Healthful Perks from Both Coffee and Tea

Unfortunately, coffee, in this case, is always getting the short end of the stick when deciding what’s essentially ‘better’ for you. Often times, people tend to forget when you are enhancing your coffee or teas’ flavor with added sugars or creams, you are reducing the benefits from its organic state. So, why not both? Coffee and tea share very similar health benefits, the big deciding factor should be, ‘which one delights your taste buds?’

Energy

Both coffee and tea naturally stimulate energy from their high source of caffeine. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest research, despite the amount of caffeine consumed, high or low, the effects on the body are determined neutral. Healthline extents this conversation, elaborating that caffeine is consumed by many to become energized and alert. They mention, “80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product each day…” and those products are commonly coffee, tea, energy drinks or soft drinks.

Comforting

Whether it’s coffee or tea, the smell, and feel of a hot beverage can be soothing, promote relaxation and positive energy. In the Guardian article, research results from the University of Colorado Boulder experiment predicted that “participants who briefly held a cup of hot coffee judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring)”. This was a case study, which tested the idea of a hot drink is one of many solutions to peaceful restoration to your mood. Think of your drinking session as the time to get away from your active day or even to prepare for the energy and motivation soon to be provided from your tea or coffee. 

Promotes weight loss

As noted, both beverages contain amounts of caffeine; caffeine is a key ingredient in weight loss by increasing metabolism. An obesity research article was published on the Wiley online library; their theory was confirmed that “Weight loss was significantly higher (6.7 ± 1.4 kg) in the high caffeine intake groups than in the low caffeine intake groups…” These results were calculated over a month trial of subjects’ in-taking high amounts of caffeine and revealed signs of a reduction in weight, BMI, and waist size. Obviously, caffeine isn’t the only solution to losing significant weight, but it is definitely shown that it can be an encouragement.

Nutritional

It is evident that coffee and tea are made up of different things, so that means both give off great health benefits diversely. For example, Medical Daily highlights the stimulation released from caffeine can soothe the airways of the lungs for people with asthma and caffeine can also relax the brain’s blood vessels to reduce the side effects of migraines. Tea, on the other hand, consists of many antioxidants; one highlight is that tea can possibly prevent the development of cancer. The national cancer institute discusses the benefits of polyphenol a prominent antioxidant in green tea. It was noted that polyphenol “may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.” Tea polyphenol can even limit that amount of damage from sun UV rays and blocking the expansion of tumor cells 

Overall, just try not to overthink what is not best for you, but what is better for you. Tea and coffee both share very similar healthful incentives; it’s just deciding what works or ‘taste’ better to you. In the end, we are all trying to either find a way to relax, regroup or get motivated during our lively days but with a little extra boost!

Health Benefits of an Avocado

Fun Fact!

Avocados are fruit, not a vegetable. It’s funny, a large part of the population mistaken avocados for a vegetable because it’s not juicy and sweet like a typical fruit! Avocado contains a large seed found in its core and is a part of the Persea belonging to the Lauraceae family.

Avocados were first planted in the U.S in Florida and California, from then, stated by the agricultural marketing resource center, “The value of the U.S. avocado production measured $392 million…” That is to show that avocados are loved by many; avocados provide many benefits from health to an extra great taste to food.

What’s it good for?

  • Avocados are high in good fats and low in carbs.
  • Vitamin source – contains vitamins C, E, K, and B-6
  • Helps with cholesterol – The mayo clinic encourages people to include an avocado day in their diet. They have monounsaturated fatty acid which can lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Skin – Avocado can be used as an oil to moisturize and nourish the skin with its richness in Vitamin E.
  • Eyesight – Antioxidants are provided for eye protection. Medical News Today discloses Avocados having lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for eye tissue health.
  • Encourages weight loss – Avocados allow you to feel fuller longer and increases your fat-burning rate.
  • Stress reliever – the vitamin B-6 helps improve your mood by strengthening your nerve cells. Cautioned by Harvard T.C. Chan, an extended B-6 deficiency can result in symptoms of confusion and depression.

A few ways to incorporate avocados in your diet

  • Avocado toast – for breakfast or a snack you can spread avocado on your favorite bread. It is super fulfilling and quick for on the go.
  • Avocados are great in smoothies; the fiber allows you to feel full and stay full longer
  • You can incorporate smashed avocados to your favorite meal as a topping. Add it on your burgers, nachos, salads, sandwiches just to add extra flavor and balance to the dish.
  • Guacamole is a fan favorite! The main ingredient is avocado, just season with some salsa, salt, pepper, lime, or whatever that delights your taste buds

Avocados are just one of the many foods that you can incorporate to promote a healthful diet and lifestyle. Eating better can be exciting and motivating when you know the great facts and how to prepare them tastefully in your nutrition make therapy.

Staph Infection Prevention

Staph is not the worst infection, but it is a common and unpleasant one to develop. Staph can be easily spread amongst patients and employees in and between hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities.

Risks

Staph infection comes from the bacteria strand, staphylococcus. Staph is an infection that affects the skin; the majority of the times it causes no severe problems and is considered a minor condition. It was documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than 119,000 bloodstream staph infections occurred in 2017”. So, it is still important to seek treatment when the first symptoms are noticed. When staph is developed over time, it could result in severe complications once the infection penetrates deeper into your body.

Common symptoms vary from skin rashes, redness, or blisters on the skin. As infection prolongs, you may develop fevers, chills, diarrhea or even vomiting.

Treatment for staph is by doctor prescribed antibiotics.

Prevention. If you ever had a Staph infection, reoccurrences, or never want to experience it, here are some helpful prevention tips to practice.

  1. Clean hands at all times. Wash hands before eating, after using the restroom, and keep hand-sanitizer with you or at your desk.
  2. Keep open wounds clean, dry, and covered to prevent spreading infections to others and to other parts of your body.
  3. Try not to share. To prevent germ exchange, avoid sharing food, drinks, and any personal items.
  4. Clean your linen and towels in warm to hot water to kill germs.
  5. For health care facilities, CDC encourages practice in keeping all medical devices sterile before placing them into patients’ bodies.
  6. Contact precautions include proper disposal and renewing of patient-care equipment and protective wear—gloves and gowns.
  7. Make a habit of disinfecting your home, workplace, or any rooms you encounter.

Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

A productive day begins with a great positive mood, but to even achieve that starts with a good night’s rest. I get it, after a long day of work and adulting, your body can still be “on the go” mode and it can be difficult to relax your mind and body completely. Keep in mind, patterns of bad sleep can result in other prolonged sleep disorders and sleep deprivation.

The National Sleep Foundation shows studies of progressive bad sleep can contribute to hypertension, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression, and possibly other chronic diseases. It was researched that 50 to 70 million Americans were tested positive in showing signs of chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems.

Pills are an easy solution to sleep problems versus organic alternatives to healthy sleep. Pill usage, to fall asleep, is on the rise. The Addiction Center announces that between 2006 to 2011 a sleeping pill, Ambien, had approximately 38 million prescriptions. Though sleeping pills can be a great short-term fix to treating disorders like insomnia, there are some possible risks, such as dependency.

I know it sounds intimidating, but of course, this can be all hypothetical when finding sleep aids that can work for you. Here are a few tips to incorporate into your night routine or to even create a new one.

  1. Develop a routine, and stick to it!  Try to go to bed at the same time, every night, and wake up at the same time.  As routine progresses, our body’s systems naturally prepare for and anticipate events. Eventually, your body will recognize when it is time to relax and become sleepy prior to bedtime and become more alert in the morning.
  2. Take a hot shower before bed. This will relax your muscles so you sleep without the fatigue from your busy day.
  3. Aroma Therapy. Scents such as, commonly used, lavender serves a purpose to reduce stress, anxiety, generate calmness and wellness.
  4. Avoid drinks before bed. About an hour or two before bed, don’t intake any liquids. This way you can avoid or limit your trips to the bathroom during the night. Just in case, keep a small light in the bathroom.
  5. Adjust room temperature. Making sure your sleep environment is comfortable and cool will be effective, especially if you get hot and restless during the night.
  6. Minimize electronics. The usage of electronic devices can alter or delay your body’s internal clock. Your alertness at bedtime is going up when it should be reducing. Which means your release of melatonin is being suppressed, making it hard to fall asleep.
  7. Limit noise. The less noise during the night, the higher the chances your sleep not being disturbed.
  8. Keep your sleeping space dark. Melatonin is a chemical released to the body to allow us to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. So, even the slightest amount of light can interrupt this production.
  9. Don’t go to bed hungry. Who enjoys the feeling and hearing their stomach growl through the night?  Your sleep is enhanced when your stomach is satisfied.
  10. Exercise. Exercise increases body temperature, so your post-exercise temperature drop can trigger falling asleep faster. Exercise can even relieve symptoms of insomnia such as anxiety and depression.
  11. Possibly, see a doctor. After trials and errors trying to find the perfect way to sleep peacefully, reach out to doctor assistance in figuring out what could be keeping you up at night.

Houston Astros elite pitcher, Justin Verlander, gives his sleep expertise with the New York Times giving away his secret that more sleep is the key to a successful day. His methods include making sure he uses blackout blinds and preventing any cell phone distractions before bed.  “I just kinda do what makes me feel good,” Verlander says.  “Your body will tell you what to do.”

As your sleep improves, so can your days. Soon your work-place may start to get friendlier, your energy a little brighter, the sky looking quite clearer, and your heart feeling a lot happier.

Running apps

Every Shoe Has A Purpose

Biofoot-me states that “We must, therefore, wear comfortable footwear suitable for every occasion.” However, Shoes are built and worn specifically for every occasion. You wouldn’t want to run on a treadmill in vans or wear sneakers with a suit and tie. You must wear shoes that will provide the best functionality.

If you are someone who walks a lot, you should consider buying shoes that support your arch and back. Avoid wearing shoes that have a flat bottom like vans or converse. Look into shoes that have the appropriate sole that will ease your walks. Shoes like crocs, sketchers, or new balance are fantastic due to having a good sole, well-rounded build, and comfortability. Spectrum foot clinics gave an insight on crocs stating “They offer good arch support, but also have very cushioned insoles, making them a very comfortable choice for people experiencing this kind of pain.” They’re also cost-friendly, with shoes and crocs ranging from $30-$60.

Like most jobs, you are usually seated and not doing much walking or standing. This can give you some flexibility on what type of shoes to wear. You can wear classic flat bottoms, sandals, dress shoes, heels or athletic footwear. However, make sure that you fall in line with dress codes that your employers have set.

If you’re a physical therapist, trainer, or coach, it’s recommended to wear shoes that will be best suited for physical activities. Look into running shoes that have ridges at the bottom. These ridges help increase balance and grip for when you walk, run, and jump. Running shoes will not only bring out the most of physical activities but can bring out the most out of your wallet. Athletic shoes can be expensive, so be ready to commit to a hefty price tag. However, it will pay off in the long run.

Construction and warehouse workers must wear shoes that provide a sturdy base and padded protection. Look into shoes that have a strong cushion in the interior. This can help soften and ease the load on your feet when lifting or pushing objects. Also, look into lightweight work boots. A heavy shoe can increase pain at your ankles and bottom of your feet. Check out your local retailer to see which work boot would be economical.

If you’re unable to purchase a pair of shoes, you could look sole inserts. A sole insert can fit into almost any type of shoe and can make one of the most uncomfortable shoes feel like you have pillows on your feet.  If you have really flat feet, and I mean almost parallel to the floor just like me, visit your local doctor. Have your feet examined and listen to their expert opinion on what type of soles you should purchase.

Shoes come in various shapes and sizes but serve the same purpose. Make sure to buy the right shoes for your feet as it brings health a long way.

 

Written by, Julien Gonzalez

Calisthenics

Having to pay for a gym membership can get pretty pricey, especially if you’re not attending. What if you could just work out at home or the park? Well, I want to introduce you to calisthenics, a type of workout routine that uses your body as the weight. You can do this almost anywhere you have space, and it’s a lot easier than you think. One great advantage that Calisthenics have overweight lifting according to Shape.com is “Calisthenics involves using the entire body and not emphasizing certain muscles over others.” Here are some of the workouts you can do without lifting weights.

Upper body:

Push-ups – Push-ups are one of the most popular routines you can do. Push-ups involve being parallel to the floor, arms should width apart, and declining your body back to inclining to the rest position. Push-ups focus on the chest and shoulders. If you’re starting off, try doing 3X10 and as you get better, add 5 more pushups for every set. This will ensure you’re intensifying your routine as you get stronger.

Pull-ups – Pull-ups can be pretty tricky and are one of the hardest routines to perform. Although, this one of the best routines to build arm strength, stamina, and back. Check out your neighborhood park and find some monkey bars. If none available, you can buy a pull-up bar for your door for about $20. If you’re new to pull-ups try 3X3 and add 3 for every time you get better. Soon enough, you’ll be a pull-up master.

Triceps dip – Don’t forget those triceps! Tricep dips consist of an object, like your couch or chair. First, you face away from the object, take a few steps forward; set your hand on the object while declining your legs in front of you. You then bend your arms down and spring back up to the rest position. Perform 3X10 and add 5 as you get the jiffs of it.

Lower body:

Squats – Never skip leg day, never! Squats are a very effective way to gain strength in your quads and glutes and are very easy to perform. All you do is stand up straight, arms out in front of you, and bend your knees until you’re parallel to the floor, then back up. you can 3X15 if starting out then adding 5 more as you begin to progress.

Lunges – Lunges are quite simple to execute but they sure do pack a punch. To perform this routine, all you do is step one leg out in front of you, bend it and don’t let your knee from your other leg touch the floor. You then interchange each leg and repeat the process. Try doing 3X15 then add 5 as you improve. For more advanced lunges, you can also do it stepping backward.

ABS:

Sit-ups – The body part that the girls love the most, sit-ups, whether in the gym or not; is still one of the most effective ways to obtain a strong core. All you do is lie down on your back, bend your knees while our feet stay planted on the floor, and lift your v body up while placing your hands behind your head. The trick is to make sure you harden your tummy for better results. Do 3X10 and add 5 to intensify the workout.

Planks – Planks, an enemy for all of those who wish to have rock hard abs, is one of the toughest routines to achieve. However, don’t be feared. Practice and perseverance is the key to getting better. To begin, you lie down on your stomach, legs together, and lift up with your elbows and hold still for 30 seconds to a minute. Try doing three sets and rest for about 30 seconds in between. As you get better, add 10 seconds after every set and no time, you’ll have no shame taking your shirt off at the pool.

Bodyweight workouts are easy, cheap, and show results. If you’re looking to build mass though, then this might not be for you. However, if you want to build strength for your entire body, then this is perfect. Repetition and persistence are key for the best results of any workout. So since you’re knowledgeable about calisthenics, give it a try and see results.

Mosquitoes

You hear the silent buzz. You feel the urge to itch, and as you rub the itch, you feel another spot to itch. It’s annoying, aggravating, and frustrating. If you can infer of what I’m talking about, then you too know that all mosquitoes should be destroyed. Well, that’s physically impossible, but there are some ways to combat these pestering insects.

However, before we get to that, mosquitoes are important for our ecosystem and play a big part in our daily lives. Gizmodo points out “many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer.” In short, mosquitoes feed us. However, according to national geographic “mosquito-borne disease causes millions of deaths worldwide every year with a disproportionate effect on children and the elderly in developing countries.” They must be minimized to all humans, and here’s how.

Mosquito spray – Invest in a good mosquito spray. This will create a barrier around your body that will force mosquitoes to stay away. The better the spray, the likelihood of not getting your blood sucked increases.

Mosquito repellant – Try surrounding the areas where you spend time outside with mosquito repellant. This will create a perimeter blocking mosquitoes from entering. The best type of repellent you want to look for is anything that contains the chemical N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). Mosquito.org states that DEET “remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged.”

Natural repellant – There are certain plants you can plant outside your house that acts as a repellent from mosquitoes. These plants include citronella, basil, and lemongrass. You can fill up your garden or backyard with pretty plants and kill pest at the same time.

Water – Mosquitoes’ love water, so try moving any items that contain water. This includes flowerpots, containers, and hoses. This will send mosquitoes to a different direction rather than yourself.

Window screens – Place window screens to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home. Mosquitoes are tricky and hard to see; installing a window screen will stop any small bugs from entering without asking.

Bed net – The most annoying time a mosquito can pierce you is at night. A bed net that would hang over your bed is a great way to block any mosquito from entering and disturbing your sleep.

Stay inside during dusk – Mosquitoes are everywhere but are most active during the nighttime. If possible, try to stay inside during those times. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s a good thing you have repellent and spray to give you extra protection while you’re outside.

Mosquitoes are pestering but there are ways to make them less annoying. Make sure to be cautious when going outside and take appropriate actions when dealing with mosquitoes.

Beat the Heat

With 2019 becoming one of the hottest years so far as January through March ranked as the third hottest YTD on record according to NOAA.gov, it has forced many people to stay inside rather than enjoy the beautiful days outside. If you were to go outside for a long period of time, it could have significant t effects on your body and health. Here are some ways you can beat the heat.

Drink plenty of water – It is said to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day according to Healthline. The harsh environments during the summer switch the narrative from recommended requiring. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and refreshed.

Avoid dark colors – Black colored clothing absorbs more heat from the sun than white. Before you make your trip outside, be wary of the colors you wear. Darker colors tend to make your body warmer than usual.

Avoid sodas/energy drinks/alcohol – According to an insider, “alcohol is a diuretic, which makes the body lose fluids by making you have to go the bathroom more often.” Coffee, energy drinks, and sodas all fall under as a diuretic. High sugar content associated with these drinks also prevents your body from absorbing the water it needs.

Bring a water bottle – Make it a habit to bring your own reusable water bottle. This will ensure you to have water at your hands at all times and help reach your daily consumption of eight 8-ounces a day. You can find tumblers for as cheap as five to ten dollars.

Apply sunscreen – If you plan on staying outside for a long period of time, then you should consider applying some sunscreen. Sunscreen is used to prevent your skin from heating up and sunburns. If you plan to walk your dog or workout at the neighborhood park, it might be a good idea to rub some sunscreen.

AC – Make sure the ac units in your car and home are up to date. Check the maintenance and all parts are functional. Add free- on to make sure you’re getting the coldest air possible. The heat can be so overwhelming, that it will cause your AC units to blow hot air or force your unit to work harder than usual. Keep it a priority to check up on your AC during hot times.

Limit your time outside – It’s difficult to stay indoors on a beautiful day, but the longer you stay outside in high temperatures increases the likelihood of suffering a heat stroke. Heat strokes include dizziness, headaches, and rapid pulse. According to Medicine Health “Confusion, hallucinations, seizures, loss of consciousness, organ damage, coma, and death can occur if not treated quickly and effectively.” the same can go for younger kids and pets. Make sure to regulate their time outside as they have a higher risk to obtain symptoms of heatstroke. Take a look at our Heat stress blog that will further inform you about heat-related symptoms.

Park under the shade/garage – When driving to a convenient store; park in spots that have shade. This will prevent the car from getting too hot or overheating when you’re at the store for long hours. If you have a garage, take advantage of it. Leaving your car with the blistering sun pounding on it can ruin paint and any objects left in your car.

It’s hot and you know your body better than anyone. Always pay attention to what your body is signaling to you so you won’t have to suffer from any heat like symptoms.

Tips for Staying Healthy as a Truck Driver

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, trucking is the eighth most dangerous job in the United States. Drivers are constantly driving long distances, harsh environments, and dealing with mental fatigue. Here are some tips to consider for keeping up with your health as a truck driver.

  • Pass medical exams – In order to become a truck driver, you must be able to obtain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate). The document will recognize that the driver is stated at good health and is capable of driving.
  • Sleep – Long distances can lead to fatigue and driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as being under the influence. In order to combat drowsiness, one should sleep for at least 7 hours and develop good sleeping habits. This will help drivers to stay awake and concentrate on the road.
  • Take breaks – Similar to sleep, a driver should take frequent breaks in order to clear the mind and destress. Take 10 to 20 minute naps and stretch your body so you can refresh and get back on the road.
  • Exercise – Even though truck drivers have a strict deadline, there is always time to perform a quick workout. By doing simple exercises like pushups and squats, 1) you’re keeping your body fit 2) as your heart rate rises, so will your energy level and 3) you’re maintaining overall good health mentally and physically.
  • Consume nutritious snacks – Treat your body like it’s your truck. If you fill it up with bad fuel, you can damage the truck as the same goes for if you eat bad food, then your body won’t preform at the level it needs to be. Snacks like peanuts, yogurt and fruits is great for acquiring the vitamins your body needs.
  • Avoid energy drinks – Energy drinks do provide a quick boost but it can lead to some long term effects. Consuming too many energy drinks can lead to a high intake of sugar, high blood pressure, and heart problems. A better alternative to energy drinks is water. Water helps maintain body temperature, weight, and gets rid of waste.
  • Constant contact with loved ones – This may sound obvious, but truck drivers are spending countless of hours driving alone to reach their destination. According to The New York Times “loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation.” In order to avoid this state, it is important or drivers to contact their family members or loved ones every opportunity they have.

Trucking is a dangerous occupation but can be rewarding as it provides many benefits and great pay. However, health is the number priority for any occupation and as for truck drivers, implementing these tips while on the road should serve well.

 

Written by Julien Gonzalez

Why Working Out Before Work is Beneficial

Waking up early and getting ready for work is a hassle. So why should you wake up even earlier to get a thirty minute to an hour workout? The answer is simple; it’s to improve your overall health, but there are many other benefits aside from health that will improve. Here are some of the pros of why you should start working out before clocking in.

For starters, it wakes you up

Exercising early in the morning can help jump start your brain and increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain and is often referred to as the “feel good” hormone. By working out, you can increase the level of dopamine which will then allow you to feel motivated and awake. By achieving this, you are prepared to start the workday with a clear mind and high energy.

Sets a routine

The morning would be a great time to establish a routine. Usually there aren’t many distractions before work compared to after work, so this will allow you to have some free time to prepare and concentrate on the schedule ahead of you. Once you finish your exercise routine, you can then move on to eating a healthy breakfast and make your way to your job. Once you’re off, you can focus on dinner and getting ready for bed to start the day all over again.

Eliminates stress

According to HelpGuide, excessive stress can interfere with productivity and performance in the work place. It can also affect life outside of work such as friends and family. Starting off the day with a workout will contribute to decreasing stress and an improve work productivity. One can achieve this by going to the gym or running around in the neighborhood. No matter what the workout is, any physical engagement for thirty minutes to an hour will successfully reduce stress.

Positive mentality

The feeling of enduring an exhausting workout can lead to a brighter day. By completing rigorous trainings, you’ll gain more confidence which will then reflect your work. This can also lead to creating or maintaining relationships among the work place. Better relationships leads to constructive teamwork and a healthy work environment. Exercising also helps eliminate the sluggish attitude that is typical in the morning. Eliminating any type of negative energy is guaranteed to elevate work efficiency.

Even though it’s tough to wake up even earlier to work out, it has many perks that will positively affect your lifestyle. Exercising before work can lead to both health and work improvement. For those who are looking to get back into shape or change their lifestyle, this would be a great step to doing so.

 

 

Written by Julien Gonzalez