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According to an article on msnbc.com, Post Cereal LLC recently announced that as of the beginning of 2011 they have reduced the sugar content in their popular cereals, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles in order to provide healthier breakfast food options to children and parents.

The cereal maker is the most recent food company to take action by reducing sugar content as a way to address heightened concerns regarding childhood obesity. The sugar content in Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles was reduced from 11 grams to 9 grams.

The article also states that Post Foods decided to join in with other companies like PepsiCo Inc. which announced that it is launching new instant oatmeal with 25 percent less sugar. General Mills is also taking a stand against childhood obesity by cutting the amount of sugar in 10 of its cereals to single-digit grams of sugar per serving.

In addition to lowering the sugar content, Post Foods announced that both cereals will also now be certified gluten-free.

Post Foods does remind consumers that both Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles are already cholesterol free and low fat, and will still offer the same great taste that fans of Pebbles have loved since the early 1970s.

 

Winter time is synonymous with cold and flu season. But this year you can help to ward off the winter sniffles by following these few simple health tips. Keep these in mind to quickly and easily boost your immune system and keep you healthy right through spring.

1. Exercise- Exercise, in moderation, is a great way to boost your immune system for the winter. Because exercise improves your circulation, immune cells are able to get around your body better to target viruses.

2. Sunshine- Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin after exposure to the sun, is a great boost for your immune system and cell defense. Even getting outdoors when the sun is shining, despite the cold weather, will do wonders for your body.

3. Echinacea- According to a study put out last year, Echinacea, an herbal medicine, could reduce the risk of you catching a cold by half. The study also looked into its effectiveness in treating more serious respiratory infections, as well. Echinacea is said to regulate the immune system's response to infection.

4. Water- According to Suite101, you should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body weight in pounds (i.e. body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of ounces of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will ensure healthy food metabolism, it will eliminate toxins or wastes from your body, carry vital nutrients, and regulate your body's temperature.

5. Diet- What you eat and what vitamins and minerals that food contains is also a huge boost to your immune system. Many doctors agree that a balanced and varied diet is key to help ward off sickness. A diet rich in vitamin C, zinc, iron and selenium will give your immune system that boost.

6. Stimulants- Be aware of the amount of stimulants that you put into your body. Where no research shows that an abundance of stimulants have an adverse effect on your immune system, moderation should be used when dealing with caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter drugs. If you are looking for a stimulant that could help you immune system, try green tea instead. The antioxidants in green tea will help to prevent illness in the long run.

7. Sleep- If you are looking for a surefire way to help ward off a cold and the flu this year, be sure to get your seven hours a sleep per night. Sleep is extremely important and many doctors agree that lack of sleep can have a negative response on our immune system and our body as a whole.

8. Meditation- Even just 20 minutes a day of peace, quiet and relaxation can have a major impact on your immune system and can help to ward off winter colds. If you are able to put your body into a meditative state at least once a day, your bodies' cells will be able to rejuvenate tremendously. Meditation is also a good stress reliever and can allow you to re-energize.

9. Mood/Stress- Being positive and avoiding stressful situations are both excellent immune boosters. While everyone's mood and stress levels are different, studies have shown that chronic stress and depression have been linked to a weakened immune system. It's important to find the stress in your life and work to deal with that stress in a positive way or to eliminate the stressful situations entirely.

Tired of feeling like the path to health and wellness is a long, drawn out path? Then start small! Use these quick five minute fixes to boost your health and to reach your goals one step at a time!

Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day. Shoot for 10,000 steps per day. If you aren't reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.

Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities : clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc. Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.

Try some quick cardio. According to 5minutesformom.com, running up and down the stairs or a minute or two of jumping jacks will get your heart rate elevated and give you a quick burst of energy.

Don't be a creature of habit. Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.

Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying : clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.

Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise. Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.

Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.

• Turn ordinary tasks into fitness opportunities! With each handful of laundry that you shove in the washing machine, perform the perfect squat by making sure that your knees are in line with your toes and squeeze your glutes. Try doing lunges around the kitchen, to the bathroom or while you're outside playing with your kids. If you find yourself on the floor cleaning up a spill do as many pushups as you can while you're down there.

Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind. Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.

Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member. This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.

One more suggestion from 5minutesformom.com includes putting on some groovy tunes and having a five minute dance party with your family- fun and fitness for everyone!

Keep in mind that even just five minutes is better than nothing. We all live busy lives, so keep these five minute fixes in mind and get moving to better health and fitness!

 

If you are new to the “gym scene” then you may have noticed that nearly everyone has their ear buds in synced up to their iPods while they are working out. Believe it or not, these gym-goers aren't being antisocial. Instead they have learned what many experts are now saying ,that listening to your favorite music while working out can boost performance by up to 20 percent.

According to a study done by Dr Costas Karageorghis, of Brunel University on news.bbc.co.uk, "music does have an impact on physical performance by blocking fatigue and helping you keep pace by synchronizing your movements.” The study finds that while listening to music on the treadmill or elliptical can actually boost your calorie burn, too.

Dr, Karageorghis found that listening to the right songs before and during training boosts performance. He recommends fast tempo music for high intensity exercise and slower tracks to help with the warm up and cool down. It's the speed of the music that plays a key role.

To get the most out of your workout he suggests creating your own play list according to your own personal music tastes and preferences as well as keeping in mind the intensity of activity in which you will be engaging. Loud, up-beat music can be used as a stimulant while soft music may calm pre-performance nerves.

As exercise begins, music tempo can be synchronized to help regulate movement and prolong performance. It can also help to narrow attention and divert your mind from sensations of fatigue. People who listen to fast tempo music can typically exercise longer and they typically feel that the exercise is easier (even though it's the same exercise) and not as tiring, as when they don't listen to music.

Karageorghis found an 18% improvement in adherence to exercise regimes with the help of the right music.

 

The dark days of winter are upon us and one way to beat the winter blues is to get outside event if it is cold. It's important to get outdoors and get your exercise in especially during the winter. Experts say that while this is a healthy decision, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you head outdoors this winter:

1. Remember to warm up first- Just like you were working out indoors, warming up first before you get started working out outdoors is definitely important. Colder temperatures can cause your muscles to tighten up, so a proper warm up session will help prevent injury.

2. Dress in layers- According to Mayoclinic.com, one of the biggest mistakes you can make while exercising in cold weather is to dress too warmly. Exercise generates a lot of heat and sweat but once that sweat starts to dry you can get chilled. So dress in layers that you can remove as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed.

3. Drink up- Working out outdoors is no different than indoors when it comes to hydration. Drink even when you do not feel thirsty.

4. Protect your hands, feet and ears- When it's cold outside your blood flow is concentrated in your body's core, leaving your extremities like hands, feet and ears vulnerable to frostbite. Consider a thin pair of gloves under heavier gloves and adjust to your body's temperature, wear thermal socks and don't forget your hat or headband to protect your ears.

5. Don't strip down when you come back inside- Give your body time to adjust from your outdoor workout. Post-exercise hypothermia is possible, so be sure to let your body adjust before taking off all of those layers.

6. Choose appropriate gear- If it's dark when you're exercising outside, wear reflective clothing. Also choose shoes with plenty of traction to prevent falls and consider chemical heats packs to keep hands and feet warm

By keeping these tips in mind you're sure to have an effective and pleasant winter outdoor exercise experience.