Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Staying Fit Over 60

One of the latest buzzwords in wellness is the compression of morbidity. Until recently, folks over 60 could expect to deal with a seemingly ever-growing list of chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and so on, for the last ten or fifteen years of their lives, if not more.

Increasingly, that is no longer the case, as people are both living longer and enjoying a higher quality of life, even in their later years.

But to take full advantage of this phenomenon, physical exercise is an absolute must. And regardless of how we feel, our bodies are physically much different in their 60s than they were in their 20s.

Avoiding Injury

We see injury recovery play out all the time on the baseball field. Whereas younger players almost always recover fully from major injuries and major surgery, among older players, full recovery is a little more hit or miss.

In this context, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and the best way to recover from injuries is to avoid them in the first place, if at all possible.

Warm up before your workout. When your face feels slightly flushed, your breathing is a little bit labored, and your heart rate is somewhat elevated, you are probably warmed up. For most people, about ten minutes of light cardio, such as easy jogging or a workout machine on low setting, usually does the trick.

Also, cool down after your exercise routine is over. About ten minutes of walking or other very light exercise will normally lower your heart rate, cool your face, and let you catch your breath.

As we age, our bodies take a little longer to reach peak performance level and then go back to a normal operating rate. One noted exercise physiologist and Olympic trainer said that warm-up and cool down is like a bridge to exercise.

Stretching is also important for older exercisers. While this activity is essentially optional for younger people, blood flow slows with age, so a failure to stretch greatly increases the risk of muscle tears and strains. And as mentioned earlier, while a shin support or another similar wrap often takes care of shin splints and other low-grade injuries, more serious injuries, like an ACL tear, are almost impossible to overcome.

Remembering Strength Exercises

Cardio workouts, like running and swimming, get most of the attention in the upper age brackets, because that’s where most of the benefits lie. That being said, it would be a mistake to completely neglect strength exercises. Our bodies lose up to 40 percent of their muscle mass as we age, making it harder to fight off diseases and maintain an active schedule.

Strength exercises usually require a personal trainer or other professional, at least at the start, since an incorrect regimen can be quite dangerous. Many local gyms offer an hour or two with a trainer at little or no cost, so take advantage of these opportunities.

Although the “no pain no gain” mantra is not very good advice, there is a kernel of truth in this debunked saying, because muscles only grow through resistance. Your trainer can give you ways to gradually ramp up a weightlifting routine in order to maximize benefits.

Exercise over 60 is not exactly a Fountain of Youth, but it is close. And the cool thing about exercise is that it’s never too late to start.

This is a guest blog post.

Monday, June 26, 2017

3 Do’s and Don'ts of Bedsore Treatment

Do you care for a loved one with limited mobility or do you yourself spend most of your day in a bed or recliner? Your risk factors for developing a bedsore, or pressure ulcer, increase when you are confined to a sitting or lying position. Why? Because blood circulation slows down when you’re not moving, and bonier parts of the body are consistently experiencing pressure from the surface on which you’re lying or sitting.

The good news is that bedsores are preventable and treatable. With sufficient knowledge and medical help for treatment, preventing tissue breakdown and infection can be aided with the help of these three do’s and don’ts.

DO Seek Medical Attention | DON’T Try and Repair On Your Own
When it comes to bedsores, the wound can transition through stages dangerously quickly, so early detection and medical treatment is critical. A stage I bedsore may simply present as a reddish discoloration of the skin over a bony protrusion like the tailbone, elbows, shoulder blades, heels, or hips. At the first sign, seeking medical attention from your (or your loved one’s) doctor is a must, as internal tissues can quickly get cut off from blow flow, die, decay, and lead to life-threatening infections.

A primary care physician can diagnose the stage of a pressure ulcer, provide guided instruction for treatment, refer you or your loved one to a wound specialist, and even write an order for home health to visit to help monitor and treat the sore. No amount of internet searches and self-diagnosis will help you get the professional knowledge and treatment supplies with which to properly heal and prevent progression of a bedsore.

DO Get a Cushion | DON’T Get a Donut Pillow
Cushioning plays an important role in aiding and preventing bedsores as it can help redistribute weight of a mobility-limited person who spends most of their time in a bed or recliner. Your average spring-based mattress made mostly with polyester, foam, and cotton batting can increase the pressure placed on vulnerable parts of the body, cutting off blood flow and leading to tissue breakdown and therefore, pressure ulcers.

Alternating air pressure mattresses and gel or memory foam mattress toppers provide much-needed relief, comfort, and better weight distribution for patients who spend most of their time in bed. In much the same way, a memory foam or gel cushion for wheelchair allows a patient with susceptible tailbone or hip points to sit comfortably and still get out and about. Donut pillows which are round with a hole in the middle actually force more pressure on the tailbone when sitting in them and can reopen or worsen existing bedsores.

DO Treat Skin Breakdown | DON’T Over-moisturize Skin
A common misconception is that overly dry skin on a pressure ulcer is more likely to crack and break open. The flipside is just as dangerous, however, as overly moist skin can become macerated and easily tear or break open. Experts recommend applying ‘barrier’ creams to early stage bedsores or bony areas which receive a significant amount of moisture, i.e. the tailbone area of someone who experiences incontinence.

A barrier cream keeps out sweat, urine, moisture, and contaminants, helping protect skin as well as prevent infection. Oxygen also plays a significant role in helping existing bedsores heal, so for example, for a patient with a sore on their tailbone, spending intermittent amounts of time flipped on their side with the affected area open to clean, dry air can aid healing and keep skin strong.

Other beneficial do’s include:

•    Do eat a diet rich with protein, vitamin C, zinc, and calcium to boost tissue repair
•    Do quit smoking to boost blood circulation
•    Do shift weight frequently to alleviate vulnerable pressure points
•    Do stay hydrated with water
•    Do address incontinence issues and management

When it comes to pressure ulcers, what you do and don’t do can make all the difference in preventing skin breakdown, tissue decay, and infection. Stay informed and when in doubt, ask a medical professional.

 This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, June 23, 2017

How To Put Away Your Pills And Manage Arthritic Hands

Many arthritis sufferers are caught betwixt and between. Advil and other analgesic over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t strong enough, but Oxycontin and other opioid prescription painkillers are highly addictive. Perhaps the problem is that many of us view medication as the entire solution as opposed to a piece of the puzzle.

Medical intervention is ideal for flare-ups, and although some people claim it is possible to deal with conditions like trigger finger with some natural remedies, it’s usually a much better idea to just use a good trigger finger splint.

But since there is no splint or wrap for everyday chronic pain, dealing with this discomfort requires a more thoughtful approach.


It may sound far-fetched to some, but there is considerable evidence that mindfulness reduces arthritis pain and makes it more manageable.

Pain messages are a lot like news stories. “Breaking News” headlines are hard to ignore, but when a commentator appears to tell us what’s wrong with America, it is a little easier to change the channel. Likewise, when nerve endings declare that “something is wrong” and send intense pain signals, these signals are almost impossible to drown out. But non-emergency messages are a little easier to muffle.

That’s where meditation comes in. By focusing on something other than pain messages for a few minutes, some people can effectively ignore the pain for several hours thereafter.

The goal should probably not be to meditate the pain away altogether, because that is not very likely to happen, at least after just a few minutes of deep breathing once or twice a day. But meditation can, and usually does, reduce your dependency on painkillers and often also reduces the pain enough to the point that analgesics are much more effective.


This one may seem a bit far-fetched as well, but once again, there is evidence that certain kinds of fat reduce joint stiffness.

Omega-3s, which are in fish oils and some other foods, have shown considerable promise in surveys and chemical trials, but since you’ll need to consume a lot of these fats, consult a doctor before taking any supplements. The same goes for the plant-based fat GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).

Some herbs, like turmeric, may help reduce arthritis pain as well, but there is little research directly on point.

Like meditation, curry and cod will not make your arthritis go into remission, and it probably won’t be anywhere nearly that effective. But diet can take the edge of arthritis pain and make the day more manageable with fewer pills.


Skip the weightlifting exercises, because excessive and strong gripping can lead to the aforementioned trigger finger.

Instead, focus on flexibility exercises. Here are a few good ones. Taking up a string instrument, like a violin or a guitar, often helps flex fingers as well. For the first few days, most people experience significant discomfort, but this short-term pain is basically like an investment in long-term pain relief, and the investment is almost always worthwhile.

Temperature Therapy

Well-applied hot and cold therapy can greatly reduce your medication use as well.

Heat eases joint stiffness, especially at the beginning and end of the day. Some people respond to a good hand soaking in warm water, and for others, a heating pad might do the trick. Commercial hot packs are available as well that don’t radiate as much heat or use electricity.

While warmth reduces the stiffness that triggers pain signals, ice dampens the nerve endings and decreases inflammation. Ice your hands for about fifteen or twenty minutes to get the most benefit, so if you use a commercial ice pack, be sure it stays cold for a long time.

By changing the way you think about medicine, your pills will go much further than they did before.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

7 Summer Health & Safety Reminders for Seniors

With the official start of summer comes important safety reminders and checklists for seniors. From beating the heat to remembering to stay hydrated, small, proactive actions can keep you in on the summer fun and out of trouble. Don’t miss these top 7:

Don’t Overdo It
As the warm sun beckons you outside to spend all day working in the garden, tending to the landscaping, or clearing out the garage, it’s important to remember not to overdo it. While your body may not recognize strain and joint stress right away, especially on lower back muscles, over a few days you will feel the ache and pain in your inflamed muscles and joints. Avoid spending a significant amount of time bending over, stooping, leaning, and reaching - instead use sitting stools, reacher grabbers, and frequent breaks to ease up on your body and place less stress on internal joints and muscles.

Stay Hydrated

Did you know that you may not feel thirsty even when you’re dehydrated? Metabolic imbalances can hinder thirst function and the general wear and tear of aging makes it more difficult to conserve water. The resulting dehydration can quickly sneak up on you and lead to serious medical complications. Setting reminders to drink water regularly throughout the day, as well as in-taking lots of water-rich fruits, vegetables, and soups, and drinking additional electrolyte-based beverages (with sodium and potassium) can ensure your body’s cells get all the hydration they need to function normally.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
With temperatures soaring above 100 degrees in many towns across the U.S. at just the start of the summer, it’s critically important for older adults and their caregivers to recognize signs of heat stroke. Hyperthermia, or heat stroke, can quickly spiral out of control and become life-threatening. Seek medical attention immediately if your body temperature spikes and you experience:

•    Headaches
•    Nausea or vomiting
•    Confusion, disorientation, or agitation
•    Dry, flushed skin
•    Rapid pulse
•    Heavy breathing
•    Not sweating and even fainting

Dress Lightly
Wearing loose, breathable clothing made with less synthetic materials (like cotton) during the summer does more than you may know. In addition to helping you stay cool, it provides greater comfort, is easier to put on, and allows for more active, fluid movement. A dressing aid for the disabled may help a senior with limited range of motion or mobility continue to be able to get dressed on their own. One item that should never be loose however? Shoes. Proper fitting shoes with smooth bottoms help support and stabilize strong mobility as well as potentially prevent falls.
Beat the Heat

Properly cooled environments may be a luxury for some seniors, though some local nonprofits and programs could potentially help you acquire a free or discounted unit. If you don’t have air conditioning or your unit breaks on a very hot day, try to get out of your house until it is fixed. Go to a friend’s house or area with air conditioning like a movie theatre or coffee shop. Don’t wait outside in scalding heat for a bus, but instead call a friend, neighbor, or local rideshare service for a ride if you cannot transport yourself. If you are unable to leave the house, cool off in cool shower or bath until help arrives.

Practice Sun Safety
Just as you would in your younger years, practice sun safety by wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen when spending extended amounts of time outdoors. According to SkinCancer.org, an estimated 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. SPF 30+ is a safe recommendation when it comes to sunscreen, but it is also important to remember that limited sun exposure is healthy for the body which converts UV rays into Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in helping your body absorb calcium and grow bones as well as lowering your risk of developing some chronic diseases.

Watch Out for Water
Much of the fun of summer is cooling off with water! When traveling and having family over during the warm summer months, be careful of puddles and spills that come with grandkids tracking in water from the beach or dogs knocking over their water bowls after a hike. Slick and slippery surfaces turn your home into a dangerous environment with increased risk of you falling and injuring yourself. One out of three seniors over 65 will experience a fall, and many in their own home. Be smart about cleaning up spills and asking guests to dry off prior to entering your home after a dunk in the pool or ocean.

Ultimately, seniors should always have multiple emergency contacts whom they can reach out to if an issue comes up including air conditioning breaking, running out of clean, drinkable water, or needing help with a big summer project. Storing emergency numbers in a smartphone as well as printing them off and posting them in a common area, like the kitchen, can ensure that in the event of an emergency, help isn’t far away this summer.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why You Should Consider Enrolling in a Health Informatics Degree

Are you unsure about which course you want to take? Thousands of people have been in the same position as you in the past and some have decided to enroll in a health informatics degree course. For many of these individuals, this is the best career decision they have ever made. Health informatics is a relatively new health care discipline and it is an area that will continue to develop and grow for many years to come. Below are some of the main reasons why you should consider starting a health informatics degree course.

Health Informatics Courses Are Recognized by a Wide Range of Organizations

The leading masters in health informatics programs are high-quality, accredited programs that are recognized worldwide by many of the world's leading research libraries, health care organizations, and colleges and universities. The latest research carried out in this area and the information and skills you learn and develop through an online MSHI degree are invaluable and have the potential to open many doors when you graduate from this type of course.

Health Informatics Professionals Are In-demand

Information Technology is playing a bigger role in the health sector and the people who work on these systems are in high demand at the moment. This is a trend that looks set to continue long into the future, which means you can face the future with more certainty because you will always be employed to carry out this type of work for many years to come.

You Have Better Career Opportunities

As well as having job security, the type of jobs you can apply for are high quality, high paying positions, with excellent working conditions and benefits. This is reassuring to know and it means you can have a higher standard of living compared to other roles and provide a better lifestyle for yourself and your family in future years.

You Will Be Helping a Large Number of People

As well as the personal benefits that come with completing this type of program, the skills you develop will be used to help large numbers of people. You may eventually be the person that ensures that health care systems are secure and that the details of patients are kept safe.

You Can Have a Role in Shaping the Future of Health Care

As mentioned earlier, health informatics is a new health care discipline and the people working in this area are pioneering many new ideas and approaches to health care. Once you qualify in this area, you can join these health care professionals and start shaping the future of the health care sector and find ways to improve the way things are done.

If you're sitting on the fence about which degree course to take, it's worth your while finding out more about the health informatics degree courses that are currently available. You may find that this type of FE course is the perfect fit for you and you could eventually benefit from doing this type of course in the ways mentioned above.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Annual Checkup

Have you put off your annual checkup with a doctor for a few years now? Sure you feel healthy, have no major complaints, and rarely get sick; but did you know that underlying conditions with serious consequences down the line may be completely unnoticeable to you?

You can’t feel cholesterol building in your blood, and you may not recognize early warning signs up Type II diabetes. A doctor will.

Check out 6 reasons why you shouldn’t skip your annual exam:

May Not Cost a Thing
Since an annual exam or physical can help prevent issues down the line, many health insurance companies write it off at no expense (or at least a discount) to you. Your doctor may also, depending on your sex, age, and condition, refer you to other free preventative screenings and tests like a colonoscopy, mammogram, or prostate exam. The only cost is often your time, and for potential early detection, it is worth it.

Starts a Conversation
An annual checkup with your doctor is largely about opening a dialogue around lifestyle and habits, good and bad. It’s a chance for you to bring concerns to the table, to talk about fitness levels and exercise, as well as diet, sleep, and other factors which impact your health. Syncing you up with resources like smoking cessation counseling or a mental health specialist will also be easier once you see a primary physician and speak with them about your health.

Gives You a Professional Opinion
You can scan online resources and self-diagnose until you are blue in the face, but the opinion of a medical doctor who completes a full evaluation of your health is priceless. In addition to a regular physical, a doctor may order tests to check blood sugar, cholesterol, urine, and other metabolic functions and body processes. Hard data is actionable, which means that if your doctor notices something irregular in a blood panel for example, they may be able to issue treatment or further tests right away.

Emphasizes Early Detection
When it comes to cancer and chronic illness, any expert will tell you that early detection is the best possible way to get ahead of your disease. An annual checkup provides that window of opportunity for doctors to track down potential issues that may progress into life-threatening illnesses. Something imperceptible like a new mole on the back of your neck, a fluttering heartbeat, or a swollen lymph node will be picked up on by your doctor during an annual exam and addressed right away to rule out any issues.

Sets a Baseline
Understanding what is “normal” when it comes to your vitals, including respiration and pulse rate, temperature, and a healthy blood pressure reading, helps your doctor update your medical record and have recent data on hand in case of an emergency. This baseline indicates what health trends you exhibit as far as normal functioning of your body’s processes, and if treatment is needed for a developing condition, helps your doctor understand what to get back to.

Is Simple Math
Did you know 1 in 5 Americans has high blood pressure which can lead to heart and artery problems? Or that 1 in 4 women die from heart disease? Or that 86 million adults over 20 in the U.S. have prediabetes? The statistics are shocking, but a diagnosis doesn’t have to be. Lifestyle changes, education, and early detection can significantly reduce your risk of developing preventable diseases as well as improve the success rate of early treatment.

Annual exams are simply a nice “to do” to check off the list. Getting a checkup and knowing you are healthy and doing all the right things for your mind and body can be a huge confidence and energy boost too. So why not go ahead and schedule a quick visit to the doctor? You’ll be glad you did.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How to Tell Whether You Have Allergies or a Cold?

You wake up and your throat is sore, your head feels like a million pounds, and your nose is dripping away. Immediately you think the worst - strep, sinus infection, a cold, eek! Before you let your imagination run wild and potentially run up an expensive urgent care or doctor’s bill, run down a quick checklist to gauge if what you have may actually be allergies.
Have you been in close contact with anyone who has a cold?

Unlike allergies, cold viruses are contagious. Allergies occur when your body believes external bodies like pollen, dust, or grass are actually harmful germs. It triggers an immune reaction to fight them off, and this production of histamine and other chemicals by the body causes your nose to stuff up and drip, and for you to cough or feel itchy.

A cold on the other hand is in fact the presence of a virus in your system which causes your body to rightfully man a defense to ward off further infection. This immune reaction may also involve a stuffy nose, cough, etc. Cold viruses can live on the hands of people with a cold who have sneezed or coughed into their hands, for example, and they can spread the virus by touching doorknobs and other common surfaces.

Do you have a fever?
A fever is typically the body’s response to fighting off foreign bodies like viruses or bacteria. Specifically, the hypothalamus portion of the brain which regulates temperature will raise the setpoint of your body’s temperature to help your immune system fight off invading viruses or bacteria. An increase in body temperature fosters a more hostile environment to prevent bacteria and viruses from replicating and getting worse.

Allergies will never cue a body temperature change like a fever, while occasionally a cold virus will. If you are not sure if you have a fever, get a thermometer from your local pharmacy. Gone are the days of under the tongue thermometers which can carry germs if not used with protective covers. If you are looking for the best forehead thermometer, find one with features like easy to read digital display and digital memory for recording recent readings.

Are you itchy?
Itchy, irritated eyes, throat, ears, and nose are often a body’s histamine response to allergens, and not a cold. As mentioned, histamine is a protein produced by the body as an immune response to infection or abrasion. It travels up the spinal cord to the brain which then activates specific nerve fibers to induce an itching response.

When you scratch an itch you slow key brain activity and the result is a pleasurable feeling. Colds will rarely cause itchy symptoms while itchy skin, throat, and ears as well as itchy and watery eyes is a common effect of allergies. Unlike allergies, however, colds may cause feelings of achiness and soreness in your joints and muscles because your body is diverting white blood cells from those areas to fight off the virus.

Are symptoms sticking around?

While cold symptoms typically take a few days to develop, contact with an allergen can trigger an allergic response, like sneezing, almost right away. Are your symptoms starting and sticking around? Seasonal allergies flare up with changes in weather between seasons, most commonly in spring and summer, and can last for months. A cold virus is typically wiped out by the body’s immune system within a couple weeks.

Allergies may even cause frightening looking white spots in the throat or eczema bumps, however, without further evaluation this can be hard to decipher from a potential infection. If you’re able to gauge the severity of your symptoms and potential cause, great! If you need a little more help and simply feel awful, it’s always worth seeing the doctor. Even if your symptoms are simply related to “allergies,” your healthcare provider may be able to provide antihistamine and steroid medications to aid with your body’s overreaction to seasonal allergens.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

3 Types of Transportation Which Help Increase Mobility Among the Elderly

Staying active and doing daily tasks as you get older can be a challenge. You may find that neither your body nor your mind works as well or quickly as it once did. Regardless if you suffer from a debilitating medical condition or you have arthritis that impairs your ability to function with ease, there is help. The Disabled World states 6.1 million people rely on canes, crutches, and walkers annually.

The good news is you can choose from a variety of these transportation devices and which can lessen your burden and enhance your mobility in the process. Knowing basic information about your options is the key to making the best choice and having a higher quality of life.

Type #1: Motorized scooters

One of the biggest challenges you may face is going where you need to without the assistance of others. Of course, being independent is sure to be high on your list of priorities as you get older. The last thing you will want is having to rely on friends and family to always be there to help you get through the day.

Taking a brief amount of time out of your day and visiting Quingo USA can allow you to see a variety of motorized scooters. This device is compact and easy to navigate regardless where you’re headed.

Listed below are other benefits of using a motorized scooter:

1.  Improved lifestyle – Do you love to go grocery shopping, but getting around the store is a problem? If so, relying on a scooter of this type can have you moving along the aisles with ease.

2.  Comfortability – The last thing you want is to be stuck in a device that isn’t comfortable when you’re trying to get help moving. This item can be custom made to assist you in moving with ease and aid you in remaining healthy in the process.

3.  Affordable – Most elderly people are on a strict budget and are looking for an affordable option. Choosing a scooter can help you remain mobile and may be covered by your health insurance in some cases.

Type #2: Canes

One of the more basic ways to provide you with stability as you get older is a walking cane. These are inexpensive and easy to use to assist you in remaining mobile over time.

Walking canes provide lots of support for your body and can be the ideal way to assist you staying active over the years. This item can additionally help reduce the stress on your knees, and is beneficial to any person that is getting older. Additionally, using a walking cane in the right capacity may even be helpful in strengthening your upper body.

Type #3: Walkers

Not being able to maintain your balance and walk with ease isn’t uncommon among seniors. One way to allow you to do so is by purchasing a walker to assist you with walking.

There are a variety of walkers on the market today, and it’s essential to consider your basic needs. For instance, if you’ve suffered a stroke and have partial paralysis, you may benefit the most from a hemi walker. These are designed to help individuals that don’t have full control of the entire body and can be extremely helpful in allowing you to be mobile.

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop living or enjoying life. You simply need to find the right mode of transportation to allow you to keep your body moving and make the most out of every day. Taking time to find the device that suits your needs and enables you to do the things necessary daily is entirely possible!

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Simple Steps to Help You Lose Weight

Today, many people desire to lead a healthy lifestyle by losing weight. Maintaining a manageable weight is known to help prevent various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart-related complications. Apart from that, losing weight uplifts an individual's self-esteem, improves moods, and enables them to have better sleep.

The ideal weight loss diet should consist of all the necessary nutrients vital for body nourishment, help one stay satisfied for longer, and enhance metabolism. The following steps can guide one on how to achieve their weight loss goals in 30 days.

1. Eliminate artificial and refined sugar from the diet

Consumption of foods that contain refined or artificial sugars stimulates the production of insulin in the body. Insulin is also known as the fat storage hormone. Eliminating these sugars lowers insulin production hence enabling fat to leave the fat stores. This way the body starts burning the fats. In addition lowering insulin levels enable the kidneys to flush excess water and sodium out of the body hence reducing water weight and bloating.

2. Exercise

Exercising is more often than not associated with going to the gym. However, many people have limited time or can't afford the gym. There are many exercises that one can do at home such as stair climbing, rope skipping, jogging, and walking briskly. Doing house chores can also contribute a great deal in weight loss. Incorporating exercises in a weight loss diet plan helps accelerate the burning of fats and calories.

3. Embark on a healthy diet plan

A balanced meal should contain essential nutrients to the body such as fats, vegetables, and proteins. A weight loss diet should be low on carbs and high on proteins. A high protein diet is filling and reduces appetite and cravings. Proteins can be sourced from fish, meat, and eggs. Low carb sources include broccoli, spinach, kale, and cucumber. Healthy fats can be sourced from coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. Any weight loss program should contain a considerable amount of fiber which can be sourced from nuts, lentils, and flax seeds.

4. Drink sufficient water

Drinking enough water helps keep the body sufficiently hydrated. Water helps flush out toxins out of the body and aids metabolism. Water is also calorie-free and can be a contributing factor to fast weight loss. This healthy drink though is not a favorite of many people. It is said to have a flat taste. Thankfully, there are various healthy ways of flavoring water to give it a pleasant taste. Individuals can infuse it with their favorite fruits or even vegetables. Additionally, one can purchase flavored water. It is important to check the ingredients to ensure there is no presence of added sugars or even sweeteners.


After consistently following this weight loss program, one can evaluate their diet outcome after one month. It is paramount to understand that different people respond differently to weight loss diet programs. While some may lose weight fast, others may lose a few calories.

This is a guest blog entry.

Is Golf Exercise?

Looking to spice up your daily exercise routine? Golf may not seem like a fitness regimen that is going to benefit your physical and mental health. Isn’t it just a lot of standing around and hitting balls and standing around some more? Surprisingly, golf has loads of health benefits when you tackle it as more of an exercise and less of a leisure activity.

A 2015 NPR poll found that over soccer, softball, and tennis, of the sports that adults enjoy playing the most, golf topped the list. For many retirees, golf provides an entire day’s worth of enjoyment plus exercise and social interaction.

The average 18-hole golf course ranges between 5.7 and 7.8 miles roughly according to an interesting experiment from Golf Monthly. If you walk the distance between holes you’re clocking thousands of steps and potentially burning 1,500 - 2,000+ calories on an 18-hole course. That is substantial considering a 175 lb. runner in a more high-impact situation would need to run 5 miles straight in an hour to burn just around 650 calories.

Other health benefits of playing golf include:

Cardiorespiratory Activity
Logging thousands of steps between holes means a boost in blood circulation. With an increase in heart rate, golfers exercise and strengthen the heart muscle, as well as increase blood flow around the body all the way from the toes to the brain. Being outside and increasing breath intake means strengthening respiratory muscles as well for better, stronger lung capacity.

Muscle Engagement
The pull back, swing, and follow through of hitting golf balls, from long drives to short putts, engages an array of key muscle groups. The glutes help control hip rotation and extension, the pectoralis and latissimus muscles give strength to the swing and stabilize shoulder motion, the core abdominal and back muscles hold the swing together and tighten up torso rotation, and the forearm springs the body’s energy of the swing down into the club for the strike.

Low Injury Risk
As a low-impact sport, golf plays an important role in providing fitness opportunities, especially to older adults, with a lower risk of injury than high-impact sports like soccer or running. This is important for helping seniors with arthritis or osteoporosis stay active. Even with some muscle or tendon strains, medical aids like a knee or wrist brace for golf can keep golfers playing with less pain and stress to important joints.

Cognitive Boost
The focus golf requires stimulates cognitive activity, getting neural pathways humming and honing skills of concentration. This type of mental exercise is important for combating dementia and Alzheimer’s down the line. Spending a significant amount of time outdoors surrounded by the natural setting of a golf course has also been linked to more attentive, positive, and happier moods.

Extended Longevity
This one might seem far-fetched, but a 2008 study out of Karolinska Intitutet in Sweden actually found that the death rate for golfers was a whopping 40% lower than for people of the same age, sex, and socioeconomic status who did not golf. In addition to the positive effects on physical health, golf also is a social game often played with friends, engaging players in regular conversation and emotional stimulation.

The key to getting the most out of golf as a fitness activity is to skip some of the components that focus on golf as a leisure activity like high-calorie meals at the country club, riding in golf carts between holes instead of walking them, and using a caddy to carry your clubs instead of carrying them yourself.

When it comes to revamping your exercise routine and exploring a new hobby, tee up for a little golf action - it generates more physical and mental benefits than you know!

This is a guest blog entry.

Follow These 6 Lifestyle Changes to Get Glowing Skin

Image Credit: Pixabay
If you have been using a lotion or moisturizer on your skin and not getting the results you want, you should consider some lifestyle changes that can help. First, make sure the lotion you are using includes a skin-tightening element. This is important no matter your age as you want to do preventative care, especially in your neck and chin area. Once you have selected the best tightening lotions for the neck and you have a good overall moisturizing regime, time to start working on those lifestyle changes to bring it all together.

1. Get Enough Sleep

The time that you sleep is the time that your body has to replenish and turn skin cells over. While you are sleeping, your body sloughs off thousands of dead skin cells and creates new cells underneath. Get proper rest so your body can do its job.

2. Meditate

Being stress-free is important and important factor in having glowing skin. Consider the many lines and wrinkles that cover your face. Where are they? They are at your fore brow, where we squint and furrow our brows. They are at the edge of your eyes, your crow’s feet, also from squinting. They are around our pursed mouths. When we are relaxed, our faces are relaxed as well.

3. Drink Water Throughout the Day

Our bodies are mostly made of water, but when our skin feels dry and cracked, we don’t think to moisturize from the inside as well as the outside. Drink 8 glasses of water each day, no matter what. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can use a flavor enhancer like lemon or fresh orange spritzer.

4. Exercise for Health

Exercise is another tool for getting glowing skin. Nothing beats the look of accomplishment on your slightly sweaty face after a work-out. That sweating is important for cleaning out our skin pores, so embrace the sweat! Also, don’t forget to exercise your face as well. Do neck exercises and chin stretches to keep the skin pliable in this area.

5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes time to nourish your body, give it the best fuel you can. Choose high nutrient, high vitamin greens, berries, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and plenty of fresh melons.

6. Watch Your Sun Intake 

The sun is good for you to a certain extent. You want to get about 20-30 minutes of all over body sun exposure each day so you can make Vitamin D, a vitamin many women lack in particular. After the 30 minutes, cover up and wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Also, don’t absorb the height of day sun. Instead, sit out in the early morning when you can still get the benefits of sunlight without the harsh UV rays.

Try these healthy lifestyle changes to get dewy and glowing skin. Keep maintaining your exfoliation, cleansing, and moisturizing routine and you will notice some great changes to the look of your body’s largest organ, your skin.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Options for Chronic Relapsers

Have you found yourself or a loved one going back to an addiction to drugs time and time again? Even after going through treatment?

Chronic relapsing is what lies at the core of an addiction to drugs. An addict will continue to seek out the drug of choice, even after they have been in recovery for a long time. An addict can easily become trapped in a veritable cycle of prolonged alcohol or drug abuse. An addict might even be quite knowledgeable about the processes and vocabulary of recovery and still find that they relapse, even sometimes after only a few hours of being out of a treatment program. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that might help a chronic relapser.


Ibogaine is a psychoactive substance that is naturally occurring in plants that are part of the Apocynaceae family. It is a psychedelic substance that has dissociative properties. This substance is being used as an alternative medicine that is used to deal with things like drug addiction. Clinical studies regarding Ibogaine treatment for drug addiction have been going on since the early 1990s. This might be an option that can prevent chronic relapsers from relapsing again. For example, see this recent study.

Treatment for Temptations that Lead to Drug Abuse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals who are suffering from mental illness can be as much as twice as likely to become addicted to drugs if they choose to experiment with them as a way to cope with their illness. That being said, it must also be remembered that just because someone suffers from a mental illness, that doesn’t mean that they will automatically become addicted to drugs.

If someone who does suffer from mental illness and tries to deal with those issues by using drugs, it is important that if they want to recover, they get the proper treatment for the mental issues so that they will not be tempted to go back to using their drug of choice as a way of coping.

Treatment for Chronic Relapsers

There are quite a few questions that need to be answered when it comes to determining where a residential treatment program should take place for a chronic relapser. There are specific protocols that have been established by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that can be used to find the ideal treatment facility. These include things such as:

• Any facility used for residential treatment should have the commitment and skill that are necessary to create a treatment plan that is personalized and will include treatment that deals with chronic relapsing.

• The treatment plan that is designed needs to be flexible enough so that it can be altered as the addict’s needs change during the time of the treatment and even beyond that time.

• This program for treatment needs to be available as soon as the addict is ready, available, and willing to take part without hesitating.

• The plan for treatment should include group or individual therapy, or even both types, as they are required by the addict.

• The treatment should take enough time to meet the individual’s needs based on the circumstances of the person in need of rehabilitation.

• The treatment facility needs to have a good understanding that treatment can be an endeavor that can and frequently will take a lot of time, including multiple or extended treatments. Each of the current and past residents should take part in continued care and self–help recovery groups after the treatment at the facility has ended.

Keep Fighting

If you or someone you know and love has gone through treatment for an addiction to drugs, and has relapsed, it is important that you not lose hope. You should understand that addiction is a condition that is chronic. There are a wide range of treatment options that include therapies that are complementary and even alternative therapies, as well as medicine replacement in some instances. These things can help when it comes to fighting against the stress and issues that can lead to relapse. If you have the tools to succeed, and the determination, there can be recovery.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Helping Seniors With Limited Mobility

Like so many other areas of health and wellness, limited mobility is not just a physical issue. Instead, mind, body, and spirit all need to work together.

Obviously, if age, injury, illness, or some combination of the three has made it difficult for a person to move around, there are physical challenges to overcome. At the same time, frustration over the condition and a fear of losing independence often set in as well. Stresses like these trigger cortisol production, and since this stress hormone usually makes the situation worse, a downward spiral may begin.

Here are some ways you can address all these areas and truly help parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, and any other mobility-impaired people in your life.

Start Slow

It’s very natural to encourage Mom to take a walk in the park with you, because it is so sunny and warm outside. However, Mom may simply not be able to take that walk. If she’s been living with mobility impairment for quite some time, her sedentary body cannot handle that level of activity right away. On the opposite end of the scale, if Mom just started using a cane, she probably does not have enough self-confidence for a walk in the park.

Start with a walk through the house. Next week, walk next door to see the neighbors, and the next week, try a jaunt around the block. An approach like this one builds up inactive muscles and shows reluctant minds that it is possible to walk again.

Moreover, be very patient, because there will most probably be days when Mom does not want to get out of her chair.

Play Nintendo Wii

Several recent studies, including one in the Journal of Aging Research and one from the American Physical Therapy Association, suggest that mobility-impaired seniors often lose their sense of balance, largely because of their inactivity. Wii games like bowling, tennis, and baseball help restore that sensation, thus improving mobility. Spend a little extra on the Wii Fit, because it has even more balance games.

In addition to the physical benefits, seniors quickly learn that getting up and moving around is fun. That addresses both the immobility blues and accompanying self-confidence issues.

Low Impact Exercises

Once Dad is up and moving again, and feeling a little better about himself, it’s probably time to take the next step and set him up in a senior exercise group. Once again, expect considerable resistance to this step, because it’s never easy for people to get out of their comfort zones.

Most local YMCAs have senior water aerobics classes, and many yoga studios hold classes just for senior beginners.

On top of the physical activity he gets, Dad will benefit from the social interaction with other mobility-impaired seniors, thus addressing the mind and body issues that these seniors deal with.

Medical Alert Device

Now, it may be time to take the next step towards mobility independence, but there’s a big problem.

Some of us have flashed a smile when we saw those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials (or maybe I’m just talking to myself), but falls are very, very serious. Each year, 1.8 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms after falls, and about 15,000 a year die after falling. These statistics are very frightening for both seniors and caregivers.

A medical alert device relieves these fears to a considerable extent. A senior knows that help is just a button-push away. Some newer models even have sensors that automatically go off when the wearer falls. At the same time, caregivers have peace of mind.

Independence Devices

How can you help mobility-impaired seniors have the tools they need to live independently and not end up in a scene like this one?

First of all, focus on what he needs, and not on what you need. Second, be attentive to those needs. For example, if Dad is having problems getting his shoes on, surprise him with a shoe horn for disabled people. Third, take things slow. There may be a time and place for a conversation about an assisted living facility, but disrupting newly-found independence is a bad idea.

For everyone involved, a plan that takes into account the mental and physical aspects of mobility impairment is much more likely to succeed than sporadic and well-intentioned attempts to “help” the person.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Why a Nursing Career Could Be Ideal for You

Choosing a career path is a very serious decision that will have a profound impact on the course of your life, so it makes sense that you'd want to do something you'll enjoy. Many times people sacrifice their own enjoyment for careers they aren't really passionate about just to have a higher salary.

Of course, with money being the motivator it's certainly understandable that most students are looking for careers that pay well. However, there are so many other factors to take into consideration as well, such as job availability, starting pay, benefits, ease of the job, and more. With that said, here are a few reasons why nursing is a good choice for many students.

1. Career Advancement Opportunities

One of the best parts about becoming a nurse is that your career doesn't have to stop there. Once you've obtained a basic online nursing degree you can then later return to your education in your spare time to graduate from an RN to MSN online program. You could even use a distance learning institution like Norwich University to earn your master of science in nursing, which would make you eligible for higher paying nursing jobs. It only takes two years to become a registered nurse and from there you can continue advancing your career online.

2. Low Rate of Unemployment 

Nurses also enjoy a very low rate of unemployment at only about 2%, which essentially means they have a 98% chance of being employed at all times. This is especially true for someone who has earned an MSN online because experienced nurses are almost guaranteed a job. In fact, over the next five years, there's going to be a significant shortage of nurses in many developed nations, which means that qualified individuals will be in high demand.

3. Widespread Job Opportunities

Hospitals and clinics are everywhere, so you'll never have trouble finding prospective employers. This is not only good for job security it's also nice to know that you have the freedom to move just about anywhere without having to worry about whether you're going to be able to find employment. You even have the option of taking your skills overseas to another country and experiencing a new culture. The option to move where you want is definitely an added benefit, but many nurses use it as a way to ensure that they'll be able to find a job in a specific place, like their hometown or a place they've always wanted to move to.

Good Pay and Benefits

In closing, the most obvious reason why so many people find the nursing profession to be desirable is the pay and the benefits that come with it. Even the starting pay for a registered nurse is about $20/hour, and with overtime pay, it goes much higher. Plus, you could eventually continue your education in the medical field and climb up the ranks of becoming a doctor or surgeon, in which case you could be making more than 2-3 times as much as a registered nurse.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Essential Tips For Starting Yoga As A Senior

Physical activity is an essential part of living a healthy life. It does not only improve a person’s longevity, but also has numerous benefits for the overall well-being of the human body – not only physical, but also psychological.

Unfortunately, as the body grows older, it also becomes much harder to participate in physical activities – especially when diseases like arthritis start to flare up. This, however, does not mean senior citizens does not have any options when it comes to participating in physical exercises that will help them keep their bodies fit and working, while also supporting their overall health and reducing their risk of developing diseases and health concerns that may lead to further complications in their lives.

Participating in cardio and strength training exercises might seem a little daunting for a senior citizen. Therefore, it is often recommended that a senior consider participating in frequent yoga exercises to help them gain some level of physical activity, while also enjoying the benefits that yoga has for them. While there are some yoga poses that are very challenging, a series of beginning yoga poses for seniors have been developed to help older individuals enjoy yoga without pushing their bodies to extreme limits.

The Benefits Of Yoga For Seniors

We would like to introduce you to some of the best yoga poses for seniors, but we should first start out by taking a quick look at the benefits that you can obtain from practicing yoga frequently as a senior. One of the most significant benefits that yoga has for senior participants is the fact that it does count as a form of physical exercise – yoga increases the consumption of VO2 and it improves both flexibility and strength and the same time. A particular benefit that yoga has over many other forms of exercise is the fact that it also offers benefits for the spirit and mental health of the participant.

Apart from these benefits, yoga can also help to reduce inflammation in the joints and, at the same time, help to increase mobility of joints. This is beneficial for seniors experiencing symptoms of arthritis. Cardiovascular health can also be improved through yoga participation, as well as digestion, sleep and blood flow. In addition to these benefits, seniors who attend yoga classes also tend to feel better emotionally and experience a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms.

Yoga Poses For Seniors

Now that we have discussed the many benefits that yoga has for seniors, let’s take a look at some essential poses that seniors should consider if they are only starting out. According to Do You Yoga, the following seven poses are the perfect combination of yoga strategies that seniors should practice when they are in the beginning stages. These poses will not put too much strain on a senior’s body, but it will still offer them a great deal of benefits.

· The Mountain Pose, which assists with balance.

· The Tree Pose, which improves abdominal and leg strength.

· The Bird Pose, which is an excellent pose for improving abdominal strength and for back support.

· The Downward Facing Dog Pose, which is perfect for supporting joint health and for improving overall body strength. This yoga pose is also excellent for increasing flexibility.

· The Sphinx, which helps to improve upper back strength.

· The Cobbler’s Pose, which helps to keep the hips open and relaxed.

· The Savasana Pose, which is the perfect way to finish an intense yoga session. This pose allows for relaxation and resets the individual’s nervous system.

Tips For Seniors Trying Yoga For The First Time

As an older person, you start to learn that things aren’t always as easy as they seem. This term comes into play with yoga as well. While reading about yoga and seeing other people practice this form of exercise might make it seem relatively easy, it can be somewhat more difficult to actually practice yoga in person. If you are a senior trying yoga for the first time, then be sure to take the following tips into account when you get started:

· You know your body better than anyone else, which means you know your limits. If you feel that you’ve had enough, then stop. Never overdo it or you may end up hurting yourself rather than enjoying the benefits that yoga is able to offer you.

· If you are finding it difficult to practice yoga at home, try to find a trainer that specializes in yoga. They will have the most appropriate poses for you to try out and will help you master yoga without overdoing it.

· Always stay hydrated at all times while practicing yoga. Remember that yoga is still exercise and you need to keep your body hydrated during your sessions.

· Avoid eating before you start practicing yoga or wait at least about 30 minutes after you have consumed food before you start a session. This will help to prevent feeling light-headed or sick while participating in a yoga session.


Yoga is an excellent way for seniors to obtain an adequate level of physical activity on a weekly basis without having to put their body through a tremendous amount of strain. This form of exercise has numerous benefits for the elderly as well and can even help to improve their mental wellbeing. If you are an elder person and considering this form of exercise, be sure to start with some beginning yoga poses for seniors to ensure you do not overdo it, but still gain access to the benefits of yoga.






This is a guest blog entry.

Important Reasons to Be Tested for STDs

Testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is easy these days; you can even do some tests at home. Safer STD testing makes it easy to find economical testing services at local clinics. You don’t even need an appointment, as there are drop-in clinics and sexual health centers in most major towns and cities.

There are many STDs. Some are relatively minor but others can have far-reaching implications for your long-term health, which is why testing is so important. Here are the most common scenarios when testing for STDs is sensible.

You Have Symptoms

The majority of people end up making an appointment to see a doctor or sexual health worker because they have symptoms. Unusual lumps and bumps or unexplained symptoms on the genital area can cause many sleepless nights. Often, there is a simple reason for the symptoms, such as an ingrowing hair or urinary infection, but it is better to be safer than sorry.

Unwanted Sexual Encounter

Sadly, unwanted sexual encounters are common. If you drink alcohol to the point of unconsciousness, you are putting yourself at risk. Young women and men are also vulnerable to date rape drugs. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, it’s not your fault, even if you were drunk. It’s important to be tested for STDs after an unwanted sexual encounter, as you won’t know if the perpetrator was infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Ill-advised Sexual Encounters

Most people have a few one-night stands in their misspent youth. Beer goggles have a lot to answer for and most people seem very charming after ten drinks. However, you have to remember that casual sexual encounters are a risky business. You should always use a condom, but even that won’t protect you from every STD out there. Not many people ask a one night stand for a certificate of sexual health, so if you have symptoms or you play the field without using protection, make an appointment for a sexual health check-up.

High-Risk Sex

Sex workers, drug users, or men who have sex with other men are in a high-risk category. Regular sexual health testing is essential if you want to remain disease free.

A New Relationship

It is better to use protection in the early days of a new relationship, but once you are certain this person is “the one”, get tested for STDs, and if you both have the all-clear, you can switch to other forms of birth control (if appropriate).


Some sexually transmitted diseases can make conception difficult (Chlamydia) and harm the unborn fetus. If you are planning to have a baby and you have taken a few risks in the past, ask your doctor to test for sexually transmitted diseases before you start trying for a baby.

Testing for an STD involves a physical examination, skin swabs, and blood tests. You don’t need to be embarrassed about asking for an STD test, as the doctors and nurses who work at these clinics have seen it all before.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, June 05, 2017

How to Improve Your Sleep at College

You’ve probably heard plenty of stories about college students who’ve stayed up for two nights in a row to finish their thesis or revise for finals. However, whilst it might work for them, in the long-term it can be awful for your health.

And, being sleep-deprived in college is also bad for your grades; our brains take in and process the information that we learn during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, which you can only get if you’re dozing off into a deeper sleep for at least a few hours. Sleeping well at college will provide you with more energy, help you focus better, and help prevent you from getting sick. We’ve listed some top tips to help college students improve their sleeping habits.

Tip #1. Don’t Work from Your Bed

Whether you’re revising in the morning before your class or studying at home for your MSN to DNP online from Regis College, it can be tempting to curl up in your comfortable bed with your laptop to get on with some work. However, as appealing as it may sound, working from your bed is actually a really bad idea. When you work in your bed, your brain will quickly start to associate it with working rather than relaxing. As a result, when you get into bed to go to sleep at night, you’ll find it a lot more difficult to wind down and will end up sleeping later than you need.

Tip #2. Stay off Your Smartphone

There’s no denying that studying for a nurse practitioner doctorate degree, or indeed any college degree program, is incredibly time-consuming. Once you have attended your online or campus-based classes, taken part in extra-curricular activities and dedicated some time to getting work experience or networking, it’s unsurprising that you may feel you have little time in the day for yourself, for simple things such as catching up with the latest news or scrolling through your social media to see what your friends and followers have been up to. It can be tempting to catch up with this when you get into bed at night, but be careful – the blue light of a smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens causes your body to produce less melanin, which makes it difficult for you to sleep. Use ‘sleep mode’ on your iPhone when it gets late, and try to stay away from all gadgets for at least an hour before going to bed.

Tip #3. Cut Down on Caffeine

Studying for your college degree requires a lot of work, which might often be fuelled by coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages that can act as a quick energy boost. However, if you drink anything containing caffeine too late in the day, it will stay in your system for hours and make it harder for you to relax when you finally need to. Although there’s no need to give up your morning coffee completely, you should aim to stop drinking caffeine after lunch time to give your body time to get rid of it before bed.

Did these tips help? Share your opinion in the comments!

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, June 02, 2017

10 Health Benefits of CBD

In recent times, cannabidiol (CBD) has become more and more popular as a powerful supplement that has a range of anti-inflammatory properties and is widely viewed as having the ability to help relieve the symptoms of, and in some cases even cure, a range of diseases.

Some of the health benefits of CBD include the ability to help fight cancer, improve the symptoms of schizophrenia and a number of other mental health problems, and help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel diseases. So far, there have been a number of studies and much further research done into CBD oil and its effects on the body and mind; here are some of the main health benefits that have been found so far.

#1. Reducing Pain:

Studies so far have positively suggested that CBD is a great painkiller. Whether you’re suffering from a minor headache or have a condition that means you must deal with chronic pain, CBD oil could help to relieve your symptoms and allow you to enjoy life pain-free.

CBD, especially when it is used in combination with THC, has been shown by studies to have promising results for the treatment of many types of chronic pain, working by significantly decreasing both neuropathic pain and chronic inflammation. This means that it is a potentially promising treatment for conditions such as chronic pain caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or postoperative pain.

However, bear in mind that if you are hoping to use CBD in conjunction with THC to relieve a painful condition, you will need to be in a state where medical marijuana is legalized. On the other hand, CBD alone provides no high, therefore is legal throughout the U.S.

#2. Improved Appetite and Less Nausea:

Studies of rodents who were given CBD found that it was effective in reducing nausea and vomiting. However, researchers also found that CBD was only effective for reducing nausea and vomiting symptoms caused by the consumption of toxic drugs when it was given in smaller, rather than larger doses.

On the other hand, THC, which is also from the cannabis plant, is an approved drug in states where medical marijuana has been legalized for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. As of now, there is more research needed into the effectiveness of CBD, rather than THC, for this purpose. The National Cancer Institute also found that CBD can help to increase appetite in patients; this is done by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the body.

#3. Improved Heart Health:

There have been a number of studies that suggest CBD may be an effective treatment for improving heart health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and other heart-related conditions.

Studies carried out on the effects of CBD on the heart found that it caused dilation of the arteries, leading to better protection from blood vessel damage. CBD was also found to reduce the size of damage from clogged blood vessels in the heart and brain, along with helping to regulate irregular heart rhythms. And, the studies have also found that CBD can help to reduce both high blood pressure and raised heart rate, especially in response to stressful situations. It also helped to influence platelet aggregation and white blood cell function, both of which lead to better heart health.

However, bear in mind that scientists suggest further research is required to fully understand the benefits of CBD on human heart health.

#4. Better Sleep:

Medical marijuana is widely believed to help people with insomnia and other sleep problems have a better night’s sleep; it works by helping the patient to relax and unwind, enabling them to drift off into a deep and restful slumber. However, if you currently suffer from insomnia and reside in a state where medical marijuana is not yet legal, you can turn to CBD for help with your sleep issues. Research shows that taking CBD before bed can help improve sleep in people with insomnia by encouraging relaxation.

#5. Treating Addictions and Substance Use Disorders:

Research has also suggested that CBD may be effective in treating substance use disorders and addictions. Studies have shown that taking CBD can reduce the rewarding effects of drugs such as morphine, along with reducing the drug seeking effects of heroin addictions in animal models. In addition, research has also shown that CDB may be able to help with the process of quitting smoking; vaping CBD oil can help provide former smokers with an alternative to the physical act of smoking, whilst combatting the effects and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal such as headaches and nausea, irritability and anxiety.

A study found that taking CBD via inhalation for one week may reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by around 40%, along with significantly reducing nicotine cravings.

#6. Treatment for Skin Problems:

Those who suffer from skin problems such as acne or psoriasis may have used a wide range of creams, gels and tablets to help keep their condition under control and hopefully cure it for good. If you suffer from a skin problem such as this, then CBD oil may be the treatment that you are looking for.

Research has found CBD to decrease lipid synthesis in the body and reduce the proliferation of sebaceous glands in humans, along with having an anti-inflammatory effect on these glands which results in a therapeutic treatment for acne and similar skin conditions. CBD also helps to reduce the growth of skin cells, which means that it could potentially play a very effective role in reducing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis.

#7. Protection Against Bacteria and Infections:

Studies have also shown that CBD may afford some extra protection against bacteria and infections in humans. One of the main findings is that CBD facilitates antimicrobial activity when used against  dangerous bacterium that cause infections that are difficult to treat, such as the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or as it is more commonly known, MRSA.

In addition, research has also suggested that CBD may be effective in treating and preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease. It does this by inhibiting the protons, known as prions, that cause these fatal diseases.

#8. Treatment for Depression and Anxiety:

Further research into the effects of CBD on the brain has found it to be a potentially effective treatment for depression and/or anxiety. According to researchers who studied mice, CBD has significant antidepressant-like effects. In addition, the study also showed that the antidepressant effects were engaged quickly and were also consistent over time, suggesting that it could be used as a successful treatment against major depressive disorder and perhaps other mood disorders in humans.

The antidepressant effects found were comparable to those of common tricyclic antidepressant medications such as Tofranil. Cannabidiol has also been found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and social anxiety disorder in humans. Studies have proven CBD to significantly reduce anxiety regarding public speaking in healthy humans.

CBD can also help to reduce the anxiety or paranoia side effects that are apparent in some people after taking THC. Researchers suggest that the use of CBD could be effective for a range of mental health conditions such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized and social anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

#9. Help with Epileptic Seizures:

Research suggests that CBD could provide a promising new treatment for epilepsy and epileptic seizures. Parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy were given a survey to report their child’s responsiveness to CBD treatment; over 80% of parents reported a reduction in symptoms and seizures whilst taking CBD. The children were also reported to have experienced better mood, improved sleep quality and increased alertness. However, it’s worth noting that some side effects were also noted, including fatigue and drowsiness.

In addition, after a three-month long treatment plan using a purified, almost 100% oil based CBD oil extract, almost 40% of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy experienced a reduction in seizures of more than 50%. Another study found that seven out of eight patients with epilepsy resistant to antiepileptic drugs experienced significant improvements in their condition after almost five months of treatment with CBD.

#10. Protects the Nervous System:

Lastly, another main potential health benefit of CBD is the protection of the nervous system and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Studies found that CBD prevents the toxic effects of neurotransmitters such as glutamate, along with the radical oxygen species found in the brain. As a result, it is effective in preventing the death of brain cells. CBD has also been found to have antioxidant activity that is greater than both vitamin C and E, and may also be effective in preventing beta-amyloid toxicity in brain cells, which results in it being a potentially therapeutic agent in both the treatment and prevention of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Have you ever considered using CBD to help you with any particular health problem? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

This is a guest blog entry.