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Yoga Poses for Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and is responsible for producing hormones that affect metabolism, energy levels, body temperature and temperament. When the thyroid gland is out of balance either by producing too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism), we can gain or lose excessive weight, feel abnormally hot or cold, or act unusually listless or agitated for no other apparent reasons.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, thyroid disease has several causes, including, but not limited to, Hashimoto’s disease (an auto-immune disorder), inflammation of the thyroid gland, a defect present at birth, radiation treatment, partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland and the effects of taking certain medications.

Maintaining a healthy thyroid gland is important for overall health and wellness. Of course, while it is crucial to see your doctor if you suspect thyroid trouble, there are a few preventative measures you can do to take care.


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The Health Benefits of Yoga

It is hard to believe something so delightful and enjoyable has so many good benefits. Stretching, breathing and bending feels great, plus it alleviates many health issues naturally, without the use of modern medicine.

Yoga has been practiced as far back as 5,000 years for the purpose of attaining enlightenment. Today yoga is a widely popular way to reduce stress, increase flexibility and build strength, yet the cosmic element still exists. For some reason, when we practice yoga, we feel happy and content. It doesn’t need an explanation, just the mere enjoyment of rolling out the mat is enough to want to stick with it.

The following is a list of some of the greatest benefits a regular yoga practice provides, for all levels of abilities.

Flexibility

We do not have to be flexible to do yoga; we gain flexibility by doing yoga. With a consistent practice, those tight hamstrings lose their grip on our hips and, as a result, free up tension in our lower backs. A healthy lower back is an asset when we get older and yoga supports this.


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The Ultimate Guide to Great Glutes

A great butt can stop traffic and even score you a few free drinks at the bar, but a person’s butt is also the window to their fitness. Chances are, if your glutes are in great shape, so is the rest of you. In addition to having a well rounded fitness routine, a tight and firm butt is also a great indicator that someone has a healthy and clean diet.

Most people think that the shape of their butt is the shape of their butt and there is nothing they can do about it. Some people are born without that crease under their tush, some are destined to always have it, some have cellulite, and some are smooth as a baby, right? Wrong.

Men tend to gain weight around their middles, and women tend to gain weight around their butt and hips. It’s just science. No one, however, is born with a high tight, bullet bouncing tush- it takes work. Therefore, you should work your glutes like they are a badge of honor.

Whether you want to get rid of your cellulite, wear boy short undies with confidence or add a little shape to your flat-as-a-pancake tush, we’ve got your plan to whip your butt into shape.


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The 411 on Extreme Calorie-Restricted and Fasting Diets

If there’s one sure-fire way to lose weight, it’s cutting calories, eating healthy foods and working out. But what happens when you don’t just cut calories by a little bit, but instead periodically don’t eat or dramatically cut calories by 500 or more? While most health professionals and nutritionists wouldn’t tell the everyday average person to dip below getting 1,200 calories a day, there is a small group of people who follow low-calorie diets because they believe it keeps them healthy and prolongs their lives.

While severe calorie restriction (CR) has been shown to increase lifespan in animals, there hasn’t been much research on the practice in humans until now. Although much more research is needed on the quality of life while restricting calories, according to recent research from Washington University, people who drastic cut calories have lower core body temperatures than those who eat more. Having a lower core body temperature better allows your body to operate at maximum efficiency, according to a story on U.S. News and World Report. So what does this research mean to you, and should you try calorie restriction? The pros and cons are below!


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The Best of “Ask Mary” Valentine’s Day Edition

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Calorie Count members want to know, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Here are a few of our readers’ favorite “Ask Mary” questions about the differences in dieting and weight between the sexes.

Ask Mary: Why do men lose weight more easily than women?

Compared to women, men just have higher calorie requirements. It’s easier for them to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. Men have high testosterone levels and testosterone makes them build muscle. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns calories. If you compare a man to a woman of the same height, weight, age, and activity level, the man will need 15 percent more calories than the woman. Coupled with a man’s tendency to be taller and bigger, it’s easy to see why men need more calories. And so when men eat less, there is a huge gap between the amount they need and they eat, which promotes quick weight loss. Women, on the other hand, have a completely different fat-to-muscle ratio with more fat to support the demands of pregnancy and lactation. Their day-to-day calorie requirements are lower and so their calorie deficit is less.


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