Archive for December 2014

Health Benefits of Yoga

Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga reduces stress levels

Multiple research studies have reported on the stress-reducing benefits of yoga, including one study that showed that yoga improves “stress, anxiety and health status.” Yoga utilizes deep breathing and promotes relaxation, both of which can reduce stress levels.

Yoga reduces blood pressure levels and improves other health markers

Blood pressure is the pressure blood places on the arteries as it flows through the body. Since yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety—two contributors to high blood pressure—it can lower blood pressure levels. One research review concluded that, “Not only does yoga reduce high [blood pressure] but it has also been demonstrated to effectively reduce blood glucose level, cholesterol level, and body weight.”

Yoga improves heart function

Even the American Heart Association endorses yoga. That’s because the ancient practice can reduce blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve heart rate and respiratory function, increase muscle tone and boost blood circulation. The Association does note that it’s important to do yoga in addition to the 150 minutes of recommended exercise weekly.

Yoga helps manage chronic conditions

Yoga is well known for helping manage hypertension high blood pressure and heart disease. And  it may also help alleviate other chronic conditions, including depression, pain, insomnia and anxiety.

Yoga helps prevent injury in athletes

Runners, cyclists, swimmers and other endurance athletes put a great deal of stress and strain on their bodies, often developing only certain muscle groups. Yoga helps strengthen the entire body, while providing much-needed stretching for those sore and overused muscles. Balance, flexibility, core strength.yoga_three_panel



How to Get the Most Accurate Results from Your Blood Glucose Meter

How to Get the Most Accurate Results from Your Blood Glucose Meter

Many people struggling with diabetes are intimidated by having to use a blood glucose meter and getting accurate results.

Wanting to get laboratory-level accuracy with a blood glucose meter at home is understandable. However, getting this kind of accuracy would imply using much more complicated technology, which would make meters exceptionally more expensive. What many people don’t realize is that there are simple techniques and tricks that will make getting accurate results easier.

  1. Wash your hands before handling your meter. If you are not in the habit of washing your hands before testing your blood sugar levelsdiabetes_0_0, consider that even small amounts of food or drinks, or even traces of lotion, can affect your meter reading. Wash your hands with soap and try to dry them completely before every finger prick.
  2. Read instructions and specifications. Although this may seem obvious, many things can go wrong if you do not follow instructions. Always make sure that your meter and your testing trips will work together. Test strips may look alike, but they are not all the same. Often, test strips have very specific chemical coatings and sizes, and it is important to know which strips will work with your meter.
  3. Take care of your strips. On occasion, mishandled test strips can cause errors. Studies have found that test strips hold up for a longer period of time, about 35 to 50 days, if they are kept refrigerated. Similarly, test strips can go bad quickly when stored under direct light or in humidity. Remember that your pocket, wallet, and car are not safe places to store your test strips.
  4. Keep your meter clean. Many people do not consider that in order to get accurate results, it is also necessary to test the functionality of the meter regularly. In order to test your meter’s accuracy, you must use control solution. Control solution is a liquid with a known amount of glucose. By using this control solution, you can make sure your meter and strips are performing together as they should. Testing is easy: simply squeeze a drop of solution on your clean hand and touch the strip to it. Most meters come with control solution, and it can also be purchased at most drugstores and pharmacies.