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Your Health, The Bottom Line

Last week I spoke with someone who was overweight, a smoker, and in his own words, addicted to stress. He said that the most important thing to him was to be able to play with his grandchildren. In his own words, he wanted for his body to work for him.

Knowing that I am a health coach, he asked me to tell him the bottom line to repair his ailing body. He also spoke abstractly about “other people” who do not want to make positive changes in their bodies, how “other people” were not motivated. Then he demanded, “How much is this going to cost me?” He said that he did not have any extra time or money to get healthy.

My conclusion about this poor guy is that he will probably have a very low-to-nil learnability index. My other conclusion is that there is no bottom line to achieving good health. Here are the components that when added together, can make dramatic and lasting change. If you are different than he is, and you are willing to approach being well from a variety of angles, you will enjoy this list.

  • Hydrate. Water will help your body eliminate toxins and keep your joints mobile. If you switch from soda to tea or water you will feel better almost immediately.
  • Move. Exercise will help reduce stress, stimulate the fat-burning/energy storage in your body, and help you resist a variety of undesirable diseases. Get warm, pink, moist and increase your heart rate. Otherwise, it doesn’t count as much. Breathing deeply will help quiet your mind and promote relaxation. Exercise releases hormones that will put you in a good mood.
  • Eat your veggies! They are loaded with the micronutrients to keep your cells healthy. Healthy cells mean healthy body. They provide essential building blocks that they left out of fast food and junk food.
  • Take high quality supplements. They kick in when you did not get your 8-9 servings of fruits and veggies that day. They provide an extra layer of protection. (Do not take them instead of eating nutritious food. That’s cheating.)
  • Get plenty of rest and keep the stress under control. Sleep restores your body. It even balances your hormones, a key to optimal health. The less stress the less inflammation in your body and the higher your self-esteem, which adds to making more pro-health choices.
  • Maintain normal weight. You will have more energy at an average weight than if you were very skinny or very fat. People with average weight have less heart disease and cancer and live longer.

The bottom line of health? The more you do the better you will feel and the healthier you will be. Now, that’s the bottom line!

Breathing Life Into Your Bottom Line

Smart managers are always looking for ways to improve the bottom line performance of their company or team. But you may have overlooked a powerful business tool that can reduce work-place stress and absenteeism, in addition to improving performance and creativity. Best of all, it requires no new hardware or software licenses, and only minimal training.

That tool is the breath.

Breathing techniques have long been a fundamental tool of yoga practitioners and alternative healers who have been touting the many benefits of conscious breathing for literally thousands of years. But now recent science and research are confirming the positive effects on our health, performance, creativity, and overall well being.

Businesses around the world have discovered that in order to be competitive their workforce needs to be healthy, happy, high performing, and creative. Considerable money and resources are expended each year developing and maximizing these characteristics in employees as it directly affects individual and organizational chances for success.

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS

As businesses try to cope with increased competition, shorter business cycles, and tighter margins, employees find themselves under more and more pressure, and that can have a significant impact on performance. According to American Sports Data, 26 percent of Americans feel stressed. That is especially significant as stress is an important contributing factor in heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and high blood pressure which together are responsible for well over a million deaths each year. In addition the depressive effect of stress on our immune system is well documented. People who are stressed have nearly twice the infection rates when exposed to a common colds compared to those who are not stressed.

The direct effect of stress on the balance sheet was illustrated recently by a decades long study at the University of Michigan. The study found that a startling 60% of all workplace absenteeism was directly caused by stress at a cost of nearly $300 billion! Similar studies have shown similar results in the Canada, the U.K., India, South Africa, and Australia. In addition, a recent three year analysis of over 46,000 workers from six major U.S. companies, found that depression and unmanaged stress emerged as the top two most costly risk factors in terms of medical expenditures — increasing health care costs by 2-7 times as much as physical risk factors such as smoking, obesity and poor exercise habits, according to Occupational Environmental Medicine.

BREATHING BENEFITS

Although there are many effective stress-reduction methods such as proper diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise, these are often the first habits to fall by the wayside when we become stressed. On the other hand, conscious breathing can be practiced anywhere, at any time, and can be effectively used to combat and counteract the negative effects of stress. That is why nearly every stress-reduction program emphasizes deep breathing. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that deep breathing exercises practiced regularly for as little as 10-15 minutes can be an effective treatment for high blood pressure and hypertension. What’s more the effects were found to be cumulative.

The breath may also play a key role in our ability to heal. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center found that patients suffering with severe psoriasis, who practiced stress reduction techniques including controlled breathing and meditation while being treated, healed as much as four times faster than the control group. In addition, the Journal of Cellular Physiology found that a cell’s ability to heal is directly affected by the amount of oxygen that is available to it.

With health care costs steadily becoming a bigger burden to the balance sheet, it may be worth pursuing these simple techniques for the health benefits alone, but conscious breathing techniques offer several other benefits that can improve performance and the overall work environment. Breathing techniques play a fundamental role in anger, grief, pain, and depression management. Their ability to soften intense emotional swings and allow us to step back and act objectively rather that react emotionally makes for better decision and better leadership, and can set the emotional tone for the rest of the team.

Ultimately, the success or failure of any organization rests on the people, their creativity, productivity, and decision-making. Providing tools they can use to fundamentally improve their performance on every level while enhancing their quality of life can be one of the best investments you can make and can truly breathe life back into your bottom line.

The Bottom Line About Hemorrhoids

If you are bothered by itching, pain, discomfort, burning around you anal area, chances are you have hemorrhoids. And, you are not alone. Over ten million other Americans are suffering right along with you.

Hemorrhoids can be a real pain in the butt. No pun intended. Seriously, hemorrhoids can really be annoying and in some case down right debilitating. The symptoms associated with hemorrhoids can make you miserable. Severe cases can actually keep you from being able to function in day to day tasks.

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins located in the anus or rectum. There are many causes of hemorrhoids. Some of which include:

* Bad diet

Having a diet that is high in fat and low in fiber can cause stool to be hard causing you to have to strain harder during bowel movements which can result in hemorrhoids.

*Heavy lifting

Lifting heavy objects can cause straining which can lead to hemorrhoids.

*Constipation or diarrhea

Excessive straining due to being constipated or having diarrhea can cause hemorrhoids.

* Obesity

Extra weight puts extra pressure on the body. This extra weight can cause strain which can lead to hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoid symptoms include itching around the anal area, pain and burning, bright-red blood on stool or toilet paper. There are many remedies you can try at home to alleviate the symptoms.

Over the counter creams and suppositories can help with the itching and pain. A change in diet, by adding more fiber can help to make your stools softer and help you to maintain a more regular, healthy bowel movement. For pain, hot water tub baths can help to take away the discomfort.

But perhaps the best at home remedy for hemorrhoids is the all natural remedies that are now available. These products come in both tablet form and soothing ointments with aloe. They are made using all natural ingredients that and can help to alleviate hemmorrhoidal symptoms in even the most severe cases.

So here is the “bottom” line. There is no need for you to suffer unnecessarily from hemorrhoids. There are remedies that are effective. So, stop the pain and itch once and for all, and find a remedy that works for you.