There’s something or the other to worry about for everyone in life. It might be anything-money, power, position, survival, health, attention, beauty or brawns. Constant worrying over some issue turns into stress which affects well-being ultimately. We are equipped to handle stress when we are young but as we grow old, dealing with stressful issues becomes difficult and we resent facing it. We are the same individual who thinks and deals in the same way then what’s so different about coping with stress as we grow older?
An ageing person’s cells are also ageing. Various systems in the body seem to decline in functionality including the circulatory and respiratory system. Lung capacity declines more in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. All these prevent our body from issuing the same natural response to stress. For example, when we see a racing car coming right against us our adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline hormones. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone which acts as the major alarm system communicating with the brain and other parts of the body balancing the fight-or-flight situation. In an ageing person, the automatic response of moving away from the position to a safer place is lacking and the individual stands still sometimes.
Stress also diminishes our ability to focus, make decisions and stay attentive. Some might also suffer from memory-related problems while others find it difficult to fall asleep.
Stress Factors Change with Age
Stress remains constant but factors that induce stress keep changing. As children it might be fear of an examination or losing a friendship. As adults it might be office-related stress or parenting a disabled child that needs constant attention. But as a person grows old common reasons for stress include loss of a loved one, ample time but not much fruitful work to be done, relationship changes with children or a chronic illness that keeps haunting your mind. Common symptoms of such stress include:
A lot many people ignore subtle indications of stress and run to a physician for help only when it has reached a point of no-return. Look for subtle signs of stress in your life and discuss with your beloved friend/family members. Go for a physical checkup to track down any underlying condition such as high blood pressure levels which might need immediate treatment. The physician is sure to recommend eating a healthy diet and doing physical activity regularly. Include those activities that make you happy, satisfied and complete. It might be gardening, walking in the park together with friends or a group yoga class. This gives you ample time to socialize and take time off your daily stressors as your mind is occupied with some other activity. Some believe that adopting a pet is best as you have a companion in the form of a dog or cat. But ensure that you are physically and monetarily able-enough to own one.
An important part stress management includes triggering relaxation response that lowers blood pressure, stress hormones, heart rate and oxygen consumption. Yoga, tai chi, meditation and breathing exercises are great ways to manage stress. There are many other effective ways to deal with stress mentioned at www.firsteatright.com that are practical and result-oriented. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be pursued for fighting stress. It involves throwing away negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts. All these are great ways to fight stress but don’t show effects immediately. Hence, the physician might prescribe antidepressants along with these practices for better results.
Set the Rhythm Right to Exercise
The chances of frustration or anger are zero when some individual loves what he/she does. Ask yourself some simple questions-Do I love my job? Do I love the course which am pursuing? Most of your answers would be a strong ‘No’. We have either chosen the job just because we got no other job offers or it was the best one that paid a hefty salary. We have chosen the discipline of study because that’s the course which was offered for the mark scored, that’s the course which offers the best future in terms of job availability or simply because all our friends have taken it up. When that’s the attitude we have towards life, what would be our approach to exercise and activity?
Exercise is appreciated and advocated because its good for the heart, mind and soul. Apart from helping an individual stay on a healthy weight or build muscles exercise helps to release endorphin hormones that help to generate happiness. Even research shows that people who are physically active have better pleasant feelings than others and also found that when they are more physically active their pleasant feelings too increase.
Most physicians, fitness experts and health specialists talk about the benefits of exercising, such as the number of minutes of exercise needed per day, efforts required to sustain it and the hard work needed to achieve results. What most of us keep forgetting is to experience the happiness and joy involved in exercising. For instance, cycling at the gym or going for a run is going to burn more calories and tax your heart than running behind your toddler. Cardio and weights are definitely going to help you move and feel better, but they don’t do any good unless you want to do it heartfully.
For those uninterested in exercising there are an ‘n’ number of ways to back out from it-it seems tiresome, bit complicated, you don’t know whether you can do it or you are not the active-type. If you look at the advantages going a blind eye to the disadvantages maybe your heart will take a turn for the better. Also, perfection is the result of repetitive action. Instead of worrying about your performance and output, choose the right exercise suitable for you. Start with anything that keeps you moving. The only concern now is to ensure that it is convenient and enjoyable.
Skip the Monotony
There is no hard and fast rule that insists that you run on the treadmill, go for a walk or cycle. Skip the conventional, prescriptive and common practices and choose something such as riding the same bicycle with your toddler, swimming a few laps or playing a game of basketball. For many other different exercising options please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. The primary goal is to keep you off the couch and make you realize the pleasures of being active. Ultimate aim is to make you exercise and bring a smile on the face, but initial focus is to simply make you move around. Once you realize the one activity that you feel like repeating every day and look forward to it daily that’s the day when you start realizing your dream and experiencing magic. There is always this thing of sticking by your exercise when you do it for the joy of experience rather than treat it as a chore to burn calories to achieve weight loss or some other goal.
If you are new to exercising don’t start off with the prescribed 150-minutes-a-week challenge in one go but slowly build over your efforts. Every time you complete the target minutes, reward yourself with a point. Calculate the total number of points at the end of week. More the points, more confident you feel and more the confidence greater is the inclination to exercise.
Its nice to work towards a goal in mind but when it comes to exercising its always better to live the moment and enjoy the joys of moving around and staying active. Aiming for a weight loss or a fitter body is good but exercising with this target in mind and taxing your body to work towards accomplishing this goal without relishing the journey is not going to be extremely fruitful. Aim for the goal but enjoy the process in between to make your life happier and sweeter.
Life is a balance. Each of us have faced our ups and downs, positives and negatives, good and bad, failures and success and misery and joy. If you try to draw a graph of your emotions and experiences, it would be a V-shaped one for most of us with positives and negatives altering between each other throughout life’s journey. The quality of life is defined by the number of positives over negatives. Some feel satisfied with their life and some others are greatly displeased with it. How you feel emotionally impacts your heart health greatly. Our heart and brain are located in two very different positions and the studies dealing with them, cardiology and neurology respectively, are also completely different. Despite these differences both the organs are interconnected to each other. Emotion is a strong feeling which is a result of one’s mood, relationship or circumstance. These emotions affect the brain which in turn affect the heart.
Two Sides of a Coin
Stress can be a motivator sometimes helping you get things done and a demotivating factor some other times leading to tiredness and heart disease. What each of us must do is to worry less and feel better which helps to reduce stress greatly. It was not more than a century ago that a scientist found a common pattern of death between husband and wives-both died within a year of one another. It was not a time when stress, brain health and its impact on the heart were widely known. But now, people are desperately seeking for peace and solace in this power- and money-dominated world. Various studies show that despair and stress affect health, specifically heart health. One of great interest is the Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or the broken-heart syndrome which was not discovered until 1990. Most interesting is that this syndrome is mostly exclusively present among the women population and mimics a heart attack.
Death of a spouse, financial problems, domestic violence or an unexpected emotional event triggers the syndrome. Such triggers change the shape of the heart to resemble a traditional Japanese pot called the takotsubo used to catch octopus. Read more about the syndrome and understand its effect on heart health by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Staple causes of heart disease have been analyzed but what scientists and physicians are missing out is to understand emotional factors such as tangled relationships, work stress, poverty and economic crisis that can trigger a heart disease.
An Organ of Fascination
Our heart is the only organ that has an independent electrical supply which can continue to function even outside the human body and survive up to four hours. It can pump blood up to 1,00,000 kilometers of blood vessels. A human heart beats three billion times averagely in a human’s life in accordance to the fact that a woman’s heartbeat beats faster by 8 beats per minute compared to a man’s heartbeat. Such a masterpiece of nature requires utmost care but sadly heart disease due to malfunctioning of this vital organ remains as the number one cause of death worldwide.
Recent studies show that depression can double the risk of dying from heart disease even in those who don’t suffer from any prior heart problems. All the more, people who suffer from a heart failure as well as depression are twice likelier to suffer from worse symptoms. While more common in women with heart failure, depression can play a severe role in men with heart failure. Social isolation and loneliness are also other factors that worsen the risk of a heart failure. Its easier for physicians to deal with high LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels as a risk factor for heart disease but most don’t know to tackle depression, stress or isolation likewise.
Any imbalance in emotion is a trigger for a heart problem. Women are likelier to suffer from depression and heart problems that arise as a result of the same but are least bothered to allocate time for exercise or stay healthy. They prioritize kids, husband and house chores before their health which needs immediate intervention.
Luckily, depression is a treatable problem that can be sorted out through medications and psychosocial therapy. Each of us need to find out ways through which we can control our fears, anxiety and stress which in turn imposes less stress on the heart. A new way to deal with emotion-related heart effects called as cardiac psychology is becoming famous. Reroute your brain’s thinking strategy and be blessed with a healthier heart as a result. Few ways for effectively doing it include:
Meet a physician: Stress, anxiety or depression is common among the population, but one needs to know where to draw a line. Emotions are common to humans and those that take a peek into your life rarely are admissible but if the same emotion keeps haunting you day in and day out its time to meet a physician and seek treatment.
Psychosocial Treatment: Psychiatric treatments are available since a long time and now its appreciable that we focus on stress management, counselling and relaxation techniques along with newer treatment methods such as acceptance and commitment therapy and expressive writing that can prove to be helpful.
Exercise: Exercise provides us with various important benefits, but we never explore and utilize it properly. There are various studies proving that exercising for at least three days in a week improves well-being and cognitive skills in older adults. Aerobic exercise helps you think faster and clearer. Exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing and gardening reduce anxiety, depression and improve self-esteem. That’s because of improved blood circulation to the brain.
Now, if you suffer from depression, stress and anxiety it is better to talk with your physician, especially a cardiologist who can suggest a good solution. Maybe meeting a psychiatric and analyzing practical ways to improve your well-being and protecting brain health is the right way to start dealing with the problem.
Cancer is becoming more common than ever before and everywhere we turn there are cases of cancer-related deaths. Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes to the gene. These genetic changes that cause cancer can sometimes be inherited from our parents or arise as a result of errors during cell division or damage to DNA caused by various environmental factors such as tobacco smoke or harmful radiations. Where does obesity fit into this picture of gene-environment association? Obesity is one of the biggest preventable causes of cancer especially in developed countries such as UK and US where almost 1 in 20 cases are due to excess weight.
The Burden of Heaviness
A new study in the United States shows that almost 7% of cancer deaths and 8% of all cancer are due to obesity/overweight. A new report reflecting statistics between 2011 and 2015 on people 30 years and older shows that 4.7% (37,670) of cancers in men and 9.6% (74,690) of those in women are due to excess body weight. Overweight or obesity is the common cause for cancers of the breast (in women after menopause), colon and rectum, kidney, pancreas, esophagus and endometrium and also holds a good share of responsibility in raising the risk of gallbladder, liver, cervix, ovary, myeloma, lymphoma and prostate cancer. While the risks are clearly proved via different study results the underlying association between body weight and cancer is yet to be unraveled. For instance, breast cancer risk in obese/overweight women is greater only in those women who have crossed menopause and not in others. But studies don’t give us convincing theories for this. Yet, many studies have analyzed the reason behind obesity/overweight increasing risk of cancer and their possible theories include:
There are quite a few risk factors of developing cancer such as age and genes that you cannot change and those such as tobacco, obesity or radiations that can cause the disease but be sure to understand that presence of these factors does not mean that the person will 100% develop cancer in course of time. ‘Where’ fat is stored also determines the risk of cancer. Too much of fat around the belly or an individual with an apple-shaped body is at a higher risk of bowel, kidney, esophageal, pancreatic and breast cancer risk.
Effects of Weight Loss
Research is still underway on the impact of weight loss and the risk of developing cancer. Certain studies show that weight loss decreases the risk of breast cancer, aggressive forms of prostate cancer and other cancers too. That’s because obese/overweight people who lose weight decrease the production of certain hormones such as insulin, estrogen and androgens that affect cancer risk. Though we don’t have clear indications it is always beneficial to lose weight and stay on healthy weight ranges which help in decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease too. Losing even 5% of your weight is a good start and helps your body to become healthier and fitter. Registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help you in your weight loss journey by suggesting customized diet plans that are scientific and practical.
We’ve settled into 2019 quite well, all our party spells are off and its time to face the reality-Where do we stand in terms of health and fitness? A month down and if you are still diligently working out in a quest to lose weight or stay healthy hats off to your motivation and attempt. Don’t bother whether it’s a New Year Resolution or you are fed up with the current exercise routine as there are numerous ways to pep up your energy levels and introduce variety into the workout schedule.
Every year, fitness professionals across the world take a survey on the exercises that are sure to take the next year by storm. These exercises are not short-term ones or fads but authentic ones that’s been trending and surprisingly, many of them had earned their spot during the previous year too! The American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has been conducting this survey since 2006 and 2019 marks the 13th year of it. Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest exercise trends to look forward to in 2019? Read below and start planning:
Wearable Technology: First appearing in the year 2016 and occupying the No.1 position until 2017 it dropped to No.3 in the year 2018. The year 2019 seems to be yet another favorable one for this trend as it occupies numero uno position again. This is all due to the increase in accuracy, affordability (compared to previous prices) and popularity that wearable devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have flooded the markets. These gadgets help in identifying the number of steps you take in a day, heartbeat and even your stress levels.
Group Training: Anything more than five in number is a group class and up to five would be termed as a group personal class. Having a close friend at the gym who encourages you with your workout? Its awesome news as group training has become a potential trend with a large number of people interested in working out as a group. The effects of these classes mainly depend on the instructor’s leadership qualities and the ability to motivate his/her students. Group classes offer much more benefits and for more details on these please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT has not disappointed us this year too occupying a place for itself in the top five since 2014. This trend was a ravishing hit in the year 2018 and includes short bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest. While fitness professionals have sent several warnings about potential injuries to public this exercise form seems to hold a primary role in gyms.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults: Every baby boomer and older adult nowadays wants to participate in walkathons and even marathons steadily showing their inclination towards better health and exercising. While this trend was in No.9 spot last year the growing interest in this segment of people offers the fitness industry and gyms to capitalize on this growing market.
Bodyweight Training: The concept is wholly based on using bodyweight as the training modality. This uses minimal equipment making it an inexpensive way of exercising and is garnering attention among the general public and gym across the world.
Employing Certified Fitness Professionals: The first question that you and I ask before enrolling in a gym is whether they have a certified fitness trainer. Gone are the days when the coach simply helped us use the gym machines and taught us a few exercises. Individuals are becoming weight conscious, health conscious and wish to workout for specific body parts. The presence of a certified trainer/coach in gyms and fitness centers is becoming more important than ever.
Yoga: Originating from India we even have a day dedicated to this trend (June 21). This is one of the best exercise forms that’s simple and doable by anyone of any age. This trend appears on the list after a couple of years and its revival is mainly due to the variety of forms (such as power yoga and hot yoga) available since the past few years.
Personal Training: Some years back people had the mindset that personal training was for the elite, celebrities or millionaires. But now, many of us opt for personal training classes where the instructor works one on one with the client teaching specific exercises and workouts suiting the client’s needs. Since 2006, personal training has always occupied a spot in the top ten list.
Functional Fitness Training: This trend is towards strength training and other exercises that improve balance, coordination, strength and endurance to improve efficiency of activities done daily. There are some trainers who pair this with fitness programs for older adults.
Exercise is Medicine (EIM): Wouldn’t it be lovely to prescribe exercise as a medicine for illness? That’s exactly what EIM is focused on. It motivates physicians to include physical activity assessment and prescribe necessary treatment recommendations (such as refer them to exercise professionals) as a part of the patient visit.
Blood pressure has once again proved itself to be a silent killer! Its effect on stroke is two-dimensional. BP has the potential to increase the risk of stroke and once stroke affects the person it has the potential to increase the risk of death. Stroke is one of the deadliest conditions that can have debilitating effects on a person when it is not diagnosed immediately. The chances of recovery depend on how soon or late the person was diagnosed with stroke. Though men are maximum affected by stroke it’s more than 60% of women population who suffer from death due to stroke.
While anxiety, frustration, mood swings, depression and irritation are commonly seen in individuals after stroke (when the part of the brain dealing with emotions is affected) there are bigger problems that can collapse the entire rehabilitation program and worsen a person’s life.
A group of researchers wanted to understand whether fluctuating blood pressure readings after stroke could increase the risk of death. For this, they analyzed 1,947 patients for their BP readings some four or five times within 24 hours of stroke. After controlling various factors, they found that patients whose readings had increased systolic blood pressure measurements (the higher number) were at an increased risk of death within 90 days. The research team also came up with a suggestion that such BP variations could be corrected with calcium channel blockers (this helps to decrease variability) rather than using beta blockers that increase variability in readings. But this has been revoked by few others who feel that BP medications just to control variations are not acceptable and one must look at various other underlying factors. There are serious doubts whether such fluctuations are due to other conditions such as high levels of inflammation or stiff arteries.
Fluctuations in blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and body mass index has the potential to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in individuals. A study on this showed that those with larger variations were at a maximum risk of death followed by risk of heart attack and stroke. The study also showed that those with maximum risk belonged to the older age group and were mostly women. Above all this, the one point mentioned by this research team that calls for maximum attention is that almost 99% health problems linked to heart attack and stroke are due to our lifestyles. So again, the ball is in our court.
Style has ruled our wardrobes but has never bothered us to change our approach to life-Yes, of course I am talking about lifestyle. Take up a discussion on any disease or disorder and finally we end up blaming our lifestyle other than a few rare ones for which genes are blamable. Despite its importance why don’t we ever bother to patch up our hard feelings towards our lifestyle and live a better life? Maybe the time has come now to roll up your sleeves and start redesigning your life for better health, wellness and peace. Why don’t you achieve ultimate success in in this endeavor by getting in touch with reputed dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who have the potential to revamp your eating habits and physical activity routines for the better?
Your smartphone is sure to make you less smart. Personally, smartphone is one of the best as well as worst inventions of mankind. It depends on how it is used, who is using it and when it is used-all of these relying on a person’s discipline and willpower, which many of us lack.
Smartphones are an object of convenience and connectivity. They make the world seem a small one at our fingertips, enable us to trade stocks lying in the convenience of our couch, shop online standing in a queue, find romantic partners between office meetings, transfer money to our loved ones in the click of a button and share live experiences to people living across the globe. A research shows that 91% people never leave their home without their smartphone while 46% accept that they can never live without one. Most of us look at our smartphones first thing in the morning, last thing in the night and sometimes even check them during the middle of the night.
Let’s assume a scenario where you are given a couple of math problems to solve which needs your complete focus. In between solving this, you are also asked to remember a couple of random phone numbers which makes it tougher. Meantime, the sound of jarring music or loud chatter can disturb us extremely when we are trying to focus on the problem at hand. But, what is the role of a smartphone in all this hustle and bustle? The answers are given by the latest study that shows that the simple existence of a smartphone (you don’t even have to look at it, receive calls or text messages) is good enough to disrupt and impair cognitive ability. It clearly shows that smartphones may induce ‘brain drain’ as it is the same set of attention resources that support attention control and cognitive processes. Attention given to our phones sets a deficiency in attention resources given to cognitive abilities.
The Story Goes Like This
The study involved a group of 520 students who were asked to complete a series of tasks that required their focus, attention and problem-solving skills. The students were split into three groups-the first group was asked to place their smartphones in another room, the second group was asked to keep it where they usually do and the third group was asked to keep their phones on the desk besides them. The performance of the students totally depended on the placement of the smartphones:
Only a decade back if someone had told that we would be connect to each other in real-time, we would have laughed on the person’s face. While the state of being constantly connected to someone was impossible a few years back, it is indispensable now! Smartphones pave way for more time, resources and knowledge but also create space for decline in cognitive ability and social interaction.
In a world surrounded by myths, controversies and falsities one can never be sure of something unless it is double-checked. Weight lifting in a woman’s life has always been a hot topic of discussion until now. A pair of dumbbells of different weights is a common sight in a guy’s house whereas we’ve never come across the same in a girl’s exercise room which is mostly stacked with a hoopla ring, a big exercise ball and a yoga mat. There is no shortage of talks and discussions on equality and women’s liberation but why do people still go behind age-old myths and ideas surrounding a woman’s lifestyle? Can the dumbbell never replace a hoopla ring or the bicep curls see the limelight?
Be Clear of the Basics
Most women never lift the weights fearing that it will make them ‘get big’ which cannot be further away from the truth. On the other hand, women who do weight lift don’t look beyond the 3 kg dumbbell that they workout with every week continuously but do brood over the fact that they don’t witness a significant change in their physique. The principles given here help any of those with a wavering mind on picking a pair of dumbbells and working out.
Go for Heavy Weights
Women find it easier to rely upon the weights that they are most comfortable with and perform all of their sets with the same pair of dumbbells. Remember that one needs a stimulus on the muscle to stimulate muscle growth and there is this impending need of a greater stimulus to witness an evident change. Get out of your comfort zone and apply greater physiological demands on your muscles to achieve target. Trick the mind into this, tune it for such a workout and you would be amazed to witness greater improvements in muscle gain and strength as well. Women interested in bodybuilding can get tips from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Our thoughts and actions are a reflection of the world around us. When the surrounding people discourage or advise women against lifting weights all that she does is either refrain from it or underestimate her potential and choose lighter weights. This is a grave mistake which needs to be corrected. Choose a weight that you would be able to do it 80% times with the remaining 20% being challenging to your body. Start exercising and when you feel that you cannot do anymore of it either reduce the weight further down or take rest in between. The ultimate goal is to life weights and reap health benefits, not to lift weights and get hurt.
Sets and Reps
Ideologies differ and it always better to stick with those that make you comfortable. Experts recommend doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps of any exercise to build muscles. Remember that you gain muscle strength by lifting heavier weights and doing fewer repetitions (3-6 times) and muscle endurance by lifting lighter weights and doing higher repetitions. Taking rest between sets helps you gain strength but if muscle size is your ultimate aim it is advisable to reduce the amount of rest that you take between sets.
Regularity and consistency are two important aspects for gaining muscles. Weight train 4-5 times a week for muscle strength and gain. It is advisable to maintain a journal jotting down the sets, reps and weights used during each workout. Also keep note of whether you are doing total-body workout, upper- or lower-body workout or focusing on two or three body parts per workout during the weight-training sessions.
Go for the Right Exercises
There are a variety of exercises that help one in gaining muscle mass. It is advisable to perform those exercises that require larger muscle groups first (for instance, squats, deadlifts, bench press, lat pull-downs and overhead press). A greater part of your energy is expelled while doing this but you still have the energy to do smaller movements during the latter part of the workout. It is recommended to do between 6 and 8 workouts on any given day.
Dangerous Dietary Supplements: Garcinia cambogia-associated Hepatic Failure Requiring Transplantation
Again, it’s been proved undoubtingly that weight loss is not magical despite the number of ads, promotions, pop-ups and more that keep revolutionizing people’s mind and blanking out their thoughts. The only way to lose weight is to more burn more calories than you consume by means of a healthy diet and regular activity.
There are thousands of products sold as dietary supplements where online companies fight it out to give the best discounts on them and a certain number of weight loss products too sold as supplements that might contain hidden ingredients which might seriously impact health. One such product is Garcinia cambogia where extracts from the rind of the fruit from this tree are marketed as weight loss supplements. I am confused whether it is a matter to be laughed at or cried over given the irony of the situation. How on earth can a fruit extract aid in weight loss without the addition of certain other chemicals or components that are definitely not worthy of approval? The supplement manufacturing company itself commits to the fact that they do not evaluate on the hydroxycitric acid concentration (the fruit extract projected to trigger weight loss) but keep promoting the supplement and strangely, people do keep buying them and reaping its side effects.
One needs to clearly understand that the fruit itself might not be the culprit but the ingredients added to make it a weight loss supplement might be! Sadly, the FDA never regulates supplements as they are not drugs and these supplement companies have the time of their life expanding their business as weight loss is most sought-after by individuals across the world. Some might lose weight but they also land up with side effects such as acute liver failure in course of time after consuming this supplement. Perhaps, issuing a public warning to the potential side effect is of utmost use here.
Weight loss and use of supplements/machines for weight loss/slimming have become a billion-dollar industry worldwide and there is no denial that every company/product would fight it out to remain the best in this sector. Use your discretion before jumping onto conclusions, learn to know the difference between facts and marketing and above all, never rely on supplements for weight loss and slimming. Nothing can replace the advantages of a healthy lifestyle on any given day. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who can help you lose weight in the scientific way only with the help of diet and exercises.
Exercise, exercise and exercise is the solution for heart health before and after a heart attack. Heart-the organ that controls our existence is subjected to different emotions such as love, happiness, crisis or shock and also exists as the recipient of various illnesses due to raise in blood pressure, stress levels and cholesterol intake. Keeping our heart in good health is our foremost duty.
Menace of the Heart Attack
Heart attack was monopolized by the old until a few years ago but recent decade has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of youngsters affected by heart attack owing to their improper lifestyle habits, unhealthy diet practices and an inactive daily routine. Few others too experience an attack owing to certain other reasons such as a shocking news, sudden rise in blood pressure levels or others. Science and medicine have advanced such that people who’ve been treated for heart attack can resume their activities and routines in quite sometime without much hindrances.
The post-treatment care and effort determine the health status of the individual in the long term. A new study has brought light into the fact that heart attack survivors who exercise frequently and regularly have a greater chance of living longer compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity has always been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer as well, and the decreased risk of these diseases still hold good after a heart attack or stroke too.
The study involved more than 22,000 participants who were survived twice-6-10 weeks after the attack and 10-12 months later. During the study period of 4 years 1,087 participants died. Results showed that:
Better Late than Never
If you’ve been an active person even before your attack it’s a good sign and your only duty is to continue being active. If you have never been active nor exercised before your heart attack it is never too late to start doing something good and beneficial for the health. Start exercising now. If you cannot exercise don’t get disheartened. Exercise is a part of being active. Its not only your squats and crunches that keep you active and going. Moving around your house, going for a small walk, avoiding sitting continuously by engaging in simple chores and avoiding stress in your preferred way (such as meditation or yoga) are also beneficial for the body. But ensure to avoid smoking, drinking and consuming high-fat foods. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to plan a healthy diet suiting your heart requirements which would help you stay within healthy weight ranges.
Just like all of us heart attack survivors should also try to achieve 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Other than helping you live longer exercising after a heart attack also brings with it other added advantages such as reducing risk of obesity, high blood sugar and blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and inflammation. Walking is the best exercise recommended for heart attack survivors to start with. It is simple, easy, doable and has the lowest risk of injury. It is ok to pursue your preferred exercise form after discussing with your physician. The only thing to remember is that staying sedentary is far riskier than the risk involved in choosing different exercise forms.
The cardiovascular system might hold the key to life but the brain holds the key to how we live our life. Breathing air and surviving in this world is not living. When someone asks you how life is going on the answer is typically based on your happiness, peace and success along with your physical health. Hunger and fullness too rely upon the very same principle of physical as well as mental satiety.
Food for Thought & Soul
Its good to eat your rainbow-colored salad, fresh fruits, celery sticks, pumpkin seeds, a few pistachios and even healthy ice creams to stay within healthy weight ranges. All these foods are low in calories and aimed at filling your stomach. There is no harm in eating as many portions as possible of any of these foods and they seem like our guardian angel in times of hunger pangs but when you get to the bottom of this there are quite a few disadvantages attached to restricting your intake to such foods alone.
Practically, though someone might place an entire broccoli in front of your plate you can eat only a certain number of florets, a couple of fiber-rich crackers or a portion of water melon before you feel full. Now answer this question truthfully-While you are full after consuming such foods do you feel satisfied too? Most probably the answer would be a clear ‘no.’ These foods might fill your tummy but you are still on the lookout for some other foods that can that can help you feel satisfied. This paves way for overeating, binge eating and more just because you lack the feel or the satisfaction from the foods that you eat.
Typical example is that of healthy ice cream which allows the person to take a serving or two liberally. But if you don’t feel the taste to be as good as the real ice cream you crave for some other dessert. Had you consumed a scoop of the original ice cream you might feel full, satisfied and even go for an exercise session post-lunch. Remember that its not sinful to eat your favorite food or two occasionally.
At the Receiving End
All the three macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) play an important role in sending indications to your body that you are done eating and when any of their quantities are below the desired range you are sure to find yourself hungry again in a while. While foods that are low in calories and high in volume might sound good, they are never going to work out in the long run. It is always better to choose and eat foods given below to consume a wholesome meal:
Top three: Ensure to choose a protein, fat and a carbohydrate and you would be surprised to find that each of them work in their own way to signal fullness. Consuming carbs increase sugar levels immediately which releases insulin thereby signaling the brain to stop eating further. Protein and fat foods trigger the release of cholecystokinin and the brain considers this as satiety. Read more about the hunger and satiety hormones by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Put your taste buds to use: Any food needs to look, smell and taste good to be satisfying. So, rather than forcing yourself to eat foods that are deemed to be healthy choose the ones that make you feel good. Some are happy eating hot foods while other love cold foods, maybe you like your food to be crunchy while your friend might like it creamier and also, some are particularly concerned about the texture of the food more than the rest. Think before preparing/getting your meal as to which type of food you would love to eat that day.
Eat mindfully: What you eat, why you eat and how it tastes are critical aspects of satisfying a person with foods. Eat slowly during a meal, turn off any electronic gadgets, don’t watch television and focus on the food at hand, enjoying its taste and how it acts on the body. All this help you stop when you feel full
Glazed Eyes that Dim your Sight
Early mornings start on a low note to some of us as we toss and turn in bed uninterested to get out of the comfort of our mattress. Even after getting up we keep rubbing our eyes or yawning around indicating a lingering sleepiness. We even blink our eyes at the sight of bright sunlight and squeeze them to stay alert. That’s normal but what is not normal is the fact that some individuals keep blinking their eyes every few seconds all through the day, rubbing them when they feel that their vision is not clear and complain of poor vision. All these are clear indications of glassy eyes which is clearly a sign of nuisance rather than a problem to individuals. There are several reasons behind glassy eyes:
Tears help our eyes to stay lubricated and decreased/no production of tears can result in dry eyes. Dry eyes which result owing to too much screen time or due to an eye surgery are a major cause for glassy appearance. Physicians all the time prescribe eye drops for compensating for the absence of tears.
Any allergic reaction (dust, pollen or pet dander) impacts the sinuses (group of air-filled and connected spaces in the skull) causing sneezing and watery eyes or the reaction could affect the eye alone causing irritation and itchiness that makes the eye red and glassy in appearance. Here again, eye drops and medications do the trick and save the individual from further trouble. If you are concerned whether it is the common cold or sinus that has attacked you as symptoms of both overlap commonly, know to differentiate between the two conditions with the help of www.firsteatright.com.
Excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs such as marijuana impairs normal alertness levels and affects the central nervous system which even stops actions such as blinking of the eye. Its no wonder that our eyes blink every now and then to stay lubricated or avoid entry of harmful substances or dust particles and when the action of blinking stops due to some reason it causes dryness. This in turn leads to glassy eyes. Detox is the way to come out of these effects which can take up to several hours.
Glassy eyes are a critical symptom of dehydration whose other symptoms include dry mouth, thirst and light headedness. Chronic symptoms include lack of urination for more than six hours, lack of saliva, dry mouth and fatigue. Consuming water can help in betterment of the situation, but IV fluids might be required at times.
Pink eye conjunctivitis
This infection can be extremely contagious whose root causes include bacteria, fungi or viruses. The eyes might become red, puffed up and watery. Eye drops are the best suggested treatment.
This is an autoimmune disease that causes the eyes to dry faster and this can cause glassy eyes.
Hypoglycemia (lower blood sugar levels), cholera and herpes can also cause glassy eyes.
Prevention & Treatment
There are several practical and simple ways to stay away from glassy eyes and this includes
Procrastinating Peeing: Good or Bad?
In the middle of a car travel, during a movie or in a meeting at office individuals hesitate to pee and hold on their urge to urinate. Resisting the need to use the bathroom is more common during travel or touring as people hesitate using common restrooms. While some do it rarely, some might hold on to peeing from morning to night until they return to their hotel. But how much of it is acceptable and are there any side effects included?
Hold or Let Go
Holding your urge to pee rarely is not wrongful but making it a habit owing to laziness or other lame excuses will not solve your problems but only aggravate them. The urinary bladder sends a signal to the brain to urge the individual to pee once it is half-full while holding back urine. The concerned individual either empties his/her bladder contents immediately or holds it back when there is a difficulty to access the restroom, when he/she is writing an examination or practicing bladder control exercises. Scientifically, there are no rules and regulations laid down to determine how and when it is safe to hold the pee and it entirely depends on the individual involved. Holding your pee too long or too often leads to potential side effects:
Learning to Pee Less Often
Physicians sometimes recommend individuals to learn to pee less often by resisting the urge to pee. This is basically done by training the bladder to hold more amount of fluid before sending signals to the brain to create an urge to urinate. This ultimately decreases the number of trips to the bathroom. Diverting your brain and decreasing your urge to urinate can do the trick. Individuals can divert their attention by listening to music or watching television, staying warm, sitting or walking around whichever is more comfortable, engaging the brain in doing games or puzzles, talking to someone or reading something.
While we love to pee immediately after the brain signals us, we might not be able to access the bathroom immediately. In such times it is useful to follow the tips given below:
A Sneak-peak into Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The Lady Justice who holds a prominent position in courts creates awareness about the supreme awareness of a balance scale. This scale is the perfect representation of the necessity of balance in life-this world and our life are a balance between different things. Weight loss is a balance between calories consumed and calories burned, our savings are a balance between money earned and money spent and even the food we eat is a balance between nutrients and taste. A small change in the alignment of this balance has the potential to disrupt peace and create a havoc in life.
Too Little of Many Things
We are living in a world where medicines and treatments have become an inevitable part of each of our lives owing to our unhealthy lifestyles. Neither the food we eat is enriched with health nor do we humans too take enough care to fill our tummies with nutrients. Such careless eating styles have led to a state wherein medicines instead of foods have become our supplements for the different essential nutrients required by our body. Vitamin D holds the top-most position in this deficiency list whereas individuals as young as 10-year-old or as old as 70-year-old are lacking in this vitamin. Vitamin B12 is gaining pace and trying to overtake vitamin D in becoming one of the most-common vitamin deficiencies in humans. So, instead of competing for good health we have been competing against each other for nutritional deficiencies.
There are eight different B vitamins that strive hard to supply your body with energy by converting food into fuel. Vitamin B12 is all the more important for producing DNA and maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells. A normal adult is recommended to consume 2.4 micrograms a day of vitamin B12 and most individuals do that by eating enough portions of proteins. Deficiency hits a person only when the individual doesn’t consume much of the required vitamin or the consumed vitamins doesn’t get absorbed properly by the body. Just like most vitamins, vitamin B12 cannot be secreted by the body and the only sources are foods or supplements. This makes most elderly people above the age of 50 deficient in this vitamin. But, nowadays youngsters, individuals as young as 20 lack this essential nutrient.
While causes are many two of them dominate the list-following a vegan/vegetarian diet and weight-loss surgery. Animals sources are the only food sources and those who stick to eating plant-based foods are at the highest risk of developing this deficiency, especially when they don’t eat grains fortified with the vitamin or take oral supplements. Also, those who have undergone weight-loss surgery are at a higher risk as the surgery interferes with the body’s ability to extract vitamin B12 from food sources. Other risk factors include heartburn drugs (that reduce acid production in the stomach which is needed for absorbing vitamin B12) and celiac or Crohn’s disease that interfere with food absorption.
Symptoms appear gradually and intensify over time but are often confused with some other diseases owing to the symptoms that happen. Common symptoms include:
Elevating B12 Levels
While multivitamins are prescribed for a mild deficiency either shots or daily high-dose B12 medications are prescribed for serious deficiencies.
For vegans/vegetarians, consuming breads, cereals and other grains fortified with B12 is essential or they must take a multivitamin supplement daily. For those above the age of 50 taking a daily dose of B12 becomes strictly necessary as the body lacks the ability to absorb the nutrient from food. Animal sources include meat, fish, eggs and poultry.
Early detection of the deficiency and treatment is important for timely action to prevent unnecessary side effects. That’s because, when left without replenishing the needed B12 levels the deficiency can cause severe neurological problems and blood diseases.
Though there are numerous articles and advertisements for keeping yourself properly enriched with vitamin B12 levels in the body for preventing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and other chronic diseases as well as for reversing eczema, fatigue and infertility most of them don’t have solid proofs or conclusive evidences backing the theory. Hence, each of us are bound to stock our body with the required B12 levels for proper functioning of our body parts and systems.
You gargle with warm salt water, drink plenty of water and even take a tablet to get rid of the sore throat but it keeps haunting you persistently. Suffering from unending pain while swallowing something, getting a scratchy feeling and feeling worse after getting up in the morning-these symptoms prompt the individual to visit his/her physician. While the person expects the doctor to come up with the diagnosis of a bacterial or viral infection the physician shocks the patient by diagnosing it as throat cancer!
Tending to the Throat
A new research tells us their shocking discovery that it might be signs of laryngeal cancer when individuals report shortness of breath, problems swallowing or pain in the ear along with hoarseness in the voice. Larynx or the voice box helps us talk by producing sound and ensures that we breathe smoothly. There was a 5% increase in the risk of cancer due to sore throat along with any of these other conditions whereas hoarseness as a standalone factor accounts for 2.7% risk only. This is a result of a study of more than 800 patients suffering from cancer of the larynx.
Hoarseness has always been a serious symptom to consider in the case of laryngeal cancer but this research reveals that the lurking danger increases multifold when it is coupled with persistent sore throat. Many factors that were considered to belong to a low-risk category now seem to have climbed up the ladder in terms of triggering a cancer of the larynx.
There is no need to panic here as it is not any sore throat but only those unusual ones that call for a physician’s attention which need intervention. If you think the sore throat is something unusual with the following symptoms than the one that occurs regularly get in touch with the doctor for a diagnosis:
Our life is like mathematics which includes calculations, permutations and combinations for everything involved. Taking away something and reintroducing something much better exists as the underlying concept upon which our life is based on. Blood pressure is one of the commonest and deadliest conditions which seems to put mankind on a tumble. The condition seems simple but its side effects are stupendous given the circumstances under which it happens. Physical activity helps us keep blood pressure under control whereas certain things play a major role in elevating BP levels. Keep such blood pressure-increasing items under control and save yourself from its dangerous consequences:
Weight gain: Your weight plays a major role in affecting your overall health. Even a 5% decrease in your overall weight can lead to positive effects on your health including blood pressure levels.
Alcohol: Refrain from drinking liquor and if in case you must drink restrict it to one drink in the case of females and two drinks in the case of males.
Sitting: Persistent sitting paves way for a number of diseases and in fact, people have moved over to standing workstations for working for a few hours at office. Read more about the benefits of such workstations from the website www.firsteatright.com. Even a couple of minutes of light activity has the power to decrease blood pressure in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Sauna: The sauna seems to be a refreshing option for those back from a hectic day or stressed out. But in the case of those with high BP it is necessary to ensure that you do not keep switching between cold water and hot tubs/saunas as this can increase your blood pressure levels.
Decongestants: Certain individuals are habituated to use decongestants as they offer relief against cold and flu. Please be aware of the fact that decongestants can cause high blood pressure and most of the OTC medications for cold and flu are sure to contain decongestants.
Salt: Last but the most important one is the restricted use of salt that can have a strong impact on a person’s BP levels. Many patients are advised against consuming abundant salt or processed foods (as these contain too much salt) in order to maintain blood pressure levels. Ideally, an adult should consume not more than 1,500 mgs per day and the maximum is up to 2,300 mgs daily.
Stress: This is yet another common factor that raises BP levels in many individuals. The reason might be trivial or really complicated but their effects on BP ranges remain worse. Measure your levels in a sphygmomanometer when you are angry and shouting, maybe the instrument will call out for help if only it had the voice to do so!
Dehydration: Lack of enough water tightens blood vessels as the brain sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release chemicals for tightening them. The kidney prevents you from urinating as it needs all that’s left of the fluid in your body, and this causes tiny blood vessels in the heart and brain to squeeze more.
Meditation and yoga are generally practiced to be unaffected by stress, overcome stress or relax the body. Breathing exercises exist as a cornerstone to a clear mind and a relaxed body. Box breathing is a simple relaxation technique that helps to clear the mind and improve focus. An easy-to-learn technique that helps in improving mental well-being, box breathing is effective for treating people in stressful situations.
Its mostly individuals in stressful jobs, such as soldiers or police officers, who practice box breathing to help themselves out of fight-or-flight situation. But, in general, it can be practiced by anyone hoping to improve their concentration skills and focusing abilities. It’s a practical and easy technique that can be performed anywhere-right at your workspace or at a restaurant. All that you need is a comfortable chair to sit.
Our body’s functioning indicates a lot many things and breathing is one among them. Enabling the body to leave the fight-or-flight mode and calming one’s breathing routine works great on the mind and body. In the fight-or-flight mode the body releases hormones that are responsible for the heart beating faster, breath becoming rapid and blood sugar levels to shoot up quickly. Experiencing these changes for a couple of seconds is acceptable but undergoing them too often or for too long is not good for the body. This kind of stress puts the body at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, headache and high blood pressure. Practicing box breathing allows the body to outdo stress and enter a state of calm.
Practicing box breathing has a couple of advantages attached to its kitty:
With just four simple steps box breathing remains as one of the easiest and practical ways to reduce stress and enable a sense of calm. It can be easily added to our daily routine as a sure-shot way to relax our body.
The muscle-freak gobbles up can after can of the protein shake or piles upon the red meat dish. Proteins are highly complex substances needed by our cells to function properly. They are one of the primary building blocks of bones, muscles, skin and blood. Most of us are aware of the importance of this nutrient group but don’t do enough to equip our body with the required amounts of this macronutrient. The latest news is that older adults need to incorporate more of proteins in their diet while trying to lose weight.
Are We Lagging Behind?
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology a couple of years back showed that the current dietary guidelines recommended for protein intake are not sufficient to keep an individual healthy- especially those above the age of 50. If you seriously doubt whether 50-year-old individuals fall into the ‘older’ category researchers generally mean those people above the age of 50 as older adults. This study actually split the study participants into four groups where two groups followed recommended daily values of protein (one group split the values into all three meals while the other group fulfilled all requirements during dinner) and the other two groups doubled their RDA values. At the end of research, they found that more the protein participants ate better were their bodies in responding to muscle building irrespective of the meal timings. All the participants were between the age group of 52 and 75 years.
Another recent story comes up with the fact that older adults need to consume more proteins while on a weight loss mission. Its general that aging bodies take time processing proteins in times of stress and also need more proteins to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health and other functions of the body. It’s the expert’s opinion that every older adult needs more protein than what was consumed during his/her younger years but almost a third of them don’t consume adequate quantities owing to several reasons such as decreased appetite, tooth-related problems, swallowing difficulties, changes in the sense of taste and financial troubles. This, along with a sedentary lifestyle puts the elder adults at an increased risk of compromised mobility, muscle frailty and delayed recovery from illnesses. When the same adult eats the designated protein quantity, he/she is at a minimal risk of succumbing to failure in performing activities such as getting out of bed, walking inside the house or climbing a flight of stairs. Those who ate more proteins were 30% at a reduced risk of becoming functionally impaired.
Controversy Surrounding a High Protein Diet
There have been studies warning that high protein intake could impair renal function or increase toxicity or affect renal functioning but latest studies just convey the opposite message that high protein intake is necessary for nitrogen balance and compensating for age-related lower energy. For instant, a group of patients with sarcopenia who were followed-up for three years exhibited least amount of lost muscle mass when they consumed the highest quantity of proteins. When loss of muscle mass is greater there are high chances of increased fat mass and metabolic imbalances. This also increases the risk of falling. Hence, when this muscle mass is maintained with improved protein intake it is a great step towards better health in adults.
The normal RDAs for protein intake include 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and if the woman is around 70 kilograms the recommended protein levels include 56 grams of protein per day. For an idea, a glass of milk contains 8 grams of protein, a cup of lentils has 18 grams and a half-cup of Greek yogurt has 18 grams. But recently nutrition experts and researchers have recommended older adults to consume 1-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But the same elderly population who suffer from kidney disease must refrain from increasing their protein intake. Any type of protein, both animal and plant proteins are good for the body. While animal proteins contain all essential amino acids one needs to work smartly to balance protein intake with plant proteins. It is better that older adults discuss with nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com on the quantity of proteins that can be consumed for their health before coming to any conclusions.
Its great to munch upon the juicy lamb or the crunchy chicken piece. If you love eating meat there is no need for you to be concerned about protein absorption in your body as meat is an excellent source of this nutrient. Protein-a nutrient essential for all biological processes in the human body doesn’t seem to act great when there is excess of it accumulated inside. The standard dietary allowance is 1 gram of protein for every 1 kilogram of a person’s body weight and anything above this can lead to simple as well as complicated side effects. While the vegetarians choose anything between dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, for the non-vegetarian the primary source of protein is meat. But some people who consume meat have issues digesting it and this can lead to several health issues.
Best or Worst Fit
Not one diet fits all and while meat is packed with proteins that add goodness to your body there is no hard and fast rule that it works for all body types and metabolism. Some people experience typical signs of nausea, irregular bowel movements and abdominal pain indicating that a meat-rich diet doesn’t suit their body type. But there are some others whose body accepts meat readily and the only concern is that these people consume more than what their body could accept (general guideline suggests eating not more than 70g of protein daily) and its time to cut back on the animal protein. Obvious signs that you have consumed too much of meat include:
Losing Lifespan Over Lost Money
Money gives you everything and takes them away too. Health, happiness and peace of mind cannot be bought with the help of paper currency, but the lack/loss of currency has the potential to take away all of these. So integral has money become to human beings that we value it above our own self. There are people who are ready to kill their own kith and kin for the sake of wealth, individuals ready to give up anything (their culture, values or principles) to earn more and some trying to save by being as stingy as possible. In another category are people who earn hard, save hard and lead a good life. At the end of day, each of us require money to survive. But one thing that keeps haunting our mind is whether more the money it leads to more problems or lack of money leads to a decreased quality and quantity of life?
Spanning a Life’s Worth Money
We’ve known from previous studies that how much wealth you have or don’t have determines your health and mortality risks. Its well-known that lack of money leads to lack of funds for expenditure on good food and hygienic living which in turn can lead to poor health, and again absence of money to treat the poor health affects quality of life. Apart from physical health, the absence of money has a devastating impact on mental health of the individual. Loans, interest rate on the loan, lack of funds for quality education, treatment of diseases or shortage of funds for fulfilling even the minutest of our child’s wish makes a person feel stressed and anxious. Stress is a dangerous factor that can disrupt a person’s living. Apart from yoga and meditation there are quite a few other ways shared at www.firsteatright.com to stay free from stress. There were even several episodes during the previous recessions that bore light on the huge financial crisis that people faced, how stressed they were because of this and how this affected their health.
There have been several studies that delved into the relationship between personal wealth and health for instance, wealthier people have a longer lifespan, but the reasons are yet to be unraveled. A new study has shed light on the effects of weight loss in long term whether losing money could impact longevity. The study which was carried in the United States over a 20-year period found that one-quarter of middle- and older-aged individuals experienced what was termed as the ‘negative wealth shock’. Almost 9,000 individuals over the age of 50 participated in the study.
Negative Wealth Shock
Negative wealth shock is defined as losing more than 75% of wealth over a period of 2 years. One can never forget the Great Recession (early 2007 to 2010) during which people lost their jobs, stock rates tumbled badly and there were many left on the streets without a penny. But the negative wealth shock was something that was present across different economic climates. The researchers also considered the case of individuals with asset poverty which was defined as “having zero or negative total net worth at the start of the study.”
Results showed that individuals who experienced a negative wealth shock were 50% likelier to die in the ensuing 20 years compared to those who did not lose wealth. Having wealth and then losing it was as bad on your life expectancy as never possessing any wealth. But in any point of time it was proved that losing money was far better than suffering from no money at all. In fact, individuals with asset poverty were 67% at a higher risk of death in the same 20 years compared to those who lost wealth.
Women face a greater risk of suffering from a wealth shock, but the risk of death was equal in both. Two grave risks faced by these people include mental health crisis as well as abstaining from hospital care owing to insufficient money to afford the same. Such a loss even led to changes in blood pressure rates, depression and abnormal cardiac functionality. The main solution for this is to diversify your money in different sources rather than stuffing it up in a single source such as mutual funds or gold bars. By diversifying the money, you reduce the risk of experiencing a 75% decline in value. Next is to diversify the income. Most of us develop a skillset, sharpen it and depend on it for our survival. If they lose their job or if the job market for their skillset disappears these guys are lost and stuck without a job. If diversifying your assets or doing multiple jobs is not possible for you at least recognizing that you’re in a difficult situation can save your health to a great extent. Also, remember that:
If wealth is lost, nothing is lost
If health is lost, something is lost
If character is lost, everything is lost
All that we need is our heart and soul to earn money. If we stay depressed nothing is going to improve. While the effects of the wealth shock were maximized on individuals who lost a home or had fewer assets, in the end all that matters are how you bounce back and get on with life.
Early mornings or even late mornings are never complete without a constant bout of ‘Achoos’ while getting up from bed, especially during Spring when flowers and plants bloom in full swing with pollens strewn around and flying high in the air. Many individuals start facing serious troubles with itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and congestion. Seasonal allergies start to take a toll on people’s health in the forthcoming months. Our own immune system that’s supposed to protect us acts as our enemy during such times!
Nasal Effects of Seasonal Allergies
An allergic reaction is the result of the body trying to wrongly protect itself from things that are not dangerous. Our immune system is designed to defend us from harmful bacteria and germs but during allergic reactions the immune system fights harmless materials (such as pollen and molds too). The immune system that’s been assigned to protect the body against foreign particles ends up being the source of all problems in this case.
Coughing or sneezing during certain times of the year indicates that you might suffer from seasonal allergies. Its not like you’ve got to bear it for life and an allergist can help you minimize the problem and move on peacefully with your activities any time of the year. There are different options available, but it is better to pick the right ones as some of the solutions can backfire when used inappropriately.
Nasal Steroids: These are available without a prescription and great to clear a runny nose but be cautious while using the spray ensuring to direct it away from the nasal septum as some people have suffered from nosebleeds while using the spray. If this happens in your case it is recommended to stop using the spray immediately and consult a physician. One large study that imparted children who did not attain puberty with nasal sprays daily for over 52 weeks found a slight reduction in the rate of growth. Talk to your physician about it.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines are yet another useful option to help with your allergy, but the knack is to use it early in the morning before symptoms appear. Be prepared to face side effects such as drowsiness sometimes and take precautious steps to deal with it (Such as avoid driving during those times).
Decongestants: Its typical to grab a decongestant to clear your symptoms of runny nose, congestion or watery eyes as this is the simplest and effective action possible without a prescription. While these work in seconds to clear your nose remember that they are effective only in the short term and one might face problems of increased congestion when used for a longer period. Doctors ask patients to refrain from using it for not more than 3 days continuously as the patient might become dependent on the spray. The more we use it, the more dependent we become, worse the symptoms become and more we use it again as these sprays cause a biochemical change in certain receptors of the cells.
Oral decongestants also do the job of reducing allergies, but they work by constricting blood vessels which can lead to side effects such as increased blood pressure and constricting blood vessels that can land the patient with severe side effects such as increased blood pressure, palpitations, headaches, nervousness and irritability. Hence, patients with a history of high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, stroke, glaucoma and certain other conditions must not use oral decongestants.
Alternative Therapies: Nasal saline irrigation work sometimes on some patients. The nasal passage is irrigated with prepared solutions that improves symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, itchy throat and sleep quality in children with acute sinusitis or allergic rhinitis. Ensure to use products that have been prepared with distilled water as using tap water can result in fatality rarely (due to presence of protozoans such as amoeba). A selected few rely on external applications such as Vicks (menthol ointment) to offer relief from congestion although there are no proofs backing this theory.
Common measures that help to minimize seasonal allergies include:
Come dawn and everything seems normal and gay but once dusk sets in and darkness surround us there are individuals who have a skeleton or two in their closet. Sleep is the most underrated action whose quality can have everlasting effects on mankind. A good night’s sleep is essential to start the next day on a fresher note. But while we settle down to sleep not all of us are blessed with a peaceful and undisturbed bedtime. Experiences of some individuals seem straight out of a horror movie!
What’s a life without a dream? It’s called a dream when the thoughts that surround us during sleep are positive and good but a nightmare when the events that haunt us are negative and spooky. Many individuals are attacked by this following episode-They try to shout for help during some unwanted nightmare but are unable to do so, try to squeeze themselves out but can’t and try to reach out to a spouse/parent sleeping beside but they too seem haunted. This type of a scenario has been experienced by generations and generations of people since ages. Maybe these have been the ones that paved way for the first ghost stories and spirits surrounding or entering souls. Stays in our college dorms have never been complete without stories on extortion or the dead rising from their tombs. But putting all these aside researchers have named this condition as sleep paralysis where the individual is characterized by brief episodes of inability to move or speak that happen when you’re waking up or falling asleep.
Parasomnia: Sleep Paralysis
Its not the eeriness that makes sleep paralysis sound scary but the fact that you become unable to move your hands and legs, shout for help and above all, experience terrible hallucinations. Sleep paralysis is a parasomnia, a disorder that refers to all abnormal things (except sleep apnea) such as nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep talking and REM sleep behavior disorder. More interesting information on parasomnia is available at www.firsteatright.com. Sleep paralysis distinctly falls into three categories:
There are different sleep stages and REM (rapid eye movement) is a stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams occur frequently. Sleep paralysis occurs when a part of the REM sleep occurs while you remain awake. Except for your eyes and the muscles that help you breathe you become immobile temporarily and this seems to be of advantage as it prevents you from acting your dreams and hurting yourself. Few theories suggested for the REM sleep include:
Coping with Sleep Paralysis
Any food item that you choose to eat belongs to any of the five food groups-fruits, veggies, whole grains, proteins and dairy. There are a whole lot of foods available at your disposal but choosing the right ones depends on your discretion. If health is your priority it is always better to choose fiber-rich foods. Fiber, a type of carbohydrate that leaves the body undigested helps to regulate blood sugar levels and keeps hunger in check. Above all, it lowers the risk of four important diseases (some of them aren’t even directly related to the gut).
Defying the Disease
A magnanimous review of diseases published in the journal Lancet shows that compared to people who consumed less of fiber those who ate more fiber-rich foods were at a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Their risk of early death from any of these diseases decreased by as much as 15% to 30%. For every 8 grams of fiber consumed the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer dropped by 5-27%.
Fruits, veggies and whole grains are rich in fiber providing the individual with great nutrition addition. Those individuals who consumed between 25 and 29 grams of fiber from foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day were the ones who showed the strongest reduction in risk of the range of diseases. The study results showed that greater the consumption, lower the risk. So, there is no harm in consuming more than 29 grams of fiber but if this nutrient is the latest addition to your food list then take care to add it slowly and also by drinking plentiful of water along with the increased fiber intake. These results are a thorough investigation of 243 studies many of which included specifics of what the participants ate, their health outcomes, some studies insisted on getting the participants’ health measurements such as weight, blood pressure and sugar, cholesterol and inflammation and some studies probed on each of the food groups consumed by the participants.
Know the Number!
Not many are even aware of the recommended fiber levels necessary for men and women. Maybe that’s the reason for the average consumption levels to be as low as 15 grams when the recommended levels for men include 38 grams/day and for women its 25 grams/day. Fiber’s effect on different diseases has been proved with different studies.
Heart disease: Fiber-rich foods require a longer time to chew and digest. This increases satiety rapidly thereby lowering the risk of obesity. Obesity is a great risk factor for heart disease. Preventing obesity not only benefits the heart but also reduces the risk of plentiful other diseases which are mentioned at www.firsteatright.com.
Cancer: Though studies have failed to show an increased effect of fiber on reduced risk of colon cancer there are Harvard study results that show that increased intake of fiber decreases risk of breast cancer.
Type 2 diabetes: Diets that are low in fiber and rich in quantity can satisfy hunger, but they do increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to the sudden rise in blood sugar levels. Whereas, a diet rich in high-fiber foods decreased the risk of diabetes greatly. Soluble fiber (one that dissolves in water) can help lower glucose levels and cholesterol levels. Nuts, beans, lentils, apples, oatmeal and blueberries are good sources of soluble fiber.
To add more fiber to your diet, eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts and whole grains. Insoluble fiber (one that doesn’t dissolve in water) helps in proper bowel movements and prevents constipation. Whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots and cucumbers are excellent sources of insoluble fiber. Adding fiber to your diet is not as easy as told but one needs to do a few calculations here and there to reach desired targets. That’s because even though a banana is said to be rich in fiber after removing natural sugars and water, we are left with only 3 g of fiber, an apple with its skin has only 4 g of fiber, a cup of cooked lentils has only 4 g of fiber and a thick slice of brown bread has around 2 g of fiber. Though a tough affair, the latest study suggests that shifting people from a low-fiber diet (less than 15 g) to a high fiber one (25-29g) has the potential to prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease.
Make a few changes, for instance, cook potatoes with their skin intact, swap white bread and pasta for wheat-wheat ones, add lentils in curries and salads, eat high-fiber breakfast cereals, munch on nuts for snacks (but in limited quantities) and eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
New Ways to Stave Away Atherosclerosis
Beauty industry and its various products has enabled individuals of different age groups to look younger than their age. Its even become hard to recognize whether someone is a mother/father of a child by their age and looks. Its also because people are getting married late and settle down even later with babies. Individuals are interested in achieving certain goals in life before choosing to marry. This compels them to work incessantly unbothered about what they eat or how much they sleep. Physicians, nutritionists and dietitians keep insisting on the importance of exercising and living a healthy lifestyle in all ways possible, but we do what we like to do. Such lethargic thoughts, careless lifestyle practices and craving for money has led mankind to a stage where heart attack strikes the young, heart failure is common in men/women in their 40s and diabetes hits children who are in their teenage years.
Arteries are your body’s blood distributors. They are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout your body parts starting from your head to the toe. It’s possible to carry blood unperturbed only when the inner walls are smooth for the blood to flow easily. Not all individuals are blessed with this and some individuals have clogged arteries due to plaque buildup inside them. Plaque is a sticky substance composed of calcium, fat, cholesterol, cellular waste and fibrin. This can stick onto your artery walls making blood vessels narrower. Atherosclerosis is a condition due to plaque deposits that narrow and harden arteries. The common causes for this condition include improper food habits such as eating bad cholesterol-rich foods, smoking, diabetes, high blood sugar, sedentary lifestyle, stress and obesity. Our hectic lifestyles and demanding working hours prevent us from pursuing healthy lifestyle practices despite knowing about the advantages of eating healthy and staying active. In some people, laziness and lethargy overpower desire, need and will to stay fit. A group of scientists have come up with a unique solution for dealing with atherosclerosis.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association the researchers recommended for a reduction in apolipoprotein B in young and middle-aged adults. What’s this apolipoprotein B?
Lipoproteins are tiny, complex particles that transport fat and cholesterol through the blood. They are of different types but its those lipoproteins that contain apolipoprotein B that cause atherosclerosis.
Apolipoprotein B is the main lipoprotein of chylomicrons, VLDL and LDL particles. It is the primary organizing protein required for the formation of these particles. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol measurements are mainly used for assessing cardiovascular risk. In due course researchers understood that apolipoprotein B (apo B) was a better indicator of LDL cholesterol concentration (1 molecule per LDL particle). In the past few decades researches have pin-pointed to this group of blood proteins (includes LDL or bad cholesterol) as the main enemies for causing atherosclerosis. High levels of this lipoprotein along with increased LDL particle concentration are the main reasons for plaque development.
Researchers feel that lowering the presence of the apo B lipoprotein in individuals might drive away the attack of atherosclerosis on the individual. Atherosclerosis is necessary for heart attack. Absence of the possibility of atherosclerosis steers the individual away from the attack of a heart attack/stroke as these diseases don’t happen without atherosclerosis. Its like saving an entire generation from the miseries of heart attack and stroke. According to researchers, the next step would be to find out whether atherosclerosis could be reversed in individuals with high risk for it using medications.
Some individuals are genetically predisposed to lower levels of LDL cholesterol and in turn are at a least risk of cardiovascular diseases. Researchers are now interested to replicate the genetic states of these people in other individuals as well who are in their younger age and monitor whether their risk too decreases over the years (if the levels are maintained). Until then, the best way to save yourself from heart attack and stroke is to maintain low levels of apo B lipoprotein and LDL levels right from young age. Leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to lower your apo B and LDL levels but is it practically possible in this fast-food world? It is, say dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who specialize in obesity/lifestyle problems and provide diets for every medical condition.
Having an adolescent son/daughter in the house is of great stress to many parents. The world today makes it even more pressurizing with abundant chances open to the individual to tread on the wrong path. Almost two-thirds of youngsters grow in countries where HIV/AIDS, unsafe sex, childhood pregnancy, road accidents, depression, self-harm and violence remain a daily threat. Pitifully all of these problems are preventable in the first place and if not, at least treatable. While government campaigns have ensured significant improvement in health in kids aged five and below there are not even a couple of them which look onto the health of young people aged between 10 and 25 years. To add fire to all this, rates of unprotected sex have reached peak ranges paving way for young pregnant females and sex-related diseases. Such unsafe sex exists as one of the major risk factors for various illnesses in individuals of this age group.
Three-most Important Causes of Death
The young blood fears none and this is evident in the case of youngsters who drive through crazy traffic on the roads at an unimaginable speed. The easy availability of foreign bikes, the increase in engine power of some bikes that surpass cars and the confidence that age gives are all green signals for such rash driving by youngsters. The ‘vroommmm’ sound of the bike disgusts many and the onlooker is often left speechless by the speed of the driver in a normal street. This indeed makes road traffic injuries the topmost reason for death of young adults aged between 15 and 29 years. Almost 29% of injury-related death are due to road traffic crashes worldwide. In 2015 alone a 1.2 million adolescents died and road injuries bore the blame for almost 1 in every 10 deaths and the affected person was mostly a male in the age group of 10-19.
The second and third leading case of death of young people include suicide and homicide. Almost 16% of injury-related deaths are due to suicide, 13% from falls, 10% from homicide and 7% from drowning. Violence and injury affect people across age groups, but youngsters become devastated by their effects. WHO states that injuries caused by violence, falls, drowning, road traffic crashes, burns and poisoning amount to almost 5 million kills every year accounting for almost 9% of the world’s death. Far worse that dying is to be left with debilitating side effects such as permanent disabilities apart from the numerous hospital trips, emergency department visits and treatment.
While adolescent death rates on the whole might be reducing deaths due to self-harm is steadily increasing on the other side. Adolescent period is a tricky one which remains quite a stressful time of life. It’s a period during which these young adults need constant support and encouragement but most countries across the world neglect the health of an adolescent. Bringing changes to the health system is only one of the four wheels of the adolescent car whose other three wheels-parents, families and communities-remain equally important for balancing this car properly and moving it forward efficiently. Depression exists as a great concern to the general public and in 2013 alone it affected more than 10% of 10 to 24-year-olds. Unattended depression can lead to sulking of the teenager who finally sees suicide as the way to escape the dread of life.
What has gone so wrong that one individual takes out his/her revenge by killing the other one? Homicide rates among adolescents and young adults is higher than any other age group and violence can harm young individuals when they are the assassin, victim or the witness. War or neck-to-neck fights are not the only form of violence but acts such as bullying, slapping or hitting can cause more emotional trauma than physical harm. Statistics say that every second student/adolescent is involved in bullying-either he/she is the perpetrator or the receiver. Help your child overcome bullying with the help of tips mentioned at the website www.firsteatright.com. Violence can cause fear among young adults making them spend less time outside being physically active, increase healthcare costs and decrease property values. Schools, parents and the community must take steps from their end to put an end to homicide as much as possible.
Young adults are the future of our country and they exist as driving forces for building a community that can thrive and flourish. It is time now to create a strong and positive difference in the lives of 10- and 18-year-old boys and girls to tap their capabilities, expand their opportunities and motivate them to succeed in the forthcoming years to do away with many of the above-mentioned problems.
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