If you want to lose weight and keep it off, follow these 10 steps to a healthier life.
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One key in developing a cancer-free lifestyle is ongoing, moderate exercise. Research indicates that those who use up 2,000 calories or more in physical activity each week have a third less risk of getting all types of cancer as compared to sedentary individuals. One study found that women who exercise an average of four hours per week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 50 percent compared to that of age-matched inactive women. Exercise may also help boost the immune system and even help promote such healthy habits as getting a good night's sleep.
And the best exercise may not be as strenuous as you think. Brisk walking, not jogging or pumping iron, may well prove to be the perfect exercise. This form of exercise provides the ideal opportunity for worship and prayer as well. Just take along a tape player loaded with your favorite worship music, and you're off to a healthier physical and spiritual life!
Kristen Anderson lay on railroad tracks hoping to end her life. Instead, she heard a song that changed everything.
On a bone-cold night in January 2000, Kristen Anderson made an impulsive decision: She walked to the railroad tracks not far from her Chicago home, lay facedown on the ground and let 33 freight cars roar over her body at 55 miles per hour.
The engineer frantically blew the whistle and brought the train to a halt—on top of Kristen’s body. The botched suicide attempt left the 17-year-old in piercing pain. As she lay there in her own blood, trying to decipher whether she was dreaming, Kristen managed to pull herself from under the train and crawl to some nearby rocks.
Studies indicate that only 5 percent of those who lose weight are able to permanently keep it off. According to Ed and Elisa McClure, founders of the ZOE 8 Weight Management Program and authors of Eat Your Way to a Healthy Life! (Siloam), awareness of the following eight roadblocks is the first step to finding permanent weight-loss success:
1. Prescription medication—many prescription drugs either cause weight gain or hinder weight-loss.
2. Candida—this overgrowth of yeast in the intestinal tract can cause cravings for carbohydrates and sweets.
3. Stress—don't ignore the spiritual and emotional aspects of the stressful situations in your life.
4. Chronic lack of sleep—inadequate sleep can increase appetite due to interference with appetite-regulating hormones.
5. Hormones—if your hormones are out of balance, you will have problems with weight control.
6. Food sensitivities—many people are unaware of their sensitivities and regularly eat foods that leave them bloated and prevent weight loss. Top offenders: corn, yeast, sugar and sweeteners, dairy products, wheat and peanuts.
7. Sabotage—it takes true love and understanding between family members and friends to give up unhealthy food habits.
8. Compartmentalization—failure to treat the whole person often produces temporary results at best.
If you think you have one or more of these roadblocks, find a doctor who can test you for things such as candida, hormone imbalances and food sensitivities. This will help you evaluate the effect these roadblocks may be having in your life, determine ways to overcome them, and start yourself on the road to permanent weight management!
Feelings of discouragement are common after the holidays. The excitement has faded, the decorations are packed away, and visiting relatives have gone home.
If you find yourself feeling down or restless but you do not have other symptoms of depression, such as difficulty sleeping or sudden change in weight, you may be experiencing what is known as mild depression. In their book New Light on Depression (Zondervan), David B. Biebel, D.Min., and Harold G. Koenig, M.D., offer six self-help strategies to counteract mild depression:
1. Surround yourself with constructive friends.
2. Increase your activity—this will make you feel better and improve your mental outlook.
3. Relax—a new twist on the old adage: "All work and no play makes Jack or Jill depressed."
4. Helping others gives your life purpose and meaning.
5. Journal—this activity provides insight into where you've been, where you are, and where you're going.
6. Praying connects you with God, dispels loneliness and puts your problems in proper perspective.
Biebel and Koenig point out that these tips do not replace professional help for anyone who is more than mildly depressed. If you feel you need help, don't hesitate to seek a professional counselor or therapist.
Could it be that a "broken spirit" in some women is causing rheumatoid arthritis? Is it causing the joints and bones to be inflamed and weakened?
But nearly 30 years ago, I was almost debilitated by this malady. When I was in its grip, all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep-hardly an option for a wife and mother of two young children. It got so bad I didn't care to be around people at all.
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Children's Hospital Boston found that children who spend more time watching television are more likely to eat the high-calorie foods they see advertised. Previous studies have linked children who watch more television to obesity, but this study (results appear in the April 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine) breaks new ground by providing evidence explaining the connection.
Gary Heavin, founder and CEO of Curves International, observes that some women do well on a particular diet, while other women on the same diet not only don't lose weight, but actually gain weight. He attributes this to varied metabolisms and because some women are carbohydrate-sensitive and others are calorie-sensitive.
Carb-sensitive women are more than 25 pounds overweight, have been overweight most of their lives, often skip meals and crave starchy or sugary foods.
When it comes to your health, it is important to be aware of and manage your weight. But according to Don Colbert, M.D., author of The Bible Cure series (Siloam), you should also be aware of how you're overweight. Where is your body's excess fat located? This is critically important when it comes to evaluating your risk of developing certain health conditions.
Apple-shaped. Do you have a few love handles on your tummy, abdomen and back? If you have abdominal obesity, or central obesity, you are considered "apple-shaped."
"If you are apple-shaped, you are much more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and coronary artery disease," says Colbert in his book The Bible Cure for High Blood Pressure (Siloam). He explains that when your fat is mainly in your abdomen, it tends to accumulate in your arteries, leading to vascular disease.
Why? It's one of the most effective anti-cancer foods you can buy! Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discovered that broccoli contains a natural compound that helps the body fight cancer by causing it to produce protective enzymes. These enzymes detoxify the carcinogens that could potentially lead to cell mutations. If you want to get the highest concentration of the compound, choose young broccoli sprouts--and the fresher, the better.
Reginald B. Cherry, M.D. claims that nutritional supplements can provide optimal health benefits "only if they consist of nutrients in their most complete, natural and bioavailable forms." A case in point is vitamin E. Generally sold in its isolated, alphatocopherol form, vitamin E is actually a family of nutrients consisting of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta), Cherry says. He recommends that the various forms of vitamin E be taken together because they work as an antioxidant team to give maximum protection against disease.
In his book The Bible Cure for Asthma (Siloam) Don Colbert, M.D., says that some food additives might trigger an asthma attack. Read labels carefully and avoid the following:
In his recent book, The Jerusalem Diet (WaterBrook), pastor Ted Haggard cites a CBS News report on the link between obesity and sleep deprivation. The report was based on an article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and explained that sleep affects the body's production of hormones, including leptin, which helps control appetite.
Leptin levels rise when we sleep, telling the brain that the body has stored up enough food. "If you deprive your body of sleep," Haggard warns, "you may develop a shortage of this hormone. And...your body may start asking for food it doesn't really need."
According to Janet Macarro, Ph.D., CNC, in her book Midlife Meltdown (Siloam), it's time to start "rethinking midlife hormonal health."
She encourages the use of the following natural supplements * to alleviate some of the symptoms brought on by menopause:
Black cohosh capsules
80-160 mg per day
Anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginaldryness, depression, heart palpitations, headaches, sleeplessness
On his Web site, Dr. Reginald B. Cherry cites a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology claiming an increase in the risk of heart disease for women with low bone density. Cherry says, "This study suggest that women who take steps early in life to keep their bones strong, or boost their bone density once weakness appears, may not only prevent osteoporosis but may prevent heart disease as well."
Much has been reported about the potential for illness and death as the result of bird flu. But is it a true threat or just another case of the media capitalizing on our fears?
Leslie Ann Dauphin, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and recent author of The Germ Handbook (Siloam), has researched the avian influenza virus that causes bird flu. Dauphin told SpiritLed Woman the virus does not usually infect people.
Dauphin says: "Although rare, the viruses…may be transmitted to humans via direct contact with infected birds or surfaces that infected birds have been in contact with...[or] through an intermediate host, such as a pig."
Although we have known for some time that the underlying issue for eating disorders is a need for control, research now links this need for control to unresolved pain from significantly hurtful experiences in a person's life. According to Dr. Gregory Jantz in his book Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders (Shaw Books, 2002), "Studies have indicated that 80 percent or more of people with eating disorders have been victims of some sort of abuse--whether verbal, emotional, physical or sexual. By controlling what you eat, you are really trying to control that terrible pain."