Archive for February, 2010

By Sylvia Anderson -IH Editor

When your life is governed by deadlines, household chores and a variety of other responsibilities, you may find little time to fit in intimacy. That’s a big mistake! Having sex regularly is good for you for a number of reasons. Unfortunately convincing your partner to attend a “party for two” at the end of an exhausting day may take a little more than mere mood music.  Instead, try persuading your partner with the latest research showing the significant health benefits derived from an active sex life.

The New Cardio
Let’s say, for example, your partner has been struggling to fit into that proverbial little black dress.  This would be the perfect opportunity to share with her that sex burns calories.  You could then selflessly offer to assist her in achieving her goal.  You may also mention if the mood is right, that sex improves cardiovascular health.  The physical activity exerted during sex offers the same great heart-healthy benefits as running or swimming.

Fight Cancer

If the object of your affection happens to be an uncharacteristically disinterested male, there is hope for you too.  Plead your case with evidence reported in the Journal of American Medical Association that frequent ejaculations were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men.  The sooner the better though, as the frequency for participants in their 20s derived the most benefit.

Bye-Bye Stress, Hello Better Sleep
For those of you struggling with partners who are stressed out and tired, fluff up the pillow talk by mentioning that sex helps you sleep better.  According to researchers from Scotland (who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology), the hormone oxytocin, which is released during orgasm, promotes sleep.  The same study supports that a distinct correlation exists between the level of sexual activity and lower diastolic blood pressure in response to stress.  So, you can now legitimately offer up sex as a stress reliever.

Immune-Booster
If it’s chronic illness that plagues your significant other, sex may be just the tonic for all his ailments. According to scientists at Wilkes University, having sex a minimum of once or twice weekly demonstrated increased levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody vital to your immune system.  Immunoglobulin A is responsible for protecting you from the common cold and other infections.  So, when the sniffles have your loved one under the weather, suggest that the elusive cure for the common cold may be found under the sheets.

Pain-Free
Contrary to the, “Not tonight honey I have a headache,” sex can also be touted as an elixir for chronic pain sufferers; headaches, arthritis pain, even PMS symptoms can be alleviated by a regular dose of sex. The release of oxytocin into the body during sex increases endorphins, thereby decreasing pain.  Participants in a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine reported a diminished pain threshold when subjected to finger pricks after inhaling oxytocin vapor.

And if Those Don’t Work . . .
For those who fear that none of these health benefits are compelling enough to woo your lover, there are yet other persuasive options left in your arsenal.  Point out that sex has profound psychological benefits on self-esteem and depression.  If that doesn’t do the trick, perhaps increased blood circulation which strengthens bones and muscles will raise interest.  You could always scare your partner by suggesting that an incontinent future lies before her if she abstains, as sex strengthens pelvic floor muscles.

If you’re still striking out, you may have to resort to a tactic used by couples throughout the ages . . . it’s most commonly known as begging.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and get some!)

Chris

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By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: February 11, 2010

Starting a weight loss plan is challenging for even the most disciplined eater, especially when you are taking in less than you are used to. How can you stick to your goals without giving into temptation? The following 10 easy strategies will help you lose weight and maintain your weight on a regular basis . . .

Having trouble sticking to a healthy eating program? Try these 10 tips to make sure you don’t fall off the diet wagon:

1. Eat Your Breakfast. Think you don’t have time to eat in the morning? You might want to think again. Breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day, setting you up with the nutrition you need to get through the morning and avoid eating too much at lunch and dinner. Skipping meals is never a good idea, but going without breakfast will deplete your energy levels and make you more likely to eat more throughout the rest of the day.

2. Drink Plenty of Water. Water will help you feel fuller for longer periods of time as well as flush toxins and impurities out of your body. Try not to drink too much at one time—excessive water consumed too quickly could make you feel sick. Instead, try drinking a glass of water before each meal and taking regular sips throughout the day.

3. Chew Gum. Sugarless gum will keep your mouth occupied and make you feel as if you are eating, which will in turn keep you from feeling hungry. Pop a piece in your mouth whenever you feel the urge to grab a snack.

4. Eat Small Meals. If you eat throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to feel hungry between meals. Try eating six small meals as opposed to three larger ones to keep your metabolism high and your stomach with something in it throughout the day.

5. Eat Lean Protein.  It takes the body longer to break down protein as opposed to carbohydrates, so when making food choices, go for a lean piece of meat or eggs instead of bread or other simple carbohydrates. You’ll feel satisfied for a longer period of time.

6. Eat More Fiber. High-fiber foods swell up inside the stomach, leading to a long-lasting feeling of fullness. They also generally require more chewing than other foods, which psychologically triggers a feeling of satisfaction.

7. Reduce Your Carb Intake. You’ve heard it time and time again and that’s because it works! Eat less carbs. The reason why is because carbohydrates turn to sugar and stimulate insulin production, which makes you feel hungry again sooner and also makes you crave more carbs.

8. Brush Up. Brushing your teeth and tongue leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh—and also makes you reconsider eating something immediately afterwards. Whenever the urge to snack strikes, dash to the bathroom and clean your mouth first.9. Get Some Exercise. A little hard work outdoors or in the gym is good motivation to make healthier food choices—after all, you don’t want to put fat and calories back into your body so soon after you sweated them off. Hit the gym before dining out or other situations when you might be tempted to overindulge.

10. Stay Busy. Ask yourself: are you really, truly hungry, or are you just bored? It can be easy to confuse the two. If you find yourself eating because there is nothing else to do, get up and get moving or find some work or a chore that needs to be done so you can keep your mind off of food.

By making a conscious effort to follow these 10 tips, you will have a much easier time getting your diet plan to stick – for the short- and long-term.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris