Shine a Light Health Expo

Come on Baltimore – let’s get healthy.  Do you love your body?  Why do you eat chips, processed food, and white bread and not exercise? This expo will teach you basic and easy exercises and will have cooking demos.

For those of you who don’t know, Baltimore city is considered one of the unhealthiest cities because of the food deserts in the city.  In addition, low income people do not have access to vegetables and fruits due to costs, lack of transportation to grocery stores or even a lack of knowledge.

The Today Show weekend anchors will be hosting a health expo today from 12-3 pm at the Carrmelo Anthony Youth Development Center – 1100 East Fayette Street.  There will be exercise demos and food demonstrations for healthy eating.


Shine A Light Health Expo Final Flyer Sept 2014_0


4 Exercises to Boost Mental and Emotional Health During Pregnancy


Many women look forward to pregnancy as a time of beauty and wonder. Unfortunately, not every woman who’s expecting experiences a magical and empowering pregnancy. Pregnancy can create feelings of anxiety, depression and even paranoia. Research has found that around 33 percent of women become clinically depressed or experience an anxiety disorder during pregnancy, according to Depending on the severity of the emotional or mental condition, exercise can be an effective treatment. Start moving to help mitigate these emotional imbalances:

Meditation — Anxiety & Stress

Worrying about the health of your baby or how to parent can progress into all-consuming anxiety and incapacitating distress throughout your pregnancy. Worrying is natural for moms-to-be, but if your worries and anxious thoughts prevent daily functioning, then self-care is your top priority. Manage stress and calm down by quieting the mind with meditation and deep breathing. Commit to mindful meditation in a quiet space for 10 to 15 minutes at the same time every day. In a comfortable sitting position with your eyes closed, free your mind and concentrate only on your breathing to draw awareness to the present moment. The New York Insight Meditation Center offers further guidance on its website.

Pilates — Low Confidence

If pregnancy makes you feel like you’re losing control of your body, take control by doing something healthy. A prenatal Pilates routine can build strength, balance and stamina, and according to, it can also reduce discomfort and create a stronger body for a faster recovery post-pregnancy. Download a routine to your iPad to engage in these exercises anywhere, anytime. Working on your fitness and strength while preparing your body for delivery will boost your confidence during this special time.

Cardio — Depression

In the beginning of pregnancy, depression can be caused by increased hormone levels that disturb brain chemistry. If left untreated, depression can worsen and even risk your pregnancy. Exercise is a depression elixir and effective mental health strategy, informs Create a daily routine of 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to feel good and energized. Focus on cardio workouts that release mood-boosting endorphins. Cardio activities like swimming, walking and running can all raise your heart rate and even provide inner peace. Lewis G. Maharam, MD, provides exercise recommendations for every stage of pregnancy in his column for the New York Daily News.

Yoga — Loneliness

Pregnancy can make a soon-to-be-mom feel isolated and lonely. An expecting woman finds strength and connection in the camaraderie of other expecting women. You can relate to body changes and empathize with one another during hard and stressful times. Check out a local yoga studio that specializes in prenatal yoga classes. A prenatal yoga practice teaches how to center your mind, prepare your breath for delivery and improve posture for a growing belly. Meanwhile, a soon-to-be-mom is surrounded by other women whom can serve as an intimate community for sharing anything from stories, questions and concerns to laughter and joy.




3 Outdoor Adventures to Reduce Stress

Couple riding ATV


Stress is a fact of life, and unfortunately for many people, it’s only getting worse at work. Three-fourths of employees report feeling that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that as many as one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress.

All of this stress affects both physical and mental health, resulting in symptoms like fatigue, upset stomach, muscle tension, irritability or anger and nervousness. The good news is that by leaving the daily grind behind and getting outdoors to breathe some fresh air and maybe even enjoying a few heart-pounding thrills, you can shrink those stress levels, and come back ready to face whatever life throws at you.

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting is an exhilarating sport that is sure to make you forget about your everyday worries. Thrilling activities like this can help you to reconnect with nature, de-stress and enjoy the best life has to offer. There is even a whitewater rafting therapy program for veterans with PTSD out of Missoula, Montana called X Sports 4 Vets.

Even if you’re brand new to this extreme sport, you’ll find plenty of trips that cater to beginners such as Arkansas Valley Adventures in Colorado. Everything you need to get out on the water is included like wet suits, life jackets and helmets. All you need to bring is some sun protection and a disposable waterproof camera.

ATV Riding

ATV riding is another outdoor activity for beating stress. It offers the thrill of speed, the sense of adventure and the opportunity to get out and explore beautiful, natural surroundings. A U.S. Army program, Warrior Adventure Quest, even uses these four-wheel vehicles to help soldiers battle post-deployment stress.

There are lots of fun places to ride across the nation like Busco Beach & ATV Park in North Carolina. Here you drive through mud holes, dirt pits, drag strips, ponds and across a man-made beach. If you don’t have your own ATV or just want to try the sport before making the investment, places like The Lost Trails ATV Adventures in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, offer guided rental tours over a variety of rugged trails that include mud runs, creek crossings and more.

No matter which type of ride you choose, you will need appropriate riding gear so you might want to check out an ATV store for important items like a helmet, gloves, boots and spare parts.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is sure to reduce stress. The repetitive action of pedaling works similar to meditating or using a mantra in that it helps the brain relax, release outside stress and block out worries.

You can head out on your own or join a group tour to see if it’s something that you’d like to pursue further. Western Spirit Cycling Adventures offers trips in some of the most spectacularly scenic places across the country such as the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado and the Grand Canyon. You can bring your own bike or rent one with a wide range of sizes and types available. Helmets are included, but it’s best to bring your own to ensure a good fit.


Why Reducing your Stress Levels May Help your Sex Life


Every year in the UK an unknown number of cases of erectile dysfunction go untreated as sufferers feel too embarrassed to seek help.

But assistance is out there, with services such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor offering support that can help you to deal with sexual health issues at your convenience and in confidence.

Many people wrongly believe that erectile dysfunction is purely a circulatory problem and presume that the condition cannot be cured. However, this is not always the case. A man’s lifestyle can have a major impact on both his body and his sexual performance. While smoking, and being overweight can have direct effects on the circulation, drinking, over-exercising, or suffering too much stress can all contribute to difficulties getting and maintaining an erection. This article will focus on the importance of keeping stress levels low to reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

What is stress?

Understanding exactly what stress is and how it affects a man’s ability to have satisfying sex is paramount to gaining control of the condition.

Stress is a completely normal physiological response to mental or emotional pressure. When a person feels threatened, fearful or vulnerable, the nervous system releases a whole host of ‘stress’ hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause the body to go into the fight-flight-freeze stage of stress response, where the person reacts to the stress stimulus by running away, trying to tackle it or by doing nothing.

Stress often occurs when the perceived demands of life overwhelm our ability to cope effectively. Stress can be triggered by major life events such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, illness or financial problems. Everyday worries, frustrations and demands can also accumulate to create high levels of pressure, affecting our emotions, behaviour and mental and physical wellbeing.

How can stress cause erectile dysfunction?

Achieving and sustaining an erection requires a lot more than just the penis to function correctly. The brain, nervous system, circulatory system, muscles and hormones all need to work effectively and in harmony to ensure a man can perform sexually. Stress can put pressure on these systems by contributing to conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can result in erectile dysfunction.

The emotional toll that stress can take on a man can contribute to a reduced sex drive. A man may find himself lacking sexual desire due to low mood or an inability to focus because of worrying thoughts or distractions. Unfortunately, this can result in a vicious cycle of anxiety as sex itself becomes a focus of stress.

How to reduce stress

Reducing stress can improve self-esteem, raise libido and boost circulation through improved health.

Stress can be reduced in a number of ways, such as:

Learning to relax

There are many evidence-based relaxation techniques that may help you to reduce your stress levels, including deep breathing, deep muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga and visualisation. Socialising and spending time outdoors can also help.

Exercising regularly

Exercise improves blood flow and helps to keep weight down, both of which are major factors in preventing ED. On top of daily exercise activity, people aged 19 to 64 are advised to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week in order to stay healthy. It is also recommended that they do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

Maintaining a good social support system

Talking openly about your problems to a loved one or confidant can help you to solve your problems much quicker. If you find yourself unable to talk to those around you, you may want to consider talking therapy to resolve your problem. Such services can be accessed privately or through the NHS by seeing your GP.

Reducing caffeine intake

Caffeine raises the stress hormone cortisol, creating a surge of stress. Reducing your intake of common sources of caffeine, such as tea, coffee and energy drinks can help you to feel more relaxed.

If you are stressed and looking for help, you can contact your GP or head online to websites such LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. If your erectile dysfunction persists, you canbuy Sildenafil tablets safely and discreetly online without a trip to the doctor.





The Unexpected Benefits of Exercise



We all know that exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps increase strength, improve heart health and overall makes you feel good by releasing endorphins that fight off the blues. Along with all of these benefits, exercise also helps in many other ways you never knew about. From memory building to cancer risk reduction, you’ll want to hop on a treadmill after reading these uncommon benefits of working out.

Improve Memory

Getting your heart rate up boosts blood flow to the brain and improves mental functions like memory, says the April 2014 Harvard Health Letter. This means that each time you hop on the elliptical, you’re not only working your legs, you’re working your brain too. Even if you’re young, there’s no better time to start exercising for mental sharpness as you get older. The sooner you start, the more your brain will thank you by being active, alive and totally on top of things.

Improves Digestion

Tummy issues got you down? Look no further than adding a little cardio to your day. Movement helps stomach muscles move food through your intestines correctly and strengthens your ab muscles to keep things going through at a normal pace, according to The Gastroenterological Society of Australia. Even if you don’t have an hour everyday to spend at the gym, short walks, cleaning and other methods of movement will help keep you regular.

Decrease Stress

A huge factor in just about every person’s life, stress sucks. If you’re anxious, or can’t get that work presentation you have tomorrow out of your head, get up and get moving. Regular exercise can help people manage and handle stress. Not just a charge for your body, exercising can boost your mood after a depressed day by activating neurons in your brain that ward off stress.

Improve Self Confidence

If you’re working out, eating right and taking care of yourself, how can you not feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin? Fitness can boost self image and raise self esteem by releasing happy brain chemicals when you workout, relax you and physically change your body to be strong and healthy. If you’re just starting out or want to incorporate some self esteem boosting vibes into your day, try online videos for at-home workouts. Just that added bit of movement that no one will see will boost you up and eventually increase your confidence enough to hit the gym or your local sidewalk.

Better Sleep

If you’re lethargic all day or just hanging around watching TV day in and day out, you’re probably not getting the most restful night’s sleep. Exercise helps regulate the body and essentially tires you out so you can sleep through the night and enjoy uninterrupted, peaceful sleep with less insomnia.

Help Control Addiction

When you workout, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine, a chemical that is also released when you do something you like, eat something you like or do anything that makes you happy or brings pleasure to your life. Some artificial substances found in many drugs create dopamine, making people want to go back to get that fix. Instead of falling back into addiction, make some dopamine of your own by going on a hike or run. Exercise is an all-natural way to get that chemical fix without harming or wrecking havoc on your body.

Cut Down Your Risk of Cancer

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute have reported that regular activity decreases risk of cancer. This happens because people who exercise generally have healthy BMI’s (body mass indexes) and prevent tumors from developing by lowering hormone levels and insulin.


5 Must Follow Tips for Safe Solo Hiking


There are many benefits to hiking alone. You don’t have to rush to keep up with someone who is moving at a faster pace, or wait for a hiking companion who prefers taking more breaks than you normally would. It also provides something most of us don’t get enough of these days—mental and physical space as well as solitude and the opportunity for quiet contemplation.

At the same time, hiking solo does bring some additional risks. You won’t have someone else to rely on should you run into trouble, such as tripping and spraining an ankle, or added protection should you face an adversary character, human or animal. Statistically speaking, you’re probably safer hiking through the woods than you are driving to the trailhead, notes hiking veteran Karen Somers.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t employ some important common sense tips to decrease risks and help ensure a more enjoyable, event-free solo hike.

Do Your Homework

Before heading out on the trail, know exactly where you’re going and what to expect. Be sure to check the weather just before leaving, and if it looks like a storm is coming in, reschedule. You’ll find that many trails are posted online, with reviews indicating current conditions as well as how strenuous the hike might be, which can help you to be more prepared. If the trail is washed out, or mud is knee deep, you may need to choose another route, or at least bring the proper gear.

You’ll also want to map out your course. Don’t rely on technology, as you may not have a signal in the remote wilderness. Pack a paper map, write out your itinerary, and make a copy. Take one with you and leave one with a friend or family member which will make it easier to find you should something go wrong.

What to Pack

Be sure to bring the essentials, like a first-aid kit, portable food to provide you with the fuel you’ll need to finish your hike, plenty of water, and an extra change of clothing should you take a stumble into a stream, a hat and sunglasses, and a flashlight. It’s also important to bring spares of essentials, such as extra batteries for the flashlight and replacement lenses for your Oakley’s, should they happen to break.

Stay Alert

Once on the trail, be sure to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Stay on the trail to avoid getting lost, and keep an eye on what’s in front of you as well as looking behind occasionally to prevent any unpleasant surprises with wildlife. Making noises as you walk can even help prevent an encounter with a bear.

Don’t Push Yourself too Far

Now is not the right time to test your limits. Embarking on an extremely challenging hike should be done with a hiking partner. Take into account the altitude, length and difficulty of the hike, along with your level of fitness. If you find that you’re becoming exhausted while out on the trail and think you may have taken on more than you can chew, it’s probably time to turn around.

Human Encounters

Seeing other hikers out on the trail may help you to feel less alone, but it’s important to be cautious as well, especially if you’re a female solo hiker. Be friendly with those you meet without being overly outgoing. You may even want to give the impression that you have a hiking partner and that they’ll be coming along soon. Carrying pepper spray is also a good idea.


Star Sisters and the Royal Wedding Book Review

Star Sisters and The Royal Wedding  is a children’s book that I had the opportunity to read.  It was a cute story about two little girls named Lucy and Coco who met randomly.  These girls do not know each other and it was in the stars that they met in the water after a bridge collapsed.  What they did not know was they knew each other thousands of years ago.  Lucy and Coco were both wearing star necklaces and all of a sudden a fairy godmother, Grisella popped up.

Grisella told a magical story to Lucy and Coco about the origin of their star necklaces and the previous owners.  The previous owners of the necklaces were royal sisters who disappeared from the kingdom a thousand years ago.  Lucy and Coco vowed to be best friends from now on because they knew they were magically connected through the necklaces.

Intrigued?  Read the book. The next part will thrill you. Well, maybe not thrill but intrigued. I was intrigued and this is a children’s book!  When I read this book, I thought about my sister and I growing up and always looking for an adventure or at least I was. If you are an adult reading this book, there are parts of the book that may sound familiar to you in your life, especially if you have ever experienced growing up with a sister, childhood friend or even witness the royal wedding.

I recommend this book for children and adults alike especially adults who would like to get away from reality for a bit.  I would say the book is for fifth graders or below. But of course, teenagers may be wanting to take a trip down memory lane as well.


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