Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Overstuffed? Try These Thanksgiving Turkey Tummy Trouble Tips

Too much gobble, gobble? 6 Steps to better digestion this holiday season

Cheer and goodwill aren't the only things Americans share during the holiday season. We also swap germs, overindulge in seasonal foods and spirits, and stew in stress - all of which can lead to digestive woes.

You know you'll have to work hard at self-control if you don't want the numbers on the scale to climb by the end of the holiday season. But you can also take steps to minimize stomach upset, indigestion, bloating, reflux and general intestinal distress during the holidays.

So good yet so bad

Holiday foods taste good because they're often rich, and high in fat and sugar - qualities that cause not only weight gain but also digestive discomfort. During this hectic time of year, most of us eat more - especially at celebrations.

Giving up holiday treats and favorite dishes would be like going through the season without a single cornucopia or twinkling decoration. Rather than suffering digestive distress through indulgence, or choosing to deprive yourself entirely, start with a plan for how you'll deal with holiday digestive upset, then take action.

Steps to feel better

  • Stay hydrated. The hectic pace of the holidays may make you forget to drink enough water. What's more, overindulging in holiday libations like cocktails, wine, champagne and beer can actually dehydrate your body. Non-alcoholic sugary beverages like mulled cider, hot chocolate and pumpkin-flavored coffees can also throw off your body's balance. Remember to drink plenty of water every day throughout the holidays.
  • Prioritize food choices. Sure, that slice of pumpkin pie looks great on the plate and tastes yummy going down, but will it be worth the heartburn and bloating you'll experience later? Raw veggies are a healthful and fiber-filled alternative to fatty hors d'oeuvres, but be aware that raw vegetables can also cause bloating and gas. Pay attention to the foods that trigger discomfort and decide how important they really are. You may be able to substitute something else that's just as satisfying but less upsetting to your stomach.
  • Promote gut health. If your digestive tract is already in good shape, it will be better equipped to handle occasional holiday overindulgence. Taking a probiotic supplement, like Family Flora Daily Balance, can support the growth of good gut bacteria that aid in digestion. Family Flora's Dual-Action formula helps populate the gut with healthy bacteria and also provides prebiotics, the "food" that helps probiotic bacteria thrive and multiply inside the body. The probiotic + non-GMO prebiotic blend helps promote improved digestion, support gut flora renewal and colon health, and maintain healthier gastrointestinal function. The neutral-tasting powder can be mixed into any cold food or beverage. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Visit www.familyflora.com to learn more.
  • Reduce portion sizes. Do you give yourself license to overindulge during the holidays, figuring you'll pay for it later when you step on the scale? Large portions can also make you pay for them right away when you feel indigestion or reflux after finishing a big meal. Reducing portion sizes can help ease holiday strain on your stomach and digestive tract. One easy trick for controlling portion sizes - serve yourself on a dessert-size dish, rather than a large dinner plate. Smaller portions will look like more on a smaller plate.
  • Limit variety. Whether a buffet or a sit-down dinner, holiday meals often feature multiple dishes that just look so good you want to try them all. Mixing too many different foods, however, can lead to stomach upset. Trying everything - even if it's just a bite or two - can rack up the calories, fat and sugar. Instead, choose just a few favorites to have at each meal. If you have a spoon of green bean casserole with your Thanksgiving turkey, pass on the yams and plan to have them with tomorrow's leftovers.
  • Keep exercising. Along with all the other benefits exercise brings, it can also promote digestive health. In addition to its positive physical effects, exercise can also help relieve holiday stress - a contributor to holiday stomach upset. Whether it's an hour at the gym or 30 minutes on a yoga mat in your living room, it's important to maintain an exercise regimen throughout the holidays.
The holidays are meant to be a time of enjoyment, and that includes eating foods you just don't have around at other times of the year. With some proactive steps, you can help ensure your holidays stay bright and your stomach stays healthy throughout the season.

Courtesy of BPT.

Monday, November 21, 2016

These Wearable Tech Devices Help You Look and Feel Better

Wearable health technology first started in hospitals as a way to help people with injuries heal faster. 

girl with wearable medical alert system
Now, the trend has gone mainstream and pro-active; one in five online adults uses a wearable device, and the majority of those devices are health-related, according to Forrester Research.

"Americans are using a variety of wearable devices to help them reach their wellness goals," says Mike Nohilly, an expert in wearable technology for Slendertone. Once, people would have needed a doctor's visit to find out key wellness numbers like BMI or blood pressure, or needed gym equipment to monitor their heart rates while exercising. Wearable devices allow them to do all those things, and even tone specific muscle groups, at their own convenience."

Here are five wearable health devices and how you can use them to help build fitness and better health:

  • Fitness trackers - If it seems like everyone is wearing some kind of fitness tracker, you're not imagining it. The top wearable of 2015 was a fitness tracker that shipped more than 21 million units last year and represented nearly 38 percent of the wearables market, according to International Data Corporation. Fitness trackers allow wearers to monitor key health indicators such as heart rate or calories burned. You can also use them to set and track exercise goals, such as walking a certain number of steps per day, or monitor your heart rate while exercising to ensure you reach a target zone.

  • Pain relief braces - Worn like traditional braces, smart braces use neurostimulation sensors, built into the fabric, to ease pain with low-level electrical impulses. Wearers rely on the bands to help relieve joint pain from chronic conditions like arthritis. Some come with a smartphone app that allows you to track usage and sleep patterns.

fall detection pendant with lanyard and compared to a quarter
  • Fall Detection Pendant - preventing falls is essential, especially for those over 65 years old.  New automatic fall detection pendants can tell the difference between a drop and a fall, reducing false alarms.  Fall detection pendants can be worn around the neck, or on a belt clip - always close to the body. 
  • Ab toner - Instead of spending hours in the gym doing crunches, you can enhance your workout by wearing a piece of technology that works to strengthen, firm and tone your abs. The Slendertone Connect Abs wearable belt uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to stimulate the major abdominal muscles, and can be worn and used at any time - even under your clothes. Users report visible results in six to eight weeks when used at least five days per week for 30 minutes. You can control this FDA-cleared device through an app on Android or Apple smartphones, and choose one of five goal-driven programs, from essential toning to post-natal and even advanced toning. The app also tracks and shares data on your progress. Visit www.slendertone.com.

  • Sleep trackers - Getting the right amount of sleep is critical for overall health, so sleep trackers have gained popularity as aids to help people get better rest. Many types are available and some are wearable. Sleep trackers monitor such sleep metrics as REM phases, how long per night you spend in light sleep versus deep sleep, wake times, how quickly you fall asleep, what time you sleep each night and more.

  • UV detector - An emerging form of wearable technology, UV detectors monitor skin exposure to harmful ultra-violet radiation - the portion of sunlight that causes sunburn, tanning and skin cancer. Multiple versions are under development, and one commercially available detector is a small patch that you wear on your skin and then scan using your smartphone that's been equipped with a special app. The app allows you to read the information recorded in the patch so you know your UV exposure, and offers tips for sun safety, including what level SPF sunscreen you should wear.

"Many health care and tech industry watchers say the wearable health care device trend is really just getting started," Nohilly says. "Technology has great potential to help make it easier than ever to achieve our health and fitness goals, whether we want to get a better night's rest, improving cardio-vascular health or get toned abs."

Content courtesy of BPT.