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Friday, March 24, 2017

How to supercharge your brain in your spare time


Relaxation is an incredibly important part of our daily lives, and we all need to ensure that our bodies get a regular dose of rest to make sure that they recuperate.

But just because our bodies are relaxed doesn’t mean that our minds have to stagnate, as there is plenty that we can do to give our grey matter a boost even whilst we’re taking it easy.

We’ve already featured a few simple ways that you can improve your mental health. And so if meditation isn’t for you, here are some other ways that you can supercharge your brain in your spare time.

The power of learning

Learning a new skill is a great way to strengthen the connections between different parts of the brain. Whether you’re taking up a new hobby like quilting, or even something like photography, complex tasks can improve our memories and also help stave off a number of mentally debilitating illnesses.

It’s learning a second language that can really pay dividends in boosting the actual size of our brains. And with something as simple as learning French on a handy app like Duolingo giving us an easy way to boost our brainpower, it shows that even if our bodies are stationary, our brains can be getting a good workout!

Games to test your brain

Brain games are not only fun, but they can also boost our short-term memories too. There are plenty of scientifically developed titles like Lumosity out there that can provide a pocket-sized way to expand the power of your minds.

Thankfully, for something more fun, there are many great puzzle games like Dots that can also do a good job in keeping your brain active. As well, poker and blackjack, that can be practiced online on sites such as MrSmithCasino, are giving us chance to improve our long-term strategy skills. We can all get some good brain exercise no matter where we are!

Get social

And regardless of whether you’re playing online blackjack, or learning a new language, it’s become evident that socializing has a massive benefit for our mental faculties.

This is because interacting with others helps to stave off depression and increases our feelings of well-being. People who regularly connect with others also have been shown to have a better aptitude for problem-solving and perform better in memory tests.

So by learning new things, playing challenging games, and even just having a chat we can all improve our brainpower in our spare time!

This is a blog post by Diego Martin.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Remain Mobile in Retirement


The freedom and renewed vitality that retirement offers is most strongly linked to your ability to stay active as you age. Retaining your independence and mobility shouldn’t be based on luck; in fact, there are a handful of preventative and empowering things you can do now that will keep you ambulatory in the years to come:

Prevent Falls

With 1 in 3 seniors over 65 experiencing a fall, this is a huge factor when it comes to the discussion of mobility. Preventing falls and therefore hip and leg fractures, sprains, strains and other injuries means preventing many of the causes of immobility. When preventing falls, don’t forget to:

  • Remove clutter and other items around the home which might trip you
  • Add reflective guide tape around doorways, stairs and ledges
  • Install grab bars and assistive equipment to traverse stairs and tricky environments
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with tread that power fluid movement
  • Add non-slip mats to slick kitchen, bathroom & hardwood floors 

Use a Mobility Aid

Experiencing difficulty walking? Is standing for longer than 10 minutes at a time uncomfortable or painful? Rather than resigning oneself to spend most of the day sitting or lying down, taking advantage of a mobility aid could be your key to staying active.

Mobility aids are simply assistive devices or equipment, like canes, walkers and knee scooters, that aid you in getting around by supporting your weight and easing your ability to maneuver multiple environments. Spending any significant amount of time off your feet is actually one of the worst things you can do as you age, leading to weight gain, muscle inflammation and pain, and heart disease, among other things.

Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your trouble walking or frequent falling, and ask if a mobility aid is right for you. Oftentimes insurance will cover them with a doctor’s order, or you can buy gently used ones or lease them, like with knee scooter rentals.

Exercise More

Physical activity seems almost antithetical as adults age. Won’t exercising cause injuries that will be harder to heal from? Isn’t exerting myself worse for my older heart and organs? The honest answer: absolutely not. Exercising is actually more important as you age than it was when you were younger.

Why? The health benefits (including maintaining mobility) of routine fitness are even more powerful in retirement because they far outweigh the risks of not exercising. Exercise strengthens muscles as older bodies start to lose muscle mass, it can reverse bone loss which causes osteoporosis, and it helps older adults maintain a healthy weight and heart function as metabolism slows and risks for heart disease and obesity go up.

Engaging, low-impact exercise practices like swimming, yoga, ballroom dancing, playing tennis, brisk walks, and light weightlifting are a great place to start. In addition to physically benefiting your bones and muscles, regular exercise helps lower blood pressure, reduces joint and muscle inflammation, powers healthy sleep, and boosts overall mood.

Get Mental Practice

How can brain stimulation and task-based activity help with your mobility? Your balance, coordination, and memory are crucial components to getting around safely and with ease. Hobbies and games that employ fine motor skills (like quilting, crocheting and Chess) help older adults retain hand eye coordination skills that enable stronger movement and reach as you age.

In addition, mental exercises that stimulate brain function and energize neural pathway connections can help combat dementia and Alzheimer’s - memory loss diseases that can negatively affect day to day function and mobility.

Staying mobile in your Golden Years isn’t a matter of crossing your fingers and wishing for the best. Act now and take the simple but effective steps towards retaining your mobility through exercise, fall prevention, and the use of aids and support - in ten years, you’ll be glad you did!

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Revolutionary Cosmetic Surgery Trends You Should Know About 2017


Over the past few years, cosmetic surgery has come a long way. Modern technological advances are now making it possible to iron out even the minutest of imperfections. In the coming months, it is likely that we will witness a complete revolution in the industry – lending new opportunities to anyone looking to improve their bodies.

Consider the following cosmetic surgery trends that will pan out in 2017:

Plastic Surgery 

As the year progresses, it is likely that plastic surgery will be in a class of its own. According to a Persistence Market Research Report, Europe and America will dominate the international plastic surgery scene due to the growing population of geriatrics. Going by Dr Joseph Ajaka reviews, industry players expect Australia to join these continents as more people in the region start undergoing various procedures to firm up the skin and look younger.

Transgender Tipping Points

The Trans question is now fully in the limelight. With celebrities such as Caitlin Jenner capturing global attention, more individuals will continue transitioning publicly. As such, cosmetic surgeons predict that the industry will reach a tipping point in 2017 – and have a spillover effect into cosmetic surgery.

Jeffrey Spiegel, MD says that cosmetics now have experience feminizing masculine faces. He also mentions that this experience has increased global understanding among medics about what it takes to make women look beautiful. According to him, new tweaks will come up to help cosmetic surgeons learn how to improve the attractiveness of the transgendered and those unhappy about their looks.

Designer Fillers

2017 is also braced to be the year of designer filler. What with the advent of plump pouts and sweet cheeks, it is likely that doctors will come up with new and innovative ways to fill up specific areas of the skin and face.

Some of the procedures that have emerged in this field include Restylane Lyft and Juvederm Volbella for the lips as well as Juvederm Voluma for adding volume to the areas around the middle of the face.
In the coming months, more companies and surgeons will introduce freshly-targeted products to the cosmetic surgery landscape. Some of the products that are already making headlines include the Belotero line and Defyne and Refyne from Restylane.

Due to these new discoveries, cosmetic surgeons will have an ever-expanding palette with which to recontour and rejuvenate the face without necessarily resorting to active surgery.

PRP Injections 

The possibilities for platelet-rich plasma continue growing as cosmetic surgeons take it up for vaginal rejuvenation, lip enhancement, facial recontouring, and hair restoration. This procedure is expected to surge in popularity over the course of 2017.

These injections contain platelets contained in blood, which are also rich in growth factors. Centrifugation experts separate platelets from other blood cells and increase their concentration before mixing it in the remaining blood to achieve desired results.

Concluding thoughts

Over and above everything else, 2017 looks to be an exciting year for cosmetic surgery. The trends discussed above (and others that are yet to emerge) will go a long way in shaping the industry, getting more people interested in new procedures, and improving final results.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Atrial Fibrillation and Its Common Signs and Symptoms


Atrial Fibrillation or also known as AFib or AF is a condition where an individual experiences irregular heartbeats. Based on a recent survey conducted, there are 2.7 million Americans who have this kind of condition. Patients may reveal that their hearts seem to bang against their chest walls especially when they are moving around to perform activities. Others may disclose that they feel no symptoms or signs at all.

You will be able to know the common signs and symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation in this article. Read on to learn and share with your loved ones.

Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation

There are four known types of atrial fibrillation, and these are:

•         Occasional

This is also known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. The symptoms come and go. They may last for a few minutes to a couple of hours and stop suddenly.

•         Persistent

This type of atrial fibrillation means that your heart does not return to its normal rhythm. You have to get electrical shocks or medications to have your heart rhythm restored.

•         Long-standing persistent

This one lasts longer than the first two and may last for more than twelve (12) months.

•         Permanent

The abnormal heart rhythm is not possible to be restored any longer. The patient is given medications to control the heart rate.

Common Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Individuals who have atrial fibrillation may experience palpitations or sensations of uncomfortable, irregular, racing-like, and flip-flopping heartbeats. They also may feel weakness and fatigue. Light-headedness and dizziness are also a common symptom. The patient may experience confusion as well. Shortness of breath and chest pain are also included.

When to See a Doctor


If you have any of the aforementioned atrial fibrillation symptoms, it is better if you see your doctor right away. The doctor will then instruct you to undergo electrocardiogram to see if the symptoms that you feel belong to the atrial fibrillation condition. What should alarm you most is when you experience chest pain as it may indicate that you are having a heart attack.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an often and irregular heart rate that happens when the two chambers of your heart undergo mixed and chaotic electrical signals. The electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles are being bombarded with signals as they try to get through the ventricles. This then results to a wild and irregular heart rhythm. The heart rate in atrial fibrillation ranges from 100 to 175 beats per minute, wherein the normal range is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Other causes can be due to high blood pressure; heart attacks; coronary artery disease; abnormal heart valves; congenital heart defects; overactive thyroid gland; exposure to stimulants like medications, caffeine, tobacco or even alcohol; lung diseases, previous heart surgery; sleep apnea and stress due to pneumonia, viral infections or other illnesses.

Conclusion

Atrial fibrillation may increase your risk of a stroke. It is advisable that you discuss it with your doctor since atrial fibrillation, if not controlled, can weaken the heart and worst, lead to heart failure.

This is a guest blog post.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Tips for Managing a College Degree When You Suffer From Chronic Pain


Studying at college is no easy experience, but for students who suffer with chronic pain or a condition that causes them to experience a lot of pain throughout the day, it can be even more difficult. However, with a huge range of alternative and potential plans that can be put in place to help students with special needs and requirements at college, there’s no reason to let chronic pain get in the way of your academic and educational goals. We’ve put together some top tips for students who want to succeed at college despite suffering from regular pain.

Study Online

Online education is becoming more and more popular, and the good news for students is that online degrees are today widely recognized by employers and are worth exactly the same as degrees obtained from a traditional, campus-based institution. Along with this, students who suffer with chronic pain can also benefit from reduced stress due to lower tuition fees for online programs, and with a wide range of options available from nursing degrees, marketing masters or an undergraduate public health degree online from The University of Arizona, you are likely to find an online program that suits you well.

Speak to Your Doctor

As a college student, pain management will be more important than ever before to help ensure that you get the most from your studies and avoid letting your grades suffer. Without good pain management techniques, your education could begin to slip and this could lead to stress and anxiety, negatively impacting your overall health and well-being. Before you enroll on a college MPH degree program, be sure to speak to your doctor and work with them to put together a personalized pain management plan for during your time at college. You should also meet regularly with your doctor for reviews throughout your studies.

Get Educational Support

Colleges do their best to help their students succeed, therefore students who do have special needs and requirements are usually offered extra support and personalized plans in order to help ensure that they can reach their full potential. Alert your college to your condition as soon as possible so they will be able to put any plans in place quickly and will be aware of your mitigating circumstances for the future. You may also be able to get extensions on assignment deadlines or special support in exams if needed.

Know Your Limits

If you suffer from chronic pain, then it’s even more important to look after yourself when you are studying for a college degree. Obtaining a college degree will take a lot of hard work and dedication, so it’s important to ensure that you know your limits. Don’t overdo things, as this could lead to your condition worsening, which could leave you unable to work for a while. Sticking to a carefully drawn up study timetable can help you make sure that you don’t push yourself to hard and can aid in good pain management.

Share your top tips for managing college with chronic pain in the comments!

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

How to relieve chronic pain without taking painkillers

If you have ever had to live with chronic pain, then you will know that one of the only ways to get proper pain relief is through prescribed medication, generally of a strong level. When you are feeling extreme, constant pain it is easy to depend on painkillers as your main source of pain relief, but this can become a bigger problem.

Statistics show that the number of accidental overdoses in recent years has increased year-on-year and this is a very worrying pattern. The data covers all forms of overdose, from illegal substance abuse to taking too many painkillers by mistake.

One of the reasons that people can accidentally overdose is because when people first start taking the medication, the impact on pain relief is very high. Over time and continual use, your body becomes tolerant to the drug, and you won’t feel the same pain relief due to this. This can tempt people to take more of the drugs and often significantly more than they have been prescribed in an effort to reduce their pain.

As well as the risk of overdose, becoming dependent on painkillers has a number of other problems associated with it. Becoming addicted to painkillers is a growing concern and there are an alarming number of people that this has happened to. Side effects can include sickness and diarrhea, but can also lead to increased chances of heart attack. Short-term effects show that the body can be less aware of surroundings and are advised not to drive or operate machinery on certain types of painkillers.

If you’re in the unfortunate population of people that suffer from chronic pain then you should be getting help and advice from your doctor regarding other alternatives to taking painkillers. Exercise is one of the main recommendations for pain management. If you are referred to a physiotherapist, they will be able to draw up an exercise routine for you to complete that will be specific to the type and frequency of pain that you suffer from.

Advisable exercises include swimming, walking, or cycling on an exercise bike, as these are moderate exercises with minimum amounts of weight bearing. By performing regular exercise, you can build up muscles around the body that will be able to support your joints more effectively and help relieve some of the pain.

In addition to exercise, you may be advised to try treatments such as acupuncture. This is particularly recommended if you have back and neck problems, and sometimes physiotherapists will massage or manipulate your back to try and reduce the level of pain.

The use of heat therapy can provide quick relief to areas of pain, so either a hot bath or a heat pack applied to the affected area tends to work well. If your chronic pain is related to your joints, then you can also try fish oil supplements such as Omega-3, which as well as relieving your joints, are said to have several other benefits to the body.

This is a guest blog entry.