Home Blog

How to Approach Marijuana In A Medical Way

0
Marijuana

Marijuana is one of the most popular plants in the world. People have been using it for thousands of years and continue to do so. However, misusing it can lead to serious health risks.

So why consider medical marijuana at all? Because more research is unraveling its medicinal benefits for numerous disorders. Now with its legalization in most US states, you can use it for your condition too. Below, we will show you how you can medically approach marijuana and use it responsibly to stay safe.

Which Medical Conditions Can You Use Marijuana for?

Marijuana is one of the medicinal plants that can improve the quality of your life by helping you

battle different medical conditions. Let’s look at some of them.

Chronic Pain and Inflammation

Thousands of people use medical cannabis to relieve chronic pain and reduce inflammation. There is also extensive scientific evidence that backs this up. That is why athletes are using CBD oil to recover from hard training sessions.

Depression and Anxiety

Studies suggest that medical marijuana may treat symptoms of several mental illnesses. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are among them.

Cancer

Cannabis has been shown to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. New studies even suggest that cannabinoids in the plant can prevent cancerous cells from growing.

Blood Pressure

Marijuana can also help lower blood pressure. Studies have compared the blood pressure of a group of people after administering cannabis and seen a decrease in their resting and stressed blood pressures.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Recent research suggests that medical marijuana can help those with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders by treating and preventing conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Epilepsy

Marijuana’s CBD has anti-seizure properties that can help certain epileptic conditions like

Dravet syndrome in children. There is even an FDA-approved cannabis-based drug for epilepsy called Epidiolex.

Addiction

Studies show that medical cannabis may help those with alcohol and drug addictions fight their cravings, prevent them from relapsing, and reduce their anxiety.

Other Conditions

Medical marijuana may also be prescribed for other health conditions such as:

● HIV

● Migraines

● Glaucoma

● Multiple sclerosis

● Parkinson’s disease

● Obstructive sleep apnea

● Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

More research is being done on the efficacy of cannabis for these conditions for further drug development.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

You can get medical marijuana with the written recommendation of a physician. The health conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana card differ in each state.

Check-in with your doctor, and if they approve, sign up online at your state’s medical marijuana registry. Once you do that, you can legally get cannabis products with higher THC concentrations in the form of edibles, oils, dried leaves, and more.

Use Your Medical Marijuana Responsibly

Make the best of your medical marijuana and use it responsibly to stay safe. Here are some ways you can do that.

Know the Side Effects

Side effects from medical marijuana are rare, but they can occur if you use too much product with high THC. They include:

● Nausea

● Dizziness

● Drowsiness

● Short-term memory loss

● Mental fog and paranoia

● Impaired body coordination

These side effects are temporary. You can manage them by drinking water, taking deep breaths, lying down, and listening to soothing music. The best way to prevent them is to start with small amounts of cannabis.

Be Cautious With Edibles

Edible marijuana is processed differently in your body. It first has to pass through your stomach and liver. There, it converts into a stronger compound. So it will take longer for you to feel its effects compared to smokable cannabis. To stay safe, start with a low concentration of THC and wait an hour or two before taking more.

Be Careful With Vapes

Vaping too much can ultimately hurt your lungs. Plus, many cannabis vapes contain impurities and chemicals that can add to the danger and send you to a hospital. If you decide to smoke your medical marijuana, buy it from a reputable source to ensure it doesn’t have any contaminants.

Don’t Use Marijuana if You’re Pregnant

Marijuana is bad for pregnant women, those who breastfeed, and those who plan to get pregnant soon. No matter how you use it, the psychoactive components of cannabis can enter your bloodstream and reach the placenta and breast milk.

This can hurt your baby and lead to developmental issues. If you’re already using medical marijuana for a health condition, ask your doctor for an alternative treatment.

Don’t Drive After Using Medical Marijuana

Don’t get behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana. The plant’s compounds can negatively affect your coordination, reaction time, attention span, and decision-making. Plus, driving after using cannabis is illegal and has the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Store Your Cannabis Safely

Storing your cannabis in hard-to-reach places is very important, especially if you have children. They will be at a higher risk of suffering from marijuana’s side effects if they accidentally eat it. So keep your marijuana in a safe container out of children’s reach and reseal it properly after every use.

Keep Your Pets Safe

There are pet-friendly CBD products, but don’t just give your pets cannabis. Talk to a vet first if you want to ease their pain or help them with another medical condition.

They will advise you on which product and what amount to give your pets to keep them safe. Call your vet immediately if they have accidentally consumed cannabis and show symptoms such as vomiting or agitation.

Enjoy Your Medical Marijuana Safely

Now that you know how to approach your marijuana medically, you can enjoy it safely and reap its benefits. Use the tips we gave you and talk to your doctor before self-prescribing anything to avoid dangerous side effects. There is no reason for you not to use this beneficial plant. So tread carefully and get better!

5 Health Hacks You Need to Know Now

You wake up mentally ready to conquer the day but your body begs to differ. If sore, stiff muscles and a lack of energy have become constant companions, you’re probably feeling like it’s time for a change.

You’re not alone. Research shows that Americans who consider themselves active only spend 11 hours on fitness and health, with the numbers being even lower (or zero) for people without an intentional commitment to fitness.

The good news is that it is indeed possible to feel better. And the best part? Enjoying a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here’s a rundown on six health hacks you need to know now to make the rest of this year your best one yet.

1. “Smooth Out” Your Mornings

Eating more veggies and fruits is an easy way to feel better in the short and long term. And all it

takes to accomplish this is adding a morning smoothie to your morning routine. With a smoothie, you can effortlessly get in the three daily servings of vegetables and fruits that your body needs to function at its optimal level.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to try different colored vegetables and fruits in a smoothie. For instance, include plenty of berries and fruits, as well as superfoods, such as spinach. In addition, remember that vegetables and fruits will work for your smoothie whether they are frozen, canned, or dried. To reduce added sugars, use plain yogurt as your smoothie base.

2. Make Sour (and Tart) Sweet

Another must-know health hack involves using natural taste modifiers as an alternative to sugar artificial sweeteners

Miracle fruit tablets are a great place to start if you’ve never tried taste modifiers before. They work by tricking your brain into perceiving tart or sour fruits, foods, and drinks as sweet without any added sweeteners or sugar. Simply allow a tablet to dissolve completely on your tongue. Then, any sour or tart item you consume within the next half hour to an hour will taste sweet.

Foods that work well with these Miracle Berry tablets range from your favorite berry and green smoothies to limes and lemons, grapefruit, plain yogurt, and even apple cider vinegar or lemon water.

Grapefruit Cross Section Half – Free photo on Pixabay

Alt text: two halves of a pink grapefruit

File name: pink-grapefruit

3. Get Those Zzzzzz’s Another way to keep sluggishness at bay is to make sleep a priority each day. A total of seven to nine hours of sleep per night is generally adequate to keep you from feeling tired and functioning at a subpar level. It may help to download an app to monitor your sleep. Along with that, making small lifestyle changes, such as switching off your TV 30 minutes before bed, will go a long way toward enhancing and deepening your sleep.

4. Experience Pure Joy with a Puree

Yet another smart hack for the health conscious in 2022 is to make purees a part of your diet as well. Purees are natural sources of the following vitamins and minerals:

● Fiber

● Copper

● Manganese

● Vitamin B

● Vitamin C

These treats also pair excellently with a wide range of your favorite foods and drinks, such as frozen desserts, preserves, and even libations, like seltzers, cocktails, and summer beers. That means you can add more flavor to your meals and beverages while also giving your body the healthy boost it needs each day. Pro Tip: Look for real ingredients before buying puree for sale online. This way you’re not sacrificing nutrients while making an effort to be healthier.

  • 5. Enjoy Coconut Oil Often

Finally, consider including coconut oil in your health and wellness regimen. One of the keto essentials, coconut oil is known for its metabolism-boosting potential, among other likely health benefits. For instance, it may boost your levels of good cholesterol, which improves heart health. Many people have noticed it whitens their teeth, so it may give a boost to your dental hygiene routine, too. Coconut oil has a pleasant taste, which can make it seem like a treat among the more challenging lifestyle choices you have to make to stay healthy.

For the best results, take two tablespoons of this oil each day. You can use coconut oil in cooking, too. Add coconut oil when baking or sautéing vegetables, or even to your tea or coffee, to give your food and drinks a healthy boost. Feel free to drizzle some coconut oil over popcorn that has been air popped for a yummy and (relatively) healthy family movie night treat.

Enrich Your Life with New Healthy Habits Today!

Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, living healthy can no doubt feel like an uphill battle. The

great news is that just a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes can make you feel better than ever. Consider incorporating these 6 health hacks into your daily routine to take your health and wellness to a whole new level. These little adjustments can make a world of a difference in both your body and your overall well-being in the weeks, mon

6 Different Ways to Use Herbs

0

Gathering herbs has always been part of the human tradition. From medicine to aromatherapy to spiritual practice, these natural, organic gifts from the Earth have supported human life in a variety of ways. Alongside modern medicine, some of these traditions continue today. Some use herbs to soothe discomfort, while others turn to them to boost their mood. No matter how they are used, there is much anecdotal and scientific evidence exploring the positive effects of herbs on our wellbeing. Read on to discover a few of the ways you can use herbs to enhance your daily life.

Soothing Discomfort

The aches and pains of daily life can be incredibly overwhelming. But herbs, in conjunction with your overall wellness routine, may be able to provide support and relieve the discomfort of some minor ailments. Some research suggests that traditional or powdered herbs like kratom may be able to provide some relief for minor inflammation. More modern approaches to herbs, like CBD oil, are also popular among wellness enthusiasts for their potential to help with day-to-day pain. Hemp can be a useful tool when searching for natural ways to ease mild discomfort.

Sinuses

Mental Clarity

As the pressures of the day begin to pile on you, nervous, worried thoughts can creep in. For some of us, these thoughts can be all-consuming and may make the mind feel cloudy. But certain herbs, like kratom, may be able to help stimulate the senses, providing a mild mental boost to help users tackle the day ahead with ease. Other plant-based products, like hemp-derived CBD or herbal essential oils (lavender is quite popular), may also have the potential to support a calmer, more peaceful mind.

Maintains Focus

If you’ve ever had a cup of coffee or black tea in the morning, you know that herbs have the power to help you maintain focus and alertness. Like its cousin coffee, kratom’s aroma is also believed to instill these effects in the user, promoting increased attention and energy. Additionally, some individuals look to nootropic herbs, like rosemary or lemon balm, as a means of boosting cognitive functioning and promoting mental sharpness.

Mental health during Covid-19

Boosts Mood

Let’s face it: sometimes, life becomes hectic, and all of that built-up stress can lead to a dour mood. Whether you’re dealing with a significant life event or a simple change of the seasons, we all could use a pick-me-up now and then. Kratom, and other herbs, may be able to help add a little spring to your step. Combine natural herbs with mindful practices and rituals, like meditation, to elevate your mood in a holistic way. Even common herbs, like ginseng, chamomile, and lavender, are known for their potential to help with feelings of restlessness and low spirits.

Eases Tension

A long, stressful day at work can cause a lot of built-up tension to proliferate throughout your body. Even with the help of anti-inflammatories or common products like CBD cartridges, you can still feel wound up and restless at the end of the day. Thankfully, kratom and other herbs may be able to help ease you out of this tightly-wound space. Open a box of chamomile tea and let the soothing, herbaceous aroma lull you into a state of peaceful relaxation.

Skin Health

The topical application of herbs goes back generations and has been known to help soothe certain skin ailments. You’ve probably seen ingredients like lavender, echinacea, and ginger in cosmetics and body products you use in your daily routine, but more exotic or lesser-known botanicals may also have beneficial beauty applications. Black seed oil, in particular, may have the potential to ease discomfort caused by occasional blemishes, while CBD topical products are often used for post-workout muscle recovery. Regardless of which herb or method you use, the benefits of natural herbs may be able to benefit your body inside and out!

Supporting Immunity

If you’ve ever had a cup of tea to try to ward off a cold, odds are you have experience using herbs to support your immune health. Herbs like ginger, garlic, licorice, and St. John’s Wort have been used throughout history as natural immune boosters. There is even research to suggest that some components of green tea have antiviral properties, meaning a cup of tea in the evening could help stave off colds and viral infections.

Herbs and Your Wellness

Medicinal plants and herbal supplements can be part of a holistic approach to easing discomfort and promoting wellness in your day-to-day life. The right herbs in the right situations can help support other mindful and healthy choices that you make. Whether you need to relax, focus, or just want to make your skin glow, the potential of herbs is nearly endless. Kratom, CBD, and black seed oil are just a few examples of the numerous herbs with properties that can elevate your mood and prepare you for the day ahead.

Here’s Why Exercise Beats Diets For a Longer Life

Here is why Exercise beats Diet for a Longer Life

The conventional wisdom has been that weight loss is critical to living longer, while exercise takes a back seat. 

A new study discovered from previous data in studies that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) increased longevity. 

The study also found that cardiometabolic risk improved with increased levels of both cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity. 

In simple terms, you’re less likely to die from a cardiorespiratory-related condition if you exercise more than if you lost weight. 

Here are a few reasons this could be true. 

Carbohydrates are not the Problem
Bread and carbohydrates

The Heart is a Muscle

The first reason this is happening is that the heart itself is a muscle. 

Whenever you exercise, you improve the conditions of the heart. 

A study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows various benefits exist for the heart when anyone exercises. 

Chief among these are lower blood pressure and higher levels of insulin sensitivity. 

The study also goes further to show that exercise slows heart disease significantly.

By ordinary logic, the more you exercise a muscle (moderately), the stronger it becomes!

The heart itself never stops for the lifetime of an individual. 

It keeps going and only rests a bit when you sleep. 

Lifestyle choices are often the causes of heart issues. 

The more you take care of your heart, the better things will be for the organ.

Exercise is one of those forms of care. 

Weight Loss Alone isn’t the Key

Many sources place the weight loss industry in America to be worth as much as a whopping $78 billion. 

That indicates how seriously Americans take weight loss. 

However, weight loss alone does not equate to overall health. 

You may gain weight and lose it, only to gain and lose it again. This type of pattern is known to mess up the human body, as the rapid loss and gain of weight is known to affect internal organs negatively. 

The key is to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). It is keeping up healthy habits that maintain weight goals, like having the right diet and, yes, exercise. 

The point is, if anyone can maintain a healthy weight and exercise, internal organs stabilize and don’t have to play catch up all the time.

We all know how the weight we try to lose always comes back one way or the other, regardless of whatever steps are taken to stay at the same weight.

Exercise helps to maintain health and give a healthy body mass index (BMI).

So, what should be the relationship between exercise and weight loss? You may ask. 

The answer is below. 

Taking care of your body

Physical Activity Helps Maintain Healthy Weight

A 2017 article by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had indicated that to maintain weight loss, a person must have several minutes (up to 80 minutes) of physical activity.

It shows that other methods, while important, aren’t as critical as exercise and physical activity.

Physical activity can be strenuous, but also can be rewarding as well. 

The rewards far outweigh the stress a person goes through at every session of physical activity. 

An article on the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website depicts further benefits of physical activity for everyone. 

At the top of the list of benefits is the maintenance of a healthy weight. 

When it comes to weight loss, many believe that everybody’s healthy weight is the same. 

The truth is, a healthy weight is different for everybody. 

Even among siblings, healthy weight differs because everyone’s body type is different. 

The only consensus on healthy weight has to do with the Body Mass Index (BMI) range of between 18.5 to 24.9 for adults, as calculated by the US CDC. 

Anything outside that can be a problem. 

Dieting Should be Healthy

When many people think of a healthy diet, they immediately envision a “weight-loss” diet. 

The truth is, it’s more about a “healthy diet” with the right combination of nutrients than about anything else. 

However, that hasn’t stopped the zealous ones from promoting “weight loss” diets in the name of health.

It has led to many conditions that wouldn’t have been in the first place if the victims of such circumstances had consulted with professional nutritionists. 

The national heart blood and lung institute of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), in an article, talks about having an “eating plan”.

This plan will enable you to gauge what you put into your body, why, and when. 

The article talks about the various elements of an eating plan and what nutrients should be on the menu.

It gives further credence to the term” you are what you eat “. Most times, this is true. 

Having an eating plan saves a lot of hassles that anyone will face later on in life. 

Several diseases and conditions, (especially of internal organs people suffer from) have more to do with consumption than with other factors. 

The US CDC article further advises people to reduce their calorie intake and increase the number of physical activities. 

Biological Factors Have a Role to Play

For weight loss, there have been many motivational messages that pump prospects up just to make a sale. 

Problems start to happen when weight loss programs don’t function as advertised. 

Then the prospect becomes frustrated and drops the program to gain weight all over again. 

And the cycle continues. 

Most weight programs don’t work as advertised. The owners of such programs don’t consider the biological factors that determine how body mass index works. 

Everyone has a unique set of biological factors that determine what size and weight you become. 

One of those is genetics. 

If you have people in your ancestry who were overweight, the chances that you will become featherweight are slim and vice versa. 

When planning a weight regimen, don’t go for weight loss. Go for a healthy weight with biology in mind. 

It works.

Putting it All Together

A holistic approach towards the various issues surrounding weight, exercise, and longevity is the best method of addressing this matter.

A balance has to be struck, between exercise, diet, and biology. These three determine how best you live and, in many cases, how long you live as well. 

Study your body and get adequate help and advice from professionals. 

There is no substitute for any of these. 

How Weight Training Helps Burn Fat and Cut Pounds

0
weight Training

When it comes to lifting weights, most people think there are few benefits apart from additional muscle mass. 

The truth is lifting weights has also been known to help burn fat too. 

Many people think that being pretty cut is just a fad.

New studies are now linking weight lifting and fat burn, among other benefits as well. 

So, apart from great-looking biceps and triceps, weight loss is another significant reason for lifting weights

Here are a few insights into how lifting weights can help burn fat and cut pounds. 

Weight Training really helps women

It’s a Genetic Thing 

A recent study has linked lifting weights and transferring genetic material that aids the fat burn process. 

This study showed that during the weight lifting process, genetic particles are transferred between muscles and fat cells.

The fat cells help ignite the body’s metabolism that in turn aids fat burn. 

This discovery goes against the popular thinking that weight lifting only increases muscle mass. 

The genetic particles called “extracellular vesicles” are part of a group of proteins that aid weight loss. 

The particles before now had no known biological functions.

However, they are now known to transmit information across cells within the body.

And the fat burn is one of those essential pieces of information that the particles transmit to cells throughout the body. 

These particles also referred to as vesicles, form the bridge through which cellular communication occurs across the body.

It’s part of a series of discoveries where cells across the body are now known to talk to each other and communicate information almost simultaneously. 

When it comes to losing pounds, this process is crucial as fat cells depend on shared information to maintain similar characteristics. 

As You Age Lifting Weights Helps Improve Body Mass

While it may seem cliche to say that lifting weights improve body mass, this is a critical aspect of health for those aged 60 and older. 

To keep the body functioning as normal and to allow for healthy muscles, weight lifting has been known to play a critical role in keeping the muscles from shrinking. 

Muscle mass is known to shrink at this age.

THe Weights

Weight lifting is one activity that has proven to improve blood flow, increase metabolism, and also give an even tone to the bodies of the elderly. 

 For older people who are obese, lifting weights is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and burn

fat. 

So, as muscle mass is gained, weight is lost, and the body becomes healthier!

A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates these and many more benefits of strength training for the elderly. 

According to the study, muscle mass loss (referred to medically as sarcopenia), can be deferred and even prevented with regular exercise. 

Improved Oxygen Inflow is Critical

 As a person exercises, one of the most critical benefits is improved oxygen inflow. 

During the weight lifting process, oxygen flow improves significantly and remains that way for up to two days. 

Studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in young women show increased oxygen levels and possible “fat oxidation” after resistance exercises. 

The consumption rate is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). 

Fat oxidation is merely another term for fat burn.

This process may also be more difficult for obese women. 

Simple Weight Training

Studies by the same National Institute of Health (NIH) show that obese women have smaller lung volumes, and fat distribution remained relatively unchanged after strenuous exercise. 

Comparing the two studies, it is easy to see that oxygen flow is a critical factor in the weight loss process. 

The heavier a person is, the harder the exercise process will be. 

It is that simple. 

However, to achieve the effect of fat burn, the weight lifting routine will have to be strict but within the limits of the person in question. 

It brings us to our next point. 

Weight Lifting Activities Improve Long-Term Metabolism

Cardio workouts are known to have far lower EPOC rates than weight lifting activities in the long term.

Contrary to popular opinion (based on a 2012 study) as muscle mass increases, so does oxygen consumption. 

With a cardio workout, higher levels of oxygen and burn rate are achieved at the moment of the activity.

However, with weight lifting, as muscle mass increases, so does the oxygen consumption and fat burn rate.

The key difference between the two activities is time. 

The common misconception that cardio is better than weight lifting has given rise to new workout programs that leave many people frustrated. 

However, developing a personal weight lifting regimen is key to getting long-lasting results in the weight loss challenge. 

As EPOC rates increase over time, the overall effects will be seen and felt by the individual in question. 

Increased Oxygen Consumption has its Benefits

Increased oxygen consumption has so many benefits that it’s almost impossible to list them all in this article. 

However, increased oxygen consumption also contributes significantly to fat burn. 

Increased EPOC rates improve the human immune system. As the body continues to gain muscle mass, metabolic activities that aid the fight against disease also improve. 

As time goes on, the body begins to adapt to these new conditions resulting in less susceptibility to disease.

The heart also gains from improved oxygen flow. 

Studies from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that increased oxygen flow to the heart results in a more efficient cardiac cycle. 

By implication, the heart functions optimally under such conditions and reduces the risk of heart disease. 

When it comes to the brain, increased oxygen concentrations are known to improve cognition, especially in the elderly. 

These oxygen concentrations are seen to help increase brain power so to speak and keep the person in question functional and agile. 

Alertness, cognition, and overall improved mental alertness are observed with higher concentrations of oxygen in the brain.

And for weight loss, increased oxygen concentrations in the blood lead to higher levels of fat oxidation which in time will be noticeable physically. 

Nutrition is Critical 

When it comes to losing weight, the best strategy will always

have a nutritional component. 

The phrase ” you are what you eat” underpins weight loss management. 

On one side of the equation, we have the guys who think everything is run by rules.

They calculate their calorie intake down to the last decimal.

They dot their I’s and cross their t’s but still, they have issues. 

On the other side of the nutrition equation, we have those who function by principles, rather than by numbers.

Those who run their weight-loss strategy by principles always win in the long run. 

When implementing a weight-lifting exercise regimen, the calorie burn effect must be factored in as muscle mass increases. 

And as noted by the NIH in an article, the quantity, quality, and timing of diet are important factors to consider when planning. 

It allows for some flexibility based on principles. 

So, while you want to go out there and start pumping, always remember that weight loss is not a win-lose or zero-sum game. 

It is all about being comfortable with yourself and in your skin. 

That is because it is all that matters. 

Go out there and pump!

5 Ways Exercise Helps Your Brain

Exercise helps your Brain

Brainpower is everything and more than we have thought it to be. One way that has improved brain power is through exercise. 

We all know the benefits of exercise to other organs like the heart, kidneys, and lungs.

However, most people don’t know or even understand the fundamental importance of exercise to the brain. 

So, here’s how exercise helps your brainpower.

Alpha peak frequency is the highest power unit in the EEG spectrum for an individual. 

Exercise Improves Your Alpha Peak Frequency which is Brainpower

It ranges between 7.5 and 12.5 Hz. The Alpha peak frequency is one indicator of a healthy, functioning brain. 

The Alpha peak frequency is often proof of intelligence and a functioning mind. It includes the ability to show awareness and concentrate. 

Tests have shown that this value increases intensely after an exercise session. 

Though, for the most part, this value stays constant on a regular day.

A person’s alpha peak frequency declines after the age of 40. 

So, the older one becomes, the less likely that awareness and other factors will remain the same. 

But, the game-changer is the pattern of exercise and the consistency in keeping the body at peak performance. 

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2015 confirms the effect of exercise on the brain’s alpha peak frequency. 

There has been a marked improvement of the brain’s alpha peak frequency as individuals exercise.

The improvement also provides many benefits to the brain. 

It also helps in both neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. These are two critical processes for brain function.

Neurogenesis refers to the brain’s capacity to create new cells, while plasticity has more to deal with the function of these cells. 

It is already a known fact that Alpha peak frequency is an indicator of creativity and cognitive abilities. 

 Both are core aspects of what we know as “brainpower”. 

Exercise Helps Improve Memory 

Even though it sounds cliché that exercise helps improve your brain, the fact is, memory improves because of activity within the hippocampus. 

Exercise is known to help improve the hippocampus as it helps to prevent it from contracting.

Exercise also helps the hippocampus to grow (yes, your brain doesn’t stop growing until you die). 

This process is known as neurogenesis. So, neurogenesis of the hippocampus is possible if you work out constantly. 

While aging, how you exercise and how often shows how well the brain will adjust to the process of decline. 

A recent study published in “The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease” shows changes in the blood flow to the brain in the test group of participants that exercised. 

These participants were aged 60 and older.

This increase in cerebral blood flow shows that at any age, exercise helps to allow blood to flow in the right direction.

And one benefit of this improved blood flow is improved memory. 

For those who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and similar conditions, improved blood flow helps to allow the brain to return to regular function. The hippocampus gets revived as higher levels of blood flow into it.

Depression Gets Reduced Significantly

One great benefit of exercise is the reduction of depression. 

Let’s face it. Even the happiest people in the World feel down once in a while. 

It is because of depression that many who could do better tend to be lackluster in achievement. 

Depression is also a leading cause of suicide and other forms of self-harm.

According to the anxiety and depression association of America (ADAA), persistent depressive disorder (PDD) affects about 1.5% of the entire US population who are 18 years and older in a year.

ADAA statistics also show that major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for those aged 15 to 44.3. 

Exercise and the Brain

Depression is an issue that needs attention on a broad scale. 

While exercise is not a cure-all, studies show that exercise offers several benefits in this regard.

The most popular of these benefits is the continued release of endorphins. 

We know endorphins are one of the most critical “happy chemicals” in the human brain. 

Exercise aids in the release of endorphins.

That is why, most of the time, we feel “pumped up” and “ready-to-go” after exercising. 

Exercise also helps us take our attention away from stressors that cause us feelings of anxiety that often lead to depression.

Exercise also helps to improve sleep, as exhaustion allows the brain to shut down and rest comes easily. 

It also has an effect on anxiety, which is often a precursor to depression. 

Exercise Improves Brain Immunity

One of the benefits of improved blood flow to the brain is an increase in the abilities of the microglia (the cells responsible for immunity-based activities in the brain).

Studies have shown that microglia play a critical role in keeping the brain active at all ages until death. 

An increase in exercise also helps these cells to maintain optimal effectiveness and efficiency in more ways than one. 

A 2019 study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that exercise has positive effects on microglia activation and a significant anti-inflammation of the brain. 

In simple terms, exercise helps your brain’s immune system to fight off disease while at the same time keeping the brain at a healthy mass and size. 

It is crucial as a swollen brain shows disease on so many levels. 

And if your brain is healthy, that allows for neurological operations à la carte brainpower!

As humans age, immunity on all levels is known to decline significantly. 

The effects of this decline are well-known due to the kinds of conditions that people face in their golden years. 

Exercise is known to help mitigate some effects of these conditions, especially where the brain is concerned. 

Exercise at that age gives individuals an edge mentally, as mindfulness and other traits decline as people grow older. 

That is also how brainpower can remain at constant levels regardless of age. 

Exercise Improves Brain Cell Connectivity 

The way and manner in which brain cells are connected is an indication of how the individual owner of the brain can put things together. 

This trait referred to as “executive function” has been known to improve with increased levels of exercise. 

The reason for this is the improved blood flow, which aids the activities that help the brain to grow new cells (neurogenesis) and be flexible in the usage of others (neuroplasticity). 

A 2018 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered that exercise does improve plasticity and also delays Alzheimer’s disease as well as improves overall brain function. 

Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are known to fewer instances of executive function as their ability to think locally declines significantly. 

Exercise and the Brain
Exercise helps your mental health

Studies show that exercise aids improvement in both cases and also prevents significant loss of executive function. 

The executive function of the brain is responsible for planning and organizing, concentration, memory, mindfulness and other activities that we know are the core aspects of brainpower. 

As we continue to exercise, we keep the parts of our brains that are responsible for these traits in sync with each other as the brain finds its way of connecting with each part of itself. 

It is also why exercise keeps the brain on its toes, and the brainpower that we need is tied to this alertness. 

While other organs in the body may sometimes be able to do without exercise for long periods, the brain thrives when we exercise. 

That’s why we feel great and alert after taking a walk, a hike or just working out in the gym. 

And this feeling allows for healthier, happier, and well-connected living.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get out there, exercise, and improve your brainpower!

Supplements That Every Runner Should Be Using to Boost Performance

0

Figuring out how to boost your running performance can be difficult at first. Should you start with your shoes? Your training regime? Your nutrition? All of these things are important, but sometimes you just need that extra kick that you can’t get somewhere else.

If you are looking to push yourself to hit that next goal, consider adding some supplements to your routine.

Energy Boosters

When it comes to running, there are a variety of different factors to consider in how to boost your performance and especially in figuring out how to increase your speed. One thing to consider is taking energy boosters like caffeine.

Energy Booster

According to The Wired Runner, caffeine can help increase your endurance when running long distances. It can also help you run faster per minute. Furthermore, all runners know that running is at least somewhat a mental game.

Drinking a caffeinated beverage before a run can help you feel more mentally up to the task of running 10 miles. Just make sure you aren’t consuming a lot of extra sugar with your caffeine or that you aren’t dehydrating yourself.

This could cause your caffeine to actually backfire and hurt your performance instead of helping you.

Pain Relievers

When it comes to dealing with post-run pain, it’s important to find the best pain relievers. In addition to just being uncomfortable, dealing with the pain can actually hurt your recovery, if you are sore enough that it hurts to move.

While many runners rely on pain relievers like Ibuprofen, it may be worth the effort to look at other alternatives like CBD.

According to Hemmfy, some research has shown CBD can help reduce pain and aches. It does this by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain that deal with your mood and perception of pain. By helping change the way you perceive pain, CBD can help you feel less discomfort.

Additionally, unlike other pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter drugs, CBD won’t put you at risk for kidney damage in the future.

Coupled with other pain management techniques, such as massages, rolling out tight muscles, and properly pacing, you can stay in good shape for the next day.

Protein

This may seem pretty obvious, but making sure your body has enough protein to fuel it is incredibly important for runners. You don’t need protein every time you run, but if you won’t be eating for a while after or if you have another workout planned later in the day, protein can give you that boost you need to keep your energy up and prevent you from crashing and overtaxing your body.  

There are different types of protein powder, so making sure you choose the right one for your protein shake is important. The most common options are whey and casein proteins, but both of these come from milk.

If you are dairy-free, you’ll need to choose other options, such as soy or pea proteins. Each of these proteins has pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before choosing one.

Additionally, the biggest problem with protein for runners can be the additives. If you are just running for fun, you don’t need to worry as much, but if you are a competitor, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally disqualify yourself by using a protein powder with substances that aren’t allowed.

You can check the labels for certifications, but you should also talk with your trainer before adding anything new to your diet, just in case.

BCAAs

When you’re running long distances at quick paces, your body may actually end up burning calories faster than it can take in. While the idea of having a calorie deficit seems positive to many, it can actually have some negative effects.

For example, when the body needs to burn energy quickly and efficiently, it often doesn’t discriminate between which sources from which to draw that energy.

As such, your body may inadvertently be burning muscle cells instead of fat cells. According to Peak Performance, taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can actually offset this muscle loss.

BCAA
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs

They do this by helping your body draw energy from fat sources. BCAAs can also help you avoid excess muscle soreness, which will allow you to have a faster recovery. This is especially important if you are running long distances every day, as over-tired muscles could spell doom for your training routine.

When it comes to boosting running performance, it can be difficult to know where to start. Finding the right supplements for your body type can be challenging as well. Following these suggestions can help get a leg up on boosting your performance and increasing your overall health.

Read this next: Cycling or Running: Which Is Better for Your Health?

What You Can Do if Traditional Therapy Isn’t Enough

0

Seeking therapy is an important step for anyone—whether they suffer from physical or mental ailments. But sometimes going to therapy alone is not enough to fight off the problems you are facing or you may find that therapy just doesn’t work for you the way that you want.

While that isn’t a bad thing, that doesn’t mean that you should just give up on your quest to feel and be better. Educate yourself on how you are feeling, and make changes or find new help to help you feel better.

Change Your Lifestyle

If you are feeling negative physically, you may need to create a more effective exercise schedule to better fend off these effects. Exercising is one of the ways physicians recommend mitigating feelings of anxiety or depression.

Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle Changes

Running, biking, hiking, and yoga are all positive forms of exercise you can do anywhere. Choose a form of exercise that you both enjoy and challenges you to push yourself harder.

Though exercising can help with your mental health, your physical health is also largely based on the food you choose to eat. Make sure you stay within your daily calorie intake and that you are accurately calculating what that intake should be.

Just because 2000 calories is the recommended amount doesn’t mean that is right for your body and level of exercise. Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t be eating, focus on increasing the amount of healthy foods you do eat.

Try to work a handful of vegetables into every meal and snack and it will make a huge difference.

Join a Support Group

Support groups are great for helping you to deal with the challenges that come with both everyday life and the less common things that come up.

The point of a support group is to connect you with people who are going through similar things who can understand your struggles. Joining either an in person or online support group can do wonders for helping you feel less alone and discovering that some of the things you are struggling with are actually quite common.

Support Groups
Support Groups

It can also give you the opportunity to help other people, which can be incredibly beneficial. Just make sure that the support group you join is actually supportive. There are some groups out there that aren’t actually helpful and can make you feel worse about yourself and your situation.

Try Experiential Therapies

If regular therapy not cutting just doesn’t seem to work for you, you should give an experiential therapy a try! Rather than talking about problems, most of these unique therapies place emphasis on redirecting pain into something productive.

They can be relaxing, fun, and physically engaging. This is especially effective for people who deal with neurodivergent conditions.

For example, equine therapy can be especially helpful for teens dealing with emotional or social issues. Working with a horse has often given people unique strength and support.

Dance studios are offering class opportunities to get active and promote body positivity. Finding a unique hobby you can attach to is a great way to find additional purpose in your life.

Stay Away from Certain Foods

While making sure you stick to an effective diet is essential, you may want to avoid specific foods or drinks altogether. Some things are addictive in nature and add to your anxiety and depression instead of quelling it.

Sugar and rich foods are a good example, but there are more things to think about.

Avoid Certain Foods
Avoid Certain Foods

Gluten and soy have been shown to have a detrimental effect on a variety of conditions, beyond just the normal sensitivities. Caffeine is one of the most common substances people drink.

Coffee, tea, and soda are prevalent in our daily purchasing and consuming habits. Excessive caffeine use can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Instead of continuing to consume the same products regularly, you should avoid foods that make your symptoms worse.

Talk to Your Doctor

While most people turn to therapy to treat mental health issues, this is something that your doctor can be brought in on as well, especially if therapy alone is not enough.

While there is some stigma surrounding medication for mental health, it is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Work closely with your doctor to make sure that you find the right medication and dosage and keep them regularly updated on any side effects or progress you are making.

Talk to your Doctor
Talk to your Doctor

If you feel the need to go to therapy, you should. It is worthwhile and does a lot of good for people. However, it is not the only solution to mental health and physical health problems.

You can use these other methods to assist in your recovery. Everyone has different needs and different things that work for them. The important part of all of this is to find what works for you.

Are you struggling to relax? Check out these tips!

Public Health Crises the U.S. Will Still Have to Deal with After COVID-19

0

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Despite the virality of the disease, it is not the only thing our healthcare system has to worry about right now.

It definitely gets the most attention, but there are a lot of other issues that are plaguing our healthcare and society. You may have heard of some of them, but others are just waiting to become a bigger problem, especially with the conditions that COVID-19 has caused.

Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccines have been a hot topic for many people in the past few decades. Anti-vax trends have started to gain more and more traction, which has led to a few outbreaks of diseases thought to be eradicated in the last few years.

Vaccine Sceptic
Vaccine Sceptic’s

And now, with the COVID-19 vaccine reaching the point where it will soon start being distributed, this issue has only thrown more gas on the fire of the debate—to vaccinate or not.

This used to be a few fringe groups, but anti-vaxxers, medical freedom advocates, and some government leaders have cast doubt on the COVID-19 vaccine. Part of this comes from misunderstandings on how scientists and doctors have been able to develop the vaccine so quickly, but it is also symptomatic of a larger problem.

Medical experts will have to educate and relieve any hesitancy found throughout the nation. Some people are scared that a vaccine will give them a higher chance to die from the virus.

Others may be thinking about conspiracy theories they heard about vaccines. Education and assurance will be the ways to combat this. Not only is this important for the COVID-19 vaccine, it needs to continue happening for other vaccines.

Even small outbreaks can lead to serious problems, and with many hospitals and healthcare systems overrun right now, that is the last thing that is needed.

Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is not a new problem, especially in the US, but the extent of the issue is only just becoming part of the public awareness.

Problems with opioid drug abuse and overdoses have actually been a concern for the CDC since the 1990s, when prescribing opioids became more common, leading to more addictions and overdoses.

Poppy's before the manufacturing process
Poppy’s before they are made into Opioid’s

Since that time, there have been multiple waves of rising opioid overdose deaths. The opioid crisis kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Combating the opioid crisis is going to take more than just public education, though that is an important part. A large number of addicts start off with prescription drugs they were properly prescribed that they become dependent on.

Proper oversight from doctors is key to preventing further addiction. Effective treatment and de-stigmatization of addiction can also play a huge role in helping people recover.

If you know someone who is suffering from an addiction, supporting them through their recovery process and staying sober is one of the most important things you can do.

Mental Health

Mental health struggles come in all shapes and sizes, and as we learn more about how our brain works and how it interacts with our body, mental health issues are becoming more prevalent.

There are plenty of reasons that people point to that may be causing the rise in mental illness, including social media, increased pressure, the state of the world, and more education to name a few.

In the next few years, the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition is expected to continue to rise.

Mental Health Blocks
Mental Health Blocks

With the current pandemic, political climate, and economic unrest, it is no wonder that there has been an uptick in mental health concerns over the last year, beyond what was initially expected.

As routines have been disrupted and lives thrown into chaos, those who already struggled may have found themselves in a worse position and many more people started developing depression and anxiety.

Helping all of those struggling is a huge task, one that many places aren’t prepared for.

Nursing Shortage

Nursing is an important part of our healthcare system, and the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown this into sharp focus. Without dedicated nurses, nothing happens.

Unfortunately, even before the current pandemic, the US was already facing a nursing shortage, with a predicted 1.1 million new RNs needed by 2022 to prevent a true shortage.

Nursing Shortages
Nursing Shortages

With the current situations of the pandemic, with healthcare professionals getting overwhelmed, and some even dying, there is a likelihood that some may retire earlier than planned to leave hospitals and clinics understaffed and overwhelmed.

These health crises are not new, but they do present dangerous problems that our healthcare system and society face. COVID-19 has helped us to see the areas we fall short in and how we can do better.

It is important to make appropriate efforts in your sphere of influence to combat these issues and to help those around you.

Want to know more about the COVID-19 vaccine? Check out this article!

How to Use the Internet to Advance Your Health

0

Nowadays, you can turn to the internet to advance your health or not. But to get the answer you want, on any topic you want only the internet can do that. This has been a great thing for increasing awareness and education.

But using the internet as a resource for health can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Dr. Google has given rise to an increasing number of patients who prefer to self diagnose, rather than listen to a doctor.

On the other hand, it is full of helpful resources that you should be using to advance your health without discounting your doctor’s expertise.

Join Support Groups

There are lots of support groups online. Whatever your challenge, there’s probably a support group for it. Going through a difficult experience or just having something you are dealing with is always easier if you are with people who understand what you are going through.

If you need help staying motivated to meet your health goals, joining a support group can be a great idea. There are multiple benefits of joining a support group.

These groups are good places to meet others who have similar goals and struggles, who can share their experiences and how they’ve overcome obstacles. Lots of support groups have social media pages where you can read and share content.

Finding Doctors

Doctors play a key role in helping people become healthier, so it is incredibly important to make sure you find the right doctor for you. This is doubly crucial if you have medical conditions.

Not only do you need a good doctor, you need one who will be able to properly treat you. Thanks to the internet, finding a doctor is easier than ever before.

Search engines often organize their search results to reflect local listings, meaning if there’s a doctor who specializes in what you need you’re more likely to find one nearby. Search engines aren’t the only online resource available to help you find doctors though. Healthcare review sites contain millions of listings of various general practitioners and specialists.

Sort and filter the results until you find one that looks like it will suit your needs. Be sure to check the reviews before you go so you know what to expect.

TeleHealth

The idea of seeing a doctor virtually has been around for a while, but with the current pandemic, it has seen a huge spike in popularity.

TeleHealth visits allow you to see a doctor or other medical professional without actually going to visit them in person. This can be a game-changer for people with incredibly busy schedules, people who live in more rural areas, and people who have other mitigating circumstances.

But telehealth goes beyond just virtual appointments. It can also include things like patient portals and personal health records. Your doctor can even get you set up to have symptoms and vitals monitored remotely.

This allows you to complete studies from the comfort of your home that you used to have go into the clinic for.

Increased Awareness

With the rise of the internet and social media, people have started having more conversations about health, particularly mental health and how it impacts their lives.

As these conversations have become more mainstream, it has also increased the awareness around mental health conditions and the kind of help and support these conditions require.

It is also helping de-stigmatize things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other issues that people face. Being able to talk to people about their experiences and learn about conditions you don’t have is one of the biggest benefits of the internet.

Getting Inspired

Diet and exercise are a huge part of improving your health. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the recipes you’re using and the exercises you’re doing.

The internet is an amazing place to find new recipes that fit within your dietary requirements. If you have dietary restrictions, like gluten, lactose, or soy, you can find websites that are solely dedicated to recipes that fit your needs and that teach you how to adapt your old favorites.

There are tons of resources for finding new workouts too. There are a ton of different workout subscription services, complete with videos and coaching that allow you to try new things safely.

You can also find different programs that you can implement on your own. If you need inspiration or ideas for what to do next, the internet is the place to go.

Variety is the spice of life. Use the internet to add a healthy helping of it.

The internet can be a wonderful tool for advancing your health if used properly. You can find support groups to join, doctors, and inspiration for your diet and workouts.

By using it in a constructive way, you can find resources to help you improve your health and live a more wholesome lifestyle.

Dealing with anxiety? Check out our tips on how to keep it from controlling you.