6 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home Without Equipment

Over time, age can take quite a toll on strength and mobility. Without proper upkeep and maintenance, your body will grow weaker and more immobile, as will the risk of falls, fractures, breaks, and other injuries.

Think of your core muscles as a tree trunk, where your lower body is the roots and your upper body is the branches – in a hurricane. In the face of strong winds, your core muscles or “tree trunk” will help keep you stable and upright.

Unfortunately, far too many people forget and neglect the importance of core strength which can result in unnecessary pain – but don’t worry! Today, we’re going to outline the best core exercises that are actually crunch-free.

Can you believe it?

Core Strengthening: The Amazing Benefits of Core Muscles for Everyday Life

When it comes to exercise, many people’s brains automatically think of leaner arms, stronger legs, a bigger butt…

To your surprise, health and fitness experts everywhere are raving about the importance of core strength. While core strengthening helps enhance overall balance and stability, it literally undergirds almost every one of your movements.

Have you ever considered just how much you engage your core muscles in a single day? Let’s brainstorm some of the mundane ways you unknowingly need core strength:

– Bending down to put your shoes on

– Scooping up child or grandchild

– Looking behind you or checking blind spots

– Taking a bath or a shower

– Getting dressed or undressed

– Cleaning or fixing the house and gardening

– Occupational tasks that involve twisting, lifting, and even sitting for hours everyday

Many people “don’t have a strong grasp of which muscles are the ‘core’ muscles,” says Dr. Wendi Weimar, Auburn University’s director of the Sports Biomechanics Laboratory.

“So, people will do exercises that they think are working the ‘core’ but are not.”

This is because countless people understand abs and core as the same thing.

The Difference Between Abs and Core Strength

Anyone seeking those chiseled abs will quickly learn that they’re doing themselves a disservice.

Whereas strengthening your abs in isolation only targets a few front-facing muscles, core exercises target the entire group of muscles that provide you with the “trunk” necessary for pretty much every motion that we do. Without getting into the Latin anatomical terms, core muscles generally include:

– Ab muscles on the front

– Lower back muscles and glutes on the back

– Diaphragm muscle on the on the top

– Pelvic floor and hip muscles on the bottom

“If you’re going to prioritize different areas of the body,” said personal trainer and owner of Strength & Performance Training, Inc., “the core would be number one because everything else branches off from that.”

If abs are what you want, you can get them! But today, we’re going to focus on the best core exercises to make you stronger, improve balance, and eliminate back pain.

The 6 Best Core Exercises to Do at Home

Now that you’re more aware of the immense importance of core strengthening, here are 6 of the best core exercises.

They take no more than ten minutes, require no equipment, and can drastically improve your overall health, strength, mobility, balance, and pain.

Each 1-minute video follows the same certified fitness trainer who will walk you through each simple core strengthening exercise.

1. Bridge

The bridge exercise strengthens the whole abdominal region, the lower back and the glutes.

2. Straight Leg Drops

The straight leg drop core exercise targets the transverse abdominal muscles and the obliques

https://youtu.be/BKkpMcmyR9s

3. Front Toe Drops

The front toe drop core abdominal exercise requires focus on breath.

https://youtu.be/egEuLPYVsP0

4. Side Knee Drops

Exercise abdominal muscles with a focus on the obliques with the side knee drop core exercise.

https://youtu.be/VS_iAdam51A

5. Hip Circles

The hip circle core exercise requires focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

https://youtu.be/8wVL4lN1Yzk

6. Four-Point Balance

The four-point balance exercise strengthens abdominal muscles and improves balance.

https://youtu.be/Pc8eBEiRwUQ

6 Signs That You May Have High Cholesterol

Why is it so important that cholesterol is at the normal levels and how to maintain it within the health limits? Cholesterol is a vital, fat-like substance that is contained in each cell of our body, as well as in our blood.

Most of the cholesterol is produced by the liver, and the rest is procured through food.

Cholesterol has extremely important reasons for our body and functions: it participates in the construction of cell membranes and in the formation of sexes and adrenal hormones; without cholesterol, the body can not synthesize vitamin D, which is indispensable to healthy bones, nor produces bile acid, without which fat in the body cannot be processed properly.

When an excess of cholesterol accumulates in the body, it can not be broken down and this hides the risks to our health.

The main danger is the onset of atherosclerosis, which in turn is the cause of most cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack for example.

The causes of increased levels of cholesterol in the blood are different: hereditary predisposition, chronic liver disease and thyroid gland, diabetes.

A sure way to maintain a normal cholesterol level is regular testing. Specialists recommend except for total, to monitor still poor (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.

It is known that 20 years is the age in which the first examination for determining the values of cholesterol should be done.

Revealed in time, increased cholesterol can be overcome and can not lead to serious health problems later.

However, there are certain things that can show that you have high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Keep in mind that some of these signs and symptoms can also be associated with all kinds of health problems, and therefore only if your blood is examined in a laboratory, you can confirm whether the cholesterol level is high or not.

1. Yellow Growths on Your Eyelids

Did you know that yellowish eyelid can be a sign of high cholesterol? Take a good look at the eyelids, if you notice yellow spots, make a doctor’s appointment, check your cholesterol levels and your heart’s health.

Also, do you notice painless yellow growths of the upper and lower eyelids?

This phenomenon is called “xanthelasma” and it is a clear indication that you have high blood cholesterol levels.

2. Gray-Colored Ring Around Your Cornea

Often this is a sign of aging, so it should not be a cause for worry. But if you are far from retired, the gray circle around the iris may indicate high cholesterol and blood fat, which very often means a risk of heart attack or stroke.

This gray colored ring or lacquer is actually composed of cholesterol that collects in the deeper parts of your cornea.

3. Tingling Sensation in the Hands and Feet

The tingling sensation of the hands and feet may indicate a problem in your body. This should be taken seriously because these symptoms can be caused by serious health problems.

If the blood vessels are blocked by cholesterol, it is likely that you will feel tingling in your hands and feet, because your peripheral nerves (nerves in the limbs) do not get enough blood oxygen and nutrients for their proper functioning.

4. Pain in the Neck and Back of the Head

Because cholesterol levels that are too high can cause some of your blood vessels to block, it’s very possible that your circulation is obstructed. Such can leave your neck sensitive and deteriorate from time to time.

The shoulder can also be felt in the same way. Medical practitioners say that high blood cholesterol levels can also make you have a headache, especially in the back of your head.

5. Rapid or Pounding Beating of the Heart

When a person says that she has heart palpitations, she thinks of the inner feeling that her heart beats something different from the usual one.

Or, it simply has the awareness of the heartbeat. Most of the time, heart palpitations are harmless and they are often experienced after exercise or engaging in the intense physical activity.

Sometimes they are due to anxiety, stress, and the intake of certain drugs.

Palpitations may also indicate problems with the cardiovascular system, but and high cholesterol levels are one of them.

Clogging the blood vessels due to cholesterol can lead to an accelerated operation of your heart.

6. Unhealthy Diet and Lifestyle

If you eat plenty of fatty foods and avoid fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of fiber if you are a smoker and if you drink alcohol in excessive amounts, if you are overweight and do not exercise regularly, then there is a great chance that your cholesterol level is already high.

But sometimes high cholesterol depends on our genes. About 1 in 500 people have a specific genetic mutation that leads to the accumulation of cholesterol in their blood.

These people suffer from high cholesterol regardless of their lifestyle.

6 Signs That Your Liver Is Full Of Toxins And Making You Fat (AND HOW TO STOP IT)

As you probably already know, the liver is an important organ as it transforms toxins into waste, which the body then removes through urine and feces. This is a rather demanding function as nowadays, our way of life is full of toxins.

Unfortunately, as the time passes by, the liver can become sluggish and overwhelmed and this usually results in the inability to eliminate toxins properly. Instead, it stores them in fat cells, mostly in the belly area.

WHAT IS FATTY LIVER DISEASE?

Fatty liver disease is caused by an excess of fat in the liver. The liver is a naturally fatty organ, so there should be some fat in the liver at all times.

But when the fat in the liver counts for more than 5% to 10% of the total weight of the liver, fatty liver disease results.

There are two types of fatty liver disease: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease.

Alcoholic liver disease is the result of overindulgence in alcoholic beverages while the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the result of non-alcoholic factors, like high cholesterol or genetics. The following symptoms may indicate a liver in need of detoxification. Let’s take a look:

UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT GAIN

When your liver doesn’t work 100% on removing toxins from the body, reducing calories and regular workout won’t be of much help as the body stores the unfiltered toxins in its fat cells.

Moreover, as the liver is responsible for metabolizing fat, when it doesn’t function properly, fat will circulate from the gut through the bile and back to the organ.

ALLERGIES

A healthy liver creates antibodies which attack allergens. However, when its functioning decreases, the body stores those allergens. The brain responds by producing histamine, a chemical which marks the allergens for removal.

Excessive buildup of histamine leads to allergy symptoms like itchiness, fogginess, and headaches.

CHRONIC FATIGUE

Toxins prevent the metabolism of muscle tissues, which results in ache and physical fatigue. With time, the tiredness can turn into moodiness, depression, and angry outbursts.

EXCESSIVE SWEATING

When the liver gets overworked, its functioning reduces and the liver becomes hot. Hence, as it is a big organ, it transfers the heat to the rest of the body and tries to cool itself through excessive sweating.

ACNE WON’T GO AWAY

The toxins in the liver can cause hormonal imbalances which in turn cause acne. If this skin issue is caused by a sluggish liver, there is no external cleansing that will treat it until the liver’s functioning is improved.

BAD BREATH

If your oral health and hygiene are good, but you still suffer from a bad breath, you might have a problem with your liver. Consult your physician to be certain.

WAYS TO GET RID OF LIVER DISEASE

Fatty liver disease can be reversed and eased with a proper diet. These two recipes are delicious and nutritious ways to reverse the effects of a fatty liver.

Foods like dandelion root, bananas, sweet potatoes, liver, and ginger root can all help ease and reverse the effects of a fatty liver disease.

Make a breakfast smoothie with bananas, ginger and dandelion root to combat the effects of this disease.

Chop one banana and blend with one cup of Greek yogurt, crushed ginger root, two tablespoons peanut butter and one teaspoon of dandelion root.

Blend and serve immediately. Mix and match your favorite ingredients and incorporate into your diet one-to-two times a day.

We hope you enjoyed this article and it will help you to improve your life and be a healthier person. Please send us a message and let us know.

6 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health

“Nails often reflect our general state of health. Changes in the nail, such as discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems including liver and kidney diseases, heart and lung conditions, anemia, and diabetes.”~ American Academy of Dermatology

Many of us look, trim, and – yes – bite on or chew our nails (please stop!) without giving them much thought. Per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), nail health – just like skin health – is vital.

Let’s take a step back and ask a question: what are nails, exactly?

Wikipedia provides an excellent definition:

“A nail is a horn-like envelope covering the tips of the fingers and toes in most primates and a few other mammals…Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protective protein called alpha-keratin.”

Keratin is the same protein products in your skin and hair.

Now that we’ve got the mini-physiology lesson out of the way let’s discuss six things that nails can reveal about your health.

HERE’S WHAT YOUR NAILS SAY ABOUT YOUR HEALTH:

1. DRY, CRACKED OR BRITTLE NAILS

Dry, cracked or brittle nails is indicative of exposing your hands to frequent water submersion. If you’re a dishwasher, diver, fisherman, or swimmer, you’ve likely experienced this symptom on occasion.

It’s also worth mentioning that dry nails may reveal a Vitamin A, B, or C deficiency. Brittle nails may result from frequent use of nail polish remover or chemical exposure (from household cleaning products, for example.)

2. PARALLEL RIDGES 

Parallel ridging of the nails, known as ‘Beau’s lines,’ show an abnormality in nail growth. Beau’s lines may be a sign of diabetes, psoriasis, or a zinc deficiency. They can also be the product of nail trauma, or a high fever that sometimes accompanies a severe illness.

 3. PUFFY NAIL FOLD 

If skin surrounding the nail cuticles are puffy and red, this is referred to as nail fold inflammation. Infection can cause nail fold inflammation, as can a connective tissue disorder such as lupus.

4. “CLUBBING”

Clubbing occurs when the fingertips become engorged, and your nails curve downward. It’s common for the nails to appear almost sickly white, which is often representative of a sign of low oxygen in the blood. Clubbing has been associated with heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, and lung disease.

5. YELLOWING 

Yellowing of nails is most commonly caused by a fungal infection. Per WebMD:

“As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and nails may thicken and crumble.” Rarely, yellow nails may indicate a more severe condition such as diabetes, lung disease, psoriasis, or thyroid disease.

6. BLUISH NAILS 

Nails – and sometimes, fingertips – that appear blue can be a serious sign; namely, that the body is not getting enough oxygen. Per WebMD, bluish nails may indicate a lung problem, such as emphysema, or some type of heart problem.

Caring for your nails

AAD gives the following seven recommendations for keeping nails healthy:

– Keep your nails clean and dry. This prevents bacteria from accumulating below the nail’s surface.

– Cut your nails correctly– straight across and rounded slightly in the center. Proper cutting will help keep the nail healthy and prevent ingrown nails.

– Soak your feet in warm salt water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will make the nails easier to properly trim (see above).

– Shoes should fit properly – not too snug or too loose. It helps to consult with an expert in determining proper fit, such as a podiatrist.

– Don’t bite your nails, as this can transfer infectious bacteria between your fingers and mouth. Nail biting can also damage the skin around your fingers, allowing infections to enter.

– Apply a moisturizer, especially after removing nail polish or any other product containing chemicals.

If you experience recurring nail problems, it is advisable to seek advice from a medical specialist. Dermatologists specialize in diagnosis and treatment of skin, nails, and hair disorders.