HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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According to the most recent physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, adults can do 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, such as running, to get the same benefits as 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Running as little as five to 10 minutes a day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease.


Cycling

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that provides health benefits while taking it easy on your muscles and joints. It builds lower body strength while improving balance, coordination and cardiovascular fitness.


Backpacking/Hiking

Regardless of the intensity and duration of a backpacking trip, you burn a significant amount of calories while experiencing the great outdoors. It’s good for your mental health and helps with balance. If you don’t have time to work out during the week, a long hike or two on the weekend may offer health benefits similar to those gained by people who exercise more frequently, studies suggest.


Swimming

Swimming is another good way to improve your aerobic fitness and offers health benefits similar to walking and running. What’s more, because swimming is easy on your muscles and joints, you may be able to exercise longer than you could on land without increased muscle or joint pain, says the CDC. Swimming may be particularly good for older adults because it helps strengthen core muscles and reduces the risk of falls, one study found. In addition, swimming may help people with arthritis increase the use of their joints without worsening their symptoms, says the CDC. You can vary your swimming activity with freestyle swimming or aqua aerobics in an outdoor pool or local lake.


How can you pick an activity or exercise you like? Decide if you relish solitude to recharge or desire more social interaction with friends or family time. Think outside the box in terms of your unique circumstances. Gardening and farming involve physical activity just as much as playing a sport, biking, swimming or a traditional workout. The most important thing is to just get up, get out and get moving.

OUTDOOR RECREATION PROVIDES MANY FITNESS BENEFITS

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

U.S. government exercise guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. This can be broken down to 30 minutes a day five days a week. These 30-minute blocks can further be broken down into 10 3-minute blocks per day. A 10-minute interval training workout with just one minute total sprinting time was equivalent to a 50-minute endurance workout at a moderate pace. Interval training is ideal for people crunched for time.


Here are some activities you may want to try:


Brisk Walking

Simple and easy on the joints, regular brisk walking improves cardiovascular, bone and muscle health and helps you maintain a healthy weight while reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking three times a day for five days is enough to improve aerobic health, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brisk walking offers the same benefits as running.


Running

If you chose to run rather than walk, you don’t need to exercise for quite as long.

Sports and outdoor leisure activities can be the perfect ways to get in needed exercise without having it become a chore. The best activities for improved fitness build strength and endurance and burn calories and excess body fat. Truthfully, just getting up and out and moving will result in tremendous benefits to both your body and your mood.


Outdoor recreational activities improve physical wellness. Those who exercise frequently have fewer doctor visits, lower body mass indexes and lower systolic blood pressure than those who don’t, says Dr. Laura L. Payne with the University of Illinois. Mental wellness can impact physical wellness and vice versa. Leisure and recreation can help you better manage stress and reduce depression. Leisure lets you find balance in life and puts you in control of how you spend your time. For families, outdoor play time models healthy ways to handle emotions, stress and worklife balance.


Physical outdoor recreation is associated with improved self-esteem. It imbues your life with an overall sense of satisfaction. Recreational therapy can speed healing from medical conditions, aid in stress management and improve body and cognitive function. It can also help psychiatric patients, recovering addicts, children and seniors, says the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.