What Stress Can Do To Your Body

A certain amount of stress is certainly useful in that it can motivate you to perform. However, prolonged periods of stress, or too much of it, can have a variety of serious impacts on your health.  Although it may not cause the conditions we’ll talk about in this article, it will certainly make them worse.

Here are a few of the negative impacts severe and/or prolonged stress can have:

  • If you have a heart or lung condition, including high blood pressure, asthma, or heart disease, the excess levels of cortisol in your body (which is known as the ‘stress hormone’) can make those conditions markedly worse.
  • Stress can lead to hair loss, give you hives, make your skin itch, and if you have psoriasis, rosacea, or eczema, elevated levels of cortisol in your body will make all of those conditions worse.
  • Few areas of your body are more susceptible to the negative impacts of stress than your digestive tract. People who suffer from chronic stress are much more likely to suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, and are more likely to develop more serious conditions like acid reflux, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and get ulcers.
  • In addition to that, because many people carry their tension in their neck and shoulders, chronic stress sufferers are much more likely to have migraines or tension headaches on a regular basis.

As you can see then, stress is no laughing matter.  It not only makes any existing conditions you may have worse, but it will wear you down over time. This results in weakening your immune system and making your more prone to illness and infection. That is double punishment because when you get sick, you’ll also have a harder time fighting it off.

The bottom line then, is that the more you can do to reduce or alleviate stress, the healthier and happier you’ll be.

High Fat Foods That Are Actually Good For You

Cut out the fat!  Avoid fat like the plague!  If you’ve heard these phrases once, you’ve heard them a thousand times.

It’s one of the most often repeated mantras by just about everyone offering dietary advice.  Fat is bad.  Fat is evil.

Fat will make you fat. It makes intuitive sense, which is why you might be surprised that there are several high fat foods that are actually really good for you. The reality is that not all fat is created equally, and some types are better for you than others. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few specific examples.

Here is a list of high fat foods that are surprisingly healthy:

  • Avocados – Let’s start with the big, green, delicious goodness that avocados represent. Most people love them. While most fruits contain lots of carbs, avocados are a departure in that they are very high in fat.  In particular though, they’re loaded with a fat known as oleic acid, which is the same kind of fatty acid you find in olive oil, and is almost universally regarded as being exceptionally healthy.  Eat up, these are good for you.
  • Whole Eggs – Diet mavens will tell you only to eat egg whites, pointing to the fact that the yolks are high in both cholesterol and fat. On paper, that certainly appears to be the case.  A whole egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is more than 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Of interest though, the latest research into eggs indicates that the cholesterol they contain doesn’t impact cholesterol in the blood, that eggs are a delightfully nutrient dense food, and are loaded with antioxidants too.  Eggs are amazing.
  • Nuts – Loaded with healthy fats and proteins, nuts are very good for you. They’re a perfect snack food for anyone interested in dieting and getting healthier.

There are plenty of other high fat healthy foods out there.  It’s just a matter of finding the right ones and enjoying them in moderation.

Avoid Fad Diets For Better Long Term Health

These days, you must try really hard to avoid seeing or hearing about the latest fad diet.  On a near-constant basis, we’re bombarded by people promising amazing results with minimal effort.  It’s easy to see why so many people get taken in by the hype and jump on the fad diet train.

Unfortunately, many of these diets are unhealthy and some of them are outright dangerous.  Even if they do cause you to lose weight, most people don’t stick with them in the long term, either backsliding or shifting to the next fad diet.  In both cases, the end result is that most of the weight you lose initially winds up being put right back on.  It’s a vicious cycle and it can be very hard to break.

There’s only one way to lose weight and get healthy. Despite the constant attention fad diets get, almost everybody knows what they need to do.  It’s just not very popular or attractive.

The secret to weight loss and better health is the same as it’s always been:  Eat healthy, eat less and stay active.

Eating healthy comes down to embracing fresh fruits and vegetables and using those as your dietary mainstay. You must then supplement with small amounts of lean meat, and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.  Basically, if it comes out of a box, stop buying and eating it.

Eating less is self-explanatory but something that a great many people struggle with.  One simple trick you can employ on that front is to simply use a bread plate rather than a full-sized dinner plate.  It’s a surprisingly effective psychological ploy that yields impressive results.

Finally, staying active is something most people intuitively understand but have trouble committing to.  Start small, and start modestly.  After all, every little bit helps and even if you’re only getting ten minutes of exercise a day, if you were getting none before, that’s a step in the right direction!

In any case, the answer is to steer clear of those fad diets.  They almost always do more harm than good.

Work On Your Core For Many Health Benefits

Strengthen your core!  Strengthen your core!  If you’ve heard those words once, you’ve heard them a thousand times.  It is one of the most often repeated bits of exercise advice out there. The question though, is what’s so great about strengthening your core, anyway?

Why is everybody always recommending it?  Well, as it turns out, there are several compelling advantages to following that advice.  Here are a few:

Improved Balance and Stability

Let’s start with what is perhaps the single greatest benefit to strengthening your core.  When your core muscles are stronger, you’ll find that your balance and stability improves markedly.  That’s because all the muscles in that part of your body (from your pelvis, hips, abdomen and lower back) are all working in concert.  Your body is moving like a well-oiled machine, and that’s going to not only improve your balance, but improve your performance overall, no matter what you’re doing.

Six Pack Abs

Granted, this isn’t a goal for everyone, but if you’ve long desired to have the fabled “six pack abs” then core training is a key component that will make that possible.  Note, however, that you’ll need to combine these types of exercises with other aerobic activity for best results.

No Gym Membership Required

A hidden benefit of doing core exercises is that they can be done just about anywhere.  You don’t need any fancy equipment and you don’t need a gym membership.  You can strengthen your core right from the comfort of home, any time you want.

The bottom line is simply this:  Whatever your personal fitness aims and goals, core exercises can help you achieve them.  While aerobics and weight training are all well and good, supplementing those activities with core exercises will only magnify your results, and that’s a very good thing.

Should I Worry About Tingling or Numbness?

At one point or another, everybody has experienced the sensation.  That vaguely uncomfortable “pins and needles” feeling that surges through some part of our bodies.

The question then, is it anything to be concerned about?

The short answer is, it depends, But that’s not terribly helpful, so let’s go into a bit more detail.

That sensation you sometimes feel is called paresthesia.  What’s happening when you feel it is that the flow of blood has been cut off to the nerve.  No blood, and it can’t send signals properly.  Then, when the flow of blood is restored, the nerve starts “waking up” which results in that less than pleasant sensation.

Sometimes, paresthesia is caused by mundane conditions.  Something as simple as sitting in the same position for too long can cause it.  If you suffer from a mobility issue, for example, if you’re in a wheelchair, then you probably feel the sensation on a fairly regular basis.

The good news is, in those cases, no, it’s nothing really to worry about.  You should be mindful of it, of course, and take the message that your body is sending you to heart.  Be sure not to spend excessive amounts of time in the same position and it will go away.

Other times, however, it really can be the sign of some serious problem. You could have a nutritional deficiency such as anemia or B12 deficiency. Or, if you’ve suffered some type of nerve, spine, or brain injury, you can also experience paresthesia.  In these cases, it’s not something that just comes and goes.  It lingers, giving you a constant reminder that there’s a problem.  It’s your body’s way of trying to get your attention.

With those things in mind, if you’re only feeling the effects of paresthesia on an occasional basis and it goes away pretty quickly, it’s nothing to worry about.  If not, be sure to seek the help of a professional right away to get to the bottom of it.