Blog Posts by LIVESTRONG.COM

  • How to Break in Running Shoes

    Walk Around

    When you get that new pair of running shoes, do not immediately start to run in them. Walk around the house for a few days in them and wear the shoes when running errands around town. Wear them to work if you're allowed. This will also provide a good snapshot of how your new running shoes fit. If the new running shoes do not feel right when walking around, they definitely will not work for you during a run.

    Phase Them in

    Now that you have worn them around the house for a few days and they feel good, you need to actually start running in the shoes. Phase the new shoes into your running routine gradually. For instance if you typically run five days a week, use the new shoes for only a day or two for the first two weeks. Then, gradually increase their use until the new running shoes are used for every single run. This gives you a chance to make a real life comparison between the old shoe and the new shoe. If there is any noticeable change in foot discomfort

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  • Foods With Natural Energy Boosters

    You don't need to rely only on energy drinks, packaged sports bars or supplements to gain a boost of energy. According to Tony Amidor of the Food Network, eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and foods containing water can all help you gain a blast of vitality to make it through your day.

    Whole-Grain Foods

    Your body's primary energy source is carbohydrates. Whole grains last in your body longer, which gives you more endurance. Whole grains are also loaded with B-vitamins, which help boost your energy and metabolism. You can consume whole grain through whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal (such as shredded wheat or raisin bran), oatmeal and brown rice.

    Fresh Fruits

    For an immediate energy burst, Amidor recommends having a handful of strawberries. This fruits also contains fiber, which helps your body more slowly absorb the carbohydrates you consume from strawberries and provides longer-lasting energy. Any fresh fruit, however, can provide you

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  • Natural Herbs for Insomnia

    Overview

    Many people use herbal preparations as sleep aids. Although they are not usually as effective as medications prescribed for insomnia, the majority of people who use herbal sleeping aids say they are helpful. Herbs used to treat insomnia generally have fewer or gentler side effects than drugs prescribed for the same purpose.
    Some herbs can help you sleep by helping to relieve anxiety, stress, or restlessness. Others work directly on the central nervous system to promote sleepiness.

    Evidence

    Most herbs have not undergone clinical testing, so the evidence of their effectiveness is primarily anecdotal. However, professional recommendations are generally based on information found in the German Commission E Monographs, a volume of information on the history, use, efficacy, dosage, and safety of medicinal herbs, used by physicians and laypeople around the world.

    Valerian

    Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe and grown in North America. Its

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  • Five Steps to Resolve Conflict

    Conflicts are an inevitable part of almost any close relationship you find yourself in. Small conflicts can, in fact, turn into larger ones that can cause entire relationships to break down after years of peace. Rather than letting that happen, it is helpful to learn some simple steps that can help you resolve any conflict you are involved in.

    Admit Fault

    If you caused the conflict or contributed in any way to creating it, it is helpful to apologize to the other person. This empowers you to take responsibility for your part in the conflict, which is a sign of maturity. Saying sorry is a matter of owing up to the fact that you have said or done something that you did not think through carefully. Apologizing and admitting fault can also help encourage the other person involved in the conflict to apologize for the part he played in creating it.

    Talk About It

    The second step in resolving conflict is to talk about what is happening for you both. It is essential for both parties

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  • 7 Steps to Better Sleep

    Many people have issues falling asleep and staying asleep. This can be related to other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, or related to easily fixable problems such as a poor mattress.

    Ensure Your Bed is Comfortable

    Helpguide.org reports the bed itself could be the cause of sleep issues. The first step is to ensure your bed is big enough. Your bed should be long enough and big enough that you can turn over comfortably. The second step entails getting the right mattress and pillows. If you wake up in the middle of the night because you're uncomfortable, you might get better sleep by getting a new mattress or pillows. It depends on your individual needs on whether you should get a firmer or softer mattress and pillows. Go to a mattress store and try out different levels of firmness, because it's all about personal preference.

    Arrange Ideal Bedroom Conditions

    There are three main steps you can take in your bedroom to get a better night's sleep.

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  • How to Eat Out

    When you are changing your diet, you need to make sacrifices. Along those lines, the idea of eating out can be intimidating due to all the rich and decadent meals and desserts available at restaurants. By following a guide to eating out healthy, you can enjoy the dining experience and keep your weight regulated.

    Appetizers

    A main course at a restaurant with all the trimmings can easily exceed 1,000 calories. These meals are often loaded with saturated fat, sodium and processed carbohydrates. To give yourself the satisfaction of eating enough food and to do it in a healthy way, opt for appetizers and side dishes instead of a main course meal. A good example of this would be shrimp cocktail, a bowl of broth based soup and a salad.

    Add-ons

    Cheeses, dips, dressings and sauces often encompass a large part of your dishes when you eat out. These can make an otherwise healthy food, high in calories and fat. Request to have these toppings left out or placed on the side of the

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  • Coffee Is Good For You?

    Two studies, published in the April 2010 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, report on the results of two separate studies expressing potential health benefits of coffee. Coffee contains nutrients, such as calcium, as well as compounds known as polyphenol, which promote good health. These studies support existing evidence that coffee can be an important addition to the day.

    American Society for Nutrition spokesperson Shelley McGuire, PhD, states that the studies "add to a growing literature suggesting that my steaming cup of morning coffee might help me stay healthy." The studies include a well-controlled clinical trial that indicate coffee may lower chronic inflammation and raise good cholesterol levels.

    Researchers must conduct rigorous clinical trials before saying definitely what benefits coffee provides, but McGuire, for one, believes that food and beverages that have long been a part of our culture are probably not bad for us, in moderation, and may

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  • Health Benefits of Quinoa

    The Gold of the Incas

    Over 5,000 years ago, high in the Andes mountains, the Incas began to cultivate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) as one of their staple crops, believing that it gave power and stamina to their warriors. Quinoa was also used in their ceremonial rituals. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the sixteenth century, they burned and destroyed the quinoa fields as part of the effort to annihilate Inca culture. But quinoa survived by growing wild in the mountains or by being cultivated in secret in small quantities. In the 1980s, two North Americans stumbled upon this ancient, super-nutritious food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado. Since then, quinoa's popularity has exploded worldwide.

    Getting to Know Quinoa

    Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. It grows best in mountainous regions, 10 thousand feet or more above sea level, and thrives in poor

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  • 5 Ways to Reduce Stress with Exercise

    Take Regular Walks

    On days when you can't make it to the gym, go for a decent walk. At least 20 minutes of vigorous walking is all it takes to clear your mind. If you can find a hill to climb, do that, too, as hills add more resistance to your workout. An added benefit of walking is that it's low-impact and easy on your joints.

    Practice Repetitive Motion Exercises

    Exercises that require repetitive motions include swimming, cycling or any physical exercise that could be done in intervals. Running laps is another good example of a repetitive exercise, as keeping track of your lap number reduces your stress by giving you a new focus. Aerobics and step exercises are good for reducing stress, too.

    Weight Train

    Weight training releases a lot of endorphins, also known as the "feel good" hormones. Through increased resistance, you are forcing your body to exert energy you would otherwise store as stress. Weight training can be as complex as a trip to the gym or as

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  • Making a Healthy Weekly Grocery List

    Overview

    Before heading out to the grocery store, take the time to create a list that will help you eat healthy for an entire week. By following a logical process, you will soon discover that the task can become a streamlined ritual that will benefit your body, your peace of mind and your budget. Aim for a healthy, balanced diet by planning menus that incorporate whole grains, a variety of protein sources, calcium-rich foods, fruits and vegetables. Avoid purchasing items that contain trans fats or are high in saturated fats.

    Step 1

    Analyze the week ahead. Look through your calendar and anticipate the types of meals you will be having on each day. For example, if you will be attending a late-afternoon business luncheon on Monday, perhaps a simple salad and with some multi-grain bread will suffice for Monday evening's dinner.

    Step 2

    Study the sales circular for your favorite grocery store. Planning to purchase what is on sale will not only save you money, but it is

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