When Heartburn is a Symptom You Shouldn’t Ignore

For most of us, heartburn is a small price to pay for an occasional overindulgence in food and drink. Frequent heartburn, however, may be a symptom of a potentially serious health problem. Heartburn–also referred to as acid reflux–is a burning, painful sensation in your chest or throat that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. The sensation may worsen when you bend over or lie down.

Many pregnant women experience heartburn late in their pregnancies as the womb pushes against the stomach, forcing stomach acid into the esophagus. Obese people are also more prone to heartburn due to their large consumption of high-fat foods and excess midsection body fat that pushes against the stomach. Heartburn may also indicate gastroesophageal disease, or GERD. GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) weakens and doesn’t close tightly enough to prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus.

People with hiatal hernias have a greater risk for GERD. Hiatal hernias occur when the upper part of the stomach pushes into the chest through the diaphragm. Pregnant women and obese people have a higher risk for hiatal hernias, thus a greater risk for GERD.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have heartburn more than twice a week that is not relieved by over-the-counter medication, you should see your doctor. There are other symptoms that also warrant medical attention:

  • Heartburn that worsens over time and/or requires higher dosages of over-the-counter medication to control it
  • Heartburn accompanied by difficulty swallowing or hoarseness
  • Heartburn that occurs at night
  • Heartburn that interferes with your daily activities
  • Heartburn accompanied by a lack of appetite or weight loss

Untreated chronic heartburn or GERD can lead to inflammation and ulceration–which can cause narrowing–of the esophagus. It can also lead to Barrett’s esophagus, which increases your risk for esophageal cancer.

Should You Exercise With Joint Pain? Absolutely!

Millions of people suffer with chronic and often debilitating joint pain. Arthritis is a common joint ailment that affects men, women and children worldwide. The idea of going for a walk when your joints are stiff, swollen and hurting may make you grimace, but it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

Regular exercise strengthens your joints and the muscles surrounding them, thus reducing joint pain.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, your exercise regimen should include range-of-motion (flexibility) exercises, strengthening (resistance) exercises and cardiovascular exercises.

  • Range-of-motion (flexibility) exercises. Tai chi, yoga and stretching exercises are good for increasing flexibility. They are perfect exercises to do in the morning to loosen up stiff joints. These exercises also help reduce the risk of injury to your joints when you exercise. You should do at least 15 minutes of range-of-motion exercises a day.
  • Strengthening (resistance) exercises. Strengthening exercises challenge your muscles and increases their strength. These exercises builds your muscles so they can better protect your joints from injury. Isometric exercises are best for people with joint pain because they strengthen muscles without moving the joint. Isotonic exercises are also beneficial because while they involve joint movement, the movements can be modified according to degree of joint pain or inflammation. You should do strengthening exercises every other day.
  • Cardiovascular exercises. Walking, bicycling and swimming are examples of good exercises for joint pain sufferers. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart, lungs and muscles. It’s also great for reducing stress, controlling your weight, building stamina and helping you sleep better. The Arthritis Foundation recommends gradually working up to 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three to four times a week.

Talk to your doctor before you begin any type of exercise program, just to be safe. Your doctor can develop a program tailored to your specific needs and recommend activities you can do when your joint pain flares up. Choose activities you enjoy doing and can incorporate into your daily routine. Check with your local Arthritis Foundation office to see what exercise programs or classes they offer for people with joint problems.

Don’t let joint pain steal your mobility. Keep moving and enjoying your life to the fullest.

Five Good Stress-Reducing Exercises

Exercise is a much healthier way of reducing stress than eating an entire cheesecake. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise either, although vigorous activity does help reduce stress while burning off extra calories. Here are five good stress-reducing exercises that anyone can do. Be sure to get your doctor’s okay before doing any of these activities, especially if you’re a beginner or haven’t worked out in a long time.

  1. Walking. Walking tops the list because it’s easy, requires no special equipment and costs nothing to start. Walking provides a good calorie-burning cardiovascular workout without stressing the joints. It also relieves muscle tension.
  2. Tai Chi. Also known as “meditation in motion”, tai chi incorporates gentle movements that are linked with each other and your breath. There are several styles with different intensities. Unlike yoga, there are no pauses in between the poses. Tai chi improves balance and flexibility,  boosts your energy level and helps you sleep better.
  3. Yoga. Yoga is a form of strength training that incorporates deep breathing and emphasizes mental focus, the latter of which is essential for managing stress. Like tai chi, yoga improves balance and flexibility, as well as strength. It’s best to start doing yoga under the supervision of a trained instructor to ensure you do the movements correctly. Improperly doing yoga or any other type of exercise can lead to injuries.
  4. Qigong. Qigong is an ancient Chinese martial art that is still practiced by millions of Chinese today. Qigong combines Eastern relaxation techniques with isometrics, isotonics and aerobics. Some qigong styles are performed sitting, standing or lying down, while other style involve structured movements. Newbies should learn qigong under the guidance of a trained instructor to ensure the movements are done properly.
  5. Dancing. Dancing is a fun stress-reducing workout that makes you forget you’re actually exercising. It raises your heart rate, burns calories and boosts happiness. Pick a dance style you like or enroll in a class to learn a new dance you’ve always wanted to do.

Always make time for yourself to de-stress, even if it’s just a half-hour out of your day. Your physical, mental and emotional health depends on it.

Kim Kardashian Diet and Workout Secrets

Kim Kardashian has a body that many women would die for but it really isn’t that difficult to achieve similar results.  You just have to wathc what you eat with a healthy diet and be disciplined (but not obsessive) with exericse.  To make it even easier, we have put together a collection of video and blog posts of the Kim Kardashian diet and workout secrets so you have a place to start.
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Food Addiction

I recently began watching the A&E series, “Intervention”. Each episode is a documentary of an addict struggling to overcome an addiction–alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription pills or gambling, to name a few. It wasn’t long before I began to notice disturbing similarities between myself and the addicts. The only difference was that my “drug” is food. Yes, one can become addicted to food. Sadly, many people don’t see it that way. Recent research has shown, however, that in some people foods rich in fat, salt and sugar trigger feel-good brain chemicals in the same way that cocaine and heroin does. 

I fume every time someone says “just put down the fork” or “just stop eating” It’s not that simple. Obese people don’t eat solely because they love food, and neither do food addicts. As is booze to an alcoholic or cocaine to a drug addict, food is the food addict’s coping mechanism. And like any other addict, they want to stop but they can’t. Drug and alcohol addicts continue to use drugs and drink even if their health and work/personal relationships suffer. Food addicts are no different. 

For a food addict, food is comfort when he’s sad. It’s his reward for a job well done. It gives him strength to deal with adversity. When drug and alcohol addicts don’t want to deal with life, they shoot/snort up or drink. When food addicts don’t want to deal, they eat. I can definitely relate. 

Personally, I think food is the toughest addiction to beat. Alcoholics can avoid going to places and events where booze flows freely. Drug addicts can avoid people and places where drugs are handed out like candy. Former smokers can avoid being around smokers. Food addicts can’t stay away from food. Food is everywhere. A sober/clean person may crave booze, nicotine and drugs for the rest of his life, but he can live without them. No one can live without food. How do you break an addiction to a drug you literally cannot live without? 

Are you a food addict or do you just love to eat? Do you know the difference? 

  • Do you eat even when you’re not hungry?
  • Do you go to great lengths to obtain certain foods?
  • Do you eat until you’re ill?
  • Do you eat differently around people than you do when you’re alone (so nobody knows how much you really eat)?
  • Do you turn down invitations to spend time with family and friends so you can be alone and eat?
  • Does your eating habits affect your performance on the job or at school?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be addicted to food. Breaking a food addiction is hard, but with help you can do it. It may require seeking a therapist to help you deal with the issues that make you turn to food. There are also support groups such as Overeaters Anonymous, Food Addicts Anonymous and Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous who help food addicts develop a healthy relationship with food. Food should be enjoyed, but you want to eat to live, not live to eat.

What is the Natural Way to Lose Weight Fast?

Amidst the many weight loss programs and “cures” available today, many people are looking for the fastest natural way to lose weight, one that does not include dangerous pills or extreme fad dieting.  Does this way even exist?  Absolutely!

The fastest natural way to lose weight is to adjust your eating and exercise habits to promote a healthy body weight.  That sure sounds simple, but we all know that it’s often anything but simple.  Or rather – the process itself is simple but the steps we must take are hard!

Let’s go over the most obvious steps:

One of the fastest natural ways to lose weight is reducing the amount of food you eat.  You may not think you’re eating a lot each day, but depending on the type of food you eat, you may be taking in far more calories than you realize.  We’ll explore that further in a moment, but first consider the portion sizes you usually eat.  Do you regularly heap a lot of food on your plate and then eat all of it?  Do you eat large snacks that contain as many calories as a meal?  Do you drink a lot of sugary beverages that add more calories to your daily total?

If you start reducing the amount of food you eat each day, you’ll probably start to see modest weight loss right away.  Same thing with the sodas, sweetened teas, coffees, lattes – switch to plain water except for an occasional treat and you’ll notice how much easier it is to lose weight.  Instead of giving up coffees completely and start enjoying espressos and long blacks – without the sugar.

Next, look the quality of your foods.  If you want a fast, natural way to lose weight, it’s important to make sure your diet is natural too!  That means eliminating most refined and processed foods that are loaded with calories, fat, and sodium.  Those just load your body up with chemicals that throw everything out of whack.  Instead, steadily start eating more and more “natural” foods like fruit, vegetables, lean protein (fish, chicken, lean cuts of beef, seafood), and whole grains.  That alone can result in several pounds of weight disappearing within a few weeks.

Last, think about your level of physical activity.  The fastest natural way to lose weight is obviously to get moving!  The more calories you burn, the more stored fat you will burn for energy.  Diet and overall caloric intake are also important, that’s why we covered those first.  But exercise is right up there as one of the easiest, fastest, most natural ways to lose weight.  Just 30 minutes of brisk activity a day can help you lose weight quickly and effortlessly.

In short, the fastest natural way to lose weight is to get rid of all the bad habits that made you gain the weight in the first place.  Simple enough, right?  ;)   Even though it’s simple, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging.  If you have to, make smaller changes a little at a time.  Every little positive change you make will add up over time and eventually it will seem easy and natural to stick to your new healthy lifestyle.

The Ultimate Weight Loss Program

Before we go any further I want to ask you a question … and I would appreciate an honest answer!

How many times have you been drawn towards or attracted to outrageous claims made by weight loss programs, pills, potions, etc?

You know the kind:

“Exercise for two minutes a day and get a sexy, flat and toned six-pack”.

“Take 2 pills on a daily basis and watch those unwanted pounds magically melt away”.

“Eat this diet and you’ll be a svelte size zero in under a week”.

This was actually a rhetorical question, but I hope you can see where I’m coming from. In all honesty, I’m sick to the back teeth of the false promises that we see every day, and when it comes to weight loss, these claims are merely preying on people’s insecurities.

Let’s face the facts, these “promises” are nothing more than outlandish tips and tricks that are produced by expert copywriters, who are known to produce extremely clever sales letters that are full of promise, but in reality they lack any substance.

You are promised the world, and desperate people everywhere are willing to spend their last pennies on the “next greatest fad” or “ultimate solution”. However, more often than not, you are left feeling disappointed, dissatisfied, and above all, as though you’ve been ripped off … once again.

Well if you are looking for the “ultimate solution” I recently came across a program that makes a refreshing change. This program contains no fluff, no BS, and no hype. In fact, so much so, the author makes it perfectly clear that if you are looking for a weight loss program that requires the minimum of effort, with maximum results, then it’s time for you to look elsewhere.

I am, of course, talking about Phil Hartshorn’s “The Ultimate Weight Loss Program”. So, let’s find out a little about Phil to begin with:

Phil currently runs his own business, PBHealth, which enables him to work as a freelance trainer at Australia’s top weight loss retreat, “On Track Weight Loss Retreat”. However, for many years Phil had an extremely skinny physique and struggled to gain muscle. In fact, he was told that he had literally no chance of ever joining the fitness industry -

“A personal trainer has to have the appearance that others aspire to, and if you are underweight or overweight, why would anyone ask your advice”.

It was these harsh, but true, words that inspired Phil to finally knuckle down, and study and train as hard as he possibly could. Throughout university Phil studied the world’s top personal trainers, athletes, and psychologists, and it was from this education that he learnt the principles and tips required to transform his body.

Phil began a career in the fitness industry and applied the same knowledge he had used to transform his own body. The Ultimate Weight Loss Program is the third book that Phil has published, and he has also become very well-known for training various media identities and business executives.

One fact I found quite interesting is that Phil typically charges a client up to $3,000 for a week’s stay at a health retreat, but if the client doesn’t lose weight, Phil doesn’t get paid. This in itself tells me that Phil has complete confidence in his own abilities, and that he is willing to make a huge financial sacrifice to prove his point.

Heard all you need to hear? Then click here for access to The Ultimate Weight Loss Program.

The Ultimate Weight Loss Program is an e-book packed full of solid and workable information and is extremely well laid out. For those of you looking to purchase Phil’s program you have the added advantage that you will receive his first two published books for FREE (these, once again, will be immediately delivered as downloadable e-books). The “freebies” are entitled “The Tips Personal Trainers Don’t Tell You” and are separated into male and female e-books. My suggestion would be to actually read the e-book related to your gender first, before starting on The Ultimate Weight Loss Program.

I found the main program to be very different from similar weight loss e-books I have previously encountered, and there isn’t an ounce of hype or waffle. In fact, within a matter of seconds I realised that there was something very special about Phil’s program, and I was impressed by the amount of effort he had put into it.

The Ultimate Weight Loss Program is geared towards producing results over a period of 18 weeks.

“What”, I hear you say!

“This can’t be right … are you telling me that I can’t lose 100lbs in 10 minutes flat”!

I know that this probably isn’t something you’re used to, after all, these brilliant copywriters often tells us that other products will produce results in seconds or with the minimum of effort.

However, Phil’s program should be treated more as an education rather than a flash in the pan … if you get my meaning. Phil is more interested in helping people lose weight, and ensuring that the weight stays off. I’m sure many of you have been through the nightmare of diet after diet. Perhaps you have even lost weight before, only to see it all pile back on within a matter of weeks or months. Even worse, there are those of you who may even have put on more weight than before.

You will start to see results with Phil’s program well before the end of the 18 weeks (just in case you were worried), but you should follow the program all the way through in the correct manner. The whole point to The Ultimate Weight Loss Program is that Phil is looking to empower you, to educate you, and to ensure that at the end of the 18 week program you have both the knowledge and experience to never have to worry about weight issues again. You will never have to turn to another weight loss program, pill, potion, or hyped up sales letter ever again!

If you’re interested in finding out more about The Ultimate Weight Loss Program please click here.

Wait … The Ultimate Weight Loss Program IS NOT PERFECT. I have a slight complaint/annoyance, call it what you will.

Now, I still believe that Phil’s program is one of the best weight loss guides that I’ve been fortunate enough to purchase and review

BUT

There are a couple of issues I have.

Firstly, as you may be aware, weight loss will require you to burn more calories than you consume (or, of course, consume less calories than you burn). And in the interests of “empowering you” Phil asks each reader to calculate their maximum daily calorie limit and their target weight loss daily calorie limit. Now he does provide the formulas to calculate these, however, I understand that this may be a little difficult for some.

I’m not saying you need a mathematical degree of some sorts, but it can become confusing. However, to that end, I am happy for you to email me after your purchase with the personal information I need, and I will calculate your exact daily figures for you. Furthermore, I may look to produce a table or guide to help others with their calculations at some time in the future (this will depend on how many requests I receive).

Secondly, Phil doesn’t want to give the impression that he has all the answers, and often he suggests further reading or websites you should check out (such as the fantastic website that provides the calorific content of every single food substance on this earth … from something as simple as an apple to the calories in a Big Mac). However, Phil I’m lazy, and therefore I would like a clickable link … such as this clickable link for those of you who have heard enough and want to get started on The Ultimate Weight Loss Program today.

I know we can just copy and paste the URLs directly into our web browser, but I like to keep things as simple as possible Phil! Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll agree that if these are the only “complaints” that I have then this is an extremely worthwhile program indeed.

Another fact that may be of interest to you is Phil is offering the same type of deal that he offers his weight loss retreat clients. If after purchasing The Ultimate Weight Loss Program you decide this is not for you, Phil offers a 60-day full money back guarantee (and the program doesn’t cost anywhere near the $3,000 he charges his weight loss clients, in fact just a fraction of that figure).

However, with that said, I don’t really see Phil having to offer many refunds, as this really is the “ultimate” weight loss program, and as long as you’re willing to listen to Phil’s advice, follow through on what you learn – then be ready to change your life forever. And remember that you’re getting the same advice that people happily pay Phil thousands of dollars for at the various weight loss retreats he runs.

I highly recommend The Ultimate Weight Loss Program, but only for those of you who really want to lose weight, are willing to put in the time and effort, and would like to change your life forever. This is likely to be one of the best purchases you have made in a very, very long time.

I thank you for taking the time to read my review of The Ultimate Weight Loss Program and if you would like to find out more or simply get stuck in please click here.


Bulimia Nervosa

To most people, a bulimic is someone who pigs out on food and then secretly goes to the bathroom to purge themselves by vomiting. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, doesn’t always involve vomiting, however. If you have a habit of working out for hours after you eat a very large meal, you are in fact exhibiting a classic bulimic behavior.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a bulimic secretly binges then purges himself by inducing vomiting or using laxatives, diuretics or enemas. Many people are bulimic and don’t realize it because they purge in ways that don’t involve vomiting, such as excessively working out, fasting or following a drastically strict diet. This type of behavior is a symptom of “non-purging” bulimia.

Like anorexia, bulimia is not just about what you’re eating. It’s a symptom of an unhealthy self and body image. We live in a society where body weight is closely connected to one’s self image. It’s all too easy to become preoccupied with your figure and weight and become harshly critical of self-perceived flaws. The emotional and psychological factors make it very difficult to overcome both anorexia and bulimia. But with professional help, it can be done.

If you engage in the following behaviors, you may be bulimic.

 

  • You can’t stop eating and often eat until you’re uncomfortably full.
  • You eat in moderation around people, but gorge when you’re alone.
  • You stash away food so friends and family won’t know how much you really eat.
  • You buy food from more than one store so the cashiers won’t suspect anything.
  • Friends and family wonder how you eat so much and not gain weight.

If someone you know engages in the following behaviors, they may be bulimic:

  • They always go to the bathroom after a meal. Emphasis is on “always” because it’s not uncommon for someone to go to the restroom after a meal. Occasionally a person may eat something that causes an upset stomach, or a lady may want to touch up her makeup. When a person must always go the bathroom after eating, however, it’s cause for concern.
  • While in the bathroom, they turn on the faucet to drown out vomiting sounds.
  • They return from the bathroom smelling like vomit (or the bathroom smells like vomit after they’ve used it).
  • They take a laxative or diuretic after a meal or sit in a sauna to get rid of water weight.
  • They strenuously work out after every meal, often for hours.

 

Physical signs of bulimia include:

  • Weight fluctuations
  • Yellowed teeth (from the stomach acid in vomit)
  • Puffy cheeks from repeated vomiting
  • Callused or scarred knuckles from sticking fingers down the throat to induce vomiting.

If left untreated, bulimia can cause dehydration and dangerously low potassium levels. The latter can cause irregular heartbeat, kidney failure and death. Other serious health complications from bulimia include abdominal pain and bloating, acid reflux, chronic constipation, chronic sore throat, dizziness, lethargy, weakness and ruptured esophagus.

If you think that you or someone you know is bulimic, reach out for help. Confide in a friend or relative you can trust. Seek professional help to learn how to eat normally again and develop a healthier relationship with food.