The health benefits of watching the World Cup

It’s the fever that has infected millions of people around the planet, the same that paralyzes businesses, offices, and even traffic…It’s the Soccer World Cup!

Yes, soccer, the game that concentrates two teams of 11 players each in a field where everyone fights for the ball, and where the winner is the team that manages to get more goals to their opponent. Soccer is not only one of the most popular sports in the world, but also the one that attracts every year thousands of American teenagers who want to be part of the soccer wave.

According to recent statistics, the number of high school soccer players in the U.S. reached a record just a year ago with more than 800 thousand boys and girls joining and playing the popular sport.

Then, it’s not strange to see that today everybody stops to watch a game in the middle of the morning or even before the sun goes up. Every 4 years the World Cup gathers the most important national teams and millions of fans want to witness history with them.

Now, if you’re still not part of that mass of people who vibrate with a goal and suffer from their soccer team, you may change your mind after knowing that watching soccer is not only fun but has benefits for your life and for your health.

  • It’s relaxing and distracts you from stress. Since you never know what’s going to happen, it keeps your mind focused on the game and out of your daily problems. It also stimulates the neuronal activity reducing the stress hormone level in your brain.
  • It allows you to scream, jump and vent your emotions without being judged.
  • A soccer game it’s the perfect opportunity and scenario for you to interact and socialize with different people. Classes, background, and even political views stay behind while you and others are watching a game together.

So let yourself get infected by soccer fever and make time for you to enjoy the biggest sports party on the planet, after all, it’s even healthy!

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It’s Men’s Health Month

Yes, there is a month dedicated to the health of men, but the question is whether men dedicate time to their health, or not. The answer is that very few pay due attention to not only their health but to prevent diseases. Because of social tabu, and even by shame, many men stop consulting the doctor for ailments, discomforts or conditions that may be affecting them.

That is why there is a month dedicated to the health of gentlemen and that month is June! Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country and its purpose is to create awareness and to encourage men and boys to seek early detection and treatment of different health issues. The message includes also to exhort them to learn more about preventable problems.

Around the country are offered screenings, health fairs, workshops, outreach initiatives, and health education seminars to invite more and more men to take good care of their health and wellness.

If you know a man that could use some of this information, please share it with him. It’s important for all of us to use this time to talk openly about preventable health issues, and of course, it’s imperative to include your kids in the conversation.

According to experts, the information and early education about health, prevention, diseases, and common questions, is very important as part of a family routine, and since we are already dedicating this whole month to men’s health, then let’s use it also to educate the little ones.

So, guys! if you haven’t seen a doctor in a while if there is something that is bothering you with your health but you haven’t found the time or the opportunity to discuss it with a physician, here is the time!

June is all men’s health month, and the best to honor it is by talking, informing, educating, and addressing any questions or issues you may have about your own health!

Do I Have Anxiety?

To be nervous, to feel butterflies in your stomach before a meeting or an important situation, you are not alone. In fact, we all are like that! It’s normal and common to worry about big events or complex situations where we are involved.

Now, if that feeling is so strong that it prevents you from leaving the house or doing your normal life, then you may be facing anxiety. According to recent statistics, the anxiety disorder is common in our country with more than 3 million cases per year.

There are many reasons why someone could face anxiety, and according to experts almost everyone experiences some sort of it at some point of their lives, but the important part here is to be able to identify it and to treat it in time.

You should know that there are several anxiety-related disorders and even though some of them could be similar and interact with each other, the common elements on all of them are ongoing fear, worry, excessive nervousness, and inability to live normally due to those feelings.

Who can diagnose anxiety? Initially, you! If your fear and nervousness are out of proportion, you may know that something is wrong. But it’s your primary physician or your mental health doctor who can conduct a physical exam looking for symptoms that could underline a relationship with medications or any other medical condition that could be triggering the anxiety disorder.

Once the anxiety is diagnosed you will probably be referred to a psychiatrist specialized in anxiety and its treatment. Your psychiatrist could provide not only counseling and therapy but also medication for your anxiety disorder.

If you believe that you are suffering from anxiety disorder, act now and talk to your doctor. There is treatment and help available.

Follow your heart…literally!

The importance of your heart rate for your health

Let’s start by explaining that your heart rate shows the number of times that your heart beats per minute. As you can imagine every person has a different heart rate depending on his/her body size, use of medications, emotional issues, etc.

Now, it’s important for you to know that number because even if you don’t practice a sport regularly, or if you are not an athlete, to track the heart rate could help you to detect possible and developing health issues.

There are normal parameters that you have to consider, and that will help you to improve your health, to lose weight, and even to improve your fitness level.

Here are some essential things you should know:

  1. Resting Heart Rate:  It refers to the number of times that your heart beats per minute while you are at rest, and the best time for you to check it could be as soon as you wake up, and before you get out of bed.
  2. Normal bpm (beats per minute): For most people, it goes between 60 and 100, while athletes or more active people may have it as low as 40.
  3. There is a maximum heart rate that you should avoid: It’s 220 minus your age. If you exceed that number, you may hurt yourself.
  4. If your goal is to lose weight, calculate 50 to 85 percent of the previous number and stay on the higher end. Ex: If you are 40 it would be 220-40=180. 85 percent of 180=153, that’s probably your target rate.
  5. If the 85 percent is too intense, you can start with a 60 – 70 percent of 220 minus your age as your target rate.

 

Bottom line, learn about your heart rate, its healthy ranges, and how you could incorporate that information into your fitness routines. As always, talk to your doctor about possible changes in your physical activities, and start following your heart…literally!

Exfoliating your skin should be a pleasant experience

Let’s start by explaining the concept of exfoliation, which is the process of removing the dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Yes, it could sound harsh and tough, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Actually, we are talking about a process that your skin and body will feel like natural.

Why do we need to remove those dead cells from the skin? Because otherwise, they will form clogged pores, excessive oil, and subsequently acne and other impurities on your face.

Now, it’s important to understand that those dead cells from the skin have to be removed from all your body, but your face could be the most sensitive part for you to exfoliate, and that’s why we want to make sure that you know some tips about natural scrubs that you can use at home.

Here are a couple of natural ingredients that you can use to do your own exfoliating facial scrub at home:

  • Blueberry and Honey Scrub
    1/2 cup fresh blueberries
    2 tbsp honey (raw and local is best)
    1 – 2 tbsp sugar

 

  • Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub
    1/2 fresh lemon
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp organic honey

 

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, avoid it. In both cases a good mixture of all the components would form a substance that you can use by applying it to your face, doing gentle circular massages on the skin.

Exfoliating doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable. Trying natural ingredients could be the key to make your experience an enjoyable one.

 

Loving yourself: something necessary for your well-being

We live in a world that doesn’t allow us to stop to think about what we do, how we live, or where we really want to go.

Free time is practically a luxury, and thinking about changing course may sound crazy, but the truth is that we all need to understand who we are first, in order to know where we are going. And in order to determine who we are, it’s imperative to practice something that psychologists and behavioral experts call a necessity for our well-being: the self-love.

For many, self-love is something that is taken for granted. “I love myself”, we all say, but how do we show that affection? That’s where the axis of everything lies, and according to experts there are three basic elements that we could identify and practice in order to love ourselves:

  1. You are not perfect, but your experience and you are important as part of a community/humanity experience.
  2. Understand and treat yourself with kindness.
  3. Give attention and importance to your emotions

Self-compassion is another important component of the equation. If you are unable to be kind to yourself, to understand your mistakes, and to forgive yourself, it will be impossible to talk about self-loving. You love yourself when you accept that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you may fail at some things, that you have good moments and bad moments, but that those don’t define who you are or what are you capable of.

Once you understand that you have to take care of yourself first, in order to take care of others, you will understand also that it’s important to learn how to listen to yourself. We all talk to ourselves and the tone we use is vital for us to understand how are we addressing some issues, or how we see specific situations.

Talk to yourself with love, be patient, understanding, and compassionate. Don’t be brutally critical, or perfectionist. In other words, treat yourself in the same way you would treat your own kids. Love will be always the key, and the results won’t disappoint you.

Fitness and workout apps: Do they actually work?

At this point, and talking about health and technology, we are living under two undeniable realities:

  1. Obesity is an epidemic that is growing by leaps and bounds.
  2. Technology has a lot to do with the rapid progress of that evil, but it can also help us to fight it.

Now, it’s up to you if you want to use the technology in your favor and actually make it work for you to reach your desired point of fitness and health. A good start may be to explore the different applications that exist to help you stay fit and healthy.

There are tons of apps around as part of the fitness and wellness world. All of them promise to deliver great results, with easy instructions, basic knowledge needed, and with options that fit all tastes and lifestyles.

Yoga, Pilates, running, swimming, walking…whatever is your favorite activity, you can incorporate any of the tech marketing tools available into your routines to follow your progress or understand how and where to improve.

The real question here is which of all those apps actually work? The answer is simple: it depends on your attitude and commitment to make it work. In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, experts concluded that fitness apps can promote positive changes in the behavior of its users. Seems like a good majority reported to be more active and to have a better attitude towards healthy habits, in comparison to those not using an app.

The apps require information and periodic and specific updates from the users, and that could be part of the key. You are not accountable to a trainer, or a coach, you have to be accountable to yourself. No lies, no skipping answers, no tricks. This is a commitment to your own desire, with your own health and nobody is there to judge you or to ask for more.

Since a good portion of those apps is free to use, you are not investing a dime. You don’t need to move from home if you don’t want to, you don’t have to go to a place at a specific time of the day in order to make your app work. Basically, there are no excuses!

Now, it’s important for you to understand that an app by itself doesn’t do anything. The app should be the result of your interest in becoming a healthier person, in having better habits, and definitely, in getting more active. Step by step you can do it. Have in mind that technology is just a tool that you can use to get the results you want. Those results must come from a better diet, a physical activity routine, and changes in bad habits. Think about the app, in terms of an assistant who will track your results, archive your data and give you advice for you to understand how to get to your new and healthier you.