Information About Calamari Oil Versus Fish Oil

There are many differences between calamari and fish oil that many people do not seem to understand. Calamari oil is manufactured from food-grade calamari squid trimmings. Meanwhile, typical fish oils are made with the by-products that are left over in industrial food factories; although, net-caught fish is also used for certain fish oil.

Key differences are also discovered in the levels of DHA from the Omega 3 fatty acids in which the body is able to absorb from calamari oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are comprised of two main components. EPA and DHA; both of these are fatty acids found in marine life, and are key to ideal cardiovascular health, a healthy brain and eyes, and also helps to maintain an overall healthy body and mind.

DHA, one of the components of the Omega 3 fatty acids are the most utilized Omega 3 acid by the body. Cod liver and other similar fish oils are low in DHA Omega 3 acids; however, they’re higher in EPA. The body is capable of converting EPA, as well as ALA nutrients from plant material to create DHA. While the body is capable of doing this, it’s not as efficient as if one were to take the proper levels of DHA.

Calamari squid trimmings can be extracted enough to produce up to 500mg of raw DHA content. In fact, this is equal to 50 percent DHA levels by weight; this is compared to 100 mg of DHA with normal krill and other fish oils. Because calamari is harvested in the manner it is, this is what allows it to retain such high levels of DHA in the Omega 3 fatty acids. When calamari squid are harvested, they’re caught in hookline nets to delicately capture them, without causing damages or producing emissions from means of an industrial type fishing method.

On the other hand, cod and other fish are caught in sometimes violent matters, and can cause harm to the fish. In addition, those industrial factories which utilize fish by-products are also contributing to lower-quality fish oils and minimal DHA content levels. The reason DHA is so important is because it’s utilized by the body to maintain healthy eye and brain tissue. As babies, DHA is extensively used in the development of the brain and eye tissue. When people take calamari oil which is high in DHA, they’re able to maintain their brain and eye tissues at optimal levels. Furthermore, the Omega 3 acids and DHA content are also very valuable in helping to restore and maintain cardiovascular health.

Standard fish oils can also contain toxins if they are harvested from poor sources. Fish that have high levels of mercury, heavy metallic elements, and any other toxins should be avoid in terms of using to make fish oils with. Although, some fish oil manufacturers will use these types of fish to make the oil anyway; this is why it’s crucial that the consumer ensure the oil they’re getting is free of these harmful toxins.

Aside from toxicity, many fish oils contain vitamin A and vitamin D. Many manufacturers will add vitamin D along with the vitamin A, so that they may work in conjunction with each other. The issue with this is that it can sometimes lead to excess levels of vitamin A in the fish oil. Because of this, careful attention needs to be paid to verify that people aren’t taking more vitamin A than they should, as they can end up with vitamin toxicity. With normal fish oil, people can safely take up to a teaspoon per day to supplement with this oil.

When people are looking to find the right fish oil for them that doesn’t contain high levels of vitamin A or other contaminants, they can take some steps to make sure it’s the right oil. First of all, they should ensure the oil hasn’t been purified by way of utilizing hexane or other similar chemicals as this can cause adverse allergies in some. Also, they should take time to understand how the oil was extracted, and what method was used to purify the fish oil.

Because standard fish oils can contain higher levels of vitamin A, those who are taking adequate levels of vitamin A as it is should opt to take calimari oil instead, as it doesn’t contain high levels of vitamin A. When people take too much vitamin A, they can cause bone loss to occur due to the toxicity effects of the vitamin A. This makes it essential that people outweigh their dietary habits with the oils they’re thinking of choosing.

Calamari oil presents the highest levels of DHA in the Omega 3 fatty acids than when compared to standard fish oils like cod liver that contain minimal levels of the DHA supplement. The calamari oil will allow people to obtain the proper levels of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids along with adequate levels of DHA. In contrast, those who do end up opting for standard fish oils need to understand the dietary statistics for the vitamins they’re taking.

To sum everything up, calimari oil is produced from food-grade squid trimmings in which are delicately captured. This is opposed to the way standard fish varieties are caught in harsh conditions to produce cod liver oil or others. While cod liver oil and other fish oils with added vitamins A and D might benefit those who’re deficient in these vitamins, those who have adequate levels already should abstain from taking excessive levels of these vitamins as they can cause toxicity which leads to bone loss. Lastly, compared to calimari oil with 500mg of DHA content in Omega 3 fatty acids, standard fish oils only have a mere 100mg or less of the DHA needed for a healthy brain, eyes, and heart. Those who are reviewing which type of fish oil they should consume should now understand the risks and benefits associated with each type so they can make a healthy choice.

Understanding Exactly What Osteoporosis Is Will Help Us Fight It!

It is hard to imagine but approximately one and a half million people every year endure a fracture as a direct result of having osteoporosis. Because this disease directly affects the density of all bones a person has, it primarily leaves the spine, hips, and wrist more susceptible to fractures. Unfortunately, a hip fracture in an elderly person can be sometimes fatal because of the other complications that arise as a result of it, such as blood clots and pneumonia.

Just like fibromyalgia women are more likely to have osteoporosis. Of the approximate ten million individuals with this disease eight million are women. Medical experts attribute this to the fact that a woman’s bones are generally less dense anyway and combined with the fact that women experience major hormonal changes after menopause. These hormonal changes typically accelerate the loss of a woman’s bone loss and density.

Under normal conditions a person continues to build bone density faster than they lose it until they are into their mid or late twenties. Yes our bodies are designed to naturally lose bone density during our first almost thirty years but it replaces it faster than we lose it because it is able to produce more calcium. Calcium is the natural mineral within the body that helps to make our bones stronger and more dense. If we lose more calcium within our bones than our bodies can replace it with our bones will begin to become more porous. Unfortunately this starts to begin when we get close to or in our thirties and beyond.

A person who has a smaller frame is more likely to develop osteoporosis because they are already starting off with less bone and in turn once the process of losing more bone density than it can replace it with it just takes less time to arrive at a critical point. However, there is more involved than just this simple fact.

Unfortunately women that have just gone through menopause will lose much more bone density for the next five to seven years than their bodies will be able to replace it with. The good news is that after that five to seven year period of time the process will begin to even out again but never to a point where the bones are gaining density. Current research has shown that some of the reason for this is that as a woman goes through menopause their bodies naturally slow down the production of estrogen which has scientifically shown to be helpful in retaining calcium in the bones.

We know that a certain amount of bone loss is a natural part of the aging process but as I mentioned earlier in this article, certain women who are thinner or have smaller frames seem to be more susceptible to having the disease. Believe it or not women who smoke or drink more than just occasionally are less likely to develop osteoporosis. Now this shouldn’t entice a person to begin smoking or drinking heavily just to reduce their chances of developing this disease since these behaviors come with many more serious consequences. Women who have a family history of osteoporosis or who have had their ovaries removed before the age of forty seem to have a greater chance of developing the disease.

Caucasian and Asian women seem to be more prone to developing this disease as well. On the other hand women that are African American or Hispanic are less likely. There isn’t a lot of scientific studies that seem to point to a specific reason for this but as we know many Asian women are thinner and have smaller frames. On the other hand Caucasian women come in all shapes and sizes so we can’t just point to this as a reason. In addition, there are just as many African American and Hispanic women that are thin and/or have smaller frames as well.

There are medical conditions that also seem to point to reasons that increase an individual’s chances of developing this disease. Medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome or kidney disease seem to have some association with speeding up the process of bone loss. In addition, other medical conditions like an overactive thyroid or even parathyroid, also points to reasons for developing osteoporosis. Sometimes prescription drugs given to assist with other medical issues tend to have an effect on this potentially crippling disease. Prescription drugs like glucocorticoids prescribed to assist with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma seem to increase bone loss. Also some anti seizure medications have the same affect on bones.

Finally, if an individual is not able to move around like they once were for any number of reasons it will also speed up the process of bone loss. Like anything if you don’t use it we tend to lose it. So it is important to understand that exercise can play a big part in helping our bodies guard against developing osteoporosis or by compensating for the loss of bone density with muscle to help protect them. Exercise as a general rule has so many benefits whether we are trying to help with a specific disease or not, so I highly recommend it.

Image credit: Health365

What To Know About Kefir Grains

There is a lot to know about kefir grains. They have been around for a very long time. They are a probiotic and they have their origins in the Caucasus Mountains.

They range in color from white to yellow. They will grow to be the size of a walnut. Kefir grains are good for your gut. They have been able to help a lot of people.

The grains look like little cauliflower florets. The pattern is like what you would find with coral or even a brain. They are soft and bouncy. They are almost like a small squeeze toy.

If the grains are dried, they almost look like light cheddar cheese. They do become darker as they get drier. They will eventually appear a deeper orange.

The grains are a combination of 30 different strains of bacteria and yeast. They are composed of 4.4% fat, 45.7% Muco-polysaccharides, 12.1% ash and 34.3% total protein. They are a pretty interesting grain.

You should be able to use kefir grains to make water kefir. That is like a homemade soda with many probiotic benefits. You should be able to make a yummy tasting drink with the water kefir. Something your kids will really enjoy.

They can also be used to make milk kefir.

Another use for kefir grains is for house plants. They will add extra nutrients to them. A lot of gardeners like to do that to help the plants grow. Pets also enjoy eating them.

You can also dehydrate them to save for an emergency. That way you will always have grains, even if something happens to your main supply. It will be nice to have some around if that happens.

If you happen to eat too many at once you could experience a detox. Your body is just not used to having so much good bacteria at once. Some people do plan a keifer detox to clean out their systems.

Keifer does go through seasonal changes. They tend to ferment quickly in the summer and when there are warmer temperatures. In the winter they will tend to be a bit more creamy and mild.

Another great thing about kefir grains is that they are pretty hardy. They can take a hard beating but will wear down overtime. You can put them in a blender and they will survive that. You do want to care for them but it is nice to know that they are not too fragile.

With as many different ways to use kefir grains, they are a great item to keep in your home. From smoothies to house plants, there are so many benefits. Once you start working with them you will figure out how they can work for your family.

Don’t be afraid of them if you are new to the keifer world. They are a wonderful thing and you will not regret using them. Once you have worked with them for a while you can pass some on to some of your friends. Share what you have learned and let them see the benefits too.

7 Heart Smart Foods (How To Eat Healthy And Help Your Heart)

healthy_heart_foodsDespite the decrease in cardiovascular disease in Australia in the last three decades, it is still one of the top causes of death in the country and continues to plague the population in terms of disability and illness. One of the main triggers of heart disease is atherosclerosis – it Is the build up of fat cholesterol and plaque in the inner lining of the arteries. The development of the condition usually starts during childhood and progress with age. When blood supply to the heart affected, it can result into a heart attack, angina and sudden death. When an artery is blocked or suddenly ruptured and bleeds, it will lead to stroke and paralysis. Major risk factors include hypertension, high blood cholesterol, tobacco smoking, obesity, inadequate physical activity, diabetes and an unhealthy diet.

A change in lifestyle can help lower the risks of getting a serious heart disease. It doesn’t have to be a sudden change or going cold turkey. A slow and gradual change in lifestyle  will give realistic and attainable results.  Anyone can start by changing into a healthy diet. There are foods that actually help in clearing the arteries other that oats.

  1. Oats. Oat bran and oatmeal are at the top of bad cholesterol flashers. The soluble fibers in it attaches itself to bad cholesterol and flushes it out of the system. It’s also rich in Niacin  which increases HDL or good cholesterol. Fruits can be added  to make it more delectable and healthy.
  2. Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables  like spinach and broccoli contains vitamin C and vitamin A which prevents cholesterol oxidation and help keep the arteries free of plaque. Garlic and onions lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent blood clots. It also helps the blood lining to relax resulting in a more efficient blood flow. Tomatoes and avocados (fruity vegetables) are rich in antioxidants
  3. Salmon and other oily fishes. Oily fishes are rich in omega-3  fatty acids and helps in lowering heart diseases by reducing plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries. . Salmon fat is monounsaturated which helps in controlling cholesterol levels. It lowers the trigledytes and elevated good cholesterol in the body.  Canned salmons are good although it may high in sodium. Whenever possible buy it fresh and cook it using olive oil, steamed or any which way preferred.
  4. Apples. An apple a day keeps bad cholesterol away. The fruit is high in fiber such as “pectin” which binds  with bad cholesterol. It also contains flavonoids that can help reduce heart disease by up to 50% if eaten regularly.
  5. Olive oil. Using cold-pressed virgin olive oil in cooking or used as flavoring to foods can cut the risks or developing or reducing heart disease. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure plus it is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E that helps in decreasing the chance of developing certain cancers.
  6. Wine. Consuming a glass or two daily with meals can help in reducing plaques and increase the level of HDL or good cholesterol. Flavonoids in red wine help in relaxing the arteries prevent blood clots. Drink in moderation and not consume the whole bottle in one sitting.
  7. Dark chocolate. Ah, chocolate. The great equalizer and probably the most sought after in the list. It may be on the bitter side but compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help in lowering blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Chocolate lovers, celebrate.

Beat Those Back-To-School Blues

Academic years around the world differs. In Australia it varies between states and institutions but it generally runs from late January/ early February up to mid December for primary and secondary schools with slight variations during the inter term holidays. For colleges and universities,  its from late February up until mid November with breaks and seasonal holidays for each educational institute. But there is one thing every student around the world, on any type of academic year they are into  will surely feel – the dread of going back to school. Well, it’s not as horrible as it sounds but no one can deny the back to school blues and hang-ups. Some can feel a bit of depression, some a little bit excited and just the thought of going back to school will make them go back to bed and not care at all. There are several signs that an individual is experiencing the blues: sleepless nights, not  eating well, unexplained stomach aches, thinking of the first day of school a lot, sleeping more than normal and plotting on how to get out of the first week or what to do on the first weekend on the first week of school. Such  signs will vary with each individual but anyone can beat the back to school blues.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be so bad. Below are some of the suggested ways in knocking out the anxieties and the school blues away.

Reconnect with old friends. For kids and adults alike, it’s not unusual to lose touch with school friends once the school year ends. For kids, arranging a playdate a few weeks before school starts is a good way of re-establishing relationships with old friends and playmates. Connecting with old friends will help the kids to be more confident and excited at the same time before school starts. For adults, connecting with high school or college friends is just as easy as a simple phone call, a text message or an email then arrange a small party to jump start the school year.

Get back into the school rhythm. While every student will be tempted to hold on to every minute and last opportunity to live a schedule and home work free life, it will be very helpful to establish a new routine before the start of the school year. Quit late night activities and try to ease back to a more manageable sleep rituals. Being comfortable with the new eating and sleep schedule will help minimize anxiety and the changes to a person’s system and body clock.

Change expectations. Don’t put too much pressure on the school, teacher or fellow students. Let the new school year flow naturally and accept some of the changes. Embrace and accept the new start. Use mood uppers such as listening to a favorite music, reading a good book, going for a walk with family and friends or having sex ( this applies to responsible adults).

Set goals. Most students feel jittery  about how things will go once the new school year starts. Setting academic, personal and professional goals will give a sense of control over any new experiences and as a result, it will motivate the student to tackle the challenges head on.

Talking to kids about start of school worries. Every child has their own back to school worries like fitting in  and making new friends or being scared of the challenges a new grade will present. As a parent, find out exactly the causes of their worries and help them think of things about how to overcome their fears. Let the kids know that the teacher, school counselor and the parents are there to help them whenever they need it.  Open the lines of communication.

Normalize the experience. Back to school fears are common to all students, from children to adults. It’s a good reminder that all students feel the same thing and will have similar experiences at the start of the school year. Sharing experiences with kids about back to school jitters especially from a parent’s experience will help kids in gaining confidence. For high school and college students, it will not hurt to talk to  your parents about any anxieties about the first day of school.



Why Men Gain Weight

pot bellyFor most men when they approach middle age, weight gain is bound to happen especially in the mid section. For some,  “having a belly” is a form of respect and authority, figuratively and physically speaking. Now, this can be true if you’re a New York mob boss but if you’re just an average joe then you need to reconsider. Knowing the causes of weight gain in men is crucial before losing those pounds. Weight gain usually starts in the 30s and will continue  up until the mid 50s. During the said timeline, men lose ½ a pound of lean muscle a year and it is replaced by fat. Weight gain and having a pot or beer belly can be avoidable although several factors come into play during this time of a  man’s life.

  1. A slowed metabolism. As men hit middle age, the metabolism will start to slow down. The body burns fewer calories per day   compared to a younger self  with the same activity level. If this is ignored, it will surely expand  the waistline. Also as mentioned earlier, muscle mass decreases and is replaced by fat. Muscles  play a direct role in a person’s metabolic rate. Muscles burn calories even when a person is asleep that equates to a high metabolism. So a decrease in overall muscle mass will result to a lower metabolism.
  2. Lack of sleep. This is another trigger for weight gain. A human body functions perfectly when well rested. When a  person doesn’t get enough sleep and rest, a person will experience physical and mental stress. And for most men, to compensate for stress is to eat and drink more. Eating and having a bottle of beer before going to sleep  will surely add calories which will not be burned efficiently because of a slowed metabolism. Having power naps during breaks will help refresh the mind and body. Try to read a book instead of a late snack. Take a warm shower to help you, whatever activity that you feel will help you the much  needed rest, do it.
  3. Reduced testosterone. A decrease in testosterone level is common among men when they reach middle age. Although this is a normal part of a man’s aging process, low testosterone levels will result in muscle loss, fatigue and weight gain. The traditional view was that obesity came first and a decrease in testosterone follows. But it is also proven that a decrease in level will also result in weight gain. Testosterone plays an important role in on how a a man’s body balance insulin, glucose and fat metabolism.
  4. Lack of exercise. Low levels of testosterone and a slow metabolism in middle age can make any man feel tired all the time and the feeling of not having enough energy to work out, exercise or do any regular physical activity. A 30 minute cardiovascular activity 5 time a week and a 20 minute strength training 3 times a week will surely help in losing weight. The body will burn more calories, the muscles will be conditioned and will retain or even build more mass that will help pin enhancing metabolism.
  5. Unhealthy diet . Alcohol consumption, an overall unhealthy diet and slow metabolism will surely result in weight gain and increase in abdominal fat. Excess sugar consumption and a high calorie diet are triggers of weight gain.

Man Boobs Demystified

man boobsSome women with small breasts dream of having a set of large and attractive breasts. For men, it’s the opposite. Man boobs, man breasts, moobs, man jugs or any term you want to call it, this condition is as embarrassing as being caught without an underwear…. in public. If you’re a boy or a man with an abnormally large breast, you can take some solace because the condition is quite common even though no man would want to have a bigger breast than a woman. The medical term for man boobs is “gynecomastia”. It is defined as the enlargement of breast tissue among males. It may manifest transiently in newborns almost half of boys during adolescent develop large breast during puberty. Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia includes swollen breast tissue, tenderness of the breast, increased areola diameter and asymmetry of the breast tissue. Man boobs are a serious  cause of embarrassment among boys and men.  And there are a number of causes that can be controlled or some may be treated by going through surgery.

Lack of exercise and obesity. Excess fat in men and boys can manifest in the midsection and the chest. Too much fat in the chest area will result to man boobs. Chest fat is usually difficult to lose even with some form of exercise. Consulting a professional trainer can help in planning the best workout that will eliminate fat in the midsection and the chest. Plus, too much fat will limit the body’s estrogen production spurring the growth of breast tissues.

Diet. An unhealthy diet is another trigger in developing man boobs. Too much sugar, carbohydrates and foods rich in fat  will result to weight gain and weight gain can result in having man boobs.

Malnutrition and starvation. It seems to contradict but when a human body is deprived of the right and adequate nutrition, the testosterone levels drop. Now the liver’s function to limit estrogen levels goes down thus causing a hormonal imbalance. If there is too much estrogen than testosterone, the body will adjust and man boobs will show.

Medical and other health conditions. Any health and medical condition that shakes up the normal testosterone production or interfere the balance of the male-female hormone levels can also result into gynecomastia. Hypogonadism, tumors, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, cirrhosis and liver failure are some of the medical conditions that can contribute in the man breast development.

Medications and some types of drugs. There are cases that some medications and prescription drugs can cause man boobs. Regular use of anabolic steroids is known to cause man boobs. Excess testosterone from steroids will be converted to estrogen. Too much estrogen will make the breast enhanced and pronounced. Prescription drug such as Digoxin, Furosemide and Spironolactone increase the chances of a man developing gynecomastia.

Age. Decrease in skin elasticity, muscle mass and body fat can result to gynecomastia. An aging obese person will likely have the condition for a long time.

Getting rid of man boobs can be simple as doing some form of exercise and any regular physical activities. Any weigh loss activity will surely help to eliminate the condition plus get the benefits of having a healthy and strong body. A good physical routine plus adopting  a healthy diet are some of the best steps in preventing or eliminating man boobs. Once you have reached the goal of getting rid of this embarrassing condition, make it a point to not to go back to the old lifestyle. It should be a complete lifestyle change and not a short term goal only.







A Natural Approach To Cellulite

Women around the world will agree that cellulite is one body problem they want fixed or eliminate. Liposuction is one of the most popular and fastest ways of getting rid of cellulite and unwanted fats. But if liposuction is not celluliteyour cup of tea, then there are natural ways of eliminating cellulites. But first understanding what cellulite is and its causes will help in developing an effective plan in eliminating cellulite.

What is cellulite? It is a condition where fats push against the connective tissue beneath the skin and making the surface look dimpled and with a lumpy appearance. It is usually common  on the thighs and  buttocks and can occur after puberty. The condition is classified  through three grades:

  1. Grade 1 cellulite. There is no clinical symptom but through microscopic examination of the cells, anatomical changes in the underlying area will manifest
  2. Grade 2 cellulite. The skin will have less elasticity and will show pastiness in lower temperature. Anatomical changes will show through microscopic examination.
  3. Grade 3 cellulite. It will give the cottage cheese look and visible dimple like skin will show along with all the grade 2 signs.

Causes of cellulites include:

  • Hormonal factors. It plays a dominant role in cellulite formation. Almost everyone says that estrogen initiates and aggravate cellulite although there has been no concrete clinical evidence or proof to support the claim. Insulin, thyroid hormones, proclatin and catecholamine adrenaline are all believed to trigger cellulite formation.
  • Genetic factors. The angiotensin converting enzyme and hypoxia-inducible factor 1A are traced to trigger cellulite forming.
  • Lifestyle. A stressful lifestyle will automatically trigger an increase in the level of catecholamines, which is associated in cellulite formation. Some diet practices can also diminish of such chemicals. This in turn  will decrease body fat and helps reduce the chances of cellulite formation.
  • Predisposing factors. A number of factors have been proven to affect the development of cellulite. Factors such as subcutaneous fat distribution, race, sex, biotype, predisposition to lymphatic and circulatory insufficiency are proven to contribute to cellulite development.

How To reduce Cellulite Naturally?

Reducing  cellulite the natural way  is one of the best ways of beating the problem. Plus it will have no dangerous side effects, there are no need for any invasive surgeries, it will cost you almost nothing since most of it can be done with at home or by any physical activity or change in lifestyle.

  • Exercise of any physical activity is a sure bet in beating cellulites. Cellulite are stored fats in the body, and these fats are stagnant energy. By doing exercises or any physical activity, it will burn the stored fats and convert it to energy. Fat loss due to exercise will result in a leaner and strong body plus it will enhance the body’s metabolism which will convert more fats into energy. Exercise also promotes good blood circulation and a stronger circulatory system.
  • A healthy diet together with a good physical regimen will also help in combating cellulite development. Minimize processed foods and go to a fiber-rich, vitamins and mineral rich and antioxidant- rich foods. If possible, go for organic foods. A healthy diet change will also flush out toxins out of the body.
  • Go for natural therapies like yoga and meditation. A stressful life can lead to cellulite development. For most women binge eating is one of their defense whenever they are stressed. For men, its beer or any type of alcohol. Attending therapies that teach an individual to relax and meditate will curb out these unhealthy habits. With the right attitude and knowledge, anyone can win the cellulite battle.


10 Tips For Cutting Down Smoking

Cutting down on cigarettes and the amount you smoke is not the ultimate goal if you want to go for a healthy lifestyle. Cutting down the cigarette habit is the ULTIMATE goal. But smokers will say that it’s better to cut on smoking than doing nothing. Well if it works for the individual to gradually minimize and cut the number of sticks per day then its good. Cutting on on smoking is good enough, quitting totally is better. Here are some tips on how to quit

  1. Awareness is one key. If you’re aware of how much you are smoking a day then you’ll know how many sticks or packs and how much you’re spending for cigarettes. Try to keep a written record. Smoking without paying attention will make you smoke more. Try to have psychological and physical control  and see long long you can have it.
  2. It is not hard as you think. Smoking is an addiction and once you begin to be honest with yourself and knowing the effects of smoking to your health, it will be a life changing experience to cut down on this addiction. Try to analyze the benefits and side effects of smoking. Educating oneself with the pros and cons of tobacco will help in the road to kicking the habit.
  3. Set effective and realistic goals. Set the cigarette to be specific, measurable, realistic and timely. Foe example, if you are smoking 20 sticks a day, try to cut it to 10 sticks a day. You can start by doing this twice  a week until it progresses. This will ensure that  you are focused on the target goal.
  4. List down the reasons why you want to reduce your smoking. Make a list of the reasons why quitting smoking is good. Select the goals that matters to you and your family and write it down. Whenever you have the itch for a drag, take out the list  and review it.
  5. Don’t look at it as if you’re giving up something really important because it will seem like it’s a big loss. Remember that by doing this, you are tossing something out of your life that is harmful to you, your family and other people around you. Even though the people around may want to tell you to quit totally, you need to know that you are doing this for yourself.
  6. Know the triggers and then deal with it. Some people feel the urge whenever they are doing something. Some habitually smoke after sex, while drinking, while watching tv, after eating, while having a break or while drinking coffee. Identify your triggers and  eliminate or changing them will help. Try doing something different  instead of smoking in response to your triggers.
  7. Going  “cold turkey”  is a common and effective approach to quitting smoking for many smokers. It may be hard  and you may make several  attempts but it will raise the chances of stopping totally. Try to talk to someone who have done it or research over the internet  to prepare and deal with known issues and withdrawals that comes with it.
  8. A  pack of gum, a bar of chocolate or a nicotine patch are good alternatives. It will take your mind out of smoking because you’re doing something that differs from the habitual smoking.
  9. If you have cut down on your cigarette consumption, you will surely notice and feel the changes happening to  you and your body. Your breath will no longer smell of cigarette, your smell and tastes are improving, your fingers will not smell and will not get the tobacco stains, you will not get the tired and sickly look and you will feel healthier that before.
  10. Talk to ex-smokers and find out the ways they’ve done to completely quit smoking. Absorb the information and get all the help and advice that you need and then do it.

Why Is Back Pain So Common?

There are different triggers why back pain is common.  Symptoms of back pains usually occur or triggered by a quick or sudden movement or several causes may have been building for some time. By definition, back pain is a pain that originates from the muscles, bones, joints , nerves and other structures in the spine. It can be a sudden  fall or chronic pain. The pain can also manifest or affect the arms, hands, feet and legs and can include other type of symptoms. Symptoms can include numbness, weakness and inability to stand and tingling. This condition is one of the most  frequent complaints by people around the world next to headaches. The human spine is made up of nerves tendons, muscle, ligaments and joints which are capable of giving pain to any individual.

A human spine is divided into four regions known as the cervical region, thoracic region, lumbar region and the sacral region. The spine is known to have two weak points – the cervical region and the lumbar region. The lumbar region or the lower back area carries at least half of the body weight thus it bears the stresses and strains the body gives. Every joint in the spine has a maximum functional position. Any departure from the functional position will increase the chances of pains and strains. Muscle, nerve and joint strains will lead to an overall imbalance in the spine structure over time. Some common causes of strain and back stress are poor posture, incorrect lifting, weight, sleeping on an overused or sagging mattress, incorrect sleeping position and overtraining. A sudden or wrong sort of movement and inactivity can cause simple back pain. Inactivity will make the back muscles go weak thus making the back more vulnerable to pain and damage when too much stress is applied or too much movement is made. Sitting in one position for long periods can also result into spasm and pain. Stiffness and inflamed muscle fibers will result to swelling, neck pains and lower back pains. Chronic back pain is one of the most common type of back strain. The most common causes are poor posture, a bad fall, sudden lifting of weights, fatigue or pregnancy.

Physical fitness and exercise are effective in preventing recurrences of non acute or chronic back pains. The rest is another effective way  of relieving acute back pain from minor back traumas and strain. A cold compress or an ice pack can be helpful or any anti-inflammatory drug. Liniments and ointments can also soothe cramped back muscles. For acute pain, the goal is to restore the normal function while reducing pain. The condition is not serious and the recovery can be aided by slowly resuming to normal activity as soon as possible within the pain limits. Doing any physical activity within the pain limits can also aid in the recovery of the individual. Too much bed rest (rest for more than 2 days) is considered non productive. Going through a physical therapy program will increase the chances of a fast recovery. Therapy can include massage, hot and cold compress, electrical stimulation, stretching, aerobic and strength exercises. Din exercises to restore the natural motion and the strength of the back is beneficial in pain relief and prevention of future onsets of back pains.