We all have been hearing about the potential life altering affects the “sequester” could have on all walks of life in this country. What are the potential spending cuts in the area of healthcare? How will these cuts be implemented? These questions have been addressed in an article on Healthwatch. To read this article, click hear……
Archives for February 2013
The National Lung Screening Trial, published in 2010, discovered that a twenty percent reduction in lung cancer deaths might be possible if people at the highest risk level would have a yearly CT scan of their lungs. Over eight million Americans, with a ten year history of smoking, would fall into that category. For further reading……
Like many people entering middle age, I found myself carrying around some extra weight. It sneaked up on me; I didnâ€™t know how Iâ€™d put it on, or even realize just how much weight Iâ€™d gained over the past few years until I was trying on a cute pair of stretchy capri leggings and looked in the dressing room mirror to see a couple of belly rolls peeking back out at me. That was the first of a couple of wake-up calls I had about my weight and health. The second was the result of a routine blood test during a check-up, that informed me I had high cholesterol.
With a family history of type II diabetes, heart problems, and some types of cancer, I knew I had to get my weight and eating habits under control if I wanted to be healthy and a good example to my kids. I tried a lot of diet and exercise programs over the next few months, with little effect, until I just decided to get as basic as possible. I made a few simple lifestyle changes that helped me get my health back on track. These same kinds of changes also worked for several of my friends and family members.
Cutting Out The Bad Stuff
I needed to face the facts: I had a junk food addiction, and it was the most important lifestyle change I needed to make if I wanted to see a difference in my health. Fast food, junk food, sweets, sodas â€“ all of that is bad for the heart, clogs up your veins, and can cause many other types of health problems. I made a rule that I wouldnâ€™t eat any food that â€œcould come out of a windowâ€ â€“ fast food, to be specific. I limited the amount of boxed and prepared foods I bought at the store and made meals from scratch whenever possible. I cut out all sodas and even juice (juice has lots of sugar), and drank either skim milk or water flavored with fresh lemon and mint. Just by cutting all the junk from my diet, I lost ten pounds in a month!
Did that mean I couldnâ€™t ever indulge again with a burger or piece of chocolate cake? I still allow myself a treat once or twice a month â€“ even once weekly if Iâ€™m careful the rest of the week. Everyone needs to indulge now and then.
To me, the real key to weight loss and regaining my health was knowing exactly how much I was eating. I went for weeks thinking I was eating great, but was still not losing weight, until I started keeping track of my calories. I joined an online site that gives members the option to add in every type of food under the sun, and keeps track of the calories, fat, carbs, and protein consumed. I was shocked at how quickly the calories add up â€“ but once Iâ€™d balanced my protein with the necessary carbs and calories for energy, I found that I could eat far less and still feel full.
Counting calories isnâ€™t for everyone. Some people do better with a plan based on a points system, or pre-portioned meals. Whatâ€™s important is setting up a portion control program that you can work with, and sticking to it.
I didnâ€™t start out exercising at first, but worked my way into it as I started to see results just from eating better. Exercising can be hard to fit into your busy day, but it helps to boost your energy, mood, and metabolism. For a while, I worked out at the gym at least five days a week, for up to two hours at a time. That soon became impractical, and these days I donâ€™t get anywhere near as much exercise. Now, I mainly walk a few times a week, but Iâ€™m starting up a program that will gradually ease me into running. The most important part of getting your exercise is finding something you enjoy doing. It should be fun! Dance workouts, biking, skating, swimming, and even running are all activities that can be fun and donâ€™t seem like the type of brutal or dull gym workout that many people dread.
Donâ€™t Give Up
Itâ€™s been a few years since I decided to do something about my health. Because I fell off the wagon too many times, I still havenâ€™t reached my goal weight. But a recent assessment of my goals and lifestyle have inspired me again to get myself into optimum health. And newer blood test results have shown that the simple changes I made a few years ago have made a positive difference in my cardiovascular health.
Lauren Hill writes for Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA), a Virginia surgical group specializing in open heart, transplant and robotic surgeries.
Itâ€™s just a fact of life that every human being will age and get older. As you age, your body will seem different, and you will feel less capable of doing basic tasks that used to seem simple. But even as your body changes and grows older, many people feel the most distressed when the mind starts to slip. Declining memory is a common side effect of getting older, but there are ways to ensure that your mind stays healthy even as your body gets older and weaker. Follow some of these basic steps to ensure that you keep a sharp mind no matter how old you are.
1. Stay Active
Although you may have to temper your physical workouts as your body ages and changes, remember that physical activity also helps to keep your mind strong and healthy. Physical activity helps to keep bones stronger, helps to maintain a healthy level of balance, and keeps the body healthy enough to ward off many illnesses that can be life-threatening for older individuals. Exercise and physical activity can also help to combat the depression and anxiety that many individuals feel as they approach the later years. Regular physical activity can also help to improve memory, fight off dementia, and improve energy levels in bodies that feel more tired every day.
2. Regulate Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is associated with many illnesses and injuries that are also linked to dementia and memory loss. For example, high blood pressure can cause stroke, kidney failure, heart disease or a heart attack. Each of these affects the body and the brain in a way that can impair your mental and physical health. Keeping your blood pressure down can be as simple as doing a few of the following things.
- Donâ€™t smoke
- Watch your weight
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Limit salt in the diet
- Eat healthy
With a few basic lifestyle changes, you not only improve your physical health, but also ensure that your mind is sharp as a tack and as fresh as when you were younger.
3. Eat Your Vegetables
A healthy diet is an obvious part of keeping your mind and your body healthy, but you may be unaware of some of the more extreme positive effects on your body that eating vegetables can have. Below are some specific examples of vitamins and minerals that will help to make your body and mind stronger.
- Folate is found in green vegetables and is necessary to keep the cells healthy.
- Vitamins E and C are antioxidants and keep your cells safe from damage that may result in certain types of cancer and heart disease.
These are just two examples of ways that vegetables and fruits can help to keep your mind and body healthy. A balanced diet of fruit and vegetables every day can keep your mind sharp and your body running how it should. Many illnesses can be avoided with a diet that is balanced and healthy.
4. Drink In Moderation
If you donâ€™t drink alcohol, your later years are definitely not the time to start. If you do drink, make sure that you do so in moderation. Alcohol is hard on the body, and is especially hard on bodies that are older and struggling to stay healthy. Alcohol can also affect memory and the ability to think clearly, which can all lead to a fuzzy mind. Alcohol has also been linked to depression and anxiety, two things that are commonly dealt with as an individual ages.
5. Stop Smoking
If you are a smoker, you are likely well aware of the negative ways that cigarettes can affect your body. If you are still smoking in your later years, now is definitely the time to give it up in order to preserve and enhance the time you have left. You will live longer and feel better when you give up smoking. You will also enjoy the time you have left, as your body will feel better and your mind will feel clearer.
Aging is just a fact of life, and something that nobody can avoid. But it doesnâ€™t have to be traumatic and sad. If you are prepared to age, and are comfortable with where you live is at, you can find peace in the process. By taking good care of your body and your mind, you will enjoy the last years of your life and make sure that your physical and mental health is prolonged as long as possible.
Lauren Hill enjoys writing on the topic of aging. No matter how hard we try, most of us will find ourselves caring for elderly parents or being cared for. Lift Caregiving is a free service to support all caregivers. Go here to see how they might be able to help you at this stage in your life.
There are few things harder than watching your child suffer from ear pain and a fever. the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines for the treatment and diagnosis of ear infections in children. To learn more about these guidelines read here……