12 smart tips for getting your kids heart healthy

23 Jul
 Posted by Louis Ignarro, PhD  0 Comment

 

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Heart health is important for kids; focus on heart health as a family.

Moms and dads have dozens of concerns each day, ranging from a child’s performance in school to emotional development and happiness. Perhaps one of the biggest questions is: Am I doing enough to keep my child heart healthy?

At the base of your child’s success and well-being is a healthy body. And one of the most important focuses of health—especially in children—is the heart. Here are twelve tips for helping your kids lead a heart healthy life:

#1 Change things up

Children enjoy exploring different environments, so take your child to a local playground or indoor activity center and let him play. Being in a new, fun space encourages imagination and creativity, while giving him the opportunity to move his body and maybe even make new friends.

#2 Join in

Perhaps the greatest gift you can give your child is your time, energy and attention. Instead of watching them play, join in. Not only will you be encouraging your kids to get and stay active, but you’ll be building your relationship, too.

#3 Sneak in healthy foods

If you have a picky eater, find ways to sneak healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy into their meals and snacks. Top whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce loaded with vegetables, make a delicious whole-fruit smoothie, or melt some low-fat cheese over assorted vegetables as a side with dinner. Replace white bread with whole-grain bread, butter with olive oil or coconut oil, and cookies with sweet fruits like mango or pear.

#4 Make it a competition

Most kids love competing—after all, isn’t that what video games are based on? Some families compete by having each family member wear a pedometer, and then they tally up their weekly steps to see who “won” that week. You can even have prizes for winning, such as a special (healthy) lunch out with Mom or a pass on washing the dinner dishes for a night.

#5 Sleep more

Sleep is important for memory, concentration and general wellness, and it’s also necessary for keeping the heart healthy. Try to stick to a schedule, even on the weekends, to help encourage healthy sleep.

Suggested sleep time:

Toddlers (ages 1 to 3) should get 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily;

preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) should get 11 to 13 hours;

school-age children (ages 5 to 10) should get 10 to 11 hours;

teens (ages 10 to 17) should get 8.5 to 9.25 hours.

#6 Supplement a healthy diet

Many kids would benefit from a good multivitamin and a vitamin D supplement; your child might have additional nutritional needs that aren’t being met through her diet. A health care provider should be able to help determine if your child is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs. If your child isn’t, a nutritional supplement may be a good option to support heart and total health.

#7 Turn it off

I rarely watch television, and there’s a reason: It takes up too much precious time. Each minute your kids sit in front of the television is a minute they’re not being physically active. Limit screen time to encourage your kids to get moving.

#8 Use the screen wisely

I’ll amend the previous point by saying it’s nearly impossible to completely cut out screens. But, if you own a video gaming system, you can opt for games that encourage movement. Join in the fun as your child dances, skis, bowls or plays another activity-based video game.

#9 Walk or pedal

Walk or ride rather than taking the car. Pick activities nearby so you can commute by foot; if that’s not an option, choose family outings that involve movement. A nice greenbelt stroll is free and fun; if it’s cold in your area, bundle up and enjoy nearly empty trails or walking paths!

#10 Keep it calm

Like adults, kids react to their environments; and like adults, kids can get stressed out. Low stress levels are important for maintaining heart health, so make sure your child isn’t overloaded. Try not to overbook your kid’s schedule; while organized activities are important, it’s also good for your child to have down time. Read a book together, go on a leisurely walk, or play outside with the family dog. Have fun, relax and let your kids do the same.

#11 Cook together

Kids love to help out. Involve your child in cooking a healthy meal, and explain what each ingredient is and why it’s going into the dinner. Let him help mix, measure and prepare a healthy family meal—chances are, he’ll be more likely to eat it.

#12 Inspire by example

Whether you know it or not, your child is watching your every move, learning how to interact with the world and developing habits that could extend for a lifetime. When you lead a healthy lifestyle, you are subtly encouraging your child to do the same. As you make good choices, discuss why you’re making the decisions you’re making. They’re listening—really!

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A healthy childhood is about more than just eating vegetables and running around outside; by helping your son or daughter develop healthy habits, you are giving the gift of lifelong vitality. Start encouraging heart health young by working in healthy lifestyle choices—good nutrition, regular physical activity, plenty of sleep and low stress levels—and do the same in your own life. Healthy, happy parents tend to have healthy, happy kids.

For more heart health advice and to join Louis Ignarro, PhD in the Heart Health Initiative, visit HeartHealthInitiative.com.

Written by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.  Dr. Ignarro is a member of both the Editorial and Nutrition Advisory Boards of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute and receives compensation for his endorsement of Herbalife® products. 

How to achieve glowing skin in just minutes!

23 Jul

How to achieve glowing skin in just minutes!

How to achieve glowing skin in minutes!

What’s the secret weapon for achieving glowing skin in just minutes? Hint: It’s something I tell you time and time again on what you MUST do during your daily beauty regimen.

Cleansing your skin is just a fancy phrase for “washing your face.” And it’s something that everyone needs to do no matter what! Cleansing is the first, and arguably the most important, skin care step in both your daytime and nighttime regimens. Cleansers are instrumental in removing the dirt, oils and impurities from the surface of our skin. And ladies, they’re great for removing makeup at the end of the day. Everyone MUST wash their face first thing in the morning and the end of the day before bedtime if they want to achieve youthful looking, glowing skin.

Both men and women will benefit considerably from proper facial cleansing. Even if your face looks clean, chances are it’s not! There are things I like to call “invisible impurities” that land on our skin and can cause a lot of unnecessary damage if not properly removed. Pollution, smoke, hair spray and perfumes all have the potential to end up on your skin and must be removed to ensure our skin maintains its healthy glow. There’s nothing worse than dull, drab looking skin—especially when we can fix it with a quick cleansing in just a minute or two!

It’s important to remember that bars soaps are generally formulated for the body because they contain stronger detergents and deodorizers than your average facial cleanser. That bar soap has a lot of territory to cover and needs the extra potency to cleanse and deodorize. Think about where that bar soap goes and then think about it touching your face. (Giggle…I knew that would get you!) Please keep the bar soap for the body, and choose a cleanser that is properly formulated for the delicate facial skin.

Choosing the right cleanser for your skin is very important. If you suffer from dry skin, you want to look for a hydrating cleanser that’s sulfate free. Look for ingredients such as Aloe Vera that will provide wonderful hydrating properties. How do you know if your skin is dry? Look in the mirror! You may notice some dry, flakey patches, your skin will be sensitive to temperature extremes and dare I say it… Any fine lines you may have will be more noticeable. The good thing about having dry skin is you usually have less blemishes and breakouts. The not so good news is that people with dry skin tend to look a bit older than they really are.

If your skin is on the oily side you will notice excess oil build up in the T-zone area. The t-zone includes the forehead, nose, chin and inner cheeks. This is where we have the most oil glands on our face, so the excess oil will be most noticeable in these areas. People who have oily skin tend to be more prone to blemishes and breakouts. The good news is that those with oily skin tend to look a bit younger because fine lines are much less noticeable.

Once you’ve selected the proper cleanser for your skin type, follow these simple steps for glowing skin:

  1. Before you cleanse your skin, you must cleanse your hands. The last thing you want to do is spread germs and other yucky stuff all over your face.
  2. Only cleanse your skin using warm water. Never use water that’s overly hot or cold as extremes in the temperature of the water can damage the capillaries in your skin.
  3. Dampen your skin and hands and squeeze a dollop of cleanser in the palm of your hands. How much product you use is entirely up to you so, experiment until you get the proper amount that works best for you.
  4. Once the product is in your hand, rub your hands together and then gently massage into your skin using a circular motion. Be sure to thoroughly massage your skin including your neck and throat area.
  5. Be careful when washing around your eyes as you don’t want your cleanser to end up in your eyes, as it will most likely be uncomfortable for you.
  6. Once you’ve massaged the cleanser into your skin, rinse until your face is clean.
  7. Gently pat your skin dry; don’t rub, with a clean towel.
  8. Follow the cleansing process by toning, applying your serum, eye product and day or night time moisturizer to complete your daily skin care regimen.

That’s it!  Follow these simple cleansing tips every morning and every evening and your skin will look clean and refreshed.  If you aren’t too great at following your evening skin care routine, I will cut you a tiny bit of slack. I too have, on occasion, been simply too exhausted to follow my own advice. However I must say, for the women out there, it is imperative to remove that makeup from your skin before you go to sleep. If it means keeping cleansing cloths on your nightstand, then by all means do that. It’s not ideal but it’s better than doing nothing. Also, by removing all of the surface dirt, oils and makeup from your face, your other skin care products such as toner, serum and moisturizers will be able to penetrate more effectively into your skin so you get the maximum benefits from your skin care regimen. Look for cleansers with fresh, natural scents, cleansing jojoba beads and Aloe Vera for a wonderful cleansing experience.

Because our skin type does change on a regular basis, it’s always good to have a few cleansers on hand. Give yourself a quick look in the mirror before jumping into the shower so you know exactly what cleanser you should use. Let’s face it, some days we wake up oily and some days we wake up with dehydrated skin so let’s be prepared for anything by keeping cleansers for both skin types on hand at all times.

If you have any glowing skin tips you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at HerbalifeDiscover the HerbalifeSKIN line here.

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Make it light at night-eat less at night

17 Jul
 Posted by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND  7 Comments

 

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Make it light at night | Susan Bowerman | Discover Good Nutrition

Sometimes when I talk with people who struggle with their weight, they’ll tell me that the reason they can’t lose weight is because they eat too much at night – “I eat,” they’ll say, “and then I just sit around and I don’t burn it off – that’s my problem”. While intuitively this might make sense, it doesn’t really work this way. Taking in too many calories – at any time of the day – is going to lead to weight gain.

The body just doesn’t micromanage calories that carefully. And here’s why: we evolved under conditions of food scarcity – in order to survive, we had to be able to store extra calories if we overate – whenever that might be – and then be able to call them up when we needed them. Our ancestors foraged for food all day long, and they needed to store (or use) all the calories they could get – whether they were eaten at dawn or around the fire at night.

The same thing is true for us today – it doesn’t matter if you eat your extra calories before the sun goes down or after – either way, your fat cells are more than happy to hang on to them for you to use later.

People probably think this way because they notice that they lose weight when they stop eating so much at night (or set some arbitrary rule, like “I won’t eat after 7 p.m.”). But it’s not the time of day that matters – if you were to eat your usual post-7 p.m. calories at 3 p.m. instead, you wouldn’t burn them off any faster.

A lot of people who overeat do the majority of their gorging late in the day and well into the evening. So when they stop eating at 7 PM, they cut out hundreds of calories that ordinarily would have consumed. They’re losing weight not because they stopped eating after a certain time – they’re losing weight because, well, they stopped eating.

One of the main reasons people overeat at night is, in fact, because they haven’t adequately fueled themselves during the day. Lots of people try to power through the day on very little food, then by the time they hit the door at night, they’re starving. And it’s easy to justify a bedtime binge if you tell yourself that you’ve “hardly eaten all day”.

There’s an old saying that you should eat ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’. It’s still great advice, and I often encourage people to ‘diet at night’. Start the day with a healthy, high protein breakfast (like a protein shake, a high protein cereal with milk and fruit, yogurt with fruit, or a veggie omelet), have a healthy lunch with plenty of protein and veggies, and then have a large snack – almost like another meal – in the middle of the afternoon, at around 3 or 4 o’clock. Then, you won’t be starving at dinner, and you can then get by with something light – like a small salad with a little protein in it or a bowl of soup.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

In an exercise slump? Let’s fix that now!

16 Jul
 Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA  9 Comments

 

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Don’t let an exercise slump be the end of your training | Herbalife Fitness Advice

Do you ever find yourself in an exercise slump?  You have great intentions to workout but, whoops, a day, then a week goes by and you have either stopped exercising or you’ve cut down too much.

Sometimes we all feel like missing a session at the gym but if we give ourselves a break from working out too often then we’re in danger of getting out of the habit of regular exercise.  I always say that some exercise is better then no exercise – and that’s still true – but a regular fitness routine will help you develop and reap all the positives of an active, healthy lifestyle!

If you’ve stopped exercising for any reason then these four motivation tips should help you get back to your workout routine.  

My simple tips to get you back to exercising regularly in no time

  • Don’t let an exercise slump be the end of your training | DiscoverGoodFitness from HerbalifeDon’t think you’ll instantly be as fit as you were just before you stopped. Fitness levels decline if you don’t continue using your muscles and building or maintaining your strength and stamina.  So, be patient with yourself and always exercise at a level that is suitable for your current fitness levels.
  • Try to aim for twenty or thirty minutes of exercise a day when you first start out and work out at a comfortable intensity.  As you progress, either increase your intensity or add ten more minutes each day.
  • Use your body weight for strength exercises and really focus on technique. Each week add 2-4lbs of resistance until you reach an intensity that feels like 7-8 out of 10 (with 10 being the maximum possible for you).
  • Use interval training to your advantage.  Including rest times in your workouts lets you begin at a gentle pace.  Start out with more rest than work then slowly start to flip your equation to 50% work / 50% rest and beyond.

People’s exercise levels can decline for all types of reasons from injury to a period of overworking and reduced life/work balance to, maybe, a simple dislike an element of your fitness routine leading to making excuses not to keep it up.

Climb back out of your exercise slump!

If you do feel like you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon then there is no time like the present to climb back on but remember to go at your body’s own pace.  This will help prevent injury and it will stop you accidentally teaching your body to associate exercise with pain.  (Believe me, I hear all the time from people who go from no exercise to a few days of intense exercise only to immediately slump back to no exercise because they didn’t like the aching muscles!  Please don’t let yourself fall into this category of over-zealous exerciser.)

I’m certain that the more fit you are, the more positive you will be but remember to take it slow if you’re recovering from an exercise slump.  If you take a sensible and fun approach then you’ll be a lot less likely to neglect your fitness routine again in the future.

Don’t let an exercise slump be the end of your training

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

What to eat for healthy skin

07 Jul
 Posted by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND  8 Comments

 

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What to eat to get healthy skin | Healthy eating advice from Herbalife

Did you know a healthy diet can lead to healthier-looking skin?

Your complexion is one of the first things people notice about you – and the health of your skin says a lot about the way you eat. The condition of your skin really reflects what you put in your mouth – and a healthy diet is really an “inside-out” approach to healthy skin. The healthier you are in the inside, the more it shows on the outside, too.

How diet affects your skin

Pimples and breakouts

Pimples and acne are more common in adolescents – due largely to hormonal changes. But adults can suffer from breakouts, too.  In the past, it was thought that certain foods caused pimples – especially those favored by adolescents, like chocolate, pizza or French fries.

But more recently, the blame is being placed not so much on individual foods, but more on the makeup of the diet as a whole –  particularly when it comes to the types and amounts of carbohydrates we eat.

Highly refined carbs (foods like sweets, white bread, mashed potatoes, plain pasta and white rice) have a high glycemic index.  Simply put, the glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly – and how much – a food increases your blood sugar after you eat it.

The sugary, starchy ‘white’ carbs tend to cause larger (and more rapid) rises in blood sugar than the healthy carbs (like fruits, veggies and whole grains) – which have a low glycemic index.    And if your diet is made up of a lot of foods with a high glycemic index, that translates into a heavy carbohydrate load to the body.

The reason this matters is this:  a diet that consistently delivers a high load of refined carbohydrates into your system – day after day – can promote mild, chronic inflammation throughout your body.  This chronic inflammation is a kind of slow, simmering fire that has been linked to various health issues – including skin problems like pimples and acne.

Sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles

The texture and elasticity of your skin is determined, in large part, to the proteins, collagen and elastin that lie just under the surface of your skin.   Anything that causes damage to these proteins can promote fine lines and wrinkles, which can make you look older than you actually are.

One reason it’s so important to protect your skin from sun exposure is because ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun promote the formation of highly reactive molecules – called free radicals – that can do some serious damage to collagen and elastin.

And this is where diet comes in.  Antioxidants – compounds that are abundant in colorful fruits and vegetables – help to fight free radical formation.  And there is a clear connection between the levels of antioxidants found in the skin and the texture of the skin itself.  People who have low levels of antioxidants in the skin tend to have a rougher skin texture, while those with higher levels of antioxidants in the skin have skin with a smoother texture.1

Foods that promote healthy-looking skin

  • Fish.  Fish is an excellent source of protein, which your body uses to build collagen and elastin.  Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids which promote skin health by working to reduce inflammation.  These healthy fats are found in abundance in fatty fish – like salmon and trout – but all fish contain omega-3s, so aim for several fish meals per week.
  • “Good” carbohydrates.  Try to clear out the refined ‘white’ carbohydrates and sugars from your diet as much as possible and replace with the ‘good’ carbs– veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains.  When you choose these healthy carbohydrates, you’ll be consuming foods with a lower glycemic index, which will reduce the overall carbohydrate load in your diet.
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables.  Many deeply colored fruits and vegetables get much of their color from compounds called carotenoids.  Some of these can be converted into vitamin A, which is needed to help your skin cells reproduce – a vitally important function when you consider that your body sheds 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every single day. Many fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C, which your body needs in order to manufacture collagen. Carotenoids and vitamin C also acts as antioxidants, and help fight the formation of damaging free radicals.
  • Nuts and seeds.  Tree nuts like almonds and walnuts, and seeds like flax and chia, provide healthy omega-3 fats.  And, certain nuts (Brazil nuts in particular) are excellent sources of selenium, a mineral which also acts as an antioxidant.
  • Plenty of fluids.  In order for nutrients to move in and waste to move out, your skin cells (and all cells in your body) rely on fluid.  Water is great – so is green tea, since it provides not only fluid, but antioxidants, too.  Be sure to stay well hydrated when the weather is hot.  When you sweat, your body relies on fluids to help remove waste products from your skin.

Try adding some flax or chia seeds (for omega-3s), mango chunks (vitamin C) and some baby spinach leaves (carotenoids) to your protein shake for a skin-healthy blend! What do you like to eat to keep your skin healthy and your complexion clear?

Lademann J, et al. Exp Dermatol. 2011 20(5):377-82.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

A clean face leads to healthy skin: 7 quick cleansing tips

05 Jul
 Posted by Jacquie Carter  8 Comments

 

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Clean face = clear skin | Herbalife beauty advice

ou know my mantra: cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! Achieving beautiful clear skin can sometimes be as simple as having a clean face. 

Having a clean face is vital for clear skin and I cannot stress the importance of cleansing enough. Here are seven tips for a clean face that will help put you on the path to clear skin in no time. We don’t just need to wash away the surface grime but we also need to slough dead skin cells!

 

Related Article: How to take care of your skin while traveling

How to cleanse your way to healthy skin

  • 7 quick cleansing tips for healthy skinCleanse your skin twice a day; every morning and every night before bed, no matter what. Just because your skin looks clean doesn’t mean it is; chances are it’s covered with invisible impurities that can harm the skin. Get rid of them.
  • Avoid ordinary bar soaps and stick with facial cleansers that are gentle and designed for your skintype.
  • Never dry your skin with the family hand towel! If it’s not clean you could be transferring bacteria onto your fresh, clean face. Try a quick sniff test – if your towel doesn’t smell like it’s fresh from the laundry then you might want to ditch it and grab a clean one.
  • Only rinse with warm water, never with water that is too hot or too cold. Extremes in temperature may irritate your skin and cause damage.
  • Exfoliate at least once a week. Gentle exfoliation buffs away dead cells on your face resulting in smoother, brighter skin. Just like a cleanser, make sure to find a scrub that’s suitable for your skin type.
  • Invest in a facial once in a while. Just like you would go to a dentist for a teeth cleaning, your skin needs a deep cleansing too! Frequency of facials depends on skin type. Work with your aesthetician to determine how often a deep cleaning is needed.
  • Be gentle when cleansing around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body. Handle with extra care.

Do you already do all these things? Good for you! We’re all busy and sometimes it’s the simple things that start to slip but a clean face and clear skin will help give you confidence.

Let me know your top cleansing tips in the comments section below – I’d love to hear from you.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.