Vitamins: Do You Need a Personalized Plan

In the past few years, the basic multivitamin has gotten a bad rap. Experts claiming that the multivitamins were a waste of money. Studies said the vitamins wouldn’t help prevent chronic diseases later in life, and that there were few vitamins worth taking. But these studies also assumed that everyone was eating an optimal diet that provided everything they needed. For those who wanted or needed supplementation, then, what would the options be? And if you just wanted to ensure you were getting enough of all the vital vitamins and minerals, what could you do?

Real Vitamin Intakes

A balanced diet should provide all of the nutrients people need in sufficient amounts. The problem with that is that not everyone — in fact, a lot of people — don’t have an optimal diet. This can be due to food insecurity, a massive dislike of certain foods, a lack of knowledge of how to put a daily diet together and more.

Targeted Supplementation

For those people who aren’t getting enough through food, one option is targeted or personalized supplementation. This can take the form of picking and choosing your supplements, such as taking separate vitamin D, calcium and iron supplements daily, or getting a compounded version that contains what you need.

Targeted or personalized supplementation does have advantages. You don’t end up taking nutrients that you’re already getting enough of, you have more choices for individual doses and you avoid taking gigantic pills if you have trouble swallowing those.

However, there can also be some disadvantages. If you do the pick-and-choose method, you could end up taking a lot of pills daily if you’re not getting enough of several vitamins and minerals. You may also end up overlooking necessary nutrients.

If you want to take only those supplements that you know you need, a personalized plan is best. If you just want to fill in gaps, though, and are not concerned that you’re getting too much of certain nutrients, a multivitamin would be just fine. Speak with your doctor and a registered dietitian to work out the best plan for you.

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How to Adjust Your Exercise Plan for the Holidays

The holidays are a time for reconnecting with friends and family, which can often derail even the best intentions to keep up with diet and exercise. If you are looking for ways to adjust your exercise plan for the holidays, consider the following helpful hints.

1. Carve out time in the mornings

Most holiday events revolve around evening activities, especially during the week. Find time early each morning to adjust your exercise schedule so that you start earlier than you might otherwise plan. This might require you to plan the night before with extra clothes and a gym bag.

2. Find ways to exercise from home

You may have to adjust your exercise routine to include more walking or other activities you can do inside your own house. This is especially true if you live in an area where winter storms could prevent you from driving to the gym. Some of the best moves that you can do from the comfort of your own home include push ups, crunches, planks, lunges and squats.

3. Incorporate exercise into your holiday activities

Holiday activities can include more than just baking cookies and watching your favorite Christmas movies. Find out if there are any fun 5k races or walks in your area to participate in. You can get your friends and family to sign up with you. If you plan on shopping in stores this holiday season, try to park your car as far away as possible. Consider walking a lap around the parking lot before beginning your shopping spree.

4. Make it a family affair

Invite your friends and family members to go on a walk with you before or after dinner. This will keep the fun conversations flowing and allow you to eat without the guilt of totally derailing your diet. Try planning a walk around a neighborhood known for having the best Christmas light display to squeeze in a bit more holiday cheer along your way. Dress in layers to prepare for cold weather.

8 Reasons Your Teeth Hurt

Suddenly developing tooth pain is not anything you really want, but it happens to most people at least once. If your teeth hurt and you don’t know why, don’t panic. While most causes require the help of a dentist, the pain should be gone soon if you get the right care. Look at these eight causes of tooth pain and see if these might be why your teeth hurt.

Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth hurt when you eat or drink something cold or hot, or you breathe in cold air through your mouth, that could just be sensitivity, which happens when the tubules in the tooth’s dentin are exposed. See your dentist to ensure it is not a cavity; if it is just sensitivity, start using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

Cavities

Of course, the pain could be from a full-blown cavity. In this case, you have to see a dentist to get the cavity filled. But once that’s done, the tooth shouldn’t hurt anymore.

Bruxism and TMJ

If you grind or clench your teeth, that’s called bruxism. It can lead to temporomandibular joint syndrome, though TMJ can occur for other reasons. Both can lead to jaw and tooth pain. A night guard to help protect your teeth is what you need, and you can get these from your dentist.

Gum Problems

If your gums are infected, the nerves in your jaw could transmit pain that feels like it’s coming from a tooth. See your dentist to clear up the infection.

Root Problems

Sometimes decay hits the root of the tooth, sending pain signals into the nerve. You may have to get a root canal or have the tooth extracted; if you go the latter route, ask the dentist about implants or bridges to replace the tooth.

Fractures

Like cavities, fractures expose the nerves in the tooth. You’ll need these filled to stop the pain.

Impaction

If you have not yet had your wisdom teeth pulled, one or more might be impacted under the adjacent tooth. You’ll need to have the wisdom tooth removed.

Old Dental Work

Old dental work, like fillings, can eventually fail and need to be replaced. Once you get new dental work to replace the old, you should be fine.

Your dentist can help you combat all of these rather quickly. Don’t hesitate to set up an appointment if your teeth hurt.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is manufactured in the body and found in food, and it is still not entirely understood. However, it is important to keep the levels of the “bad” down and the “good” high in order to reduce the risk of heart disease.

It moves through the bloodstream in lipoproteins, which are composed of fat and proteins. Low-density lipoproteins are known as LDL while high-density lipoproteins are known as HDL. They are also know, respectively, as “bad” and “good” cholesterol. LDL causes plaque to build up in the arteries. This plaque clogs the arteries with a mix of calcium, fat and other substances. This is known as arteriosclerosis. The plaque hardens, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the heart.

At this point, several things may happen. A blood clot can form and block blood flow if the plaque breaks open. When this oxygen-rich blood is cut off from the heart, a heart attack may occur unless the blood flow is restored. When plaque blocks the flow to other parts of the body, such as limbs or the brain, a stroke may occur. People may also be at risk of peripheral or carotid artery disease.

There are usually not symptoms associated with high levels of it, and people may not realize they have it until they have it checked. High numbers for LDL are more likely to be due to genetics than diet. However, weight and smoking also play a part. It is also a good idea to avoid trans fat and eat lower amount of saturated fat, which is fat that comes from animal products including meat and full-fat dairy. It was once believed that eggs were a significant dietary factor in the buildup of LDL in the bloodstream, but this is no longer the case. In many cases, lifestyle changes alone are not enough to significantly lower a person’s LDL, and it is necessary to take medication. If you are older than 75, your doctor may decide to treat high LDL less aggressively depending on other health factors.

Medical professionals still have some way to go in fully understanding how cholesterol works and how its levels can best be controlled. However, according to the best knowledge available now, you should try to keep your LDL level low. If it is high, you can work with your doctor to figure out whether changes in lifestyle, medication or a combination of the two produce the best results to keep you healthy.

How Sport Training Can Help Your Refocus on Your Goals

Increasingly, we are learning a lot more about how the human mind and body interact. While many historical philosophers recognized clear boundaries between the mental and physical realms, modern researchers have painted a far different picture. If you have difficulty focusing on your goals, you should start engaging in sports. There are so many types of sports that people of all ages can easily find sports that are safe, fun and appropriate. Handball, bowling and golf are sports that millions of senior citizens enjoy greatly. If you walk your golf course instead of using a golf cart, this makes the sport particularly beneficial. Virtually all sports have a variety of useful benefits for your mind and body.

Sport training can help you focus on those life goals that are near and dear to your heart. Whenever you engage in physical exercise, this creates a number of chemical changes in your brain. Under the invigorating influence of exertion, your brain begins to release neurotransmitters like dopamine. These chemicals promote clear thinking and more improved focus. Individuals with ADHD can experience reduced symptoms. Even if you don’t have ADHD, you can certainly benefit from improved focus. As you are able to focus better on a day-to-day basis, this should help you achieve long-term goals over time. Besides helping you focus, fitness activities can reduce your stress levels and improve your ability to control impulses. Studies have shown that exercise can also help you with planning, organization and working memory. Indirectly, working out can help you achieve goals by making you less susceptible to injury. Of course, this is dependent upon you working out at a reasonable, sustainable rate. After all, overtraining can lead to injury in and of itself.

So far we’ve discussed the advantages of exercise in all its forms. However, there are very specific advantages to sport training. While it is perfectly normal for youngsters to play sports during their school years, many people stop engaging in sports as they enter their busy adult years. Perversely, people over 50 are particularly apt to avoid sports. According to kinesiologists and other medical experts, these are the years when maintaining an exercise routine is most important. After all, we naturally lose strength, flexibility and other important physical attributes. During these older years, it is crucial for adults to maintain physical routines to keep the ravages of aging at bay.

Sport training is important because its helps people establish solid, unbroken workout routines. For many people, working out at a treadmill or an elliptical machine just isn’t that much fun. If you find a sport that you love and stick to it, this means that you’ll likely be able to stick to your exercise regimen for the long-term. Consistency is key for advancing through life successfully.

What Exactly Is Belly Button Lint?

What Is the Navel On Your Abdomen?

Your belly button is also known as a navel or umbilicus, and every baby is born with one of these. A navel is located in your abdominal area, and it is where an umbilical cord is attached when a baby is born. Humans will have one of two different shapes of navels, including a concave or raised area on the abdomen. The shape and size of a navel will change over your lifetime due to changes in your body weight or medical conditions such as pregnancy. It is also possible to develop a tumor or hernia near the navel area, requiring a surgical repair.

Surgeons Can Use the Navel Region As an Incision Site

In some cases, a surgeon will make an incision inside a belly button in order to remove an infected appendix or gallbladder. Plastic surgeons may make an incision in a concave navel to insert breast implants in a female. These tiny scars are often unnoticeable, but the incisions can become infected without the proper care. The collection of lint in the concave area of a navel can also cause inflammation.

Your Navel May Collect Lint

You may notice lint in your navel while bathing or showering, and in some cases, this concave area can become itchy or inflamed. Despite adequate daily bathing, you can develop navel lint that has a disgusting appearance and foul odor. Researchers have studied navel lint to determine what it is composed of in order to understand how to stop the odor or inflammation. Studies reveal that navel lint is composed of fabric fibers and dead skin cells, but these substances are often contaminated with bacteria or yeast.

What Is Navel Lint and How Does It Develop?

Navel lint is primarily the fabric fibers from undergarments, slacks or skirts, but the loose fibers from your bedding can also collect in the navel. If you expose your navel by wearing a short shirt or low-waist pants, then dust, sand and dirt can also collect in your belly button. When you have an abdomen that has a lot of hair, loose strands can also collect in your navel. In addition to lint, you might have moisture inside the navel, including perspiration, lotion or shampoo.

How Can You Prevent or Treat a Navel Infection?

It is possible to have a mild to serious infection of the navel, and you can treat this problem by washing the area, applying hydrogen peroxide or using antibiotic ointment. When you plan to get a piercing on your navel, it is imperative to clean the area thoroughly for several days to remove any pathogens. After getting the piercing, continue to keep the area clean and dry to avoid a dangerous infection of the umbilicus.

How Contagious Is Positivity: A Case For Spreading Happiness

What Is Contagious Positivity?

You may have heard that positivity is contagious, and if you want to have a happier outlook on life, then it is important to create a lifestyle that is surrounded by positive things. Here is how you can create a positive life to have a happier mind.

Tip 1: Associate With Positive People As Much As Possible

In order to have a joyful mind, avoid associating with negative individuals. Look for friends who enjoy spreading happiness rather than gossiping or complaining. Think about how you feel when you are around someone who is angry or grumpy the majority of the time. Next, think about how you feel when you are spending time with someone who says funny things. With the second friend, you will have contagious positivity for the rest of the day, but with the first friend, you may feel unhappy for the rest of the week.

Tip 2: Watch Happy Television Programs and Movies

To have more positivity, watch happy television programs and movies the majority of the time. When you watch horror movies or violent television programs, it will change your mood. If you have grandchildren, then you will probably tell them not to watch these types of television programs or movies because you know that it isn’t good for their minds, so you should follow your own advice. Look for television shows or movies that have happier themes so that you will feel joyful for the rest of the day.

Tip 3: Work In a Positive Environment

Try to work in a positive environment where your coworkers enjoy spreading happiness rather than acting hateful toward one another. If you spend every workday trying to avoid your boss’s wrath or your coworker’s gossip, then it is time to look for a new job. When you work in a respectful environment, you will have a better attitude at home. This is contagious positivity, and it leads to you acting happier when you stop at a supermarket after work or when you are talking to a waiter at a restaurant.

Tip 4: Read Books With Positive Themes

If you like to read books, then choose books with positive themes rather than reading about vampires or murderers. What you are reading will affect your thinking or emotions, and rather than spreading happiness to others, you may have a hostile attitude that reflects what you are reading about each night. Look for books that have happier themes that make your feel good instead of frightened.