Essentials for a baby Hospital Bag

Photo by Essie

Photo by Essie

If your significant other is expecting a baby, you can help take the stress off of going to the hospital and the impending labor by packing the hospital bag for the baby. This might seem like a challenge, especially if it’s the first baby. However, with a few tips, you can make sure the new baby has everything it needs while in the hospital and for the trip home. There are also things that you can pack in the bag for the mother so that she will be as comfortable as possible. Try to pack the bag when the mother is about six months through the pregnancy.

The Essentials
These are items that might make you feel a little odd when packing them, but they will come in handy for the mother while she is in the hospital. If the mother is nursing, then she will need a nursing bra, nursing pillow and nursing pads. The hospital can provide a binder if the mother does not plan on nursing. Make sure you have a camera and plenty of batteries to take snapshots of the mom while she is willing to let you take her picture and of the baby. You also want to pack the baby book so that the footprints can be added as well as the information about the birth. Keep a contact list in the bag so that you don’t forget who to call when you get to the hospital. Socks with a non-slip sole are good for the mom to wear so that she can walk during labor or to keep the feet warm during delivery. Don’t forget toiletries for yourself and the mother. These include shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, glasses or contacts and toothpaste. Most hospitals have small samples of lotion and soap, but you can take your own items to feel more like you are at home. You also need to pack clothes to go home in for the mom and the baby.

Comfort Items
Whether the mother plans on a natural delivery or one with an epidural, pack a few snacks and drinks so that neither of you get hungry. Labor could take a few hours, and it is important for the mom to sustain her energy. Pack a few books or magazines for the downtime. A spray bottle can be used to cool off the mother during the delivery. Lotion and oils can be used after delivery, and you can also pack a cosmetic bag so that the mom do her makeup and feel a little more like herself after she has had time to rest.

Some of the items that won’t fit in a bag that need to be taken to the hospital include the car seat and video camera. You can also pack scratch mittens so the baby doesn’t scratch its face. An outfit to go home can be placed in the bag, and you should also have a few blankets, especially if the weather is cold.

Easy Ways to Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

There are a few different ways that the risk of prostate cancer can be reduced, but before you get into in-depth details, you need to know what prostate cancer is. This form of cancer only affects men. A gland that is located in the male’s reproductive system, known as the prostate is where cancer can start to grow. This is a critical condition because there has not been any proven strategies to prevent prostate cancer, but there are different things that you can do to reduce the risks of falling victim to this condition.

Eating Healthy
Eating healthy is the beginning of reducing the risk of many diseases and conditions. A diet that is low in fat is most beneficial in this situation. Many of the foods that you consume on a daily basis contain a high amount of fat, which puts you at a high risk for getting prostate cancer. Such foods include a couple of dairy products, such as milk and cheese. High trace amounts of fat can be found in other foods, such as nuts, meats, and oils. This does not mean that you have to remove all of these foods from your diet, but healthier choices should be made. Along with reducing the risk of prostate cancer, lowering your daily fat intake can help you control your weight and promote healthy heart function.

Your consumption of fatty foods needs to be kept to a minimum. Amounts of fat can be reduced from a meal by the choice of meat you select and cooking methods. Consuming meat is fine, but choose cuts of meat that are lean. When you are preparing and cooking your food, try to find as many alternative methods to your normal cooking routine as possible.

Consume Fat from Plants
All fats do not have a negative effect on your body, such as fat from plants. Many animal products that contain fats include a few different things, such as lard, meat, and butter. If you cook with butter, a great alternative is olive oil.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables work wonders for the human body. There is not any evidence that links fruits and vegetables to reducing the risk of prostate cancer, but these foods provide the body with nutrients and vitamins that are said to reduce the risk of this cancer. In general, the consumption of fruits and vegetables provide your body with many different elements that it requires to maintain daily function.

More about a Healthy Lifestyle
Aside from maintaining a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle must be in order. If you consume any alcoholic beverages, you should consider keeping this consumption limited or quitting altogether. Having an alcoholic beverage every now and then is much better than consuming five or six drinks on a daily basis. Overall, your consumption of alcoholic beverages should be decreased to the point you are able to quit drinking for good.

Weight Matters
Maintaining a healthy weight is another great way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. If you have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or higher, this will put you in the obese category. Men who are obese are at greater risk for having prostate cancer.

Exercising
You do not have to exercise every day of the week, but a few days a week should help you maintain your weight and reduce the risk of getting this form of cancer. Men who exercise are overall healthy and the risk of heart disease, along with prostate cancer, and other diseases can be greatly reduced.

Prostate cancer is a serious condition that affects more men than many people realize. Here are a few simple ways that a man can reduce their risk of prostate cancer.

8 Ways to Save Your Heart

heart healthAs dads, we have a lot to live for. We have a family that’s depending on us. And we have a lot to look forward to. We want to be there for graduations and plays and first dates and driving lessons and marriage and seeing the bright smiles of our grandchildren. We want to think about on all the great moments we wouldn’t swap for any amount of money in the world.

We love being dads. We want to be dads for as long as our health lets us. As long as we can draw breathe. This is of course going to require taking care of ourselves. There isn’t much we can do about the unexpected. We’d love to show you how to dodge a bullet. We can tell you how to avoid getting hit by a bus. (Look before you cross, man.) But you can increase the chances you’ll live a long, healthy life if you take care of yourself, starting with the heart.

Here are eight ways to keep your heart safe, promoting the possibility of being there when your grandchildren walk down the aisle.

Sex, Sex and More Sex
Now the little woman has to be more accommodating. Studies released by the Journal of Cardiology show men that have sex at least three times a week are 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease than men having it once a month or less.

Dirty Air is Bad for You (Big Surprise!)
The minute particles in pollution thicken the carotid artery wall. Inhale enough of it and open up the chance of heart attacks. Now it would be ridiculous to tell you don’t go outside (though you’d probably like that). We can tell you to save runs and other activities for the afternoon when particle levels are at their lowest.

Beans: Not Just For Gas Anymore
Dads who consume a daily cup of fiber rich beans, lentils or chickpeas reduce the blood pressure’s systolic system by 4 mm Hg after 12 weeks. Put beans in your salad and soups. If you’re a fan of curry, throw some lentils into it. As long as you pass on the rice, chili lovers can go for another cup.

Handy Blood Pressure Exercise 
Handgrips generate what’s called shear stress, a measure of friction force from fluid acting on a body in that fluid’s path. Research shows that four weeks of four two handgrips with each hand can lower one’s blood pressure by 10 percent.

This Yolks for You
Contrary to previous reports, a recent Brazilian study reveals a link between productive coronary arteries and eggs. According to this study, eggs aren’t raising bad cholesterol levels, instead its E and B12 vitamins may be helping to clean out the system.

Monitor the BPM
It’s a good idea to check your pulse every morning. For dads on the healthy side, the average rate is 70 or below. If your rate is higher than that for longer than seven days, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

Get in the Exercise
Work related stress is the greatest cause of heart disease. Don’t let your job burn you out and interfere with the better aspects of your life. If you feel you are burning out, do cardio up to three times a week. Studies show it can reduce heart risk through job stress by almost 60 percent.

Walnuts
Omega-3 fats fight inflammation. Alpha nuts like walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acids, an essential omega-3 component. Consuming half a cop of walnut halves daily will do wonders for the function of the blood vessel.

Remember, we want you around for a long time, Dad. So put a little more energy (and the tips above) into safeguarding your heart and we’ll see you at your grandchild’s big day!

Are Night Owls Unhealthy?

Photo by DevonTT

Photo by DevonTT

Most people fall into one of two categories; a night owl or a morning person. There are pros and cons to each one, but what most night owl men don’t realize is that their lifestyle is unhealthy. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with staying up late from time to time, it’s generally an unhealthy habit that can affect your productivity, your stress levels, and even your mood.

The Importance of Sleep

A grown man requires a minimum of eight hours of good, solid sleep each night to restore his body. If you’re getting less sleep than this, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not getting enough sleep causes a myriad of health issues from poor memory function to a poor attention span to tension. If you’re a night owl and you have to get up early each day to get to work or get the kids to school, you’re probably not getting the adequate amount of sleep required to function at your fullest. The only time it’s not unhealthy to be a night owl is if you have nowhere to go in the mornings and you can sleep in as long as you’d like to ensure you get your solid eight hours. Of course, this situation means you probably have other things to worry about on top of your health.

The First Negative Signs of Being a Night Owl

If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, you’re going to notice a few immediate signs. You’re going to become irritable, moody, and incapable of focusing on tasks that require your attention. Being a night owl might give you the time to catch up on all your favorite sports programs and television shows, but it’s not worth taking out your moodiness and irritability on your wife the following morning.

Memory Loss

You might not remember much of what you learned when you were younger, but allowing yourself to become a night owl who lacks sleep can cause you to have trouble remembering things as recent as what you learned today. Letting your inner night owl take over your life could cause your performance at work to suffer from your lack of ability to remember what you need to do, what you learn on a regular basis, what clients say, and what your boss has to say.

Focus

Another negative side effect of being a night owl includes the inability to focus. Not getting enough sleep often enough can actually cause you to lose focus in the same manner as having too much to drink. Of course, having too much to drink sounds like a much better time than not getting enough sleep, but the negative effects are very much the same. Your ability to focus is directly affected by the number of hours you sleep each night. Waking up feeling as if you’re in a fog is a common sign that you need to tame your inner night owl and get to bed at a decent hour.

Getting Enough Sleep

Fortunately, being a night owl is something you can change. The easiest way to change your sleep habits is to change them a little at a time. For example, if you typically stay up until one or two in the morning, start going to bed a half hour earlier each night until you’re in bed by 10 or 11. You can help yourself accomplish this by turning off your electronics at least an hour before bed time, by exercising earlier in the day rather than late at night, and by avoiding snacks and alcoholic beverages after dinner. Little changes to your sleep habits can make a big difference in your overall health.

Does Your Exercise Routine Have You on the Path to Success?

As heart disease continues to top the list of illnesses related to death, men must continue to strive for reasonable levels of fitness. Many are working well beyond the retirement years of yesterday as the cost of living continues to rise.

A recent health trend has seen a significant increase in ads related to male menopause and testosterone supplementation. Testosterone is the critical male hormone responsible for vigor and everything male. However, vitality may be more akin to lifestyle than anything. Diet, exercise and discipline are the triplets of health that allow many men to forgo risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.

Fortunately, this triple threat does not have to be the challenge that it is often perceived. Every goal must start with a plan. Imagine trying to build a home without blueprints. Well, fitness is no different. You must regularly document meals and fitness routines until you’ve reached your goal. While structured diets are the kiss of death for many, documenting meals allows you to see the food quality you are placing into your body and gives you the knowledge to make better choices.

Documented workout routines allow you to see the regularity and progression of your training regiment. As you embark on your journey to better fitness, it is important to find equipment and exercises that you enjoy. If you hate all exercise, choose the routine that you hate the least. Enjoyment is vital to long term success. Also, remember that your body is comprised of more than your chest. Therefore, endless pushups or bench presses at the neglect of other exercises will quickly leave you unbalanced. If you are one who prefers to train at home, there are a number of inexpensive, home gym systems that will provide you an overall workout and satisfactory results if done consistently. If you prefer the gym, a few sessions with a private trainer will quickly get you on the right path.

Know your limitations. As we age, our bodies deteriorate. There are some exercises that may exacerbate joint pain. Find a pain free alternative. The long term consequence is not worth the risk. A standard pushup may prove too difficult or cause shoulder pain. However, if the upper body is raised; more body weight is directed toward the lower extremities making the movement easier and less painful.

It is also important to set realistic goals. Fitness is a lifetime proposition and should be approached from this perspective. If you are like most people, you struggle with adherence. Setting small, achievable goals will greatly improve your discipline and chances of long term success. Your initial routines should be brief and fairly easy. As you develop the habit, you can increase time and intensity. This also reduces the likelihood of exercise plateaus or months when results seem to stall.

Flexibility is a functional aspect of exercise that is often overlooked. A flexible muscle is a well-conditioned muscle. Incorporate stretching into your regular exercise routine. The Internet provides an endless supply of tips, exercises and benefits of stretching. There are several ways to implement it into your program. Working through a full ranges of motion will enhance flexibility. Yoga and Pilates will also increase flexibility and function by utilizing your body weight or external resistance appropriate to your strength. These modalities are a great way to break the monotony of standard resistance training as they reduce stress and improve blood flow.

Many men will attest that a well-executed exercise routine has benefits beyond health and aesthetics. Learned disciplines continue to prove beneficial for men who desire personal as well as professional success. Train smart.