Vitamins – Natural Supplement

No matter how well you monitor your diet and focus on nutrition, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that you get everything your body needs.  While your body does best obtaining vitamins and minerals naturally, through foods, vitamins and natural supplements can help you be sure that you are adequately supplying your body with the nutrition it needs.

Vitamins and minerals provide energy and cellular protection to your body.  Certain vitamins play specific roles in your health.  If you are considering taking a vitamin or natural supplement, you should understand the role vitamins play in your overall health.  Vitamin D (activated by a good dose of sunlight) prevents disease; calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone health; Vitamin C aids with immunity; and Vitamin B gives you energy.

Some vitamins are fat soluble and others are water soluble; fat soluble vitamins are stored in your fat cells and used as needed.  Water soluble vitamins don’t get stored in your body; it’s more of a use-it-or-lose-it situation with water soluble vitamins.  Vitamin A, D, E, and K are fat soluble; the B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folic acid, and B12 are all water soluble.

Vitamin A is good for your eyesight.  You can obtain it by eating foods like liver and dark green leafy vegetables.  Vitamin C can be found in most citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and cabbage.  In addition to aiding the immune system, Vitamin C is important for ensuring that wounds heal properly.  Most people know the main source of Vitamin D is milk, but fish and egg yolks are also great sources.  Vitamin E, important for your skin and your lungs, can be found in whole grains.  Vitamin K, found in dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli, is critical for blood clotting.

The many B vitamins are important to your metabolism and your energy level.  Vitamin B also helps make red blood cells, and assists in keeping your blood oxygenated.  Whole grains, fish, and dark green leafy vegetables all contain Vitamin B.  Because the B vitamins are so important to overall health, some people take B vitamin supplements.  While you can take individual B vitamins in pill form, the best solution is to take one B-complex, which is formulated with the proper proportion of each of the B vitamins.

Vitamins and supplements cannot replace good nutrition, exercise, and healthy living.  They do, however, provide insurance against those days when you can’t eat as well as you should.  Vitamins and supplements also make sure that you meet your body’s needs.

Be sure you consult your physician before taking any vitamin or supplement; some can interfere with or interact with prescription medications or existing conditions.

Healthy Cooking

While there may be some monumental changes you are trying to make in your life to improve your health and fitness, something you can do that requires very little effort at all is to focus on healthy cooking.  Healthy cooking does not have to be difficult or expensive.  In fact, there are some relatively simple changes you can make to your everyday cooking habits that will make them healthier.

The first thing you should do to introduce healthy cooking to your kitchen is buy a very nice, big bottle of extra virgin olive oil.  Cooking in olive oil not only improves the flavor of the foods – everything from eggs to chicken – but it also provides you with a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids instead of partially hydrogenated, heart-stopping fat.  Cooking in olive oil is a heart healthy cooking choice.

The second thing you should do to  introduce healthy cooking to your kitchen is to ditch the salt.  Salt seems to be the seasoning of choice, because it’s easy, uncomplicated, and always there.  It also has a bad habit of giving you high blood pressure.  To cook flavorful foods without relying as much on salt, either grow or buy herbs.  You can grow herbs in your kitchen window with very little effort.  When you are cooking chicken, add some rosemary, thyme and garlic instead of salt.  The flavor will be amazing.  When you do use salt, make sure you choose an iodized sea salt, and use it sparingly.

Another healthy cooking change you can make is to stop frying everything.  Steam your vegetables, bake your meat, broil your fish.  Don’t assume that everything tastes best breaded and dropped in the deep fryer.  Experiment with different flavors and cooking techniques.

Wherever possible, switch from processed white flour products to whole grain products.  You can buy whole grain spaghetti and macaroni, bread and dinner rolls for not much more than you would spend for the bleached white flour versions.  Whole grains contribute to overall better health; white flour products add fat to your belly and empty calories to your plate.

Finally, switch to fat free milk.  If you drink whole milk or 2% milk, you may want to transition slowly to fat free milk.  If you have a child under the age of two, you should keep whole milk in the house for them; the fat content is whole milk is beneficial to their developing brains.  After age two, however, fat free milk provides the same calcium and vitamin D without the unnecessary fat and calories.

Try making a few changes at a time until they become habits.  Soon you will realize that healthy cooking is easy.  It is something you can do without making major changes in your lifestyle.

Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that benefits your body, mind, and soul.  Its combination of muscle-focused strengthening exercises, breathing, and relaxation techniques have been proven to reduce tension and stress and help individuals who practice it be healthier mentally and physically.

Yoga has been proven to provide reliefe for arthritis, asthma, pain, high blood pressure, and depression.  It can ease the symptoms of diabetes, heart disease, and even migraines and other chronic headaches.  Yoga has even been shown to have positive results for those suffering from multiple sclerosis and other neural conditions.  Yoga also has the added benefit of improving self-esteem, concentration, and the immune system.

Yoga was developed in the country of India.  It is as much a spiritual practice as it is an exercise, and preaches love, compassion, and tolerance in addition to calming the soul, body, and mind. It was  originally designed in order for the followers to have a deeply spiritual experience.  Whether you are seeking the spiritual experience or not yoga can provide you with a path to healthier living, because no matter what else yoga is, it helps you feel better in both your body and your mind.
To do yoga, you either need to go to a yoga studio or class or buy an instructional yoga video.  For the woman who is more reserved, because of the nature of some of the positions involved, trying it first with a video inside your own home might be advisable.  Whether you go to a studio or practice yoga from home, it is best to invest in an exercise mat, which can be attained at nearly any store that has a small fitness department or sports section.

The most wonderful thing about yoga is that even if you have very little time – 15 minutes every morning, or 30 minutes at the end of each week – you will still notice the benefits of practicing yoga.  The physical motions of yoga will improve the function of your body; the breathing exercises of yoga will help you remove the stress from your life; the clearing of your mind will help you concentrate and stay more sharply focused.  These benefits are experienced even once you have completed your yoga practice.

Adding yoga to your fitness plan is a great place to start for those who are feeling the pressure of the world. What you may discover is that the more you practice yoga, the more you want to practice yoga.  You’ll find it easier to relax, you’ll notice improved flexibility; you may even begin to notice a new calm about you that stays with you.

For the over 40 woman, I would strongly recommend that you include yoga in your fitness program.  As you know, as women get older they start to lose muscle mass and also bone density.  The practice of yoga is a great way to combat these occurrences especially for women who don’t feel capable of dealing with the more stressful forms of exercise. Idealy yoga should be seen as an addition to your fitness routine rather than as a substitute of any other forms of exercise.

Try not to be intimidated by the mental picture you may have developed of yoga.  Often times we see yogi practitioners who are able to coax their bodies into impossible positions. We find this intimidating as we think we could never be able to do that. Well my resposne to that is, you are not expected to be able to do that, least right away.  like anything else, start with small steps and you will eventually be surprised at what you will be able to achieve. The key is to Start.