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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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.

 

 

 

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The Unexpected Benefits of Exercise

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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.

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5 Must Follow Tips for Safe Solo Hiking

Tourist

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.

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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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You’re Worth It: Tips to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself and Creating a Happier and Healthier Life

Are you one of those people who has let themselves go a bit, never takes time for herself, knows something needs to change, but has yet to put a plan into action? You are certainly not alone there. For a variety of reasons, from unwarranted guilt to bad habits, it is easy to neglect our mental, physical and emotional well-being. If you have reached a point where you are fully aware of how bad the problem is, that is all the more reason to get moving because this likely means the situation is critical. Luckily, there is hope for you. It will take some effort on your part, and a willingness to shift your mindset, but if you can do that, you are golden.

Here are just a few helpful tips to get you moving in the right direction.

When You Look Good You Feel Good

Being overly concerned with our appearance is never a good thing because it leads to a lot of mental strife, and a constant feeling of being dissatisfied no matter what we do. But, there is something to be said for being confident in our appearance, and feeling attractive as a means of boosting self-esteem and our sense of well-being.

If you are feeling a bit dull and lackluster, what could you do to spruce things up a bit? Are there any things in particular about your appearance that are bothering you? What could you do to feel better about it? Maybe you can treat yourself to some nice, quality make-up, or get a new hair style. Buy some new clothes. If you are interested in more dramatic fixes, like laser hair removal, skin treatments, and the like, hop online and start gathering information that can educate you about these procedures. Visit the American Laser website for more information on laser hair removal.

There is nothing wrong with focusing on the outside as well as the inside when trying to improve our lives.

Take Inventory of Your Life

If you are at a point where you are feeling you really lost your way, chances are various aspects of your life are in need of a serious overhaul. But, don’t fret…you don’t have to commit to turning everything around within the next week. What you do want to do, however, is take a bit of inventory to see what is going on with you, what is working and what isn’t. As for the stuff that isn’t, what can you do right now to rectify the problem? Again, don’t worry about making any drastic changes, unless of course, you think that is appropriate for the situation.

If you are feeling a lack of stimulation in your life, look into classes or other activities that deal with your personal interests. If you want to change bad habits, or develop a more positive outlook on life, get your hands on some materials that will provide tools and tips, and expose you to new ways of thinking and being. If you are not satisfied with your job, what steps could you take right now to transition to another one— that first step could be something as simple as fully admitting you are unhappy with where you are now, and setting an intention to do something about it.

Set Some Small, Manageable Goals to Get the Ball Rolling

When we reach that point where we know we need to make some changes, and we take stock of what our lives are like right now, getting from where we are at this moment to where we want to be can seem like quite the daunting task. And, this is a primary reason why we are stuck in lives that are really not working for us—it just seems to overwhelming to make the type of changes we really want, and even though we don’t like our situation now, it is comfortable and we stick with it.

But, if we can try and stay in the moment, and focus on what we can do right now to move in the desired direction, we can set smaller, more manageable goals. Goals that are a bit outside our comfort zone, but not so drastic we are setting ourselves up to fail. And, as we achieve them, that sense of progress will make us feel really good, and motivate us to keep going, to keep setting new goals and making other changes.

Say you want to lose 50 pounds—that is a big goal. To start, how about you vow to get into your favorite summer dress that fit you perfectly when you were five pounds lighter? If you want to overhaul your diet, instead of moving right to raw vegetarian 24/7, commit to eating fruit for dessert 4 nights this week instead of your usual sugary treat.

No matter what is happening now, you can turn it around. It all starts with a decision to do so.
 

 

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Sam’s Club Promotes Back-to-School Safety

Sam’s Club® Promotes Back-to-School Safety During Free Children’s Health Screenings

In-club screenings available to members and open to the public Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m. to 3

Back-to-school brings shopping for clothes, buying school supplies and securing updated health information for children, but why not also use this time to take a few simple steps to help ensure their safety? Fingerprints and DNA samples have become the standard tools for personal identification and can be useful for parents should they ever be needed, which is why Sam’s Club is offering DNA testing and fingerprint kits as part of their annual free children’s health screenings on Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

The screenings, which combine health and child safety information, are free and available to the public at all Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy (596 locations). The free event includes a take-home DNA kit that provides instructions on storing a saliva sample to help find children in the event they are ever lost to which only a parent/guardian has access and a child safety ID kit with a fingerprint form and instructions on storing personal information.

 

The screening tests are valued at up to $1501 and also include:

  • Blood pressure
  • BMI (body mass index)
  • Vision Screenings

 

“As a parent, you never want to think about needing information like fingerprints and DNA samples, but these items could prove critical should the need for them ever arise,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “This free event for our members and the public helps give parents a way to combine shopping for back-to-school with capturing potentially life-saving information.”

 

In addition to monthly health screenings, Sam’s Club pharmacies provide savings and preventive care to each community it serves, such as year-round immunizations for adults ages 18 and above. Licensed pharmacists can administer walk-in flu shots and nine other important immunizations recommended to help protect against serious diseases like pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. Sam’s Club also offers $4/$10 generic prescription prices to the public, and Sam’s Plus and Sam’s Business members receive an additional 8 percent savings on name-brand prescriptions, 40 percent savings on generics not part of the $4/$10 generic prescription program, and access to more savings through the Extra Value Drug Program, featuring 10 to 30 percent savings on select name-brand and generic prescriptions. Restrictions may apply.

 

Information about Sam’s Club health and wellness offerings can be found at SamsClub.com and in the Sam’s Club exclusive bi-monthly wellness magazine, Healthy Living Made Simple, which reaches approximately eight million members.

 

About Sam’s Club®

Sam’s Club®, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in 635 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Sam’s Club, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at SamsClub.com, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

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