Is Smoking Sabotaging Your Workouts?

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A while back, I wrote an article about the damage drinking alcohol can do to the gains you might experience from working out, but what about smoking cigarettes? Unlike 100 years ago, today there is no debate whatsoever over whether or not cigarettes are bad for your health – everyone agrees inhaling smoke is damaging to your body, especially your lungs. So, does that mean if you are a cigarette smoker who works out, you’re just wasting your time?

Let’s take a look at what’s going on when you smoke and exercise:

Lack of Endurance

Right off the bat, if you smoke, you’re not going to be able to workout as well as you could if you didn’t. Cigarette smokers lack the endurance that their non-smoking counterparts possess – in some cases, by as much as 10 percent.

Psychological Defeat

As a former smoker, I know first hand what smoking does to your mental attitude towards exercise: you feel defeated before you even begin. When you’re a smoker, you kind of inherently realize certain things, like running, aren’t going to be something you can do well; you assume you can’t be athletic. Then you actually try to workout, and within minutes you are coughing, choking, and huffing… so you just give up, because it’s rather unpleasant.

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Hindered Fat Loss

Smoking hinders your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and carry it through the blood stream, which in turn hinders your body’s ability to burn fat through the process of fat oxidation. Simply put, the body of a cigarette smoker can’t burn fat as efficiently as the body of a non-smoker.

Hindered Muscle Gains

For the same reason your body can’t burn fat as well as a non-smoker, it also can’t build muscle as well. Less oxygen and blood flow to your muscles, means a slower and longer recovery period.

On the Bright Side

If you are a smoker, performing cardiovascular exercise is good for you and will help reduce the damage smoking causes. Study’s have shown that smokers who perform aerobic exercise at least three times per week are less likely to get lung cancer.

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In Conclusion

Is it an effort in futility to workout if you’re a smoker? Not exactly. If you’re a smoker, will you get the same results from exercising that a non-smoker will? Definitely not. Whether you smoke cigarettes or not, you should definitely exercise regularly, but don’t expect to get invited to the Olympics any time soon if you’re lighting up after you hit the gym.

Bacopa for Increasing Concentration

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I tend to lose my concentration from time to time and one of the herbs I like to use to make a medicinal herbal tea to help improve my concentration is Bacopa. Some of you may know Bacopa as water hyssop. Bacopa is an herb that contains compounds in it known as bascosides, which contain medicinal properties that help increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain to help increase concentration levels so a person has the ability to focus on the task they need to focus on.

The herb also acts as adaptogen and helps the body cope with stress levels physically and mentally, which makes this herb perfect for treating anxiety, panic attacks and sometimes even asthma attacks due to the calming effect it has on the body.

Preparing Bacopa Medicinal Tea

I find the best way to prepare the finest potent bacopa medicinal tea is by taking a teaspoon of dried bacopa and placing it inside a small tea ball and place it into a large teapot with a liter of boiling water. Then I place the lid on the teapot and allow the herb to steep in the water for 10 minutes to help draw out the medicinal properties as well as the light golden yellow color and earthy, yet slightly bitter taste the tea has to it. If you dont like bitter tasting medicinal teas you can mellow the flavor of bacopa tea out by adding a teaspoon of raw honey or nectar syrup into it.

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Once the tea is made I find it best to sip on it slowly one cup at a time until I am focused and back to the task at hand that needs to be done, or until my asthma attacks has begun to ease away. Typically, my asthma attacks are caused by stress and anxiety and drinking this tea helps ease the stress and anxiety naturally by acting as a natural sedative and adaptogen.

Other Health Conditions Bacopa Can Help Treat

Not only can bacopa help treat the lack of concentration as well as panic, anxiety and asthma attacks, but the herb is also useful for treating hypothyroidism, inflammatory diseases within the body, epileptic seizures, digestive disorders, drug induced liver damage, insomnia and memory loss. The herb has even been used to help prevent cancer, rid fungal infections from the body and help treat mild to moderate depression in people. Some people even use the herb to ease aches in pains in the body because the herb can act as a natural sedative.

Other Forms of Bacopa That Can Be Taken

If your not a fan of sipping on bacopa medicinal tea or simply don’t have the time to make it you can get the same health benefits from it using other forms such as tablets, capsules and tinctures. My personal favorite bacopa supplement to use is Herb Pharm Bacopa because it is made with pure organic bacopa and is a tincture that is easy to take.

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However, it does have a slight bitter taste to it that I always rid from my mouth by sipping on some juice afterwards. Now, you do not have to use this particular bacopa supplement to treat your common health conditions. You can use any supplement that works best for you and your body, but it is best to talk to an herbalist or doctor before taking this herb to treat any health condition to make sure it is right for you.

Precautions with Bacopa

The great thing about using bacopa is there are not any side effects from using this herb unless you take an extremely high amount of it. At high doses, bacopa causes extreme drowsiness and lightheadedness so it is best to use this herb properly in small amounts at a time to see improvements your health.

Holy Basil for Stress Relief and Emotional Well Being

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I decided to try an herbal supplement, called Holy Basil, to help me with insomnia. I’ve noticed that it does have a calming effect which helps me to fall asleep faster. What I have also noticed though, is that Holy Basil has also seemed to take the edge off of my stresses and constant worrying.

I think one of the main reasons for me not falling asleep or staying asleep at night is due to an overactive mind. I tend to think and worry a lot, resulting in a lot of anxiety. Holy Basil seems to calm down the noise in my head, helping me to feel more relaxed.

I found out about the benefits of Holy Basil from the Dr. Oz show. Another more well known name for Holy Basil is called Tulsi. On the Dr. Oz show, it was said that Holy Basil can help fight stress. I primarily bought the supplement to help with insomnia, however, I’ve also noticed a difference in my reaction to stress as well.

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I feel as though Holy Basil may also be helping by lifting my spirits a bit. On the bottle of Holy Basil that I had purchased, it says that Holy Basil promotes feelings of emotional well being and that it helps with stress. It also states that this herbal supplement supports a healthy respiratory system function as well. Might I add, I have not been sick since I’ve taken this supplement, even though I have been around people who had cold and flu symptoms.

This herbal supplement seems to be helping me so far with taking the edge off of my anxiety, low mood and stress levels. I still do experience stress, anxiety and low moods, however, Holy Basil may be helping to lessen the severity of my symptoms. Maybe the longer I take it, the better my symptoms will get.

I did an experiment for a week to see how the Holy Basil affected me. I decided to stop taking Holy Basil for an entire week. What I noticed was that I really did feel a difference when I had not been taking the supplement. I felt an increase in my symptoms of anxiety as well as a lower mood. So far, Holy Basil has been helping me by lessening some of the anxiety, stress and worry, so I will stick with it and see how long the effects will last. Anything that takes the edge off, even if a little bit, is helpful to me.

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If you are experiencing low mood, anxiety, high stress levels and/or insomnia, you may want to try Holy Basil to see if it might help you. You may want to talk to your medical doctor or mental health therapist first when trying a new supplement.

The good thing about an herbal supplement is that while it could still have the potential to cause some side effects, I think it is better than the risk of taking a prescription medication, which seem to have more side effects than natural remedies.

Biotin: How Does it Benefit Me and Where Can I Find It?

If you are pregnant, suffer from hair loss or brittle nails, skin problems, or have diabetes, then you may benefit from Biotin. Even if you don’t suffer from ailments and conditions, Biotin is a needed water soluble B-vitamin, regardless of age, that assists enzymes and metabolic reactions in the body.

To keep it simple, Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and it assists in metabolizing fatty and citric acids. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.

A Biotin deficiency is rare as the body requires only a small amount and unused portions are recycled in the body. However, it does have serious consequences if a person is lacking in it, such as: skin and hair problems, cholesterol issues (particularly in diabetics), and heart problems.

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Some symptoms include: loss of hair, eyelashes, brittle nails, skin issues, and conjunctivitis. For pregnant women, a lack of this deficiency can cause birth defects.

The general population are able to fulfill the daily required amount through a variety of foods such as: egg yolks, brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, liver, cauliflower, legumes, sardines, salmon, bananas, carrots, and mushrooms.

However, you may consider taking Biotin as a supplement if you are a picky eater, practice special dieting, eat a lot of raw eggs, drink alcohol excessively, use certain anti-seizure medications, take oral antibiotics, or have certain intestinal conditions.

Patients that are hospitalized and are feed intravenously, may also be deficient. Also, women who are breastfeeding or pregnant may be not be absorbing enough Biotin, even though they are taking a prenatal vitamin, as these pills do include this source. So, be sure to ask your doctor about “Biotin only” supplements.

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Ingesting biotin can be used to aid in pre-exisitng condition. It can strengthen hair and nails, as well as improve the appearance of your skin. Whatever the case, using a multivitamin with this supplement it is also good dietary practice to ensure to you getting a providing a sufficient amount to your body.

Biotin supplements can also be found at local health food stores or on-line. It is recommended that topical amounts not be used as a source of intake as the body processes biotin through the body metabolically.

Whether you are interested in preventing or curbing a medical condition, also remember to consult a physician first, particularly if you are pregnant, have diabetes, suffer from seizures, or have a heart condition.

Most of Us Have Been at a Place in Our Lives Where We Are Struggling to Reexpand Our Real Vigor

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Most of us understand that in order to squander stress and get vigorous we must trust diet and vigor through a concentrated and consistent implementation of a vigorous food intend and drill regime. There is no way around this formula; for all the magical diet pills and get vigorous rapid schemes – it all comes down to this plain combination. And if you snub the combination then you will ultimately crash at achieving long name shape. To open a diet and vigor regime you must first know where you are early.

Start with your food intake and look for behavior on a weekly footing to open eliminating those food groups that are contributing to stress expand and an unvigorous lifestyle. Many people, when embarking on a new diet intend, will eliminate everything right away, and while this may embrace up for a few existence or even weeks, eventually that qualities will go right back to their old drinking lifestyle.

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The key word here is “routine” and in order to verify a new routine you must do it steadily. For the first some weeks focus on removing those food groups that are high in drenched fat, or greasy, fried foods. start adding more cool fruits and vegetables and rest proteins into your diet.

Next to this, open to eliminate those objects restrainting sweetie with yield made from sallow flour. Instead, pioneer yield that restraint intact grain or wheat. Move towards a diet and vigor instruct that focuses on intact, accepted foods and avoids any food that is processed in any way and is hence possible to restraint sweetie and preservatives.

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A diet and vigor regime must also account for real activity and this should be enthused into steadily as well. start by incorporating small amounts of real activity into your daily life – charming the stairs, charming terse walks, stretching in the morning – and make from there. Work towards a consistent and weekly regime that includes cardiovascular drill – such as walking, operation, and exercises; stretching and heart work – such as yoga or Pilates; and stress education – such as the lifting of liberated stresss or the use of machinery.

If you proceed steadily and open to take restraint of your life through food and drill, you will shortly find that your diet and vigor regime has salaried off in stress deficit, bigger energy, and whole shape. More information:

Hilary Swank Touts the Oz Garcia Longevity Pak

Hillary Swank’s recent comments about her vitamin supplements have people frantically searching for the Oz Garcia Longevity Pak. Oz Garcia is a PhD, author and nutritional advisor. He has recently taken the place of other famous health experts as the “Nutritionist to the Stars”. In his book “Look and Feel Fabulous Forever”, he talks about how to avoid the symptoms of aging, increase your lifespan and your overall health.

Many nutritionists and health care experts agree that eating right and taking the right dietary supplements are extremely important for people that want to look and feel great throughout their lives (and who doesn’t?). They do not always agree about what to eat or what supplements are the most important.


The Oz Garcia Longevity Pak, also known as the “anti-aging” package, contains six unique supplements recommended by Oz to slow and possibly counteract the aging process. The supplements found in the pack include hormone precursors, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, a kola nut derivative for energy, extracts from a few Chinese herbs and other botanicals.

The most unique ingredient is a “new and improved” form of DHEA, most commonly sold for increased strength and muscle enhancement. Basically, everything in the pack is designed to improve or increase hormone production in a natural way.

The theory is that the decreased hormone production that normally accompanies the aging process is the cause of everything from wrinkles and graying hair to vascular disorders including some types of heart disease and erectile dysfunction. Until recently, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was a popular anti-aging therapy recommended by the medical community for women at or near the age of menopause and for men suffering from a variety of age related complaints.

But, the latest research indicates that health risks are associated with hormone replacement therapy. So, HRT is “out” and natural hormone boosters are “in”, so to speak.

There are literally thousands of products on the market that are touted as anti-aging supplements. Whether Oz’s is any better than the others is difficult to say. These types of supplements are expensive. They are inappropriate for some people, can interact with prescription medications and can aggravate some existing health problems.

As with any health supplement, people should consult their physician or personal nutritionist before they begin taking them.

Review: Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Creme 0.1%

Eau Thermale Avene Retinal 0.1% Anti-Aging Creme was formulated for tolerant skin type and is a very effective anti-aging product. Recommended by dermatologists, Eau Thermale Avenel Retinal 0.1% Anti-Aging is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.

Eau Thermale Avene Retinal 0.1% Anti-Aging Creme is actually available in three different strengths including 0.1% retinal which is currently the highest amount of retinal available in an over the counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrial product should begin.

Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare and a medical approach to skincare (www.4Derm.com).

Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1% is quite effective for tolerant skin for a couple of reasons. It’s effectiveness has been proven by clinical studies, but even more so, the product is actually a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies.

Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1% has been proven to re-establish glowing skin, radiance, and elasticity, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after proper cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun. A note to consumers, this product might possibly stain fabrics so it is recommended to use care when applying Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1%.

When you products of this strength it is advisable to consult with your dermatologist or esthetician if you are using other products. Should you make the decision to incorporate Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1%, bring your other products to the appointment. This way you can be advised properly as to what can and cannot be used to avoid adverse skin reactions.

Eau Thermale Avenue Retrinal does offer a complete skin care line which includes other products such as, Emollient Cream, Soothing Cream, Spring Water, Firming Gel, Cleanser, Lotion for Blemish-prone Skin, Smoothing Body Cream, an Extreme Tolerance Program which is used for hypersensitive and allergic skin, and consist of 7 different items.

Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1% is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic thus eliminating blemishes and clogged pores. Eau Thermale Avene Retrinal Anti-Aging Crème 0.1% is sold in 1-ounce tubes and retails for approximately $55.00. The product can be purchased online from the 4derm and Dermatologist.com Web site. For more information visit the Web site today.

Diet Review: Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle Diet

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Crunch time is here. You have 2 days to lose a few pounds and every second counts. You are dying to wear that little black dress out to dinner with you dream date or maybe you are heading to the beach with some friends. Whatever the reason, you have some LB’s to lose and no time to waste. So, what can help you shave off a few pounds in just two days? The Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle Diet. Lose up to 10 pounds in just 2 days with his diet mixture.

What is the Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle Diet?

It is a liquid detox diet formula. It has plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help to detoxify and invigorate your body. Comes in a 32 oz bottle and has 8 serving sizes.

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How does the diet work?

You mix 4 oz of the Miracle diet solution with 4 ozs of water 4 times a day and drink. It is very simple to prepare and drink. You must also drink 8 -12 additional glasses of water during the day in between servings of the miracle diet solution.

Where can you purchase this little diet miracle?

The Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle diet can be purchased almost anywhere. Wal-mart, Target, GNC, and most drug stores carry it in stock. The prices range from $12 – $19 for the 32 ounce miracle solution.

How does it taste?

It actually is very easy to drink and has a great taste to it. It is even a little sweet. I didn’t think it had a bad taste or even a bad aftertaste.

Does it work?

Yes! I had great success in the two days I used this diet. I lost about 8 pounds, although it says you can lose up to 10 pounds in the 48 hour period.

Being on the diet was challenging as you are only drinking for two days. You do not eat any solid foods. I didn’t feel sluggish or too tired which was a plus. I also didn’t have any cravings while using it. The big upside was feeling less bloated, slimmer, and better about having just lost 8 pounds in a hurry.

I checked website reviews to see what other people had thought about this diet and most reviews were favorable. The product has a 3.5 star rating on Amazon and twelve 5 star ratings on Wal-Mart.com.

If being on a liquid diet seems a little drastic, try the 3 Day Diet and lose up to 10 pounds in 3 days.

Unique Eco Friendly Skin Care Stocking Stuffers for Him

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Here is a selection eco-friendly skincare stocking stuffers for him. Your man does not have to be metrosexual to appreciate the advantages of healthy-looking skin, or to appreciate the benefits of switching to eco-friendly skincare and bath products.

Here are some unique and eco-friendly skincare items you can stuff into your man’s stocking this holiday season. These eco-friendly skincare products are idea for a husband, a boyfriend, a brother, a son, or a father.

First, make a handmade stocking out of recycled material in your house. Use an old shirt or other item that is destined for the rag bin. Sew or glue on festive holiday images or his name. Re-using and recycling materials you have is the first step to creating and eco-friendly stocking.

Another idea is to re-use an old holiday stocking that you have. Despite all the cute new designs on the new stockings in the stores, don’t be tempted to buy a new one. Use what you already have.

Unique Eco-Friendly Skin Care Stocking Stuffers For Him

Bay Rum Cologne Stocking Stuffer for Him

What man will not appreciate the name of this eco-friendly cologne made by Burt’s Bees? Plus, this cologne is a natural fragrance made from essential oils as well as tropical spices and herbs, according to Burt’s Bees. This cologne is a refreshing scent that does not carry that sickening alcohol smell of many men’s colognes.

Beard Lube Conditioning Shave with Jojoba and Eucalyptus

Men who need to shave daily for work often have irritate skin, so this is a great stocking stuffer idea for any man. Stuff his stocking with eco-friendly Beard Lube Conditioning Shave with Jojoba and Eucalyptus made by Jack Black.

This all-in one natural product will eliminate the need to purchase and use separate pre-shave, shave cream and post-shave lotions. In addition to being eco-friendly, it will save shelf space in the bathroom (that means more room for you, ladies!)

Canadian Pine with White Sage Bar Soap

Ladies, he may give up that dollar store brand soap for good when he lathers up with Canadian Pine with White Sage Bar Soap by Pangea Organics. This is a manly, lumberjack scented organic product that he will enjoy using in the shower. Why not stuff his stocking with it today?

Pure-Performance Grooming Cream

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Another stocking stuffer idea for him comes from Aveda. The Pure-Performance Grooming Cream by Aveda is an eco-friendly hair styling cream for men. It has a light and natural scent, and looks natural. Even the most hair styling-shy guy will enjoy this eco-friendly product that is a great stocking stuffer idea for him.

Skin Diver Active Charcoal Body Soap

Origins for Men makes a soap that is perfect for the hard-working man, laborer, or at-home DIY guy, who may be exposing his skin to impurities. The Skin Diver Active Charcoal Body Soap is an enticing black bar soap that is eco-freindly

The soap is made with deeply-penetrating Bamboo charcoal that will help to unclog his pores. It is masculine with aromas of refreshing wintergreen and strong clove. He will appreciate this unique stocking stuffer idea.

Burn More Fat by Cutting Back the Thermostat

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Having trouble shedding that extra layer of fat around your belly? Maybe the temperature in your home is too warm. According to experts, you may burn more fat if you keep the temperature indoors a little cooler. Is it time to turn the thermostat down?

Cooler Indoor Temperatures Boost Fat Burning?

It feels good to have a toasty home and a blazing fire in the fireplace, but it may not do much for your waistline. In a paper published in the journal Obesity Reviews, the authors looked at evidence that warmer indoor temperatures are contributing to the rise in obesity.

They point out that temperatures indoors during the winter months have increased over the past few decades and have paralleled the rose in obesity rates. They emphasize that mild thermal stress that comes from being exposed to colder temperatures causes the body to burn more fat to stay warm. Shivering also forces the body to burn more energy. The overall amount of extra energy burned may be small, but it adds up on a daily basis.

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Another Way Cooler Temperatures Boost Fat Burning

Recently, there’s been focus on brown fat. Brown fat is energy-rich fat that contains more mitochondria than ordinary white fat that pads the hips and tummy. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells and are involved in energy production, and the mitochondria in brown fat generate extra heat to keep the body warm.

Newborn babies have the greatest amount of brown fat for extra warmth. Kids lose much of their brown fat as they age, but even adults still have some, mostly around their back. This brown fat is normally dormant, but it becomes activated in cold environments. When it does, it promotes weight loss. Colder indoor temperatures help to activate this normally quiescent fat in adults.

Overall, the body burns more fat to help the body maintain body temperature in a cooler environment. Spending too much time indoors in higher temperatures turns off this fat-burning process, and, over time, can lead to weight gain.

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Burn More Fat in Cool Indoor Temperatures: The Bottom Line?

Exercise is the best way to heat up your fat-burning engines and burn more fat, but keeping your home a little cooler can help too. As you might imagine, our thinner ancestors didn’t spend much time warming their hands by the fire in the winter. They were constantly moving and had no fear of braving the elements. To boost your fat burning capabilities, take more winter walks and cut back your thermostat a little. It’ll save on your electric bill too.