DoctorSolve October 2011 Healthletter Edition                                                 (If you cannot read this, click here)   
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Hello again,

With Fall now here you need to make sure that you stay healthy by keeping up your energy. Read about 8 great ways to boost your energy below.

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  • 8 Great Energy Boosters
  • Indoor Tanning Can Make You an Addict

8 Great Energy Boosters

healthy foods

Lethargy is a state which many people experience whether they are at work or at home .This is often due to lack of sleep. Although not all people can obtain their necessary hours of sleep each day they still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding fatigue is important to getting through the day so here are a few ways to boost your energy.

  1. High Fiber Meal – A fiber filled meal in the morning can really lift a person's energy and allow them to be keep their energy levels constant for the rest of the day. A study showed that people who ate fiber reduced their fatigue by 10%. Fiber can also slow down the absorption of food which keeps blood sugar levels steady in the body.
  2. Caffeine – If done properly, you can use caffeine to increase your energy levels without having a sudden drop mid day. If people drink less than 8oz. of caffeine every few hours, you can receive energy without having a huge burst of energy that later rapidly drops.
  3. Tea – Not only does it contain caffeine but it also has L-Theanine (an amino acid) which helps decrease fatigue in people and also can improve alertness. Black Tea is also great because it is an antioxidant which can help combat stress.
  4. Water – Dehydration is a big contributor to fatigue which often causes people to not be able to concentrate, therefore be sure to drink plenty of water even if your body is not demanding it.
  5. Fruits and Nuts – A great source of magnesium comes from fruits and nuts. People with low magnesium levels have been shown to use up their energy faster leaving them tired quicker. Aim for 320mg of magnesium in order to boost your energy levels.
  6. Peanut and Banana Sandwich – The banana contributes potassium and the peanut butter spread contributes magnesium to your daily nutrients. Together they help metabolize sugar which can also lead to a more consistent mood throughout the day. It is good to not only look out for your energy levels but for your kids. This sandwich is perfect for a snack or as their lunch to keep their energy going throughout the day. Along with the amount of magnesium mentioned previously, you need 4.7mg of potassium in order to enhance your energy.
  7. Plants – A study was conducted showing that the use of plants in a windowless office can increase productivity up to 12%. It can also increase workers creative thoughts and reduce their levels of stress. Stress levels are reduced mainly for women however; productivity and creativity are both increased for men and women. The more vibrant the plants, the better it is for your mood especially when it provides oxygen for your body.
  8. Music – A study showed that workers who listened to music were 10% more productive and were in a better mood. The genre of music does not matter; if you enjoy listening to it then you will feel more upbeat.
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Indoor Tanning Can Make You an Addict

man tanning in tanning bed

We all know indoor tanning can cause premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer; but if this is the case why do people continue to visit tanning beds? Though the risks are well known, more than 30 million Americans a year continue to visit tanning beds. People defend their actions by saying they love having darker skin however, there is more to it than that. It has been discovered that the UV rays of tanning beds activate a part of the brain that is linked to addiction. Therefore, it has been thought that people who constantly indoor tan are motivated not because they just like it, but because it becomes an addiction.

There was a study done in order to see if indoor tanning actually caused the brain to become addicted and lead the person to constantly want to tan. In the study, they monitored the brain activity in a person by injecting a group of people who liked to tan three times a week with radioisotope. This injection allowed the testers to monitor brain activity when the person was placed in the tanning bed. In order to see the difference in brain activity they did two rounds of testing. One test was done with real UV rays being emitted when the participant was in the tanning bed. As for the second test, it was done with a placebo where the participant was unaware that the tanning bed they were in had filtered out the UV rays. Although the participant was unaware of the change the brain was not. When the person was in the tanning bed with real UV rays parts of their brain would light up, for example the left anterior insula, the dorsal striatum, and part of the orbit frontal cortex. All these areas have been found to be involved with addiction. However, the people who were given the placebo test, which did not receive real UV rays, did not feel satisfied. Their brain showed less activity and although the person was unaware that they were fake rays they still had the need to tan sooner than those that had the real rays.