organic:

As with Fair Trade, the definition and standards that must be met in order for a product to be labelled organic may vary slightly depending on the certifying organization and country. For the USDA organic seal, which is used in the US, the general definition is as follows:

Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

Note that in order for a food to be genuinely Fair Trade and/or organic, it must have the official label visible on the package.

Natural:

There is no official Food and Drug Administration (FDA) definition for Natural foods. For this reason, food companies will often use it freely on their labels, even if it is not clear what they mean by it. The FDA discusses the use of the term “Natural” on food labels as follows:

From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

Enriched Food:

The term enriched is used only for processed foods, though many processed foods are not enriched. Through the many processes different foods go through (cooking, combining, griding, exposure to heat and cold, etc.) nutrients are lost. When foods are enriched, the nutrients that were lost in the refinement process are added back in.

The Medical Dictionary defined enriched foods as follows:

A processed food that has lost nutrients during milling, grinding, pasteurization, or other processes and then had those nutrients added back to the marketed product. Two examples of vitamins commonly used in food enrichment are vitamins B1 and B2, thiamine and riboflavin, respectively.

Fortified Foods:

Unlike enriched foods, fortified foods do not contain simply the nutrients that were lost during the refinement process. Fortified foods have added nutrients beyond their natural levels in order to provide an added benefit. Often, fortified foods cater to a specific audience with different nutritional needs that are difficult to meet with a “normal” diet, like pregnant women and body builders.

However, plenty of fortified foods are available to the general public as foods of mass consumption. One example of this are breakfast cereals; most breakfast cereals are fortified with 100% daily value of multiple nutrients.

When you are armed with the correct knowledge, it is easier to make better nutritional choices – even with processed foods. Making informed choices may not only mean a healthier you, but also a healthier community and planet.

Sources:

http://fairtradeusa.org/what-is-fair-trade

http://www.organic.org/home/faq

http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm214868.htm

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/enriched+food


Note: Image from Pixabay. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

Updating Workplace Ergonomics for Today’s Economy

workplace

By: NewsUSA

We’ve heard a lot about “workplace ergonomics” in recent years, but with the economy changing — more people are working from home, whether by choice or their employers’ decisions to “go virtual,” — maybe it’s time to acknowledge the obvious: It’s just as easy to injure yourself no matter where you physically work.

Think about it: When it comes to a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries caused by stress to the joints from repetitive tasks, overuse of muscles and poor posture, what’s the difference if you’re slumping in front of an office computer or a home laptop? Or lifting heavy cartons onto the back of a delivery truck or your closet shelf?

As the Society for Human Resource Management advises: “Employees who work from home or travel for work should be taught to assess their ad-hoc workplaces for ergonomic risks.”

If you are hurting, doctors of chiropractic — who have a minimum of seven years of higher education — focus on structure and function. They care for pain syndromes with a drug-free approach that includes spinal manipulation and exercises to help stretch out and strengthen core muscles. Meanwhile, here’s a few tips to follow:

  • Invest in a good chair, mind your posture, and learn proper lifting and stretching techniques.
  • Keep your eyes at the same height as the computer monitor — without leaning forward — to help avoid headaches and neck pain.
  • Take frequent stretching micro-breaks and stay hydrated with water.

“Back injuries are the most prevalent occupational injury, and studies have shown chiropractic patients have consistently better outcomes,” says the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Dr. Gerard Clum, DC.

To learn more or to find a local chiropractor, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor.


Note: Image from Pixabay. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

How To Kick The Post-Holiday Blues

scotland

By: Roberta Mancuso

We’ve all been there. You return from a vacation sad, dejected and even less refreshed than you were before you left. Sure, you may have drunk your body weight in cocktails by the pool (or gluhwein by the fireplace, depending on where you were), danced the night away or caught up on some much-needed R n R, but now you’re feeling like none of that ever happened at all.

The post-holiday blues are a very real thing. While vacations do lift peoples’ spirits, the effects unfortunately don’t last long.

It’s not uncommon to crash at the end of your vacation – a heady mix of sadness that the good times are over, the adjustment of returning to work/everyday life and overindulging in food and alcohol.

Here are a few tips on how to kick the post-holiday blues after that amazing vacation:

Start planning your next trip

I remember flying back from three weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia and planning my next break while on the plane home. It might be in six months’ time, a year’s time or even five years’ time, but planning where you want to go next will help dull the pain of saying goodbye to the great holiday you’re just been on. Even thinking about and planning things can give you as much pleasure as actually doing them.

Find things to look forward to

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to travel, whether that’s for health, financial or other reasons. So if you’re coming down hard from a holiday, it’s important to plan things to look forward to, both short and long term. In other words, shift the focus to everyday things that give you pleasure. Think about weekends away at the beach or in the wilds, planning a dinner with your friends, treating yourself to a massage or date night with your partner.

Look after yourself

Holidays often involve a lot of socialising and partying, which means a lot of eating and probably way too much drinking. Having a hangover from eating the wrong types of foods and alcohol doesn’t help with those post-holiday blues. It’s time to start looking after yourself by eating right, drinking less and moving more. Add a walk at least once a day and a more regular bedtime. Regular self-care routines may have disappeared during your break but you can reclaim them.

Phone a friend

If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, a great way to lift your spirits is to share a laugh or two with friends. Steer away from conversations about how you’d rather be back on that beach in Barbados and instead share a lively conversation about what’s going on in your life right now. Just chatting to a mate is a great way to lift your spirits.

Make some real changes

Did you absolutely love those arepas you ate in Colombia? Or maybe you’re a little obsessed with flamenco music after that trip to Spain? Your holiday doesn’t have to completely end. Take what you enjoyed from your break and incorporate it into your life. If you ate foods you adored on your holidays, make them at home or find a restaurant that serves them. If you loved hearing and speaking a foreign language, start to learn it. Listen to the same music you danced to in the club in Madrid and meditate like you did on that retreat in Bali. Take a little bit of your trip home with you.

Take a meditative few minutes

Speaking of meditation, why not take a few minutes during your day to reflect on the great times you had? It’s a bit of a clichéd, old-fashioned idea but “counting your blessings” can be an antidote to the blues.

If you’re jetlagged…

Being jetlagged on top of a little depressed at the end of your holidays doesn’t help. Jetlag affects your ability to sleep on a normal schedule, and that lack of sleep can contribute to feeling depressed that your vacation is over. Get yourself back in sync with your home time zone by trying to stick to your usual sleep schedule. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few hours before you go to bed.

Give yourself an attitude transplant

If you’re still trudging around depressed that your break is over, it’s time to change your thoughts. Looking at the world through mud-covered glasses won’t help you. In many cases, changing the way you think about something can alter the way you feel about it. As that great Cat in the Hat, Dr Seuss, once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”

Prioritise

You’ll probably come home to mountains of work emails, meetings to go to, doctor’s appointments which need to be kept, a messy garden, the cat needing its vaccination, piles of dirty clothes… the list goes on. It’s enough to send you into a panic. Stop, breathe, prioritise – the key word being prioritise. It might be tempting to try to do everything at once, but you will get completely overwhelmed and stressed out. Figure out what is most important and work down the list from there.

Reminisce

If you are anything like me, you’ll come home with thousands of photos, or most certainly more than you know what to do with. Go through your photos, delete what you don’t need, upload them into online albums and label them – don’t just leave them sitting on an SD card. Reminisce about your vacation by displaying those photos. Set them as backgrounds on your work or home computer, phone or tablet. You can also print out a few pictures to pin up around your home or office to remind you of those relaxed days.

Remember, the blues won’t last

It might feel raw, but take comfort in the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, including the post-holiday blues. Time will pass, soon that trip will be a distant memory (which isn’t such a bad thing, holding on to the past is never healthy) and you’ll eventually get back into the swing of things!


Note: An experienced writer of 15 years, Roberta has perpetually itchy feet and has been exploring the world for a decade. She has travelled to over 50 countries and has lived la dolce vita in Italy, tried the London life and is now living among llamas in Peru. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.