Video Games Are Not The Real Deal: How Being Active Can Satisfy You More

We work sitting on our backsides more often than not these days, and we return from the office to do the same while we eat, relax, and sleep to prepare for the next day’s sitting at work. The lack of physical activity is as damaging to human health as smoking and obesity. Are you active enough?

stay healthy, active lifestyle

It used to be that we could rely on our work to keep us active – whether that was tending the fields, pushing sheep around a pasture or even beating our rugs rigorously in the time before the electric vacuum cleaner. So many tasks have become automated or at least semi-mechanized. For most of us, the most we can hope for is a job where we encourage electronic devices to move for us and for the majority, a sedentary job is the most likely. Sitting at a desk typing all day might activate the grey matter but it does little for the heart rate. Since 1950, sedentary jobs have increased 83%. We also spend more time doing them – in the US, the average work week is 47 hours long which is 164 hours more per year than it was twenty years ago.

After sitting down all day, you’d think the last thing we’d want to do is sit down all evening too but in fact that’s mostly what we do. Watching TV, playing games consoles, and surfing the internet are our prime leisure activities and they’re not helping to strengthen our muscles or our cardiovascular system. Quite the contrary. Stand up to read the rest of this article. It’s a very small change but it matters.

standing desk 2

Laziness breeds laziness. We get so accustomed to doing nothing that even thinking about exercise can wipe us out. Committing to making the change to a more active lifestyle is so important because the inverse is also true – as we get used to exercising, we find that it actually gives us more energy, allowing us to achieve so much more with our day and ultimately, it can even prolong our lives.

 What will happen if I don’t keep active?

There are both short-term and long-term risks associated with inactivity. One of the most clear short-term effects of protracted inactivity is fatigue. Doing nothing is the easiest way to tire yourself out. This makes sense when you consider that we seek to rest before we sleep. Our body simply starts to shut down the processes that keep us awake and alert. All rest and no play also makes Jack a dull boy.

The personal risks of a sedentary life are profound. A failure to engage in regular physical activity can increase the chances of many debilitating and even life threatening conditions:

  • Hypertension – high blood pressure puts you at risk of stroke and kidney disease. Strengthening the heart via exercise means it can pump blood around the body more efficiently, putting less pressure on the arteries.
  • Heart disease – high cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Exercise lowers LDL cholesterol levels (the risky kind) while raising HDL cholesterol (the helpful kind).
  • Osteoporosis – without physical activity, your bones and muscles become weak and your chance of osteoporosis increases as you age.
  • Colon and breast cancer – wastes moves through the colon of sedentary people at a far slower rate so carcinogens remain in the body for longer. Hormone levels can also be lowered with regular exercise, which might decrease the chance of breast cancer.
  • Obesity – illnesses related with obesity include: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea.
  • Diabetes – type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in those who are physically inactive and/or overweight.
  • Depression/anxiety – exercise and physical activity stimulates certain areas of the brain and produces chemicals that regulate mood, reduce stress and give you energy. Inactive people can be prone to depression or anxiety without the stimuli of exercise.

 So that seems important but what counts as active anyway?

active family

Everyone thinks of activity differently. The important thing is to start somewhere. Experts vary in their advice on the precise amount of activity required to stay healthy – and indeed the truth will vary from person-to-person based on body type and metabolism. Any action is better than no action at all of course but most experts recommend about two and half hours of moderate exercise (or an hour of rigorous exercise) every week plus muscle-strengthening activities twice a week.

Moderate activity includes things like:

  • cycling
  • walking briskly
  • hiking
  • skateboarding
  • rollerblading
  • basketball

Rigorous activities:

  • jogging/running
  • cycling (fast or on hills)
  • skipping rope
  • martial arts
  • tennis
  • gymnastics

Muscle strengthening activities can be things like:

  • lifting weights
  • yoga
  • using resistance bands
  • push-ups/pull ups (activities which use your own weight as resistance)

When firs trying to brng activity back into your life, don’t think too much about numbers and muscle groups. Instead focus on maximising opportunities for activity and enjoying the energy, happiness hormones and personal satisfaction that you feel from accomplishing small daily goals.

 Sign Me Up, Just After This Episode’s Finished

yoga tv

The most difficult thing about changing your lifestyle is getting started but the good news is that there are countless ways of bringing activity into your daily routine so that you end up with healthy habits. The ideal situation is to be exercising without even thinking about it. Even standing rather than sitting is good for you. Taking the stairs over the elevator is an easy change to make too. It will amuse you when you get to your floor at the same time – or sometimes even earlier – than those who waited for the elevator. Parking the car a mile away from the office means you’ll be walking two miles a day, plus giving yourself time to wake up and wind down.

No-one is suggesting that you have to quit watching TV or playing video games altogether but it is important to set aside some time for your body. Granted that, even if you’re addicted to video games, you may not need help like the many addicts need, at places like legacyhealing.com. But nonetheless, you need to break that habit. Doing half an hour of yoga after work, for example, might be a far more effective way to relax than listening to people argue on a talk show, or maybe you’d feel more satisfied learning for yourself the martial art that your combat game avatar is so proficient in. Or if you like to listen to music, don’t be content with tapping your foot in time, get up and dance and really give it your all.

The trick to making any lifestyle change is to start small and stick to it. Habits can take a long time to form so if you skip a day of your new active regimen, it’s important not to give up but simply to carry on with the activity again tomorrow.

The Take Away

The take home news is that while curling up with home delivered food and catching up on Breaking Bad might seem like the perfect way to spend an evening after work, the truth is that you – and your body – both need and deserve better. There are easy ways of incrementally increasing the amount of activity in your daily life which can steer you out of the ‘at risk’ group for a multitude of life-shortening diseases. Physical activity releases chemicals and hormones that keep you healthy and happy in a way that’s much more sustainable than the addictive pleasures of video games.

Why not take a walk?

Why not take a walk?

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Anxiety Disorders

 

There are so many different anxiety disorders out there. I do want to make sure that there is a distinction between phobias and anxieties. You can have a fear of something, an anxiety is more extreme. There are different kinds of anxiety out there.

Panic Disorder:
Panic disorder is usually what people think of when you mention anxiety disorders. It is, essentially, having panic attacks. Panic attacks are THE worst. You feel out of breath, dizzy, choked up.  WebMD explains, People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms of a panic attackinclude sweating, chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeats), and a feeling of choking, which may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.” And the reasons for the panic disorder can vary. It can be claustrophobia, social phobia, speaking in public phobia, fear of spiders, or fear of heights. WebMD elaborates, “Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or flying. The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.” Medical News Today explains that these attacks are “characterized by brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension that leads to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty breathing.”

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
It is probably the hardest thing to deal with, as someone who has OCD, because it has a really strong stigma. People usually associate it with cleanliness and order, but, honestly? I’m not that tidy. OCD has to deal with an obsession with an idea or object. It can be that you are anxious about germs, or you are anxious about buying new books (Me!), anxious about losing weight. According to WebMD, “People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions.” So, you have the fear of not having something (having not locked the door, for instance), and then you have a compulsion to deal with it (checking that you locked the door). For me, it is about buying things and dyeing my hair. Sometimes, I wake up at night in a panic because I need to dye my hair (obsession), so I do (compulsion).

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Often associated with wars and soldiers, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a response to something traumatic. It can be rape. It can be sexual assault. It can be molestation. It does not have to be war related, but it can be. It can be witnessing someone’s death. It can be dealing with a hurricane. It can even be when you are dealing with too much stress. WebMD writes, PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb.”

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
This disorder is the worst. I may be biased saying this because I have it, but, my goodness, it is awful. It is essentially being nervous for no reason. Even WebMD explains lamely, “This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.” There would be nothing to be afraid of and I would find myself having panic attacks, fainting, sweaty palms, and a dry mouth. I used to call it the “fear of everything and anything,” and I think that summarizes GAD pretty well. But if you are still confused, Medical News Today explains it fairly well: “is a chronic disorder characterized by excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worry about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations. GAD sufferers often feel afraid and worry about health, money, family, work, or school, but they have trouble both identifying the specific fear and controlling the worries. Their fear is usually unrealistic or out of proportion with what may be expected in their situation.” I remember being scared of books not coming in the mail. I would worry about food not being cooked well. I would worry about my dresses hitching up.

Symptoms:
Usually, anxiety disorders are accompanied by lots of physical reactions. Sleeplessness can be one of them. Another one is sleeping too much to avoid the stressful or anxiety-inducing event. Paranoia is common. Another side effect is having panic attacks. Heart palpitations and difficulty breathing are also other side effects of anxiety. Dizziness and stomach pains are common, too. In addition, there are nightmares, flashbacks, and nausea. Although, many people that have severe anxiety have changed their pills to a more natural way to medicate. Many companies like FluxxLab™ CBD offer THC-free products that don’t have the bunch of side effects the other pharmaceuticals have.

Prescriptions:
Medical interference can come in really handy when it comes to anxiety disorders, depending on the intensity. Some people come to control their panic attacks or manage them through breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. But, for some people, like me, for instance, medication helps a lot. Since taking my medications (and it takes a while to find the right combination, especially since anxiety comes hand in hand with depression frequently), I have been having fewer panic attacks. Therapy is also another prescription that helps along with a white death strain to make you feel more relaxed. Talking about your anxieties helps you conquer them. You come to see them as hurdles, mounds not mountains, they become less scary, I suppose.

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Overall:
Like depression, anxiety is a complex illness. It is an illness. Medical News Today explains, “Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.” It is an issue if it hinders your way of living and the quality of your life. If you are struggling to function in life, this is an issue that you need to address. It is scary (and pun not intended, I swear), but anxiety can be lessened.

Gadgets For Musicians And Music Lovers

jamstikplus

After learning about how music effect’s our body, it’s time to know how you can enjoy it even more. Over the years, technology and additional attachments such as joyo pedals, pedal board tunes and the easy recording setups have robustly changed the way we enjoy music. Now you can enjoy high quality stadium sounds at home, play the guitar on your smartphone or take turns acting the DJ at a party with your friends.

You can even enjoy quality music while travelling, working or enjoying a gaming session on gaming sites like those in www.bingosweets.com.

This piece looks at some of the best gadgets designed for music lovers and professional artists alike.

UE Boom 2 speaker

The UE Boom 2 wireless speaker is a solution for people who regularly have reasons to play music from source at an event. This is the most updated version of Logitech’s Ultimate Ears speaker product. The speaker can stay functional for at least 15 hours which makes it a great option for music lovers on the move. The manufacturers went one better than others by ensuring that the UE Boom 2 is fully enabled to receive firmware updates on both iOS and Android.

Not only that, but the speaker’s ability to play music from different sources intermittently means you can now play your favorite Albums of 2015 while your friend plays his – avoiding any musical squabbles.

PRYMA headphones

Each year, the shop shelves are loaded with new headphones, often making it difficult to choose one that truly stands out. That was before the new Pryma headphones  hit the stores and quickly transformed the true meaning of a stylish pair of headphones. These travel gear headphones are handmade by Italian artisans using high quality leather, stainless steel, copper and die-cast aluminum. Unlike some others, these headphones are not just a style statement. They are engineered by Sonus Faber, top-tier audio constructionists, meaning you’re guaranteed high quality, robust sounds.

Jamstik+ smart guitar

In the age of smart technology, it’s somewhat surprising that it took this long to get our first smart guitar. The first thing you’ll notice when playing the Jamstik+ smart guitar, is that you’ll barely be able to tell the difference between it and a traditional instrument. The smart guitar features infrared sensors that will pair notes to your iPhone and iPad, so you won’t have to worry about tuning. After pairing the smart guitar with your phone, you can enjoy playing with the help of several guitar apps in the store – JamTutor and JamTutor 2 are probably the best apps you can pick up if you’re still a learner.

AfterShokz Bluez 2s headphones

We are constantly reminded about the dangers of listening to in-ear headphones, which makes AfterShokz’s Bluez 2s a gadget that everyone must have. This is a unique pair of wireless headphones that delivers sounds via your cheekbones. The world’s first cheekphones feature high quality sound and have incredible technology that keeps all audio limited to your hearing alone – meaning you won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone close by.

Archer Vinyl Record Player

Technology may have come a long way in a short time, but many of us just can’t leave behind the classic sound of a traditional spinning record. If you’re one of those older music lovers, you will love this chance to leave behind the world of smartphones and earbuds. The Archer Vinyl Record Player is your perfect gadget to relive the experience. It brings the classic turntable to the modern era but, of course, there is also an auxiliary input option just in case you suffer a little change of heart and feel like using that phone after all. Another device is Teac LP R550USB. It can record from vinyl, cassettes and radio to either CDs or a computer or external drive via USB. How great is that! This is a combination of retro style and modern features.

Healthy Foods That Don’t Suck

healthy wraps

You know that you should eat healthier and deep down you really want to, but the idea of giving up all that tasty stuff in place of food that’s about as appealing as a piece of cardboard makes you go “blech”, right? That may be your problem— thinking that you need to give up all of the food you love. Check over here which foods are beneficial for your healthy smile. It’s no wonder that so many people find it hard to eat healthy when they automatically associate healthy eating with deprivation. Kratom had conversational tone that consist of three kratom namely red kratom, white ktatom and green kratom. It’s time to change that. White vein Bali Kratom – this strain from Bali is known as the most affordable kratom option. You can description for more about the Gold Bali Kratom here. Its potency is also dramatic, and this is why it’s very popular among kratom users. It has a very attractive ability to deliver pain relief and high energy all at once. It’s even used as a replacement for pharmaceutical painkillers.  It is also an effective reliever of anxiety. It is this rare versatility that makes White vein Borneo Kratom highly sought after by customers.

Take it One Food at a Time

Making the switch to healthier eating is easy when you tackle it one food at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all! Just make sure you learn more on dental hygiene and start the transformation from your snacks one at a time. Instead of hitting the vending machine or reaching for a fist full of M&M’s for a snack, pack some fruit instead. Research presented at the 2011 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo showed that American’s are consuming almost 600 calories when they snack, which is the equivalent of eating a full fourth meal every day—a hefty one at that! They also found that a lot of those calories are coming from beverages, so swapping out your pop for water and your mochaccino for a “skinny” version can also make a huge difference.

Eat Healthy, Easy Versions of Your Favorite Foods

The beauty of the internet for those looking to get healthy is the endless amount of recipes for substitutes to your favorite foods. Thankfully there are loads of others out there that love food as much as you do and wanted to find healthier versions of those foods enough to do the legwork and write about it. Take advantage of these do-gooders and what they’re offering and try out recipes that are reasonable facsimiles of your faves but a whole lot healthier. And, make it even easier on yourself but searching for recipes that also contain the words “quick” or “easy” since the easier they are to make, they are more likely that you’ll add them to your repertoire of go-to foods. You can find truly delicious and no-fuss versions of everything from pizza and burgers to the most decadent desserts online.

cooking vegetables frying pan

Change the Way You Cook

You’d be shocked to know just how much extra fat, calories, and even chemicals you take in just by the method you choose for cooking stuff. If you’re using oils and cooking sprays to sauté your foods, then it’s time to try something different, like steaming or roasting. While we do need a certain amount of fat for our bodies to function, you should be getting them from the foods you eat, like nuts and seeds and fatty fishes, like salmon and albacore tuna. Steaming, roasting, and grilling your foods eliminates the need for any kind of oil for cooking. It may not seem like a big deal, but most oils—even the “good ones”—contain well over 100 calories per tablespoon. And if you tend to cook with butter, then it’s not only calories and saturated fat, but high cholesterol you’re taking in too. Skip it entirely or, when it comes to baking, substitute it with applesauce or plain yogurt instead.

Small changes in your diet can have a huge impact on your health and are way easier to start and stick with than a major diet overhaul. Add to that a little effort to eat healthy foods that also taste good and eating healthy will be a breeze.

You can click here to learn more about nutrition and health.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.

References

  • Snacking Constitutes 25 Percent of Calories Consumed in U.S. (June 2011). Institute of Food Technologists. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.ift.org/newsroom/news-releases/2011/june/20/snacking-constitutes-25-percent-of-calories-consumed-in-us.aspx
  • Nelson, Jennifer K. R.D., L.D., Zeratsky, Katherine R.D., L.D. Tips for healthy eating. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/tips-for-healthy-eating/bgp-20056191
  • Nelson, Jennifer K. R.D., L.D. (June 2012). Which spread is better for my heart — butter or margarine?. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on March 26, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/butter-vs-margarine/faq-20058152