Thursday, September 25, 2014

Healthy Homes, Healthy Bodies

Whether you are working with an existing home, in the process of looking for a home or building your own home, it is important that you look at the health of the home, as it will affect your own health. You have a great deal of control over the health of your surroundings, like whether you fill your refrigerator with organic food or conventionally grown foods. This same control exists for your home as well. Two healthy home considerations should be indoor air quality and building materials.

Indoor Air Quality. Indoor air quality is important to consider for a number of reasons, including: allergy issues, moisture and mold issues, and potential radon or carbon monoxide issues. EPA studies have shown that air pollution is sometimes 2-5% higher in homes than what is outside. Improper ventilation and an unsealed crawlspace are two examples of where one might look to solve indoor air quality issues.

Building Materials. Nobody wants a home full of formaldehyde, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), toxic gases, and surfaces that attract mold. This means that everything from flooring, sub-flooring, insulation, drywall, paint, counter-tops, cabinets and adhesives all need to be considered. There are many ways to avoid toxic building materials in your home, as long as you are educated about your options. If you are building a home, you can work healthy from the ground up; existing homes can often benefit from material upgrades and there are a number of fixes that allow you to make your home safer and healthier without having to rebuild it!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Burn More Calories!

Ready to rev up your routine and burn more calories? The two main factors in doing so are your metabolism and your workouts.  Here are a few tips on how to keep those both in tip-top shape:
Drink green tea: Replace coffee with green tea for an extra kick to calorie burning, and for some added antioxidants.

Shake things up: If you're bored with your workout, your body probably is too. Try interval training. If you're running, run one minute fast for every two minutes at your regular pace. Likewise with biking or swimming. You can also add some weights or other muscle building exercises in during your cardio time.
Find more fun activities that increase health: Look into mountain biking, dance classes, recreational sports teams, etc.
Drink water: If it helps, put four or five rubber bands around your wrist, and for each sixteen ounce bottle of water you drink during the day, take one off.
Move around: Even fidgeting can help you to burn calories, so if you're stuck sitting, tap your feet, drum your fingers or do exercises in your chair.
Increase Outdoor Activity: take your exercise routine outside and you'll be amazed how much more energy you have to devote to it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Improve Flexibility?

Whether you're naturally flexible or someone who really wishes they could still bend over and touch the floor with their legs straight, increasing your flexibility is beneficial to your health. Think you can be in truly great shape without flexibility training? Think again.
  • Improves your posture
  • Increases nutrient and blood flow to body tissues
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Decreases stress on your joints
  • Decreases the risk of injury during activity
  • Improves muscular coordination
  • Prevents and/or reduces back pain
  • Reduces sore muscles
  • Increases your enjoyment of physical activity
To increase your flexibility, start with simple steps.  When you wake up in the morning, do a few light stretches in bed before you get up.  Stretch your body lengthwise and to either side.  Roll your wrists and ankles through their full range of motion.  Do a few simple back stretches (yoga cat and cow postures are a great way to start your day).  Take stretch breaks at work to extend your legs and always warm up and cool down before exercising.  Without any extra flexibility training, you can be well on your way to a healthier, more flexible body.