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Saturday, January 7, 2012

how to quit smoking to maintain a healthy lifestyle

    Improving ones health is of prime importance as it leads to a healthier lifestyle and people will not fall ill to life threatening diseases early on in their life. Two of the major things which people are affected by today is smoking and cholesterol problem due to incorrect eating habits. I will try to discuss both of these points below.

    We are all aware of the health risks of smoking, and most of us know that kicking the habit is the single biggest improvement to health a smoker can make. But that doesn’t make it any easier to kick the habit. Whether you’re a teen smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting can be tough.

    To increase your chances of success, you need to be motivated, have social support, an understanding of what to expect, and a personal game plan. It is possible to learn how to replace your smoking habits, manage your cravings, and join the millions of people who have kicked the habit for good. how to quit smoking is one question which goes through everyone’s mind. One must realize that smoking tobacco is both a psychological habit and a physical addiction. The act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual and, at the same time, the nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary, and addictive, high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the habit and the addiction by changing your behavior and dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

    Now the question arises how to quit smoking and manage your cravings that are directly connected to this habit. For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. One solution is to replace that moment after a meal with something such as a piece of fruit, a (healthy) dessert, a square of chocolate, or a stick of gum. When friends, family, and co-workers smoke around you, it is really difficult to quit or avoid relapse. Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit. Let them know they won’t be able to smoke when you’re in the car with them or taking a coffee break together. In your workplace, don’t take all your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, or find non-smokers to have your breaks with.

    If you think that the normal reading you got back in 2004 (or earlier) means you're in the clear, think again: Levels of the artery-clogging substance often rise with age, and cardiologists say everyone 20 or older should be screened for high cholesterol at least once every five years, with more frequent screenings for anyone deemed to be at high risk for heart disease. If it's been awhile since your last cholesterol screening, now's a good time to ask your doctor if you're due for one. At this point, you must be asking how to lower cholesterol safely and quickly. If your fasting total cholesterol level exceeds the desirable level of 200, or if your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is above 100, getting it down to a safer level could be easier than you think. In fact, with simple lifestyle modifications -- and, if necessary, drug therapy -- people often see significant reductions in cholesterol within six weeks. Get going right now, and by New Year's Eve you could be toasting your cholesterol level rather than resolving to lower it.

    Lifestyle modifications make sense for anyone with elevated cholesterol. But if your cardiovascular risk is high, you may also need to take a cholesterol-lowering drug. In addition to lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol, regular physical activity can raise HDL "good" cholesterol by up to 10%. The benefits come even with moderate exercise, such as brisk walking. Doctors used to think that the key to lowering high cholesterol was to cut back on eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods. But now it's clear that dietary cholesterol isn't the main culprit. One can substitute canola oil or olive oil for vegetable oil, butter, stick margarine, lard, or shortening while cutting back on meat and eating more fish. It is highly recommended that one should eat more fiber. Extensive research has demonstrated that regular consumption of nuts can bring modest reductions in cholesterol. Walnuts and almonds seem particularly beneficial. But nuts are high in calories, so limit yourself to a handful a day, experts say. Lastly, don’t smoke as it lowers levels of HDL "good" cholesterol and is a major risk factor for heart disease.

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