All kids have a bit of puppy fat, but, as parents, you can tell when your child’s weight becomes a cause for concern for their wellbeing. If your child’s wellness is affected by shortness of breath, inability to concentrate, depression, and/or emotional eating, it may be necessary to talk to your child about their weight and visit the doctor. Bringing up the topic of weight with your overweight child can be difficult, so here are a few guidelines to help shape the conversation. 1. Fix your own health challenges: We could all use a little boost to our diet and exercise regime, unless you’re an Olympian or something, so set an example for your child. Whether seeing you take control of your own wellness inspires your child to make a few of their own, or forces them to ask you why you’re doing it, you can be the change you want to see in your kid. If nothing else, it will start a dialogue and show your child that you know how it feels to change your lifestyle. 2. Encourage athletics: Participating in sports, whether at school or an after-school club, helps kids to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and have fun at the same time. Doing sport also bolsters self-esteem, which is crucial to your child’s weight loss efforts as well as their overall sense of wellbeing. If your child is too heavy to participate in competitions, or is worried about joining a team of much healthier classmates, why not start doing activities as a family until your child’s confidence is stronger. 3. Don’t be blunt about weight loss: When talking about your child’s wellness, say "get healthier," not "lose weight." Children and teenagers don’t need tough words; they’re aware of their sizes. Your focus should be on helping your child reach a healthier BMI, rather than some vague ideal weight goal. The difference is in building muscle and making healthier food choice, not just cutting calories and making the number on the scale go down. Your child shouldn’t be aiming for a certain look; he or she should be after a certain health level and feeling. 4. Keep unhelpful concerns to yourself: We all know that kids can be cruel, and so you may be concerned that your overweight child won’t be socially accepted, especially if you have a daughter. However, despite these valid concerns, they aren’t the best motivators for weight loss and can wreak havoc on your child’s self-esteem. Your child needs to lose weight for herself or himself, not for the acceptance of other people or you. 5. Reward healthy behaviours: Adding a little light at the end of the tunnel can motivate your child to keep going. Offer to reward healthy behaviours, such as eating two portions of vegetables at dinner or exercising regularly. It’s important to emphasise the healthy behaviours themselves, rather than the outcomes – the actual number of pounds lost will take care of itself once your child has those healthy habits in place. The vague goal of "losing weight" is rarely helpful for obese or overweight young people; you need a specific system of mini goals and rewards. 6. Get to the root of the problem: There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on young people – both girls and boys – to look thin, so if your child is severely overweight then there’s likely an emotional cause. There may be pain for your child to get through, a self-worth issue to work out, or a habit of eating to relieve stress. Again, don’t focus on the weight itself but what is causing the excess eating and lack of self-love. Journaling, regular conversations, and healthy social outlets can help your child come to terms with the cause of the problem.
If you’ve gained weight as a secondary school student or since you’ve gone to college, there are many ways to change your lifestyle to see great weight loss results. To begin with, exercise is hugely important and doesn’t feature very prominently in most teens’ schedules. There are so many benefits though, not just to your weight - you’ll have an improved sense of wellbeing, lower risk of diabetes and stroke, and better cardiovascular health. Most people dread the thought of working up a sweat and building their heart rate up, but the benefits are so huge. Exercise can be as intense or slow paced as you want, depending on what you choose, but as long as you’re moving and your heart rate has quickened, anything goes - from jogging around the block to dancing in your living room! The best way to motivate yourself is to make your workout fun, so try different things out to see what you like. You can also make changes to your everyday routine such as using the stairs instead of the lift or walking to work and college. Get a friend involved and you’ll not only enjoy it more but you’ll also stay motivated to keep it up.
Where your diet is concerned, the best tip you can follow is to not go on a diet - in other words, diets that are designed to offer quick results usually fail. The best way to lose weight and be healthy at the same time is to simply cut down on the fatty and sugary foods, and replace them with healthy, homemade alternatives. Teens are notorious for eating fast food and unhealthy snacks, but these make it so much easier to gain weight. You are what you eat, so make your meals healthy and nutritious. Opt for healthy snacks such as homemade popcorn, yoghurt, pretzels and granola bars. Fruit and vegetables are also fantastic snack foods, offering a healthy boost of energy. Replace all of those cans of fizzy drink with water or the occasional glass of fruit juice, to give your body the hydration it needs without a constant supply of sugar. The body also needs protein, so make sure you get plenty of meat and dairy products, as well as peanut butter and legumes.If you’re going out with friends, you don’t need to feel as though you can’t join in, but simply act in moderation. If you’re getting a pizza, try not to eat the whole thing - share with a friend or just eat a few slices and stop when you’re full. At the cinema, opt for the freshly made popcorn instead of the branded types that are laden with toffee. And you can treat yourself to an ice cream at the beach, just limit those visits to once a month rather than every week. Weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is simply about willpower, balance and forward-planning - once you have that covered, it’s easier than you think. If you're unsure how to go about it, gather a great support group in the form of your family and friends who will ensure you stay motivated even when you don't feel like it. Maintaining a healthy weight can do wonders for your self esteem and confidence, as well as ensuring that weight-related health concerns are reduced. Your GP can offer advice if you're not sure how to go about changing your lifestyle - if you're new to exercise and are making drastic diet changes, it may be useful to run it by them to make sure it's safe.
As schools in the US take an expanding role in the fight against obesity, they are increasingly flagging at-risk children using an imperfect weight measure called the Body Mass Index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. However, while schools are doing their best to improve child wellness, critics and parents have argued that BMI testing in schools does more harm than good to a child’s wellbeing; causing bullying, eating disorders and a more intense pressure to diet. One such affected child was the daughter of Jennifer Dreller, who was discreetly weighed during gym class as part of a routine fitness assessment. However, the experience severely impacted the 10-year-old’s self-esteem. During a forum on childhood obesity, Dreller told a panel of health experts, ‘“How much do you weigh?” became the question of the month among fourth-grade girls. My daughter has cried many nights worrying about her weight since this experience.’ BMI screening can be misleading, but it has remained the primary tool for classifying if you are normal weight, overweight and obese. According to the Institute of Medicine, school-based BMI screenings are specifically recommended because research shows that many students don’t have access to a primary-care doctor. Paediatrician Lynn Gettleman Chehab, who runs the school clinic obesity programme at Evanston Township High School, explained, ‘Schools have a changing role in wellness because that’s where kids spend most of their waking time. It’s a crucial time for prevention, but many kids aren’t going to the doctor unless they’re sick.’ While obese children have a 70% chance of being obese as an adult, putting them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis, BMI may not be the best way to tackle the problem at an early age. Yes, a high BMI level correlates with future health risks, but it can be problematic as a screening tool for individuals. The relationship between your BMI and body fat can be influenced by your age, sex, ethnicity and muscle mass – which BMI screening doesn’t account for – and it can’t distinguish between excess fat, muscle or bone mass. This means that healthy athletes, muscular individuals and racial and ethnic minorities with different body compositions can have a high BMI.
We all have that fantasy – apart from that one about Ryan Gosling – to lose weight and have better wellness minus the effort of dieting, exercise or surgery. While this seems like nothing more than a pipe dream, your effort-free, weight loss wellbeing may me just around the corner, thanks to a revolutionary treatment called Vanquish that even usually sceptical doctors are excited about. According to David McDaniel, a leading researcher and an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who has been conducting an independent study on Vanquish, ‘I've seen a lot of fat-removal techniques; some procedures are painful or take too long; some are effective only on small areas of body fat that can be sucked up through a small vacuum. Vanquish addresses all those problems. It can treat a large surface area uniformly. It's fast, efficient, and comfortable…I've been doing this for 30 years, and most advances have been little baby steps. This is a big technological breakthrough.’ The treatment, which will become usable by an elite corps of doctor's offices this month, targets your fat cells through radio frequency waves which heat the cells and kill them off without damaging your muscles or skin. As the applicator is suspended over your abdomen about an inch above your skin, Vanquish is non-invasive, and there’s no downtime or ridiculous price tag. In the US, a 30-minute session goes for $450 (£282) to $800 (£501), and it’s recommended that you have four sessions. During these sessions, you may feel a warming sensation, but there should be no pain. The only risk to watch out for is a hot spot near to a bone, which your technician can readjust and fix without a problem. The FDA approved Vanquish earlier this year for deep-tissue heating, which can help your muscles to recover and heal. However, the FDA is awaiting further results before giving the device the seal of approval for fat reduction. Still, the current research is impressive; animal studies have shown that Vanquish killed 60% of the fat cells treated with it, and a subsequent Prague study done on people with love handles showed visible results within two weeks, revealing an average loss in waist circumference of 2.23 inches after two months. Robert Weiss, an associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the lead researcher of the aforementioned animal study, notes, ‘This new technique is a real game changer—it's the safest, easiest way yet to remove fat.’ ‘As the panels heat up, the radio frequency waves they transmit differentiate between fat cells (which are denser and hold less water) and skin and muscle cells,’ Weiss explains. ‘The heat causes cell death in the fat cells; some die instantly, some in a matter of weeks…I've seen patients lose several inches after four treatments without changing their diets.’ McDaniel continues, ‘The results are not as dramatic as liposuction, which can remove large volumes of fat,’ adding that Vanquish does not carry the risks of surgery or anaesthesia. However, Adam Kolker, a plastic surgeon and an associate clinical professor of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital's Icahn School of Medicine in New York, asserts, ‘I've seen a lot of people who've undergone various non-surgical fat-reduction treatments who were underwhelmed with the results.’ Still, Kolker allows, ‘It may be appropriate for small-scale changes as long as the patient's expectations are well managed.’ Nonetheless, Patricia Wexler, a dermatologist to New York's A-list, believes that expectations will be high for the procedure. She points out, ‘It's great for women who are in good shape, within 5 to 10% of their ideal weight, and don't want to go through surgery. A lot of women exercise and don't have a lot of weight to lose, but they've had children or seen changes in their core for other reasons.’
With obesity rates rising, doctors have been scratching their heads over the best – and safest way – to combat the disorder that seems to claim so many. Around the corner however, a new and mercifully-inexpensive augmentation may be key to curbing misbehaving appetites. You may be used to science fiction telling you the wonders (or the dilemmas) of microchips, but a small (“smaller-than-the-tip-of-your-finger” small!) one attached to your nerve may be key to quelling your need to over-eat. "This is a really small microchip and on this chip we've got the intelligence which can actually model the neural signals responsible for appetite control," Chris Toumazou, professor at Imperial College London and one of the inventors of the chip, told the BBC. The microchip would be attached to your vagus nerve – this is the nerve that controls your desire to eat, digest, heart rate and more. It's a very extensive range. In hindsight, Toumazou explained that the project was originally designed for children suffering from disorders such as cerebral palsy and epileptic seizures. The microchip in this case, used a piece of technology called MIMATE, which reads chemical signatures in the brain. Taking that very same technology, the microchip was then developed into something that could be beneficial for weight loss. What changed about the weight-loss microchip was that the chip didn't send stimulating impulses, but rather submits readings and signals to suppress the urge to eat. "As a result of monitoring these signals we can stimulate the brain to counter whatever we monitor," Toumazou said. "It will be control of appetite rather than saying don't eat completely. So maybe instead of eating fast you'll eat a lot slower." That's right – whether you know it or not, your body would be telling your brain off for eating more than you should! Creepy or creative? Inspiring or frightening? The microchip is still in development, but for many suffering from obesity, it may be the next best thing.
Obesity is considered a ticking health time bomb in the developed world with worldwide obesity having more than doubled since 1980. In Australia, around 14 million people (or 63% of the population) are considered overweight or obese, according to figures from the Australian Health Survey. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. In keeping with weight loss awareness campaigns, more than 100,000 Australians have so far downloaded a free calorie counter app, making the Easy Diet Diary the most popular diet app for iPhones in Australia. Developed by Brisbane company Xyris Software with the help of dieticians, the app helps users track their food intake daily and log their exercise and fitness. As smartphone users know, many apps are designed with weights and measures that are specific to their country of origin but don’t translate easily elsewhere. It was with that in mind that Xyris Software designed its app specifically for use in Australia, uploading up-to-date data and information on Australian foods. The app also allows savvy users to switch between calories and kilojoules. The app is useful for those who want to record their weight loss and fitness regime, and is also proving a useful tool for athletes who need to take note of everything they consume on a daily basis for their coaches and dieticians to monitor. The app works seamlessly with FoodWorks, nutritional analysis software that has also been developed and produced by Xyris Software. The Easy Diet Diary has a barcode scanner that works with more than 30,000 Australian food products. Users can track their intake of energy, nutrients and calories.
Many people struggle constantly with eating disorders. Perhaps the most famous of them are anorexia and bulimia, which get a lot of media coverage thanks to the propensity of teenage girls to have difficulties with them. The reality of eating disorders is that they are a mental health issue that tells people that their bodies don’t look the way that they should and so they need to eat nothing or throw up their food in order to achieve the look that they want. For many people, trying to overcome these eating disorders is very difficult and they don’t really know how to do it, because facing mental challenges is not something most people have a lot of experience doing. It may seem like suffering from an eating disorder will consume your life and that there is no way for you to fight against it. But the truth is that the disorder is in your mind and you have the power to control it. Happiness and levels of self-esteem are important factors in the fight against eating disorders – once you are happy with the person that you are, that is the time that you will be able to battle back against the conditions and lead a normal life again. In an effort to help you to fight against your eating disorder (or disorders) we have come up with a great list of important steps and tips that you can rely on. Everyone is different and must face their condition in different ways but most people feel troubled by the same issues and therefore you can take this advice on board and really use it to help combat the problems. Once you have gained self-confidence and self-belief you’ll be able to fight off your eating disorder for good. The first step in fighting off your eating disorder is admitting that you have a problem. For many people this can be extremely hard as they have preconceived notions about eating disorders holding them back. Remember that eating disorders can affect anyone – regardless of age, sex and any other factor. For many people, they just believe that weight loss is the only way that they’ll be able to achieve happiness, and it’s important to free yourself from this notion. If you are unhappy about yourself, it’s likely that your actually more worried about something else and you’re just using weight as a way to take out your frustrations. There is good news – just as you have learned to believe certain things about your body, you can unlearn them as well. But it’s also important you to remember that getting rid of your eating disorder is more than about getting rid of the bad eating habits you have been going through. It is more about understand about you, your size and shape and learning about the person that you are underneath. So what are the best things to do when fighting against eating disorders? Well, firstly you have to get ready to ask for help. This might be hard for many people, but facing eating disorders is not something that is easy to do on your own. Whether you are enlisting the help of your family and friends, or going to the doctor for professional help on the issue, the fact remains that you’ll need to get help from somewhere it order to combat the conditions properly. It’s worth getting in contact with a specialist who’ll be able to put you on the right path to recovery. This is the best way forward in order to get over your problems.
It seems that almost everyone wants to lose some weight. It’s one of those goals that seem to be a part of everyone’s lives, always hanging around even if they have not achieved it yet. Part of the problem is that sometimes people are able to lose weight, but they aren’t able to do it in a way that is sustainable as part of their lifestyle. In fact, many people find that they can only lose weight if they do it in an unhealthy way, and this is never a good thing. If you want to drop a few pounds you need to do in a way that you’ll be able to continue to do for a number of years, otherwise you’ll find yourself slipping into old habits and putting back on the weight that you worked so hard to lose. That would be a very demoralising thing to happen, so it’s important you don’t try to follow this path and instead choose a way of losing weight that is both good for your body and that you’ll be able to carry on even when the going gets tough (as it naturally does when you’re trying to do something as difficult as losing weight). Here are some of our top tips for losing weight in a manner that you’ll be able to keep up and won’t negatively affect your health. The first good idea is to tightly control your portion sizes. Too many people focus on what they are eating when really you also need to think about how much you’re eating. All foods are fine to eat as long as they are eaten in moderation – there’s no trouble having the occasional pizza, as long as the majority of the time you’re eating healthy nutritious meals with balanced minerals and vitamins. But when you have that pizza, instead of eating, for example, six slices, have three instead and fill yourself up with some healthy goods such as salads. Another great idea is to regularly buy fat-free food instead of relying on the traditional stuff that you generally eat. This is a great way for you to continue eating the foods that you love while still reducing your intake of fat and calories. Eating fat free means you can have more of the things that you like while still being able to stay healthy. Let’s also think about the changes you’ll need to make in your lifestyle if you’re going to lose weight. Obviously everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but beyond that do we really think about the specifics of what we need to do if we’re going to lose weight? Well, one of the best ideas is definitely to do some exercise in the morning. In the morning we can boost our metabolism more easily and therefore it is a better time to burn the calories off. Alongside this, it’s important that you get some cardio exercise involved in this routine. That’s always going to be the best way to drop the weight. Another great tip is that when you feel hungry, instead of eating something, you should drink some water. This is a very smart move as the water fills your stomach up and helps you go longer in between meals. But perhaps the most important tip in terms of losing weight healthily is that you should always eat a healthy breakfast. Many people try to avoid eating breakfast, hoping it will ensure they lose weight more quickly, but this actually has the opposite effect and it has been shown you’re more likely to lose weight if you eat a healthy breakfast every day.
If you are trying to get pregnant, good diet and nutrition are even more important than ever. Not only do you need to think of your own wellness, if you are planning to go through the strenuous task of supporting another life and birthing a baby, but you also have to think of the wellbeing of the baby. Women who are of a child bearing age and in any way likely to fall pregnant are recommended to take certain vitamins, which they should then continue into the first trimester of pregnancy, which is the time during which the foetus is developing at the fastest rate. The link between diet and the development of the foetus has been studied for a long time, and as part of this, neural tube defects have been looked at. Through medical research, it has been discovered that neural tube defects generally occur during the first few weeks after conception, and that diet can play a strong part in helping to avoid them. Folic acid is thought to be a key player in this process, and women who take folic acid before pregnancy and during the first trimester are thought to be far less likely to have a baby with a neural tube defect. Taking other vitamins during these important times can also help to guard against other problems in the developing foetus. To adequately protect against these neural tube defects (like spina bifida), women should aim to consume around 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before conception and for 13 weeks after. This level of folic acid cannot really be obtained through food, so women should take a daily dietary supplement to ensure that their baby is protected from developing a neural tube defect. Neural tube defects have serious implications for the health of a baby, throughout the course of their life.
Your brain is not a muscle, but when it comes to exercise, you should certainly think about it as if it was one. People focus on the wellness and wellbeing of their bodies all the time, but rarely stop to consider the fitness of their brains. Few people actually realise that brain fitness is something that you can work on and continually improve. You can (and should!) exercise your brain every day, and the results can be hugely rewarding and empowering. In order to get into the right mindset, so to speak, it is useful to think about your brain in the same way that you would think about a muscle. If you are working on a physical muscle, you can’t simply do the same exercises over and over again, because they soon cease to challenge your body. You have to keep varying the exercises and making it more of a challenge for your body. In the same way, you can’t simply repeat the same brain exercises over and over again otherwise your brain will become used to tackling them and they will not force the brain to form new neural pathways. You need to master the easy exercises and then push your brain on to the next level. Your brain has an innate neuroplasticity, which means it has an ability to grow and change in order to respond to new challenges. This is where brain training comes into play. Studies on neuroplasticity show that the brain continues to grow and change during adulthood and that it needs guidance and challenge in order to ensure that new neural pathways are formed and the brain continues to thrive. Studies have been carried out recently at Stanford University, which showed that just 12 weeks of brain training could lead to improved processing speed, increased mental flexibility and improved ability to perform working memory tasks.
Some people just fare better with their exercise goals when they exercise outdoors rather than in a stuffy gym or their cramped living room. When they exercise outside, people reap the benefit of working out in the fresh air and having as much space as they need to tone their bodies. However, when people make the decision to exercise outdoors, they may be advised to keep their safety and wellness in mind. By taking these suggestions, they can get the exercise they need to stay fit and remain safe during their workouts. Wear Good Shoes for Running Many people who choose to exercise outdoors often do so because they love to run. Running remains one of the best exercises that people can do to raise their heart rates and get their blood pumping. Even so, runners are encouraged to take their safety into consideration as they choose the best running shoes for this activity. They are encouraged to choose athletic shoes that offer good ankle support, plenty of cushioning for the balls of their feet, and sturdy soles that are slip resistant and durable on all sorts of terrain. When they wear good running shoes, people can avoid falling down, twisting their ankles, and developing painful bone spurs in their feet when they exercise. Watch Out for Danger while Walking People who perhaps are not in the physical condition to run can enjoy a good cardio exercise by walking around the block in their neighborhood or around a local park. When people walk, they likewise raise their heart rates, lower their blood pressure, and trim their bodies with this beneficial exercise. However, as people walk around their favorite outdoor location, they are encouraged to watch out for dangers that could cause them to get hurt. They should keep an eye out for tripping hazards like gravel on sidewalks, tree branches lying in their path, or loose dogs that could charge and bite them. If they plan on being out when the sun is setting, people are encouraged as well to wear light-colored clothing and carry a flashlight so they can see where they are walking. Wear Helmets while Biking Even as adults warn children to wear their helmets while biking, adults themselves are often remiss in taking their own advice. However, adults, just as children, are susceptible to head injuries if they should fall off their bikes. Rather than put their physical safety at such risk, adults should remember to put on their helmets prior to a bike ride and keep their helmets on for the duration of their exercising. Along with their helmet, adults may also be reminded to wear padding on their knees and elbows. When they wear the proper safety gear, people can bike and enjoy this form of exercise without the worry of getting hurt. Many people choose to work out their bodies in the great outdoors. When they want to stay safe and have an enjoyable exercise routine, they may do well to keep certain safety suggestions in mind. Writer Melanie Fleury enjoys taking advantage of nice weather by moving her workouts outdoors. Having a family member that was injured while walking, she is very diligent in making sure she takes proper safety precautions. The blog at http://dgtucson.com/ offers information on injuries that can happen while outdoors and how to get legal help if someone is liable for your injury while exercising. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigpilot/5726087526/
Have you been focusing on your weight and fitness for a long time, but suddenly found that your weight loss has hit a plateau no matter how hard you work? Or have you been working out but think that you could kick it up a notch and make an even more significant difference to your wellness and wellbeing? Whatever the reason, there are always ways to boost your workout and improve the way that you are burning calories. Interval training is the latest and greatest way to get cardio exercise into your routine. The technique has long been a favourite with competitive athletes, and it is now making its way into the amateur fitness circles. It is incredibly popular because it can reduce your workout time enormously whilst also increasing the number of calories that you burn. In order to do interval training, spend around two to five minutes working out at a slow or moderate pace, and then increase your efforts to nearly your maximum ability and hold this for around 30 seconds to two minutes. Then go back to the slow pace again. Keep repeating this cycle as you work out, alternating between periods of intensity and periods of taking it easy. This throws your body out of homeostasis and requires it to work at restoring the balance for around 24 hours after your workout, which leads to an increased calorie burn. One recent study from the University of Colorado involved studying participants as they did a workout that involved four minutes of gentle cycling on an exercise bike, interspersed with 30 seconds of flat out spring cycling. Researchers found that after the workout was complete, participants continued to burn around 200 calories more than normal for the rest of the day.
Your hormones get a bad reputation, from making you feel bloated to being blamed for making you crave carbs. But they aren’t all bad - there are some that offer significant health benefits and can even help you to lose weight. Here are some ways you can work in conjunction with your hormones to maintain a healthy weight and harness their positive powers.
Ease stress with endorphins
Often referred to as the body’s ‘feel-good’ hormones, these can help you to ease the pain of stress and improve your wellbeing. There are ways that you can encourage the release of endorphins, such as eating spicy foods which activate the nerve endings on your tongue, prompting the release of these hormones. Similarly, you can stimulate the nerves near your nose that signal to your brain to produce endorphins by chewing peppermint gum.
Stay alert with dopamine
Dopamine controls your concentration and long-term memory, so a surge of this hormone can help you to feel more motivated and focused. Studies show that dopamine levels spike when you listen to music, so playing your favourite songs when you’re paying bills or doing the housework could help you to power through that little bit quicker. Alternatively, you could get a protein-rich snack such as a handful of nuts or a couple of hard boiled eggs.
Maintain a healthy weight with leptin and grehlin
Leptin is released by the fat cells in the body and lets you know when you’ve eaten enough. Grehlin, produced in the stomach, sends signals to the brain when you’re hungry. One study suggests that eating a carb-filled and protein-rich breakfast, alongside a cookie or a piece of chocolate, helps with this release. Sleeping more can also help to balance these hormones properly, so make sure you make time for sleep. If stress and worry are keeping you up at night, make a list of things that are worrying you to help you sleep.
Balance your mood with progesterone and oxytocin
Oxytocin is the bonding hormone, because it encourages you to feel loved and give you a sense of trust in others. Progesterone is produced by the ovaries and helps to create calm and balance. Studies have shown that singing is a great way of improving your oxytocin levels, so start the day by singing in the shower or humming when you’re feeling irritable. You should also hug more - researchers have found that women who hug more have higher levels of oxytocin and lower blood pressure. You should also feel closer to a friend to increase your progesterone levels, so walk arm in arm with a loved one or pet an animal to replicate the feeling. Anything that improves your mood and helps you to feel closer to someone or something could help with the increase of these hormones.
Boost your body confidence with oestrogen and testosteroneTestosterone can help you to feel more assertive and improve your self-confidence, whilst oestrogen can boost a better skin tone by boosting water to the cells to give you a youthful glow. Studies show that testosterone levels increase when you’ve been exercising so try to opt for burst training, which works by building up to a faster pace for thirty seconds after moderate exercise. Zinc can also help, for both testosterone and oestrogen production. You can use supplements of at least 25mg a day, or try eating more lean beef, yoghurt, pumpkin seeds or dark chocolate. If you're opting for the supplement route, you should check with your GP beforehand to ensure that it is safe.
Exercise doesn’t need to be a burdensome task, yet so many people treat it as though it is. While not every exercise is suitable for every body, and there is naturally going to be some pain when you’re working your body to the limit, the human body was designed to be used. It’s important to be physically active and move your body regularly, for both flexibility and to maintain a healthy weight. There are many modifiable lifestyle factors which lead to premature deaths around the world, the main ones being our diets, tobacco usage and physical activity. Once these aspects of your life are under control, you’ll notice an increased feeling of wellbeing and less risk of health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. Avoiding these pillars of a healthy lifestyle could increase your risk of almost every chronic disease by as much as 80 percent and reduce your life expectancy. The power of your lifestyle goes far above and beyond any medication that the world can offer - drugs should be unnecessary if you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, as you’ll be stronger and more able to fight off disease.
There is considerable benefit in exercising regularly, beyond the common associations such as a leaner body and improved stamina. As well as helping us to fight obesity and the related health complaints, such as stroke or diabetes, it can also keep our muscles working effectively, our bones stronger and our mood lifted. Research has confirmed that, on average, sitting more each day compared to keeping moving can increase our risk of premature death. And this doesn’t have to mean spending every waking moment at the gym - everything from swimming and aerobics, to walking and dancing can improve your health and fitness. It doesn’t need to be a chore - it’s all about finding something that you enjoy, that fits in with your lifestyle, and that you can do each week to burn calories and improve your wellbeing. Exercise you leave you feeling motivated, energetic and alert. And the more you do of it, the more you’ll notice these fantastic effects. Numerous studies have proven just how much our bodies benefit from regular exercise, yet so many people are reluctant to make it a part of their weekly routine. As active people, we should be celebrating our ability to move, run and jump - instead, we lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles that are quite literally killing us early.If you’re new to exercise, it is important to take things slow to begin with so that you can acclimatise your body to extra exertion. However, once you’re fitter and more able, the world is your oyster - you’ll have so many options for ways to exercise. Why not mix it up and try something new each week? The general rule is if it gets your heart racing and your muscles moving then it counts. Check out your local fitness centre and see what they’re offering in the way of exercise classes - most local gyms provide a range, such as aerobics, dancing, boxing, swimming and football. It’s also a fantastic chance to socialise with people in your local area - you may even wish to pair up with a fitness buddy to workout with each week. Exercise is something that can seem tiresome and boring if you approach it in the wrong way. But once you change your outlook, you may find that it’s something that you really look forward to each week - the benefits will certainly keep you coming back for more.
If normal eating is determined by eating when you are hungry, most people don't eat normally. Everyone has different eating habits and whether you have one large meal each day, couples with plenty of snacks, or if you go on crazy fasting diets and try cutting food groups out of your weekly meals, chances are you aren't eating what experts refer to as 'normally'. Pressure and stress affect us all in different ways, too - for some it might mean eating a food you've been craving, such as chocolate. For others, it might mean taking back control of an area of your life, which means cutting out food altogether. This can lead to an eating disorder after a period of time though, which can be extremely difficult to get out of and can place a great strain on your body and organs. You may spot this by becoming increasingly obsessed by food, calories or fat contents; you may weigh yourself compulsively and deny yourself food, even when you're hungry, in order to stay slim; you may also binge on food and then vomit in order to limit the risk of holding on to any of the fat. These are all signs of an eating disorder, a problem many people face daily. However, it's important to remember that eating disorders aren't just about food - they are a psychological problem which often stems from an emotional trauma or painful feelings that one is struggling to express. Eating disorders span a number of different problems, but the main ones include eating too much, eating too little, and using harmful ways to get rid of calories, such as vomiting or starving yourself. Eating disorders are often characterised by the behaviour of the individual as much as they are by the diet they follow. Girls are 10 times more likely to suffer from anorexia or bulimia than men, but that's not to say it isn't common for a man to suffer with an eating disorder. With men, the compulsion to exercise to extremes or build a muscular body to excess are more common signs that starving themselves. The signs are checking your weight obsessively and worrying about it, eating less and less as time goes on, exercising more in order to burn off calories, continuously losing weight even when you're well below the advised weight for your age and height, smoking or chewing gum to avoid eating, and withdrawing from social interactions which may involve food and eating. In women, menstrual cycles cease, and men stop getting erections or wet dreams. Guilt and shame play a big part in all eating disorders - whether it's from bingeing and the fear of overeating, or simply through the shame of not being as skinny as you feel you ought to be. There are psychological implications as well, such as trouble sleeping, becoming withdrawn, and avoiding friends and family members. There are ways to try and improve your condition. For example, you can attempt to stick to regular mealtimes in order to ensure you have a regular stream of nutrients and food each day. You should also set yourself tiny but achievable goals, such as sitting at the breakfast table and drinking a glass of water if you can't face eating breakfast initially - you can then build on these until you begin eating meals again. It's also important to be honest with your friends, family and teachers, as they will be able to help you through it. Don't weigh yourself more than once a week, as this encourages an obsessive attitude, and don't spend time analysing your body in the mirror - this will make your symptoms worse.