How to Get Rid of a Pear-Shaped Belly

Pear-shaped bellies occur in people whose bodies have a tendency to store fat in the lower region of their midsection. Lower belly fat may seem frustratingly difficult to reduce, but if you develop a targeted plan to replace your stomach fat with muscle and pay close attention to how many calories you consume, you stand a good chance of getting your tummy under control once and for all.

Instructions

  1. Wear control-top pantyhose or a stomach-reducing undershirt. Starting your belly-slimming plan with a confidence-boosting undergarment can help you feel better about your physical appearance, and give you strength to resist the temptation to overeat or skip exercise.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Research suggests that drinking water can help you stay full, especially when consumed before meals. No matter where the excess fat is located on your body, if you take in less calories than your body needs you are going to burn it off.
  3. Buy a stability ball and use it to do crunches targeted at your lower abdominal muscles. Repeat three series of ten crunches each morning while lying on top of the ball, resting your lower back on it. For each crunch, clasp your hands behind your head and lift your upper body to a 45 degree angle; hold it for a count of two.
  4. Perform a hundred bicycle crunches every evening to help tighten up your entire midsection. Lay on the floor with your hands behind your head and pull your knees to your chest. For each crunch, extend one leg straight up in the air and touch the elbow on the same side to the knee of the other leg; repeat for the opposite side.
  5. Eat small breakfasts packed with fruit, fiber and protein to keep yourself feeling full through each morning.
  6. Pack modest lunches and swap calorie-containing drinks for water.
  7. Share a meal with your family instead of making a separate entree for yourself. Have a smaller portion than you would normally and encourage your family to try healthier entrees. Many dieters forsake their diet plans at dinnertime because the temptation to eat what everyone else is having can be difficult to resist.

Tips on Clearing a Stuffed Nose

Changes in the season, colds and allergies often bring on distressing symptoms such as a stuffed nose. Clearing up a stuffy nose is simple with a few home remedies or over-the-counter medications. Avoid mixing too many methods at once especially if you haven’t previously tried natural remedies. Some herbs may interact with medications so focus on using either herbs or pharmaceuticals rather than mixing treatments at the same time.

Saline Nasal Sprays

Use saline nasal sprays to clear up a stuffed nose. These types of sprays are found at your local pharmacy or online. The Family Doctor website says to gently blow your nose before using the medication and try not to sneeze or blow your nose immediately after using the spay. Sneezing or blowing your nose can counteract the effects of the spray because the saline solution needs to remain inside your nasal cavity to help break up congestion.

Drink Green Tea

Choose caffeine-free green tea.

Drink green tea to boost your immune system and help clear up sinuses when suffering from a cold or allergies. Green tea helps clear up a stuffy nose because it contains antioxidants that stimulate the immune system. This helps to relieve all the symptoms associated with a cold such as runny nose, fever and sore throat. Green tea contains anti-inflammatory nutrients such as Vitamin C and L-theanine.

Increased Humidity

You can clear up a stuffy nose by increasing the humidity levels in your home with a vaporizer or humidifier. You can find these at your local home improvement or department store. Turn your humidifier on at night before bed so that you can breathe easier while you sleep. You can also spend 10 minutes, two or more times per day inside a sauna or hot shower to help clear up a stuffed nose. The hot steam helps clear up a stuffed nose by increasing moisture and humidity in the air.

Neti Pots

Neti pots often are used in Ayurvedic medicine. The pot resembles a small tea kettle, but is used to clean and clear out the sinuses. Saline is added to lukewarm water in the pot, and the user then pours the liquid into his nose through the spout of the pot.

How to Replace Lost Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential elements found in the foods we eat. When you work out or get sick, you lose electrolytes faster than you replace them. Essential elements like potassium and sodium, and to a lesser degree magnesium and calcium, are needed for the body to function properly. In most cases you can replace these elements by consuming the right foods and drinks.

Instructions

  1. Add a pinch of salt to 8 oz. of water and drink it slowly. If you’re sick or you’ve worked out for more than 40 minutes, this is a quick way to get sodium to absorb into your system.
  2. Eat a banana to replace lost potassium electrolytes. Pack one and take it with you to the gym. Drink a glass of water with it to help with absorption and digestion. You can also slice up some watermelon and eat it when your energy level starts to dip. Watermelon combats dehydration and is also high in potassium.
  3. Pick up a sports drink if you want to replace lost electrolytes quickly. Look for an isotonic sports drink with a higher carbohydrate count, like PowerBar drink or Lucozade Sport for long workouts. Try a hypotonic, low-carb sports drink like AriZona Hypotonic Performance Sports Drink if you’re feeling especially dehydrated, nauseous or tired, as it absorbs even faster than an isotonic drink. If you’re working out for more than a couple of hours or exercising in excessive heat, choose a hypertonic sports drink (contains more carbohydrates than the others) like Ultra or Original Lucozade.
  4. Save money and make your own sports drink to replace lost electrolytes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp. sugar and mix with 1 liter of water. Don’t skip any of the ingredients–the orange juice may seem like too much sugar but it actually replaces lost potassium.
  5. Hit your local sporting goods store and pick up a sports gel or an electrolyte strip that dissolves under your tongue. Gatorade, Enlyten and Innozen are examples of popular brands. Check the ingredients to make sure you’re getting plenty of potassium and a small does of sodium.
  6. Find natural coconut water at a health foods store and drink it. Coconut water is refreshing, hydrating and it provides you with a hearty dose of potassium.
  7. Replace magnesium by eating broccoli, tofu, halibut or spinach. Get a quick calcium boost by eating a cup of yogurt, 2 oz. of low-fat cheese or a glass of milk.

Tips & Warnings

If you experience extreme symptoms of electrolyte imbalance such as confusion or a prolonged irregular heartbeat, see your doctor immediately.

How to Read the Results of Blood Glucose Test Strips

Blood sugar testing will help you control your blood sugar levels so you can live a healthy life. The glucometer or glucose blood sugar meter will give you results in less than five seconds. The glucometer consists of a meter, lancet for piercing the skin, and blood glucose test strips. The blood glucose test strips draw in the blood so the meter can calculate sugar levels and produce an immediate reading.

Instructions

How to Take a Blood Sample

  1. Set up your glucometer. Some glucometers require you to enter a code number before use. Turn on the glucometer and insert a test strip. Some glucometers turn on when the test strip is inserted. The display screen will show a line or lines. Enter the number on the test strip vial onto the screen and press the ok button. Remove the test strip. You are now ready to test your blood sugar levels.
  2. Re-insert the test strip. Swab the finger tip with an alcohol swab. It is important to have clean hands or the readings may be affected. Prick the finger with the lancing device and squeeze so you have a drop of blood on your finger. You are now ready to apply the blood glucose test strip.
  3. Hold the test strip near the drop of blood so it is drawn into the channel located on the test strip. Once the channel is filled with blood, the meter begins a countdown from five to one second. Your blood glucose level appears on the display in milligrams per deciliter.

How to Burn Leg Fat Fast

Burning excess leg fat is difficult if you do not know where to begin. You body will store excess fat on different areas of your body depending on your body shape. Pear-shaped people tend to store the extra fat in their lower body, primarily the legs. To rid yourself of this weight on your legs, you must combine diet and exercise. One will not work without the other.

  1. Revise your diet; you must burn more calories than you consume each day in order to burn fat and lose weight. Keep in mind that you have to burn 3,500 calories to get rid of one pound of fat. Eat normally for three days and record calories for everything that you consume. Do not forget drinks. If you reduce this average calorie count by 500 each day you will lose a pound each week based upon calorie consumption alone. Eating healthier will also help your body’s metabolism; incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet.
  2. Do cardiovascular exercises, which are the quickest way to burn leg fat and improve overall health. Power walking, jogging and running are all cardio exercises that will burn leg fat quickly. If you are using a treadmill remember that the higher the incline the better the workout for your legs. Other cardio exercises that will burn leg fat quickly are using a stair stepper, cycling or using a stationary bike and rollerblading. Start with short cardio sessions lasting 15 to 20 minutes a day and increase the length of time as your body becomes stronger. Do cardio sessions 4 to 6 times a week for best results.
  3. Add calf raises to exercise routine. Calf raises will tone your calves and help burn fat from the entire back of your legs. To do a calf raise, stand with your feet flat and slowly rise up until you are standing on the balls of your feet. Hold this position for one second before slowly lowering back down. Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times a day three to five days a week for best results.
  4. Incorporate seated leg raises to your exercises routine. Seated leg raises tone your thighs and help burn fat off of the front of your legs. To do a seated leg raise, sit on an armless chair with your back straight against the back of the chair. Let your arms hang straight down towards the floor and grab the side of the chair. Slowly lift your legs, keeping your toes pointed towards the ceiling until your legs form a straight line. Hold this for three seconds and then slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat this eight to 10 times three to five times a week for best results.

Three Easy Ways to Fend Off a Cold and Flu

1.   Focus on healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Get plenty of sleep. This is one of the most important habits to heed since sleep is the time when our bodies heal and recharge. You can’t expect your body to fight off cold and flu viruses with an empty gas tank. It’s crucial for adults to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and for kids to get 10-12 hours.
  • Wash your hands. Although we are surrounded by bacteria and viruses year round, we tend to be more susceptible during cold and flu season due to being indoors more, poor ventilation and being in close quarters with more people. Make sure you wash your hands regularly with a gentle germ-killing soap such as Dial® (it’s an antibacterial powerhouse). This is especially important after shaking hands or touching objects like phones and keyboards. And here’s an easy trick for making sure your kids spend enough time at the sink: Teach them to wash their hands for as long as it takes them to sing “Happy Birthday” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Bye-bye, germs!
  • Drink plenty of fluids and remain hydrated. Stick to beverages like filtered water and herbal teas to keep the immune system running smoothly.

2.   Keep your immune system robust through healthy nutrition.

Focus on foods like leafy green vegetables and low sugar fruits like dark berries. Avoid processed foods or any foods that come out of a box as well as high sugar foods like pastries, cookies and candy. If you need to satisfy that sweet tooth, opt for raw organic honey or 70 percent (or greater) organic dark chocolate.

3.   Stock your medicine cabinet.

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.” Keep some vitamin C around so that if you do get sick, you can take 1 gram per day in order to boost your immunity. Stock your house, office and purse with Scotties® tissues to help aid sniffles, sore noses and those sneezes that sneak up on you! The last thing you want is to find yourself or your child with a runny nose and nothing but an old crumpled tissue at the bottom of your purse. And since one of the top reasons for missing work is due to parents taking care of sick kids, make sure you pick up some Triaminic® products at your local drugstore. If symptoms do arise in your little ones, it can help alleviate symptoms and make them feel better while they heal so you don’t have to miss too many days of work.

With these few easy steps, you’ll be sure to breeze through this cold and flu season.

How to Get Rid of a Chest Cold

Chest colds, which are also known as bronchitis, are viral infections that affect the lungs. Symptoms of a chest cold include mucus congestion, chest pain, wheezing and fatigue. Whereas anyone can develop a chest cold, this infection is common in people who smoke, children and those who live with heart and lung disease. If left untreated, chest colds can worsen. Thus, it’s imperative to treat the condition at the first sign of infection.

  1. Suppress a cough with over-the-counter medication. Coughing is common with chest colds because of the presence of mucus. Use OTC cold medications with an added cough suppressant to help remedy a cough and clear congestion in the chest. Use medication as directed.
  2. Take an anti-inflammatory medication to stop aches. Coughing can produce chest and back pains, and fevers are common with infections. Choose a cold medication with a pain reliever or take a separate anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to relieve pain.
  3. Drink up to help clear congestion. Mucus trapped in the chest triggers congestion, which can lead to coughing and wheezing. Drink extra fluids such as water, hot teas, soup and juices to break up mucus.
  4. Take off a few days to recuperate. Rest is imperative when battling a chest cold and other infections because it gives your body a chance to heal. Call in sick and take a couple of days off work or school to help your body fight the infection.
  5. Turn on the humidifier. Use a cool-mist humidifier (available from drugstores) to increase moisture in the air and help break up congestion in your chest.
  6. Apply vapor rub to your chest. Use over-the-counter vapor rub and apply a generous amount to your chest throughout the day to help clear your lungs and stop coughing from a chest cold. Use as directed.

Things You’ll Need

  • Medication
  • Fluids
  • Humidifier

How to Lose Weight in Your Legs in a Week

Women are more prone than men to gaining weight in their lower body. A woman’s thighs, hips and lower stomach are all key areas where fat is stored. If you feel your legs are too big and carry excess weight, whether you’re a man or woman, you should understand that losing weight from your legs requires a full-body approach. You cannot pick and choose what part of your body you want to lose fat from. Your leg size can naturally be reduced by making changes to your diet and exercise regimen.

Instructions

  1. Change your eating habits by reducing your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories daily. One pound of fat has 3,500 calories so you will lose 1 to 2 lbs. in a week. Skip fried foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates because they throw off your blood sugar levels so your appetite increases and fat metabolism slows down. Get carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. Prepare lean protein instead of fatty protein and avoid saturated and trans fats found in cookies, cakes and fast food.
  2. Replace your large breakfast, lunch and dinner with six smaller meals spread out over the day. Feed yourself consistent nutrients so your metabolism stays active and you don’t feel deprived.
  3. Exercise three days a week, for 45 minutes per day to burn fat. Move your lower body by swimming, running or biking — and aside from caloric burn, you will also experience light toning of your legs. Add intervals where you speed up for several minutes to high intensity. Intervals increase caloric burn more so than steady cardio does, so you get fast results.
  4. Accelerate your resting metabolic rate by following an whole-body strength training routine. Increase muscle tissue so you burn fat all day and night instead of on the spot, as cardiovascular exercise does. Use your own body weight, free weights or weightlifting machines to train arms, stomach, shoulders, chest, back and legs for all-over fat burn.
  5. Tone legs because muscle takes up less space than fat so your legs will appear slimmer. Perform lunges while holding dumbbells in your hands for added resistance. Step forward with your right leg. Come up on the toes of the left leg. Hold the dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing your body. Shift your weight so it is mostly resting on your right leg. Bend both knees to lower your upper body straight down to a few inches from the floor. Push yourself back up to the start position and exhale on the exertion.
  6. Include squats in your leg workout. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes straight ahead. Lower your body by bending your knees so that your upper legs are no more than a 90 degree angle to your lower legs — imagine sitting down in a chair. Avoid the knees from going over the feet. Push through your heels to come up to the start position and exhale.
  7. Brew green tea and drink three to five cups per day. Substances in green tea called catechins speed up your metabolism, according to Colon Health.

Allergic Reactions to Food

Allergic reactions to food may be an inconvenience or mild annoyance or could be severe and life threatening. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a small number of foods are responsible for the majority of allergic reactions to foods. Although most allergic reactions to foods develop during childhood, new allergies to food may develop in adulthood as well.

Significance

Allergic reactions to food result from an excessive response by the immune system to a protein in food. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 8 percent of children and 1 to 2 percent of adults in the United States have some type of food allergy. Allergic reactions to food can be mild and short-lived or could be severe—even fatal—if not urgently treated.

Types

According to the Mayo Clinic, allergic reactions to food may be moderate allergies or severe anaphylaxis. Some allergic reactions may be induced by exercising shortly after eating. Other types of allergic reactions may result from cross-reactivity of proteins in vegetables and fruits to pollen in the air.

Features

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the six foods that most frequently cause allergic reactions in children are cow’s milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, eggs and peanuts. In adults, the most common allergic reactions to foods are from peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish. According to the Mayo Clinic, cooked fruits and vegetables will not cause allergic reactions.

Identification

Food allergies may be diagnosed by a doctor after exposure to a food that caused an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions to food may also be identified by tests done in a doctor’s office. Either a skin scratch test using common allergens or an antibody blood test may be done to diagnose allergies to specific foods.

Considerations

Food labels may use many different names for certain ingredients. Milk may also be identified as casein, whey, whey protein, sodium caseinate, or lactoglobulin.
Food allergies are more common during childhood and may be outgrown. Children who are breast-fed are less likely to develop allergies than those who are fed formula.

Prevention/Solution

The best way to prevent allergic reactions to food is to avoid known allergens and get tested after an allergy is suspected. Waiting until after six months of age to feed an infant solid foods may prevent allergies from occurring. Reading food labels and avoiding unlabeled foods may prevent allergic reactions. People who are prone to severe allergic reactions to foods should carry their medicine and an allergy card that identifies the allergies.

Warning

Cross-contamination of foods prepared in restaurants may result in exposure to an offending food. A person who has dizziness, difficulty breathing, or fainting after eating a food should call emergency medical services. Severe allergic reactions to food require immediate medical treatment due to the risk of shock or death.

How Can I Get Rid of Thick Skin on My Feet?

Getting rid of thick skin on the feet can often require multiple attempts before noticing any major improvements. With the aid of essential oils and over-the-counter callus removal products, you can begin to see softer, better-looking feet after only a few at-home treatments. Take good care of your feet by removing thick skin and moisturizing regularly. Never use a blade, cheese grater or other sharp object to cut excess thick skin off your feet.

  1. Fill a bathtub, sink or foot pan with warm water.
  2. Add 1/2-cup of magnesium sulfate — commonly referred to as Epsom salt — along with a few drops of tea tree oil, castor oil or another callus-removing essential oil to the warm water. The oils or callus-remover liquids are optional, although they are helpful in removing thick skin by softening the skin on the feet.
  3. Soak your feet in the warm water solution for 5 to 25 minutes, depending on severity.
  4. Moisten the pumice stone by dipping it into the warm water solution for a few seconds. Working on only one foot at a time, scrub the problem areas with the pumice stone in a circular motion. Place the first foot back into the warm water solution. Moisten the pumice stone and repeat scrubbing on the second foot.
  5. Remove dead skin from the feet by gently rubbing off any excess with your hands into the warm water.