Tag Archives: exercise

23.5 hours a day challenge

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New Years is up and coming – why not get a jump start on your resolutions and check out this video to get informed and maybe inspired.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Urinary Tract Health

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Did you know that the urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common type of infection in the body? Annually, approximately 8.1 million people visit the hospital for a UTI. Because of the anatomy of the body, women are more prone to developing these infections– their lifetime risk of experiencing a UTI is over 50%. While men can and certainly do suffer from UTIs, they are less common.

Because a UTI is an infection, part of prevention and management involves supporting the body’s immune system. While proper hygiene is part of the equation to urinary tract health, below are some quick tips on how diet and lifestyle changes can help fight off infection as well as support everyone’s urinary tract health.

Diet:

Watch water intake. Dehydration concentrates the urine and increases the chances of infection. Drink enough water each day to help remove bacteria from your bladder. If you do not like water, eat foods that have high water content, such as: leafy greens, melon, broccoli, carrots, yogurt, apples, grapefruits, celery, and tomatoes. For those suffering from kidney failure, as you know, you must be careful not to ingest too much water. Connect with your health care provider to determine the amount that’s best for you.

Eat blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries. Blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries contain antioxidants that have properties that prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Although scientists are having trouble finding consistent results, cranberries and cranberry juice are still a popular natural remedy for urinary tract prevention and treatment. So if you do not enjoy drinking water, try out some pure cranberry juice. It is tart, so feel free to use a natural sweetener to help with the taste.

Incorporate garlic into your cooking. Garlic helps boost the immune system and helps fight off infection (and vampires).

Avoid caffeine, if not, drink more water. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it promotes fluid loss, makes urine more concentrated, and increases the chance of infection.

Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol also dehydrates and reduces the function of the immune system. If you are partaking in alcoholic festivities, make sure to drink extra water.

Limit refined sugar and flour. Refined sugar and flour are hard to avoid in the modern diet, but they are responsible for the rise of degenerative disease and they suppress immune function.

Take a probiotic. A growing body of research finds that probiotics support the immune system as well as genital and urinary tract health. If you suffer from recurring UTIs a probiotic may be a good supplement for you.

Lifestyle: 

– Don’t hold it. When you need to go, go. The longer you hold urine in, the more bacteria will grow and impact your urinary tract and bladder.

Exercise. Exercise boosts your immune system, helps reduce stress and improves sleep, all of which benefit your general health.

Stop smoking. Smoking irritates the bladder and is connected to bladder cancer. What are you waiting for? Just quit.

For general information on urinary tract health and to read more about symptoms of a UTI, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website. For a more comprehensive list of preventative lifestyle measures and resources, check out the University of Maryland’s website.

Properly Building Core Strength: A Reminder About the Dangers of Sit-ups

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We are told that having a strong core will prevent back problems. So what do health-conscious people do? They engage their core, putting themselves through tireless workouts that pair countless sit-ups with the beat of music. The problem with this picture is that standard sit-ups actually do more damage than good to the back.  That’s right. Word on the street is the traditional sit-up is NOT good for you.

Dr. Richard Guyer from The Texas Black Institute explains that the “crunch” part of crunches will strain your back at its weakest point. The segment of your spine with the most nerves (and therefore most potential for nerve damage) is the actual section that bends and strains during a traditional sit-up.

Now, I know for most of us, we are not sad about this news. When we first heard it, we maybe incorporated this tidbit into our concept of reality a little too readily. After all, now we have scientific support to back our unpopular choice to lay on the mat during the sit-up part of the exercise routine, hoping the instructor didn’t notice our lack of participation. Wrong. Just because traditional sit-ups are hard on your back does not mean that you are off the hook for toning and sculpting that abdomen of yours. We all still need to support our back through a proper and safe core building exercise regimen.

This five minute video by Stuart McGill  demonstrates some functional and safe core workouts that can get you started.

My favorite core workout exercise highlighted in the video is the balancing one, where you alternate your arms and legs.

Another favorite abdominal muscle-building exercise I enjoy is the Plank Pose.

What is your favorite core building exercise?

What do you do to protect and support your back?