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Why Gardening is Good for You

Why Gardening Is Good For You

Why Gardening Is Good For You [Infographic] by the team at WhatShed.co.uk



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Free health screening for women at Sam’s Club on October 11!

October is a time when every woman should consider going in for an annual mammogram, but there are additional health issues that women should be aware of and be actively monitoring. To celebrate women and encourage them to take control of their health this month, Sam’s Club is offering free women’s health screenings for both members and the public on Saturday, October 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (599 locations nationwide).


The screenings are valued at $250 and include tests for:

  • TSH (thyroid) testing – thyroid conditions can often affect a woman’s overall health, including depression, weight and energy levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Risk ratio
  • Glucose
  • Body mass index
  • Vision (not available in all locations)

Juicing 101: A Get-Started Guide



Long rumored to turbocharge energy levels and cure everything from cancer to baldness, juicing was often scoffed at as just one more expensive dead-end on the road to health. The 2010 documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” inspired a juicing revival, though, and companies that make the equipment are seeing sales head skyward. In 2012, Barron’s reported the industry was producing $5 billion in revenue annually and growing by 4-8 percent each year. If you have heard of juicing and want to try it, there are a few important bases to cover:

Juicer or Blender?

A juicer removes pulp and delivers juice only, but a good blender is a whole foods juicer—it uses the whole plant. Proponents of masticating (cold press) juicers say the old style (centrifugal) juicers may not be as healthy as a whole foods juicer, and most serious juicers shun the centrifugal style.

Do your homework and decide which way is better for you to go. Front-runner masticating models include Champion and Omega. Blenders that perform as whole-foods juicers include the Ninja and NutriBullet. It is a matter of personal preference and budget. NutriBullet juicers range in price from $49.88 to $199 at Walmart.

Fruits or Vegetables?

Those juicing for health often go too heavy on sugar-rich fruit. Joe Cross, creator of “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” advocates an 80/20 rule: To juice for health, use 80 percent vegetables to 20 percent fruit. This helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Another maxim from Cross is, “Eat a rainbow every day,” meaning don’t just use green or red or orange vegetables—juice some of them all. You can easily find juicing recipes online.

Ready, Set, Juice

If your plan is simply to supplement your diet with juice, then no special measures are needed. Many people lose weight and feel better by substituting a healthy juice for one regular meal each day. If you want to get serious and go on an extended juice fast for health purposes, you would be wise to follow a few rules. The first step, of course, is to get clearance from your doctor.

One camp of juicers says you should ease into a juice fast by gradually replacing more of your diet with juice, while others say it’s fine to go “cold turkey” and hop right on in. The same holds true for the length of fast. Some say no more than a few days, others allow up to a month. One thing is for sure, though—your body will undergo changes during a fast, and depending on your own internal makeup, you may experience a beneficial cleansing effect or you may not feel well at all, owing to a depletion of proteins and a possible electrolyte imbalance.

Perhaps the wisest, safest and healthiest advice of all is to pay attention to your body, drink plenty of water and drink a juice at least every few hours. Remember the 80/20 rule, eat that rainbow and consult your doctor if you feel exceptionally tired or disoriented.


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 Parents.com. 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 BundleOrganics.com, 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 PsychologyToday.com. 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.


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