Struggling to live a healthier life? It is never too late (or too early) to start over, change any bad habits, and build new good ones to improve your life. Actually, it’s not about a big difficult change, but more like an accumulation of small changes. One decision at a time, you can keep adding simple daily habits to your life, and watch their positive effects on your overall health… most of the time without much effort at all. Here are some suggestions:
1. Practice Yoga
The benefits of Yoga are countless, and many of them are key for long-term health:
Stretching – Yoga poses work by stretching your muscles, making your whole body more flexible. Stretching is beneficial for general relaxation and tonification of your muscles. In one study, people improved their flexibility by up to 35% after only 8 weeks of yoga.
Increase Blood Flow – Twisting poses bring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated.
Increase Mobility and Flexibility – During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, but if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains starting to disappear, and your posture getting better.
2. Practice Gratitude
When was the last time you woke up in the morning, and immediately smiled, suddenly overwhelmed by a massive wave of gratitude, just for being alive? With all the struggles of everyday life, we tend to forget about the blessings in our lives. While getting too busy fixing the things that are wrong, we forget about the things that are right.
However, gratitude is one of the pillars of a healthy life, and our mental health -just as important as our physical health-, can benefit a lot from living a grateful life.
3. Try New Supplements
Food nowadays is not as nutritious as the food our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up with, so an extra input of certain nutrients is often useful to prevent any deficiencies. These are some that might help improve your health:
- Vitamin D
It helps your body absorb calcium and also has a role in your nerves, muscles, and immune system. Deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Muscle aches and weakness, muscle twitching and light-headedness are common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency; and some studies have found that it is also linked to depression.
Magnesium is required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones, for the proper function of nerves and muscles, among others. Magnesium supplements can help with irregular heartbeat, blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, fibromyalgia, diabetes, kidney stones, headaches, PMS, asthma and hay fever, among many others
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include cramps, tremor, spasms, fatigue, loss of appetite, apathy, confusion, insomnia, irritability, poor memory, and reduced ability to learn.
- Fish oil
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflammation in the body among other health benefits. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system, lowering high triglycerides, and preventing heart disease and stroke.
ZMA is a natural mineral supplement made up of zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. These three nutrients in your system can build muscle strength and stamina, speed muscle recovery, and improve the quality of your sleep.
4. Drink More Water
Around 75% of people are chronically dehydrated. Are you drinking enough water? Signs of fatigue, poor memory, difficulty focusing, and sleepiness, might be telling you that you’re not. Your body is 70% water (your brain is almost 90%!); water is essential for proper digestion and circulation, numerous chemical reactions, nutrient absorption, waste elimination and flexibility of the blood vessels. It regulates body temperature and acts as an internal skin moisturizer, as well as preventing premature aging due to toxic buildup.
5. Eat More Greens
A plant-based diet includes more nutrient-dense foods that will help keep you full longer and give you more energy with less toxins, making you feel better overall. Switching to a natural plant-based diet like veganism or any of its varieties, has many other benefits for your body, the animals and the environment.
Can’t think of what to eat? There are various vegan meal delivery companies that could help start you on your journey. Give it a try and let the new flavors, textures and ideas change the way you’ve always thought about healthy eating.
6. Eliminate or Reduce Toxins
Reducing or completely eliminating toxins from your diet and lifestyle will make it easier for your body to recover its natural healthy state. The list of toxins to avoid includes tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and sugar, which have an acidic effect -the process of neutralizing this acid spends energy from other processes, which affects your energy levels and ability to focus. Plastics and other hormone disruptors are another kind of toxins to avoid as much as possible, in order to get healthier.
7. Aim to Sweat Everyday
With sweating comes great benefits: an increased heart rate works as a “heart workout”, which improves your general cardiovascular health, and increases the blood flow to major organs. Sweating from intense exercise also releases endorphins, which help you feel good and prevent depression, stress, and anxiety. Sweating helps filter your blood and rid the body of toxins through your skin, making you feel lighter and better.
8. Get a Blood Test
General fatigue, mood swings, skin issues, vision sensitivity, joint pain and muscular weakness are common physical signs of nutritional deficiency. Mind fog, confusion, difficulty focusing, poor memory, or sleep issues, could also be signs that something is missing.
The best way to find if you have any deficiency, is to get a complete blood test.
9. Do a 3 Day Juice Cleanse
One of the easiest ways to start a reset in your system and rid your body of toxins by cleaning out your organs, is to do a 3 day juice cleanse. This has the effect of mild fasting, without the risk of upsetting your blood sugar levels or being too extreme if you’re not used to it.
10. Add superfoods into your diet
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that are especially beneficial for your health and well-being. Some examples are:
Turmeric – Curcumin in turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and neutralizes free radicals. It also increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain. Curcumin is beneficial for heart health, and helps prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also treat symptoms of arthritis, and alleviate symptoms of depression.
Matcha Tea – If you haven’t heard of matcha tea, this is going to be life changing! Matcha green tea has over 100 times the antioxidants of regular green tea. The health benefits of drinking matcha tea include improved mental alertness and clarity, stronger immune defense and detoxification. It also helps relaxation and prevents bacterial, fungal and viral infections, cancer and type-2 diabetes. It assists in maintaining cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health and works as a superb energy booster.
Spirulina – Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is rich in protein, minerals, B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid). It also has a high supply of carotenoids, which have antioxidant properties.
Spirulina can be beneficial for anxiety, ADHD, depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart disease, high cholesterol, improving your immune system and memory, PMS, and assist in wound healing and weight loss.
What are your ways of resetting your health? Feel free to share with us in the comment section!
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.