Falling into both the unselfish and selfish categories, we (the employees of LifeInsure.com), befitting of the Southern California stereotype, are truly interested in anything having to do with health, exercise and nutrition. We actually like these subjects and enjoy reading and writing about them. We also like sharing (and admittedly, sometimes preaching) this information with health-minded people, as well as those who know they need to make some changes in their live.
As life insurance brokers, we speak to a lot of folks on a daily basis. As would be expected when dealing with a large cross-section of the population, we run into people that fit into every imaginable health profile, from the super-healthy to those who have been far less fortunate in regard to their health. As life insurance rates are a reflection of one’s health, less-than-perfect health usually means a lower life insurance health classification, resulting in higher premiums. If any of our articles inspires you to improve your health and, in so doing, lowers rates for life insurance policy, the results are compounded, which we enjoy too (both unselfishly and selfishly if it helped to make a sale).
Note: As of 7/7/2018, we have incorporated content from some of our health-related posts into this one article so you don’t have to search the website to find them (Medical Disclaimer: This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical or health-related condition).
Half of people with high blood pressure don’t know it
Do you have high blood pressure? According to a new study, the answer may be yes, and you may not even be aware of it. In a study involving over 140,000 adults from 17 different countries, an international team of researchers found that more than one-half of those with hypertension were unaware they had the disease. The findings, which were published in Journal of the American Medical Association, were similar for people from both richer and poorer countries.
The research team, led by Dr. Salim Yusuf of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario, analyzed the data of participants in a long-running health study of urban and rural settings. Each individual had their blood pressure measured and medication use recorded and were asked whether they knew if they had hypertension. The study found that fewer than half of those with high blood pressure were aware of the diagnosis.
In a press release, Yusuf referred to his team’s findings as “disturbing” and called for better screening measures for high blood pressure.
“The widespread lack of hypertension awareness and poor control in all countries studied, despite the identification and control of blood pressure being prioritized by many national and global organizations and despite the availability of inexpensive and effective medications, is concerning,” he said.
The American Heart Association recommends that those at risk for high blood pressure consider lifestyle changes like engaging in regular exercise and reducing sodium intake.
Having a healthy lifestyle may not only reduce your risk for high blood pressure, it might also qualify you for lower life insurance rates. Get a term life insurance quote, using the quote request to the right of this article.
Avoiding Death from Heart Attack and Stroke
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (approximately 800,000 a year) and many of them are avoidable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease occurred in the United States in 2010. Avoidable deaths are defined as those deaths that were either preventable by addressing risk factors or; treatable, as in treating conditions once they occurred.
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, , excess weight, poor diet, inactivity and excessive alcohol use), coupled with uncontrolled hypertension, elevated cholesterol and obesity account for 80 percent of deaths due to heart disease and approximately 50 percent of deaths due to stroke in the united States.
Immediate care at the onset of a heart attack or stroke would help to avoid even more deaths. In these situations, it’s always recommended that those present with the afflicted person call 911 immediately so life-saving treatment can begin immediately. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment as soon as they arrive – they might need to revive someone whose heart had stopped. If treatment weren’t to begin until the patient arrived at a hospital, treatment might not happen for an hour. Eliminating that extra hour can literally save the person’s life.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
In order to get early treatment for a heart attack, it’s important to know the signs. These come from the American Heart Association website:
- Chest Discomfort – Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest, lasting more than a few minutes, or that goes away and then comes back.
- Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body – Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of Breath – with or without chest discomfort.
- Other Signs – may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs
- Sudden Loss of Responsiveness – No response to tapping on shoulders.
- No Normal Breathing – The person does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.
Stroke Warning Signs (Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.)
- Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
- Speech Difficulty – Is the speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- Time to Call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 immediately and get the person to the hospital immediately.
Improving your lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, but if it should happen to you, it would certainly be helpful if those around you had this information. The American Heart Association website also has some valuable information on preventing heart disease and stroke by improving your heart health with better nutrition, physical activity and weight management. If you follow their guidelines, it would also go a long way toward getting a better life insurance health classification and lower life insurance rates.
Yet another study connects fish oil with heart health
Often associated with the long-term betterment of personal health, fish oil – which contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids – appears to have been justified even further by a new study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Endocrine Society, a U.S.-based organization that funds medical research, reported in a press release that investigators at Harvard pored over data from a number of clinical trials that focused on the effects of fish oil. Hundreds of participants consumed fish oil tablets on a daily basis, and the researchers found evidence that those who did exhibited fewer signs of diabetes and heart disease.
The key behind the benefit appears to be a hormone known as adiponectin. This compound helps to boost the metabolism in the body while also reducing inflammation levels, the latter of which is a risk factor for conditions such as cancer. The team noted higher amounts of the hormone in participants who were regularly taking the fish oil supplements.
“While prior animal studies found fish oil increased circulating adiponectin, whether similar effects apply in humans is not established,” Jason Wu, the lead author of the study, said in a statement. “By reviewing evidence from existing randomized clinical trials, we found that fish oil supplementation caused modest increases in adiponectin in the blood of humans.”
These developments are a sign that a holistic approach to wellness can be largely beneficial to older individuals. However, while pursuing a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to plan for unexpected events in the future. Part of this process involves buying a life insurance policy, which provides financial assistance to your loved ones when they need it most.
Could abnormal sound levels impair heart health?
Medical research, in recent years, has established a relationship between excessive noise levels and a gradual impairment of hearing. Other studies have shown that even moderately loud sounds can have a degrading impact on this sense. However, a new study has shown that even the slightest noises – a car horn or a jack hammer at a construction site – can create temporary but potentially harmful fluctuations in a person’s heartbeat.
According to a report published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a scientific research journal, an investigation involving 110 people fitted with heart rate monitors showed that changes in a person’s anticipated sound level, or the level of noise they are accustomed to, can briefly increase a person’s pulse.
Additionally, researchers noted that participants’ so-called “heart variability” – which relates to beat changes during inhalation and exhalation – may be negatively impacted. Medical experts have suggested that a lower variability can raise an individual’s risk of suffering from a cardiovascular event like a heart attack.
The findings suggest that folks who have a higher chance of developing heart disease may want to show caution around sources of loud noises.
“Our main focus was to find a possible mechanism that could be responsible for the observed health effects in other studies,” Alexandra Schneider, a researcher who was involved with the project, told HealthDay, an online healthcare publication.
The developments could point to a correlation between heart attack risk and sound-induced stress, which may increase over time. As such, folks with medical histories that point to cardiovascular illness should consider ways to protect themselves from excess sound levels.
Why calcium and protein are vital to your health
Our bodies thrive and develop from the foods we eat. If a person eats fast food and other types of junk on a regular basis, they will most likely feel terrible a lot of the time. On the other hand, if they choose wisely and eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, they will notice a substantial difference in their energy levels and overall demeanor.
Today, we’ll discuss the importance of calcium and protein-rich foods and how they can make you healthy.
Medical experts largely agree that the human body needs:
Calcium – You remember the food pyramid from high school health class, right? If you look for the modern update, you’ll notice it more closely resembles a dinner plate now. Yet beside it, in the shape of a drinking glass, is the reminder that you need plenty of dairy during the day in order to get an adequate helping of calcium. Calcium is important for maintaining bone and tooth integrity. However, don’t think that ice cream will do the trick. Doctors recommend that adults try to avoid “fatty dairy” products as they can significantly contribute to weight gain.
Protein – Adult men and women require between five and seven ounces of protein-rich food every day in order to maintain muscle strength and overall fitness levels. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind. When preparing meat, you should eschew a lot of breading or oils because this can negate the health benefits of the meat. Additionally, some protein-based foods have preservatives or other additives that could lead to long-term health problems. You should read packaging labels carefully before you purchase any kind of food to make sure those choices will help.
Summertime snack ideas
Summer brings many changes to people’s lives, whether it relates to their work schedules, travel opportunities and everything in between. As such, you might find yourself looking for ways to prepare food that is both easy to make and better for your health than what you can pick up at the store.
There are a wide variety of recipes to choose from, and in today’s article, we’ll look at a few snacking suggestions made by wellness experts:
Cheese and crackers – Organic cheeses are a good source of proteins and calcium, and make a great snack if you’re looking for something easy to put together. Paired with unsalted crackers, you’ll be full enough until your next meal without packing on too many calories.
Fruit salad – This perennial party favorite is a great opportunity to put together your favorite fruits. It makes an ideal snack for mid-day, as it can give you a natural – and delicious – energy boost. We recommend choosing oranges, apples, grapes and pineapple, which are chock-full of antioxidants and unprocessed sugars.
Trail mix – A grab-bag of tasty items is the perfect selection for an on-the-go snack. The ideal combination may include different types of nuts, berries and dried fruits. Adding a small amount of chocolate can help tie these flavors together in a healthy and practical way.
Maintaining a balanced diet with smart choices is essential to staying healthy and strong. Not only will you feel better and have more energy, but you’ll also be able to benefit from other advantages like improving your life insurance health classification, with will lower rates on a life insurance policy, which is a helpful form of financial protection for your loved ones.
Tips for exercising in the office
Those who spend long hours working at a desk know all too well the effect this lifestyle can have on the body. In order to combat the problems associated with a sedentary job, you need to make sure that you are exercising accordingly. For those who don’t have time to get to the gym before or after their day job, there is another solution available: working out at your desk.
Today, we’ll look at methods you can use to keep active even if you are sitting for extended periods of time.
To maintain your fitness at the office, you can:
Go for a walk every hour – The simplest way of staying active is to get up on a consistent basis. When you sit for a long period of time, blood flow can be restricted to your lower extremities, causing soreness and tiredness in some cases. Medical experts suggest getting up for a five to 10 minute walk every hour to help promote better circulation.
Stretch, stretch, stretch – On a day when you have to write five reports and put together a presentation, you hardly have enough time for lunch, let alone exercise. During these instances, simply stretching in your seat – or standing, if you can – is a productive way to get your muscles moving without losing too much time. Neck, back and arm stretches are perfect if you have to spend most of your day typing.
Use weights under your desk – If you can do it stealthily, this is a great way to keep your hands and arms in good shape when you’re stuck in the office all day. While you might need to adjust your seat a bit, you can do some light weight exercises at your desk. In the event that you go out for a lunch break, bring them with you for a bit of power walking as well.
Walking: How a few steps can bring big health payoffs
It’s one of the easiest ways to exercise, it has plenty of rewarding qualities and it’s absolutely free. It’s not a special one-time gym offer that brings you these benefits, but rather, it’s something you can do with your own two feet: walking.
Every time you go for a walk, you are:
Decreasing your chances of getting diabetes early – As you may know, a person stricken with diabetes does not produce enough insulin for their bodies to operate normally. However, recent medical research has linked fast-paced walking with an increase in the level of insulin resistance in the body. This makes you more sensitive to the onset of the disorder and helps doctors identify it faster.
Lowering the bad cholesterol, boosting the good – Doctors regularly recommend walking to older patients as a way to decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, also known as “bad” cholesterol. On the same hand, this heightened activity can improve high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which are important for maintaining good circulation.
Saving money – While there’s no doubting that a gym membership can help you improve your fitness, walking is a free activity and can be done at different levels of intensity. According to some exercise experts, a quick pace – approximately 6,000 steps per hour – can award the same level of heart and muscle-building benefits of 30 minutes of weight training.
This quick and easy method for exercising is a must for anyone trying to stay healthy. However, it always helps to be ready in case something goes wrong. Obtaining a low-cost life insurance policy helps to ensure that the financial stability of your family remains strong when they need it most.
Save as you get in shape: Cheap ways to exercise
Exercising, in some cases, can be a rather expensive affair. The average basic cost of a gym membership in 2018 is between $40 and $50 per month, though that price can rise if you include other expenses. These occasionally-prohibitive costs may keep some people from pursuing their obvious benefits. Thankfully, there are ways to achieve the same level of fitness without emptying your wallet at the gym’s front desk.
Today, we’ll look at methods for exercising on the cheap that will leave you just as worked-out as if you were shelling out $200 for that cross-fit course your friend told you about.
To get in shape while saving cash, you should:
Jog every morning – Medical experts say that running a few laps each day is one of the easiest ways to trim the waistline without spending too much money. Sure, you might need to pick up a new pair of running shoes every six to nine months – depending on how quickly they wear out – but this is much better than shelling out hundreds of dollars for a new treadmill.
Make time at home to work out – Instead of going to a gym several days a week, you can turn your home office or living room into a full-on exercise space. You can pick up a few weights at your nearby sporting goods store and install a pull-up bar in one of your doorways.
Walk instead of driving or taking the bus – This is especially helpful if you live in or near a town that you frequent often. While it may add some time to your travel routine, depending on the area, this might not be as much of an inconvenience as you would think.
There’s nothing better than the double advantage of saving money while also getting in shape. It also helps, however, to buy a life insurance policy to protect you and your loved ones from potentially huge costs in the future if something bad unexpectedly occurs. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight might also help you get approved for a better life insurance health classification, saving money on your life insurance policy.
Moderate exercise may encourage a healthier lifestyle
In the quest to slim down, some folks do too much too quickly. Trying to train for a marathon when you can barely run a mile, or spending hours in the gym with no visible results can leave you sad, unmotivated and may drive you back into old, bad habits.
A new study suggests that hard exercise may not be the right way to approach weight loss, especially for people who are severely overweight or obese. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have found that overweight people who exercise for short periods of time feel happier and more motivated to continue their work than those who exercise for an hour or more.
“The subjects in the test group that exercised the least talk about increased energy levels and a higher motivation for exercising and pursuing a healthy everyday life,” said Astrid Jepersen, one of the study’s authors, in a press release. “They take the stairs, take the dog for an extra walk or cycle to work. In contrast, the men who exercised for one hour a day, after training, felt exhausted, unmotivated and less open to making a healthy change.”
Jepersen added that public health officials should take a more holistic rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to combating obesity. Psychology, culture and social structures should all play an important role in determining how a person can develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, she said.
Maintaining a healthy weight may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In addition, staying fit may qualify you for lower life insurance rates. For convenient life insurance quotes, use our online quote generator to find out which policies fit your needs.
A few laps for a longer life: How jogging makes you healthier
Getting in shape doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym several times a week and exhausting yourself by doing squats or lifting weights. Good exercise comes from a consistent, semi-strenuous activity that is performed throughout the week. Doctors and fitness experts agree that you should diversify the methods of staying healthy, and almost always settle on one reliable choice: a daily jog.
The health benefits of going for a moderately paced run around the neighborhood include:
Better circulation – As we age, our bodies naturally atrophy over time. One of the most common effects of this process is the slow wearing-down of veins and arteries, which can lead to higher blood pressure. When you run, your breathing and heart rate patterns change and, over time, the muscles in your body become stronger.
Lower weight – The simplest benefit is that, as you work out, you will lose weight. Not only will this improve your sense of personal well-being, but you will naturally feel better and more energetic.
Mental health stability – While jogging, you’ll most likely be taking deeper breaths in order to stay at a certain pace. When you do this, your blood vessels deliver this fresh oxygen throughout your brain. You may not realize it at first, but this alteration in your breathing pattern will actually help calm you down. By reducing stress, you take the pressure off your mind and are able to think more clearly.
After a few weeks of daily jogging – and getting over the sore muscles – you will notice a substantial change in how you feel. Regardless of health and fitness levels, however, it’s important to always be prepared for the unexpected. If you purchase a life insurance policy from LifeInsure.com, your financial future will be secure. And remember, the healthier you are, the better your life insurance health classification and the lower your premiums.
Fitness Gadgets That Can Keep You Healthy, and Save You Money
We’re living in a culture that runs on constant information. All aspects of our lives are becoming automated, but we’re especially seeing great strides in technology meant to keep us healthy. Every day, it seems like there’s a new gadget that enables us to keep a close eye on our well-being or makes exercise more enjoyable. Here’s a list of top gadgets that can keep you healthy.
FitBit: For the past few years, Fitbit has earned its place among health junkies as the go-to device to monitor movement. By tracking steps, wearers have a better mindset to achieve 10,000 steps-a-day—the doctor-recommended amount for healthy living. With one of the Fitbit fitness-trackers, users can track their exercise and sleep patterns The data is then sent to your computer, which can be shared with friends to promote healthy competition.
Apple Watch: A major feature of the Apple Watch is its health and fitness tracking capability. The watch monitors your movement throughout the day, including workouts, and even reminds you to get moving. Plus, you can use the watch to track your heart rate and view your workout stats, all from your wrist.
Samsung Watch: With a Samsung Gear Watch you can record and track your daily activities and life as you get closer to your health goal. You can enjoy Samsung Health to the fullest and make it more useful with a variety of apps and partner accessories.
PUSH Fitness Tracker: The PUSH is kind of like a mini personal strength trainer that straps to your arm. Instead of a coach monitoring you, this device gives you feedback on how many reps you’ve done, how quickly, and how powerfully you’ve completed each set. It can also provide you with information to you know when to call it a day, thereby avoiding injury. For the bodybuilding gym rats who may need a little direction, the PUSH is a very useful gadget.
Sensora Smart Clothing: Sports scientists are always trying to discover ways in which they can improve athletic wear by making lighter, more breathable and more water resistant. But Sensora’s shirt and sports bra actually have sensors in the material that transmit information to a small heart rate monitor attached to the front. Additionally, the Sensora Anklet tracks steps and distance, as well as monitors the landing technique of your foot. This data is useful in preventing common running injuries.
With all these gadgets that help us monitor our health and make exercise more enjoyable, staying active has never been easier or as quantifiable as it is right now. And an active lifestyle is invaluable to preventing conditions that may lower your life insurance health classification and raise your premiums. Obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight—all of which can be prevented by an active lifestyle—are factors that will negatively affect your rates when applying for life insurance coverage. The simple fact is that healthier people pay lower insurance rates—so any money spent on fitness apps may be saving you money in the long run.
Want to see how your current health affects your life insurance rates? Click here to start your life insurance quote today.