Top Tips for a Healthy Circulatory System

The circulatory system is formed of the heart, lungs and blood vessels that are responsible for transporting nutrients, gases, hormones and cells to every part of the body. It doesn’t require anything to get the circulatory system moving but it does help to improve and strengthen it to maintain a healthy body.

Helping to stimulate the blood circulation can help to boost just about every bodily function and can improve overall health. Diet, exercise and supplements can all play an important role in this. Here are a few tips to help boost your blood flow;

Diet is the Key

Looking after your weight and diet is helpful when trying to control your blood pressure and giving your circulation a much-needed boost. Trying to decrease the intake of sodium within the diet, such as processed food and replacing it with potassium such as; dark, leafy greens and bananas. Having too much sodium stored in the body can cause the blood vessels to contract affecting those with circulatory disorders. Similarly, keeping track of your cholesterol levels can also help to avoid any interference within the blood flow. On average it is recommended that the total cholesterol levels for a healthy adult should be 5 mmol/L, it is always advised to get your levels checked regularly.

Keep Moving

Love it or hate it, it is a well-known fact that exercising can do your body a world of good! It can help to strengthen the heart and lower blood pressure. Any form of cardio activity that gets you moving; walking, running, cycling, swimming etc. can make a difference as it helps to raise your heart rate and gets the blood pumping around the body. Start of slowly if you are new to exercise and keep building it up, as you get stronger. Even ten minutes a day is better then doing nothing.

Add in Some Gingko Biloba

This supplement is an all-round circulation booster that helps to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery. It helps to maintain cardiovascular function by opening the vessels that deliver blood to the brain to help the blood flow more efficiently. In some cases it is also believed to help memory and cognitive functions by protecting against nerve damage caused by Alzheimer’s.

Deskercise

If you have a primarily sedentary job that requires being inactive for the best part of the day you may find it difficult to fit in exercise into your daily routine. Sitting in the same position for long periods of time has been known to be bad for circulation and also for you posture. Taking time to go for a short walk during a break or doing leg extensions under the desk can be beneficial to keep your blood circulating.

The Power of Garlic

Garlic is a common herb that is best known for flavouring foods and has been an integral part of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, it is beneficial as part of an every day diet- either in food, or as a supplement. It has also been known as an all-round tonic, helpful for cleansing the blood that can help to lower blood pressure slightly in people with hypertension.

Top Tips to Make a New Exercise Regime Work

Beginning a new exercise regime can be daunting as thought of digging out old trainers and overhauling a diet that’s still in its Christmas period can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Finding the right balance between exercise and nutrition can help to get the best fitness results.

Regular exercise has been known to strengthen the lungs, improve mood, relieve stress and burn calories, which keeps the metabolism functioning at its best. Here are some useful tips that can help to get the most out of a new workout regime;

Take Baby Steps

The “go hard or go home” approach to exercise isn’t always the best for sustaining momentum as generally speaking, when people go about it too aggressively early in their program, they tend not to stick with it in the long run. Taking small steps can help to build up stamina and encourage the body’s potential with every workout. Taking supplements such as Omega 3 contains numerous health benefits as they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA & DHA. It is considered an “essential fatty acid” due to its essential role in brain function, inflammation and growth, providing you with a better quality of living and helping to look after the body whilst training.

Mix it Up

Sticking with one workout can become tedious and eventually fail to further improve physique as the body becomes used to the routine. Mix it up by trying a variety of aerobic and strength exercises to stay healthy or improve health. Supplements such as caffeine, acts as a stimulant that targets the heart, muscles and the areas that regulate blood pressure. These capsules can help to increase every-day performance by activating fat stores and encouraging working muscles to convert it to fuel. Bringing a friend or partner along for a workout every once in a while can also help to encourage longer workouts and different exercise regimes.

Fit it Around your Schedule

Health experts recommend that on average people should be aiming for around 150 minutes a week of exercise (up to 30 minutes a day, five times a week). Although the minutes may appear excessive for a person with a hectic lifestyle there are ways to ensure exercise becomes part of your day-to-day routine; such as breaking up the thirty minutes into three ten minute sessions throughout the day with a quick walk, household chores, yoga, riding a bicycle etc. Tracking workouts can also be useful, as using a journal or app makes it easier to schedule short workouts and record progress. Supplements that contain stimulants such as Metabolism Formula capsules help to boost energy levels to help the body burn fat more efficiently and decrease food cravings continuing progress even when busy.

Be Realistic

When starting a new exercise regime it is important to be internally motivated as it makes it easier to stick with realistic goals. Being self-motivated helps to avoid outside negativity and keeps within the body’s limits, allowing it to gradually get healthier. Getting discouraged by something beyond personal limitations only prevents a workout from progressing. Taking Detox Cleanse capsules, which contains Psyllium Husk, helps to support colon cleansing and is a common high fibre laxative. It can help to reduce the volume of injurious organisms that excess the body therefore purifying the cleansing system, helping the body to feel lighter and refreshed.

Supplement Trends for 2016

From fashion to food, every New Year welcomes a selection of new trends and the world of supplements is no exception to this rule. Here’s a guide on what’s set to be hot for 2016 in the supplements industry:

Creatine and Amino Acid chains

Creatine is useful for boosting the intensity of a workout and improving performance so it will definitely be in vogue at the start of the New Year as people head back to the gym to lose their holiday weight. It works by increasing ATP production, which helps to transport energy to the muscles and maximise training. Creatine is especially beneficial during high intensity exercise, such as interval training, spinning and boxing, because it pushes the body to go that little bit further with each workout. Creatine Hybrid Matrix from the XFN range is a blend of 6 types of creatine that make it suitable for a varied training program that combines cardio with weights. Amino BCAA Pro is Creatine’s ideal partner because it helps to create and retain new muscle mass after exercise and speed up recovery.

Protein powders

Protein is vital for creating new muscle and fuelling the body, which is why many bodybuilders eat lots of lean meat, eggs and chicken. Whey protein, that’s mixed into a milkshake, is designed to increase the body’s strength, power, muscle recovery and performance. Protein powders that are made with soy are set to be very popular among vegan and vegetarian consumers in 2016.

Superfoods

If you love superfoods you’ll already be eating plenty of kale, raw cacao powder, goji berries and chia seeds but get ready to add some new superfoods to your grocery list in 2016, such as:

  1. Baobab fruit powder, which is derived from the fruit of an African tree, has excellent probiotic qualities that make it perfect for maintaining a healthy gut.
  2. The bitter Gubinge pear, which is high in Vitamin C, is ideal for adding a kick to cereals and smoothies.
  3. Gluten-free Teff grains that contain more calcium, iron, fibre and protein than wheat.

It’s fantastic if you can adjust your diet with supplements and superfoods to obtain all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, it’s also good to top your body up with general A-Z multivitamin’s to fill any nutritional holes that act as a safety net that guarantees that you’re getting everything you need with virtually zero leg work.

 

Protein; the real pros and cons

The body needs protein to build muscle, which is why bodybuilders eat protein-rich diets featuring foods like chicken breast, cottage cheese, fish and beans. However, it can often be easier and quicker to drink a milkshake topped up with protein powder – it’s simple and takes seconds to prepare. Here are some of the other pros and cons of protein powders:

Protein shakes can be transported easily to the gym for workouts

After exercise it’s essential that the body is refuelled with a mixture of carbs and protein to aid recovery and boost muscle development. It’s great if you can get that fuel through protein-rich snacks but the reality is that it can be tricky to carry a cooked chicken breast and a sweet potato to the gym. A protein shake (that also includes carbs) is better suited for many busy people who need a quick hit of protein to enhance their endurance and energy levels.

Whey powder is fast-acting

Protein powders made of whey protein are absorbed quickly by the body, helping to deliver amino acids more effectively to the muscles. That leads to a better workout and a swifter recovery.

It’s easy to monitor how much protein you’re ingesting

If you’re eating plenty of natural protein it may be the case that you don’t require extra protein from the shakes – a gram of protein per pound of body weight should be more than enough to encourage muscle growth when combined with exercise. Your activity level will also determine how much protein your body needs to build muscle.

However…Protein powder is a supplement not a whole food

You shouldn’t rely on protein powder alone to meet your body’s dietary needs. Foods like beans and pulses that are protein rich also contain essentials like fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients that a healthy body requires.

Don’t go overboard

Overdoing it on a protein supplement can cause damage to the kidneys, which have the job of metabolising the body’s waste products. Too much protein can also leave the body dehydrated and, in extreme cases, increase the risk of developing kidney stones and gout.

Protein from natural foods does the same job as protein powder

Animal proteins and even vegan proteins, such as brown rice, fermented soy products and hemp, are just as good as protein from a powdered source. However, they can be harder to find and take more time to prepare than a shake.

A balanced diet combining plenty of natural protein sources plus protein supplements makes the recipe for enhancing training and boosting muscle mass.

Know Your Blood Pressure Numbers

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and dementia. However, it’s very common for hypertension to show no symptoms at all, which is why it’s described as ‘the silent killer’.

The only way to know if your blood pressure is in the normal range is to get a blood pressure test and this week is the ideal time to start because the nation’s biggest blood pressure testing event, Know Your Numbers!, is running across the UK. The charity event offers everyone the chance to get a free check at Pressure Stations at GP surgeries, gyms, leisure centres, malls and hospitals. This check will record one measurement for when your blood pressure is at its highest (known as systolic pressure) and one measurement for when it’s at its lowest (diastolic pressure). Together these two figures create your blood pressure reading.

A young healthy adult should have a blood pressure of around 120/80. If your reading shows 140/90 or higher it is likely you have hypertension and need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle to help lower this. Taking 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, losing weight, reducing alcohol intake and eating less saturated fat and salt can all help to naturally lower your blood pressure. It can also be useful to reduce your stress levels as too much worry and anxiety can lead to physical ailments like chest pain, an irregular heart beat and rise in blood pressure.

A supplement such as Co-Enzyme Q10, which curbs cholesterol and supports cardiovascular function, can help to reduce blood pressure and fight against the oxidation process. Omega 3 Fish Oils, found in mackerel and fresh tuna, and essential fatty acids, found in Flaxseed Oil, are also ideal for stabilising the body’s cholesterol levels and in turn lowering the blood pressure.

If your reading shows 90/60 or lower you have low blood pressure, or hypotension. Hypotension can result in dizziness and fainting, and although it can be a sign of an underlying health condition, it is more likely the result of being active and healthy. A low blood pressure reading may also be the result of other factors such as; the time of day it was checked, whether or not you have just eaten, the temperature at the time and even how relaxed the body was during the check.

The bottom line is that it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly so that you can detect any problems early on and make the relevant changes to your lifestyle. Why not visit a Pressure Station today and make sure you’re blood pressure is in the healthy range? It won’t cost you a penny but it might save your life.

Four Top Tips for Healthy Ageing

A dash of exercise, a dollop of healthy eating and a sprinkling of supplements make the perfect recipe for healthy ageing. Here are a few simple tips to help combat wrinkles, slow the onset of age-related diseases and prevent memory loss:

  1. Exercise the Stress Away

Exercising is a fantastic way to keep the body feeling and looking young. Regular activity that gets the blood pumping releases ‘happy chemicals’, called endorphins, into the body that help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Exercise also keeps the heart healthy, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Lighter types of exercise, such as Pilates and Yoga, are especially kind on the joints, using only body weight to strengthen the core stomach muscles, lengthen the body and encourage a leaner figure. Any form of regular exercise boosts longevity and lowers the risk of contracting diseases like cancer, hypertension and dementia. Gentle walking, swimming and jogging are perfect options for cushioning the body.

Supplements, such as Vitamin D and Garlic are a great addition to exercise, as they reduce hypertension and aid in maintaining a healthy heart.

  1. Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight puts less pressure on the joints, helping to alleviate painful symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis, which can be triggered by old age. Regular exercise such as walking is perfect for helping with weight management. Supplements such as Metabolism Formula are a handy tool to boost the metabolism, helping to manage weight more effectively.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced and varied diet will encourage healthy ageing. Fibre is important for maintaining and improving digestive health. Probiotics are the perfect supplement for warding off infections in the digestive system and maintaining a healthy gut.

Diet also plays an important role in skin health. Fish Oils help to keep skin looking soft and smooth, and can be found naturally in oily fish such as mackerel and fresh tuna, but can also be taken as a supplement alongside a balanced diet.

Flaxseed Oil, Soy Beans, Canola Oil, and Omega 3 Fish Oils can also improve memory function and slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Antioxidants for Wrinkles and Circulation

Co Enzyme Q10 is a supplement that can be combined into a healthy diet to achieve healthy looking skin. This supplement is a common ingredient in many skin care products, and is a great antioxidant that reduces lines and wrinkles, improves blood circulation and encourages skin repair and regeneration. Plus it helps to neutralise harmful free radicals that trigger ageing, control blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels!

It’s important to invest in the health and wellbeing of the mind and body at an early age – even the smallest of changes to diet and exercise routines can have a positive effect over the years

Vitamin D supplements – everyone should take them!

Health experts are now recommending that everyone should be taking vitamin D supplements.

In the UK, we are at risk of becoming Vitamin D deficient due to lack of sunlight during our winter (and summer) months … and unlike many other vitamins, we do not get enough vitamin D from food.

Recent advice is mostly aimed towards ‘high risk’ groups such as children under 5, pregnant women and 65+ adults to take vitamin D tablets regularly. However, experts are now saying that vitamin D supplements result in health benefits for all. The National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) has advised the NHS that vitamin D should be given more widely to prevent Vitamin D deficiency. This is also supported by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). Vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious health problems, such as rickets and brittle bones. Why take the risk?!

Here are four major health benefits of taking the supplement;

1. Staying Strong

Around 99% of the calcium in our bodies belongs inside of our bones and teeth but day-to-day we can lose this calcium through skin, hair, nails, sweat etc. but our bodies cannot produce new calcium. If we don’t get enough calcium for what our body needs it then begins to take it from our bones. Vitamin D plays an important role as it helps the body to absorb calcium and replace what has previously been lost. If you don’t get enough in your body you are more likely to develop bone deformities and diseases such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia and rickets.

2. During and After Pregnancy

It has been known that low levels of Vitamin D are common in pregnant women with a recent study showing that up to 90% of pregnancies were Vitamin D deficient. Low Vitamin D levels in childhood may cause excess thickening of the arterial lining leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy has shown a slight, but significant increase in birth weight that can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in adults.

3. Cognitive Functions

Recent research results have shown the connection between older adults who are severely deficient in Vitamin D and the likelihood of developing dementia. It has been established that people with low levels of the nutrient are more likely to experience cognitive problems and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. As people age their skin becomes less efficient in absorbing Vitamin D through sunlight making them more dependent on other sources. Consuming supplements or a diet rich in Vitamin D can help to delay or even prevent the onset of cognitive diseases.

4. Healing Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease (CD) is a lifelong chronic relapsing and remitting gastrointestinal condition and is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue. In recent studies it has shown that supplementation of Vitamin D may help to impact the intestinal barrier dysfunction associated with the disease and could play a role in the treatment of the condition. The study also showed that people with high blood levels of Vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation, and the patients reported this gave them a better quality of life.

We offer a wide selection of vitamins that help support a healthy lifestyle:

For more information about the full selection of products we offer, visit our website at www.parkacre.co.uk or call us on +44(0)1427 666 000