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There is just one thing always willing to destroy the fun-filled summer experience you have always fantasized about and this is nothing else other than Summer health hazards.  It is true that with warmer weather comes an increased risk of sun exposure, heat stroke, and water injuries, among other, nevertheless, here’s how you can prevent them. 

According to the CDC, extreme heat sends an average of 65,000 Americans to emergency rooms annually. Stocksy Summer’s here, and with it comes longer days, summer Fridays, and weekend getaways. It’s time to get outside, hit the beach, and go on that camping trip you’ve been putting off because of uncooperative weather.

Although, just because flu season, snow, and ice-covered streets are behind us, doesn’t mean you can let your guard down when it comes to health. “It’s still important for people to be conscientious and aware,” even when summer fun is the season’s top priority.

Here, experts share the most common summer health hazards, symptoms to look for, and how to prevent them so you can stay safe and healthy all summer long.

  1. Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion — Limit Strenuous Outdoor Activity

When temperatures reach sweltering, it’s not just uncomfortable — it’s also dangerous and potentially deadly. Extreme heat sends an average of 65,000 Americans to emergency rooms annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion and heat stroke, the most dangerous of the heat-related illnesses, can occur when the body is unable to properly cool down after prolonged exposure to excessive heat (such as working or exercising outdoors). Heat stroke is a more severe case of heat exhaustion, Dr. Kapur explains. The good news? It’s preventable.

Prevention:

Kim Knowlton, PhD, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University in New York City, advises people to slow down and adjust work and activity schedules to keep cool during midday, when the sun tends to be the strongest. Dr. Knowlton recommends checking on friends and neighbors to make sure they’re okay. This is especially important for the young and the elderly, who are most at risk for heat-related illnesses.  “If you start feeling sick, take the heat seriously.”

Some Symptoms include:

  • A body temperature of 103 degrees F or higher
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • A fast pulse
  • Headache, dizziness, or confusion
  • Lost of consciousness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle Cramps
  1. Mild and Severe Dehydration — Don’t Skimp on Water Intake

We hear it all the time: Drink more water, but when out soaking up the sun, imbibing summery   cocktails, or playing sports, it’s even more important to make drinking water a priority. Skip it for too long and you could suffer from dehydration, which can range from mild to severe, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Prevention:

Simply put, drink lots of water throughout the day, especially when spending time outdoors in the sun. Kapur tells patients who plan to be lounging or sweating outside to aim for 16 ounces of water every hour, and to consider dialing back strenuous activity between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, when the sun is strongest.

  1.   Sunburn and Sun Damage — Make Applying Sunscreen a Daily Habit

Long, sunny days are arguably one of the best parts of summer, but can be a danger to our largest   organ which is our skin. Venture out too long without sunscreen and you could not only get a severe sunburn and age the appearance of your skin with wrinkles, fine lines, and sun spots, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but could also increase your risk for skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.

Prevention:

Again, limit your time in the sun and choose a shady spot whenever possible, says Kapur. Most importantly, make sunscreen a daily habit, whether or not the sun is even shining. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and be vigorous about reapplying. Spots to apply sunscreen that are commonly overlooked? The front and back of the neck, chest, the back of the knees, ears, scalp, and top of the feet, adds Natasha Mesinkovska, MD, director of clinical research for the department of dermatology in the School of Medicine at the University of California in Irvine. Once you’ve properly applied sunscreen, don’t forget to don sunglasses for more than style; UVA and UVB rays can also damage eyes.

  1. Water-Related Injuries — Practice Safe and Supervised Swimming

Nothing says summer like a beach or pool day. But swimming has plenty of dangers, from infections to diving injuries and even drowning, which is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1 to 4, according to the CDC. This danger is only increased by the ubiquity of cellphones. With more adults scrolling on devices, they can be more distracted from keeping a close eye on kids while they’re in the water. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute suggests having one adult be the ‘designated water watcher,’ similar to a designated driver.

 Prevention:

Consider these tips from the American Red Cross for safe swimming setups, especially at pools:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Don’t leave young children unattended or without adult supervision.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • Have children or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets but do not solely rely on them.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Every second is important in preventing death or disability.
  • Additionally, if you often find yourself predisposed to swimmer’s ear, an infection of the outer canal of the ear, per the CDC, try wearing earplugs when taking a dip, suggests Kapur.

5       Insect Bites and the Spread of Diseases — Be Mindful of Yourself and Your Surroundings

When traipsing through hiking trails and exploring the outdoors, don’t forget to be mindful of insect   bites, which “are not only annoying, but can transmit serious illnesses,” says Knowlton. Be especially wary of ticks and mosquitoes — mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus and Dengue fever, and for people who live in the Northeast, ticks can carry up to 16 different infectious illnesses, per the CDC, including Lyme disease.

Prevention:

  • Use insect repellent even on short hikes, says Kapur. If you’re camping, consider pretreating your tent or hammock with repellent as well. If you can, even in the heat, wear long sleeves and pants and tuck your socks into pants, Knowlton adds. Also be sure to check yourself, plus friends, family, and pets, for ticks after outdoor activities.
  • The CDC also suggests staying in the center of trails when going on a hike and avoiding areas with tall grass, as well as treating clothes with products that contain 0.5 percent permethrin, an anti-parasite medication that also acts as an insect repellent. If you’re worried you’ve been in a tick-infested area, they also advise bathing or showering within two hours after an outing and washing clothes in hot water — and drying them on high heat, too.

As you make superb plans for this summer, also make well-targeted safety plans to help ensure that your summer enjoyments are not short-lived by the presence of summer hazards. 

Sophia F. Gottfried

‘Until you look like me, you are disgusting.

What I actually saw, was all those ‘me’s were the perfect picture of grotesque and abnormal. They had ribs and bones sticking out from their chest and sides; their clothes falling off them, as there was no framework to support them, and the thickest layer of skin on their body was their lips.

But to many women (1 out of 250 women, out of whom 20% will die of Anorexia) this is clearly the image of beauty. Not just beauty but perfection — “True perfection has to be imperfect” was a line, a motto adopted from Oasis’ Little by Little, by some high school friends of mine, and the line stuck with me ever since. It really needs to be taught across the world as a guideline for people to live by! Anorexia is only one of the many eating disorders that are spreading like wildfire across the world.

The question is why? Eating disorders are not eating disorders alone but severe mental disorders. This may sound harsh to many who pride themselves on their petite waist sizes, and consider themselves healthy. Eating disorders, in this case Anorexia, are not just a diet fad and desire to lose weight. In fact these young girls and women are not anorexic because of the fact that they are losing weight, but the way in which they are doing it. It completely takes over their lives and destroys other aspects of them. An Anorexic person prevents herself from eating to the point of starvation. It is not a goal but an overwhelming fixation to change how they feel about their body. That is, in fact, the indication to help parents, teachers and even friends recognize anorexia in a patient. Some may have specific types in which the patient binges on food and then forces herself to throw it up in order to cleanse herself from all the “calories” she gained.

Image Credit –Organic facts

Ads and Television Programs reinforce the concept of the “perfect body”. Jean Kilbourne in her film, “Killing Us Softly” discusses the portrayal of women in ads, and says, “Women’s bodies are objectified” which results in inhumane treatment of women through physical, mental abuse not only though domestic violence imposed upon them, but also self-inflicted violence, and maltreatment of our bodies by trying to make them what they are not. We believe that beauty is thin and don’t connect with the idea of a medium or large sized woman being beautiful. So the ads show us thin women and television programs are centered around women who are exceptionally slim to show the viewers that something is wrong with their body if they are not thin enough. These days, the images we see in ads and images in the papers and magazines are not what they seem — and are instead redone with the use of computer technology. What happens is, as a result it creates images where the sizes are abnormally thin — and not just abnormally so, but impossibly as there is no person like the one they are portraying.

During my research for this article I came across a documentary, titled THIN, about a medical centre which helps people overcome eating disorders and I had to watch it very slowly, case by case to just keep my sanity intact. There was a woman, who is actually a nurse herself who had to be fed through a tube on her stomach for five years, due to the fact that she could no longer eat normally. She was unable to eat unless the food went directly to her stomach.

I found another documentary which completely made me catch my breath, (and not in the good sense) it was titled Dana the 8 year old anorexic, she said, “I wanted to lose weight, so I stopped eating” the person making this documentary continued to say that the number of children who were under the age of 10 who had been admitted to hospital doubled over the year. The reality about these diseases is they can be helped if caught in time.

“There are even websites, which teach you how to conceal your eating disorder,” shared a friend of mine when I told her that I was doing a piece on the issue. I felt shocked hearing those words; not only wondering why and how she knew that, but that such a thing existed.

So I Googled it and found the answers on Answer.com. There were many who answered that diseases like Anorexia cannot be hidden as it always show up and is a serious health concern which should be addressed. There was one who answered, “I will answer this question, as I had anorexia (now recovered) and know how lonely it can be. Just type in ‘pro ana ‘websites’”. My advice to you, do not search for them! You will not know how to recover from the mere shock that these sites exist, and contrary to what their disclaimers say — definitely promote anorexia by telling you repeatedly — You Are What you Eat. My opening line of this article is from such a site — Until You Look like Me, You are Disgusting.

It is easy to connect with the concept of not liking how we look, but that is not the reason and should not be the reason to motivate ourselves into thinking that something is wrong with us and we need to make drastic changes to our lifestyle to attain our idea of beautiful and perfect. What is essential for everyone to know is that eating disorders can be cured, when caught in time. It depends on the choice the individual make and the support she gets. People choose this lifestyle, as they feel they have no other choice. There are websites which help them make the healthy choice, and we as concerned friends and family members need to help them find the way to make the healthier choice.

By Radhika Ghose

The food and drink choices you make every day affect your health now and later in life. Choosing healthy foods and drinks more often can help prevent or manage many health problems that affect women. And studies show that when a woman eats healthy, everyone in her household is more likely to eat healthy.

Healthy eating is a way of eating that improves your health and helps prevent disease. It means choosing different types of healthy food from all of the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins), most of the time, in the correct amounts for you. Healthy eating also means not eating a lot of foods with added sugar, sodium (salt), and saturated and trans fats.

Healthy eating also means getting nutrients primarily from food rather than from vitamins or other supplements. Some women might need vitamins, minerals, or other supplements at certain times in life like before or during pregnancy. But most women, most of the time, should get their essential nutrients from what they eat and drink.

What you eat and drink is influenced by where you live, the types of foods available in your community and in your budget, your culture and background, and your personal preferences. Often, healthy eating is affected by things that are not directly under your control, like how close the grocery store is to your house or job. Focusing on the choices you can control will help you make small changes in your daily life to eat healthier.

The amount of calories a woman need is based on her physical activity level, age, height, weight, and other unique health considerations, such as whether she is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Does Healthy Eating Include a Specific Diet or Kind of Food?

Image Source, Bien Magazine

When you’re in your 20s and 30s, the right lifestyle and screening tests can go a long way to keeping you healthy. These simple steps can greatly benefit you.

1. Start a Heart-Healthy Diet-and-Exercise Plan

Skip the fried and fatty foods, and try to get at least half an hour of exercise every day. Eating right and keeping active are the gifts that keep on giving.

If you set up these habits now, the benefits will last a lifetime. And if you plan on having children someday, it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin that gives you plenty of folic acid — between 400 and 800 micrograms a day. Start taking folic acid at least 1 month before you plan to get pregnant, and keep it up during your first trimester.

2. Work on Your Relationship with Your Doctor

Find one you trust. Before your appointment, make up a list questions, such as: What contraceptive method is right for me? What’s the best way to prevent STDs? What vaccines do I need?

3. Know Your Family Health History

Did your sister, mother, or grandmother have breast cancer or heart disease before they turned 50? Does diabetes run in the family? These are important questions to ask your family to help your doctor figure out your own health risks.

4. Don’t Forget Key Screening Tests

Make sure you get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every 3 years starting at age 21. If you’re 30 to 65, you can keep getting a Pap test every 3 years, or you can get it along with an HPV test every 5 years. That other test is useful because most cervical cancers are caused by an infection with HPV (human papillomavirus).

If you’re sexually active and have a higher risk for STDs, get tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea every year. Take an HIV test at least once, more often if you’re at risk. Also consider tests for other STDs like trichomoniasis, syphilis, and hepatitis B.

Check your blood pressure every 2 years if it’s normal (lower than 120/80). If it’s high, or you’re at risk for high blood pressure, you’ll need more frequent checks and diabetes screening tests. Also, get your cholesterol tested, and ask your doctor how often that needs to be done. 

Source: WebMD

By Candace Brian

Everyone knows at least one woman with seemingly perfect skin. Every time you see her glowing face, you think, seriously, how does she do it? What kind of magical procedures is she getting? Which expensive cream is she using? Her secret might just be simple. Most women have flawless skin because they have nailed the best daily routines.

  1. She uses the correct cleanser for her skin type.

“For oily or acne prone skin, a salycylic gel or benzoyl peroxide wash works great,” says Dr. Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica. “For dry mature skin, use either a moisturizing glycolic or milky cleanser. For skin with brown spots or melasma, use a brightening wash, such as an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser.”

  1. She drinks the right liquids.

Though it’s tempting to grab a coffee the minute you wake up, Joanna Vargas, a skincare facialist in NYC, says choosing the right beverages can be a game changer. “Drink a shot of chlorophyll every morning to brighten, oxygenate, and hydrate your skin. Drinking chlorophyll also helps drain puffiness by stimulating the lymphatic system, so it’s also good for cellulite.”

If you’re not keen on downing a shot of the stuff, chlorophyll supplements can be found at many drugstores and health food stores. She also advised drinking green juices with lots of veggies in them: “It will transform your skin in a matter of days — and it helps oxygenate the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage, so it’s de-puffing, too.”

  1. She maintains a healthy diet.

“Your skin has a natural barrier to retain moisture, and essential to that is omega-3 fatty acid,” Joanna Vargas advises. “Flax seeds on your salad or even walnuts will be an instant boost to your omega-3, thus increasing your skin’s ability to hold onto moisture.” And be sure to eat a diet low in foods with a high glycemic index (simple and complex carbohydrates).

  1. She moisturizes every day and night.

“The best times to moisturize are right after you get out of the shower and right before you go to bed,” explained Dr. Janet Prystowsky MD, an NYC-based dermatologist. Avoid lotions with heavy fragrances and be make sure you find a moisturizer gentle enough for everyday use with zero irritation.

  1. Her fingers never touch her face.

Dr. Julia Tzu, an NYC-based dermatologist, says this is very important. It doesn’t just spread bacteria and cause breakouts — it can lead to scarring, an increase in wrinkles, and even the flu.

  1. She doesn’t use too many products.

Using more than one or two all at once is a big no-no, says Dr. Tzu. It can be harsh on the skin, resulting in more breakouts and clogged pores.

  1. She wears sunscreen 365 days a year — rain or shine.

“Many people feel they only need to protect themselves on sunny days or when visiting the beach,” says Dr. Debbie Palmer, a New York dermatologist. “But the truth is that we need to protect our skin even when we’re driving a car, flying in an airplane, or running errands. It’s the daily UV exposure that contributes to the visible signs of aging.” What kind of sunscreen is best? Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater — and remember that it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.

  1. She hydrates — in every way possible.

Every skin expert we spoke to emphasized the importance of hydration. “A lack of water means less radiance and more sag,” says Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. She suggests choosing products (cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging) that have hydrating formulas. And, of course, drink around eight glasses of water a day.

  1. She avoids direct heat exposure.

Don’t just watch out for the sun — getting too close to heaters and fireplaces can also wreak havoc on your skin. “It causes inflammation and collagen breakdown. I recommend staying at least ten feet away,” explains Dr. Palmer. So next time you’re roasting chestnuts over an open fire, take a step back.

  1. She exfoliates a couple times per week.

“We lose 50 million skin cells a day, and without a little extra nudge, they may hang around leaving the skin looking sullen,” says Dr. Gohara. To fight this, you should “choose a product that is pH neutral so it doesn’t dry as it exfoliates.” And don’t just stop with your face — the skin on your body needs exfoliation too.

  1. She doesn’t just eat her vitamins.

A balanced diet is important, but there’s more than one way to give your skin vitamins. There are also topical antioxidants, which are serums and creams that contain ingredients that nourish the skin. “These can really help to repair the skin from sun damage and they also have natural sunscreen properties,” says Dr. Palmer. Not sure how to use them? The best time to apply them is right after cleansing, or they can be layered under your sunscreen for added protection.

  1. She cleans her makeup brushes regularly.

To fight infection and clogged pores, Dr. Prystowsky recommends washing concealer and foundation brushes once a week. For brushes you use around your eyes, she recommends twice per month, and for any other brushes, once a month is fine.

Here’s how: Put a drop of a mild shampoo into the palm of your hand. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Then, massage the bristles into your palm to distribute the shampoo into the brush. Avoid getting the metal part of the brush wet/or the base of the brush hairs because the glue could soften and the bristles could fall out. Rinse the shampoo out and squeeze out the water with a towel. Lay the brushes on their side with the bristles hanging off the edge of the counter to dry.

  1. She knows that protection doesn’t stop at sunscreen.

We’re talking SPF makeup, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. “Preventing sun damage is a million times better for your skin than treating it after the fact,” says Dr. Prystowsky.

  1. Her skincare routine is easy to follow.

“Fad products and fancy ingredients are fun to try, and sometimes they work well,” says Dr. Prystowsky, “but usually they’re off the shelves just as quickly as they are on them.” Find a cleanser and moisturizer that you know work for you, and keep them at the core of your routine.

  1. She sleeps well.

It’s not just about getting eight hours a night. Skin will also benefit from regularly using clean silk pillowcases. “The material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles,”says Jesleen Ahluwalia, M.D., a dermatologist from Spring Street Dermatology in New York City.

By nature, women face a triple threat of risk factors when it comes to arthritis: biology, genetic predisposition, and hormones. Unfortunately, a lot of women have added a fourth risk factor to the mix — obesity.

Overall, women have osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, at much higher rates than men. Experts estimate that almost 27 million people in the United States have osteoarthritis, and that about 60 percent of them are women. Before age 55, more men tend to have osteoarthritis, but after age 55 the number of women with the condition far surpasses the number of men.

Joints affected by osteoarthritis also tend to vary by gender, says Alexander Shikhman, MD, PhD, founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine in Del Mar, Calif., and medical director of Restorative Remedies. Men are more prone to experience arthritis in their hips, while women tend to have it in the knees or hands, he says.

There are several reasons why these differences occur. They include:

Biology: Women’s bodies are designed to give birth, and that means the tendons in their lower body are more elastic than men’s. “As a result, the joints probably move around a little more,” says Yusuf Yazici, MD, a rheumatologist at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York. When the joints have less stability, they’re more prone to injury.

Also, because women’s hips are wider than their knees, their knee joints are not aligned as straight as men’s, Dr. Yazici says. The alignment of a woman’s body leads to a higher rate of knee injuries, and injuries can lead to osteoarthritis later in life. Experts have found that women who play soccer, for instance, have at least three to four times the number of knee injuries as men who play soccer, Yazici says.

Genetics: Osteoarthritis seems to run in families, and there appears in particular to be a genetic link among women. Women whose mothers developed osteoarthritis will probably find that they will develop it in the same joints at around the same age as she did, Yazici says. Researchers have found that hand and knee osteoarthritis have specific genetic links.

Hormones: Researchers believe that female hormones have an effect on the cartilage that sits between the bones of the joints and cushions the bones to prevent pain and allow the joints to move about smoothly. In laboratory studies of cells that form cartilage, experts have found that the female hormone estrogen protects cartilage from inflammation, Dr. Shikhman says. Inflammation can lead to osteoarthritis. But after menopause, when women’s estrogen levels go down, they lose that protection and may have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis even if they are on hormonereplacement therapy (HRT).

A recent study of 1.3 million women in their 50s found that hormonal and reproductive factors, such as going through puberty at an early age, having more children, and taking hormone-replacement therapy, were all related to whether they had had knee or hip joint replacement surgery, but the researchers don’t know what these connections mean.

The study also found that women who started menstruating at age 11 or earlier had a 9 to 15 percent higher risk of needing hip and/or knee replacement surgery as an adult. Additionally, women who used hormone-replacement therapy after menopause were at significantly higher risk for hip and knee replacement surgery.

Giving birth was another risk factor for osteoarthritis found in this study. Researchers calculated that with each birth, the woman’s risk of needing knee replacement rose by 8 percent, and for hip replacement by 2 percent.

Although taking birth control pills seemed to have no effect on osteoarthritis risk, using HRT increased the risk that a woman would undergo knee replacement by 58 percent, and hip replacement by 38 percent. Researchers did note, however, that women who take HRT might be in more frequent contact with their doctors and may have better health care, which could explain why they were more likely to have joint replacement surgery.

Obesity: Statistics show that more women than men are obese or severely obese, and obesity plays a major role in osteoarthritis, Yazici says. Extra weight puts more pressure on joints and can cause the cartilage between joints to wear away faster. With every extra pound you gain, you add three pounds of pressure to your knees and six pounds of pressure to your hips, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Also, women who have gone through menopause tend to have more belly fat, which puts more pressure on the lower joints, Shikhman says.

Treatment

 

  • Lose Weight. If you are overweight or obese, you’re putting extra stress on weight-bearing joints. Losing weight lessens the risk of further joint injury. It also increases your mobility.
  • Work on Your Diet. If losing weight is a goal, talk to a dietitian to get on track with healthy eating habits. Also, antioxidant and calcium supplements can boost your bone strength: Vitamin D (400 IU daily) and calcium (1,000-1,200 mg daily). Antioxidant vitamins C and E may also provide bone protection.
  • Stay Active. Exercise is hands-down the best treatment for osteoarthritis. Exercise helps you lose weight, increases flexibility, eases pain, boosts your mood, strengthens your heart, and improves blood flow. Mall walking, swimming, and water aerobics are popular because they are easy on joints. If exercise is painful at first, stay with it… it will get easier, reducing overall pain in the long run. But be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness or diet plan.
  • Get Strong. Muscles become weak when you have osteoarthritis, and that leads to more pain. By doing exercises to strengthen muscles, you ease the pain and develop greater stability in your joints — so there’s less risk of falls. Also, special exercises can increase the range of motion in your joints. Talk to your physician or physical therapist to be sure you’re doing these exercises correctly.
  • Have Fun. Don’t let your life be all about osteoarthritis. Get out, have a good time! When you’re distracted from the pain, you’ll feel happier. Sports, hobbies, volunteer projects, and other activities can take your mind off the pain. If you’re having trouble participating in favorite activities, talk to an occupational therapist about your options.
  • Make Adjustments. Sensible changes can lessen the strain on joints and muscles and prevent painful spasms. If you have osteoarthritis in your back, make sure it gets good support when you sit. That means sitting in a chair to read, not reading in bed. If you have arthritis in your hip, it helps to adjust the toilet seat or furniture to a comfortable level.
  • Use Heat and Cold. Heating pads, hot packs, a warm bath or shower, warm wax (paraffin) applications — these increase blood flow, easing pain and stiffness. Cold packs can reduce inflammation in a sore area. Many people keep bags of ice or frozen vegetables (like peas) on hand. Wrapped in a towel, these cold packs easily mold to fit a sore joint, like a knee.
  • Take a Break. While exercise is great for helping osteoarthritis, overexertion can cause even more pain. It’s important to slow down or stop when you need to. Tune in to your body, and learn when you’re doing too much.
  • Get a Soothing Massage. For treatment of pain, Americans rate massage as highly as medications. One in five adults got a therapeutic massage last year — and three-quarters of them would recommend it to others, one survey showed. Massage helps relieve pain by increasing blood flow and warmth in painful areas.
  • Alternative Therapy. When conventional pain treatments don’t work, many people turn to complementary or alternative therapies. Research shows that acupuncture can help relieve joint pain by stimulating natural, pain-relieving chemicals produced by the nervous system. Glucosamine and chondroitin are well-known and researched supplements for arthritis. Both are natural substances found in joint fluid. Each is thought to stimulate the increase of cartilage production and reduce inflammation. Studies have had mixed results; one large study found that the supplement had no effect on mild osteoarthritis, but did help with moderate-to-severe arthritis. Another study found that glucosamine slowed progression of osteoarthritis in the knee.
  • Use Assistive Devices. If you feel unstable on your feet — like you might fall — it’s time for a cane, walker, or knee brace. “Assistive devices help take weight off the joint and decrease pain, in addition to making you feel more stable on your feet,” says Kaur.

 

Source: WebMD and EverydayHealth

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how well? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.

Need more convincing to get moving? Check out these seven ways exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.

1. Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, many types of cancer, arthritis and falls. It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.

3. Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.

You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Exercise boosts energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.

6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.

But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

7. Exercise can be fun … and social!

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.

So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends.

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, boost your health and have fun. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Examples include running, walking or swimming. Fit in strength training for all the major muscle groups at least twice a week by lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body-weight exercises.

Space out your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight, meet specific fitness goals or have even more benefits, you may need to increase your physical activity time.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.

Source: Mayo Clinic