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Category: Editor’s Picks

Exclusive Interview: Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

Health Fitness Revolution and its founder Samir Becic have been on the hunt for finding the Top 10 Fittest Mayors 2018. Since 2013, HFR has been creating lists of the fittest politicians in various branches of government in order to motivate Americans to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Our next featured mayor is someone who is not afraid of challenges, and he enjoys them. Jersey City, New Jersey Mayor Steven Fulop has completed an Ironman, ran in the 2012 NYC Marathon, and is the mayor of one of the largest cities in America at only 41 years old. Mayor Fulop is not only an excellent mayor but an accomplished triathlete who applies his hard-working attitude into his civic duties.

Samir: Your biography is very impressive.

Fulop: Oh, thank you.

Besides being only 41 and leading one of the largest cities in America,  you did an Ironman. That’s extremely impressive. I actually called some of my friends from New Jersey to get more information about you and everyone I spoke with was very impressed with you, mayor.

Well I appreciate that, thank you, we work hard so it’s nice to hear that and thank you for the recognition, I appreciate that.

 

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Picked up my bike today from @jcbicycleco located at Montgomery/Jordan. A great small business started with the EDC here in Jersey City. My bike is tuned up and I’m ready to start riding for 2018. I’m excited! @bikejcgram @citibikejc

A post shared by Steven Fulop (@stevenfulopjc) on Feb 15, 2018 at 1:05pm PST

Well I would not give you the recognition if you didn’t deserve it. I do have a couple questions for you, mayor. John F. Kennedy once said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body. It is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” What is your stance on this?

Well I think it’s true. I think that since the ’60s and ’70s, one of the things we realized is that it’s not only being active but it’s also eating right and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s about meditation, yoga, diet and physical fitness plus those other things. And in Jersey City, we try to encourage a healthy lifestyle in its entirety.

Yes, I agree. You’re only 41 years old and you’re already a mayor of one of the largest cities in the world. Do you think that a healthier lifestyle helps you accomplish this?

Yes, because I think that being healthy and active can teach extreme discipline and I think that it’s needed in order to be successful in anything you do. Whether it’s being a mayor, or running a company, or working at a company, discipline is important. With that trait, you show up on time, you work hard through the process, and you’re reliable, and I think being active promotes all those characteristics.

 

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Starting soon a morning hike w/ @jaclynfulop at Runyon.

A post shared by Steven Fulop (@stevenfulopjc) on Feb 4, 2018 at 7:08am PST

I agree with you. Now how did you feel after finishing that Ironman?

Oh, my god. It took a little less than 12 hours, which I think most people would say is a good time.

That’s an excellent time.

Yeah. So, I did one full ironman and two half Ironmans and I’ve been running in the New York marathon. I’m going to start again next year with some triathlons. I think that the Ironman was probably the hardest single task I was a part of because it really requires not only physical endurance but mental endurance. So it was a challenge to see what my limitations are physically and mentally. I wanted to push that threshold as far as I can, to the highest levels that I could, and that’s where that came from, and the end result is you often realize your mind thinks about quitting and giving up before your body is giving up, and so it relates both your mental toughness and physical toughness and you’ve got to push them both simultaneously. The Ironman was a good process for that.

Mayor we definitely think and feel the same way. I just finished 7 marathons in eight weeks with a 73.5-pound weighted vest on my body and it pushed me mentally and physically. Like you just explained. And now I am preparing myself for next October to run an Ironman with a 73.5-pound weighted vest on me. So do you have any suggestions for me for the Ironman?

(Laughs) First of all I got to tell you that’s crazy that you’re doing that.

If we want to be the best of the best in everything we do, we’ve got to push ourselves.

You got to push yourself absolutely, you have to say okay how can I push a little bit further? And how can I get that extra edge? And where is that boundary? And you really got to find that boundary and the only way to find that boundary is by pushing yourself. So if your boundary is a 5K, that’s okay, but you’ve got to start there and say how can I get to a 10K? Let me push myself. So I can appreciate you doing that, but you’re crazy.

I know I am a nutcase because I literally want to see what the human body is capable of achieving. Because when I finished the marathon in The Woodlands here in Texas, it was 85 degrees outside and the vest was 20 degrees more so it’s like 105 degrees. So, when I finished the marathon I felt like I achieved the maximum that my brain can cope with, but mayor you’re doing an amazing job. I am definitely putting you in the list of top 10 fittest mayors in America. I’m also telling you right now that you are one of the best fittest politicians of 2018.

Thank you Samir! You’re the best.

 

 

 

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‪I was recruited and played soccer in college for @binghamtonu – so tonight I had no community meetings so I joined the men’s over 30 recent state champions The JC Football Club for their Wed pick up game. Either these guys are really good or I have become really really bad ‬- either way I’m depressed now. All joking aside thank you to a great group of guys for inviting me. #jerseycity

A post shared by Steven Fulop (@stevenfulopjc) on May 2, 2018 at 6:24pm PDT

Easy and Healthy Ways to Reset your Body

We try our hardest every day to not only look great but also feel great. To do this, most people change their exercise and diet. But there are other things that apply to our overall health. Our mental, physical and emotional health are the most important factors in living a good and healthy life, but sometimes life itself gets in the way of doing so. In order to live a happy life, we have to take care of our bodies. Things such as work, social interactions, school and other obligations we face can interfere with our body’s natural mechanisms and functions. How can we fix or “reset” this disturbance? There are different ways we can help our bodies get back on track and feeling healthy again. Eating a healthy diet and implementing exercise into our routine may be the primary issues to our body’s health, but taking good care of our internal sleep clock, metabolism, and hormones are three contributing factors that are also essential to helping our bodies feel good. We’ve provided information on each and steps to help you “reset” your body.

Resetting your internal (circadian) sleep clock:

Getting enough sleep is an important and essential component to our health. When we have the right amount of sleep, at least 7 to 9 hours, our bodies are more able to function properly and adequately during everyday tasks. But things that can influence and disturb our body’s internal sleep clock include external factors (lighting, sunrise and sunset time, and temperature), internal factors (hormones, genetics, neurotransmitters), and our personal habits and behaviors (travels, insomnia, stress, social life and work). What do we mean by our internal sleep clock? Our sleep clock is a psychological mechanism that delivers cues to our body to sleep or wake up at certain times of the day or evening. This is also known as the Circadian Rhythm. When functioning normally, our body tends to become tired during the evening and awake during the day time. When our clock is out of sync, our body tends to feel “jetlagged” or deprived. You can also check out our articles on the health benefits of sleep and foods to help you sleep better.

How to reset your clock:

Manipulate lighting – Light exposure cues us when to wake up and when to fall asleep, so it is natural that we follow nature’s natural lighting. Manipulating light exposure, such as dimming your lights or brightening your room can help reset your sleep clock and normalize your circadian rhythm because your body will naturally adjust.

Fast and then normalize your meal times – Your diet and metabolism are important to resetting your clock as well. To normalize your sleeping schedule try to eat one meal in the afternoon and then fast until the next day. This will help your body get back on track. Also, check out our article on the health benefits of fasting.

Practice healthy sleep habits – Making a routine and being strict and consistent with yourself is important to helping you get back to a normal sleep schedule. This includes only taking naps for no more than 20-30 minutes, limiting caffeine, avoiding usage of electronics and watching TV before bed, and keeping your room dimly lit and cool.

Resetting your metabolism:

Your metabolism is another important factor to your overall health. As we grow older our metabolism begins to slow down, which causes us to gain and retain more weight. Losing fat becomes a bit more difficult. What we eat ultimately gets converted into energy so when we feed our body junk food, things high in unhealthy fats, and other things bad for our body we are harming our metabolism. You can also read our article on fast ways to kickstart your metabolism!

Get enough sleep – As we mentioned before, your sleep is very important. So make sure to get the recommended amount of sleep needed to help your body properly function.

Drink lots of water – Water is essential to our survival and overall health. It is recommended that you drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which is about half a gallon of water.

Manage your stress – Stress management is essential to both a healthy mind and body. When your body is overwhelmed by stress, it reacts by releasing certain hormones known as epinephrine and cortisol in order to respond to this stress. You then tend to feel hungry even though you’re still burning calories because your body tries to compensate for this. Try finding ways to keep your stress levels at bay by doing activities that help ease your stress. You can also read our article on tips to reduce stress.

Eat foods that make you feel good – It’s a sign when your body screams at you “don’t feed this to us!” So listen to your body when you start to feel bloated, gassy or tired. Start eating foods that make you feel better and energize you instead of foods that make you feel groggy and lazy. You can read our article on the Top 10 mood boosting foods.

Avoid over exercising – We know that exercising is essentially good for you, but there is such a thing as exercising too much. Exercising too much and too intensely can lead to you slowing down your thyroid. Your thyroid is a gland that regulates your hormones and these hormones are what also affect your metabolism.

Resetting your hormones:

Your hormones are an important factor to how your body functions. Hormones are what control your emotions, your metabolic rate, and help trigger certain signals and cues to the brain, such as the fight or flight response, that ultimately allow you to function.

Cut down on sweets and starches – Too many can make your hormones go wild. Try cutting back to see how your body reacts and feels.

Reduce intake on grains, legumes, and high sugar fruits – Having too many carbs can cause problems with your metabolism, especially if you are insulin-resistant or your body is unable to break down certain carbs.

Eat more healthy fats – Healthy fats can help your body produce the needed hormones to break down foods and turn them into the energy that you need. It can also help suppress cravings.

Avoid inflammatory foods – These are foods such as processed foods, junk foods, and any highly sugary and gluten filled products that can harm your immune system and endocrine system.

Sleep more – It’s quite apparent that sleep is good for you since we all need it in order to function. But adequate sleep is beneficial in helping your hormones repair, restore, and heal by regenerating cells. Not enough sleep can lead to rapid aging of your body and brain.

Reduce intake of stimulants – Try cutting back on the caffeine. Coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and also tea or chocolate can interfere with your sleep, which your body needs in order to restore.

Cut out chemicals – Instead of using your normal products, try using products that are more natural or have the least chemicals in them. Chemicals can interfere with your hormonal functions.

Minimize usage of meds – Continuous exposure to medication, whether they are prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, can stress and throw your hormones into imbalance.

RELAX! Stress might be one of the most important factors related to your hormones. When your body is overwhelmed with stress it can cause your hormones to go off the charts. Find ways to unwind and blow off steam regularly such as yoga, stretching or meditating.

 

Top 11 Health Benefits of Singing

It doesn’t matter if you are good or bad. Face it, everyone does it! Whether it’s in the shower, in your bedroom, in the car, or at work, everyone likes to sing. It is a form of expression and communication that speaks to people and makes us feel great. And, singing has health benefits, too!

Communication Skills

Singing is a form of communication first introduced to us as infants. According to Sally Goddard Blythe, author of The Genius of Natural Childhood and director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, singing is the most effective way to develop communication skills in a child because it prepares the brain and voice for language. In a neuro-imaging scan of a child’s brain while listening to music, activity was shown not just in the hotspots, but in large areas in both hemispheres of the brain.

Better Brain Cognition

A neurobiologist from Northwestern University presented her musical findings at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention. She tested hundreds of children in public schools in impoverished areas and found that the kids who sang or were learning a musical instrument had improved neural function and attention span. Their IQs also improved after each year of music and singing lessons.

A Natural Mood Booster

The same as exercise, singing can release endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and happy. Scientists discovered that the sacculus, a small organ in the ear, reacts to the frequencies in singing, creating a sense of pleasure when heard.

Alertness

In 2015, The Alzheimer’s Society created the “Singing for the Brain” program to help with their patients’ memories. What they discovered was that the oxygen exchange that occurs when breathing in and out during singing actually increases blood circulation, creating a better-oxygenated bloodstream through the body as well the brain. However, this is not exclusive to people with dementia. It can apply to anyone who wants to improves memory and concentration.

Strengthens Immune System

The University of Frankfurt performed a study on a choir in which they took blood and saliva samples from each of the members before and after a one-hour rehearsal. What they found was that the choir members had increased levels of S-IgA (Secretory immunoglobulin A), proteins that act like antibodies in the immune system. The effects of singing choral music were significantly opposite from just listening to it, which gave decreased S-IgA levels.

Decreases Stress Levels

When singing, a person breathes in and out between phrases, emulating slow breathing for relaxation. Muscle tension is released, which lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, in our bloodstream. Oxytocin is also produced, which can alleviate stress as a natural stress reliever.

Lower Blood Pressure

If you have a high blood pressure and are taking medication for it, singing might be the best natural medication for you. Singing has been proven to influence the body to relax and reduce blood pressure, lowering your anxiety.

Improves Your Posture

Maintaining good posture is a habit that can be easily created by singing because posture is a significant part of the correct technique. The chest cavity expands, causing the back and shoulders to align properly. According to Harvard Health, having good posture prevents you from having inflexible muscles muscle that can limit your range of motion, and it also promotes better breathing.

A Good Exercise

Singing is a great workout for those who are injured, disabled, or elderly. Applying the correct technique and vocal exercises for singing can be a great exercise for the lungs and also develop a stronger diaphragm by contracting the abdominal muscles. The oxygen used in singing is actually a greater amount than some other exercises. Therefore, it can promote better stamina and capacity.

Get Better Sleep

Everyone knows someone who snores or maybe has sleep apnea. Whatever the case, Alise Ojay, a drama therapist from the University of York, wanted to conduct an experiment called “Singing for Snorers” to help her friend. She collaborated with the University of Exeter, UK, and found that singing helps strengthen throat muscles, which decreases the frequency of snoring. With time, it can significantly reduce sleep apnea.

Live Longer

Can singing help you live longer? It definitely can! The University of San Francisco conducted a study to prove this idea. Researchers used people from senior centers in the Bay Area and formed 12 choirs. They tested their balance, lower body strength, and the respiratory system before and after the study. What they found was that the people in the choir fell less and had stronger legs. Julene Johnson from the UCSF Institute for Health and Aging also found that 30% of the older adults who complained of shortness of breath had improved breathing. In a later study in Scandinavia, singing was determined to be the key to a longer life, along with camping and dancing.

 

3 Reasons Why Temporal Forehead Thermometers Are Inaccurate

With so many different types of thermometers on the market, it is important to know a product’s accuracy before using one on your child. Forehead thermometers are a non-invasive system that use infrared technology, providing the easiest and quickest measurements. These reasons indicate why a high percentage of parents use it, but research shows that forehead thermometers have been found to be an inaccurate measurement of the core body temperature. HFR researched 3 reasons why these devices are inaccurate.

  • Extremely dependent on external variables

Most pediatric practices do not recommend the use of forehead thermometers on children due to the external variables that can affect its measurements. A study posted on PubMed.Gov explains this, saying that specifically radiant warmers can cause inaccuracy when using a forehead thermometer. Radiant warmers are used to help infants maintain a normal body temperature, and if a forehead thermometer gets affected by the radiant warmer, it becomes completely useless when measuring a child’s temperature. However, this is not the only factor that can affect the measurements of a forehead thermometer. The National Institute of Health research said that a forehead thermometer’s readings can become inaccurate if the child’s forehead is sweating or if the child is moving. These two variables seem very common when it comes to children. It is difficult to keep a child still, especially during a doctor’s visit, and sweat on the forehead is frequently associated with a fever.                       

  • Inconsistency

When comparing three types of thermometers, a study found that forehead thermometers would measure inconsistently, varying within a range of 3 degrees Celsius. The top critical review on Amazon for the popular Braun Forehead Thermometer claims that the reviewer “took 5 readings within a 30-minute timeframe” and found that the temperatures ranged from 99.1 to 102.1, while the rectal thermometer measured their baby’s actual temperature at 102.4 degrees. Inconsistent and inaccurate readings like these can be life-threatening to infants. Forehead thermometers have also received poor reviews from a study published on PubMed.Gov. The study consults private pediatric practices and measures the temperature of children from 1 month to 24 months of age using tympanic (ear), forehead, and rectal thermometers. The results from this study showed that tympanic and forehead thermometers recorded temperatures lower than the rectal thermometer, but when comparing the tympanic with the forehead thermometer, the forehead thermometer had a wider range of total error.      

  • Scores The Lowest Amongst Other Thermometers

In a test done with oral, axillary, tympanic, and forehead thermometers, it was shown that tympanic was the most accurate, while forehead thermometers did the worst. Overall, the less invasive the measurement, the less accurate it is. Understandably, forehead thermometers provide the easiest and fastest methods, but when measuring young infants, risking inaccurate temperatures can cause dangerous effects. Therefore, it is important to stick with tympanic thermometers due to their reliable accuracy.

A fever is your body’s way of fighting back, and it is actually a sign of healing. However, it can be different for children whose immune systems are not as strong. Different conditions can cause a fever, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your child’s temperature is more than 100.4 °F (38 °C) you should call your physician or take them to the hospital to avoid further damage. Fever in children younger than 3 months can be signs of an infection and, if ignored or untreated, it can lead to brain damage if it reaches 108 degrees. If you are unsure about the health of your child, contact your pediatrician.

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Mouth and Teeth Clean While Wearing Aligners

The journey to having the perfect set of teeth is not always an easy one, but the results are certainly worth it. For years, orthodontic braces were the primary option for straightening teeth, but now, the use of aligners has eliminated the embarrassing brace face look by providing a comfortable, discrete solution that can help you achieve your desired set of teeth. The importance of maintaining a clean mouth increases while using aligners, so we researched 5 tips to remember if you decide to straighten your teeth with this method.

  • Brush your teeth after meals

Your mouth can be a natural camping ground for bacteria if it is not brushed at least twice a day and after every meal if you are wearing aligners. When you don’t brush your teeth after eating and then replace your aligners in your mouth, you are trapping food between your teeth, which increases the chances of cavities, bacterial build-ups and staining. Research shows that by brushing your teeth after you eat, you eliminate chances of harmful bacteria attacking your teeth.

  • Floss often

Flossing is essential to removing food stuck between your teeth. When it comes to preventing tooth loss and protecting the gums, flossing is even more important than brushing your teeth. Despite the importance of flossing, only about 50% of Americans floss. There is no point in spending a large amount of money to get your teeth straight if you are not taking care of them and taking preventive measures to keep them healthy.

  • Avoid foods that stain

Many things can stain your teeth, especially when you are wearing aligners. Orthodontists advise only drinking water while wearing your aligners, and any colorful, carbonated or acidic drinks should be avoided. Teeth whitening kits are usually sent out with aligner kits or can be easily purchased online. Your aligners need to be treated like your teeth and cared for just the same to avoid being stained. When cleaning your aligners, it is important to follow the directions provided to you by your dentist or orthodontist.

  • Avoid candy or sweets

Having too much candy or sweets while wearing your aligners can increase your risk of developing gingivitis or cavities, especially if you are not frequently brushing your teeth. If it is sticky, hard or gooey, don’t eat it! These types of candies can stick to your teeth for a long time and cause major issues.

  • Clean your aligners

This seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not a lot of people forget to clean their aligners. Always rinse them off with warm water every time you take them off to eat or drink. Wash them morning and night with clear antibacterial soap, not toothpaste. Aligner companies like Invisalign provide specialized cleaning crystals to soak your aligners for cleaning, but regular brushing of aligners is also ok.

The Body’s Inner Symphony

Consider for a moment the intricacies of a musical orchestra.  The average size of a full orchestra is about 100 musicians, all playing together harmoniously to create a universal rhythm and tone. If one of these instruments fails to play in tune or at the correct rhythm, it will throw off the entire song and diminish the quality of the musical experience.

 

No doubt, the human body trumps in complexity the most dynamic orchestra ever conducted.  Muscles, joints, circulatory structures, nerve impulses all work together to create a harmonic rhythm that allows us to stay active in our life. Every individual link in the chain must do its job in perfect order to create a desired physical motion.  A neurologic signal must travel from the brain into a nerve bundle that is carried to the desired area of the body, stimulating a cascade of events that ultimately creates an infinitely delicate event such as raising our arm or bending our knee.  Even the smallest amount of break-down of this cascade has the ability to produce a massive negative outcome commonly known as pain.

 

Most people don’t associate doing a bench press or performing a burpee as a “symphony in your body”, but this is in fact what is occurring behind the sweaty t-shirt.

 

Now consider a doctor’s job. When somebody comes in to the office with pain, my job is to find the disruptive part of the symphony. In order for us to diagnose what is occurring incorrectly, the desire tune must be replayed…. Many times, over and over again.  Timing, rhythm, quality, and quantity are all factors that must be taken into consideration, just as a conductor breaks apart a song line by line to optimize the sound quality of a song and to construct a new pattern of performance.

 

To summarize this metaphor:  Your body is a delicate instrument.  Care for it well and keep it finely tuned.

How to Get Your Skin Ready for Fall

Everyone’s favorite season is finally here: fall! With fall comes football, back to school, and of course dry and itchy skin from the cooler weather. When the temperature and humidity drops, your skin will naturally become more dry than when you were soaking up the sun in the summer. Here are some ways to protect your skin from the dry weather, as well as prevent dry skin from happening in the first place!

Exfoliate: Get rid of those dead skin cells as soon as they appear by using an exfoliator once a week. Using a scrub for your body will remove the dry skin, as well as give you a silky smooth finish. A great scrub to try out would be a sugar scrub, they are all natural and don’t have any harsh chemicals that will end up drying your skin out.

Drybrush: Going along the lines of exfoliating, “drybrushing” is an effective way to get in there and really scrub out all those dry skin cells. All you do is get a natural bristle brush and work a scrub into your skin and brush away all the gross dead skin. Not only does it dust away the layer of dry skin sitting on your arms, it also buffs away cellulite and stimulates blood flow within your body. Who would’ve known taking care of your skin externally can also helps your body internally?

Get enough rest: We cannot stress enough how important getting enough sleep is! Your body can’t properly function without rest, so how is your skin expected to be flawless? Your skin tells the world you haven’t been getting your 8 hours, so relax with some lavender oils when you go to bed to get your most restful sleep yet.

Moisturize: There’s no such thing as using too much lotion, especially in the fall. Lotion is made up of fats and oils that keep your skin looking fresh and brand new. Moisturizer works in two ways: it traps the moisture that is already in your skin from escaping, and it also adds moisture back into your skin that may no longer be there. Make sure to always keep a bottle in your purse or car, that way you’ll never forget to put it on.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Journaling

We tend to think of journaling as an activity for famous politicians, angsty teenagers, and people who lived in the 19th century. But don’t let this prejudice prevent you from taking up this habit. Keeping a log of your thoughts and activities is an excellent organizational tool that will have a positive impact on your life. In fact, writing in a diary or journal every day is great for your health. We’ve listed the top health benefits of journaling to convince you to pick up the pen.

Help You Lose Weight

Keep track of your diet with a food journal. There’s a few approaches you can take. Some meticulously log every bite they eat and the macronutrients of their meals. But if you want something a little less intense, just keep a general record of whether you ate clean or indulged in junk foods. Try to recall and write down your emotions and mood before your decision. If you know what triggers you into reaching for the donut, you have power over that response and can control it in the future.

Relieves Stress

Anxious and stressful thoughts can stay pent-up in your head if you have nowhere to release them. Some choose to share their stresses with a friend or therapist. But journaling also provides an outlet to relieve anxiety.

Improves Memory

Time starts blending together as you age. While you remember major events, little details start to blend together or slip away altogether. How do you reverse the flow of time and improve your memory? Journaling can help.

First, you have a physical log of daily details that tend to slip away. But findings in the APA’s Journal of Experimental Psychology indicate that journaling can improve working memory, a huge help in day-to-day life. Researchers believe that journaling reduces negative thoughts about life events by committing them to paper. This prevents your brain from ruminating on them all day and frees up working memory to commit details down.

Healthier Personal Relationships

As we get older and take on more responsibility, it can be tough to maintain the personal bonds that are so important to our lives. Work through your problems on paper and you’ll find helpful patterns and emotional honesty that might not otherwise have come to you. Also, you can identify toxic people in your life and then think long and hard whether they are worth your time in the first place.

Boost Self-Esteem

Life can be tough for those suffering from low self-esteem. Confidence helps us take leaps of faith to overcome new challenges and old habits. But if you have low self-esteem, chances are you undermine your own ability to improve.

That’s where journaling comes in. Just as people trying to lose weight should focus on food in their journal, those lacking in confidence should focus on their daily accomplishments! Write down a few positive things about yourself every day. Did your teacher says something nice about your work? Did you choose to read over watching TV? By keeping track of positive experiences, you are building yourself up and reinforcing the good.

Teaches dedication to get in shape

Struggling to slip into a regular workout routine? You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to consistently set aside exercise time when they’re trying to get in shape. Get a jump-start by establishing a journaling routine. Setting aside 10-20 minutes a day takes dedication. But if you manage to do it, you’ll find it easier to keep up with workout routines. Once you start working out you will have an outlet to monitor your successes and write about how good you feel! Translating the positive emotions that come from a workout onto paper will encourage you to keep at it.

Improved Mental Clarity

All of your thoughts, dreams, and worries swirl around in your head. It’s good to sometimes sit still and think things through, but other times you need to focus. Journaling lets you channel the background noise onto paper so that your brain can problem-solve the here and now issues. This helps at work, in personal relationships, or just about anything else.

Mimics Meditation

Meditation is the skill of focusing on one thing and tuning out everything else in the world. Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center say that journaling, like meditation, has a positive impact on mental health. It can manage anxiety and help you cope with depression. For best results, journal every day in a calm and soothing environment. Drink a mug of chamomile tea and light a candle. Maybe diffuse some essential oils to combine it with aromatherapy. Carve out some time for yourself to collect and reflect.

Lower Blood Pressure

Because journaling lowers stress and anxiety, it can help manage high blood pressure. Dr. James Pennebaker claims that journaling strengthens T-lymphocytes, immune cells that fluctuate with stress and anxiety. Strengthening them boosts your immune system and helps keep your blood pressure low.

Strengthens Communication Skills

Some people are natural communicators. They have a knack for saying the witty or insightful comment, and can spruce up a boring report to make it shine. But not everyone has that talent. Journaling teaches you how to express yourself clearly and confidently. It gives practice writing everyday. After a few months of journaling, you might find it less stressful to send emails or to articulate your ideas at a meeting. This can have professional and personal benefits that benefit you in all areas of life.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning A Dog

There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend. A good friend is loyal, will be there to pick you up when you’re down, will keep you on track to reach your goals, and will just be there for you as a companion. And that’s exactly what a dog can do for its owner. The mental, physical and social benefits of caring for a dog – or any pet, for that matter – are numerous.

Here are the Top 10 health benefits of owning a dog from HFR team and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

Keep you active: Dogs are naturally high-energy companions and love to play and exercise. As a result, dog owners are often inspired toward an active lifestyle to satisfy their dog’s needs. Research conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.

Make you happier: Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression and have increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are “feel good” neurotransmitters, responsible for emotional stability and pleasure.

Live longer: Owning a dog leads to many heart-healthy benefits, such as a decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, overall decreasing the risk for heart disease. One study showed that non-dog owners who had survived a heart attack were more likely to die within a year than dog-owners were.

Boost immunity: Though dogs are often known for being the messiest in the family, getting accustomed to exposure to fur and pet dander decreases the risk of allergies and asthma in children.

Feeling calmer: Dogs provide a calming, familiar presence that decreases stress and anxiety levels. One study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who owned dogs had fewer anxiety-induced outbursts than Alzheimer’s patients without dogs.

Promotes social interaction: Dogs provide a natural connection with other people and are great conversation starters. Common questions and comments from dog lovers, owners and social butterflies include, “What breed are they?”, “How long have you had them?” and “They’re so cute!” These conversation starters cue an instant social connection.

Provides safety and peace of mind: Many times, dogs are adopted for their territorial qualities, providing many people with a sense of security. Dogs also provide a sense of security in terms of health, such as detecting low blood sugar levels and oncoming seizures even before the person recognizes them.

Rehabilitation: Dogs encourage owners to be more active, boosting mental fortitude for recovery.

Provides companionship: The renowned excitability of the beloved canine companion provides an irreplaceable bond between a dog and its owner, thus decreasing loneliness.

Teaches responsibility: Dog ownership enables many – from adults to young children – to learn basic responsibility. From refilling the food bowl to giving the dog a bath, dog owning coaches responsibility because a dog fully relies on its owner for attention, meals and cleanliness.

Here are a few items you might want to get if you have a dog. Click on the pictures to check them out on Amazon!

Read more of articles on dogs here:

  • How Fido Can Improve Your Mental Health
  • Human Foods that are Good for Fido
  • Hey Fido… What’s for Dinner?
  • Fitness with Fido (Dogs)

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.

Best Oils For Skin Nourishment

Taking care of your skin, hair, and nails is all part of health. Natural oils are safe, healthy, and easily accessible. Many of the creams and lotions we use daily contain these powerful natural oils, so Health Fitness Revolution is bringing you a list of the most potent natural oils that you can incorporate into your daily beauty routine:

  • Coconut Oil: Contains nature’s richest source of medium-chained fatty acids (MCFAs) which is why it is referred to the healthiest oil on earth. The proteins capric and lauric acids contain fight aging skin and wrinkles.
  • Argan Oil: Often referred to as “liquid gold”, this potent oil is known for its anti-aging and detoxifying properties. It is packed with Vitamins A and E, and Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, which all help revitalize the skin, nails and hair cuticle.
  • Macadamia Nut Oil: This oil has the ability to mimic the skin’s natural oil so it is very easily absorbed into the skin, hair, and scalp. It contains Omega-7 fatty acids, Vitamins A and E, which all lead to its powerful UV and chemical damage protective properties.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: The anti-aging properties of this oil plump, moisturize and fill skin. It contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. The B6 is known to promote hair growth, and this multi-purpose oil can be used on skin, scalp, and hair.
  • Emu Oil: The sapogens in this oil are great for softening and deeply penetrating very tough skin and calluses (like on the feet and elbows). This oil also contains Vitamins A and E which repair the skin and act an antioxidant, respectively.
  • Jojoba Oil: Resembles the skin’s natural sebum and is easily absorbed into the skin without feeling greasy. This oil contains the potent micro-elements of zinc, copper, iodine, chromium, silicon, and vitamins B and E. It is known to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin E Oil: is a natural anti-oxidant and moisturizer that promotes intense healing. It not only heals by eliminating free radicals, but it also promotes the natural production of collagen in the skin, which keeps the skin elastic.