Low testosterone levels hinder your health.

low testosterone levels put men at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death?? One study shows that testosterone treatment reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.? Another study that looked at the cause of death in almost 2000 men aged 20 to 79 years.? The men with low testosterone at the start of the study had a 2.5 times greater risk of dying during the next ten years compared with men with higher testosterone levels.? These studies, and more, will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in San Francisco, suggest that testosterone therapy has several positive effects.
(Vitacost.com Daily Health Tip; June, 2008)

How to Find a Vascular Specialist

A cardiovascular specialist specializes in issues related to the cardiovascular system, which is made up of the heart and circulatory system. Some cardiovascular specialists (also “vascular” specialists) work with patients that have existing conditions, while others focus on diagnosis and treatment. Still, some work in adult or pediatric treatment and others work with specific issues such as transplants, defibrillators or artificial hearts. Some vascular specialists work in all areas of vascular health from prevention to treatment.

There are several ways to locate a vascular specialist that deals with your particular condition. You can talk to your family physician who will give you several referrals. Ask your doctor how long he’s worked with the specialists on his list and which ones he highly recommends. Other ways to locate a vascular specialist include contacting a few local hospitals for a referral list, checking with your health insurance provider and using resources provided by professional groups. These include:

·The Society of Interventional Radiology
·The Society for Vascular Surgery
·The Society for Vascular Medicine

The Society of Interventional Radiology allows users to search for doctors by specialty using the sites “Doctor Finder.” The Society for Vascular Surgery of the American Vascular Association has a “Find a Vascular Specialist” feature that allows users to search by state, country and/or name. The Society for Vascular Medicine “Physician Finder” allows users to search for vascular specialists by state.

For information about cardiovascular health, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

Defeat is a temporary glitch

Look upon temporary defeat as a signpost that says, “Stop, go this way instead.” One of the qualities of leaders is that they never use the words “failure” or “defeat”. Instead, they use words like “valuable learning experience” or “temporary glitch”.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi had the right spirit. After a game in which the Green Bay Packers were defeated, one of the reports asked Lombardi how he felt about losing. Lombardi replied, “We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time.”

Maximum Achievement
By: Brian Tracy

CrossFit: The training, the games, the BS

What is CrossFit (CF)? In a nut shell it’s performing movements and or exercises under time that are continuously varied from workout to workout. Started in the mid 1990’s, this training system does have value in improving ones fitness level, but the claims made on the CrossFit website are unsubstantiated and untenable.

CF’s upside according to its proponents is being a total-body conditioning workout that is purposefully varied, which inhibits boredom. I think it’s a home run for fitness enthusiasts because the workouts are challenging and competitive. CF’s inherent difficulty, notice I said difficulty not intensity, also benefits the average person because most people do not train hard enough to elicit any measurable result.

Read more: CrossFit

Are Quick Weight Loss Programs Safe?

Most quick weight loss programs last a few days up to a maximum of two weeks. In either case, the duration of most quick weight loss diets is not long enough to do any permanent damage. If you remain on the diet longer than two weeks, however, you may develop nutritional deficiencies. Most quick weight loss programs are not balanced, so they can never satisfy all of your nutritional needs.

Quick weight loss programs focus on one or two types of foods and eliminate the rest. According to the American Heart Association, no one type of food has all the nutrients you need for good health. Take the cabbage soup diet for instance. Although the diet also includes fruit and other vegetables, it eliminates protein on most days. One day even calls for eating only bananas and skimmed milk.

Cabbage is packed with vitamin K and C, as well as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids. You can get plenty of nutrients from cabbage but it lacks vitamin E, protein, carbs, and calories—all things the body needs for optimal functioning. You will lose large amounts of weight on the cabbage soup diet if you can last 2 weeks, but continue beyond the 2-week period and you will also lose energy and muscle, and your body will be missing out on the other vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to survive.

Quick weight loss diets like the cabbage soup diet are not designed to be a permanent weight loss solution. The cabbage soup diet is used to prepare overweight heart patients for surgery. During the seven days before surgery, patients typically lose 10-17 pounds. Keep in mind that most of the weight loss during the initial stages of any diet is usually only water weight.

Other quick weight loss diets or extreme low-calorie diets are used to help ease symptoms from certain conditions or jump start weight loss for overweight or obese patients. These programs are carefully monitored by physicians. This means patients are usually given prescription grade supplements to make up for vitamin and nutrient loss.

Scarsdale Diet fans might point to this diet and say that it’s balanced because it includes foods from all major food groups, but there’s only one problem–weight loss occurs at a average of 1-1.25 pounds per day, so this is also a quick weight loss diet. The rapid weight loss occurs as a result of severe calorie restriction. The diet averages around 800-1,000 calories per day. Because each individual’s calorie needs are different (even a 2-3 year old child requires 1,000+ calories per day for good health), 800-1,000 calories per day isn’t sufficient for the average adult. Remember, healthy weight loss occurs at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week, and calorie needs are based on age, height, weight, build, activity level, and any medical conditions.

The good news about quick weight loss programs is, they definitely work short-term. So if you plan to take a trip to a tropical island and you want to be bikini ready, or you want to slim down for a college reunion, or you’re getting married and want to look slim and trim in your wedding gown, a quick weight loss program might a temporary solution. If you need or want to lose weight, but you also want to keep it off permanently, a quick weight loss program just won’t work. Unfortunately, as soon as the diet ends, the weight will return.

Time for spring training for your own personal fitness

Everyone picks the beginning of the year for their new year’s resolutions, and they usually involve working out and getting back in shape. Now that the weather is getting better and spring is about to start, you’re going to start seeing more people outside and coming out of hibernation. So, have you gotten off to a good start with your new workout and fitness plans? Take a look in the mirror and see if you’re anywhere close to achieving your goals. Are you putting in the time? Have you put together a plan? And have you been watching your diet and taking advantage of sports supplements to maximize results? Supplements like protein powder and whey protein can make a huge difference.

If you haven’t created a plan yet, search the workout tips on this site in order to help you craft a plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Having trouble sleeping, try wool

You can have the healthiest lifestyle, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, over time you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, head aches, aching muscles, confusion, and memory lapses or loss just to name a few.

If you are having sleep problems, or you simply want to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, there are many things you can do, including:

* Go to bed around the same time each night, ideally around 10 PM.
* Avoid snacking just before bedtime, particularly grains and sugars.
* Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F (ideally between 60-68 degrees F.
* Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the amino acid L-tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin and serotonin.
* Avoid caffeine as much as possible, especially in the PM.
* Make sure you exercise regularly, but not near bedtime.

There is one more thing however, that has been shown in scientific studies to improve your sleep. Wool has been proven to outperform both synthetics and down. Dramatic results demonstrated that wool bedding such as comforters and pillows:

* Breathes more naturally than any comparable synthetics, so you reduce the thermal stress on your body AND avoid creating a hospitable environment for dust mites.
* Increases the length of your REM sleep meaning you benefit more deeply from this vitally important stage of sleep every night.
* Helps create the most optimal body temperature the body gets to a comfortable sleeping temperature more quickly and stays there longer.

And, if that weren’t enough, recent studies have shown that the resting heart rate of people who sleep under wool versus those who use synthetics is 20 beats per minute less creating a more restorative sleep experience from beginning to end.


How to Choose the Best Wellness Center

A wellness center is a facility whose primary goals are to promote healthy living in order to prevent disease and illness. These centers are typically run and staffed by a group of physicians, but in some cases, they are staffed by specialists such as acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and fitness experts.

Wellness centers can be found in a variety of settings from college campuses and hospitals to strip malls. Many corporations contract with wellness centers to provide programs for employees (called corporate wellness programs), and there are also specific programs for seniors, moms-to-be, and children. So the first step in choosing the best wellness center is to determine the type of program you’re looking for. Next, determine your goals, then choose which wellness services you think might help you reach your goals.

If you are not part of a corporate program or any of the groups listed above, you’ll still find plenty of individual programs at just about every wellness center. After you have determined your goals (stress relief, pain relief, fitness, prevention, etc.), seek out centers that address these issues. The types of wellness services offered is not the only factor you should consider. The best wellness centers have a number of things in common including:

-Focus is on patient health
-Active in contributing to the rebirth of health care
-Seek to successfully unite health maintenance, disease prevention and the treatment of acute and chronic conditions through both conventional and the alternative healing arts
-Offer patients a comprehensive treatment regimen
-Provide the best medical advice
-Have multidisciplinary centers offering medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic, physical/occupational therapists, massage therapists and other professionals who work together as a dedicated team to reach an accurate diagnosis
-Have doctors and specialists skilled at designing treatment plans tailored to each individual patient
-Offer cost effective and time saving integrated health care
-Offer a “whole body” healing approach
-Share the philosophy of caring and concern for their patients that provides for a mutual pleasant experience
-Offer convenient hours, ample parking, and little to no waiting
-Employ physicians and staff that make continuing education a priority in order to stay abreast of new developments in patient care
-Keep patients informed of their conditions as well as short and long-term goals

Finding the best wellness center in your city or town will take some work, but in the end you’ll find a center that you feel comfortable with and one that has your best interests and wellness in mind. The best place to begin your search is online. It’s possible to find a local wellness center directory, but directories such as these do not list all of the centers in your area. Many of the wellness centers in the directory pay a fee to have their names listed.

When searching for wellness centers in your area, all you have to do is enter “your city + wellness center” into any search engine. Next, choose 5-10 wellness centers and browse through their websites to find out about services, pricing, and credentials. You can also try typing the name of the center into a review site such as Yelp.com to see what real customers/patients have to say about it.

Many wellness centers offer a free consultation. During this meeting, you can ask any questions that concern you, take a tour of the center, gather additional literature about the staff and services, and examine any credentials that are on display. Keep in mind that professional wellness centers will have this information on display in examining rooms, offices, and studio areas.

If you want to dig a little deeper, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as many wellness centers operate as private practices.

Hormones and heart health

If you had to rank the most important factors for a healthy heart, hormones would likely show up last on your list. But the truth is that these chemical messengers have a strong influence on just about every single one of your body’s delicate systems… and your cardiovascular system is no exception.

You may not realize it, but your blood vessels are lined with estrogen receptors, which play a key role in regulating healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and normal clot formation in both men and women.1 This may be one reason why pre-menopausal women enjoy more optimal heart health statistics than their male and postmenopausal counterparts—and why heart health becomes an important focus for women as they grow older.

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How to Buy Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Buying running shoes can be a frustrating experience if you have flat feet.
If you’re not too sure if you have flat feet, you can tell by looking at the insides of the feet. A person with flat feet has flattened arches in the insides of the feet. When a person with flat feet stands up, the entire foot touches the floor. A normal foot has an arch on the inside, so this part of the foot never touches the ground. The arch provides natural shock absorption. Without it, extra stress is placed on other parts of the body such as the hips, ankles, and knees. To reduce the impact on other parts of the body, including the other parts of the feet, running shoes that provide either extra cushion, support, motion control, and stability are essential.

Although flat feet is a common condition, people with flat feet still have to search for special shoes that reduce the impact on other parts of the body, in order to prevent injury. Individuals with flat feet, especially those that play sports or exercise regularly, have a higher risk of medical and lateral midfoot injures such as metatarsal (the long bones in the forefoot) stress fractures. Metatarsal injuries are common in ballet dancers, gymnasts, and runners.

There are several manufacturers that you probably have never even heard of that make the best shoes for flat feet. These include Brooks and Mizuno. Popular makers of running shoes for flat feet include New Balance, Nike, Saucony, Asics, and Reebok.

No matter which brand you choose, you will still have to test them to make sure they are right for you. One of the best indicators of compatibility is how your ankles, feet, hips, and knees feel when you run or jog in them. Most large athletic stores will have a running track or enough space for you to jog around to see just how well the shoes work for you. Spend as much time as need to test cushion, support, motion control, and stability, with stability being top priority.

Expect to pay the same price for specialty running shoes as you would for a high quality pair of non-specialty running shoes. In-store prices typically start at around $120. You can shop online where “Internet only” specials are plentiful, but purchasing specialty shoes without trying them out first is not recommended.

In addition to wearing special running shoes, people with flat feet may perform foot exercises (using ping pong balls) to prevent injury and they may also use insoles for flat feet in other types of footwear. New Balance, ProKinetics, and Dr. Scholl’s sell a variety of insoles for flat feet.

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