While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought. Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these sleep tips.
Steps to Better Sleep for Peak Sports Performance
(Family Features) For fans and athletes alike, fall means gearing up for a new season of sports activities. While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought.
However, a lack of sleep can significantly affect athletes’ performance both on and off the field.
Sleep quality, efficiency and duration all may decrease just before competition, limiting opportunities for athletes to get the optimal quality and quantity of sleep their bodies need due to intense practice and game schedules, according to research published in “Sports Medicine.”
The same research found sleep can affect several aspects of an athlete’s performance. Skills that require endurance tend to be more affected by sleep deprivation than short-term, high-power activities. Running speed and free throw accuracy improve with more sleep, for example. There is also evidence that getting inadequate sleep increases the risk of injury as sleep deprivation can cause low energy and problems with focus during the game. It may also negatively affect split-second decision-making.
Less sleep also means fewer opportunities for natural secretion of the growth hormones that occur in deep sleep and aide restoration, physical performance and a healthy metabolism.
Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these tips from Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra:
Find more advice to ensure a better night’s sleep at MattressFirm.com.
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Vaping and e-cigarettes have seen a marked rise in popularity over the last several years. While initially marketed as a smoking alternative or quitting aid, vaping has expanded to other niches and products. As teens and others flock to use the products, concerned parents have questions.
The Latest Craze
Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigs come in a variety of flavors and aromas to choose from that stand in stark contrast to the ashy and unpleasant smoke of a cigarette. As e-cigs have risen in popularity, however, their use among teens, both smokers and nonsmokers, has skyrocketed. As the effects and potential dangers are not well known, this has left parents in the lurch. Additionally, there are questions about marketing and whether teens and nonsmokers are being specifically targeted.
Nicotine, CBD and THC
“Vaping” is somewhat of a catch-all term, but not all vaping products or liquids are the same. Vaping liquids are made from nicotine, CBD or THC. Nicotine is the same substance found in cigarettes and comes from the tobacco plant. While generally considered better than traditional cigarettes, nicotine is an addictive and harmful chemical. Nicotine vaping is not a healthy activity for a nonsmoker. CBD is an oil produced by the hemp plant, and it does not contain nicotine. Vaping is an alternative to direct CBD oil consumption and is used for a variety of reasons. THC is derived from marijuana and represents an alternative to marijuana smoking and edibles. CBD does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana unless it also includes THC.
The Market is Booming
There are a number of CBD vape juices marketed towards people suffering from anxiety, pain, etc., that can seem appealing. The appeal comes from the fruity flavors and lack of side effects that come with consuming nicotine, marijuana or some prescription medications. Additionally, hemp-based CBD is not illegal on a federal level, unlike marijuana, and will generally not show up on drug tests. Some states have heavier regulations and may require doctor approval or prescription to use CBD products.
Use Among Teens
Vaping e-cigs and pens are easy to disguise and hide, and the vapor it produces can be flavored or odorless. This makes the behavior much more difficult to identify than traditional cigarettes or marijuana smoking and easier for teens to engage in at many places, such as schools. It is also a contention that companies are marketing their products specifically to a younger crowd, especially teens. While CBD may be a relatively benign use of vaping, the problem is that many teens are using nicotine- or THC-based liquids, which can be harmful.
The huge growth rate of potentially harmful e-cig use among teens has drawn the attention of the federal government. One issue that has specifically become a point of contention between e-cig and liquid makers, such as Juul; parents; and the government is whether young people are intended targets. In response, companies have launched new advertising to try and discourage teen vape use. It is likely that without a significant change in the number of teens who vape, federal regulators may impose strong restrictions and laws in the future.
Ultimately, the safety questions regarding vaping and e-cigs can be difficult to answer. While CBD vaping does have legitimate health uses, nicotine and marijuana vaping and the difficulty in discerning the difference can cause problems. Parents with medical questions can consult medical professionals for CBD vape alternatives while using online resources to discuss the problems presented by nicotine and marijuana use with their younger children. This may help reduce the use of potentially harmful products among teens.
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(BPT) - Haiti has among the highest rates of elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis), which attacks the lymphatic system, leading to abnormal enlargement of body parts, disfigurement, pain, disability and social ostracism. The World Health Organization estimates that 856.4 million people in 53 countries remain threatened by elephantiasis. The Haitian population also suffers from widespread iodine deficiency. The Haitian Ministry of Health has established a goal to completely eradicate elephantiasis and iodine deficiency disorders in Haiti by 2020. Fortunately, there is a simple cure for these conditions: salt fortified with iodine and diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC).
Iodine is an essential element for healthy human life, enabling the function of thyroid glands to produce needed hormones for proper metabolism. When children in the womb don’t get enough iodine from their mother, fetal brain development is impaired. During pregnancy, iodine deficiency can cause a child to develop learning and intellectual disabilities as well as developmental problems affecting speech, hearing and growth.
“Iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) is the single greatest cause of preventable mental retardation,” says Kul Gautam, the former deputy executive director of UNICEF. “Severe deficiencies cause cretinism, stillbirth and miscarriage. But even mild deficiency can significantly affect the learning ability of populations. Scientific evidence shows alarming effects of IDD. Even a moderate deficiency, especially in pregnant women and infants, lowers their intelligence by 10-15 IQ points.”
Kiwanis International, a worldwide service organization in more than 82 nations and geographic areas, partnered with UNICEF in a global effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). In just 10 years, starting in 1990, the percentage of the world population consuming iodized salt went from 20 percent to 70 percent. Kiwanis ultimately provided nearly $105 million to protect children from preventable mental and physical disabilities.
“There is no reward greater in life than helping children, and seeing them live healthy, vibrant lives. Our clubs and members understand the importance of helping children in their communities, and in communities around the world, and have proudly contributed to protecting more than 80 million children from the devastating effects of iodine deficiency,” said Stan D. Soderstrom, executive director of Kiwanis International, during a Kiwanis sponsored presentation at the 2018 World Salt Symposium in Park City, Utah.
Iodine deficiency was a problem in the United States as well, until American salt producers started adding iodine to table salt more than a century ago. Today, about 70 percent of the table salt sold in the United States is iodized. In fact, salt has been and remains the primary source for iodine in the American diet. The effect of this public health initiative has been to virtually eliminate the incidence of thyroid related illness, including goiters. “Iodized salt has been one of the greatest and most economical public health successes and it continues to help raise healthy, smart children,” said Lori Roman, President of the Salt Institute, which hosted the 2018 World Salt Symposium.
Many people are surprised to learn whole milk has the same essential nutrients as low-fat and fat-free milk, so no matter which type of milk you choose to pour in your cereal bowl, use in your smoothie or fill up your glass, you can rest assured that all dairy milk – from fat-free to whole – is simple, wholesome and naturally nutrient-rich.
Do You Love Whole Milk?
New research suggests you can follow your heart
(Family Features) New research suggests “good” fat may be good for your cholesterol. Whole milk may help raise “good” cholesterol and could be considered part of a healthy diet that’s also good for your heart, according to a new study from the“European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”¹
When adults drank two cups of whole milk every day for three weeks, they had higher levels of good cholesterol that promotes heart health (HDL) and similar levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar (risk factors for heart disease) as when they drank the same amount of fat free milk for the same period of time. Based on these findings, researchers concluded whole milk can be part of a heart-healthy diet as long as calories are taken into account.
This study adds to a growing body of research that suggests whole milk can fit within a healthy diet, and some studies suggest it may have additional benefits for both adults and kids – including maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough vitamin D. Researchers followed more than 18,000 healthy-weight women for nearly a decade and found those who consumed more whole milk and full-fat milk products (1.3 servings every day) were less likely to become overweight or obese compared to women who didn’t consume any full-fat dairy at all, according to a study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”²
Whole milk may also give kids a vitamin D advantage, according to another study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Kids who drank whole milk had higher blood levels of vitamin D than their peers who drank low-fat milk, even when the total amount of milk they drank was the same.³ Researchers believe this might be because milk fat helps kids’ bodies absorb vitamin D more efficiently.
Experts agree milk plays an important role in a nutritious, balanced diet, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three servings of low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products each day. Many people are surprised to learn whole milk has the same essential nutrients as low-fat and fat-free milk, so no matter which type of milk you choose to pour in your cereal bowl, use in your smoothie or fill up your glass, you can rest assured that all dairy milk – from fat-free to whole – is simple, wholesome and naturally nutrient-rich.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
¹Engel S, Elhauge M, Tholstrup T. Effect of whole milk compared with skimmed milk on fasting blood lipids in healthy adults: a 3-week randomized-crossover study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018,72:249-254.
²Rautiainen S, Wang L, Lee I, Manson J, Buring J, Sesso H. Dairy consumption in association with weight change and risk of becoming overweight or obese in middle-aged and older women: a prospective cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;103:979-988.
³Vanderhout SM, Birken CS, Parkin PC, Lebovic G, Chen Y, O’Connor DL, Maguire JL, TARGet Kids! Collaboration. Relation between milk-fat percentage, vitamin D, and BMI z score in early childhood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;104:1657-1664.SOURCE:
When it seems that everyone around you is feeling under the weather, you can be your own best line of defense against getting sick. Help ward off sickness for yourself and your family with these self-care tips that help promote healthy habits and fight off illness.
Kickstart Healthy Habits
(Family Features) When it seems that everyone around you is feeling under the weather, you can be your own best line of defense against getting sick. Help ward off sickness for yourself and your family with these self-care tips that help promote healthy habits and fight off illness.
Eat right. A diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can give your body the immunity-boosting nutrients it needs to function properly. Avoid excess, empty calories and instead aim for meals that deliver a healthy balance of all food groups.
Wash, wash, wash. Kids and bacteria go hand-in-hand, literally. Kids’ hands are everywhere, including some surfaces that may be more susceptible to bacteria. Hand-washing is a simple way to encourage healthy habits all year round, and Softsoap Liquid Hand Soaps make it easy to gently wash away bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand-washing is an important step to help avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. You can find more hand-washing tips and information by visiting CDC.gov/handwashing.
Get up and move. Exercise is one of your strongest weapons against illness. A regular routine that gets your blood pumping is good for overall health and your immune system. It can help flush toxins and keep your body in top condition.
Just say no. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, give yourself permission to draw hard lines about spending time with those who aren’t feeling well. Reschedule play dates or other events that might unnecessarily expose your family to germs.
Rest up. When your sleep schedule is off, so is your whole system, and that makes you more susceptible to illness. Everyone’s precise sleep requirements are different; you’ll know you’re getting enough if you feel rested when you wake up. If you’re not, and more overnight rest isn’t realistic, look for ways to sneak in some extra rest time during the day.
Enjoy the outdoors. Even when it’s cooler than you’d like, brief time outdoors can do plenty to lift your spirits and, in turn, your overall well-being. The fresh air and vitamin D from a bright, sunny day are free and easy ways to give your body a boost and help ward off illness.
Kickstart your healthy habits by visiting Softsoap.com .
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Adults and kids take in about 400 calories per day as beverages, according to the USDA’s Choose My Plate program. Beverages can be a key source of nutrients, and when it comes to nutrition, moms want to make informed choices for themselves and their kids.
5 Things to Know About Milk and Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives
(Family Features) Adults and kids take in about 400 calories per day as beverages, according to the USDA’s Choose My Plate program. Beverages can be a key source of nutrients, and when it comes to nutrition, moms want to make informed choices for themselves and their kids.
With so many options available, it’s no surprise moms have questions. Some moms choose to serve alternatives to milk rather than real dairy milk, but it’s important to know that milk and non-dairy alternatives are not created equal. In fact, these beverages differ in five key areas: nutrition, ingredient list, added sugars, price and taste.
Unlike many non-dairy milk alternatives – farm fresh, real dairy milk is naturally nutrient rich. Milk naturally provides calcium, phosphorus, high-quality protein, potassium and B vitamins. It is also fortified with vitamins A and D, creating a nutrient powerhouse of nine essential nutrients. Non-dairy milk alternatives, on the other hand, vary in their nutritional profiles, some containing little to no naturally occurring nutrients, so most are fortified.
When you compare the ingredient list of milk to non-dairy alternatives, you may be surprised to find that many alternatives have 10 or more added ingredients, including salt, sugar or thickeners like gums. Dairy milk, a minimally processed and farm-fresh beverage, has just three ingredients: milk, vitamin A and vitamin D.
When you look at the nutrition label on a gallon of milk, you will find sugar listed. However, that sugar is not added – it’s naturally occurring lactose. But people may not realize when a food or beverage has added sugar. For instance, many types of non-dairy milk, like almond milk, contain added sugar. Ingredients like cane sugar or cane juice on the ingredients list indicate sugar has been added to non-dairy milk.
At just about a quarter per serving, milk delivers more nutritional value per penny than just about any other beverage. Compare that to almond milk, at about $0.45 per 8-ounce serving, and other non-dairy alternatives like rice milk that can cost as much as $0.79 per serving.¹ The average American household spends about 10 percent of their budget on food – nearly $80 a week for groceries. One year of dairy milk will cost the average family $628 vs. $1,222 per year for vanilla almond milk. That’s nearly $600 per year in savings.²
Milk is the foundation for many classic recipes and tastes from around the world. From creamy macaroni and cheese to classic alfredo sauce and delectable creme brulee, milk adds dimension, accentuates flavor and serves as a decadent base to many of your favorite dishes. If you want to swap real dairy milk for another ingredient, remember that each non-dairy milk alternative has a different flavor, which can change the flavor profile or the consistency of your dishes, even for pancakes, oatmeal and smoothies.
To learn more about the differences between milk and non-dairy milk alternatives, visit milklife.com/knowyourmilk.
¹ Sales data from IRI, calendar year 2017, and average online grocery prices for top markets.
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