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Yoga for Diabetes

Affecting more than 18 million Americans, diabetes leaves many sufferers overweight, fatigued, and weak, and when untreated, blindness, nerve damage, and heart disease can result. While there is no cure for diabetes, many diabetics have found relief by incorporating yoga into their routine.

According to Jasmine Lieb, R.Y.T., a Los Angeles-based yoga instructor at Yoga Works who specializes in rehabilitating students recovering from injuries and chronic diseases and has worked with many diabetics in her therapeutic classes, yoga can help at any stage. "I once worked with a gentlemen who had gone blind and lost feeling in his hands and feet from type 2 diabetes. We modified the poses until he was able to do them independently, and he felt more confident and comfortable by the end," says Lieb. Not only did some feeling come back in his hands and feet—he was able to walk further and longer. "Through yoga, that feeling of powerlessness is gone."

Yoga's focus on breath and movement can boost circulation, especially through the extremities. It is one of few exercises that sets the entire body in motion with the breath, circulating the blood through parts of the body that might otherwise go unused in our day-to-day routine. While daily practice is ideal, Lieb says you shouldn't stress yourself out or feel pressured by a set schedule. Instead, do these poses while your kids are doing homework at the dining room table, or after you've tucked them into bed. 

Please note that these poses should be done under the supervision of an instructor. 

Modified Shoulderstand
"Through inversions like shoulderstand, we can focus on stimulating the thyroid, which is often linked to the weight gain and water retention suffered by many with diabetes," Lieb says. Diabetics also have a higher incidence of thyroid disorders than the rest of the population. When the legs are raised above the heart in shoulderstand, blood is drawn to the crook of the neck where the thyroid gland is located. For many diabetics, increasing circulation in the thyroid can help bring relief. 

To begin, lie down with your back on the floor and your feet flat on a wall, knees at a 90-degree angle. If you are comfortable in your lower back, build up to straightening the legs and bringing the pelvis up. Place your hands on your lower back for support with your fingers pointing toward your feet. Keep your shoulders away from your ears as you straighten your legs and push your feet toward the wall. You can hold the posture here if you're comfortable, or cycle through a few rotations (about 2 to 5 minutes) of slowly raising the pelvis up and holding for a couple of breaths, and then bringing it back down to the floor. If you are not able to breath easily,get out of the pose by gently lowering your hips to the ground. 

Ujjayi Breath with Reclined Twist
To begin this breathing exercise, take a deep breath of air in through your nose. Close your lips softly so that no air goes through them. Slowly channel the breath through the throat so that an ocean sound is made as you exhale through the nose, Lieb says, like waves on a beach. "By directing the air that way, the diaphragm muscle brings more oxygen and nutrients into the blood than normal breathing," she says. Combine with a teclined twist or seated twist to increase circulation in the pancreas, which helps the body digest sugarsone of the greatest challenges of a diabetic. Lieb recommends doing this breathing exercise for 5 to 10 rounds, depending on your comfort level.

12 Help Foods to Control Diabetes

It is not enough to simply take medicines to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes is fatal if you don't take actions to control glucose content in your body.  Good blood sugar can be attained by proper diet, exercise and medicine.  Proper diet is different from these help foods I'm going to give you.  These foods are safer than medicine because these are natural foods having pure nutrition to prevent complications from occurring. 

1. Apples - contains quercetin that reduces glucose level and heart diseases.  

2. Cinnamon - increases insulin sensitivity thus blood sugar are converted to energy quicker.  It is healthy to take 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon everyday.

3. Citrus Fruit - increases vitamin C which is commonly low with diabetic people.  Maintaining enough vitamin C is necessary to have antioxidant for defense against illnesses.

4. Cold-Water Fish - contains omega-3 fatty acids to avoid heart diseases.  It is a fact that heart diseases target diabetic people twice than non-diabetic ones.  The good fat in cold-water fish lowers bad cholesterol that clogs the heart or the artery-clogging cholesterol and raises good cholesterol(HDL).

5. Fiber-Rich Foods - slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream and make your stomach feel satisfied longer.  Therefore, you wont have blood sugar spikes that is dangerous for your diabetes.

6. Legumes - has low fat, low calorie, high fiber and high protein content that reduces diabetes and heart diseases as well.  The most important thing here is the high fiber content of the legumes for blood sugar control.

7. Green Tea - is simply equipped with flavonoids that contributes a lot in fighting inflammations.  Orange or Cranberry juice can also be a substitute for Green Tea.  Why choose coffee if you can have a healthier drink for breakfast.

8. Nuts - lower the risk of heart disease which is one of the main dangers of having diabetes.  The reason is not yet certain.  This is according to surveys.  One sure valid reason for this is the compound called tocotrienols that is contained in nuts.  However, nuts are high in calories so you shouldn't eat too many.  2 tablespoons of nuts is enough.

9. Spinach, Kale, and Collard Greens - are good sources of lutein, a carotenoid that's good for the eyes.  It is a fact that not properly maintained diabetes causes vision problems.  These type of veggies are also rich in fiber, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and vitamin C. 

10. Chocolate(Dark) - improves insulin sensitivity which is good for avoiding type 2 diabetes.  Dark chocolates also lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve blood vessel function.  However, you should still eat in moderation because chocolates still contain a lot of fats and calories.

11. Steak - Beside from iron, protein and B vitamins, steak contains conjugated linoleic acid(CLA) that corrects impaired blood sugar and works as another anti-cancer tool for our body.  Healthful CLA are found in beefs that were fed in natural pasturage. 

12. Vinegar (preferably apple-cider) - Researchers discovered that Apple-cider vinegar is one of the best tool for lowering glucose level.  They found out that taking 2 tablespoons of this vinegar before each meals can lower glucose level by 25% for diabetic people and around 50% for prediabetics.  However, it would be safer to still consult a doctor before using this kind of treatment.

source: Men's Health

12 Truths about Diabetes

Diabetes has 2 types. With type 1 Diabetes or the insulin-dependent diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood.  This can happen at any age but commonly in children and young adults. When you have type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result blood sugar does not get into cells to be stored for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, abnormally high levels of sugar build up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. High levels of blood sugar often trigger the pancreas to produce more and more insulin, but it not enough to keep up with the body's demand.

Here are some facts to eliminate confusions about Diabetes:

1.  Eating sweets is not the main cause of Diabetes.  Generally, the main cause of Diabetes is insulin deficiency or our body is failing respond to insulin.  However, sweets can cause diabetes indirectly because sweets can cause obesity which is a cause of type 2 diabetes.

2.  Diabetes occurs at any age.  Kids can have it at early age.  Obesity causes children to have Diabetes type 2 which is caused by physical inactivity. 95% of children with Diabetes are obese or over weight.

3.  Insulin does not cause complications.  Taking insulin actually does prevent diabetic people from having complications lowering your blood sugar.

4.  Type 2 Diabetes is preventable but type 1 is not for now.  Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented, though all your family members has it, by having a healthy lifestyle.  However, type 1 Diabetes has something to do with genetic factors thus making it unpreventable.

5.  People with Diabetes can eat anything.  A person with diabetes is required to limit carbohydrate intake but it doesn't mean that he/she cannot eat his/her favorite sweet dessert.  He/she can eat anything but it is a must not to exceed the allowed carbohydrate intake per meal. The recommended amount of carbohydrates is 40-60 grams for women and 60-75 grams for men(per day).  

6.  Diabetes won't result to blindness, heart attack, kidney disease, amputation, and won't have you lose your feet if properly controlled.  Blood glucose control reduces the chance of having these things to happen.

7.  Stress worsen Diabetes.  Stress and depression have direct effect on blood sugar.  Experiencing stress can increase your blood sugar and being able to control stress can have positive effect on sugar level.

8.  Eating excess amount of carbohydrates and unhealthy fats increases the complications of Diabetes even you take extra medicine.  Taking extra medicine makes you gain more weight thus increases insulin resistance.

9.  Don't trust 'Sugar Free' labeled products.  These 'sugar free' labeled products contain just as many calories, carbohydrates, and fats as the products they replace.

10.  Fair amount of weight loss improves blood sugar, blood pressure and fat levels.  It would be better to follow the height to weight ratio chart.

11.  Exercise makes insulin more effective.  Without exercise, all the medicines a diabetic person is taking are useless.  Exercise improves metabolism that makes our body respond better, specially to medicines.

12.  Diabetes, looking on the positive side, is a wake up call to have a healthier lifestyle.  Diabetes is not the end of everything.  It's simply a stricter way of telling you not to abuse your body.

Fatal Effects of Lack of Sleep

It is not a good idea to stay up all night surfing the net, reading books, studying, playing etc.  An average man needs to have at least 7.5 hours of sleep.  If you have been sleeping less than 6 hours every night or you have not been sleeping for nights, you would want to sleep right after reading this list.

  1.  Obesity - Lack of sleep does make you gain more weight.  According to research, human body burns 60-65% calories while sleeping.  Lack of sleep causes us to have more appetite but also causes our metabolism to slow down.  Slow metabolism causes our body to slow down the conversion of calories into energy, thus resulting to weight gain.  Michael Breus (the Director of the Sleepdan Beauty Sleep Issues in Health Arrowhead, Glendale, Ariz) explained the relationship of Weight Gain and Sleep through 2 hormones - Ghrelin and Leptin. “Ghrelin is a hormone that serves to inform you when the time to eat. And if lack of sleep, you’ll have a lot of ghrelin. As leptin is a hormone that tells you to stop eating. And when you lack sleep, leptin in your body just a little, “he explained.  If the hormone ghrelin in the body more than leptin, it would be related to weight. “You’ll eat more, but that the metabolism will slow when you lack sleep,” -Breus.  
  2. Diabetes - Yes, sleep deprivation causes Diabetes. The main reason here is our body would have more insulin resistance due to lack of sleep.  Our body needs insulin to maintain low glucose content in our body.  Sleeping for only 7.5 hours or less makes our body slow or even non-responsive.  So, after eating our meals/snacks, our sugar level increases but there is not enough insulin to lower it down.  Worse, we tend to eat more because lack of sleep makes us hungry as I've stated in number 1. (based from scientists' research)
  3. Heart Disease - Sleeping less than 7.5 hours every night provides 33% higher rate of cardiovascular diseases.  Lack of sleep raises Cortisol levels that causes inflammation resulting to plaques to be dislocated.  Once these dislocated plaques ruptures, they can block blood vessels in the heart or brain leading to stroke or heart attack.  Sleeping less than 7.5 hours every night provides 33% higher rate of cardiovascular diseases.
  4. Stress - People who lacks sleep produces more cortisol or stress hormones.  Thus, lack of sleep affects the way you think resulting small problems to be more stressful and you tend to panic a lot which is really deadly.  Stress is, indeed, one of the top killers on earth and should really be avoided.
  5. Mental Disorder - Study shows that the activity of the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional reaction called Amygdala is 60% higher than the people having enough sleep. "It's almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses," said Matthew Walker of the University of California Berkeley, who led the study.

How to get motivated to study?

Most people have the problem of getting motivated in their studies.  I've seen several students who have great potentials but end up failing their subjects.  To have good results in your academics you have to put effort in it.  Thus, you need to be motivated to study.

Useful Study Motivation Tips

1. Be Curious – get interested in the subject you’re studying
When you’re interested in the subject you’re studying, things become so much easier. You’ll be naturally motivated to learn and read about it. So how do we become interested in what we’re studying? We adopt a curious attitude. As long as you’re curious enough, anything can be interesting.
Question it, use your imagination, get inside the subject, understand what makes it tick, find out how you can apply it in life, read real life case studies. There are many ways to make a subject interesting when you adopt a curious mindset.

2. Set a schedule and study at the right time
Set a study schedule everyday. It’s good to plan your day in advance. Set a specific time for studying, and a time for playing or relaxing. This way, you won’t worry about ‘missing’ your fun. You may be studying hard now, but you know that later on you’ll be enjoying yourself. So this keeps you focused on studying in the present.

Here’s a tip : When planning your day, it’s always good to study first. If you think you should watch some TV or relax a little first before ‘getting down to it’, you’re making a big mistake. Doing that will only make it harder for you to start studying. The first step is always the hardest.
Also when setting study schedules, schedule your studying time at the time of the day where there will be the least distractions. Also choose the time when you’re at your peak state to study. This means obviously not studying after heavy meals (where digestion will make you sleepy) and times where you’ll be tired (ie. late nights)

3. Get started – 5 minute challenge
The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. The first step is always the toughest. After you got that out of the way, it’s all downhill. This is because once you’ve got momentum; it’s easy to keep it going. So it’s vital that you get yourself going in the first place.
This study motivation tip can help you get started. This is what you can do, whenever you’re not motivated to start studying, just plan to study for 5 minutes. That’s it, just 5 minutes. Tell yourself that you’ll be studying seriously for 5 minutes then you’ll stop.
Usually, what happens is after the 5 minutes are up, you would have been well into the swing of things that you’ll want to continue studying longer. Yeah that’s right. It’s quite a cool way to ‘trick’ ourselves. The key here is to make sure that for those 5 minutes you are really studying 100%. Not dreaming or getting distracted by other stuff.

4. Stop/start at the fun part
When having to stop for breaks, meals or other activities, plan to stop when you’re at a fun part of the subject. The parts that are more interesting and enjoyable to you. This way, when you continue to study later, it’ll be much easier to get started because you’ll be starting at the fun parts.

5. Remove distractions from your surroundings
Obviously this is very important for your study motivation. When you got the TV, phone, computer, bed, magazines etc nearby, you’ll be easily tempted to throw your books aside. Try to remove as many distractions away from you as possible.
You don’t need strand yourself on an island with only your books. Just make sure that any of these distractions are not near you.

When the remote is right next to you, you’re more likely to pick it up. Same with your phone, laptop etc. But if you have to walk all the way across to another part of the house to watch TV chances are you’ll be less likely to do it.

6. Set a study area – make it as conducive as possible
The environment can play a big part in your study motivation. Imagine studying in a dimly lit, hot and stuffy room with loud music on playing in the corner. Or, in a quiet room, bright, with the right temperature and good air ventilation. Which room would make you feel more motivated to study?
If possible, have a regular study area. Make sure it’s conducive like being well lit, has ventilation, quiet and so on. Place all your notebooks, stationary, reference books in your study area. Make your study area as conducive to studying as possible.

7. Put yourself in a strong motivated state

Take 5 minutes before you start studying to put yourself into the proper state. Turn off any music, sit down, clear your mind and take deep breaths. Say a prayer or do some visualizations and light meditation. Visualize yourself happily studying and clearly understanding what you have learned.

Other methods include pumping yourself up by saying encouraging words and making a fist, and also by using NLP techniques such as anchoring and submodalities.

8. Set Goals
Setting goals will give you more motivation. When there’s a target to aim at, we’ll be more determined rise up to the challenge and push ourselves to achieve it. The sense of satisfaction from the achievement is also a good confidence booster. And it will cultivate a studying habit.
Set goals such as how many sections/chapters you plan to cover within a period of time, grades to score in tests and others.

9. Reward yourself
Finally remember to reward yourself for the job well done. If you’ve stuck to your schedule, didn’t let yourself get distracted and successfully achieved the goals you set out, you deserve a reward for that.
Reward yourself immediately. It doesn’t even need to be anything major, just simple things like enjoying an ice-cream sundae, watching your favorite TV show or calling friends up to chat. Of course, also give yourself big rewards whenever you have major achievements.

Final thoughts…
Remember, the toughest part in studying is to get started. As long as you are determined and push yourself to pick up the book, half the battle is already won. With willpower, determination and using the study motivation tips above, getting study motivation shouldn’t be a problem anymore!

source: self-improvement-mentor