Sunday, January 1, 2012

Be Happy – Wish Everyone Happy New Year!

The year 2011 has gone and now, we are beginning a new year 2012. Time does not stop. It goes on and on. It is the life for all that we must go on. If it stops, if we stop at a single point, we may perhaps not deserve life anymore. Let us resolve that in this year, we won’t commit those wrongs which occurred during the last year whether they were with our knowledge and efforts and not within our knowledge and not through our efforts. If we wish good for all, naturally we may get good from others.

Let us dedicate this year to better health for all. Better Health means better output and better prosperity for those who command better health. If you maintain poor health, the most of time may go to put yourself on the track again and again. That is why you must resolve to keep yourself healthy. If you are healthy, you can take care for yourself and others you love. You must include nutrients and exercise in your schedule of work.

Go through your working in the previous year.

Before you chalk out new programs for new year, you must go through your working in the previous year. Where you succeeded and where you failed, what were the shortcomings and where you could improve and what else you could accomplish should be the matter of serious consideration for the next year.

Undertake a Daily Exercise Plan

History teaches you to improve, not to get inclined with the failures all the time. If you feel like you could not put yourself best in your work due to your physical weakness, you must now think over it. If you have not already included strength training in your workouts, you're missing more than feeling strong. Working your muscles increases blood flow and keeps your system clog-free. Plus, it can help you fight off health bullies ranging from arthritis and diabetes to osteoporosis and heart disease.

Start With a Warm-Up

Warming up your muscles before your workout helps your muscles adjust to the exercises that you'll be doing, and it's a great way to slowly increase your heart rate. Your warm-up could include taking a brisk walk or bike ride, or simply marching or jogging in place, or doing some jumping jacks for 1 to 3 minutes.

Work Your Shoulders

Standing with your feet together, place the band under the arches of your feet and hold the handles of your resistance band. With your hands at your sides and your palms facing down, lift your arms straight out to your sides 25 times. The slower you raise and lower your arms, the more you work your muscles. Always lead with your elbows -- not your wrists -- to prevent injury. After finishing the set, lift your arms straight one more time, and hold for 30 seconds.

Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff Muscles

While standing on the band and holding the handles, reach your arms out to your sides and bring your hands as high as you can -- but not more than shoulder height. Rotate arms clockwise in small circles (about the size of a cantaloupe) 25 times, then switch direction and rotate arms counterclockwise 25 times.

Stretch Your Shoulders

Place the back side of your right hand just above your right hip. Standing up straight, clasp your right elbow with your left hand (if you can't do this, slide your right hand behind your lower back until you can reach your elbow). Gently pull your elbow toward your belly button and take five deep breaths into your upper chest, then exhale slowly. Keep your chest lifted and shoulders even. Do the same on the other side.

Strengthen Your Upper Back and Arms

Stand with your feet together. Wrap the band around each hand three times and lift your hands above your head with your palms facing forward. With straight arms, pull your hands away from each other 25 times, keeping the band taut throughout. Do 25 reps balancing on your left foot with your right knee in line with your right hip; switch sides and repeat.

Build Stamina

Stand with your feet together. Hold the band above your head with your hands apart for 25 seconds (with the band as tight as possible). Don't tighten your face or scrunch your shoulders. Do the exercise while balancing on your toes.

Work Your Upper Back and Arms

Stand up straight with your feet together. Holding the handles, bring the band right in front of you at shoulder height. Pull your hands away from each other 25 times.

Open Up Your Upper Back

Stand with your feet together. Without the band, interweave your fingers and turn your palms away from your body so you're looking at your knuckles. Reach your palms as far away from yourself as you can as you hunch your back and curl your tailbone under. Take five deep breaths, expanding your rib cage.

Warm Up Your Chest and Arms

Grab each handle of the band and wrap the tubing around each hand to shorten it. Place the band behind your back, just underneath your shoulder blades. With your hands out to your sides at shoulder height, as if hugging a tree, bring your hands together in front of you on the exhale (keeping elbows straight). Inhale and bring your hands back to your sides. Do 25 reps. Do 50 and work your calves by rising up on the balls of your feet as you bring your arms together.

Strengthen Your Chest and Arms

Standing on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the handles down by your sides. Slowly lift your right hand (palm side up) out in front of the right side of your chest and then back down. Do the same thing with your left hand. For each arm, do 25 reps. If this is easy for you, do both at the same time. After finishing the set, hold both hands at the highest point for 30 seconds, palms facing up.

Stretch Out Your Chest and Arms

Leave the band loosely in your hands and interweave your fingers behind your head without touching your head. While standing upright, act as if there are strings on your elbows and hands, pulling them directly behind you as you take five deep breaths.

Work Your Triceps

Wrap the band around your left hand, hold the handle in your right hand, and stretch both hands out to your sides to shoulder height. Hold them there. Next, leaving your elbow stationary, bring your right hand (palm facing forward) toward your chest 25 times. Switch and wrap the band around your right hand. Do 25 reps on the left. To make it harder: Balance on one foot and wrap the band around one more time in each hand.

Warm Up Your Biceps

Stand with both feet on the band and hold the handles. Reach hands out to your side, palm side up, and circle your arms clockwise in small circles (about the size of a cantaloupe) 25 times. Switch direction and rotate arms counterclockwise 25 times.

Work Your Biceps

Stand with your feet together and place the band under the arches of your feet. With hands down to your sides, hold the band handles and turn your palms out until your thumbs are as far back as feels comfortable. Curl your arms up 25 times. Resist bringing your arms to the front. Tip: If doing both arms at the same time is too difficult, try doing one arm at a time. Do 50 reps in double-time.

Stretch Your Shoulders

This is a great stretch for tension across the tops of your shoulders. Standing with your feet together, interweave your fingers behind your back and rest them on your tailbone. With your chest lifted, arms straight, and shoulders down, lift your clasped hands back and away from your body. Resist rolling your shoulders forward.

Strengthen Your Legs and Butt

Stand with your feet together on the band and hold the handles. Bring your hands up to elbow height. Keep open hands facing up (don't squeeze band). Step side to side: Move your right foot to your right and plant it, then bring your left foot over to your right foot. Next, step your left foot to the left and plant it, then bring your right foot over to your left foot. Go back and forth 25 times. To make it harder: Lift your leading foot off the ground and tilt your body from side to side.

Work Your Legs and Butt

With the band under both feet and your feet shoulder-width apart -- or together -- hold the handles in front of you. Squat down as far as feels comfortable (keeping your core tight), as if you were sitting in a chair. As you squat, reach your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. This will help you work on balance. Come all the way back up to slightly bent knees. Do 25 reps. To make it harder: While in squatting position, pulse 25 times.

Stretch Your Leg Muscles

Without the band, cross your left foot over your right. Ideally you want your big toes in line, but go to where you feel comfortable balancing. Slowly walk your hands down your legs as far as feels comfortable. Really relax your neck, as if your head were a bowling ball elongating your spine, and take three deep breaths. Slowly come all the way back up to the starting position, cross your right foot over your left, and repeat.

Enjoy the Payoff

Doing a workout like this one that involves your body pushing and pulling against resistance adds to your body's lean muscle mass, builds bone, and burns fat. How much fat? A pound of fat burns 1 to 3 calories per day while a pound of muscle incinerates 50 to 150. Maintaining and building muscle takes just 10 minutes, three times a week. So, put your resistance bands to work and enjoy getting 'pumped up.'

For the Life of Your Heart

When it comes to the health of your heart, what you do and what you don't do can truly make a difference. Lifestyle choices -- such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise -- can be far more dangerous than hereditary factors. The good news is you have the power to make your heart both stronger and younger through what you eat, how you exercise, and how you respond to social and environmental stressors.

Here's a step-by-step plan to help you make heart-smart choices and get your ticker in top form.

Pump Your Heart

For optimal health, you need to do enough physical activity to burn between 3,500 and 6,500 calories a week (or roughly 500 to 950 a day). Everyday tasks will put a dent in this, but science shows that you'll also need about 60 minutes a week of stamina training. What’s that? It’s cardiovascular exercise that gets your body moving and your heart rate climbing, and makes you breathe harder. The way to improve heart function is to sweat more. Why? Cardiovascular activity helps lower your blood pressure.

Try These Heart-Pumping Activities

Be gentle on your joints. Haven't exercised in awhile? Try low-impact workouts, such as swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical trainer. Aim for at least three 20-minute sessions a week. Walk 30 minutes. Work your muscles -- including your heart. Add short bursts of intensity to moderate activities. After warming up, take it to the max for 1 minute, then slow down to recover for 2 minutes. Repeat. This will help rein in your cholesterol and slow your heart rate (a sign of cardio health).

Know Your Numbers

The most important numbers to watch are the big three -- cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar -- plus two more: homocysteine and C-reactive protein. Consider these numbers a stock ticker for a heart-healthy ticker. They tell you how you're doing and when you need to do more. When you have them measured, make sure your doctor also tells you your goal levels and what you can do to get there. Getting more active, losing weight, and making smart food choices can help get your numbers in a healthy range.

Get Happy

There are lots of reasons to be happy, including your heart health. Negative emotions, such as anger and hostility, can raise blood pressure. People with depression are four times more likely to have a heart attack. And while we don't understand how emotional stress causes physical stress, we do know there's a powerful connection.

You can seriously slash your risk for heart disease by choosing healthful foods that help keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the healthy zone. Take the time to plan your meals, create a heart-healthy grocery list, and cook foods that are good for you and your heart.

Follow this simple rule of thumb: opt for a heart-healthy diet with healthful fats, fiber, and good-for-you nutrients, such as flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. Nix the salty, sugary, sat-fat-laden, or processed stuff.

Foods for a Healthy Heart

If you think eating a heart-healthy diet means bland, boring food, your taste buds are in for a shock. With a few smart and simple substitutions, you won't even miss the unhealthy fats, salt, and extra calories making your heart old before its time. In fact, you can still eat some of the old standards if you modify them -- and when you add foods that lower cholesterol, you’ll have new, healthy, delicious options to choose from as well.

6 Must-Eat Foods for a Healthy Heart

To help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and prevent inflammation and arterial aging, eat these delicious foods:

1. Strawberries -- and just about any other colorful fruit or veggie you can find. Why? Because fruits and vegetables like red grapes, cranberries, oranges, plums, and tomatoes are bursting with flavonoids -- antioxidants that help quell inflammation. And that's a good thing, because inflammation is one of the many processes involved in heart disease. Eat them fresh -- sliced or whole. What could be easier? Aim for 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day.

2. Rye bread -- and any other grain product made from whole grains. Whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice, quinoa, flaxseeds, and whole soybeans are full of heart-protective fiber and magnesium that can help keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in a healthy range. Try for six or more daily servings of whole grains.

3. Avocado -- and other healthy vegetable-based fats. Use mashed avocado, olive oil, and nut butters in place of unhealthful fats. Mashed avocado makes a good sandwich spread if you mix it with a little salsa. And olive oil is a great butter substitute when you're sauteing veggies. Use nut butters and peanut butter in place of butter and cream cheese. Substitutions like these are delicious ways to bring down "bad" LDL cholesterol and boost the "good" HDL kind. Just remember to limit portion size as you would with any other oils or fats.

4. Salmon -- and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A strong body of research shows that eating fish (as long as it's not fried) helps lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high triglycerides, arterial plaque buildup, and inflammation in your arteries. Opt for three portions per week of oily fish rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Nuts -- yep, not only do they make healthy nut butters, but they make a great snack, too. And eating nuts regularly can cut your risk of heart disease by 20% to 60%. Almonds, pistachios, and especially walnuts are loaded with heart-friendly fats and are a great source of vegetable protein. Just stick to one handful per day to keep your calorie count down.

6. Dark chocolate -- see, you don't have to avoid sweets entirely. In fact, a little dark chocolate every day is good for your heart.

Heart Cutbacks

As you add more heart-healthy items to your daily menu, you also need to curb the foods that age your heart. That means minimizing unhealthy saturated and trans fats, salt, and sugar. But as you can see by the list above, there's no reason to be dismayed when you've got options like apple wedges with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt with raisins, crusty whole-grain breads, fresh berries, olives, veggies with hummus, savory salmon, and even a bit of dark chocolate now and then. So what are you waiting for?

Learn From Your Relatives

Even though you have a lot of control over your own heart-healthy destiny, a family history of heart disease does raise your risk significantly. So, along with talking to your doctor about a schedule of heart screenings, talk about your family health history, too. If Mom, Dad, or a sibling, for example, developed heart disease, be extra vigilant about screenings and adopting heart-smart practices. Keep a health journal to track your health habits, including family medical history, immunizations, and more.

Pop an Aspirin

Who would have ever thought that one little white pill could have such a powerful effect on the heart? Indeed, evidence shows that -- when taken regularly -- aspirin may reduce the incidence of heart attack or heart disease by making blood platelets less sticky and decreasing arterial inflammation. But it only makes sense for men over the age of 35 and women who are older than 40. Remember to check with your doctor first because aspirin can have side effects, such as stomach irritation and bleeding.

Take Your Vitamins

Certain nutrients and supplements can work preventive wonders for your heart, including:
Multivitamins: Your multivitamin is chock-full of heart-healthy micronutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Folate: This B vitamin lowers homocysteine to healthy levels. Since folate from food is only partially absorbed by your body, take a 400-microgram folic acid supplement. Make sure you're getting enough B6 and B12, too, because folate can mask a deficiency in these vitamins. Niacin: This drug appears to decrease the production of triglycerides in the body, which might be the mechanism that allows the body to decrease LDL levels. (Check with your doctor before taking a large dose.)

Schedule Sleep

Skimping on sleep increases arterial aging and raises your risk of a heart attack. Getting less than 6 to 8 hours a night will also cause you to release less serotonin (the feel-good hormone) in your brain. The result: You risk later indulging in less-than-healthy ways to feel good, such as noshing on sugary foods or tipping too many martinis. Also, consider napping. A daytime doze is a stress buster and heart protector. Dead tired? Did your neighbor's dog start yapping at 3 a.m. -- again? Are money worries messing with your ZZZs? Don't feel guilty if the idea of a little afternoon snooze sounds irresistible.

Naps can be great for you. They boost your mood, memory, and performance. They increase alertness and make you more likely to drive safely. They even protect your heart from stress: After a tense event, your blood pressure bounces back to normal much faster if you can grab a quick nap that lets you recoup and regroup.

You just have to do it right. Here's how to get the most out of a siesta, even if you can only catch one on the weekends:

· Keep it short. Start with 30 minutes and experiment. Some people feel refreshed in just 10 or 15 minutes; others need 45. Much longer and you'll likely feel groggy afterward.

· Aim for midafternoon. That's when the postlunch energy sag strikes. If you snooze much past 3 p.m., you may have trouble sleeping at night.

· Got a hammock? Nap there. Adults, just like babies, love to be rocked to sleep. In fact, you'll fall into deep, restful sleep faster in a gently rocking hammock than in a stationary bed.

· Get comfy. Kick off your shoes, loosen tight clothing, and darken the room. If you don't have a hammock, stretch out on your bed (not the couch). Underscoring the association between your bed and sleep keeps daytime napping from interfering with nighttime bliss (the falling asleep part, not the other stuff).

Partner with Your Doctor

If your doctor has prescribed medication for your cholesterol or high blood pressure, don't leave those pills sitting in the pill bottle. Following your doctor-prescribed treatment plan could literally save your life. Plus, sticking to your treatment plan makes all your other efforts to eat right and exercise pay off big time.

Check in and Check Up

Monitoring your own health and seeing your doctor regularly for progress reports is a vitally important step in your stay-healthy heart plan. Call your doctor if you feel overly fatigued, frequently get sick, or experience any symptoms that might indicate medication side effects. And make sure to schedule regular checkups with your doctor as well.

Love Your Heart

What's not to love about your heart? It pumps blood to your brain so you can think, to your sex organs so you can make love, and to your muscles so you can move and play. Be Happy – Wish Everyone Happy New Year!