Keep Gnats From Becoming A Pain in the Neck

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.
Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. “Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout.”
As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. “More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits,” said Dr. Stone.
After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:
* Baseball — 455
* Bicycling, 10 mph — 364
* Golfing, carrying clubs — 391
* Rope jumping — 1,074
* Swimming laps — 528
* Tennis, singles — 728

Thyroid 101: Getting Down to Basics

Shaped like a butterfly or bowtie and sitting at the front of your neck, the thyroid gland is the master of your metabolism. Weighing in at less than one ounce, the thyroid may be small, but it plays a big role in regulating how your body uses and stores energy from the foods you eat. Because the thyroid gland releases hormones that affect most of the body’s organs, production of too much or two little hormone could harm your health.

Sharing the News About Medicare’s Preventive Services

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Did you know that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare now covers a yearly wellness visit and many preventive screenings and services? Preventive services like these can find health problems early, when treatment works best. These services can also help keep you from getting certain diseases or illnesses.

Fight Against Childhood Obesity Begins at Home

<b>Fight Against Childhood Obesity Begins at Home</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Schools nationwide are revamping their lunch menus, celebrity chefs are going on reality TV and First Lady Michelle Obama has started a health initiative, all to combat the same thing — childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 million American children are obese or overweight, setting them up for a lifetime of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Many school systems have made attempts to provide healthier school lunches, such as offering salad bars or fresh fruit.

Food and drink makers are also making efforts to solve the problem. Companies like Coca-Cola have removed regular soft drinks from schools, and recently, major beverage companies, together with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced that they have successfully cut total calories from drinks delivered to schools by 88 percent over the last three years.

“From my experience, schools alone cannot stop children from becoming overweight or obese,” says registered dietitian Sylvia Klinger. “It is very important for parents to make an effort to encourage healthy eating habits at home and outside of the classroom.”

Klinger suggests these tips for parents who want their children to live healthy, active lives:

* Make healthy foods easy. We’re all familiar with the phrase “eat the rainbow.” To make it easy to get your family to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, chop bite-sized portions in advance, so you can take them out of the fridge and run. Sneak fruits into smoothies, and veggies into sauces, salsas or soups. Also, look for individually packaged whole-grain products, like 100 percent whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice.

* Create healthy eating habits. Always eat breakfast — children who eat breakfast not only weigh less, but also perform better in school. It is also important to schedule regular meal times. Try involving your children in the preparation of each meal. Avoid the clean plate system, which only promotes overeating. Also, don’t ban treats, which can encourage sneaking food or overeating when sweets are present.

* Get active. Exercise is important regardless of your child’s weight or age. If your child is overweight, focus on maintaining that weight while the child grows in height, which can be accomplished through exercise. No matter your child’s size, activities like team sports, swimming, hiking, cycling or just taking a family walk can help manage weight, increase energy and improve self-esteem.

Four Ingredients to Maximize Weight-Loss Success

<b>Four Ingredients to Maximize Weight-Loss Success</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – There is no single factor that causes weight gain, and there is no single secret to weight loss. Instead, the most successful weight-loss plans target multiple factors that may contribute to weight gain.

A weight-loss plan should include eating healthy, balanced meals and getting regular exercise, as well as regular supplements. The makers of Diet 360 tablets provide a multidimensional approach to weight loss through four key ingredients:

– Ashwagandha extract. An herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that can help regulate cortisol levels in the body. High levels of cortisol contribute to stress, which can contribute to weight gain.

– Fucoxanthin. An antioxidant derived from brown seaweed that may help to improve metabolism, which can help the body burn more calories.

– Blueberry leaf/bayberry bark extract. The combination of these two plant extracts has been associated with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and promoting glucose metabolism.

– Slimpure. A trademarked green coffee extract that is designed to help increase lean muscle mass.

In addition, these ingredients can help promote weight loss by targeting many of the factors that contribute to weight gain. Some common factors that can contribute to weight gain include:

– Stress. Stress has been associated with binge eating, carbohydrate cravings and poor sleep, all of which can play a role in weight gain.

– Low energy. If your metabolism is slow, you may burn fewer calories, and you may be more susceptible to weight gain.

– Lack of lean muscle mass. A lower percentage of lean muscle mass can foster weight gain; increasing lean muscle mass can help with weight loss.

– Unhealthy blood sugar. Unhealthy blood sugar may be associated with weight gain by promoting the creation of new fat cells.

For more information about how to simplify your weight-loss plan, visit the Diet 360 Web site: www.thebetterhealthstore.com/diet360. To order Diet 360 quickly and easily, visit the Better Health Store: www.thebetterhealthstore.com.

Should Your Exercise Routine Include Massage?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many Americans focus on the active part of exercise — lifting more weight or running more miles. But you build muscle during recovery, not while you’re exercising. For this reason, athletes of all levels are starting to pay exercise routines and recovery periods equal attention. And for many, sports massage has become a vital tool in the recovery process.

Sports massage is a specific form of massage designed to help athletes achieve the best possible performance and conditioning. Therapists usually concentrate on the areas most affected by a particular type of exercise. For example, a sports massage for a cyclist would address the quads, while a swimmer would need more work on the chest and upper back.

“Sports massage benefits all types of athletes; from the weekend warrior to the serious competitor. Receiving sports massage on a regular basis can increase muscle flexibility, reduce pain and inflammation from overuse during physical activity and promote faster recovery time,” said CG Funk, vice president of product development at Massage Envy.

Massage Envy recommends sports massage. Post-event massages help athletes recover after competitions, not only by increasing circulation to remove fatigue toxins and soreness, but also to promote mental relaxation.

Training massage helps athletes make the most of their exercise routines. Sports massage can reduce the likelihood of injury in oft-used muscles while also speeding recovery time, so athletes can work harder and more often.

Professional athletes will also arrange pre-event massages, as massaging the muscles before a workout helps them warm up more quickly.

But don’t think only professional athletes can benefit from massage — sports massage helps anyone who engages in physical activity, including swimmers, weight lifters, runners, golfers, ball players, skaters, dancers, tennis players and boxers.

For more information, visit www.massageenvy.com.

How to Be a Pro With Protein

<b>How to Be a Pro With Protein</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Protein has held an esteemed position in the nutrition world for some time. Next to water, protein is the most plentiful nutrient in the body. You may know you need protein to complete your daily nutrient requirements, but may not know exactly what it is doing for you or how much you need.

Protein happens to be one of the most versatile of all nutrients with many responsibilities in supporting your overall health. Most of us associate protein with maintaining healthy muscles, but protein is an important component of every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Protein supports your bones, brain cells, blood, skin, hair and finger nails. It supplies valuable enzymes that help regulate bodily functions. It acts as a “bus driver” transporting nutrients, oxygen and waste throughout the body. Protein is important for growth and maintenance of so many parts of your body.

One of the most immediate sensations you experience from eating protein, besides the satisfying flavors, is its ability to satiate your appetite. High-protein foods slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. Slower digestion means you feel full for a longer period of time. Also, combining carbohydrate foods with protein provides a steadying effect on your blood sugar, which prevents a steep rise in blood sugar followed by a quick dive that can trigger hunger. For example, apples and peanut butter, dried fruit and nuts, cheese and crackers, or steak and potatoes are great combinations of foods with carbohydrate and protein.

Here’s a guide for how much protein you need each day:

* Sedentary Adult. Weight in pounds x 0.4* = grams of protein/day

* Physically Active Adult. Weight in pounds x 0.5-0.75 = grams of protein/day

* Competitive Adult Athlete. Weight in pounds x 0.6-0.9 = grams of protein/day

* Adult Building Muscle. Weight in pounds x 0.7-1.0 = grams of protein/day

* Recommended protein amounts per pound adapted from “Sports Nutrition: A Guide for the Professional Working with Active People.”

When choosing protein-rich foods, pay attention to what comes along with the protein. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts and whole grains, are excellent choices because they also offer fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best animal protein choices are fish, poultry and lean cuts of grass-fed red meat. We have become accustomed to much larger portions of animal protein than we actually need. You may be surprised to hear that a healthy portion of red meat and poultry is about the size of the palm of your hand. Animal protein does contain saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, so it is best to consume more moderate portions and alternate it with vegetable proteins.

Of course, all these options are great until you try to take them on the go. A protein snack between meals curbs hunger, which helps you make more nutritious food choices. Throwing a steak into your purse for a quick snack is less than ideal and hardly appetizing. When your everyday foods aren’t available or convenient, look to portable protein sources, such as trail mix, a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, edamame, or a high-protein bar like LUNA Protein. LUNA Protein is an indulgent snack for anytime of the day. It provides 12 grams of protein with key vitamins and minerals women need at the same time.

Protein has earned its rightful position as a powerful nutrient for wellness. Understanding what protein does for you and how much you need will help you make better choices when it comes to replenishing, recovering and recharging your body each day.

Impacting Cancer Survival With Good Nutrition

<b>Impacting Cancer Survival With Good Nutrition</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Good nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy body, but bodies experiencing physical stress often require increased nutrient intake. Unfortunately, people under severe physical stress, such as people receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer, frequently struggle with eating, which makes getting adequate nutrition difficult.

It is estimated that malnutrition and weight loss are contributing factors in one out of every five cancer-related deaths. Cancer patients have difficulty maintaining weight during their treatment for a number of reasons including side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dry mouth.

Cancer treatments increase the body’s need for nutrients by speeding up metabolism and limiting nutrient absorption while at the same time making it difficult to swallow and changing the way food tastes. If a patient doesn’t take in enough calories, they are unable to maintain a healthy weight, which can lead to weakness and inability to fight their disease.

Typically, cancer patients need to consume about twice the protein and 10 percent more calories than a healthy person to maintain weight and nutrition during treatment cycles.

Hospitals and cancer treatment centers are taking steps to educate these patients by offering pre- through post-treatment nutrition counseling. The American Cancer Society also offers free nutrition advice for patients and caregivers through a toll-free phone service.

Health product manufacturers are doing their part to help cancer patients address their nutritional challenges, as well. For example, The Isopure Company, LLC, recently developed Isopure Plus Nutritional Drink, a clear, fruit-flavored, protein-based drink, to help cancer patients get the extra calories and protein they need to maintain proper nutrition before, during and after treatment.

Unlike most nutritional drinks, Isopure Plus Nutritional Drink isn’t thick or milky, and it goes down easy. It delivers 15 grams of rapidly absorbable, high-quality whey protein in a single 8-ounce serving and is free from fat, gluten and lactose (which may cause stomach upset in some people). It comes in two flavors, Alpine Punch and Grape Frost and is available at chain drug retailers, grocers, nutrition centers and through online outlets.

Are Probiotics a Potential Way to Maintain Healthy Weight?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Could the use of gut flora-boosting probiotics be an effective tool in the battle of the bulge? Studies on the relationship between probiotics and weight suggest that probiotics might play a significant role in helping manage metabolism. For the millions of people struggling to lead a healthier, leaner life, these potential benefits are welcome news.

In a study at Imperial College London, scientists watched how mice metabolized bile acids — acids that emulsify fat — with and without probiotic treatment. Mice with the “good” digestive bacteria absorbed nutrients differently, leading the scientists to conclude the probiotics could influence fat absorption. A separate study from Japan showed that probiotics aided rats on high-cholesterol and high-fat diets.

In another promising study on the topic, the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that a probiotic supplement may help gastric bypass patients to lose a higher percentage of weight after surgery. Current theories are that satiety, aided by probiotic therapy, plays a significant role in helping patients eat less and feel more satisfied, thus leading to weight loss.

How do probiotics influence weight loss? According to the most recent theories, probiotics help the body absorb more nutrients, producing feelings of satisfaction. Because the body can eat less food for the same amount of nutrients, people taking probiotics stop eating sooner, thus leading to weight loss.

All of this work is very promising for scientists who are looking to explore potential applications for probiotics. There is much more research required before they can determine the true nature of the relationship between probiotics and metabolism, but initial results are promising. Meanwhile, equipped with this limited but useful knowledge, consumers can test this prospective theory without a lab by conducting their own hands-on research by taking a chewable probiotic formulation like Vidazorb. Requiring no refrigeration and available in a number of formulations, Vidazorb is a very convenient way for everyone to get some “good bugs in their belly,” and weight management could be an added bonus.

For more information, visit www.vidazorb.com.

Aging Cats’ Nutritional Needs Change After Age 11

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – America’s most popular pet, the cat, lives more than half of its life in the senior years. Although advances in veterinary care, better nutrition and better educated owners have helped improve the quantity and quality of these years, studies reveal that senior cats continue to struggle with weight as the result of reduced activity levels and a steady decline in senses, nutrient absorption and fat digestion.

“One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable,” said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, who developed a senior wellness program to address the special needs of aging cats at his veterinary clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City.

Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior lifestage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs. Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior lifestage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior).

As cats age, there’s a gradual decline in the body’s ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior lifestage.

Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.

The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.

The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.

In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats’ activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian.

Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.