What does it take to have great-looking skin?

What does it take to have great-looking skin?

While most of the faces you see on magazines, television, and the Internet have been digitally touched up to remove any and all blemishes, it’s hard not to covet perfect-looking skin. Wouldn’t it be nice to have even skin tones without a trace of dark circles under your eyes, blackheads, or zits? A clear complexion is every man and woman’s dream. Genetics, hormones, and aging may not be on your side, but there are ways to improve the appearance of your skin.

Taking care of your skin should be a priority. Some skincare regimens provide fast results, while others give long-term protection for the future. Anyone wanting better-looking skin would do well adopting a combination of both with these skincare practices.

Daily Cleanser

Morning and night, you should wash away dirt, makeup, excess oils, and impurities with a gentle cleanser. You want a cleanser that’s made for your skin type and complexion concerns. Look for cleansers with salicylic acid to help prevent breakouts. If you’re prone to dry skin, use a moisturizing cleanser. A gentle cleanser won’t strip your skin of its natural oils, which are needed to prevent breakouts and dryness.

Instead of using just your hands to apply cleanser, use a cleansing brush or device to exfoliate and smooth the skin. This helps remove even more dirt, makeup, and bacteria.

Toner for the Win

An often overlooked part of skincare, toner should be your second step in skincare. Toner is used to reduce breakouts, help balance the pH of the skin, and hydrate dry skin. Whatever dirt is left behind after cleansing, toner is sure to get. For breakout-prone skin, use a toner that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid to unclog the pores.

Spot Treat as Needed

When blemishes pop up, it’s time to spot treat with specially formulated creams that kill acne bacteria. Look for medicated creams that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

Your skin will lose some of its natural oils and hydration with cleansing. Both oily and dry skin are more prone to acne, so a daily moisturizer is a must if you want great skin. Look for a moisturizer that contains certain ingredients. You want to use a moisturizer that contains an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays that can lead to aging, lines, and wrinkles. Your moisturizer should also be oil-free and non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. Vitamins A and B5 provide moisture and improve skin’s firmness. Vitamins C and E help prevent skin cell damage.

Eat for Your Skin

The foods you eat can affect the appearance of your skin. Junk food, fried foods, sugar, highly processed foods, and dairy can all lead to breakouts. Skip those skin-ruining foods and fill your plate with foods that promote healthy skin such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.

Limit Sun Exposure

Want beautiful skin for years to come? Then stay out of the sun and tanning bed. UV rays lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, and brown spots on the skin. Whenever you’re outdoors, wear sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing.

Manage Stress

People who are stressed are more likely to deal with acne breakouts. The stress hormone cortisol increases the skin’s production of oil and hinders the body from fighting off bacteria that cause acne. Since stress is a part of everyone’s life, you’ll want to learn healthy ways of managing it, such as deep breathing, meditation, and physical activity.

Sleepy Solution

A good night’s rest may be all you need to control breakouts, lessen dark circles, and reduce bags under your eyes. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, children and teens even more. Want better skin? Sweet dreams…

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
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Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Eat healthily on a budget with these tips.

Eat healthily on a budget with these tips.

The rumors are true. Your grocery bill is indeed higher when you buy healthy foods. Filling your grocery cart with processed foods, junk, and foods made with refined grains will put a smaller dent in your bank account. At least until you add up the doctors’ bills for all the chronic health conditions you develop down the road.

A recent study done by Harvard School of Public Health found that you’ll spend an average of $1.50 more per day per person when you eat a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains compared to eating an unhealthy diet of prepackaged foods. That’s $550 more per year per person or $2,200 for a family of four—a sizeable chunk of cash for anyone on a tight budget.

Since eating healthy can be pricy, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it’s important to find ways to save money. With a little careful planning and some grocery shopping smarts, you can still eat healthily without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

Step 1: Make a List

How many times have you shopped for groceries only to load your cart with a bunch of random food that looked good in the moment? Yes, those strawberries looked delicious and were on sale, but there’s no way you’ll eat them all before they go bad. You may have had good intentions, but you don’t want your healthy, expensive food spoiling. Before shopping, make a grocery list. Plan out the week’s meals, check your cabinets and refrigerator for what you have, and write down the foods you need. As you walk up and down the isles, only put items in your cart that are on your list. Eat a meal before shopping to curb your likelihood to buy extras.

Step 2: Compare Prices

First, compare prices at different grocery stores in your area. You may be paying more for shiny floors, a bigger selection, and free bagging, but if you’re looking to save money, shop around, check store advertisements, and ask friends for their opinions.

While at the store, look for generic options. They often taste just as good for less money. Some may even be made by the big-name companies! The most expensive items are generally at eye level, so scan up and down the shelves for better deals. When comparing prices, look at the price per ounce. You may save money by purchasing larger quantities, so if you eat a lot of a certain item, that can come in handy.

Step 3: Buy Whole Foods

Many foods are cheaper when in their least processed form. That means your grocery bill will be smaller when you buy a container of whole oats instead of individual packages of single oatmeal servings, a block of cheese instead of shredded, or whole produce rather than sliced or diced.

Step 4: Eat Less Meat

Meat is often the most expensive item on your grocery bill. While protein is an important part of your diet, there are less expensive ways to get it than meat. Plan at least two meals a week that don’t include meat. Beans, lentils, eggs, and canned fish contain quality protein at a fraction of the cost of red meat and fresh fish.

Step 5: Buy In-Season or Go Frozen

Prices of produce fluctuate throughout the year, depending on the season in which they’re harvested. In-season produce that’s grown locally is cheaper than out-of-season fruits and vegetables that have to be shipped from distant locations. When you want something that’s out-of-season, you’ll save money by picking it up in the freezer section. As an added perk, frozen, out-of-season foods are mighty nutritious, since they were frozen right after being picked.

No Time? No Problem

Many grocery stores now offer curbside pick-up. Order your food online and they’ll even load it in your car. By ordering your food online, you can compare prices and may not be as tempted to buy unhealthy foods you don’t need.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 

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Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Heart attacks are serious business. Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Heart attacks are serious business. Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment.

You’ve only got one heart, and in case you haven’t heard, you can’t live without it. In order to function properly, your heart must receive a constant supply of blood. When this blood supply is cut off or reduced, you suffer a heart attack. The longer your heart goes without blood, the more damage it experiences. This is why emergency medical treatment is so essential.

What causes a heart attack, what are the symptoms, and how is it treated? Keep reading to learn more about this leading cause of death.

Heart Disease

Heart attacks are typically caused by coronary heart disease. Also called ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease, this condition occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries (the arteries that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart).

The buildup of plaque (fat and cholesterol) in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Because of plaque, blood clots form and can become large enough to block blood flow to the heart. Whatever part of the heart fails to receive blood begins to die, resulting in scar tissue and heart damage.

Spasms or tightening of coronary arteries can also cause a heart attack. When the artery spasms it cuts off blood flow to the heart.

Risk Factors

People who smoke, have high cholesterol, have high blood pressure, eat an unhealthy diet, don’t exercise, have high blood sugar, or are overweight are more likely to suffer a heart attack. If you have more than one risk factor, your risk of having a heart attack doubles.

Other risk factors you can’t control include old age (the older you are, the more likely you are to have a heart attack), family history of heart disease at a young age, and high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Heart attacks due to coronary spasms may be caused by emotional stress, pain, cocaine, cigarette smoking, or exposure to extremely low temperatures.

Beat the Odds

While some heart attacks can’t be prevented, there are some simple ways to lower your risk. Most effective is to treat the health conditions that put you at risk for heart disease. This can often be done with medication and heart-healthy lifestyle changes—getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, stopping smoking, losing weight, and managing stress. Take these steps and you may skip out on heart attack.

Know the Signs

Since you can’t always avoid heart attacks, it’s important to know the symptoms of a heart attack. The sooner you get treatment, the better, so be watchful and remember that heart attacks don’t always present as crushing chest pain.

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and some have no pain at all. Sometimes the pain comes on slowly, sometimes it happens all of a sudden, and other times it may come and go. Many people have chest pain that occurs hours or even weeks in advance of a full-blown heart attack. In these cases, the pain may accompany exertion and go away with rest.

The most common symptom of a heart attack is pain in the center or left portion of the chest. It may feel like pain or like pressure, fullness, squeezing, or heartburn. You may also feel pain in one or both arms, the neck, shoulders, jaw, or stomach. Some people may not have this pain. Rather, they experience shortness of breath with or without activity or they may break out in a cold sweat or feel nauseated, extremely tired, or lightheaded.

Get Immediate Treatment

The sooner you get treatment, the greater your chance of survival. Any time a heart attack is suspected, call for emergency medical care. Only drive yourself to the hospital if you have absolutely no other options. Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, get medical help. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Silent Killer

Heart attacks that don’t have any symptoms or only mild symptoms are called silent heart attacks. However, they’re just as dangerous as the chest-clutching version. So seek medical attention immediately!

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc.
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Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Don’t let injury force you to retire your running shoes.

Don’t let injury force you to retire your running shoes.

Running is one of the most popular ways to burn calories, get in shape, and improve your health. On the treadmill, around your neighborhood, or through park trails, running is a simple way to get a daily dose exercise.

The nature of the sport, however, puts you at risk for injury. That’s because as simple as it may be, running is not a low-impact exercise. It’s hard on your joints, with the repetitive pounding on the pavement causing wear and tear on your body over time.

No runner wants to sit on the sidelines because of injury. Avoid these five common running injuries to stay on track for a long and healthy running career.

Runner’s Knee

An estimated 40 percent of running injuries affect the knee, and runner’s knee is one of the most common. An overuse injury, runner’s knee occurs when the cartilage under the kneecap begins to wear down from repetitive use. Many times, runners knee is the result of a muscle imbalance in your legs or overpronation (your foot rolls inward when you step).

With the condition, you’ll feel pain in your knee—especially when squatting, walking up or down stairs, or after your knee has been bent a long time. To recover, it’s important to take a break from running, particularly down hills. Continue to strengthen surrounding muscles by cycling, working out on an elliptical machine, or swimming. Don’t get back into your regular routine until you’re completely pain-free.

Plantar Fasciitis

It’s no surprise that feet are at risk for running injuries. With each step, your feet absorb the force of more than three times your body weight. Along the bottom of your foot, from your heel to your toes, is a band of tissue called the plantar fascia. Small tears and inflammation in this band can cause plantar fasciitis.

With plantar fasciitis you’ll feel an ache, bruising, or sharp heel pain or tenderness that’s worse after activity or prolonged rest. Treatment includes rest, ice, supportive shoes, and calf stretches. It takes an average of six months to heal from plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Also known as tendinitis, Achilles tendinopathy occurs when the Achilles tendon (the tendon that attaches the back of the heel to the calf muscles) is inflamed due to overuse. With Achilles tendinopathy, you’ll feel pain and tenderness in your heel and Achilles tendon. Muscle imbalances, big increases in your running distance, and tight calf muscles put you at risk.

Running despite the pain will worsen the injury and prolong healing. The best thing to do is rest from running. Ice the area several times a day. While recovering, perform calf stretches and continue to do low-impact exercise to keep your muscles strong.

Shin Splints

Your shins also suffer the brunt of the impact of running. Usually setting in after running too far or too fast too soon, shin splints cause pain and aching along the front or inside of your shin along the bone. If you’ve got flat feet, high arches, or unsupportive shoes, you’re more likely to get shin splints.

Recovering from shin splints requires rest from running, plenty of stretching exercises, ice, and a gradual re-entry to running. In the meantime, it’s a safe bet to bike or swim to stay in shape.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Along the outer thigh is a ligament called the iliotibial (IT) band that connects the hip to the knee. When the IT band thickens, it rubs against the knee bone, causing pain on the outer side of the knee. IT irritation can occur when you have a muscle imbalance, overpronation, or differing leg lengths. It also arises if you increase your running distance too quickly or do a lot of downhill running or track work.

Continuing with intense workouts despite pain can make your injury worse and lengthen recovery. To get over ITBS, cut back on your distance, cross train, ice after your workouts, and do plenty of stretching before any sort of activity.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
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Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Is there a right time to exercise?

Is there a right time to exercise?

Ever wondered about the best time of day to exercise? You’re not alone. But you may be surprised that the easiest answer is: whenever you exercise. That’s right—the most important thing is that you’re exercising.

Morning, afternoon, or night, whatever time works for your schedule is the best time for you. If you’re a morning person, then an early alarm won’t be a problem. Night owls stay up late anyway, so why not fit in a workout before bed?

The time of day you exercise is a personal preference. You can burn the same amount of calories in 30 minutes of exercise whether it’s at 6 a.m. or 10 p.m. The difference is how you feel when you exercise. You may have a lot more energy in the afternoon than you do in the morning and therefore get a more effective workout.

That said, there are certain perks to hitting the gym with your trainer at specific hours of the day. Here’s what you can expect the clock to affect your routine.

Morning Benefits

First thing in the morning is a popular time to exercise. One reason is because there’s nothing else on your schedule. You don’t have meetings, appointments, or family commitments interfering with your morning workout. If your workout is in the afternoon, who knows what other scheduling conflicts will pop up before then? Mornings make it easy to stay consistent with your exercise habit.

A morning workout is ideal for early risers. If hitting the snooze button is a constant temptation, then mornings aren’t your ideal workout time. Trying to make it to the gym first thing will only frustrate you.

For those who get to the gym in the morning, one of the major perks is that the workout won’t interfere with sleep. Since exercise increases your body temperature and heart rate, sometimes working out late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Tired of having your routine slowed down by other people? Gyms are often least crowded in the early mornings. No more waiting in line for a dumbbell if you’re the first one there.

Some folks also like to start the day with a shower? By working out first thing and then showering, you don’t have to shower twice in one day. And once you get refreshed from your workout and shower, you’ll be health-conscious the rest of the day. That means you’ll finally have the will power to skip the donuts and go with a bowl of oatmeal instead.

Afternoon Perks

If you’re not a morning person, that’s okay. There are plenty of other great times to exercise. After your body’s had time to wake up, the afternoon may be the time of day you feel most energized and motivated to workout. If so, take advantage of this and get to the gym!

One benefit of working out in the afternoon is that your muscles are warmed up and your body temperature is higher. This means you’re more flexible and less susceptible to workout injuries from the moment you walk into the gym. Additionally, your reflexes are at their fastest and you feel stronger. For this reason, many people see their peak performance in the afternoons.

Evening Advantages

After a long, busy day, an evening workout is one of the healthiest ways to relieve stress. Instead of binging on comfort foods, heading to the bar, or vegging in front of a screen, manage your stress with an intense workout.

An evening workout can keep you from laying on the couch all evening, watching television, and snacking. Find a friend or coworker to meet at the gym after work for accountability and to make your workouts more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, the evening hours are typically the most crowded time of day at the gym, but that’s okay, because most classes are offered in the evening. So if you like the idea of joining others in a group exercise session, the evening is the prime time to do just that.

Finally, you may feel strongest later in the day. You’re been fueled by healthy food all day, and your body’s had plenty of time to wake up, making the evening your ideal time to exercise.

Regardless of when you get to the gym, just make sure you get there. Your body—and your personal trainer— will thank you!

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 

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Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Concierge Fitness LAUNCHES APRIL 1ST

Gotcha ya! I hope you enjoyed our “Concierge Fitness Program” preview video! Wouldn’t that be a great program to offer! Haha!

You can find out more about our REAL private one on one and personal small group coaching programs at the links below.

Private One on One Coaching
Personal Small Group Coaching

Enjoy your day & watch out for the those crazy tricksters!

Happy April Fools!


This week’s newsletter, filled with special offers, motivation, recipes, and strategies is here…

Big Benefits of Cinnamon

Because good health can taste great!

Beloved by foodies from the beginning of time, cinnamon has an illustrious history few spices can match. Used for thousands of years to flavor foods, treat various conditions, and even embalm the dead, it has now been relegated to a position alongside salt and pepper shakers. But there’s something special about cinnamon. Something that may give you the healthy life you seek.

While it’s not a good idea to down a tablespoon of cinnamon at once (Google “Cinnamon Challenge” for proof), a regular dab or cinnamon may help you deal with an array of potential health issues. While research continues and some is inconclusive, here are a few of the ways cinnamon has been used to improve the lives of people just like you.

Sugar Levels Lowered

Unless you live a lonely life, you probably know someone living with diabetes. Or maybe you have the condition yourself. Well, there’s good news! Because while other perks of cinnamon intake have not been as rigorously tested, diabetes management has become substantially easier thanks to cinnamon.

The way it works is simple. Ingest a little bit of cinnamon each day, and allow the cinnamon to do its work of managing insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and transporting glucose. In one study, researchers found regular cinnamon intake to mimic the effects of diabetes medication. So if you prefer cinnamon to swallowing pills, this could be your ticket to freedom!

Cholesterol in Check

One of the most serious threats to your health, high cholesterol levels put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. But just a little bit of cinnamon—between half a teaspoon and three teaspoons—was found to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. In other words, lowering your cholesterol levels doesn’t requiring eating foods that taste like cardboard.

Better Blood Pressure

Though research has only taken place among dogs and guinea pigs, there is some indication that cinnamon could provide a substantial improvement in blood pressure. Researchers are unsure why it happened, but the creatures studied had significant drops in blood pressure when given regular dosages of cinnamon. Could you eventually trade in your blood pressure medication for a sprinkling of cinnamon? Possibly. In the meantime, there’s no reason to not add some cinnamon to your diet.

Dementia Deterrent

For years, we’ve known and touted the antioxidant properties of blueberries, red wine, and to the world’s delight, dark chocolate. But you may not know that cinnamon is also among this illustrious group of foods. Thanks to the beloved antioxidant epicatechin, cinnamon helps protect your body against the negative effects of free radicals. In addition to protecting against cancer and heart disease, antioxidants like epicatechin are known to fend off dementia. That means if you toss a little bit of cinnamon on top of your oatmeal or mix it into your next batch of muffins, you may be helping your brain stay sharp for years to come as a result.

Which Cinnamon?

If you’re thinking of upping your cinnamon intake, you should know the cinnamon in your house is likely not the most beneficial. Cassia cinnamon, commonly produced in China and Indonesia, has a strong flavor and is most commonly found in households. For best results, you’ll need Sri Lankan cinnamon, known as Ceylon cinnamon. While more expensive, this sweeter, milder cinnamon is your best bet for cinnamon-enhanced health. And before giving up medication of any sort for cinnamon, consult your physician to ensure your good health.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Wonder why you’re gaining weight? It may be an underlying medical condition.

Is a medical conditioning the reason behind your slow fat loss?

You’re eating the same and getting your normal amount of exercise, but you just keep gaining weight. Any weight gain is frustrating, but it’s especially annoying when you’re eating healthy and staying active. Just like unexplained weight loss, unexplained weight gain may be attributed to a medical problem. Treat the condition and you’ll likely stop gaining or losing weight.

If the scale is going up for no apparent reason, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible, because one of these health conditions may be to blame.

Gainer 1: Hypothyroidism

Unintentional weight gain is often traced back to a hormone imbalance. One hormone that affects weight is your thyroid hormone.
When your thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones, you may feel cold, tired, and weak and notice dry skin, thinning hair, and painful joints.

Because your thyroid hormone helps regulate your metabolism, a decrease in thyroid hormone may lead to a slowed metabolism and weight gain. An underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism, a condition older women are most at risk for experiencing. Hormone replacement therapy can help treat hypothyroidism and reverse the weight gain.

Gainer 2: Cushing’s Syndrome

Extreme, prolonged stress may develop into Cushing’s syndrome, a condition that exposes your body to high amounts of cortisol, a hormone that contributes to weight gain. Cushing’s syndrome can also be caused by overactive adrenal glands that produce too much cortisol, a tumor, or from long-term steroid treatment. Weight gain from cortisol is found most often around the neck, face, waist, and chest.

Gainer 3: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Women may be able to blame unexplained weight gain on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When the ovaries fail to keep hormones balanced, women may experience weight gain, irregular periods, acne, and excess hair growth. 
PCOS increases resistance to insulin. As you gain weight, you produce more insulin. This insulin increase leads to more weight gain, particularly round the belly. This cycle is difficult to overcome, but regular exercise, diet, and medication can help restore balance.

Gainer 4: Insomnia

Have trouble sleeping at night? Then you shouldn’t be surprised if you begin gaining weight. As with some other causes of weight gain, your hormones are to blame here. That’s because the amount of sleep you get has a direct effect on the hormones that regulate appetite. Lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy food cravings, impulsive food choices, increased appetite, and a slowed metabolism. Getting just one less hour each night can contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same amount of calories.

Gainer 5: Perimenopause and Menopause

As many women know, the hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause can lead to weight gain. Typically beginning in a woman’s 40s, estrogen levels rise and fall. These fluctuations cause weight gain, irregular periods, mood swings, and hot flashes. Combined with the normal affects of aging (increased body fat and a loss of muscle mass), hormonal changes can pile on the pounds. Continue to stay active and talk with your doctor about possible treatments.

Gainer 6: Medications

A medical condition may not be directly causing your weight gain, but the medication you take to treat a medical condition may be to blame. While helping you deal with other medical conditions, many over-the-counter and prescription medications come with the possible side effect of weight gain.

Common weight-gaining culprits include anti-depressants, psychiatric medications to treat bipolar disorder, beta blocker drugs that treat high blood pressure, insulin and other drugs used to manage diabetes, seizure medications, drugs used to relieve migraines, allergy medications, and steroids that help control inflammation in conditions such as lupus, asthma, and arthritis.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Snoring is more than annoying loud breathing. It can be a sign of a more serious health condition.

It’s estimated that nearly half of all adults snore at some point during the night. You may have been told that you snore or maybe you live with someone who snores. Some snoring is just heavy, loud breathing, while other snoring sounds like a train coming down the hall. Snoring not only prevents family members from getting a good night’s rest, but it interferes with your quality of sleep as well. Depending on the severity of snoring, it may even signal an underlying health problem.

Keep reading to learn the dangers of snoring and what can be done about it.

Air Flow Obstruction

So why do you snore? Normal, quiet breathing means air is flowing in and out of your nose and mouth unobstructed. When you snore, airflow is partially blocked. For some people, this only happens when they have a cold or allergies. Others have large tonsils, a long uvula or soft palate, or weak throat and tongue muscles that relax during sleep and block airflow. Any of these can cause regular snoring.

Because a narrower airway restricts breathing, snoring is more common in overweight people with excessive fatty tissue around the throat. When airflow is restricted, snoring becomes louder and louder.

More than a Nuisance

Three out of four people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With this condition, breathing ceases for short periods during sleep. This serious health problem puts you at an increased risk for heart disease. Not everyone who snores has OSA, but make an appointment to see your doctor if you snore and have any the typical symptoms of OSA.

Signs of OSA include pauses of breathing while sleeping, waking in the night gasping or choking, a headache or sore throat when you wake in the morning, sleepiness during the day, irritability, trouble concentrating, fitful sleep, chest pain, or high blood pressure. Children with OSA may have behavioral issues or problems focusing during school.

To diagnose OSA, your doctor may order imaging tests to scan for structural abnormalities in your nose and throat or have you undergo a sleep study.

Find the Right Treatment

You and your family can sleep in peace and quiet again with the right treatment. Mild or occasional snoring that’s not caused by sleep apnea can often be treated with lifestyle changes and home remedies. A good first step is to lose weight. This will reduce the amount of fat around your throat and subsequently reduce your snoring. It’s also a good idea to not drink alcohol before bed and to stop smoking. For better protection against snoring, plan to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night (teens and kids need even more). If you deal with chronic nasal congestion due to allergies or frequent colds, medications to treat congestion and a hot shower before bed can help limit your snoring.

If the problem is in your nose, nasal strips or nasal dilators can help open up airways to improve breathing. And while you may prefer sleeping on your back, you’re more likely to snore and snore loudly in that position. While on your back, your tongue relaxes back in your throat and obstructs airflow. Sleep on your side and you may find you snore less.

When home remedies aren’t enough, the most common, effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. With a CPAP, a continuous flow of air helps keep your throat open and reduces apnea and snoring symptoms. In rare cases, some people may need surgery to open narrow airways.

Wash Up

Allergies can contribute to snoring. If your congestion is worse at night, you may be suffering from an allergy to dust mites found in your bedding, mattress, or pillow. Cover your mattress and pillow in dust mite-proof encasements and regularly wash your bedding in hot water.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.