I don’t know about you, but I have an inner force that makes me sincerely care about our planet and it pains me so, to see it being misused and neglected. All my life I have appreciated natures wonders and with that passion, I feel it is necessary to take action, and be consciously aware every waking moment of our surroundings. I also have a strong need to pass that sense of urgency on to others.
Since its inception on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated with billions of people around the world taking part in locally sponsored service and global initiatives.
From installing solar panels to reduce our carbon footprint to employee-led service initiatives, USANA contributes to Earth Day values year-round. But we’ve found that not every effort has to be huge. Even simple encouragement to get outside and enjoy nature or reuse plastic bottles can make a positive impact. In that spirit, here are some easy and creative reuse and recycling hacks.
A simple internet search returns thousands of ideas for reusing plastic bottles. Here are a few of our favorite ways to reuse USANA bottles:
Hide a Key—Glue a rock to the top of a bottle and bury it in your yard or planter to hide a key.
Camping—One of the great things about our bottles is they’re lightweight and water resistant (if closed properly). Take advantage of this to store matches, smaller toiletries like cotton balls, and organize fishing hooks and lures.
Gardening—Store seeds, or use larger bottles for windowsill herb pots.
Travel—Reusing plastic bottles for travel is a great way to keep organized. Use one to hold your earbuds, create your own travel sewing or first aid kit, or pack an empty bottle to use as a small trash container.
Organization—Do you have that dreaded junk drawer somewhere in your house or garage? That’s all right, we all do. Use old bottles to contain the small things at the bottom of said drawer—like odd buttons, batteries, paper clips, nails, and screws.
In reality, there are only so many ways to reuse your USANA bottles, especially if you and your family take multiple supplements a day. They tend to add up quickly. But rather than chucking them in the garbage, properly recycle them.
All of USANA’s nutritional supplement bottles, lids, and outer plastic sleeves are recyclable. All the cartons are recyclable. Additionally, the shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body nourisher, and hand therapy bottles and tubes are recyclable, as well as Rev3 cans.
The inner seals on the bottles are not recyclable, however, and some of the Celavive® packaging is not recyclable due to the airless pump system.
We encourage you to recycle the following product containers:
Conditioning Makeup Remover
Protective Day Lotion
The following can be recycled once the dispensing pump is removed and discarded:
Protective Day Cream
Replenishing Night Gel
Replenishing Night Cream
Recycling is the best way to help conserve natural resources, turning waste into usable materials. And it isn’t just for plastics.
Here are some general tips on how—and what—to properly recycle.
The general tip for recycling plastic is to recycle by shape rather than the code found on the bottom of containers. Bottles, jars, and jugs can go straight into recycling (this includes your USANA supplement bottles). Just make sure they are clean.
The recycling of plastic grocery bags often raises many questions. They should be kept out of general recycling and, instead, dropped off at your local grocery store. Once you’ve done that, consider using cloth or sturdier plastic bags.
Common metal products such as aluminum soda cans, steel and tin cans, aluminum foil, and bakeware are recyclable, but a majority of these end up in U.S. landfills. Simply give them a rinse to get rid of food waste and put them right into your recycle bin.
Nearly all paper or cardboard products are recyclable. So, if you have old magazines, office papers, junk mail, school papers you’ve been holding on to since you graduated (because you never know who might want to check out your old physics notes), or newspapers lying around, bundle them together and put them in your recycling bin.
Not all glass can be recycled, including glass bakeware, drinking glasses, and window glass, as they are made of different materials. Glass recycling isn’t available everywhere, so check your local guidelines before mixing glass in your recycle bin.
Many batteries can be recycled, but they shouldn’t be mixed with your other recyclables. Check with your municipality or do an internet search to locate your nearest drop-off center. And for car batteries, check with a local car dealership or automotive parts store to see if they’ll accept them.
Instead of throwing away damaged electronics, look up the manufacturer to see if they have a recycling program. Some companies may even send you a box for shipping. Your local municipality may also have special disposal days or drop-off locations for used electronics.
If your local municipality has a recycling program, double-check their guidelines to see what they do and do not accept. A quick internet search can also tell you where your nearest drop-off center is.
Learn More about Earth Day
Here are just a few places you can find more information about Earth Day, including tips on how to be more environmentally conscious.
We are must do our part to care! It can start with something as simple as picking up piece of paper. East Coast Life Solutions cares, do you?
As we go through life there are many things that we encounter that take us off track and divert our attention away from some of the most important things that we can do which is to take care of ourselves. Yes, there used to be an adage that said the “Golden Years”, but as I have found out for myself, your years are only “Golden” if you put health as your top priority.
Your life experiences make you an expert at handling change. Starting a new job, moving to a different city, the birth of a child. All events that transform your life and shape you are about change. For women and men, healthy aging is the next challenge to conquer.
But everyone ages differently. Women go through a specific ageing process called menopause. And while every woman will experience it, not everyone is aware of what to expect.
Men go through hormonal changes with age, too. It’s not the same as what women deal with, though. (You can read the facts about male menopause below.)
No matter what’s ahead, when you understand how your body changes as you age, you will feel ready to march into each new year and decade with confidence. And preparing for healthy ageing now can help ease your body into each subsequent phase of life. Whatever your age, there are steps you can take now to get on track for healthy ageing.
To tackle what’s coming with age, let’s break up adulthood into some of the key concerns during different decades of life. This is by no means a comprehensive list—a whole book would be needed for that. But you’ll read about what to expect in terms of hormonal changes with age and some of the other physical changes you might encounter. Learn tips about how to handle what might be coming your way.
You’re never too old to learn about your body. And you can never start paying attention to healthy habits too early. So, no matter your age now is the time to start down the road to healthy ageing. The choices you make throughout your life are the key to enjoying every minute of it.
Get Active to Prepare Properly in Your Twenties and Thirties
Your twenties and thirties are a great time to develop healthy habits that’ll last throughout your life. Start exercising on a regular basis as soon as possible. Partner up with a family member or friend and get fit for the future together.
One concern for women and men is a loss of strength and bone density later in life. That’s why your younger years are a great time to strengthen your muscles and bones, armouring your body through regular physical activity.
Getting in shape now might seem premature, but it’s never too early to start. As you age, some activities will become more challenging. So, start working out now to help maintain your independence when you are older.
Think about activities like shopping, gardening, and hiking. Muscle and bone loss could make these difficult. Lifting groceries, pushing a wheelbarrow, and climbing stairs are all things you will want the freedom to do in the future. That’s why you need to stay active in your twenties and thirties—so you can keep doing the things you want to with the people you love.
All you need is 30 minutes of activity each day. And many of these suggestions can be done with a partner. Build up your stamina and set your body up for comfortable ageing by keeping physically fit.
Fortifying Health in Your Forties
Working out during the week is a good start on the road to healthy ageing. And a diet of healthful foods can make the trip even smoother. These habits set you up for wellness in your next decade of life. That way when your forties roll around you can meet any ageing challenge head-on.
Ageing skin will be one of the first symptoms you tackle.
By your forties, the skin that has served you so well can start to show signs of wear. All the fun in the sun, smiling and laughing you’ve done shows up in the form of wrinkles. Both women and men can expect to get wrinkles. Here’s why they show up and how you can minimize their appearance.
The wrinkles around your eyes and mouth come as the result of intrinsic and extrinsic ageing. Intrinsic ageing is what happens when your body naturally starts to produce less and less of the proteins that keep skin bouncy and firm—collagen and elastin. This intrinsic ageing process actually starts before your forties. In fact, after age 20, your skin produces one percent less collagen each year. So, by your forties, you’ve probably noticed a difference in your skin’s appearance.
Extrinsic ageing also changes the look of your skin. This form of ageing accounts for the damage that comes from outside your body. That can include things like tobacco and pollution.
You’ll notice extrinsic ageing when your skin looks splotchy and uneven in texture. Radiation from the sun is one of the biggest contributors to extrinsic ageing. Responsible sun exposure is healthy (15-30 minutes per day). But excess sunlight damages your skin and is the source of most of your wrinkles.
To prepare yourself for the age-associated changes in your skin, sunscreen and sun-obscuring clothing (long shirts, pants, and hat) is your primary defence. Sunscreen protects your skin from damage and should be used every day. For maximum skin protection, try to use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30-35.
If you want to avoid the appearance of wrinkles, try adding an antioxidant-rich serum and moisturizer to your skincare regimen. Antioxidants are great at reducing the appearance of redness. They can help even out your skin tone and give your skin a healthy glow. While moisturizers help give a more youthful appearance by helping retain moisture in the top layers of the skin and protecting from outside elements that can contribute to skin dryness.
Add antioxidants to your diet, too. Your ageing skin will thank you. So will your brain. Your forties are for fortifying your body for healthy ageing. And it’s smart to look ahead and consider the health of your brain. A diet rich in antioxidants is great for your mind and can help keep you sharp. (More on that later.)
Don’t sweat your changing skin. Everyone experiences wrinkles. But you can help your skin retain its healthy look and elasticity with sun protection and proper skincare.
Healthy Aging in Your Fifties: Hormonal Changes and You
For women, the most noticeable changes of ageing come about in your fifties. Menopause begins around age 50 in most women. This final shift in estrogen hormone production can happen quickly, so be on the lookout for some of the symptoms. Estrogen is the hormone that controls a woman’s menstrual cycles.
Menopause signals the end of a woman’s reproductive years. This is the point in life when the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and estrogen production declines significantly. When menopause begins, monthly periods become irregular and eventually stop. These hormonal changes eventually cause a loss of fertility.
Changes in regular menstrual cycles might be the first symptom of the start of menopause. But your body will also experience other changes when menopause begins. Symptoms include hot flashes, mood changes, dry skin, and poor sleep to name a few. Becoming aware of these future changes can help you plan to keep yourself comfortable.
Consuming foods rich in phytoestrogens (like soy), daytime physical activity, and breathing exercises at night can help improve your sleep if it’s interrupted by menopause. Another good idea is limiting caffeine intake to the beginning of the day. That way you won’t be wide-eyed and jittery when it is time for bed.
Investing in a good skin care regimen can help with dryness caused by menopause. Moisturizers and creams formulated for mature skin can help your body preserve moisture and brighten your complexion’s appearance.
And remember, while many of these hormonal changes might seem dramatic, their side effects won’t last forever. Always keep in mind that menopause is a normal part of ageing. Most women transition out of menopause within about five years and see a reduction in most menopausal symptoms over time.
A Word About Male Menopause
You might be wondering if there is an equivalent hormonal ageing process for men. While there is no distinct man-opause (male menopause), men do experience hormonal changes as they age.
All men will see a reduction in testosterone with age. But this change is gradual and not as marked as estrogen’s changes in women.
Symptoms of reduced testosterone include a loss of muscle mass and decreased energy. Some men may experience mood changes, decreases in strength, and sex drive to name a few. The physical symptoms can be alleviated with regular exercise. And changes in mood can be addressed with mindfulness, emotional support, and help from a trusted healthcare provider.
Mentally and More—Staying Fit in Your Sixties and Beyond
The previous decades have been preparing you for healthy ageing with habits like regular exercise, a healthy diet, and proper skin care. In your sixties, you have the chance to work on perhaps your most important organ of all—your brain. And keeping your brain in good shape will make ageing a more enjoyable process.
Stimulating your mind can help you stay sharp as the years go on. As you settle into your sixties and beyond, forgetfulness might be on your brain. A small amount of cognitive decline is expected as you age. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to keep your wits about you well into the future.
Engaging in activities that challenge your mind and memory are great ways to stay in mental shape. Studies have shown that adults who practiced cognitive stimulation through active learning saw less cognitive decline later in life. These include: playing musical instruments, taking classes (cooking to math), learning a new language, writing/journaling, memory games, talking with friends, actively working on hand-eye coordination, and practicing a new sport.
What kinds of things can you work on to keep your mind sharp? Learn. Learn. Learn! Reading, writing, and studying a new language are all excellent ways to keep your brain learning. You might even find that these activities are fun.
Playing card and board games are great for your brain, as well. Try to play with others as much as possible. This is a great time for being with family and friends. What’s more fun than playing games and making memories with those you love?
Another way to protect your memory is by eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Current research suggests that cognitive decline and brain ageing is caused by oxidative damage. Free radicals gnaw away at neurons. Antioxidants target free radicals and help protect your brain cells.
You can find a lot of antioxidants in berries. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are great sources. Put them on your breakfast cereal. Eat them as a snack. However, you do it, incorporating antioxidants into your diet can support your ageing brain.
Don’t spend your sixties and beyond worrying about your memory. Activate your brain by learning new things and engaging with your favourite people. Talk, read, write, and learn as often as you can. Keep up a healthy diet with lots of antioxidants and other brain nutrients.
A Healthy Life, No Matter The Age
Living well doesn’t stop just because you get older. At any age, you can have a healthy and happy lifestyle. By preparing for healthy ageing in your youth, these transitions can become more comfortable and manageable.
Start healthy habits like a good diet and regular exercise today to keep your body strong for when you get older. Take time to care for your skin and get ready for some of the hormonal changes coming your way. And keep your mind sharp by continuing to learn all the time.
You might think that age is just a number. And you would be right. You can embrace that number (no matter how high) knowing you are prepared for healthy ageing.
The fact of the matter is I have spent the last 8 years of my life focusing on my health. As hard as is, I too am human and slip from my commitments but each time find it easier and easier to hop back on the wagon. I know now how it feels to be healthy and I want to keep striving to, control and maintain my health, because if I don’t care, who will?
If you are interested in making the rest of your life, the best of your life, join us anytime to walk your path to health. USANA products can be purchased at the below link. We are also available anytime to have a discovery call and find out more about you.
POP QUIZ: Who was the first Prime Minister of Canada? How many U.S. states have “City” in the name of their capital? Who was the first drummer for the Beatles?
And one more: is physical exercise good for mental health?
There are plenty of great reasons to be physically active, but here’s one you might not think about often. According to a recent University of British Columbia study, researchers concluded regular aerobic exercise (exercise that gets your heart and sweat glands pumping) can maintain the size of the hippocampus, the verbal memory and learning part of your brain. These scientists identified a direct correlation between exercise and keeping your wits.
Now, this might not help you remember John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first prime minister, Jefferson, Oklahoma, Carson, and Salt Lake have city in the state capital, or Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr, but it does reveal aerobic exercise is not just good for your physical health. It’s also essential for your brain health.
A Smarter Hippocampus
Tucked under your cerebral cortex is a funny-looking gland in your brain called the hippocampus. FUN FACT: Your short- and long-term memory and spatial memory gland is shaped like a seahorse. And it’s all in the name—from the Greek words hippos (horse) and kampos (sea-monster). The hippocampus plays an important role in the formation of new memories, both episodic and autobiographical, and declarative memories.
This is a fancy way of saying the hippocampus can assist you in remembering what you had for breakfast, how to navigate from home to work, and memorizing facts and figures.
Your brain has two hippocampi, bilateral, each located in the medial temporal lobe. Research has shown that damage to the hippocampus can result in the inability to form and retain memories. Conversely, when you supply your hippocampus with oxygenated blood from exercise, it can keep your brain healthy. In addition, exercise helps improve mood and sleep which goes a long way to reduce stress and anxiety.
That’s why it’s important to get aerobic exercise throughout the week.
The Muscle Between Your Ears
So, what’s the best exercise for brain health?
Neurologist Dr. Scott McGinnis from Harvard Medical School suggests something as simple as a brisk walk for one hour, twice a week, can be enough. But here’s the deal: it can be anything. Swimming, bicycling, a dance class, or even household activities can get your blood moving and work up a sweat. The Mayo Clinicsuggests a simple way to determine your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For example, if you’re 40 years old, subtract 40 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 180.
So, find an activity you enjoy and get moving. Sign up for a Zumba class or try yoga. Give the rock-climbing gym a shot or make sure your dog gets a daily walk. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re raising your heart rate—helping not just your brain, but your entire body.
Riddle Me This
Physical activity is great for brain health, but don’t forget to keep your mind sharp with mental activities. Muscles can atrophy over time if you don’t use them, and your brain is no different. Keep your brain performing at high levels, maximizing your cognitive powers with these stimulating tips.
Eat well. Good nutrients are important. Make sure your meals include omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens, oils, eggs, and walnuts to help support your brain.
Do math in your head. Lose the paper and pencil and make simple calculations in your head. The next time you get change at the store, see if you can figure out the amount before the cashier.
Take a cooking class. Cooking uses a number of senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste. Stimulate your brain by cooking something new.
Explore your taste buds. Speaking of food, the next time you get a meal, try to figure out each of the ingredients in the recipe. Small tests like this can help expand your mind’s appreciation for flavor and texture.
Play an instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument takes time and discipline. It also keeps your mind engaged as you make beautiful music.
Learn a foreign language. Picking up a new language later in life is hard, but not impossible. It requires listening and practicing new words, and it’s a great way to stimulate your mind.
Read a book. Never underestimate the importance of reading. Books and magazines not only inform and entertain you, but they keep your mind sharp and focused.
Just like regular exercise can help with heart health, mental exercises can keep you living an engaged lifestyle. Let us know in the comment section what you do to improve your brain health. Link videos or programs you use to keep your mind active.
For most areas in North America, our clocks will spring forward an hour on Sunday, March 10, as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Basically, this moves an hour of morning daylight to the evening. While this gives us “longer” days that bleed into summer nights, this change can shake up bedtime routines and cause restless nights for up to a week.
Here are a few tips to keep you sleeping soundly during Daylight Saving Time and beyond.
Have you ever wondered why it’s recommended adults get between 7–9 hours of sleep every night? Or why, when you stay up too late or travel, it takes a few days to recover? Our sleep and wake cycles—or circadian rhythms—follow a 24-hour cycle. These rhythms influence nearly everything in your body, such as hormone release, digestion, maintaining normal blood pressure, hunger, and body temperature.
Leading up to and following Daylight Saving Time, a consistent sleep routine that supports your body’s natural rhythms becomes even more important. About a week before your clocks change, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. Increase this by an additional 15 minutes every few nights and you’ll be ready for some easy shuteye come time change time.
An easy way to carve out that additional 15 minutes of sleep is to power down for the evening. Digital devices can keep your mind occupied, and you awake. The light—TV included—reduces your body’s melatonin production. This is the helpful hormone that regulates your circadian rhythms.
If you have a hard time making it through the first week of Daylight Saving Time, catch a quick nap instead of that mid-afternoon cup of coffee. Even a short rest of around 20–30 minutes can help with alertness and performance and—most importantly for some—mood.
Taking one or two brief naps throughout the week can be a serene way to help regulate your body and help you feel more refreshed after lost sleep. Valuable tip: if you’re sneaking away from your desk at work, set an alarm.
Exercise Early, Rest Late
Some experts recommend exercising in the morning to really see those sleepy time gains. According to an Appalachian State University study, subjects who exercised in the morning had a consistent decrease in blood pressure throughout the day. They also showed a more significant drop at night, slept longer, and had better sleep cycles.
A morning endorphin boost also helps wake you up to focus on the rest of your day.
If you can’t fit in a morning workout, there isn’t a wrong time to exercise. Whether done morning or night, moderate physical activity can reduce stress and tire you out, paving the way for longer, higher quality sleep.
Supplement Your Sleep
If you’ve tried the other tips and you still need help getting enough sleep, consider trying a melatonin supplement.*
A quality supplement, such as Pure Rest™, can tell your body it’s time for sleep by
complementing your body’s natural melatonin production. Not only will this support your sleep-wake cycle, but it can help you get a dreamy night’s rest.*
Visit the USANA shop today for a restful night’s sleep.
Frank Sinatra’s 1956 tune “You Make Me Feel So Young” hits all the right notes. It starts with a blasting horn line underscored with soothing strings and a walking bassline guaranteed to get your fingers snapping. And then Sinatra lends his voice to one of his all-time greats.
It’s about a young man swooning in love with his new lady friend. When he is with her, he’s unstoppable. She gives him the strength to bounce the moon just like a toy balloon. All he wants to do is pick flowers with her and spend every moment together. And it ends with the perfect message: “And even when I’m old and grey, I’m gonna feel the way I do today.”
It’s a wonderful message and hopefully one we’re all lucky enough to feel just once in our lives.
Bells to be Rung and Songs to be Sung
Evidence shows being in love may elevate your heart’s health. It’s more than running through meadows picking lots of forget-me-nots (although this is a good cardiovascular activity). People in committed relationships actually have improved heart health.
A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health followed 620 married fathers and found that those who were in flourishing marriages experienced improvements in several cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). Comparing those in happy relationships to ones that deteriorated over time, happy relationships showed lower rates of high blood pressure. The report suggests several reasons why people in healthy relationships tend to have fewer health issues. It starts with the social support offered by each partner.
Those in happy relationships encourage the other to take care of themselves, provide care, and cheer on new, healthy behaviors.
Men seem to benefit more from these relationships. The study found that men in happy relationships have better health outcomes, including fewer hospitalizations, fewer severe disease, and less physical pain. The thinking behind this research suggests people who have partners who can share things are more likely to address problems sooner than later. Those in harmful relationships are more likely to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Every Time I See You Grin
The better the relationship, the bigger the payoff. Harvard Medical School published an article stating there are biological and behavioural benefits when people stay in long-term, happy relationships. Looking at over 309,000 subjects, they found people in solid relationships were less likely to suffer from “harmful levels of stress, which can adversely affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulations, and the immune system.”
Essentially, the article encourages people to pursue healthy, couple-building activities. When you’re working toward common goals, you’re less likely to develop habits damaging to the relationship. Take care of your partner and they’ll take care of you.
Just as important as fostering a positive relationship is being conscious of the dangers of being in a negative relationship. An article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that partners who annoy you, demand too much, ignore you, or pressure you to do things you don’t want to do are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.
It makes sense. When you’re feeling unvalued or neglected, you’re likely to develop resentment or depression. These stressful life events and other social strains are associated with early indicators of cardiovascular disease. By avoiding harmful relationships, you are mitigating the risk of developing unnecessary stress which can manifest in a number of health issues.
That heart-shaped sugar cookie tastes great around Valentine’s Day. But is it the best thing for your heart?
Sweets and chocolates are surefire ways to show the people you love you’re thinking of them during the most romantic month of the year, but if you really love somebody, you’ll give them a bouquet of kale.
The problem is most people don’t get a second date when they gift cruciferous vegetables.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to strengthen and protect your heart, not just in February, but all year long. As we enter Heart Health Month, here are some thought-provoking articles on the best ways to show your heart how much you care.
Feed Your Ticker
Good heart health starts with a good diet. But do you know what kinds of foods your heart needs to work at optimal levels? Check out this great article on the importance of macro and micronutrition to support the muscle that supports you.
The heart meets the challenges your body throws at it. But what’s the optimal level of beats per minute? If you’re working out, your heart is going to beat faster compared to sitting on the couch watching television. Get in rhythm and find out your best heart rate.
A balanced diet and exercise are fantastic to support your heart and adding key nutrients to your diet can promote your healthy heart. Try adding USANA’s premier heart health supplement, Proflavanol® C100, to your daily routine. Made with grape-seed extract and vitamin C, Proflavanol C100 has the nutrients you need to support your heart.*
One of the best ways to protect your heart is regular exercise, five times a week for 30 minutes. And it doesn’t have to be triathlon training. There are lots of ways to get your heart rate up, from jogging to lifting weights to going for a swim. Get motivated and get your heart rate up with these simple tips for better health.
Try saying coenzyme Q10 five times fast. Not easy, is it? This tongue twister is a superstar at helping your heart with the nutrients needs to support your cardiovascular system. Learn the science behind coenzyme Q10 and how it helps your heart.
Now you know what coenzyme Q10 does for your heart, you’re probably curious how to fuel your cells. That means you’re ready for CoQuinone® 30. Formulated with a well-absorbed form of coenzyme Q10 with alpha-lipoic acid for maximum benefits, CoQuinone 30 gives your cellular power plants the charge they need to stay energized. Discover what CoQuinone 30 can do for you.*
Valentine’s Day might only come once a year, but good heart health is something you should celebrate every day. Treat your cardiovascular system with a smart diet, get plenty of exercise, and promote your heart health with CoQuinone 30.* Tell us in the comment section how you help your heart and give your best tips for strengthening the most important muscle in your body.
Did you know February is American Heart Health Month? It seems only fitting that the month we see so many fun Valentine hearts floating around is also the month we are asked to remember the physical state of our hearts by being more health conscious.
Since it is heart health month, I thought it was time we talked about one of USANA’s premier products for heart health: Proflavanol® C100. Let’s discuss how this supplement can help support the health of you and your loved ones.
A Lovely Combination
Proflavanol has two main ingredients for heart health: grape seed extract and vitamin C.
Grape Seed Extract
When it comes to “super fruits” that have antioxidant benefits, grapes are one of the best sources out there. I know, I know, grapes aren’t a newfound, ultra-rare berry found in some remote jungle, but they pack a punch when it comes to antioxidants. The seeds in grapes are rich in bioflavonoids, that help support a healthy heart.*
USANA’s proprietary Poly C blend contains unique ingredients that help raise vitamin C levels in your body for a prolonged period of time when compared to more common forms of vitamin C like ascorbic acid. Most people associate vitamin C with its immune-supporting qualities, but it has also been shown to support cardiovascular health.*
What makes Proflavanol even more unique is that it’s made with USANA’s innovative Nutritional Hybrid Technology, so it combines these two nutrients into one powerful supplement to help you maintain good health. A study USANA Scientists conducted in collaboration with Boston University found that supplementation with both grape seed extract and vitamin C has a positive influence on healthy blood flow to support cardiovascular health.
Keep it Pumping
Did you know the average adult heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood each day? And as one of the hardest-working organs in the body, the heart has unique nutritional needs. USANA’s heart health supplements are specially designed to support healthy heart function:
Support healthy circulation*
Help maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range*
Maintain good health by neutralizing free radicals, which can cause excessive oxidative stress over time*
Support healthy immune function*
So you can see Proflavanol is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a supplement optimized specifically for heart health.*
If You Struggle with Exercise
In addition to proper nutrition, we should all work on fostering healthy habits of regular exercise and activity. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been fantastic at following a consistent exercise routine. My efforts have been sporadic at best, but I do love to stay active. I especially enjoy tennis and snowboarding.
I came across this concept years ago, and it really stuck with me: “If you find an activity you love doing, you’ll never have to exercise a day in your life.”
So if you’re the type who struggles with a regular exercise program (like I do), try to find fun hobbies or activities that will get you off of the couch and moving around. Doing these a few times a week can help out.
On top of that, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and limiting highly refined carbohydrates is important in supporting a healthy heart. And don’t forget to take your Proflavanol as well.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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For those in the northern hemisphere, the winter season brings shorter days with dark mornings, darker evenings, and for many, symptoms of winter blues. With less time for sunrays, we typically spend more time indoors, finding refuge in the comfort of Netflix and family.
Winter blues strike many of us, especially in the later months of the season, and can mark changes in mood and energy. While feelings of “blah” are often experienced during dismal winter months, you don’t have to succumb to the atmosphere. Low energy levels could stem from deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals often depleted by the onslaught of a feeling of stress, poor nutritional choices, and the ever-waning hours of UV light.
Support Winter Health with Supplementation
A healthy lifestyle including a clean diet, consistent sleep habits, stress management, regular exercise, and self-care can go a long way to help manage your overall well-being. But if you can’t get healthy levels of essential vitamins and minerals naturally, especially during the dark months of winter, supplementation can be beneficial to bolster your health while you wait for the brighter, sun-loving months ahead.*
Minerals and Their Role in Winter Health
Minerals must be present in the body to achieve healthy cellular metabolism, the biochemical reactions that fuel the daily operations of a cell and maintain life. They build the structure of the body from the bones outward—you quite literally need them to live.*
Calcium, a commonly mentioned macromineral, is the most abundant mineral in the body. It’s found mainly in your teeth and bones. About 99 percent of calcium exists in your skeletal system. In the past, calcium has been widely portrayed as the key nutrient for bone health. And while it’s integral to build and maintain a healthy skeletal structure, this elemental mineral is only one player in a team of minerals that account for healthy bones and work to execute vital physiological processes throughout the body.*
Magnesium is another abundant mineral, a heavy hitter on the cellular level, that aids in many of our internal physiological functions. It’s an essential component that triggers over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Despite this important role, most people don’t get enough of it.*
One of magnesium’s most important operations in the body, other than to help maintain bone density and healthy insulin function, is energy production. Converting the foods you eat into a usable form of cellular energy requires adequate levels of this important mineral. The body needs a large amount of this essential macronutrient to carry out these numerous functions throughout the body. Supplementation is a great option to promote optimal health.*
Vitamin D’s Role to Resist the Shorter Day Gloom
Vitamins, as we all know, are an essential part of our diet. They are vital to create important chemical reactions on a cellular level. Perhaps you’ve heard vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”. This happy vitamin is as crucial to our health as it is our psyche.*
Occurring naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun, vitamin D signals a reaction to a “preform” of the vitamin that exists in the skin’s epidermis. So, when you’re exposed to the sun’s powerful UVB rays, the body goes to work producing vitamin D3. *
Vitamin D has many benefits, including bone health, immunity support, mood support, maintains blood pressure already in the normal range, and supports muscle strength. It’s true your body can create vitamin D naturally, but for those who live far from the equator, we often fall below adequate levels in the winter months.*
USANA® MagneCal D™ for a Brighter Season
Stress and poor dietary choices, hurdles we all face throughout the holidays, often hinder our pursuit for a healthy lifestyle. Optimal sleep, clean nutrition, and less sun heightens our risk to become deficient in vitamins and nutrients necessary to help us push through seasonal slumps. For example, without the proper levels of magnesium and calcium, the body begins to borrow from the skeletal system—a process called resorption. This natural process ensures you maintain the required level of these minerals to function. However, over time, mineral levels in the blood and in your bones can be negatively affected.*
USANA® MagneCal D™ combines an ideal ratio of 1:1 magnesium to calcium with the added boost of vitamin D. This smart combination provides the following benefits:
Ideally, we’d like to rely solely on our diet to provide appropriate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. But the truth is, most of us don’t regularly consume adequate levels because of the poor nutritional choices we make. Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D, in combination, make up an important foundation for health. And MagneCal D is one small part of whole-body health. If you don’t have a scientist in the house, read more about the benefits of MagneCal D to help balance your mood, increase your energy levels, and support cardiovascular and bone health.*
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Two-days’ worth of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. That stack of mail that’s been “on its way” to the post office for a month. And a nail-biting habit you thought you’d kicked is rearing its ugly head. Sound familiar?
You’re not the only one with a to-do list and no idea about where to find the motivation to start. But deep within you is the power to set goals and accomplish them. And you can unlock it with the science of self-motivation.
This intro course will provide you with the tools you need to get motivated to complete tasks and learn new things. Tapping into self-motivation is a talent in constant need of refining. So, get in the zone and learn how to get motivated—and stay that way.
What is Motivation?
Simply put, motivation is desire that focuses your behavior on a goal. It has roots in needs and wants, so it compels you to provide for your family and drives you towards personal improvement. And there are two main forces of motivation—external and intrinsic.
External motivation arises from factors outside of yourself. Money is a prime example of an external motivator because it’s necessary to buy food and have a place to live. External motivators can be thought of as rewards, too. A trophy, medal, or ribbon for competing in an athletic event. A performance bonus at work. Praise from your family members after you prepare a delicious meal. Each of these rewards are considered external motivators.
No surprise, intrinsic motivation comes from within. Curiosity, an interest in a particular topic, and desire to improve a talent or skill are intrinsic motivations. These types of self-motivation help you learn and become more capable.
Examples of intrinsic motivators vary from person to person. They are fostered by individuals and manifest themselves in many ways. Mastery of a piece of music. Reading for pleasure. Playing a game because you think it’s fun. Intrinsic motivation provides you with the power to do things you enjoy, simply because you enjoy them. And accomplish tasks you don’t enjoy because it will ultimately be good for you.
Biological Factors for Motivation
Whether it’s external or intrinsic, motivation originates in the amygdala—a grape-sized portion of the brain located in each hemisphere. So, like most things, the science of self-motivation starts in your brain. The amygdala is part of the limbic system, which controls your emotions and directs memory storage.
Your amygdala works with a hormone called dopamine. This neurotransmitter (a brain chemical messenger) is usually associated with pleasure. But dopamine has recently been linked to motivation, too. It’s still not clear exactly what the connection is, but researchers are continually investigating its role in the brain.
Here’s what is known: Brain-mapping techniques show that highly motivated people have lots of dopamine available in the right parts of their brains. When compared to less motivated people, go-getters don’t necessarily produce more dopamine. Rather, the hormone is concentrated in different areas of the brain; specifically, the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VPC) in the brains.
The striatum is located at the center of the brain. It performs essential functions related to decision making, planning, and motivation. The striatum works in conjunction with the VPC. Located toward the front of the brain, the VPC also plays important roles in decision making and self-control. Both are critical to successful goal-getting.
Dopamine can also concentrate in the anterior insula, a section of the brain associated with emotion and risk. For individuals who struggle with self-motivation, it may be the case that a concentration in the anterior insula exists.
There is also growing evidence that you may be able to train your brain to become more motivated. That means directing dopamine towards the key areas of the brain mentioned above. This branch of science is still young, so you won’t find any tips right now. But as the understanding of dopamine and motivation grows, more valid methods for directing dopamine could also pop up.
Opposing Forces in Self-Motivation: Willpower and Procrastination
Two kinds of behavior meet motivation head on—willpower and procrastination. The former provides you with mental strength and fortitude. The latter distracts from the important tasks at hand. Both are extremely effective and can lead to dramatically different results.
Willpower is the ability to resist short-term gratification while chasing long-term goals. Think of ignoring the urge to indulge in high-calorie foods when you’re trying to lose weight. Whatever the end-goal, willpower is a tool to help you get there.
Armed with willpower, you may enjoy several positive life outcomes in addition to meeting goals. People with lots of willpower are shown to have:
Motivation and willpower are teammates in the game of personal improvement. Willpower fuels the self-motivation you need to set goals and achieve them. By setting aside behaviors or habits that can derail your progress, willpower can make you a champion of personal betterment.
Procrastination is willpower’s nemesis. It’s the act of avoiding or delaying work that must get done. While willpower strengthens your drive to tackle your to-do list, procrastination is the ultimate challenger to that endeavor.
You may have a hard time recognizing procrastination. It has several forms. At the most basic level, procrastination is putting off a task to be completed until the last possible moment. You fail to start a work assignment until a day or two before it’s due. Or you ignore the low fuel indicator and wait until your tank is on empty to fill up on gas.
It’s possible that your brain uses procrastination to temporarily relieve emotional stress. There is some evidence to suggest that procrastinating important projects provides short-term mood improvement. But when the stress-reducing effects wear off, you’re left with a lot of work to do in a short period of time.
Procrastination in any form eats away at your motivation to meet your goals. So, do yourself a favor and shut it down early, before it snowballs out of control. Instead, ramp up your willpower next time you feel motivated to get something done.
How to Get Motivated with Temptation Bundling and Habit Stacking
There are lots of tips and tricks to improve your self-motivation and dedication to your goals. Two great ones are temptation bundling and habit stacking. Each method helps reinforce your motivation for a particular goal, habit, or behavior. Try each out and see what works best for you.
It’s hard not to procrastinate when your favorite activities distract you from crucial work. Whether it’s exercise or household chores, these needs take a backseat to fun temptations. But what if you can actually mix work and pleasure?
Suppose you want to get caught up on your favorite TV show. Binge-watching TV is one of the least productive ways to spend your time. It’s relaxing, but spending hours in front of a screen dwindles your time to complete other tasks (and is terrible for your weight).
But if you pair your nightly TV time with something productive—like exercise or folding the laundry—you’ll fulfill your desire to watch the show and get things done at the same time. This partnering of activities you want to do with those you need to do is called temptation bundling.
It works like this: temptations (television) are only indulged at the same time as behaviors or tasks that need to be done (exercising or folding laundry). Associating necessary activities with a more pleasurable one helps essentials like household chores and physical fitness become more enticing.
This package deal is called a temptation bundle. And it can help you stop procrastination in its tracks.
This idea (also called habit chaining) relies on using old habits to support new ones. Daily actions that don’t require much effort (like established habits) can trigger the motivation to form new habits.
This concept relies on a phenomenon in the brain called synaptic pruning. Here’s how it works. Messages in your brain are carried across neurons via synapses. There are synaptic pathways all throughout your brain, but they are not all put to use. Some pathways are “pruned” or cut back, while others are used over and over.
Habits and routines are believed to mark the pathways you use frequently. That’s why it’s difficult to break old habits and create new synaptic pathways all at once. But this principle also allows new habits to “piggyback” on older, well-established ones.
Making small adjustments and adding new activities to your existing habit chain helps you take advantage of the previously developed synaptic pathways. Small incremental shifts in your daily routine allow for more manageable additions to stack on your brain’s well-established paths.
Soon, the struggle to begin a new routine is a thing of the past. Your brain is using its trusted synaptic pathways to support your growth and development.
Now imagine what habit stacking might look like in your daily life. Take drinking more water, for example.
Let’s say you have the habit of taking a 10-minute break each hour from your desk at work. You stand up, stretch, and use the restroom. If you want to work on staying hydrated, consider drinking a glass of water each time you head back to your desk. Adding a drink of water to your routine completes a new link to your chain of habits.
Pretty soon, drinking water regularly becomes second nature, just like your hourly leg stretch and walk around the office. Stacking new goals on top of existing habits supports their development and makes them easier to remember.
Here are some other examples of habit chaining:
Making a lunch for tomorrow as you put away leftovers from dinner tonight.
Adding flossing to your bedtime ritual after you brush your teeth and before you wash your face.
Hanging up your coat as soon as you walk in the house, then taking your shoes off and placing them in the closet, too.
Habit chains can be as long or as short as you need. After several weeks of practice, you may find your original chain has shaped a new routine of productivity. Put this motivational method to the test to achieve your goals.
Reinforce Your Motivation and GET. THINGS. DONE.
If there are goals you’re trying to meet or new habits you want to practice, know you have the tools to make it happen. You just need to put the science of self-motivation to work for you. Pull energy from whatever force motivates you (internal or external) and focus it on your goal. Draw on your willpower and put procrastination back in its place.
And if you need a little extra boost to see your motivation through to the end, implement temptation bundling or habit stacking. Make use of your powerful brain and the resources within you. They will support you and your dedication to achieving your goals.
It’s time to lighten your load—literally. Carrying around extra weight isn’t good for your body. You know that. But staying at a healthy weight is easier said than done. This weight management checklist helps you focus your energy on impactful activities. Start checking off items and building momentum to achieve weight management goals.
Maintaining a healthy weight is all about the balance of calories in and calories out. Use more than you take in and you lose weight. Do the opposite, and you gain. If they’re balanced, that’s how you maintain.
This means a focus on diet and exercise together. But this weight management checklist goes deeper and provides simple tips to get you started.
It’s time to start checking off some boxes.
Item 1: Set a Goal for a Healthy Weight
Determining your target weight isn’t a guessing game. There are many factors that can help you determine the right number for you.
The most common way to figure out a healthy weight is using the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a ratio of your height to weight. This is going to involve some math, but you can do it (or use a BMI calculator). You can find your BMI with this equation:
Weight in Kilograms(kg)/(Height in meters)2
Here’s an example: Dave is 84 kg (or about 185 pounds) and 1.8288 meters (six feet tall). His BMI would be 25.1, which is just barely in the overweight range. (Here’s the math: 1.8288 squared is 3.345, and 84 divided by 3.345 is 25.1.)
Most of what you see about calories is based on an average diet of 2,000 calories per day for women and 2,500 a day for men. That’s a good starting place. But there are many factors to consider when assessing your daily calorie needs.
Weight and activity are probably the biggest considerations. A larger person needs more calories. That’s because you need more energy to move around more weight. And if you’re on the go a lot or you’re an athlete, you need more fuel to support that extra activity.
Age and sex are two other factors. Calorie needs decrease with age. And men need about 500 more calories per day (on average) than women. That’s mostly due to their overall larger size and the fact that they have a higher basal metabolic rate or BMR.
BMR is what your body burns at rest. About two-thirds of your calories are used this way—just to keep your body running smoothly. Those are like freebies. The rest of your calories are burned because of activities you do during the day.
There are calculators that will tell you your BMR and how many calories you need to maintain your weight. But for simplicity’s sake, if you’re a man, it should be around 2,500 calories. If you’re a woman, that number is around 2,000.
Use those as the starting point for maintaining a healthy weight. You can adjust your needs if you’re more active, larger, or have other health considerations.
Item 3: Design a Diet to Achieve Your Weight Management Goals
You know how much fuel (calories) your body needs. But counting calories is just a part of planning your perfect weight-management diet.
Protein (especially in the morning) and fiber are especially important. You only absorb half the available calories in fiber. And it helps you feel full for longer. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
The best exercise plan is one you can follow. That’s a popular saying, but it’s true (the same is true for your diet, too). You don’t want to make these common mistakes:
Starting at a higher level than necessary
Forcing yourself into activities you hate
Expecting results right away
Being honest with yourself about your fitness level will help you avoid jumping into something too hard. You really shouldn’t run before you walk. So, assess where you are and work—in steps, since health won’t happen all at once—to get where you want to go.
Taking an inventory of healthy activities you enjoy is essential to developing an effective exercise routine. You shouldn’t focus on running if you find it boring. Maybe playing a sport works better for you. Figuring out what you like to do will help you look forward to exercise instead of dreading it.
Also, properly set expectations. One trip to the gym isn’t going to reshape your body or improve your fitness. It’s a process. You have to burn 3,500 calories to eliminate a pound of fat. A good goal is using 500 more calories than you take in each day. That can lead to losing a pound a week.
And remember, exercise is only part of the equation. You can’t exercise your way out of bad eating habits. So, you need both as part of your weight-management plan.
Item 5: Plan Your Exercise Routine
You know what you like. You have properly set expectations. Now it’s time to plan.
Take the activities you like and figure out how many calories you’ll burn. Then figure out how many minutes are required to hit your goal for the day. You can find these estimates online or in a fitness tracker app.
Then carve out time in your daily schedule. Make sure to vary the activities so you don’t get bored or fatigue one part of your body too much. Ideally, you should get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. The easiest way is to split that up into five, 30-minute sessions.
Item 6: Get Going
This is the simplest one on paper, but the hardest in practice. It’s also the most important part of any weight-management plan.
Understanding your calorie needs is great. Planning the perfect diet and exercise routine is important. Crossing off items on the weight management checklist builds momentum. But you’ll need action and perseverance to achieve your weight management goals.
So, put your plans into motion. Get out and move. And remember progress and consistency—not perfection—is what you want. You’ll have successes and snags, but focus on continuing to move forward, in the direction of your weight-management goals.
A simple way to put it is to be good—eat right and incorporate exercise—the majority of the days of the week.
Here at East Coast Life Solutions we know how easy it is to get off track after a busy socializing season and have many solutions to help you curb your appetite. Hop on over to our Special Offering page to see how to start the year off right with special product pricing.