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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dealing With The Effects Of Dizziness

Have you ever experienced that feeling that the room is spinning when you get up suddenly or when you sit down? Most people refer to this feeling of uneasiness as dizziness, and there can be many different causes for it.

If it happens occasionally, there is often no reason to be overly concerned, but only your doctor can make a precise diagnosis. Here are a few ways that you may be able to deal with the dizziness throughout the day.

Some Common Causes Of Dizziness

If you’ve been feeling a little woozy at different times throughout the day there could be a medical condition related to your dizzy spells. It’s important for your doctor to be informed about the symptoms that you’re having so he can take the necessary steps to help you feel better. Here are a few common causes of dizziness:
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Getting up or down out of a chair too fast
  • Pregnancy
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Migraine onset
  • An inner ear condition such as vertigo or Meniere’s disease
  • After-effects of alcohol
A general feeling of unsteadiness can also trigger a dizzy spell. It’s important that when you start to feel dizzy you find a safe and comfortable place to rest. Some people prefer to lie down flat while others prefer to remain in a sitting position to help gain control of their balance. Your doctor may wish to run a series of blood tests on you to see if anything shows up that could be an underlying trigger or he may wish to adjust your medications. If you drink a lot of alcohol, this can cause feelings of unsteadiness and dizziness. Overworking yourself and not replenishing fluids is another way that dizziness can occur.

Tools Around The House To Help

If your dizziness is becoming more than just an isolated event, you may want to incorporate some tools around the house to assist. One would be a recliner lift chair. A lift chair helps to slowly re-position you so you can get in and out of it. If you need the assistance of a walker or wheelchair, it can become especially helpful for transitioning. Because it slowly moves you in an upward or downward motion, it can reduce the likelihood that you’ll feel dizzy upon standing. Having handles in your shower and around your toilet can also help you cope with dizzy spells. Being able to grab a handle for support can reduce your fall risk and give you a little more balance.

When To Be Concerned About Lightheadedness

Most of the time feeling a little lightheaded is nothing to worry about. It can be as simple as a temporary fluctuation in your blood pressure or not getting enough nutrition. It may be time to show concern when you actually pass out from it, this is referred to as syncope. This means you completely lose consciousness. Even if it’s for a few seconds, it can be due to the cause of an underlying medical event that needs attention. If you fall when you pass out, you’ll need to see a doctor right away.

Experiencing any sort of slurred speech or cognitive issues could be the sign of a stroke, so call 911 right away. If you’ve noticed that you’re dizzy when you get up in the morning, be sure to rise out of bed slowly and not shift your head too fast from one side to the other. A sudden movement of your head can change the pressure in your inner ear and cause you to feel dizzy when you rise out of bed.

Controlling The Symptoms

Occasional dizziness often passes on its own without having to do anything but sit or lie down and rest for a while. If you do have dizziness frequently, you’ll need to find ways to control the symptoms. This starts with staying hydrated and taking all of your medications as prescribed by your doctor correctly. Avoiding any changes in your eating habits can also help. Try not to keep your eyes open during a dizzy spell, close them and try to relax. If you know what the triggers are for your dizziness, try to avoid them or take the steps to take precautions from having a severe dizzy spell spiral out of control.

Dizziness doesn’t have to be debilitating. Finding ways to cope will help you avoid panic and discomfort when an episode occurs.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tips to Ensure Quality Sleep in Seniors

Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you experience an erratic sleep cycle or notice symptoms of sleep disorders? Do you still feel tired even after hours of sleep?

Experts say that sleep patterns change as a person ages. It's common for doctors to hear seniors complain about sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea, which are usually influenced by the following factors:

  • Seniors produce lower levels of a hormone called melatonin that functions to regulate the sleep cycle.
  • Seniors experience different medical and psychological issues, including chronic diseases, that interrupt sleep and rest.
  • Physiologic changes brought on by aging may lead to aches and discomforts in different parts of the body that can disturb their sleep.
  • Seniors often take various medications that cause sleep disruptions.
  • Due to old habits, some seniors continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle and have poor sleeping routines.

Some might dismiss poor sleep as a normal part of aging. However, this belief is actually a myth. Barring the factors that might cause sleep problems, your body still needs the same consistent hours of quality sleep whether you’re 30 years old or 60.

Importance of a Good Sleep

Like eating a balanced diet and doing regular exercise, getting quality sleep also helps to keep your body in optimum health. If you’re well-rested:
  • You have a better mood and disposition.
  • You have a sharper mind.
  • Your body produces more hormones that help with tissues repair.
  • You feel energized.
  • You increase your immune system.
  • You alleviate stress.

Sleep Quantity vs. Sleep Quality

Experts determined that the recommended hours of sleep for adults, including those above 65 years old, is between 7 to 9 hours, while the appropriate hours of sleep are at least six hours. However, sleep quantity is not nearly as important as the sleep quality.

To evaluate your sleep quality, determine how many of these situations below apply to you. If you agree to more than one, then you’ll need to make changes to improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Do you stay a long time in bed at night tossing, turning, and hoping you can fall asleep faster?
  • Do you need sleeping pills to fall asleep?
  • Do you find yourself waking up more than once in the middle of the night?
  • Do you need caffeine or sugar to wake you up or stay alert during the day?
  • Do you take long naps during the day?

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Follow a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the morning as well. Do this daily, including the weekends or even if you’re on vacation.

Get comfortable. If body pains keep you up at night, you need to do something to manage the condition. For back pain, you might need to apply a cold pack or a hot compress in order to numb the pain. For foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis, alleviate the pain by wearing night splints with adjustable straps for proper splinting and support. For neck pain, consider using a soft pillow with just the right height.

Have a bedtime routine. A warm soak in the tub or a good book to read helps the body relax before bedtime. Develop a routine to prepare your body for rest each night.

Ditch the gadgets. If you use a computer or cell phone or if you like watching TV in bed, then perhaps it’s time to ditch these a couple of hours before your bedtime. It has been shown that artificial light coming from these sources can affect sleep and induce sleep disorders.

Make the bedroom conducive to sleeping.
Keep an ideal bedroom temperature and adjust the air conditioning, fan or thermostat before you settle in bed. Choose low lighting coming from a table lamp when you’re set up for bedtime. Use earplugs, if needed, to drown external noise.

Watch what you eat or drink.
Eating large servings during dinner time can keep you awake at night, especially if you have gastric issues or diabetes. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol before bedtime as well.

If you have been suffering from a lifestyle disease, you should also consider:

  • Asking your doctor to change your medication if it’s causing you discomfort and sleepless nights.
  • Seeking other methods, such as breathing techniques, meditation, yoga or acupuncture, to help with anxiety or pain.

Discuss your sleep issues on your next regular visit to your doctor. You might be asked to undergo additional tests to determine if there are specific health issues that need to be addressed in order to solve your sleep problems.

This is a guest blog entry.

What to Expect on Your First Prenatal Checkup

Photo URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/OghefWjG96w

So your prenatal test showed positive, and while you’re still reeling from the excitement, don’t forget to keep your health-care provider in the loop!

Your first prenatal exam is essential, as it confirms your pregnancy and provides you with a baseline of your health and your baby’s as you go along this significant journey. Your first checkup may be thrilling, nerve-racking, or everything in between, so it helps to know what to expect to make you better prepared for this moment.

When to Schedule an Appointment

The best time to have your first prenatal visit is as soon as your home pregnancy test shows positive. Even if you don’t have a doctor of choice yet, it is important to check with an obstetrician as soon as possible to help you get started on your prenatal care.

After all, you can always switch to another health-care provider once you find someone you prefer more. Usually, doctors schedule a first prenatal visit when you are eight weeks pregnant, although it may be sooner for some, especially those who have a certain medical condition or a problematic pregnancy in the past.

Even when you still haven’t had your first prenatal appointment, it’s best to let your pregnancy sink in immediately. This means being cautious in everything you do, what you eat, and taking note of all the basic dos and don’ts of pregnancy.

Preparing for Your Initial Checkup

You don’t want to be unprepared for your first prenatal consultation, especially once your doctor starts asking relevant questions. During your visit, your practitioner will want to know all the nitty-gritty details of your medical history, so make sure you key him or her in with adequate and the right information. If you need help remembering, check your home records or give your primary care doctor a call.

Fill in your doctor with the basics of your personal medical history, such as previous medical conditions, immunizations, or current allergies; your gynecological history, which includes the age when you had your first menstruation, details about your cycle, or any gynecological problem; your obstetrical history if any; a list of medications or supplements you are currently taking; and you and your partner’s family medical history.

Getting a Physical Exam

Your first trip the doctor should include a physical assessment in order to obtain baseline information for your overall health status. It also ensures that you are at your best shape as you start off your pregnancy.

During the procedure, your doctor will obtain your vital signs, which include your temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry using a Nonin pulse oximeter. Your weight is an important parameter as well, as a baseline is needed to determine your weight gain throughout pregnancy.

Aside from your vitals, you will undergo a routine check of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, as well as the chest, lungs, abdomen, reproductive organs, and other important parts and organs of the body. Particularly, your doctor may focus more on your breast, abdomen, and pelvis since these are areas of your body that will dramatically change as your pregnancy progresses to full term.

Laboratory Tests to Be Done

Other than the physical exam, your health-care provider is likely to request several laboratory tests that need to be done. Some of these tests include blood tests for hepatitis B, rubella, hemoglobin/hematocrit, Rh factor, and HIV.

Other procedures may also include a pap smear, cervical cultures, or an ultrasound, which will confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy. A urinalysis can also be another method to verify pregnancy, as well as to check for urinary tract infection.

Take Note

Once you’ve had your first prenatal check, you are then expected to visit your doctor regularly for prenatal consultations until your baby is born. Being constantly updated on how well your baby is developing through these trips to the doctor is not only a health measure, but also an overwhelming and memorable experience for expecting parents every time.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, January 29, 2018

How to Decide if a Nursing Home Is Necessary for Your Elderly Parent

Making the decision to put an aging loved one into a nursing home isn’t easy, and there are plenty of factors to consider before opting in or out. Caring for an elderly parent is difficult, and while many of us are hesitant to introduce the idea of a nursing home, in some situations, it’s truly the best call.

Signs It’s Time to Consider Professional Care

We can’t be with our aging parents 24/7, as much as we might wish that was the case. Look out for signs that it may be time to make the move to a nursing home:
  • Your parent’s age or dementia has progressed to the point of anger or aggressive behavior
  • Your parent has wondered outside the home and gotten lost
  • You’re suffering from caretaker burnout
  • Your own health is suffering
  • Your loved one has needs you simply can’t fulfill on your own
  • Your parent’s doctor has recommended nursing home placement
Consider Your Own Capabilities

With your own career, family, or personal life to think of, it’s easy to burn out trying to handle your own responsibilities while caring for an elderly loved one. Many discover they simply can’t “do it all”, and it’s no surprise; those who choose to become full-time caretakers to their aging family members often give up on their own social and professional commitments. Take your limitations into account, and make a decision that benefits both you and your loved one. 

Tour a Variety of Facilities

If you do decide full-time care at a nursing home is the right move, make sure you give yourself enough time to find the right senior care facility. Seek out referrals from friends or family members, and take tours of all facilities you can. It’s important to ensure you’re placing your loved one in a safe, clean, and welcoming environment—don’t rush this part of the process.

If it’s Not Yet Time for a Nursing Home…

If you’ve considered the benefits and drawbacks of moving your aging parent into a nursing home in full, and decided against it for now, make sure to do the following:
  • Invest in a Medical Alert System
Even if your elderly parent is still fairly independent, it never hurts to have safeguards in place. To ensure your parent gets the assistance they need when they need it, make an investment in a high-quality medical alert system. This technology is designed to call for help in the case of an emergency, and offers many features that will provide both of you with improved peace of mind. As you shop, look for medical alert devices with GPS capabilities, especially if your parent is showing early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  • Create a Check-in System with Relatives and Friends
You shouldn’t have to shoulder all the responsibility on your own, and providing more social opportunities for your elderly parent can help them feel better longer. Set up a check-in system with family members and close friends; designate Monday as your day to check in, Tuesday as your cousin’s, Wednesday as your spouse’s, and so on. Loved ones are likely available to hang out for an hour or two throughout the week, and this will relieve some of your responsibility—hopefully helping you avoid caretaker fatigue.
  • Consider Transportation Options
If your aging parent is no longer able to drive, you’re not their only option for transportation. Many communities offer free or low-cost senior transportation services; whether they have a doctor’s appointment or need to get their hair cut, shuttle options can ensure they get to where they need to be on time—without you having to rush over from your own job.

Deciding whether or not to move your elderly parent to a nursing home is challenging, but with the right consideration and strategies in place, you can make the decision a whole lot easier.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts for Elderly Women

People often equate getting older with a decline in physical health. You might even be told to "slow it down" if you're 60 years or older because your body is supposedly not what it used to be.

Avoiding physical activity in old age, however, is bad advice as many age-related health problems actually arise due to lack of exercise. The truth is that the human body, regardless of age, will be healthier, stronger, and happier simply by staying active.

Use It or Lose It

Studies have shown that people normally begin to lose eight percent of muscle mass every 10 years beginning at 40 years old. If you slow down on exercises in middle age then you might just exacerbate muscle loss and bone deterioration especially if you’re a woman.

A woman’s body changes faster than men due to hormonal changes brought on by menopause. Osteoporosis is also common in postmenopausal women, increasing their risk of sustaining fractures from a fall and other musculoskeletal injury caused by direct trauma. Physical fitness, therefore, is crucial during this transition as it can:
  • Prevent weight gain
  • Strengthen the bones and lower fracture risk due to osteoporosis
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Lower the risk for developing lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
Undergo a Medical Evaluation First

If you haven't exercised in a while, it's best to get a medical evaluation first. If you suffer from pain, discomfort, or difficulty in accomplishing certain activities, you'll need to get a clearance from your physician before enlisting in a fitness regimen. It’s also wise to ask for advice from your doctor on how to manage physical activities in old age.

Best Home Exercises for Elderly Women

Upper Body

Upper body exercises help improve your posture and the flexibility of your back, neck, and shoulders. They can also prevent muscles from tensing up with knots (which can lead to back pain and tension headaches).

  • Head and Neck. Begin with a head roll by tilting your head to the right until it almost touches the shoulder. Hold the position for at least one to two minutes and then do the same on the left side. Alternate directions for 8 to 10 times.
  • Shoulders. To ease shoulder tension, try letting your arms hang loose and then count to 20 while shaking your upper extremities. Slowly stretch your right hand over to your left shoulder and hold the position for a minute. Do the same for the left arm.

Lower Body

Women in general store more fat from the waist down to the hips and thighs, hence it's also important to keep these areas fit and trim. Make sure, however, that you are not currently suffering from back pain before you do these exercises below.

  • Waist and Hips. Set your feet apart while standing and hold your arms to your chest for balance. Slowly twist your waist as far as you can reach and switch directions. Do this at least 20 times. This exercise also helps with the flexibility of the muscles in your lower back and spine.
  • Buttocks. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched to your front. Slowly try to move forward using just your buttocks. Stretch your arms to your front to maintain balance. Do this routine for 20 counts.
  • Buttocks and Thighs. Lie down on the floor with your right ankle crossed over your left. With straight knees, raise your legs to a comfortable distance from the ground and hold the position for 10 seconds. Alternately switch your ankles and do this exercise at least eight times.

Feet and Legs

Keep your legs mobile and flexible to avoid developing health conditions like varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

  • Legs. You can use a platform for this exercise or use the first step on the stairs. With your back straight and your legs slightly apart, begin by stepping your right foot on the platform and then bending your knees to a lunging position. Hold for five seconds. Stretch your arms and then do the same for the left side. Do the routine at least 16 to 20 more times on each side.
  • Knees and Calves. Stand with your feet apart and slowly sit in a squatting position. Hold the position for 10 seconds and go back to starting position. Repeat at least 20 times.
  • Ankles. Sit on a chair with your legs slightly stretched out in front of you. Rotate your ankles clockwise and counter-clockwise to loosen the joints.

Putting an effort into physical fitness is more about managing your retirement years better. You'll notice your muscle power, body endurance, balance, and gait improve over time, allowing you more independent movement and better self-esteem.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Five Best Lower Body Exercises for People with Bad Knees

Approximately 25 percent of adults suffer from frequent knee pain. For many people, this knee pain causes them to avoid training their lower body altogether.

If you have bad knees, instead of skipping workouts, try tailoring your exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the knees to relieve your pain. Listed below are five of the best lower body exercises for people suffering from knee pain or knee injuries.

1. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge (also known sometimes as a floor bridge) is a strengthening exercise for both the glutes and the hamstrings.

To do this exercise properly, start by lying on your back with your knees bent. The knees should be hip-distance and the feet flexed (heels should be digging into the ground). Keep your arms by your sides.

Press down into the ground with your heels to lift your hips. Squeeze your glutes and lift the hips as high as you can without overarching the back. Hold for one count, then lower the hips back down to the floor.

Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps.

2. Static Squats

For some people with knee injuries, regular squats aren’t possible. However, static squats, which involve holding a squat position rather than moving through a full range of motion, can be a good alternative.

Stand with the feet hip-distance and cross the arms over the chest. Lower yourself into a squat position, sending the hips back while keeping the chest lifted and the weight in the heels.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, then return to a standing position. Repeat for 3 sets.

You can use a resistance band for an additional challenge, or wear a neoprene knee brace to help stabilize your knee while doing this exercise.

3. Single-leg Deadlift

Many people end up with knee pain because they didn’t properly rehab a foot or ankle injury. This causes them to adopt improper movement patterns that later lead to knee pain.

A single-leg deadlift is a great exercise that strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, and ankles while also challenging the balance and mind-body connection.

To do a single-leg deadlift properly, start by standing on the left foot with the knee bent slightly. Hinge at your hips to send your right leg back behind you. At the same time, keep your back flat and reach forward to touch the ground with the right fingertips.

Once you’re parallel to the ground, drive through your left heel to stand back up and return your right leg to the ground.

Repeat for 10-12 reps, then switch sides. Aim for 3 sets total.

Try holding a dumbbell for extra resistance.

4. Reverse Hyper

The reverse hyper is another exercise that targets the glutes without putting pressure on the knees.

Start by lying face down on a bench with the hips close to the edge.

Hold on to the end of the bench with your hands, but keep the upper body relaxed. Squeeze the legs together to activate the glutes, then lift your legs so they’re in line with the bench. Avoid hyperextending your back.

Hold for 3-5 seconds, squeezing the glutes the whole time, then lower your legs back down.

Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.  

5. Banded Lateral Walks

These are a great warm-up exercise that strengthens the thighs, hips, and glutes.

Step into a resistance loop (or create one by tying the ends of a resistance band together) and place it around the thighs.

Place your hands on your hips, bend the knees slightly, and take a wide step to the right with the right foot, then bring the left foot in to meet it. Repeat on the other side. Make sure you’re standing up tall with your abs engaged. Try to do 8 steps to the right, followed by 8 to the left, and repeat for 3 total sets.

To make this exercise more challenging, sit into a lower squat as you do your steps.

Training the lower body can be a challenge when you have knee pain. Keep these exercises in mind, though, and you’ll be able to build your lower body without putting extra strain on the knees.

Always consult a health care provider or personal trainer to make sure you know how to perform these exercises properly,

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Choosing the Healthiest E-Juice: E-Liquid Ingredients Explained

Vaping is about 95 percent healthier than smoking, according to Public Health England, mainly due to the lack of combustion. When you light a cigarette on fire, it produces more than 4,000 chemicals, at least 40 of which are known carcinogens.

Vaping uses heat instead of flame to produce a vapor from your e-juice, automatically making it a safer alternative. The only chemicals you’ll encounter are those used as ingredients, and you can keep those at a minimum.

Standard E-Liquid Ingredients

Most e-liquids contain the chemicals of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), along with optional nicotine and some type of flavoring. PG and VG are both generally recognized as safe for ingestion by the Food and Drug Administration, and both are widely used in a variety of consumer products.
  • Propylene glycol is frequently found in asthma inhalers, and it produces a sensation similar to smoking. PG is responsible for producing the throat hit vapors experience, and it’s also useful for carrying the flavor.
  • Vegetable glycerin has a range of uses, including keeping baked goods moist. It adds a hint of sweetness to e-liquid while helping to produce large vape clouds.
  • Nicotine is optional in most e-liquids, available in a range of levels. E-juice manufacturers may offer levels that start as high as 18 mg and dip all the way down to 0 mg. The healthiest option here would be an e-liquid with no nicotine.  
  • Flavoring can be derived from a natural extract or man-made from synthetic ingredients. The best way to avoid unnecessary chemical additives is to opt for flavoring created using natural extracts, such as the tobacco extract used in Black Note e-juice.
Other Possible Ingredients

Manufacturers may use a combination of natural and artificial flavorings in their e-liquids, with many ingredients carrying no known risks. Ingredients you may run across include:
  • Acetyl pyrazine: Organic compound for graham cracker-like flavor
  • Ethyl maltol: Organic compound for sweet flavor
  • Linalool: Component in flower, plant and fruit essential oils for herbal flavor
  • Malic acid: Organic compound for fruity and sour flavor
  • Tobacco absolute: Tobacco extract for tobacco flavor
  • Vanillin: This vanilla bean extract component for vanilla flavor
Ingredients to Avoid

While there are many components used for flavoring in e-liquids that have no known risks, a few of them are better off avoided. These include diacetyl, acetoin and acetyl propionyl.
  • Diacetyl is a buttery flavoring that has been associated with lung disease. Alternatives to diacetyl include acetyl propionyl and acetoin. 
  • Acetyl propionyl may carry risks similar to diacetyl. 
  • Acetoin is not known to be hazardous on its own, but it may contain traces of diacetyl.
For the healthiest vaping experience, it’s essential to know what’s in your e-liquid. While many ingredients may not come with any known risks, make sure you’re aware of those that do. The safest route is always the best route. This particularly holds true if you’re turning to vaping for a healthier alternative to smoking and you want to make vaping as healthy as it can be.


This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sports and Broken Legs: What You Should Know

If you’re a serious basketball fan, you’ve likely seen one of your favorite players get injured in the course of a season and have to miss weeks or even months of games while rehabilitating.

Injuries are common for some sports, especially team sports that require physical body contact with other players. Although the risk might be discouraging for some people, sports and physical activities are good for your physical and mental health. You only need to be aware of sports-related injuries such as fractures and how to manage them, as accidents do happen.

What is a Fracture?

A fracture occurs when a bone in the body cracks or breaks. Fractures are generally classified as compound or simple. In a compound or open fracture, the broken bone punctures through the skin while in a simple or closed fracture, the skin remains intact but there might be an obvious deformity. Signs and symptoms usually include swelling, pain, and limited movement in the injured area.

Athletes may suffer from fractures as a result of repetitive stress or due to a strong impact from an outside source that exceeds the bone threshold.

Broken Bones in the Lower Body

In the United States, approximately 35 million young people participate in different types of sports. Sports-related fractures are more common in men than women and are usually acquired from football, rugby, and skiing. Reported cases of fractures typically involved the upper limb, including the fingers, the wrist, and the arms. Although fractures in the lower limb are less common, fractures caused by stress are increasing in number and 90% of these are located in the lower extremities.

First Aid

Fractures from competitive sports are not usually life-threatening but these injuries require immediate care. If a healthcare professional is not around during the incident or is still on the way, here are some of the things you can do to help prior to their arrival.

Recognize the symptoms

If a person has a broken bone in his or her body, there can be:
  • Pain in the area that intensifies upon movement
  • Numbness
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Obvious deformity
  • A bone visibly piercing through the skin
  • Bleeding
  • Injured extremity is shorter than the other

Stop the bleeding

Use a clean piece of cloth to apply direct pressure to the wound without moving the bone.

Stay still

Let the person stay as still as possible and immobilize the injured area using a splint.

Cold compress

Apply a cold pack to the affected area to help reduce the swelling and relieve pain.

The Road to Recovery

It usually takes 6 to 12 months for the bones to heal significantly. The doctor or surgeon will be the one to determine if the bones are fully recovered and if the patient is allowed to bear weight again in that area. This depends greatly on the location of the fracture, its severity, and the surgical procedure done.

While on the recovery stage, it’s best to wear leg sleeves which can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and speed up your recovery time. If you are not sure what leg sleeves to get, you can check out this list.

There are also a few things you can do at home to help you on the road to recovery.

Adjust your home environment to aid your temporary needs.

If you are using crutches, a cane, or a walker, ask your family and friends to help you make your home fall-proof.
  • Rearrange the furniture to make navigation within your house easier.
  • Remove rugs or fix them to avoid tripping.
  • Make sure your house is well-lighted.
  • Keep a phone at an arm’s reach so that it’s easy to call for help in case something bad happens.
Do physical and mental exercises

Aside from working on your rehabilitation exercises as often as prescribed by a specialist, you also need to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally healthy, as disabilities often take a toll on the human spirit.
  • Have a support team to help you gain a positive outlook.
  • Do puzzles, play video games or other board games.
  • Communicate with friends and family daily.
  • Participate in social events.
Recovering from a fracture takes time and patience. Bone remodeling, the process of bone formation, requires a lot of energy. To help your bones and soft tissues with the healing process, increase your intake of high-calorie foods. Protein is also a key ingredient in repairing injured tissues so incorporate protein-rich foods in your diet as well.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

10 Clever Ways to Trick Your Child into a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone tried to escape their veggies when they were younger, but these days, the health hazards your children face are far more critical. From endless fast-food chain restaurants which offer popular toys with their meals, to eyes glued to touch screens which exercise nothing but their thumbs, it’s no wonder that the numbers of overweight children only continues to rise.

Parents have the thankless duty of pulling their kids out of these bad habits before they get older and the side effects become more difficult to reverse. But how do you get them off their devices and onto their feet? How do you get them to eat their greens? Simple: make the process seem like fun with a little bit of sneaky magic trickery! And here are 10 ways to do just that:

1. Make Healthy Food More Exciting
If your child has already sworn off broccoli, it’s not going to be easy to change their mind. But what if bits of the vegetable worked as the hair on top of a friendly face? Get artistic, mix colors to create culinary masterpieces, perhaps organizing fruit/veggies into animal shapes, or cookie cut them into various unrecognizable sizes, served like a tasting board of fun.

2. Disguise Healthy Food
If the above fails, why not use camouflage? Bake fruit into a low-calorie cake, or blend veggies into a tasty smoothie “milkshake”. Many parents have sworn by the entertainment value of dipping carrots or peppers into hummus or flavored yogurts, encouraging their kids to experiment and enjoy these foods.

3. Get Them Involved
No matter how old your child is, if they are part of the preparation team, there will be an additional sense of pride towards the final result. Allow them to pick out a few choice ingredients, give them a simple mealtime responsibility, and then enthusiastically educate them about the advantages of each nutritious food group along the way.

4. Select the Right Toys
Promote physical and mental development by researching the healthiest entertainment for kids on the market, such as water paints for creativity, building blocks for cognitive progression, video games which encourage physical activity (like Nickelodeon Fit), or colorful hand exerciser and stretcher products (like therapy putty) for strengthening their growing wrists and fingers. You’ll probably want to get involved with the fun too!

5. Have a Dance
Whenever you find a spare moment in the day, put on your child’s number one song and jump around the living room with them for as long as you can keep up. Dancing is a great way to increase the heartbeat and stretch the body out, not to mention that they will have no idea they are even exercising.

6. Play Outdoor Games with Them
Avoid the word “exercise” and replace it with more thrilling alternatives, such as “tag”, “swimming”, “trampoline jumping”, or “bike riding”. Even taking them to the zoo, the beach, or an amusement park will secretly promote a lot of healthy walking time.

7. Make It Competitive
Nothing will bring out the fire in your children quite like a little bit of a neighborly challenge. Set up a competition around a safe obstacle course or a friendly sporting game, and invite your kids as well as their friends to get involved. If no friends are around, challenge your child yourself, or express doubt that they can beat their previous record time.

8. Reward Them
With any of these suggestions, you are guaranteed success if you offer something concrete for their efforts, which doubles up as a great introduction to the capitalist system anyway. It doesn’t even have to be anything of significant value either, for example: allowing them to stay up 10 minutes past their bedtime, choosing tonight’s dinner, or simply a golden star stuck to their forehead. These prizes should be enough incentive to inspire your children to chase that warm sense of achievement, just like everyone does.

9. Encourage Barefoot Activities
An often overlooked trick is to remove your children’s shoes as often as possible. Considering that their developing feet will be responsible for a lifetime of balance, posture, growth, and functional nerve receptors, it is always recommended to introduce their toes to every different texture available. And, of course, they will adore the free feeling this practice provides.

10. Be a Good Influence
Finally, if you are overweight yourself and plagued by bad habits, it won’t take long until your child mimics these behaviors. Lead by example and use your young ones as motivation, by participating in all of the above suggestions too. And then before you know it, you will have even tricked yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

This is a guest blog post.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Understanding Parkinson’s Tremors

One of the hallmark symptoms of the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s is tremors, affecting about 80% of those with the disease. Understanding the types of tremors and how they are treated, may equip someone with Parkinson’s and their caregivers with tools to better manage the disease and improve day to day life.

What Causes Parkinson’s Tremors?
Different than other conditions like multiple sclerosis where tremors are most prominent with purposeful movement, Parkinson’s tremors often occur when limbs are at rest. Why exactly? The overall nature of Parkinson’s disease is a dysfunction of motor control centers due to damaged and dying nerve cells in the brain.

A decrease in dopamine production, a critical neurotransmitter, disrupts the normal communication processes between cells which help control body movements. When dopamine receptors are not sufficiently stimulated it causes a chain reaction in the brain of irregular neural impulses. As the motor cortex receives more and more irregular input from the thalamus which helps control motor and sensory signals, symptoms including tremors, bradykinesia (slowed movements), contractures, and balance problems.

Tremors specifically are believed to be the result of decreased thalamic output due to overstimulated of the globus pallidus interna (GPi), nuclei in the basal ganglia of the brain which regulate muscle tone. Skeletal muscles are voluntary which means they need specific signals from the brain to move, flex, etc. When those signals go haywire, you get movement dysfunction such as tremors.

What do Parkinson’s Tremors Look like?
While Parkinson’s tremors most often appear first in the hand, leg, or arm (and typically starting on just one side of the body), they may also present in the jaw, face, and feet. A cardinal Parkinson’s tremor is referred to as a “pill rolling tremor” because it looks like someone rolling something small, like a pill, between their thumb and forefinger, almost like a finger twitch.

Tremors in the leg when standing or lying down, as well as tremors in the hand when sitting, standing, or lying down, are often decreased when purposeful movement is taken like adjusting posture, reaching for something, or walking. Tremors may begin as minimal involuntary shaking, quivering or spasming and progress to very visible and disconcerting shaking that affects one or both sides of the body.

A clinical diagnosis from a neurologist will usually help someone with these types of tremors deduce whether Parkinson’s disease could be a factor. Other accompanying symptoms like lack of facial expressions, not blinking, not swinging arms at one’s side when walking, muscle stiffness and rigidity, and slowed movements contribute to a proper diagnosis.

Managing Parkinson’s Tremors
While some medications are used specifically to target tremor-type symptoms with dopamine-replacement therapy, there are also non-medicinal ways to mitigate the effect tremors have on your daily living at home:
  • Use a self-stabilizing spoon or other specially designed flatware which employs motion-sensing technology to counteract tremors when eating.
  • Keep up with aerobic exercises and low-impact activities which aid muscle flexibility, coordination, and balance (i.e. yoga, swimming, cycling, etc.)
  • Occupational and physical therapy can also re-train the body to better manage motor symptoms
  • Home health equipment like shower chairs, bed rails, and grab bars can simplify daily tasks and provide support and stability as tremors worsen
  • Tremors in the jaw and tongue may subside in part by chewing gum
Combined with slowed movements, muscle rigidity, and postural instability, tremors can increase risk for someone suffering from Parkinson’s to experience a debilitating, even potentially fatal falls. Taking precautions in the home to prevent falls can therefore significantly improve their health outcomes.

Fall prevention starts with clearing away unnecessary clutter from common walkways, as well as removing trip hazards like cords and curled up carpet corners. People with Parkinson’s and their loved ones may also consider installing fall mats by couches and beds where a lot of standing and sitting happens.

This is a guest blog post.

Monday, January 15, 2018

What Is So Important About The Stress Hormone Cortisol?

Cortisol is actually a key hormone in your body and regulates many of the daily processes; these include your immune response and your metabolism.

It is important to be aware that your body is a complex piece of machinery. There are thousands of different chemical processes which are carried out every day, disrupting even one of these can make a difference to your health.

Unfortunately, cortisol can disrupt nearly all of them! There is a good reason for this but, what really makes cortisol so important is modern society!


In times of stress your body releases the hormone cortisol. It has one predominant purpose, to prepare your body for a fight or to run away.

This is a primitive response but an essential one; in a life threatening situation you need to either run, or fight, potentially to the death.

The release of cortisol prevents many of your normal chemical processes from working. All available energy is redirected to your muscles; ready for action. Your body will also stock up on fat reserves, making you hungry; this is to help you survive if you have to flee.

The problem is that when your normal processes are prevented from working you’ll find there are drops in key chemicals. Men will notice a drop in testosterone. In fact, it is worth having your testosterone levels checked regularly by a reputable firm. A quick search online will reveal a number of hormone test providers, testochecker is one which works hard to get you fast results.

How Modern Life Affects This Process

Releasing cortisol in a life or death situation is essential and the prevention of your normal process is acceptable. However, this is supposed to be a short term thing and your hormone levels will return to normal.

The problem is that your body doesn’t know the difference between an armed robbery which threatens your life and a stressful meeting at the office. Cortisol is released in both situations.

In short, your body is stressed the majority of the time and the result is an inability for your body to perform correctly.

The real reason cortisol is so important is that it prevents your body from working normally.

Dealing With Stress

There are many techniques for dealing with and limiting stress. Of course you can’t simply avoid stress altogether but you can choose moments to completely de-stress.

Yoga, physical exercise and even reading can all help to take your mind away from the stress of modern life. In fact any activity that you enjoy will enable you to put your worries aside and allow you to de-stress.

To ensure that your approach is effective it is advisable to have regular hormone tests. This will help you to detect any issues in your body while making sure that your cortisol levels are right.

Cortisol has an important role to play in your body but it must be in the right context. You need to monitor your hormone levels and periodically reduce your stress to ensure you retain the best possible health.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Select the Right Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are fantastic workout tools that have proven their value time and time again. In fact, the use of medicine balls in workouts can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece!

Sure, the availability of medicine balls may have been more limited back then, but tracking down the right medicine ball today can also be a difficult task. Finding the best medicine ball can involve a number of factors, depending on a person’s physical size, as well as their fitness aims.

What are the uses of medicine balls?

Medicine balls can be used in a variety of ways, but a couple of areas are most common. Chiefly, medicine balls are used for power, strength, and endurance training exercises. Medicine balls can be used as a standalone fitness tool, or as part of a wider fitness regime, used in tandem to other strength exercises such as pushups to build overall muscle mass.

Beyond gym sessions and regular workouts, medicine balls can also be used for physiotherapy and other forms of rehabilitation. The diversity of all these uses means a medicine ball is a wonderful addition to any home gym, personal training regimen, or even a lounge room or office.  This is especially so as just like a bicycle or skipping rope can be used for a variety of training options, no matter how a medicine ball is used, it is always a fun piece of equipment to have.

How to choose the right medicine ball?

Medicine balls come in a number of shapes and sizes, and each size can provide different benefits. As a rule, a good fit in a medicine ball will be one that (roughly) fits the diameter of the user’s shoulders. For this reason, someone with narrow shoulders will require a different size of medicine ball compared to someone with broad shoulders.

As well as matching the diameter of the user’s shoulder, a medicine ball should also be properly weighted for the exercise it is used for. While plyometrics exercises will generally employ a smaller and lighter medicine ball, strength training and resistance exercises will require a heavier ball.

To some degree medicine balls can be used interchangeably - so two people with roughly the same shoulder width could use the same medicine ball - but it depends on an individual’s build. There are three main types of human body builds - ectomorph (slim shoulders), mesomorph (regular shoulders), and endomorph (wide shoulders).

The type of build an individual has will inform the type of medicine ball they choose, as an ectomorph build should avoid using a medicine ball that would best suit an endomorph’s build.
The same rule applies vice-versa.

What else is important to know about medicine balls?

It is also important to consider whether a medicine ball will be used with other equipment. For anyone that is engaging in plyometrics workouts - AKA pylos or jump training - a medicine ball is selected that can be used in complement to the pylos steps.  A medicine ball that may be perfectly suitable when used as a standalone tool could be too heavy for pylos and endanger a user or be too small and ineffective in use.

Over time it is completely fine for a user to increase the weight of their medicine ball as their strength and fitness increases, but maintaining a cautious approach to the use of medicine balls is essential. Just like any other weighted workout tool, the extra weight can come with extra risks, so careful use is a must.

Final thoughts

The addition of a medicine ball to regular physical exercise can provide a number of great benefits across the board whether it is for strength building, cardio fitness, or more serious physiotherapy and rehabilitation. While the benefits are numerous, there do remain two key factors that are very important when it comes to using a medicine ball.

First, that a medicine ball is selected that suits the physical size, fitness, and overall goals of its user. Secondly, that a medicine ball is introduced into physical exercise gradually. Like any activity, gradual incorporation is ideal to prevent the risk of injuries due to ‘too much too soon’.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Tips On How To Lose Weight Safely

When you’re feeling overweight, and it’s making you miserable, you might be tempted to try to lose that excess weight quickly. However, that can be dangerous, leading to health problems, as extreme dieting usually means you won’t receive the nutrients your body needs to keep healthy.

It can also be counter-productive, as the weight that you lose through a ‘fad’ diet, or a blast of quick dieting, is easily put back on again when that diet is unsustainable. It’s much better, therefore, to look at ways to lose weight safely. It may take longer, but you won’t make yourself sick, and if you can maintain your new regime, you won’t put the weight back on again either.

One of the most important things that you will need to do to lose weight safely is to get active. You need to burn off more calories than you consume, and therefore exercise is essential. There are many different routes that you can take that will provide you with the right amount of exercise; you might join an aerobics class or start dancing. You might take up a new sport. You might simply go to the gym to lift weights and do cardiovascular activities. As long as you remember to warm up and wind down, take any advice your doctor gives you about exercising, and do it regularly, this will certainly help you to lose weight, plus it will help you to build more muscle mass, and keep your internal organs healthy too. If you need an added boost, you can take Sportsfuel sports supplements.

If losing weight is all about burning off more calories than you take in, then it makes sense to supplement your exercise regime with a better, more balanced diet. This way you’ll be burning off calories and taking in less of them in the first place. Remember, eating fewer calories doesn’t (necessarily) mean eating less food, and suddenly drastically reducing your food intake can have terrible side effects, making you extremely unwell. The best way to diet properly is to switch your unhealthier foods to better ones. Eat more fruit and vegetables instead of snacking on cookies and cakes. Only have dessert as a treat now and then. Persuade your whole family to join in, and it will make creating healthy dishes much easier, plus everyone can encourage one another to continue.

Healthier Habits
Sometimes, getting healthy is more about ditching your bad habits and replacing them with healthier ones than anything else. Instead of driving to the local store, try walking. Stop smoking. Many people skip breakfast, but eating a healthy one means you’ll be less likely to snack later on in the day. Drink more water, especially before a meal as this will help fill you up, allowing you to eat less. Only eat when you’re hungry, and make sure you eat slowly, taking time to chew every mouthful. Try to eat at the table, with the family; if you eat while doing something else such as working, or watching TV, you might not realize when you’re full, as you’ll be distracted. Finally, don’t feel guilty if you leave food. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of the smaller portions that you need.

This is a guest blog entry.

Shoulder Separation Injury in Active Individuals

Do you lead an active lifestyle? If you do, then you probably worry about injuries that can dislocate, sprain or fracture your bones and joints. The fear is well-founded, indeed. Trauma to the shoulder is among the most common among such injuries. These include the separation of shoulder joints, a broken collarbone, or a fractured shoulder blade.

A shoulder separation injury happens when there is trauma to the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) where the clavicle and the highest point of your shoulder meet. Usually, the separation of the AC joint happens when you fall directly on your shoulder.

You should never confuse a shoulder separation injury with a shoulder dislocation. Although symptoms may be similar at the onset of the injury, dislocation occurs at the large joint where the shoulder attaches itself to the arm. Separation, as mentioned previously, occurs at the junction where the collarbone meets the shoulder.

Causes and Risk Factors

Aside from falling directly on your shoulder, another common cause of shoulder separation injuries is a direct blow to the shoulder while engaged in contact sports or through an accident. In fact, the only reported risk factor of shoulder separation injuries is participating in contact sports such as hockey and football as well as those that involve falls like volleyball, downhill skiing, and gymnastics.

Nearly 50% of shoulder-related injuries are shoulder (AC) separation injuries are sustained through contact sports.

Signs and Symptoms
How will you know if you’re suffering from a separated shoulder? Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:
  • Weakness of the arm or shoulder
  • Bruising or swelling of the shoulder
  • Pain or tenderness at the end of the collarbone
  • A bump at the top of your shoulder
  • Restricted movement of the shoulder
As soon as you notice these symptoms, you should seek medical help. Treatment options for this injury may include undergoing physical therapy, performing some range of motion exercises, wearing shoulder braces, and taking prescription medicines.

Physical Therapy Treatments for Shoulder Separation

  • Most treatments usually start with exercise. The shoulder exercises will be painful at the beginning, however, they are essential to re-strengthening the shoulder gradually. Remember to avoid performing any motions that pull too hard or jerk the shoulder.
  • Shoulder separation treatment benefits greatly from adduction exercises. These are done to strengthen motion towards the chest. You can also do this at home by taking a pillow and holding it in between your chest and arms. Begin by squeezing the pillow lightly. Aim to hold it for five seconds or as long as you can. Increase the duration as you get stronger.
  • You can also try performing flexion exercises, which will strengthen the shoulder muscles responsible for moving your arm away from your body. Do this by standing next to a wall with your elbow pressing against it. Now push your fist against the wall while keeping your arm bent. Keep this up for five seconds and then release.
Range of Motion Exercises for the Shoulder
When your shoulder has regained strength, it is time attempt range of motion exercises. The flexing capacity of the shoulder is enhanced by standing and keeping the injured arm straight at your side. Begin by raising your arm then place it over your head. Keep this position for at least five seconds. Keep on repeating this step at least 10 times.

Improving the extension of the arm is also essential. Do this by holding your injured arm against your side then move it behind your back while keeping your elbow straight. Do not bend your elbows as it defeats the purpose of extension exercises. Keep this position for at least five seconds. As you continue this step, try holding it for a longer period. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

The last step for the range of motion exercises is geared towards improving the outward movement of your arm. Bring your injured arm up until it’s positioned like a wing. Hold the position for five seconds and repeat ten times.

Wear Shoulder Braces
A shoulder brace provides compression, rest, and support to allow healing of the shoulder. Choosing shoulder braces that are equipped with adjustable fasteners can allow the orthopedic doctor to control or change the range of motion of your shoulder, ensuring that only allowable movement is done during rehabilitation. You can also wear a shoulder brace to protect and prevent your shoulder injury from recurring.

Shoulder injuries can put a dent in your athletic career. Heeding your doctor’s advice when it comes to managing your shoulder injury will be the best course of action if you want your shoulder to recovery in the shortest span of time.

This is a guest blog entry.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Why shop in an Online Pharmacy?

The rise of vast accessible pharmacies has been an ongoing fad with different enticing offers. The value of prescription medication stimulated a thoroughly polemical topic within the healthcare industry and authorities all over the world.

Based on Healthsystemtracker’s National Health Expenditure data from 1960-2015 and 2016-2025, one out of four health consumers under prescription drugs experience complexity in paying their prescription drugs. A previous Kaiser Family Foundation public survey resulted in mutual cooperation between two political parties to stimulate awareness and movement in decreasing prescription medication charges. While the payment of medications for independent consumers stands still, the costs of the medical doctor’s expenditure will continue to increase as projected until 2025.

Reading between the numbers and figures, as a health consumer it is our right to know all the convenient options in buying medications and the most popular method nowadays entails prescriptions online. E-Pharmacy gives optimum convenience in providing significant health care benefits with the following reasons below:
  1. Centralization of patient information
  2. Systematic drug dispensation
  3. Support for drug interactions
  4. Digital prescription availability
As narrowed down by the PharmacyChecker, we can classify three different types of online pharmacies. The traditional online pharmacies entail an absolute requirement of obtaining prescriptions directly from your health care provider. They are proven to be cost-effective compared to pharmacies that provide in-house prescriptions. Main players in this belt are the huge U.S.-based links, Canada, Australia, India, Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; vast regional and global mail order prescription fulfillment hubs. Generally, the traditional pharmacies host a complete coverage of medically prescribed drugs available in a physical drugstore with the exception of the bona fide online pharmacies strictly adhering to the international laws. They do not supply controlled medications outside of their respective countries.

An ease of access serves as a key feature of distinctive online pharmacies offering remote consultation to all limitations of a busy, working, or commuting patient. This enables the immediate solution of turning to websites as built-in consultation pharmacies. The innovation of providing portable medical consultation focuses on patient’s subjective symptoms, trust-based medical history as the primary assessment of an online physician. Getting a new prescription for simple medical cases is easily done due to this process. It saves time and effort and involves fast implementation of medical treatment. It is also noted that the concentration of remote prescribing pharmacies is mostly for non-habit forming medications which typically do not need tight health surveillance.

Precedently, the American Medical Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an advisory remark on remote medical dialogues as an inferior medical practice denoting an absence of ascertained conduction of initial physical examination. Nevertheless, various well-known health insurances support the choice quality of telemedicine. Another interesting study involves the Mayo Clinic which resulted in a conclusion that such competently implemented outlying consultations are equally or more successful than conventional medical sessions.

The third type of online pharmacy is called «rogue» due to their deceptive strategies. These pharmacies tend to sell prescribed drugs to customers regardless of the lawful requirement.

Purchasing via these websites is critically hazardous to one’s health and might also implicate terrible fraudulent financial activities on any customer by stealing private information. The classical attribute of an astucious online drugstore can easily be identified now.

Among the trusted, thriving selection of conducive yet economical web drugstores, Meds4sure.com showcases its endeavors in implementing its diverse assortment of medicinal goods and optimized collaboration with PharmaDoctor to ensure patients benefit from online consultation seamlessly for prescripion-specific therapies.

The cost-effective commitment of Meds4sure maintains price matching standards affirming its competitiveness as one of the country's reliable healthcare treatment provisional in the digital market. Achieving a warm average-rating, this pharmacy indicates a tremendous effort in addressing complex needs with consistency in serving people.

Recognizing all productive signs of a quality web pharmacy to observe and check prior to placing orders for your medications should be done. Online shopping for medicines must be taken seriously and carefully. It can be an advantage to aid patients with limited capacity, pinch pennies fashionably and uphold healthcare's advocacy in every way. Hence, maximizing the convenience of ordering medicines via the internet is a privilege that this ever-changing technology imparts in our healthcare industry.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, January 05, 2018

5 Unexpected New Year's Resolutions That Can Help You Lose Weight

It's not uncommon for people to make weight loss one of their resolutions for the new year. With this year coming to an end, you may be thinking about ways you can set yourself up for success in the new year. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can ensure weight loss and better health going into the future. In this article, we're going to help you by offering 5 resolutions you can make for a better life.

Make Smaller Goals
A lot of people go into the new year planning to lose a specific amount of weight, but they tend to take all the weight they want to lose into consideration. Instead of thinking about losing 50lbs, for example, break it down into smaller amounts. Think about losing 5lbs or so, and then focus on reaching that goal. After that, tell yourself you'll lose another 5lbs.

By breaking it down, the small amount allows you to focus on a realistic goal instead of overwhelming yourself with a massive number. You can also break it down by asking yourself what you can do on a daily or weekly basis to contribute to that goal. For example, you might decide to spend 30 minutes on a spin bike every day. Over time, these small goals add up to serious gains.

Keep a Food Journal
Another resolution you can make is to keep a food journal. Initially, you can start by just tracking everything you eat and drink without judgment or making any changes. Once you've tracked for a week or two, take a look at what you've written down and find one or two small changes you can make to move toward a healthier diet.

It's also a great idea to focus on adding things rather than subtracting. When possible, think of adding things like fruits and vegetables into your diet instead of telling yourself to cut back on sugars and other unhealthy foods. When you do that, you'll eventually start to eat enough healthy foods that you won't have room for as many of the unhealthy options. It's all about making small changes that add up over time.

Try Out a Meal Delivery Service
For some, finding a recipe, gathering all the ingredients and combining them in the right way can get confusing and complicated. If you tend to have trouble with meal planning, there are a number of growing services that can help you with cooking healthy, home-made meals.

These kinds of meal delivery services understand that you may be busy, or just have trouble planning meals. It certainly isn't a task for everyone. In those cases, a food delivery service may be just what you need to create easy, healthy meals.

Do It Together
Regardless of how big or small your resolution is, it's a great idea to work with someone to reach it. This could be a friend who also wants to work on their weight loss as a New Year's resolution. In which case, you won't have to worry about being judged because they're working toward the same kind of goal. You'll also be able to rely on each other for support, share healthy recipes and more.

Another option would be to hire a personal trainer, who will be able to help you reach your goals by tailoring an exercise plan for you. They can also push you when you're feeling sore or unmotivated.

Stay Positive
When it comes to any goal and particularly a weight loss goal, it's very important to stay positive. Losing weight can come with its ups and downs and it can be a slow process. There might be times when you feel beaten down and want to give up, but if you pushing forward, you will get there in time.

On the same note, trying to rush your weight loss can lead to more frustration and also be damaging to your body. The best way to create effective weight loss is to take it little by little and make changes that will be lasting, that way your body will get used to the changes and a new weight.

There are a number of smaller resolutions you can make for the new year that will help you to reach your ultimate weight loss goal. There are also some you may not have thought about before, such as staying positive or trying out a food delivery service for healthy recipes and convenience.

Making smaller goals that will be easier to reach will not only allow you to reach your larger goal more quickly, but can also help to make the effects more lasting than forcing yourself onto a strict diet and exercise routine to drop the pounds as quickly as possible.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Three Tips to Soothe Arthritis-Related Hand and Finger Pain

Throughout the United States, arthritis is an incredibly common condition. More than 50 million people currently suffer from one form of arthritis, and, by 2030, that number is expected to increase to almost 67 million.

One of the first places people with arthritis start to notice pain and stiffness is in the hands and fingers. This pain can make everyday tasks like cooking or tying your shoes incredibly difficult.

Fortunately, there are a few different solutions out there that can ease your pain and improve your quality of life. 

Hot/Cold Therapy

Alternating between hot and cold treatments is a tried and true method for soothing arthritis-related pain in the hands and fingers (and throughout the body.)

Heat helps loosen up stiff joints, and cold temperatures help numb pain and reduce inflammation.

You can apply heat to the hands and fingers in the form of a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or just a towel soaked in warm water. Make sure the heat is tolerable (you don’t want to accidentally burn yourself) and avoid applying heat to any area for more than 20 minutes at a time.

When it comes to cold therapy, ice packs or even frozen bags of vegetables are great options. It’s helpful to put a towel or cloth between your hands and the ice pack to avoid discomfort from the cold. As with heat therapy, don’t apply the ice to your hands for more than 20 minutes at a time. Cold therapy also isn’t recommended for people who have circulation issues.

Finger Splits

If you’re suffering from finger pain and stiffness, arthritis finger splints are another good treatment option, especially if you have difficulty straightening the finger joints and opening and closing the hand.

Finger splints come in a variety of styles, including the following:
  • Buddy splints (attach one finger to another)
  • Static splints (hold the joint in a fixed position)
  • Stack splints (fit over the end of the finger to keep the first joint from bending)
  • Dynamic splints (provide a prolonged stretch for stiff joints)
  • Ring splints (work in a similar way to stack splints, but they’re thinner and have a more stylish appearance)
The type of finger splint you use will vary depending on the parts of your fingers that are experiencing the most pain and stiffness.

Research shows that finger splints are especially effective when worn at night. One study even found that participants who wore splints every night for one year saw a 50 percent decrease in pain compared to those who did not wear the splints regularly.

Hand Exercises

Exercises to stretch and strengthen the hands and fingers can also work wonders in increasing mobility and minimizing pain and stiffness.

You can do the following exercises anywhere, anytime, without any equipment.

Make a Fist

Start by extending your hand and straightening all your fingers as best you can. Then, slowly bend your fingers to make a fist with your thumb on the outside. Don’t squeeze your hand too tightly.
Repeat ten times, then perform the entire sequence on the other hand.

Finger Bends

Extend your hand and straighten all your fingers. Then, bend your thumb down toward your palm. Hold briefly, then straighten your thumb. Repeat with each finger, then repeat the sequence on the opposite hand.

Thumb Bends

Extend your hand and straighten your fingers. Then, bend your thumb in towards the base of your pinky finger. If you can’t reach it, don’t worry. Just bend it in as far as you can. Return to the start and repeat 10 times. Then, repeat with the other hand.

Make an “O”

Extend your hand and straighten your fingers. Then, bend all of them inward until they touch and form an “O” shape. Hold for a few seconds, then straighten. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other hand.

Finger Lifts

Place your hand flat on a table with your palm facing down. Slowly lift each finger off the table one at a time, starting with your thumb. Hold each finger in an elevated position for a couple seconds before lowering it. Repeat on the opposite hand.

Wrist Stretches

You wrists need attention, too. One of the easiest ways to stretch them out is to extend your arm with your palm facing down. Then, use the opposite hand to gentle place the right hand down until you start to feel a stretch in your arm and wrist. Hold this position for a couple of seconds and repeat it 10 times before repeating with the opposite wrist.

Repeat these exercises daily, and use ice, heat, and finger splints as needed and you’ll soon find that your hands and fingers feel stronger and more flexible.

This is a guest blog entry.

5 Surprising Herbs and Spices That Relieve Pain

Whether or not you consider yourself an able cook, chances are you’ll have a pantry full of herbs and spices to add to your dishes. You might grow them from seed in your garden, add them to flower bouquets, or buy the dried variety from the store to use in your cooking; but have you ever considered that these kitchen staples could deliver more than just flavor?

Most of us buy painkillers and over the counter remedies without realizing how many natural medicines we already have in our kitchen cupboards. With so many flavors at our fingertips, it's easy to forget that most herbs and spices boast a medical history dating back thousands of years. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rediscover the miracle of ancient medicines – here are some of the world’s most surprising natural pain relievers and the ailments they can cure.


Not only will a cup of chamomile tea calm an anxious mind, but the fragrant flower can also help relieve menstrual cramps. If you want to enjoy the full medicinal benefits of the fragrant bud, however, you will need to invest in chamomile capsules. According to research, it would take around 14 teabags stewed in two cups of water to relieve acute menstrual pain, which amounts to a lot of tea!


Known for its yellow color and unique flavor, turmeric is a staple for your medicine cabinet as well as your curries. The spice contains an antioxidant called curcumin, which is known to treat indigestion, ulcers, stomach upsets and general aches and pains. You can add turmeric to soups, curries, and stews, as well as mixing it into teas and plant milk to aid digestion. Just be careful not to get it on your clothing, as turmeric will stain your clothes.


These brown, twiggy buds may look strange, but cloves can be used to treat many conditions, making them an essential addition to your spice rack. Thanks to their active ingredient eugenol, ground cloves or clove oil can help relieve toothaches, headaches, and nausea. The spice can be added to food to provide an aniseed flavor, or purchased in capsule, powder, or oil forms.


Although the use and possession of cannabis are illegal in the United States, the Asian plant has been used medicinally for thousands of years. In America, the use and distribution of medical marijuana are permitted in 29 states to help treat pain, nausea, and neurological disorders in patients. The evidence may be controversial, but it’s hard to deny the plant’s effectiveness when you consider that it was given to laboring mothers in Ancient China. If you’re in the medical field and you want to learn more about the different types of cannabis, visit the WeedSeedShop website.


Many people use thyme in their dishes without realizing how many health-boosting qualities this herb possesses. The evergreen plant can help to fight infection, clear out the lungs, and even reduce migraine symptoms. Thyme it also smells great, which is why the Ancient Greeks used it to “purify” their homes. You can include thyme in your cooking, either fresh or dried, or buy it in oil form to add to healthy salads.

This is a guest blog entry.