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Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

What are simple carbs?

Simple carbs are forms of carbohydrates that are quickly digested and moved into the blood stream as various forms of sugar, usually glucose. Simple carbs are often highly processed. For example, white pasta and French bread are two common foods that are considered to be high in simple carbs. They are made from wheat which has been subjected to refining processes that strip away a high proportion of their natural fiber and other nutrients. Whole grain foods take longer to be broken down by the body and are sometimes referred to as “complex carbohydrates” or “slow carbs.”

You may already know that simple carbs are not good for digestive health. They tend to lack fiber and so relying on them as a primary source of carbohydrates can leave you at increased risk of constipation and digestive discomfort. Ingesting too many simple carbs can also cause blood sugar levels to crash, resulting in symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and strong cravings for yet more simple carbs. Simple carbs also tend to be high in calories yet contain little by way of nutrition, meaning that a diet high in these kinds of foods puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain.

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The link between simple carbs and fertility

In addition to these considerations, there is also a connection between simple carbs and fertility you should be aware of if you are trying to become pregnant. When your body ingests a simple carb, it rapidly breaks it down into sugars. This triggers the pancreas to release insulin so that the amount of sugar in the bloodstream can be regulated.

If you consume simple carbs on a frequent basis, you are likely to have high levels of insulin circulating in your bloodstream. This can impair a woman’s ability to ovulate on a regular basis because insulin encourages the production of abnormally high levels of male hormones in the ovaries. This hormonal disruption can drastically lower a woman’s fertility.

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Research looking at the dietary habits and fertility of 18,000 women carried out by those behind the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study concluded that whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins are helpful for women looking to get pregnant. Making dietary changes will not help every woman who is struggling to get pregnant, because fertility is caused by a lack of ovulation (also known as “anovulation”) in a quarter of cases. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and have not become pregnant despite making significant lifestyle changes, it is important to consult with a medical professional in order to uncover the underlying reason behind your infertility. However, a significant minority of women may find that changing the foods they eat may bring them the result they want.

Moreover, eating fewer simple carbs will help you feel more energized in general, which is important throughout pregnancy and beyond. Even if you require additional medical help in order to conceive, eating a healthier diet is always a smart move.

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Make sensible dietary swaps to increase your chances of conceiving

As a first step in improving your diet and increasing your chances of a natural conception, consider swapping your favorite processed carbohydrates for some more wholesome alternatives. Try whole-wheat bread instead of white versions and cauliflower rice in place of white rice, for example.

If you dislike the taste or texture of whole grain foods, remember that it can take time to retrain your taste buds. Start by including whole grain foods with one meal of the day and building from there. If you like to eat toast for breakfast, you could begin by swapping white bread for a whole grain variety. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is another great way to control your blood sugar levels and regulate the amount of insulin circulating in your body.

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Jay Hill

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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