Health Watch: Skip the energy drink and reenergize naturally

Tip of the Week

A candy bar or an energy drink may seem like an easy option if you’re experiencing the afternoon slump at work or need a quick burst before heading into the gym, right? Wrong. Big amounts of sugar just lead to an even bigger crash later that leaves you feeling drained. An energized day starts with a consistent sleep schedule, but if you’re in need of a boost, here a few ways to fire up when you’re low on fuel.

Eat Lunch Outside

Double-task your mid-day meal with a trip to the great outdoors! Crisp air might give you a wake-up call, but basking in the sun’s vitamin D- filled rays for 15-20 minutes can boost your energy and mood.

Stay Hydrated

Stick to a steady amount of good old H20 throughout the day. When your body is dehydrated, mental fogginess, dizziness and fatigue can set in. Spike your water bottle with lemons, sliced fruit or herbs like mint to keep your hand constantly

Grab an Apple

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it can also keep a bobbing head away. Why? An apple’s natural sugar is converted to energy by your body and stabilizes your blood sugar. Take a Power Nap

If you can shut your office door or curl up on the couch quickly, a power nap is a powerful thing. But don’t let your head rest for more than 30 minutes to avoid falling into deep sleep which can leave you feeling groggy.

Sip on “green” drinks

Combat low energy levels by going green. Green drinks made with natural vegetable juices like kale, spinach, and cucumbers are high in nutrients and are low glycemic which keeps your blood sugar even and can help avoid crashes.

Life Fitness

Number to Know

19 minutes: Adding three 10-minute periods of physical activity in your daily schedule are just as beneficial as participating in one 30-minute period of exercise.

— Brandpoint

Children’s Health

A debate is growing: Is artificial turf bad for children’s health? At issue are the little black crumbs that get everywhere — on cleats, socks, uniforms, bodies and hair — after playing on artificial turf fields. Amy Griffin, a coach at the University of Washington, started asking questions after she compiled a list of 38 U.S. soccer players – 34 of them goalies – known to have contracted cancer, according to NBC News. No research has linked cancer to artificial turf, but it’s enough to make Griffin and others around the country ask whether crumb rubber artificial turf is safe for the athletes and kids who play on it.

— Brandpoint

Senior Health

Despite the results of multiple studies linking hearing loss to the onset of dementia, many people are unaware that untreated hearing loss poses a threat to cognitive health. But studies have shown the more profound the hearing loss, the greater the possibility of cognitive decline. Why is hearing loss a likely factor in the development of dementia in some patients? Theories include:

* The same as-yet-to-be discovered cause of dementia may also cause or contribute to hearing loss.

* Straining to hear and understand exhausts your mind and inhibits its ability to function at peak performance.

* People who cannot hear well, or have difficulty hearing in crowds, often avoid socializing. Isolation is an established contributor to mental decline.

- Brandpoint

New Research

The National Institutes of Health announced last week that it is developing new strategies to incorporate big data for biomedical research. “Data creation in today’s research is exponentially more rapid than anything we anticipated even a decade ago,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins. “Mammoth data sets are emerging at an accelerated pace in today’s biomedical research and these funds will help us overcome the obstacles to maximizing their utility. The potential of these data, when used effectively, is quite astounding.” By studying complex biomedical data set, NIH hopes to gain an improved ability to predict who is at increased risk for breast cancer, heart attack and other diseases and conditions, and better ways to treat and prevent them.

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