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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Lose Weight By Sleeping?
Sigh....I am about to show you something that is difficult for some to believe even when it is backed up by medical science. Yes! You can lose weight while you sleep. Disbelieve at your own peril.
Scientists and doctors have long known that many hormones are affected by sleep. Some of these hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin can affect our appetite. Take a case in point. Have you ever experienced a sleepless night and then the next day, no matter what you ate you won't feel full and satisfied? Well, it is because of these hormones.
Ghrelin, stimulates your appetite and makes you hungry whereas Leptin, sends a signal to the brain to tell you that you are full during a meal. So one makes you hungry while the other makes you feel full.
So how do these 2 hormones correlate then? Well, lack of sleep will reduce leptin levels, which means that you will still feel hungry after a normal meal which will usually satisfy you. Having not enough sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you will eat more than you normally do and that spelled trouble if you want to lose fat. That means you will gain weight if you do not have enough sleep. Getting the drift now?
It is a known fact that those who sleep less are often overweight compared to those who enjoy blissful shut eyes.
In several scientific studies and researches showed invariable results test human participants whose sleep are controlled. Their leptin levels went down and ghrelin levels went up. Their appetite therefore increased proportionally. Their desire for high carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods increased by a whopping 45%. Can you beat that?
So the findings definitely suggest that if you are on a diet and a workout program with the aim of slimming down or losing weight, you must have enough sleep. Eight to nine hours a day is the normal recommendation.
Sleep not only recharges you, it helps you to lose weight, build muscles, repair tissues and boost immunity. So if this article bores you ....well....go ahead and sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Preventive Maintenance For Your Bicycle
Like all mechanical contraptions, your bicycle is vulnerable to wear and tear caused by regular use and exposure to the elements. Routine preventive maintenance will keep your bicycle in peak condition and safe for riding throughout the year. Although some bicycle repair and maintenance is best performed by a qualified bike mechanic, you should be able to do routine maintenance using a few basic tools. Here are some of the things you can do to keep your bike in perfect shape.
Check the pressure of your tires to make sure they are inflated to proper specifications. Consult the manual or the tire's sidewall for information on the range of acceptable pressures for your tire. Note any splits or fatigue marks in the sidewall or tread. Inspect the rim for dents, twists or kinks. Spin each wheel to make sure it is true and centered in the stays. If the wheel wobbles from side to side when spun, then it needs truing. Check if some spokes need to be replaced or tightened. If your bike is equipped with quick-release mechanisms, make sure they are securely fastened.
The handlebars, saddle and pedals must be securely attached. Check the height of the handlebar stem. Make sure that the handlebar stem and seatpost are fastened such that their minimum insertion marks are not exposed. Handlebars should be tight and in line with the front wheel. Check if handlebars and front fork are properly stabilized. You should be able to rotate the handlebar post freely in the front fork. Tighten the bolts that attach the pedal crank-arms to the front bearing. Pedals should be tight, with no binding. Check for looseness in front and headset bearings.
Squeeze both brake levers and try to roll the bike to check if the brakes are operating properly. If the bike moves while the brave levers are squeezed or if the brake levers touch the handlebar, then your brakes are too loose and need some adjusting. Make sure brake cables are taut. Check the brake cable for breaks or frayed ends; replace any worn or frayed brake cable. When brakes are applied, the brake pads (shoes) should contact squarely with the rim and should not touch the tire or the spokes.
Keep your bike's chain clean and properly lubricated. Use a rag soaked in de-greaser to remove dirt and grease buildup. Lubricate the chain after cleaning. Bike maintenance experts recommend using a web lube in wet environments and a dry lube in dry environments. Make sure that the chain moves smoothly without sticking or jumping.
Tools for basic bicycle maintenance
Proper inspection and maintenance of your bike requires a few basic tools.
Fitness for Health and Wellbeing
When you think of fitness, you may be thinking of well-toned bodies, rock-hard abs and generally, just a fit and outstanding physique. What if I told you that in order to be truly fit and feel great you don’t need to be a body builder?
Fitness is more than exercise. If you think exercise and weight control are all there is to fitness, you may be surprised! Fitness is a lifelong pursuit, not a short term goal. "Physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity" (USDHHS, 1996).
In fact, physical fitness is made up of five main components: cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility.
An interesting quote I came across is this: "The biggest obstacle people face in achieving physical and financial fitness is developing consistent and long-term healthy habits." This came from Countrywide Bank Managing Director, Pierre Habis. Interestingly, it points up the fact that anything worth achieving should become a mindset based on a long term goal. Add anything that is worth while achieving to your regular life routine.
In general, physical fitness is the ability to do daily activities without feeling overly tired. Physical fitness is especially beneficial in preventing coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, enhancing muscle quality, preventing muscular deterioration and reducing depression.
You see, true fitness is everything from proper sleep to proper nutrition, from stress reduction to weight reduction, and from flexibility to balance to relaxation. Being physically well toned and muscular does not mean you’re healthy.
Diet and exercise work together for your body's best interest. That’s because nutrition and physical activity go together like bread and butter for our bodies. Dieting alone is not going to be able to give you all of these health benefits. You need to have the physical part as well. Exercise will aid in digestion, provide strength and endurance, and does wonders for the heart.
On the flip side, it is important to be aware of the fact that a bad diet can affect your fitness training, even if you follow the best type of exercise plan available! In order to stay as healthy as possible, you need to combine a healthy diet with a lot of exercise!
The average person needs at least twenty minutes of exercise three times a week. This is not hard for most people to attain – even if you’re not used to any kind of fitness training. It will help to strengthen your cardiovascular health and your overall fitness. Regardless of what sort of physical activity you choose, you should burn about 3500 calories per week. You will soon start feeling the benefits!
When you start any type fitness plan it is recommended that you talk
to your doctor about it first. He may work out a specific exercise plan with you that is best suited for your particular physical needs. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any special health concerns like blood pressure, hypertension and any special diet needs that you may have.
It just cannot be stressed enough how the combination of a healthy diet and exercise plan will do wonders for your overall well being. It will make you feel good mentally, emotionally, as well as physically!
Did you know that you can use diet to control high blood pressure? Studies have shown that exercise has a role in keeping blood pressure from increasing. Yes; hypertension can be controlled by physical activity, a low fat diet, and reducing your salt intake, weight, and alcohol consumption!
There is also increasing evidence that weight bearing exercises, like walking, dancing, running, and sports are all excellent for good bone health.
To balance your overall health, you need to have a healthy diet that provides ample calcium, vitamins and minerals along with the adequate amount of exercise to keep your body working great for the rest of your life.
Changing the Way We Think When we Quit Smoking
Successfully quitting smoking is often largely a matter of changing how we think about cigarettes, smoking, and ourselves as smokers. Believe it or not, changing your thoughts can have a powerful influence in helping you quit. By examining your reasons for smoking, your beliefs about the need to smoke, and developing some very clear reasons to stop smoking, you will be able to take the first step towards designing your own smoking cessation program.
If smoking is something you use to help you cope with stress, you can develop other means of relaxing and dealing with life's challenges including meditation, exercise, social activities, and so on. Instead of thinking of the cigarette as something that will bring you relief, learn to view it as something that causes problems, restricts your freedom, costs you too much money, creates barriers between you and your loved ones, etc.
You may find it helpful to look for humor in your situation, as well as view yourself and your addiction with the sympathy of an outside observer, as you struggle with faulty lighters, observe the burn marks on your belongings, or search desperately for a misplaced pack. Gain some objectivity, and take a brave look at the destructive influences smoking has had on your life. Then create a clear image of yourself as someone who no longer needs to smoke. Imagine the relief of not having to find ways to fit in a smoke, and the money you will save. What are just a few of the ways you might make better use of that money? Think of some fun things you can do with friends or family, or decide on a treat just for you.
Read about success stories and the different methods of quitting that others have found useful in order to help envision your own successful road to becoming smoke-free. Learning to see quitting as something that countless of others succeed at every day will help put you in the right frame of mind. It is natural that you will encounter some obstacles, but having clearly defined goals and rewards, as well as asking for the support of friends and family, will help you stay on track.
There are many resources available to help you quit smoking, from hypnosis sessions or tapes, to nicotine replacement products, support groups, and much more. Incorporate several approaches that appeal to you, for your greatest chance of success, and look forward to a healthier future. Have a plan decided on ahead of time to help make each step of the way that much easier, and don't give up. The choice to create a healthier, happier lifestyle for you and your loved ones is within your reach.
Silk Bedding, the Healthier Back To Basics Alternative
Over the past several years there has been a drive for us all to become healthier, eat better more natural food, exercise more and even improve the way we rest. Consumers have been demanding more natural goods, and we are witnessing a swing of “back to nature” in many retail fields. It is with no surprise then that we are seeing companies supplying healthier goods to meet with customers’ demands.
The world of bedding and linens has not been exempt from this trend and one can now find many natural fibres replacing the more conventional synthetic beddings. Coverings such as polyester and other synthetically made linens are not as sympathetic to our bodies needs as natural products are. Down, wool, cotton and silk are all examples of natural products seeing resurgence in the bedding market. As manufacturing techniques become increasingly sophisticated the prices of production decreases, making once prohibitively expensive bedding products more accessible to a mass market.
Silk bedding has seen a huge increase in both trade and expansion of products recently. The silk filled duvet market in particular has grown tenfold from five years ago. Take a look at silksleep (dot) com who have been trading for several years now exclusively selling silk bedding products. Silk as a bedding product is both natural and healthier than using a synthetic product. Silk bedding by nature is inhospitable to bed bugs as the natural protein in silk repels the bugs and mites, making for a healthier sleeping environment. Some silk duvets are layered using mulberry silk, working enough silk together in a grid pattern to be able to be stitched into a duvet. This layering effect has a beneficial result as the silk allows our body heat to regulate itself, which in turn gives a better more relaxed nights sleep.
Silk linen and pillow slips have also seen remarkable growth in the past few years. This is again because of sophisticated production techniques but also because there is a renewed demand for natural products. There is now a wide range of silk linen on the shelves in many good retailers and online stores. Many sell mulberry silk products which are far superior to other kinds of silk. Mulberry silks have been specifically harvested for a targeted production process. Be it for clothing, bedding or decorating, the durability of mulberry silk over other silks is noticeable and should be favoured if at all possible.
Healthier living is making an impact round the world and bringing new and exciting products to our shores. Silk bedding is just one example of a return to basics trend – thankfully we now live in a world that allows us to go back to basics in style! Next time you are out and about, give natural a second look.
Family Crests Might Not Be What You Think They Are
Family crests are not what you might think. The term "family crest" is sometimes used interchangeably with the heraldic terms "coat-of-arms" or "family shield," but a family crest is actually only one portion of the heraldic display known as a coat-of-arms. The crest is usually the uppermost design element in a coat-of-arms, standing on top of an armor helmet depicted in the coat-of-arms. It is analogous to the crest on top of the heads of some birds.
Design Elements in Family Crests.
Different animals and other graphic representations may be used in the design of family crests. A hand or arm holding a weapon, a lion, horse or dragon, or the wings of an eagle or another bird are often seen.
A wreath (torse) in the family liveries (the principal colors of the family shield) usually surrounds the crest. In family crests of nobles such as princes, dukes or earls, a coronet often takes the place of the torse or sits on top of the torse.
Historical Underpinnings of Family Crests.
Heraldic coats-of-arms and family crests originated in Europe's early Middle Ages, and they came into popular use during the feudal period. Medieval knights used their crests and coats-of-arms to quickly and easily identify themselves to friends and foes during tournaments and battles. For example, a knight's shield and helmet were usually painted with colorful, vivid design elements from his coat-of-arms, oftentimes the family crest. A similar system - but with different graphics - evolved and came into use in feudal Japan.
Other than reigning Queens, women are generally not entitled to bear or use family crests, and neither are members of the clergy. These exclusions are an historical artifact that arose because women and clergymen did not fight in battle or participate in medieval tournaments, and accordingly they would not have had a helmet on which to display a family crest. Because the stylized representations which we now think of as being family crests originated as displays on top of actual armored helmets, there was no mechanism to ever create a family crest for a woman or clergyman.
Family Crests Today.
By law, in several countries, only certain specific people ("armigers") are technically entitled to bear or use family crests and coats-of-arms, even today. But family crests are such attractive designs that they have become popular as wall displays and as part of the design of some jewelry. Like coats-of-arms, heraldic family crests relate to a specific historical individual or family name, and sometimes they symbolically portray that individual's deeds or events that occurred during the family history. Typically, very specific symbolic devices, colors and patterns are combined to create a heraldic family crest, and each of these components tells part of the story of the person or family that the crest belongs to. They are, however, typically highly stylized and it is sometimes very difficult to accurately decipher the symbolism used in a family crest. But even when the meaning of a family crest has long been lost in the mists of time, it is a beautiful, highly decorative design that evoke the magic of the Middle Ages and links us to a noble past.