Assured Happiness For Both Parents And Their Children

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Very few things in this world can bring enjoyment to both parents and their children, among these are toys. Contrary to popular traditional belief, a toy is a gadget for both the young and the old. Both parents and children can spend a quality time playing with toys especially during their free times. This will definitely bring the family members close to each other. Examples of excellent toys one can invest in are the rc helicopter, which are remote controlled replicas of real helicopters. These remote controlled helicopters come in many different shapes, sizes and colors to cater for the different needs of the family. Smaller toys can be played with from inside the house while larger ones can only be played with out in the compound. Both parents and children have a common activity to engage in, with the coming of remote control helicopters.

Are computer games good for your child?
Your child spends most of his or her day on the computer and you view it as an alternative to other outdoor games? Think of the health repercussions this could have for them. The child is likely to suffer eyesight problems due to the computer lighting, backbone problems due to sitting down for long and obesity due to lack of exercise among other serious psychological and social problems. The solution to this menace is toys. There are wonderful toys like remote control helicopters that can be a better activity to engage in than computer games. Remote control helicopters are replicas of real ones and come in models and unique features as there are in reality. This toy will make sure a child is physically and mentally involved in the gaming activity. These toys are easy and fun to play with due to remote control features.

Forskolin For Weight Loss

Long used in alternative medicine to treat asthma, eczema, urinary tract infections and even glaucoma, forskolin is now being used by some to accelerate weight loss. Can this humble extract of the coleus plant really deliver a leaner, slimmer you?

Forskolin is derived from the roots of Coleus forskohlii plant, a plant in the mint family. It can be found in parts of India and Africa. Typically eaten, it can also be inhaled, dropped in the eyes or injected.

Alternative medicine practitioners have used forskolin topically to treat skin irritations and internally for circulatory and antibacterial treatments. In general, forskolin is used because of its ability to dilate tissues, like lungs and arteries. High blood pressure? Eat some forskolin. Asthma? Inhale some forskolin. Skin rash? Rub on some forskolin. It was only a matter of time before someone thought to try forskolin for weight loss.

In 2005, a small medical study followed 30 men who were overweight for 3 months. Half of the group received forskolin and half received a placebo. At the end of the study, the men receiving the Forskolin had less body fat and more lean body mass than those receiving the placebo. As a side benefit, the Forskolin group also showed an increase in bone mass.

Once the clinical study was released, forskolin supplements were available at health food stores and weight loss clinics. Although there have not been additional, larger medical studies, having one bit of research that supports weight loss claims puts forskolin leagues ahead of most supplements.

Forskolin for weight loss is not without its problems. Since forskolin dilates blood vessels, it can cause a rapid and profound drop in blood pressure, along with accelerated or erratic heartbeat. The vasodilator effect can also cause internal bleeding. Users may also experience headaches or dizziness. There is limited research that associates Forskolin use with enlarged cysts in women who suffer from polycystic kidney disease.

Could forskolin be right for you? Certainly check with your doctor, especially if you are being treated for high blood pressure or kidney cysts. The small medical study is certainly encouraging, too. As an alternative medicine staple that has been used for decades, there are few other side effects to worry about.

Have you tried forskolin tablets or ground coleus root? Click on the Comment button and share your experiences.

Qnexa - A Safe Diet Pill At Last?

This week the FDA gave preliminary approval to a new diet drug call Qnexa, from drug maker Vivus. After many years of denying diet drug applications, the FDA is on track to authorize this new combination drug for the treatment of obesity. Here is what you should know about Qnexa.

Qnexa is the combination of two previously approved drugs phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine has been used as a hunger suppressant for years. It gained notoriety as half of the Phen-Fen diet treatment that was blamed for causing heart damage. Topiramate is used as an anticonvulsant. Together these two drugs seem to deliver the holy grail of weight loss - significant weight reduction without dangerous side effects.

Qnexa is not actually without possible side effects. Most critically, it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or may become pregnant during the course of their Qnexa treatment. Qnexa seems to substantially increase the chance of cleft lip in babies when the mother is on taking the drug. Part of the Vivus treatment plan is a monthly pregnancy test so that the drug can be discontinued immediately if the woman becomes pregnant.

There are also some concerns about heart health. As a result, the Vivus treatment plan also calls for close monitoring of cardiovascular health during treatment. Additional, long-term safety studies will be conducted to learn more about this risk.

Since about one third of all Americans are over weight, Qnexa will receive a warm welcome. During the clinical trials, people who took Qnexa enjoyed a 10 to 15 percent reduction in body weight. This is far beyond the experience of those taking a placebo and merely limiting their diet.

How can you get Qnexa? Final FDA approval is expected this fall. Vivus will tightly control the distribution of the drug so that users will be protected. It will only be available from licensed and approved pharmacies, most likely strictly by mail order. You will also be required to be under doctor supervision, with monthly checkups. The FDA only approved the drug with the understanding that its use would be tightly monitored and controlled.

What do you think? Is Qnexa right for you? The appetite suppressant in phentermine means that you will not be as hungry, and the topiramate will make you feel full more quickly when you eat. Seems like a great way to stick to that diet!

Anaerobic Exercise

Everyone has their favorite exercise routine. Some like to run, some like to use those amazing mechanical beasts at the gym to target specific muscle groups. Still others let their body become the gym and focus on sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups. But how many people understand the difference between your typical aerobic workout and anaerobic exercise? The benefits of anaerobic exercise might surprise you.

The aerobic and anaerobic labels refer to the amount of oxygen that is available to the muscles relative to their requirements based on activity. If you are doing aerobic exercises, your muscles are getting enough oxygen to meet their needs and the waste products (mostly lactic acid) generated by muscle contractions are being swept away as quickly as they are made.

Anaerobic exercise does not mean that you are holding your breath while you exercise. That would be dangerous beyond words. It simply means that your muscles are demanding more oxygen than they are receiving at that instant in time.

Why do people do anaerobic exercises? This type of exercise makes your body better able to withstand muscle fatigue and increases your endurance.  You develop stronger muscles and improve our cardio-respiratory fitness.

Anaerobic exercise is brief and very intense. Your muscles reach the failure point after a short time when they don't get enough oxygen and are forced to use energy stored in their cells through anaerobic respiration. This type of energy consumption is less efficient and releases a lot of lactic acid, which is that burn you feel in your muscles when you are exercising.

There are a number of popular ways to conduct anaerobic exercise. Weight lifting, with weights that are right at the limit of your lifting ability, is a popular anaerobic exercise. Another popular anaerobic exercise regimen is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This consists of a number of brief exercises that are done in rapid succession so that your body doesn't have time to recover aerobically. Most people appreciate that anaerobic exercises can be done quickly while still delivering major fitness benefits.

Many athletes use anaerobic exercise to prepare for football, soccer, rugby, basketball, hockey and sprint distance running and swimming. In every case, the increased endurance and improved ability to handle lactic acid discharge makes this type of exercise a real winner.

Everyone can benefit from anaerobic exercise because of its positive benefits for building lean muscle and strong bones. A nice side effect is that anaerobic respiration burns fat cells inefficiently, meaning that your exercise time will burn more calories than a similarly-timed aerobic routine.

Be sure to check in with your doctor before taking up an intense anaerobic exercise program. Slowly increase your exercise intensity over days or weeks so that you don't hurt yourself. Muscle failure, the end result of anaerobic respiration, can be pretty dramatic. And remember to stretch first. You should be nice and limber before you ramp up your intensity to avoid injury.

Could anaerobic exercise be the fast-track to a stronger, leaner you? Give it a try and let us know your results!

Is Bread the Devil?

Unless you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is hard to see bread as a bad thing. That is, unless you are on a diet. The majority of popular diets focus on reducing carbs, but Heather Bauer's new book, Bread is the Devil, takes this to a whole new level of name calling.

OK, so bread isn't actually the devil. It is the placeholder for what Bauer calls our personal devils. These are foods that contain a lot of calories and are just too hard to ignore. The specific devils vary from person to person, but identifying them and building a strategy for weight loss that copes with these devils is the key concept in her book.

Heather Bauer
Much of her book focuses on how to cope with eating out and attending parties. She isn't writing about eating gluten-free, she is writing about eating glutton-free. Bauer's premise is that a handful of bad habits are preventing us from losing weight and keeping it off.

So people have devil foods. Some people have devil times. And some people have devil situations. Devil foods are obvious. For me, that's ice cream and M&Ms. I can't imagine life without them, so no amount of dieting will be successful as long as I back-slide (calorie wise) with my Costco bag of M&Ms.

Devil times are common, too. Many of us can stick to a diet all day. We eat a responsible breakfast and lunch, congratulating ourselves on our self control. Then we go home and BAM! all that food is just lying there, calling to us. This is a devil situation. It is very easy to snack our way from dinner to bed time. For some of us, the weekends are death to our diets, or the holidays. But our will power rises and falls with the clock and the calendar, to our peril.

And then there are the devil situations. Maybe it's an office party or a night out with friends. You've been good all day, right? So maybe that cocktail and surf-and-turf dinner won't be a problem. Oh yes it is! These situations stand between us and successful weight loss.

Bread is the Devil provides tools for banishing these various devils. There are chapters that help you identify your personal diet devils and give you strategies for keeping them at bay. Like most good diet books, there is a 21 day program with a structured path toward eating responsibly. Of special note is the chapter on dealing with office parties and dinners out. This devil visits pretty much every one of us at one time or another.

Have you banished your diet devils? Click on the Comment button and tell of about your exorcism!

Learn More by Studying Less

We all need to remember things in our daily lives. Students, especially, need to cram their brains full of facts and concepts. One of the primary benefits of a college education is learning how to learn. New research, however, has overturned some honored strategies for best learning and replaced them with startling new approaches.

Dr. Robert Bjork knows a lot about how we learn. He is a professor of psychology at UCLA and director of their Learning and Forgetting Lab. He has built a distinguished career focused on how we learn everything from our ABCs to how to return a tennis serve. His research contradicts much of the time-honored advice on success with learning.

Remember those all-night cram sessions? Did you notice how ineffective they were? Dr. Bjork believes that learning is more effective if there is a pause between learning sessions. That means that studying for a while and then taking a break before coming back for more study is more effective than one long, brutal cram-fest. In fact, the longer the delay between study sessions the more effective the learning .

The same "learn, pause, learn more" pattern applies to in-class learning, too. Dr. Bjork recommends against taking notes during a class lecture. Instead, he suggests writing notes immediately following the lecture. This delayed reinforcement is more effective in cementing the material into your memory than what he calls "stenographer mode" note taking.

Forget about those study carrels in the library, too. Dr. Bjork suggests that studying in one place is only useful if you are going to take the exam in that location. Otherwise, he suggests that you vary your study surroundings to better prepare your mind for recall in the test environment.

Dr. Bjork also recommends against a grueling night of studying one subject. Instead, he suggests "interleaving" your studying. That means skipping from topic to related topic, returning often but never bogging down. He believes that this approach results in better overall retention than intensive focus on each topic in its turn.

Believing that people have unlimited capacity for memory, Dr. Bjork says that locating the fact in our memory is the activity that makes it available to you long term. Even searching for a fact and failing will make remembering the correct fact easier in the future. Wow, by that theory I should be a wizard at neural chemistry now, based on my abject failure to recall those facts in college!

Have you tried any of Dr. Bjork's techniques? Do you study better with pizza or cookies? Rock music or silence? Do you have a study buddy or a study group? Click on the Comment button and share your tips.

The Raspberry Ketone Diet

Dr. Oz is a busy guy. He is tireless in his search for new and innovative diets. His latest discovery, the raspberry ketone diet, is generating a lot of buzz. Could those cute little berries really help with weight loss?

Raspberries are delicious. A great balance of sweet and tart that makes every bite a party. Now there may be a new reason to love them. Recent research studied mice that were fed a high fat diet, with half of the mice also receiving an extract of raspberries, a chemical building block called raspberry ketone. The mice receiving the raspberry extract gained less weight than the mice that remained berry-free.

There have been no research studies conducted on people to see if the raspberry extract has any effect on us. None the less, there is an exploding industry producing and selling raspberry ketone (the extract) pills. Now that Dr. Oz has provided a minute of fame for the supplement, who knows how far this can go?

The theory is that the raspberry ketones increase your body temperature and shift your metabolism toward anaerobic respiration. This type of energy production burns fat cells inefficiently (a good thing) and leads to weight loss. The same effect can be obtained by eating fresh raspberries, but be ready to eat about 90 pounds of berries to reach the dosage (100 mg) that is recommended by the supplement makers.

The supplement makers stress that the raspberry ketone pills are natural. That is technically true, in that the contents are chemically identical to components found in raspberries. Originally the supplements were created by freeze drying raspberries and extracting the ketones from the frozen powder. This works great in small quantities but is not practical for producing commercial quantities of the supplement. The manufacturers now create their pills in a chemical factory, far from berries of any kind. At least millions of pounds of delicious raspberries are spared an early death.

Can the raspberry ketone diet help you lose weight? There is no science backing up that claim. Will it hurt you? Probably not, unless you are allergic to raspberries! People have been using raspberries for therapeutic applications for hundreds of years, and there are no know side effects. It won't replace your daily servings of fruits and vegetables that are so important to good nutrition, either.

Have you tried the raspberry ketone diet? Click on the Comment button and let us hear about your experiences.

The Gisele Bundchen Diet

It takes a lot to become a supermodel. Gisele Bundchen is among the elite, with featured appearances on the Victoria's Secret fashion shows. A great bone structure? Certainly. Taut musculature, no doubt. Confident yet detached facial expression? Of course! But the real clincher? To be a supermodel, it seems that you need to have a diet named after you. Bundchen is not about to be left behind. Here is what you should know about the Gisele Bundchen diet.

Ms. Bundchen credits her great looks on her genetics. That is certainly a factor, but keeping those curves in the right proportions is not automatic. After following the Dukan diet for a while, she decided to branch out on her own, diet-wise.

A big fan of pasta and red meat, Bundchen is not your typical dieter. She associates carbs with happiness and energy. Is there anything off limits with her diet? Well, she suggests avoiding sugary breakfasts, enjoying proteins instead (ham and eggs, anyone?). She also avoids eating before bed, suggesting that you don't eat a full five hours before going to bed. Bundchen believes that if our stomach is empty at bedtime, we will burn fat all night instead of digesting that last-minute snack.

The Gisele Bundchen diet plan does not count or restrict calories. She reminds us to be mindful of what we eat and practice portion control. Further, she suggests only stepping on the scale once a week. More frequent weight-ins only serve to discourage and dishearten you, she believes.

Ms. Bundchen believes that hydration is key. She drinks 3-5 glasses of water with each meal. She also enjoys grapes and other juicy fruits to keep her hydration up.

When preparing for a modeling engagement, Gisele fasts. Her intermittent fasting becomes a complete "nothing by mouth" affair during the 24 hours leading up to the event. That delivers the sleek bikini silhouette for which she is famous.

Not depending entirely on diet to keep her figure lingerie-ready, she works out at least a half hour every day. Some reports say that she even travels with a portable gym. Regardless, she takes time every day to exercise and practice yoga.

Will creating your own diet make you a supermodel? Don't think so, sorry. But the Gisele Bundchen diet does have a lot of attractive qualities, like moderation without deprivation and remaining motivated by limiting your weigh-ins. Who knows, you might be on the next Victoria Secret fashion show!

Change Your Life, Save Your Life

Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. Every few months new research finds some distant village filled with people older than dirt. Immediately we all adopt some obscure element of their life, hoping to live past 100 as they do. There must be a better way to live our life to maximize our enjoyable years.

A recent article published on collected positive attributes from all over the globe that can help extend your life. Some of their observations are obvious, others more nuanced. Not all healthy behaviors are reasonable in today's environment, but there are some changes that you can adopt today.

In France, it seems that all the women wear a size 0. How does that work in a land defined by rich sauces and wonderful wines? Two behaviors seem to be key. First, portion control is critical. That means that the French can enjoy their butter and creams, but in moderate portions that are a sliver of a typical American's plate. As importantly, the high cost of gasoline means that walking is a much greater part of French life. Can you imagine walking to the grocery store? Maybe you should!
The Northern Europeans seem to live forever, despite a harsh environment. It turns out that the typical Nordic meal is drawn from local, fresh ingredients. This "farm to table" approach means lots of omega-3s and other nutrients and very little junk food. And this is in a region that gets next to no sunlight during winter months.

Living a long life in Japan is not unusual. In fact, Okinawa has the highest concentration of people over the age of 100 in the world. Their secret is much like the French. Their culture values eating only until 80% full. Considering that a typical meal is mostly vegetarian, with a bit of fish rich in omega-3s, the Japanese diet is a strong contributor to long life. Coupled with a culture of social reserve and meditation, stress is not a problem either.

Continuing the pattern of eating lots of omega-3s and other antioxidants, people living a long life in the Mediterranean eat lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and include wine with meals. Eating is just part of family life, and not the center of their life. This results in world-class low incidence of heart and pulmonary disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

What can you do to mimic these long-lived countries? Clearly, diet is important. That means more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish rich in omega-3s. Make more meals from scratch and cut out those pre-packaged meals and junk food junkets. Don't fill your plate, or maybe buy new plates that are half the size. Portion control seems to be a common factor in these healthy communities.

Just as important is your outlook on life. In all of these areas, stress is controlled by their culture. Meditate, take quiet walks, paint, practice yoga or anything else that calms your mind. Find family or friends to spend time with in situations where work and life stress can't intrude. Get (or stay) active and make it a point to avoid elevators and tiny car trips. Take some time outdoors as frequently as possible. Your attitude and your vitamin D balance will improve.

No one can live forever, but with a few of these strategies, you can live to see a lot more candles on your birthday cake!

HCG Diet Dangers

There are a few sure-fire ways to generate conversational heat at a dinner party. Discuss politics, religion or yes, dieting, and you are guaranteed some spirited debate. Few diets spark more controversy than the hCG diet. The diet delivers stunning weight loss, but at what price? Here are some things to consider.

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone that is produced naturally by women when they are pregnant and has been approved by the FDA for use to treat certain, fairly specific fertility issues. Back in the 1950s an endocrinologist found that hCG injections seemed to help his patients lose fat when coupled with severe dieting. This type of use was never approved by the FDA but it was too late. At that point the hCG diet craze was on.

A typical hCG diet consists of daily (or so) injections of hCG combined with a diet plan that limits your daily intake to 500 calories. This is an extremely aggressive diet, given how quickly 500 calories can be consumed. Dairy, complex carbohydrates, alcohol and processed sugar are forbidden. Fresh and organic foods are recommended. But realize that 500 calories comes down to a bit of fish, two pieces of fruit and a small bowl of vegetables for an entire day.

Contrary to what may be claimed on hCG sales web sites, there are no peer-reviewed medical studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of hCG injections. Ten studies found that injecting sterile water had the same benefits. The weight loss is entirely due to the drastic reduction in daily calorie intake. But as Shakespeare said, therein lies the rub.

Eating only 500 calories a day is considered a starvation diet. When your body experiences starvation the reaction is nearly immediate. Fatigue, muscle aches, irritability and insomnia can begin after just a day or two. Lack of food causes cholesterol to increase in the gall bladder, reducing your ability to get rid of bile. This can cause the formation of painful gall stones, especially in obese people. Continuing the starvation diet can trigger heart arrhythmia, heart attacks or stroke. Your body loses muscle mass, bone density and hair rapidly as body cells of all types are metabolized to generate energy. The resulting electrolyte imbalances make muscle cramps and extreme weakness common.

So why is the hCG diet so prevalent in the media and diet circles? One factor may be the "magic bullet" syndrome, where people want to believe that there is an elixir that will melt away their extra pounds without weeks or months of discipline and deprivation. Modern society loves the quick fix, and at 500 calories a day, this diet is certainly quick.

If you really need to lose weight, the government recommends that you eat at least 1,200 calories a day. This is a safe level of dieting and will allow a safe and gradual weight loss. Since it has been established that the hCG injections have no value, why get a daily shot at all? The hCG drops that are taken orally or dripped onto food have been banned by the FDA, so that shouldn't cloud the issue any more.

All in all, there are quite a number of safe and sane diets on the market. Many of them have been reviewed hereGrab yourself a buddy, choose a diet that makes sense for you and get that slimmer silhouette that you've been craving!