Archive for July, 2010

Do Not Ignore Taking Care of Your Feet

It seems that we are care more about our face, hands, and hairs, and we can also find many articles about how to take care of them. But few people find that our feet also need special care.
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You have to care for your feet well to avoid aches and pains that may translate into chronic problems, which will make your experience of walking, running, exercising or just standing comfortable and with more pleasant. So foot-care is a point that we cannot ignore in keeping us healthy.

If you find you lose feeling in your feet, your feet has change its shape, or foot ulcers or sores do not heal for a long time, you need to have your feet examined. And the most important thing is you have to take good care of your feet in daily life.

Let’s see some steps for taking care of your feet, to keep your feet in good condition.

  • Wash your feet every day. You run from place to place every day, and your feet would have been exposed to a lot of dust and dirt by the end of the day. You should clean your feet with soap, and pay attention to the spaces between the toes. Wipe the feet gently with a towel afterward. Aside from being a mark of good hygiene, doing this would also ensure that you do not step onto your bed with dirty feet, and thus prevent from bringing dirt to your place of rest and relaxation.
  • Give your feet a pedicure every two weeks. Regular pedicures should be an important procedure of caring your feet. It will keep your feet soft and free from dry and rough skin, and also help in keep your toenails clean and neat. You can have your pedicure professionally done in a salon, or you can also do it at home by yourself. But you may need some tools and more advices from the professionals.
  • Moisturize your feet every day. Our skin need to keep moisturized after cleansing, as well as skin on your feet. Moisturize is one important part of protection routine. To rub on some lotion or petroleum jelly before bed, and slip some socks if possible will help you achieve soft and moisturized feet.
  • Here are more tips that you can do to care for your feet.

    Trim your toenails regularly If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.

    Always wear shoes and socks instead of barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.

    Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don’t put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
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    Do some exercises to keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time. Don’t smoke.

    Last but not least, never wait. Get start to take good care of your feet today. To set a time every day to check your feet and you can also ask your doctor to give some advice.

    Why Are Grapes Healthy?

    My mother always told me not to eat grapes because they were full of sugar. Nutritionists for a long time seemed to agree with my mother. Now, though red grapes are considered almost a super food because they are very high in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are defined as flavonoid pigments found in many varieties of vegetables and fruits. They are a good source of antioxidants.

    Anthocyanins are thought to protect the body from cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, the anthocyanins will keep them from moving to other parts of the body. If tumors appear, the anthocyanins try to destroy them. Medical research has shown that the anthocyanins are helpful in reducing the likelihood of premature memory loss.

    Research has indicated that eating grapes can help prevent clogged arteries. A recent medical study compared people who ate grapes to people who drank a sugar solution. The results showed that just three hours after eating the equivalent of 1 and 1/4 cups of grapes, the grape eaters had better blood flow through their arteries than did the sugar solution drinkers. Blood-flow benefits continued to improve after three weeks of daily grape-eating.

    Grapes may even help protect your blood vessels from the damaging effects of a fatty meal. Generally the damage to your body occurs immediately after consuming the fat. Early research suggests that grapes may help protect your blood pressure from salty foods also.

    Grapes have only 75 calories in a 1 and 1/4 cup serving. Grapes consist of about 80 percent water, making them a good low-calorie snack. Grapes also add fiber to the diet and are naturally low in sodium. Raisins, or dried grapes, contain only about 15 percent water. Since nutrients and calories are more concentrated in raisins you are really better off sticking to fresh grapes.

    Besides the anthocyanins, grapes are an excellent source of several different vitamins and mineral that help you stay healthy.

    Vitamin C – Grapes contain high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that assists your body in ridding itself of free radicals within the body.

    Vitamin B1 – B1 Is a good vitamin for getting extra energy plus it helps keep your nervous system working right.

    Potassium – Potassium is excellent mineral for helping you lower your blood pressure. Potassium also helps fight your body’s chances of undergoing a stroke. Sometimes lack of energy indicates a potassium deficiency.

    Manganese – Grapes are a good source of manganese. Manganese helps the body build stronger bones and also builds the connective tissue throughout your body. It also assists the body in calcium absorption, which is very important for those looking to build healthy bones.

    If you are trying to lose weight you have to watch your portions on grapes. Since grapes do have some sugar, you have to be careful not to eat too many. In other words do not eat a whole entire bag of grapes all at once. Because they are small it is easy to overdo. Pre-packaging your grapes prior to eating them is a great way to ensure that you are limiting the amount that you eat.

    Running and Weight Loss

    Running is a pretty good way to lose weight. A downside is that some of the weight you can lose through this method is going to be muscle weight, so you should always augment your running with some time doing resistance training. (weight training) A benefit to running is that you get an additional hour of increased metabolism after you are done running.

    Actually that works with any sort of exercise that gets your heart racing and your blood pumping, and that definitely is true enough when you talk about running. But what is “running?” I’ve gotten this question a number of times. Is there a difference between running and jogging or is there a speed that turns a jog into a run? The simplest answer is, no. Jogging was just a made up term back in the seventies that caught on. There is no difference whatsoever, although some people may try to tell you differently. It’s one of those “you say tomato and I say tomahto” kind of things. Running is any movement to transport you, by foot, in a given direction where one foot is generally in the air at any given time and both feet are occasionally in the air at the same times. This differentiates it from walking where one foot is always on the ground at any given moment.

    Running is one of the most efficient ways of burning calories, which isn’t really what you want when you are trying to lose weight. An inefficient burning is optimum. So what do you do to burn more calories while you run. You basically have two options.

    You can run on slopes. Running up or down hill is challenging because your body is not generally acclimated to running like that. The upward and downward run challenges different muscles, so they really can help you to burn calories.

    The second option is to do interval training when you run. This is, in my opinion, the optimal way to increase your burn. In interval training you want to pick landmarks and increase and decrease your pace. First do a near sprint for a hundred yards or so, and then take your speed down a couple notches to catch your breath. Once you have caught your breath, you repeat the cycle. I’ve had people who run in the city and alternate pace for each block. That seems as good a method as any.

    If you are really up to a challenge you can combine these two methods, and do interval training on hills. Take it easy at the start of this sort of thing, or you will definitely be paying for it in the coin of sore muscles for a few days to follow.

    Hope this gives you a few ideas to implement and happy running to you.

    Vegetarian Diet Can Treat Obesity

    Studies show that vegetarians consume about 500 less calories per day than non-vegetarians, which can lead to a significant amount of weight loss. In order to lose one pound, you need a deficit of 3,500 calories, so simply switching to a vegetarian diet can cause one to lose a pound per week. The reason that vegetarians consume less calories than their meat-eating counterparts is that they eat a diet that is primarily made up of fruits and vegetables, which are low in calories and fat. In addition to consuming 500 less calories per day, vegetarians also consume an average of 25% less fat than non-vegetarians do on a daily basis. Over time, this fat deficit can lead to a significant reduction in body fat.

    In order to lose weight, vegetarians still need to watch what they eat. It is important that they not deep fry their vegetables or eat snacks that are high in sugar. Vegetarians should also avoid processed foods, as they contain high levels of sodium that can lead to poor health and water weight gain. The types of foods that vegetarians should eat in order to maintain optimal health are organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and a variety of nuts. Since most nuts contain high levels of fat, they should be eaten in small amounts. Organic fruits and vegetables are best because they contain more nutrients and are free of pesticides. Whole grains should be eaten over refined grains because they contain more protein and fiber, which are both essential in digestive health, and weight loss.

    Since meat, especially red meat, is high in both calories and saturated fat, removing it from your diet can lead to significant weight loss. Some people argue that meat and other animal products are necessary in order to consume adequate amounts of protein, but this is not true. Beans are an excellent meat substitute and they are low in fat and calories, while still containing high levels of protein. Statistics show that people who follow a vegetarian diet maintain lower body weights than those who do not, which is proof that a vegetarian diet can be a highly effective weight loss tool.

    Transitioning to a vegetarian diet does not guarantee weight loss. Even a vegetarian diet offers poor food choices. All meals should be planned ahead of time to avoid turning to high calorie foods such as potato chips, snack cakes, and other foods of that nature. When preparing food, vegetarians need to consider broiling, baking or steaming their foods rather than frying them. If frying is a must, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil are the best oils to use. Avoiding processed foods is another key to maintaining a healthy weight for vegetarians. These foods not only have a high sodium content, but they also provide less nutrients than organic and whole foods do.

    The key to fighting obesity with a vegetarian diet is eating a wide variety of different foods. This will not only keep you from getting bored, but it will also provide you with all of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs in order to function at it’s best.

    Stress Solution

    Perhaps you are now at a point in our life, when you feel the importance of finding a way to handle stress. Maybe your health is already suffering because of your inability to handle stressful situations properly. Whatever the reason may be, it is imperative that you develop a stress management plan that is easy to execute and that will provide visible results fast.

    Here’s a simple stress management plan that maybe able to help you:

    1. Get a piece of paper and divide it into three columns.

    2. On column 1, write down the label “activities I enjoy doing”. Write down at least 5 activities which you enjoy doing. This can include sports, your hobbies, or even spending quality time with your family.

    3. On the next column, write the label, “things I can live without”. Now write down at least 3 things which, if you remove from your life, or you stop doing will not adversely affect your life or your relationships. This may include activities like staying up late doing computer work, doing home chores by yourself and not delegating responsibilities, accepting too much tasks in the office, with no commensurate pay.

    4. On the last column, write down the label, “things I need to do, but kept postponing”. On this column, write down things which have been on your list for years now, but you never got around to doing them. Perhaps you had always wanted to travel on your own, or maybe you had been planning to see an old friend for coffee, but never found the time to do so.

    Now that you have created your 3 column list, you can now make a short term plan (perhaps for 3-6 months) which will include items from your list. You can then categorize, analyze and prioritize.

    Then make a vow to yourself that this week, you will try to spend a few minutes a day towards the completion of one or two of the things that you have always wanted to do. Perhaps you had always wanted to lose weight. A good goal for the week then, will to spend some time at the gym, or to jog for 15 minutes. Take baby steps into completing your goals, and then congratulate yourself every time you are able to accomplish one of your goals.

    The next thing to plan on will be eliminating this week at least 2 from your list of unimportant things that are taking too much of your time. This could mean talking less on the phone and instead, spending your time on something more productive.

    Then finally, this week, vow also to do at least two of the tasks or activities that you have been putting off for a long time. Perhaps you wanted to update your checkbooks, or get a flu shot, but never got around to doing them. Find the time, and tackle at least 2 doable activities this week.

    We can sometimes feel stressed because we are overwhelmed by the things that are on our do lists. By focusing only on the high priority lists, and stopping from procrastinating, we can minimize that feeling of not being in control of our time.

    By creating a stress management plan, you will see some order in your life, and there will be less areas in your life that will cause you tension on a daily basis. Evaluate how you can improve on your plan regularly and you will soon be able to manage stress in your daily life.

    Grow Taller Tips

    Ever hope that miracles will occur so that you will grow taller overnight?

    If you are still going through puberty, that’s great. There are still so many things you can do to increase your height, especially when we are talking about natural methods like exercise and diet.

    But what if you are already way past puberty? What if you are already over 25 years old? Well, there is no need to worry or despair. Most importantly, don’t lose hope because there are still several options available to you.

    First, let’s talk about the growth process of a human being. Still remember the days when you are young?

    For babies, the composition of their bones is very different from adults. For babies, a lot of their bones consist of a flexible substance which we call cartilage.

    During growth, much of these cartilage starts to fuse and becomes solid adult bones. That is why as babies, we have more bones than adults.

    Once we hit puberty, the growth plates at the end of the longer bones will actually begin to lengthen gradually. This is a reason why you see abrupt growth spurts in teenagers who are going through puberty.

    In fact, I still remember friends who are extremely short during their childhood days. However, eventually, they shot up tremendously in height and are now taller than ever.

    If you are still in your golden period of puberty, then a good diet and exercise program can be extremely helpful and beneficial. Not only does it help improve your health, you will also grow taller as a result.
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    So what kinds of nutrients do you need?

    Well, amino acids, proteins, calories and calcium are all very important nutrients for your body growth. Of course, you shouldn’t forget vitamins and other minerals that are essential for good health.

    Regular exercises during puberty help in the release of growth hormone, which is without a doubt a critical factor that determine how much height you can gain during this period.

    Even if you are over 25 years old and way past puberty, exercise is still useful.

    First, exercise keeps you healthy. Most importantly, it helps you to maintain healthy bones. Healthy bones are essential for your height. Without healthy bones, you might even shrink in height, which is definitely not what you want.

    In fact, there are certain exercises that can help to correct your posture, which is effectively a way to help you grow taller naturally.

    If you are not that keen in natural ways to grow taller, you can make use of some fashion tips to help you appear taller than you really are.

    For example, it is probably better to chose black clothing than white ones. Darker clothing makes you look taller as they will not draw attention to your waistline.

    Hand Held Massagers

    Massagers are devices used to massage one’s body with the help of electrical energy to promote the required beneficial effects. Massagers are found in many forms and shapes and sizes and they basically work on the muscular and nervous system by producing tuned and controlled vibrations generated electrically. Regarding the popular and proven health effects of a massager, it is quite logical to want to buy a massager of your own (i.e. if you haven’t already). But the common problem is which one to choose from the vast array of massagers available in the market.

    Conventional vs. Hand held massagers

    The invention of massagers is not new. For many years now, massagers are known to help people relieve pain and anxiety. But sometimes all if those fail in case of back-pain. As that portion is not easy to reach on their own, people cannot help that part of the body even though they have a massager at their disposal. The art of massaging is brought new with lots of flexibility, robustness and suppleness added to them that conventional massaging machines lack. The latest hand held massagers sold by many online organization comes with a really long handle that makes it easy to massage their backs with.

    Benefits of using one

    Having a long handle hand-held massager at your house does provide you with added options. You can massage your entire back with it in order to really benefit from the massaging. The machines uses a technology that helps relieve pain, anxiety, stress and depression making it your money’s worth. Products such as Magic Wand and Back-up-Chair offer you full ease at your back and do not cost you more than $45 or so. These massagers are able to reduce blood pressure, maintain a good heart and blood flow all through the body, and increase peripheral blood lymphocytes and attention and focus while doing a particular job. This increase in concentration added with all other benefits can really help to make you a much better person at anything you do.

    The added bonus while using any hand held massagers is the mental comfort that they are totally risk free and does not produce any adverse side effect when it comes to your health. Health is the superior priority and only the products which are clinically proven in the medical community should be used. Buying from an online store of rapture is not only a good option because of the professionalism they are known to deliver at their work, it is also because the reliability and the medical assurance that are available from them. So if you want to live a long and healthy life, buying the best back massagers is something that just makes sense.

    Traveling Gluten Free

    With all of the challenges involved in sticking to a gluten free diet at home, you might think it would be just impossible to do while traveling. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Just like in other areas of your live, making the transition to gluten free traveling involves some adjustments. But it is very doable. You don’t have to give up the vacations or weekend getaways you’ve always enjoyed. You just have to plan ahead a little bit.

    Check Out the Area

    Particularly if you’re going someplace you’ve never been before, it’s a good idea to find out what kinds of grocery stores and restaurants there are in the area where you’ll be staying. Searching online is certainly the easiest and quickest way to do this, but you should also call some stores and restaurants to see if they can accommodate you. Not every place that serves gluten free food advertises it so it’s always a good idea to ask.

    Also, don’t forget that more and more national chain restaurants are starting to include gluten free menu items. If there’s an Uno’s Chicago Grill, Appleby’s, Outback Steakhouse or Olive Garden in the area you’ll be visiting then you’ll know you at least have that option.

    Accommodating Accommodations

    If you are able to find some suitable restaurants, you may want to look for a hotel or other accommodations in the same area. If you don’t mind traveling a little bit, though, you can be a bit pickier about the place that you stay and what kinds of amenities they offer. Particularly if you don’t want to eat out for every meal, you’ll want to make sure your hotel room is equipped with certain things.

    Many hotel rooms, but certainly not all, have mini refrigerators in them. While it’s not vital to your vacation survival, it’s really very handy to have one of these. You shouldn’t have trouble finding a hotel room with one as long as you ask. Similarly, a microwave is a huge plus. These two appliances will increase your meal options exponentially, and they’re pretty common in hotel rooms.

    If nothing else, you’ll probably have access to a common microwave in the lobby or lounge. It’s more convenient to just have your own, and that way you won’t have to worry about cross contamination either. There are even some hotel chains like Extended Stay America that offer actual kitchenettes with a stovetop, sink, flatware and cookware.

    To Cook or Not To Cook

    Of course, you may not feel like you should have to cook on your vacation, but it’s certainly good to have the option of storing and preparing your own gluten free food when you’re on the road. At the very least, having a refrigerator or kitchenette will allow you to store a wider variety of snacks and sandwich supplies for breakfasts and lunches. Eating out can also get expensive quickly, especially because a lot of gluten free restaurant offerings are more expensive than their gluten containing counterparts.

    A Look at What is in Our Drinking Water

    Water is essential for every living thing on our planet. We depend upon it for our very sustenance, and in fact, human bodies are mainly composed of it. It seems only fitting that we should be drinking this substance that is so beneficial and necessary in its purest form. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. The majority of our water supply is contaminated with all sorts of toxins and harmful substances. If you were given a real look at what is in our drinking water, you would be shocked, horrified, and ready to do something about it.

    If you wish to take the matter of your own health seriously, you should consider installing a filtration system in your home. This is because while municipal companies do work to purify our drinking supply, they make use of chemicals, which do work in filtering out bad bacteria, but at the same time are toxic for our bodies.

    Our water is being polluted every day. You have probably poured all types of substances down your drain without even giving it a second thought. We all have. This is a matter that we should all take to heart and work on.

    In some areas of the country, plants are dumping large amounts of dyes and liquid waste into ponds and streams to get rid of it. Oil spills occur, often without publicity because of the sensitive nature of the topic. And individuals everywhere are flushing pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, and other things that should never enter our water supply to begin with. We have a serious problem at hand, and it is all our own faults, yet it must be dealt with.

    Chlorine and chloramine are being used as a purification method. However, these chemicals are just as harmful as many of the substances that they work to kill. Chloramine has been linked to a vast number of diseases and illnesses and chloramine has been found to be breaking down our pipes, further contaminating our water with heavy metals that are even more harmful for human consumption.

    For this reason, all individuals should be doing their part not only to keep the water pure, but to purify it in their homes so that they can give their family a pure fresh supply that is safe and free of harmful toxins. There are many different types of filtration systems that are effective, easy to install, and affordable. This is one investment that is definitely worth everything you put into it.

    The “Right” Kind of Massage

    Many different approaches

    Massage is an ancient healing art that has been practiced in every culture. Captain Cook once described how his back pain was successfully treated with massage by the native people of Hawaii during his stay in the islands.

    Massage has evolved and taken many paths and continues to evolve during these modern times. With so many names and philosophies, how does a client know which is the right kind of massage for them? And how does the therapist know what is the right kind of massage for the client? Sports massage, Swedish massage, Russian massage, acupressure, deep tissue massage… there are so many different kinds of massage. I’ll discuss some general categories in another article but for now I want to talk specifically about what I mean when I say that the right kind of massage can be very effective, while the wrong kind of massage will, at the very least, be ineffective and, at worst, cause symptoms to worsen.

    Different strokes, different results

    Let me give an example taken from my own practice. Years ago, when I was first beginning to learn Russian massage, a woman called and booked an hour appointment. Upon arrival, she told me she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She’d had experience with massage before, liked it, and wanted a fairly vigorous one hour massage. I had recently begun to study with the renowned Russian Massage therapist Zhenya Kurashova Wine and knew from Zhenya that a vigorous one hour massage would not be the best choice for her and that, in fact, a gentle 20 – 30 minute treatment would be better. I explained this to the client. She was willing to consider it for a future visit but at that moment, she really had her heart set on a one hour vigorous massage. Against my better judgement, I complied. At the end of the appointment she said that she liked the massage very much and booked another appointment for the following week to try the alternative treatment I’d suggested.

    When she came the following week, I asked how she felt after her first massage. She said she’d felt better for the rest of the day and then went home, crashed, and could barely get out of bed the following two days. I proceeded to do the very gentle 30 minute treatment that I do for CFS and fibromyalgia. The client came in the following week and, again, I asked how she felt after the last massage. She reported that she’d gone home, took a 20 minute nap, and then felt really good for the next three days.

    Two different massage treatments, two entirely different reactions.

    Massage is like medicine

    Zhenya would tell us that massage is like medicine. First, you have to have the correct diagnosis. If you don’t know exactly what is the problem, you are not going to know what is the correct solution. Then, as with medicine, you have to know what is the right medicine and what is the right dose. How much? How often? In Russian massage we study the specific effects that each stroke has on the physiological processes of the body. How is the treatment for nerve irritation different from treatment for muscle pain? How is treatment for an acute situation different from a chronic condition? How would one approach a systemic disorder? A client with congestive heart failure? Stroke?
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    As you can see with my client, the wrong kind of massage felt good at the time but really did not help her. The right kind of massage got much better results. A good therapist will understand exactly how her touch affects the body at many levels. She will listen carefully to the client’s needs and adjust accordingly. By understanding the client’s condition at that point in time and understanding how we affect the body, we can deliver just the right kind of massage and achieve greater results.

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