High Stress Jobs May Not Be As Unhealthy as You Think

High demand jobs can certainly cause stress, which can eventually lead to poor health, chronic illness, and even early death. A new study, however, reveals how the concept of “control” may improve your health, even in a high-stress position.

Organizational Behavior

According to the results of a seven-year study, health and mortality are not necessarily linked to a high-demand job. It’s the level of control the employee has (or even perceives she has) that shifts the pendulum.

A worker experiences greater stress and unhappiness when a manager assumes all control. People (employees) want to feel they are part of their activity; they can’t thrive in an environment when someone else makes all the decisions for them.

The Study’s Findings

The researchers at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business discovered some interesting results from their study. They found that those in high-stress jobs with little or no control die younger than those who have some or a lot of control.

“A lot of control” doesn’t mean not having a boss or anyone to be accountable to. It means something as simple as, for example, making your own schedule. Being part of how to set goals and accomplish tasks in the workplace is part of having control. These types of freedoms on the job are empowering to workers.

Good Stress

In fact, a useful and positive observed result was that those in high-demand positions, who also had high-control, actually flourished. Erik Gonzales Mule was the study’s lead author. He suggested that having more control can motivate workers and can breed better health. Mule points out an example: “…having pressure to work fast and use intense concentration, may result in feelings of accomplishment and mastery.”

The study included 2,400 people (half men/half women) and tracked their health for over seven years. Those in high-demand jobs with low control fared the worst. Those in high-stress positions but with high control decreased their chances of earlier death by 34%.

Job Satisfaction

How we perceive our work and workplace definitely affects our overall well-being. If we’re unhappy for the largest portion of our day, behaviors may emerge to mask the bad feelings. This can result in poor diet or overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. Or, the stress can lead to depression, high blood pressure, etc.

So, perhaps it’s not literally “the job.” Maybe it’s how we are allowed to do our job. Having more control can lend to employee feelings of empowerment. Morale at work can be boosted. Instead of seeing work as “hard”, when given the freedom to participate, the work can then be seen as challenging or an opportunity to problem-solve. Those are far more positive outlooks and approaches to doing one’s job.

Personal Stress Management

When you’re at work and finding yourself too stressed out, you can always take a moment for some deep breaths, a quick walk (even around the desk), or a break outdoors. But in addition to your honed coping skills, perhaps think about your company, boss, or management. Do you feel you have low control? If so, perhaps some suggestions to human resources could affect positive change for you and your workplace.

After all, feeling good about your work—whether it pays well, is rewarding spiritually, or makes you feel like you are contributing and/or you’re appreciated—any positive feelings will be part of your best health regimen.

 

 

The Health Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is now known across the world, mostly for the extreme health benefits that it brings to the table. It doesn’t matter what age you are or your fitness level; anyone can benefit from Pilates. It is estimated that over 20 million people around the world take a Pilates class or do Pilates exercises in some form or another. This exercise regime is said to give people many physical and mental benefits.

Get Thrive Yoga Pants
Get Thrive Yoga Pants

Makes You More Flexible

Stretching overtime and using the “Reformer” on a regular basis not only extends your range of motion, but it makes you more flexible as well. This will eventually make your body feel looser and give it the ability to do exercises and activities that you never could before. Becoming more flexible will also help you achieve other physical improvements, such as reducing back pain.

Can Improve Your Breathing

When you are in a Pilates class, careful attention is paid to your breathing patterns. Proper breathing also helps with your blood circulation, which will make you feel fresh, energized, and happy even long after the Pilates class ends.

Deep breathing gives your body a better supply of oxygen, an elemental part of almost all chemical reactions that take place in your body. Oxygen gives you energy. Exhaling rids carbon dioxide, or waste, from your body. Therefore, deep breathing is a great way to cleanse!

Helps to Improve Posture

No matter what you are doing when going about your everyday life, taking Pilates reminds you that you need to pull your stomach in, pull your shoulders back and maintain the good posture that makes it possible to be fit and live healthily.

Not only does perfecting your posture make you look better, but it can also help alleviate shoulder tension and upper back pain. The focus on posture in your Pilates class will change the way you carry yourself outside of class as well.

Ergonomic High-Back Chair
Ergonomic High-Back
Chair

Helps to Build Better Balance and Core Strength

Using a Pilates ball or a Reformer utilizes physical coordination and also helps to build balance. Balance exercises also strengthen core muscles. This is where structuring good posture comes in.

“Active awareness” of your core muscles while performing Pilates balancing exercises helps you maintain your posture. And, because the core contains and controls your diaphragm, this can also improve the deep breathing we discussed earlier.

Overall: Makes Your Body More Efficient

Pilates is the type of exercise that tones your body, improves your breathing and posture, and makes you more flexible. In other words, Pilates allows your body to be more efficient every time you take a class.

Pilates is sweeping the nation and can help you become a better you. Try a class—you’ve got everything to gain!

 

Reawaken Your Inner Voice and Find the Inspiration and Freedom That’s Within You

One of the newest trends in town has inspired me to share some thoughts on women…and freedom. It appears everyone of drinking age is going out with groups of friends and… painting!

Within 50 miles of my home, on any given night of the week, there are at least three venues where I can go alone (or with a pal), and be given an opportunity to create a masterpiece on canvas. Mind you, I have as much artistic ability as a raisin, but there’s something about this process that unleashes a sorely unused, long-lost friend named creativity.

Perhaps it’s the wine speaking or lending the courage. But I have noticed women, in droves, becoming unabashedly flamboyant with their mad color-blending skills.

Even women who don’t indulge in the alcoholic libations seem to find their inner artist and reap a sense of fulfillment that hasn’t been tapped into for years (or, sadly, maybe never at all.) No wonder this trend is so profitable—it’s offering a way for women to recapture innocence, raw expression, and an alternate way to define their true selves.

I’ve seen this happen before. There was a craze at one time to make ceramic objects. You picked a mold, painted, and glazed it; they fired it, and tada! You’ve got a glossy still-life napkin holder. There have always been quilting, knitting, and crocheting groups.

And what about singing in the choir? It seems like what’s at the core and appeal of all these activities is creativity, and expression. So, maybe if you’re feeling “stuck”, why not find the courage to step out of your comfort zone? You know you want to try it…

Joining a group (of similarly doldrum-experiencing women) will take some of the initial fear out of the equation. Grab a footloose friend, or one who likes to drink a lot, and give the painting thing a shot. My guess is that you will have an experience you didn’t expect.

Whether your artwork turns out to be something you think belongs in a museum, or conversely, something you want to hide in the rafters of your garage is not the point. You will tap into a muscle that craves use. We are all creative beings. Sometimes life’s responsibilities take us away from remembering that we have things to say, draw, dance, cook, and share.

There’s no time like the present to reawaken that inner voice and let it whisper or scream out. Make art, no matter what that means to you. Your heart will feel happy and it may just bring a smile to another’s heart too.

For more articles about inspiration, freedom, mind, body and spirit, check out gethrive.com

 

Is Simplicity the Key to Good Health?

K.I.S.S. “Keep It Simple, Silly” is an age-old acronym suggesting simplicity is the best policy. But when it comes to everyday living, do you think it may be a way for people to attain personal satisfaction and good health?

Simple is not Stupid

Depending on the definition, one’s perception of simple may be quite different than another’s. For the sake of clarification, let’s look at “simplicity” as minimizing, making mindful choices, and practicing gratitude—in all areas of life.

Minimizing

Start with clutter. Piles of papers and an overabundance of material items around the house or office can be stressful. De-clutter and reduce your anxiety level.

Think about how happy you are when you’re on vacation, where there are no worries at home staring you in the face. It’s actually possible to achieve that sensation in your everyday environment. One key action is to minimize material possessions.

And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.

All it takes is a little effort every time you look in your closet. If it’s ripped, worn out, or unloved, get rid of it. Look through the pantry and fridge. If food is expired, freezer-burned, or, you know you’ll never eat it, toss it. This also applies to boxes of old letters, ancient tax receipts, and duplicate copies of photos. Old towels, sheets, burned pot-holders—it’s probably time to add them to the trash bin as well.

Making Mindful Choices

Sure, you love to volunteer. You want to go to every event you’re invited to. Of course, you want to attend every sport, music, choir, parent-night on the calendar. Or do you? Perhaps it’s time not to say “yes” to everything.

Spend time in ways that are satisfying to you. We are all way too busy, and the effects are poor health. Take walks in nature. Visit friends and family that you really like. Support your kids so they know you care, but not to the detriment of your sanity and health (and in turn, theirs.) Rest and good sleeps are intensely satisfying and necessary for optimum health.

Reduce chaos. This may mean not overspending on holidays, not going to that party, but instead exercising, reading, or simply “playing.”

Bosu Balance Trainer
Bosu Balance Trainer

Practicing Gratitude

“Being grateful” has become such a trendy buzz-saying. The truth is that this philosophy is ancient and successfully effective. It also lies as a root to many religions. Practicing gratitude has been proven to increase internal personal satisfaction as well as one’s physical health. It’s invaluably worthy.

Gratitude helps simplify

“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” says Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis. “It can lower blood pressure and improve immune function…”

Another study from UC San Diego’s School of Medicine revealed that people who are more grateful had better cardiovascular health. They also had less overall inflammation in their bodies.

Being grateful for a way to earn a living, your clothes, furniture, food, and most of all, the people in your life, can bring a personal joy like no other. With that healthy spirit, a strengthening of the physical can certainly follow suit.

For tips on living a healthy, spiritual, and satisfying life, have a look at other articles on www.GetThrive.com

Get Thrive Shop Page
Get Thrive Shop Page

Work is Good, Skipping Vacation is Not

Vacations don’t need to be lengthy or expensive, but time-off from long work hours is necessary. Studies are showing that “Millennials” aren’t taking their paid time off. This trend may cause health problems down the line.

What’s with This Generation?

First of all, it’s a bit vague when trying to pinpoint which groups are in which age categories. According to the US Census Bureau, “Baby Boomers” were born somewhere between 1946 and 1964.

According to the census bureau, “Generation X” births began in 1965 but kept going even when the so-called “Gen Y” trend started around 1975. At the tail end of both “generations” began the more commonly recognized “Millennials” born in 1982 lasting until 2004.

It’s this group, the Millennials, that are slacking when it comes to resting. The approximate age of the sector is anywhere between 18 and 35 years old. They’ve also been referred to as “Echo Boomers” and “Digital Natives” (since they don’t know life without the Internet.)

No Rest for the Weary

Evidently, there’s an absurd practice at work called “vacation shaming.” This is an unspoken, judgmental edict placed on employees and managers. Many, especially these Millennials, feel pressured to forfeit their vacation days.

A recently published report based on findings from the Pew Research Center showed that 18-year-olds and up are becoming “work martyrs.” This group feels guilty taking time off. They believe it will leave the company and other workers (at their company) at a disadvantage while they’re away.

The workers are also concerned that they can be replaced easily. So not to place their own jobs in jeopardy, they work longer hours to show their dedication to the position. Because workers are forced to wear so many different hats these days (and take on so much responsibility), it’s no surprise there’s this “worried” mentality. Your Health is All You Have

This report is frightening in many ways. It’s basically pointing out that the common workplace puts work before the employee’s health. It is a sad state of affairs when the company culture silently bullies workers into forfeiting days needed off to recharge.

Work, Work, Work

Taking time-off from work has proven to increase productivity, worker morale, and reduce personal and environmental stress. Stress at work can lead to back-, neck-, and headaches. There’s also eye strain, stomach pain, and cranky moods. And when mistakes are being made, it can be a sign that it’s time to take a break. This can be a severe health hazard for an employee who drives, operates machinery, works with chemicals, etc.

There are laws and human resource personnel to keep the workplace safe—that includes protecting your right to time-off when contracted or deemed necessary. It’s honorable to do a job well done. It’s also honoring your body and mind when you rest.

For other articles on health, work, and families check out www.GetThrive.com

Add Aerobics and You’ll Deter Aging

Yoga, Pilates, and strength training are all beneficial forms of exercise; however, a new study points out that good old aerobics can delay the aging process.

Jump On It!

With each decade, it seems that a new version of physical movement becomes all the rage. And with that, comes a deluge of media hype purporting the exercise’s superior advantage over others. Now we’ve got hybrids of ballet and yoga, swimming and Pilates, and strength training in circuits. And they’re all great!

Alternately, as research has recently reported, endurance training not only strengthens your heart but also blocks DNA from wear and tear. Jogging, cycling, and jumping rope have returned as your good friends. Aerobic exercise may very well slow down our aging process.

The Scientific Stuff

We have chromosomes. Packed inside each chromosome is DNA.

Our cells continuously divide and reproduce. To live a long, healthy life, we need to keep our cellular structure intact and active.

One thing that assists in protecting DNA is a thing called a telomere. A telomere is a cap that safeguards each strand of our DNA. As we age, the telomeres shorten, leaving portions of our DNA strands at risk. This causes deterioration to our cells. Eventually, cells become so weak they no longer can divide and reproduce. That’s, unfortunately, when we die.

So, let’s keep the telomeres long so they can keep protecting, and we can live longer!

The Aerobics Element

A recent study out of Belgium discovered that aerobics stimulates telomeres to grow in length. Blood samples and muscle biopsies were taken from participants in the study. Their task was endurance training. They began with 45 minutes cycling on a stationary bike. The researchers found increased levels of a particular enzyme. That enzyme prompts telomeres to lengthen.

Experimentation

The scientific truth points to—aerobics help telomeres grow. Some scientists, however, believe that some people are simply born with longer telomeres than others. That places them (if they live healthily) in a natural position to live longer based on their genetic predisposition.

A CEO of a fresh biotech firm believes in gene therapy. The company has experimented with lengthening telomeres in mice, and it’s been successful. The CEO places so much trust in gene therapy and her company’s experimentation that she, herself, has received doses. In the fall of 2015, she received “a dose of viruses containing genetic material to produce telomerase.” Telomerase is the protein that lengthens telomeres. She is the first (and only, so far) human patient to test the dose.

So for the time being, if we want to protect our cells, instead of gene therapy, we can exercise! Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Jazzercise, and other trusty forms of endurance training may come back into vogue. If those aren’t your style, what type of aerobic fun will you choose?

For more articles on exercise, health, and long life check out www.GetThrive.com

Heart Attack Facts – Are You At Risk?

The very mention of ‘heart attack’ (myocardial infarction or MI), gets the chest thumping, causes a sweat and brings on nausea, but what are the facts when it comes to the dreaded words, and why is it so important to prevent one from happening?  Heart disease is the number one killer in the USA for both men and women, with the disease claiming 1 million lives annually.  Wake up and realize that being added to this statistic is a probability if we do not change certain habits and daily routines.  Claiming more lives than all forms of cancers combined, the heart is something to protect and not in the romantic way.  The Heart Foundation states that every 34 seconds someone has a heart attack and every 60 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from a heart disease related event.

 

WHAT IS HEART DISEASE?

Heart disease has many factors, there is not a one-line answer, but many factors and contributors need to be diagnosed.  Heart disease is a broad term and covers many different areas,for example:

  • Coronary artery disease, plaque/atherosclerosis, is mainly a build up of fat, cholesterol and calcium in the coronary arteries, blocking oxygen rich blood to the main heart muscle. The build up can be so severe it may lead to sudden cardiac death.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease occurs when major arteries that supply blood to the legs, arms and pelvis become obstructed. This can cause, numbness, pain and major infections.
  • Carotid Artery Disease is when plaque buildup or a clot forms in the main carotid arteries around the neck, which could result in a stroke.
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Congenital heart defects (heart defects from birth)

 

HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGNS IN MEN

The following is a guideline for common signs of a heart attack in men.  Be aware that each individual may suffer from a varied form of the below.  If in doubt, then act and call 911.

  • Chest pain, which may spread to the back, neck, jaw and arms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual tiredness a few days before an attack
  • Feeling of gas or indigestion
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweaty
  • Pounding of heart
  • Loss of consciousness

 

HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGN IN WOMEN

Although women and men share many of the same symptoms, they differ when it comes to signs of a heart attack.  Women are less likely to spot the early signs of an attack and will often try to ignore the fact they need urgent help.

  • Pain or a feeling of discomfort in both arms, back, jaw or stomach
  • Chest pain or tightness in chest (most common symptom in both sexes)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight pressure in chest that lasts longer than a few minutes
  • Cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness

 

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS HAVING A HEART ATTACK?

If suspecting someone is having a heart attack call 911 immediately, time is crucial and acting fast can triple the chances of survival.   Whist waiting for the ambulance, there are a number of possible measure to try and save a life.

  • If possible, get the victim to chew and swallow an aspirin (ideally 300mg), ensuring there isn’t an allergy before administering. The aspirin will thin the blood and reduce the risk of having a major heart attack.
  • If the person is unconscious, open the airway , check for breathing and begin CPR.
  • If the patient is conscious, have them sit up to put less stress on the heart

 

RECOVERING AFTER A HEART ATTACK

If fortunate to recover from a heart attack, depending on how serious the attack and how healthy the person, determines the amount of time recovery takes.  It may take a number of months to feel better, so the key is not to rush the process.  There are a number of professionals who will be there to support the healing process including:

  • Dietitians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Nurses
  • Exercise specialists
  • Pharmacists

Physical and mental strength will be worked on while in hospital, and this care will be closely monitored once returning to the home environment.  Analyzing habits and lifestyle along with required lifestyle changes are crucial to aid recovery and stop future heart attacks.  The patient’s situation will affect the specific program assigned.  Exercise will be gentle at first and steadily increase the stronger the person becomes.  It is essential to follow the guidelines given by the professionals.

Having a heart attack is not only a terrifying health wake up call, it may lead to mental issues.  It is a life-changing occurrence and patients may suffer from anxiety or even depression after the event.  Making sure that mental health is in check is just as crucial, so any feelings of anxiety or depression must be disclosed to a professional.  Mental health may also be linked to the physical recovery and overall well being.

 

CHANGING DIET

The patients diet will be analyzed and the following suggestions may be advised:

  • Mediterranean-Style diet (Lyon Diet Heart Study, which found that a Mediterranean-style diet cut heart attacks and deaths by 70% compared with a traditional American Heart Association diet, says Dr. Willett).
  • Oily Fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sardines and herring.
  • Poultry (without skin)
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Drastically reduce meat butter, cream and sugars

To read more about heart disease please visit: GetThrive.com

 

Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit
Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit

How To Correct Posture With Pilates

The fact is, no one has a perfect posture.  Yes, there are those who benefit from a more aligned spine and therefore a better posture, but everyone has to who work at it, and Pilates provides the perfect mechanisms to do that.  So what is Pilates and how can it help everyone, including athletes?  Pilates is strength, flexibility and control of the body.  To quote Joseph Pilates (Founder of Pilates) “A man is as young as his spinal column”.

 

WHAT IS PILATES?

Joseph Pilates grew up in Dusseldorf, Germany in the 1880s.  He was unfortunately a sickly child who suffered numerous asthma attacks as well as rheumatic fever, which left him with an underdeveloped bone structure as well as distorted limbs.  Joseph refused to let his health situation dictate his physical and mental capabilities, working hard to produce exercises that would correct and strengthen his body.  The first of these exercises is more commonly referred to as mat work, later known as ‘The Art of Contrology.’  Evolving the exercise regime after 1st world war, Joseph worked in a hospital in The Isle of Man, helping the bedridden and wounded by strengthening their bodies and muscles, getting them mobile once again.  Using bedsprings attached to a bedframe helped the wounded move more freely, whilst keeping their muscles toned.  This equipment later developed to what is now referred to as a ‘Cadillac’.

 

HOW POOR POSTURE MAY AFFECT THE BODY

Posture is not just a matter of standing up straight, it may also affect good health.  When organs are not working to their full potential, balance may be disturbed and the spine may incur injuries.  Poor posture is not always down to habit, although repeating certain movement repetitively, can have an effect on the spine’s alignment.  It may be due to the way a spine curves, for example:

  • Lordosis – extended curvature of the lower back, which may cause lower back pain.
  • Abnormal Kyphosis- affecting the dorsal area and commonly referred to as a hunchback, includes back pain, muscle exhaustion and stiffness.
  • Scoliosis – sideward curvature of the spine. Symptoms may include, leaning to one side, ribs sticking out to one side, or uneven shoulders, which may cause clothes not to fit correctly.  Adults often suffer from back pain caused by this affliction. (please note there are several types of scoliosis from genetic to habitual)
  • Swayback – hypermobility beyond normal range gives the appearance of a swayback. This issue may cause chronic back pain.
  • Flatback – lower back loses its natural curvature, which may cause severe back pain.

 

HOW TO CORRECT POSTURE WITH THE PILATES METHOD

Partaking in Pilates on a regular basis can offer the following benefits: healthy spine, even shoulders and hips and body weight dispersed evenly on both sides of the body.  Initial work consists of a combination of floor work (mat) and the reformer which is a resistance carriage that moves back and forth along a track making the subject work within the apportioned space helping align the spine and strengthening the body.  In some studios selected exercises may be introduced on the Cadillac, a table with springs which enables a person to exercise with the support of springs. The classical Pilates method is good for everyone, including athletes who want to improve their performance.  Pilates will develop their alignment, muscle configuration, endurance, improve flexibility, and help coordination and balance, all aiding the prevention of injuries and potentially improving the body’s longevity.

Whether the class is a group or a private lesson, it is all about technique. Athletes have experienced many benefits from the Pilates methods, some of which include:

 

  • Increased flexibility
  • Muscle efficiency and balance
  • Strength
  • Increased mobile movement
  • Cognitive focus

 

Ficmax Ergonomic High-back Large Size Office Desk Chair
Ficmax Ergonomic High-back Large Size Office Desk Chair

 

Pilates is different from many exercise regimes because it concentrates on a whole body approach, using the core (the spine and surrounding muscles) as the key to strengthen muscles, align posture, and rescue internal organs from damage.  Once the posture and the core start to correct, breathing, circulation, strength and mobility follow.  Classical Pilates has many positive attributes for those who want to improve physical performance, as well as benefit health.  The one thing Pilates possesses that no other method has is the ability to protect the body’s core, whilst pushing expectations and achieving results that a person may have not thought possible, especially those who have notably suffered from poor posture.

Being precise in movement is the key to success, so be sure to research a well established Pilates venue. To read more about the benefits of Pilates in athletes, please follow this link www.stack.com

 

 

RESOURCES

https://www.thebodeswell.com/

Harvard Health

American Family Physician