Do you exercise on an empty stomach?
If you regularly exercise without eating first, you should reconsider: when you work out on an empty stomach, research shows that the calories burned come from muscle, not fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss. Not only will fueling your body help you avoid losing muscle, but also, you'll have more energy to push yourself through your workout.
Do you drink coffee or tea?
This study of about 83,000 people suggests that drinking green tea or coffee daily might lower stroke risk by about 20 percent, with even more protection against a specific type of stroke.
This suggestion isn't hard to follow. With Starbucks on every corner and green tea available everywhere why not add it to your diet? The study is for caffeinated and non-caffeinated alike. "The regular action of daily drinking [of] green tea and coffee is a benefit in preventing stroke," said lead researcher Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo, chief doctor in the department of preventive cardiology at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, in Osaka. "If you cannot readily improve your lifestyle, try to prevent stroke by drinking green tea every day," he said. Although it isn't certain why coffee and tea may have this effect, Kokubo thinks it might be due to certain properties in these drinks that keep blood from clotting. In addition, green tea contains catechins, which have an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effect. Some chemicals in coffee, such as chlorogenic acid, may cut the risk of stroke by lowering the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, he explained. Coffee also contains caffeine, which may have an impact on cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and may cause changes in insulin sensitivity, which affects blood sugar, he added. Dr. Ralph Sacco, past president of the American Heart Association, cautioned that this type of study cannot say for sure that the lower risk of stroke is really the result of drinking coffee or tea.
Don’t be afraid of good fats.
“Fat” is not a four-letter word. “Unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, and fish improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood lipids,” Dr. Hu says. That translates into a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Healthful fats are the base of the Mediterranean style diet—consisting mostly of vegetables, nuts, beans, olive oil, and fish—and are what make it so superior. The Harvard School of Public Health and University of Athens Medical School found that this type of diet reduces the risk of death from heart disease and cancer by 25 percent. And a Columbia University Medical Center study reported that it can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 40 percent. Treating yourself two to four times a week to salmon and other fish that deliver omega-3 fatty acids, along with a small handful of nuts a day, may reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 percent and lower your cholesterol as well, according to research from Harvard.
Sunscreen – are you really using the right one correctly?
Positive information published from a study funded by the Australian government, researchers took silicone impressions of the backs of participants’ hands at the beginning of the study and after 4½ years. Trained assessors then graded the patterns of lines and skin coarseness on the hand impressions on a scale of one to six. The damage seen on the surface of the skin reflects the tissue damage underneath the skin, said Adèle Green, senior scientist and head of cancer and population studies at Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia and lead author of the study. Those using sunscreen 71% less sun damage. It's very hard to steer clear of the sun with our own need to exercise, and our children and grandchildren's soccer games, swimming matches, and other outdoor activities. Simple park days where we think we're protected under that shade are still dangerous. With rules implemented last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sunscreens must say broad-spectrum - protecting against both UVA and UVB rays—and that have an SPF of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of early skin aging and skin cancer. The new rules also say that products claiming water resistance must say how long a user can expect to get that protection while swimming or sweating. We must read and follow these directions for the full protection.
Get a Life Line Screening to know for sure.
We call it intuition, or a gut feeling. We all relate to getting that sick feeling that something is about to happen. Rather than try to swallow that lump in your throat, go ahead, and recognize the elephant in the room. It might not be as big as you think.
If you could see plaque clogging your arteries... you’d floss them. If you could see a cramped heart muscle... you’d massage it. If you could see a blood clot... you’d wash it out. If you could see inside yourself... you’d talk to your doctor about heart disease.
I know I’m not able to see inside myself, so I picked the next best thing: Life Line Screening.
In the same amount of time it takes for lunch, you can have a preventative screening:
•Stoke/Carotid Artery Disease
•Peripheral Arterial Disease
•Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
After work, I’m treating myself to a mani-pedi and perhaps a trip to the mall. I’m confident that my time at the screening today was well spent ensuring that I’m doing the most for my future.
Best of all, anyone can schedule their own Life Line Screening. Doctors often recommend Life Line Screening, but you are not required to have a doctor’s referral to schedule the screening in most states.
Call and schedule your appointment: 800.449.2350
• 80% of strokes can be prevented.
• 64% of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.
Please reread the last two bullet points.
About the editor, Lois Trader: A two-time survivor of life-threatening disease, and a woman who has lived through bankruptcy - not only financially but physically, psychologically, and spiritually - Lois knows what it is to be bankrupt in every way. She has risen above these circumstances; her passion now is to give others the courage to do the same.
Visit Lois here: Lifelong Health