6 Natural strategies for protecting your vision

Despite what your eye doctor may say, there are natural, common-sense strategies you can employ to help protect your healthy vision.

1. Quit smoking, if you currently do. Smoking ramps up free radical production throughout your body, and puts you at risk for less-than-optimal health in many ways. If you want healthy vision for your whole life, you cannot afford to risk less-than-optimal eye health with cigarettes.
2. Lose weight. If your over weight you’re going to have all the negative effects associated with being over weight or obese like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can harm your eyes.
3. Care for your cardiovascular system. High blood pressure can cause damage to the minuscule blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow.
4. Normalize your blood sugar. Excessive sugar in your blood can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. And, it can damage the blood vessels in your retina, also obstructing blood flow.
5. Eat plenty of fresh dark green leafy vegetables. Studies have shown that a diet rich in dark leafy greens helps support eye health. And that those with the highest consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, had increased vision health.
6. Consume omega-3 rich foods. Consume fresh caught salmon, or use a reputable omega – 3 supplement. A study published in the August 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids was protective of your healthy vision.

Mercola.com

Reduce the number of germs you come in contact with

1. Don’t Touch the First Floor Elevator Button Everybody touches the 1st floor button and eventually eats their lunch and or picks their teeth without washing their hands. Many germs are found there because everybody returns to the first floor. Let someone else push the buttons so you don’t have, use your elbow, or the back of your knuckle instead of your finger to press the button.
2. Dangerous Shopping Cart Handles Shopping cart handles are prime culprits in the spread of germs. Some supermarkets now offer germ-killing wipes in the cart area. Bring your own if they don’t. Use them to sanitize the cart handle. And never put fresh produce in the cart seat, where diaper-aged children often sit.
3. Watch Those Escalator Handrails Escalator handrails are loaded with germs. Don’t touch them if you can manage without it.
4. Use the First Toilet
Research shows that most people use the middle stall in public bathrooms, so avoid those. More use means they’re the dirtiest and have the most germs.
5. Office Coffee Pots Dripping With Disease Your office coffee pot and mug may have been cleaned with a sponge dripping with germs. Hang on to your own mug, and use a dishwasher when it’s time to clean it. Another trick: Keep apple cider vinegar in the office and pour a water-cider solution through the coffee machine weekly. It will help kill bacteria.
6. Kitchen Woes Be aware that kitchen sponges, dishcloths, the kitchen and bathroom sinks, cutting boards, and even the bathroom floor carry more germs than the toilet seat.
New research suggests that if you want to sterilize your sponge, put it in the microwave for two minutes. Research shows this gets rid of 99% of the bacteria.
7. Your Desk Is Dirtier Than the Toilet Who would have guessed the typical office desk area has 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Worst offenders: The office phone. The desk. Finally, the keyboard. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the desktop, computer keyboard, and phone.
8. Avoid Hand Shaking, Kissing This may be an impossibility for some, but try to avoid shaking hands or kissing during the flu season.
9. Wash your hands This is the number one way to avoid getting sick. Scrub your hands with warm water and soap (many don’t use soap) for at least 15 to 20 seconds after using the bathroom; eating, working or playing outdoors; playing with pets; or coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Anything less than 15 seconds won’t do the job.
Incredibly, 95 percent of people say they wash their hands after using the bathroom, but only 67 percent really do it. Worse, only 33 percent bother to use soap and only 16 percent wash their hands long enough to remove germs.
Newsmax.com’s Health Alert

Raw milk and allergies

Children raised on farms have fewer allergies than children raised in cities. 1 in 3 children are currently affected by eczema, hay fever, or asthma, as opposed to 1 in 6 twenty years ago. The number of people needing emergency hospital treatment for severe allergic reactions has tripled over the last 10 years. A new study suggests the boom in allergies is largely due to pasteurized and homogenized milk. The study shows that children raised on farms who drink just 2 glasses of raw milk per week reduce their chances of eczema by 40% and hay fever by 10%. Blood samples revealed the consumption of raw milk decreased the levels of immunoglobulin E by half, which causes allergy symptoms.
Mercola.com

How do you act when things go wrong

“Circumstances do not make the man, They merely reveal him to himself.”

Epictetus

Your Best Life Diet!

Diet and exercise is a lifestyle choice.

Once you decide to get fit, staying fit becomes your biggest challange.

A few tips from health expert Bob Greene will keep you on track while maintaining your fitness goals.

The best life diet, the creation of physiologist Bob Greene, has an easy-to-follow approach to weight loss and healthy living.

This diet plan calls for lifestyle changes as well as healthy eating habits. This best life diet does not include physical activity and exercise as primary forms of weight loss, instead, promotes nutritious and healthy eating.

Depending on the person’s physical conditions and general fitness, the best life diet suggests a calorie intake of about 1,500 to 2,500 based on the list of recommended foods and their number of servings.

This easy-to-understand weight loss diet is very effective, and Oprah Winfrey is one of its success stories.

There are a wide range of recipes, tips, and tools for the dieters to keep on track and stick to diet regime. The best life diet can be customized further to suit various body types as well as different lifestyles. This may include different food choices and activity levels of the individual.

The main feature of the plan is controlling food choices, portions, and serving sizes and numbers. A lot of liberty regarding food choice is given in the third phase of this diet plan.

The diet also guides an individual about basics of food and about how to replace unhealthy foods with similar-tasting healthy foods. The diet educates individuals about trans fats, soft drinks, high-fat dairy and other foods that they should avoid.

Another interesting fact is that Greene has placed a best life diet seal on various food products so that the dieters may not have any confusion about what food they may or may not eat.

Losing Those Last Five Pounds!

We’ve all struggled with it!

Diet, execise, weight loss, plateau and frustration!

Those last five pounds are so hard to lose but for good reason.

Read the full article in SELF online for the reasons and some encouragemant to keep you going until you reach your goals!

The closer you are to your goal weight, the slower the weight tends to come off. Although this is frustrating, think of it as coming in for a soft landing.

If you’re losing weight very quickly, chances are good that the pounds will come right back on the minute you stop dieting.

By losing those last few pounds gradually, you’re actually making a gradual transition into your maintenance phase.

If it takes you six months to lose that last three pounds, you’ve got a much better chance of stabilizing at your goal weight–because you’ll have six more months of controlled eating habits under your belt.

How to Choose an Aerobics Class

Let’s face it, running in place on a treadmill or pedaling away on a stationary bike probably isn’t the best way to challenge you mentally and physically. Sure, workout machines can definitely help shed pounds or maintain your weight, but they just don’t kick your butt in the same way that cardio boot camp or spinning do. If you desire a challenge, camaraderie, and aggressively paced music, an aerobics class is the answer.

Once you have made the decision to add aerobics classes to your routine, the next step is to choose the best one for you. There are so many aerobics classes to choose from, it might be tough to pick just one. This is actually a good thing because much like the treadmill, the routine can get a little stale and you might not feel challenged. Mixing things up a bit is your best bet. So, to begin choosing an aerobics class, you should consider your weight, activity level, goals, and any injuries you may have.

Understanding your injuries, whether you have joint issues or a temperamental heel spur, will play an important part in choosing an aerobics class. For example, if you have issues with your heel spur, an aerobics class such as spinning or water workout will take the pressure off sensitive areas. Running, jumping, and kicking will only aggravate the condition, so choose classes that limit these types of movements. If your joints are troublesome, aerobics classes such as ashtanga or bikram yoga, water workout or swim training, or belly dancing will take the focus off susceptible connectors.

Weight, age, and activity level are important factors to consider as well. The level of intensity of aerobics classes such as double step, max force kickboxing, cardio boot camp, and big spin (90 minute ride), might prove too much for beginners, individuals that have been sedentary for years, and individuals that may be more than 20 pounds overweight or obese. Everyone has to start somewhere, so if you fall into any of these categories, simply choose “beginner” level or “intro to” when selecting aerobics classes such as these. Fortunately, most health clubs offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. If you stick with it and remain patient, you will have no problems working your way up to advanced level.

If you currently work out anywhere from 3-5 days per week, you’re halfway there. Because aerobics classes are choreographed and they might require the use of muscles your current workout does not target, you might have to start off in a beginner’s class to learn the basics. If you’re a quick learner and you feel you are in excellent shape, try starting with an intermediate class. If it’s too easy for you, then go ahead and try an advanced class.

Weight loss and weight management are two of the top reasons Americans hit the gym. Just about any 45-60 minute exercise session on most days of the week will help maintain your current weight. In some cases, weight-loss may result as well. To lose a significant amount of weight, however, you will have to engage in aerobic exercise for at least an hour on most days of the week, as well as strength training, and stretching. If weight loss is your goal, the following aerobics classes are efficient at assisting with weight reduction:

· Power Step
· Spinning
· Step & Sculpt
· Boxing
· Cardio Kickboxing
· Hi-Lo Aerobics
· Boot Camp
· Swim Training

As a general rule of thumb, any activity that encourages all over body conditioning will be efficient at encouraging weight loss and helping maintain a healthy heart. If the aerobics classes listed above are not listed on your health club’s group exercise program, simply scan the summaries for each class, keeping an eye out for classes that target the entire body from head to toe.

How to Choose a Yoga Class

Yoga, which means “spiritual discipline,” originated in the east as early as 3000 B.C. Uncontested archaeological evidence depicts men in yoga meditation poses. Today, this ancient practice is more popular and profitable than ever with females dominating the practice at 72.2 percent. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of people practicing yoga increased from 12 million to 15.8 million and Americans spend more than $5.7 billion dollars a year on yoga classes, paraphernalia, videos, guides, and retreats. This figure represents a staggering 87 percent increase in spending over 2004.

With millions of people practicing yoga across the U.S, along with 9.4 million non-practitioners that plan to try yoga, it should come as no surprise that yoga attracts people from all walks of life. People of all ages can practice yoga thanks to varying levels of difficulty to suit specific goals. For example, Yoga is recommended by physicians as a supplement to treat medial conditions from back pain to high blood pressure to respiratory conditions. Yoga is also believed to help treat anxiety, depression, and stress.

For many, however, yoga is not used as a treatment for any given mental or physical condition. Some may use yoga as a tool to lose weight while others may practice in hopes of toning the muscles, stretching the body, and improving cardiovascular health. For these reasons, when choosing a yoga class, the first step is to determine what you would like to accomplish in these 60-90 minute sessions. The following questions will help you focus on exactly what you wish to accomplish. Once you have determined your goals, there many different types of traditional yogas that will help you reach them.

· Are you trying to lose weight?
· Do you have a medical condition?
· Are you pregnant?
· Do you want to feel more centered?
· Are you grieving?
· Do you feel tired and want more energy?
· Are your muscles stiff and you want to improve flexibility?
· Do you want a “yoga body?”
· Are you curious about yoga and you just want to give it a try?
· Are you trying to improve your posture?
· Would you like to boost your confidence?
· Do you have an addiction?

Bhakti, karma, jnana, raja, mantra, laya, tantra, hatha, kundalini, and kriya are among the main traditional yogas practiced around the world. In America, you may have heard of ashtanga and bikram (hot yoga). These popular forms of yoga are not thousands of years old, but they are considered effective.

Ashtanga incorporates power poses, which help to strengthen the muscles, increase the heart rate for a challenging cardiovascular workout, and stretch the muscles. Beginners should always choose a level I ashtanga (beginner). You will know when you’re ready to advance to intermediate level (level II). This typically occurs after mastering the movements and poses, and after you have developed ample coordination and flexibility. Intermediate students usually practice for a year or more before feeling comfortable at level III (advanced).

Bikram is one of the most controversial forms of yoga. Because bikram is one of the most physically demanding forms of yoga (it is practiced in a room heated to 105-degrees or more), most physicians recommend having a physical exam and approval by a doctor before engaging in this activity. Bikram fans claim that the practice tones the arms, legs, buttocks, belly, and thighs. They also believe the practice reduces weight, raises energy levels, alleviates stress, improves circulation, relieves pain, strengthens the spine, and reduces the risk of sports injury.

Traditional Main Yoga Types and Benefits
If ashtanga and bikram sound intriguing, but you still want to explore other options, one of the traditional main yoga types might be worth a try.

Bhatki yoga is suited for individuals seeking well being and emotional fulfillment. Continuous flow of “love and life force” brings about a superconscious state of awareness or mood.

Hatha yoga is practiced for health and vitality. It incorporates aerobic movement, and stretching to strengthen and tone the body. Hatha burns calories, clears the mind, and restores energy to the body.

Tantra yoga — “pure” tantra yoga, is not sexual. The practice encourages renewal by directing the life force to rise up the spine, from the tailbone, and into the forehead. This form of yoga is believed to help control or eliminate negative habits such as overeating, drinking, and smoking.

Jnana yoga incorporates neti-neti meditation to help alleviate worry, fear, and doubt.

Raja yoga is another form of meditation and movement that is believed to free the mind and body of negative thoughts and feelings. The process readies the participant to experience his true nature as pure awareness, pure consciousness, and pure spirit.

Mantra yoga incorporates chanting, music, and meditation.

Kriya yoga is more than 5,000 years old. It combines raja, jnana, and bhatki. This practice is believed to help transform the body and mind by directing the life force up and down the spine through meditation and movement. Millions of people around the world practice this purest form of yoga.

Laya yoga focuses on the “five centers” which correspond to the main areas of the spine including the tailbone, the sacrum, the spinal cord, the heart center, and the spine at the base of the neck.

Karma yoga is suited for individuals interested in yoga that focuses primarily on meditation.

Kundalini yoga combines raja, hatha, tantra, laya, and mantra yogas to stimulate the spiritual life force at the base of the spine.

Tip: When choosing a yoga class, consider practicing at an established yoga center or quality yoga studio. The instructors in these environments typically have an average of 10 years of experience teaching yoga. This is especially important if you are considering a prenatal yoga class.

For more information about yoga study in America, visit the official Yoga Journal website at www.yogajournal.com.

Photo Credit: www.localfitness.com.au

Sound advice from the oldest man alive

On August 13th 2010, Walter Breuning gave an exclusive interview before his 114th birthday on Sept. 21st. Born in 1896, He has lived in 3 different centuries. Walter recounts memories and gives his advice on a few topics including his most memorable event, inventions, WWI, and advice to youth.

Mr. Bruening also sums up what is needed to live a long healthy life very clearly:

* Be good to everybody. The more you do for others, the better you’ll help yourself.
* Everyday is a good day, and make it that way.
* Watch your diet and avoid overeating.
* Keep the mind and body busy.

Don’t fight a fever support it

A fever is a natural beneficial function of your body to fight off invading organisms when the primary lines of defense, you immune system, fail? So many people misunderstand fever and believe it to be dangerous, which is primarily due to our “take a pill for everything society” created by physicians and big pharma. Your body raises its temperature because most infectious organisms cannot survive this environment; the ideal temperature for fighting infections is between 102 and 103 degrees F. The problem is, just as our bodies our doing what’s needed to eradicate the infection, we self medicate with, or worse yet give our children, anti-pyretic drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin by themselves or in combination.

It’s very important to think of a fever as a healing process. And contrary to popular belief, the best action is almost always little or no action. Rather than trying to lower a fever through medication, try to work through it and allow it to run its course. To support a fever Colleen Huber and other naturopathic physicians recommend consuming liquids such as broths and water until the fever breaks. The body slows down the movement of food in the gut (peristalsis), so avoid solid food. Another and perhaps most important recommendation to support a fever is rest. Activity uses the body’s essential energy needed to fight invading organisms, and hinders the immune function.

The benefits of a fever:
• Directly kills invading organisms through heat.
• Stimulates antibody production more specific to the infection than any antibiotic.
• More interferon is produced to block the spread of viruses to healthy cells.
• Stimulates production white blood cells which mobilize and attack invaders.

When to seek medical attention for a fever:
• Anyone with a temperature above 104.5 degrees F.
• Infants <1-month old, with a temperature >100.4 degrees F. Seek care right away.
• Infants from 1-month to 3 months old, with a temperature >100.4 degrees F, if they appear ill.
• Children between 3-months and 36-months, with a temperature above 102.2 degrees F, if they appear ill

For anyone not in the above categories, rest and fluids to support the fever and allow it to do it’s job.

Naturopathyworks.com
Mercola.com

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