Health Benefits of Lovemaking

We’ve said many times, and we’ll say it again and again, that “by expressing your love and desire for each other, you are giving thanks to Allah for the wonderful gift of intimacy between you and your spouse.” Lovemaking between spouses is a celebration of Allah’s (SWT) gift, and therefore, is a way by which we worship him.If that alone isn’t enough reason to make love with one’s spouse, Allah has made the celebration of His gift one of the most pleasurable acts in one’s life. On top of this, there is also the procreative aspect of lovemaking, by which we can receive yet more blessings from Allah (SWT) in the form of our children.Yet another purpose of the sexual aspect of life, according to Heba Kotb, is the “ejection of bodily fluids from the body; otherwise suppression or retention of semen can cause various kinds of serious illness.” In other words, sexual act is important to maintaining one’s health.

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The health benefits of making love, however, go beyond simply the ejection of bodily fluids. We’ve shared some of the other great benefits of Allah’s (SWT) gift below.It reduces stressThe exquisite pleasures brought about by the act of intimacy are also accompanies by an intense wave of calm and relaxation. This helps people (especially the men) sleep better at night, and consequently gives them more energy during the day.It boosts immunityHaving sex regularly increases levels of an antibody called immunoglobin A or IgA in the body, which is the stuff that fights off colds and other infections. This means less sick days, and more quality time with your loved ones.For men, it reduces the risk of prostate cancerA study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the frequent release of semen, especially in 20-something men, correlated with a lower risk of getting prostate cancer later in life. There are, of course, other factors that can affect one’s chances, but even with those taken into account, the researchers’ findings still hold true.It May Give You Healthier SkinMost women (and probably more men than you’d think) will love this: sex just might make you more beautiful. Increased blood flow, relief of stress, a surge in hormones, and other factors all lead to a myriad of positive effects on your body; and one of the beneficiaries is your skin. By being intimate with your spouse, you end up, not only feeling good, but looking better too.It boosts hormone productionWe mentioned this in the previous point, but it bears repeating – regular sexual activity leads to an increase in testosterone and estrogen levels. Think these hormones only affect one’s sex drive? Think again. Testosterone is known to fortify bones and muscles, while estrogen protects against heart disease.

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The culmination of the sexual act also triggers the release of oxytocin. This hormone not only promotes trust and deeper bonding, it also acts as a natural painkiller. Don’t be surprised of your backache, headache, arthritis pain, or other discomforts go away after making love with your spouse.We can’t cover all the different health benefits of sex in this (not so) short post, so we’re bound to have missed a few items here and there. The point is that intimacy with your spouse is a wonderful gift from Allah (SWT). Enjoy it and give thanks to Him, and your health just might get a boost too.

Exercise Workouts Explained

Are you physically fit? This is a question that should be floating through the minds of many Americans. And I’m not just referring to your exterior.

Sure, it’s great to look nice and be confident in yourself, but it’s also crucial to be physically healthy. Do you know how to go about this? Well, herein lies the dilemma. Many individuals around the globe are not privy to what’s imperative when it comes to looking great and being in good health. There are many misconceptions at play. When in doubt, a couple things you can always count on to prevail are healthy diets and rigorous exercise workouts. We all require both of these in order to stay healthy and look great.

What exercise workouts do you prefer? For me it all revolves around martial arts. I love Wing Chun kung fu. Therefore, along with technique training and sparring, I like to do a lot of simple exercise workouts such as push-ups, leg raises, and pull-ups. These common exercise workouts are as old as time, but still very effective. And do you know what I like best about them; they’re all free. I don’t need to fork out cash every month on a gym membership to do them. Not to say that this is a bad idea. For some, a gym membership is right up their ally. Maybe this is how you achieve your exercise workouts. If it works for you, then that’s what counts. My wife will ONLY work out if she is in a gym or fitness center of some kind. When she’s at home, getting her into any exercise workouts is virtually impossible. I even pick on her about it once in a while. It must be the plain and simple atmosphere for some folks. Regardless of where you like to get it done, exercise workouts are what will get and keep you in shape. It is a permanent thing. Once you start, you never quit. If you quit your regime once you’re the desired weight, then you’ll probably end up back where you started.

One of the crucial side-kicks to exercise workouts is diet. You absolutely must conform to a healthy way of eating. This is no joke for a number of reasons. You must eat well in order to stay in shape. Your diet has a bearing on your lifespan, and your chances of acquiring cancer. If that isn’t enough to motivate you, then maybe your physical appearance is. Get on the web today and discover a number of great exercise workouts and diet plans.

Burn the fat and Feed the muscle!

Dealing With Your Depression And Anxiety In The Business World

It is not easy to deal with depression and anxiety in the business world. Getting help from a professional should be the first thing you do if you deal with depression. Many companies nowadays have different programs for their employees. Talk to your Human Resources Representative on a confidential basis and ask if your employer has any such programs.

If your place of work doesn’t have any programs then ask your doctor or local mental health clinic. Help is available if you look hard enough.

With the help of a professional, evaluate the source of your depression. Knowing what is causing your depression can go a long way. Once you know why you are feeling depressed, then it is easier to find the ways to overcome it.

A good way to manage your depression is to learn how to deal with your negative thinking. If you get thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts with positive statements. Try to minimize the fear behind the thought by thinking of something positive or constructive.

When we worry or get depressed, we tend to worry on exaggerated assumptions. Sometimes our exaggerated ideas can make us worry even more. Remember to get all of the facts of your current circumstances. Getting the facts can make us aware of what is reality and what is not. Before you worry about something, get the necessary information on your situation. Don’t assume anything.

Take things one at a time. Do not look too far ahead. Next week or next month will take care of itself.

Your not alone in dealing with depression and anxiety. If you have such a problem, you can take steps to solve your current problem. They key is to get help from a counselor and to be persistent in finding the ways that will get rid of your anxiety and depression. Remember that there is hope. Eventually you or the person who is struggling will eventually get better.

Health and Fitness Essentials – The Cardio-vascular Workout

To accomplish a good cardio-vascular workout all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. Most cardio-vascular exercise needs little or no third party apparatus to help you accomplish your routine. Running, dancing, walking can all be done with no equipment (well, if dancing, then maybe some music would help). Other forms of cardio are step, circuit training, bike riding, swimming, aerobics and more…

With most exercise you should always remember to warm up first and cool down afterwards. This means gently stretching and moving your muscles to start off with. Suddenly moving into full exercise without building up first will cause problems such as stiffness and cramps. Ease yourself into it. Then after exercise, the cool down is basically gently moving the muscles and joints to stretch and relax, as your body returns to its normal pace.

Running:
Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. The technology put into these shoes nowadays is highly researched and designed to reduce shock to the feet, ankles, legs and back. So don’t skimp on these – you get what you pay for.

Before you start your run, be sure to warm up first. Start with a brisk walk ensuring you move your arms vigorously gradually breaking into a slow jog. It is better to run at a speed to which you can still converse. If you find yourself losing breath, slow your pace down until you’ve recovered. If you are a novice runner try running and walking, until you can hold your run for 15 minutes.

Now increase the length and time of your run by a couple of minutes every other time you hit the road or treadmill, until you can run for 30 minutes without stopping. Try to increase your run time by 10% each week, remember not to over do it and don’t forget to warm down at the end of each by slowing down gradually. When your run is complete stretch your legs for 30 seconds per muscle, hamstring, calf and thigh.

Cycling:
Cycling is one of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout.

First of all, if you are riding on the roads safety is paramount, always use the appropriate safety equipment when road riding. You can stay fit by riding a bike to work, most people work within a five mile radius of there place of work, which is a perfect distance for a bike ride.

Exercise bikes can be used in a variety of ways, general riding for specified length of time, this is like going for a bike ride with out the dangers of road riding and the weather. Warm up riding you can use an exercise bike for warming up the legs before a leg workout. Also exercise bike classes, these classes are taken by an instructor, who will put you through various levels of pace, quite like a circuit training exercise with a bike.

You may find it surprising to find that riding a bike five miles 3 times per week will improve your heart rate, your posture, skin and weight control. Some even say that riding and running are great ways of relieving stress.

Swimming:
One of the best ways to firm up and trim your body down. Due to the resistance the water has on the body swimming involves all the major muscle groups this allows the body to burn up to 20% more calories than swimming through air. Swimming a few lengths per day will keep you fit and give you an excellent workout. Swimming also has less impact on the joints than say, running.

If you wish to take your swim a little further try picking up the pace of your swim, you can work up to a great aerobic exercise and give your body an excellent workout.

Start off by swimming 1-2 lengths at a time resting between sets if necessary, after you have swam ten lengths call it a day. The next day repeat the process until you can swim five lengths without a break. Progress to ten lengths in by adding an extra length each time you return.

You can put together your own cardio raining routing in the gym, if you have a problem with this then the staff on hand will write one for you and show you how to achieve your goal. Try to make your cardio last between an hour and an hour and a half. A good start point for cardio is always a run.

This cardio workout will work for a person of medium fitness, however adjust the times and pace according to your fitness levels.

1. Run at a light pace for 20 minutes, start off at a walking pace and gradually move to a run, this helps you get warmed up and the blood pumping.

2. Rowing machine- set the rowing machine for a countdown time of 15 minutes or keep a check on your watch or the clock. Start off with a slow rowing motion to get the pace up, maintain this steady pace throughout the full 13 minutes and use the 2 minutes to slow the pace down.

3. Move immediately on to exercise bike take a stead paced ride for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the remaining 3 minutes.

4. After the exercise bike move directly on to the step climber for a period of 15 minutes climbing on a light level to get the legs going. Try to move at a swift pace for the full 15 minutes as this is the last of the leg work you will be doing.

5. When you have completed the step climber, move onto the abs bench for some crunches. 4 sets of crunches to failure is your target for this exercise. Try twisting your body and touching your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa.

6. The last exercise in this quick cardio workout is the leg raise apparatus. Bring your knees up to your chest for 3-4 sets for as many reps as possible (failure)

After the completion of this cardio workout, remember to do a full warm down by stretching the muscles. The full workout should take you around 1 hour 20 minutes.

Exercise Back Pain Away

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Article Body:
According to past research and studies, nearly 80% of all Americans will experience some type of back pain in their lives. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes this as well, as they say 80% of us out there will encounter some type of problem with our back before we die.

Traditionally, the treatment for lower back pain is increasing core strength to increase flexibility on muscles that are tight, which will provide better stabilization of the spine and exercises to correct the imbalances of the muscles. The muscles that surround the spine will provide stability and support of the spinal column.

Every muscle between the hips and shoulders are included as well, as these muscles are referred to as the core muscles. Back pain can be a result of muscle imbalances caused by any of these core muscles. If the back of your thighs are weaker than the front of your thighs, there will be an uneven pull on the front of your spinal column.

There are some effective ways that you can integrate core strength training exercises into all of the exercises you perform, rather than doing just the traditional crunches and sit-ups. One such way is by breathing effectively. Deep breathing will utilize your diaphragm muscles which will help support the spinal column and lengthen the spine, which is great for your lower back and supporting you when you walk or run.

The tummy tuck and bridge lift can also help you to reduce back pain and strengthen the core muscles as well. The tummy tuck exercise is a simple pelvic tilt that draws the abdominal muscles away from the floor. Do perform a tummy tuck, simply lie face down on the floor and squeeze your glutes to strengthen your spine.

Instead of pressing into your thighs, you should instead reach your tailbone down towards your heels. Perform 15 reps of each exercise and alternate them until you have completed a couple of sets.

For the bridge, place your feet on a bench or on the floor and scoop your pelvis upward, as your rib cage should stay low to reduce any irritation to your spinal muscles. The bridge will help to relieve stress on your back and focus the muscle contractions into the glutes and the hamstrings.

Other exercises for lower back pain are the lumbar side stretch, hip flexor stretch, and calf stretches, as all three can help to alleviate pull on your spinal column.

Hip flexor stretch When doing a hip flexor stretch, bring one foot forward in a bent knee, 90 degree angle, while your other leg is on the floor behind you with your foot pointed upwards toward the ceiling. The hip flexor stretch will help to open up the muscles of your back on the side of the spine near your hips. You can also squeeze your glutes as well to deepen the stretch with each breath you exhale. You should begin to feel a stretch in your back leg, in the thigh front and the hamstrings on your front leg.

Lumbar side stretch This stretch will bring your legs wide with your knees bent while you sit or stand. Simply bring one hand down towards your foot on the inside of the thighs and your other hand behind your head

Barbell Exercises That Suit Beginners

The aim for beginners to weight training must be to lay the foundations for the intensive workouts that their bodies will eventually be subjected to. Obviously successful bodybuilding involves bringing together disparate elements such as nutrition and rest but choosing the right exercises is crucial. In this article we’ll outline the barbell exercises that will enable new bodybuilders to develop the general strength and body conditioning needed.

Initially beginners should aim to complete two sets of ten to twelve reps but after a few weeks, when you have developed sufficient control and basic strength, experiment with one set of six to eight reps to failure. This will maximize your muscle growth and give you the impetus to move on to the next stage of development. Before long you’ll find the use of this single piece of equipment restricting, so later in this series of articles we’ll pull together a muscle boosting program that utilizes other equipment to take you to the intermediate level. In the meantime, get to work with these exercises in order to get used to working your muscles.

Start off training four days per week and work body parts on the following basis not forgetting to incorporate rest days:

Day 1 – Biceps, Back, Abs

Day 2- Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs

Day 3 – Quads, Forearms, Calves

Day 4 – Triceps, Chest, Abs

The exercises recommended for beginners are as follows:

CHEST: Bench press

SHOULDERS: Upright row, military press, front shrug

TRICEPS: Lying triceps extension, lying triceps extension with EZ curl bar

BICEPS: Standing curl, EZ standing curl

LOWER BODY: Squat, reverse lunge, calf raise

Exercise with best results

The problem of setting the training at a certain moment in the day is more serious than it appears to be. The choice of the period when we train depends on more factors.

It’s clear from the start that we cannot consider the period of three hours after every main meal, because this interval must be allotted to digestion only. Considerable physical effort is totally unadvisable in this period (blood must not be directed to the muscles, since gastric digestion has priority).

More exactly, people should train when their stomach is empty, but the level of glycemia must be constant. Considering a normal awake – asleep rhythm, there are two favorable moments when we can set fitness programs and training in general: one in the morning, between 10-12, and the other one in the afternoon, between 16-19.
Current practice in most of the sports confirms these periods as best for training.

Another argument for choosing one of these intervals for training is the body temperature, which now gets to its maximum. The second period (16-19) is even better than the first one from this point of view, because the temperature is higher and this enhances sport performance.

It is not advisable to train very early in the morning, right after waking up and before breakfast. However, there are authors who support the idea of having the training in this period. The reserves of glycogen are limited after the lack of food during sleeping and this is a reason for using the adipose tissue earlier in training than in other cases.

Unfortunately, at the same time, the stress hormones (cortisone) are secreted abundantly, so besides the adipose tissue, there is the risk of losing precious muscular tissue.

Another argument against this is the fact that body temperature is very low in the hours of morning, so no motion parameters (force, resistance, speed, mobility, skill) can be fully activated. Thus, a prolonged and tiring warming up would be necessary, hindering the actual training.

Everybody agrees that training before bedtime is not advisable at all, because they delay sleep a few hours, given growth of cortical activity and of body temperature.

This schedule can be adapted to any biorhythm and time zone and once automatism installed, effectiveness of training will definitely increase.

Baby Boomers Sports And Gym Injury Risks|avoid Over 40s Exercise Injuries

Due to health care education, more people, who are over forty, those born in 1946 to 1964, commonly known as the baby boomers, are realizing the benefits of taking up sports or exercising in a gym.

This is well and good since exercising regularly severely cut the risks of contracting aging and obesity related potentially killer diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, some forms of cancers and many other diseases.

It is indeed heartening to know that more baby boomers are taking charge of their health through regularly exercise to improve their cardiovascular health thus becoming fitter and stronger. However, with more middle aged people exercising and playing some form of sports, instances of injuries sustained from these activities have risen substantially.

In the United States, these gym or sports injuries have become the number 2 reason for people visiting the doctor’s office just behind the common cold, reported by the National Ambulatory Medical Care in 2003.

A Consumer Product Safety Commission research in 1998 found that sports related injuries to baby boomers had risen by 33 percent since 1991 and contributed to US$18.7 billion in medical costs.

Outdoor sports such as tennis, jogging and golf are very popular with people over forties. Not to be outdone, the more body conscious over forties baby boomers are also joining gym memberships in the multitudes.

Gyms all over the developed world are happily reporting booming new memberships year after year with a large pool of their members being the over forty baby boomers brigade, male or female baby boomers irrespective.

As baby boomers get older, their susceptibility to sports injuries rise proportionately. As people age, their body degenerate along with the aging process, although exercising regularly is known to slow down this very degeneration process.

This is particularly so for the risky weekend warriors who take to the running tracks or lifting weights to build their body with gusto during the weekend putting their aging bodies and joints to sudden busts of unaccustomed stressful activities, causing damages to their own bodies unknowingly.

What are the common baby boomer’s sports injuries? How to avoid them?

• Shoulder injuries – Common for those playing squash, tennis, badminton and lifting weights in the gym using wrong form and techniques.

• Elbow injuries – People who play racket games and bodybuilders.

• Back injuries – A very common occurrence in the gym amongst baby boomer bodybuilder wannabes. Also a common injury for golfers who often have to swing their spine.

• Knee injuries – For baby boomers who participate in sports with sudden movements and changes of directions such as squash and soccer.

•Ankle injuries – Usually striking the runners and joggers of long distances.

How to avoid the risks of sports injuries for the over forties?

This is largely common sense which most people know but few do it regularly as part of their exercise routine in so doing, risking injuries which can be avoided.

• Thorough warm of the muscles and joints which will be involved in the exercise or sport.

• Stretching adequately and correctly. Many people stretch in the wrong manner which then may cause even more injuries.

• Take the exercises or sports one step at a time, then as endurance and strength build up over time, you can then increase the intensity of the sport or the exercise.

• Exercise regularly. Not just over the weekend. Your body may not be able to cope with the sudden outburst each weekend.

• Hire a sports personal trainer who can tailor an exercise program suitable to your health condition and guide you safely through the exercises.

So baby boomers, don’t become a victim of your exercises. You want to be fit and healthy, not suffering from pain and despair from what could have been an enjoyable game of healthy sporting activity. Over 40s sports injuries can be avoided.

Heart Failure: Frequently Asked Questions

According to the American Heart Association, nearly five million Americans are living with heart failure and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Heart failure is a serious condition that often is misunderstood. The questions below are intended to help clear up some misperceptions about this condition and its complications.

Q. What is heart failure?

A. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop. It is a serious condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood through your body as well as it should.

Your heart still beats, but it pumps less nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Because of this, heart failure can make you feel tired or weak. Heart failure also can cause swelling and fluid buildup in your legs, feet and even your lungs. Fluid buildup in your lungs often is referred to as “congestion,” which is why heart failure is sometimes called “congestive heart failure (CHF).” At times, patients may require hospitalization to treat a worsening, or an acute episode, of their heart failure symptoms.

Q. What are the symptoms of heart failure?

A. Some symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, frequent coughing, increased heart rate, heart palpitations (your heart may feel like it is racing), fatigue, weakness, swollen ankles and legs, loss of appetite and weight gain. Patients who experience acute episodes of their heart failure symptoms also may have extreme shortness of breath that leaves them gasping for air. Since they may have fluid buildup in their lungs, they may feel as though they are drowning.

Q. How are acute episodes of heart failure treated?

A. There are some common intravenous (IV) drugs that are commonly given to patients in hospitals to treat acute episodes of heart failure. They include diuretics, inotropes and IV vasodilators.

Please talk to your healthcare professional for more information.

Exercises For Busy Moms: 4 Quick, But Effective Exercises To Keep Busy Moms Strong

We all know how difficult it is to stay in shape and find time to exercise – but most especially for women with babies or small kids. There’s the sleep-deprivation factor, no time and priority changes. So what are the fitness options for busy Moms?

The fact is, the more you can take of yourself and the better you feel, the stronger you will be physically and emotionally to take on the day with the “little ones” and all of life’s challenges.

Below are some quick, but effective, exercises – specifically designed for the busy Mom – for the back and shoulders to keep you strong and prevent future injuries that may occur with poor lifting biomechanics and poor posture. The heavy weight of not just the baby, but also all the fun gadgets you’re expected to lug around. It’s no surprise that our bodies need a little help to get through the day.

Rotator Cuff Strengthener

For this workout you will need a light theraband. The beauty about this piece of equipment is that it’s small enough to carry in your bag or your stroller. Now you have no excuses – you can do these exercises on the go, at the park or when you have a few moments to spare.

You can do this exercise either seated or standing; hold the elbows close to the waist with palms facing the sky holding the theraband. Pulling the hands away from each other externally rotating the shoulders

Reps:
3 sets of 10-15 reps

Muscle focus:

Rotator cuff muscles are the small muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. If these get weak from over use you could end up with bicep tendonitis or other potential injuries. This is very common with Moms as everything is usually done with one hand while holding the “little one” in the other.

Tricep push-up extension

This is the one time in your life you are going to need arm strength, the biceps are going to get over worked from the motion of picking up the baby so it’s important to balance these out and keep the triceps strong as not to put unwanted strain on them.

Hands are directly under your shoulders and knees are on the ground in a modified push-up. The pelvis is slightly pressed forward creating work in the abdominals that stabilize the spine. Place the theraband under the right hand on the floor and extend opposite arm in a tricep extension. Whilst extending the working arm be careful to keep the wrist in line with the hand not to create any unwanted tension/strain.

Reps:
3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side

Muscle Focus:
• Drawing your shoulder blades down activating your upper back muscles, engaging abs at all times. Keeping your abs strong and being aware of contracting them is very important as they play an important role in stabilizing and protecting the back.

• Translating this in to functional activities such as picking the baby up out of the crib will really save your back.

Spine extension with pulses

Over time in pregnancy our posture completely changes due to the increased weight of the baby bringing our body forward and causing the spine to round forward with the shoulders. This causes the back muscles to become very stretched out and weak.

Seated up right with legs in front of body shoulder width apart, hands over your head. Hinge forward from the hips leading with the sternum, biceps are by your ears. Hold this position and slightly pulse the arms behind the body mobilizing the shoulders and working the upper back. Return back to an upright position to repeat the movement again.

Reps:
3 sets of 10 Pulses

Muscle Focus:

Upper back and hamstring flexibility. This exercise will strengthen the mid upper back and open up the tight thoracic area of the spine, correcting bad habits that the body formed through pregnancy.

Butterfly ab curls

Keeping you abs strong is essential for keeping your whole body strong and restoring poor posture left over from pregnancy.

Lying on the floor with heals of feet together and knees bent to the side in a frog like position. Arms are straight over you head, circle arms around and lift the head neck shoulders off the floor exhaling pulling in the abs hold for 5 seconds and return back to starting position.

Reps:
3 sets of 10 reps

Muscle Focus:

As you exhale and bring the head neck and shoulders off the floor think of pulling your abdominals in up and back to the spine. Moms, this is a time you can practice doing your kegal on the contraction working the pelvic floor.