Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Popular Health Websites

The technological world is changing so much that it's hard to keep up. Imagine; in the days of Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Baker made his house calls for the townspeople of Walnut Grove without a thought that one day doctors would be able to make house calls of sorts without leaving their office. Of course, their world was fictional, but the concept was not; and now, the new-age house call is just as nonfiction a tale as ever. There are many websites in present day that give you an enormous amount of information on ways to diagnose yourself, or even enlist the advice of a medical professional. So the next time you're feeling under the weather, maybe you'll be able to find refuge in some of these popular health websites.
WebMD is probably the most popular and trusted of the many health websites out there. I heard of this website many years ago in the same way many people do. One day, I was coughing up a storm, but my cough was more aggressive and painful than I was ever used to. I called for an appointment with my doctor but he couldn't fit me in until the next day, so I called the next best person - my best friend - to complain about my coughing fits. She told me that there was a website called WebMD that might be able to diagnose my symptoms, so I tried it out.
As soon as I entered the site, I found a symptom checker icon with a picture of a body next to it. I clicked on the picture of the body and was taken to the symptom checker page which asked me first if I was male or female. Afterward, I answered questions about where I was experiencing pain. I clicked the chest area then answered a series of questions regarding the specifics of my chest pains. After my symptoms were determined by the checker, it was suggested that I call my doctor for an immediate appointment within 1 day. Since I had an appointment the next day, I went to find out that I had a sinus infection - not too serious, but enough to require antibiotics and prescription cough medicine for a month.
WebMD labels itself as "the leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information." And aside from having this handy symptom checking tool, they offer up-to-date information on a variety of medical topics, and even have what they call "health centers" that focus on various medical conditions from acne and asthma to sleep disorders and strokes. In addition, they offer information on the top 12 health topics, the most common treatments, diet assessments, necessary nutrients, drugs, skin care and so much more - in sum, this website has an overwhelming wealth of information. With everything they have available, it is no wonder that many believe it is one of the best health websites available.
KidsHealth is another one of the many health websites available - and like WebMD it is very highly-ranked, said to be the most visited site regarding children's health. When you first enter the site, you are given three mini health websites to visit: the site created for adults, the one created for kids, and the one created for teenagers. I decided to start with the parents' website first to see what information they had available. On this site, they list a variety of links to choose from, depending on what you're interested in learning. Some of the links include infections, emotions and behavior, medical problems, and doctor and hospital information. Also, they give parents helpful tips in being able to positively care for their children as well as dealing with emotional and behavioral issues. In sum, this part of the site works to look at health from the parent's perspective to help them be a better health administrator to their child.
Of the three mini health websites, the kids' site offers the most kid-friendly information developed to help them learn with a little fun in tow. There are spelling bees related to health topics, recipes for health and fun foods, articles about growing up, understanding the body, and dealing with feelings, and even a glossary of medical terms written in very easy to understand definitions. There is a section of the site called "Watch Out" that discusses ways to stay safe around the house (gun safety, dog bites, and the rules of the Internet), outside of the house (bee stings, bike safety, and poison ivy) and emergencies and first aid. And a section called Kids Talk allows children to ask their own questions and have them answered for everyone to see.
Finally, the teens' mini site let's teenagers explore the idea of getting older and how they can relate to their bodies. The topics on their page include understanding the body, sexual health, infections, food and fitness. There is a section that discusses drugs and alcohol and the topics include the need to stop smoking, the affects of marijuana and other drugs, and even coping with an alcoholic parent. Like the kids site, they offer different recipes that are healthy and easy to make for teens, like lasagna, turkey chili, cornbread and oatmeal, and they also have a similar Q&A section that allows teens to have their personal issues resolved in anonymity. The three mini health websites are great ways to help people understand the health of those under 18 and allows them to comprehend in their own unique ways.
These two health websites are just a few of the many available. But they are the most popular in that they are densely populated with very helpful information. WebMD gives adults a vast amount of topics to choose from and covers almost every area in the medical profession allowing its visitors the opportunity to become educated in terminology they can understand. And KidsHealth gives adults, teens and children a way to understand health education, also without having to rely on physicians for definitions when they are not always available or easily understood. So if you are ever in need of medical information and don't know where to turn, I strongly suggest you consider these two health websites to enhance your understanding of you or your child's well being.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Best High Fiber Foods and Health Drinks Are Not In Stores

While consuming fruits, vegetables and water every day is important, superior fitness can be achieved with high fiber foods and health drinks not found in stores. Even if you can digest the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber in food and 8-10 glasses of water every day, you may not be getting the best nutrition available. Most people find this prospect hard to swallow, and give up quickly on ever reaching perfect health and fitness. It takes too much time, effort and energy to buy, prepare, and devour that much produce, and who can guzzle that much water every day without craving some flavor?
The good news is that there are now some very beneficial high fiber foods and health drinks, which are concentrated, so that small amounts help you reach those power numbers. You won't find these concentrated nutrients on the shelves at your local grocery store, and certainly not in the refrigerator section of the convenience store. We're not talking about so-called "enhanced vitamin water" beverages that are filled with fructose and isolated vitamins, or energy drinks boosted with caffeine and sugar. Instead, we are referring to naturally produced health drinks made from real whole food sources such as lemons, peaches and raspberries. These health drinks are loaded with natural antioxidants and complex carbohydrates that the body recognizes as being from nature. Your body understands how to process these natural drinks better than man-made chemically produced, artificial drinks being sold in stores, and you achieve better results.
High fiber foods are sold in many different forms today, and the best way to ingest fiber is to eat raw fruits and vegetables. The challenge, though, is how to eat 25-35 grams of fiber in five servings of raw fruits and vegetables every day. Fortunately, you don't have to consume mass quantities of plants to achieve the results that high fiber can offer for keeping your digestive system running smoothly. There are now some high fiber foods available in natural, tasty shakes that you can mix with water or other liquids for all the complex carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals you need. Throw in a few frozen banana pieces or berries to mix with the powdered shakes and you are quickly on your way to the fiber and nutrients you need each day. Best of all, the shakes taste good and contain FOS, fructooligasacharides, a pro biotic soluble fiber found in foods like garlic, onions or barley. Who wants to have garlic or onions for breakfast when it is easier to have a quick, tasty shake made with real strawberries or cocoa? That makes it so easy to get more essential fiber, complex carbohydrates and natural antioxidants for breakfast than most people get all day.
Drinking diet sodas or high fructose, high caffeine and high sugar energy drinks to get fit is like lifting 12 oz cans of beer to build muscle up. Those types of drinks only tear your body down, while health drink formulas made from all natural ingredients give your body the nutrients it is crying out for to keep going strong. Water is good, but if you find it incredibly tasteless and boring to drink 8-10 glasses of plain water every day, look for some new ways to make your water wetter and better. When you can drink a quart of water mixed with all natural antioxidants and complex carbohydrates for better taste and more benefits, why wouldn't you? It makes no sense to spend more than a dollar for a bottle of sugar water when you can spend the same to super boost that water with natural energy, fat flushing and anti aging properties. Again, we're not referring to loading up on caffeine and sugar, but enhancing your beverages with natural fruits and real foods from nature. It is so easy now to find these carefully produced, powerfully charged health drink formulas that you don't need to shop every health food store or grocery store. You won't find them there, but you will find them on the Internet. You have to step out of your comfort zone, change the way you think about nutrition, and change the way you shop for high fiber foods, health drinks, and other essential nutrition.
Some people think juicing is the best way to get fiber and other essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables. However, many others find it difficult and disappointing to spend hours cleaning and preparing the piles of produce needed for a small glass of juice. That seems so old school, and while juicing may have been good for Jack Lalane, it is not necessary today in order to consume enough high fiber foods and health drinks. Again, you just have to search the net for all natural high fiber foods and health drinks that are not sold in stores and you will find that there is an easier way to get complex carbohydrates, natural antioxidants and soluble fiber.
Changing my diet to a more contemporary way of eating high fiber foods and increasing the benefits of drinking water has worked quite well. I lost thirty pounds in the first month without even trying very hard, and I have easily kept that weight off for more than six years with the same products. I hardly ever shop at the grocery store and I get more nutrition for about three dollars from a quickly made, concentrated, all natural shake than most people get in a week. It's so easy that once you find the keys to perfect health you will wonder how you ever lived without them, much the way we wonder how we ever lived without computers and cell phones. So, get out of the kitchen, get on the net, get your nutrition, then go out and live life to the max!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Health Benefits Others... Not Just You

I've got some great news for you.
Actually, what I'm about to tell you (if done right) will lead to massive success and happiness in all facets of your life.
What can this possibly be???
Well, it's your health and fitness, of course.
I'm sure you're asking right about now, "How is this different from everything else you tell me, Chris?"
Well, I'm about to show you how getting fit and healthy not ONLY helps you, but your family, your career, your relationships, and everything else in-between.
You see, once you've decided to take action and make that lifestyle change that I keep talking about...things will start to change for the better.
You will get leaner.
You will get healthier.
You will eat better.
You will exercise more.
You will be consistently consistent (pay attention to this statement).
You will be happier.
All of these things will snowball, and will lead you to greater things in life.
Let's run through a sample scenario...
Ok, let's say you are 40 pounds overweight, haven't regularly exercised in years, eat basically anything you get your hands on everyday, is constantly stressed about your work and/or family life, etc.........
And let me just interrupt to say that this, unfortunately, is the true average person.
Sad, indeed.
Let's say you've had enough and you've decided that things are going to change......you're going to eat healthier, exercise, and change everything you can for the better.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I knew you could do it!!!
Ok, so you start.
You get up in the morning, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast (let's say oatmeal and fruit with some added green tea health benefits), go to work (happy that you've done way more than you usually do), eat a healthy lunch (turkey sandwich, yogurt, fruit), kick some more butt at work, come home, eat a home cooked meal (very, very important, consistently eating out = consistently getting fatter), exercise a little with your family, have some leisure time, go to bed.
Now, that is the kind of change I am talking about!
Now, of course, EVERYONE is not going to follow that rough sketch exactly.
Everyone has their own ideas when it comes to food, family, job, etc.
And that's fine!
The point is.....is that you are changing your bad habits into good ones.
And they have WIDE-RANGING benefits.......such as:
Your husband/wife gets motivated by your changes and decides to follow in your footsteps.
You give a fantastic example to your kids on how to be healthy and stay healthy (this alone is worth its weight in gold...for them not to be included in the next batch of childhood obesity statistics).
You save money in decreased doctor visits, prescriptions, and the like.
You are happier with life.
You look forward to more things because your self-esteem is shooting through the roof.
You are more focused at work.
And this is truly just the beginning...........
As you can see, getting in shape helps you most importantly, but has possibly the best "side effect" of anything else in the world.
It helps others.
Mainly the ones you care about the most.
Hey, if you're getting fit, you can surely motivate your family to get fit......what else is possibly better in life than achieving your own goals and, at the same time, motivating your family to do the same.
Now if that doesn't propel you into "Parent of the Year", I don't know what will, lol.
It's time to make a change, don't wait any longer, don't wait until you've reached your breaking point......
Let's start today.
Let's start one day at a time, one pound at a time.......
And propel yourself to the person that I know you can be.
I'll talk to you soon.