Preferred Fitness Blog

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  1. The Relationship Between Sleep and Risk of Falling

    January 11, 2019 by

    Did you know that falling ranks as the second leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths worldwide? Over 37 million falls occur each year that are serious enough to need medical intervention, and 646,000 people– mainly those over 65– die as a result of their fall.

    About one-third of seniors fall every year, and the risk only goes up with age. One’s risk of falling can increase as their vision and hearing abilities decrease along with their decline in cognitive function. Other health concerns such as diabetes, foot issues, low blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and muscle weakness can also impact one’s balance and make falling more probable.

    A lack of sleep is another risk factor that increases one’s chances of falling. One easy way to decrease your risk of falling is to make sure that you?re sleeping enough at night, which is something that many people don’t do.

    Researchers have studied the association between one’s quality and amount of sleep and falls, and have found that getting both too much and too little sleep can influence one’s risk. The study showed that women who got a full seven to eight hours of sleep a night had a 25% lower chance of falling than women who slept for under 5 hours or over 10 hours. Additionally, people who slept fewer than 5 hours a night had an increased risk of bone fractures in their upper and lower limbs and their torso.

    This shows that both short and long periods of sleep as well as sleep hygiene impact one’s risks of falls. This is important because falls among seniors may lead to severe injuries. Most fractures among older people occur due to falls, and recent studies have shown that the number of deaths in the U.S. that occur due to falls is increasing. Interventions aimed at improving one’s quality and quantity of sleep may reduce one’s risk of falling.

    If you don’t get enough sleep, you may become less steady on your feet and more likely to slip, which increases your risk of falling. However, poor sleep hygiene can also increase your risk of falls because it influences your bone turnover and muscle strength.

    Too much and too little sleep have been shown to be risk factors for osteoporosis, and one study showed that getting too much sleep is the best indicator of developing osteoporosis. The study showed that men who had their sleep restricted as well as their circadian rhythm interrupted over 21 days experienced an uncoupling of bone turnover, meaning their bone formation decreased but their bone resorption did not change.

    These findings that sleep disruptions may lead to osteoporosis helps explain why there is not a clear cause for half of the people who suffer from osteoporosis. It may also lead to an explanation as to why those who do not get enough sleep have a higher rate of fall-related fractures.

    While sleep could have a direct impact on your bone health by raising your risk for suffering a fracture that is related to a fall, sleep also influences your health in other ways and is associated with unrelated health problems that could also increase your risk of fall, such as anxiety, alcoholism, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and stroke.

    Both depression and isolation are associated with falls in seniors, and depression is also linked to sleep issues. Social isolation is also linked to a faster decline in motor skills in seniors, which may also influence fall risk.

    Chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and stroke have been linked with severe sleep problems as well as one’s fall risk. By addressing any trouble you have with getting a proper night’s sleep, you could be able to reduce your fall risk. To increase your sleep hygiene, try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. Make sure your room is just a bit chilly, which will allow your mind and body to fall asleep faster. Turn off any screens at least two hours before heading to bed, as this can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Also, turn off all the lights in your room and if you need a little bit of sound, get a white noise machine or something that will block out sounds from outside.

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  2. Limiting Cell Phone Use in Restaurants

    January 10, 2019 by

    Restaurants in the U.S. are starting to ban the use of cell phones in their facilities in order to encourage people to have face-to-face social connections while having a meal out. It is uncommon to see people out and interacting with each other without the distraction of cell phones, so this policy is aiming to make that the norm again.

    While restaurants used to be a place where people would come together to dine and enjoy each other’s company, they are now becoming a place where people sit at the same table but all engage with their handheld technology of choice.

    In fact, one study found that 70% of children wish that their parents would limit their use of their cell phones and pay more attention to the family. Additionally, 67% of parents say that their phones have put a barrier between them and their families.

    The truth is, engaging in regular family meals has been shown to have a positive impact on the development of children– both physically and mentally.

    The overuse of personal electronic devices in public is becoming a problem. Restaurant patrons who sit together but don?t interact with each other are taking away from what was once an interactive, social atmosphere. You may walk by a table and see restaurant patrons playing video games on their phone rather than talking to their dining partner, which takes away from the special occasion of dining out at a restaurant.

    One restaurant owner in New York believes that putting your technology away during your meal helps maintain the social atmosphere that people want in restaurants. Restaurant owners try to create an environment for people to come and enjoy the company of others, but it is being ruined by the use of social media. Not only is this taking the focus off of human interaction, it is also taking the focus off of the food that the restaurants are proudly serving.

    Restaurant owners find it to be unfortunate that couples on a date don’t pay attention to each other but decide to look at their phones instead. Because of this, some restaurants are offering promotions to people who forfeit their phones while at dinner. One restaurant in Iowa offers a 10% discount to people who are willing to put their phones away when they are attending the restaurant and eating on Wednesday nights. Most people enjoy this promotion and about 99% of the people who dine there are Wednesdays choose to participate by putting their phones in boxes on the table.

    Similarly, a sushi restaurant in New Jersey, offers a 20% discount on Tuesdays to those who leave their cellphones in a box on their table until they receive their check. Some people find this difficult to do, but it certainly pays off in the end.

    Some family-friendly restaurants are offering that kids eat free if the parents put away their phone during the meal. The goal here is to get people to enjoy and celebrate the time that they are spending with their family.

    The truth is, parents are role models for their children in everything they do and in the things that they say, so when parents are able to manage their screen time, they are teaching their kids by example about when it is ok to use technology and when it is more appropriate to put it away and spend time with the people around you.

    Studies have shown that eating together as a family is very important in childhood development. In fact, not only does it help improve children’s academic achievement, but it also improves their physical fitness and lowers their levels of nonaggressive delinquency, oppositional behavior, and aggression that is both physical and reactive.

    When you are in a situation where using your cell phone is not necessary, it is best to put it away and live in the moment with the people who are accompanying you. Cell phones have helped people in many ways, but it is best to use them in moderation and to not substitute real human connections and relationships with the use of technology. Not only will this help you appreciate the atmosphere that you are in more, but it will also help you appreciate other people and have a higher quality of life.

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  3. What to Eat to Build Muscle

    January 9, 2019 by

    Nutrition can definitely be complicated. Years ago, people saw fats as being the enemy. Then a few years later, carbs became the food group people should avoid. These days, gluten seems to be what people try to stay away from.

    Meanwhile, people who are trying to build serious muscle tell you to eat every couple of hours while also doing intermittent fasting.

    But what are you actually supposed to eat if you want to stay healthy? What about if you are trying to build your muscles?

    The first thing to remember is to eat unprocessed foods as much as possible. Unprocessed foods are natural and haven’t been changed from how they were when they grew. To understand this better, look at the difference between eating an apple and eating apple jam. An apple can be picked off of an apple tree and eaten right away without being changed in any way. However, if you choose to eat apple jam, you are eating apples along with a host of other ingredients including sugar and preservatives.

    When you stick to eating unprocessed foods, you won’t be subject to consuming hidden calories or ingredients. This means you should avoid foods like fruit bars, cereals, frozen meals, bakery items, bacon, candy, and other foods like that.

    Eating unprocessed foods is the first way to get your body in a healthy shape and ready to build muscle. The next thing you have to do is focus on your protein consumption.

    Protein is important for building muscle because it helps ensure proper recovery of your muscles so you can make progress. Eating protein also helps you lose fat because it helps keep you full throughout the day so you eat less food. However, you might not need as much protein as you think. You only need .82 grams of protein for every pound of body weight that you have to build extra muscle.

    The best way to consume protein is to eat whole protein sources with every meal, which can be things like milk, cheese, fish, chicken, yogurt, or eggs.

    In addition to protein, you want to eat vegetables with every meal as well. Vegetables are low in calories and some actually make your body burn more calories to digest them than you gain when eating them. Try to have at least half of your plate full of vegetables. This will help you get the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and build muscles. Not only do vegetables have vitamins and minerals that will help your body recover after lifting, they also contain fiber that will aid in digestion.

    Also, by eating at least half a plate of vegetables with every meal, you will limit the amount of bad or unhealthy food that you consume. Some of the healthiest vegetables to eat if you are trying to build muscle are spinach, broccoli, kale, and cabbage.

    You also want to include healthy fats in your diet. Because you?re probably lifting heavy weights about three times each week and mostly eating unprocessed foods, eating a little saturated fat will not lead to heart disease.

    Foods like avocados and full fat yogurt and even olive oil contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to recover and help you build muscle. You should also turn to fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna.

    Finally, you have to include a lot of water in your diet. You sweat when you work out and you need to replenish those fluids in order to be able to have proper muscle recovery.

    Dehydration leads to headaches, which make it more difficult to get up and go to the gym to train. The amount of water that you should be drinking depends on how much you are working out and how much you sweat.

    Don’t turn to sports drinks to hydrate you, stick to regular water. Monitor your body and get ahead of your thirst by drinking before you feel thirsty so your body is never deprived of water.

    The diet you want to follow to build muscle is similar to a diet to maintain a healthy body, with just a bit more food than you normally would if you were not hitting the gym so hard. The important thing is to stay hydrated and make sure that you are eating the freshest foods available to you.

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  4. How to Get the Most Nutrition Out of Your Vegetables

    January 8, 2019 by

    If you are going to take the time to eat vegetables, you probably want to get the most out of them that you can. Chances are, there is something else you would rather be eating, so you don’t want your efforts to go to waste. But how can you make vegetables tasty while still making sure that they hold onto their important nutrients?

    This is an important thing to know so you don’t cook all of the goodness out of your vegetables and just eat what is left. Here are some tips for properly cooking your produce so you can enjoy it and your body can benefit from it also.

    1. Eat them raw.

    Sure, you can buy frozen produce, and it does still have a lot of the nutrition that it had when it was freshly picked. This is the convenient way to eat vegetables. However, if you want to get the most vitamin B and C from your vegetables, it is best to eat them raw.

    If you have no choice but to eat frozen vegetables– maybe you are short on time– it is important to cook them directly from your freezer without letting them thaw. Take them from your freezer and put them right on the pan on your stove. Studies have shown that allowing your frozen vegetables to thaw speeds up the loss of vitamin C, especially when it comes to vegetables like peas, green beans, and spinach.

    2. Boil or steam them.

    When you do want to cook your vegetables, either boil or steam them in order to maintain the amount of antioxidants present in the raw form of the vegetable. This is especially true for certain produce, such as broccoli and carrots, which also have important phytochemicals that can be maintained if they are properly cooked.

    However, it is important to know when to stop cooking them so you don’t cook them too much and drain them of these important nutrients. You want your vegetables to still have some crunch when you eat them. If they are mushy, you have cooked them for too long and most of their nutrients have probably escaped.

    To get back the nutrients that you lost during the cooking process, use the water that you cooked your vegetables in to make a soup or a broth. This way, you will still be consuming them.

    One important thing to remember is to never microwave your vegetables. Doing so destroys the nutrients right away and leaves you with not much benefit from eating them.

    3. Store them correctly.

    It is also important to store your vegetables correctly if you want to preserve the nutrient content. You want to store your vegetables in cool, dry places ? like your refrigerator. This is because cool temperatures will slow down the process of the molecules breaking down in the vegetables. Alternatively, warmer temperatures will speed this process up, so if you leave your produce on your kitchen counter, it will break down faster than if you stick it in your fridge.

    4. Don’t cook vegetables at a high temperature.

    Try to use a very small amount of water when you’re cooking your vegetables and use the lowest temperature that you are comfortable using. High temperatures will kill away the important vitamins and minerals quickly so if you’re able to cook your vegetables at a low temperature with just a little bit of water, you have the highest chances of retaining the most important parts of the food.

    Remember, don’t leave your produce items in hot places such as under the sun or close to your hot stove. If your vegetables have lost their natural color, they should be thrown out. Because vitamin C is such a delicate nutrient, you have to take care of your food so it can take care of you in return.

    Also, the most unhealthy thing you can do to your vegetables is to fry them in oil. Fried vegetables lose all of their vitamins and minerals and will only provide your body with trans fats and carbohydrates. If you want to have some oil on your vegetables, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over them before enjoying them raw.

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  5. How to Become Motivated to Work Out in the Mornings

    January 7, 2019 by

    If you are ready to get your workouts done in the morning, you’re making a great decision. There are a lot of benefits to working out first thing in the morning. In this article, we will talk about how doing this can benefit your quality of life and what you should do to get started and make working out in the morning a habit.

    The first and most obvious benefit to working out in the morning is that you get it over and done with. You don’t have your entire day to make up excuses to skip your workout or have something else come up that takes your time away from you. If you wake up just a bit earlier than normal, you can get your sweat session out of the way and then go on with the rest of your day.

    Once you start doing this, you will probably find that it is actually easier to work out in the morning than it is to save it for the end of the day. You aren’t working out on a full stomach, nor are you starving and anxiously awaiting dinner. Your stomach is empty, but it isn’t quite late enough in the morning for you to be hungry yet.

    Plus, if you exercise in the morning, it will help you improve your sleep. Working out too close to bedtime keeps you up at night and will lessen your quality of sleep, making you even more tired throughout the day. But if you work out in the morning, not only will you sleep better at night, but you will have more energy during the day.

    So how can you coax your body into getting up even earlier and actually getting out there to exercise?

    First, you need to start by setting a strict bedtime and sticking to it. You want to get about 8 hours of sleep every night, so depending on what time you need to wake up to get your exercise in, you need to go to bed accordingly. Doing this for a few weeks will help get your body into the routine, and eventually you won’t even need to set an alarm for the morning. You will just naturally get tired at the same time every night and your body will wake up at the same time every morning.

    But before you get to that point, you will want to set a loud alarm that doesn’t give you the option to hit snooze. Keep your alarm across the room so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off when it goes off. This will help ensure that you are up when you need to be.

    Set out everything you need for your workout the night before. Get your water ready and put your keys by your headphones so you can just get up and go. One pro tip that you can do (if it is comfortable) is to actually sleep in your workout clothes. Most workout clothes are pretty comfortable and allow you to move around, so they are similar to your pajamas anyway. This way, you can literally get out of bed and leave.

    Make sure that you have a playlist that you are excited to listen to in the morning to get you going. Start with your favorite song, and if you have to get in the car to drive to the gym, listen to your playlist in the car to get you pumped up.

    If you don’t think you will be able to get yourself up every morning alone, either find a workout buddy to keep you accountable for your exercise or sign up for an early morning exercise class. You are less likely to let other people down who are expecting you to do something than you are to let yourself down if you really just want to go back to sleep and put your workout on the backburner. Also, if you spend money on a class, you won’t want that money to go to waste.

    Once you start working out in the mornings, you will find that it is easier than you thought and you will stick to it. It will become a habit that it part of your daily routine.

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  6. Best Stretches to Fix Shoulder Pain

    January 6, 2019 by

    The relationship between your shoulder and your shoulder blade is an essential one. While you may focus on your shoulders at the gym, you are also really focusing on your shoulder blades and relying on them to help you.

    Your shoulder blades attach to a group of muscles that work together to stabilize the entire joint of your shoulder in order to help you function correctly. Unhealthy shoulder blade function can lead to shoulder pain, which can impact your weightlifting routine and possibly lead you to have to take some time off from working out.

    You probably go to the gym to make strength and muscle gains, which you are able to do when you add intensity and weight to your lifts. However, you will usually keep adding until you are in pain. But you can avoid becoming injured and having to sit out by taking the time that you need to build a more durable system in your shoulders, which begins with your shoulder blades.

    Your shoulder blades sit on your back and are attached to your body by a variety of muscles and ligaments. The rotator cuff is an important part of this system because it helps stabilize the major bone in your upper arm. You use your rotator cuff in almost every movement that you do with your shoulders.

    Without stabilizing ability of your shoulder blades, you would be more prone to injury while lifting at the gym. Especially when you?re training hard and things are more difficult and intense, your shoulders need shoulder blade stability to stay healthy and gain muscle.

    There are a few exercises you can do to keep these muscles healthy. The key to doing these exercises is to focus on your form and not try to over do it with the amount of weight that you’re lifting. Try to do three sets of 12 reps of every move either twice or three times each week before you start your workout.

    Shoulder Blade Retraction

    You will use a band for this exercise. Start standing up with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a resistance band set up and retract your shoulder blades. Do this by squeezing your shoulder blades together in the back. Pull the bands toward you at stomach length and hold this stretch for a moment. Then, return to your starting position to complete one rep.

    Resisted Wall Slide

    Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your elbows touching a wall. Tighten up the muscles in your core and make sure your elbows are equal in height with your shoulders as you are leaning against the wall. Have a band around your wrists and place them against the wall as well.

    Press your elbows into the wall and stretch your shoulder blades in order to push your upper body away from the wall. Hold this position and move one elbow horizontally. Hold this position for a moment and then return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side to complete your first rep.

    Prone Stability Ball

    Get down on your knees and lean forward onto a stability ball. As you are holding a lightweight dumbbell in each hand, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Form a “Y” shape with your torso by raising your arms. Stop for a moment when you are in a perfect “Y” shape and then lower your arms back toward the ground. This is one rep.

    Do these exercises to keep your shoulder blades in tip top shape so you can also keep your shoulders healthy and you can avoid becoming injured at the gym and having to take some time off. Remember, it is important to focus on your form here more than your speed or the amount of weight that you are lifting. You want to engage your entire shoulder system while doing these exercises so there isn’t a muscle left out which could then be prone to becoming injured.

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  7. The Mixture of Holidays, Family, and Stress

    December 9, 2018 by

    The holidays will present you with many reasons every year to be stressed and even experience some anxiety. Thinking about what to get everyone for a gift, the amount of cooking and baking you have to do for holiday events, cleaning your house for holiday company, or travelling can all make you extremely stressed out. ?

    However, the holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and the people that you love. The catch? Often, the biggest source of stress during the holiday season is family. From meals to obligations to traditions, it can all be overwhelming. If you are already suffering from clinical depression, or have a history of depression, holiday stress can trigger those feelings.

    Sure, holiday gatherings with family are meant to be a joyful time. But that is often not the case. Relationships are complicated, but this doesn’t mean that you should skip out on holiday family time. So how can you prepare for holiday stress? We will explore that in this article.

    What Are the Causes of Holiday Stress?

    What is it about the holidays that stresses you out? Once you can identify specific problems, you handle them directly. For many, holiday stress is a product of unhappy memories, toxic relatives, recent changes in your family, a lowered immune system due to cold and flu season.

    Controlling Holiday Stress

    Holidays can make people feel like they have lost control. However, it is important to make the decision to take control rather than let your family or the holidays control you. There may be things that you do every year because you feel like you have to– like going to your distant aunt’s house for dinner. But do you absolutely have to do this?

    Consider why you are doing things that make you miserable. Make a list of reasons why you participate in holiday traditions that you don’t like, and then write down why you shouldn?t. Making a pro and con list will let you know that you have a choice.

    Changing Your Outlook

    Challenge your assumptions. What would happen if you enjoyed the holidays differently this year by doing something that you enjoy?

    Initially you may think that people would be dismayed. But is that a big deal? Could you celebrate and let the people you love know that you care by doing something that you actually want to do?

    Be conscious about your actions rather than doing things the way you always have done them because that?s what you’re used to. If your holiday traditions aren?t making you happy and instead they are stressing you out, it?s time to change things up.

    What Not to Do

    There are a few things you should avoid doing as you are making some changes this holiday season.

    Don?t expect miracles. If your holiday stress comes from a long-term history of family conflict, don?t expect all of the problems to just go away. Focus on yourself and your state of mind rather than hoping people will have breakthroughs that all of a sudden bring them close to each family member and forgive past issues. Holidays are a season of forgiveness, but it is also a volatile time of the year.

    Don?t overdo it. Pace yourself by creating boundaries and sticking to them before you attend a holiday activity. For example, spend one or two nights at a family member’s house instead of staying until New Year’s Eve. Go to a holiday party for maybe 45 minutes or an hour to make an appearance instead of staying from beginning to end.

    Don?t think about how things should be. Cultural pressure is strong during the holidays, and people often compare themselves to the people around them who look like they are having “perfect” holidays. However, no ones holiday is perfect and most people endure family tension and even boredom. Don’t shun your negative feelings, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are not jolly throughout the entire holiday season.

    Be aware that other members of your family may also be feeling stressed. Don’t assume that you are the only one who doesn’t want to participate in a tradition. While this can be comforting to know that you are in good company, remember that not everyone may want to participate in a tradition that is yours, and don’t take offense to it.

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  8. What Does Your Cuddling Style Say About You?

    December 8, 2018 by

    Do you sleep with your back to your partner or do you prefer being up close and personal while you catch your ZZZs?

    Your body language indicates more than you think when you’re asleep. The position in which couples position themselves at night may indicate how they lean on each other for emotional support during their waking hours. It can also show how comfortable each of them is with intimacy.

    It is true that some people just prefer not to cuddle at night, and if you need to be comfortable to sleep, this doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner.

    But for people who like to cuddle when they are asleep, your cuddling position can say a lot about you.


    This cuddling position indicates that you and your partner see eye-to-eye. This position represents bonding two bodies into one, so this couple may see themselves as a tight-knit team.

    Head On Chest

    This sleeping position suggests that one person feels safe and secure when they are being held by their partner. They feel supported by their partner mentally and physically. They always turn to their partner when they are going through hard times because they know they will not lead them in the wrong direction.


    If you sleep back-to-back, it suggests that you and your partner share a mutual sense of respect. You are both comfortable being away from the other person and aware of the other person’s need for their own space, but you will always be willing to be there for each other. You don’t want to sacrifice your comfort or theirs, you want each other to find their own comfort on their own.

    Entwined Legs

    You like to have your own space, but you also want to be connected with your partner in some way.


    If you hug each other when you sleep, it means that you are really into each other and crave close intimacy. Couples who do this usually share everything with each other from their food to the private and intimate details about themselves that they don’t share with other people.

    Arm Draped Over the Back

    This position shows your partner that you support them. The person whose arm is cradling the other person is showing them an understanding that their partner could be going through a time that requires some extra support.

    Opposite Sides

    If one partner decides to start sleeping on the opposite side of the bed, it could indicate that he or she is craving their own space and it could even mean there is trouble brewing. If you once slept very close to each other in an intimate way and all of a sudden one person doesn’t want to be close to the other, it might signal a problem.

    However, if this is how you have always slept, it simply means you?re confident in your relationship and don?t feel the need to share close spaces.

    Holding Hands

    Sleeping while holding hands suggests that you and your partner want to remain connected. It allows you both to feel secure that you are holding onto each other.

    Distances From Headboard

    Do you prefer for your head to be close to the headboard, but your partner sleeps halfway down the bed? This just shows your individual preferences, and if these preferences are not the same, it doesn’t mean that partners don’t want to be close to each other.

    The most important thing is to be comfortable when you’re asleep so you can sleep through the night and be your best self when you are awake. These tips may give some insight into your relationships, but remember that there are always exceptions and you should not feel bad if you prefer to sleep in your own space. Being comfortable at night will make you a better partner during the day.

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  9. Best Way to Increase Lung Capacity

    December 7, 2018 by

    Your cells need oxygen in order to function correctly, and your body simply cannot survive without it. The lungs help deliver oxygen to your vital organs. If you preform breathing exercises, you can increase your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and use it as efficiently as possible. With healthy lung function, you’re also less likely to develop chronic illnesses.

    Your lungs are one of the key players that help your body fight against environmental toxins. This means that insufficient pulmonary function may decrease your tolerance when faced with these toxins. A larger lung capacity also improves stamina and makes you healthier overall.

    Here are a few ways you can improve your lung function.

    Pushing Out

    To do this exercise, stand on the ground with your knees loose. Bend at your waist as you push out all of the air in your lungs. Slow stand back upright as you inhale to the point that you have filled your lungs completely and hold your breath for 20 seconds or as long as your can. While you’re counting to 20, lift your arms up over your head. Then, slowly release your breath as you relax. Do this a total of four times.

    Rib Stretch

    Standing up straight with let all of the air in your lungs out. Breathe in as much air as you possibly can and hold it in for 20 seconds. While you are doing this, have your hands resting on your hips with your fingers facing downward. Breathe out slowly and do this three times.

    Abdominal Breathing

    Lay on your back and put one hand on top of your stomach and the other on to of your chest. Slowly breathe in all of the air that you can into your stomach. This means the hand on your stomach will be the one that is rising. Slowly let the air out of your lungs. Inhale slowly again and hold your breath for seven seconds. Take a full count of eight to release the air from your lungs. Tighten your stomach muscles as you’re exhaling, to let go of any leftover air. Do this five times.

    Clean Your Home

    It is important to keep your living environment clean to keep your lungs healthy as well. Having excess dust, airborne pollutants, and chemical fumes can lead to decreased lung capacity. Fabric window treatments, carpets, and curtains are popular allergens around the home. Make sure to cover your mattress and your pillows in zippered cases that prevent dust mites from getting in them and make sure to launder your bed sheets on a hot cycle.

    You should also pay attention to the quality of the air outside. Close your windows if the air quality outside is not good and make sure to put HEPA air filters on your house. Consider getting an air filter for your house that has a HEPA filter on it.

    Improve Exercise Tolerance

    Make sure to get your exercise because working out makes your heart and breathing rates go up, which gives your body sufficient oxygen and increases the strength of your heart and lungs. Working out on a regular basis can increase your lung capacity by up to 15%. Talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


    Vitamin D may help you if your lung capacity is suffering. It can also help improve your exercise capacity and lung muscle strength. The theory behind this is that vitamin D reduces inflammation, which which may reduce your lung capacity.

    Pursed-lips Breathing

    This can slow down your respiratory rate, which makes it easy on your body to breathe. It also improves the rate at which your body changes oxygen to carbon dioxide. This is a great breathing exercise for beginners that can be practiced at any time.

    To do this:
    Slowly breathe in through your nose.
    Purse your lips, as if you’re blowing up a balloon.
    Breathe out from your pursed lips, taking twice as long as you did to breathe in.

    Tips for keeping your lungs healthy

    Prevention is key, and it is easier to maintain healthy lungs than it is to repair damaged lungs. To keep your lungs in top shape, refrain from smoking and avoid environmental irritants as much as possible.

    Get your flu and pneumonia vaccines to help prevent lung infections that can lead to damage. Exercise frequently to help your lungs function well, and improve the quality of air in your home by investing in filters.

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  10. Obesity May Lead to Arthritis

    December 6, 2018 by

    Obesity occurs when one has an accumulation of excess fat. People suffering from obesity have a higher chance of developing life-threatening illnesses. Recent studies show that over 630,000 people were diagnosed with cancer due to being obese in the U.S.

    People suffering from obesity have a BMI greater than 30, which is almost 40% of adults and continues to be on the rise, which means that the number of people being diagnosed with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is also rising.

    Putting an increased amount of weight on your joints may also negatively impact your body. Obesity in addition to inactivity, age, muscle weakness, and unhealthy posture can all contribute to the development of arthritis. Research also suggests that the pain and inflammation that come along with arthritis might also be related to inadequate gut health.

    Heal Your Gut to Save Joint Health

    People who are obese often suffer from arthritis and joint pain. Researchers have uncovered that inflammation in the body can be driven by the gut microbiome and can lead to pain associated with arthritis. This could be caused by an unhealthy diet, which will lead to imbalances in the gut microbiome.

    Research has confirmed that people who are obese have more harmful gut bacteria than people who are a healthy weight, which has also been found in mice studies. Researchers found they could alter the microbiome of obese mice using a prebiotic supplement that reduced inflammation and reversed symptoms of arthritis.

    The obese mice treated with the prebiotic ended up with a gut microbiome that was identical to that of a healthy mouse, leading the researchers to believe that prebiotics may be able to treat arthritis in obese people as well.

    This prebiotic restores the gut health in obese mice by supporting healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, which is associated with a reduction of inflammation in the colon, as well as blood circulation and joint protection that is needed with arthritis.

    The researchers did not expect to find such a strong impact of obesity on one’s gut microbiome, and therefore inflammation and arthritis were prevented when the mice took prebiotics. However, Bifidobacteria grew and replaced proinflammatory bacteria, which decreased inflammation and slowed the breakdown of cartilage.

    However, the prebiotic did not change the body weight of the obese mice, meaning their joints continued to support the same amount of weight, but they did appear to be healthier. The researchers believe this is because inflammation rather than biomechanical forces trigger arthritis and joint degeneration.


    Oligofructose is the prebiotic that was used to affect the gut bacteria in the obese mice. This prebiotic is a form of inulin, which is a soluble fiber that is derived from plant material that is composed of fructose molecules connected in a way that the body is unable to digest them.

    Prebiotics are required by many microorganisms located in the gut. They nourish beneficial bacteria, which supports digestive health because it converts inulin and oligofructose into fatty acids that feed healthy colon cells and give people a variety of health benefits.

    Oligofructose stimulates the growth Bifidobacteria in the intestines, which is an important beneficial bacteria in your gut and is 30-50% as sweet as sucrose.
    People typically use oligofructose as a fiber supplement, but its most widely known nutritional effect is its ability to enhance the growth of Bifidobacteria in the gut. Studies have shown a dramatic positive impact on the composition of microflora when someone supplements between 5 and 20 grams oligofructose each day for 15 days.

    Studies have also shown that osteoarthritis is not caused by age. Researchers analyzed joints of skeletons and combined this data with secondary data findings dating back to prehistoric times. The studies found that people born after World War II are double as likely to get knee arthritis at a certain age or BMI than people who were born earlier. However, the researchers could not account for the rise because not only are people living longer, but the rate of obesity is continuing to rise. Even after considering age and BMI, the researchers found an increase in the amount of people who suffered from arthritis.

    Your gut bacteria plays a large role in the inflammation in your body, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Maintaining a healthy gut by eating healthy foods to reduce inflammation and help you maintain proper gut health provides natural pain relief.

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