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Six Ways You Can Start Preventing Osteoporosis Today

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Six Ways You Can Start Preventing Osteoporosis Today

Osteoporosis is one of the most common issues that senior citizens deal with, but your bones start to lose their density long before you’re even thinking about retiring. In fact, bone density typically starts to decrease around age 35!

The sooner you start working to prevent osteoporosis, the better. Read on to learn about five steps you can take today to start preventing osteoporosis.

1. Eat Plenty of Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral that helps keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong. Calcium is also necessary for proper cardiovascular, nervous, and circulatory system functioning.

Despite its importance, most people are not getting enough calcium on a daily basis (the RDA is 1,000 mg). When you go too long without getting sufficient calcium, your body starts to leech it from your bones in order to carry out various bodily functions.

To get adequate amounts of calcium, start by making sure you’re eating a calcium-rich diet. Getting your calcium from food is generally superior to getting it from supplements.

The list of foods (Osteoporosis prevention diet) that are rich in calcium includes:

  • Full-fat dairy products (calcium needs a “carrier” to be absorbed properly, so fat-free dairy isn’t going to be as effective at delivering calcium to your bones and organs)
  • Leafy green vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, turnip greens, and kale
  • Fish, especially bone-in sardines and salmon
  • Nuts, particularly Brazil nuts and almonds

2. And Get More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption, and adults typically need 600 IU per day. Luckily, many calcium-rich foods are also rich in vitamin D, including full-fat dairy and salmon. Egg yolks and beef liver are also good sources of vitamin D.

In addition to getting vitamin D from your food, you can also get it from the sun’s rays. In fact, this is typically considered to be the best source of vitamin D.

You don’t need to spend hours sunbathing to reap the benefits of increased sun exposure. Spending just 10-15 minutes outside in the sun at least two times per week is typically sufficient.

3. Don’t Forget Magnesium

Finally, make sure you’re consuming plenty of magnesium in addition to vitamin D and calcium. Magnesium is also essential for proper calcium absorption and metabolism, and it helps the bones and teeth stay strong and firm.

Good food sources of magnesium include:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Black beans
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Full-fat yogurt

Many Americans are consuming less magnesium than they should be, which puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis and other serious health conditions. It’s especially important to make sure your magnesium intake is in line with your calcium intake.

Increasing calcium consumption without increasing magnesium can cause the bones to lose magnesium. It can also cause calcium deposits to form in the soft tissues or kidneys — these deposits contribute to arthritis or kidney stones.

4. Exercise Regularly

In addition to consuming sufficient amounts of these essential minerals, you can also stave off osteoporosis by exercising regularly.

Weight-bearing exercises are typically considered to be the best for bone health. These are exercises that require the body to work against gravity — this encourages the body to create new bone tissue (this process is known as osteogenesis).

Popular forms of weight-bearing exercise include:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Racquet sports like tennis
  • Yoga
  • Water aerobics

It’s also important to prioritize resistance training if you want to prevent osteoporosis. By strengthening the muscles, you can also stimulate osteogenesis. You’ll also improve your flexibility and decrease your chances of falling as you age.

You can resistance train with weights, resistance bands, or even your own bodyweight. There are tons of options and it’s easy to modify exercises like push-ups and squats to match your current fitness level.

5. Quit Smoking

You probably already know that smoking is bad for your lungs, but it’s not doing your bones any favors, either.

Research shows that smoking increases your risk of developing osteoporosis in a variety of ways, including:

  • Reducing blood supply to your bones
  • Slowing osteogenesis
  • Impairing calcium absorption

Since smoking weakens the bones, smokers are also more prone to injuries like sprains and fractures. These injuries also take longer to heal since smoking slows osteogenesis.

6. Decrease Alcohol Consumption

Prevention of osteoporosis guidelines

Finally, you should also focus on decreasing your alcohol consumption. Before you panic, keep in mind the fact that most experts agree that moderate alcohol consumption — defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks for men — is fine. But, going above that on a regular basis could be setting yourself up for osteoporosis later in life.

Researchers aren’t totally sure why excessive alcohol consumption increases one’s risk of developing osteoporosis. But, they do believe that drinking too much alcohol hinders osteogenesis.

Must Read: What Really Happens to Your Body When You Have a Hangover

Conclusion

If you want to enjoy a high quality of life for as long as you can, you need to start prioritizing your bone health now. Don’t wait until you’ve already experienced significant bone loss — be proactive and implement these six tips today. Your future self will thank you!

Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.

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Health

Discover The Main Benefits Of Safflower Oil & Put It To Use

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Safflower oil benefits and uses

If you are used to taking a look at essential oils, then you’re not surprised to hear that CLA safflower oil has a range of benefits. Each of the organic oils that you can buy has plenty of natural benefits. That’s nice to know, but you need the important details. From heart health to managing diabetes and skincare, CLA safflower oil is used for all types of natural remedies and health benefits.

Do you live in the US? The reason I ask is because this flower and its oil is not native to North America. That doesn’t mean that safflower oil isn’t popular in the west. This exotic oil is extremely popular, and you’re about to discover just why that is the case. The following are the main benefits that you can expect when you put safflower oil to use.

First, let’s talk cooking. Have you heard of the spice saffron? it is often used to cook all kinds of delicious dishes. While it’s great to use, it can also be a little expensive. Safflower as a spice can be used as a cheaper replacement. In this case, you would be using the dried plant and not safflower oil. Yet you can also cook with safflower oil.

In fact, cooking with safflower oil is quite popular, too. It is kind of like sunflower oil in a way. Whether you use it as a cooking spice or as a cooking oil, you get all the great benefits. As we continue to look at what those benefits are, keep in mind that safflower oil can be used topically, too.

Are you looking for an essential oil to help keep your hair looking nice and youthful? If you want shiny hair, and you’re trying to find the best organic oil to use, safflower oil could be the one. You can always use more than one oil to treat your hair for different purposes, too. There is olive oil and many more that people use on their hair. Safflower oil keeps your hair looking radiant and beautiful.

According to Peter’s review, safflower oil is for sure known for having essential omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, it’s rich with them, and that’s good for your heart. Keep cholesterol levels down, and know that you’re doing your heart some justice. It’s not just about the consumption of safflower oil but the substitute of this oil for unhealthy oils. That can make quite a big difference.

The same fatty acids can help you manage blood sugar levels. This can help people with diabetes, and it can also help with diabetes prevention. Another benefit of the omega 6 fatty acids is they help your body more easily get rid of fat. This helps people with their weight loss efforts and preventing obesity. That’s not to say that you can simply lose weight by using safflower oil though.

Safflower oil is just a good substitute oil, a healthy oil that has many benefits. Think in terms of using it to cook with as mentioned earlier. Then of course you can use it on your hair, and you can use it on your skin, too. When it comes to the hair and skin, it’s all about the linoleic acid.

It is also suggested that your immune system benefits when you put safflower oil to use. When you look at other essential oils, there are some that are also known as immune system boosters. Speaking of other essential oils, you might want to look into which ones are good for mixing with safflower oil for additional benefits.

One of the things I thought of right away was you might want to look at which essential oils for hair health you could mix with safflower oil. There are also still other benefits to learn about as well. For example, safflower oil can help with arthritis and muscle pain as well as menstrual cramps.

You know more about the main benefits of safflower oil now. It’s time to put it to use, and also make connections to other oils that you are already using or might want to use. It’s great that you can count on these oils having so many natural health benefits that are important.

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Health

How to Support a Loved One Who’s Struggling with Addiction

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It’s impossible to talk about physical and mental health without also addressing the fact that more than 20 million people over the age of 12 are suffering from some kind of addiction.

Addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States — and the rest of the world, for that matter — and the chances are very high that someone you know and love is struggling or will struggle in the future. Because of this, it’s important to know how to provide support and encourage loved ones to get the help they need.

Not sure where to begin?

Listed below are some easy-to-apply steps that will help you show support to a loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Know the Signs

One of the most important steps you can take is making sure you’re aware of the signs of addiction. It’s not always easy to spot, but if you’re loved one starts exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they could be struggling.

  • Appearing intoxicated more often than usual
  • Developing memory and cognition issues
  • Feeling lethargic or sleeping more often than usual
  • Having trouble at school or work
  • Only attend social events where drugs or alcohol will be available
  • Isolating themselves and skipping activities they used to enjoy
  • Stealing money or other valuables to fund their habit
  • Lying about how much of a particular substance they’re using
  • Getting angry or defensive when questioned about their substance use
  • Neglecting their appearance or personal hygiene

Speak Up Early

When you start noticing signs that could indicate your loved one is struggling with an addiction, be sure to speak up early and express your concern. Don’t wait until they hit rock bottom to offer help.

Letting them know early on that you’re there for them and want to help them could be the push they need to start to turn things around. Addiction is just like any other disease — the sooner it is treated, the better.

Avoid Common Communication Pitfalls

When it comes to addressing your loved one’s behavior and expressing your concern, it’s important to communicate effectively and avoid common pitfalls that can cause them to become angry or defensive.

Remember, they might not realize yet themselves that they have a problem, so it’s important to avoid coming on too strong and making them feel as though they’re being attacked.

Some common mistakes to avoid when talking to your loved one include:

  • Avoid preaching, lecturing, bribing, threatening, or moralizing
  • Don’t be a martyr — this means avoiding emotional appeals that make them feel guilty or ashamed for how they’re affecting you
  • Don’t argue when they’re clearly under the influence — they won’t be in the right state of mind to hear what you have to say

Make Sure You’re Not Enabling Them

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of enabling an addict when you’re trying to help them get better. Be sure to avoid these enabling behaviors:

  • Covering up, lying, or making excuses for them and their behavior
  • Taking over responsibilities to protect them from consequences
  • Giving them money or access to their substance of choice
  • Driving them to meet with a dealer or to purchase their substance of choice so they’re not driving under the influence
  • Spending time with them while they’re using so they’re not alone

You may think you’re doing the right thing by practicing these behaviors, but remember that they don’t actually benefit your loved one — they only make it harder for them to see why their behavior is a problem.

Consult a Professional

Remember, too, that you don’t have to go at this alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is incredibly difficult. Working with a professional — someone who has experience working with addicts — will make it easier for you to stop enabling behaviors and make sure your loved one is getting the help they need.

Whether you hold an intervention or simply get advice from a specialist, consulting a professional throughout this process will increase the likelihood that you’ll be successful in helping your loved one overcome their addiction.

A professional can even help you write letters or practice communicating with your loved one in a more effective way.

Be Patient

No matter how hard you work, some people just aren’t ready when you are to give up their addictions.

Remember that you may need to have several conversations before your loved one accepts that they have a problem. Even if they’re not receptive the first time around, be patient and let them know that you love them and are there for them.

At the same time, make sure you’re giving them space to experience consequences. It’s also important for you to have space from your loved one so that you can continue to care for yourself — you can’t help them if you’re neglecting your own needs.

Final Thoughts

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is difficult, but there are ways to effectively communicate and let them know that you want to help them.

Keep these tips in mind as you start navigating the waters of working with a loved one who’s currently struggling and — most importantly — remember that there’s always hope.

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Fitness

Top Five Yoga Poses for People with Lower Back Pain

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At any one time, approximately 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain. Lower back pain is also the leading cause of disability for people all over the world.

If you’re currently struggling with lower back pain, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be. But, it’s also important for you to know that there are a variety of treatment options available to help lessen your pain and improve your quality of life.

One of the best — yet often overlooked — treatment options for people with lower back pain is a consistent yoga practice. Yoga comes with a number of physical and mental health benefits that make it a great choice for people who want to relieve their pain.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of yoga for lower back pain, as well as five of the best pain-relieving poses that you can try today.

Benefits of Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Some of the most well-known benefits of yoga for people with lower back pain include:

  • Strengthens muscles in and around the lower back to improve posture and correct imbalances that contribute to pain
  • Stretches the muscles to relieve tension and improve range of motion
  • Promotes relaxation, which further reduces tension and pain
  • Improves body awareness and helps you understand your own body’s current limitations
  • Improves mindset, which can change your perception of and relationship to your pain

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to give yoga a try. Even if you’re skeptical about the practice’s ability to improve your back pain, at the very least, you’ll get to enjoy an hour of relaxation, which is something just about everyone can benefit from!

Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

If you think you can’t practice yoga because you don’t live close to or can’t afford to go to a yoga studio or gym, think again.

Thanks to the internet, there are tons of free resources available that will help you learn the basics and start reaping the benefits of yoga from the comfort of your own home.

Some simple yoga poses you can try today to relieve your lower back pain include:

1. Child’s Pose

This is one of the easiest, yet most beneficial yoga poses you can incorporate into your routine. It provides a nice stretch for the lower back and hips while also helping you relax and enjoy the moment.

To do this pose, start by kneeling on all fours. Bring your feet together so your big toes are touching and open your knees up so they’re a bit wider than hip-distance. Inhale, then exhale and sit your hips back as you stretch forward so that your torso rests in the space between the thighs. Extend your arms in front of you while resting your forehead on your mat.

If your forehead doesn’t touch the ground, you can prop it up on a yoga block, a pillow, a book, or even your stacked fists.

Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths, or longer if you’d like.

Must Read: 5 Practical Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

2. Cat-Cow Pose

This is a great stretch that promotes healthy spinal mobility to relieve tension and strengthen the muscles in the back and abdominals.

Start by kneeling on all fours — make sure the wrists, shoulders, knees, and hips are all stacked and in line with one another. Inhale and arch your back, dropping your stomach down toward the ground and lifting your chin and tailbone up toward the ceiling (this is the “cow” part of the pose). Exhale and reverse the pose, pulling your abdominals in and arch your back up, tucking your chin and tailbone in (this is the “cat” part of the pose).

Repeat for at least five rounds (five “cats” and five “cows”), making sure the movement and breath are synced.

3. Downward Facing Dog

In addition to stretching the back, it’s also important to look elsewhere when you’re experiencing lower back pain. Often, people’s backs hurt because their leg muscles are tight — everything in the body is connected, and if one muscle group is tight, it’s probably pulling on other muscles and causing tension throughout the body.

To do this pose, start on all fours. Then, walk your feet back so that you’re in a plank pose with your shoulders right over your wrists. Inhale, then, as you exhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling until your body forms an upside down “V” shape. Straighten your legs as much as you can and try to bring your heels down to touch the ground. Gaze between your legs or up at your belly button.

Hold for at least five breaths.

4. Standing Forward Fold

There are a number of standing yoga poses that are also great for countering lower back pain, including standing forward fold.

To do this pose, stand up straight at the top of your mat. Your feet can be hip-distance apart, or you can bring them closer so that your big toes are touching. Inhale and raise your arms up above your head, then exhale and hinge at your hips and stretch forward and down toward the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible.

Tuck your chin toward your chest and let the crown of your head reach toward the floor. If you can’t touch the floor, hold onto your shins or ankles instead. You can also bend your knees a bit if this is too intense for your hamstrings.

Hold for at least five breaths.

5. Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a very calming pose that is often done at the end of a yoga class. It’s great for cooling down the body and quieting the mind. It also provides a great stretch for the outer hip, which, if it’s tight, can contribute to lower back pain.

Start by lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground. Lift your left foot and cross it over your right thigh so it’s resting just above the knee. Reach through the space created by your right left leg and clasp your hands behind your right thigh. Gently pull your right leg in toward your chest, keeping the knee bent.

Hold for at least five breaths, then switch sides.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve never tried yoga as a way to relieve your back pain, consider testing out these five poses today. Your body — and your mind — will thank you!

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