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Monthly Archives: July 2018

4 months ago General Health

Health through Feng Shui

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We have published  posts and pages about many factors through which our health can be improved or maintained without any problems or disease. Today we will see how Feng Shui helps us in maintaining good health, Wealth and happiness in our house. Stress free environment and happiness also helps us to be healthy and efficient at work as well. Some points / suggestions are not directly related to health but helps us indirectly in maintaining Health, Peace and Harmony.

How to improve ones health is fast becoming one of the most constantly posed questions in today’s modern society. Everyone is looking for an ‘edge’ on how they can not only provide a longer life for themselves but ensure that it is a life filled with comfort and vitality. In looking for this edge – many people have turned to Feng Shui – the ancient art and science of placement.

Feng Shui is a philosophy based on centuries of observation of nature and its interaction with man. It also takes into account the analysis of individual characteristics of a person, and accurate compass measurements and much more. All this allows us to create the most comfortable conditions for each of us, to be charged with energy for accomplishments and live in harmony with ourselves and nature.

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If the relationship with your partner is not as fabulous as you want, or if you have an anxiety for the health of your dear ones, for yourself, or if you are obsessed with your bank balance…. Fear not!! Incorporate Feng- Shui in your daily life and see the difference. You need not have to be born in the family with golden spoon to be rich. Everybody is not born rich, but Feng-Shui can take you to new heights of business, enable you to live healthy and secure enough money for your family. Many of us want to incorporate Feng Shui at our homes, but don’t know how to begin with. So, welcome to the land of Feng Shui …And get acquainted with Feng Shui tools.

1. Dolphin and Fish – It’s lucky to place a show piece or portrait of fish and dolphins in your house, office and shop. You can keep this portrait at any direction in the room. It brings WEALTH, PEACE, LONG LIFE and PROSPERITY

2. Om Bells – Each mantra we chant starts with the holy word “OM” and OM signifies the world. This divine bell is made up of 5 elements of the world named EARTH, WATER, FIRE, AIR, EITHER. As, we ring the bell, the “OM” sound, removes the negative energy and brings positivity in you.

3. Chinese Coins – Place a set of 3 CHINESE COINS in your wallet or purse to multiply your money. Keep them in your lockers and banks.Stick it to your computer screens, where you keep the financial accounts. Place it on the SOUTH WALL to fulfill your wish.

4. Bells – Tie THREE BELLS together of the same size on the main door of your house, office or shop to bring in PROSPERITY.

5. Chi Lin – Chi lin is the most powerful image of luck in the Chinese mythology. It draws WEALTH, HEALTH and PROSPERITY. Place it on your work stations or on the front door. They take in all the negative energy.

6. Love Birds- Love birds are a true symbol of love. This portrait enhances love among couples, and it also brings in good fortune for unmarried girls. Keep it in the SOUTH WEST direction of your living bedroom or living room.

7. Fuk Luk Sau – Fuk, luk, sau are the gods of HEALTH, WEALTH and PROSPERITY. Exhibiting them at any part of your room will invite good luck and keep you away from all the fatal diseases. Lay this portrait in the EAST corner of your room.

8. Three Legged Frog – A three legged frog is extremely auspicious if placed DIAGONALLY OPPOSITE to your main door. It enhances your INCOME and WEALTH with in no time. Make sure that the portrait faces inside the house.

9. Dragon – This powerful Chinese portrait is a symbol of POWER and LUCK. Place this celestial dragon, in the EAST of your living room and get lucky with in no time.

10. Metal Turtle and plate – Place this metal turtle in the NORTH side of your living room and make sure you fill the plate with water all the time. You will witness growth in your career and projects

11. Wind Chimes – Hang wind chimes on your front doors, to bring in positive sound waves and GOOD LUCK

12. Swastik, Om Trishul – These powerful symbols are an epitome of victory and courage. It symbolises SUCCESS and keeps you away from the bad evils and eyes. You can also keep a sticker of its idol in your purse, wallet and diary.

13. Laughing Buddha – Laughing Buddha signifies a happy man. It invites WEALTH, FINANCIAL GAINS and SUCCESS in the house. Placing the portrait in the right direction is very important as the energy, which enters your house is greeted by the laughing Buddha. Therefore, place it on the corner table, which is facing the front door.

14. Bamboo Plants – Place this care free plant at any part of your house and enhance your fortune and income. This plant can also bring in GOOD LUCK for your loved one.

15. Dragon Ship – Position this beautiful dragon ship in the INWARD DIRECTION of your living room, as it brings wealth and prosperity to your home.

16. Crystal Pyramid – Rest this striking pyramid at any area of your drawing room to bring in GOODIES for your family. You can use any size of the pyramids for good fortune.

17. Globe – Keep this magical globe in the NORTH EAST side of your child’s room to call for knowledge and wisdom.

18. Elephants – Place this powerful symbol of power and good luck in the SOUTH EAST direction of your living room. The object attracts all the good energies with their trunks up in the air.

These Chinese Feng Shui items have a more profound effect, if they are gifted to you by someone so if you wish to see your near and dear ones prosper, gift them these lucky charms and help them attain success, health, wealth, romance and happiness in all spheres of life.

 

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Feng Shui tips to improve Health, Happiness and Vitality –

These feng shui tips will help create a home that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.

  1. Remove your shoes before entering your home – Make it a ritual to leave the stress of your job, traffic jams and bad days outside. It’s a purposeful way to make your home a haven, only allowing peaceful energy to come inside. If you like, place a trunk or an appealing shoe rack just inside the door. The simple act of removing your shoes is symbolic of casting off the worries and troubles, as well as the dirt, of the outside world.
  2. Clean your space and clear clutter – Clutter disrupts your life. When it’s rampant, you feel stressed about everything. You can’t find your keys, important letters, the right belt or a cherished memento. Disorder creates mayhem and hinders your ability to find peace. Make sure that your bedroom, closet and bathroom are in order. If you can begin your day with calm, you have a better chance of feeling centered as you go out into the world. One of the best antidotes to stress is an organized living environment.
  3. Surround yourself with an abundance of light, fresh air and greenery – Open the doors and windows and invite nature in. As night draws near, avoid bright light for at least an hour before bed. Instead allow your body’s natural cycle to slowly move towards night. Use soft light in the bathroom and place dimmers in rooms you spend a good deal of time. For more harmony, oxygen and life-force, accessorize with plants. Choose ones that look happy as opposed to those with downward falling, droopy leaves.
  4. Get more sleep by creating a wonderful place to rest your head at night – It’s preferable to choose a bedroom that’s located away from the noisy street. From a feng shui perspective, the best position for your bed is in the back corner of the room, diagonally opposite from the door. This site provides grounding because of the solid wall behind the bed, the expanded view of the room and door, and protection from fast moving energy entering the space. Also, if possible, refrain from watching television before bed as it drains your energy. The violence and negative news can be absorbed into your subconscious and may cause bad dreams.
  5. Choose colors that helps you unwind- Incorporate blues, lavenders, greens, peaches and other soothing earth tones into your home. Whether it’s wall color, bedding, artwork, fabrics or decorative objects, soft, neutral colors provide a sense of calm. Ask yourself what color would make you feel happy and peaceful, then find a way to introduce it into our home. Try lighting a blue, lavender or crème colored candle for relaxation. Let your intuition guide you.
  6. Soothing sounds of nature make for a calming environment – Play a nature CD or create an iPod playlist of natural sounds, such as gentle waves, mountain streams, chirping birds or a gentle breeze through the trees. When you listen to sounds of nature, your heart rate slows down, your breathing becomes more expansive and your nerves are calmed. Make sure it’s a recording that’s made from the actual sounds of nature, not electronically produced, since the life-force energy emanating from natural surroundings will be healing for your body and mind.
  7. Use Feng Shui Fountains – Use real fountains in and out of the home, no matter how small, as a powerful feng shui cure. This will attract wealth energy and fresh Chi. You can also use symbols that represent fountains, such as images of flowing water like waterfalls, oceans, and rivers. The water images that have plenty of foam and open views are especially powerful in the feng shui wealth applications.
  8. Decorate with wealth crystals – Citrine crystal is long known for attracting wealth, so it’s often used in feng shui wealth applications. Citrine is also known to strengthen one’s self-esteem, so it can be a good choice for your personal jewellery. You can also use a popular wealth stone, like pyrite. One creative way to display crystals is to place them on a feng shui gem tree in your home office for a beautiful look full of meaning and clarity.
  9. Use the fish symbol – Decorate your home or office with a feng shui aquarium to attract wealth chi. This is a fun and lively way to add beauty and wealth to your personal areas and workspaces. You can also use feng shui symbols and images of specific fish to bring a sense of wealth to your environment. Consider using images of art in the bedroom, a fish clock in the kitchen, or a fish shower curtain in the bathroom, for instance.
  10. Create a strong front door – Creating a strong front door is important because your house needs it in order to be able to attract wealth chi. The front door is called the Mouth of Chi in feng shui, and its strength and auspicious energy are important to a good feng shui house. Protect your front door, if necessary, with feng shui symbols of protection, abundance, and good luck.

 

Feng shui has numerous tips to help improve your health and well-being. After all, the saying “health is wealth” most probably came from ancient feng shui masters!

The importance of vibrant health cannot be overestimated because without good health few things really matter. In feng shui, there is a direct relationship between your health and the quality of energy in your home and office.

 

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When your space is calm, your thoughts slow down and you can begin to hear the guidance from your soul. Your spirit is renewed when you create a home that invites you to sit still, stop doing and just be. At these moments, your environment offers you a place to restore your physical and spiritual energy. When you design a healthy living environment, you will feel relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired to move towards your dreams.

Importance of bedroom from health point of view –

In Feng Shui the bedroom not only plays a role in attracting and maintaining good relationships but also supports your health. There are many reasons for ill health – long-term stress, incorrect diet, lack of exercise etc…. By reassessing those areas of your life in conjunction with implementing ideal Feng Shui principles then good health can be achieved within a reasonably short space of time.

One of the most important considerations when assessing health using Feng Shui guidelines is the position of your bedroom within the home and your bed within that room. So, if you are experiencing ill health then my suggestion is to try using another room or placing the bed in a different location within the bedroom.

Ten other factors that can assist you in your pursuit of good health are:-

  • Do not have any mirrors in the bedroom, especially if the mirror is reflecting any portion of the bed whilst you are sleeping. If this is the case remove the offending mirror altogether or cover it with a dense fabric or screen.
  • Remove the television – apart from the electrical concerns it has a reflective quality, which in turn has a similar effect, albeit minor, as that of a mirror.
  • Ensure that the external electrical box is not located on the same wall as the bed head.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is not opposite a T-junction. If moving to another room is out of the question, then a ‘special shield’ can be used to reduce the impact.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is not located in direct line of any sharp corners, fences or spikes.
  • It is preferable to not sleep on a waterbed as stability is required when sleeping.
  • Do not have your bedroom located at the point of a bow shaped road.
  • A triangular shaped bedroom creates arguments and it is said that the occupants of the bedroom are prone to heart attacks. In this instance walls would have to be built so as to square off the room.
  • I have seen numerous boot shaped bedrooms (see diagram 4) and these are particularly inauspicious if you are sleeping at the end of the boot.
  • If you are experiencing headaches or poor sleep and are sleeping with your head against a window as well as being in direct line with the door then try moving your bed so that your bed head is resting against a solid wall. Having said this, there are times when it is more appropriate to have your bed head resting against a window and this can only be determined by specific individually based data and when certain conditions are prevailing.

It is important to not have your bed resting under an overhanging beam. It would serve you best to simply move the bed in this instance.

 

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‘Internal alchemy’ and cultivating your centre for good health has been a principle part of the Taoists canons for centuries. This stillness and harmony is what gives us a quiet confidence, crystal like clarity and a security that comes from a sense of constant connection to the beauty of life.

Tao is a strategy for living and refers to an energy that flows through everything. The Tao is based on a life lived in conformity with the natural way of things – in integrity with the natural path and flow of life. When living in this way, the Taoists believe that good health prevails, fulfilment and success is attainable.

It recognises that change is inevitable and seeks to maintain balance as the chi or life force brings about whatever changes are necessary. Like Taoism, Feng Shui recognises how everything is inter-related, forever changing and inter-connected.

So, embodying the Tao, embracing your stillness, staying calm and constantly living within this space has increasing value in our full, sometimes manic lives. In this vortex of activity and the often intense demands on our time, it is easy to lose our balance or centeredness. When this occurs, we then seek these elements outside of ourselves through various disciplines whether they be Feng Shui, Tai Chi or some form of Meditation.

The cultivation of stillness needs to be approached from a number of perspectives. If you choose to meditate, this option can be supported through the use of a Buddha Status for focus or Incese to quiet the mind.

Either way, the starting point is to ensure that whatever strategy is employed it is on a level that is suitable for each person. At the most basic level, a suitable environment is very important. With the chaos that exists in people’s lives it is far too challenging to even begin addressing the aspect of harmony in other ways and so Feng Shui is a very effective approach and can be extraordinarily helpful.

Creating balance, so that success prevails through maintaining good mental and physical health within the home and workplace is a sought after aim in Feng Shui.

Whilst Feng Shui is only one part of the solution, when properly applied, it provides the framework for change to be cultivated.

And so, Feng Shui can support the internal efforts required to bring about quality, profound, successful and sustainable change.

Firstly, ensure that you have a good Feng Shui bedroom.

Secondly, whilst you may have implemented remedies at home, it is worthwhile considering doing the same within your workplace. In order for things to run smoothly place a Five Element Pagoda in the East sector of the workplace and a Wu Lu in the South for the duration of the year.

Reflect on stillness and harmony, not as something you manage to fit into your schedule from time to time but as a way of life, as the foundation from which your life can blossom.

 

Myths surrounding Feng Shui

Myth #1 – The main thing is to believe : Of course, the placebo effect has not been canceled yet, and if you wholeheartedly believe that a certain element of the decor will help you achieve what you want, then it is possible that it will “work.” But it will happen because of your aspirations, because Feng Shui is NOT a religion.

Myth #2 – Feng Shui is everything : Feng Shui is used exclusively for decoration of premises, for car design, key fobs, nails and other things, it has nothing to do with it. Therefore, if you are assured that a Chinese knot of red thread on a bunch of keys will bring you luck in business or love, you should not believe it. But, as an decor addition, such an accessory is quite useful.

Myth #3 – To get rich, you need to buy a money plant : Despite its eloquent name, the plant will not make its owner millionaire. Of course, the presence of such a tree in your home will attract lively, favorable energy, and improve the micro climate in the house, but waiting for a miracle from sitting on the couch is useless.

Myth #4 – The magical effects of fountains and Happy Bamboo : As experts say, these attributes, indeed, help to correct the energy of space, but only if they are arranged by a person who is able to take into account the layout of the room, the peculiarities of the location of the house and even the landscape.

Myth #5 – The octagonal mirror reflects the negative : This attribute (mirror Bagua), the ancient Chinese hanged not inside the house, but outside – only then, they believed, the mirror will “work”, protecting the habitation from evil spirits and negatives in general. If you hang it in a room, it will have, rather, decorative value.

Myth #6 – Objects can enhance luck :  Objects, however aesthetically pleasing, can’t do much to the overall feng shui of a property. They’re purely for decorative purposes.

Myth #7 – The under-water taboo : Water in feng shui can help gather auspicious Qi. If a certain area in a property is known to have beneficial Qi, water would be well suited for that area of the house. There’s no iron-clad policy on whether the water should be above you.

Myth #8 – Strength in numbers :  Numbers don’t have any feng shui effects. The concept of unlucky or lucky numbers is rooted in pure superstition.

Myth #9 – The elusive love sector :  Feng shui cannot create love; it can only create opportunities. There are, however, types of Qi that can help you become a more pleasant, likeable and attractive person to others.

Myth #10 – The mirror abundance : A reflection in the mirror means nothing because when the food is finished in the real world, it also disappears in the mirrored world. Mirrors can’t do more than just reflect what is present.

Myth #11 – Combating in office :  Mirrors and object placement are not considered primary feng shui prescriptions. If there are actual negative feng shui features like sharp angles pointing directly into your window, simply keep the blinds of the window closed.

Myth #12 – Auspicious Colors:  Painting your rooms a particular colour has no effect on feng shui. What matters more is where your stove is located in the kitchen or the particular shape of your rooms.

Myth #13 – Re-angling your door : This must be avoided completely. Placing your door at awkward angles increases the risk of bad luck or negativity. The best way to avoid negative Qi from storming into your home is to slow it down by blocking it from sight at the door. For instance, you can cover the front with thick foliage if it’s outdoors, or block it with a screen if it’s indoors.

Myth #14 – Feng Shui is not applicable in the modern world : The truth is that the dynamics of nature and the relationship between man and earth have changed much less than culture has changed. In practice, Feng Shui is as effective in the middle of a cosmopolitan 21st century city as in a remote and mountainous part of China. Of course, some details of the practice change but the fundamental principles do not.

Myth #15 – Feng Shui can be learned within few days : To reach even a basic level of proficiency takes several years of serious study of materials from an authentic source. To reach a high level of skill takes many years of dedicated study and practice.

Myth #16 – Feng Shui is about positioning symbolic cures and charms around your home : Feng Shui remedies consists of external features like alterations to fences, even a degree or two of difference in the angle of  a front door can change the energy of the building. some rooms have energy suited to studying, some to sleeping and some rooms should be avoided! Use of colors and natural materials to balance energies.

 

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4 months ago General Health

Exercise for Health

People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV, mobile or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, household chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations especially after going digital for all needs.

We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than 10 hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 12 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.

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Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behavior, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health.

Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.

Common examples of sedentary behavior include watching TV, mobile using a computer, using the vehicle for short journeys and sitting down to read, talk or listen to music. This type of behavior is thought to increase your risk of developing many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight gain and obesity.

Previous generations were active more naturally through work and manual labor, but today we have to find ways of integrating activity into our daily lives. Whether it’s limiting the time babies spend strapped in their buggies, or encouraging adults to stand up and move frequently, people of all ages need to reduce their sedentary behavior.

This means that each of us needs to think about increasing the types of activities that suit our lifestyle and can easily be included in our daily routine.

Crucially, you can hit your weekly activity target but still be at risk of ill health if you spend the rest of the time sitting or lying down. Find out how to build physical activity and exercise into your day, whatever your age or situation.

Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence. Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life.

People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

To stay healthy, adults should try to be active every day and aim to achieve at least 30 minutes of physical activity on daily basis through a variety of activities. For most people, the easiest way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around. However, the more you do, the better, and taking part in activities such as sports and exercise will make you even healthier.

For any type of activity to benefit your health, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer. This level of effort is called moderate intensity activity. If you’re working at a moderate intensity you should still be able to talk but you won’t be able to sing the words to a song.

An activity where you have to work even harder is called vigorous intensity activity.

There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. You can tell when it’s vigorous activity because you’re breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.

 

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How to keep baby / toddler active –

Simple ways to get baby moving

  • Lay your baby down on their back so they can kick their legs.
  • Pulling, pushing, grasping and playing with other people are great ways to practice different kinds of movements.
  • Once your baby has started crawling, let them crawl around the floor, but make sure it’s safe first
  • Playing outdoors helps your baby learn about their surroundings.
  • You can take your baby swimming from a very young age – there’s no need to wait until they’ve been vaccinated.

Why tummy time is important

Tummy time helps to build the muscles your baby needs for sitting and crawling. You can start doing tummy time from birth by lying your baby on your chest – but only do this when you’re wide awake and unlikely to fall asleep.

Little and often is best to begin with. Gradually increase the amount of time you do this day by day. Then, when your baby is ready, try doing tummy time on the floor. If your baby has difficulty lifting their head, you can roll up a towel and put it under their armpits. Put some toys nearby for them to reach out to.

Only do tummy time when your baby is awake and alert, and you’re there to keep an eye on them.

Baby bouncers, walkers and seats

It’s important that your baby doesn’t spend too much time in:

Baby walkers or bouncers– these encourage babies to stand on their tiptoes and can delay walking if your baby uses them a lot

Baby carriers and seats– long periods in reclining carriers or seats, or seats that prop your baby in a sitting position, can delay your baby’s ability to sit up on their own

If you do use a baby walker, bouncer or seat, it’s best to use them for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Physical activity for toddlers

Once your child is walking, they should be physically active for at least 180 minutes (three hours) a day, spread throughout the day.

  • Let your toddler walk with you rather than always using the buggy.
  • Toddlers and young children love going to the park, where they can climb and swing or just run around.
  • Toys your child can pick up and move around will help improve their co-ordination and develop the muscles in their arms and hands.
  • Involve your toddler in household tasks like unpacking shopping, tidying or sorting washing.
  • Teach your child songs with actions and encourage them to dance to music.

Watching TV or using a tablet for long periods – or being strapped into a buggy, car seat or highchair – isn’t good for young children.

If you need to make a long car journey, consider taking a break and getting your child out of their seat for a bit.

Enjoy being active together

It’s good to join in with your child’s active play when you can. Have fun showing them how to do new things like running and hopping. Being active together shows your child that activity is enjoyable.

You’re a role model for your child so stay active yourself and try to meet the physical activity guidelines for adults.

Activity for young children with a disability

All babies and young children need to be active, including children with a long-term condition or disability, unless their health professionals give you different advice.

Just like other children, they will enjoy being active and it will help their development. You may need to adapt some activities to suit your child.

Scope has ideas for games all children can play, and the Contact a Family advice service offers information on caring for a disabled child.

Coping with a very active toddler

It can be exhausting keeping up with a toddler who is always on the go. It may help if you:

  • keep to a daily routine– routine can help if your child is restless or difficult; it can also help you stay calm and cope with the strain
  • dedicate time to your child– make sure there are times each day when you give them your full attention
  • avoid difficult situations– for example, keep shopping trips short
  • try to go out every day– go to a park, playground or other safe, open space where your child can run around and use up energy
  • set small goals– help your child to sit still and concentrate for a very short time, perhaps on a book or new toy, then gradually build it up

Does my child have Attention Aeficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

At times you may wonder if your non-stop toddler has ADHD. It’s more likely that your child is just a healthy, energetic toddler.

If you’re worried about how active your child is, talk to your health visitor or GP.

 

Guidelines for 5- to 18-year-olds 

Physical activities guidelines for children and young people ( age between 5 to 18 ).

To stay healthy or to improve health, young people need to do 3 types of physical activity each week:

  • aerobic exercise
  • exercises to strengthen their bones
  • exercises to strengthen their muscles

To maintain a basic level of health, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need to do:

  • at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis, Squash and basketball
  • on 3 days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles and bones, such as swinging on playground equipment, hopping and skipping, and sports such as gymnastics or tennis

Children and young people should also reduce the time they spend sitting for extended periods of time, including watching TV, with mobile, playing computer games and traveling by car when they could walk or cycle.

Being active for at least 60 minutes a day is linked to better general health, stronger bones and muscles, and higher levels of self-esteem.

What counts as moderate activity?

Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most young people include:

  • walking to school / college
  • playing in the playground
  • riding a scooter
  • skateboarding
  • rollerblading
  • walking the dog
  • cycling on level ground or ground with few hills

Moderate activity raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. One way to tell if your activity is moderate is if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song.

What counts as vigorous activity?

There is good evidence vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

There’s currently no recommendation on how long a session of vigorous activity should be for this age group.

Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most young people include:

  • playing chase
  • energetic dancing
  • swimming
  • running
  • gymnastics
  • football
  • rugby
  • martial arts, such as karate
  • cycling fast or on hilly terrain

Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If your activity is vigorous, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

What activities strengthen muscles?

Muscle strength is necessary for daily activities, and to build and maintain strong bones, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and help maintain a healthy weight.

For young people, muscle-strengthening activities are those that require them to lift their own body weight or work against a resistance, such as lifting a weight.

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities suitable for children include:

  • games such as tug of war
  • swinging on playground equipment bars
  • gymnastics
  • rope or tree climbing
  • sit-ups, press-ups and other similar exercises
  • gymnastics
  • football
  • rugby
  • tennis

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities suitable for young people include:

  • sit-ups, press-ups and other similar exercises
  • gymnastics
  • resistance exercises with exercise bands, weight machines or handheld weights
  • rock climbing
  • football
  • basketball
  • tennis

Children and young people should take part in activities appropriate for their age and stage of development.

What activities strengthen bones?

Examples of bone-strengthening activities for children include:

  • activities that require children to lift their body weight or work against a resistance
  • jumping and climbing activities, combined with the use of playground equipment and toys
  • games such as hopscotch
  • skipping with a rope
  • walking
  • running
  • gymnastics
  • dance
  • football
  • basketball
  • martial arts

Examples of bone-strengthening activities for young people include:

  • dance
  • aerobics
  • weight training
  • running
  • gymnastics
  • football
  • rugby
  • netball
  • hockey
  • badminton
  • tennis
  • skipping with a rope
  • martial arts

Children and young people should take part in activities appropriate for their age and stage of development.

 

Physical activities and guidelines for Adults ( age from 19 to 64 ) –

To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every day and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every day and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week – for example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A good rule is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on 5 days every week.

All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.

What counts as moderate aerobic activity?

Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people include:

  • brisk walking
  • water aerobics
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • doubles tennis
  • pushing a lawn mower
  • hiking
  • skateboarding
  • rollerblading
  • volleyball
  • basketball

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.

One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can’t sing the words to a song.

What counts as vigorous activity?

There’s good evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity.

Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most people include:

  • jogging or running
  • swimming fast
  • riding a bike fast or on hills
  • singles tennis
  • football
  • rugby
  • skipping rope
  • hockey
  • aerobics
  • gymnastics
  • martial arts

Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

In general, 20 minutes of vigorous activity can give similar health benefits to 30 minutes of moderate activity.

What activities strengthen muscles?

Muscle strength is necessary for:

  • all daily movement
  • to build and maintain strong bones
  • to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure
  • to help maintain a healthy weight

Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets. A repetition is 1 complete movement of an activity, like a bicep curl or a sit-up. A set is a group of repetitions.

For each strength exercise, try to do:

  • at least 1 set
  • 8 to 12 repetitions in each set

To get health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you struggle to complete another repetition.

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it’s at home or in the gym.

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities for most people include:

  • lifting weights
  • working with resistance bands
  • doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups
  • heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling
  • yoga

You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same day or on different days as your aerobic activity – whatever’s best for you.

Muscle-strengthening exercises are not an aerobic activity, so you’ll need to do them in addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic activity.

Some vigorous activities count as both an aerobic activity and a muscle-strengthening activity.

Examples include:

  • circuit training
  • aerobics
  • running
  • football
  • rugby
  • netball
  • hockey

Guidelines for older adults ( above 65 years ) –

Adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every day, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or

  • 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every day, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week. For example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A rule of thumb is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.

You should also try to break up long periods of sitting with light activity, as sedentary behavior is now considered an independent risk factor for ill health, no matter how much exercise you do.

Older adults at risk of falls, such as people with weak legs, poor balance and some medical conditions, should do exercises to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week. Examples include yoga, tai chi and dancing.

What counts as moderate aerobic activity?

Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people include:

  • walking
  • water aerobics
  • ballroom and line dancing
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • playing doubles tennis
  • pushing a lawn mower
  • canoeing
  • volleyball

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you’re exercising at a moderate level is if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song.

Daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework don’t count towards your 150 minutes, because the effort isn’t enough to raise your heart rate, but they are important nonetheless, as they break up periods of sitting.

What counts as vigorous aerobic activity?

There is good evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity.

Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most people include:

  • jogging or running
  • aerobics
  • swimming fast
  • riding a bike fast or on hills
  • singles tennis
  • football
  • hiking uphill
  • energetic dancing
  • martial arts

Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

In general, 30 minutes of vigorous activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate activity.

What activities strengthen muscles?

Muscle strength is necessary for:

  • all daily movement
  • building and maintaining strong bones
  • regulating blood sugar and blood pressure
  • maintaining a healthy weight

Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, such as a bicep curl or a sit-up. A set is a group of repetitions.

For each strength exercise, try to do:

  • at least one set
  • 8 to 12 repetitions in each set

To gain health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you find it hard to complete another repetition.

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether at home or in the gym. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include:

  • carrying or moving heavy loads, such as groceries
  • activities that involve stepping and jumping, such as dancing
  • heavy gardening, such as digging or shovelling
  • exercises that use your body weight for resistance, such as push-ups or sit-ups
  • yoga
  • lifting weights

You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same day or on different days as your aerobic activity – whatever’s best for you.

Muscle-strengthening exercises are not an aerobic activity, so you’ll need to do them in addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic activity.

Some vigorous activities count as both an aerobic activity and a muscle-strengthening activity.

Examples include:

  • circuit training
  • aerobics
  • running
  • football
  • rugby
  • netball
  • hockey

 

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How can I make exercise a part of my regular routine?

  • Make everyday activities more active.Even small changes can help. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk down the hall to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email. Wash the car yourself. Park further away from your destination.
  • Be active with friends and family.Having a workout partner may make you more likely to enjoy exercise. You can also plan social activities that involve exercise. You might also consider joining an exercise group or class, such as a dance class, hiking club, or volleyball team.
  • Keep track of your progress.Keeping a log of your activity or using a fitness tracker may help you set goals and stay motivated.
  • Make exercise more fun.Try listening to music or watching TV while you exercise. Also, mix things up a little bit – if you stick with just one type of exercise, you might get bored. Try doing a combination of activities.
  • Find activities that you can do even when the weather is bad. You can walk in a mall, climb stairs, or work out in a gym even if the weather stops you from exercising outside.

Click here for Exercise Q & A

1. I’m not particularly active, and I haven’t exercised in years. Is it safe for me to start now?

Answer: If you haven’t been active for a long time, it’s important to start out at a low level of effort and work your way up slowly. Beginning slowly will help you become more fit without straining your body. For example, you may want to start with walking, biking, or swimming at a comfortable pace and then gradually do more, or start strengthening exercises with 1- or 2-pound weights and gradually add heavier weights. You may want to talk with your doctor if you decide to start a vigorous exercise program or significantly increase your physical activity.

2. I have a medical condition (such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease). Is it safe for me to exercise?

Answer: Exercise is safe for almost everyone. In fact, studies show that people with arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease benefit from regular exercise and physical activity. In some cases, exercise actually can improve some of these conditions. You may want to talk with your doctor about how your health condition might affect your ability to be active.

3. Isn’t it better for older adults to “take it easy” and save their strength?

Answer: Regular physical activity is very important to the health and abilities of older people. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. For the most part, when older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn’t happen just because they’ve aged. It’s usually because they’re not active.Inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.

4. How much physical activity do I need?

Answer: The goal is to achieve at least 30 minutes moderate-intensity endurance activity daily. Being active at least 3 days a week is best, but doing anything is better than doing nothing at all. If you cannot do 150 minutes a week because of a health condition, do as much as your condition allows. Try to do all four types of exercises — endurance, balance, flexibility, and strength. Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, but don’t do strength exercises of the same muscle group 2 days in a row.

5. How hard should I exercise?

Answer: We can’t tell you exactly how many pounds to lift or how steep a hill you should climb to reach a moderate or vigorous level of exercise because what’s easy for one person might be difficult for another. You should match your activity to your own needs and abilities. Start from where you are and build up from there. Listen to your body. During moderate activity, for instance, you can sense that you are pushing yourself but that you aren’t near your limit. As you become more fit, gradually make your activities more difficult. Generally, the more vigorous the activity and the more time you spend doing it, the more health benefits you will receive.

6. How long do I need to be active before I see results?

Answer: Once you start being physically active, you’ll begin to see results in just a few weeks. You may feel stronger and more energetic than before. You may notice that you can do things more easily, faster, or for longer than before. As you become more fit, you may need to make your activities more challenging to see additional results.

7. Do I get enough physical activity in my regular day-to-day activities?

Answer: One way to find out is to check your Activity Log. Did you list physical activities that get your body moving, such as yard work, walking the dog, raking leaves, or climbing stairs? How about weight training or an aerobics class? There are many ways to be active every day. The key is to do all four of the major types of exercises regularly and increase your level of effort over time.

8. I’m healthy now. Why do I need to be active?

Answer: Research shows that exercise and physical activity can maintain and even improve your health. For example, exercise and physical activity can help you manage and even prevent diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

9. I find it hard to make myself be active. What can I do?

Answer: You’re more likely to keep going if you choose activities you enjoy, if you can fit them into your schedule, if you believe you’ll benefit from them, and if you feel you can do them safely and correctly. Making a contract with a friend or family member also may help you keep your commitment. Setting small, realistic goals, checking your progress, and rewarding yourself when you reach your goal also can help. If you can stick with an exercise routine or physical activity for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making physical activity a regular habit.

10. How do I find time to be active?

Answer: There are a number of ways to fit exercise and physical activity into your schedule. For example, exercise first thing in the morning before your day gets too busy, or combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your day, such as walking the dog or doing household chores. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your daily routine to be active, look for three 10-minute periods.

11. What kind of equipment do I need? I can’t afford exercise equipment.

Answer: For many activities, you don’t need any equipment or special clothing. All you need for brisk walking, for example, is a pair of comfortable, non-skid shoes. For strength training, you can make your own weights from unbreakable household items. Many communities offer free or low-cost programs for seniors. Check with your local parks and recreation department or senior center about the facilities and programs in your area. In addition, some local fitness centers may offer senior discounts.

12. What if I have an injury or health problem that keeps me from exercising for a while? How do I know if it’s safe for me to start again?

Answer: If you miss a few days or weeks of exercise because of an injury or illness, don’t be discouraged. Once you recover, you can start again and be successful. Talk with your health care provider about when you can resume your regular routine. When you start again, begin at about half the effort you were putting in when you stopped, then gradually build back up. With a little time, you’ll be back at the same, or a better, fitness level.

13. I get tired easily. What is the best physical activity for me?

Answer: Once you become active, you’re likely to have more energy than before. As you do more, you also may notice that you can do things more easily, faster, and for longer than before. Regular, moderate physical activity can help reduce fatigue and even help you manage stress.

14. I’ve been exercising for some time now. Why am I not seeing any more real improvements?

Answer: As your body gets used to a level of exercise, you’ll need to vary your exercise or do more in order to see additional progress. If you are able, do your activities longer, farther, or harder. Do the activities more often, or add new physical activities to your routine.

15. I’m 81 years old. Should I be exercising, and will it make a difference at my age?

Answer: Yes, staying active is important throughout life. Regular exercise and physical activity help you stay strong and fit enough to keep doing the things you enjoy. No matter what your age, you can find activities that meet your fitness level and needs.

16. What kinds of shoes are best for walking or other types of physical activity?

Answer: Look for sensible shoes that support your feet. Make sure they have flat, non-skid soles and are comfortable. Avoid shoes with thick, heavy soles. If tying laces is difficult, look for shoes with Velcro® fasteners. When you buy shoes, try on several pairs so that you’re sure to get a pair that fits well.

17. Do I need to do other exercises in addition to my usual walking routine?

Answer: Most people tend to focus on one type of exercise or activity and think they’re doing enough. Try to do all four types — endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance — because each one has different benefits. Doing one kind also can improve your ability to do the others. In addition, variety helps reduce boredom and risk of injury.

18. Is it better to join an exercise class or group, or exercise on my own?

Answer: There are many ways to be active. The key is to find activities you truly enjoy. If you prefer individual activities, try swimming, gardening, or walking. Dancing or playing tennis may be for you if you enjoy two-person activities. If group activities appeal to you, try a sport such as basketball or join an exercise class. Some people find that going to a gym regularly or working with a fitness trainer helps them stay motivated.

19. If I’m overweight or obese, what kinds of physical activity can I do?

Answer: You can do all kinds of physical activities, including the four types of exercise shown later. Try walking, water exercises, dancing, or weight lifting. Anything that gets you moving — even for only a few minutes a day in the beginning — is a healthy start. Very large people may face special challenges. For example, you may not be able to bend or move easily, or you may feel self-conscious. Facing these challenges is hard — but it can be done. Feel good about what you can do, and pat yourself on the back for trying. It should get easier.

20. I don’t do any kind of physical activity, but I watch my diet and I’m not overweight. Isn’t that enough?

Answer: Eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight are only part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Being physically active can help you stay strong and fit enough to keep doing the things you enjoy and to stay independent as you get older. Together, healthy habits such as physical activity, a balanced diet, and not smoking will help you achieve the best of health.

 

Make A Plan

Some people find that writing an exercise and physical activity plan helps them keep their promise to be active. See if this works for you. Be sure the plan is realistic for you to do. You might even make a contract with a friend or family member to carry out your plan. Involving another person can help you keep your commitment.

Start out with realistic activities based on how physically active you are now.

Aim for moderate-intensity endurance activities on most or all days of the week. Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, but don’t exercise the same muscle group 2 days in a row. For example, do upper-body strength exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and lower-body strength exercises on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Or, you can do strength exercises of all of your muscle groups every other day. Don’t forget to include balance and flexibility exercises. You may find it helpful to keep a record of your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises.

When it comes to motivation, the first few months are crucial. If you can stick with physical activities you enjoy, it’s a good sign that you will be able to make exercise and physical activity a regular part of your everyday life.

Track your activities – Once you’ve put your physical activity plan into action, it’s a good idea to keep track of what you’re doing. Tracking your activities will help you stick with your plan and is a good way to make sure you’re including all four types of exercise (endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility) on a regular basis. A record of your activities also is a great way to see your progress over time and can motivate you to keep going.

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Click here for Different type of Exercises

Most important types of exercise –

Strengthening, Stretching, balance and Endurance (Aerobics) exercises will keep you active, mobile and feeling great. 

Exercise is key to good health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activity. “People do what they enjoy, or what feels the most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored. In reality, we should all be doing aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Here, we list what you need to know about each exercise type and offer examples to try, with a doctor’s okay.

Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they’re doing enough. Each type is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits. Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.

Though we’ve described each type separately, some activities fit into more than one category. For example, many endurance activities also build strength. Strength exercises also help improve balance.

1. Aerobic

  • Aerobic exercise, which speeds up your heart rate and breathing, is important for many body functions. It gives your heart and lungs a workout and increases endurance. If you’re too winded to walk up a flight of stairs, that’s a good indicator that you need more aerobic exercise to help condition your heart and lungs, and get enough blood to your muscles to help them work efficiently.
  • Aerobic exercise also helps relax blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, boost mood, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. Combined with weight loss, it can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, too. Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls.
  • Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. Try brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, or classes like step aerobics.

Marching in place  

Starting position: Stand tall with your feet together and arms at your sides.
Movement: Bend your elbows and swing your arms as you lift your knees.
March in a variety of styles:

  • March in place.
  • March four steps forward, and then four steps back.
  • March in place with feet wide apart.
  • Alternate marching feet wide and together (out, out, in, in).

Tips and techniques:

  • Look straight ahead, and keep your abs tight.
  • Breathe comfortably, and don’t clench your fists.

Make it easier: March slower and don’t lift your knees as high.
Make it harder: Lift your knees higher, march faster, and really pump your arms.

  1. Strength Training – As we age, we lose muscle mass. Strength training builds it back. Regular strength training will help you feel more confident and capable of daily tasks like carrying groceries, gardening, and lifting heavier objects around the house. Strength training will also help you stand up from a chair, get up off the floor, and go up stairs.

Strengthening your muscles not only makes you stronger, but also stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, assists with weight control, improves balance and posture, and reduces stress and pain in the lower back and joints.

A physical therapist can design a strength training program that you can do two to three times a week at a gym, at home, or at work. It will likely include body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges, and exercises involving resistance from a weight, a band, or a weight machine.

Remember, it’s important to feel some muscle fatigue at the end of the exercise to make sure you are working or training the muscle group effectively.

Squat :

Starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
Movement: Slowly bend your hips and knees, lowering your buttocks about eight inches, as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Let your arms swing forward to help you balance. Keep your back straight. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times.

Tips and techniques:

  • Shift your weight into your heels.
  • Squeeze your buttocks as you stand to help you balance.

Make it easier: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet hip-width apart and arms crossed over your chest. Tighten your abdominal muscles and stand up. Slowly sit down with control.
Make it harder: Lower farther, but not past your thighs being parallel to the floor.

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  1. Stretching – Stretching helps maintain flexibility. We often overlook that in youth, when our muscles are healthier. But aging leads to a loss of flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Muscles shorten and don’t function properly. That increases the risk for muscle cramps and pain, muscle damage, strains, joint pain, and falling, and it also makes it tough to get through daily activities, such as bending down to tie your shoes.

Likewise, stretching the muscles routinely makes them longer and more flexible, which increases your range of motion and reduces pain and the risk for injury.

Aim for a program of stretching every day or at least three or four times per week.

Warm up your muscles first, with a few minutes of dynamic stretches—repetitive motion such as marching in place or arm circles. That gets blood and oxygen to muscles, and makes them amenable to change.

Then perform static stretches (holding a stretch position for up to 60 seconds) for the calves, the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and lower back.

However, don’t push a stretch into the painful range. That tightens the muscle and is counterproductive.

 

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Single knee rotation :

Starting position: Lie on your back with your legs extended on the floor.
Movement: Relax your shoulders against the floor. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on your right thigh just above the knee. Tighten your abdominal muscles, then grasp your left knee with your right hand and gently pull it across your body toward your right side.
Hold 10 to 30 seconds.
Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Tips and techniques:

  • Stretch to the point of mild tension, not pain.
  • Try to keep both shoulders flat on the floor.
  • To increase the stretch, look in the direction opposite to your knee.

4 Balance Exercise – Improving your balance makes you feel steadier on your feet and helps prevent falls. It’s especially important as we get older, when the systems that help us maintain balance—our vision, our inner ear, and our leg muscles and joints—tend to break down. “The good news is that training your balance can help prevent and reverse these losses,” says Wilson.

Many senior centers and gyms offer balance-focused exercise classes, such as tai chi or yoga. It’s never too early to start this type of exercise, even if you feel you don’t have balance problems.

You can also go to a physical therapist, who can determine your current balance abilities and prescribe specific exercises to target your areas of weakness. That’s especially important if you’ve had a fall or a near-fall, or if you have a fear of falling.

Typical balance exercises include standing on one foot or walking heel to toe, with your eyes open or closed. The physical therapist may also have you focus on joint flexibility, walking on uneven surfaces, and strengthening leg muscles with exercises such as squats and leg lifts. Get the proper training before attempting any of these exercises at home.

Standing Knee lift :

Starting position: Stand up straight with your feet together and your hands on your hips.

Movement: Lift your left knee toward the ceiling as high as is comfortable or until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold, then slowly lower your knee to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Then perform the exercise 3-5 times with your right leg.

Tips and techniques:

  • Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back.
  • Lift your arms out to your sides to help you balance, if needed.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles throughout.
  • Tighten the buttock of your standing leg for stability.
  • Breathe comfortably.

Make it easier: Hold on to the back of a chair or counter with one hand.

Make it harder: Lower your leg all the way to the floor without touching it. Just as it is about to touch, lift your leg up again.

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5 Anaerobic

Anaerobic exercises increase the force your muscle contractions can generate, and may increase your strength, speed or power output. Weightlifting, sprinting and polymetrics are examples of anaerobic exercise. This type of exercise involves performing fewer, and more intense, muscle contractions than aerobic exercise. For example, heavy weightlifting exercises exhaust your muscles after fewer contractions, because each contraction is particularly intense. Anaerobic exercises, which exhaust your muscles in 15 or fewer repetitions, may provide optimal strength gains. Increasing the power of each contraction may require exercises that exhaust your muscles in under six repetitions.

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6 Cycling for weight loss

It’s challenging, sociable and offers a great workout. Suitable for everyone, any age or level of fitness, cycling helps weight loss as it burns calories, improves health and gets you out and about.

More and more cycle paths are being opened and biking to lose weight is becoming a more comfortable and enjoyable option. What a great way to get out in the fresh air and help your weight loss goals!

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 7 Spinning – A high calorie burning workout

Spinning is a high calorie-burning workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. It uses special spin cycles that, unlike stationary bikes, perform like road bikes. For this reason, spin cycles offer the exerciser a more complete workout.  Spin cyclists, sit in a racing position and lean forward toward the handlebars. When resistance is at its greatest during the spin workout, the cyclist is free to stand up out of the saddle, using muscles in the back, chest, upper arms (biceps and triceps), buttocks (gluteus maximus), entire legs, and abdomen. With more muscle groups engaged, the heart works harder as it sends oxygen-rich blood where it’s needed.

Although spinning requires a moderate financial investment compared with walking or running, its superior results make the investment worthwhile. Spinning workout provides a very high heart rate response and high calorie expenditure.

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8 Jump Rope

Burn 135 calories in just 10 minutes with this jump rope workout that  sculpt your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs.

How to jump rope –

  • Jump 1 to 2 inches off floor, giving rope just enough space to slip under feet — only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
  • Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
  • If you tire out before you finish the workout, drop the rope, but keep arms and legs going. Work up to using the rope full-time.
  • To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles — they shouldn’t go past your armpits.

Different type of rope exercise are single jump, Step touch, front back, Double jump, Slalom, running and jumping jack

9 Stair Climber 

A stair climber could be the secret to burning major calories during your workout. Stair climber machine, step mill, StairMaster, stair stepper machine, stair workout machine, step machine, step climber—there are tons of names for this machine. It became a fan favorite after being introduced in the 1980s due to its low impact nature. It’s also popular due to its ability to increase both endurance and stamina.

Stair climber workouts allow you to burn calories while developing strength and power. You can modify to make your stair climber workout more challenging or add variability, such as intervals, taking stairs one step at a time in a workout for beginners, or exploring the challenge of two or three steps at a time.

If you have any lower back or knee pain, warm up with basic mobility exercises for your foot, ankle, hips, and spine prior to getting on the stair climber. Foam roll your calves, inner thighs, quads, glutes, and mid-back. This will hydrate your tissues and help create more space between your joints so you can climb more without pain, tightness, or stiffness.

 

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10 Step Aerobics –

Step aerobics is a classic cardio workout. It’s lasted for decades because it delivers results.

The “step” is a 4-inch to 12-inch raised platform. You step up, around, and down from the platform in different patterns to boost your heart rate and breathing, and strengthen your muscles.

Step aerobics moves range from simple to advanced. The most basic is a step-up, step-down. Once you get more experienced, you do moves that take you over the top and around the step forwards, sideways, and backwards.

Most people take step aerobics classes at a gym, with an instructor showing you each move. The instructor and the upbeat music motivate you to keep going.

Your class will start with a warm-up, followed by choreographed routines on the step, and a cool down at the end. In some classes, you’ll use hand weights for strength-training moves off the step.

Areas it targets –

  • Core: Yes. Your core muscles stabilize you as you’re stepping. You’ll also burn fat and get stronger abs.
  • Arms: Yes. Your lower body is the star of step aerobics, but you may also use your arms and do strength- training exercises with weights specifically for your arms.
  • Legs: Yes. Stepping up and down works your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
  • Glutes: Yes. All those step-ups strengthen and tone your buttocks.
  • Back: Yes. You’ll use the muscles in your lower back with each step.

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11 Calisthenics –

The word calisthenics comes from the Greek words kallos (beauty) and sthenos (strength). Indeed, there’s a timeless beauty to training for strength and flexibility via pushing, pulling, lunging, and lifting movements using little to no equipment. When performed in a continuous, rigorous fashion, calisthenics train up your strength and aerobic capacity.

Calisthenics prescribed by generations of drill sergeants and gym teachers have been rebranded in recent years as body-weight exercises. Much of what constitutes CrossFit, boot camps, and obstacle race training is simply calisthenics, except with better marketing and packaging.

Calisthenics is best described as a workout mostly using your own body weight. By training it, not only will you develop an amazing physique but you will also gain superb body control by learning a range of advanced movements. To begin the only things you need are motivation and a structured program. Keep in mind that nothing comes easy, but if you are looking for a passion that will dramatically change your life – Calisthenics is the way to go.

If You have just 15 minutes in the morning while traveling, not even enough time to venture to the  gym. You have time for three sets of these.

Pushups (10), Lateral Lunge (10 per side), Plank (One Minute), Squats (10), Crunches (20).

The great thing about calisthenics is that you can do them anywhere.  They’re a great way to exercise and stay active all day long.

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12 Circuit Training –

Circuit training is a style of workout where you cycle through several exercises (usually five to 10) targeting different muscle groups with minimal rest in between. The result is a workout that taxes your muscular strength and endurance and your cardio respiratory system.

Why Circuit train

There are many reasons to use circuit training including:

  • Time – circuits shorten gym sessions and are time efficient.
  • Lean up – training with circuits in a particular way has been shown to get folks ripped. Explained further below.
  • Improves conditioning and muscular endurance.
  • Works whole body – contrary to popular belief there is nothing wrong in doing full body sessions 2-4 times per week.
  • Circuit training can be done outside the gym and without equipment.

While circuit training has a ton of benefits, figuring out how to set up an effective circuit workout on your own can be intimidating at first. That’s why we pulled together six easy steps to help you build your perfect circuit workout.

  1. Select your time limit.
  2. Pick an upper body exercise – Shoulder press, Pushups, Bent-over row Etc.,
  3. Pic a lower body exercise – Forward lunge, Calf raise, Sumo Squat Etc.,
  4. Pick a compound exercise – Jumping lunge,mountain climbers, Bench hop-over Etc.,
  5. Choose a sprint for 1 minute – Running, Rowing, Cycling Etc.,
  6. Rest for 1 minute – You’ve earned it. Let your heart rate come down and then go back through the circuit as many times as you’d like for a complete workout.

 

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13 Swimming –

Swimming is an activity that burns lots of calories, is easy on the joints, supports your weight, builds muscular strength and endurance. It also improves cardiovascular fitness, cools you off and refreshes you in summer, and is one that you can do safely into old age. Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity.

Different type of swimming styles comprises of Breaststroke, Backstroke, Butterfly and Freestyle ( Crawl ). The breaststroke and butterfly are more difficult to learn than the backstroke and crawl.

Breaststroke –  The basics are that your arms pull, you breathe, you kick (arms alternate with the kick), and you glide. Breaststroke involves form that causes your body to bob up and down as you glide forward through the water.Its not for learners.

Backstroke – The backstroke is easier than the butterfly or breaststroke and similar to the crawl in that you use an alternate windmill arm stroke and flutter kick. Two keys to a proper backstroke are that your arms move with equal strength, otherwise you will swim off to one side, and that your body rolls from side to side so that your arms catch enough water to propel you forward.

Butterfly – Like the breaststroke, this is a difficult stroke and not recommended for beginners because it requires perfect timing and a good deal of strength. During the stroke, the legs move together in a dolphin kick (imagine a mermaid), the arms move together to push the water downward and backward, and the torso undulates like an earthworm as the body moves forward through the water.

Freestyle – This is the most popular stroke and the easiest for beginners to learn. It is a simple flutter kick and windmill arm motion, like the backstroke, only on your belly. The most difficult part is coordinating the breathing since your face is in the water most of the time.

 

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14 Rowing machine –

While the rowing machine is an incredibly efficient, full-body workout that allows the athlete to build aerobic endurance and muscular strength at the same time, a lack of proper technique and training is common among gym-goers and can lead to injuries and misuse.

In order to get the most out of your time on the rowing machine you should:

  • Incorporate these erg workouts into your fitness routine.
  • Make sure to avoid the following common mistakes and always keep an eye on technical focuses during the workout, even when you’re feeling fatigued.
  • Take some time to get to know the machine itself and understand the way the screen settings work.

Experienced collegiate crews make the rowing stroke look easy and pretty darn effortless. But make no mistake, the rowing stroke is nuanced, complex, and can take years to master on the water. Luckily for those of you at the gym, the erg is a far simpler machine that can be perfected with some basic knowledge of technique and a little bit of practice

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15 Weight Training –

This workout is designed for overall health and fitness gains of a healthy, adult individual who has never lifted weights before, or who is very inexperienced at it.

Weight training involves using some type of resistance to do a variety of exercises designed to challenge all your muscle groups, including your chest, back, shoulder, biceps, triceps, core, and lower body.

The idea is that, when you use more resistance than your body normally handles, your muscles get stronger, along with your bones and connective tissue, all while building lean muscle tissue.

Weight training doesn’t mean you have to use things like dumbbells or machines, although those work. Anything that provides resistance can do the job—resistance bands, barbells, a heavy backpack, or, if you’re a beginner, your own body weight might be enough to get you started.

Benefits of Weight training –

  • Help raise your metabolism—Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
  • Strengthen bones, especially important for women.
  • Strengthen connective tissue—As we get older, we need to protect our tendons and ligaments, and a strong body can help you do that.
  • Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance—This makes everyday activities much easier.
  • Help you avoid injuries.
  • Increase your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Improve coordination and balance

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16 Brisk Walking  –

Brisk walking is moderate-intensity exercise and has more benefits for fitness and reducing health risks than walking at an easy pace. How fast you must walk for it to be considered a brisk pace depends on your fitness level. Learn what you can do to improve your walking technique so you can boost your average walking speed.

A brisk walking pace is 3.0 miles per hour or about 20 minutes per mile, which is about 5 kilometers per hour or 12 minutes per kilometer. You can calculate your walking pace after measuring the time it takes you to walk a mile or a kilometer. Walking speedometers and apps that use GPS or step cadence also can be used to display your walking speed.

Brisk walking refers to your exertion rather than your speed. Exertion is measured by your heart rate and breathing rate. For your walking pace to be brisk, you need to be breathing harder than usual. While you should be able to speak in full sentences, you shouldn’t be able to sing.

Walking techniques for faster walking –

Walking posture –

  1.  Stand up straight, without arching you back.
  2. Do not lean forward or back.
  3. Keep your eyes forward and don’t look down. Focus 20 feet ahead.
  4. Your head should be up so your chin is parallel to the ground, reducing strain on your neck and back.
  5. Your head should be up so your chin is parallel to the ground, reducing strain on your neck and back.
  6. Suck in your stomach. Keep your abdominal muscles firm but not overly tightened.
  7. Tuck in your behind by rotating your hips forward slightly. This will keep you from arching your back.
  8. Your head should remain level as you walk, all motion should take place from the shoulders down.
  9. Relax your jaw to avoid tension in your neck.

Walking don’ts

  1. Do not over stride.2. Do not use too vigorous arm movements3. Do not look at the ground4. Do not hunch your shoulders5. Do not carry hand weights or place weights on your ankles

When you are able to walk briskly for 15 to 30 minutes, you can use your new brisk walking technique to build fitness and ensure you are getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

17. Box Jump –

This is a dynamic exercise that only requires an elevated surface. Once you figure that part out, you’re ready to break a serious sweat. Just jump up onto the box/park bench/bed/etc. and then jump down again. Repeat this until your lower body is destroyed.

18. Plank –

Plank is possibly the best exercise to strengthen your core. Regularly performing different plank variations for 15 minutes will improve your posture and flexibility, reduces belly fat, builds stamina, uplift your mood, and even reduce back pain. In fact, people who consistently plank stand tall amongst the tallest, look the best amongst the best dressed, and feel confident amongst the figuresque!

To do this exercise you have to hold yourself up off the ground. You can also modify the exercise by turning to the side and holding yourself on one elbow. This is one of the best things you can do for your core.

Plank exercises – Traditional plank, Forearm plank, Side elbow plank, Star forearm plank, Hip Hips, Hip twists, Side arm plank, Star side arm plank, Rolling plank, Plank with leg lift, Plank up-downs, Plank with oblique crunch, Swiss ball plank, Tummy tucks, Plank row, Plank with legs on exercise ball, Plank pikes, Reverse plank, Reverse plank with leg lift, Plank with donkey kicks, halfway plank,.

Common plank rules –

  • Keep your shoulder blades pulled down.
  • Your legs, buttocks, and hips should be in the same line.
  • Keep your core and glutes engaged.
  • Do not strain your neck. Keep it in a neutral position, look down at the floor or up at the ceiling.
  • Refrain from curving your lower back as much as possible.
19. Dancercise –
Dance can be one of the best exercises to tone your body and strip you of fat, without feeling like you’re slaving away in the gym. Great for toning up those abs and building glutes and leg muscles, dancercise is a great way to add a bit of fun and variety into your normal cardio training. You will certainly feel the benefits of burning some calories and injecting some fun through popular music routines. Dance classes are a lot of fun and tend to be very sociable – plus the high concentration factor means you’ll hardly be aware that you are doing a ‘workout’. That said, there are so many different types of dance to try that you are sure to get the hang of one of them.
 20. Extend –
Extend is perfect for the older generation and those with disabilities to have some fun and add a bit of exercise to their routine, without the hard impact of regular fitness classes. Extend is a great way to include the benefits of a fitness class without the strain of regular classes. Carried out in a chair, you may think that a workout sitting down isn’t much of a workout, but even those with good fitness levels can work hard and feel that burn whilst sitting down.

21. Fusion –

Getting bored of your bog standard spin or yoga class, then fusion is the answer for you, fusing two or more types of exercise together to make you work twice as hard. The combinations of different fitness classes means you get double the benefits, anywhere from fitness and endurance to flexibility and mobility, anything and everything involved in exercise is improved in some way by fusion’s combinatory nature. Anything from Hydroride, Piloxing and Disco yoga, the combinations are endless, it’s just about finding a class that appeals and works best for you.

22. Gymnastics –

Gymnastics can be great to gain overall body strength, flexibility and balance. Unlike weight training, gymnastics is a great way to gain overall body strength in one session, as you’re not just using the one or two muscles with resistance, instead you are fully engaging entire body strength, particularly working that core. Gymnastics is a great way to sculpt and tone your body, burning those calories with calisthenic exercises, whilst limbering you up and helping you into the splits in no time!

23. Insanity –

Combining cardio, resistance and circuit training, using no gym equipment but purely body weight resistance, insanity does what it says on the label, work you body to insane levels. As one of the hardest workouts, insanity pushes your body to the max in set routines over weeks, using three-minute intervals and 30 second recovery periods. Insanity increases your cardio and strength intensity with high-impact exercises and demanding interval programs. Perfect for those who have limited schedules and cannot find time to go the gym, insanity is perfect for working the body hard without the time or money commitment.

24. jumping –

Jumping is the crazy new fitness class that involves a high cardio workout of basic choreographed jumping around on an individual trampoline to fast paced music. As an exciting new form of fitness. Jumping is a great way to increase your cardio whilst working the legs and bum. Any youtube video will show a high energy leg workout as the class does some fast paced jumps whilst holding on the handles. Guaranteed to burn those calories whilst working those muscles.

25. Kickboxercise –

Boxercise and kickboxercise are derivatives of boxing and kickboxing and use the drills and techniques of their respective sports in a non-contact setting, usually in the form of a circuit. For example, you might find yourself shadow boxing, skipping, using punch bags or teaming up with a partner to punch or kick focus pads. Both are considered one of the best all-round high intensity exercise classes to get you in great shape. One study found that people felt more calm, more focused and less anxious after a kickboxing class. Taking out all that aggression on a punch bag can therefore be a great stress reliever!

26. Nia Technique –

Nia is a new form of exercise thats ideal form of low-impact dance exercise, engaging both the mind and body through cardio movements and strength training. Concerning 52 dance movements, inspired by a variety of dance forms, including modern, tai chi and taekwondo to a multitude of music genres, whilst mixing it up with a bit of yoga. If you’re getting bored of the standard dance classes, nia-technique is a less impactive and alternative version of regular dance exercise, whilst still engaging the cardio and strength forms of exercise.

27. Pilates –

Similar to yoga, Pilates uses controlled movements, calming the mind, but demanding more of your muscles and control than the balance centred yoga moves. Pilates usually involves alternating and repeating movements whilst holding your body and core still and controlled. This exercise is perfect for cooling down after some cardio, yet still engaging your muscles for a hard workout, whilst clearing the mind and learning good breath control.

28. Rope Training –

Such a simple form of training, but rope classes are a great way to include an intense muscle workout whilst having a bit of fun! Let’s face it waving big ropes around as fast as you can for a short period of time is a very intense workout, feeling it in the upper body immediately. Plus when working together the motivation bouncing off each other is ideal to get those arms pumping faster. Sometimes trying new things in the gym can be daunting, for fear of doing it wrong or looking weak and feeble, but joining a rope class is a great way to get started without the funny looks you may get in the gym. 

 

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Click here for Health Benefits

Everyone is looking to get an edge in their personal and professional lives. And while most people know that exercise can make you feel good and help keep you sharp, few people realize how deep the benefits really go, especially for the brain.

Not only is exercise the most scientifically proven cognitive enhancer, the brain benefits of exercise can touch almost every aspect of your life.

Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia.
    1. Exercise is great for your brain : It’s linked to less depression, better memory and quicker learning. Studies also suggest that exercise is, as of now, the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
    2. You might get happier – Countless studies show that many types of exercise, from walking to cycling, make people feel better and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain—serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine—that dull pain, lighten mood and relieve stress.
    3. It might make you age slower – Exercise has been shown to lengthen lifespan by as much as five years. A small new study suggests that moderate-intensity exercise may slow down the aging of cells. As humans get older and their cells divide over and over again, their telomeres—the protective caps on the end of chromosomes—get shorter.
    4. It’ll make your skin look better – Aerobic exercise revs up blood flow to the skin, delivering oxygen and nutrients that improve skin health and even help wounds heal faster. “That’s why when people have injuries, they should get moving as quickly as possible—not only to make sure the muscle doesn’t atrophy, but to make sure there’s good blood flow to the skin. The skin also serves as a release point for heat. The heat in the muscle transfers to the blood, which shuttles it to the skin; it can then escape into the atmosphere.
    5. Amazing things can happen in just a few minutes – Psychologists have proved that micro workout of about 10 minutes with few seconds interval, carry hard-as-you can exercise followed by brief recoveries. This option resulted in identical improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one workout was five times longer than the other. If you’re willing and able to push hard, you can get away with surprisingly little exercise.
    6. It can help you recover from major illness – Even very vigorous exercise—like the interval workouts can, in fact, be appropriate for people with different chronic conditions, from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure. Few hundred Clinical trials discovered  that for people recovering from a stroke, exercise was even more effective at helping them rehabilitate.
    7. Your FAT cells will shrink – The body uses both carbohydrates and fats as energy sources. But after consistent aerobic exercise training, the body gets better at burning fat, which requires a lot of oxygen to convert it into energy. One of the benefits of exercise training is that our cardiovascular system gets stronger and better at delivering oxygen, so we are able to metabolize more fat as an energy source. As a result, your fat cells—which produce the substances responsible for chronic low-grade inflammation—shrink, and so does inflammation.
    8. It is good for your muscles and bones- Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. Physical activity like weight lifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake.

As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age. Exercise helps build bone density when you’re younger, in addition to helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Interestingly, high-impact exercise, such as gymnastics or running, or odd-impact sports, such as soccer and basketball, have been shown to promote a higher bone density than non-impact sports like swimming and cycling.

  1. It can increase your energy level – Exercise can be a real energy booster for healthy people, as well as those suffering from various medical conditions.

One study found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue. Furthermore, exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses.

In fact, exercise seems to be more effective at combating CFS than other treatments, including passive therapies like relaxation and stretching, or no treatment at all.

  1. It can help with relaxation and sleep quality – Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better. In regards to sleep quality, the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep.

Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during    exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep

  1. It can reduce pain – Chronic pain can be debilitating, but exercise can actually help reduce it. In fact, for many years, the recommendation for treating chronic pain was rest and inactivity. However, recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic pain. A review of several studies indicates that exercise helps participants with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life
  2. It can promote a better sex life – Exercise has been proven to boost sex drive. Engaging in regular exercise can strengthen the cardiovascular system, improve blood circulation, tone muscles and enhance flexibility, all of which can improve your sex life. Physical activity can improve sexual performance and sexual pleasure, as well as increase the frequency of sexual activity.
  3. Learn to set -and achieve –goals – Whether it’s deciding to run a 10K, increasing the amount you can deadlift or increasing your bike mileage, setting and achieving fitness goals is an incredible self-confidence boost. By discovering the power of goal setting by committing to reaching an exercise milestone and then working out just how you’ll achieve it, you can enjoy the benefits of exercise and the confidence that comes along with it.
  4. Reduce your risk of heart disease naturally – Get out of the medicine cabinet and reduce your risk of heart disease the natural way. During various trials it was found that no statistically detectable differences existed between those who exercised and those who were given medications in the prevention of coronary heart disease and prediabetes.

In fact, in those patients who already had suffered a stroke, physical activity interventions were more effective than drug treatment. Work with your doctor to set up an exercise plan that works for you.

  1. Increase strength and flexibility – If strength training and stretching aren’t a part of your fitness routine, it’s time to incorporate them. It increases your body’s flexibility, helping everyday tasks become easier. It also sends more blood to your muscles, improving circulation, and can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also increased muscle helps your body burn calories more efficiently long after your workout is over. Just a few minutes a day of deep stretching can make a difference.
  2. Improves memory – Aerobic exercise, like running or swimming, boosts the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning, in women with a recognized risk factor for dementia. Besides looking to brain food to boost your memory and mental skills.
  3. Increases Self Confidence – Exercising can help you feel better about yourself — no matter what type of workout you do or how fit you are. One study found that ‘the simple act of exercise and not fitness itself can convince you that you look better’. With so much emphasis on our outward appearances in society today, it’s comforting to know that one of the benefits of exercise helps people feel better about themselves and how they look naturally.
  4. Perform better at work – Could the key to being more productive and happier at work lie in exercise? One study thinks so. It found that those employees who worked out before work or during their lunch hour reported feeling less stress and being happier and more productive than days when they skipped a workout. Not only that, but they also performed better on exercise days. It’s the perfect excuse for a lunchtime stroll or walking meeting.
  5. Help you quit smoking – Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can also help limit the weight you might gain when you stop smoking.
  6. Help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain.
  7. Reduce your risk of some cancers, including colon, breast, uterine, and lung
  8. Reduce your risk of falls. For older adults, research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities in addition to moderate-intensity aerobic activity can help reduce your risk of falling.
  9. Fights Depression – Depression is one of the most common mental conditions that affects people worldwide. A large meta-analysis  analyzed the effect of exercise on alleviating symptoms of depression. Reviews  showed that exercise was found to be just as effective as the other alternatives.
  10. Enjoy the great outdoors – For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more . Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park.
  11. Prevent cognitive decline – Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.
  12. Alleviate anxiety – The warm and fuzzy chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity.
  13. Tap into creativity – Supercharge post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors and interacting with nature. Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.
  14. Inspire others – Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy. Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving!
  15. Exercise improves your executive function – Exercise in multiple studies found positive effects for all ages in normal healthy participants. Overall, researchers found that exercise is a simple way for healthy people to optimize their higher order brain functions.
  16. Gives you more willpower – Exercise is one path that can increase your willpower. Short bouts of exercise had a significant affect across allage groups in areas of executive function, along with inhibition and interference control – which is better known as willpower.
  17. Increases pain tolerance – It has been pretty well documented that intense exercise can dull pain in the short term. Your body releases endorphins and other chemicals during and shortly after exercise that will decrease pain in the body.
  18. Helps you eat healthier – If you’ve ever started an exercise program and stuck with it for a period of time, you may have noticed your eating habits changing as well. Apparently this is a happy side effect of exercise.
  19. Jumpstart learning – There are some other related exercise benefits that are most likely responsible for improved learning. The sharper memory, an increase in attention, and exercises ability to spur the growth of new brains cells would be the big ones.  They can all play a vital role in helping one learn and retain new information.
  20. Increases your productivity – Exercise impacts more than your academic or personal life. It can also have a positive effect on your professional life as well. Researchers found that people reported several positive effects in the workplace from working out during their break or if they exercised before work. The benefits included better time management, better mood, and increased employee tolerance. On days were employees didn’t exercise, the benefits were not seen.

 

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Click here for Health Benefits in brief

Below are 100 benefits of exercise some of them are covered in detail under benefits of exercise.

  1. Reduces blood pressure
    2. Reduces cholesterol levels
    3. Increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol in the blood)
    4. Reduces chances for coronary heart disease
    5. Increases efficiency of heart and lowers resting heart rate
    6. Makes heart muscles stronger
    7. Improves contractile function of the heart
    8. Strengthens lungs
    9. Improves respiratory function
    10. Improves cardiovascular endurance and performance
    11. Provides more oxygen to body, including organs and muscles
    12. Provides more nutrient supply to the body
    13. Reduces chances for stroke
    14. Helps to alleviate varicose veins
    15. Increases metabolic rate
    16. Stimulates digestion
    17. Makes digestion more efficient
    18. Stimulates intestinal movements, resulting in better elimination of wastes
    19. Reduces changes for colon cancer
    20. Strengthens and develops muscles
    21. Increases efficiency of muscles
    22. Benefits joints due to stronger muscles
    23. Helps maintain cartilage health in the joints
    24. Eases muscular tension
    25. Alleviates back problems
    26. Increases muscle flexible and agility
    27. Improves speed of muscle contraction and reaction time
    28. More healthy skin due to the fact that skin pores open more during exercise, resulting in more efficient removal of dirt and impurities
    29. Burns up and removes toxins from body
    30. Increases blood flow to the brain
    31. Stimulates growth of nerve cells in memory center of the brain
    32. Improves various indexes of psychological functioning
    33. Enhances brain functioning by increasing the amount of oxygen available to it
    34. Increases sense of well being
    35. Increases resistance to pain because endorphin levels are elevated
    36. Increases sense of excitement because hormone epinephrine is elevated
    37. Alleviates boredom
    38. Lessens worry and tension
    39. Reduces stress by removing lactic acid from blood
    40. Alleviates anxiety and/or pain because tranquilizing effect of exercise lasts for several hours
    41. Enhances mood
    42. Reduces anxiety more effectively and safely than anxiety-reducing medication
    43. Boosts energy
    44. Improves self-esteem and self-confidence since body and mind are improved and strengthened
    45. Increases sense of self control
    46. Provides source of pleasure and fun
    47. Releases anger and negative emotions
    48. Reduces depression more effective than short or long-term psychotherapy
    49. Enhances coordination, power, timing and balance
    50. Boosts immune system functioning
    51. Reduces severity of asthma
    52. Improves functioning of organs
    53. Can relieve tension headaches
    54. Can reduce the urge to smoke because the adrenaline rush and stress relief from a brief workout can replace similar feelings smokers get from tobacco
    55. Burns calories
    56. Causes body to use calories more efficiently
    57. Causes weight loss
    58. Allows one to keep lost weight from returning
    59. Can act as an appetite suppressant
    60. Decreases fat tissue
    61. Improves physical appearance
    62. Enhances one’s image and opinion of the body
    63. Improves bone density and prevents osteoporosis
    64. Reduces joint discomfort
    65. Help manage arthritis
    66. Allows one to feel better about their bodies and enjoy sex more as a result
    67. Provides enhanced ability to achieve orgasm
    68. Allows for greater sexual satisfaction
    69. Can reduce or eliminate impotence due to increased blood flow
    70. Prevents or manages type 2 diabetes
    71. Helps insulin work better, lowering blood sugar
    72. Has a significant salutary effect on fibrinogen levels
    73. Alleviates menstrual cramps
    74. Improves athletic performance
    75. Can add years to one’s life
    76. Enhances quality of life
    77. Reduces pain and disability
    78. Improves glycogen storage
    79. Reduces risk of developing certain types of cancers of the colon, prostate, uterine lining and breast and other chronic diseases
    80. Regulates hormones
    81. Allows you to overcome illness or injury more quickly
    82. Can lessen medical bills
    83. Reduces anxiety by causing fewer worries about health
    84. Can allow for better performance at work
    85. Allows one to stay independent as they get older
    86. Can keep health care insurance premiums lower
    87. Makes one more attractive to potential mates
    88. Allows for healthy pregnancy
    89. Increases energy and ability to do things one likes
    90. Allows you to be more productive and less stymied by stress and depression
    91. Can help make possible increased income due to increased energy
    92. Allows one to become more familiar with their body and its functioning
    93. Can stimulate mentally
    94. Lets one eat more without gaining weight
    95. Provides a healthy break from work
    96. Adds variety and spice to life
    97. Gives one increased ability to defend oneself and loved ones if needed
    98. Provides a natural high afterwards, such as runners’ high
    99. Provides heightened alertness
    100. Reduces inflammation.

 

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out.

Stay Safe

Almost anyone, at any age, can safely do some kind of exercise and physical activity. You can be active even if you have a long-term condition, like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. Staying safe while you exercise is always important, whether you’re just starting a new activity or you haven’t been active for a long time. Be sure to review the specific safety tips related to endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises.

Talking with Your Healthcare Provider

Most people don’t need to check with their health care provider first before doing physical activity. However, you may want to talk with your health care provider if you aren’t used to energetic activity and you want to start a vigorous exercise program or significantly increase your physical activity. Your activity level is an important topic to discuss with your health care provider as part of your ongoing health care.

Ask how physical activity can help you, whether you should avoid certain activities, and how to modify exercises to fit your situation.

Other reasons to talk with your health care provider:

  • Any new symptoms you haven’t yet discussed
  • Dizziness, shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • The feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or fluttering
  • Blood clots
  • An infection or fever with muscle aches
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
  • Joint swelling
  • A bleeding or detached retina, eye surgery, or laser treatment
  • A hernia
  • Recent hip or back surgery

Keep Going – You’ve made a plan to be more active. You may have even started to exercise. But how do you keep going? How do you make exercise and physical activity a permanent part of your daily life?

Set yourself up to succeed right from the start.

  • Make exercise a priority. Put physical activity on your “to do” list every day.
  • Make it easy and fun. Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace a bit.
  • Make it social. Ask a friend or family member to be your exercise buddy.
  • Make it happen. Choose to be active in many places and many ways.

And don’t worry if your exercise routine is interrupted. You can start again and be successful!

Be sure to set realistic goals, regularly check your progress and celebrate your successes. And don’t forget why you’re being active. Focus on the benefits, like feeling stronger and having more energy. Soon, you’ll notice that you can do things easier, faster, or for longer than before. If you can stick with an exercise routine or physical activity for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making it a regular habit.

And, of course — record your physical activity, track your progress, and find new ways to be physically active.

 

4 months ago General Health

Vital Vitamins

Image result for images of vitamins chart

Your Health Motto “EATING RIGHT IS MORE IMPORTANT THEN EATING MORE”

Vitamins are compounds that are essential to life and health in small amounts. Some vitamins are synthesised by humans and animals, but the key source is from the diet. A varied and balanced diet should supply all the vitamins required for good health. Vitamins were discovered through research over many years.

Vitamins allow your body to grow and develop. They also play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. Cells in your body perform chemical reactions that keep you functioning properly. A vitamin is a molecule that your body needs in order to carry out certain reactions. Because it can’t create vitamin molecules for itself, you have to get them via food and drink.

There are 13 in total: Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folic acid. The best way to meet your vitamin needs is to eat a balanced diet containing a variety of foods. If you can’t meet your needs through food alone, you may require dietary supplements. Seek guidance from your doctor or dietician before taking supplements, however.

We are eating too much saturated fat and sugar and not eating enough fiber and certain vitamins and many minerals which are important for health. Vitamins perform a whole bunch of different functions in your body, from assisting in bone growth to helping convert food into energy. So getting your vitamins from food is always preferred. In whole foods, vitamins come prepackaged with other beneficial substances, like fiber and phytonutrients. These are the natural compounds that give plants their colors, flavors, and texture — growing evidence suggests that they can keep us healthy and prevent diseases.

On the Vitamin Trail-  So where do you start if you want to make sure you’re getting enough of the right vitamins? Firstly, take a look at your diet. When it comes to fruit and veg, it’s a good idea to try to ‘eat the rainbow’ every day. Different coloured vegetables often pack a different vitamin punch. So try to include something green, something red, something orange or white at meals throughout the day (think lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and onions!)

Minimise alcohol and smoking – both habits that destroy nutrients in our bodies – and think about whether you have any particular health concerns – such as growing older, motherhood, dull skin, stiff joints and so on. Then you might want to consider how to take in more of the nutrients that might assist with that problem or life stage. If in doubt, always talk to a health professional, and remember to eat up all your greens!

Click here for Discovery of Vitamins

Scientists worked out that there must be agents in foods that were vital to health. These became known as vitamins, from ‘vital amine’. This was because scientists originally thought that all vitamins were from the family of nitrogen-containing compounds known as amines

During the 18th and 19th century, scientists carried out studies on animals, and identified the activity of the first vitamin, antirachitic A (now called vitamin D), which cured rickets in rats. The vitamin itself was identified in 1922 as part of research into rickets.

The B vitamins are a group of eight vitamins, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. Initially thought to be a single vitamin, vitamin B was discovered around 1915. The individual B vitamins were isolated over a number of years:

  • Vitamin B1 in 1912
  • Vitamin B2 in 1926
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) in 1937
  • Vitamin B6 in 1934
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) in 1933.

Vitamin A was next – it was discovered in 1917 by two groups of researchers in the USA and first synthesised in 1947 by Dutch chemists.

Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, isolated in 1932 and synthesised in 1934, making this the first synthetic vitamin to be available to people to take as a supplement. Vitamin E was discovered in 1922.

Vitamin K was discovered by German scientists in 1929, and was named the ‘Koagulationsvitamin’ (so vitamin ‘K’) because it affected the clotting of blood. It was synthesised in 1939.

Vitamins can be divided into two types – fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins A (see ‘Vitamin A’), D (see ‘Vitamin D’), E (see ‘Vitamin E’), and K (see ‘Other Vitamins’), are found in meat (especially liver), dairy products, eggs, oily fish, nuts, seeds, grains and leafy green vegetables (vitamin K is also made by some bacteria in the gut). Vitamin D is formed in the skin following exposure to sunlight. Water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C.

Fat-soluble vitamins are not destroyed during cooking, and do not leach into the water, unlike water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the walls of the small intestine in small droplets of fats, and enter the bloodstream.

What Causes Deficiencies in Fat-Soluble Vitamins?If someone does not eat enough food containing fat-soluble vitamins, they will develop what is called a ‘primary deficiency’. If, however, they eat enough of the vitamins but cannot absorb or use them, whether caused by disease or drugs, they have a ‘secondary deficiency’. People with secondary deficiencies need to take additional supplements of fat-soluble vitamins.

Very low fat diets can cause deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins – this is a primary deficiency. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, so diets have to be low in fat-soluble vitamins for a long period before the symptoms of deficiency show.

Overdose of fat soluble vitamins – Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, once the levels get too high, they can remain too high for a long period, leading to something called ‘hypervitaminosis’. This is unlikely to be caused by vitamins occurring naturally in the diet, but may be caused by taking high levels of supplements.

Too much vitamin A can cause dry skin, itching, headaches, jaundice, feelings of sickness and dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, blurred vision, muscle pain, tiredness, fever, insomnia, anaemia, and increased risk of bone fractures, including hip fractures. Too much vitamin A in children can slow growth, and too much in pregnancy can cause birth defects.

Too much vitamin D can cause raised levels of calcium in the blood, high blood pressure, nausea, sickness, increased urination, increased thirst, itching and kidney failure. Too much vitamin D in children can slow mental and physical growth. Too much vitamin K can damage the liver and blood cells.

 

So what should we be eating? Here is a guide to essential vitamins and minerals.

Click here for A-Z of Vitamins

We all know vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients the body needs – but what does each vitamin do? And which foods are vitamin powerhouses? Here’s the low-down on which letter does what, from A (that is, Vitamin A) to Z (or – zinc).

Vitamins are grouped into two categories:

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissue. The four fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are absorbed more easily by the body in the presence of dietary fat.

There are nine water-soluble vitamins. The body must use water-soluble vitamins right away. Any leftover water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.

Vitamin A – This helps maintain the membranes of the eyes, the lungs, the digestive system, skin and the immune system. It also helps in general growth and development, including healthy teeth and skin.

We need 800 micrograms daily, the amount in a portion of cooked carrots. Pregnant women or those planning to try for a baby should not have more than 1,500 micrograms a day as this can lead to birth defects.

Best sources: liver, whole milk, cheese, cod liver oil, carrots, mangoes and other orange foods including sweet potato and cantaloupe melons.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: difficulty adapting to dim light, night blindness or dryness of the cornea.

Vitamin B1

This helps release energy from food and maintains healthy muscles and the nervous system. We need 1.4 milligrams daily, the amount found in one slice of pork and a serving of peas.

Best sources: meat, especially pork, yeast extract, milk, vegetables and cheese.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: poor appetite, upset stomach, depression and an inability to concentrate. Beriberi, which affects either the heart or the nervous system, is caused through shortage of this vitamin. Heavy drinkers are prone to the disease as alcohol makes it more difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B1.

Vitamin B2

This helps produce immune cells and maintains the skin, hair, eyes, iron absorption and nervous system. Daily we need 1.6 milligrams, to be found in a portion of spinach and two egg whites.

Best sources: milk, liver, eggs, cheese, rice and green leafy vegetables.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: cracked corners around the lips or a sore tongue. A fifth of all teenage girls do not get enough of this vitamin.

Vitamin B6

This helps with the production of red blood cells and maintains brain function.

We need a daily two milligrams, found in 100g of salmon and a serving of brown rice. Vitamin B6 is destroyed by the contraceptive pill. Women taking the Pill should increase their intake of vitamin B6.

Best sources: chicken, fish, whole grains and bananas.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: dermatitis and sores in and around the mouth. Low levels of vitamin B6 can lead to raised levels of the amino acid homocysteine which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke.

Also found in whole unprocessed foods specifically whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chilli peppers, beans, yeast and molasses

Vitamin C

Helps in Strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity, anti-oxidant function and iron absorption. It also promotes wound healing.

Best Sources : Everyone knows this one – oranges! But they’re not the only source – other fruits and veggies packed with Vitamin C include guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, grapefruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough : A skin condition known as keratosis pilaris can develop. Also bumpy “chicken skin” forms on the back of the upper arms, thighs or buttocks due to a build up of keratin protein inside the pores

Vitamin D

Also known as sunshine vitamin. Helps in Strengthening of bones.  It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Best sources: Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people at most latitudes. Apart from spending a few minutes out in the sun, which stimulates Vitamin D production, you can get this nutritional must from eggs, fish and mushrooms.  It is very hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone

Folic acid

This helps make red blood cells and is vital during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida.

Each day we need 200 micrograms, found in two portions of steamed spinach. Women trying to become pregnant should take 400 micrograms.

Best sources: There are plenty of scrumptious natural sources of folic acid, including dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets, Whole grains and corn.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: insomnia, depression, irritability.

Vitamin E

This helps protect cell membranes from damage so may shield against cancer and heart disease. It also helps in blood circulation and protection from free radicals.

We need 12 milligrams daily, the amount found in a spoonful of vegetable oil.

Best sources: vegetable oils, nuts, broccoli, almonds and seeds. You can also fill up on other nuts, sunflower seeds and tomatoes to reap the benefits.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: deficiencies tend to affect those who have difficulty absorbing fat. Symptoms include weakened muscles and tingling in the hands and feet.

Vitamin K

This helps blood coagulation – that is, the process by which your blood clots.

Best Sources :  Leafy greens are the best natural sources of Vitamin K – so make sure you’re eating lots of kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough : A warning sign of a vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding and bruising easily, due to abnormalities of coagulation factors that help with blood clotting. This bleeding can sometimes begin as an oozing from the gums or nose.

Calcium

This is needed for strong bones and teeth, blood clotting and muscle contraction. It may help reduce high blood pressure. The daily requirement is 800 milligrams, the amount found in a cup of milk and sardines on toast.

Best sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, black molasses,  tinned fish such as sardines with bones, seaweed, kale and fortified juices.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: brittle bones, poor teeth, muscle twitches and aches and high blood pressure.

Chromium

This is needed for Glucose function – making sure every cell in your body gets energy as and when needed.

Best Sources :  As long as your diet contains servings of whole grains, fresh vegetables and herbs, you should be getting enough chromium.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: It can contribute to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Even mild deficiencies of chromium can produce problems in blood sugar metabolism, and contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety or fatigue.

Iron

This helps make haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen around the blood. Half of all teenage girls fail to get enough iron. Pregnant women and those who suffer heavy periods are prone to anaemia caused by iron deficiency. Also builds muscles naturally and maintains healthy blood.

We need 14 milligrams of iron a day, the amount in a small serving of liver.

Best sources: Clams, liver, chicken, oily fish, wholemeal bread, soybeans, cereals, pumpkin seeds, eggs, lentils, spinach and green leafy vegetables.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: tiredness, looking pale and breathlessness.

Potassium

This is needed for proper fluid balance in the body, healthy kidney function and muscle contractions. Sufficient potassium and a low sodium intake can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

About 3,500 milligrams a day is the suggested potassium intake, as found in two bananas and a baked potato.

Best sources: bananas, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: mental confusion and muscle weakness. Only those on diuretics and with persistent diarrhoea will be deficient in this mineral.

Magnesium

This helps convert food into energy and aids cell repair. It is also needed for healthy muscles and bones and for regulating the heartbeat.

The recommended daily allowance is 375 milligrams as found in a large handful of almonds and a large serving of broccoli.

Best sources: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seafood.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: frequent cramps and muscle weakness.

Zinc

This plays a role in immune function, fertility and is needed for wound healing and the senses of taste and smell.

Investigations into using zinc as a possible treatment for depression are currently underway.

We need a daily 10 milligrams of zinc which you would get from a bowl of porridge and half a cup of kidney beans.

Best sources: seafood (especially oysters) meat, liver, spinach, Cashews, cereals, peas, beans and dark chocolate.

Signs that you aren’t getting enough: taste abnormalities, reduced immunity to infections and skin lesions.

 

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Click here for Contents of Vitamins in Vegetables & Fruits

Vegetables

Vegetable
Vitamin
Content in vegetable (mg) *
Artichoke
Vitamin A 0,008
Vitamin B1 0,14
Vitamin B2 0,01
Vitamin B6 0,03
Vitamin C 8000
Folate (folic acid) 0,05
Asparagus
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 0,03
Vitamin C 12
Folate (folic acid) 0,056
Avocado
Vitamin A 0,11
Vitamin B1 0,06
Vitamin B2 0,12
Vitamin B6 0,36
Vitamin C 17
Folate (folic acid) 0,008
Broccoli
Vitamin A 0,2
Vitamin B1 0,1
Vitamin B2 0,3
Vitamin B6 0,21
Vitamin C 110
Folate (folic acid)
Brussels sprouts
Vitamin A 0,031
Vitamin B1 0,1
Vitamin B2 0,12
Vitamin B6 0,23
Vitamin C 66
Folate (folic acid) 0,087
Cabbage
Vitamin A 0,01
Vitamin B1 0,1
Vitamin B2 0,15
Vitamin B6 0,2
Vitamin C 80
Folate (folic acid) 0,069
Carrot
Vitamin A 0,6
Vitamin B1 0,01
Vitamin B2 0,01
Vitamin B6 0,03
Vitamin C 1000
Folate (folic acid) 0,016
Cauliflower
Vitamin A 0,001
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2 0,07
Vitamin B6 0,2
Vitamin C 80
Folate (folic acid) 0,044
Chicory
Vitamin A 0,17
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2 0,06
Vitamin B6 0,06
Vitamin C 4000
Folate (folic acid) 0,05
Corn
Vitamin A 0,007
Vitamin B1 0,12
Vitamin B2 0,07
Vitamin B6 0,1
Vitamin C 0
Folate (folic acid) 0,034
Cucumber
Vitamin A 0,034
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0.01
Vitamin B6 0.03
Vitamin C 10
Folate (folic acid) 0,005
Green paprika
Vitamin A 0,022
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0,07
Vitamin B6 0,18
Vitamin C 70
Folate (folic acid) 0,055
Leek
Vitamin A 0,094
Vitamin B1 0,12
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 0,25
Vitamin C 20
Folate (folic acid)
Mushroom
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin B1 0,07
Vitamin B2 0,3
Vitamin B6 0,12
Vitamin C 5000
Folate (folic acid) 0,032
Olives
Vitamin A 0,049
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6 0,02
Vitamin C 0
Folate (folic acid)
Onion
Vitamin A 0,001
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0,01
Vitamin B6 0,17
Vitamin C 10
Folate (folic acid) 0,01
Peas
Vitamin A 0,3
Vitamin B1 0,06
Vitamin B2 0,05
Vitamin B6 0,05
Vitamin C 1000
Folate (folic acid) 0,022
Pickles
Vitamin A 0,027
Vitamin B1 0
Vitamin B2 0
Vitamin B6 0,04
Vitamin C 2000
Folate (folic acid) 0,004
Potatoes
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin B1 0,12
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 0,3
Vitamin C 14
Folate (folic acid) 0,023
Radishes
Vitamin A 0,002
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2 0,03
Vitamin B6 0,08
Vitamin C 20
Folate (folic acid) 0,028
Red paprika
Vitamin A 0,2
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0,07
Vitamin B6 0,18
Vitamin C 150
Folate (folic acid) 0,055
Sauerkraut
Vitamin A 0,003
Vitamin B1 0
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 0,13
Vitamin C 25
Folate (folic acid) 0,009
Spinach
Vitamin A 0,24
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,1
Vitamin B6 0,15
Vitamin C 25
Folate (folic acid) 0,1
Zucchini
Vitamin A 0,061
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2 0,09
Vitamin B6 0,15
Vitamin C 16
Folate (folic acid) 0,038

 

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Fruit
Vitamin Content in fruits (mg)
           Apricots
Vitamin A 0,06
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2 0,06
Vitamin B6 5000
Vitamin C 0,004
Folate (folic acid) 0,2
Apple
Vitamin A 0,02
Vitamin B1 0,01
Vitamin B2 0,05
Vitamin B6 5000
Vitamin C 0,003
Folate (folic acid) 0,005
Banana
Vitamin A 0,04
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0,36
Vitamin B6 10
Vitamin C 0,016
Folate (folic acid) 0,008
Blackberries
Vitamin A 0,08
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,07
Vitamin B6 150
Vitamin C 0,008
Folate (folic acid) 0,015
Cherries
Vitamin A 0,02
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6
10
Vitamin C 0,004
Folate (folic acid) 0,012
Grapefruit
Vitamin A 0,07
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,03
Vitamin B6 40
Vitamin C 0,015
Folate (folic acid) 0,028
Grapes
Vitamin A 0,03
Vitamin B1 0,01
Vitamin B2 0,08
Vitamin B6 3000
Vitamin C 0,001
Folate (folic acid) 0,005
Kiwi
Vitamin A
0,01
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,12
Vitamin B6 70
Vitamin C 0,023
Folate (folic acid)
Lemon
Vitamin A 0,001
Vitamin B1 0,06
Vitamin B2 0,02
Vitamin B6 0,04
Vitamin C 40
Folate (folic acid) 0,008
Lime
Vitamin A 50iU
Vitamin B1 0,020
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6 0,43
Vitamin C 29,1
Folate (folic acid)
Lychee
Vitamin A 0,09
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 23
Vitamin C
Folate (folic acid) 0,002
Mango
Vitamin A 0,03
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,04
Vitamin B6 23
Vitamin C 0,023
Folate (folic acid) 0.053
Melon
Vitamin A
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Folate (folic acid)
Orange
Vitamin A 0,07
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2 0,06
Vitamin B6 49
Vitamin C 0,018
Folate (folic acid) 0,012
Peach
Vitamin A 0,01
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,02
Vitamin B6 7000
Vitamin C 0,002
Folate (folic acid) 0,016
Pear
Vitamin A 0,01
Vitamin B1 0,01
Vitamin B2 0,02
Vitamin B6 4000
Vitamin C 0,001
Folate (folic acid) 0,002
Pineapple
Vitamin A 0,07
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,09
Vitamin B6 25
Vitamin C 0,004
Folate (folic acid)
Plum
Vitamin A 0,02
Vitamin B1 0,03
Vitamin B2
0,1
Vitamin B6 5000
Vitamin C 0,002
Folate (folic acid) 0,062
Pumpkin
Vitamin A 0,04
Vitamin B1 0,04
Vitamin B2 0,02
Vitamin B6 16
Vitamin C 0,007
Folate (folic acid) 0,025
Raspberries
Vitamin A
0,09
Vitamin B1 0,06
Vitamin B2 0,06
Vitamin B6 5000
Vitamin C 0,024
Folate (folic acid) 0,004
Strawberry
Vitamin A 0,002
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,03
Vitamin B6 0,06
Vitamin C 60
Folate (folic acid) 0,065
Tomato
Vitamin A 0,05
Vitamin B1 0,02
Vitamin B2 0,08
Vitamin B6
15
Vitamin C 0,008
Folate (folic acid) 0,088
Water melon
Vitamin A 0,04
Vitamin B1 0,05
Vitamin B2
0,07
Vitamin B6 6000
Vitamin C 0,001
Folate (folic acid) 0,045

 

Following are list of the common vegetables that pack a punch of helpful nutrients and minerals.

Fresh vegetables provide a cornucopia of goodness and variety adds excitement to your meals. Be sure to rotate these winners onto your grocery list!

  • Green beans are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and potassium.
  • Dried beans provide protein, B vitamins, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Cabbage is high in vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and fiber.
  • Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and K, and potassium.
  • Sweet corn is high in beta-carotene and lutein.* It also supplies B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folic acid.
  • Eggplant is high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B1.
  • Leeks are a good source of fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C, and they contain the cancer-fighting phytochemical diallyl sulfide.
  • Okra provides vitamin C and the B vitamins, magnesium, lutein, and potassium.
  • Peas pack plenty of protein, B vitamins, vitamins C and A, manganese, iron, potassium, and lutein.
  • Peppers have lots of beta-carotene; vitamins B6, C, and A; and potassium.
  • Potatoes, with skins, are a good source of protein, iron, vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Shallots are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and folic acid.
  • Summer squash is high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Both dark green and yellow squashes are excellent sources of lutein.
  • Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C, iron, fiber, and potassium. Plus, just 1 cup of sweet potato contains four times the recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene

When eating an array of the recommended produce, your choices still need to be as nutritious as possible. Try these tips to get the most nutrients:

  • Steam, stir-fry, or microwave to keep Vitamin C and other nutrient loss to a minimum.
  • Leave edible peels on produce when possible-to boost nutrients and fiber.
  • Reuse cooking liquids (what’s left after cooking your broccoli, for example) for pilaf preparation.
  • Buy only a few days’ worth of fresh produce, so it stays fresh.
  • Do a freshness check. Fresh is only best when it’s truly fresh: seasonal and bruise-free. Otherwise, frozen fruits and veggies can be just as healthy as their fresh counterparts.
  • And remember to have fun with produce. Get creative. Experiment with some new or exotic fruits and veggies.

Click here for Vitamins in Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are naturally low in fat, salt and sugar, making them an excellent food choice.

Vegetables provide energy, vitamins, minerals and fiber and there is growing evidence of additional health benefits from a range of phytonutrients.

Some vegetables contain higher levels of carbohydrate and are often called starchy vegetables. These are usually roots and tubers such as potatoes, yams, kumara, taro and sweet corn. The starchy vegetables are higher in energy (kilojoules) because of their carbohydrate content.

Other vegetables are classified as non-starchy. Non-starchy vegetables tend to have a higher water content, and are lower in energy but often richer in vitamins and minerals.

Aim to make half your dinner vegetables and choose a range of different coloured vegetables. About one-quarter of the plate should be starchy foods for energy.

Pytonutrients –

These are naturally occurring plant compounds. There are thousands of these different phytonutrients in vegetables, usually in small amounts. Plants produce them for their own protection from insects or bacteria, as pigments for photosynthesis (energy production) and flavour. They are often responsible for the bright colours of fruits and vegetables, and research is showing that these compounds may help reduce the risk of disease and promote health. Examples of phytonutrients are lycopene in tomatoes, beta-carotene in carrots and glucosinolates in broccoli.

There is no single magic phytonutrient that can be isolated and turned into a daily tablet! The most protective effect comes from eating a wide variety of phytonutrients as they occur naturally in plant foods.

Phytonutrients may work in lots of different ways to protect against disease and promote health. Modes of action that are being investigated include anti-inflammatory activity, boosting the body’s antioxidant defences, modulating gut microflora, lowering cholesterol, fighting bacteria and supporting the body’s immunity.

Main Pytonutrients in vegetables –

Unlike nutrients (vitamins and minerals) no recommended dietary intake levels have been established for phytonutrients. Health claims are not permitted (with the exception of some carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A) and further human trials are required to substantiate the potential benefits suggested below.

Phytonutrients Research on Potential Health Benefits Vegetable Sources
Carotenoids
• Pro-vitamin A carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin Vitamin A activity (our body converts these carotenoids to vitamin A). Research indicates the carotenes may help to slow the ageing process, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, improve lung function, help keep skin healthy and reduce complications associated with diabetes but more research is needed. In many vegetables but high in carrots, pumpkin and green leafy vegetables
• Lycopene Some studies have shown that diets rich in lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate and some other cancers as well as heart disease. Tomatoes, watermelon
• Xanthophylls: lutein, zeaxanthin Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the retina and lens of the eye and are thought to play a role in maintaining proper vision as we age and may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, silverbeet, lettuce; sweet corn
Glucosinolates, isothiocyanates Glucosinolates (or their breakdown products the isothiocyanates) may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer by boosting enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. Brassica vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radish, swede, turnip, watercress
Phenolic compounds – including Polyphenols *
• Flavonoids Over the past decade, scientists have become increasingly interested in the potential for various dietary flavonoids to explain some of the health benefits associated with fruit- and vegetable-rich diets. Health benefits include reducing cancer, diabetes and heart disease risk, helping maintain healthy bones, brain and vision. Beans, onions, leafy vegetables, tomatoes
• Phenolic acids More study is required but phenolic acids may have benefits for heart health and immunity. In most vegetables but especially potatoes
• Anthocyanins Research indicates anthocyanins may have a wide variety of health benefits including protecting against the signs of ageing, reducing the risk of cancer and diabetes. They may be neuroprotective to help prevent neurological diseases and improve aspects of vision. Red, blue/purple vegetables – eggplant, purple broccoli, red/purple kumara, radish, rhubarb
Allium sulphur compounds A whole range of health benefits have been suggested for the Allium sulphur compounds. In vitro and animal studies indicate Allium compounds may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, assist in preventing heart disease and have antimicrobial activity. Garlic, leeks, onions, chives
Other compounds
Betalains The betalains have received less attention than the more common natural red pigments, the anthocyanins. However, research indicates they have anti-inflammatory properties and may boost the body’s detoxification enzymes. Beetroot, silverbeet, spinach (red and yellow varieties)
Falcarinol, falcarindiol These compounds have attracted interest for their potential as anti-cancer compounds. However, at high levels these compounds can be toxic. Carrots, celery, fennel, parsley, parsnips
Saponins Saponins have been shown in some studies to have a number of protective effects in the human body, including reducing the risk of cancer, lowering cholesterol, and preventing heart disease. Alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, beans, spinach
Phytosterols Phytosterols may compete with cholesterol for absorption and lower cholesterol in the bloodstream. There is also some evidence phytosterols may help prevent cancer cell growth and may fight atherosclerosis by controlling the development of plaques. Asparagus, beans, lettuce, peas, brassica family e.g. broccoli, swedes, cauliflower
Fructans Research indicates fructans may have various health benefits especially for the digestive system and immunity. Because they improve mineral absorption they may have benefits for bone health. They also have effects on cholesterol metabolism and may have benefits for heart heath. Onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus
Capsaicinoids Capsaicinoids may have multiple potential beneficial effects including pain relief, cancer prevention and weight loss, plus to a lesser extent, benefits for the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. Capsicums, chillis

Carbohydrates –

Carbohydrates  are a large group of organic compounds made by plants. Examples of carbohydrate are sugars, starch and cellulose and they provide our bodies with energy.

  • Potatoes, yams and kumara contain carbohydrate, are called starchy vegetables and provide energy for our bodies.
  • About a quarter of the plate should be made up of starchy foods, non starch vegetables should make up half the plate.

Vitamins and Minerals –

Vitamins and minerals are natural substances found in a wide range of foods and are essential to maintain a healthy body. Scientists have defined specific daily amounts necessary for good health.

Why they are important

Vitamin A stimulates new cell growth, keeps cells healthy and can help vision in dim light.  Vitamin A is found in vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, kumara, spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin B releases energy from food, and is good for the nervous system. Green vegetables contain Vitamin B.

Vitamin C is used in tissue repair, helps the immune system by fighting against infection and helps health in general. Vitamin C also helps iron in food to be absorbed. Capsicums and parsley are excellent sources of Vitamin C with significant amounts in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, radishes, peas, beans, asparagus. Potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, kumara, spring onions, lettuce and leeks also contain Vitamin C.

Vitamin K helps blood clot. Turnips, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, watercress, peas and green beans have Vitamin K.

Calcium is necessary for healthy teeth, bones, hair and nails. Spinach, parsley, broccoli, celery, leeks, spring onions, cabbage and carrots contain calcium.

Potassium controls muscles and nerves and may be important in preventing high blood pressure. All vegetables contain potassium.

Iron is essential for red blood cells so that oxygen can be carried around the body. Eat vegetables that contain iron, with vegetables containing Vitamin C to help the iron be absorbed into the body. Spinach, silver beet, parsley, leeks, broccoli and mushrooms are good sources of iron.

Avoid vitamin loss in vegetable preparation and cooking by:

  • Leaving the peel on as it contains vitamins as well as fiber.
  • Using a sharp knife. A blunt knife causes cell damage which leads to Vitamin C loss.
  • Cooking vegetables as soon as they are prepared. Don’t soak them in water as water-soluble vitamins (B and C) will be lost.
  • Using a small amount of water, or preferably, steam vegetables. Save the cooking water and use it in soups, stocks, gravies or enjoy as a drink.

Fiber

Fiber keeps the digestive system healthy, helps keep a healthy body weight and decreases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Fiber has also been found to lower cholesterol levels by reducing the reabsorption of cholesterol produced by the body to help with the digestion of fat.

  • All vegetables contain some fiber; some more than others. Vegetables that are high in fiber are broad beans, peas, spinach, watercress, green beans, sweet corn, silver beet, cabbage, butter beans, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
  • Carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes and kumara have a special type of fiber  in their skins so scrub them instead of peeling them. Bake kumara and potatoes with the skin on.
  • Prepare and cook vegetables the right way to preserve their valuable nutrients and fiber. Leave the peel on whenever possible.
  • Vegetables that belong to the cabbage family (cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, swedes and Brussels sprouts) contain compounds that may be good at protecting against cancer.

 

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Click here for Vitamin Charts

Vitamins Chart for Kids –

All figures are in mg
Vitamin 0-6 mths 7-12 mths 1-3 years 4-8 years 9-14 years Found in In Developing
A 300-600 300-600 300-600 900 1700 Carrots, Sweet Potato, Spinach, papaya, Peaches, Eggs, Oats Eyes, Skin, Hair and Nails
C 40 50 15 25 45 Gauva, Orange, Brocoli, Grapes,Tomato, Banana, Kiwi Produces Collage in child
D 10 10 15 15 15 Yogurt, Milk, Cheese, Cereals, Tuna, Egg Yolk Develops bones and teeth
E 4 5 6 7 11 Wheat, Sunflower oil, Soyabean oil, Corn, Raw Mango, Almonds Boosting immunity, metabolizes food faster
K 2 2.5 30 55 60 Green leafy vegetables, Eggs, Fish Synthensis of blood clotting, proteins
B1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.9 Bread, Nuts,Green Peas, Fish Develops healthy muscles and nerves
B2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.9 Spinach, Yohurt, Soyabean, Mushrooms, Eggs Formation of RBC
B3 2 4 6 8 12 Peanuts, Tuna,Chicken Converts Carbohydrates
B5 1.7 1.8 2 3 4 Cauliflower, Cucumber, Spinach, Broccoli, Sweet Potato Helps in metabilozing, proteins, Carbohydrates and fats
B6 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.6 1 Banana, Cabbage, Cauli flower, Bell peppers, Spinach Vital in production of certain brain chemicals,
B7 5 6 8 12 20 Peanuts, Tomato, Onions, Almonds, Carrots Important for healthy hair and nails
B9 65 80 150 200 300 Lentils, Strawberries,Beetroot, Broccoli, Spinach Develops nervous system and cardiovascular system
B12 0.4 0.5 0.9 1.2 1.8 Cows milk, Yogurt, Fish Production of RBC’s and DNA

Vitamins Chart for Teens

Type Benefits Sources Quantity
Vitamin A Vitamin A prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, is essential for the growth and development of cells, and keeps skin healthy. Good sources of vitamin A are milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, darkly colored orange or green vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and kale), and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papayas, and mangos. Teen guys need 900 micrograms of vitamin A each day.
Teen girls need 700 micrograms each day. It is possible to get too much vitamin A, so be careful with supplements. Don’t take vitamin A supplements If you’re taking isotretinoin (such as Accutane) for acne or other skin problems.
Oral acne medicines are vitamin A supplements, and a continued excess of vitamin A can build up in the body, causing headaches, skin changes, or even liver damage.
Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) Vitamin C is needed to form collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together. It’s essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps the body absorb iron, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function. You’ll find high levels of vitamin C in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, guava, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Teen guys need 75 mg (milligrams; 1 milligram equals 1,000 micrograms) and girls need 65 mg of vitamin C a day.
Vitamin D Vitamin D strengthens bones because it helps the body absorb bone-building calcium. This vitamin is unique — your body manufactures it when you get sunlight on your skin! You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, and fortified foods like milk, soy milk, and orange juice. Teens need 15 micrograms (600 IU) of vitamin D from food or supplements every day. Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you.
Vitamin E Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage. It is also important for the health of red blood cells. Vitamin E is found in many foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains are also good sources. Teen guys and girls need 15 mg of vitamin E every day.
Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 helps to make red blood cells, and is important for nerve cell function. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in fish, red meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs. It’s also added to some breakfast cereals. Teens should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily.
Vitamin B6 Vitamin B6 is important for normal brain and nerve function. It also helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells. A wide variety of foods contain vitamin B6, including potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals. Teen guys need 1.3 mg of vitamin B6 daily and teen girls need 1.2 mg.
Thiamin (also called vitamin B1) Thiamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system to function properly. People get thiamin from many different foods, including fortified breads, cereals, and pasta; lean meats; dried beans, soy foods, and peas; and whole grains like wheat germ. Teen guys need 1.2 mg of thiamin each day; teen girls need 1 mg.
Niacin (also called vitamin B3) Niacin helps the body turn food into energy. It helps maintain healthy skin and is important for nerve function. You’ll find niacin in red meat, poultry, fish, fortified hot and cold cereals, and peanuts. Teen guys need 16 mg of niacin daily. Teen girls need 14 mg a day.
Riboflavin (also called vitamin B2) Riboflavin is essential for growth, turning carbohydrates into energy, and producing red blood cells. Some of the best sources of riboflavin are meat, eggs, legumes (like peas and lentils), nuts, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, and fortified cereals. Teen guys need 1.3 mg of riboflavin per day and teen girls need 1 mg.
Folate (also known as vitamin B9, folic acid, or folacin) Folate helps the body make red blood cells. It is also needed to make DNA. Liver, dried beans and other legumes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, and orange juice are good sources of this vitamin. So are fortified bread, rice, and cereals. Teen girls and guys need 400 micrograms of folate daily.

 

Vitamins Chart for Adults

VITAMIN BENEFITS RECOMMENDED AMOUNT (daily RDA* or daily AI**) UPPER LIMIT (UL) per day GOOD FOOD SOURCES DID YOU KNOW?
RETINOIDS AND CAROTENE (vitamin A; includes retinol, retinal, retinyl esters, and retinoic acid and are also referred to as “preformed” vitamin A. Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A as needed.) Essential for vision Lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk. Keeps tissues and skin healthy. Plays an important role in bone growth and in the immune system. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts M: 900 mcg (3,000 IU)W: 700 mcg (2,333 IU)Some supplements report vitamin A in international units (IU’s). 3,000 mcg (about 10,000 IU) Sources of retinoids:beef liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, butter, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese Many people get too much preformed vitamin A from food and supplements. Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
Sources of beta carotene:sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, squash, spinach, mangoes, turnip greens
THIAMIN (vitamin B1) Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain and is critical for nerve function. M: 1.2 mg, W: 1.1 mg Not known Pork chops, brown rice, ham, soymilk, watermelons, acorn squash Most nutritious foods have some thiamin.
RIBOFLAVIN(vitamin B2) Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.1 mg Not known Milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, meats, green leafy vegetables, whole and enriched grains and cereals. Most Americans get enough of this nutrient.
NIACIN (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid) Helps convert food into energy. Essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system M: 16 mg, W: 14 mg 35 mg Meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, peanut butter Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6.
PANTOTHENIC ACID (vitamin B5) Helps convert food into energy. Helps make lipids (fats), neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, and hemoglobin M: 5 mg, W: 5 mg Not known Wide variety of nutritious foods, including chicken, egg yolk, whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomato products Deficiency causes burning feet and other neurologic symptoms.
PYRIDOXINE (vitamin B6, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine) Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may reduce the risk of heart diseaseHelps convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in sleep, appetite, and moods. Helps make red blood cells Influences cognitive abilities and immune function 31–50 years old: M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.3 mg; 51+ years old: M: 1.7 mg, W: 1.5 mg 100 mg Meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu and other soy products, potatoes, noncitrus fruits such as bananas and watermelons Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.
COBALAMIN (vitamin B12) Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Assists in making new cells and breaking down some fatty acids and amino acids. Protects nerve cells and encourages their normal growth Helps make red blood cells and DNA M: 2.4 mcg, W: 2.4 mcg Not known Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals, fortified soymilk Some people, particularly older adults, are deficient in vitamin B12 because they have trouble absorbing this vitamin from food. Those on a vegan or vegetarian diet often don’t get enough B12as it’s mostly found in animal products. They may need to take supplements. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause memory loss, dementia, and numbness in the arms and legs.
BIOTIN Helps convert food into energy and synthesize glucose. Helps make and break down some fatty acids. Needed for healthy bones and hair M: 30 mcg, W: 30 mcg Not known Many foods, including whole grains, organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, and fish Some is made by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it’s not clear how much of this the body absorbs.
ASCORBIC ACID (vitamin C) Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast. Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Bolsters the immune system M: 90 mg, W: 75 mg Smokers: Add 35 mg 2,000 mg Fruits and fruit juices (especially citrus), potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts Evidence that vitamin C helps reduce colds has not been convincing.
CHOLINE Helps make and release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in many nerve and brain activities. Plays a role in metabolizing and transporting fats M: 550 mg, W: 425 mg 3,500 mg Many foods, especially milk, eggs, liver, salmon, and peanuts No rmally the body makes small amounts of choline. But experts don’t know whether this amount is enough at certain ages.
CALCIFEROL (vitamin D) Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones. Helps form teeth and bones. Supplements can reduce the number of non-spinal fractures 31–70: 15 mcg (600 IU) 71+: 20 mcg (800 IU) 50 mcg (2,000 IU) Fortified milk or margarine, fortified cereals, fatty fish Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient. While the body uses sunlight to make vitamin D, it cannot make enough if you live in northern climates or don’t spend much time in the sun.
ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (vitamin E) Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. M: 15 mg, W: 15 mg (15 mg equals about 22 IU from natural sources of vitamin E and 33 IU from synthetic vitamin E) 1,000 mg (nearly 1,500 IU natural vitamin E; 2,200 IU synthetic) Wide variety of foods, including vegetable oils, salad dressings and margarines made with vegetable oils, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts Vitamin E does not prevent wrinkles or slow other aging processes.
FOLIC ACID(vitamin B9, folate, folacin) Vital for new cell creationHelps prevent brain and spine birth defects when taken early in pregnancy; should be taken regularly by all women of child-bearing age since women may not know they are pregnant in the first weeks of pregnancy. Can lower levels of homocysteine and may reduce heart disease risk May reduce risk for colon cancer. Offsets breast cancer risk among women who consume alcohol M: 400 mcg, W: 400 mcg 1,000 mcg Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, okra, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, legumes like black-eyed peas and chickpeas, orange juice, tomato juice Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.Occasionally, folic acid masks a B12 deficiency, which can lead to severe neurological complications. That’s not a reason to avoid folic acid; just be sure to get enough B12.
PHYLLOQUINONE, MENADIONE (vitamin K) Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clotting. May help prevent hip fractures M: 120 mcg, W: 90 mcg Not known Cabbage, liver, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, kale, collards, and other green vegetables Intestinal bacteria make a form of vitamin K that accounts for half your requirements. If you take an anticoagulant, keep your vitamin K intake consistent.
CALCIUM Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps with muscle contractions and relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission. Plays a role in hormone secretion and enzyme activation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure 31–50: M: 1,000 mg, W: 1,000 mg 51-70: M: 1,000 mg, W: 1,200 mg, 71+: M: 1,200 mg, W: 1,200 mg 2,500 mg Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale (but not spinach or Swiss chard, which have binders that lessen absorption) Adults absorb roughly 30% of calcium ingested, but this can vary depending on the source. Diets very high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
CHLORIDE Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion 14-50: M/W: 2.3 g, 51-70 M/W: 2.0 g, 71+: M/W: 1.8 g Not known Salt (sodium chloride), soy sauce, processed foods New recommendations (DRIs) for chloride are under development by the Institute of Medicine.
CHROMIUM Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose 14–50: M: 35 mcg, 14-18: W: 24 mcg 19-50: W: 25 mcg 51+: M: 30 mcg, W: 20 mcg Not known Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, potatoes, some cereals, nuts, cheese Unrefined foods such as brewer’s yeast, nuts, and cheeses are the best sources of chromium, but brewer’s yeast can sometimes cause bloating and nausea, so you may choose to get chromium from other food sources.
COPPER Plays an important role in iron metabolism and immune system. Helps make red blood cells M: 900 mcg, W: 900 mcg 10,000 mcg Liver, shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes, cocoa, black pepper More than half of the copper in foods is absorbed.
FLUORIDE Encourages strong bone formation. Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening M: 4 mg, W: 3 mg 10 mg Water that is fluoridated, toothpaste with fluoride, marine fish, teas Harmful to children in excessive amounts.
IODINE Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter and a congenital thyroid disorder M: 150 mcg, W: 150 mcg 1,100 mcg Iodized salt, processed foods, seafood To prevent iodine deficiencies, some countries add iodine to salt, bread, or drinking water.
IRON Helps hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells ferry oxygen throughout the body. Needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones 19–50: M: 8 mg, W: 18 mg 51+: M: 8 mg, W: 8 mg 45 mg Red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread and grain products Many women of childbearing age don’t get enough iron. Women who do not menstruate probably need the same amount of iron as men. Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount (assuming the source is food).
MAGNESIUM Needed for many chemical reactions in the body Works with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure. Helps build bones and teeth 18+: M: 420 mg, W: 320 mg 350 mg (Note: This upper limit applies to supplements and medicines, such as laxatives, not to dietary magnesium.) Green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, legumes, cashews, sunflower seeds and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, milk The majority of magnesium in the body is found in bones. If your blood levels are low, your body may tap into these reserves to correct the problem.
MANGANESE Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates M: 2.3 mg, W: 1.8 mg 11 mg Fish, nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea If you take supplements or have manganese in your drinking water, be careful not to exceed the upper limit. Those with liver damage or whose diets supply abundant manganese should be especially vigilant.
MOLYBDENUM Part of several enzymes, one of which helps ward off a form of severe neurological damage in infants that can lead to early death M: 45 mcg, W: 45 mcg 2,000 mcg Legumes, nuts, grain products, milk Molybdenum deficiencies are rare.
PHOSPHORUS Helps build and protect bones and teeth. Part of DNA and RNA. Helps convert food into energy. Part of phospholipids, which carry lipids in blood and help shuttle nutrients into and out of cells M: 700 mg, W: 700 mg 31–70: 4,000 mg 71+: 3,000 mg Wide variety of foods, including milk and dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, liver, green peas, broccoli, potatoes, almonds Certain drugs bind with phosphorus, making it unavailable and causing bone loss, weakness, and pain.
POTASSIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones M: 4.7 g, W: 4.7 g Not known Meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes Food sources do not cause toxicity, but high-dose supplements might.
SELENIUM Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity M: 55 mcg, W: 55 mcg 400 mcg Organ meats, seafood, walnuts, sometimes plants (depends on soil content), grain products Researchers are investigating whether selenium may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, but with mixed results.
SODIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. Impacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure M: 2,300 mg, W: 2,300 mg Not determined Salt, soy sauce, processed foods, vegetables While experts recommend that people limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg, most Americans consume 4,000–6,000 mg a day.
SULFUR Helps form bridges that shape and stabilize some protein structures. Needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails Unknown Unknown Protein-rich foods, such as meats, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes Sulfur is a component of thiamin and certain amino acids. There is no recommended amount for sulfur. Deficiencies occur only with a severe lack of protein.
ZINC Helps form many enzymes and proteins and create new cells. Frees vitamin A from storage in the liver. Needed for immune system, taste, smell, and wound healing. When taken with certain antioxidants, zinc may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration M: 11 mg, W: 8 mg 40 mg Red meat, poultry, oysters and some other seafood, fortified cereals, beans, nuts Because vegetarians absorb less zinc, experts suggest that they get twice the recommended requirement of zinc from plant foods.

 

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Click here for Pros and cons of Vitamin supplements -

Large number of people across the globe  take some type of supplement each day, with multivitamin supplements being one of the more popular choices. While there can be some benefits to taking vitamin supplements, certain supplements, or combinations of supplements, can be risky for some individuals. Getting too much of some vitamins may also cause toxicity symptoms.

If you pride yourself on consuming a healthy, balanced diet, you may be considering or already taking a multi-vitamin. Or perhaps you are worried you aren’t getting enough nutrients in your diet?

A multi-vitamin is a tablet or liquid containing a variety of vitamins and is intended to supply dietary supplements for those looking for better health. Multi-vitamins can come in a range of forms, ranging from tablets and capsules to powders and liquids.

Many multi-vitamins are formulated or labelled to differentiate consumer sectors, such as prenatal, children, over 50, men’s, women’s or diabetic, but for some nutritional experts multi-vitamins are nothing more than a multibillion-dollar industry that offer little in the way of health benefits.

Pros –

  • Provide both vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in a person’s diet.
  • They improve many bodily functions and can assist with mental health.
  • Decrease your risk of vitamin deficiency.
  • Can help you digest food.
  • Allows fussy eaters, such as children, a regular intake of essential vitamins.
  • Boosts energy and concentration
  • Many are benefited because they  take them in addition to healthy diet and use them correctly.

Cons-

  • Risk of becoming reliant on multi-vitamins.
  • Risk of vitamin toxicity.
  • Can in some cases cause more harm than good.
  • Too many vitamins gets overdosed
  • Some don’t work well
  • They may or may not be safe
  • It’s best to avoid taking vitamin A supplements while you’re pregnant, as this may damage the development of your baby
  • More than 10mg per day of vitamin B6 can lead to loss of feeling in the arms and legs
  • Doses of over 1,000mg a day of vitamin C can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhoea
  • Taking excess dose of vitamin A can lead to liver failure and potential death.
  • The excess calories can cause athletes to actually gain fat rather than muscles.
  •  vitamin supplements may interfere with prescribed medicines for certain medical conditions and disorders.
  • Vitamin supplements  usually need to be taken daily, maintaining a vitamin supplement ‘diet’ can become expensive.

One of the biggest problems with multi-vitamins is that people presume they are a good supplement for a healthy, balanced diet. They’re not. A good diet is always the best way to achieve overall good health.

Multi-vitamins are designed for those who struggle eating healthily, a prime example being children who are fussy about eating fruit and vegetables. Children do a lot of running around and that burns up energy and vitamins fast, so without a good diet to support an active lifestyle, a multi-vitamin could be of some benefit.

Women, on the other hand, need lots of iron to make up for the loss of minerals during monthly menstruation. With a recommended daily intake of 18 milligrams, a multi-vitamin containing iron could be beneficial.

Who should avoid supplemental vitamins –

People who take certain medications may need to limit the amount of some vitamins they take due to potential interactions.  Taking certain antioxidant vitamins, including beta carotene, can increase health risks for smokers, and pregnant women shouldn’t take excessive amounts of vitamin A because this can raise their risk of birth defects.

 

Symptoms and signs of vitamin and minerals deficiency  and toxicity

Nutrient Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity
Vitamin A(Retinol) Night blindness, xerosis, Bitot’s spot, keratomalacia, perifollicular hyperkeratosis, anorexia, bone changes Anorexia, headache, blurred vision, dry skin, pruritus, painful extremities, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly
Vitamin D Rickets/osteomalacia, bone pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, frequent infections, geriatric cognitive defects, pediatric asthma Hypercalcemia and tetany, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, polydipsia, polyuria, renal stones, hypertension
Vitamin E Loss of reflexes, gait disturbance (posterior tract-spinocerebellar symptoms), paresis of gaze, eczema, psoriasis, poor woundhealing, broken capillaries Fatigue, headache, delayed wound healing, increased bleeding, muscle weakness
Vitamin K Bruising, bleeding gums, poor wound clotting Hemolytic anemia, liver damage
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Beriberi, edema, peripheral neuropathies/hot feet, lactic acidosis with carbohydrate Arrhythmias, anaphylactic shock with large intravenous doses
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Reddened, greasy scaly, pruritic skin in the oculo-orogenital areas; dyssebacia (shark skin), stomatitis, angular cheilosis, magenta tongue, photosensitivity, corneal vascularization No cases reported
Niacin Pellagra: photosensitive dermatitis; diarrhea; mucosal inflammation; dementia; beefy, red tongue Release of histamine: severe flushing, pruritus, gastrointestinaldisturbances, elevated serum uric acid and glucose, hepatic toxicity
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Burning feet syndrome, fatigue, enteritis, alopecia, dermatitis Diarrhea, water retention
Vitamin B6 Seborrheic dermatitis, glossitis, cheilosis, angular stomatitis, peripheral neuropathy, irritability, convulsions Peripheral sensory neuropathy, ataxia, perioral numbness
Folate Megaloblastic anemia, glossitis, hair loss, cognitive defects, pallor, persistent fatigue, tender tongue, absence of neurological symptoms Masks vitamin B12deficiency
Vitamin B12(Cobalamin) Megaloblastic anemia, glossitis & oral mucosal lesions, tachycardia, anorexia, sensory neuropathy/paresthesias, muscle weakness, memory loss, depression, constipation, fatigue No clear toxicity reported
Biotin Scaly dermatitis, alopecia None reported
Vitamin C Scurvy, bleeding gums, anemia, fatigue, aching bones, joints, and muscles, perifollicular hemorrhages, poor wound healing Nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea
Calcium Tetany, depression, anxiety, irritability, bone pain, osteoporosis, rickets/ chondromalacia Constipation, hypercalciuria, hypercalcemia
Phosphorus Bone loss (rickets), weakness, anorexia, pain Tetany (infants), arrhythmias
Potassium Weakness, anorexia, nausea, irrational behavior, arrhythmias Hyperkalemiacardiac toxicity
Sodium Hypovolemia, muscle weakness Edema, hypertension
Chloride Infants: hypochloremic metabolic acidosis Hypertension
Magnesium Nausea, weakness, cognitive impairment, arrhythmias, constipation, muscle cramps Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension
Iron Fatigue, anemia, glossitis Acute: vomiting, cyanosis, diarrhea, shock Chronic: hepatomegaly, slate-gray skin, cardiomyopathy, arthropathy
Zinc Anorexia, growth retardation, hypogonadism, hypogeusia, poor wound healing Chronic: hypocupremia (copper deficiency), microcytosis, impaired immune response, low HDL levels
Iodine Endemic goiter, cretinism Iodide goiter, myxedema (severe hypothyroidism)
Selenium Muscle pain, cardiomyopathy, growth retardation, osteoarthritis(cartilage defects) Alopecia, fingernail changes, garlicodor, nausea, diarrhea, peripheral neuropathy
Copper Hypochromic anemia, neutropenia, osteoporosis, growth retardation Hyperactivity, depression, headaches, capillary fragility
Manganese Weight loss, dementia, nausea/vomiting, changes in hair color, carb intolerance Neurologic, cognitive, and behavioral changes
Fluoride Not an essential nutrient Mottled, pitted teeth; impaired bone health; kidney, nerve, and muscle dysfunction
Chromium Weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, glucose intolerance Renal impairment
Molybdenum Irritability, coma Gout-like syndrome
N-Acetyl Cysteine, Glutathione Cataracts, macular degeneration, elevated gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase None reported

 

 

Click here for Myths about Vitamins

Vitamins have been around for nearly a hundred years. That’s enough time for scientists to learn a lot about how they work. It’s also plenty of time for rumors to spread.

  • Myth #1 – Vitamins make you hungry : No study supports this. Vitamins can give you more energy, you may become more active, burn more calories and then feel hungry. Studies actually have shown that vitamins, especially multivitamins containing chromium, appear to reduce hunger.
  • Myth #2 – If I take vitamins, I don’t have to worry about diet or exercising : They’re called nutritional supplements for a reason – they supplement a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Aging, stress and other issues can make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from your diet. That’s why many doctors recommend a good multi.
  • Myth #3 – It’s best to take vitamins on an empty stomach : Take all supplements as directed and that’s typically with food. Ingesting them with a meal helps absorption and gets you in the habit of taking them regularly.
  • Myth #4- Regular activity gives me enough sunshine for sufficient Vitamin D : Most of us spend our days indoors working or watching TV. If we do go out, we slather on sunscreen. Whether you live in sunny city, you may not be getting enough sunshine exposure to create Vitamin D. Yet Vitamin D is important for bone, breast, colon health and more.
  • Myth #5 – Organic vitamins are better than synthetic : Your body cannot tell the difference. Certain organic vitamins may have naturally occurring fiber or other nutrients that synthetic does not. Usually either will suffice.
  • Myth #6 – All nutritional supplements are safe : Google the word vitamins and see how many results appear. Some are legit, some are not. How can you tell the difference? If a company makes outrageous claims to cure a disease or lose weight while you sleep, be suspicious. Look for reputable companies that sell high quality products, are guaranteed, have a long history in the industry, and comply with FDA guidelines.
  • Myth #7 – Taking vitamins affects your weight : Vitamins have no calories. There are no studies linking vitamins with weight gain.
  • Myth #8 – Supplements don’t expire : Whether in capsule or tablet form, over time, even supplements kept in dark bottles will break down. Although they might not be harmful to take, they will lose some of their potency. Follow the “best used by” date.
  • Myth #9 – The bathroom medicine cabinet is the best place to store vitamins : Supplements are best stored in a dry, cool place, so a medicine cabinet exposed to heat and moisture is probably not a good idea. Instead keep supplements in a kitchen cabinet away from the stove or sink.
  • Myth #10 –  You can’t overdose on vitamins : It is possible to consume too many supplements. Extra amounts of water soluble vitamins like B or C are excreted daily, fat-soluble vitamins including A and E get stored in fat tissues, so you’ll want to monitor your intake. Follow the recommended daily allowances and you should be in good shape.
  • Myth #11 – Probably you need multivitamin : Large number of people take a multivitamin — but they might be just wasting their money. Scientists say there’s no strong evidence to back up the belief that taking multivitamins makes you healthier.
  • Myth #12 – Vitamins, minerals and supplements are “magic bullets” for good health : Vitamins, minerals and supplements may provide important benefits for certain people, but, taken alone, don’t guarantee good health. Many doctors and scientists generally agree that a wellness plan should include exercise, a well-balanced diet, vitamins and supplements, restful sleep, meaningful work, school and/or volunteering, relaxation, and enjoyable time spent with families and friends.
  • Myth #13 – All Multivitamins are the same : There is no legal definitions of ‘Multivitamins’. Read labels to find a “multi” that doesn’t exceed 100 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for any nutrients.
  • Multi #14 – What’s listed on the label is what’s really in the product : Supplement manufacturers must list each ingredient (and its quantity) in a product, but they don’t have to prove the accuracy of these lists. So buy products with a certified seal-such as the USP seal or certification from medical laboratory or an established brand.
  • Myth #15 – Taking a multi-vitamin can make up for a poor diet and prevent disease : The fact is scientists are still undecided about whether multivitamins are effective. Some studies suggest multis protect against premature death. Others show they offer no benefit. Either way, food first is always the best prescription for needed nutrients. Nature packages vitamins and minerals in perfect combinations and benefits our bodies with yet-to-be-discovered nutrients, too. Dietary supplements are intended to supplement the diet, not replace it.
  • Myth #16 – All supplements are safe because they are natural : Anything that has the potential to be healing also has the potential to be harmful. Even though nutrients come from nature, when manufacturers process them into pill-form, they become unnatural. What’s more, natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe or effective.
  • Myth #17 – Supplements are never necessary : Dietary supplements may be beneficial for certain populations and to help manage various conditions. Examples include:
    • Someone on a calorie-restricted diet who may benefit from a multivitamin and mineral
    • Someone who is allergic to milk who may benefit from calcium and vitamin D
    • A vegan who may benefit from taking vitamin B12
    • Pregnant moms who benefit from taking folic acid

    The jury is out on many supplements, but most experts believe products are only helpful if you’re deficient in a given nutrient. Women who lose a lot of iron due to heavy menstrual bleeding, for example, might need an additional iron supplement while those who are going through menopause may need extra calcium and vitamin D.

  • Myth #18 – Supplements don’t interact with medications :  Certain supplements, including vitamin K (which helps blood clot), zinc (which some people believe boosts immunity) and omega-3s (which thin the blood), may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Whether you’re taking a daily aspirin to protect against heart disease or you’re on an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, the supplements you’re taking could interfere or enhance the effects of your medications. You should always share with your physician a list of any supplements you are currently taking to help avoid these negative interactions.
  • Myth #19 – Supplements always play well together : Some supplements help each other out, just like teammates. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, for example. Others actually work against each other. For example, calcium blocks the absorption of iron, and zinc blocks copper absorption. So taking high doses of one nutrient can actually cause a deficiency in another. Let your doctor know about every supplement you’re taking, even if you think it’s harmless. Many vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal supplements, have side effects ranging from a rash to stomach upset. They can also interact with medications and other vitamins.
  • Myth #20 – If small doses of vitamins are good, big doses must be even better : It is important to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of all the vitamins, but taking large doses (also known as mega-doses) can be harmful, especially for the fat-soluble vitamins that are stored in the body, but also for some of the water-soluble vitamins too.
  • Myth #21 – You can’t get enough vitamins from the foods you eat : If you eat a variety of healthy foods you will get vitamins from your diet. In fact, nutritionists prefer that people get their vitamins from foods because foods that contain vitamins also have other substances that scientists have found help keep people healthy
  • Myth #22 – Vitamins help me lose weight : There is no evidence that vitamins affect weight loss or gain. Herbal weight loss supplements have risen in popularity over the years, but there is little proof that they’re effective. Vitamin pills contain no calories themselves, unless you’re taking a chewable which contains sugar, but this should have little, if any, effect on your weight.
  • Myth #23 –  It doesn’t matter what time of day I take my vitamins : Your body performs different functions at different times of the day, and vitamins have certain requirements for proper utilization. Most vitamins are best taken with meals. Fat-soluble vitamins need fat in order to be absorbed. Calcium should be taken before bedtime because the body utilizes the mineral at night. Vitamin C lasts only a few hours in the bloodstream and should be taken every few hours. To get the most out of your vitamins, do some research to learn more about them. If you take multiple supplements, try organizing them in a compartmentalized pill box.
  • Myth #24 – You must eliminate all fat from your diet : The most nutritionally sound approach to dietary fat is low saturated fat, not no fat. Some nutrients are found in significant quantity only in higher fat foods.

 

The Bottom line –

More isn’t always better when it comes to vitamins – and it’s best to get them naturally from dietary sources, as long as you eat a balanced diet and have no health problems that affect your ability to absorb them. So, don’t automatically reach for a pill to improve your health – choose more nutrient-rich foods instead.

 

 

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