How to Measure Your Own Health

Most people dread going to the doctor and undergoing a physical check up. Most times, people prolong their agonies and only visit the doctor’s clinic when the symptoms worsen. However, when it comes to our health, one must be his own advocate. It is important to pay attention to small warning signs that may indicate a bigger underlying health problem. And in any kind of illness, early intervention is important to a full recovery.

Here are a few warning signs that might indicate that you may need a thorough medical check up with your physician.

how to measure your own health

  • A warning sign of an underlying health problem is unintentional weight loss (AAFP). In the worse case scenario, unintentional weight loss may be an indication of onset of cancer (patient.co.uk), thus it is very important to pay attention to it, especially if one has lost more than 10 pounds in the last six months.
  • On the other hand, unexplained weight gain may also be a warning sign of a health problem (naturalnews.com / 3fatchicks.com).
  • Another warning sign is experiencing frequent abdominal pain or the feeling of being bloated or becoming full very quickly. It is important to take note of the frequency, location of the pain as well as the severity of the pain (mayoclinic.com)
  • Some people may have sudden craving for ice cubes or only wish to drink fluids and water, and often loses appetite. Additionally, if a person experiences change in his sense of taste, this might be an indication of a serious illness and the person should seek immediate medical attention (NY Times)
  • Additionally, if the person has unexplained bruises all over his body, this might also be a warning sign of illness such as leukaemia (wisegeek.com).
  • Another warning sign is the feeling of always being tired or feeling faint. He may also feel low in energy, loss of motivation and inability to focus. If a person experiences frequent headaches even after waking up in the morning, this might be a warning sign of a serious health condition (nhs.uk).
  • If a person misses bowel movement, this might indicate a problem with his digestive system. Regular bowel movements should be daily (lef.org) .
  • There are also other factors that might increase the susceptibility of a person to illnesses. If a person is a smoker or living with a smoker, this may increase the chance for him to develop lung cancer (hivehealthmedia.com)
  • If a person lives a sedentary lifestyle and exercises less than ninety minutes a week, this also increases his risk to illnesses such as hypertension and heart problems (healthhabits.ca / jarretmorrow.com)

These are just basic warning signs but can be a good gauge of a person’s health. One must pay attention to small warning signs so that further tests and diagnostics can be done in order to identify health conditions every before they worsen. Dismissing these small symptoms can prove to be very costly once the illness has become too severe which may later on cost one’s life. Furthermore, it is important to have regular check ups with your physician to prevent such illnesses.

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Compendium of Diet Hacks

Weight Loss Tips:

Weight Loss Supplements

Fat Burning Tips:

Holiday Weight Tips

Exercise For Weight Loss

Improve your pecs with reverse grip bench press?

For many who spend hours per week in the gym, it can be difficult to put on muscle.  When you’re first starting out, it can be particularly hard to pack on muscle to increase the size of your pecs.  Ladies love and men work hard to build’em.  New research suggests that the reverse grip bench press can help you put on 30% more pectoral muscle mass!

Here’s a demonstration of the technique for doing reverse grip bench press:

Other related research suggests that ingesting caffeine prior to working out helped subjects complete more bench press repetitions and to use greater amounts of weight.

 

Happy lifting!

Benefits of Pycnogenol?

 

Extracts of marine pine bark are sold as a dietary supplement marketed under the proprietary name, Pycnogenol®.  Over the past several years, Pycnogenol has been studied for numerous potential health benefits from every medical condition ranging from arthritis or diabetes to glaucoma or attention-deficit disorder.

For a review of the benefits of pycnogenol, follow the link.

Extracts of Pinus pinaster have a long history in traditional medicine or ethnomedicine.  Commonly, these extracts are referred to as marine pine bark extract–they’re sold as a dietary supplement known by the proprietary name, Pycnogenol®.

Marine pine bark extract has established antioxidant effects and potential use in promoting cardiovascular health.  In fact, its antioxidant effects were known dating back to Hippocrates and were further established by modern scientists.

Tips to enhance your cognitive abilities?

With the aging population in the world in which we live, many of us are looking for ways to maintain or enhance our cognitive abilities.  Many of us are already aware that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.  For some of us, we’re already at an increased risk or susceptibility through genetics, but let’s take a look at some things we can do to preserve our cognitive function.

Improve cognition:

  1. Vitamin D Supplementation – Though it’s not well-established yet how important supplementation with vitamin D is yet compared to natural sources such as diet and sunlight, Vitamin D levels and cognition has already been an established connection.
  2. Beta Carotene – Long-term supplementation with Beta Carotene may play a role in preventing age-ass0ciated memory loss.  Studies have looked at doses of 50 mg of beta carotene taken on alternate days.
  3. Abdominal obesity – A recent study demonstrated that abdominal obesity is associated with smaller brain volumes.  If you’re concerned about cognitive decline as you age, it’s important to maintain  a healthy body mass index to limit the effects of abdominal obesity on your brain health.
  4. Marijuana – Though a controversial topic in itself, marijuana use particularly in those under the age of 15 may affect how your brain develops.  In this case, the solution is simple by avoiding the use of marijuana, particularly at a young age, you can avert potential problems associated with its use on your brain.
  5. Physical activity – The importance of physical activity on cognitive function has been highlighted also in studies involving adolescents.  Exercise is associated with the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF.
  6. Cardiopulmonary fitness – Not only is physical activity an important aspect of cognition in adolescents, but its importance is also present in those with cardiovascular disease.  Research suggests that cardiopulmonary fitness preserves cognitive function in those with cardiovascular disease.
  7. Resistance training – Other research suggests that it’s not just cardiovascular fitness that is important to preserve your cognitive function.  In a recent study involving elderly women, resistance training was found to result in cognitive improvements in elderly populations.
  8. Head circumference – Oddly enough, research continues to show that the size of your brain determines your susceptibility to dementia.   Having a larger head is considered a protective factor against dementia.
  9. Fish Oil – The importance of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids is also present in maintain or preserving cognitive function.  Fish oil may help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  10. Creatine – That’s right.  Though mostly thought of for its role in enhancing athletic performance, creatine can also play a role in memory.  For those who’re vegetarians, their diet is often lower in creatine since it is mostly found in meat products.  Creatine supplementation improves memory for vegetarians according to recent studies.

Dietary Supplements to increase strength and muscle mass?

If you spent hours every week in the gym lifting weights, you’d probably like to be able to cut your body fat and increase your lean muscle mass.  Starting with a healthy diet and adequate daily protein intake, you may find that you eventually hit that inevitable ‘plateau.’  For some people, they can get over that plateau for packing on muscle either by favorable genetics or by modifying their workout routine.

For others, they turn to supplementation with products designed to help you pack on muscle and increase your strength.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to decifer fact from fiction when it comes to bodybuilding supplements which are heavily promoted by marketing.

If you’re looking for supplements that have been well-researched, follow this link to find out which supplements help increase muscle mass and strength.

Here’s a peak at the list:

  • creatine monohydrate
  • whey protein
  • branched-chain amino acids
  • betaine
  • leucine
  • HMB

Also, while you’re at it, don’t miss these great protein shake recipes!

The Ryan Reynolds Workout plan?

It’s no secret that Ryan Reynolds has one of the top physiques among the Hollywood “A list” of actors.  If you’re trying to find out how you can go from skinny to muscular / ripped like Ryan Reynolds, here’s some great tips:

Ryan Reynolds Workout

So, I re-invented the Deadpool workout and spent the summer beta testing it on some willing victims up here in Toronto.

And, if I say so myself, I have come up with a seriously kick-ass training program.

Over 3 months, my 4 scrawny test subjects:

  • Gained between 5 and 14 lbs of muscle
  • Increased their max strength between 55 & 197% (Front Squat)
  • Saw their speed, power & anaerobic endurance go through the roof (Hill Sprints)
  • And, oh yeah, they also lost a ton of baby-fat in the process.
  • The average body-fat percentage at the beginning of the test was 21%.
  • At the end of the 3 months, the average body-fat was down to 9% (a Bod-Pod was used to measure BF%)

Top 10 Weight Loss Articles

For this blog post, I thought that I would compile a list of useful weight loss articles.  Many of us struggle to lose weight and as we age, it seems to get more difficult.

Clearly, diet and exercise are the two best options for losing weight.  The old adage about ‘calories in’ and ‘calories out’ cannot be escaped.

Top 10 Weight loss Supplement Articles

 

1. Does Conjugated linoleic acid help you lose weight?

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) refers to a mixture of isomers of linoleic acid which is found naturally in animal products of ruminant (any of the hoofed animals) sources including meat and diary products. Though CLA is a trans fat, many researchers claim that unlike other trans fatty acids, it is not actually harmful.

 

2. Does Grape Seed Extract help you lose weight?

“These findings suggest that grape seed could be effective in reducing 24 h EI in normal to overweight dietary unrestrained subjects, and could, therefore, play a significant role in body-weight management.”

 

3.  Low Carb Foods for weight loss.

Natural weight loss is a goal for many individuals who want to be healthier and low carb foods are a means to that end. There are so many healthy, low carb food options available now that the only real barrier to weight loss is a mental one.

4.  Protein Supplements for exercise and recovery:

A recent article published in the journal, The Physician and Sports Medicine (Kreider et al, 2009), concluded that adequate intake and appropriate timing of protein ingestion has been shown to be beneficial for endurance, anaerobic, and strength training.

5. Supersize me or maybe not…

In developed nations, obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. Millions of Americans continue with weight issues and obesity. Obesity itself has been linked to numerous health conditions including osteoarthritis, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, as well as cardiovascular disease.

6. Battle of the Bulge:

Obesity continues to reach epidemic proportions in developed nations. For people who suffer from obesity, choosing a diet that not only works but one that they are capable of adhering too can be a difficult challenge

7. Does Chitosan help you lose weight?

Chitosan is a dietary supplement ingredient which is found in supplements which are intended to promote weight loss and is https://nutraceutical.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpwidely available worldwide.   Other potential benefits on Chitosan include a possible reduction in cholesterol from taking the supplement.

8. Herbs that help you burn fat:

Herbal supplements can help you to burn fat fast. It is, however, unlikely that any herb will cause weight loss if it is not taken in conjunction with proper diet and exercise. The benefit of natural fat burning herbal supplements is that they can help you to lose body fat faster than diet and exercise alone.

9. Getting paid to shed pounds:

There are plenty of reasons for Welmoed Sisson to lose weight. She’d feel better, be healthier and fit into that skirt she wore 20 years ago before she became obese. She knows all this, and yet there may be only one incentive powerful enough to get the 49-year-old resident of Gaithersburg, Md., to pass on the delicious steaks her husband cooks. The motivator? Cold, hard cash.

10. What impact does weight reduction have on osteoarthritis?

A recent randomized trial concluded that an intensive weight loss intervention program of diet and exercise improved physical function in older obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) (Miller et al, 2006).