Thursday, January 24, 2013

Disease, it is good there!

In these times of flu we are showered with tips on how to stay healthy, and be as little ill as possible. There's even a vaccine against influenza. But the disease also causes something good with it.

This Christmas has for me been marked by illness. First I had a normal and straightforward colds that have lasted since the end of November, marked by exhausting cough. But 2 day of Christmas went over to fever and aching all over. This year's flu epidemic took my body and confiscated all the resources that exist. It was to be a cozy family dinner two days after Christmas, was a tiring meeting with family members I had not seen in a year.

Now that christmas peace has descended, and the vast majority of family companies is done, I can sit back and relax a little. I can concentrate on getting healthy.

I can not remember the last time I had the flu. It is many years since I've had to lie under the covers for several days, isolated from the outside world. My immune system has now been on my side.

Now I'm thankfully on the mend, and the forces start to come back. It feels great! In fact, it feels like I've been through some sort of purification.

In my opinion, namely disease a form of purification. Both a large and a little perspective. The big picture we get when we look at what the disease does to the Earth. In a cynical way disease affects the poorest hardest. They die.

Disease cleans away those individuals who are too weak, and allows for the healthy to live. To ensure the biology of those with the best genes survive and ensure the best offspring. To the best of life on earth in general.

The little perspective we find in ourselves.

When we get sick, it is a signal that we should take a break from everyday life. It is a signal that we need some focus on ourselves for a while, and that we need rest. Illness forces us simply to pay attention to these signals. Our life is changing in a really short period when we are sick, and purification is in this change.

We eat differently, maybe we only manage to eat fruit or soup. It's almost like a period of fasting . We sleep and rests us more than normal. We have less contact with other people, since we are away from work or school. We can not bear to have visitors, nor to go visit.

Illness can almost comparable to that of a ritual in which the person performing the ritual standing up on the other side as a new person. A ritual can mean a transition from something old to something new.

For it is often the case that when we recover from illness, so a renewed fervor in us that was not there before the illness hit us. We are happy to be healthy and we know that we have new powers. We think positive and maybe we will even see life differently.

I know people who have been cured of cancer. They have changed their lives completely. They got a real eye when they were sick. They have stopped smoking, they have begun to exercise and altered diet. They see their friends with completely different eyes. Both positive and negative. They have cut out friends who were bad, nor focused on the good. The disease has changed their lives in a positive way, after all.

Now you do not need to have cancer to change their lives. It can actually hold a little flu.

My tip here is that when you get sick, take the signals your body gives you. Rest as much as you need, and do only what you feel. Not that you would otherwise have imposed.

And an important thing in the end: Observe the thoughts that pop into your head when you are sick. Since both the physical and psychological defenses are put out of action due. disease, you may begin to think thoughts that you have not been aware that you had. The mind may have something to tell you. There may be thoughts about plans for the future, a project that you have thought of. Or thoughts about yourself, about your friends or other family members. Listen to your inner self.

After rain comes sun, as it looked nice name!

Yoga, breathing and relaxation

The body and mind need sometimes a break from the daily grind. In order to be able to live most harmoniously, you have to pay more attention on increasing awareness, the right focus and proper breathing. You must fix his gaze inward.

Awareness, focus and breath are three characteristics that blend into each other. If you've read the articles about perception , correct breathing and quantum mechanics , you understand that these three characteristics affect a greater whole. And when you understand this, it will be easier for you to achieve your goals, while simpler tackle the demands of society.

Life can be a stressful experience, and if you do not listen to your own needs, you will be forced to retire. Increased stress and more frequent disease is the body's way to speak out about the need to shift down a few notches, and change focus.

The following article is written by Berit Ostby and was first published in 1996.

Yoga, breathing and relaxation
Berit Ostby, 64, has been practicing yoga for half of them and had students in third. Otherwise she degree in folklore studies. She also likes to call himself a poet.

One of the reasons that stress and stress disorders are prevalent in the West, can be found in our tendency to turn their attention outward. We ran off and think first not of our physical and mental condition before we will have. In yoga, as in other eastern sports, has attention inward.

This is an unusual occurrence for us, and one could say it is alien to our culture. I prefer to call it complementary: It fills a void.

For you to understand what I am talking about, I ask you now to keep the attention of your index finger or your hand (the one you use most). Can you feel it? Do not give up right away.

In yoga we practice to hold and move your attention to our body. We're on a blanket on the floor and concentrate on each area. Next step is to learn to breathe deeper and quieter. In a basic breathing exercise direct our attention to breathing to utilize lung volume better, so we did as young children. Later, most of us bound breath and satisfied with a superficial stress breathing.

Breathing and relaxation are mutually dependent. As we become more aware of your body and breath, we are ready to relax.

We breathe deeply. On exhalation we send awareness of the body. We know at any tensions and tells about relaxation.

In the introspective attention is that we listen to the signals your body gives us. There are no questions about the performance or competition. What matters is the impact of each one, and it felt at all levels. The movements performed slowly, by respiration rate, and pain and fatigue limit is respected. Thus injury almost ruled out.

Instead, attention could we say consciousness. From a Western point of view sees yoga primary purpose seems to be a rehabilitation of consciousness. But consciousness is a difficult concept in the West. For science is the problem because it is subjective, it can not be tested and verified by experiments.

Yet awareness is an irrefutable fact, and maybe it will contribute to an expansion of the science concept. The American physician Larry Dossey looking forward to it when he says: Consciousness is medical science's forgotten dimension.

Also another realization we are trying to reach, which has a long history in Eastern cultures. We have opened the eyes of a whole and a connection between body and soul through the discovery of a number of psychosomatic disorders. In the East people have dualism never gained access. Thus it is natural breathing, which is little-known in the West, has a central place in Eastern philosophy. Breathing is distinctly psychosomatic.

Despite the theoretical difficulties going research on the effects of yoga in many places in the world today. In India has been conducting a national research laboratory. In England, The Biomedical Trust work with yoga since 1983. One is in the process of research, experiment, therapy and information, and medical training for yoga teachers.

Among the documented effects of yoga include reduction of blood pressure, improvement of muscular-skeletal disorders and relief of many stress-related ailments.

Yoga is excellent for health care, hospitals and schools. Yoga is free and requires no equipment. Yoga is preventive and curative. Risk and negative side effects are nil. We not only avoid injury, but consistently build up health. Yoga is positive and optimistic, stressing that we can make even the most for our health and wellbeing.

About doctors and staff did not even learn yoga, they can make patients aware of the beneficial effects of yoga. They can inspire patients to seek teacher or literature on yoga. In a time of queues in front of doctors and hospitals yoga can have a major task with its healthy self-care.

Berit Ostby

Eight advice for a good life:

Do not tie yourself to someone before it's too late (but make sure to have grandchildren)
Do not listen to black artists (doctors and meteorologists, insurers and adults)
Have a solid future perspectives: human development
Behind bread
Pick wild berries
Do not decide what you want to be
Do what you want (remember you are an artist)
Be happy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Health Care and OSHA

If you are an employer, you are likely familiar with OSHA, or should be. Most employees or individuals in general are not going to know much about this government agency. However, OSHA, which stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the government watchdog at the federal level that oversees workplace safety. So, if you are in human resources, or a business owner, you are going to hear from them or about them.

According to, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to workers and employers. Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards.

Who OSHA Covers:

1.) Private Sector Workers -- Most employees in the nation come under OSHA's jurisdiction. OSHA covers private sector employers and employees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions either directly through Federal OSHA or through an OSHA approved state program. State-run health and safety programs must be at least as effective as the Federal OSHA program.

2.) State and Local Government Workers -- Employees who work for state and local governments are not covered by Federal OSHA, but have OSH Act protections if they work in a state that has an OSHA-approved state program. Four additional states and one U.S. territory have OSHA approved plans that cover public sector employees only. This includes: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands. Private sector workers in these four states and the Virgin Islands are covered by Federal OSHA.

3.) Federal Government Workers -- Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meet the same standards as private employers. Although OSHA does not fine federal agencies, it does monitor federal agencies and responds to workers' complaints. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is covered by OSHA.

Not covered by the OSH Act:

--Immediate family members of farm employers that do not employ outside employees; and
--Workplace Hazards regulated by another Federal agency (for example, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard).

Also, according to, employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems. OSHA further requires employers to try to eliminate or reduce hazards first by making changes in working conditions rather than just relying on masks, gloves, ear plugs or other types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to get rid of or minimize risks.

Employers MUST also:

--Inform employees about hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets, and other methods.
--Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
--Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling required by some OSHA standards.
--Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
--Post OSHA citations, injury and illness data, and the OSHA poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
--Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace incident in which there is a death or when three or more workers go to a hospital.
--Not discriminate or retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law.

Much more detailed information can be found at this website: .

A safety program is a set of policies and work practices specifically designed by your company for your company. It addresses not only the OSHA regulations and ways to reduce the exposure to hazards in your work areas, but also organizes a performance driven framework for continued focus and improvement on safety, according to

When you think about the term “safety program”, you probably think about the OSHA regulations and procedures for handling fire extinguishers or ladders, for example. This is only partly true. A safety program is more than canned procedures on how to comply with OSHA regulations. An effective safety program is designed around the work processes or tasks normally assigned to employees and integrates safety and health related decisions and precautions into them. A significant amount of information about this solution can be found at this site: .

There are online courses for OSHA training and certification. One of the better websites is, and is not affiliated with any government agency. With on-demand training courses designed by authoritative experts, delivers immediate and cost-effective educational solutions that improve your safety, compliance and risk management initiatives.

Another web portal for OSHA training can be found at . For two decades, OSHA-Pros USA has become synonymous with quality OSHA training and risk avoidance. Founded by Certified Safety Professionals, OSHA-Pros USA provides both online and group onsite courses, including the OSHA 10 Hour Construction Training, OSHA 30 Hour Construction Training, OSHA 10 Hour General Industry Training and the OSHA 30 Hour General Industry Training. All courses are accepted by OSHA in all 50 states and result in the Department of Labor Wallet Card. Established in 1971, OSHA’s Outreach Training program teaches workers about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint as well as how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job related hazards.

Workplace safety and health is a very important issue, and the OSHA programs at both the federal and state levels mandate how employers must comply. If you feel that you need more help, the resources listed in this material can assist you in getting up to speed, and help you stay out of trouble. Organizations are subject to heavy fines if violations are reported and verified. Be careful to follow OSHA guidelines as an employer; and if you have problems as an employee with workplace safety, and your company is not responsive to your issue, you have adequate resources at your disposal to help with a resolution. Follow the rules, and be vigilant about protecting yourself, your business, and your employees and co-workers.

Until next time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not a Good Fit

A daughter of a breast cancer survivor has asked Victoria's Secret to make and sell bras that will fit prosthetics for women who have had mastectomies, according to this article.

All I can say is in typing that sentence, I can't see how Victoria's Secret fits with mastectomies and prosthetics. It just feels wrong typing it.

Absurd, even. But then I'm not a well-meaning daughter of a survivor, I am a woman who had breast cancer, had a mastectomy and had to find bras that would hold my breast form for two years, until I had reconstruction.

Let me just say I don't trust Victoria's Secret with the job of building a functional, comfortable bra for women who have had mastectomies. It's not their niche, and I would prefer they didn't co-opt it in the name of making more bucks.

Helping me post-cancer is really not as simple as letting me spend my money on a frilly bra.

No, that's entirely absurd.

And, speaking of the article, please say it with me again: "No one can know they've beaten breast cancer until they live a long life and die of something else."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Health Care and Double Dosing Meds

Have you ever been guilty of taking too much of your prescription medications? Have you ever double dosed? It’s a common problem with people who are on maintenance medications or who may be responsible for dosing others under their care. Children especially may be vulnerable, and it’s absolutely critical to be as careful as possible when giving medication to kids.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, more than 70,000 visits to emergency rooms each year are for accidental medication overdoses, some of which are ultimately fatal. Most cases occur when a child accesses prescription medication while a parent or childcare provider is distracted or in another room, though there are incidents involving medication poisoning resulting from inadvertent double or incorrect doses. If your doctor has prescribed medication or recommended an over-the-counter drug for treatment and symptom management, these tips may help you prevent an ill-timed second dose, as found on , and here is the detailed information: .

As children that are prescribed daily medication for a chronic condition begin to get older and accept responsibility for their own dosage, it’s imperative that parents take the time to explain the importance of scheduling each and every dose properly, as well as the many intricacies of taking a powerful chemical. Instituting a “when in doubt, don’t” policy, which means that your child always opts not to take medication if they aren’t sure about the last dose without speaking to an adult, can help to prevent kids that are eager to grow up from overdosing themselves with their medication, according to

According to Southwestern Medical Center in Lawton, Oklahoma, every day, people play Russian roulette with their prescription drugs, herbal and over-the-counter or OTC medications and vitamins. Mixing these medications and remedies can result in serious or even fatal health consequences. It is common for doctors to tell (patients) to bring in their medications; most of the time they don’t. Many patients don’t know for sure what they are taking. If they do know the name, then they don’t know the strength or dosage, or they know what the pill looks like but not what it is.

Sometimes people bring in a list, but it is usually an older list without their current medications listed or changes in strength. When patients actually bring them in, very often physicians find that they have two bottles of the same thing or they have two different medications within the same class which results in double dosing. Many people not only have more than one doctor now, they also use more than one pharmacy; so duplicate or overlapping drugs for the same health issue can’t even be caught by the pharmacist. More details can be found at this site: .

With insurance companies mandating the use of generic drugs whenever they're available, it's all too common for patients to get confused and end up with bottles of a brand-name drug and a generic version at the same time without realizing it, according to "For example, a common diuretic is Furosemide. The brand name is Lasix. A patient might have a bottle of Furosemide and a bottle of Lasix and not know they're the same thing," says internist Bruce Mann, M.D. "In essence, the patient is taking twice the dose." Since generic drugs don't list the equivalent brand name on the label, you might not spot this unless your brand-name version lists the generic name in the fine print.

How to avoid it: When your doctor prescribes a new medication, make sure you have a chance to go over all the details you might need to know later. Have the doctor write down the name of the drug (brand and generic, if available), what it's for, its dosage, and how often and when to take it. Try to remember both names for future reference. Also, look up the generic names for each of your brand-name prescriptions and vice versa; then line up all of your medicine bottles and see if you have any duplications. The numbers are simply staggering: Every year 1.5 million people are sickened or severely injured by medication mistakes, and 100,000 die. And yet all of those deaths are preventable. Much more info about medication mistakes can be found at this site: .

Seniors are especially vulnerable to double dosing medications. According to, proper medication management is vitally important for seniors’ daily care, over-all health and well-being. According to the Federal Drug Administration, medication misuse often causes falls, moodiness, loss of appetite and weakness. Seniors should take their medicine in the exact amount and at the time when their doctor prescribes. Some seniors, if they miss a day’s dose, will double-dose the next day. Others may take a medication in the evening that should be taken in the morning. Another common thing seniors may do is cut pills in half to extend the quantity, in an effort to save money. Consider using a medication planner or pill case to organize the medications in a daily format, or even chart them on paper or a calendar. More advanced medication dispensing equipment is also available. More information about tips on taking medication can be found at this site: .

Seniors having trouble understanding or remembering or whose health is declining are particularly vulnerable to medication errors, according to Research shows the average senior takes four prescription medications daily and fills 18 a year. Of course, people with multiple chronic conditions may take many more medicines each day. And, when you add in any over-the-counter remedies or nutritional supplements that seniors rely on to relieve symptoms or improve their health, it's no wonder they sometimes get confused or have drug interactions that could pose serious health threats. Complicated dosing regimens don't help matters.

People taking the blood thinner Coumadin, for instance, must be constantly monitored to ensure they're getting enough of the drug to keep their blood from clotting but not so much that they experience any unusual bleeding. Physicians may fine-tune the dosing by switching patients, say, from one tablet daily to one tablet four days a week and one-and-a-half tablets three days a week. Plus, there's also the risk that patients being treated by more than one physician will be prescribed a double dose of the same active ingredient or two drugs that interact negatively with one another. More details can be found at this website: .

The probability of double dosing is common, and the best options to avoid it can be found with the sources quoted in this article. The most important aspect of taking medications is to follow the directions, and talk with your doctor about any and all medications you take regardless of type, including vitamins, supplements, and all prescriptions. Prevent tragic consequences by paying attention to what you are doing, and also have someone you can trust to help you if you experience difficulty with your medications. Be safe, not sorry.

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spelling Homework, Now and Then

The asignment: Write sentences using your spelling words for the week. The word: blueberry

Tiny's sentence: Now and then I eat a blueberry.

Health Care and State Health Exchanges 2013

As a result of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 becoming law, individual states have been provided an option to develop a health care exchange. These public entities have been in development over the past three years and are in various stages of implementation. The ACA mandates that states provide a mechanism for individuals and employer groups be given an opportunity to purchase health insurance on an open exchange basis.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), states have the option of operating their own exchange or partnering with the federal government to run an exchange. States choosing neither option will default to a federally-facilitated exchange. All exchanges, regardless of how they are administered, must be ready to begin enrolling consumers into coverage on October 1, 2013 and must be fully operational on January 1, 2014. While many states have already announced their intentions, several remain undecided as to which exchange approach they will take.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently extended the deadlines for states to make their decisions, giving states until December 14, 2012 to decide whether to run a state-based exchange, and until February 15, 2013, to opt for a partnership exchange. Even with the additional time for decision making, states opting for a state-based or partnership exchange will face challenges to making the necessary policy and implementation decisions, according to the KFF. Much more detail can be found at this site: .

You can also go to the Kaiser Foundation site that talks specifically about the state exchanges. Go in-depth and learn more about each state’s progress in setting up exchanges including the legislative process and the next steps: . Additionally, state by state analysis can be found at this Kaiser hosted site: .

According to USA Today, the federal government conditionally approved eight additional states to run health exchanges on January 4, 2013, bringing the total to 20 states that will have the programs that were authorized by the 2010 federal health care law. The newly approved states that will run their own exchanges are California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah. Arkansas will partner with the federal government for its exchange. Although states with Republican governors have fought the law, such as Texas, four of them -- Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah -- have created the exchanges.

The conditional approvals follow those issued previously granted to Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington to operate State-based Exchanges and to Delaware to operate a State Partnership Exchange, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). To date, 20 states including DC have been conditionally approved to partially or fully run their marketplaces – with the remaining states having until February 15, 2013 to apply for a State Partnership Exchange. More details can be found at this site: .

Because the law known informally as “Obamacare” is politically controversial, many Republican governors and legislatures have declined to prepare for the exchanges, which go live in 2014, according to Government Executive magazine online. Conditional approval, said Gary Cohen, director of HHS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, means the state’s plan is “neither approved nor denied” while the department continues overseeing each state’s ongoing activities in managing the marketplaces and helping consumers. Individuals, families and businesses who seek insurance under the law may be eligible for tax credits. “There will be future opportunities to become a state-based exchange,” Cohen added, describing an annual process that means states could apply by this November to stand up an exchange by 2015. States that opt for the hybrid approach could pursue full exchanges later on, the guidance says, according to this site: .

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, HHS also on January 4, 2013, issued new guidance to states on marketplaces that will be operated in partnership with the federal government. This guidance outlines the various options that states have to provide input and guidance, and take ownership over significant components of the operation of a FFE. The State Partnership Exchange (SPE) options provide states with a high level of participation in plan management and consumer assistance/ outreach either on a permanent basis or as they work toward a goal of running a State-based Exchange. With an SPE, states can continue to serve as the primary point of contact for issuers and consumers, and will work with HHS to establish an exchange.

The guidance outlines state functions, activities, and responsibilities for a "State Plan Management Partnership Exchange," and the "State Consumer Partnership Exchange." To operate an SPE in 2014 a state must complete the relevant portions of the Exchange Blueprint and be approved or conditionally approved by HHS for the functions and activities the state will perform. States may receive funding for the start-up year expenses for activities related to establishing an SPE. After grant funding set aside in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for this purpose has been depleted, HHS anticipates that continued funding under a different funding vehicle will be available to support these activities. The new guidance also describes how HHS plans to integrate traditional state regulatory functions and activities into FFE operations in the absence of a partnership. More details can be found at this site: .

Regardless of your opinion about Obamacare, Health Exchanges, or insurance in general, the cost and complexity of finding affordable quality health care coverage is definitely increasing this year and into 2014. You’ll need very expert guidance to help navigate your way through whatever choices are in your state. Now is the time to start researching what you plan to do starting in 2014. Individuals and companies face challenges for finding the best coverage at the best price. Do your homework early, and avoid the year end rush. It’s going to be crunch time the closer you get to next year, and you’ll need to know your options before the end of this year.

Until next time.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Who's Looking after the Breasts That Are Breastfeeding?

This article nails it when it says no one is really looking after the breasts that everyone encourages to breastfeed. I asked this question---"Who's looking after these?" when I was breastfeeding my son.

Seriously, if you're doing it right, they're practically smoking from use. The idea of a checkup or tune up on them does cross your mind. Knowing that someone--anyone--really cared or knew more than you did about the whole process would be a start.

The pediatrician looks after the baby. He or she wants you to breastfeed, exclusively and for as long as possible. But they can't field a real question about it. It's clear they don't consider it their area, and as this article points out, they have no way to bill you for that work anyway.

OB/Gyns give the six-week post birth check, but that doesn't include an inventory of the breasts. They also want you to breastfeed, but if you have questions, good luck. They aren't interested, informed or able to bill either.

And lactation consultants, my experience is they are gung-ho breastfeeding supporters and will give you helpful advice but ask a real question--"Why does one breast supply so little and the other much more? Is that normal?" and you'll hear, "Is the baby gaining weight?" If so, it's all fine.

Except sometimes it's not; sometimes it could be indicating a physical problem--like breast cancer. My left breast never supplied what its sister did. And after two years of breastfeeding, the difference between them was noticeable. I discovered the cancerous lumps in my left breast six months after I stopped breastfeeding.

It didn't take me long to theorize that the low milk production in my left breast might have been a sign that cancer was there, growing. Here's the thing, women are at a significantly heightened risk for developing breast cancer after giving birth to a child. Generally women of childbearing years have a very, very tiny risk for developing breast cancer, but after you give birth your chances explode and remain elevated for several years.

It becomes a lottery that anyone could win. I did. All doctors need to know of this risk, take it seriously, tell their patients about it and watch for it--with breast exams and close monitoring of breastfeeding. As this article points out, things can go wrong with it. And those things need to be followed up on and medically investigated, because it can be important for the health of the baby AND the health of the mother.

Health Care and Muscle Tone

The common craze after the outset of any New Year is to be happy and healthy. One of the most common resolutions people consider is to lose weight and get fit. Of course, after a few trips to the gym in January, and possibly even February, many of those fair weather wellness fanatics give up and are back in the same rut as they were in the old year. Too bad! For a few extra minutes per day, most of those individuals would be able to lose a few inches of unneeded fat, and build a better muscle tone to help keep the weight off as time moves on.

Muscle is mainly made up of protein, according to Hella Wella’s report by Dr. John Cuomo, Executive Director of research and development at USANA Health Sciences. Therefore, protein metabolism (breaking protein down into amino acids and combining those amino acids into new proteins) is critical for muscle building. Collagen is also made of protein and is the connective tissue in muscle that anchors muscles to bone. In addition, muscle function is dependent on energy production. The energy used by all cells is called ATP. Glucose (carbohydrate) is a key fuel for ATP production. Bodies uses glucose as the main fuel to produce energy in all cells, including muscle cells. Are you getting all of your vitamins? Here are five vitamins you need to build up muscle strength:

1. Vitamin D--Vitamin D plays a very important role in immune and muscle function. There are numerous studies showing that vitamin D is essential for overall immune system function. Studies have shown that proper vitamin D levels in the body are associated with muscle strength and performance.

USANA research shows that to have an optimal range of vitamin D in the body, most people need to take 4000 to 6000 IU supplemental vitamin D every day. USANA’s Vitamin D supplement has 2000 IU of vitamin D per tablet. Keep in mind that vitamin D is also required for the uptake and utilization of calcium and phosphorous — and both of these minerals are required for muscular contraction and function as well as bone growth and strength. Phosphorous is also required for ATP production and energy metabolism.

2. Omega-3 fats--Fish Oil or the omega-3 fats in fish oil may decrease muscle protein breakdown. This may be through improvements in insulin sensitivity, and insulin resistance is associated with muscle breakdown. There is also a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that fish oil helps enhance the effect of strength training in elderly women. Fish oil is most commonly obtained through supplements and food, such as a variety of fish.

3. Vitamin C--Vitamin C is important for our muscles, and we need it to function properly. Vitamin C is required for collagen and elastin synthesis, and it is also an important supplement to take daily because it’s responsible for the health of the blood vessels, which support the muscles’ needs for oxygen and nutrients. Good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, and grapefruit.

4. Vitamin E--Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant that helps cell membrane recovery from oxidative stress. Cell membrane reliability is essential for cellular function and growth. To add vitamin E into your diet, try almonds, spinach, carrots, and avocados. Many different oils are also good sources of vitamin E, such as olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.

5. B vitamins--An array of B vitamins are essential to muscle strength and tone:

• B1 (thiamin) is important for protein metabolism and the formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to cells, including muscle cells, and without oxygen energy, production is compromised. B1 nutrients can be found in cereal, bread, meat, rice, and nuts.

• B2 (riboflavin) is involved in energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, the oxidation of fatty acids, with some effects on protein metabolism. B2 nutrients can be found in cheese, eggs, milk, and peas. B3 (niacin) is essential for energy production.

• B3 nutrients can be found in milk, eggs, fish, legumes, and potatoes.

• B6 (pyridoxine) is important for protein metabolism, growth, and carbohydrate utilization. B6 nutrients can be found in soybeans, butter, brown rice, and fish.

• B12 (cyanocobalamin) is important for the maintenance of nerve tissue and is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism, and cell regeneration. B12 nutrients can be found in milk, poultry, eggs, meat, and liver.

• B7 (biotin) is important for amino acid metabolism, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Good sources of B7 include mushrooms, egg yolk, beef liver, and brewer’s yeast.

But building muscle tone still requires work. According to, building muscle is not as easy as most people think. It takes hard work, planning, and an awareness of what stimulates muscle growth. The following 10 muscle building tips will help you take your fitness program to the next level, found at this website: .

According to the media partner of Lance Armstrong Foundation, found at , here are 5 tips for building muscle tone:

1. Watch Your Diet--Diet plays an integral role in building good muscle tone. High protein diets help your body to build muscle definition. Vitamin rich diets, popularized by many fitness buffs, help the body burn fat and increase lean muscle mass. Watching your calorie intake is important, but it should be relative to your size, body type and workout regimen. Average caloric intake is often not right for everyone, so ask your nutritionist or doctor how many calories you should consume each day.

2. Drink Water to Stay Hydrated--Muscles need the purification properties of water in order to regenerate, so keep them lubricated with at least 40 ounces of water a day. If you're training to increase muscle tone, your body will be begging for more water. Drinking water during your workout also keeps the body hydrated and allows the muscles to stay pliable and healthy while you are exercising. Continual fluid intakes keeps the body flushed of toxins and impurities.

3. Rest Your Body--Working out every day is not good for your body and will lead to muscle fatigue, which will eventually impede muscle growth and definition. Interspersing your workout with days of rest is important to keep the body rejuvenated and properly functioning. In a typical regimen, you might work your upper body on Mondays and Thursdays and your lower body on Tuesdays and Fridays, with days off on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. You can do cardio, such as running or swimming, four or five days a week. Variations in your daily routine also keep the body guessing. Muscles build with a variety of exercises. Toning happens when the muscles are continually challenged by different activities, so changing your workout routine will do wonders to build muscle tone.

4. To Lift or Not to Lift--It is all the rage to hear phrases like "use high reps and low weights," or "do cardio, cardio and more cardio" from experts advising you on how to build muscle tone. However, building muscle tone is particular to each person and a workout routine should ideally fit the individual. Some bodies respond well to high rep/low weight workouts while others do not. The goal of weight training is to build muscle definition by performing your exercises properly. Find a trainer or workout partner to help you maintain good form during your exercises; it will do much more for your definition than simply doing many repetitions of an exercise improperly.

5. Other Cardio Options--Aerobic exercise is vital to weight loss and burns fat to reveal the body's natural muscle tone. However, you don't have to run until exhaustion to define your body. Sports like cycling, badminton, basketball, dance or yoga are excellent ways to get a cardiovascular workout. Finding an aerobic activity that fits your personality and interests will do more for you than simply running on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day. According to several research studies, you will burn more calories and fat doing cardio activities you enjoy as opposed to activities you find boring and tedious.


Don’t be a New Year floozie. Make the commitment to get healthier this year, and stick with it. You’ll be glad you did. And, you’ll look and feel better, with improved health and muscle tone.

Until next time.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Your body language can tell something other than what you say

Have you had such a conversation before, where body language says something different from what you are saying? Have you ever had one of those fake smiles that come in almost the speed of light? Has anyone tried to convince you of one thing, although both eyes and nervousness tells you otherwise?

Body language refers to nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, body movements, posture and movement of hands, arms and fingers. It has a significance and impact of what is being said. It tells the respondent what you are really saying.

Words and tone of your voice should be in harmony with your body language. These three things must correspond to a meaningful non-verbal speech.

When these three elements of face-to-face communication will support each other's body language convey most of the message.

Any suggestions on how body language can be improved

  • Keep your head up, maintain good eye contact, but do not stare.
  • Keep a slow pace, both in speaking and in your movements.
  • Relax and focus on your movements.
  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Do not cross your arms or legs, relax your shoulders.
  • Do not stand too close or too far away.
  • Sincere smile and laugh.
  • Have a positive, open and relaxed attitude.


  • Constantly checking what time it is or check fingernails, is a strong sign of boredom.
  • Pick the clothes or the down and see people give signals that you do not approve of their ideas and / or feel uneasy to say your honest opinion.
  • To put her hand stroking chin while looking at someone, you give some signals that you pre-judge their decisions.
  • Squinting eye can provide signals to someone you do not like them or their ideas.
  • Fake smile is another sign of deception. A genuine smile wrinkles the corners of the eyes and change the facial expression.
  • Leaning away from someone you love is a sign that you are bored or distracted. People usually leans towards people they like, and leaning away from those you dislike.
  • Oh do not look directly at the person you are talking to, indicating some degree of discomfort or lack of interest.
  • Crossing the arms is a sign of defensive resistance or self-absorption.
  • To show a slight attitude and negative messages.

Confidence and attitude
Place your feet a comfortable distance from each other, keep your shoulders pulled back slightly and keep your head up, greet the people with direct eye contact and a firm handshake.

  • To scratch the back of the head or neck indicates doubt and uncertainty.Relax posture with shoulders indicates low self-esteem. Always pull your shoulders back. Not only will you look more confident out, you will also feel safer.
  • Shaking or tapping the feet or fingers indicates stress, impatience or boredom.Fiddling on small objects is another sign of anxiety or lack of interest. Keep your hands comfortable rest for when you are in the presence of others.
  • Anyway, that reading non-verbal cues are difficult because body language can have multiple meanings. For example, the crossing of the arms or legs can mean that a person is cold or is relaxed. Moreover, it is important to remember that the body language does not have the same meaning in all cultures.

So these observations should be used only as a guide for changing your personal development. When you need to learn to communicate better on a non-verbal level, one must first familiarize themselves with what is customary and acceptable in society, so that you know what you need to adjust and how much :)