Achieve Health Excellence

What’s Wrong With Being Unfit?

What’s Wrong With Being Unfit?

Approximately 80 percent of Americans are unfit, due to not getting enough exercise.

This may come as a surprise, but according to a CDC report only about 1 in 5 American people get enought exercise.

(source: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/05/02/only-1-in-5-americans-gets-enough-exercise-cdc)

Let’s repeat that: only 1 in 5 Americans get enough exercise.

This statistic may seem shocking, but it makes sense when you consider that many of us work in offices where we sit down all day. We also lead very busy lives, making it hard to fit exercise into our schedules.

However, just because most people don’t get enough, doesn’t mean you should be complacent in your exercise habits.

Following the crowd and not exercising is not the optimal choice when trying to achieve health and wellness.

We all know that a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain (although diet is a huge factor, too). However, a lack of exercise also puts you at much greater risk of developing a number of diseases:

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Hypertension

Asthma

Arthritis

Osteoporosis

And many more.

It’s now widely agreed that being unfit is MORE risky to your health than being fat.

In addition to health reasons, being unfit affects your ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

If you’ve got kids then you may have regrets at not being able to run around and play with them. Or you might miss out on family walks and outings because you find it too tiring to participate.

On a deeper level, people who don’t get enough exercise are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. This is because exercise releases “happy hormones” known as endorphins. And even the act of exercising outside is shown to boost mood.

Today and every day forward is not the day you should be comfortable being unfit.

 

Burning Calories With Exercise

Burning Calories With Exercise

If you want to lose fat quickly you must perform exercises that burn calories fast.

Cardio or aerobic exercises are best for weight loss.

To get the fat-burning benefits of an aerobic workout, your physical activity must be intense and sustained.

An aerobic workout forces your heart to pump faster and increase blood flow.  You’ll also breathe faster to provide the extra oxygen that your body needs to burn fat or glucose and produce energy for your muscles.

Running, cycling, and swimming are popular aerobic activities that burn calories fast.

 

Running

Running or jogging burns more calories than most exercises.  An individual weighing 155 pounds who runs a distance of 5 miles in one hour can burn 596 calories.  The faster you run, the more calories you can burn.

If running or jogging is too intense for you, try walking instead in order to get the benefits of an aerobic workout.  Be sure to get your doctor’s approval before starting an exercise regimen.

Cross-country Skiing

Skiing is one of the best aerobic exercises that burn calories fast.  It offers a total body workout that exercises your legs, core muscles, and arms.  Cross-country skiing burns over 600 calories per hour.

Bicycling

Whether you’re riding outdoors on a real bike or exercising indoors on a stationary bike, this exercise will help you burn calories fast.  Biking is an enjoyable way to work your lower body and lose weight.  Pedal fast and you’ll be able to burn anywhere from 425 to 1125 calories per hour.  You’ll never get bored while biking outdoors but when the weather is bad it’s  nice to know that you can continue to exercise and burn calories fast by getting on a stationary bike.

Cardio Kickboxing

If you’re looking for a new way to burn fat and calories fast, give cardio kickboxing a try.  You’ll find the total body movements very challenging.  Kickboxing involves kicking, punching and jumping.  You’ll move your body up and down, and side to side.  It’s a fun and dynamic exercise that will get your heart pumping.  This exercise is very tough and may not be for everyone.

Calisthenics

Calisthenics do not require special gym equipment and are very easy to do at home.  Doing these exercises vigorously will help you burn calories fast and increase body strength and flexibility. Calisthenics involve jumping, twisting, bending, kicking and other movements.  Popular calisthenic exercises include jumping jacks, lunges, squats, dips and burpees.  The number of calories burned depends on your body weight and how vigorously you do the exercises.

Jumping Rope

Remember how much fun it was to jump rope when you were a kid?  Many people find it hard to believe that this children’s game is an exercise that burns calories fast.  If you weigh 100 lbs, you can burn about 500 calories an hour by jumping rope.

With a few variations, you can make jumping rope more challenging and burn more calories in the process.  Try jumping higher or faster.  Increase the length of the rope.  Do double jumps, or jump on one foot to improve balance.  Incorporate figure of eight arm-cross movements for a more intense upper body workout.  Jumping rope improves coordination and burns fat fast.

 

What Are The Signs And Symptoms You Are Out Of Shape

What are the signs and symptoms you are out of shape

There’s a huge misconception about fitness. It’s the idea that people who are overweight are unfit, and people who are at a healthy weight or BMI are fit.

Unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true.

Unfortunately weight is not just linked to fitness. It could be about how much you eat, or for other medical reasons. The truth is that many overweight people ARE fit, and many people who aren’t overweight are still very unfit.

So how can you tell if you’re not as fit as you should be?

The most common symptom that comes to mind is getting out of breath easily. For example, if you regularly get out of breath walking one block, or climbing a small flight of stairs.

The following are symptoms you may be out of shape:

* You get injured very easily when you do participate in physical activity
* You get achey muscles even after a very small amount of physical activity
* You get stiff joints (a sign that you’re sitting too much)
* You are weak and can’t carry heavy objects
* You suffer from depression or mood swings

Note that you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to be classed as unfit.

The truth is, if you don’t exercise often – that is, for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week – then you probably aren’t fit.

Unless you do a manual job that keeps you active for large periods of the day, the chances are you need to exercise more often.

Preventing Varicose Veins

Preventing Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are unsightly and uncomfortable. They affect both men and women and appear to have a genetic predisposition.  In other words, if you have family members that suffer from varicose veins, you will also probably have weak valves and have the same experience.

Varicose veins occur when damage occurs to the one way valves that stop blood from pooling in the feet.

When blood leaves the heart it is pumped throughout the body by the force of the heart muscle.  When it comes to the end of the route and has delivered all of the oxygen available, it turns around and heads for home, the heart and lungs.  On the return trip there is no heart muscle to pump the blood back against gravity.

Instead, there are a series of one-way valves in the venous system that work with muscle contraction to force the blood through the legs, up to the inferior vena cava which then delivers the blood to the heart and lungs.

This particular system is called the venous pump.

The pump part of this system works through muscle contraction in the lower legs and thighs.  When the muscle strength has been decreased for any reason it can cause pooling of the blood in the lower extremities.

People may notice some swelling in their feet and legs after having stood for several hours during the day.  This is a result of the blood not returning in an effective and efficient manner to the heart.

Researchers know the types of things that can cause damage to the venous valves and trigger the development of varicose veins.

By avoiding these triggers you can also help to prevent the development of any varicose veins or help to decrease the progression of the ones you already have.

One of the biggest factors is weight, in a combination with other criteria.

For this reason, those who are overweight, obese or put on a significant amount of weight in a short period of time will find that they are more prone to varicose veins.

Individuals who are overweight will also find that by losing weight they reduce their risk and decrease the progression of the disease they may already have.  Women who are pregnant may find that they are at an increased risk for developing varicose veins but that these veins may resolve after the baby has been born.

There are several ways of reducing the risk of developing varicose veins, including weight loss.

Individuals who find that they sit or stand for several hours during the day also increase their risk of developing varicose veins because of the lack of muscle contraction in the lower extremities which drives the venous blood back to the heart.

If your job entails long periods of time sitting or standing, it is important to reduce your risk by getting up and moving around several times an hour.  People who are in a position of traveling in planes or cars for long periods of time will find that contracting and relaxing their calf muscles, ankles and feet every 10 minutes will also help to reduce their risk.

Many individuals have found that doing calf raises, or rising up onto their toes, while in the standing position will help to reduce their risk of varicose veins.

Women who are pregnant who must stay in a standing position can also rest their venous system and lower back by alternately placing one leg and then another on a short stool or box.

When seated for any length of time it is important not to cross your legs at the knees.  Doctors believe that this also helps to increase the pooling in the lower extremities and cuts off the return route for the venous blood to the heart and lungs.

Consistent and regular exercise helps to increase the muscle strength in the lower extremities and therefore keep the venous pump working throughout the day.  Walk for just a mile and a half every day, rain or shine, will help to reduce your risk or the progression of any disease you may already have.

Even if you do not have a genetic predisposition to the development of spider veins or varicose veins it is helpful to perform these minor preventative measures in order to reduce your overall risk and improve your health.

Review- Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Review of Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

The Bowflex company began releasing a line of home gymnasium products in 1986. Intended to deliver a “total body workout” that users of all fitness levels can benefit from without leaving their home, products like the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym have become popular around the world. Why have more than 90% of buyers on Amazon rewarded the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym with either 4 or 5 stars on a 5 star customer satisfaction scale? Why don’t we take a closer look and find out?

Key Elements of the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

* Total body workout device
* Includes rowing machine rail
* Horizontal bench press included
* From 5 to 210 pounds of pressure provided
* Recommended for users 300 pounds and under

Is the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym a Smart Buy?

When Bowflex begin selling its home gymnasium lineup in the mid 1980s, affordability was lacking. The average person looking to get a gymnasium quality workout at home was greeted with a price tag that made the equipment out of reach for many people that it was perfect for.

But that is not the case with the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. This is truly a total body workout machine, but it is priced much lower than comparable models. With over 30 strength exercises that you can perform to build muscle, burn fat, lose weight and get in shape, this is a very versatile device.

Previous buyers have noted that it can take up to 2 hours to assemble this piece of equipment, and having a partner speeds up the process. Assembled this home gymnasium measures 81 inches (205 cm) tall, 84 inches (213 cm) long and 38 inches (97 cm) wide.

When performing leg extensions and curls, 4 inch upholstered roller cushions provide superior support. A horizontal bench press is integrated into the design, as well as a cardiovascular rowing machine. One really nice feature is the ability to fold down this unit for easy storage.

Bowflex provides a 1 year warranty on the frame and 5 years on the resistant power rods. From inclined and declined bench presses, narrow and stiff-arm pull downs, and triceps push downs and extensions to ab crunches, calf raises and leg presses, at least 30 exercises can be performed on this versatile fitness product.

For those that want to stay at home but still receive an intense total body workout, the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym definitely deserves consideration. The price is right for what you receive, which is truly a head to toe fat burning, cardiovascular and strength training home gymnasium.

Additional Bowflex Fitness Equipment Options:

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

How To Start Exercising If You Are Unfit

How to Start Exercising If You’re Unfit

How to start exercising if you are unfit is a common concern among many of us.

getfit

How to get fit when you are unfit.

 

 

 

 

When you haven’t made fitness a part of your daily life it can be overwhelming knowing how to get started when you finally make that decision to get fit. Suddenly you are feeling nervous wondering how you are going to work fitness into your crazy schedule. You may become preoccupied with how sore you are going to be the next day, if you will have to give up time with your family and the number of thoughts and potential excuses goes on.

You can end up with analysis paralysis trying decide what type of workout plan would be best for you.  Between thinking too much, work and family obligations you may end up weeks and months down the road without having started your fitness program.

The best thing to do is just get started doing some type of exercise that works with your schedule. As time goes along your mindset about health and fitness will improve and you will find or create the best workout plan that works for you and keeps you motivated to achieve better health.

No matter what workout plan you start with take it at a slow pace until you are comfortable with what the routine will demand of you physically.

Ironic as it may sound the first step before starting a new fitness program is seeing your primary care doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to start getting fit.

The next step is to start working out.

This means choosing a fitness activity that (a) appeals to you and (b) suits your current lifestyle.

For example, don’t commit to going to the gym if you live miles away from one.

Instead, you could start walking or jogging outside.

The good thing is that there are a number of fitness programs that will take you from complete beginner level. For example, if you wanted to start running, you could start by walking and then running for very small periods of times (e.g. 1 minute) before moving up.

Although it might seem like you’re starting too small, you’d be amazed at the progress you can make in a short period of time.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

* Make a schedule for your week and stick to it. Plan workout days and rest days. At first, you might only plan 3 workout days as you ease into it.
* Stick to your schedule at ALL costs. Eventually, it’ll become a habit.
* Set goals and track your progress. You’ll be much more motivated when you see that you’re improving.
* If it helps, download a fitness app to your phone. There are so many out there, try searching for your preferred workout activity.

Now, go out there and pick an fitness activity and get started down the road to better health.

 

 

Is It Possible To Sleep Too Much

Stop Sleeping Too Much

Your body must have sleep in order to function well. Without the proper amount of sleep, the effects will show up in your muscles, tissues and organs. Knowing how much it helps your body, you’d think that getting more sleep is a good thing.

But like anything you do, there’s only so much of a good thing that your body can handle. Getting too much sleep can be just as bad for you as getting too little sleep.

Sleeping Too Much Affects Your Health

Medical studies have documented the effects of sleeping too much and the risks are serious. One of the ways that getting more sleep than your body needs affects your health is by causing problems with your heart.

If you get more than seven hours of sleep at night, you significantly raise your risk of developing some type of cardiovascular disease. Oversleeping also raises your risk of developing high blood pressure.

In fact, getting over seven hours of sleep at night can cut years off of your life expectancy. Your heart isn’t the only thing that can be affected by how much sleep you get.

The longer you sleep, the more at risk you are of developing diseases that can affect your entire body. One of these diseases is diabetes. The more sleep you get – nine or more hours a night – the greater your risk is of getting this disease.

Another side effect of oversleeping is obesity. Those who get too much sleep have almost a 1 in 4 chance of gaining weight to the point that it reaches obesity. When you get too much sleep, rather than feel rested, it has the opposite effect.

You can actually feel more fatigued the longer you sleep. When you overdo it with sleep, your brain will experience a sense of grogginess. You’ll feel sluggish in the morning when you wake up.

This feeling that makes you feel as if you’re a beat behind has a medical term – and it’s called sleep drunkenness. You can experience some of the same side effects as if you had a hangover from drinking too much alcohol.

In this state, those who experience it can find that they struggle to reach full alertness. They’ll often feel disoriented and can have impaired cognitive as well as poor motor skills.

You would think that getting plenty of sleep would make your body feel good, but the exact opposite is true. You can actually end up feeling worse than if you’d slept for a lesser amount of time.

Oversleeping can also be a major contributor to headaches. These can lead to rebound headaches, too. Someone wakes with a headache, not realizing that the headache is from oversleeping, goes back to sleep and his or her headache worsens.

Pain in various areas of the body is also common when you get too much sleep. Shoulder pain and lower back pain seem to be the two most often affected areas. When you oversleep, you can cause your muscles to develop muscle fatigue.

Mood disorders – including depression – can be linked to getting more than seven hours of sleep a night. In people who already have depression, getting more sleep than is healthy can actually make the depression worse.

Your brain function is affected with oversleeping. When you get too much shut-eye, not only can your brain’s memory become affected but so can your entire cognitive function.

More than any health issue, however, when you sleep too much, you put yourself at a high risk of dying younger than you would if you got the right amount of sleep.

Medical studies have shown that people who sleep nine hours or more increase their chances of dying younger by as much as 50% over those who get a healthier amount of sleep.

Your Sleep Schedule Matters

Many people don’t give a lot of thought to their sleep schedule. They simply figure that if they lose sleep one day, they’ll just make up for it later. You can’t bank sleep or make up for it.

Yet, many people try this. When you have a lack of sleep during your work week and then try to make up for it on the weekends, you raise your chances of developing sleep related health problems.

Sleep isn’t something that can be stored in your body and when you miss out on it, you feel the effects of that deficiency. On the other hand, people also don’t give much thought to oversleeping.

Most people are under the mistaken belief that getting extended sleep offers a lot of benefits. But just like not getting enough asleep, it takes a toll on the body. When you oversleep, you have more of it than your body can effectively use.

So when you try to fix the issue of not getting enough sleep by getting too much sleep (like on the weekends), you’re actually doing more damage to your body than you are good.

It’s always better to keep the same sleep habits seven days a week rather than try to change them up. It can lead to problems. Your age also comes into play when it comes to scheduling the right amount of sleep for your body.

The younger you are, the more sleep that you’ll need. While it’s true that infants and younger children do require more sleep, there’s a good reason for this need. Their bodies and brains are still growing and their bodies use sleep as a means to help their mental and physical growth.

This need for longer hours of sleep isn’t true for adults because the majority of their growing has already happened. In fact, by the time that you reach the age of 18, you shouldn’t sleep more than seven hours a day regardless of your workload, class schedule or how physical you are.

The Boomerang Effect of Sleeping Too Much

There are many reasons that cause people to sleep too much. One of these reasons is insomnia. Insomnia can be short term or long term. It can be episodic – such as the kind of insomnia that comes from an emotional upheaval like a job loss, a relationship ending or a death in the family.

Insomnia can be caused by health problems, emotional problems, substance abuse, poor sleep habits and as a side effect of certain medications. Dwelling on problems when you’re trying to go to sleep can cause insomnia.

During the day, your mind is kept occupied by things you have to deal with. But at night, when you’re lying in bed, your mind has a chance to think about the things that you kept at bay.

This can be business things, relationship or health issues and anxieties or worry about the future. Sharing a bed with someone who’s a restless sleeper or with someone who snores can cause you to develop insomnia.

Being hungry can cause insomnia. So can being too hot or too cold – or if your room is too bright or too dark. If your mattress is uncomfortable, that can cause insomnia.

So can taking a nap during the day if you’re tired. If you have a job schedule where you have to work swing shifts, that can lead to insomnia. Caffeine can cause you to develop insomnia because it’s a stimulant and it prods your brain into alertness.

Using nicotine can also lead to insomnia and so can eating too much right before you plan to go to sleep. But regardless of the reason that’s causing your insomnia whenever you do lose sleep, you end up feeling drained and exhausted.

Because of this, what people try to do is to fix the problem so that they get the sleep they need. But in so many cases, the cure ends up becoming part of the problem.

Struggling with insomnia – especially if it’s an ongoing problem – can lead people to begin taking medication in order to help them get some sleep. They’ll end up either taking over the counter medications or they’ll ask their doctor for a prescription.

But the downside to this approach is that whenever you take medication to help you deal with insomnia, you end up sleeping too much. So then what happens is a boomerang effect.

The insomnia led to medicine, which led to sleeping too much, which leads back to insomnia. Since it’s not good to stay on any kind of sleep aid for a long period of time, it’s always best to get to the root of whatever it is that’s causing you to have insomnia and deal with it.

The Cure for Sleeping Too Much

You might think that the cure for oversleeping is simple. Just don’t sleep too much. But in many cases, it’s not as simple to fix the problem as that. You have to first figure out the reason that you’re sleeping too much.

Because sometimes, that reason can be linked to a health problem or the fact that something’s going on emotionally. You can’t fix something unless you know what’s causing it.

Sometimes, people choose to sleep over dealing with issues that they don’t want to deal with. Oversleeping allows them to push away whatever is going on and avoid it.

But sleeping doesn’t make the issue go away, the person continues to oversleep to escape the problem. So the first step is to deal with the root cause of the oversleeping.

The second step is to come up with a positive reason as to why you want to change your sleep habit. Being motivated to stop oversleeping can make it easier to change.

Associate it with something positive – something that you would enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy riding a bike or visiting a museum, you could tell yourself that you’ll get to do the things you love if you change your sleeping habit.

Third, it can be hard to get out of bed when you talk yourself into staying in it. Plenty of people do this. They’ll think things like they hate getting up or they’ve worked hard and deserve to sleep in. Change your mindset.

Finally, if you do have a habit of oversleeping, going cold turkey and thinking that you’re going to magically change your entire routine overnight could be setting yourself up for failure.

When you make a big change in your sleep schedule, you’re going to feel the impact. You’re going to be tired and probably grumpy. It will be too easy to fall back into the habit of oversleeping.

What you can do is gradually reduce the amount of time that you spend sleeping. Back up your sleep habit in increments. Instead of suddenly cutting two hours off your sleep time, cut ten minutes.

Do this a few days at a time during the week. By cutting back on your sleep gradually, you give your body time to adjust so that losing the sleep you once had isn’t as difficult.

Get the Right Amount of Sleep to Prevent Oversleeping

If you want to get the right amount of sleep, you want to make it easy on yourself for this to happen. If you’re like most people, you probably hate the sound of an alarm clock blaring to get you out of bed.

But using an alarm clock can help prevent oversleeping. This will help you set a schedule that you can keep to seven days a week. It will make it easier for you to get up and easier for you to get to sleep at night as well.

You should aim to try to rise at the same time every day and get to bed at the same time. Being consistent gets your body on a routine by changing your body’s internal clock.

Don’t put the alarm clock right beside your bed. It’s too easy to hit the snooze button and end up oversleeping. Instead, put it where you have to get out of the bed to go shut it off.

Never crawl back in bed after you’ve shut off the alarm. Your brain still isn’t quite awake yet and you’ll find it easy to fall back asleep. Make sure that your bedtime routine is as relaxing as you can possibly make it.

If you have something that you have to deal with – whether it’s physical or mental, make sure that you’re not dealing with it close to your bedtime. Use natural methods to help you relax at night.

One of these methods is guided imagery. This can help you decompress and allow your muscles to relax. Try deep, slow breathing techniques to help you fall asleep.

You can also listen to soothing music such as nature sounds. The crashing of ocean waves and rain falling can be an especially helpful relaxation practice. Keep your focus on something that will help you sleep.

What some people do is to start counting backward from a certain number. This keeps the mind on something that’s repetitive – and repetition can help cause drowsiness.

Don’t let yourself go from one extreme to the other – from oversleeping to the point it affects your health to a state of insomnia, where you’re equally sabotaged with your mental and physical well-being. Try to find the right balance.

Top 5 Sleep Aids for Treating Insomnia

Top 5 Sleep Aids for Treating Insomnia

Not getting enough sleep because you have insomnia can be wreak havoc on your health. Not only that, but it can cause you to have trouble concentrating at work, put you at higher risk of having some type of accident and it can lead to memory loss.

When you have insomnia – especially if your insomnia is chronic – you’ll want to do whatever you can to treat it so that you can get back to sleeping well at night. There are plenty of options available for you – ranging from the natural to traditional methods.

How a White Noise Machine Can Help

As your home settles in for the night, it will make noise. There will be creaks. You might hear the refrigerator kick on and hum. Same thing with your heating or air conditioning system.

If you have pets, they can keep you awake by moving around in another room, by the sound of their feet on tile or hardwood flooring. You might hear them lapping water or growling in their sleep.

These things can jar you from sleep – even if you’re not a light sleeper. Having a white noise machine can help drown out the sounds that occur in the night that wake you up and prevent you from getting back to sleep.

White noise consists of sounds, too – but these sounds each occur at a different frequency. When you use a white noise machine, you’re not actually hearing these frequencies because your hearing range isn’t able to tell each of these signals from the other.

What the machine does is it covers up or takes in any of the regular noises that you hear at night that might prevent you from falling asleep. Not only does it cover up sounds that keep you awake, but the sound that the machine does produce is very tranquil.

It helps you feel drowsy. The reason that this type of noise works is that you can’t really figure out what it is that you’re hearing because of the frequency. So because of that, your mind doesn’t focus on it the way that it would with the sound of a dog drinking water or a refrigerator humming when the motor comes on.

A white noise machine is not only recommended to people with insomnia, but it’s also recommended for people who have a medical condition, like tinnitus, which keeps them from falling asleep.

You can find these machines in models that will only give off a plain white noise. Some of these machines, however, do have masking sounds. The most popular kinds are the ones that have white noise that simply sounds like air.

But you can buy models that will allow you to customize the white noise sounds. These are frequencies that sound like rain, the ticking of a clock or of a hair dryer on low speed.

Some of them will also produce sounds like a rain storm, or like the sounds of wind chimes moving in a breeze. These machines are great for people who work odd hours or have jobs that require them to work third shift.

Melatonin Treats Insomnia

Whenever insomnia hits, many people will automatically take a prescription medication to help them get to sleep. Other people, however, want something that’s more natural that won’t have any lingering side effects.

One of these more natural treatments is the use of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced by your body. The location for the production of this hormone is found in the pineal gland – a tiny gland that rests at the base of your brain.

It works like a natural alarm clock. What this hormone does is it helps regulate your sleep and awake times. Everyone has this hormone. When it’s working right, it kicks in and starts a series of changes within your body in preparation for sleep.

The first thing that it does is to drop your body temperature. Not by a lot, but enough to make you feel tired. When your body temperature drops, your body – as well as your brain – begins the shift from awake mode to sleep.

As this shift begins to take place, you’ll start to get drowsy and then you’ll drift off to sleep. That’s the way that your body’s natural production of melatonin is supposed to work.

However, as you grow older, your body produces less of this hormone. Many people think that this step begins in middle age of 40 and over. But the loss of melatonin actually starts once you reach the age of thirty.

Once you reach the point where there’s less of this hormone being produced, your body will then experience trouble trying to regulate your sleep cycle. You won’t have the same restful nights that you once did.

You’ll find that it’s more difficult to fall asleep and when you do get to sleep, you wake suddenly for no reason. People who have too much melatonin are often excessively sleepy, which can lead to insomnia because they sleep so much, it creates a cycle of oversleeping, then not being able to sleep.

You can find melatonin in the health food or natural remedies section of your grocery store. You can also find it through online shops. The amount of the supplement that you’ll need to take will depend on the brand that you buy.

It can take a few weeks for melatonin to build back up in your body so that you gain the benefit from it. When it does, you’ll get your sleep cycle restored. However, in the meantime, there are some other things that you can do to help find relief from the insomnia.

Use Aromatherapy to Treat Insomnia

When you’re tossing and turning in bed, it can cause you to feel a sense of frustration at the thought of losing even more sleep because of your insomnia. There is something that’s easy, inexpensive – and studies have shown that it’s effective at helping relieve insomnia – aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is basically just treatment for a condition using the way a body draws in scent to create a behavioral change. There are certain scents that we associate with specific activities or times of the year.

For example, the smell of wood smoke might immediately make you think about the fall or winter months sitting in front of the fireplace. We associate scent with a lot of good things in our lives.

Scent is a powerful tool that can be used to break the cycle of insomnia and help get you on the road to resting the way that you need to sleep. The way that aromatherapy works is that it can set up the conditions that bring your body to its sleep cycle.

The scents that you use in aromatherapy will be oils that are known to produce a calming, drowsy effect on the body. When you use aromatherapy to help prepare your body to sleep, through the use of the scents, your brain begins to release the triggers that it’s time for you to go to sleep.

There are a ton of different scents on the market that you can use in an aromatherapy treatment. However, not all of them are good to help you get to sleep.

In fact, some of them have stimulating properties and will actually do the opposite of what you want to accomplish. There is one scent, however, that’s well known for producing a calming, drowsy effect.

That scent is lavender. This scent contains sleep-inducing properties that can help you. Lavender is a shrub and its flowers are used for the making of the essential oil used in aromatherapy.

It’s known to help with the treatment of anxiety and stress, so if you have insomnia that’s caused by worries, this is a great treatment for you to choose. Besides being in the essential oil form, you can get lavender in bath soaps, lotions, and in tea.

The scent can be used by inhaling it once it’s diluted with water. You can simply put some drops into a pot of boiling water. It’s the vapors from the hot water that you inhale that helps.

What some people do is buy diffusers to use with lavender essential oil. These are inexpensive containers that will mist the scent into the air. These containers are especially helpful if you place them in your bedroom and let them release fragrance into the air about twenty minutes before you go to sleep.

A Temperature Control Pillow Helps Treat Insomnia

When you start to fall asleep, your body is supposed to lower your temperature. But in many cases, this doesn’t happen. That’s one of the first steps to the natural rhythm that your body is supposed to undergo.

When it doesn’t, everything gets out of rhythm. Your sleep cycle then begins the first stage where it’s heading toward sleep loss and the possibility of insomnia. There can be several reasons for this out of rhythm failure.

It can be tied to your body not producing enough melatonin. That’s usually one of the first things that your doctor might mention if you tell him you’re having trouble sleeping.

But this failure can also be linked to hormonal changes, like the ones that are found when menopause occurs. Poor temperature control can also be linked to medical conditions that impact your adrenals, your thyroid, or your autonomic system.

But regardless of what’s causing your temperature control problem, the end result is the same for you. Poor temperature control means that you end up not being able to sleep.

This can lead to insomnia. Thankfully, however, there are some things that you can do to help fix this. You can get a temperature control pillow. Reducing your temperature will make you feel drowsy enough to fall asleep.

An example can be found by what happens to your body after you take a bath. No matter how warm your bath water is, when it’s over, you feel sleepy. That’s because not only does a warm bath relax you, but it lowers your temperature.

That might not seem feasible since the water is warm. But what happens is that when you step out of the bath, your body temperature immediately starts to drop. So you feel sleepy right away.

When you use a temperature control pillow, the pillow will respond to your body by lowering the temperature within the pillow. This lowers your body temperature. These pillows are also called temperature adjusting pillows and temperature regulating pillows.

Many of them contain gel inside the pillow. The gel can react to your body by telling when it needs to cool you down. So the gel will actually grow colder. The majority of these pillows are also hyper-allergenic and can be machine washed.

Anti-Stress Comfort Wraps Can Break the Cycle of Insomnia

Besides a lack of melatonin, one of the top reasons that insomnia occurs is because of stress. Stress can create feelings of anxiousness, fear and anger. It can leave you worried about what’s going to happen the next day when you have to get up.

It can also make you wonder about your future. There are known stressors. You know when something has happened that causes you to feel stressed. Things can go on at work that make you feel like you just can’t handle one more issue.

Driving home from work, and dealing with the people who don’t act right during the commute can raise your stress levels. At home, dealing the things that go wrong – such as repairs – can stress you out.

So can a disagreement with your significant other. Finding out that your child has to have something for school the next day and you’re just now finding out about it can cause you stress.

Most people understand these kinds of stressors. Though they can cause some unrest and maybe make you lose a night of sleep, they’re not usually linked to long term stress that can cause insomnia.

However, what a lot of people do have that they may not even realize is stress that’s not 100% in their conscious mind. This can be a lingering ache from a car accident that happened years ago.

An area of your body can have some pain still associated with that. The pain bothers you and causes you stress because it’s linked to that past trauma. When you experience a stress, you carry that stress in your body.

Whether it’s at the forefront of your mind or not, as you try to drift off to sleep, your body will experience the feelings from that stress. You might not even be able to put your finger on the why of it all.

But anti-stress comfort wraps can help. You have to get the tension released from your body before you begin to try and fall asleep. A comfort wrap is a simple terry cloth covered wrap with filling in it that you warm up.

You can usually warm these in the microwave. What most people do is to place the wrap at the back of their neck or across a shoulder, alternating sides about half an hour before bed.

The wrap helps relieve the tension and stress that’s within your body. These wraps are relatively inexpensive. You can usually find a good one for twenty dollars or less.

Fatigue- Why Do You Feel So Tired

why am i so tired

why am i so tired

What Is Fatigue?

If you’re tired and even lethargic a lot of the time, you may be feeling it.  Everyone gets tired from time to time.  Maybe you’re under stress or have had a bad night of sleep.  But when is fatigue normal and when does it become a medical problem?
Fatigue is your body’s natural way of slowing you down so that you can get the rest you need.  When you’ve been mentally, emotionally, or physically stressed your body needs time to recover and it does that by making you feel like stopping in your tracks.
Fatigue means having very little energy for mental and/or physical tasks.  When you feel fatigue you’re not motivated to get things done.  You may actually feel irritable and even apathetic about doing anything.
If you feel that way for a day or two after a major event in your life, there’s not much to worry about.  This is usually taken care of with a day or two of rest.  For example, if you go through a major life change such as marriage, divorce, death in the family, or a big move you need to rest.
However, if you feel fatigue frequently and you can’t pinpoint a reason why you would feel that way, you’ll probably want to seek some advice from a healthcare provider.  Chronic fatigue can signal that there’s a larger underlying problem.
You’ll want to see someone if you’ve experienced fatigue for six months or more even if you have no other symptoms or problems to speak of.  If fatigue can’t be relieved by rest and is getting in the way of you performing your daily activities, it’s enough cause for concern.
But if you have fatigue combined with other symptoms, you’ll want to see a healthcare provider sooner.  For example, if you’re experiencing fatigue combined with headaches, joint or muscle pain, or swollen glands it could signal something that needs to be treated.
Some common underlying causes of fatigue include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, or an infection.  You may also have problems with fatigue if you have sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
The good news is that most of the time you can determine the underlying cause of fatigue and then get back to your normal daily activities.  In the cases of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia you may have to change your lifestyle and start a healthcare regimen, but you can have relief.
Many people refuse to seek treatment because they’re afraid of what they may find out.  But the truth is you need not be afraid.  When you speak with your healthcare provider, you may be surprised that what is fatigue could actually be something treatable.
  Symptoms of Fatigue
What is the difference between feeling tired and experiencing symptoms of fatigue?  That’s a very good question and it’s important to understand the difference.  If you’re just a little tired, you can recover quickly but long bouts with fatigue could signal a problem.
Everyone gets fatigue from time to time.  In and of itself, fatigue isn’t a bad thing.  It’s the body’s natural way of slowing you down so you can get some rest and feel restored.  Everyone experiences this and it can be very healthy.
For example, if you have a really busy week at work and put in overtime, by the time Friday rolls around you feel beat.  You get home and just want to rest in front of the TV, sleep late on Saturday, and stay in your pajamas all weekend.
But when Monday rolls around you feel refreshed and you’re able to go back to working hard.  Your body needed some time to recharge, but once you give it that rest you can go back to normal activities.
Fatigue becomes a problem when it last a long time and has other symptoms.  For example, you also may feel a lack of energy so strong that it gets in the way of getting your daily life tasks done.  For example, you may not have the energy to keep your house clean or to go to work.
People who experience chronic fatigue may also have trouble with remembering important tasks and focusing on the job at hand.  It can really impede your ability to get things done for yourself and for your family.
When should you worry that fatigue is a bigger problem?  Most healthcare experts recommend that you seek attention if you feel fatigue consistently for six months even if you don’t have any other symptoms.
But if you have fatigue for several weeks and it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as muscle and joint pain, headaches, or swollen glands you’ll want to talk to your healthcare provider sooner.  Fatigue and other symptoms could signal that you have an underlying illness.
When you speak with your healthcare provider you’ll want to make sure and mention all of your symptoms.  In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a journal to track your symptoms when you realize that there’s something more going on than feeling a little tired.
The good news is that with intervention, most people will see improvement in their symptoms.  You’ll either discover that you have a treatable underlying infection or illness or that you don’t have an underlying cause.  Either way, you can begin working on a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms of fatigue and get back to your real life.
Cause of Fatigue
If you’re struggling with feeling tired all the time, you may be interested in finding the cause of fatigue in your body.  Fatigue can actually be caused by many different things.  Some of them are simple and harmless while others can be serious cause for concern.
The most common cause for occasional fatigue is stress on your mind and body.  If you’ve had a hard week at work or home, exerted yourself more than usual physically, or had a major life change fatigue can help you to get the rest you need.
When it comes to this type of healthy fatigue, your body will feel renewed after rest.  If you feel refreshed and can resume your normal activities you don’t have anything to worry about. This is just your body’s natural defense mechanism to slow you down.
However, if you have fatigue for a long period of time, it could signal that something else is going on.  There are many health conditions that can cause fatigue and you’ll want to make sure that you get a diagnosis and proper treatment.
Sometimes infections can cause fatigue as a symptom.  Infections such as Epstein-Barr virus, mononucleosis infection, and Lyme disease can cause fatigue in addition to some other symptoms.
Thyroid dysfunction can also be a culprit when it comes to fatigue.  If you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland will actually be causing you to have a slow metabolism.  You could feel sluggish and put on weight without changing your lifestyle.  This condition is treatable.
Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, can also cause fatigue. There are several different types of hepatitis and your healthcare provider may want to rule these out depending on your specific symptoms.
Serious illnesses such as cancer and AIDS can also cause fatigue.  Usually these diseases will also come with other symptoms.  You’ll want to discuss your symptoms carefully with your healthcare provider to see if you’re at risk for these conditions.
While fatigue can signal a serious illness, it can sometimes be related to a condition that’s easily treatable.  It can also come on with no known cause.  When people present with chronic fatigue that has no known cause, they’re often diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
This is a syndrome that may be a result of a previous infection – one you may not even know about.  While researchers haven’t pinpointed the cause of it, you’ll still be able to treat the symptoms of fatigue so that you can get some relief.
When you’re feeling like you can’t take care of your duties in life and you even feel apathetic about it, you’ll need to speak with your doctor.  Determining the cause of fatigue may be simple of complex, but either way you can get relief.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a problem that many people face.  It’s more than just feeling tired for a few days.  Chronic fatigue syndrome is a feeling of fatigue for more than six months.  It can also be accompanied by problems with concentration and memory.
Sometimes, in addition to feeling fatigued people also experience sore throat, muscle fatigue or pain, and headaches.  There is no actual known cause for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  You’ll be diagnosed after other possible causes of your symptoms are ruled out.
While there’s no definitive cause for this syndrome, many researchers believe that it could be related to infections that have occurred previously.  For example, if you had a viral infection such as Epstein-Barr it may leave your immune system compromised and lead to this syndrome.
It’s important to see your healthcare provider to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.  Fatigue could be a sign that you have an infection or illness.  The good news is that most of the time other conditions are treatable.
If other conditions are ruled out and you’re diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you may be worried that there’s no hope.  But you should know that there is research being done all the time to help treat this condition.
The goal of treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is to relieve you of symptoms.  Since there’s no known cause, there’s no magic bullet for this syndrome.  Instead, you’ll probably find that you try several different treatment options to determine if your symptoms improve.
Your protocol may include taking pain relievers, antidepressants, antibiotics, allergy medications, or medications that are in the category of stimulants.  You may also want to consider alternative medicine therapies.
For example, some people have good results from acupuncture and herbal therapies.  Before you take an herbal formula, make sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider.  Herbal therapies can have interactions with other medications you’re taking.
It’s also important that when you’ve been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that you take care of yourself.  You’ll need to learn how much activity you can handle and when to stop.  You’ll also want to avoid the urge to just stay in bed all the time.
Bed rest can actually make chronic fatigue syndrome worse and lead to more problems with depression.  You may also want to seek support if you’re dealing with this condition.  Chronic illness of any kind can be difficult to cope with and you may want to talk to others.
You can talk with your doctor about possible support groups.  You may also want to look for message boards where you can get advice and support.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a difficult condition, but most people see some improvement over time.
Treatment of Fatigue
Feeling lethargic and exhausted is no way to live and if you experience this you’ll want to know the options for treatment of fatigue.  There’s a wide range of treatment that may be prescribed depending on the cause of your fatigue.
In many cases, fatigue will be a symptom of a specific condition. There are many health conditions that cause fatigue such as infections, hypothyroidism, and even more serious illnesses such as cancer.
However, if you’ve seen a doctor and other conditions have been ruled out you may be left with a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  There’s no known cause for this which can be very frustrating.  Even if there’s not a treatment to wipe out the underlying cause, you can get help.
When you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you’ll want to work with your healthcare provider to treat other symptoms.  While CFS sounds simple, it can actually have many symptoms that you can alleviate.
Many people with fatigue also feel depressed.  As with any chronic illness, depression can come from not being able to enjoy your usual activities.  Antidepressants can help you to get through this part of the illness.
You may also be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.  These can help you to lessen the symptoms of muscle and joint pain that sometimes accompanies fatigue.  They can also help to reduce or eliminate headaches.
People with chronic fatigue also have a tendency to suffer from allergies.  You may also be prescribed medications to help reduce your flare-ups from allergic reactions.  It may be helpful to undergo allergy testing to see if certain exposures are making things worse.
Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help you have more energy and eliminate negative symptoms of chronic fatigue.  You may also find that it helps to improve your diet and make sure that you’re getting good nutrition.
In addition to good nutrition, some people like to look into alternative medicine for relief.  The ancient practice of acupuncture can often bring relief and vitality to those who are feeling fatigue.  It can also help to alleviate headaches and joint pain.
Herbal therapies are another option for you if you’re dealing with fatigue.  You’ll just want to make sure that any herbs you’re taking are safe to take with any medications you’re taking.  Sometimes serious drug interactions can occur if you’re not careful.
Before undergoing any treatment, it’s important to make sure you talk with your healthcare provider.  You don’t have to live your life feeling sluggish and in pain.  Many people who undergo treatment of fatigue find that they have a better quality of life.

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Bulemia

How to talk to your doctor about bulimia is a question probably every individual suffering from bulimia has asked at some point.

Bulimia is an eating disorder that is characterized by binge eating and frequent inappropriate means of preventing weight gain which include excessive exercise or self-induced vomiting. Many times a person suffering from bulimia is of normal weight or even a bit overweight. Their perception of their body image is altered and they see themselves as obese and ugly. But because their body is close to normal weight, their problem with bulimia is often easily disguised.

Unfortunately people can suffer from bulimia and fight this disease for many years without any external physical evidence.  This condition does take an effect on the body however.  With enough stress to the body conditions such as kidney failure, esophageal tears, cardiovascular disease, dental problems, liver failure and low blood pressure are common in people with bulimia.

Researchers have found that the earlier treatment is begun the better the chance that a person will experience a full recovery. Although there are several tips and home self help processes to follow the best chance of recovery happens with medical and psychological treatment.

Recovery from bulimia is a journey and every journey begins with a single step. That first step begins with how to talk to your doctor about bulimia.

Society today holds a negative view to eating disorders and often people don’t understand the whys and hows of the conditions. However, physicians aren’t among the general public – they won’t judge and are only concerned with protecting the health of your body so you can live a long and healthy life.

So the first thing to realize when considering how to talk to your doctor about bulimia is that you shouldn’t be met with judgment but rather with concern and support. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your personal doctor about the symptoms you believe you are experiencing then investigate your other options in your community.

Many hospitals have eating disorder clinics that work with psychologists in the community who are familiar with the issues and concerns that sufferers must face each day. Sometimes there are community eating disorder clinics where you can find help and support.

In either case your doctor will be doing a thorough history and physical. During the history they will be determining how long you’ve been experiencing these feelings and symptoms as well as if others in your family have suffered from other eating disorders or mental illnesses.

During the physical examination the doctor may request a couple of blood tests to determine your overall health and whether there has been long term damage done to the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, neurological system or reproductive system.

When you consider how to talk to your doctor about bulimia the real question is only how to broach the subject. Because your doctor is likely to be experienced talking to people with an eating disorder you won’t have to worry about justifying your behavior or explaining why you feel you might have a problem.

There is no shame in having an eating disorder and seeking help.  On the other hand, in a society where help is available on almost every corner it is a shame when people suffer in silence creating physical and emotional damage that will last their lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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