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Tag Archives: Cleveland Clinic Wellness Tip

Jouranal to Reduce Stress

Feeling frustrated? Journaling about difficult times or lofty goals makes it easier for you to manage stress and put a smile on your face.

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Research shows that writing about your grievances — as well as your hopes and dreams — can lower stress levels, speed up healing and boost your mood. To commit yourself to the practice, invest in a journal in which you will enjoy writing.

 
 

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Get Moving!

Just move! Even brief episodes of brisk exercise can make you thinner and better able to do the fun things you want to do in life.

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Try 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as a brisk walk — most days of the week, for better emotional and physical health. New research shows that even brief episodes of vigorous activity can help prevent weight gain and promote better health. The key is to get your heart rate up so that you’re working your lungs, heart and muscles. If today you have only 10 minutes to spare, use that time to go for a brisk walk. If there’s a hill nearby, or even a staircase, try to tackle it! You may even find that you enjoy it so much you’ll find 15 minutes to spare tomorrow.

source: cleveland clinic

 

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Exercise Consistently to help with Insomnia

Regular exercise can help you sleep more soundly, but be patient. Results won’t happen overnight. Stick with it for lasting results.

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If you spend your nights tossing and turning, or you take hours to fall asleep, begin an exercise plan. Regular physical activity is a wonderful prescription for insomnia. However, one sweat session on the treadmill isn’t likely to lead to better zzz’s that night. Researchers have found that, though effective, exercise is a long-term treatment for insomnia. So you’re going to have to keep at it and not get discouraged. Also, “You need to be careful about when you exercise,” says Michelle Drerup, PsyD, sleep psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center. “Remember that exercising too close to bedtime (within three hours) can interfere with sleep. Exercise stimulates your heart, brain and muscles — the opposite of what you want if you’re trying to snooze. It raises your body temperature right before bed, which can be counterproductive as well. But I still promote exercise for people with sleep problems, and here’s why: Contrary to what most people think, exercise can help you sleep longer and more soundly, plus feel more awake during the day. People who are physically fit also have better quality sleep.”

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source: the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center

 

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Arthritis & Broccoli…

Achy joints? Limber up with broccoli. The cruciferous green vegetable may slow the progression of arthritis.
Arthritis getting you down? Bolster yourself with broccoli. The crunchy green vegetable may help to slow down or even prevent osteoarthritis. According to a consistent body of research, sulforaphane, a compound in the cruciferous vegetable family that includes broccoli, reduces the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Participating in a regular, moderate exercise program and maintaining a healthy weight are other lifestyle modifications you can make to improve symptoms and reduce your chances of getting the disease. Adding broccoli and other crucifers (cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and more) to your daily diet — in soup, pasta, salads and even as a snack — may benefit sufferers even more.

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source: the Cleveland Clinic Wellness site

 

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Meditate Daily to Reduce Stress

Remember gazing at the clouds when you were a child? Meditation is a seated form of daydreaming. Do it daily to reduce stress.
Sitting still for an hour. Humming strange noises. Changing your religion. Ask most people what’s involved in meditation and the answer is likely to be any or all of these things. Actually, meditation is a simple way to quiet the mind and calm the body. Should be easy, right? Well, in our busy Western world, taking the time to sit quietly and breathe deeply seems to be an almost impossible task. Yet, study after study is proving that a meditation practice can help us to be less stressed, more focused and much healthier.

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Consider the facts: Chronic stress is at the core of many of our modern ills. We’re working more, exercising less and not always making healthy food choices. Genetically, we have the bodies of our ancestors — built to deal with the occasional threat of a wild animal attack but not the ongoing, daily stress of deadlines and overdue bills. Unchecked, this chronic stress leads to a whole host of physical problems, such as muscle tension, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, blood sugar swings, lowered immunity, increased pain and more. Our minds are affected as well. Chronic stress makes it harder to concentrate or to remember, disturbs our sleep, increases our anxiety and self-doubt, and gets in the way of our enjoyment of life. A regular meditation practice can help by focusing the mind, quieting that mental “chatter,” reducing tension in the body and calming the breath.

Do you remember lying on the grass and gazing up at the clouds when you were a child? You just watched the world go by without judging whether your experience or thoughts were good or bad. Meditation is a seated form of daydreaming (or you could lie down). To begin, take a few moments to move and stretch your body, loosening up tight areas like the shoulders and lower back. Next, find a quiet area and a supportive chair. Sit with your feet planted firmly on the floor, hip-width apart, with the knees directly over the ankles. Sit up tall and let your hands lie gently in your lap. Close your eyes and start paying attention to your breath. Try saying to yourself, “I am breathing in” on the inhale and “I am breathing out” on the exhale. As thoughts come up (and they will), just notice them like the clouds passing by and return to your breathing. At first, try this for about five minutes. Remind yourself that this is a practice, and with practice comes progress. It won’t take long to notice that your breathing is deeper and more even, your heart rate has slowed and you feel calmer. You may not know it, but you have reduced your blood pressure and your body is no longer pumping out the same quantity of stress hormones. This practice is so simple you can do it almost anywhere and at almost any time.

— from the Cleveland Clinic’s yoga program manager, Judi Bar, and certified yoga instructor Sally Sherwin
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Garlic does more than Kill Vampires…

Help keep your heart’s highways and byways healthy with garlic. The potent veggie helps protect blood vessels and may prevent stroke.

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Garlic doesn’t only ward off vampires. The stinking rose — and all members of its family, including onions, scallions, shallots, chives and leeks — may help fend off heart attacks and strokes too. Turns out, the talented allium family contains potent organosulfur compounds that, in addition to spicing up your food and your breath, help keep your blood vessels healthy and your blood pressure in check. These chemicals may also have certain cancer-fighting properties. To get the biggest health benefit from your garlic, chop or press the cloves and let them sit for 10 minutes before cooking. Or, if you’re really brave — and don’t have a hot date that night — you can eat it raw.

source:cleveland clinic

 

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Eating Breakfast May Help you Lose Weight

Feel full and get your weight down: Eat your biggest meal at breakfast. Consuming more calories in the morning may increase weight loss.

scaleYou nibble at breakfast or run out the door without eating anything at all, eat a good-size lunch, and then stuff yourself at dinner. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. It is, after all, the way most of us were brought up to eat. (Remember the clean plate club?) But provocative new research suggests that the way to feel fuller throughout the day, and even lose weight, is to eat your largest meal in the morning, then progressively less throughout the day. To test this theory, researchers placed two groups of dieters on the same 1,400-calorie meal plan for 12 weeks. One group ate 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 during dinner. The second group’s calories were distributed in exactly the opposite way (200 calories at breakfast and 700 for dinner). Those in the big-breakfast group shed 17.8 pounds, while those in the big-dinner group lost only 7.3. The big-breakfast group also displayed significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides throughout the day, which translates into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and elevated LDL (lousy) cholesterol levels.

 

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Perk Up Your Energy Levels

To perk up your energy levels, spend a few minutes outside each day — rain or shine. Outdoor activity and nature boost your well-being.

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Feeling frazzled or lethargic? Regulate your mood and energy levels by getting outdoors a few times each day — yes, even in the rain or snow! Spending time in nature (urban parks count), or just enjoying outdoor activities, can elevate your mood and put a little pep in your step. Go for an after-dinner stroll, take a quick walk around the block at lunch, or ride your bike to the corner store. When it’s raining or snowing, bundle up in waterproof outerwear with your favorite kids, then jump in puddles and do your best reenactment of singing in the rain, or help build a snowman. You’ll feel invigorated, and maybe even a little like a kid again.
source: The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Tips

 
 

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Good Morning, Sunshine!

To fight fatigue and function better on less sleep, open your curtains the minute you wake up.

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Did you spend the night tossing and turning? Luckily, one restless night isn’t likely to hurt your health — though you may not feel so energetic the next day. To feel better on less sleep, open your shades as soon as you wake up (even if you just crawl back into bed). Or, even better: Go outside for a walk. A big burst of sunshine first thing in the morning (even on a cloudy day) can reset your internal clock, wipe away grogginess, and help you function better throughout the day.

source: Cleveland Clinic Wellness

 
 

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Proper form for Squats…

Hate squats? You may not realize it, but you probably do them as part of your daily activities. So it’s smart to know proper form.

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Many people avoid doing squats because they believe they’re going to hurt their knees. However, any time you pick something up from the floor (assuming you’re lifting safely from your legs and not your back), you engage in a squat. Knowing how to do the move properly will ensure that you don’t injure yourself. Besides, says Melissa Hendricks, MEd, manager of the Cleveland Clinic Fitness Centers, contrary to popular belief, adding squats to your exercise routine will actually strengthen, not weaken, your knees. “Squats target the muscles in the front and back of your legs, along with your gluteals and core. The stronger these muscles are, the more stable your knees will be. In fact, stronger muscles above and below your knees serve as shock absorbers for your knees. The fact that most people do not do squats correctly is what can lead to injury,” she says. Here, Hendricks offers a primer on how to perform squats properly.
• First, try not to bend forward at your waist; this is quite common and is usually a sign of a weak core. Bending forward while you’re squatting puts a lot of pressure on your lower back, and it also drives a lot of the strain straight into your knees. To prevent this from happening, keep your back as straight as possible. Try finding a spot on the wall to focus your gaze on throughout the exercise. You may also want to limit how low you squat until you gain more strength in your core and perfect your form.
• Next, make sure you’re not shifting your weight forward into your toes and lifting your heels off the ground. Not only does this put a lot of pressure on the knee joints, it also takes away a lot of the effectiveness of the exercise, since you aren’t using the strong gluteus (butt) muscles to lift you from the squat. When going down into the squat, make sure you can always see your toes. If your knees travel past your toes, then shift your weight back into your glutes more. Try putting a chair or bench behind you, and then aiming for the bench.
• If you are just learning how to squat or have very little lower-body strength, you may also want to consider placing a stability ball behind you, against a wall, and allowing the ball to guide you up and down. This will help you to feel more secure in the exercise, and it will train your muscles for when you’re ready to do your squats without the ball.

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