Is good health contagious? A new study says yes.

There’s no magic solution for weight loss and improved health. But data collected by researchers in Kentucky shows friends and family members may lose weight more effectively by working as a team. That finding comes from a new study reported by the American Heart Association. The study’s results indicate that strong social networks, such as those among friends and relatives, help people lose weight and improve their overall health. Are healthy habits contagious? The study, undertaken by researchers in Kentucky, answers that question in the affirmative. The data showed that dieters who lost weight collectively with friends and family lost more weight and were likelier to achieve permanent results. Study organizers, working with a pool of 552 participants, assigned friends and family members into social groups of between two and eight people. The groups worked together to improve their health. Over the course of ten months, participants within social groups lost an (Read More)

5 Heart Healthy Habits

Many of the hardest things to do in life are based on good old-fashioned common sense.  So why are they so hard to accomplish? Let’s face it – in our minds we often think that change is not rational.  Our reasoning is that when we change something in our lives, that often means that we will also lose something – habits that gives us great pleasure. That is why people burn out so easily on their New Year resolutions.  As you read through these common sense behaviors that are critical to a healthy heart, remember that failure is an event – not a person.  Be willing to take risks to get out of you comfort zone. Be willing to start, create “baby steps” for change that are based in your behavior, not just your attitude.  It truly is better to act your way into a new way of thinking, rather (Read More)

6 Foods Destructive To Our Bones: Part 2

Vitamin A In the case of vitamin A, recent research is proving that you really can get too much of a good thing. Found in eggs, full-fat dairy, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. But the American diet is naturally high in vitamin A, and most multivitamins also contain vitamin A. So it’s possible to get much more than the recommended allotment of 5,000 IUs (international units) a day—which many experts think is too high anyway. Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher than 5,000 IUs had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was less than 1,600 IUs a day. Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products only, and eat egg whites rather than whole eggs (all the vitamin A is in the yolk). Also (Read More)

Research says increased physical activity reduces effect of salt on blood pressure

Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy. In addition to concerns about eating healthy and exercising to lose weight, we must also consider other health concerns like high blood pressure and cholesterol. High blood pressure is particularly dangerous because it can lead to a number of life-threatening problems such as hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes. Fortunately, many of the things that work for losing weight also work for lowering blood pressure. According to a study from the American Heart Association, physical activity has a significant impact on blood pressure. This impact is particularly pronounced in individuals who consume a high-salt diet. Salt is well known to be a leading cause of high blood pressure, so individuals looking to reduce the risk of high blood pressure due to their high-salt diet are encouraged to increase their level of physical activity. However, the best way to offset the negative effects of salt (Read More)