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10 Exercises To Build Six Pack Abs Without Any Gym Equipment

Six Pack Abs Exercises can be done at home, gym or at work. Ten Six Pack Abs exercises described below do not include any gym equipment. Exercises are performed to build power, tone and mass of the rectus abdominis muscles. An exercise also helps to build lateral abdominal muscles. Right and left Rectus Abdominis muscles are separated by thick rope of fibrous tissue in the midline. Each rectus abdominis muscles has 4 packs. Top three pack of muscles on each side makes a Six Pack Rectus Abdominis Muscles known as “SIX PACK ABS”.

Stretching of the upper arm and upper body is essential before starting the abdominal exercises.

Arm and Back Stretching Exercises Before Starting Six Pack Abs Exercises-

Arm Stretch-

  • Stand straight with both arms stretched on side.
  • Rotate the arm in and out for 10 repetitions.
  • While arm is stretched outward flex forearm at elbow for 10 repetitions.
  • Bring the stretched arm in front of the chest and hold for 5 seconds; repeat the exercise 10 times.

Back Stretch-

  • Stand straight with your feet apart in neutral position.
  • Lean forward with hands attempting to touch the leg between knee and big toe.
  • Maintain the position for 5 seconds (count up to 10)
  • Come back to straight position and extend back as much as possible.
  • Maintain the back extension for 5 seconds and come back to neutral position.
  • Repeat the exercise 5 times.

10 Six Pack Abs Exercises Without Any Gym Equipments-

6 Pack Abs Exercise #1: Abdominal “V” Crunch-

  • Lie on your back over the mattress.
  • Fold and rest the hand over the front of the chest.
  • Flex upper body and lower leg together.
  • Hold the knee with hand and immediately let it go.
  • Straighten the upper body and lower leg while using abdominal muscles.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise # 2: Reverse Crunch-

  • Lie on your back.
  • Hold the arm behind the head while legs laid flat on the ground.
  • Bend the lower leg at knee and hip.
  • Bring the knee joint towards the abdomen as much as possible.
  • Keep the upper body straight against the ground.
  • Bring the knee in resting position.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #3: Vertical Leg Crunch-

  • Lie on your back.
  • Hold the hand behind the head.
  • Flex the lower leg slowly using abdominal muscles at hip keeping knee joint extended (straight) position.
  • Keep the shoulder blade flat on the ground.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times. .

6 Pack Abs Exercise #4: Straight Arm Crunch-

  • Lie on your back.
  • Stretch the upper arm on side of the body and keep flat on the ground.
  • Keep the lower leg extended against the ground.
  • Flex the upper body with upper arm stretched on the side.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #5: Full Sit-up Crunch-

  • Lie flat on ground.
  • Flex knee and hip joint
  • Keep the foot firmly on the ground.
  • Hold both the arm over the chest.
  • Bend upper body close to knee joint as much as possible.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #6: Crunches in Sitting Position-

  • Sit straight on chair.
  • Make sure foot is rested on the ground.
  • Hold both the hands behind the head.
  • Bend slowly forward using abdominal muscles.
  • Straighten the back slowly and sit straight.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #7: Crunch in Standing Position-

  • Stand straight with legs about feet apart.
  • Hold both hands behind the head.
  • Bend upper body forward as much as possible.
  • Do not bend lower leg.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #8: Hanging Leg Lift Crunch-

  • Use any fixed bar, which can hold your weight.
  • Hang on the bar with both the arms while knee is bent.
  • Bring the knee towards the abdomen.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #9: Ball Lift Crunch-

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Hold the ball between the legs below the knee joint.
  • Keep arms flat on your side.
  • Lift the arm with both the leg as much as possible.
  • Hold the ball in final position as long as possible.
  • Bring the leg slowly to rest on the ground.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6 Pack Abs Exercise #10: Abdominal Crunches On The Ball-

  • Rest your lower back on a ball sized about 1.5 to 2 feet in diameter
  • Keep the arm crossed around your chest.
  • Curl your upper body towards the knee joint
  • Prevent the ball rolling while doing the exercise.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times

Exercises can be done at home, work and during vacation in hotels. Ten repetition of each exercise can be done in three sets. During initial few weeks time taken for each sets of exercise is between 1.5 to 2 minutes. Later in 6 months each exercise can be done in one minute. One can complete all 10 exercises in 10 minutes.

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

You can feel wonderful during your pregnancy if you take good care of yourself. Increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy by following these sensible steps to keep yourself in top condition:

1. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day.

2. Take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician or midwife.

3. Drink plenty of fluids — at least eight to 10 glasses a day — avoiding caffeine and artificial coloring.

4. Don’t drink alcohol.

5. Don’t smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

6. Exercise — it’s important for your general health and also can help reduce stress. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least fifteen to twenty minutes every day at a moderate pace. Walk in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.

7. Get adequate sleep — at least eight hours a night. If you’re suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day and see your physician for advice.

8. Wear comfortable, nonrestricting shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.

9. Continue to wear a safety belt while riding in motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag as possible.

10. Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.

Top 8 Vitamins for Women

Today’s women are health-conscious and prefer to follow a healthy diet plan. A healthy diet plan is one that includes the right combination of vitamins. Women of every age, weight and activity level need to consume a wide variety of vitamins to have optimal health and prevent different types of health problems.

Vitamins are organic compounds that help different parts of the body function properly. Each of the different vitamins performs a specific function. A deficiency of needed vitamins can contribute to some serious health problems. This is why it is essential to get vitamins from the foods you eat or, if necessary, from vitamin supplements.

Here are the top 10 vitamins for women.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties. Women of all ages need vitamin A as it aids in building and strengthening bones, teeth, soft tissue, skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A also reduces the risk of chronic illness, improves vision, slows down the aging process and boosts the immune system.

Foods that are rich in vitamin A include carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, apricots, tomatoes, watermelon, guava, broccoli, kale, papaya, peaches, red peppers, spinach, eggs, liver, milk and fortified cereals.

2. Vitamin B2

Known as riboflavin, Vitamin B2 is essential for good health, normal growth and metabolism. It helps boost energy and strengthen the immune system, while reducing tingling and numbness, anxiety, stress and fatigue.
A deficiency of vitamin B2 can affect metabolism and influence the immune system and neural functions that can cause pale eyes and tongue, a sore throat, mouth ulcers, cracks on the lips, dry hair, wrinkles and itchy skin.

Some of the foods rich in vitamin B2 are organ meats, cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy vegetables, yeast, eggs, cereals, whole grains, soybeans, almonds, nuts and mushrooms.

3. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential vitamin required for a healthy immune system. This particular vitamin also helps the body produce hormones and brain chemicals, which in turn helps reduce depression, heart disease and memory loss.

It can also help regulate your blood sugar level. Pregnant women can eat foods with vitamin B6 to get rid of morning sickness. Lack of vitamin B6 in the body can cause anemia.

Some of the best foods for a healthy dose of vitamin B6 are fortified cereals, avocados, bananas, meats, beans, fish, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

4. Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is required for cell growth and synthesis of fatty acids. This vitamin keeps the sweat glands, hair and skin healthy. In fact, it promotes hair growth and helps treat brittle nails. Also, vitamin B7 is required for bone growth and bone marrow and helps maintain normal cholesterol levels.

Though a deficiency of vitamin B7 is very rare but it occurs then it can cause brittle hair, rashes, abnormal heart functioning, lethargy, anemia, and mild depression.

Some of the best food choices to get vitamin B7 are fish, sweet potatoes, almonds, carrots, bananas, cantaloupe, yellow fruits, green leafy vegetables, lentils, brown rice, peppers, egg yolks, soybeans, oatmeal, milk, cheese, yogurt and nuts.

5. Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, is essential for every woman as it helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, depression, cancer and memory loss. It also enhances brain health and cellular functioning and improves fertility and fetal development during pregnancy.

A deficiency of vitamin B9 in pregnant women can cause neural tube defects in the baby, such as spina bifida.
Foods rich in vitamin B9 include dark leafy green vegetables, orange juice, asparagus, melons, strawberries, fortified grains, legumes, beans, nutritional yeast and eggs.

6. Vitamin B12

Another essential vitamin that every woman should eat is B12, which is important for metabolism, normal cell division and protein synthesis. This vitamin helps prevent heart disease, memory loss and anemia.

It also can be used to treat depression and help maintain healthy nerve system and brain functioning. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause irritability, depression and confusion. It can also cause tongue and mouth inflammation.

Some of the best food sources for vitamin B12 are cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk, yogurt and fortified breakfast cereals.

7. Vitamin C

Known as an immunity booster, vitamin C has many health benefits for women. It helps speed up the healing process, promotes tissue growth and reduces the risk for certain kinds of cancer, heart disease and tissue damage. It also plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells.

Some of the best vitamin C-rich foods are broccoli, grapefruits, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, sprouts and tomatoes.

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes the absorption of calcium, which plays a key role in keeping the bones strong. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and various types of cancer.

It can also help reduce pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms and protect your eyesight. A deficiency of this vitamin may weaken your bones and contribute to osteoporosis.

Short daily exposure to sunlight can give your body the required dose of vitamin D. For most light-skinned people, an exposure of 10 to 15 minutes is sufficient to produce enough vitamin D for the body. In addition, you can eat foods that are rich in vitamin D like fatty fish, fortified milk, liver and eggs.

Best ways to remove dark spot naturally

Many black spots or dark patches can be easily lightened or eliminated to restore a glowing facial complexion. Dark spots, patches and other marks on the face may be due to excess secretion of melanin on the skin.

Some factors that can lead to this condition include over exposure to the sun, hormone imbalance, pregnancy, certain medications, vitamin deficiencies, lack of sleep and too much stress.

Spots and patches on the face can be embarrassing and even lead to low self-esteem. Luckily, there are many possible treatments, such as acid peels and laser surgeries. Simple, natural homemade remedies also may reduce the appearance of spots and other blemishes on your face.

Here are top 10 home remedies for Black Spots on Face.

1. Lemon Juice

A quick and easy solution can be found in your kitchen or your nearest grocery store – lemon juice. Lemons have vitamin C that can lighten dark spots on your face. It’s easy to apply.

  1. Put some fresh lemon juice on a cotton ball and rub it directly on the affected skin area.
  2. Allow it to dry and then wash it off with plain water.
  3. Continue applying this dark spot removal home remedy for at least two weeks to get the desired result.

If you have delicate or sensitive skin, you can dilute the lemon juice with plain water, rose water, or honey. You can also use lime juice to get rid of black spots, applying it in the same manner as described above.

Note: Don’t use lemon juice if you have got open sores or lesions on the skin. Also, avoid going out in the sun after using the lemon juice as it can make your skin photosensitive.

2. Potato

Your vegetable drawer is another source of home remedies for black spots or dark patches. Potatoes have natural bleaching properties that help fade spots, scars as well as blemishes. The starch in potato helps reduce pigmentation, while the enzymes in it promote healthy skin.

Potatoes can be applied in one of the three ways:

Method 1

  1. Slice up a potato.
  2. Place one slice directly on the black spots.
  3. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash your face with lukewarm water.

Method 2

  1. Peel and grate a potato.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey in the grated potato.
  3. Apply the mask on your face and allow it to dry for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off using lukewarm water.

Method 3

  1. Extract the juice of 1 potato.
  2. Add a little lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder to it.
  3. Apply this mixture on your black spots.
  4. Allow it to dry, then rinse it off.

Some people have also had success using tomatoes to get rid of dark black spots within a few weeks.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is also beneficial in getting rid of dark spots. Like lemon juice, it also helps fade blemishes and black spots but without causing burning sensation. The lactic acid in it will gradually reduce skin pigmentation and brighten your overall skin complexion.

  1. Take 4 teaspoons of buttermilk.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of fresh tomato juice.
  3. Mix the two ingredients (both have excellent bleaching properties) and then apply.
  4. Wash it off after 15 minutes.

If you do not have buttermilk, simply soak a cotton ball in milk and dab it directly on your spots. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat this procedure twice daily for 4 to 5 weeks.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has many healing properties and is a great natural dark spot corrector. Its gel has polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new skin cells to help reduce dark spots and heal scars.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research throws light on many skin benefits of aloe vera gel. The study says that this gel can help clear dark spots and skin blemishes and make the skin clearer.

  1. Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe leaf.
  2. Apply it directly on dark patches and black spots.
  3. Gently massage the area with your fingertips for a few minutes.
  4. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse your face.
  5. Repeat this once or twice daily for a few weeks to fade skin discolorations.

If it becomes messy, use a clean cloth soaked in warm water to remove the mask. Follow this treatment once or twice a week.

Vitamin E oil and castor oil, too, are useful in getting rid of black spots.

5. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is another effective option. The natural oils in it can help clear black spots naturally. It even adds a healthy glow to your skin.

  1. Make a thick paste of 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder, 1 tablespoon of glycerin and 3 tablespoons of rose water. (If you don’t have rose water, you can use milk or honey.)
  2. Apply the thick paste to the affected skin area, leaving it on for a few minutes. Wash off the paste with lukewarm water.
  3. Follow this remedy once daily until your black spots vanish completely.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is another popular skin-lightening agent that can be used to get rid of black spots on your face. It repairs free radical damage and reduces skin pigmentation and discoloration. It is also effective for quickly removing sun spots and age spots.

  1. Make a thick paste of 2 teaspoons of turmeric and a little milk and lemon juice.
  2. Apply it to the skin where there are black spots.
  3. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.

7. Almonds

Almonds help lighten and brighten your skin as well as reduce black spots and scars. Being rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats, almonds help maintain clear and flawless skin.

  1. Take 8-10 almonds and soak them in milk overnight.
  2. Peel off the skin and grind the almonds in the morning.
  3. Now, add 1 teaspoon sandalwood powder and ½ teaspoon honey in it.
  4. Mix them to make a fine paste.
  5. Apply it on your face.
  6. Leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off.
  7. Use this face mask once or twice a week.

A massage with almond oil can also improve your complexion, reduce the intensity of sun damage from skin, and fade dark spots and scars. You can massage twice daily.

8. Oats

Oatmeal powder is considered good for skin exfoliation. It contains saponins that work as a natural cleanser. Hence, you can apply an oatmeal mask on your face and neck to remove dead skin and black spots. Oatmeal even helps soften, repair and rejuvenate the skin. It has a sunburn-fighting effect as well.

  1. Grind ½ cup of rolled oats.
  2. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to make a paste.
  3. Scrub it on your skin and wash it off with warm water when it dries.

If it becomes messy, use a clean cloth soaked in warm water to remove the mask. Follow this treatment once or twice a week.

9. Papaya

The enzymes in papaya can help even out skin tone and aid in fading black spots. For example, papaya contains papain, an enzyme that exfoliates the skin to get rid of dead skin cells. In addition, its cleansing properties help clear the skin of impurities and it even protect the skin from sun damage. There are two ways that you can use papaya.

  • Apply the pulp of ripe papaya to the skin. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, then rinse it off. Repeat 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Another option is to grate green papaya and add lime juice to it. Apply this mixture to black spots and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this twice a week.

You can also use papaya skin as an excellent scrub for knees and elbows.

10. Onion Juice

Onion juice – made using a juicer, blender or grater – can be applied in a couple of ways.

  • Dip a clean cotton swab into fresh onion juice and dab it directly on the affected skin area and allow it to dry naturally.
  • Another option is to apply a combination of 1 tablespoon of onion juice and 2 tablespoons of honey on the spots for about 20 minutes. If you have oily skin, you can add some vinegar in the solution as well.

Additional Tips

  • New spots or skin variations may need to be examined by a physician to ensure they are not due to a more serious health condition.
  • Do not use too much of make-up products loaded with chemicals.
  • Always remove your makeup before going to bed.
  • Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays by wearing sunscreen throughout the year.
  • Do not exfoliate skin if you have an open wounds, lesions or sores.
  • Apply a good moisturizer regularly on your skin to prevent dryness.
  • Follow a healthy diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy skin.
  • Drink ample amount of water every day to keep your body hydrated and enjoy soft and supple skin.

The Best Way to Lose Weight in a Week

Cosmo has come up with a fat-torching plan that really will subtract up to 5 pounds from your bod in seven days — without starvation, bizarre supplements, or cutting out entire food groups. How? It’s all about small sacrifices combined with specific techniques. And rather than giving you a one-size-fits-all regimen, we figure you’re more likely to stick with the plan if you pick the eating and exercise strategies that fit your lifestyle.

So choose at least four of the nutritionist- and fitness expert-backed tips that follow, and vow to work them into your schedule for seven days straight. If you feel ambitious, tack on a few more. The more you pick, the more weight you’ll lose. If you start now, by this time next week, you’ll look and feel way lighter.

DRINK MAINLY WATER

A sports or energy drink, fruit smoothie, or light beer — each serving contains about 100 calories. Yet these beverages don’t satisfy you the way 100 calories of food does, so they’re a waste. Other liquids may be high in sodium and carbohydrates, which trick your body into retaining water, puffing you out.

Water, on the other hand, has zero calories and carbs and little to no sodium, making it the perfect slim-down drink. And strangely, it actually helps flush out excess water weight as well as jump-starts your metabolism. If it’s just too boring, add lemon wedges or mint leaves.

BAN WHITE BREAD AND PASTA

Cutting out all white grain products — such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls — will instantly slim you down because the simple carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around your belly. “Simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on your weight because they’re digested very quickly, leaving you hungry and more likely to overeat later,” says Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan.

To go a step further, instead of replacing them with healthier yet still bloat-triggering whole-grain bread products, substitute vegetables for the week. This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.

DO CARDIO 30 MINUTES A DAY

Any workout that gets your heart rate up will burn calories. But you’ll use more calories if you pick a cardio routine that engages multiple muscles simultaneously, says Wendy Larkin, personal-training manager at Crunch’s Polk Street gym, in San Francisco.

Three to consider: spinning, cardio kickboxing, and boot-camp workouts. Half an hour of each torches 200 to 300 calories while toning up your arms, legs, and core so everything appears sleeker and tighter.

You’ll burn even more calories per session if your workout incorporates interval training: alternating short bursts of intense cardio with slower activity. Experts aren’t sure why it works, but trainers swear by it.

DRINK COFFEE AN HOUR BEFORE WORKING OUT

This is the one exception to the stick-to-water-only rule: Just as a coffee run makes your morning at work more productive, a pre-exercise cup of java with a splash of skim milk (about 11 calories) or black (just 5 calories) will energize your workout, explains Dr. Klauer. “You’ll burn more calories without realizing you’re pushing yourself harder.”

HAVE NIGHTLY YOU-ON-TOP SEX

Not that you needed an excuse to hook up with your guy every night, but the fact is, this position is a fat blaster. Being on top means you do the rocking, and the more active you are, the more calories you burn — up to 144 for 30 minutes.

Sex also pumps levels of feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins, helping you ride out food cravings. Get on top in reverse-cowgirl (i.e., facing away from your guy) to give your thigh and butt muscles an extra push.

DO 36 PUSH-UPS AND LUNGES EVERY OTHER DAY

These gym-class staples will help sculpt muscle, so you’ll sport a more streamlined appearance. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise every other day. “Push-ups target your upper body, while lunges work your butt, hips, and thighs,” says Larkin. Quick tip: Make sure your back and legs remain in a straight line during your push-ups; it’ll improve muscle tone. Also, you can build even more muscle with the lunges if you hold free weights in each hand while doing them.

SLEEP 30 MINUTES MORE A NIGHT

That extra half an hour, whether you sleep 5 hours or 8, can refresh you enough that you will make better food choices (in other words, no quick sugar fix for breakfast in search of energy) and won’t feel lethargic and skip the gym, says registered dietician Esther Blum, author of Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous. More restful sleep (7 to 8 hours is best) also boosts your metabolism. And since your body builds muscle while you snooze, getting zzz’s equals better muscle tone.

MAKE ONE FOOD SACRIFICE

Cutting out one indulgence — such as the chips you have with lunch or the chocolate dessert you eat after dinner — can subtract a few hundred calories from your diet, which translates into less flab, says Blum. “Your body won’t even notice their absence.”

DON’T LET THE CAMERA ADD POUNDS

Push your chin forward, hold your arms away from your body, and turn slightly sideways from the camera with one foot in front of the other.

GET THINNER IN HOURS

Really. These slenderizing effects may not be permanent, but they’ll help you look hotter in your skinniest jeans on very short notice.

EAT SALMON FOR LUNCH

It’s packed with nutrients that build muscle tone and give your skin a healthy glow. Some nutritionists claim that consuming a portion (doesn’t matter how it’s cooked) may immediately make your face look a bit more contoured.

STAND UP STRAIGHT

Keeping your spine rigid and your shoulders back while sucking in your belly toward your spine gives you a slimmer, more streamlined middle.

DO SQUATS AND SIT-UPS

Bodybuilders use this technique before competitions because it adds definition to muscle. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise to tighten your abs, butt, and legs temporarily.

POP AN ANTIGAS PILL

Take one of these chewable tablets, sold over-the-counter at drugstores, to relieve bloating in your abdomen and break up gas bubbles in your digestive track, leaving you with a flatter tummy.

Cancer prevention: 7 tips to reduce your risk

You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes the specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study or news report is advised against in another.

In many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.

So if you’re concerned about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Consider these seven cancer prevention tips.

1. Don’t use tobacco

Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Xhewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is one of the most important health decisions you can make. It’s also an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
  • Avoid obesity. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
  • Limit processed meats. A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, concluded that eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

In addition, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.

3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

4. Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

  • Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help, too.
  • Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loosefitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

5. Get immunized

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:

  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12. It is also available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.

6. Avoid risky behaviors

Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

  • Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.
  • Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.

7. Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

20 Ways To Never Get Cancer

That is, if you have a healthy lifestyle. “As many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable and related to lifestyle,” says Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Diet, exercise, and avoidance of tobacco products are, of course, your first line of defense, but recent research has uncovered many small, surprising ways you can weave even more disease prevention into your everyday life.

 Try these novel strategies and your risk of cancer could dwindle even more.

1. Filter your tap water
You’ll reduce your exposure to known or suspected carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals. A report from the President’s Cancer Panel on how to reduce exposure to carcinogens suggests that home-filtered tap water is a safer bet than bottled water, whose quality often is not higher—and in some cases is worse—than that of municipal sources, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group. (Consumer Reports’ top picks for faucet-mounted filters: Culligan, Pur Vertical, and the Brita OPFF-100.) Store water in stainless steel or glass to avoid chemical contaminants such as BPA that can leach from plastic bottles.

2. Stop topping your tank
So say the EPA and the President’s Cancer Panel: Pumping one last squirt of gas into your car after the nozzle clicks off can spill fuel and foil the pump’s vapor recovery system, designed to keep toxic chemicals such as cancer-causing benzene out of the air, where they can come in contact with your skin or get into your lungs.

3. Marinate meat first
Processed, charred, and well-done meats can contain cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, which form when meat is seared at high temperatures, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which get into food when it’s charcoal broiled. “The recommendation to cut down on grilled meat has really solid scientific evidence behind it,” says Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, a professor of carcinogenesis at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. If you do grill, add rosemary and thyme to your favorite marinade and soak meat for at least an hour before cooking. The antioxidant-rich spices can cut HCAs by as much as 87%, according to research at Kansas State University.

4. Caffeinate every day
Java lovers who drank 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 40% decreased risk of brain cancer, compared with people who drank the least, in a 2010 British study. A 5-cup-a-day coffee habit reduces risks of oral and throat cancer almost as much. Researchers credit the caffeine: Decaf had no comparable effect. But coffee was a more potent protector against these cancers than tea, which the British researchers said also offered protection against brain cancer.

5. Water down your risk
Drinking plenty of water and other liquids may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and helping to flush them through the bladder faster. Drink at least 8 cups of liquid a day, suggests the American Cancer Society.

6. Load up on green greens
Next time you’re choosing salad fixings, reach for the darkest varieties. The chlorophyll that gives them their color is loaded with magnesium, which some large studies have found lowers the risk of colon cancer in women. “Magnesium affects signaling in cells, and without the right amount, cells may do things like divide and replicate when they shouldn’t,” says Walker. Just 1/2 cup of cooked spinach provides 75 mg of magnesium, 20% of the daily value.

7. Snack on Brazil nuts
They’re a stellar source of selenium, an antioxidant that lowers the risk of bladder cancer in women, according to research from Dartmouth Medical School. Other studies have found that people with high blood levels of selenium have lower rates of dying of lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Researchers think selenium not only protects cells from free radical damage but also may enhance immune function and suppress formation of blood vessels that nourish tumors.

8. Burn off your risk
Moderate exercise such as brisk walking 2 hours a week cuts risk of breast cancer 18%. Regular workouts may lower your risks by helping you burn fat, which otherwise produces its own estrogen, a known contributor to breast cancer.

9. Skip the dry cleaner
A solvent known as perc (short for perchloroethylene) that’s used in traditional dry cleaning may cause liver and kidney cancers and leukemia, according to an EPA finding backed in early 2010 by the National Academies of Science. The main dangers are to workers who handle chemicals or treated clothes using older machines, although experts have not concluded that consumers are also at increased cancer risk. Less toxic alternatives: Hand-wash clothes with mild soap and air-dry them, spot cleaning if necessary with white vinegar.

10. Ask about breast density
Women whose mammograms have revealed breast density readings of 75% or more have a breast cancer risk 4 to 5 times higher than that of women with low density scores, according to recent research. One theory is that denser breasts result from higher levels of estrogen—making exercise particularly important (see #8). “Shrinking your body fat also changes growth factors, signaling proteins such as adipokines and hormones like insulin in ways that tend to turn off cancer-promoting processes in cells,” Walker says.

11. Head off cell phone risks
Use your cell phone only for short calls or texts, or use a hands-free device that keeps the phone—and the radio frequency energy it emits—away from your head. The point is more to preempt any risk than to protect against a proven danger: Evidence that cell phones increase brain cancer risk is “neither consistent nor conclusive,” says the President’s Cancer Panel report. But a number of review studies suggest there’s a link.

12. Block cancer with color
Choosing your outdoor outfit wisely may help protect against skin cancer, say Spanish scientists. In their research, blue and red fabrics offered significantly better protection against the sun’s UV rays than white and yellow ones did. Don’t forget to put on a hat: Though melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, it’s more common in areas the sun hits, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that people with melanomas on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the cancer on other areas of the body.

13. Pick a doc with a past
Experience—lots of it—is critical when it comes to accurately reading mammograms. A study from the University of California, San Francisco, found that doctors with at least 25 years’ experience were more accurate at interpreting images and less likely to give false positives. Ask about your radiologist’s track record. If she is freshly minted or doesn’t check a high volume of mammograms, get a second read from someone with more mileage.

14. Eat clean foods
The President’s Cancer Panel recommends buying meat free of antibiotics and added hormones, which are suspected of causing endocrine problems, including cancer. The report also advises that you purchase produce grown without pesticides and wash conventionally grown food thoroughly to remove residues. (The foods with the most pesticides: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, and blueberries. See the full list of dirtiest fruits and vegetables here.) “At least 40 known carcinogens are found in pesticides and we should absolutely try to reduce exposure,” Sellers says.

15. Do a folic acid check
The B vitamin, essential for women who may become or are pregnant to prevent birth defects, is a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer risk. Consuming too much of the synthetic form (not folate, found in leafy green veggies, orange juice, and other foods) has been linked to increased colon cancer risk, as well as higher lung cancer and prostate cancer risks. Rethink your multivitamin, especially if you eat a lot of cereal and fortified foods. A CDC study discovered that half of supplement users who took supplements with more than 400 mcg of folic acid exceeded 1,000 mcg per day of folic acid. Most supplements pack 400 mcg. Individual supplements (of vitamin D and calcium, for instance) may be a smarter choice for most women who aren’t thinking of having kids.

16. Up your calcium intake
Milk’s main claim to fame may also help protect you from colon cancer. Those who took calcium faithfully for 4 years had a 36% reduction in the development of new precancerous colon polyps 5 years after the study had ended, revealed Dartmouth Medical School researchers. (They tracked 822 people who took either 1,200 mg of calcium every day or a placebo.) Though the study was not on milk itself, you can get the same amount of calcium in three 8-ounce glasses of fat-free milk, along with an 8-ounce serving of yogurt or a 2- to 3-ounce serving of low-fat cheese daily.

17. Commit to whole grains
You know whole wheat is better for you than white bread. Here’s more proof why you should switch once and for all: If you eat a lot of things with a high glycemic load—a measurement of how quickly food raises your blood sugar—you may run a higher risk of colorectal cancer than women who eat low-glycemic-load foods, found a Harvard Medical School study involving 38,000 women. The problem eats are mostly white: white bread, pasta, potatoes, and sugary pastries. The low-glycemic-load stuff comes with fiber.

18. Pay attention to pain
If you’re experiencing a bloated belly, pelvic pain, and an urgent need to urinate, see your doctor. These symptoms may signal ovarian cancer, particularly if they’re severe and frequent. Women and physicians often ignore these symptoms, and that’s the very reason that this disease can be deadly. When caught early, before cancer has spread outside the ovary, the relative 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is a jaw-dropping 90 to 95%.

19. Avoid unnecessary scans
CT scans are a great diagnostic tool, but they deliver much more radiation than x-rays and may be overused, says Barton Kamen, MD, PhD, chief medical officer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In fact, researchers suggest that one-third of CT scans could be unnecessary. High doses of radiation can trigger leukemia, so make sure scans are not repeated if you see multiple doctors, and ask if another test, such as an ultrasound or MRI, could substitute.

20. Drop 10 pounds
Being overweight or obese accounts for 20% of all cancer deaths among women and 14% among men, notes the American Cancer Society. (You’re overweight if your body mass index is between 25 and 29.9; you’re obese if it’s 30 or more.) Plus, losing excess pounds reduces the body’s production of female hormones, which may protect against breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer. Even if you’re not technically overweight, gaining just 10 pounds after the age of 30 increases your risk of developing breast, pancreatic, and cervical, among other cancers.

6 Health Benefits of Drinking Warm Water

Drinking water is essential to a healthy body and lifestyle. Many health and skin experts agree that drinking water is important to keep your body free of toxins, make you fit and give you soft and youthful skin.

In fact, starting the day with a fresh glass of water is a routine that many health-conscious people follow daily without fail.

Well, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is a very good habit, but it is important to know whether it is cold or warm water that you should prefer.

Physicians recommend drinking warm water in the morning, even though it may not suit your taste buds. You can drink it plain or with a little bit of lemon juice for taste.

Drinking warm water is not limited to just the morning, either. Read on to find out how it can be helpful at other times of the day and for alleviating various ailments.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of drinking warm water.

1. Improves Digestion

To improve digestion, start drinking warm water regularly.

Tepid water stimulates the digestive gland to function properly. It helps break down the food in your stomach, so that the digestive system does not have to work as hard and it also uses less energy for the digestion process.

Plus, it helps the body get rid of excess stomach acids as well as neutralizes digestive juices.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reports that hot water swallows can help people with esophageal motility disorder, which causes difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food and a spasm-type pain.

Those suffering with poor digestion should start as well as end their day with a glass of hot water.

2. Relieves Constipation

Regularly drinking warm water on an empty stomach can help regulate your bowel movements and fight constipation.

Constipation occurs due to less water content in the intestines, which causes the stools to turn hard and dry and makes them difficult to pass.

Drinking warm water helps your digestive system maintain regularity. It helps decompose any remnant food and makes bowel movements smooth and less painful. It will also reduce abdominal bloating, pain and discomfort, mostly associated with constipation.

To fight constipation, it is recommended to drink a glassful of hot or warm water every morning on an empty stomach. For added benefits, add honey or lemon juice to warm water before drinking it.

3. Soothes Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common problem characterized by pain and irritation of the throat and is caused by a cold or flu infection. Drinking warm water soothes a sore throat and makes you feel more comfortable.

The warm water helps dissolve the thick mucus and removes it from the respiratory tract.

In addition to drinking warm water, you can also drink other warm liquids like herbal teas. Plus, you can gargle with a glass of warm water mixed with ½ teaspoon of salt to treat a sore throat and throat infection.

4. Treats Nasal Congestion

Drinking warm water is an excellent natural remedy to treat nasal congestion.

Warm water will help cleanse the nasal cavities, bringing instant relief when suffering from congestion.

When you drink warm water, it loosens the mucus buildup in your nasal cavities and respiratory tract. This in turn lowers the chance that viruses or bacteria will grow there.

Also, it supports detoxification, meaning your body will be able to get rid of toxins, which in turn will accelerate the healing process.

5. Sheds Excess Pounds

Those who follow a strict diet and exercise regimen for weight loss can benefit greatly by drinking warm water rather than cold water.

Warm water increases the core body temperature, which in turn increases the metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate will help your body burn more calories.

Hot water even helps break down fat deposits in the body.

For added benefit, drink a glass of warm water with a little lemon juice added to it daily in the morning. It will further help break down the adipose tissue, or body fat. Plus, the pectin fiber in lemon will help control food cravings, which means you will stop munching on fatty and unhealthy foods.

6. Detoxifies Your Body

Drinking warm water can also cleanse your body by flushing out harmful toxins.

When you drink a few cups of warm water, it leads to a rise in body temperature. This makes you sweat to cool down. Sweating helps flush out toxins trapped in your body.

Daily consumption of warm water also detoxifies your skin, thereby lowering your risk of skin-related ailments like acne breakouts and skin blemishes. Drinking water, in general, is also good for the purpose of detoxification and removing impurities from the body.

For better results, add a squeeze of lemon juice to a glass of tepid water before drinking it.

How to Get Clear Skin at Home

Every woman wants picture-perfect, flawless skin. Clear and beautiful skin is one of the main elements of a person’s beauty. Healthy skin helps you feel beautiful as well.

Your skin care regimen and lifestyle habits are the primary predictors of your skin’s health. Some of the leading factors that take a toll on the quality and texture of your skin are stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, pollution, damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, excessive smoking and drinking alcohol.

There are thousands of skin and beauty care products that promise to give you clear and glowing skin. Instead of relying on these products, you can try some simple and easy home remedies to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Here are the top 10 ways to get clear skin at home.

1. Lemon

Lemon is one of the best ingredients that you can use to promote clear skin. The citric acid present in lemon helps keep the skin clear by removing dead cells, and its vitamin C content helps reduce dark spots by increasing the cell renewal process. Lemon also has bleaching properties that will help improve your overall skin complexion.

  • Apply fresh-squeezed lemon juice to your entire face and neck. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. After this, rub cucumber slices on your skin to soften and moisturize it. Do this daily or every other day.
  • Another option is squeeze the juice of one-half lemon and mix one to two tablespoons of raw honey in it. Apply it on your face, leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse it off.
  • To exfoliate your skin, mix two teaspoons each of lemon juice and sugar. Apply the mixture on your face, neck and hands. Scrub in a circular motion and leave it on for 10 minutes. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy glowing skin.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic and skin-lightening agent that helps minimize scars and other marks. Plus, turmeric can alleviate allergic, inflammatory and infectious skin disorders that make your skin look dull and lifeless.

  • Mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder with enough pineapple juice to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and neck. Leave it on until the paste dries completely. Then wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy two or three times a week to reduce the appearance of spots on skin.
  • Make a paste by mixing equal amounts of turmeric powder and gram flour with a little water or milk. Apply it evenly on your skin and leave it on until it dries. Wash it off with lukewarm water, scrubbing your skin gently in a circular motion. Follow this remedy once a week to lighten your skin tone and remove scars.

3. Honey

To enjoy clear skin, your need to keep your skin well moisturized. Honey is a great moisturizer and also has antibacterial properties that help ward off infection.

  • Apply raw honey directly on your skin. Let it dry naturally and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. The water content in honey will deeply moisturize the skin, making it soft and supple. Do this simple remedy once daily or every other day.
  • Alternatively, mix two teaspoons of milk and one teaspoon of honey. Then add one teaspoon of gram flour and mix it in well. Apply it all over your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Use this face mask once a week to enjoy radiant and clear skin.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has many benefits for the skin. It has antibacterial properties that help kill bacteria that cause acne, anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe irritated skin, and astringent properties that help heal scars. Plus, aloe vera moisturizes the skin and stimulates new skin cell growth.

  1. Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf.
  2. Apply the gel on your face using a cotton ball.
  3. Allow it to dry on its own for about half an hour, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
  4. Follow this remedy daily or several times per week.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda balances pH levels of the skin, which is very important to maintain clear skin. Plus, its mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help deal with problems like acne, pimples and spots. It also works as an excellent exfoliating agent to keep the skin free from dirt, impurities and dead skin cells.

  • Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of water or lemon juice to make a paste. Cleanse your face and use the paste to gently exfoliate the skin. Finally rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat it dry with a towel. Follow this remedy two or three times a week.
  • Alternatively, mix one teaspoon each of baking soda and raw honey. Apply this mixture onto damp skin and massage gently for just one minute. Then wash with lukewarm water. Finally, splash some cold water on your face to close the pores. Follow this remedy once a week.

6. Cucumber

Cucumbers contain hydrating, nourishing and astringent properties that are very good for skin. They can improve the overall appearance of your skin by repairing damaged skin cells, removing dead skin cells and adding a fresh glow.

  • Cut a fresh cucumber into thick slices, and rub them thoroughly all over your face. Leave it on overnight and rinse with warm water in the morning. Do this daily before going to bed.
  • Alternatively, make a mixture with equal amounts of cucumber juice and lemon juice. Apply this mixture to your skin, allow it to dry completely, and then wash it off with warm water. Do this daily.

8 benefits of swimming for health

1. It’s a Great Aerobic Exercise

Not only is swimming fun, but it’s also a great aerobic exercise. And now that the weather is warm, it’s the perfect time to start swimming laps. While you might not be the next Michael Phelps, any person at any age can start swimming to increase their overall health. “Swimming is a good, whole-body exercise that has low impact for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, or weight limitations,” Robert A. Robergs, director of the exercise physiology laboratories at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque says, “because it is low impact and can be done by people of any weight, age or physical ability.”

2. Anti-Aging

It might not help with wrinkles or laugh lines, but swimming has been shown to cut the risk of dying by nearly 50 percent. According to a study done by Dr. Steven Blair at the University of South Carolina, “Swimmers have the lowest death rate.” The study was over the course of 32 years. The research team followed 40,000 men, ranging from 20 to 90 years old and discovered that those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers, or men who got no exercise.

3. Flexibility

Water is one the best mediums in which to increase flexibility. Some rheumatologists recommend swimming to not only increase a person’s range of motion but also help to increase physical activity without causing stress on the body’s joints.

4. Improved Asthma Symptoms

Swimming, like many other aerobic exercises, increases your lung capacity; it forces your body to work overtime. Since water is denser than air, your lungs need to work that much harder to supply enough oxygen to your blood, giving your lungs a good workout and thus decreasing asthma symptoms. According to a study done at The Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre at McMaster University, “Swimming as a training modality has definite benefits for the patient with asthma. These include an increase in aerobic fitness and a decrease in asthma morbidity.”

5. Lowers Diabetes Risk

By exercising regularly, you’re decreasing your blood glucose levels. According to the University at Maryland, “Aerobic exercise and resistance training, alone or in combination, improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

6. It Improves Mental Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water-based exercise improves mental health. Swimming can improve mood in both men and women. For people with fibromyalgia, it can decrease anxiety, and exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood. Water-based exercise can improve the health of mothers and their unborn children. People with type 2 diabetes also have an increased risk for heart disease. Therefore, maintaining their heart health and weight is an important factor for diabetes maintenance. In a study done by Leiden University Medical Center at the Departments of Endocrinology and Metabolism, a six-month exercise plan with patients who have type 2 diabetes was shown to decrease cardiovascular risk factors.

7. It Helps You Lose Weight

Swimming for at least an hour can burn upwards of 500 calories. It works every body part and muscle without causing strain on your body. “You can swim almost every day without risking injury,” says Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, who has studied the effects of swimming for years. “You can’t say the same for running or strength training.”

8. It’s Good for Pregnant Women

Exercising while pregnant is not only good for the expectant mother, but also good for the unborn baby. “Water exercises involve no impact, overheating is unlikely, and swimming face down promotes optimum blood flow to the uterus,” says a study from The University at Maryland.