15 Health and Wellness Use Cases for Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has moved from science fiction to marketable consumer product astonishingly quickly, partly because the incorporation of the smartphone into the technology makes it accessible, if not ubiquitous.

But what about in healthcare? Could a technology primarily associated with gaming turn out to be a serious therapeutic tool? In May, Kalorama reported that the virtual and augmented reality market in health care grew from $525 million in 2012 to an estimated $976 million in 2017.

Virtual reality is showing promise in treating pain, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, smoking cessation, and even at the dentist’s office. We’ve rounded up 15 VR use cases, read on for the whole list.

Read the full article at Mobile Health News

Successful Weight Loss Dieting? Check Blood Sugar and Insulin First!

Success on a weight-loss diet can be predicted by measuring a person’s blood sugar and fasting insulin levels, according to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego.

The international study examined data from six studies of different diets designed to improve nutrition. It found that those biomarkers consistently predicted losing weight and keeping it off.

A fiber-rich diet without calorie restrictions is successful for many with prediabetes, the study found. Carbohydrate and fat intake should be adjusted according to fasting insulin levels.

“Remarkably, for many patients, use of these biomarkers can lead to a six- to seven-fold greater weight loss,” said study leader Arne Astrup. He is head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The study also included researchers from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN) and Gelesis, Inc.

And for the diets to really stick, they can’t be temporary, but part of a changed lifestyle that people can embrace without feeling deprived.

The San Diego Union Tribe

4 Reasons you’re NOT Losing Weight on a Vegan diet

Interestingly this is not merely a notion; an Oxford University study of 40,000 adults found that those who ate a diet high in meat, had the highest Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) with vegans the lowest and vegetarians in the middle.

However, in reality, my clinical practice experience does not coincide with these research findings and in fact, those who have cut out all foods originating from animal products did not lose weight and worse still often gained weight!

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that might be sabotaging your good intentions and weight loss efforts.

1. You’re not eating enough protein
Protein is the one food group that is should be the focus of a new vegan diet with getting adequate protein the main aim. Adequate protein is also an essential as part of a weight loss program.

2. You’re eating too much
Switching to a plant-based diet inevitably focuses your choices on healthy whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, and whole grain bread as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and the ubiquitous avocado.

3. You’re not sticking to three meals a day
By switching to a vegan diet, you find yourself focusing on your food choices more than ever; after all, you need to ensure a well-balanced diet despite eliminating a number of food groups.

4. You’re treating yourself inadvertently
Great, but more often than not, these are little more than junk food disguised under the healthy vegan banner. Take vegetable chips for example; these are very high in oil and salt and any nutrients that vegetables started out with have long been eliminated during the cooking and processing trail.

Coconut milk, delicious, creamy and sweet is laden with calories and highly processed, so less nutritive. Vegan ready meals will contain ‘filler’ ingredients such as refined flour providing little nutrient value.

Avoid processed foods in the specialty aisles and instead go back to real food, in other words, if you need a snack, choose fruits and nuts or high percent cocoa solids chocolate or perhaps some crudites and a hummus or avocado dip.

Daily Mail

Why can’t I lose weight? Here’s Why!

Losing weight isn’t easy and dieters often fail multiple times before getting it right.

The reasons are multifaceted. Many assume that exercise will solve the weight-loss dilemma — it won’t — or that fat will make you fat. Wrong again.

Here are five reasons your diet may be doomed:

1. Counting calories, but not eating real food
Calories from refined carbohydrates and sugar cause you to eat more, without feeling satisfied. Calories from healthy fats, fiber rich sources, and protein, however are metabolized differently and more likely to lead to effective weight loss.

2. Starting the day with carbohydrates
Cereal, toast with jam, or a big glass of OJ are breakfast staples, but studies show that starting the day with protein, instead of sugary carbohydrates leads to reduced hunger and cravings later in the day.

3. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is glorious, and the benefits of getting enough of it are numerous. Studies show clear associations between a lack of sleep with overeating, weight gain, and obesity. If you’re struggling with your weight loss efforts, getting at least 8 hours a sleep a night may make all the difference.

4. Eating when not hungry
We often eat because we are bored, stressed, tired, thirsty, or simply because our favorite show is on. Instead, we should view food as fuel, not entertainment.

5.Hanging with the wrong crowd
One study found that individuals that had successfully lost weight were frequently met with challenges with friends, family and co-workers who undermined weight-loss efforts. In response, they would regain the weight.

A recent study found that Americans might be less likely to attempt weight loss due to simply giving up after many attempts or increasing “fat acceptance” in the United States. A recent study found that people had a hard time sticking to a diet when eating out or simply eating with friends.

Today

3 Health and Wellness Trends You Need to Watch in 2017

For 2017, there are three emerging trends to keep at the top of your watch list. These trends are likely to create a more successful wellness program that you and your employees will be excited to participate in.

Emerging Trend #1 – Wearables
Wearable fitness tracking devices have made huge strides in recent years. Gone are the clunky versions of the past that featured a limited level of functionality. Today’s fitness trackers feature a sleek design that easily aligns with the user’s daily wardrobe. More closely resembling a watch or a bracelet than a health monitor, the stylish appearance of these modern trackers has contributed to their increase in popularity.

Emerging Trend #2 – Social Challenges and Gamification
Thanks to the improvements in wearables, social challenges are also growing in popularity. While companies have been aware of the benefits of healthy competition in the workplace for years, particularly when it comes to encouraging active participation in wellness programs, companies have been hesitant to include social challenges due to the burden of managing such challenges.

Emerging Trend #3 – Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics takes the descriptive statistics of the past, such as the mean, median and mode, and add a new layer by comparing and analyzing claims, biometric, and health risk assessment data. This in-depth reporting allows companies to better identify health risks and tailor their wellness program to decrease the occurrence of costly risk factors; ultimately resulting in companies decreasing healthcare expenses. By using advanced analytics, companies can also better measure the success of their wellness program and make adjustments to best suit the overall health of the company.

Keep an eye on these three emerging trends in the wellness industry and try to incorporate them into your wellness program to ensure that you see the best results.

Corporate Wellness Magazine

What other Options When Diet and Exercise Fail?

Treating obesity can often be difficult. If you’re affected by obesity, you know first-hand that addressing your weight and improving your health is not always an easy task to accomplish. The scope of weight-loss options are wide and can often be confusing and intimidating.

More than 93 million Americans are affected by the disease of obesity. Obesity carries with it various other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and more. Combined with obesity, these conditions may greatly impact an individual’s quality of health and life.

What are some weight loss options:

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are major, life-changing procedures. While weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea — it can also pose major risks and complications. You may need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for weight-loss surgery. You likely will have an extensive screening process to see if you qualify.

When is surgery an option:

In general, gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgery could be an option for you if:

· Efforts to lose weight with diet and exercise have been unsuccessful

· Your body mass index (BMI) is 40 or higher (extreme obesity)

· Your BMI is 35 to 39.9 (obesity) and you have a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.

In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

Two-thirds of residents in South Texas are Hispanic and health problems are typically linked to lifestyle choices. More than 50% of South Texans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise, defined as 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and 76% do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. These rates are similar to the rest of the state and nation.

Kris TV

Are you an Endomorph Body Type? Here’s your best Diet!

How does the Endomorph Diet work?
One’s body type doesn’t just help determine how easily one loses or gains weight, but it can also pretty much affect how and what type of foods fuels one’s body best and help shed weight. Case in point, an ectomorph can eat just about anything without gaining a kilo, while an endomorph is carb-sensitive. Regrettably, unlike other body types, the latter also finds it difficult to make up for poor dietary habits with exercise. She needs to get her diet right to lose weight, feel energetic, and for good health.

Why do endomorphs have to watch their calories
A study by the American Medical Association indicates that compared to other body types, one of the reasons an endomorph struggles with her weight more is because she is very sensitive to even the slightest over-consumption of food. Translated, it means that those extra calories are more likely to be stored as fat compared to an ectomorph, ensuing in a greater tendency for fat storage. The macronutrient ratio (the ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat) is elemental in losing weight and getting fit.

What is the best diet for an endomorph?
Endomorphs work best on a Paleo-like diet; an average macronutrient ratio that works for endomorphs is to include 40 percent carbs, 35 percent protein, and 30 percent fat in their diet. Cut out all unhealthy sources of carbs, such as sugars, white pasta, and white rice. Instead, choose leafy greens, over potatoes and corn. Also, include high-fibre whole grains such as brown and wild rice; prefer lean protein like fish, chicken, and tofu and favor healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and walnuts.

Pros of an Endomorph Diet
• Moderate carbs with higher protein help prevent the muscle loss that occurs when lowering calories to lose weight.
• Provides enough carbohydrates to fuel metabolic needs, while keeping blood sugar controlled and minimizing risk of diabetes.
• Help make a lifestyle choice as it isn’t restrictive, doesn’t exclude entire food groups and is easy to commit to…

Cons of an Endomorph Diet
• Cannot eat everything; have to watch their calorie intake.
• Tough to lose weight.
• Exercising is hard work because energy levels are naturally low.

FEMINA

Say Hello to New You this 2017!

Pursuing activities that nourish our minds and bodies will definitely be continuing in 2017. While some shifts are building on older trends, such as Athleisure aesthetic, others like medicinal mushroom supplements are entirely new. The heart of these trends, whether old or new, is all about reducing stress and cutting through anxieties to better concentrate on our overall health.

1. Wellness Retreats. Why go on vacation only to undo all your healthy hard work with a few too many margaritas? This is the theory behind the explosion of yoga, meditation, and wellness retreats popping up in all the most beautiful places around the world. Because people are eating cleaner, exercising more and catering to the health of their mind and body; they are also looking to extend their new healthy lifestyle into their vacations and leisure time.

2. Athleisure Moves into the Office. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “Athleisure refers to casual clothing — like yoga pants, sweat pants, and hoodies — that are designed to be worn both for exercising and for doing (almost) everything else.” Now, the flood of athleisure companies on the market are pushing stretchy, washable, and wrinkle proof fabrics formerly restricted to the gym into the office.

3 Fringe Wellness becomes Mainstream. In the past decade, wellness has been taking a strong turn towards reducing stress and focusing on more holistic approaches that weave a variety of methods together. The shift towards more alternative therapies such as crystal ceremonies and sound bath meditation sessions are just some of the ways people will be trying to address increasing levels of stress and anxiety in our busy world.

4 Sobriety Goes Mainstream. This year is going to be all about sobriety to better focus on overall wellness. Since cutting sugars and carbs from our diet is commonplace these days, why not take it a step further and cut out booze? In New York and Los Angeles, there are already more events, dinners, and parties, which are alcohol free and this will surely spread.

5 Medicinal Mushrooms. No, this doesn’t mean magical mushrooms; 2017 is going to be talking about medicinal mushrooms. Long cherished in traditional Chinese medicines, medicinal mushrooms are gaining popularity. Chaga, reishi, Turkey tail and lion’s mane are becoming popular additives and supplements. Why are mushrooms suddenly gaining popularity? Partially this is because new research is finding out just how powerful they can be. There are incredible studies coming out showing results from fighting cancer, balancing blood sugar and reducing inflammation.

6 Kava Kava. As people move away from alcohol in 2017, a new social lubricator is taking its place. Kava root originates in the South Pacific and is still an important social ritual in many traditional cultures. The root powder is made into a beverage, and promotes mild feelings of euphoria, relaxation and happiness.

Because Kava’s effects are mild, and the hangover non-existent, it fits with the other trends in 2017 of move more towards an overall healthier lifestyle. It also is a good social lubricator and stress reliever, another plus when we consider the new trends moving towards less alcohol and more sobriety.

Business Mirror

2017 Health Trend: One order of Golden Milk Please!

One thing that plays a major part in any health related issue is the food habits and vitamin consumption which is required to keep your body well-functional. Golden milk is one such drink that the people have introduced as a trend to obtain maximum fitness and health due to its large array of health benefits after regular intake.

Golden milk is not artificial milk that is manufactured in factories. It is regular milk mixed with turmeric and infused with spices such as pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. The drink acts a natural sugar-free antioxidant drink which purifies the body and gets rid of all the unhealthy particles. This drink works well for the people who prefer organic products as well as the people who want to save the money and make their own things rather than buying factory manufactured ready to consume products.

According to News18, it is an ayurvedic inspired medicinal drink which ideally promotes good digestion and also detoxifies the body. It has been an old remedy in Indian medicine and can be made by first forming a paste of the pure turmeric and pepper.

The drink is an efficient substitute for protein and health drinks while also providing a festive taste due to the cinnamon and spices addition.

ASZ News

2017: Wellness, Health and Happiness

After New Year’s, our attention turns towards our goals. It may be a cliché, but it’s also all too real. Here are tips from top wellness experts on how to successfully achieve health, healing, and happiness in 2017.

With indulgence over the holidays, it’s natural to let yourself to chill a bit more, but that can lead to self-sabotage. Holiday indulgences tend to make way for more of the same until one is totally off their path and barely being able to wake up without extra double shots of the espresso. In fact, people knowing that the “New Year” is around the corner often makes them want to grab that extra slice and or eat more pie. Eventually, too much time in the party scene, just like a crazy house where you can barely think in, leads to the need to create some clarity, freshen up and give yourself a new start.

Be ready to go through a break up…with your old patterns.
Every step we take to move forward is essential. With the welcome of ‘the new’ comes the ability to let go of the many threads of the past woven into the fabric of who we are. As we create space in our lives for the present by freeing ourselves from “it’s just what I’ve always done,” our life goals become more than a piece of paper with unattainable words. We start replacing the spaces of what could be by filling them with the dreams that can become reality.

Huffington Post