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5 ways exercise improves your quality of life

Also: How well does calcium intake really protect your bones?; 5 tips for getting started with a walking program.
Harvard Medical School

5 ways exercise improves your quality of life

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Exercise not only helps you live longer — it helps you live better. In addition to making your heart and muscles stronger and fending off a host of diseases, it can also improve your mental and emotional functioning and even bolster your productivity and close relationships. Read on for five ways in which exercise can improve your quality of life.

1. Wards off depression: While a few laps around the block can't solve serious emotional difficulties, researchers know there is a strong link between regular exercise and improved mood. Aerobic exercise prompts the release of mood-lifting hormones, which relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being. In addition, the rhythmic muscle contractions that take place in almost all types of exercise can increase levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which combats negative feelings.

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What can improve your mood, boost your ability to fend off infection, and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer? The answer is regular exercise. It may seem too good to be true, but it's not. Hundreds of studies demonstrate that exercise helps you feel better and live longer. This report answers many important questions about physical activity. It will also help guide you through starting and maintaining an exercise program that suits your abilities and lifestyle.

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2. Enhances sex life: Both libido and performance benefit from moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise. The Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that men who exercised 30 minutes a day were 41% less likely than sedentary men to experience erectile dysfunction. Exercise helps women, too: in one study, 20 minutes of cycling boosted women's sexual arousal by 169 percent.

3. Sharpens wits: Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain, which may help maintain brain function. It also promotes good lung function, a characteristic of people whose memories and mental acuity remain strong as they age. While all types of physical activity help keep your mind sharp, many studies have shown that aerobic exercise, in particular, successfully improves cognitive function.

4. Improves sleep: Regular aerobic exercise provides three important sleep benefits: it helps you fall asleep faster, spend more time in deep sleep, and awaken less during the night. In fact, exercise is the only known way for healthy adults to boost the amount of deep sleep they get — and deep sleep is essential for your body to renew and repair itself.

5. Protects mobility and vitality: Regular exercise can slow the natural decline in physical performance that occurs as you age. By staying active, older adults can actually keep their cardiovascular fitness, metabolism, and muscle function in line with those of much younger people. And many studies have shown that people who were more active at midlife were able to preserve their mobility — and therefore, their independence — as they aged.

To attain all the effects listed above, aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week. And to read more about the health benefits of exercise, buy Starting to Exercise, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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News and Views from the Harvard Health Blog

How well does calcium intake really protect your bones?

Two recent analyses suggest that neither dietary calcium nor calcium supplements reduce the risk of fractures. When there's no clear deficiency, it's impossible to know how exactly much calcium a person needs. Ideally, you should get most of your calcium through food.

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5 tips for getting started with a walking program

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Looking to get started with an easy and affordable exercise plan? Don't overlook walking. Walking is usually safe for people of any age or level of fitness and can easily be adjusted to a comfortable speed. It doesn't jar joints or raise your heart rate to dangerous levels. For a greater challenge, you can add time, distance, or hills — or try incorporating higher-intensity intervals or resistance bands.

Follow these tips to get the best workout from your walks:

1. Find a safe place to walk. Quiet streets with sidewalks, park trails, athletic tracks at local schools, or shopping malls are often good choices.

2. Buy a good pair of shoes. Look for supportive but flexible soles that cushion your feet. Comfort is the key when buying shoes for walking. Shop at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest size. Choose shoes with "breathable" uppers, such as nylon mesh.

3. Dress for comfort and safety. Wear lighter clothes than you'd need if standing still. Dress in layers so you can peel off garments if you get hot. Light-colored clothes and a reflective vest help drivers notice you.

4. Do a five-minute warm-up and cool-down. Start off at a slower pace for your warm-up. At the end of your walk, slow down to cool down (even if you're not sweaty).

5. Practice good technique:

  • Walk at a brisk, steady pace. Slow down if you're too breathless to carry on a conversation.

  • Stand tall.

  • Hold your head up so your chin is level and look 10 to 20 feet in front of you.

  • Lift your chest.

  • Keep your shoulders down.

  • Point your toes straight ahead.

  • Let your arms swing loosely at your sides. If you want to boost your speed, bend your elbows at 90-degree angles and swing your hands from waist height to chest height.

  • Land on your heel, then roll forward onto the ball of your foot, pushing off from your toes.

  • Take comfortable strides. To go faster, take quicker steps instead of longer ones.

To read about all the benefits of exercise as well as ways to begin an exercise program, buy Starting to Exercise, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. 

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Starting to Exercise

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What can exercise do for you?
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In this issue: Flu shot facts, breast cancer and olive oil, Flat Belly Diet, bad breath and more.

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A well-rounded fitness program includes both aerobic exercise and strength training. But skip the ankle weights. Ankle weights may strain your ankle joint and leg muscles, which could increase the risk of injury. You can do some leg strengthening with repetitions of sitting then standing, walking uphill or taking the stairs. To get more out of your walking routine, simply pick up the pace. If you're in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you're less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking.
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Concerning Gastric Banding Surgery NJ

By Della Monroe

Low self-esteem, health risks and low living standards are associated with obesity. This is a condition which increases the risk for premature death, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions. Patients will sign up for surgical intervention if dieting is not bringing a significant change in their weight. Gastric banding surgery NJ helps the client lose much weight and improve the health status.

Nerves surrounding the anterior part of the stomach are pressured in order to decrease hunger signals to the brain. Also, the band constricts the size of the stomach meaning you will be satisfied by eating less food. There is a small port placed under the skin of the patient to provide access for removing or adding normal saline. This ensures that weight loss is kept at a maximum.

There is no need to check in as an inpatient. You can have the surgery done as an outpatient. The technology used in performing this laparoscopy is advanced. Thus, there are minimal incidences of complications. The patient does not have to worry about scarring because it is not extensive. In addition, recovery is quick in city Englewood, NJ.

The band can be adjusted. This means the saline at the port can be controlled in order to ensure the process goes on as expected. In addition, in the event that you do become pregnant, the band can be loosened so that changes taking place as a result of such a state are not affected. Also, you will tighten it after delivery to provide for weight loss. Because the weight lost depends on the port and band put in place, if you wish to discontinue the process you can have them removed. Other weight loss surgical procedures involve cutting and stapling stomach parts meaning they are permanent.

The side effects are not many following this surgical operation. One of the major advantages is that nutritional deficiencies will not come up because the digestion and absorption processes are not interfered with. These problems come up when stapling and cutting of digestive tract parts happens.

The cost incurred to undergo the procedure depends on the insurance cover taken. For those who are paying in cash, the rates are different. However, the surgery is costly either way. Those who are at private hospitals pay more than in public hospital. It is the patient to choose the hospital according to his or her financial status.

When someone who has undergone this procedure takes a meal, the food is squeezed via the band as it passes the esophagus. The stretching stimulates vagal nerve. The effect is that the patient feels full. It is better if a patient takes small meals regularly that just one big one. Chewing should be done sufficiently.

Eating large food portions will make the esophagus dilate and the stomach will be overfilled. The patient will vomit excessively and regurgitation also takes place. This will make the band to deflate and for it to continue working normally it has to be repositioned. That is why the patient has to understand the instructions well and follow them to the latter. Otherwise, the goal to lose weight will not be achieved in Englewood city, NJ.

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How To Find A Good Clinic For Getting An Eye Exam

By Della Monroe

Various examinations should be taken regularly by individuals. These are the examinations that allow for the identification of early signs of common severe ailments. With that, you can prevent any ailments that can really affect your body. For most people, one of the important examinations to go through is an eye exam Sacramento.

You must aim to not overlook any bad conditions for your eyes. After all, you certainly do not want to suffer any ailments that are sight-related in the future. Therefore, it is only natural that you look for the best medical doctors to help you out. These medical doctors can give you professional opinion of what your condition is like.

For you to search for the professionals and the clinics they are working at, there are numerous search methods available for use. These can definitely help make the whole search a lot easier. These help make the decision easy to come by. Here are those methods that a person should take advantage of in searching.

First, better take advantage of the classified ads. There are many ads nowadays that showcase clinics that are for medical examinations, especially those specializing with the eyes. These published ads are generally found in the classified ads section of the newspapers, both local and national. Magazines also have these advertisements.

The Yellow Pages is another option being used by people searching for something. For the Yellow Pages, this is a well-known business directory listing that most people use. Just browsing through the categories and finding the right category for what you are looking for is a good idea. It is certainly an easy way for you to find what you are seeking.

Brochures and flyers can also be a form of search method. There are representatives or staff members of these medical clinics that hand out flyers and brochures out on the streets as part of their marketing campaign. At times, they even include discounts or other promos in these flyers and brochures. Just make use of these for the search.

Referrals can work in your favor too. This just means you have to find the people who can provide you with the information that is necessary for your search. These people must be trustworthy individuals who have experience on the matter. They can be your family members, friends, relatives, associates, or colleagues.

You also have the advertisements frequently aired on the TV and radio. These are surely of great help to your searching as well. You simply have to take note of those commercials that are relevant to what you are seeking. Consider them when you plan to go on the said examination.

There is the Internet as well. It is a very useful and convenient option that everyone should use, regardless of what it is that they are seeking for. With just a computer and Internet access, people can get leads to what they want to know. The search will take just a fraction of a second too. No more wasting time for you.

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Pilates Can Be A Perfect Combination With Other Exercise

By Della Monroe

You want to be fit and achieve the body which you longer desire, and you are willing to do any form of exercise that can help you just to have it. You try to eat food which can help you controlling your diet and have a balance meal. But you should better have the right program to help you not just to have perfect form but to balance everything as well.

You cannot go to gym and do your thing there without learning any facts about the right procedure in losing weight and being fit. One of the good ways that can assist you with your training is Pilates in Pittsburgh. This is a good way to create firmness and keeps you strong.

It is where you pull strings, handles, straps and other apparatus that can provide support and resistance over your body. Where the workout is usually against gravity or lifting parts in the air because this is a good way to improve your reflexes. It can help reduce back pain since it was proven to some and they keep on using it to relief the pain

You may work on two separate activities using this system which can provide the same result but it is in a different process. You have the apparatus, where you are be able to use different things like wunda chair, spine corrector, cardillac, and ladder barrel. The other one is the mat, the common and traditional way of doing Pilates since it will have the usual materials like bands and weights.

It is medically proven to aid people who have bone problems or any other problems that can affect our posture. Athletes and dancer usually have this program to support them and avoid injuries during their real workout. It makes you more flexible and enhances your agility.

As we have mention in the first part that this can be a good combination with other activities such biking, hiking or even jogging. You can follow a systematic or a solid workout and this will all depend on the level of your ability. Have your self responsible with things and the key to succeed is to have self control.

Areas in the body which has a lot muscles are the parts where this kind of activity will greatly affect into. If you desire to get that abs, then better do this since abdomen is one of the few parts that are trained for this purpose. Other areas are thighs, buttocks, and hips which are parts that can make someone sexier.

Unlike form other exercise, this can be done easily because it is not that intense. You cannot have injury by doing it but for people who are suffering from accidents then they are advice to ask permission from the doctor. Even with this is just a light activity, you should not be careless with it since your safety is their priority.

You may have classes where there are instructor that assist you while executing the exercise. You can join in group classes where you can be together with other people or have a one on one class if you just want to be alone. There are several sessions that you need to accomplish within the month to make sure that you are learning them properly.

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News: More than 670 Americans Infected in Salmonella Outbreak

Contaminated cucumbers from Mexico have caused more than 670 cases of salmonella in 34 states, according to U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Three deaths have occurred as a result, in Arizona, California, and Texas, and just over half of all the cases were in children under 18 years of age. Here's the need to know on detecting and avoiding salmonella in your home.
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News: More than 670 Americans Infected in Salmonella Outbreak

Contaminated cucumbers from Mexico have caused more than 670 cases of salmonella in 34 states, according to U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three deaths have occurred as a result, in Arizona, California, and Texas, and just over half of all the cases were in children under 18 years of age. Here's the need to know on detecting and avoiding salmonella in your home.

Nicholas English
Content Manager of Health
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