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SMARTHEALTH YO U R G U I D E TO H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

EXORCISING THE

EXERCISE MYTHS HEART HEALTHY SUPPLEMENTS PREGNANCY AND DENTAL HEALTH


SMARTHEALTH

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EXORCISING THE

EXERCISE MYTHS

6

8

PREGNANCY AND

DENTAL HEALTH

10 HEART HEALTHY SUPPLEMENTS


TOO THIN? THE WARNING SIGNS

10

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12 BOUNCING BACK

EASY STEPS TO

FROM A STROKE

GOOD BREATH

The information in this publication does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Entire publication Š Digital Access 2009. All rights reserved. Any reference to other organizations or companies, including their Internet sites, is not an endorsement or warranty of the services, information or products provided by them.


EXORCISING THE

EXERCISE MYTHS


For many people, exercise is the new American religion. There are many misunderstandings about exercise, so here are the common ones with some myth-busting information as well. MYTH 1

MYTH 5

EXERCISE IS FUTILE UNLESS YOU WORK OUT HARD AND OFTEN This kind of thinking is an obstacle to getting started. Studies show that moderate physical activity works just as well as intense exercise for losing weight. Walking, bicycling and swimming are all good ways to exercise at a modest pace. There may also be other health benefits.

STRENGTH TRAINING STOPS YOU FROM WEIGHT LOSS Experts recommend both cardiovascular and strength training exercises to maintain a healthy weight. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you're not working out. This makes it easier to keep off the pounds.

MYTH 6

MYTH 2

YOGA AND SIMILAR PROGRAMS YOU LOSE MORE WEIGHT BY EXERCISING ARE EASY AND GENTLE LONGER AND AT LOWER INTENSITY Wrong. Many forms of yoga are physically No. It’s all about the total number of and mentally difficult. Although injuries calories burned. If you exercise at a high are rare, staying in certain positions intensity for a shorter time, you are likely can cause nerve damage or back pain. to burn as many calories as a longer, Avoiding certain postures and changing less intense workout. Either way works. others can make yoga safer for most healthy people, even pregnant women. MYTH 3 As with any exercise, proper instruction IF YOU EXERCISE ENOUGH, YOU ALWAYS is necessary for a safe workout. GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT VIEW A SAMPLE OF POWER YOGA > Wish it were so. Exercise will do good things with your strength, endurance, speed, and it is worth doing. But genetics MYTH 7 plays a role in how each of us individually HOME WORKOUTS ARE NOT AS VALUABLE AS GYM WORKOUTS respond to exercise, so results will vary. Not true. The critical elements in success MYTH 4 are the exercises themselves and the abilYOU CAN LOSE ALL THE WEIGHT ity to stick to a program. Studies show YOU WANT THROUGH EXERCISE that for many people a home-based fitIncreasing physical activity is part of a ness program is easier to stick with. Consuccessful plan to lose weight and sistency beats trendiness every time. maintain the loss. The fact is, though, that most people also need to cut calories FIND OUT WAYS TO WORK OUT by eating less to really achieve serious IN YOUR HOME > weight loss goals. SMARTHEALTH 5


10 HEART HEALTHY

SUPPLEMENTS

6 SMARTHEALTH


Nearly 40 million Americans are said to have some degree of cardiovascular disease. As we are all learning, the best way to reduce the risk factors are to quit smoking, manage blood pressure and diabetes, keep a normal weight, lower bad cholesterol, eat foods low in saturated fats, exercise weekly, manage stress, and see your doctor regularly. Sounds easy, huh? In addition, many health and nutrition buffs believe there are certain vitamins and supplements that can help protect your heart and cardiovascular system. The science is promising but still developing with regard to the most of these supplements. OMEGA-3’s

COENZYME Q10

Omega-3 supplements may lower blood pressure, decrease arrhythmias, inhibit plaque buildup and hardening of the arteries.

May lower blood pressure by reducing systolic and diastolic pressure.

VITAMIN B1

Fiber pills and powders can help keep blood pressure within a normal range.

Also known as Thiamine, it helps convert carbs into energy and contributes to the proper function of muscles and nervous systems.

MAGNESIUM

VITAMIN C

This mineral can help to restore the healthy functioning of blood vessels.

Antioxidant properties may block the damage caused by cell-damaging free-radicals.

FIBER

POTASSIUM Optimal levels of this mineral are said to aid in keeping the heartbeat regular.

VITAMIN D Recent studies associate low levels of Vitamin D with cardiovascular disease

GARLIC Garlic may have a positive effect among people with mild high blood pressure.

VITAMIN E There is controversy here; advocates believe that it contributes to heart and blood vessel health.

FIND OUT WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A SUPPLEMENT

> SMARTHEALTH 7


PREGNANCY AND

DENTAL HEALTH


PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD CAVITIES STARTS BEFORE BABY IS BORN. Good oral health during pregnancy is an important part of overall health. Good oral health habits not only help prevent oral problems during pregnancy, they also affect the health of the unborn child. Your baby’s teeth start to develop between the third and six months of a pregnancy. By eating right, you can help strengthen those teeth, so be sure to include foods with calcium, protein, phosphorous and vitamins A, C and D in your diet. Dental care is safe and effective during pregnancy and should be coordinated among prenatal and oral health care providers. While necessary treatments can be provided throughout pregnancy, the time period between the 14th and 20th week is ideal. Always be sure to inform your dentist of the pregnancy so that extra care can be taken with regard to X-rays, nitrous oxide, antibiotics and pain medications. You may even wish to have your dentist contact the obstetrician.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WILL IMPROVE A MOM'S HEALTH AND HELP THE BABY OFF TO A GREAT DENTAL START:

Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Limit foods containing sugar to mealtimes only. Choose water or low-fat milk as a beverage, and avoid carbonated beverages such as sodas and diet sodas. Eat actual fruit, rather than fruit juice, to meet your recommended daily requirements. Reduce snacking and, when you do, eat nutritious foods or sugarless gums. If you suffer from morning sickness, use a teaspoon of baking soda to wash out your mouth and neutralize acids after throwing up. MORE INFORMATION ON TAKING CARE OF YOUR TEETH

> SMARTHEALTH 9


TOO THIN? THE WARNING SIGNS


You can’t be too thin or too rich, they say. And the society reinforces the thinness crazy with models and newswomen and actresses who are deemed attractive because they are the 'right' size. Not to mention, the media beat down on people who are hefty. However, being excessively thin can be unhealthy. People who are underweight — lets say a Body Mass Index or BMI measurement of under 18.5 — run many risks. One cause of excessive weight loss are diseases such as an overactive thyroid, uncontrolled diabetes, chronic diarrhea, cancer, lung disease, tooth pain and infections like tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS. Poverty and malnutrition, drug or alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety, and physical abuse are other possible causes. Thinness caused by these ailments should be monitored by your doctor. Another set of problems come from people, often women, who see themselves as “fat” and aggressively seek to control caloric intake. This includes those who diet and exercise in the extreme to lose weight. This condition is called Anorexia Nervosa and is common in teenage girls and young women. A related condition is Bulimia, marked by vomiting or using laxatives to prevent weight gain, often after a bout of binge eating.

When a person is underweight they lack the basics — fat, proteins, and carbohydrates — for energy, healthy bones and muscles, the ability to think clearly. The short term symptoms that result can include: fatigue, muscle weakness, irregular heart beat, recurrent infections, thinning hair, and, in women, irregular menstruation. Longer term complications are quite serious, and include osteoporosis, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, anemia, dehydration, heart problems, and difficulty getting pregnant. In extreme cases, emaciation can actually lead to death. A healthcare professional can help to determine the cause of a BMI under 18.5. Once the underlying cause is addressed, a controlled and safe regimen to gain weight is the best policy. CHECK YOUR BODY MASS INDEX

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SMARTHEALTH 11


BOUNCING BACK

FROM A STROKE


As if you need another reason to convince you to institute an exercise regime, it turns out that people who exercise regularly may be harmed less by a stroke than those who do not. According to a new study, stroke victims who exercise throughout their lives performed better on two important scales measuring resiliency after a first stroke. One of the two scales used was the Barthel Index, a respected measure of ability to perform 20 daily activities such dressing or bathing. "The second measure, the Oxford Handicap Scale, takes a broader approach, such as speech and reading comprehension, and the ability to return to work. Study participants who reported having had regular exercise one to three times a week before their strokes functioned significantly better than those who had been sedentary, and those who reported having done aerobic physical activity four or more times a week appeared to do even better.

after the stroke. They warn that the results, however, common sensical, are still preliminary.

Medical experts say that the relationship makes sense; if you are physically fit before a stroke, you have more capacity to adjust or compensate

The Ischemic Stroke Genetics Study was published in July 2009 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Not within the scope of these study but also important, experts also say there is some evidence, still very sketchy, that exercise leads to reduced risk of stroke in the first place. This is especially true of those who do vigorous exercise from the teen years into their mid-50s. But even people who keep walking as little as 20 minutes a day right through their senior years also seem to see some reduction in stroke occurrences.

READ THE FULL STUDY HERE >

SMARTHEALTH 13


EASY STEPS TO

GOOD BREATH


Bad breath happens to everyone, though some more than others. Here are some tips for turning it from bad to good, and making everyone around you a lot happier. BASIC ORAL HYGIENE In general, oral health is critical because odor is mostly caused by decaying food particles and bacteria in the mouth. Brushing and flossing of teeth regularly is the basic treatment. DON’T FORGET THE TONGUE Many people forget to gently brush the tongue to get rid of even more bacteria. This is important! You can use a toothbrush, the edge of a spoon, or a dedicated tongue cleaner. MORE ABOUT GUM A recent study found that cinnamon has breathodor fighting abilities. Unlike other flavors, cinnamon is not just a cover-up; it actually decreases the bacteria in your mouth.

CHEW GUM Gum stimulates saliva. Saliva production is a key to keeping your mouth fresh. That's why morning mouth and dry mouth lead to problems. By washing away food particles and bacteria, saliva eliminates odors and it is a natural bacteria killer.

EAT A FEW CARBS You do not need to load up on carbohydrates. But a slice of bread along the way will help you avoid “ketone breath,” which commonly occurs among dieters who do not have enough carbohydrates as fat breaks down to produce energy. MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS Sometimes a toothbrush is not enough. The water pick is a very effective way to clean around and between the teeth, and under the gums. And mouthwash is not a bad supplement to oral hygiene though it is largely a temporary fix. RULE OUT THE RARE Most problems are solved with these simple steps. If you suspect a bigger problem, see a dentist or a doctor. It could be dental (such as cavities or decay) or medical (such as an infection or kidney or liver disease).

DRINK WATER Dehydration is bad for breath. Drinking water helps keep the bacteria in the mouth to a minimum. Drinking water has a lot of health benefits, and preventing bad breath is one of them. LEARN MORE ABOUT BAD BREATH CURES > SMARTHEALTH 15



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