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.

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!

Raw Food Diet Overview?

Over the past few years, one diet that’s become increasingly popular is the Raw Food Diet.  While some will say that the raw diet or raw food diet as it’s alternately referred to is simply a passing fad, others will take offense to that statement.  Raw foodies as they call themselves are very passionate about their meal plans.  For them, eating raw food has more than simple health benefits or connotations as the raw food experience encapsulates more of a lifestyle choice as well as a philosophical belief system.

Raw foodies will often suggest that cooking food destroys many of the nutrients that are inherently present in food.  As well, they’ll point to the potential dangers of cooked and processed food throwing around terms like ‘toxins’ which can damage your body.

Is this just another passing fad or is there some merit to the raw food diet?

Find out more about the Raw Food Diet.

Nine natural remedies for gout?

Gout can be a painful condition which commonly affects the large toe.  Gout itself has gotten a bad rap as the ‘disease of kings’ over the years because it’s associated with your intake of purines found in red meat.

It’s actually a metabolic condition which means there are important dietary factors associated with gout.

Research has long show that one of the natural remedies for lowering your uric acid levels is simply consuming bing sweet cherries.  Accordingly, consuming 280 g of bing sweet cherries has been shown to have possible benefits.  It’s speculated that the vitamin C found in these cherries is largely responsible for this effect.

For more natural remedies for gout, follow the link.

10 Natural remedies for the common cold

If you’ve missed it, it’s now cold & flu season.  For most of us, this is just a general nuisance, but for others with weakened immune function, it can be more serious.

The common cold is causes by over 100 different viruses, but most often is caused by a rhinovirus.  Common symptoms of the cold include a low-grade fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, and headache.

Basic tips to beat the common cold:

If you’re looking to beat the common cold, you should always remember to wash your hands regularly.  It’s also important to limit your stress levels since they can affect your immune system.  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Also, get regular sleep.

If it’s too late and you’re already sick, what can you do?

Here’s a list of cold and flu remedies that you should check out.

From this list of natural cold remedies, we can see that both Siberian as well as American Ginseng can be potentially helpful according to recent studies at reducing the duration of the common cold.

What’s more is that Andrographis Paniculata may also be effective–particularly at reducing some of the symptoms such as runny nose and nasal congestion associated with the common cold.

Even simple remedies such as drinking hot beverages or even chicken noodle soup have been shown to provide some temporary relief from cold symptoms.

Vitamin C and D may also play an important role in reducing the duration of colds.

For more information about cold weather and respiratory illness, follow the link.

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.

Vitamin D Recommendations

Recently, the Institute of Medicine has released new recommended nutrient intake guidelines for vitamin D.  To some, the new recommendations represent only a modest increase over previous guidelines.

Already the new guidelines have met with some controversy and criticism as well.

Here’s a summary of the new Vitamin D Recommendations:

  • Most people (1 – 70 years old):  600 IU per day
  • Elderly (>70 years old):  800 IU per day

Here’s the complete infographic for Vitamin D and Calcium intake recommendations:

*** Click to enlarge

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.

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%)