Health – Inspire Us https://www.inspireusafoundation.org Inspiring People To Lead a Healthier Life Through Fitness & Nutrition Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:18:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/favicon.png Health – Inspire Us https://www.inspireusafoundation.org 32 32 Do Mold Spores Ever Die? Is it Possible to Kill Them? https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/do-mold-spores-die/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/do-mold-spores-die/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2020 06:03:46 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=783 dirty curtain ventHousehold molds are simple, living organisms. While other organisms like plants naturally die, fungi or molds do not. Rather, mold has two different life stages: viable and non-viable. Mold spores are around you at all times and are highly airborne. Even if surface level mold is removed, mold spores will become dormant (non-viable) until the […]]]> dirty curtain vent

Household molds are simple, living organisms. While other organisms like plants naturally die, fungi or molds do not. Rather, mold has two different life stages: viable and non-viable.

Mold spores are around you at all times and are highly airborne. Even if surface level mold is removed, mold spores will become dormant (non-viable) until the ideal conditions for growth are re-introduced. Depending on the species of mold, some spores can remain dormant for hundreds of years.

While mold spores are highly durable, there are ways that you can significantly improve indoor air quality (IAQ). In order to have a better understanding of how to improve IAQ, you first need to know how mold spores reproduce.

The Life Cycle of Mold

All indoor mold follows the same life cycle and will germinate once ideal conditions for growth are met.

  1. Hypha Growth

Hypha are branching filaments that release digestive enzymes in order to metabolize substrate. As the hyphae continue to metabolize the substrate, they begin to form a large colony called a mycelium.

  1. Spore Formation

Once the mycelium has matured, the ends of the hypha cells will develop spores. The formation of spores is dependent on environmental factors like temperature, the presence of moisture and oxygen, as well as the availability of a food source. If these parameters aren’t met, mold will not grow.

  1. Spore Dispersal

Spores then disperse through the air until they reach a new environment that’s suitable for germination. To reiterate, mold spores are hardy organisms that are capable of remaining dormant for years. During this stage it’s possible for millions of spores to be released into the air.

mold growth garden

  1. Germination

Once the mold spores find themselves in an environment that’s suitable for germination it will restart the life-cycle process by creating a new hypha cell.

Viable vs Non-Viable Mold Spores

Since mold spores are around us at all times, rather than looking at mold spores as being either dead or alive, they’re referred to as either viable or non-viable.

A mold spore is essentially a seed. With adequate amounts of nutrients, ambient temperature, oxygen, and moisture, a seed will grow and a spore will germinate.

When mold “dries out” the mold spores become non-viable or inactive. However, it’s important to note that even in a non-viable state, mold spores can still cause allergic reactions like itchy eyes, dermal reactions, wheezing, and sore throat.

What Do Mold Spores Need to Grow?

In order for mold to grow it needs a food source to metabolize and moisture (water content). External factors like the presence of oxygen as well as the appropriate temperature have a big impact on the survive-ability of mold.

Food Source

Mold can only grow so long as there is substrate for the hyphae cells to metabolize. Outdoors, mold will digest dead plants, trees, and various other debris. Indoors, mold will digest drywall, wood, and paper.

While mold can’t digest non-carbon containing materials like metal and cement, it can digest dust particles that settle on the surface of these materials. As a result, mold can also germinate and grow on them.

Moisture Content/Humidity

Mold requires water in order to grow. Climates that have high levels of relative humidity (greater than 60 percent) have more water vapor in the atmosphere. When humid air comes into contact with structures that are colder than the air, the water vapor condenses.

Surfaces like gypsum drywall, wood, flooring material and other structural surfaces are porous and will readily absorb moisture. As a result, mold will grow in and on these surfaces. This is why homeowners are recommended to enhance the quality of ventilation in their homes. We suggest you carefully study this extensive write-up on the dangers of poor ventilation.

Oxygen

Like humans, molds require oxygen in order to grow. Molds can also survive at low levels of oxygen.

Temperature

Most indoor molds cannot grow below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. For this same reason, food is refrigerated at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mold grows best at temperatures between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is also what most humans find comfortable to live in.

How to Control Mold Spores in the Home

While mold spores may be around you at all times, there are ways to prevent mold from being viable:

Humidity Levels

Humans are particularly sensitive to humidity levels. Sweating is an autonomous process where-in sweat travels through tiny tubes to the epidermis. The sweat then evaporates and cools the surrounding skin.

Humidity is then a measure of the amount of water vapor (gas) in the atmosphere. Meaning, a relative humidity of 100% means the air is completely saturated with water vapor and can’t evaporate anymore. This is why you feel much hotter when humidity levels are high, while the temperature may feel normal.

Elevated levels of humidity cause the same problems in the home. When warm, moisture-laden air contacts a cold surface like plumbing, walls, duct-work, etc, it results in condensation on these surfaces.

humidity moisture window

In order to combat humidity, you can:

  • Invest in a dehumidifier
  • Use exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the space (close them when it rains)
  • Ensure that your dryers duct-work has short runs and is exhausted outdoors

Air Purification Systems

Mold spores are the reproductive unit for fungi. By filtering the air around you, you can effectively remove mold spores and prevent the various allergic responses detailed above. Keep in mind that no matter the capacity of the air purifier, you will not be able to remove ALL mold spores from the air.

There are a number of air purifiers available, however they are mainly separated by their method of filtration. In terms of removing mold from the air, you should look for a filter that uses True HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air.

A HEPA filter is rated to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.03 microns. A typical mold spore is 4 – 30 microns in size. While HEPA filters are effective at removing mold spores from the air, they need to be changed regularly. If they aren’t, they can also become a viable surface for mold to reproduce.

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Is Poor Ventilation Dangerous? Indoor Air Quality Explained https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/is-poor-ventilation-dangerous/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/is-poor-ventilation-dangerous/#respond Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:03:47 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=784 Ensuring that a space is properly ventilated helps to improve indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can have serious health implications due to the build-up and prolonged exposure to volatile organic compounds like mold. Poor ventilation in the home is dangerous. Lower air exchange rates increase the concentration of airborne pollutants. Environmental factors like […]]]>

Ensuring that a space is properly ventilated helps to improve indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can have serious health implications due to the build-up and prolonged exposure to volatile organic compounds like mold.

Poor ventilation in the home is dangerous. Lower air exchange rates increase the concentration of airborne pollutants. Environmental factors like climate, humidity, and temperature all affect when home-owners decide to either naturally or mechanically ventilate their space. Poor ventilation can also result in moisture build-up and mold growth.

It’s important to have an understanding of how the air in your home/place of business functions.

How Air Moves Through Your House

All homes exchange indoor air with the outdoors. Air exchange occurs in two ways: air leaks and temperature and pressure differences.

All homes have air leaks or passages by which air can travel through. Examples include around pipes and plumbing, chimneys, vents, as well as cracks that form between structures like windows and walls.

frost window moisture

Temperature and pressure differences help to move air in and out of buildings through a phenomenon known as the Stack Effect. In laymen terms, the stack effect is essentially how warm air moves upward in a building due to air buoyancy.

This occurs because warm air is lighter than cold air. As warm air escapes the upper levels through air leaks it reduces the pressure in the ground floor which causes air to infiltrate.

Essentially, cold air infiltrates the ground floors and causes warm air to ex-filtrate on the upper floors.

Signs of Poor Ventilation

These signs are usually indicative of a home that has poor ventilation:

  • Windows and glass that appear frosted due to condensation
  • The discoloration of floor, wall tiles, and grout
  • Early signs of rust stains on plumbing
  • Mold growth on structural surfaces like walls and wood
  • Strong odors that don’t dissipate
  • Heat build-up that doesn’t dissipate

Types of Ventilation

There are three types of ventilation used to help combat airborne pollutants and humidity: spot, dilution, and natural.

Spot Ventilation

Spot ventilation targets a specific source of air pollution/moisture. Examples include a range hood above a stovetop, an exhaust fan in a bathroom, or the exhaust (duct-work) for a clothes dryer.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommend intermittent or continuous ventilation rates as follows:

  • Bathroom: 20 (Continuously) – 50 CFM (Intermittently)
  • Kitchen: 100 CFM (Intermittently) or 5 Air Changes per Hour (ACH Contiously)

Dilution Ventilation

Dilution ventilation is capable of supplying and exhausting large amounts of air from a building. The overarching goal is to dilute the concentration of airborne contaminants through air changes.

An air change occurs through natural ventilation as well as mechanical ventilation.

Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is the uncontrolled movement of air in a space. Air naturally infiltrates a building or structure through air leakage. However, homes today are engineered to be more energy efficient so that air leaks and the subsequent thermal energy loss are nullified.

This also means that air can’t naturally infiltrate a space. By opening windows and doors you allow for natural ventilation to occur. Meaning, fresh air enters the space and polluted air exits.

Natural ventilation does have limitations and essentially relies on ambient temperature, wind, and how air-sealed your home is. Many people opt to go the route of mechanical ventilation instead.

natural ventilation open windows

Mechanical Ventilation

Mechanical or whole-house ventilation is capable of providing uniform ventilation throughout the space. These systems are comprised of exhaust fans and duct systems to perform air changes.

There are four mechanical ventilation systems used: exhaust, supply (intake), balanced, and energy recovery.

An exhaust ventilation system works to depressurize the building. Inversely, a supply ventilation system works to pressurize the building. A balanced system does neither, rather they introduce and exhaust fresh and polluted air.

An energy recovery ventilation system is capable of ventilating a space while minimizing energy loss.

Reasons Poor Ventilation is Dangerous

Poor ventilation can have a negative impact on your home and work space as well as your health.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when warm air collides with a cold surface. It also occurs due to high levels of humidity and lack of ventilation.

Condensation is most noticeable on structural surfaces like windows. However, it can manifest itself on walls, carpets, flooring, wallpaper, and furnishings.

Condensation can also become trapped in porous materials and build-up over time. This can cause timber to rot and swell and cause metal to oxidize and rust.  It can also lead to the growth of mold.

The easiest way to combat this is by ventilating the space. Open windows and doors and use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

For spaces like attics, this can be especially problematic. It’s a dark, warm space that can be prone to moisture-build and mold growth. These spaces will commonly have intake and hot air exhaust vents to combat this problem.

Mold Growth

brick wall mold

Mold thrives in humid climates due to condensation and moisture. In order for mold to grow it requires water, a food source, and oxygen. Only one of these factors can be eliminated: moisture.

Building materials like drywall, wood, and paper are carbon-containing which mold can consume as a nutrient source. Mold are obligate aerobes and require oxygen in order to survive. With that said, even if you reduced oxygen in the atmosphere, mold can also thrive in low levels of oxygen.

Adequate ventilation prevents environmental factors like humidity levels and condensation that results in moisture build-up.

Mold exposure has cold-like symptoms. These symptoms become exacerbated in individuals who are allergic to mold.

Low Oxygen Levels

Poor ventilation can result in the build-up of carbon dioxide and result in little oxygen. Symptoms of low oxygen levels include shortness of breath, headaches, and fatigue.

Airborne Contaminants

There are both indoor and outdoor contaminants that can become trapped in your home or work space due to poor ventilation.

Examples of indoor contaminants include:

  • Emissions from glues, cleaning supplies, and particle board used during construction.
  • Appliances that use gas as a fuel source like cooking range, furnace (wood-based too), or water heater.

Examples of outdoor contaminants include:

  • Allergens and particulates
  • Mold spores
  • Dust particles (primarily comprised of dirt and pollen)
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Key Differences Between Olive Leaf Extract And Oil Of Oregano https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/olive-leaf-extract-vs-oil-of-oregano/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/olive-leaf-extract-vs-oil-of-oregano/#respond Mon, 11 May 2020 14:56:46 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=761 olive oil oregano tomatoesPathogen destroyers offer a complementary and alternative means of assisting the immune system. While they do not act the same way as immune boosters as they don’t build the body’s immune functions, they do help free up the immune function of the body. They do this by destroying the pathogens that would otherwise keep the […]]]> olive oil oregano tomatoes

Pathogen destroyers offer a complementary and alternative means of assisting the immune system. While they do not act the same way as immune boosters as they don’t build the body’s immune functions, they do help free up the immune function of the body. They do this by destroying the pathogens that would otherwise keep the immune system preoccupied. They function similarly to antivirals and antibiotics, with the difference being that they are natural.

Olive Leaf Extract vs Oil of Oregano

Olive Leaf Extract

Extract from olive leaf has long since been a staple in traditional medicine. Sourced from the olive tree leaves, they are known for a bevy of benefits. Research reveals that the extract’s main component called oleuropein has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant, immune-stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties.

olive leaf tree

Throughout history, extract from olive leaf has been a popular treatment and prevention for infections including influenza, common cold, shingles urinary tract infection, and Candidiasis. It is also used for treating allergies, diarrhea, and even such diseases as chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

The extract is also known for its antiviral properties, making it quite useful in holistic medicinal practice for the treatment of certain viruses. Olive leaf extract has also shown in a laboratory setting to be effective in fighting mononucleosis, rotavirus, and herpes. It might also bring about positive results when used against HIV and influenza.

Admittedly, the research may be limited only to cultures of cells, the benefits of the extract may have yet to be proven in actual human studies. Still, there is some solid anecdotal evidence that supports the effectiveness of the substance in the treatment of cold sores.

Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano is extracted from the shoots and leaves of the plant. Known for its scientific name Origanum vulgare, the flowering plant comes from the same family that mint belongs to. Usually, it is used for flavoring food.

The plant originated in Europe although today, it can be found growing in almost every part of the world.

The Romans and the Greeks were the first to tap into its medicinal values. The plant is named from the Greek word “ganos” which means delight or joy and “oros” which means mountain.

The oil is extracted from the air-dried shoots and leaves. Once they have completely dried, the oil gets extracted. Using a process called steam distillation, the oil is then concentrated.

oregano cream dish

It’s notable that the oil is comprised of terpenes, terpenoids, and phenols. These are known for their antioxidant properties. They are also often credited for the distinct fragrance of the oregano plant.

  • Carvacrol – Considered as the phenol of highest abundance in oregano oil, it is known for having the ability to inhibit growth of some bacteria.
  • Thymol –Known for its natural antifungal property, it’s also known for its capacity to protect the body against toxins as well as in supporting the immune system.
  • Rosmarinic Acid –Another powerful antioxidant, it can help protect the body against the damage that free radicals cause.

Due to the abundance of carvacrol in oregano oil, it may be effective against fighting certain bacteria types.

For instance, a common bacteria is Staphylococcus, which is known for causing staph infection. Some of the strains of these bacteria can sometimes naturally occur in the human body. However, when it grows at an unprecedented pace, it may cause symptoms that are quite bothersome to the person.

Research reveals that carvacrol can be quite effective in the elimination of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus— two of the most known causes of the infection.

Rubbing oregano oil on the skin or taking it as a supplement might help one harness its antibacterial properties.

Conclusion

Considering that research is limited as far as oregano oil and olive leaf extract go, it may still be too premature to recommend these supplements for treating any condition.

It’s important to remember that delaying or avoiding standard care or choosing to self-treat a condition may bring about serious consequences later on. If you’re pondering the idea of using these supplements for whatever health purposes, see to it first that you consult your doctor for proper guidance.

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Olive Leaf Extract – Its Fantastic Skin Benefits https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/olive-leaf-extract-benefits-for-skin/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/olive-leaf-extract-benefits-for-skin/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 17:53:56 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=762 olive tree leavesLeaves of the olive tree were first used in Ancient Egypt for medicinal purposes. Considered to symbolize heavenly power, olive leaves have since been therapeutically included in the diet as herbal tea, an extract or powder. The leaves are rich in compounds that are potentially bioactive that may possess some anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and antioxidant/anti-hypertensive properties. […]]]> olive tree leaves

Leaves of the olive tree were first used in Ancient Egypt for medicinal purposes. Considered to symbolize heavenly power, olive leaves have since been therapeutically included in the diet as herbal tea, an extract or powder. The leaves are rich in compounds that are potentially bioactive that may possess some anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and antioxidant/anti-hypertensive properties.

There is an increasing number of studies that look into the medicinal capacity of olive leaf extract, highlighting its benefits in regulating blood pressure, increasing energy as well as supporting the immune system.

As a result of these promising scientific findings, many are looking into the medicinal potential of olive leaf extract as it steadily gains popularity and recognition in traditional and modern medicine.

holding leaves olive

Olive Leaf Extract – What is it?

The extract is sourced from the olive tree (Olea europaea) leaves. The tree belongs to the Oleaceae family that jasmine, lilac, the true ash tree, and forsythia are apart of. The evergreen shrub or tree is naturally found in Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia. It is believed by researchers that the tree may have originated 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, where ancient Mesopotamia and Persia used to be.

The tree is typically short in stature and will rarely exceed 26-49 feet in height. Its small flowers are feathery and white-colored with leaves of a silver-green hue to match. Olives are generally harvested when they are green to purple. The olive seed is often called the pit while the British usually call it the stone.

Around the early part of the 1980s, crushed leaves of the tree were used to help lower fever. Some few decades down the road, the leaves are now used in the treatment of malaria via tea blends.

In Morocco, the leaves are also infused to help control diabetes and to regulate blood sugar. The numerous medicinal properties of the leaf extract are credited to the numerous powerful compounds that the plant possesses.

olive leaf capsules

One compound found in olive leaf is secoiridoid oleuropein. This bioactive compound makes up for about 9% of the leaves’ dry matter.

Pure Mountain Botanicals notes that there are also a variety of other bioactive compounds that can be found in olive leaf including flavonoids, secoiridoids, as well as triterpenes. Known as plant metabolites, these components offer a whole host of benefits through their antioxidant effects and pathways that signal the cells.

Another important component of olive leaf, oleuropein, has received attention since the 1900s due to its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. There are studies revealing that the polyphenol oleuropein is a powerful antioxidant that can be instrumental in naturally lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease. The compound has also displayed functions that are anti-cancer as it seems to help animal tumors regress if not totally disappear.

Olive Leaf Extract and Olive Oil— What’s the difference?

A lot of people should be forgiven for thinking that the two are the same; They come from the same source, after all. However, they are actually different. Olive oil comes from the olive fruits where-as olive leaf extract comes from the tree’s leaves. Sure, they are sourced from the very same plant but they are made using different parts of the tree.

Olive Leaf Extract for Skincare

A number of studies concerning the extract and its effects on the skin were conducted and it was revealed that the extract can be instrumental towards helping the skin heal itself more rapidly. They have also found that it can help inhibit skin cancer and tumor growth.

There is a bevy of products for skincare that use the extract from the olive leaves that are out there today. These products range from those that hydrate and moisturize the skin.

skin face woman

When applied topically, it’s soothing and hydrating properties will help reduce blood flow and redness and it is even considered more effective than Vitamin E. The polyphenol oleuropein is credited for this particular characteristic. After scientists have identified and isolated it, they have determined that it is the same source of the all-too-familiar bitter taste that top-quality olive oils have— and that’s on top of the many medicinal properties it possesses.

The leaves are also known to contain flavonoids including kaempferol, rutin and quercetin. These phytonutrients are known to help protect the skin against a variety of harsh elements in the environment.

Who should use olive leaf extract?

Anybody can benefit from the use of the extract. Those with acne scars can benefit from the use of these products too as well as those with superficial wounds.

Antibacterial and non-irritating, the extract is ideal for keeping sensitive skin moisturized, even those that are riddled with conditions like eczema or acne. The oil can just be used as a treatment via topical application to protect and hydrate the skin.

Things to Remember when Taking Olive Leaf Extract

This amazing super-ingredient should be safe for anyone to consume. On top of its multiple benefits to the skin, the extract is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which will allow it to work wonders in addressing a whole host of health conditions.

This includes regulating cholesterol and blood pressure, keeping the cognitive functions properly functional, preventing certain cancers, as well as fighting off arthritis and diabetes.

 

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10 Fun Sober Group Activities to Aid in Recovery https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/sober-group-activities/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/sober-group-activities/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 13:37:47 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=739 people activity funRecovery from alcohol is largely a matter of preventing relapse. For the longest time, you may equate happiness and fun with alcohol. This is far from the truth. Alcohol can overall damage your health and lead you to do things that can harm others and yourself. The many benefits of being sober, however difficult, is […]]]> people activity fun

Recovery from alcohol is largely a matter of preventing relapse. For the longest time, you may equate happiness and fun with alcohol. This is far from the truth. Alcohol can overall damage your health and lead you to do things that can harm others and yourself. The many benefits of being sober, however difficult, is truly worth striving for.

Sober group activities offer a great way for you to explore the new you. Having clean, positive fun through various group activities allow you to have a rich, meaningful life and fill up the time you used to spend feeding your alcohol addiction.

With that in mind, here are ten fun sober group activities you can enjoy as you walk the path to recovery.

10 Fun Sober Group Activities

  1. Go to an Arcade

Relive the good old school times and invite your friends to head to your local arcade. You won’t get bored when you have plenty of fun game options.

  1. Rejuvenating Spa Day with Friends

Indulge in a pampering massage, paint your nails, have hair and face masks, and just relax with your friends.

  1. Go on a Hike

If you’re near mountains, forests, or national parks, tag your friends along and enjoy mother nature as you head out for a hike. Go easy and feast your eyes with the natural beauty and calmness of nature and enjoy the breath of fresh air.

woman hiking woods

  1. Go Sightseeing

Just dress up and invite your group for sightseeing around your town. You may discover a new store, museum, or restaurant you may want to visit or try out.

  1. Play Board or Card Games

Get a healthy competition brewing with classic board games that are not only fun and entertaining but can also channel out wacky moments and humorous conversations with your loved ones.

  1. Volunteer in Your Community

A lot of organizations in your community can use a helping hand. Volunteering and giving back to your community can give you a sense of purpose and lasting feelings of happiness, and it couldn’t be more fun when you share the activities with your like-minded group of friends.

  1. Organize a Sober Dinner Party

A simple dinner where you and your friends can share a potluck meal can bring out an unlimited dose of fun, and not to mention hearty conversations. Bonus if you actually bring in the ingredients and try out a new recipe with your friends.

  1. Enjoy Outdoor Picnic

Spend quality time with your loved ones or friends in a simple outdoor picnic and capping your day marveling at the sunset over the mountains.

group picnic buildings

  1. Host a Tournament

Get the whole group engaged and have a great time together, playing sports and any games you like. Set up a volleyball net, play basketball, or dodgeball. You get to sweat it all out while having fun and a healthy dose of laughter.

  1. Have a Movie Night

Order pizza or take-out food from your favorite restaurant, chill out with your loved ones and watch a good movie.

While the path to recovery from addiction and rehabilitation is far from easy, simple pleasures like enjoying your town and having a fun dinner with your friends without the looming presence of alcohol can brighten even the most difficult days.

Having good friends by your side and participating in fun, sober activities are crucial in helping you navigate life after addiction. Going through recovery doesn’t mean you have to be alone, and a sober life doesn’t have to equal a boring life.

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Benefits of Being Sober – 7 Ways Life Gets Better When Staying Sober https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/benefits-of-being-sober/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/benefits-of-being-sober/#respond Sat, 08 Feb 2020 15:09:21 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=740 man handing alcoholAt the early phase of recovery, it may be difficult to imagine yourself being completely free from alcohol addiction and actually “enjoying” life. But, realize that you are not alone. Without a doubt, you can be sober and, at the same time, happy – even if right now, you’ll think it is impossible. It’s no […]]]> man handing alcohol

At the early phase of recovery, it may be difficult to imagine yourself being completely free from alcohol addiction and actually “enjoying” life.

But, realize that you are not alone. Without a doubt, you can be sober and, at the same time, happy – even if right now, you’ll think it is impossible.

It’s no secret that being sober has many advantages compared to when a person is a slave to alcohol addiction.

But if you need a gentle reminder of why being sober is better, here, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of being sober:

The Benefits of Being Sober

Rally Point Palm Beach recovery center helps shed some light on these benefits and  things you should look forward to after recovery.

  1. Improved Health

It’s a no-brainer that alcohol does more harm than good to your body. Alcohol abuse can damage your internal body organs, impair your immune system, and increase your risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

The moment you stay away from alcohol and embrace a healthy lifestyle, your weight will slowly decrease, and your blood pressure and overall physical well-being will improve.

man healthy handstand

  1. Anxiety and Depression

Consuming too much alcohol can do as much harm to your emotional and mental well-being as it does to your body physically. Many individuals fall into the trap of thinking that alcohol is a crutch – that is to escape from negative emotions, numb the pain, or cope up with stress.

But the truth is, the effects of alcohol are all short-lived. Alcohol doesn’t, and will not solve the underlying issues. It can only cloud your thinking and this in turn only worsens anxiety and depression. When you let go of your alcohol addiction, you will find that your anxiety decreases, you’ll have a clearer mind, and you will have a more positive outlook in life.

  1. Better Quality of Sleep

Alcohol robs you of the ability to experience deep, and quality sleep needed to keep you well-rested the following day. Once you commit to a sober life, you’ll have a longer and deeper sleep, which is what our body needs.

quality sleep woman

  1. You’ll Save Money

When you are a slave to alcohol, you’re literally throwing money down the drain. Think about how much you spend daily to finance your addiction, not to mention the unnecessary expenses you make under the influence, or money you spend on medicines to treat headache or upset stomach and other undesired hangover effects. You’ll be surprised about how much money you can save when you finally say goodbye to your alcohol addiction.

  1. You’ll Look and Feel Great

You may not realize it, but the impacts of grappling with alcohol will be obvious in your appearance. Too much alcohol can make your skin dry and dull and make you look older. All the calories from the beer and the junk food you eat while drunk can make your weight balloon. In the long term, being sober is one of the best things you can do for your waistline, as well as to look and feel young for as long as possible.

woman happy fit

  1. Restore Relationships That Matter

When you are a slave to alcohol, it does not just cost you money. More importantly, it can cost your relationship. Being alcohol-free allows you to be fully present for your family and people who matter to you the most. It’s not too late to mend relationships and restore broken family ties, and it starts with your commitment to living a life in sobriety.

  1. Your Memory Improves and Feel More Energized

Excessive alcohol intake can damage your brain, resulting in memory problems. Over time, when you stay sober, you’ll improve your memory and get that mental clarity back again. In the same way, when a person embraces sobriety, one of the best benefits is increased energy levels, thus, enhancing productivity.

If you are new to this whole challenge of staying sober and are struggling with the idea of never drinking again – that’s totally fine! Everybody goes through different experiences on the path to recovery. However, life really does get WAY BETTER the moment you free yourself from addiction, and commit to a healthy and 100% alcohol-free living.

 

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Understanding Body Mass Index for Athletes https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/body-mass-index-for-athletes/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/body-mass-index-for-athletes/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 13:36:06 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=724 football athleteCalculating Body Mass Index for Athletic Individuals BMI or Body Mass Index utilizes a simple formula that calculates the link between your height and weight. By using the equation, you will be able to see if you are within range of what is considered as your ideal weight. While this is a great tool, it’s […]]]> football athlete

Calculating Body Mass Index for Athletic Individuals

BMI or Body Mass Index utilizes a simple formula that calculates the link between your height and weight. By using the equation, you will be able to see if you are within range of what is considered as your ideal weight. While this is a great tool, it’s not always the case for people who are physically active, buff, or athletic. Measuring BMI alone may reveal inaccurate results since athletes have more muscle mass as compared to average people.

A healthy BMI would be 18.5 – 24.9. If you fall lower than 18.5, you’re considered underweight. Those who are within the 25 – 29.9 range are categorized as being overweight, while those who have 29.9 or higher are classified as obese. But take note that this categorization applies to the average people and not athletic ones. Those who are physically active and are inclined to sports tend to have a larger scale as compared to typical individuals.

Checking Body Composition for Further Assessment

runner sunset bmi

Compared to general individuals, athletic people are known to have a lower body fat percentage. Male athletes, in particular, have lesser body fat composition compared to women. For males, the average body fat percentage is 18 – 24 percent (6 – 13 percent for athletes). When it comes to women, the range is 25 – 31 percent (14 – 20 percent for female athletes).

Knowing the difference between your BMI and body fat percentage can offer you a clearer health perspective. You can get an estimate of body fat by utilizing special scales or checking it with a fitness pro by using body calipers designed for measurement. More accurate techniques, such as DEXA scans or underwater weighing, can also be done by healthcare professionals.

The Role of Waist Circumference

Varying types of body fat yield different implications. Those that are within your abdominal walls or surround your organs are considered more hazardous compared to others. If your waist circumference is higher than 40 inches (males) or 35 inches (females), this indicates a high risk for chronic diseases. If you have a muscular body built, you aren’t necessarily safe from this. It is advised that you utilize a tape measure to determine your waist circumference just above the hip bones. By regularly checking this, you will be able to see if you are still within the ideal range.

Further Blood Tests

athlete training muscle

If you have an athletic built, you aren’t exactly a hundred percent safe from certain health risks. Athletes may look fit on the outside but are still considered at risk. Bodyweight isn’t the sole risk factor for chronic diseases and metabolic illnesses. Factors like your family history come into play. A qualified physician may order blood tests to measure your glucose, cholesterol levels, or blood lipids to verify your level of health. Additionally, these tests will help in the overall assessment of your health.

Final Thoughts

BMI or Body Mass Index should not be used as the primary basis for your health, even if you are a highly active individual. Instead, the collection of recommended measurements like waist circumference and body fat percentage and inclusion of necessary blood tests will paint a more detailed picture of your fitness level.

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Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage – Their Relationship https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/body-fat-percentage-vs-bmi/ https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/body-fat-percentage-vs-bmi/#respond Sun, 26 Jan 2020 13:36:08 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=723 weighing scale bmiBody Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage are two methods to measure your body’s level of fitness. Though lots of individuals tend to interchange them, both should be used for entirely different situations or phases in your journey to a healthier self. Getting a broader and more precise understanding of each will allow you to […]]]> weighing scale bmi

Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage are two methods to measure your body’s level of fitness. Though lots of individuals tend to interchange them, both should be used for entirely different situations or phases in your journey to a healthier self. Getting a broader and more precise understanding of each will allow you to track your progress with accuracy and ease.

Understanding Body Mass Index or BMI

To get your Body Mass Index (BMI), you will need to measure weight and height and correlate it to a standard chart that’s created by experts. Physicians commonly use BMI as a fast way to determine if one is underweight, within the ideal weight range, overweight, or obese.

exercise woman health

To find out what your BMI is, you should convert your weight into pounds and multiply this by 703. Next, divide this with your height in inches squared (height in inches x height in inches). The given guidelines are as follows: 18.5 below (underweight), 18.5 to 24.9 (normal), 25.0 to 29.9 (overweight), 30.0 and above (obese). While this method is often used, it does have its disadvantage—it is not invented to measure how much your muscle and fat weight is.

If you are, for instance, an athletic individual, you will be more substantial in terms of muscle mass compared to an average individual. If this is the case, BMI might not be as accurate when you want to check your fitness and health. People who are physically active or are inclined to sports have higher BMI scales.

The Role of Measuring Body Fat Percentage

man weighing bmi

When other factors could influence an individual’s BMI significantly, Body Fat Percentage is introduced to the situation. By getting a person’s Body Fat Percentage, one will be able to determine what percentage of their body is composed of fat. By doing this, the person will see a more accurate and more precise picture of their level of fitness, especially for athletes.

To be able to ascertain your ideal Body Fat Percentage, use this formula: (120 x BMI) divided by (0.23 x Age). Use the reference below as your guideline for assessing your Body Fat Percentage.

  • Men: 2 – 4 percent (essential fat); 6 – 13 (athlete category); 14 – 17 (fit); 18 – 25 (acceptable), 25 percent above (obese)
  • Women: 10 – 12 percent (essential fat); 14 – 20 percent (athelete category); 21 – 24 (fit); 25 – 31 percent (acceptable); 32 percent above (obese)

Besides this, we recommend you have a look at this body fat calculator at gigacalculator.com for simpler and faster results.

The Combination of Both BMI and Body Fat Percentage

woman measuring bmr

Gathering your BMI and Body Fat Percentage and comparing both to your lifestyle habits can be a surefire way to measure your level of fitness and your progress. Some people also claim that the trick to getting visible abs is to maintain a Body Fat Percentage within the athlete category. By carefully comparing the two tools to each other and correlating them to your eating and lifestyle habits, you’ll be able to see a richer picture of your fitness state.

Closing Thoughts

If you are starting with your fitness journey, then it is suggested that you use your BMI to check your progress. As you level up your workout routine and lose more weight, you should gradually shift to measuring your Body Fat Percentage instead. In the long haul, measuring your Body Fat Percentage is believed to be the most accurate and preferred gauge for tracking fitness progress.

 

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Interesting Nutrition Facts for a Healthy Life https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/interesting-nutrition-facts/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 04:42:11 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=126 interesting nutrition factsA healthier lifestyle starts with proper nutrition and picking the right foods to eat. With proper nutrition, we can live a life  that’s full of energy, and free from disease. For a quick recap, nutrition is the interaction between nutrients and substances that are found in food. These vitamins and minerals are responsible for our […]]]> interesting nutrition facts

A healthier lifestyle starts with proper nutrition and picking the right foods to eat. With proper nutrition, we can live a life  that’s full of energy, and free from disease.

For a quick recap, nutrition is the interaction between nutrients and substances that are found in food. These vitamins and minerals are responsible for our body’s growth, health, reproduction, and overall well-being.

Listed below are some interesting nutrition facts. Consider these facts when determining what you want to eat and how you eat it.

Vegetable Specific Nutrition Facts

  • Green bananas are healthier compared to yellow.
  • Due to broccoli’s green color, it is up to two times richer in vitamin C when compared to oranges.
  • The carbohydrate concentration in beetroots makes the vegetable a worthy addition to your dishes.
  • Fresh beans are rich in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and B-complex.   
  • Kale is good for your stomach and liver as it can ward off lung congestion and gives your body its much-needed immunity boost.
  • Onions are rich in antioxidants and contain properties such as antiviral, anti-allergy, and antihistamine that can prevent viral infections.
  • Parsley can cure stomach and digestive system problems.
  • Peanuts and Soy are both protein-rich foods which contain an ample amount of starch and carbohydrates.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc which helps strengthen your immune system.
  • Skin and allergy problems can be prevented thanks to Radishes antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Sweet potatoes are jam-packed with carotenoid and antioxidants.
  • Not just oranges, tomatoes are also rich in vitamin C, which is good for your skin, and also for your immune system as well.

Additional Nutrition Facts

  • Food processing can cause foods to lose their nutrients.
  • Sugar-sweetened junk foods contain the highest amounts of fattening substances which leads to obesity if consumed regularly.
  • There are two nutrient groups which are the Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Macro consists of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Micro, on the other hand, includes all kinds of vitamins and minerals.
  • “Health” is a term that’s derived from the Anglo-Saxon civilization, which means “wholeness.”
  • Minerals contribute only 4% of our total body weight and don’t provide us with energy, unlike carbs, fat, and protein.
  • Children that have a calcium and vitamin D deficiency will most likely experience deformed bones. If not prevented, the bones get weaker to the point that they can’t support the child’s weight. Decline in treatment will lead to bone malformation that can’t be corrected.
  • Americans consume roughly 900 billion calories every day.
  • The most effective way for weight loss is consuming less calories and doing regular exercise.
  • Eggs are one of the highest quality food proteins. All parts of the egg are edible, including the shell which is high in calcium.
  • Dry fruits lose 50% of their nutrition.
  • Tomatoes, watermelons, and pumpkins are considered berries, whereas strawberry and blackberry aren’t. 
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Getting the Right Nutrients Your Immune System Needs https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/nutrients-the-immune-system-needs/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 04:38:02 +0000 https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/?p=117 immune system nutrientsMost people try to be as healthy as they can. One way to do so is by taking extra steps to improve your immune system. You’ll likely be surprised to learn that through a proper diet and supplementation of various vitamins you can improve your immune system’s responsiveness. The immune system is a complex system […]]]> immune system nutrients

Most people try to be as healthy as they can. One way to do so is by taking extra steps to improve your immune system. You’ll likely be surprised to learn that through a proper diet and supplementation of various vitamins you can improve your immune system’s responsiveness.

The immune system is a complex system that’s made up of cells and biological responses that are responsible for bodily functions like digestion and your brain chemistry. As a result, a healthy immune system results in a healthier lifestyle.

Apart from eating a nutrient dense diet you can also use vitamin supplements for added immune system support. Let’s take a look at some of these time tested vitamins.

Why Vitamins Are Important for Our Immune System

The reason your immune system gets weaker over time is because of a lack of proper nutrition. The main factor affecting our nutrient intake is the food we eat.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where access to nutrient rich food is becoming more expensive than processed food. That or people actually prefer the processed-food because of taste rather than nutrition.

If your diet doesn’t consist of the following vitamins and minerals, your immune system may not perform at it’s best:

  • Vitamins B, C, D, E
  • Iron
  • Folic acid
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Apart from Vitamin D, the best way to get most of these vitamins and minerals is to eat fruits and vegetables. The USDA’s nutritional recommendations says that adults should consume no less than 2 ½ cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit every day. The suggested amounts may even increase based on your age, weight, activity levels, and sex.

The easiest way to get vitamin D is to go outside and get sunlight. You can also eat vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, dairy, and fish. If you feel that this isn’t enough, you may want to opt for a vitamin D supplement.

Zinc and Vitamin C

If you ever feel that your immune system is still weak because of a specific vitamin deficiency, then your last option is to supplement it.

Zinc lozenges are known to help reduce the duration of the common cold. They are even more effective when taken after the onset of the illness. It’s important to note that zinc nasal spray should be avoided and may cause serious side effects.

When it comes to vitamin C, it is stated by the National Institute of Health that at least 250 mg/day to 1g/day of vitamin C should be taken for daily activity. It is also known to reduce cold symptoms by up to 50% as well.

Healthy Habits

You need to pair supplementation with healthy lifestyle changes. Listed below are simple healthy habits that are beneficial for your overall health.

Healthy eating

healthy eating

This one is pretty self-explanatory. But still, there are some people that chooses to go with their unhealthy eating habits instead. It’s time to stop giving in to those sugary and unhealthy cravings and it is time to incorporate a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that your goal here is to get as much as vitamins and mineral as you can while keeping calories from fat and sugar at a low number.

Regular exercise

Always find time to do a little workout. If you can, incorporate workouts in your daily routine. If you’re bombarded with your busy schedule, then it’s best to do it during the weekends. Additionally, choose a workout routine that suits you without putting yourself in an over fatigued state. As simple as jogging around the neighborhood will do.

Get enough sleep

Health experts always suggest to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day, yet many of us failed to do so as we like to binge watch on Netflix all night or just hang around with our friends via social media. If you want a healthier lifestyle, then do yourself a favor and get enough sleep. Lack of sleep will result to lazy mornings, dizziness, and most of all, decreased immunity which will lead to overeating.

Stop your vices

Love to smoke? Good. Love to drink excessive amounts of alcohol? Good. Seeing yourself in your own funeral? Not good. Excessive cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking is bad for your health. However, some specific alcohols have their health benefits if taken moderately. Except cigarettes, unless you want to get lung cancer and get your own deathbed.

Being healthy is something that most of us have overlooked. We always know that saying where regrets will come in later, especially if you’re already at the ER fighting for your life. Remember, you only live and die once, so start living healthy today before it’s too late. Trust me, your body and immune system will thank you later.

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