Hugging is a potent way to express love, fear, admiration, sadness, joy, and happiness, and it is a way to deeply connect to another human being and show compassion, care, and comfort.

Virginia Satir, an often quoted family therapist says that we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth.

Hugs are vital to our health and wellbeing, and even scientists have confirmed this, so here is why you should give and receive as many hugs a day as possible:

— Hugs strengthen the immune system, as the gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge activates the Solar Plexus Chakra, which in turn stimulates the thymus gland, and thus regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells

— Hugging helps when someone is grieving, as it can provide true solace, soothes pain, and calms the soul, by giving strength to go on and escape the emotional torture

— Hugging lowers stress by reducing cortisol levels. A 2013 study has shown that participants who had a 15-minute conversation with their remote partner through a life-size huggable humanoid device had drastically lower stress levels than others who conversed through mobile phones. Hugs calm and improve mood, and provide warmth and closeness.

— Hugging relaxes the muscles, and reduces the tension in the body, alleviating pain, and soothing aches by boosting circulation into the soft tissues

— Hugs lower the risk of illness, as they reduce stress and prevent its negative effects. A 2014 study which involved 404 adult participants found that hugs and social interaction lower stress and prevent illness by supporting the immune system

— Hugging reduces fear and anxiety, and a 2013 study published by the Association for Psychological Science showed that touch alleviates fear in people with low self-esteem

— Hugging improves mood, increases the levels of oxytocin, the “love hormone” or the “bonding hormone”, and leads to happiness and euphoria

— Hugs balance out the nervous system, and the galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The moisture and electricity in the skin indicate a more balanced state in the nervous system — parasympathetic.

Therefore, start enjoying hugs even more than before, as they are the warmest and simplest way to feel happiness, enjoy health, connect with people, and express your true emotions.

Master, Doctor Nguyen Ngoc Hung
Infectious Diseases and tropical medicine
Vietnam French Hospital Hanoi Leading International Hospital in Hanoi




  Exercise!There is no way around it. Your body was built to move, so if you want to be physically “well”, you’re going to have to get moving. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring or painful.

Start with a goal in mind. Moderate exercise for 45 minutes per day is the amount that has been shown to deliver real health benefits. Decide the best way to get started and how quickly you can progress toward that goal. Once exercise becomes a daily part of your life, you may very well wonder why you ever lived without it.  But it won’t happen overnight.

You could start by playing basketball or soccer with the kids, taking a long walk on your favorite scenic route, or dusting off that golden oldies disk and rock out with your favorite dances.  It won’t seem like a chore if it’s something you enjoy doing.

If you haven’t exercised in a while start with three 10-minute segments; and it is very important to always start your workout with at least 5 minutes of thorough stretching. Gradually add time or intensity to your activity every week. You’ll not only see results sooner, you’ll avoid burnout and develop a habit you can sustain for life.

Plan your workout time just as you schedule any important event in your life. It will never happen if you try to squeeze it into your day. Always follow your health care professional’s guidance as you increase physical activity. Working towards making sustainable lifestyle changes to your activity levels is important. You do not want to overwhelm yourself with an abundance of physical activity all at once. Start with simple steps toward moving more and sitting less.

Make it a family matter. There’s real strength in numbers when it comes to exercise. Couples who work out together not only have healthier bodies, they also tend to have healthier relationships and better communication.

Not long after starting your journey, it’s easy to look around and feel like you haven’t made much progress, but every step you take brings you closer to your goals. Remember that it may take a while. It’s about progress, not perfection. Don’t focus on the final outcome. Instead, pay attention to the progress you are making day by day. Don’t judge yourself by numbers, but by behaviors. Every day that you make an effort is a day worth celebrating, because you’re one day closer to reaching your goals.

Pay close attention to this!!!


This is the most important thing you can take away from this article.

Water makes up more than two-thirds of the weight of the human body. Without water, humans would die in a few days. All the cells and organs need water to function.

Water serves as a lubricant. It makes up saliva and the fluids surrounding the joints. Water regulates the body temperature through perspiration. It also helps prevent and relieve constipation by moving food through the intestines.

Even knowing this, most people will ‘forget’ to drink enough water to keep a healthy fluid level on any given day. It is essential to drink more water, than usually would be enough for a healthy fluid level in the body, when dieting.  Drinking water during weight loss is important because it provides hydration without unwanted calories.  Drinking water before or with a meal can help a dieter feel full sooner. Drinking water may help replace or avoid unnecessary food calories found in extra servings at mealtime.

The amount of water you drink to be healthy during exercise goes up. This is key to successful weight loss. It’s even more important in hot weather, when it’s possible to lose about the equivalent of a quart of water in an hour.  You will need to drink water before, during and after every workout.

Don’t wait to start sipping. That’s a sign that dehydration has already started. We need to drink water throughout the day, on a regular basis. If you want your diet to work, you need to drink plenty of water. Water can fill you up, decrease your appetite, and help your body get rid of waste from that fat you’re burning. So, what are you waiting for? Water is available right now from your tap, and it’s free!

Most of us have believed that we should eat ‘three good meals a day’. Anyone who has ever struggled to lose weight can tell you that the six-hour gap between lunch and dinner can seem much longer indeed and can often lead to cheating on your diet or eating more. Eating three smaller meals and two substantial snacks throughout the day makes much more sense and makes losing weight easier. What difference does it make?  It makes quite a bit of difference, actually. Eating smaller meals more often can boost the rate at which you burn calories, make it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar levels over the course of the day.

Important: While the number of times you eat each day should increase, your total daily caloric intake should not. In short, eat smaller meals more often. Give your stomach time to adjust to this strategy. Your stomach will shrink and after time, the idea of eating 3 large meals will be unappetizing. To calm your grumbling tummy in the meantime, keep plenty of water on hand.

Beware of portion distortion! Over the last 20 years, this nation’s portion sizes have expanded dramatically. A typical restaurant portion is nearly twice the recommended amount. As a rough rule of thumb, consider your fist as a full portion size.

Why is it important to maintain an ideal weight?

Control Your Weight In short, when you control your weight you control the key factors to your overall health. Lowering body weight, even as little as 10%, has been shown to have phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications. It can help reverse or prevent diabetes and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Excess fat hits more than just your waistband. Life expectancy, medical expenses, productivity, mobility, and self-confidence are all affected. The path to better health is straightforward and simple: eat smart, get active, and stay accountable. True wellness means a life unfettered by weight and illness. It means enjoying your golden years actively with your great-grandchildren.  Wellness is so much more than a number on a scale. It’s living a life full of vitality and loving it.

Getting healthy benefits more than just your body. Many recent studies have reported a link between exercise and maintaining brain and cognitive health throughout your entire life.

Planning your pathway to wellness is just like planning any other journey. You must know your starting point, your destination, and define any checkpoints along the way. Knowing where you are now bringing clarity to where you want to go. Without that important factor, it’s far too easy to lose direction and get discouraged.

The secret is knowing one critical number … your daily calorie limit. When it comes to losing weight, there is one universal truth. You must take in fewer calories that your burn.  This can be achieved by eating less, exercising more, or both. Weight loss cannot happen unless there is a “calorie deficit”.  Your calorie limit tells you how many net calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight.

To determine how many calories you should eat each day, simply take your daily calorie limit and subtract 500 or 100 depending on your goal. For moderate weight loss your daily calorie limit should be -500 calories per day equaling one pound per week. For more significant weight loss your daily calorie limit should be -1000 calories per day to equal two pounds per week. Any more would not be healthy weight loss.

A 500-calorie deficit in your day will make more difference than you may think.  If you go on a brisk 45-minute walk (-220 calories) and trade two cans of soda for an unsweetened drink or water (280 calories) you have a 500 calories deficit.

When it comes to carbohydrates, complex is best. Have cereals, green vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grain breads; instead of candy, soda and refined breads.  Making four simple switches is enough to lose 10 pounds of fat a year! Choose mozzarella instead of cheddar, popcorn instead of potato chips, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and salad instead of French fries. Those few changes add up to about 35,000 calories a year.

Choose your calories wisely. When it comes to managing your weight, any real, lasting change will unavoidably involve changes in how you eat., but that doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself.  Just eat wisely.

C.B. Swartz, creator of Consistency Is Key

Intro …

I am C.B. Swartz, a Freelance Writer. I have been interested in health and fitness my whole life. I remember doing ‘calisthenics’ with my Mom in front of the TV. It was the Debbie Drake exercise program and probably the first of its kind on TV. My mother was born way before her time, because she was quite fitness aware and so was my Dad. His fitness idol was Jack LaLanne, the fitness legend.

My parents and my grandparents were into homeopathics long before it was ‘in’. I was given vitamin supplements as a child and in turn gave them to my children. I have been health and fitness conscious my whole life and I have tried to pass that on to my kids. I would be remiss if I did not mention my husband Jim at this point, because he is also very health and fitness aware. He is still walking, biking and working out with light weights. He, like I, eats a healthy diet and limits his daily intake of calories. We both take vitamin-mineral supplements and eat foods that strengthen our immune system. I will cover all of these things at length as we journey together through the healthy and fit way of life.

I would like to share the knowledge that I have acquired throughout the years of my health and fitness evolution. I say evolution because I have made a concerted effort over time to keep up to date with the newest and most innovative health and fitness practices.

I hope you will join me on this journey and you will find yourself better for it at the end.