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Blog posts tagged with 'energy'

Technology-Savvy Seniors a Step Ahead in Understanding Health

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Technology-Savvy Seniors a Step Ahead in Understanding HealthOver the past 20 years, we have seen so many leaps in technology that it would be a common misconception to think that technology is only popular among youth. But according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project nearly 87% of older people are using e-mail and search engines and the number is increasing. Studies show that more and more older Americans are quickly adopting the Internet as an efficient way to engage, inform, and communicate. But did you also know that being tech-smart, as you are right now, also has health benefits?

The Techno-Health Connection

A recent study revealed that older men and women who used the Internet were more likely to be physically active, eat a healthy diet, smoke less, and partake in screenings for preventing major illnesses. Researchers also found that the more time older adults spent using technology, the more likely they were to engage in these healthy behaviors. The study included 6,000 men and women ages 50 and older who completed surveys over the course of nine years. The surveys took into account their Internet usage along with their demographics, physical activity, diet, and health screenings they underwent. Researchers found that both men and women who used the Internet regularly were 50% more likely to exercise and 24% more likely to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Study author Christian von Wagner, a lecturer at University College London, also found that there was a dose-response relationship between Internet usage and health patterns—meaning that the more time people spent online, the more likely they were to practice good health habits in real life.

A Tool for Health and Knowledge

The Internet can be a wondrous tool when it comes to health. Users can use online resources to seek information about managing health conditions; learn about nutrition, healthier eating habits, and exercise; and discover new supplements that may be beneficial to them. Exposure to this type of knowledge and connecting with others can be a great motivator in the quest for a healthier lifestyle. The knowledge is out there—all you have to do is seek it out and put it to practical use!


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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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Where Are You Getting Your Energy From?

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Where Are You Getting Your Energy From?One of the more recent crazes pervasive in today’s society is the influence of over-the-counter energy drinks. As modern lifestyles get increasingly busy, people are turning to energy drinks in an attempt to get a quick boost.

The Sustainable Energy Problem

Energy drinks have embedded themselves in many peoples’ everyday diets—even as increasing evidence shows just how unhealthy these “natural” energy booster drinks can be. Due to the high concentrated doses of caffeine plus a mixture of artificial stimulants that require warning labels about consumption, some short-term physical side-effects are commonly reported. Irritability, nausea, nervousness and jitters are only a few of the more simple side-effects. The long terms effects of energy drinks are increasingly coming under scrutiny, and many experts in the health and nutrition industry are concerned about the reliance on these types of drinks for daily energy. The FDA has recently posted adverse-event reports (AERs) on some of the more popular drinks filed by patients, doctors, and families. However AERs can simply warn that a product might have harmed someone. The FDA can only remove a product if—after investigation—they find that using the product as directed can cause harm. Some energy drinks available in your local gas station or food store contain up to a whooping 242 milligrams of caffeine per serving! By contrast, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine.

Energize the Healthy and Natural Way

Attaining energy from your diet and getting adequate sleep supports a healthier lifestyle and can prevent you from choosing unhealthy alternatives to boost your energy levels. A balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, protein, and the right amount of carbohydrates can help supply you with a healthy dose of natural energy throughout your day without resorting to caffeine and harsh energy drinks. Natural energy sources also last longer and won’t cause your system to crash after a sugar surge. If you can’t get the energy you need from your diet alone, there are supplements that boost your energy levels in a natural way by supplying your body the vitamins and minerals it would normally use to create energy. Shortcuts to boosting energy are just that: They last a short while and the boost they provide cuts out fast. For lasting energy, the payoff from healthier options can be more rewarding—and lasting.

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