HelpingOthersHelpThemselves

Counseling, Coaching, Psychology, Therapy

Owning a Pet Can Benefit Your Mental and Physical Health


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

As a pet owner, the following item from HelpGuide.org really hit the mark for me.

“While most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. Studies have found that:

▪ Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
▪ People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
▪ Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
▪ Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
▪ Heart attack patients with pets survive longer…

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What is the Best Exercise to Trim Belly Fat?


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

Aerobic exercise beats strength training in trimming belly fat, according to the November issue of NutritionAction magazine, put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This conclusion was based on a study of 150 overweight, sedentary, middle-aged men and women with high LDL (bad cholesterol) or low HDL (good cholesterol) assigned to aerobic training, strength training or both.

Those in the aerobic training churned out the equivalent of 12 miles a week at a vigorous pace on treadmills, elliptical trainers or stationary bikes. For strength training, participants did three sets of eight exercises, with eight to 12 reps per set, three days a week.

After eight months the folks who did just strength training lost only subcutaneous (below the skin) abdominal fat. In contrast, those who did aerobic training – with or without strength training – lost deep belly fat, subcutaneous belly fat, and fat from…

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Can Walking Cut Chocolate Cravings?


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

A short, brisk walk can help to curb your cravings for cocoa, according to a study reported in LiveScience.

As a chocolate lover and avid bicycle rider, I manage my calories to include chocolate and still maintain my weight. If you are concerned about adding pounds, or inches, a brisk walk might be in order for you.

“Researchers at the University of Exeter had 25 regular chocolate eaters abstain from their favorite snack for three days. They were then assigned to either take a brisk 15-minute walk or to rest.
“The participants then performed tasks that would normally increase their chocolate jones, including a mental challenge and opening a chocolate bar. The walkers reported lower cravings both during the walk and for about 10 minutes afterward. They were also less likely to be tempted by unwrapping the candy bar,” LiveScience reported.

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010713 Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking


Explosivelyfit Strength Training, LLC

Physical activity guidelines and the benefits of walking

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends at least two and a half hours of strength training per week working muscle groups such as the shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, legs, and abdominal muscles. And two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity spread throughout the week. Exercise time is decreased if the intensity is higher. In this case, DHHS recommends one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, again spread throughout the week.

You will note there are no weekend warrior (meaning someone who tries to get all of their exercise time in on one day) recommendations here. Those who try to cram it all in on one-day or over two days frequently end up injured.

If you are not able to set aside 30 minutes each day, then do your exercises in 10-minute bursts over…

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Why You Should Walk More


Why You Should Walk More.

via Why You Should Walk More.

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Helpful Sites by One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Longer


American Cancer Society
American Dietetic Association
American Heart Association
Diet Facts
Jillien Michaels’ site
Mayo Clinic
McDonald’s Nutrition Facts
MSN Nutrition
Natural Foods
Self magazine’s food page
Subway nutrition facts
The Food Network
The Kingsford Site
The New York Times Health section
Tips on freezing foods
Tufts University Newsletter on Good Health
U.S. federal government nutrition site
WebMD
WordPress.com
WordPress.org
Yahoo’s Nutrition page

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Important Facts About Skin Cancer


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

The incidence of melanoma is rising, according to Mary Martini, MD, FAAD Associate professor Dermatology, Director, Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinic Northwestern University.

Dr. Martini said that in 1900 the incidence of melanoma was one in 2000. In 2004 it had risen to one in 70 and by 2012 melanoma incidence had climbed to one in 58. Melanoma is the rarest form of cancer, but it is the most deadly.

Melanoma is an odd duck. The website Second Opinions points out that “During the 1980s and early ’90s more than a dozen studies compared histories of sunburn in patients with melanoma and controls. But differences in design and definition of sunburn make it difficult to quantify a single estimate of risk.”

“There is five times more melanoma in Scotland on the feet than on the hands. And melanoma in Orkney and Shetland is ten times that of the Mediterranean islands.”

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How to Beat the Heat


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

We here in Chicago have been suffering along with much of the nation under the influence of the latest heat wave.

I personally prefer extreme cold to extreme heat, because you can always add layers and go out, but with heat, no matter how much you take off, you are still uncomfortable once you are outside.

I cruised the web and wanted to share some of the suggestions of others in the same situation.

Our friends overseas at the Daily Mail offered some very down to earth ones, including: “Eat small meals and eat more often. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates breaking down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.” A similar concept came up in our blog item The Brain is an Oxygen Burner explaining why we often feel sluggish after eating a big meal because…

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What About Exercise During a Heat Advisory


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

We in Chicago are living under a Heat Advisory today which possibly will extend for the rest of the week. As a guy who wants to ride his bike every day possible, that is not good news.

This is what the National Weather Service says:

A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT WEATHER IS EXPECTED. HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DURING VERY HOT WEATHER IT IS CRITICAL TO STAY HYDRATED BY DRINKING PLENTY OF WATER. IN ADDITION CHECK UP ON RELATIVES… ELDERLY AND NEIGHBORS.
TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS… IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE… RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

I am a senior citizen who is…

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How Dangerous is it to Exercise Outdoors in a Heat Wave?


Health Secrets of a SuperAger

O’Hare airport recorded a 94-degree high Saturday –the 9th 90-degree day so far this month and 14th of the season

Yesterday I delineated the danger signs of exercising in hot weather, but didn’t explain exactly how heat impacted the body itself.

Also I mentioned in an earlier post that my doctor told me not to go biking when there are 90 plus degree heat advisories. My daily biking has brought my resting heart rate down below 50 and I have less than 17 percent body fat on me. I feel great and prior to my doctor warning me about it, I had ridden regularly in heat waves. She said that despite my conditioning it was not safe for me. She said that she also told her 40 year old patients not to go out either.

I have to confess that I was skeptical about this. I do believe in following…

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