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Feb 12 2020

Healthy Eyes

Good vision helps you perform well—at home, at work, or behind the wheel. That’s why it’s important to take a few simple steps to make sure you help keep your eyesight at its best. A regular eye exam is the best way to protect your eyesight – and an easy precaution to take. Here are some tips to help maintain eye health as you age.

Eat a Balanced Diet

As part of your healthy diet, choose foods rich in antioxidants, like Vitamins A and C foods like leafy, green vegetables and fish. Many foods – especially fatty fish, such as salmon – contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that are important to the health of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision.

An inadequate intake of antioxidants, consumption of alcohol or saturated fats may create free-radical reactions that can harm the macula – the central part of the retina. High-fat diets can also cause deposits that constrict blood flow in the arteries. The eyes are especially sensitive to this, given the small size of the blood vessels that feed them.

Your eyes are unique and have their own set of nutritional needs. Vitamins are specially designed to provide a balanced combination of nutrients dedicated to the health of your eyes.

Exercise

Exercise improves blood circulation, which improves oxygen levels to the eyes and the removal of toxins.

Get a good night's sleep

You’ll feel the difference when you get the sleep you need. You’ll look great, you’ll perform at home or work—and good rest will support the health of your eyes.

Wash your hands

Keeping your hands clean is so important when it comes to your eyes, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer. Before you touch your eye—and before you put in or remove a contact lens—wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel. Some germs and bacteria that come from your hands can cause eye infections, like bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye). When you touch your eye, whatever is on your fingers goes right onto your eye’s surface. This is one way that people catch colds—rubbing their eyes while they have cold virus germs on their hands.

Don't Smoke

Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress. While the connection has not been clearly identified, it is known that smoking increases your risk for a variety of health conditions affecting the eye.

Wear Sunglasses

To protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, choose sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection. Also, wearing a hat with a brim will greatly reduce the amount of UV radiation slipping around the side of your sunglasses.

Devices and Blue Light

You're probably using digital devices for hours each day at work and at home. These devices are exposing your eyes to high energy blue light. It's called blue light because the wavelengths emitted are near the bluer part of the spectrum. Lutein & Zeaxanthin are eye nutrients that are concentrated in the macula and help filter blue light. Zeaxanthin cannot be produced by our bodies on their own, so they must be obtained through diet and/or supplements.

Here are some other tips to help when you're on your computer:

  • Keep your computer screen within 20"-24" of your eye.
  • Keep the top of your computer screen slightly below eye level.
  • Adjust lighting to minimize glare on the screen.
  • Blink frequently.
  • Take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Use lubricating eye drops to soothe irritated, dry eyes.

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Feb 12 2020

Keeping Your Heart Healthy.

You can prevent heart disease by focusing on your heart health year round. If you haven’t scheduled your regular wellness visit and cardiac assessment, make sure to schedule one with your doctor. It’s always good to keep regular wellness practices in place, which not only help you keep an eye on your overall health, but it can also help you spot unexpected issues before they become severe.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. But despite that, it’s one of the most preventable diseases. And thankfully, there are things you can do to increase your chances of preventing heart disease.

Why is heart health important?

Heart disease can encompass a variety of different types of conditions, but all of them relate to the heart in some way. For example, one of the most common types of heart disease, coronary artery disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, involves conditions and functions that cause the heart to become less effective, or worse, plaque build-up inside coronary arteries, reduction of blood flow, blockages, heart attacks, or sudden cardiac death. These conditions, caused by the plaque forming inside the coronary arteries, are a result of calcium, cholesterol, fat, and other types of substances.

Keeping your heart healthy means avoiding unwanted plaque build up, heart attacks, blockages and cardiac death. It means making sure your heart will continue to work for as long as you’re alive. You want to avoid having your heart stop working before then! And with proper personal health strategies and lifestyle changes, you can decrease the likelihood of unwanted heart complications, and even prevent heart disease.

Ways to keep your heart healthy

Staying vigilant with your heart health is incredibly important. Heart disease can begin to take effect before you even see the major symptoms of heart disease. This is why it’s important to be aware of your heart and body’s general health. You can combine wellness visits with your doctor in addition to self check-ups to stay as consistent as possible with your health.

A great way to stay on top of your heart’s health is through self-monitoring your blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for heart disease. Regularly checking your blood pressure helps you stay aware of the condition your heart and body is in and can help you identify potential heart-related problems before they become too serious. There are valuable tools in the market if your aim is to prevent heart disease.

Maintaining a good diet and staying active can also drastically improve your heart health in general. Even just 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 days out of your week can make a significant difference in the health of your heart. When it comes to your diet, reducing sugar and fat intake and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables will play a large role in keeping your heart healthy.

Aside from regular wellness visits and cardiovascular check-ups, you’ll want to know the major signs of a heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Your doctor can help you identify warning signs of these cardiovascular problems.

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Jan 09 2020

How to boost brain power at any age

A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there’s lots you can do to improve your memory and mental performance

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the brain, scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isn’t true. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change—even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.

The brain’s incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information, and improve your memory at any age. These 9 tips can show you how.

Tip 1: Give your brain a workout

By the time you’ve reached adulthood, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process and recall information quickly, solve familiar problems, and execute habitual tasks with a minimum of mental effort. But if you always stick to these well-worn paths, you aren’t giving your brain the stimulation it needs to keep growing and developing. You must shake things up from time to time!

Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. But not all activities are equal. The best brain exercises break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways.

Four key elements of a good brain-boosting activity

  • It teaches you something new. No matter how intellectually demanding the activity, if it’s something you’re already good at, it’s not a good brain exercise. The activity needs to be something that’s unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. To strengthen the brain, you need to keep learning and developing new skills.
  • It’s challenging. The best brain-boosting activities demand your full and close attention. It’s not enough that you found the activity challenging at one point. It must still be something that requires mental effort. For example, learning to play a challenging new piece of music counts. Playing a difficult piece, you’ve already memorized does not.
  • It’s a skill you can build on. Look for activities that allow you to start at an easy level and work your way up as your skills improve —always pushing the envelope so you continue to stretch your capabilities. When a previously difficult level starts to feel comfortable, that means it’s time to tackle the next level of performance.
  • It’s rewarding. Rewards support the brain’s learning process. The more interested and engaged you are in the activity, the more likely you’ll continue doing it and the greater the benefits you’ll experience. So, choose activities that, while challenging, are still enjoyable and satisfying.

What about brain-training programs?

There are countless brain-training apps and online programs that promise to boost memory, problem-solving skills, attention, and even IQ with daily practice. But do they really work? Increasingly, the evidence says no. While these brain-training programs may lead to short-term improvements in whatever task or specific game you’ve been practicing, they don’t appear to strengthen or improve overall intelligence, memory, or other cognitive abilities.

Tip 2: Don’t skip the physical exercise

While mental exercise is important for brain health, that doesn’t mean you never need to break a sweat. Physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones. Perhaps most importantly, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections.

Brain-boosting exercise tips

  • Aerobic exercise is particularly good for the brain, so choose activities that keep your blood pumping. In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain.
  • Does it take you long time to clear out the sleep fog when you wake up? If so, you may find that exercising in the morning before you start your day makes a big difference. In addition to clearing out the cobwebs, it also primes you for learning throughout the day.
  • Physical activities that require hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills are particularly beneficial for brain building.
  • Exercise breaks can help you get past mental fatigue and afternoon slumps. Even a short walk or a few jumping jacks can be enough to reboot your brain.

Tip 3: Get your Zs

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function at your best. The truth is that over 95% of adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night in order to avoid sleep deprivation. Even skimping on a few hours makes a difference! Memory, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are all compromised.

But sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.

Get on a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to break your routine, even on weekends and holidays.

Avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted by TVs, tablets, phones, and computers trigger wakefulness and suppress hormones such as melatonin that make you sleepy.

Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine affects people differently. Some people are highly sensitive, and even morning coffee may interfere with sleep at night. Try reducing your intake or cutting it out entirely if you suspect it’s keeping you up.

Tip 4: Make time for friends

When you think of ways to improve memory, do you think of “serious” activities such as wrestling with the New York Times crossword puzzle or mastering chess strategy, or is it more lighthearted pastimes—hanging out with friends or enjoying a funny movie—that come to mind? If you’re like most of us, it’s probably the former. But countless studies show that a life full of friends and fun comes with cognitive benefits.

Healthy relationships: the ultimate brain booster

Humans are highly social animals. We’re not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brains—in fact, interacting with others may provide the best kind of brain exercise.

Research shows that having meaningful friendships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.

Tip 5: Keep stress in check

Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. Studies have also linked stress to memory loss.

Tips for managing stress

  • Set realistic expectations (and be willing to say no!)
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
  • Set a healthy balance between work and leisure time
  • Focus on one task at a time, rather than trying to multi-task
  • The stress busting, memory boosting benefits of meditation

The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up. Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, memory, and learning and reasoning skills.

Meditation works its “magic” by changing the actual brain. Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity. Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cells—all of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability.

Tip 6: Have a laugh

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain and the memory, as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain.

Furthermore, listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity. As psychologist Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “laughter seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”

Tip 7: Eat a brain-boosting diet

Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. You probably already know that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats (such as olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. For brain health, though, it’s not just what you eat—it’s also what you don‘t eat.

The following nutritional tips will help boost your brainpower and reduce any risk:

  • Get your omega-3s. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health. Fish is a particularly rich source of omega 3, especially cold water “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring.
  • If you’re not a fan of seafood, consider non-fish sources of omega-3s such as seaweed, walnuts, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, winter squash, kidney and pinto beans, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.
  • Limit calories and saturated fat. Research shows that diets high in saturated fat (from sources such as red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, and ice cream) increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables. Produce is packed with antioxidants, substances that protect your brain cells from damage. Colorful fruits and vegetables are particularly good antioxidant “superfood” sources.
  • Drink green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can damage brain cells. Among many other benefits, regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging.
  • Drink wine (or grape juice) in moderation. Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is key, since alcohol kills brain cells. But in moderation (around 1 glass a day for women; 2 for men), alcohol may improve memory and cognition. Red wine appears to be the best option, as it is rich in resveratrol, a flavonoid that boosts blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Other resveratrol-packed options include grape juice, cranberry juice, fresh grapes and berries, and peanuts.

Tip 8: Identify and treat health problems

Do you feel that your memory has taken an unexplainable dip? If so, there may be a health or lifestyle problem to blame. It’s not just dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that causes memory loss.

There are many diseases, mental health disorders, and medications that can interfere with memory:

  • Heart disease and its risk factors. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, have been linked to mild cognitive impairment.
  • Diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes experience far greater cognitive decline than those who don’t suffer from the disease.
  • Hormone imbalance. Women going through menopause often experience memory problems when their estrogen dips. In men, low testosterone can cause issues. Thyroid imbalances can also cause forgetfulness, sluggish thinking, or confusion.
  • Medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can get in the way of memory and clear thinking. Common culprits include cold and allergy medications, sleep aids, and antidepressants. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects.

Tip 9: Take practical steps to support learning and memory

Pay attention. You can’t remember something if you never learned it, and you can’t learn something—that is, encode it into your brain—if you don’t pay enough attention to it. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a piece of information into your memory. If you’re easily distracted, pick a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

Involve as many senses as possible. Try to relate information to colors, textures, smells, and tastes. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Even if you’re a visual learner, read out loud what you want to remember. If you can recite it rhythmically, even better.

Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, whether it’s new material that builds on previous knowledge, or something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone.

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Jan 04 2020

Exercise is very important and should be included in one’s daily routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We challenge our bodies with new routines in exercise and a proper diet.

We have seen cases wherein people are not able to keep up with their exercise routines and they give up at the end. We need much more focused mind and our body will help in implementing it. Many people simply choose the option of a good night’s sleep.

If you’re willing to cooperate with us we have a good plan for all the people who have the will and want to achieve their goals.

1. Yoga – Helps in keeping the body and mind calm.

If you’re feeling like your self-esteem needs a nudge in the right direction, then yoga could be the ideal exercise for you. Many believe that confidence in yourself comes from creating harmony between the mind and the body, something that yoga helps many people to achieve.

Yoga is an immensely popular exercise for improving posture, retuning balance, and increasing flexibility, all of which can help you to feel more confident and relaxed in your body and yourself, especially over time and as you advance your yoga finesse.

Find out more about the different varieties of yoga and the physical and mental benefits of practising it, as well as the best poses to get your started in our guide to yoga for beginners.

2. Pilates - to help you sleep

There are many reasons why someone might suffer from troubled, restless nights. Plenty of people turn to pilates as a way of tackling sleepless nights, as it not only helps to calm the mind and the nervous system but also gently works the body into a state where it requires rest and recuperation in order to recover.

Pilates consists of countless movements and positions, that help to build a strong core and improve flexibility, as well as developing a more controlled way of breathing at the same time. Although each of the positions used in pilates are beneficial to body in one way or another, there are a select few which are said to be particularly useful in delivering a better night’s sleep:

  • The hundred
  • The saw
  • The mermaid
  • The twisted cat
  • A wall roll down
  • A spine stretch
  • A pelvic curl
  • A rollback

These movements are said to either elongate, roll or unroll the body (similarly to how many of us sleep, in the fetal position), which can massage and re-centre the spine, as well as relaxing the body ready for sleep.

3. Cycling - to boost energy levels

If you’re hoping to boost your overall energy levels, why not take on cycling as a hobby? Not only is it one of the best exercises for endorphins, it can also help to reduce fatigue and leave you feeling even more energised in the long run. In fact, a study on the subject found that cycling can boost energy levels by 20%.

To reap the energy-boosting benefits of cycling, it’s recommended that you fit it into your schedule at least three times a week. You don’t even need to overexert yourself - a gentle to moderate pace will leave you feeling just as revitalised. With that in mind, why not swap a few of your car commutes with a cycle to work instead?

4. Weights - to improve focus

The level of thought and control required to carry out strength training can help you to feel more focused in other aspects of life. Whether you’re looking to get back to grips with your career development or to learn something new, half an hour of weight training two to three times a week could improve your focus.

Weight training is one of the more strenuous exercises to take on and, as a beginner, it’s crucial to start slowly and ease your way into more advanced sets and reps over time.

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