Less Sleep, Bigger Belly

People who don’t get enough sleep could be adding inches to their waistline, a new study has shown. Researchers at the University of Lees in the U.K. examined the association between sleep, diet, weight, and overall metabolic health among more than 1,600 adults, who tracked their diet and how long they slept each night. The researchers measured each person’s waist  circumference; factored in variables including age, ethnicity, smoking, and income; and checked the participants’ blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid function. They found that the waistlines of those who slept an average of six hours each night were about 1.2 inches larger than the waistlines of those who managed nine hours. The participants who slept less also had lower levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol that helps reduce the risk for heart disease, reports ScienceDaily.com. The importance of sleep should not be underestimated, researcher Laura Hardie said, adding, (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)

Why Beer Could Be Good for Your Health

That beer belly of yours might not be associated with beer at all, according to a Czech Republic study cited recently by Harvard’s Harvey B. Simon, M.D. Though most of us can agree that drinking copious amounts of beer will more than likely result in negative health effects, scientific research suggests that consuming beer in moderation can actually improve your health. Take heart, beer lovers, and consider the following rewards of kicking back with your favorite brew. Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease A lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women who drink beer. The higher HDL levels (known as “good cholesterol”) in alcohol can be linked to this, according to Harvard researchers, who observe a consistent 25-40% reduction in risk. Having high levels of good cholesterol can be a big health boost for your heart, especially if you are able to keep levels of “bad” (Read More)