Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Walking Back to Health

Few people would think of walking as cure for many of the ailments we all accept as part of our modern lifestyle but it is now recognised as one of the best exercises you can do at any age.

* Walking helps regulate the heart.

* Walking, it is believed, can boost the immune system causing the body to produce killer cells which will destroy any germ cells they do not recognise. However to achieve this you must walk every day.

* Walking increases blood flow and raises oxygen levels in the body. This in turn stimulates the immune system and helps repair tissue damage.

* Walking burns off calories.

* Walking minimises your risk of bowel cancer (according to a report by the US Surgeon General).

* Walking makes you feel better and helps reduce stress that is part of our modern daily life.

* Walking has long been prescribed by doctors and chiropractors for people with low back pain.

These are just some of the benefits of regular walking and apart from the cost of a good pair of shoes its free!

If you suffer from low back problems you should consider including walking as part of your regular daily exercise routine. If your neighbourhood is one where you dont feel comfortable walking then think about joining a gym and get on the treadmill with your IPOD or MP3 player.

A recent study by UCLA researchers found that a group of low back pain patients who did 3 hours brisk walking per week had considerably less pain and distress than a group who were given specific low back exercises.

Before you grab your walking shoes and rush outside there are a few points to consider if you want to reap the maximum benefit from your walking.

The first is stretching. Always do a few gentle stretches before and after your walk find out from your healthcare practitioner what stretches are the most suitable for yourself.

The muscles should always be warm before stretching, and the stretch should always be gentle. Current research indicates that the stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds to be fully effective. Always ensure that your breathing is relaxed and rhythmic holding your breath will make any stretch ineffective. It is also important to stretch on both sides to maintain symmetry. As a general rule do warm up stretching exercises starting at the top of your body and work downward.

Here are some examples of suitable stretches for walking. Please note that these are for illustrative purposes only. You should consult a dedicated book or worksheet before doing these stretches.

HEAD ROLLS - rotate your head around so you end up with your ear near your shoulder then go the other way. Repeat this several times, and then do some arm circles.

HIP STRETCH - hold on to a chair and bend your right knee, keep your spine straight and upright. Lean forward slightly and keep the left leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

LEG STRETCH - stand erect and hold onto a wall or a chair for support. Now bend one knee behind you so that you can grasp your foot. Hold your foot against your bottom and gently push your knee gently back as far as you can.

Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat with the opposite leg.

CALF STRETCH keep your spine straight and push lightly against a wall with open palms. Place one leg forward with knee bent - this leg will have no weight put on it. Keep other leg back and straight with and heel down. Gently move your hips toward the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.

HAMSTRING STRETCH place your foot on a bench or chair with your toe pointing upwards. You should be standing far enough away such that your leg is straight. Bend forward slightly from the waist keeping one hand on the raised leg so that you feel your hamstring stretch. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.

Secondly is posture. There is no point in walking if your posture is all wrong. Before you set out try this simple check. Stand with your back against a closed door. Try to align your shoulders against the door. Now try touching the door with the back of your head, your buttocks and your heels at the same time. If you can manage this then your body is in the correct alignment.

Try taking your first few steps with your head held high, looking straight ahead. Keep those tummy muscles pulled in. Try to avoid leaning forward when you walk. Dont worry if you find walking like this a bit strange at first concentrate initially on holding your head high looking straight ahead after a few days you will find your are starting to walk more upright

Thirdly and equally important is footwear. If you suffer from lower back problems consider investing in a good pair of walking shoes or boots. You should wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes that provide good arch support. The best shoe for one person may not necessarily be the most suitable for another. It may even pay dividends to visit a podiatrist to see if it would be to your advantage to have heel inserts.

If you are new to walking start off gently, do not overdo it for the first few sessions. Gradually build up to walking at least 30 minutes each day this is believed to be sufficient to decrease your risk of heart disease. If you can build it up to an hour per day it is believed you will decrease your risk of breast cancer and type two diabetes.

The information in this article should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. You should always consult with your health care professional as to the suitabilty of walking or any exercises described in this article and especially for health matters that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Bill Morrison has his own website where he describes his own personal experiences coping with lower back pain and sciatica. He also includes personal recommendations for people who suffer from sciatica or lower back pain including what books to buy, TENs machines, and what web sites to check out.

Successful Book Marketing The Natural Way - Part 2

Is your mind muddy on book marketing? Do you wake up each day and say, "I'm not a social person and I hate to beat the drum for my book" or "I just wish someone else could market my book for me"?

If you could market your book a pleasurable way, you may not think it a chore. Natural marketing refers to the action you take to get the word out about your service and product that rings true to your heart. It feels effortless without struggle, where ideas pop out, you lose track of time engaging in them, and you can't act on them fast enough! Natural marketing feels authentic and inspired.

Unnatural marketing feels like your actions go against what feels true for you. It isn't what you like to do normally; it isn't what you can do easily. Using this tactic, you may feel bored, fearful, or ambivalent. You go through the motions, but a part of you resists. When resistances and doubts pop up you can be sure they affect every marketing decision that can lead to small gains or a large success. They also do not attract willing readers and customers.

Part one of this article is available at

Examples of Natural Book Marketing and How to Expand Them

Expand this marketing by writing short articles, tips or take sizzling dialogue from your fiction to share with your audience Online. It's easy to get published Online because other publishers and Web sites want your information. You give it freely, and then attract people to where you sell your book with your well-honed signature file. Remember your articles are your 24/7 sales force because they point to the benefits of your information. Don't be married to the idea you must be paid for them. Articles are FREE advertising, and are seven times as powerful as ads because each time you submit an article you join the many marketing masters using viral promotion.

Just ten articles sent out to the top ten Web sites in your field can raise your search engine standing, attract floods of new visitors, and in turn sell a lot of books. These numbers build exponentially, and in no time, you are well known on the Internet.

To expand this marketing and reach 1000 to 500,000 people daily, revise your print articles for the Internet. Make them 200-800 words with a shorter introduction and conclusion, make them in tip or how-to format, and make them unique and useful. Contact a bookcoach to help you write only publishable articles and show you the way to submit them.

Beware of just going through the motions with your book promotion. When you do you leak vitality and don't allow room for your new, natural ideas to come. Struggling keeps you from accomplishing your heart's desire. Adjust and fine-tune your approach. Yet, stay in the natural flow and trust the best will come to you because you are using your natural abilities.

Remember you are already successful. You wrote a book that took your through many adventures. You accomplished a lot so far. Of course you may worry about a learning curve, but if you open your mind to experiencing a much expanded success through the Internet, you'll scratch your head and wonder, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"

As a book promotion coach, what I want for you is to not only make 1/2 your monthly income selling your books Online, but to make a positive difference to your audience. Share your gifts--that's what natural marketing is.

Success is natural, and if you use your natural resources, you too can create enough book sales to take that long, lost trip to the Caribbean, or buy a new car.

Judy Cullins 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Judy is author of 10 eBooks including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast, Ten Non-Techie Ways to Market Your Book Online, The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Your Targeted Web Traffic, and Power Writing for Web Sites That Sell. She offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The BookCoach Says...," "Business Tip of the Month," blog Q & A at and over 185 free articles.

Email her at
Phone: 619/466-0622 -- Orders: 866/200-9743

Stylish Mugs Add to Coffee Charm

Theres nothing to beat a hot cup of coffee on a cold, winter morning, and what makes coffee even more likeable is the attractiveness of the coffee mug! Available in every conceivable material from plastic to ceramic and in a riot of colors, shapes, and designs, coffee mugs can reveal a lot about you. So, choose them with care keeping in mind when and with whom you intend to have your coffee.

Did you know that lots of people actually collect coffee mugs? They are not as expensive as coins or stamps, and keeping them in a showcase in your living room can lead to some interesting conversation. Even if youre the practical, workaholic type you could buy different types of coffee mugs to zest up your life!

Choose mugs in a variety of materials like ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, enameled metal, and plastic. As for color, choose outside colored mugs, inside colored mugs, plain mugs with colored rims and handles, and mugs that change color. This last mentioned variety is heat sensitive and changes color when a hot liquid is poured into it. If you travel a great deal, but want to add a personal touch to your coffee, get a travel coffee mug. A stainless steel one would survive the bumps and jerks of travel and, dont worry, you wont burn your fingers because the handle is plastic! These mugs also come with a plastic lid, and you can request custom decorations on them. However, not all decorations can be seen clearly or may not look attractive given the gray exterior of stainless steel mugs.

You are spoilt for choice as far as designs and decorations are concerned. If you are an avid soccer fan you could choose a football mug, or if chess is your point of interest, you can get one with a chessboard design. To beat Monday morning blues, keep a stock of mugs in bright colors. You may choose funny or inspirational quotes and have them engraved on your mug. If you love to relax over coffee with your spouse after a days hard work, you could use mugs with romantic messages and symbols!

Lots of adolescents and adults never grow out of cartoons. If you have such persons in the family or in your friend circle, bring out coffee mugs that have cartoon characters on them. Movie buffs, dont despair, you can get coffee mugs with a poster of your favorite movie on the exterior.

Be innovative. Dont use coffee mugs just for serving coffee! If your child throws a tantrum every time you serve a glass of warm milk, buy some superhero or Disney coffee mugs and youll have him waiting eagerly for milk time. Coffee mugs are also a great gift item because they are utilitarian, attractive, and inexpensive. You just need to know the interests and preferences of the person you are going to gift the mug to. The designing firm will take care of the rest! You dont even have to leave your home to order custom coffee mugs these days. Just check out various firms over the Internet and send a digital image file; a click of the mouse is all you need to order personalized coffee mugs. Technology has helped coffee lovers in other ways too. Most of the coffee mugs today are microwave safe, so enjoy your mug of hot coffee without a care in the world!

Tania Penwell is a regular contributor to Black as Midnight - The Site for Coffee Lovers, where you can read all about coffee, coffee mugs, and everything else coffee related!

Nail Fungus (Onychomycosis) Treatment Tips

Fungal infections of the nails are common. Fungal infections can also be a problem for people wearing acrylic nails. Fungal nails usually begin with an opaque white or silvery area at the distal (outside) edge of a nail. Onychomycosis usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. Fungal infections are not commonly contagious nor do they spread easily between people. The nail provides a safe place for the fungus and protects it while it grows, since fungus like dark and damp places. Nail fungus grows more often in people with weaker immune systems, which rather than suppress it, allow the fungus to become established. Nail fungus is made up of tiny organisms (Tinea Unguium) that can infect fingernails and toenails. Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes. These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. The main problems identified were embarrassment, functional problems at work, reduction in social activities, fears of spreading the disease to others, and pain.

Nail fungus is becoming more common in the US. The nails of our fingers and toes are very effective barriers. This barrier makes it quite difficult for a superficial infection to invade the nail. Once an infection has set up residence however, the same barrier that was so effective in protecting us against infection now works against us, making it difficult to treat the infection. The rise in nail fungus is thought to be due to a combination of increased detection as well as increased risk of infection. Factors that contribute to this increased risk include aging of the population, spread of HIV/AIDS, tight footwear, vigorous physical activity, and use of communal swimming pools, locker rooms, etc. Nail fungus is more than a cosmetic problem. It can be painful and interfere with daily activities such as walking, playing sports, writing, typing, and other activities that require manipulating small objects or repetitive finger use. An international study conducted by dermatologists found that nail fungus had a significant impact on the quality of life of people with the disease. prevalence in America is about 2-3%, but some have reported it as high as 13%. Even at a low estimate of 2%, this accounts for 6 million Americans with toenail fungus. Toenail fungus affects men twice as often as it affects women.

Fungal nail infection is diagnosed from a sample of the debris under the nail. Nail fungus can be difficult to treat, and repeated infections are common. There are a number of treatments for onychomycosis. Prevention of injuries to the nail is very important. Medications for onychomycosis fall into two categories; topical and oral. Topical medications are most helpful in treating early, small infections and for maintaining clear nails. Topical medications do have a limited ability to penetrate the nail to reach all of the fungal elements. Topical medication inhibit the growth of the fungus allowing for faster growth of the nail. Oral anti-fungal medications are Itraconazole (Sporonox and Terbinafine (Lamisil. Both medications can be quite expensive as they need to be taken once daily for 3 months. With both medications there is a long list of benign side effects including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, headache, taste disturbances and dizziness. Serious adverse events are very rare, less than 0.5%, but do include hepatitis and acute hepatic necrosis. The effectiveness of the medications ranges from 60 to 80%, with a recurrence rate of 15%. Lamisil appears to be more effective and has fewer drug interactions than Sporonox.

Tips of Nail Fungus

1.Wash your feet regularly with soap and water.

2.Remember to dry your feet thoroughly after washing.

3.Properly fitted shoes are essential; an astonishing number of people wear shoes that don't fit right, and cause serious foot problems. A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best for daily activities.

4.Shower shoes should be worn when possible, in public areas.

5.Shoes, socks, or hosiery should be changed daily.

6.Toenails should be clipped straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.

7.Use a quality foot powder -- talcum, not cornstarch -- in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.

8.Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture.

9.Wear socks made of synthetic fiber, which tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for sports activity.

10.Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection. Signs of an infection include toes that are red, discolored, or swollen.

Juliet Cohen writes articles on health doctor and skin disorders. She also writes articles on health disorders.