Treating Gambling Addictions – An Introduction

Gambling is a form of entertainment for many people, but in some cases gambling can become an addiction leading to financial problems, relationship stress, and even attempted suicide. It is estimated that 6 percent of north america’s population will have a gambling problem sometime in there life. Gambling addiction is a serious problem. Pathological addictions to gambling are more common in men than women or specific ethnic groups. Gambling can create a rush when you lose and win, and sometimes the user is unable to control their impulses to gamble. This is when it becomes a problem. There are different degrees of gambling addiction. All of which are treated differently, depending on the specific needs of the addict.Signs of gambling addictions include, but are not limited to: Constantly thinking/talking about and, or, preparing for gambling sessions, gambling during work or when you are expected at home, getting into debt from gambling and lying to borrow money. Using illegal means to finance gambling and neglecting family or other personal responsibilities. Feeling a need to gamble to relieve stress and or ‘escape reality’. Of course, there are also many more signs that could point towards a problem gamble, though gambling addiction is usually blatently obvious.Treatment programs can range, and are specifically designed according to the addicts needs. Usually the most successful therapies combine both professional counselling and user support groups. Medication can be used to combat mood swings, depression and anxiety that addict’ may experience during withdrawl. Pyscho and cognitive behaviour therapy is also used, to replace the negative effects of gambling with positive ones, in turn promoting a healthy and positive attitude towards gambling. Group therapy is also good place for user support and feed back.

Health and Fitness Are Not The Same

Few would argue the fact that regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, including hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and osteoporosis in addition to improving one’s quality of life. According to the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, to reduce the risk of chronic disease, it is recommended that adults accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. At this point you are likely wondering how you could possibly perform 60 minutes of physical activity consecutively, let alone find a free hour in your busy day. Before these thoughts cause you to stop reading this article, let me emphasize the magnificence of CSEP’s recommendation and what researchers have discovered about exercise. The key to health and chronic disease prevention is the accumulation of daily physical activity. Further notice that the specifics of the type of physical activity are also missing. Sure, some activities are indeed better than others, but the term ‘better’ is specific to one’s goals. For cardiovascular health, activities that use large muscle mass and rhythmic motions such as walking, biking and swimming are great, but this doesn’t mean other forms of physical activity aren’t effective. In fact, any activity that gets you moving will do just fine. I have intentionally been avoiding the use of the term exercise. Exercise is typically associated with pain, sweat, and in some cases misery! By using the term physical activity we encompass things such as gardening, washing the car, dancing, playing with children and even housework. To understand why these activities, even in small amounts are great for our health we must first understand that multiple short bouts of physical activity provide all the health benefits of a single long bout of physical activity.How can this be? If we separate the terms health and fitness this will make more sense. Health is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘a total physical and psychological sense of wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease’. Fitness on the other hand is tied closely to physical performance and sport such as the ability to run quickly or for long periods of time. A regular walker or hiker can therefore be every bit as healthy as a marathon runner despite lacking the fitness attributes that allow the runner to complete a race in a limited amount of time. A more concrete example of this would be comparing blood pressure and blood cholesterol between runners and walkers. Assuming that other lifestyle, diet and genetics are similar, the results of these tests would be similar and doctors would give each a clean bill of health with respect to these measures.How does one train for health or fitness? Different intensities and types of exercise confer different benefits. Vigorous physical activity (running and sprinting) provides greater benefits for physical fitness than does moderate physical activity (walking) and burns more calories per unit of time. Resistance exercise (such as weight training, using weight machines, and resistance band workouts) increases muscular strength and endurance and maintains or increases muscle mass. These benefits are seen in adolescents, adults, and older adults who perform resistance exercises on 2 or more days per week. Also, weight-bearing exercise has the potential to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by increasing peak bone mass during growth, maintaining peak bone mass during adulthood, and reducing the rate of bone loss during aging. In addition, regular exercise can help prevent falls, which is of particular importance for older adults.It is important to recognize that the intensity of exercise is relative to the individual and not the activity. Thus brisk walking for an inactive individual with excess weight may be the same relative intensity as jogging for an avid runner. Thus a heavier individual should expect to experience elevated breathing and heart rate at lower intensities than a lighter or more fit individual.The barrier often given for a failure to be physically active is lack of time. Setting aside 60 consecutive minutes each day for planned exercise is one way to obtain physical activity, but it is not the only way. Physical activity may include short bouts (10-minute bouts) of moderate-intensity activity. The accumulated total is what is important-both for health and for weight management. Physical activity can be accumulated through three to six 5-10 minute bouts over the course of a day. Consider incorporating both longer bouts and shorter accumulated bouts of activity into your day to increase your odds of achieving 60 minutes physical activity daily.Pedometers are great for measuring the accumulation of physical activity. It does not matter if physical activity comes from house hold chores, a walk, a hike or a run. Further, a pedometer provides motivation, reminds us to spend less time sitting and rewards us for all activity. Remember, what matters is accumulation of physical activity and every step counts. Changing our minds about what counts as exercise can be motivating, rewarding and when you realize that all activity counts, you might just have the best kept yard and cleanest house on the block!

12 Effective Health and Fitness Tips

Here are some really quick and handy health and fitness tips that are easy to follow and introduce into your health and fitness regime. You’ll get great results by following these tips. For your convenience I have divided these tips into Nutrition and Exercise. It is important that you realize that your health and fitness goals will require you to find the right balance of healthy eating and active exercise.Nutrition:
When deciding what to eat ask yourself ‘can I grow this or can I catch this’. If the answer is yes then you’ll know that it is a whole food that is healthy and nutritious for you.
Keep all your coffee drinking to pre-noon. This will give you the benefits of caffeine while ensuring that you still get a good sleep. Sleep is a huge part of allowing your body to repair and get rid of body fat.
Green tea is a great replacement for coffee as it helps to keep you alert while putting a lot of anti-oxidants into your body.
Rather than microwaving food to reheat try steaming it. Steamers are a cheap appliance and steaming keeps more nutrients in your food.
Never allow yourself to become thirsty. Mild dehydration stresses the body and is counter productive to your health and fitness goals.
Exercise:
Become an exercise anywhere, anytime kind of person. Bust out 10 push ups anywhere you like. 10 Squats. You’ll soon find that by adding random exercises to your routine your body will get fitter and stronger faster. Your friends might think it’s a little strange that you do exercises here and there but eventually you’ll inspire them to do the same.
Keep your body guessing with a variety of exercises and levels of intensity. Don’t always do hard and fast training and don’t always go for low intensity workouts. Variety keeps your body guessing and gets great results.
Join a club or training group as it is proven that people who train in a group are far more likely to stay consistent with their training over an extended period of time.
Don’t neglect flexibility as part of your training program. Try to stretch for at least 20 minutes a day.
Invest in a foam roller and take the time to learn about self myofascial release. Foam rolling is a great way to prevent injury and to keep your body supple and flexible.
When doing cardiovascular training such as runs/walks work for time. Try and go a little further in the same amount of time. This will help you to increase the effort you are giving on your workouts.
Always listen to your body as far as your training goes. If you are feeling some aches and pains learn to tell whether it is a good pain or a bad pain. A good pain can be related to muscles that are a little sore from your previous workout whereas bad pain is normally sharp and more than gentle walking type pain.
If you can start to incorporate some of the tips above you’ll be well on your way to developing good health and fitness habits. It is impossible to be genuinely healthy without taking care of both aspects of fitness. A healthy lifestyle is something that forms over time as you educate yourself about what to put into your body and how to move your body effectively.