Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Do what you want…sometimes

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

A Healthy Life Sign

We spend the majority of our lives enduring other people telling us what to do.  Teachers, bosses, and parents have filled our lives with no-no’s, admonishments, and well-meaning advice.  But here’s a radical idea-just do what you want.  If you want a chocolate bar, have one.  If you want to take a nap, go ahead.  If you feel like skipping down the street…you get the idea.

Something occurred to me after many sweaty hours at the gym, rifling through health magazines and reading countless advice columns.  Maybe obsessively counting calories and other deprivations work for some people, but they certainly don’t work for me.  In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect.  When I tell myself I can’t have something, I want it all the more.

Such is the human condition.

So I’m trying a different approach.  If one afternoon all I can think about is eating a hamburger with fries, I actually allow myself to go and get one.  Two things are accomplished.  Once I give into my craving, I am thereby sated.   Instead of eating everything else in its place and then still wanting the burger, I just have what my body wants and in the end I am convinced that I consume fewer calories overall.  After I’ve indulged in the “treat”, I don’t feel deprived and therefore will eat healthier over the next few days (or weeks in some cases).

I am absolutely not advocating a burger-large fries-pitcher-of-beer-a-day existence.  But I think cutting ourselves some slack once in a while is mentally healthy and can go a long way.  At the very least it can help us to manage our stress.  Because deep down, we all know what the healthy choices are.

Remember, eat as healthy as possible, get plenty of exercise, and catch up on as much sleep as time permits.  It’s your healthy life.  Now go enjoy it!

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To learn more daily health tips, please read our health archives.  Some of our favorites supplements that can boost your immune system, improve sleep patterns, and can promote heart health are found on our products page.

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I Want Candy!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Pick supplements and not sugar for better health

“The sugar rush.”  Sometimes nothing else will do.  When I’m face to face with a box of candy, or a malted milk, I am truly powerless to resist.  And with a certain chocolate-centric holiday just around the corner, I have to tread lightly, or else I will fall into a different category, “the sugar coma.”

All joking aside, sugar is delicious and wonderful to enjoy, especially on holidays and birthdays.  But it is also full of empty calories.  For example, the average soda these days contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.  10!  Even though I’m a sugar fanatic, I can’t bring myself to drink much soda anymore.  And that’s a great thing.  Instead I substitute milk, mineral water with a little lime, or even a small glass of wine and I save myself 100’s of calories a day.

Diabetes is on the rise.  It’s sad but true.  Some hypothesize that everything we eat nowadays is laden with sugar, and perhaps these ideas are not far off.  Be sure to check your food labels for hidden sugars, even in items like crackers, soups, and tomato sauces.  Awareness can make the difference in your health and also in your waistline.

Reward yourself properly.  As a society, we tend to reward a promotion, good grades, or any other success or special occasion with a big meal and lots of treats.  Choose wisely.  Now I love cake as much as the next person, but maybe it’s a better (and certainly healthier) idea to splurge on a massage, a night at the theater, or even a new outfit.  You will ultimately feel better, weigh less, and perhaps even spend a little quality time appreciating something you wouldn’t normally do.

Keep up the exercise, and work in lots of vegetables and fruits into your diet.  Take vitamins and supplements like Calcium, CoQ10, and Omega-3.  Get a proper night’s sleep as much as possible, and then, if all else fails, have that chocolate chip cookie with extra walnuts.  But just a couple.  Wash them down with a nice, cold glass of nonfat milk.  You’ve earned it!

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Time is on your side…yes it is!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

young woman jumping

How often have you lamented if only I had an extra hour, or half hour in the day-if only I had more time, I could make some real progress?  Time is at a premium for most of us.  And tacking on an extra errand or chore, even if it’s for our health, can feel burdensome.  And maybe going to the gym and cooking fresh, organic produce just isn’t in the cards everyday.  But what if there were some ways to optimize your time every day and etch out just a little bit (between the carpool, work, dentist appointment etc) of healthy time for yourself?  We’ve come up with a few ideas that just may work for you.

Set your alarm just ten minutes early.  This is a very small sacrifice but you’ll be amazed that you’ll actually have time for a bowl of cereal, a piece of toast with peanut butter or chopping up a delicious apple to have as a mid-morning snack.  Your mood will improve, your productivity will go up, and who knows?  Maybe you’ll finally secure that raise, allowing for a more robust vacation fund, (also excellent for your health!).

You can exercise in spurts.  Yep, it’s true.  No more excuses that you don’t have an hour to dedicate to your gym.  Instead, look for opportunities to integrate exercise into your daily activities.  Walk to you local coffee shop at least three times a week.  Whether it’s down the street from your house, or three blocks from your office, there is no need to get in the car.  Your body will thank you in the long run for the bit of fresh air and exercise, plus you’re being eco-friendly.  If you don’t drink coffee, the same goes for a trip to the post office, pet store, dress shop, or rare Ukrainian coin purveyor.

Turn the TV off-at least sometimes!  Yes, we know it’s the playoffs.  And there’s always that funny movie on that you’ve been meaning to watch.  But the truth is, getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and TV can be a time-sucking black hole.  (Sorry Conan!)  Take that extra time to hang out with your family and friends and then catch some quality zzz’s.

By carving out a few extra minutes in the short day for some healthy practices, you will find that time ends up being right on your side.  Now go out there and make good use of it!

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Health…matters!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Solanova good eating habit are healthy

I was just recently patting myself on the back because I hadn’t gotten sick at all during this flu season.  Even though I was completely surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, and hacking co-workers and/or relatives, I experienced nary a cough.  Well done, I thought.  I must really be impervious to-well-everything!  Hurray for me!

But then, inevitably, I woke up with a cold.  Normally there are warning signs; a feeling of dopiness, a vague headache, unexplained fatigue.  However this time, I simply woke up feeling stuffy, headachy, and just a little bit out of it.  This cold is annoying, and is making me just a tad crazy as I try to search for just the right-um-uh-you know-phrase to convey its unpleasantness.

Colds really do make me feel hazy and tired.  But here’s what I realized.  The colds I used to get oftentimes turned into something much worse (like Bronchitis) and tended to be of longer, agonizing duration.  Now when I am unlucky enough to get sick, the cold or flu isn’t that bad and is over in a few days tops.

What is the difference between then and now, you may ask?  Eating right, exercising, and yes, faithfully taking my vitamins and supplements.

I hate to be so darn elementary about it, but in my case it seems to be absolutely true.  I was once a person who, when faced with an illness, would try to consume fistfuls of vitamin C and other vitamins on the off chance it would stop my misery mid-cold.  It didn’t.  I was also the kind of person who would only wander near a gym, a produce market, or a vitamin store sporadically, and usually just to peek in the window.

A few years ago I decided to make a change.  I started eating things like broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots, and salads at least once every single day.  I joined a gym and I went to it, usually three times a week.  And finally, I did a little research and started taking some vitamins and supplements on a regular basis.  Now none of these things is rash by any means, but I changed what I felt I could really commit to and it worked.  I feel healthier, stronger, more well rested, and better overall than I did just a few years ago.

I decided to make a series of small changes that over time made a big impact on my life and my health.  You can do it too.  Good luck.

Happy New Year!

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Out with the bad, in with the healthy!

Monday, December 28th, 2009

new-years-calendar

As the year comes to a close, you may find you are promising yourself all kinds of ambitious results in the name of New Year’s resolutions.  For example, you decided you’ll get up at 5am every day and take a jog around your neighborhood for at least 45 minutes-even if it’s raining-and cold.  And you’re not a jogger.  You’ve also promised yourself you’d cut up all of your credit cards except one, and then commit to paying it off in full every month.  Another resolution might be to not eat too much at one sitting and to be sure you consume at least three or four servings of vegetables and fruits a day.  Now all that doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

All of these New Year’s resolutions are very commendable, but the problem is that it can be very difficult and discouraging to try to live up to these types of ideals.  It’s great to think big and aim high but sometimes what we really need is a realistic goal that is actually attainable.  And once we’ve stuck to an easy and manageable plan, it gives us the confidence to perhaps add another healthy commitment to our plate.

Start with something simple.  If you’re trying to lose weight and consume a lot of sugary soda, try swapping the soda for water and watch as the pounds drop off.  Little adjustments like this can help over time, and it won’t make you feel hungry or too deprived.  Making plans to walk with a friend or family member after work a few times a week can help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and also gives you time to catch up with the people you’d like to see more often-which is maybe another good New Year’s resolution to pursue.

Start with something fundamental.  If you smoke, by all means quit!  Sometimes, we skirt around the real health issue, such as making plans to exercise more and eat healthier when the first step should be to quit smoking.  But smoking cessation can be extremely challenging, and therefore committing to eating more broccoli instead sounds better.  But broccoli can only do so much if you are polluting your body with carcinogens.  Get into a program, find some support, and follow through on the one really important resolution for the year; kicking a bad health habit like smoking. And the bonus is that you not only make yourself healthier, but also help those around you.  Second hand smoke can cause a myriad of illnesses including asthma, so do your family and friends a favor and kick the habit for good.

Whatever resolutions you pick, make sure they mean something to you and are something you can work toward with confidence during the year.  May this season bring health and happiness to you and your loved ones.

Happy holidays!

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Read more about new years resolutions and what kind of healthy choices to make here. Commit to better health by taking powerful antioxidants and ensure a great 2010!

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To be or not to be…an ice cream sundae.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

woman with salad and antioxidants

You are what you eat.  Yes, a hackneyed expression, but nevertheless true.  I always feel better if I eat in a healthy way, and usually feel vaguely guilty if I’ve indulged in too much fat, sugar, or alcohol-and usually it’s a combination of all three-especially around the holidays.

If you’re anything like me, it can be very difficult to stay motivated.  For example, I like the gym, but I like sleeping more.  I enjoy sautéed Swiss chard, but I’d much rather have an oversized ice cream sundae dripping with chocolate sauce.  It’s very easy and tempting to stray off the healthy, antioxidant path.  There are cookie-laden forests and lakes of freshly whipped cream to explore instead!  But these empty calorie treats-as good as they may be-are nutrition traps.  What’s more, they aren’t doing anything to fortify my immune system.  I want to feel strong, healthy, and in control of my health destiny as much as possible.

So I recommit.  Every day to a healthy way of life.  For me, putting my continued good health at the top of my “to do” list empowers me to carry on with my eating-right-and-exercising-routine.  The fact that I will look better in my clothes is a nice byproduct, but not the main reason that I try very hard to take care of myself.  I cram as many antioxidant-enriched foods as I can possibly stand into my daily routine.  My body then has the tools it needs to fortify my immune system and defend against free radical damage and hopefully against various diseases and health conditions too.

In fact, there was a recent study conducted tracking midlife eating habits of Swedish twins.  It was hypothesized that those who fortified their diets with plenty of fruits and vegetables mid life seemed to lessen their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, compared with twins who did not eat as many antioxidant enriched foods.

I decided long ago to hedge my bets and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet replete with plenty of antioxidants.  I am also sure to take Omega-3 fatty acids and highly absorbable multivitamins and vitamin D supplements every day for better health.  By committing to good health habits on a regular basis, I can still have my sundae and eat it too-and that makes me very, very happy.

Be healthy and enjoy all of the holiday festivities!

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To read more about powerful antioxidant support, check out our health archives. Happy holidays from all of us at Solanova!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38666“Midlife Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Dementia in Later Life in Swedish Twins,” Hughes TF, Andel R, et al, Am J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2009 Nov 10; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA, USA).

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In vitamin D we trust

Friday, December 18th, 2009

couple happy with Solanova supplements

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the positive effects of getting enough vitamin D, and equally much lamenting that most Americans aren’t getting as much as they need of the important vitamin to live an optimally healthy life.  Through numerous research, it has been shown that people with low levels of vitamin D seem to have a higher risk of disease overall.  Vitamin D is traditionally known for its supporting role, helping calcium build up strong bones.  But it also can help to regulate and fortify the immune system.  In a very recent study, vitamin D deficiency was linked to a greater risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer disease, and stroke.

In a cross-sectional study involving 318 elders (mean age = 73.5 years) receiving home care, results indicate that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may be associated with increased risks for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were deficient (<10 ng/mL) in 14.5% and insufficient (10-20 ng/mL) in 44.3% of the participants. Mean 25(OH)D concentrations were found to be lower in subjects with dementia. Additionally, a significantly higher prevalence of dementia was observed in vitamin D insufficient subjects. After adjusting for confounding factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease and stroke (with and without dementia symptoms). Lastly, vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased white matter hyperintensity volume, grade, and prevalence of large vessel infarcts. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, “Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency was associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease, stroke (with and without dementia symptoms), and MRI indicators of cerebrovascular disease. These findings suggest a potential vasculoprotective role of vitamin D.”

Vitamin D is turning out to be an incredibly important element for overall health.  Spending (a little) time in the sun, eating a balanced diet replete with calcium rich foods, and taking a quality vitamin D supplement can all contribute to continued good health and vitality.

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There is more information about enhancing the immune system and vitamin deficiency in our health concerns archives. And for superb antioxidant protection try our powerful Omega-Gel® supplements and our Liqui-Calcium for superior vitamin D support.

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38665


Reference: “25-Hydroxyvitamin D, dementia, and cerebrovascular pathology in elders receiving home services,” Buell JS, Tucker KL, et al, Neurology, 2009 Nov 25; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA).

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A great gift for yourself

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Solanova's gift of health

The holiday season is rapidly approaching like thoroughbred reindeer. At this time of year it’s fun to shop, go to parties, indulge relatively guilt-free in a variety of treats, travel to see loved ones and host dinner parties and family gatherings. But these holiday inspired activities are nearly impossible to enjoy if you are dragged down by a seasonal cold or flu.

Though it can be a crapshoot whether or not you get sick during the winter season, it behooves all of us to be prepared for germ warfare. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition (that doesn’t only involve holiday cut-out cookies.) Fortifying your immune system will help protect your body from getting too worn down. Then if you do contract a cold or the flu, it will most likely be of shorter duration and less severity.

And perhaps more to the point; don’t let a runny nose or a sore throat ruin your fun! Be sure to take your vitamins and drink plenty of fluids during the holiday season. We tend to commit to this after we catch a nasty cold. But by being proactive, you can strengthen your immune system and provide it with the proper tools to better fight off those annoying wintertime illnesses.

So while you’re navigating the crowds, struggling with gifts and packages while trying to hail a cab, do yourself a favor. Buy yourself the gift of health this holiday season. After all, you’re going to need your energy to enjoy all that holiday fun!

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We have more information on how to strengthen the immune system here. Take a look!  Solanova is always dedicated to giving.  We support the charity AAMF and donate 20% of all proceeds.  When you purchase nutritional supplements or any other product from us, you are also giving to a worthy cause.  And what better time than the holiday season?  Happy shopping!

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It’s cold out there!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

yoga_sunset_300x450

It’s the time of year where we start to hunker down under blankets in front of the fireplace.  Instead of a glass of water or milk before bed, we might favor something warmer and more enticing like a steam mug of hot chocolate-with extra marshmallows of course.

And maybe all of a sudden, it doesn’t seem very appealing to run the track, take a hike through the local hills, or ride a bike on your trusty dirt trail.  It’s just too cold out!  So instead we become a bit more sedentary, venturing out to the gym only when it’s not raining or snowing.

Perhaps it’s somehow tied up with instinct.  After all, many animals hibernate during the cold months of the year.  They get to curl up in their dens, stuff themselves with food, and then sleep it all off for countless hours.  If only our lives could be that simple!  Unfortunately for we humans, we need to be a little more vigilant about our health habits.  It’s way too easy to put on extra pounds during the cold, holiday laden winter months, and very difficult to shed them.  Not to mention that extra weight can increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly some kinds of cancer.   Research studies have concluded that maintaining a normal weight can help reduce the risk for many diseases.

One surefire way to keep warm and motivated as you exercise during the cold months is to take a Bikram yoga class.  This style of yoga is practiced in a very warm room, so as to keep muscles limber, promote strength and to prevent injuries.  Other exercise classes can offer protection from the elements and usually a temperate workout environment too.  It’s also important to keep your immune system strong during the cold and flu season, which includes exercise, eating nutritious foods and taking vitamins and supplements to ensure you aren’t deficient.

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Read more about immune system strengthening in our Health Concerns archives.  We have many supplements that can fortify your immune system and help to keep you healthy all winter long.  Rubi QNol® CoQ10 offers unsurpassed antioxidant protection and MultiSential Plus multivitamin, a complete blend of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/35039

Reference: “Midlife body mass index and hospitalization and mortality in older age,” Yan LL, Daviglus ML, et al, JAMA, 2006; 295(2): 190-8. (Address: Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill 60611, USA. E-Mail: lijing@northwestern.edu ).

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You are what you eat

Monday, November 9th, 2009

multivitamins_cereal_300x450

Have you been feeling down lately? Moody?  Depressed?  Well don’t blame the cold weather or the flailing economy for your poor outlook on life.  In fact, the catalyst  might be closer than you think.  Try your pantry, your fridge or the nearest fast food establishment.

In a study involving data collected from 3,486 middle-aged subjects (26% women, mean age: 55.6 years), higher odds of depression (assessed via results of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression scale) was found to be associated with consumption of a “processed foods” diet (heavily loaded by sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains, high-fat dairy products) (OR=1.58), while consumption of a “whole foods” diet (heavily loaded by vegetables, fruit, and fish) was associated with a decreased odds of CES-Depression (OR=0.74). These results highlight the importance of diet and its impact on mood disorders, such as depression.

So trade in that doughnut for an apple or a lean turkey sandwich.  Eating a proper and balanced diet, getting regular exercise and committing to a healthy lifestyle can not only affect your waistline, but also your overall mental health.

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Read more about healthy choices in our Health Concerns section of Solanova.com.  And stay tuned for more health information and special offers from us!

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38623, “Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age,” Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, et al, Br J Psychiatry, 2009; 195(5): 408-13. (Address: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: tasnime.akbaraly@inserm.fr ).

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