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Blog posts tagged with 'Exercise'

The Key to a Healthy Mind and Memory? The Answer May Surprise You

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The Key to a Healthy Mind and Memory? The Answer May Surprise YouWe all have memory glitches from one time to another. From forgetting a past event, to forgetting where we put our keys – again. Although some changes to the brain and memory are inevitable, there is much you can do to keep your brain conditioned and memory sharp. According to a new study, aerobic exercise is one such activity.

Physical Activity's Connection to the Brain and Memory

A study published in the online version of the British Journal of Sports Medicine attempted to find a connection between physical exercise and supporting cognitive health, especially for mature adults who may be facing cognitive concerns later in life. Their particular area of focus was the part of the brain called the hippocampus, an area of the brain closely associated to memory, logic, and verbal reasoning skills that has been said to be very sensitive to age-related changes. In the course of their study researchers tested different forms of exercise on 86 women between the ages of 70 and 80 who claimed to have mild memory concerns and who were also all living independently at home. Throughout a six-month period different groups of the 86 women were assigned a different workout routine; some were assigned strictly aerobic exercises while others were instructed to complete resistance training (lunges, squats, and light weights) or balance and/or muscle-toning exercises.

The Exercise Choice for Memory Support

At the end of six months researchers wanted to look at the effect, if any, a particular form of exercise had on maintaining the size of the hippocampus. Comparisons of MRI scans of the volunteers taken before and after the study showed that women who completed the full duration of aerobic training had hippocampuses that were significantly larger than those who completed the other forms of exercise, leading researchers to believe that aerobic exercise may be more beneficial to the mind and memory. While researchers commented that more research on a larger scale needs to be done, they also cited that this is not the first sign of evidence connecting the benefits of exercise to cognitive health. A large, meta-analytic study in which researchers looked at 18 different interventional studies from 1966–2001 concluded that fitness-induced benefits were said to have "robust but selective benefits" on cognitive health.

Brain Games and Memory

While the need for consistent physical activity is one of the keys to maintaining overall health throughout your lifetime, you can also promote good cognitive function through games and exercises that directly stimulate your brain to support your mind and keep your memory sharp. Association is one of the most helpful ways of remembering and connecting memories. By creating links between pictures, concepts, and words your memory can become sharper as familiar concepts will help you recall memories faster. Crossword puzzles, card games, and other brain-stimulating games such as Sudoku can also aid your memory by forcing your mind to dig deep into its problem-solving skills. Even board games and reading books and articles on subjects you wouldn't normally be interested in can keep your mind active because they force your brain to move out of its comfort zone.

Flex Your Muscles and Your Brain Power

Research continues to show that it is possible to maintain good health at any age—and this includes the health of your brain. Aerobic exercise benefits your memory just as much as the rest of your body. Games and other mental challenges also help spur your cognitive functions to help you stay sharp. As evidence linking the benefits of physical activity to cognitive health gains more traction, hopefully this will inspire you to make exercise a vital—and regular—part of your healthy lifestyle.

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Three Powerful Supplements Are Leading the Way in Joint Health – Are You on Board?

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Three Powerful Supplements Are Leading the Way in Joint Health – Are You on Board?Many people today experience some form of bone and joint discomfort. Even if you don't have a physically demanding job, your chances of dealing with joint discomfort—from mild stiffness to constant soreness during everyday activities—can increase throughout your lifetime simply from normal use. However, while you may initially assume that joint discomfort is an inevitable part of aging, more and more health experts are saying this doesn't need to be the case.

What's Really Happening?

The main cause for discomfort begins in the joints. The space between the bones needs cushioning to prevent bones from rubbing up against each other at the points of contact. Buffering these joints is the all-important substance, cartilage. Cartilage is a connective tissue that can be found throughout the body: From your ears, to your nose, to your rib cage, and the vertebrae in your back. This fibrous tissue keeps your body structure together, yet provides flexibility and mobility you need. The first step in attempting to find relief is to understand what's really going on in your bones and joints. According to Raymond Gaeta, M.D., of the Stanford Hospital & Clinic at Stanford University, people are used to the body healing itself naturally, so they always expect that to happen. In reality, similar to how a car requires regular maintenance and lubrication, keeping your bones and joints healthy at any age involves proper nutrition, consisting of vitamins and nutrients that help strengthen and lubricate them. Lack of these nutrients can start to manifest as symptoms of discomfort that “affects how you handle your life, your livelihood, and your interactions with family and friends,” according to Dr. Gaeta.

The Power of Three: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Fish Oil

Besides supplementing your diet with the usual FDA-recommended vitamins and minerals, your bones and joints can also benefit from other joint health ingredients. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil are three joint health supplements that can provide some of the best mobility support and discomfort relief available. Glucosamine has been shown in studies to maintain the integrity of your joints by strengthening cartilage. It has been shown that the body uses glucosamine to help synthesize and repair cartilage. Glucosamine has also been shown to be highly beneficial for keeping cartilage tissue lubricated, allowing for better mobility and flexibility in joints. When taken as a supplement it has shown evidence of relieving discomfort due to inflammation as well. Chondroitin sulfate is also naturally found in the cartilage. It acts as a building material by donating sulfur bonds that are used in cartilage production. As a supplement, chondroitin is commonly partnered with glucosamine to help relieve inflammation that can lead to discomfort, and support cartilage production and repair. Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have also been found to help ease inflammation in joint tissue. In a recent, large-scale research study published in the Journal of Epidemiology it was found that regular use of glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil supplements can reduce markers of inflammation by up to 22%. In addition to being highly effective, the researchers also noted that the supplements were highly safe to take.

The Right Nutrition for Protection

A recent survey found that nearly 1 in 5 (19%) American adults were experiencing joint discomfort. Among these people surveyed, half did not know what caused their discomfort. If you're one of these people, pinpointing where these concerns might come from and learning what you can do to support the health of your joints, bones, and cartilage can rejuvenate the healthy lifestyle you desire. Discomfort and mobility challenges do not have to be an accepted part of aging. Getting your mobility and flexibility back can be within your control. Support your joint health and fuel your body the right nutrients today!


Triple-Strength Glucosamine Chondroitin
 

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Is It a Strain or Sprain? How to Know the Difference and Provide Proper Joint Care

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Is It a Strain or Sprain? How to Know the Difference and Provide Proper Joint CareGood overall health requires at least 20–30 minutes of exercise each day, even if it is just some light walking. The benefits of exercise are numerous and include weight management, mood support, and circulatory health, to name a few. But in order to be physically active, your body requires strong joints, ligaments, and muscles. When joint injuries occur, the proper treatment is crucial so that you can continue to support your active lifestyle.

Sprains and Strains

We all are familiar with the terms, sprains and strains, when it comes to your joints and muscles, but do you know the differences between them and how to properly care for each condition? A sprain is when you injure or damage the ligaments which connect bones to other bones. Strains happen when you injure a muscle or tendon, the fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone.

RICE

Although there are differences between sprains and strains, the pattern of recovery for both is the same: RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Rest means keeping weight off the injured area for at least a day or two. Depending on the seriousness of the injury you may require more rest. Ice is important in the first 24 hours to relieve swelling and discomfort. Apply ice for 20–30 minutes and then remove it for 20–30 minutes before reapplying again if needed. It is often advised not to apply heat in the first 24 hours as it may worsen the swelling. Compression is also used to combat swelling. Wrapping the injured part in compression bandages can relieve swelling within the first 24 hours. Elevation means keeping the injured area elevated higher than your heart as gravity can help reduce swelling and pressure. If swelling persists for a lengthy period of time, consult your physician.

Proper Joint Nourishment

Your joints and muscles are constantly in motion, from when you wake up and your feet touch the floor, to daily activities and right up until you go to bed at night. When choosing a product to help soothe and nourish your joints there are certain ingredients that can be beneficial. Collagen (a building block of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons), vitamin C (which helps form collagen), and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane, a dietary sulfur that also helps form collagen) can be crucial in joint support products. There are also topical creams available containing antioxidant-rich grape seed oil and aloe vera, both of which can provide soothing and cooling relief to your joints that you can apply directly over sore areas, enabling you to comfort your joints from the outside. Physical activity is a fundamental part of achieving a good quality of life. Knowing how to properly support joints and protect yourself from injury with proper healing techniques is just as important as it allows you to continue to reap all the healthy benefits of daily physical activity and an improved quality of life.


Arthro-7® & Arthro-7® Topical Cream Package
 

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Fall Fitness Tips for Healthy Living

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Fall Fitness Tips for Healthy LivingFall is a time of year with cooler weather, a little less light, and for most, a change of colors in the scenery. When taking stock of daily fitness, many of us tend to procrastinate during the fall and winter months. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. The fall months can be an extraordinary time for setting the tone of your holiday and wintertime fitness activities. Here are some health tips to assist you in keeping in shape as the seasons turn.

Use the Weather to Your Advantage

Fall can be one of the best times of year to be outside. The temperature usually doesn’t get too cold during the afternoon and evening, so you can still plan some outdoor activities that have exercise built into them. Walking outdoors—either solo, or with a pet—can be a great form of aerobic exercise. You could also get a walking group together with friends and take a nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or path of your choice.

Use Your TV Time Wisely

Fall is also the time of year when new TV shows premiere. Many people plan their weeknights around their favorite programs, but this doesn’t mean you need to drop your healthy habits. Use the hour or two in front of the TV to your benefit by practicing some stationary physical activities. Crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, jogging in place, and even stretching exercises can be performed while you’re watching TV, helping you to make maximum use of your “couch” time. It can also provide the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by the American Heart Association.

Set Realistic Goals

Everyone is motivated in a different way and it’s important to maintain that motivation to help you keep up a consistent exercise routine. Whether you’re focusing on weight management, heart health, toning, or doing more serious training preparation, be sure to find your motivation and set realistic, attainable goals that galvanize your efforts.

Integrate Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Time can often be the biggest challenge when it comes to exercising consistently. But the idea of exercise can be applied to many things throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator if you only need to go up a few stories, or walk instead of driving if your destination is somewhere close. Even chores such as raking leaves in the yard can be a great way to exercise when you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a particular activity.

Don’t Wait Till New Year’s to Make Healthy Lifestyle Resolutions

Fall doesn’t have to be the time of year where you start giving up the healthy habits or exercises you participated in all summer. There are plenty of creative ways to stay fit even during the change in weather. Or if you’re thinking about starting a new fitness routine, why wait until the New Year when you can start doing something now? Adapt with the changing of seasons and maintain your healthy habits all year long for a higher-quality lifestyle and better overall health.


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Regularly Forgotten, the Thyroid Is Essential to Healthy Daily Living

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Regularly Forgotten, the Thyroid Is Essential to Healthy Daily LivingDoes your body feel out of whack? Are you constantly feeling jittery, or do you continually feel a lack of energy? These are very general symptoms, but the root causes and how they can affect your everyday health may surprise you. Your thyroid, the butterfly shaped gland that resides in your neck, regulates the speed you produce energy and hormones that controls metabolism, moods, and weight. If your thyroid is over- or underactive it could disrupt other bodily processes.

Too Much or Too Little for Too Long

The key to a healthy thyroid, like many things in the health and nutrition world, is achieving balance. A balanced thyroid keeps the many processes it's connected to running smoothly. Too much on either side of the scale can cause noticeable changes in how you feel each day.

An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) happens when the thyroid produces too much of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). This can bring on feelings of nervousness, elevated heart rate, shaking, and fluctuating weight with no change in diet or activity. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), by contrast, is when your thyroid doesn't produce enough T3 and T4 hormones. The body's production of energy requires a certain amount of thyroid hormones and an underactive thyroid can cause many of the body's processes to slow down, causing noticeable symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and fluid retention.

Proactively Balancing Thyroid Function

Unlike your muscles, you can't single out your thyroid gland to give it workout. However, you'll be happy to learn that regular exercise can help balance thyroid function whether it's under- or overactive. In cases where the thyroid is underactive, exercise stimulates the production and circulation of thyroid hormones to help raise energy levels and your metabolism. When there is an excess of thyroid hormones, exercise provides a healthy outlet for the increased energy these hormones provide. A good workout also helps naturally elevate your mood, which can help counter feelings of nervousness and anxiety that are associated with thyroid imbalances. Proper nutrition is also paramount to healthy thyroid function. The thyroid requires iodine in order to manufacture T3 and T4 hormones, so it can't function without this basic mineral. Fish and other seafood, as well as iodized salt, can help provide the vital trace amounts you need. Other thyroid-supporting nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin A can be obtained from nuts, wheat, spinach, and kale. For convenience, you can also take a multivitamin or supplement for thyroid health—just make sure that it contains essential minerals such as iodine as well as regular vitamins. The thyroid is not usually the first thing thought of when you're not feeling well, but it's one of the most important glands connected to multiple aspects of your health. Taking the necessary steps to protect your thyroid can help keep your body balanced and allow you to enjoy the healthy lifestyle you deserve.


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