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7 Vitamins and Supplements You Shouldn’t Be Taking

7 Vitamins and Supplements You Shouldn’t Be Taking

Everyone seems to be vitamin crazy in the 21st century. The problem is that they might not all be as beneficial for you as you may think. Now before you freak out, just remember that you can get healthy, recommended doses of most vitamins and minerals through actual food that is healthy for you—remember food?—and these won’t hurt you. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular vitamins and supplements that you shouldn’t be taking.

1. Calcium

Despite the fact that we’re told to have high volumes of calcium in our diet, calcium supplements can actually be dangerous, particularly for people over 50. This is because older bodies can have more difficulty absorbing the mineral, which can lead to it being absorbed by the walls of arteries, as opposed to the bones. This can result in a hardening of the arteries, which in turn can lead to strokes and heart disease.

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If you need to be taking calcium supplements, stay clear of calcium carbonate, which is particularly difficult for your bones to absorb. Instead, take calcium citrate, along with magnesium, which will aid with absorption. Alternatively: Got milk? No, really, if you have some then you should drink it.

2. Prenatal Vitamins…When You’re Not Pregnant

You may wonder why any woman would take prenatal vitamins when they’re not pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. The answer is simple—shinier hair, clear skin and stronger nails. Sure, this all sounds positive, but there is a danger in taking supplements that aren’t meant for you. For example, prenatal vitamins contain more iron than a non-pregnant woman needs, and having an excess of that in your body can lead to constipation, vomiting and nausea. Basically, you’ll get all of the terrible parts of pregnancy without the glow and gifts. Who would want that? Similarly, the excess folic acid contained in the vitamins can leave you with a rapid heart rate, tingling in your toes, and memory loss. In short, leave these bad boys for the actual pregnant ladies.

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3. Creatine

If you’re a gym junkie you may have heard of this supplement. Generally, it’s used post-workout in order to build and repair muscle. However, research has shown that excessive use can result in dehydration as well as kidney damage. In addition, it can worsen the symptoms of people who suffer with asthma. President of Cenegenics Carolinas, Dr. Mickey Barber, recommends that you should only take it under medical supervision.

4. Vitamin C

For the most part, vitamin C tablets are harmless. However, 2000mg or more can increase your risk of kidney stones—and nobody wants tiny rocks stabbing them from the inside. The main issue with vitamin C supplements is that they’re unnecessary. Studies have shown that their prevention of the common cold is a mere myth.

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Furthermore, unless you’re eating like a sailor from 1750, you’re unlikely to need them to ward off scurvy. Just eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and you’ll be fine.

5. Soy Isolate

Not the same as Soylent Green. That would be bad.

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Soy isolate can be found in some brands of protein bars and shakes, but there can be a downside for you men folk. Unfortunately, it can have an estrogen effect, which becomes stronger in older men whose bodies are already having trouble balancing their estrogen and testosterone levels. If you still aren’t clear on the visual, it means that it can result in breast formation, or gynecomastia, in men.

If you gents want to get the full benefits of soy without the cleavage, I recommend pure edamame and tofu.

6. Yohimbe

If you haven’t heard of yohimbe before, that could very well be because you don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction. Congratulations, you can skip this one! Bark from the yohimbe tree contains yohimbine, which is a substance that can appear in supplements that are used to treat the above. The problem is that it can also result in serious heart arrhythmia problems, as well as high blood pressure. As an alternative, try increasing your exercise and general health, and if you feel like you still need a supplement, try DHEA.

7. Multivitamins

Basically these are money wasters that result in little more than expensive urine. Oh, except for the part where they’re potentially harmful. A 25-year study of 38,772 women has shown that the risk of death is actually increased for those who had engaged in long-term use of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Seriously, just eat some vegetables!

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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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