Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Eight Ways to Boost Your Health without Spending a Dime
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) If you have begun adding raw vegetables and fruits to your diet, you’re off to a good start for improving your health. Now it’s time to take it to the next level by adding these lifestyle changes that have big payoffs. Make this your New Years resolution list and see how much better you will feel a year from now!
Get plenty of fresh air – Whether it’s summer or winter, the human body craves fresh air. That’s because indoor air can be as much as 500% more polluted than outdoor air, even if you live in a big city. Some pollutants can cause cancer, birth defects, long term injury to lungs, and damage to the brain and nervous system. Breathing fresh air produced by plants can help reverse indoor pollution, as well as busting stress and increasing feelings of happiness and well being.
Go for a walk – Hitting the pavement is probably the best way to breathe fresh air in the winter. Year round, walking briskly can lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, both major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Researchers analyzed 33,060 runners in the National Runners’ Health Study, and 15,045 walkers in the National Walker’s Health Study. They discovered that walking moderately and running intensively both resulted in similar reductions in the main markers for coronary heart disease. The more people walked or ran each week, the more their health benefits increased.
Stop eating foods made with processed flour – This is the best way to shed pounds, get more energy and avoid diabetes. Nothing can create an insulin spike followed by a low blood sugar attack as well or as fast as eating processed flour. We used to know this is true. In 1911, the bread making up 40 percent of the diet of the impoverished in Britain was cited for causing widespread poor health.
Today, science has easily documented this truth because today’s breads and baked goods are of much poorer quality, containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (trans fats) oxidant chemicals, emulsifiers, preservatives, and in many cases plastic used as dough conditioner. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, allergies, asthma, gluten intolerance, Celiac disease, and nutrient deficiency can be in store for those eating processed flour.
Go to bed – Employers who expect long hours seem to think sleep is insignificant, but they may be dead wrong. Research studies have linked lack of sleep to diabetes, infections, cancer and early death. Adequate sleep, meaning at least 7 hours a night, is one of the bedrocks for good health because it affects the heart, mind, immunity, and more.
Getting adequate sleep helps improve memory, curb inflammation, and promote creativity and general functioning. It leads to better outcomes at school or work, lower stress levels, and lessens depression. If you have frequent colds or flu, chances are you aren’t getting enough sleep. While you sleep, your immune system tidies up, killing bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancerous cells. This doesn’t happen unless you go to bed and get a full night’s sleep.
Throw out the toxins – Although you may be on the lookout for toxins in foods, there are plenty lurking elsewhere. Any personal care product with ingredients you can’t understand or pronounce should be tossed and replaced with items you can recognize. Be sure to assess everything used at night and in the morning, and all the products used to clean living quarters.
Then take a serious look at any medications you are using, including over the counter remedies such as pain killers, cold medicines and nose sprays. Anything bought at a drugstore is suspect and should be evaluated as to whether it is doing you more harm than good. Prescription medicines should be replaced with natural remedies or eliminated. If your doctor can’t handle that, look for a naturopath to replace him. And if you are a female, take a look at what’s in your tampons – you will be astounded!
Keep you lymph moving – Ever wonder why many people who become bedridden usually die soon after? It’s because their lymph fluid is no longer moving. The lymphatic system is the sewer system of the body. It should be constantly removing toxins and debris, and transporting white blood cells to fight off infection and cancer. Unlike the heart, which has a pump to keep things moving, the movement of lymph fluid depends on your movements, particularly those of your upper body. To make sure your lymph fluid is moving, excise is essential. One of the best exercises is to stand up, straighten your arms, then swing them up over your head and back down again. Do this 20 times both backward and forward. It only takes a minute, and the payback is huge.
Get out in the sun – No matter what season of the year, be sure to get a good bit of sunshine without the use of sunscreen. Sunshine is the best source of a hormone known as vitamin D, which plays a big part in keeping colds, flu and cancer away. Why not take a vitamin D supplement instead? Because vitamin D really is a hormone, taking supplements of it will suppress the body’s natural production, and the end result may be less vitamin D rather than more. Vitamin D has receptors for it in the body just like hormones do. Through these receptors, it influences the expression of more than a thousand genes, including those that promote cancer and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis. All this goodness requires real sunshine – something you can’t get from a tanning bed.
Have frequent sex – Yes, something that feels so good can actually be good for you too! Frequent sex can stimulate production of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and it has a positive effect on mood and behavior, emotions, and cognition. Oxytocin is one reason sex is so relaxing, and why everything just seems better after it’s over.
In a research study, men who had sex at least twice a week showed a 45% reduction in the development of heart disease compared to those having sex only once a month or less. This is because having sex produces the same elevated heart rate that a short cardio workout does. Having sex frequently also produces higher levels of IGA, an antibody which can stop colds and flu. It’s probably the reason that people who have frequent sex also have fewer sick days at work. Researchers have found that men who continue regular sex through their 50’s have lower risk of prostate cancer.
If all this is too much at once, try mastering on of these health boosters every month. By this time next year, you may be surprised by how good you feel.
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