Improve Your Health and Fitness

Let our experts fill you in on their own health and fitness secrets

For a woman who has tried all other methods to conceive and they have failed, artificial insemination may be the answer. In artificial insemination, healthy sperm cells are taken from a donor who can be the woman's husband, a member of the family, a friend or even from an anonymous donor. The process involves the injection of live and healthy sperm cells directly into the woman's cervix. It may take one procedure or several before a woman can conceive. Here are some tips on how to choose a donor for artificial insemination.

  • Decide that this is what you really want. If your husband's sperm cells are weak and the doctor has told you that it will be impossible for you to conceive through traditional means and/or using yourhusband's sperm cells, you have the option to choose an anonymous donor.
  • Decide how the donor will play a role in your child's life. Will you want your child to know who the real father was or would you rather that he remains anonymous? There are some sperm banks that will allow a child that has been borne through artificial insemination to meet the donor when the child turns eighteen.
  • Consult your husband on the characteristics that he wants the donor to have. Some couples choose donors who closely resemble their own characteristics. Yourhusband's choices should be combined with yours and then do a process of elimination.
  • Consider the educational background, interests and hobbies of the donor. You should also check his overall look and appearance as well as his strengths and weaknesses as these traits can be passed on to the child. Look for someone with the same interests as you and yourhusband. If you and your husband are academics you would want your child to perform well in school, too.
  • Although you will not know what genes can be passed by the donor to your child consider how he looks when you are narrowing your choices. Look at your family members and see what general characteristics are common such as the color of their eyes, the color of their hair and the texture of their hair - straight, curly or wavy. If you have decided that the donor should remain anonymous then you should choose a donor whose outward appearance closely matches your and your immediate family. Reputable sperm banks also include baby and adult photos of sperm donors and you have the option to look at them.
  • Look at the medical history of the donor as well as his family. You need a healthy donor and someone who will not pass on diseases and other health problems that can affect your child later.

We usually experience sore muscles after a strenuous work-out or walking most of the day or even sitting in front of a computer for further than eight a long time a day. During activities, your muscles are subjected to a level of stress depending on how copious an action is. When the accent is employed, your muscles then need to increase their strength in order to comply with your body’s demand. If you experience discomfort in your muscles, it means that its threshold level was compromised and this would be the time to care for them. There are some ways you can nurse this soreness so read on and get rid of the pain:

  • Sit down and elevate. If the soreness is at the lower part of your body particularly your legs and feet, sit down on a firm surface preferably a good ergonometric chair with a backrest. Elevate your leg up slightly to take the pressure off your feet and legs. This will let your blood flow through evenly as well.
  • Get a massage. Even though a massage is good to relieve sore muscles, you should not overdo it. Before massaging your muscles, take a heating pad and apply it to the sore muscles. Heat loosens up some muscle spasms which add up to its soreness.
  • Gently squeeze your shoulders to release some tension on your shoulder muscles but don’t squeeze too hard. Squeezing too hard would not help take the tension out of your muscles. It would lead to muscle inflammation and that means more pain!
  • Ask a friend to add a little pressure on your back. Back muscles usually hurt when you have been sitting on your work desk in the wrong position. The correct sitting position should be your lower back resting on the back rest of your chair and your shoulders relaxed. Your computer screen should be at eye-level to prevent neck strain.
  • Take an ice bath. Fill your tub with water and ice. Soak in it for not more than 15 minutes and not staying soaked for more than that is important! The cold temperature compresses the inflammation of your muscles and after applying it you should immediately follow it up with a heating pad. The heat would then stimulate your blood flow. If you don’t have a tub, you can use a cold pad or wrap some ice cubes in a towel and hold it onto your sore muscles.
  • Take some rest. One of the simplest solutions to care for your sore muscles would be to get some rest. Try to avoid strenuous exercises or lifting heavy objects for as long as two to three days. This would give your muscles the time to heal.
  • Take a pain reliever. Taking a pill should be your last resort. Taking drugs is sometimes very addictive because this instills some idea in your mind that it’s a quick fix. Be aware that you should do the other methods of caring for your soreness before popping in that aspirin.

Remember that during your healing process, you should take plenty of fluids as well to rehydrate. Eat more protein and calcium enriched foods to build up your necessary protein and bone strength. You should help your body adapt and prevent future soreness by exercising regularly.

Many diet fads have come and gone throughout history. With more and more people trying to lose weight and an equally large number gaining weight because of the high fat foods that are present in the market and fast food chains today, diets are being sold at a dime a dozen, and dieters are being exploited by many cunning marketers. The grapefruit diet, however, is one of the diets that have withstood the test of time. Already several decades old, the grapefruit diet is still one of the most effective ways to lose 10 to 20 pounds in just a week or two. If you want instant weight loss using the grapefruit diet, here are the steps.

1. Drink up. Grape fruits have naturally occurring enzymes which makes metabolism and calorie burning very quick. These enzymes survive processing, which means that drinking grapefruit juice is just as effective as any other means of putting grapefruit into your body. Drink grapefruit juice before and during each meal. At least a glass per meal is recommended for your body to gain enough of the enzymes that hastens metabolism. By drinking in grapefruit before each meal, you are also adding content to your stomach that will help you minimize the food servings you will eat during the course of the meal.

2. Half each meal. Apart from grapefruit juice, however, the actual fruit should be eaten after every meal. Choose a moderately sized grapefruit and eat half during each meal. The fruit is best when eaten fresh. Because grapefruit diets are based on enzymes, you can also eat the fruit in between meals as a snack that will keep your stomach satisfied – without having to put on extra fats and oils in your body. Keep in mind also that the best grapefruits for you are the pink variety. These are rich in beta carotene, apart from vitamin C.

3. Moderate protein and low crabs. Grapefruit diets, however, do not work by themselves. You will also need to adjust the other food groups that you regularly eat. Generally, the grapefruit diet is classified as a moderate protein and low carbohydrates diet. This means that you should eat smaller servings of meat and minimize the carbohydrates as much as possible. White meat and fish are some of the healthiest food options for you, and whole wheat grain breads are the best sources of carbohydrates for people undertaking the grapefruit diet.

In the end, however, the best way to approach weight loss is through a holistic method that takes not only diet into account but also exercise. Exercise, however, does not have to be very difficult for you and your hectic schedule. Walking to work can already be a good form of exercise, as long as you walk briskly and take longer paths that will build up to half an hour of walk time each day. Also remember that dieting with grapefruits is a commitment that you should be prepared for. No matter how quickly and how many pounds you lose with the diet, flab and fat can easily return if you go back to high fat and high carb food.

Video Clips:

Exercise is good for the body, but do you know that it’s beneficial for the face also? There are different ways to have a face workout. The steps below are some of the ways to tone and circulate blood in your face. You can repeat one face exercise eight times, and then alternate it with another. If at work, you can do one face exercise while talking to someone on the phone.

1. Complete face routine. Stroke and massage all parts of the face using all your fingers. Duplicate what you see your masseuse do on your whole body on your face. If you want full pressure, you can just use your index and middle finger in stroking. Pinching, or using the index and thumb fingers, can be done if you want a lighter and more relaxed face exercise. Not only will these exercises tone your face, it will also stimulate the blood, and keep you awake if you are sleepy.
2. Forehead exercise. Pull your eyebrows towards one another in the direction of your nose. After five counts, push your eyebrows upward, lifting them as high as possible. Widening your eyes can help in this step. You will need to relax in between when the two alternating steps. This exercise can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines by softening them.
3. Eyes exercise. Close your eyes in a relaxed manner. While in this position, move your eyeballs left, right, up and down. Make sure you are seated before doing this exercise. Another exercise for the eyes is this: Sit down. With head still and eyes open the whole time, look straight ahead for five seconds. Look to the left for 5 seconds, to the right for five seconds, upward and downward for five seconds each also.
4. Cheeks exercise. Put your index, middle and ring finger side by side and push them towards your cheeks. You should counter this motion by smiling as wide as you can. This will raise your cheeks, and the downward movement of the fingers will tone this part of your face.
5. Mouth and lips movements. Opening your mouth as big as you can, at the same time stretching lips as far out as possible, is an easy but very effective exercise. Another method is pretending that you are chewing bubble gum. Make sure your mouth is closed. By doing this, you can release tension in the jaw muscles. The last example of a possible exercise is positioning your lips to kiss someone very far from you. This must last for 10 to 15 minutes before relaxing.
6. Chin exercise. Sit comfortably. Look up at the sky or ceiling by tilting your head. Put your lower lip above your upper lip as far up as possible. Stay in this position until five seconds, and relax.
7. Neck exercise. The most common neck exercise is usually used as a warm-up exercise. Do this in intervals of eight seconds. Stand up straight. Face towards your left. Face towards your right. Face upward. Face downward. Another famous neck exercise is the neck rotation exercise. Using your neck as the centrifugal point, rotate your face in a clockwise and then counterclockwise direction.

Do these face exercises correctly and regularly to produce a well-toned and healthy face.