Improve Your On-the-Road Eating Habits

Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.

Take Out

One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.

Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.

Three Courses

The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.

The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.

Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

On the Road Again

It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:

– Drink more water

Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption

– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots

– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish

– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat

– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.

– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies

– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.

– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)

If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…

Study Shows Minimal Exercise Can Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

A 20-year concurrent study showed that even two-and-a-half hours a week of brisk walking could lower risk of heart disease significantly.

Three-Hour Power

The study was conducted by the Indiana University School of Public Health. Over 95,000 women between the ages of 27 to 44 were observed and questioned biannually for 20 years. The purpose was to study the association of total leisure-time physical activity with heart disease in younger women. One finding was with the ladies who participated in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. They were found to have an approximate 30% percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

Why This Study?

One of the reasons researchers chooses this age group is because there has already been a multitude of studies on “older” women and men. Examining the probability of getting CHD at a younger age means earlier treatment and lifestyle choices. Another alarming reason is that there has been the very little decline in CHD-related mortality rates amongst young women. The rise in type-2 diabetes and obesity numbers certainly hasn’t helped make a dent. (At the time of this publication, 58% of women between 20 and 39 years old are overweight or obese. The number of women between 40 and 55 hangs at 71%.)

Healthy Findings

One real discovery was that physical activity lowered CHD risk—regardless of a woman’s BMI. So for young women of any weight, moderate exercise, physical activity is beneficial.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, also examined the effects of moderate vs. intense activity. The researchers additionally explored if a particular type of exercise made a difference. And finally, they looked at the frequency of participating in exercise and its effects on lowering CHD risk.

Exercise does not have to be strenuous to reduce heart disease risk. It can be moderate, such as brisk walking. Frequency was found to be not as important as total volume; meaning the total amount of time per week trumped how many times.

It Begins Early

Setting up routines for regular exercise as a young person is a wise choice. Movement becomes a habit, not a chore. Additionally, physical activity participation between the ages of 14 and 22, showed to lower CHD risk up until middle adulthood. However, this study also revealed that those who are middle-aged and older no longer benefit from their high-school years of sports, etc. Physical activity must be resumed—even if it’s only a total of three hours a week.

What was also fascinating is that the effects on blood pressure, lipids, glucose levels, and triglycerides were all altered beneficially directly after physical activity. This is a critical note. No matter how inactive you may have been (or still are), the second you pick yourself, it immediately benefits your body on so many levels. You may not see what’s going on inside, but once you start exercising, your heart fills with smiles.

For more popular stories on heart health and exercise, 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

Is Butter Bad for Your Health?

Your Health

For years we’ve been told butter is bad for our health, but some substitutes may be worse. Here’s better news:

Funded Butter Study

A research team from Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy recently conducted a study on butter. It was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and collected data from over 600,000 people from 15 different countries. The findings suggest that butter may not be as unhealthy as we’ve been led to believe.

Study senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian explains, “…butter should neither be demonized nor considered back as a route to good health.” In essence, the doctor is adding a disclaimer to the statement “butter is fine.” It doesn’t provide any real nutritional or health benefits. But, if eaten in small quantities, it doesn’t appear to create any significant rise in the risk of heart disease.

Churning the Fat

Butter is fattening. Per tablespoon, the delicious dairy-derived spread contains 100 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 7 grams of saturated fat. It’s the saturated fat that’s dangerous to heart health when eaten in abundance. There are other fats and oils that have just as many calories, but contain the “good” fats. Furthermore, butter contains a minimal amount of nutrition. But no doubt, butter is yummy.

The study found that eating butter was not associated with heart disease when consumed in small portions. However, it warned that on all other counts, butter is still a high-fat, high-calorie food.

What’s Better than Butter?

When talking health-wise as a spread, you still have a large variety of tasty options that are better than butter. Any monosaturated fat product is going to be healthier. Foods offering omega-3 fat sources are also good choices. A short list includes: flaxseed, coconut, and extra virgin olive oil, peanut and/or almond butter, salmon, and avocado.

What’s Not Better?

Unhealthier choices than butter include any product with hydrogenated or even partially hydrogenated oils. These contain trans-fats, which can ultimately be deadly. More than minimal amounts of sugar and starches can be worse for you than eating butter. High saturated fatty foods such as red meat, dark poultry meat and certain cheeses are also in the unhealthier than butter category.

Treating yourself to a teaspoon of butter on a warm roll or melting a small dollop in the pan to scramble with your egg whites is fine. Keeping the bad fats at bay (or to an extreme minimum) will not affect your overall health—especially if you eat mindfully and exercise habitually.

Nuts for Nuts!

Aw, Nuts!

Eating nuts have already been linked to reducing the risk of chronic disease, but now it’s clear consumption reduces inflammation.

In Boston, researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have done several studies on the positive health effects of eating nuts. They, along with other scientists, have noted how the risk of developing chronic disease decreases when we consume nuts. For this study, the researchers wanted to figure out why this is true.

The lead epidemiologist at the hospital stated, “Our new work suggests that nuts may exert their beneficial effects in part by reducing systemic inflammation.”

The recent study revealed that eating at least five servings of nuts per week is incredibly helpful. Even adding nuts to meals three times a week showed to reduce biomarkers for inflammation.

The study states: “Researchers found participants who ate five or more servings of nuts per week or substituted red meat, processed meat, eggs or grains with nuts in three meals per week had reduced markers of inflammation than those who didn’t.”

Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other chronic diseases can be triggered or made worse because of inflammation. If nuts are proving to reduce inflammatory biomarkers, then it makes sense that eating them will keep you healthier overall.

Many nuts contain similar properties such as fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. The scientists can attest that consuming nuts decreases inflammation. However, they still cannot pinpoint which element in nuts is to be thanked most for this discovery. It could be L-Arginine, unsaturated fat, fiber, something else, or a combination of a few.

That’s Just Nuts!

Here are some nutritional highlights about various types of nuts:

One ounce of almonds provides about 9% of daily adult recommended calcium and 27% of magnesium. They also contain zinc and vitamin E.

Cashews have a lower caloric content than many any nuts. They’re high in iron, zinc, and potassium.

Hazelnuts provide copper, biotin (great for hair and nails), and vitamin E.

Macadamia nuts are high in manganese and natural antioxidants.

Peanuts contain resveratrol (the compound in red wine that promotes healthy aging.)

Pecans contain the alpha and the gamma forms of vitamin E.

Pine nuts offer potassium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Pistachios– two ounces provide more potassium than a big banana.

Walnuts contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

There are over 50 different types of nuts from all over the world. Mix and match, consume and help keep your body inflammation-free.

For more articles on health, nutrition, and avoiding disease, check out www.GetThrive.com

Hiking, Hello? 15 Things Good and Bad You Need to Know

Hello. Hiking is a great form of exercise for your body and mind. But, it also has its pitfalls (pun intended). Don’t be scared. You can master your workout on safe ground, no problem.  With a few tips, you can conquer your fears along with your highest peaks!

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

First off, as far as hiking goes, let’s agree that it doesn’t have to happen in the mountains. Hiking encompasses brisk walking and sometimes up and down hills. It usually includes a trail and it is always done outside. Hiking is a form of exercise that allows you to convene with nature and de-stress while working tons of muscles.

Let’s Exercise the Good and the Bad

1) You can maintain or lose weight. An hour-long hike, depending on your speed, the incline, and how much weight’s in your pack, you can burn between 350 and 550 calories. A hearty two-hour hike can conceivably consume half of your day’s caloric intake.

2) You can be out of shape and hike. You can start anytime. Just begin slowly and choose level paths.

3) There’s no competition; no classes are required, and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. If you’re not in a particularly scenic area, it’s suggested to imagine a beautiful place you’ve seen before or in a picture.

Keep on Hiking!

4) Hiking uses muscles in almost every part of your body. It’s especially toning for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Your calves will start shaping up quickly as will your triceps if you use trekking poles.

5) Hiking improves your cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate rises, and you can break a good sweat. But, don’t forget your water! Bring plenty of H2O, but also bring a filter in a case you get in sticky (dry) situation.

6) Hikers have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and high cholesterol than those who do not exercise.

7) Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise. For women, this is especially important because it maintains bone density. (Or, at least slows down the loss of mass.)

Up, Up, Up, We Go!

8) Hiking improves your core strength. This, in turn, improves your sense of balance.

9) Hiking stimulates the release of endorphins. You feel good during and after.

10) Going on a hike with a group allows for some great social time (especially if you stop for a snack in the middle.)

11) You shouldn’t go hiking alone. If you insist on going solo, make sure you tell someone exactly where you’re going. Bring regular supplies, but especially a whistle.

12) It can be too hot. You can burn or dehydrate. Choose morning hikes. Always bring a lot of water. Wear and bring sunscreen as well as a hat like Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats.


It can also be too cold. Wear layers of clothing. Make sure there’s good tread on your shoes in case of ice. It can also rain. Pack a poncho and prepare for slippery mud.

Keep On Climbing!

13) If you hike in higher altitude than you’re used to, you can get sick. You may feel nauseas, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink water and rest.

You may feel nauseous, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink and rest. Drinking water— and having a hydration backpack and/or bladder will help a camel-ton.

You’re Just Near the End!!!!

14) You can slip and fall. Always be aware of your surroundings and the conditions. Carry a small first aid kit for minor injuries and also for blisters. Have a cell phone, map, and a GPS (or app.)

15) You might run into a snake, bear, mountain lion, or poison oak. Know what kind of creatures and plants are on your trail. Carry a deterrent and also learn how to discourage a real confrontation.

With that said, hopefully, you are not scared off from taking a hike. As you can see, the benefits are significantly higher. Hiking can keep the body in shape, but it can also fulfill the soul. It’s truly a light form of exercise—one that almost seems effortless! (Until you get to that big rocky hill. But don’t think about it.) Just enjoy…

Why Binge-Watching TV Could Lead to Early Death

No More Suspense

The hugely popular habit of binge-watching TV shows is linked to health hazards that may lead to an early death. Endless hours sitting in front of a screen increase your risk for conditions that can be fatal.

The TV Guide

When we were kids, we were told that TV was bad for our eyes. Over the decades, we’ve also learned that childhood exposure to TV violence may lead to becoming an aggressive adult. Today, however, the stakes have been wildly raised. The results of viewing non-interrupted, continuous hours of television can cause conditions that may have dire endings.

A recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, claims that binge-watching raises the risk of developing a blood clot in the lungs. Pulmonary embolism is a highly dangerous condition closely linked to inactivity. More than 25% of people who suffer from an untreated blood clot in the lungs die.

The Study Guide

A Japanese research team from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine observed over 86,000 participants. The people were between the ages of 40 and 79. The team studied the participants’ TV viewing habits for over two years, back in the late 1990’s.

The average continuous watching time was two and a half hours per day. Those who watched over five hours a day were twice as likely to die over the following 19 years. For every two hours over that, the watcher raised his risk of the deadly blood clot by 40 percent.

This study raises grave concerns, but in total, there were only 59 deaths reported from the pulmonary embolism. That was out of 86,000 participants. The most frightening fact, however, is that obesity was the number one factor that was linked to the formation of the clots.

A Different Picture

Aside from the news about blood clots, there are other known health risks from spending large amounts of time binge-watching. Your risk of diabetes may increase. One study provided research that watching TV excessively increased individuals’ risk of developing diabetes over three percent. The same study indicated that people move less while watching TV than doing other sedentary things (like working at a desk.)

Sleep loss is another result of addictive TV watching. Without proper rest, we leave ourselves vulnerable to becoming ill. Our immune systems can become compromised. And, snacking and drinking sugary beverages while binge-watching can lead to a growing waistline in no time.

Best Laid Plan

No one is claiming that TV watching is bad for you—in moderation. Excessive amounts of hours in front of the screen are where the problems lie. Start by monitoring and setting a limit the time you, your spouse, and your children spend sitting in front of a screen. A helpful cliché: moderation is key.

Experts claim that even getting up to walk around every half-hour for five minutes can help. Stretching, doing sit-ups or push-ups while viewing can keep you in shape and entertained! Watch your health as you watch your shows and reap the benefits of both. Stay tuned…

For more articles on best health practices for you and your family, see some previews at www.GetThrive.com

Is Your Body Resisting Weight Loss? Use Resistance Training!

Women don’t generally associate weight loss with weight lifting, but resistance training will help shed the pounds. Along with slimming down, using weights can provide other health benefits too.

Resistance Training is not training yourself to resist eating that piece of cake. (Although you can lose weight that way, too.) Lifting weights, using machines, or even using your own body weight are all part of the resistance movement. Losing weight will happen, but there are several other health advantages as well. Here are 9 solid reasons to start strength training today.

1) Burn Calories. Bunches will burn as you create lean muscle mass. Your body will use calories more efficiently. For hours after you train, your body will continue to burn calories, even if you’re sitting.

2) Increase Metabolism. During and after weight training, you consume extra oxygen. When your body uses more oxygen, it burns more calories. This requirement for more fuel (calories) forces your metabolism to increase to feed your muscles. The advantage to an increased metabolic rate is that it burns fat faster.

3) Strengthen Your Heart. Resistance training can lower blood pressure for up to 12 hours after each workout. Those who lift weights lower their risk of developing heart disease because: it reduces waist size and lowers triglycerides and glucose levels.

4) Sculpt Your Bod. Cardio can help you lose the puff, but it won’t necessarily add shape to your muscles. Using weights will help you create definition in different muscles. Say goodbye to upper-arm flap. Say hello to a tight booty.

5) Save Your Bones. Muscles and bone mass begin deteriorating as we age. Resistance training prolongs the inevitable and aids in keeping your bones and muscles strong. Your risk of osteoporosis also becomes decreased.

6) Improve Your Sleep. Weight training helps you fall asleep more easily because your stress is reduced. The quality of sleep is also improved and deeper. You may even sleep through the entire night without waking once.

7) Improve Your Balance. Resistance training strengthens your muscles and your core. Good balance is predicated on strength. Better balance, less falls and possible injuries.

8) Your Clothes Will Fit Better. Muscle weighs more than fat. But fat takes up more room. You might weigh more, but you will appear thinner because of your lean muscles.

9) Improve Your Memory. Older adults who practice resistance training appear to have improved memory and cognitive function. Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?

The thought of resistance training may frighten or intimidate you. You will not get bulky. You won’t hurt yourself (unless you overdo it.) It may be the key that unlocks the weight-loss door for you.

Ask a trainer for assistance or watch a video when it comes to weights. Using your own body as a weight you can do pushups, squats, and planks. Try it for a while and watch your body and mind transform. For other ways to improve your health with workouts, check out www.GetThrive.com