Preferred Fitness Blog

Our goal is to offer the opportunity to the sharing of experiences and info related to HEALTH, FITNESS, PROMOS and upcoming EVENTS.

  1. Mental Health Days for Students

    August 11, 2019 by

    Suicide is a complex problem in the United States. There are a lot of factors that go into one’s risk of having suicidal tendencies, and there are also protective factors that can help protect people from becoming suicidal. These risk and protective factors can change over time and vary depending on demographics.

    There have been several studies that have looked at possible ways to prevent suicide among various groups, such as veterans, college students, and mental health patients. Findings have suggested that there are a lot of strategies that could possibly help prevent suicide attempts, especially when they’re used alongside a carefully planned out treatment program.

    One idea that has come up recently is to pay more attention to mental health, especially in youth. Students and young people are often hesitant to disclose their emotions, especially if they are depressing or discouraging. However, when people bottle up these negative emotions and don’t seek help from an outside source, they may turn to suicide to end their pain.

    Effective suicide prevention is both complex and comprehensive. Efforts need to be made in unison to address the various aspects of the issue. Mental health promotion is a large part of suicide prevention that is often overlooked. Because depression can be an “invisible” disease, it can sometimes go unnoticed by onlookers. However, to bring more attention to the importance of mental health and to acknowledge the role that it plays in the overall wellbeing of youth, new laws have been created in our country that will hopefully begin to spread throughout the states.

    Oregon has recently passed the first law of its kind in the United States, allowing students to take an excused day off from school for mental health or behavioral health reasons. This bill is meant to help change the stigma around mental health, partly because of rising suicide rates.

    Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the US, affecting over 16 million Americans, and is the number one cause of poor health and disability around the world. Between 1999 and 2016, the rate of suicide increased by an average of 28% across the US, with some states experiencing an increase of over 30%. One large factor that could play into this is the rise of social media usage among youth and the frequency of cyber bullying. It is much easier these days for kids to be cruel to their peers when they are doing it behind a computer screen.

    Oregon’s second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34 is suicide. In fact, studies have shown that 17% of eighth-graders reported contemplating suicide over the past year. With this large increase in suicide, politicians and health professionals have recognized that some sort of action needs to be taken in order to reduce these statistics and prevent suicide attempts from increasing around our country.

    Oregon residents who supported this new bill said they were inspired in part by the student-led movement that occurred after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Oregon residents stood behind the bill to encourage youth to speak up when they’re struggling with their mental health.

    Most states only excuse absences related to physical illness, and absences unexcused absences can lead to detention, which can then cause students to fall behind in school. Opponents of the new Oregon law say this new policy may encourage students to skip school, but those who support the bill claim that it will invite a more open conversation about mental health and urge students to reach out for help when they are faced with a problem.

    While some people are able to hide their suicidal thoughts, even from their families, it is important to know how to recognize warning signs and know how to help someone if they are exhibiting them. According to the CDC, there are 12 warning signs that suggest someone may be contemplating suicide. These are:

    • Feeling like a burden
    • Isolating oneself
    • Anxiety
    • Feeling stuck or in severe pain
    • Substance abuse
    • Looking for a method of suicide
    • Increased anger
    • Extreme mood swings
    • A sense of hopelessness
    • Sleeping too much or not enough
    • Suggesting wanting to die
    • Making suicide plans

    Hopefully other states will follow in Oregon’s footsteps and start to take action against suicide and to promote positive mental health.

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  2. The Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin D

    August 10, 2019 by

    Vitamin D is an important vitamin to have in your body to ensure your body is able to function with optimal performance. It is a critical vitamin to facilitate a variety of bodily processes. Vitamin D is not found in many foods aside from those that have been fortified, but it is easily available in supplement form.

    Your body will also make vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight, so being out in the sun is an easy (and inexpensive) way to ensure you are getting vitamin D into your system.

    A healthy level of vitamin D is 25-hydroxy, which can be measured by a blood test. If you have a deficiency in Vitamin D, it could lead to bone diseases, abnormal leptin levels, which would affect your hunger, and accelerated aging.

    A vitamin D deficiency can lead to elevated leptin levels, which can impact adipose tissue. Studies have shown that participants who live an active lifestyle and eat a healthy diet maintain higher levels of vitamin D compared to those who do not. This means that vitamin D has an inverse correlation to leptin levels. As your vitamin D levels rise, your leptin levels are likely to fall.

    These findings have led professionals to recommend lifestyle modifications to obtain lower leptin levels to help manage a vitamin D deficiency. Leptin is a hormone that is directly connected your level of body fat, meaning it is important for people who are struggling to manage their weight. Leptin sends signals to your hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain that helps regulate energy balance and hunger.

    This means that if you have lower levels of leptin, you will feel hungrier. Even though your level of leptin increases with the production of fat cells, you may still gain weight because you can begin to lack a sensitivity to this hormone, meaning you won’t feel full after you have eaten a full meal.

    Researchers have evaluated the relationship between vitamin D and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which has suggested that the supplementation dosage of vitamin D may be a factor.

    One systematic review of randomized controlled studies looking at the relationship between low levels of vitamin D and NAFLD found that vitamin D supplementation may improve symptoms. Studies have also found vitamin D to have an impact on oxidative stress, meaning that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D in your blood can help prevent DNA damage.

    A deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to negative health conditions. According to 2018 research, about 40% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin, meaning that their level of vitamin D in their blood is less than 50 ng/mL. However, the sufficiency level that is suggested by the National Institutes of Health isn’t high enough to prevent certain chronic illnesses. Optimizing your levels of vitamin D has proven itself to be beneficial on overall health, helping protect you from a wide variety of diseases, such as dry eye, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and obesity.

    Your vitamin D levels can be impacted by several factors, including where you live, air pollution, if you wear sunscreen, your skin color, your weight, and your age. While it is best to increase your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure, some people still need to take supplements if they are exposed to some of the aforementioned factors. Individual requirements vary based on these factors, and you need to take the necessary dosage in order to reach the optimal range. The only way to determine how much you need is to have blood tests done on a regular basis.

    You want to aim for a level between 60-80 ng/mL. In addition to determining your ideal dose of vitamin D, you should also make sure you have enough vitamin K2, calcium, and magnesium. Research has shown that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D without having proper levels of magnesium lowers your body’s ability to use vitamin D because magnesium is required to activate vitamin D. This could explain why many people require high doses of vitamin D in order to be considered to be in a sufficient range. Reviews have shown that as many as 50% of Americans who take vitamin D supplements might not get the benefit from them that they are expecting due to low magnesium levels.

    A growing amount of evidence shows the importance of having optimal levels of vitamin D to prevent chronic disease and to keep your body healthy. According to one study, optimal Vitamin D levels can cut your risk of developing cancer by as much as 60%. Keeping your levels up to par can help prevent at least 16 kinds of cancer, some of which include ovarian, pancreatic, lung, prostate, and skin cancer. So, make sure that you are keeping up with the vitamin D levels in your blood to protect your overall wellbeing.

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  3. Take Caution When Purchasing Supplement Online

    August 9, 2019 by

    Amazon recently held its annual “Prime Day” to celebrate their dedicated membership. This annual event offers special sales and exceptional prices on certain products for people who pay the annual fee to be a Prime member. At the end of the event, some customers received an email letting them know that some of the supplements they had purchased were likely counterfeit items. The email referred to Align, a popular brand of digestive health supplements. It urged consumers to stop using this supplement immediately and throw away the item. Amazon confirmed that this email came from them, but they are unaware of exactly how many consumers were impacted by the counterfeit products.

    Because the supplement industry is highly unregulated, counterfeit products often seep their way into the market. Amazon has had a history of issues with third-party sellers who are offering counterfeit products through their website. However, in this most recent instance, it was an Amazon merchant who sold counterfeit probiotics under the brand name Align, which is owned by Proctor & Gamble.

    Amazon has since stated that they investigate every claim they receive of potentially fake products completely, usually partnering up with the affected brand to uncover the truth. When a counterfeit product does penetrate the market, Amazon claims to take immediate action by removing the item from their website and permanently blocking the seller, and moving forward with legal action. Amazon also stated that they notify any customers that were possibly impacted by the problem and refund their money.

    Supplements are all manufactured differently, which is why it is important to research a product as much as you can before buying it and consuming it. Supplements should not be used in place of a healthy diet of whole foods, however, they can be beneficial and a lot of supplements are necessary for almost everyone to take. When you are looking for high-quality supplements, be on the lookout for these characteristics to ensure you’re making an informed choice:

    It is close to its natural form.

    Look for supplements that are made from whole foods or have whole food ingredients. Try to avoid supplements that are entirely synthetic and contain additional chemicals or additives.

    Third-party testing is key.

    Buy from brands that use independent third party labs to test their products and check the raw materials that are used to make sure there are no contaminants in them. Also, make sure that a third-party is confirming the correct recommended dosage.

    Look at industry standards.

    You only want to buy from companies that follow industry standards for quality assurance. These standards include ISO 9001, which ensures the company manufacturing the supplement has its customers’ best interests in mind and does continuous evaluations to improve upon the products they sell. ISO 17025 refers to the standard for which the labs in which the supplements are created hold accreditation to be able to be deemed technically competent. Finally, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications are designed for those who are responsible for complying with the standards for developing and manufacturing products.

    How careful was the production?

    You want to be sure that the utmost care and precautions were taken throughout all of the phases of the supplement’s production, starting with the harvesting of its ingredients, then going through the manufacturing process, testing to ensure correct potency, and finally testing for quality control.

    Look at the company’s reputation.

    Buy products from companies that have a positive reputation of creating high-quality products that have led consumers to report experiencing positive results after using.

    Read the labels.

    Read everything on the product carefully because companies must declare any processing agents that they add to their supplements. Look for supplements that contain the fewest ingredients.

    Unfortunately, counterfeit products continue to be an issue, especially when shopping online. Make sure to do your research before committing to buying something, particularly if it is a product that you will be ingesting or will impact your health in some way. If you are spending money on supplements, you want to make sure that they are high-quality and worth the money that you are willing to pay to gain the benefits that the supplement claims to be able to provide.

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  4. Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

    August 8, 2019 by

    Sesame seeds are often used in cooking, but few people realize the health benefits that they have to offer. Here, we will go over the benefits of eating sesame seeds and look at some of the different ways to use them.

    Sesame seeds date back thousands of years in a variety of cultures. Hindus once equated sesame seeds with a symbol of immortality, and ancient Egyptians and Persians used to use sesame seeds as flour. Nowadays, sesame seeds are used for cooking, and are also used as a condiment in the form of oil.

    Sesame seeds are typically grown and collected for their oil, but they can also be used in a variety of therapeutic ways. Research shows that sesame can help with a variety of heath ailments, including:

    Pain Management

    One study that looked at people suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees showed that these patients could decrease their symptoms by consuming sesame seeds for two months.

    Speed Up Wound Recovery

    Sesame oil can help speed up the healing of skin when it is applied topically.

    Increase Levels of Antioxidants

    Consuming sesame seeds may help increase the amount of both enzymatic and nonenzymic antioxidants in your body, which can help fight oxidative stress that results from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

    Hypertension Management

    Research has found that the black variety of sesame seeds have antihypertensive properties.

    Sesame seeds are also important for industrial purposes. They are used to make perfumes and cosmetic products–and is even added to paints, lubricants, and biodiesel.

    When it comes to cooking, sesame seeds are most often associated with Asian cuisine. They are often used to cook chicken, make tahini (a sesame seed paste), make hummus, or just add flavor to a dish. People often sprinkle sesame seeds on their salads to add flavor and texture as well.

    While these seeds are popular in cooking, it is important to note that they are rich in omega-6 fatty acid, which could possibly disrupt your omega 3-to-6 ratio. Scientists believe that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids–but low in omega-3s–can increase the amount of inflammation in your body, while a diet that has a balanced ratio of these two essential fatty acids can reduce inflammation. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 7.69 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, while its omega-3 content in the same amount of seeds tops off at 0.14 grams. This means that if you are using sesame seeds, you should use them in moderation.

    While growing sesame seeds easy and requires little maintenance, you do need to be patient during the process. Experts report it can take sesame seeds up to five months to begin sprouting.

    Sesame seeds should be planted indoors between 4 and 6 weeks before the last frost of the winter is expected to come. However, if you live in the south, you can plant sesame seeds outside in the ground after a frost because the soil is warmer. Simply plant the seeds in rows in the later spring, making sure to space them 2 to 3 feet away from each other, as they can grow up to 6 feet tall.

    After the seeds have been planted, make sure to keep the soil moist in order to make sure you will have successful germination. It is also very important that these seeds and budding plants get maximum sun exposure. You can collect the seeds when the tips of the stalks become dry, and then lay the seeds flat on the ground so they can dry. Because the seedpods can easy break, it is important to be careful when harvesting them.

    While can be beneficial to your health, they do contain lectin. These carbohydrate-bonding proteins reduce your ability to absorb nutrients, which can negatively impact your health by harming your gut health if your digestive enzymes are unbalanced. To help lower the lectin content in sesame seeds in order for them to be safe to eat, they have to be sprouted or soaked for about 8 hours.

    In addition to using sesame seeds and oil for cooking, you can also use it for topical applications for a scalp conditioner or a sunscreen. This is a versatile seed that can benefit your health when used in moderation.

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  5. Benefits of Cross Training

    August 7, 2019 by

    Cross-training is a bit of a buzzword in the athletic community, but it has been around for decades. It is an important thing to do when it comes to exercising, whether you tend to turn to light yoga for exercise or if you are a regular marathoner.

    The good things is, you are probably already cross-training in some way, even if you don’t realize it. Almost everyone cross-trains, because it simply refers to training with a variety of kinds of exercise. People typically have their “go-to” workout, but then have other activities that they enjoy doing.

    However, you can’t just start a new workout without setting goals. The key to getting the benefits of cross-training is to consider your exercise goals and what types of added exercises will complement them. Here, we will talk about what cross-training is, how it can help you, and how you should be doing it.

    What is cross-training?

    Cross-training has a loose definition, but it encompasses a variety of randomized training models, regardless of their level of difficulty. It recently regained its popularity with the introduction of CrossFit, which not only gave cross-training a style, but also a brand. However, CrossFit comes with the connotation that cross-training only involves high-intensity workouts.

    However, cross-training doesn’t have to be so intense. It is really just about doing a variety of workouts together that will complement and support each other. This may mean mixing Pilates in with your marathon training or adding some swim sessions to your routine boot camp classes.

    Practicing cross-training can benefit you in a variety of ways. First, it will make you a more well-rounded athlete. It can help increase your endurance, power, strength and speed. All of these things will help you in any sport and in your daily life. Also, doing a variety of exercises will keep you from getting burned-out or bored in the gym. And, cross-training may allow you to stop going to physical therapy, as athletes who only do one sport have an 85% greater chance of experiencing an injury than those who participate in a variety of activities.

    The best and easiest types of cross-training exercises involve doing a workout that combines cardio and weightlifting into one session, which will make your workouts more efficient. However, it is important to keep in mind what you want to get out of your cross-training routine. The best types of cross-training exercises are the ones that offer the most variety, but also the ones that fit your unique needs and goals. If you are trying to train for a marathon, the best type of cross-training for you will not look the same as that of a person who dedicates themselves to the yoga mat every day. Think about meeting up with a personal trainer to discuss your goals and the best methods of reaching them.

    As far as how often you should practice cross-training, try to do it a few times a week. This really depends on how long it takes your body to recover. So, if you are young, eat a healthy diet, and are able to get sufficient sleep, you will be able to cross-train more often than someone who is not as naturally healthy.

    People often turn to cross-training to avoid injury from overuse, however, it is still possible to become injured during a cross-training session. You still have to practice with care and do the workouts in moderation. Also, if you cross-train too much, you won’t be able to obtain proper form in your exercises because you will keep switching around to different activities.

    So, instead of doing something completely new every day, pick a few routines that vary the muscles that you are working and stick with them on a regular basis. Once you get tired of your current cross-training routine, you can start to adapt to new exercises. Try to pick two activities at a time to go between– don’t try to do five different types of exercise in one week. Instead, keep your main activity and add one that you can master and make it into a complementary workout a few times each week. Be careful to not start a new exercise too quickly without learning the proper way to do it to avoid injury.

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  6. Heart Benefits of Lifting Weights

    August 6, 2019 by

    As you start to adapt a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising, you will lose excess fat in your body. Everyone knows this. Often, you will notice your waist become a bit slimmer and perhaps you lose a bit of weight in your face or legs as well. However, there is a different type of fat reduction that most people don’t consider, and that is losing excess fat around your heart.

    New studies have suggested that lifting weights and doing other types of strength training could be one of the best ways to reduce the fat around your heart. Let’s first talk about the different types of fat in your body.

    The two types of cardiac fat tissue are epicardial and pericardial. Epicardial tissue is what encompasses your heart and your coronary arteries. Pericardial tissue, on the other hand, surrounds the epicardial tissue. While these two types of fat tissue are located close together around your heart, they have different properties and functions. For example, your epicardial fat tissue uses the same blood supply that your heart does, while your pericardial fat tissue gets blood from other surrounding blood vessels.

    Because epicardial fat tissue has direct contact with your heart and shares the blood supply, it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, there is not as much information regarding the health risks related to pericardial fat because it does not have direct contact with your heart. However, experts believe it may have an impact on your cardiovascular function in an indirect, yet significant way.

    Recent research completed in Denmark looked at a random sample of 50 people with abdominal obesity to see if strength training and endurance training could impact both epicardial and pericardial fat tissue. During this study, the 50 participants broke down into three sections. One group did high-intensity interval training three times a week, another group did both resistance and strength training three times a week, and the third group did no type of exercise. The study lasted for 12 weeks.

    Both groups that engaged in exercise improved their VO2 max, however, only the resistance training group was able to improve their strength. The people who did resistance and endurance training were able to reduce their epicardial fat tissue by 32%, while those who solely engaged in HIIT training reduced their epicardial fat by 24%.

    When it came to pericardial fat, those in the endurance training group saw no changes in the amount of this tissue they had around their hearts. However, those who participated in resistance training saw a 32% reduction in pericardial fat tissue.

    These findings show great promise for developing guidelines to help people reduce their levels of pericardial fat through strength training. The new evidence that this study offers shows that different types of exercise can impact the fat tissue around your heart in independent ways, even when you take any dietary changes into account.

    The researchers were surprised to see that resistance training was able to reduce both types of cardiac fat, but endurance training was unable to accomplish this. When trying to explain why this may be true, researchers posit that resistance training requires you to use more of your muscle mass and burns more calories during the process. Using more of your muscle mass means that you will burn more calories throughout the day when you are finished exercising, meaning that the fat around your heart may continue to burn away after you are finished with your strength training exercises.

    In order to improve your heart health, the best thing to do is to combine strength training and cardiovascular training on a regular basis. This is because while endurance training proved itself to offer a more significant increase in reducing epicardial fat, resistance training can not only decrease fat, but also improve strength.

    This study shows that people should do a variety of exercises in order to prevent cardiovascular disease from creeping up in the future. Both strength and endurance training can impact the amount of cardiac adipose tissue that you have, and because these fat tissues are an emerging risk factor for heart health, it is important to ensure that you keep these levels of fat in check.

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  7. Cupping Therapy: Benefits and Uses

    July 10, 2019 by

    Cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years, dating back at least to 1,550 B.C. Historically, it was used in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern Cultures. This form of alternative medicine can help patients deal with pain, circulation, inflammation, and relaxation.

    During a cupping therapy session, a therapist applies special cups to a patient’s skin in order to create a suction. These cups could be made out of bamboo, glass, earthenware, or silicone.

    Patients can choose between wet cupping and dry cupping. During either type of cupping, a therapist puts a flammable substance like alcohol or paper in a cup and lights it on fire. While the fire is extinguishing, the therapist places the cup upside down on the patient’s skin.

    The cup then turns into a vacuum as the air inside of it cools, causing one’s skin to become suctioned. This then causes blood vessels to expand as the cup is left on the skin for up to 3 minutes.

    Modern versions of cupping use a rubber pump rather than fire to create a vacuum effect. Also, modern therapists may use silicone cups that they can move around your body, providing you with a massage.

    During your first session of cupping, you may choose to just get one cup to see how you like it. Otherwise, you may get 3-5 cups, but rarely will a patient get more than 7 cups.

    During wet cupping, the therapist makes small cuts in the skin where the cup was after removing it and then reapplies the cup to the skin to draw out blood. After doing this, the therapist may apply an antibiotic cream and bandage so you do not get an infection. Your skin should return to its normal appearance after about a week and a half.

    People who practice cupping often believe that wet cupping eliminates toxins from the body and promotes healing, however, this has not been proven. While there has not been a lot of research on cupping, studies haves suggested that it is effective in treating acne, herpes zoster, and reducing pain. Cupping therapy may also increase the effectiveness of other therapies such as acupuncture.

    Cupping is fairly safe if you go to someone who is a professional. You may experience topical side effects such as bruising or redness on your skin. As always, check with your doctor before starting a cupping regimen. Make sure that there is nothing that you do or medicines that you take that could make cupping possibly harmful for your health.

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  8. The Benefits of Having a “Work Spouse”

    July 9, 2019 by

    If you are like most people, you probably spend most of your hours every week at the office. Because of this, you have most likely developed some strong bonds with your coworkers. And, there is one kind of relationship in particular that you may have acquired along with 50% of other people who have been surveyed: a work spouse.

    But what kind of relationship is this, and can having a work spouse help you achieve your goals? Let’s find out.

    What is a work spouse?

    This term typically refers to a coworker of the opposite sex who you consider to be trustworthy and who has your back and you feel close to. Similar to a real-life spouse, your work spouse always supports you but is also willing to play devil’s advocate with you. But aside from having a close relationship with this person, there’s typically nothing suggestive or romantic happening.

    The role of a work spouse

    Usually, a work spouse is someone you confide in about both work and personal matters. This person is the one you go to when you want to complain about your boss or you are looking for a confidant who is not a part of your personal, everyday life to give you an outside perspective on issues that you are facing.

    Your work spouse is your main ally and advisor at work, who you can laugh with throughout the day and share the everyday stressors of your job. You can be honest with this person, have politically incorrect conversations, and vent about fellow coworkers.

    You may think that a work spouse sounds awfully close to a real spouse, you are not exactly wrong in that. Just like a real spouse, your work spouse helps you, supports you, and roots for you.

    Having a work spouse is a good thing because it gives you a confidant at the office whom you trust that you can blow off some steam with. This outlet is an important part of maintaining a healthy mental state of mind at work and a work-life balance.

    Also, unlike your actual spouse, a work spouse is aware of the dynamics of your office and the things that you have to deal with every day. Talking to someone who is familiar with these things can help you process issues that you have in the workplace better. This can help you feel less inclined to bring work home with you (mentally) after hours. When you are able to leave work problems at work, it can benefit your relationships in real life because you can leave that burden behind.

    Plus, having the extra support at your office can help you excel at your job. Research shows that having friends in the office, and particularly a best friend, can help improve your performance.

    The downsides to having a work spouse

    Studies have also found that close office friendships can also have a negative impact on your productivity, and especially if your conversations with your work spouse become emotionally exhaustive. For example, if your work spouse complains about the same issue repeatedly, or speaks negatively about a colleague that you have a good relationship with–you could become mentally drained while talking to your work spouse to the point that the quality of your work declines.

    Also, your real-life spouse may feel insecure about your work spouse, especially if your spouse is one who likes to solve your problems.

    When you’re talking to your partner, it can be a good idea to refer to your work spouse in a different manner. Perhaps say ‘work wingman,’ which suggests the same type of relationship without touching on anything that could be considered to be romantic. Giving even a completely platonic friend a romantic-sounding name could pose problems for your relationship, so it may be best to avoid doing so. Be open with your spouse about your relationship with this person at work so they don’t feel as if you are hiding something.

    However, if things do heat up with your work spouse and you are single, you want to check with your company to see if there are any policies regarding employees dating each other. You don’t want to jeopardize your job. If your work spouse expresses interest in you and you do not feel the same way, be very honest with him or her and show compassion. You don’t want to lose this person as a friend and you don’t want to embarrass them when they will still be seeing you five days a week.

    So while there are some guidelines, having a work spouse and someone who supports you in your career can be a very healthy and normal thing.

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  9. Are you suffering from sleep apnea?

    July 8, 2019 by

    Do you find yourself to be tired during the day and you aren’t sure why? You may go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up after the sun rises, but you’re still lethargic.

    One possible cause for this is sleep apnea. Often, those who suffer from sleep apnea don’t know it and they only discover it when someone tells them that they snore. However, some symptoms include waking up with a sore throat, waking up with a gasping sensation, snoring, lack of energy during the day, headaches, forgetfulness, mood changes, and insomnia.

    You need to get adequate sleep for your body to be healthy. However, there are some things such as sleep apnea that can prevent you from having a full night’s sleep that can also lead to further health complications. While you may think that you are sleeping through the night, sleep apnea will prevent you from getting the deep, restorative sleep that you need.

    People suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly while they are asleep, and sometimes this can happen hundreds of times in a night. This causes the brain and the rest of the body to be deprived of oxygen. This leads to snoring, which is a harsh sound that develops when one’s breathing is obstructed during sleep. Around 50% of people snore at some point in their lives. Men snore more than women and it usually runs in families, increasing in intensity with age. However, just because snoring is common does not mean it should be ignored because it could be a sign of sleep apnea.

    Sleep apnea occurs when a person experiences a partial or complete obstruction in their airway. This then leads to impaired breathing during sleep, which can make the quality of one’s sleep suffer. Snoring is often known as the first sign of sleep apnea.

    There are two main kinds of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common and it is caused by some sort of blockage in the airway. This is usually due to soft tissue collapsing in the back of one’s throat while they’re sleeping. Alternatively, central sleep apnea is not the result of a blocked airway, rather this is when the brain does not signal your muscles to breathe properly, due to an unreliability in one’s respiratory control center.

    Children and adults can both suffer from sleep apnea, however, it occurs in 65% of senior men and 56% of senior women, while it only affects 10-20% of children who snore. There are several root causes of sleep apnea, including diet, mechanical problems, and an existing disease.

    Unfortunately, only 20% of people with sleep apnea have a proper diagnosis and get treatment for this condition. Fatigue and the inability to concentrate are two of the many negative side effects of sleep apnea. These two side effects alone can increase one’s likelihood of being in a car accident.

    In fact, in 2017, tired drivers were behind the wheel during 91,000 police-reported car crashes, causing 50,000 injuries and almost 800 deaths.

    Some risk factors for sleep apnea include:

    • Being male
    • Large tonsils
    • Family history
    • Deviated septum, sinus issues, allergies, or other nasal obstructions
    • Overweight or obesity
    • Over the age of 40
    • Having a neck that is greater than 17 inches for men and greater than 16 inches for women

    A sleep apnea test can be performed on those who believe they suffer from this disorder. Once diagnosed, sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, including losing weight or changing the position in which one sleeps, sleeping with a CPAP therapy machine, or surgery. It is best for those suffering from sleep apnea to avoid drinking alcohol or taking sleeping pills, to change the position in which they sleep to encourage proper breathing, stop smoking, and avoid sleeping on their back.

    Sleep apnea can be treated, and it is never too early to return to healthy levels of rest. People often use natural treatments and lifestyle changes to help address or get rid of this disorder. If you feel tired during the day, it may be because you are suffering from sleep apnea.

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  10. Processed Foods and Mortality

    July 7, 2019 by

    The obesity epidemic in our country is going strong. An adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered to be obese, and the number of people who fall into this category is continuing to climb. In the U.S., 39.6% of adults were overweight in 2016 and 13% were obese–which are the highest rates to date.

    Studies show that there are strong racial and ethnic disparities in obesity. The American Academy of Family Physicians has also found links between a higher prevalence of obesity in adults and demographic factors such as education, address, and income levels. The studies show that people who the highest education who live in urban areas, or those with incomes that are 400% or more than poverty level had lower rates of obesity.

    We have all heard that processed food is unhealthy and increases the risk of death and heart disease. However, are you sure that you know all of the foods that would fall into the category of being processed? Some might surprise you.

    Only four servings of ultra processed food can increase your risk of death. Food categories are classified by NOVA according to how much processing they go through and why they are being processed. As NOVA was classifying foods, they found an association between foods that are ultra processed and mortality from all causes. However, the chief cause of death was cancer at an average age of 58.

    Risk of Heart Disease Increases with Ultra Processed Foods

    Researchers have also collected data to evaluate participants’ normal eating habits and the impact it has on their health. In these studies, the researchers were looking at the outcome of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and its relationship to eating ultra processed foods. The researchers found that one’s intake of ultra processed food is, in fact, associated with an increase risk of these diseases.

    Ultra processed make up over half of the food consumed in high-income countries like the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada. In Spain, the consumption of these ultra processed foods grew exponentially between 1990 and 2010.

    Weight Gain

    Eating ultra processed foods spikes your intake of calories, which causes weight gain. When eating a processed diet, people eat an average of 459 more calories each day than when eating a diet that does not include ultra processed foods. Eating ultra processed foods can also cause people to eat faster, which can lead to eating more.

    Researchers have come to believe that eating ultra processed foods leads to a delay in satiety signaling, which then increases one’s overall calorie intake.

    Cancer Linked to Ultra Processed Foods

    The American Cancer Society reported an estimated 14.1 million cases of cancer worldwide in 2012, which is estimated to grow by 50% to 21.6 million by 2030.
    Cells gain energy from breathing, and cancer cells metabolize differently than healthy cells. While smoking has been the number one cause for preventable cancer for years, obesity is now not too far behind, and may catch up as early as five years from now.

    Compared to people with a healthy weight, obese people are also at an increased risk of having a recurrence of their cancer, which also reduces their likelihood of survival. In fact, increased body weight has been linked to increased death rates for every type of cancer.

    Obesity also increases one’s risk of other health concerns and can put a huge strain on one’s finances. Obese adults spend an average of 42% more on direct care costs than those who are a healthy weight, and people who are morbidly obese pay 81% more than adults who are a healthy weight. Some additional medical and physical concerns that may come along with obesity include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and gallstones.

    What are the ingredients in ultra processed foods?

    Ultra processed food and drinks contain synthetic ingredients that are made into industrial formulations, typically with at least five ingredients that may be used to duplicate sensory qualities or mask undesirable sensory qualities, including sugar, excess fats, oils, and preservatives.

    Some foods that are considered to be ultra processed include:
    Commercial breads
    Ice cream
    Instant soup
    Packaged macaroni and cheese
    Energy drinks and bars
    Fruit juice
    Baby formula
    Microwave meals

    Your diet is an important thing to keep in mind when you are considering your longevity. There is a severe health epidemic in the US, so it is important to pay attention to the fuel that you are giving your body on a regular basis. Try to make sure to eat foods that are just one ingredient and came from the earth such as fruits and vegetables.

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