Mohammad Hodgson's Global Health Blog

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7 Positive Effects of Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle requires commitment and determination but it also comes with a lifetime reward. Practicing a healthy lifestyle help improves your overall health regardless of your age, sex or physical activities. I have heard many people complaining that living a healthy lifestyle will not help them with better health condition because they did not see any significant changes. Well, I would say that lifestyle is a process – a long-term process. It is more than just eating good foods and exercise, it is more than that.
In favor of those people who have doubts about living a healthy lifestyle, I decided to list down all the health benefits I can point out so that it can help motivate and assure them that they are doing the right thing for their health in the long run.
Healthy living gives you better immune system
The immune system is one of the most important aspects of your health. It protects your body against unwanted diseases. Include in your healthy diet foods like legumes, nuts, and seeds. These are food that is high in nutrients. Added to that, yogurt is also good for your body because it provides probiotic which is the “good” bacteria and will give you better immunity. Also, do not forget green tea and black tea. Based on the Colorado State University, it is beneficial to your immunity effects.
Healthy living gives you longer life
According to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, living a healthy lifestyle can decrease your chances of having cancer by 66%. Other than eating healthy diets such as veggies and fruits, you need to avoid eating sodium-filled foods, fats, saturated fats, artificial sugars and processed grains. Moreover, commit to a 30-minute exercise per day.
Healthy living gives you better energy, strength, and stamina
In order to make your overall body stronger, you need a regular exercise. It does not only benefit your physical strength but also your cardiovascular system which increases your muscle energy and provides better oxygen proficiently. Based on the Harvard Health Publications, a balanced diet, sufficient fluid in the body and drinking less amount of alcohol can help increase energy levels. So, if you always feel tired and restless, drink plenty of water instead of alcoholic drinks.
Healthy living gives you better mood
Having a stressful day? Or you need an emotional encouragement? Hit the gym for at least 30 minutes. Physical activity can help fuel most parts of the brain chemicals as a result leaves you feeling happier and stress-free. Furthermore, it can also enhance your physical appearances such as posture, skin, and personality and boost your self-confidence. If you are a smoker, consider stopping and replace it with a healthier habit. Smoking can make your skin dry to leave a bad smoke odor that sticks to your clothing.
Healthy living improves your weight
Whether you are thin or fat, you still need to observe a healthy lifestyle. Frequent exercise helps reduce weight and maintain it. You don’t have to starve yourself, as long as you are wise in your eating habit and lifestyle, you are good to go. If you do not have time for a gym workout, take chances to walk instead of driving or take stairs instead of the elevator.
Healthy living helps prevent diseases
A lifestyle that is filled with good health and fitness can lessen the risk of getting minor and major diseases. Common diseases include diabetes, heart disease, cancers, asthma, and osteoporosis. Living a healthy lifestyle also improves your bones which can help you prevent injuries and fall. Added to this, it can enhance mental health and reduce insomnia. You can obtain these benefits in the long run if you choose to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
Healthy living improves your relationship
Whether it is your social relationship with your friends or intimate relationship with your spouse, healthy living can help shape back your relationship with your loved ones. As far as the intimate relationship is a concern, healthy lifestyle such as regular exercises can enhance women’s arousal and lessen the risk of erectile dysfunction for men. So if you want to improve your performance in bed, the answer is simply having a regular exercise. Good luck!

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Best Health Advice for College Students

To keep up with healthy eating lifestyle in college is harder than trying to pass your final thermodynamic exam. For most college students, eating late night snacks, unhealthy college cafeterias, and other in-between sugary-filled snacks are common. We were all once college students and understand how important it is. Added to that, there are lots of activities that we need to keep up such as exams, term papers, thesis, social life, extracurricular activities and the like that keep us from eating the right food at the right time.
The real question is that did we continue the unhealthy eating lifestyle until now? And how can you avoid some of these common mistakes happen in your college years? If you are still in college, this is great news for you and you should keep on reading. However, if you are not then you can still apply these tips if it is by all means suitable for you.
Pretzels, chips, energy bars and crackers are a good choice of snacks if you need 100 packs of calories a day. Added to this, fruits and vegetables like salad are the best snacking choice for college students. I have met several students who opt for apple for their in-between snacks and they believe that you can never go wrong with apples. It is healthy and keeps them full throughout the day.
College life and socializing is the must-do thing during this time. However, one mistake college students did was make “meeting for lunch” a social activity. This could be dangerous since you will be unaware of what you are eating because you will spend most of your time talking and eat. Not only it will make shrink your wallet size, it will also expand your waist size. Instead, try looking for other get-together activities such as jogging, gym time or going to the beach. There are a lot of affordable activities you can think of and at the same time makes you healthier.
When exams are approaching, many students tend to indulge in coffees and lots of coffees to keep their eyes open. But based on Lara Rondinelli, a diabetes educator at Rush University told that caffeine is not good for the health even if they contain several vitamins, they are still not healthy. Instead of fueling your body with caffeine try switch to lean meats, veggies, fresh fruits, milk or yoghurt. Added to that, protein bars are also good alternatives for extra energy but do not over consume it because protein bars may still lack in some nutrients that your body needs to keep balance.
I know that most college students do not have time to prepare their own meal, how much more for breakfast. Whether you are staying at home or school dormitory, opt for healthier, cheaper way than eating outside. Be creative and prepare your own meal. Try to go out and visit your local grocery store, you can find plenty of healthy food suggestion good for one-month stocks and you will be surprised at how you can save more money comparing to eating out every day. You might want to check out Basmati rice which contains low carbs comparing to the brown and white rice.
There it is! College life is always associated with drinking hard, parties and hangover. However, you can still have fun without getting drunk. Alcohol contains lots of calories and can give you flabby belly in the long run. Always drink moderately, have fun and at the same time taking care of your health. Drink plenty of water as well because it can help you increase concentration and makes you hydrated.
When you are stress or homesick it is easy to find comfort in foods but the truth is eating to ease your stress will not help you get away with it. You are only making your situation worst by adding more pounds to your body. Instead, take a break or get out and have a short, peaceful walk and unwind yourself. Do some meditation so that you can relax your mind from the pressure. Walk at least 30 minutes a day and see changes in yourself.
Prevention is better than cure. If you noticed something different is happening in your body, do not wait until it gets worst. Consult your doctor and have a thorough medical checkup and ever year. If you have questions, you should approach any physician or your university health center and ask for advice and what can they recommend. There is nothing wrong in asking a question especially when it comes to your health. You might not be aware of the increase of blood sugar in your body or changes in your health condition. That is why it is important to ask health advice to one who knows better – the doctors.

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How to Get a Good Night Sleep

Having a good night sleep is as easy as changing your daily routine and lifestyle choices. Maybe you have tried to cut down your caffeine intake, setting a dark and cozy room or stop watching horror movies but still could not get a good night sleep. Perhaps you are not aware of some habits that interrupt your sleep. Do not worry! Everyone experienced the same thing as you. Therefore, I have prepared the following tips to help you get better sleep each night and be productive and energized throughout the day.
#1 Sleep at the same time every night.
One factor that will give you a hard time to get a good night sleep is having a different timeframe when each night when you go to sleep. Staying on track is important for your body to adjust to your sleeping routine. Choose a time where you are tired and make it a daily habit. Although it may be tempting to stay awake at night to watch your favorite movie, make health your priority and as time goes by you will eventually get used to it.
#2 Wake up at the same time.
If you sleep at a certain time each night, make sure you are awake at the same time in the morning. If you practice this healthy habit, your body will get used to it and you do not even have to set an alarm clock in the morning. Try not to break the routine and maintain your wake time even if you feel sleepy, you can always get a short nap during the afternoon.
#3 Cut the alcohol.
For goodness’ sake, alcohol is never good for your health especially when it comes to sleeping. Although some believe that drinking alcohol can help you get better sleep at night, you will more likely to wake up every few hours which will give you headaches for having a troubled sleep.
#4 Exercise every day.
Regular exercise, whether it is intense or mild, gives you better sleep at night according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America survey. Exercise or involve in any physical activity at least 30 minutes a day. This can make a great difference in your lifestyle habit. Note: avoid having an intense exercise few hours before going to bed.
#5 Do not eat heavy meals few hours before bedtime.
Eating heavy meals few hours before going to bed will make your stomach work overtime. Your body is not meant for digesting while you sleep and by doing so, it will keep you awake all night and probably give you stomach ache especially if you eat food that is high in protein because protein is hard to digest. If you want to fill your stomach before bed, make sure it is lighter food and easy to digest.
#6 Try out some scented aromatherapy.
According to study in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that lavender scent helps many women with insomnia problem to fall asleep easily. Since then, the scent of lavender has been known as beneficial for sleep. Some people also sniff the lavender scent before going to sleep.
#7 Do not stress about getting your sleep.
The more stress you are about sleep the harder it will be for you to sleep. Trust me! Been there done that. Instead, take some time to imagine about something calm and relaxing. Most of the time, this relaxation method can slow down the brain wave activity and induce you to sleep.
#8 Try a new type of pillow.
Perhaps you are not aware that pillows can sometime give you a hard time to sleep. Your pillow may have accumulated dust that you are unaware of thus triggering your allergic reaction. According to experts, pillows should be replaced every 12 to 18 months to give you better sleep.
#9 Save your bed for sleep and sex only.
Try to list down all other things that you do in bed, let me try: eating, reading, playing, working (maybe?). I admit sometimes I committed this crime. Doing other activities in bed other than sleeping or sex can only distract your sleeping mood if you are in bed. Take your reading habit to your comfy couch and working to your work space. This will make it easier for you to adjust to every space in your house.
#0 Make your bed comfortable.
I am not just referring to your sheets, blankets and pillow but also anything in-between such as sleeping with your pet or teddy bears. Some people banned their pet from bed, but if you feel comfortable and safe that way. Do not hesitate to do it. I have known some people who live alone in their apartment said that they prefer to sleep with their pets because it made them feel safer and comfortable at night. What about you? Find what makes you comfortable sleeping at night.

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More Ways to Improve Your Overall Well Being

Taking care of your body helps you improve overall well-being. It is not only through eating or exercising but there are many ways you can do to improve your mental and physical well-being. According to clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D., well-being is mostly linked to balance, understanding, acceptance, and growth. Therefore, I have prepared other ways you can do to improve happiness and overall health. I hope it can help your
Okay, putting it on top of the list is quite risky. When talking about health, risks is the less common subject discussed, right? But do you know that taking risks can be healthy and rewarding? Challenge yourself and take a risk every day such as talking to strangers, dancing, involve in an extreme workout or it can be anything that pushes you to the limits and beyond your comfort zone. Taking certain risks can stimulate your brain and make it more alert.
Some people are really treating themselves hard to the point that they have the inability to experience their emotion well. They deny, bury, drink away, binge eating, sleep off and many more things they distract them from their real feeling. I hope you are not one of them. Accept your emotions. It is okay to be not okay. Accept your weakness and surrender whether alone or with someone your truly trust and stay focus. When you are able to experience your own emotions, you are able to better understand why it hurts you and what you should do about the situation. I would suggest that you write it down or talk through it. It might be hard at first but it is also the most effective way to deal with the inner you.
I had to include this because I realized that most people tend to neglect their overall body conditions and seldom go to their doctors to have health check-up regarding their physical health. The next thing they know is that a tumor has grown big and it’s too late for a cure. If you are sexually active, get a sexual health test and for women check that lump, changes to a mole or you can also check for other early signs of cancer such as prostate, throat, colon, and much more.
Stress can be triggered from worries – worries about the future or the unknown. It is undeniable that we, human, are often worried about what might happen in the future. In the end, we are unaware that we are creating our own unnecessary stress in which affects our mental and physical health. Live in the present and do not indulge yourself in the past or future. Take some time to unwind and laugh even at your own mistakes.
This is the most powerful thing human should do and yet tend to overlook it often. Try to make a list of the things you are grateful of, you will be surprised at how long the list will be. Be thankful for even the smallest things that happen in your life. The smallest things usually mean the most, right? I would suggest you to read a beautiful book by Mary Beth Sammons and Nina Lesowitz entitled Living Life as a Thank You. Take time to breathe and relax.
Ask yourself, “what makes me happy?” you will be surprised to know what really makes you happy. Times flies so fast that we sometimes lose count of it, try to meditate and evaluate ourselves, passion, mission and purpose as we live. If your family makes you happy, spend more quality time with them, if career makes you happy; strive for excellence in your career and many more things that make you happy as an individual.
This one is based on my experience. The longer you mingle with positive people, the easier it is for you to point out negative people. Surround yourself with positive people helps you become positive and inspire you to become better. These are usually people who believe in you and your potential to do great things. Other than that, listening to motivation audio, reading books, listening to good music and creating a positive smell in your home with lemon, peppermint or lavender can also be a great factor that can bring positive effects on your life. There’s no harm in trying!
Go for a walk with anyone, it can be your loved one (yes, while holding his or her hand!), your best buddy, your dog, your parent or anyone. It does not have to be an hour long session or an extreme trekking but simply a walk in the neighborhood or park where you can enjoy the view and it is associated with better health.

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Health and Fitness: Unusual Health Tricks that Work

Most of us know that in order to improve your health is pretty simple: lose weight, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated and so on. But do you know that there are more ways you can apply in order to boost your health? There are some simple, weird, easy health tips that will leave you in wonder but actually can be the solution to your health problem. I will leave you the tricks and you decide if it is a true health tip for you. Good luck!
Do not brush after eating
I have seen many people who are conscious about their teeth and frequently brushing after eating. Although it is a good practice to prevent tooth decay, brushing your teeth after a meal can weaken the tooth enamel. Especially they were acidic foods such as sodas, citrus, sports drinks, tomatoes and the like. According to Howard R. Gamble, the former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing your teeth right after a meal can increase the acid’s effect on your teeth enamel and wears down the layer of your teeth. It is like wet sandstone. If you really need to brush your teeth, try to wait for 30 to one hour after a meal.
Make a call to reduce stress
Psychologically speaking, this is true. Calling your mom or loved ones when you are stressed is a great way to relieve stress. Most people find this true because even getting a nap won’t work in help fighting stress. A Recent study issued in Proceedings B by a researcher from the University of Wisconsin-Madison place a group of girls of 7 to 12 years old to stressful task and divided them into two groups: one group had 15 minutes talk with their mothers and the second group watched a film. At the end of the result, researchers found that kids who have communicated with their moms have higher levels of oxytocin (a hormone that is associated with emotional bonding) comparing to those who watched films.
Literally flush away your troubles
We all agreed that flushing your toilet somehow gives us that satisfying feeling. As strange as it may sound, flushing can actually make your stress ‘flushed’ away in a good way. Try to write down in flushable toilet paper about some bad situation, people or anything in your life that causes anger and stress. Then throw them in the bowl and flush. You will be amazed at how effective and yet gentle it is in making you feel better.
Water gives you more energy
Who would have thought plain water can increase your energy. Water is like magical drinks that nobody knows how it works so well in the body. Water improves oral health, aids in weight loss and gives you energy. According to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, water increases sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system works by activating the body’s responses to stress, increasing blood pressure, energy and alertness in the mind. Added to that, water also help relieves stomach bloating caused by dehydration. The more reasons to skip caffeine and gulp water instead!
Listen to your favorite music
Music helps stimulate your brain, whether it is listening or playing. A study issued in Nature Reviews Neuroscience found that musical training or any form of interaction with music improves the brain ability to deal with communication. In children, musical training allows them to have a better vocabulary and reading skills. In some therapy session for stroke, listening to music has been part of their program because it help connects their brain cells. Even people with a comma are often given the time to listen to music by their loved ones although it has not yet proven to be 100% healing method but most people believe it is helpful.
Protect your heart by protecting your relationship
When we talk about love, it is impossible to not talking about health. Your relationship is linked to your overall health as well that is why it is important to protect your relationship so that you will not put your health in danger. Studies believe from the American Psychological Association found that people who believed that their loved one will leave them may actually end up broken hearted and these people often associated with a higher risk of stroke, high blood pressure, ulcers and heart attack. So, be positive in your relationship and protect your heart.
Exercise when you are tired
But, seriously I am tired! Well, did you know that fatigue and depression will actually improve after you have at least 30 minutes moderate workout or exercise? Yes, it is based on the study published in Medicine and Science in sports and Exercise. Added to that, exercise while you are tired helps you utilize oxygen efficiently and make your brain function better. So, there is no more reason for you to get lazy on the couch if you are tired.

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