Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tackling Hyperextended Elbow

At some point, almost everyone who plays contact sports, either competitively or in weekend pickup games, will hyperextend their elbows. The list includes team sports like football, basketball, and baseball, along with individual sports like boxing and martial arts. Non-contact sports and activities, such as weightlifting or runners who brace themselves during falls, can also cause this injury.

Many joints, such as the wrist and ankle, have almost 360-degree flexibility. But the elbow does not flex backwards at all, so almost any pressure in that direction will cause a hyperextension or worse.

Because these injuries are so common, they are fairly easy for doctors or trainers to diagnose, and they are also fairly easy to treat, given the proper approach.


Hyperextended elbows always have two things in common: unnatural motion and a popping sound. The motion could be the backwards flex mentioned above, or it could also be too much lateral elbow movement. That popping sound is your humeroulnar joint, the muscle that provides elbow flexibility, separating from either your humerus (upper arm) or ulna (lower arm). Some more noticeable symptoms include:
  • Pain: All sports and fitness injuries cause mild, moderate, or severe discomfort, but the pain associated with elbow hyperextension is a little different. The injured area may not hurt much at all unless you flex or touch your elbow.    
  •  Swelling: Probably as a way of protecting the injured area, the tissue around the wound almost always swells. In addition to swelling all around the elbow, your arm may be stiff, which is another way the body tries to protect itself.
  • Loss of Strength: Other than the popping sound, a limp feeling in your elbow and arm is the most obvious sign of a hyperextension. Many people also experience severe muscle spasms, especially when they try to straighten their arms.

In more severe cases, the skin will become discolored and the elbow may become disfigured, due to poor blood circulation.


Self-diagnosis is a little iffy, because although the symptoms are quite clear, you will have no idea about the extent of the injury or if there is something else to worry about as well, such as a hairline elbow fracture. A trainer, or even a very experienced teammate, can probably look at the injury, perform a surface examination, and pretty well estimate the extent of the injury, but without diagnostic equipment, further evaluation is impossible.

So, the best thing to do is go to the doctor. A physician has access to MRIs and X-Ray machines that can both accurately diagnose the full extent of the hyperextension and rule out any other injuries.


Hyperextended elbows, like many other sports and fitness injuries, hardly ever require surgery and may not even require physical therapy. To speed recovery, follow this protocol:
  • Immobilization: Injured elbows are very vulnerable to reinjury, so use an elbow brace to fully immobilize the joint. Once the joint starts healing, another kind of brace that partially immobilizes the area may be a good idea. 
  • Compression: The elbow brace should also be rather tight to limit swelling. Essentially, the brace should feel like a tightly-wrapped ACE bandage.
  • Ice: Fifteen to twenty minutes of cold therapy per day will significantly reduce inflammation and also relieve pain. Your ice pack should remain freezer cold for the entire icing period.
  • Elevation: To further reduce swelling, use pillows to elevate the injured elbow above your heart for as long as possible.

There are also a number of elbow exercises you can use to both hasten recovery and also strengthen the joint to help prevent re-injury.


Most people who follow this treatment plan see significant improvement after about two weeks, and complete healing after about another two weeks.

Do not return to sports activity until the injury is 100 percent healed, which means no pain whatsoever and full range of motion without any discomfort. Furthermore, the formerly injured elbow should look exactly like the uninjured one. If you have any questions, consult a doctor or trainer.

Hyperextended elbows happen a lot, and with a little planning and action, they do not have to keep you sidelined for very long.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Always busy working? Here’s how you can squeeze in a fine workout every day

If you’re always working, you might have a lot going on for yourself at the moment, but it also means that you are pretty much ignoring some necessities such as keeping your body fit.  If you’re feeling bad about neglecting your workout routine as of late, don’t fret. We have the perfect solution for you.

Try out these simple ideas on how to continue to shape your body even when your schedule permits no break for such things. If you look hard enough, you will always find small cracks in a schedule to fit in a little workout routine. Here are our top picks for how to do that.

TV training

Time spent in front of the TV can be very relaxing. If you are enjoying yourself slouched on the couch watching a movie, then you should feel bad. You can use that time to work out and improve your body’s strength. No, don’t turn off the TV. You can still watch it while you exercise. Get your workout equipment and start doing rope jumps, dumbbell curls and everything of the sort. If you learn to maintain this healthy habit, you will strengthen your legs in a month.

Rocky your way up the stairs

If you’ve ever seen the movie Rocky, try to remember the iconic scene with the flight of stairs. That should be your state of mind any time stairs are involved. Instead of casually walking up the stairs and taking your time, try to one up yourself and increase the speed at which you climb them gradually. It will help you improve your stamina but also your physical condition by a lot. It’s effortless to make it a fast and fun little exercise when you’re clearly in a hurry to get to the end of that flight of stairs.

Work out at work

Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise your body. Take small 10 minute breaks now and then to stretch and to fit in a little exercise session. Not only will it be the benefit for your body to get out of that office chair and revitalize yourself, but also for the mind as you get to refresh your thoughts and be ready to jump back into the fray at your desk after you’ve completed your routine. It can improve not only solid performance but also work performance by quite a bit.

Treadmill tasks

If you have a lot of things to take care of that require your hands but not your legs, you could multitask on the treadmill. Whether you’re at your workplace gym, local establishment or at home, you can do a lot of things while you’re waiting on the treadmill. Not only will get a lot of work done but the fact that you will concentrate on what’s on your phone, tablet or laptop will also help you forget about the physical challenge of continuing to walk on the treadmill after a while.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, August 14, 2017

How To Make Sport Your Main Addiction

Addiction can be a problematic phenomenon in our lives. If not dealt with at an early stage, it can potentially destroy an individual’s life as he knows it. The problem of addiction is especially more pronounced in the world of gambling. There have been numerous stories about gambling addiction leading to a wide range of issues, apart from the financial ones, for individuals across the world. One of the ways to overcome gambling addiction is to concentrate on other walks of life. Sports is an area where addiction could be a rewarding element.

Gambling is legal in several parts of the world like the United Kingdom, which happens to possess one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. While there are several avenues to help prevent gambling, they are not really ideal. One of the ways is through assistance of responsible gambling, where a punter can place betting limits upon himself in order to restrict the problem. Placing certain boundaries or limits can be a rational thing for an individual.

Sports comes to the rescue with the ability to offer a way out, while also potentially enhancing our life.

Reasons for Gambling Addiction

One of the reasons for gambling addiction is the ‘high’ that it provides when placing a bet or while winning a bet in the casino. Once the addiction goes beyond a certain extent, it is possible for those individuals to derive a high even when they are losing a bet. There are several reasons for an individual to get addicted to gambling in the first place. If he/she is fond of gambling and enjoys reviews of popular online casinos such as mFortune Bingo casino review he/she will definitely become addicted to it.

The prospect of winning money is one of the first reasons, but a large section of people are also gambling just for the fun of it. After a while, the urge to wager becomes more significant than they can notice trying to find out what are mobile slots.

There are a few aspects of the world that can provide a ‘high’ even while keeping an individual safe from physical or mental hazards. A reason for individuals finding it hard to come out of gambling addiction is the lack of necessary replacements that can take its place and provide the same ‘high’ in a safe manner.

Overcoming Gambling Addiction with Sports

Sports provides a physical activity that brings a major improvement to the overall physical condition. However, its biggest facet in the battle against gambling addiction may be the ability to provide a high just like gambling. Many studies have shown that the sport can be a form of a drug that can provide relief from elements like depression and anxiety. At the same time, it can also be an element that will provide pleasure.

This is due to the ability of a sport to activate dopamine, which is a chemical substance secreted by the brain – and which has an effect similar to that of heroin or morphine. As a result, sports or aerobic exercises will be able to provide the same enjoyment as gambling, but they also come with the added benefits of being able to maintain a high level of physical activity and health.

How to Make Sports Your Main Addiction

There are several major types of people who take up sports – obsessive sportsmen, compulsive sportsmen, and addicted sportsmen. The former see sports as a way to get a lot of improvement in health by virtue of using various means of support.

However, this does not make a major difference when it comes to fighting the battle against gambling addiction, as the key focus here is to maintain a high level of fitness. At the same time, compulsive sportsmen see training and the sport as a vital part to the point where they spend a specific routine in the course of the day for those activities.

Lastly, addicted sportsmen are focused on undergoing the sporting activities for a large section of their daily life in order to regulate their mood or any other imbalance issues. As a result, sport plays a major role in the daily life.

While sports addiction does have a few issues like affecting some of the day-to-day functions, it is substantially better than gambling addiction. Rather than losing almost everything in life including money, it is possible for a gambling addict to lose the life as they know it. In terms of sports addiction, though, the disadvantages describe the daily life with enhanced focus on sports. In all other areas, the individual stands to gain a lot of advantage.

Final Thoughts

Physical fitness improved tremendously as a result of sports addiction. Getting addicted to sports may not be tough at all, due to the wide variety of sporting activities or training exercises available today. Merely thinking about all the beneficial aspects will be able to get a person hooked away from gambling or its harmful effects into the world of sports.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Key Benefits of Regular Exercise

There’s no doubt that you already know exercise is beneficial for your health, but do you realize just how good it is? It certainly provides more than just a way to reduce the size of your belly, for example. In fact, from adding more years to your lifespan to improving your sex life, there are many advantages to leading an active lifestyle.

However, getting started with regular exercise is the most difficult part of the process. There’s always a convenient reason to delay your entry into the world of physical activity – even if you know the aforementioned rewards. With that said, and if you need that extra bit of convincing, read on for some of the main benefits of regular exercise.

Promotes a healthier mind

If you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, exercise is one of the best ways to battle these conditions. Getting in better shape will help boost confidence, while staying active with a regular routine also promotes a healthy mind.

Regarding mental health, getting active will also help to overcome relatively smaller issues. For instance, if you’ve had a stressful day at work, a quick workout will lower that stress and result in you feeling more relaxed.

Delivers a boost to energy

You might be thinking: ‘but surely exercise exerts energy and will leave you tired?’ While this is the case in the sense that you’ll be worn-out straight after a strenuous workout, it will supply a giant boost to your energy levels overall. This is because consistent physical activity will improve both your muscle strength and stamina.

Keeps the pounds off

When it comes to exercising, arguably the main motivator for many is losing weight. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a frequent visitor to the gym to drop a few pounds. Simply using the stairs instead of an elevator or jazzing up your daily chores (think dancing while hoovering) will help burn those calories. It also goes without saying that the more calories burned, the better it is for losing weight. To boost the weight loss effect, combine a healthy diet plan with your exercise.

Battles against health issues

There are numerous health issues – including various forms of cancer, arthritis and diabetes – that can be helped by conducting regular exercise. This is also a great way to solve a common concern such as high blood pressure. This is because if you exercise, you keep your heart healthy – which then means that blood circulates through your body more smoothly. For more information on lowering your blood pressure, CareNow’s article on the subject can be incredibly informative, therefore, visit website and learn how to lower your or a loved one's blood pressure naturally.

It’s Sociable

Getting fit and going to the gym doesn’t have to be a singular experience. In fact, exercise is a great way to socialize. Whether it is exercising with friends or meeting new people in a team activity, completing physical activities is more enjoyable when interacting with others at the same time. Also, it might also provide that added level of motivation to stick with your exercise plans. 

This is a guest blog post.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

How Busy Moms Can Get (and Stay) Fit Too

When you think of people getting in shape, moms are not the first things that necessarily pop into your mind. The main reason for this is because most mothers don’t really have time to spare. They spend every waking moment tending to their children, sorting out the housework, and even holding out a job. This is why many mothers are simply not happy with the way they look and are certainly disappointed in their fitness levels.

There is good news for these moms – you don’t have to continue in this way! With some helpful tips, you will be on the right track again in no time at all:

Sort Out Your Workout Days 

For most mothers, especially working ones, exercising everyday can seem quite drastic in the beginning. Therefore, settle for two or three days in the week where your load is a little lighter. Perhaps your partner comes home a little early on those days or maybe you can arrange a playdate. Make sure that everyone is aware that you will be unavailable for a set period of time on those days.

Carve Out Half an Hour on Workout Days

Ideally, getting in an hour of exercise is best but this may be a bit improbable. So, try working out for half an hour instead. A good way to make time for yourself is to wake up a little early – even just fifteen minutes before you usually do. Then, you can fit in another fifteen-minute workout later on.

To make the most of it, make sure you create specific workouts for these periods. You can create a list of exercises that you are capable of doing and then decide how many sets and reps to do for each workout. This way, you will not waste precious time trying to figure out what you should do.

Walk Instead of Drive 

Getting your kids out of the house can be trying so no mother is looking forward to complicating things even further. However, it will be much better if you can walk instead of drive, whenever possible. Look at all of your common destinations and see just how far away they are. You should also consider routes that can be walked instead of driven. If it can be done, it is time to strap your little one into a stroller instead of a car seat. You will be amazed at your stamina as well as how toned you get.

An Important Note for Moms 

The more you exercise and eat a healthy diet, the more weight that you lose. Still, you may notice that some problems just won’t go away. The most common remnants of your pregnancy days are extra skin around your middle and breasts that are sagging or drooping. To take care of this, you will have to see a mommy makeover surgeon in Scottsdale as these issues require the intervention of a cosmetic surgeon.

There is no denying that it can be tough for mothers to get fit, let alone stay fit. As long as you know how to go about doing it, however, you will find it easier to achieve your personal fitness goal.

Danielle Ward

Friday, August 04, 2017

6 Ways to Deal with Tailbone Pain

Wincing every time you sit down? Experiencing sharp pains in your tailbone after prolonged standing? The tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is a small multi-segmented bone that sits directly at the bottom of your spine. In addition to helping stabilize and support your spine when sitting, the tailbone is a structure through which many connective tendons, muscles, and ligaments run.

Women are reportedly five times as likely as men to develop tailbone pain, or coccydynia, in part because of menstrual cycles and pregnancy. In the final months of pregnancy, the body naturally widens and loosens some of the ligaments that run through the coccyx to prepare for the birthing process. Other risk factors for tailbone pain include degenerative joint damage from years of wear and tear that come with aging, being overweight, a fall or injury to the tailbone area, and prolonged sitting on a narrow or hard surface. Rarely will a tumor or infection be to blame for tailbone pain.

Tailbone pain can range from mild to severe and is typically worse when sitting down, leaning back on the tailbone, standing up from a sitting position, standing for long periods of time, when menstruating (for a woman), and even when using the bathroom or having intercourse. Sometimes tailbone pain can radiate up the spine, or down through the pelvis and even into the legs.

If you’re experiencing tailbone pain, try these common treatments:

Sit on a Donut Pillow: An inflatable donut pillow, round with a hole in the middle, helps coccydynia sufferers by dispersing the weight and pressure applied to the vulnerable tailbone pressure point when sitting down. Use a donut pillow when driving in your car or sitting at work to alleviate pain, enhance your posture, and keep legs from becoming restless.

Adjust Your Body Position: Practicing bad posture habits overtime can place unnecessary stress and pressure on the spine and tailbone. Adjusting your body position to practice better posture can include sitting upright, avoiding crossing your legs, and keeping feet flat on the floor. Leaning forward when you go to sit down, and don’t forget to get up at least every 20 to 30 minutes to relieve the pressure on your coccyx and move around.

Ice and Heat Therapy: Just like with other common injuries, applying cold packs or heating pads to the sore tailbone can provide a temporary analgesic effect that either numbs the area or provides warming relief and diminishes the pain sensations.

Physical Therapy:
If your pain doesn’t subside within a reasonable time, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help strengthen (and relax) specific stomach and pelvic muscles that support your tailbone.

Manipulation: Physically adjusting the tailbone back and forth through manual manipulation or massage (typically through the rectum by a doctor) may alleviate painful pressure of the coccyx.

Medical Intervention: Doctors may recommend patients with tailbone pain take over-the-counter pain relievers like NSAIDS or Tylenol, and in more severe cases, receive cortisone shots, nerve blockers, or local anesthetics. Occasionally surgery will be performed to remove part of or the entire coccyx.

Tailbone pain typically subsides within a few weeks to a few months, but if persistent and chronic, it can make daily living difficult and uncomfortable. Definitely see your medical provider if chronic tailbone pain is bothering you. With manual examinations and even x-ray imaging, they will be able to diagnose the problem and get you on a path to pain-free sitting and standing.

This is a guest blog posting.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bouncing Back From Mild Fitness Injuries

Most all of us know that if we twist our ankles we must walk in a boot for a few weeks, if we injure our knees we must walk on crutches, and so on. But what about mild fitness injuries, like sore muscles or excess fatigue? Should we ignore them, suspend our fitness regimens altogether, or take some action that lies somewhere in the middle?

As in many other areas of life, the answer is probably “do something in the middle.”

Sore muscles are perhaps the most common mild sports injury, and many times, our first reaction is to find the best muscle relief cream possible and begin using it straightaway, and this idea is not a terrible one. However, be aware that if the discomfort persists after one or two applications, the pain may indicate that there is a problem in that area, and this potential problem should not be overlooked or masked with additional creams.


For athletes, water is the most important, and usually the only, way to lubricate muscles. Without lots of water, these muscles work harder and therefore become inflamed. Similarly, there is also some evidence linking dehydration with some back issues, because the viscous substance inside the spine can dry out.

The following paragraph about the signs of dehydration is rated PG-13.

A significant number of athletes, even people like marathon runners, are dehydrated. Many people believe that they should only drink water if they feel thirsty. But, if you do not have the urge to urinate, you are probably dehydrated. Moreover, if your urine is colored or bubbly, regardless of the volume, you are probably dehydrated.

The rule of thumb to stay hydrated is eight, eight-ounce servings of water, sports drink, or juice a day. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, so people who drink lots of soda, coffee, or tea may need even more water than that. However, it’s not very hard to work in all those servings. If you drink one bottle before exercise and one bottle after, and drink water with meals, that’s probably five or six servings, so you would only have two or three to go.


Another good way to relieve sore muscles is some added rest. After all, it works for baseball pitchers. This season, Detroit Tigers righthander Justin Verlander, who may have a new home after the trade deadline, has a 6.11 ERA when pitching on four days’ rest and a 3.18 ERA on five or more days’ rest.

Verlander likes to stick to the same schedule and pitch every fifth day, but the extra day of rest may be a necessary concession to keep his performance at a peak level. After all, he isn’t doing anyone any favors, except for the other team’s batters, by giving up six runs a start.

Regular exercisers are much the same. We like to stick to the same schedule and sometimes consider skipping a day to be a sign of weakness. However, if that is what it takes to keep your body in top condition, take the extra day, because physical condition is what it’s all about.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

5 Challenges Your Loved One Might Face and How to Overcome Them

Whether your loved one is elderly or has disabilities that limit her daily life, it's important to face the challenges that greet her head on. Falls are one of the worst things that can happen to your loved one and a little bit of attention and preparation can help to forestall them. Consider some of these challenges that your loved one might encounter and brainstorm some ways you can solve those difficulties quickly.

Trouble with Stairs

Stairs can be particularly dangerous for your loved one to manage. Having extra sturdy hand rails can help, but if your loved one doesn't feel that those are reliable enough, other alternatives are worth looking into. Something like an EasyClimber makes stairs effortless for your loved one. What helps even more is that you don't have to worry at all. Keep stairways clear of clutter and anything that could impede your loved one's progress and make sure that the entire stairway is well lit.

Difficulty with Knobs

If your loved one has arthritis or trouble with grip strength, then operating door knobs or even faucet knobs can be painful and sometimes even impossible. Switching out those knobs for levers is a fast and easy way to make a difference for your loved one. Your loved one can operate a lever with her wrist or elbow with far less effort. This works best for interior doors, of course. For exterior doors that still need knobs for security purposes, consider adding a door knob helper which squeezes down easily and allows the knob to turn more readily.

Trouble with Entrance Areas

Entrance areas can pose a special set of problems for your loved one. Assess the area thoroughly and look for anything that might give your loved one particular trouble, such as stairs or wobbly hand rails. Fix what you can correct, or consider adding additional assistance in the form of a ramp or an extra hand rail. Try to look at the area from your loved one's unique perspective. Something that is easy for you to navigate won't necessarily be simple for your loved one.

Making Room for Assistive Devices

One big problem that your loved one might run into is lack of room for the devices that she now needs to use regularly. Wheelchairs, walkers, and even canes need a little more leeway around them than you might think at first. If your loved one doesn't have enough room to maneuver safely in a doorway or hallway, you might need to consider modifications that give your loved one the room that she needs. Look for space in living areas, too. Rearranging furniture, even a little, can open up way more space than you realize.

Instability in the Shower

When your loved one is in the shower, she's at her most vulnerable. The first thing to do is to ensure that the floor of the shower stall or tub isn't slippery. You can do this with a non-slip shower mat inexpensively. You may also want to install grab bars. If your loved one has difficulty standing in the shower, a shower chair can help quite a bit. Consider also a shower head with a longer hose and handle to help your loved one to wash and rinse with greater ease.

Keeping your loved one safe at home might mean exploring different tools or methods to help correct existing issues. Revisit these solutions regularly to make sure they're still working for your loved one.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

The Most Common Medical Emergencies in the Home and How to Deal with Them

Emergencies can happen without a moment’s notice. In those times’ it can be very difficult to know what to do and how to react as emotions run high and panic can set in. Waiting until those moments happen in order to come up with an action plan is never a good idea. Instead, it’s wise to prepare yourself for a few of the most common medical emergencies that can occur. Being prepared may not just save your own life - it could also save the life of a loved one.

So, what are the most common medical emergencies that may occur in your home, and how should you deal with them? Let’s take a closer look.

Ingesting Poisonous or Hazardous Materials

This particular medical emergency applies more to parents than anyone else. While you may not think you have a lot of hazardous materials in the home, chances are good that once you start to look around you'll be quite surprised.

Things such as fertilizer, makeup, antifreeze, cleaning products, alcohol, lead paint, and medications (prescription and non-prescription) can all prove to be extremely poisonous and dangerous in the hands of children. This is exactly why prevention is key, which means keeping any hazardous or poisonous product up high and out of reach of kids, or better yet, locked up.

Children should also be taught that these products are all extremely dangerous and should never drink or eat them. Should a child come across one of these items that isn’t stored away, they need to know that they shouldn’t touch it and instead should tell an adult right away.

Should these items be ingested, you will need to call the poison control number immediately, and likely 911. It's also a very good idea to have proper CPR training and hold your CPR and First Aid certification, as well proper training in the Heimlich maneuver. Each of these can end up saving a person’s life.


Choking can happen at any time to an adult or a child. This is a very scary situation where your response time can mean the difference between life and death. It's important to first determine if it is just mild choking or severe choking. If it is mild choking, you will want to encourage the person to cough in order to get rid of the partial blockage.

If a person's airways are just partially blocked, they will still be able to breathe, cough, cry, and/or speak. Encourage them to spit out whatever it is, and continue to cough. There is no need to stick your fingers in their mouth. In these situations, it's usually unnecessary to call 911.

If a person is severely choking then they won't be able to breathe, cough, cry, or speak - coughing it out won't be possible. If the person doesn't receive immediate help, they will lose consciousness fairly quickly. It's best to call 911 immediately and start to administer the Heimlich manoeuvre. Should they lose consciousness and stop breathing before medical responders arrive, you will need to administer CPR.


There are all kinds of different levels of bleeding, so this particular situation can be a non-emergency or an emergency. The severity of the situation will depend on how deep the cut is and where the cut is located. Sometimes, a cut that isn't terribly deep can end up being an emergency just because of where it's located. There are also certain areas of your body that bleed a lot more than others, including your nose, toes, fingers, and scalp. An extreme quantity of blood in these areas is enough to make most people panic, but it’s important to remain calm in these situations.

Unless you are a medical professional, it's pretty hard to tell how serious the cut is and whether the bleeding is life-threatening. Obviously, there will be some cuts and scrapes that you can just clean up at home and apply a bandage, but if you feel scared by the amount of blood or where the cut is, it's best to seek help. You can either go to the hospital or call 911.

Chest Pain

This particular issue seems to have received more attention as of late and people are starting to understand that the faster you respond, the better the outcome. Chest pain should never be brushed off or ignored, no matter how young or old the person is. Experts recommend that any type of chest pain be treated as a heart attack until proven otherwise by medical professionals.

When someone complains of chest pain, a call should be placed to 911 immediately. From there you want to check on their breathing and make sure they are able to still catch a breath. It's best to have them lay down and position their head with the chin pointing up, make sure the tongue is out of the way so it can't be swallowed. If they aren't breathing, CPR will be necessary.

For the person who is experiencing chest pain but is still breathing, it can be a very scary experience. Talking to them and keeping them calm will help to keep things under control until first responders arrive.

Dizziness and Fainting

This particular medical emergency is more common than you may think. While mild dizziness may not point to anything too severe, it's still important to keep an eye out and watch if it is getting worse. Should the person feel dizzy, ill, and weak, it's important to call 911 immediately. They may even end up fainting, depending on the cause. Things that can cause dizziness and fainting include low blood sugar, diabetes, a heart condition, a heart attack, pregnancy, and heatstroke.

While you are waiting for responders to arrive you want to be watching that they are still breathing okay and what their level of alertness is. Talking to them, asking them simple questions, and watching their chest to be sure it's rising and falling is ideal. Should they stop breathing, it will be necessary to administer CPR.

The Basic Takeaways

These are just a few of the most common medical emergencies that can happen in your home, either to you or a loved one. Going through each of these medical issues, it becomes clear that there are a few main takeaways, which are:

Learn lifesaving techniques: A number of these situations require you to either perform CPR or the Heimlich maneuver. This means you need to have taken a course and have your certification. Keep in mind something such as CPR will require you to become re-certified every two years.
Stay calm and in control: Emergency situations are extremely stressful and scary, but it’s very important you stay calm and in control. You need to be able to answer questions from medical personnel and take the proper steps while waiting for them to arrive.

When in doubt, call 911: You should never feel as though a medical emergency isn’t big enough or severe enough to call 911. If you are scared or you are in doubt about what you should do, call 911 immediately. Let the medical responders decide what is an “emergency” and what isn’t. Remember, they have the training, they have the experience and knowledge, so let them do their job.

By having a medical emergency action plan in place, you will be that much better prepared to handle one of these situations in your home should one occur. Your quick response could just save your life or someone else’s.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The World's Cosmetic Surgery Hotspots

Over the last year, according to the outcome of the annual Global Aesthetic Survey for 2016 by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or (ISAPS), there has been a marked increase in cosmetic non-surgical and surgical procedures worldwide. The most common forms of plastic surgery are buttock lifts which account for a 22 percent rise and a 45 percent rise in labiaplasty.

However, it would be wrong to assume that surgery is widespread in nations where most of the procedures are performed because when the per capita figures are calculated, the leader board shifts with the five top countries being America, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Mexico. Although one might assume that Miami or Hollywood take the lead, a closer look by the Cosmos Clinic reviews reveals that cosmetic surgery is quite popular in other parts of the world like Australia too. The cosmetic surgery hotspots in the world include:

Seoul, South Korea

A look around the city will show one many instances of bandaged locals, and the enhanced cuteness of many others. This is an indicator that plastic surgery is common in the city. But in Seoul, many surgeons are careful not to take part in the ISAPS audit even though available data indicate that more than 20 people per 1000 have the procedure.

Miami, USA

It is estimated that for every 100,000 residents over 18 years, Miami has about 18 plastic surgeons. World class surgical procedures can be accessed from the University of Miami Hospital, the Mount Sinai Medical Center and The Cleveland Clinic, just to mention a few.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil leads in the per capita concentration of plastic surgeons. The city of Rio is home to many renowned plastic surgeons who also offer training facilities for other surgeon. Many medical tourists jam Rio every year to get popular procedures like face lifts, tummy tucks and breast augmentation performed on them.

New York, USA

The city has nine major hospitals for cosmetic surgery, and apart from being the heart of culture, technology and other innovations, the city of New York is also a hotspot for plastic surgery. One of the leading and most renowned doctors for the procedures in America has his practice in the city.

Bangkok, Thailand

There are numerous plastic surgery centers where one can relax as the treatment is going on. Every year, thousands of patients flock to the city known as the Land of Smiles. Most of the doctors in Thai who perform the procedures are experienced and have certification from Australian and American surgery boards. All the practices in Thailand reflect the standards of the American Medical Council.

Los Angeles, USA

There is nowhere else where the need for enhancing appearances might be as acute as in this city because it is home to Hollywood and thousands of celebrities. As many as 134 plastic surgeons in California made it to the list of "U.S. News List of Top Doctors". Some of the nation's top celebrities have the procedures performed on then using some of the latest and most advanced technologies.

San Jose, Costa Rica

The city has become a popular destination for plastic surgery because the prices are cheaper. Its proximity to many US cities and the fact that tourist can stay for up to 10 days without a visa makes it very attractive for patients who need time to recover.

Dunyagoz, Turkey

Due to the English speaking culture, Turkey is a popular vacation city for tourists seeking surgery. It is believed that Turkey performs over a quarter million procedures annually because the clinics have advanced equipment besides being cheap. Other cities that also perform many procedures are Mumbai in India and Singapore city in Singapore.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Medical Tourism in Mexico

Mexico is the 13th largest nation in the world and is one of the most visited countries in the world. There are many reasons why Mexico is a popular tourism destination ranging from its sprawling white beaches and resorts, warm climate, breathtaking views of the ocean and mountain ranges, delectable cuisines,  and historical cultural landmarks. More recently, Mexico has also become a popular destination for patients residing in other countries seeking effective medical care at a much lower cost (e.g., compared to the United States and Canada).

Overall, Mexico’s healthcare system is highly rated, particularly in the major cities. Some medical facilities in Mexico will make all of the travel arrangements for the patient to make the process easier. Most of the doctors in Mexico who work in medical tourism sites are comfortable speaking in English.

A few of the common reasons people from other countries seek medical care in Mexico includes:

1. Weight loss surgery: Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic and is associated with a wide variety of negative health consequences such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, and high mortality rates. As such, many people who need to lose weight and have not had success with traditional weight loss methods such as diet and exercise are interested in pursuing bariatric surgical procedures to help with weight loss. There are many such procedures available, including gastric bypass surgery, the gastric sleeve procedure, the gastric balloon procedure, and the duodenal switch. These procedures reduce the input of food and liquid and some can alter functioning of gut hormones to decrease hunger and increase the feeling of fullness. For more information about these procedures in Mexico, see

2. Cosmetic work: Cosmetic work is very popular in Mexico due to significant cost savings. Most cosmetic procedures are very expensive in the United States are not covered by insurance. For example, whereas as a face lift can cost $18,000 dollars at a U.S. clinic, the same procedure by a reputable plastic surgeon in Mexico can cost $4250. Thus, many patients are willing to pay out of pocket for the drastically reduced costs and make plans to recover in a relaxing resort area. 

3. Dental treatment: As featured recently by National Public Radio, medical tourism in Mexico is very popular for dental procedures that are normally very expensive in the U.S.  Examples include dental implant procedures, bridge placement, multiple root canals with crown placements, and other cosmetic dental procedures. The prices for these dental and cosmetic procedures can be two thirds of the price of these same procedures in the U.S. and Mexcio, often with the same (or better) results. The appointments can also usually be scheduled quickly due to the high number of dentists practicing in Mexico and the high number of dental labs that can make materials (such as crowns) in only a day or two.

Other popular reasons for medical tourism in Mexico include orthopedic surgery (such as hip and knee replacement surgery), heart surgery, and eye surgery.  As with medical care that you seek in any country, be sure to do your research into any company and health care provider(s) that you seek to engage with for medical tourism to be sure that it is reputable and known for providing excellent health care.

An Essential Guide to Handling Foot Pain

Many adults who experience foot pain might feel an acute pang with a certain movement or simply a growing ache over time. When it comes to evaluating your foot health and honing in the source of your foot pain, it’s important to first complete your own foot scan.

If one or more toes ache, look for:

Ingrown toenails - where the side of a toenail was cut at a curve and grew into the skin instead of away from it, you might see inflammation and a reddish discoloration, and it will feel tender. If it has become infected, there may even be a white or yellowish pus coming out of it. Other nail health issues that might cause painful sensations include cutting toenails too far back or fungal infection.

Splinters - more common than you may think, even a small splinter in your foot can go unseen but cause you pain. A keen scan of your foot from the heel to the forefoot and toes may reveal the culprit which you can typically exume yourself.

Corns/calluses - Rough patches of skin growth may be rubbing on your foot wear or causing you aches and pains when you apply pressure on them as you walk. A callus is dry, thick, and hard skin and might even appear grey or yellow. A corn is also thick but may have a tender ring in the center of it.

Enlarged joint/protrusion - a visibly swollen joint may indicate some inflammation that is associated with an injury, arthritis, or other condition. A bony protrusion on the other hand, especially adjacent to the big toe or pinky toe could indicate growth of a bunion or bone spur.

Other irritation - if friction from footwear has rubbed on your feet long enough, especially with tight fitting shoes or if you have hammer toe, you may see open sores, blisters, or cracked skin that is causing your pain.

If your forefoot, midfoot, or heel aches, look for:

PTTD: Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, or Adult Acquired Flat Foot, is the resulting drop in your foot arch when the posterior tibial tendon becomes inflamed, torn, and weakened. Look to see if your feet look flatter than usual; or if you look at your feet from behind using a mirror and can see your ankles slightly bent inwards and third, fourth, and fifth toes sticking out.

Plantar Fasciitis: Less visible to the naked eye is the inflammation and tearing of the plantar fascia tissue running down the foot from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis symptoms are often characterized as a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, close to the heel.

Metatarsalgia: Also know as stone pain, when the ball of your foot in particular experiences mild to severe pain when walking and running, you might be dealing with the loss of cushioning around your metatarsals. This sensation could also feel like constantly having a pebble in your shoe.

Achilles tendonitis: The reinforcing band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf to the heel can become inflamed with overuse and result in severe pain at the back of the heel. Over time, the Achilles tendon can even tear or rupture which would also be noticeable in the back of the leg.

Various other injuries, ailments and foot conditions like plantars warts, athlete’s foot, and gout may also be to blame for your foot pain.

What do you do next?

Some mild foot pain may subside on its own, or simply require you to stretch and strengthen your toes more regularly. Toe and foot cramps can also be a sign that you simply aren’t getting enough vital minerals like potassium, sodium, and magnesium which you can simply correct by modifying your diet.

The next step for chronic or severe foot pain, however, is to see a doctor. A general practitioner may be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for your foot pain, or they could refer you to a podiatrist. Podiatrists can more closely examine, analyze, and even x-ray or run other tests on your foot and ankle to narrow down the cause of your pain.

The bottom line is that foot pain should not be ignored, especially if it lasts more than a few weeks. Your feet are the foundation of your mobility and if even one goes out of commission temporarily that can negatively impact your ability to stay active, exercise, remain social, and complete basic day to day tasks.

This is a guest blog entry.

Latest Non Surgical Weight Loss Trends to try in 2017

The obesity crisis is looming each year a little more, with now over 30% of the people on the planet either obese or overweight, according to a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine.

This crisis is bringing many individuals considering new ways to maintain their weight to a healthier state: whether people are looking to lose weight surgically or thanks to the latest diet trend, there is a solution for everyone. The weight-loss field keeps progressing year after year and here are some of the latest trends and discoveries.

1. Laser liposuction

It might sound too good to be true but non-surgical laser liposuction has become a firm favorite among all weight-loss methods. Laser liposuction works by set of sessions, usually three times a week for several weeks, combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise for maximum impact. It’s especially great for people looking for a little extra help to get back on track weight-wise, such as Dan Blustin, a former bodybuilder who found himself in a need of an extra push and encouragement after discovering he had put on 30 pounds over the years. While skeptical at the beginning, he quickly reaped up the benefits of the laser treatments paired with a healthier lifestyle altogether. The treatment is designed as a companion to help people already committed to changing their eating habit.

2. Hypnosis

Until recently, there was little evidence that hypnosis worked as an efficient method to keep off the weight durably. But times have changed and there are now many scientific studies that support hypnosis as a working weight-loss method. Hypnosis works in accessing unconscious parts of the mind, unlocking knowledge about food and de-compartmentalising behaviours. It also only works if the person is ready to adapt their diet to this newly found knowledge, so it might not be for everyone but it definitely has proven records of success.

3. Fat-freezing

The fat-freezing treatment Coolsculpting was launched in 2010 but it’s had a few important updates since then, making it an efficient non-surgical weight-loss alternative. Fat cells self-destruct when cold enough, and are then disposed off by the body in the following days. The procedure can last up to two hours per sessions, but usually one session per area is enough to achieve the desired result. Experts promise a fat reduction of 25% on average, with variable results depending on how firm the tissue is in the first place: the firmer the tissue, the tougher it will be to get rid of the extra fat with this particular method. Once again, this method is only truly effective and durable when associated with a good diet and healthy lifestyle.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, July 17, 2017

4 Superfoods that Health Experts Say Are Overrated

The only way to be healthy is to eat plenty of superfoods. This is what junk science and television doctors want you to believe. However, new evidence has come to light that some of the most popular superfoods are not as healthy for you as we were led to believe.

In a world which is obsessed with healthiness, the latest wellness trends always catch on but are they necessarily good for us? The latest trends become as important to people as renewing their health insurance, gym membership and getting the necessary eight hours of sleep at night. However, the evidence is stacking up against some of these so-called superfoods and below are some foods in that category which you may want to think twice about over-indulging.


Blueberries aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They are usually celebrated for their antioxidant abilities, but all fruits have hundreds of antioxidants, and blueberries do not necessarily have more. One of the many problems with studies about the benefits of any food is that they are often conducted by organizations with a vested interest in the product. For instance, researchers reported that you can boost your cognitive function by eating dried blueberries on a daily basis. However, the study was funded by the US Highbush Blueberry Council.


When substituted for unhealthier fats, the fats in avocados can help lower your bad cholesterol. There is well-documented evidence of this. Organizations like the Hass Avocado Board are trying to link consuming avocados with satiety, energy, and better diet quality. However, some people may be less likely to diversify their diet when avocados are touted as the ultimate superfood. A varied diet with plenty of different foods is the best way to eat healthily.

Dark Chocolate

Most of us could see this one coming from a mile away. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. This includes the overhyped health benefits of dark chocolate. Most of the studies stating that dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants that improve brain function and heart health are based on pure, 100% dark chocolate, which no one eats. And, don’t be confused by various studies like those carried out by Mars Inc., which maintain that cocoa flavanols and cocoa beans lead to increased blood vessel function and lower blood pressure. Mars’s processed chocolate bars rarely have cocoa flavanols in them.


Research from Pom Wonderful helped get pomegranates on the list of superfoods. Since then, the Federal Trade Commission has ruled that they “deceptively advertised pomegranate products by making unsupported health claims.” Among the claims they made that were later determined to be untruthful were that pomegranates helped with cardiovascular health, erectile dysfunction, and prostate health. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review an appeal by Pom Wonderful that it misled consumers with its advertised health claims about pomegranates.

This is a post by Jess Walters.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Some Easy Cures For Slightly Embarrassing Problems

Bad breath, urinary incontinence, and other issues often make people feel like they have no control over their own bodies, which is a very unsettling sensation. When these problems rear their ugly heads, statistics like “X percent of people suffer from chronic whatever” may be of little help, because although it’s nice not to feel alone, it’s even nicer when your chronic whatever either goes away entirely or is at least much less noticeable.

Many times, the key to a cure is a better understanding of the cause.


Excess gas is nearly always a dietary issue. Ironically, some of the foods that are on most healthy living lists, like whole grains, many fruits, and some vegetables, also trigger excess gas in many stomachs. But the best thing to do may be to play detective, because not all foods affect all people in the same way. If your flatulence is worse after you eat certain foods, or certain combinations of foods, don’t eat them again.

The way people eat also contributes to excess gas. Try eating steamed foods instead of fried or grilled foods. Also, cut down on the air you take in while eating by ditching the straw, the cigarette, and the stick of gum.

Flatulence is not always an annoying problem to suppress, because in some cases, it could be a warning sign of a serious illness, such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, or even colon cancer. So, if the food and air cures don’t seem to help, talk to a doctor.


Lack of bladder control is a little harder to address with diet and lifestyle changes, especially if it occurs at night. Many times, the best solution is to use an incontinence pad for beds. They are thin and they get the job done, particularly if your issue is limited to nighttime incontinence.

For daytime incontinence, try behavioral urination. That’s a fancy term for going to the bathroom at certain times of the day whether you need to go or not. Eventually, your body will adjust to the schedule. Many women conquer incontinence through Kegel exercises, and there are similar pelvic exercises for men.

Bad Breath

About 90 percent of the time, halitosis, ozostomia, stomatodysodia, or whatever you chose to call it comes from the mouth or tonsils. Everyone has anaerobic (non-oxygen consuming) bacteria in their mouth to aid in digestion. These bacteria give off various combinations of gases, or volatile sulfur compounds.

These bacteria reproduce faster in a dry mouth, and feed more on certain foods, such as proteins and dairy. Avoiding these conditions should help avoid bad breath, or at least reduce it to the point that a breath mint or mouthwash will take care of it.

Nail Fungus

Excess moisture usually causes discolored, uneven, and ugly nails. So, the solution is to restore the nail’s proper chemical balance. Fortunately, this process is a lot easier than it sounds.

Since Vicks VapoRub has a number of powerful antifungal ingredients, just a cotton swab a day is often enough to greatly reduce the infection or even eliminate it altogether. Listerine has similar ingredients, and once it is combined with the acidic properties of vinegar, there is evidence that soaking your toes in this mixture produces similar results. Finally, over-the-counter Urea paste will often dissolve the diseased part of a nail and leave the healthy part intact so it can grow unhindered.

Some people have also had success with cornmeal and oregano oil.

A few simple changes, when combined with the right intervention, can usually alleviate even chronic flatulence and other conditions, so you can feel more in control of your body.

This is a guest blog post.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tips To Help You Maintain Your Health At Any Age

A healthy lifestyle is necessary for maintaining your well-being. Everyone wants to live a long life, and that requires you to take responsibility for your wellness. There are action steps recommended for living a healthy life. Take these suggestions seriously, and you’ll be heading on the right path.

Put yourself first and start caring about your health. It matters if you plan to live a long life. The sooner you start making changes, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Accept that you’re the one in control and have the power to increase the chances for a healthier life. See these tips to help you maintain your health at any age.

Exercise Daily

Exercise doesn’t have to be a punishment. It’s also fun and feels good when you’re all done. Schedule exercise and incorporate it into your daily routine. Use your sweat sessions as a way to sustain your weight and get your heart rate up. Try to maintain a regular schedule and daily movement. Track your steps and calories if it helps you. Take a new class, run outside or head to your gym and use the machines. Mix it up, so you don’t get bored and your body stays engaged. Exercise has many benefits including improving your mood and strengthening your bones and muscles. It’s one health booster you don’t want to skimp out on.

Walk More

Walk as much as possible throughout each day. It’s good for you and has just as many benefits as working out. Instead of driving to the store, ask yourself if it’s possible to bike or walk. Take the stairs at work in place of the elevator. It’s the small changes that add up to big health improvements. Walking is also a nice opportunity to enjoy nature. Go outside and walk your neighborhood and enjoy the blue sky and birds. Ask a friend to go walking and bring your pets. Walking is a mood booster that lifts your spirits and heart rate at the same time.

Consume A Proper Diet

The bottom line is that you want to eat a healthy diet. Produce and protein are important to your health. Stay away from the processed sugar and fatty ingredients. This includes avoiding eating out as much and cooking at home more.  Cook with foods that support your health such as garlic. It prevents and treats many different medical conditions. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, use supplements. What Are Garlic Supplements? Garlic supplements come in various forms; most commonly, they can be found as pills and capsules. Garlic helps prevent and treat the flu, cough, headache, stomach aches and much more. Find them at a drugstore or on the internet.

Protect your Skin

The sun is nice for getting your vitamin D, but it also has damaging properties as well. Be careful when you’re out in the sun. Your skin needs protection from the UV rays. Wear sunscreen and sit in the shade or under an umbrella to keep your skin safe. It’s important you don’t often burn and stay out in the hot sun for long periods of time. You risk getting cancer and damage to your eyes. Not protecting your skin from the sun also puts you in jeopardy for wrinkles and aging. Be smart and wear the proper protection to keep your skin shielded from the sun.

Maintain your Mental Health

It takes work to maintain your mental health. Don’t ignore your thoughts and how you feel each day. Take walks, read a book or meditate to get your daily dose of positivity. Your mental health is important to your overall well-being. Love yourself and treat yourself with respect. Learn how to deal with stress and get through tough situations in life. Surround yourself with caring people who support you. Set aside time to quiet your mind and reflect. Talk to someone if you prefer to get your feelings and emotions out that way. Put yourself first and know that you’re worth it.

Get Proper Rest & Sleep

It’s necessary to get proper sleep each night. Track your sleep if you have to and know exactly how many hours you’re getting. Cut the caffeine out early and get daily exercise. Create a welcoming sleep environment in your room where it’s easy to fall asleep at night. In addition to sleep, you should take the time to rest and unwind. Schedule breaks throughout your day and use the weekends to calm down. Not getting the proper sleep has consequences to your health, mood and daily routine. Getting your sleep will have you feeling alive and energized to tackle each new day.

Engage in Laughter

It’s important to interact with others and laugh. Let yourself be silly and engage in laughter on a regular basis. Laughing is great for your mental health and overall well-being. Engage in fun activities and don’t take life too seriously. Let yourself act like a kid and be goofy. There’s a time and a place to be serious. Learn how to laugh at yourself and enjoy the moment. Even though you have a plan, it’s not always going to work out the way you envisioned. Roll with the punches and learn to let go. It’ll save you a lot of stress over the course of your life.

Reduce Screen Time

Challenge yourself to not always be connected. Give yourself a break from your phone, computer and television. Go for a long walk or have a conversation. Spend time reconnecting with yourself and relaxing. Technology is nice and helpful, but don’t let it rule you. Give it a rest once in a while and notice how good it feels to be free from your devices. They’re addicting and sometimes a waste of time. Be mindful when you’re playing on technology and ask yourself if there’s a more productive or healthy activity you could be doing. You’ll thank yourself when you feel less anxious and are sleeping better during the night.

Focus on You

The reason you may be struggling with your health is because you’re not the focus of your life. Put the attention on you and make it a point to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard to do and takes a deliberate commitment and positive attitude. Make yourself a priority and learn that you come first. Write down your health goals or make a calendar of activities you’re going to complete. Start tracking your progress and reward yourself when you reach certain milestones. Engage in hobbies that work your mind, body and spirit. Be kind to yourself and understand when you have setbacks. Putting yourself first is the initial step to living a healthier lifestyle. Make you a priority and push your obligations further down the list.

Set Goals

Losing weight or eating healthy isn’t magic. It’s a decision to do so, followed by an action. If you want to exercise five times a week, then write it down in a calendar and check it off each time you do. If your goal is to eat healthily, then find healthy recipes to cook each night. Set attainable goals and take steps to turn them into a reality. It won’t happen overnight, so you need to have patience. Have a journal to record your feelings and reactions along the way. It’ll help you when you’re feeling defeated or stuck. Setting goals puts your vision on paper and makes it real. This’ll help make it clear to you why you’re succeeding or not as time goes on. Reward yourself when you achieve your goals and then set new ones.

Be Careful at Work

Take care of yourself at home and at work. Wash your hands often and keep your workspace clean. This includes wiping down your desktop, screens and phone. It’s a good idea to keep hand sanitizer at your desk. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Bring your own lunch and try not to eat out all of the time. Choose healthy options that’ll satisfy you and keep you full throughout the day. Bring nutritious snacks for a natural energy boost if you get hungry in the afternoon. Munch on small snacks throughout the day so you’re not starving and binge on unhealthy options. Coffee in the morning is fine, but don’t make it a habit to drink a lot of it throughout the day. Too much caffeine will have you feeling shaky and will most likely give you trouble sleeping at night. Manage your stress and have a plan if you’re feeling overwhelmed.


Your health is your key to a long and fruitful life. Make yourself a priority and learn to engage in healthy choices. It’s easy to revert to bad habits when you’re not paying attention. Set goals and make a plan for how you’re going to achieve them given your busy lifestyle. Be smart about your choices and choose a path that’s going to let you live a long life. These are tips to help you maintain your health at any age.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Low Testosterone (Low T) 101: A Primer

Testosterone is the main sex hormone in males and plays a critical role in the development of male reproductive tissues, sex drive, voice deepening, increased bone and muscle size, the growth of body hair (e.g. especially on the face), and aggression, among other functions.

The main sex hormone in females is estrogen, which plays a critical role in the development of the female reproductive tissues, sex drive, breast enlargement, hip widening, and the development of rounded and softer facial features (compared to men), among other functions. Essentially, testosterone is what makes a man a man and estrogen is what makes a woman a woman.

Some may be surprised to know that men and women each produce testosterone and estrogen. Men naturally have higher levels of testosterone whereas women naturally have higher levels of estrogen. Sometimes, however, the natural levels of hormones in the body go awry and this can lead to significant clinical problems.

One common example of a hormonal imbalance in men is low testosterone, sometimes referred to as “low T.” When one considers what normal levels of testosterone in the body do, it is not surprising to learn that low testosterone in men can lead to loss of body hair, decreased sex drive, infertility, decreased bone and muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction (ED).

As noted by WebMD, low testosterone can also result in other problems such as decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes (e.g., depression). Some of these symptoms can be directly related to the effects of low testosterone but they can also be related to indirect effects of low testosterone due to difficulty psychologically coping with manifestations of the condition. For example, a man may become depressed because he is having difficulty conceiving a child and/or also losing his hair.

There are many possible reasons for low testosterone including genetics, obesity, testicular injury, medication side effects, and diabetes mellitus, among other factors. If you suspect that you have low testosterone, or if your doctor does, it can easily be tested with a simple blood test.

Once low testosterone is detected, the next step is to decide if treatment is needed and if so, how to treat it. Treatment is most likely to be needed if low testosterone is causing clinically significant symptoms. Treatment often involves testosterone supplementation therapy (a type of hormone replacement therapy). One such treatment is testosterone cypionate (review here) which comes in an injectable form. Other testosterone supplements come in different forms such as skin patches, gel rubs, or tablets that dissolve on the gums.

As with any treatment, side effects of testosterone treatment can occur, which is why ongoing communication with a physician is very important. If you believe that you have symptoms of low testosterone then be sure to talk to your physician about getting tested and explore your treatment options if it is determined that you have low T.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Treating Back Pain? Don’t Forget These Essential Reminders

When it comes to treating back pain naturally, myriad options abound - from icing to bracing, exercising, you name it, there are loads of ways to fight inflammation and muscle strain. Like with any valid treatment, however, there are often right and wrong ways to go about seeking true pain relief that targets the underlying cause of stiff, strained, and inflamed back muscles.

Check out these best practices for common back pain solutions:

Ice Therapy
When it comes to applying ice packs or cold compresses to inflamed back muscles, it’s important to remember that you should only ice for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. This allows the blood vessels to constrict and cut off blood flow, helping to slow pain signals being sent to the brain and reducing inflammation. If you ice too long, however, you run the risk of getting ice burn and you don’t allow blood to rush back in and flush out built up toxins and waste byproducts like it needs to in order to start the healing and repair process.

Wearing a Back Brace
If you’re sporting a soft back brace to provide support and compression to a sore lumbar spine region, or if you’re simply utilizing a brace for added stability while heavy lifting, don’t forget to adjust your lifting form and technique as well. While back braces have been shown, mostly anecdotally, to help people avoid muscle strain and injury, they do little if you are continuing to lift large loads incorrectly. Experts typically recommend no one (not even physical labor employees) personally lift more than 50 pounds without using a leverage device or machine. And avoid lifting straight off the ground. The most effective and least strenuous lifting happens when you pick something up from your ‘power zone’, or the area from mid-thigh to mid-chest.

Take Pain Medicine
While over the counter pain medicines may temporarily provide pain relief to achy back muscles, it’s important to remember that NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) perform differently than acetaminophen. In fact, the American College of Physicians reminds patients in their updated clinical guidelines that over the counter pain relievers come with their own range of adverse effects, including digestive issues from NSAIDS and liver damage from acetaminophen, and in multiple studies have been shown to have no greater impact on relieving back pain than a placebo.

Resting your sore back is important to help the body’s natural healing process do its thing, however, continuous inactivity can actually have the opposite effect you are striving for. Inactivity can lead to bad posture, poor eating habits, and weight gain, all which negatively impact the health of your back. Low-impact exercise like brisk walks and swimming have actually been shown to improve muscle and joint function, flexibility, and back pain.

A deep tissue massage can do wonders for back pain, helping break up knots and scar tissue, as well as increasing blood flow to strained and injured muscles. In fact, one 2012 study showed that massage following a workout actually stimulated cells to start tissue repair faster than they normally would. Your post-massage routine is just as important however, and this means remembering to drink lots of water. As a massage helps break up and release toxins that are built up in your muscles and other connective tissues, drinking lots of water helps the body flush those toxins to be filtered out by the kidneys and liver.

Mindfulness-cultivating practices like yoga and tai chi have been touted as potentially transformative back pain remedies because of their incorporation of gentle stretching, deep breathing, and meditation. To truly soothe painful back muscles, however, yoga practitioners must start slow and practice yoga regularly. A quick spurt of back-bending fast-paced yoga will do little for back pain, and may even make it worse. Beginners yoga (restorative, gentle, and senior yoga too) is a good place to start for back pain sufferers, and must be practiced weekly if not daily to truly feel the effects on your overall pain levels.

Self-treating back pain with proven remedies and activities is a smart idea, but if you attempt those solutions the wrong way, you may actually worsen your condition. Always stick to best practices and when in doubt, consult your doctor.

This is a guest blog posting.

How Home Adaptations Can Benefit An Elderly Person’s Health

The adaptation to the environment and more specifically the house represents one of the main elements that can alleviate or mitigate the degree of dependence of the elderly. This concept encompasses all of the modifications that can be undertaken in the physical environment that surrounds the elderly person and which allow them to perform daily activities (cleaning, cooking, walking, etc.) in a more secure, simple and independent way.

Although at first it may seem that the effort and the money disbursed for this purpose does not compensate, the fact is that the advantages that it involves are numerous and relevant. Thus, adaptation to the house is useful:

To prevent dangerous situations

In the process of aging are frequent physical and cognitive changes that increase the risk of the elderly people suffering accidents, with the negative consequences they bring. The decline of motor skills, reasoning speed, visual and auditory loss, increased vulnerability to fatigue and exhaustion, and decreased physical reserve capacity make it difficult for the body to respond adequately. In order to deal with these complications, the physical environment can be adapted in such a way that, as far as possible, the probability of a dangerous situation (e.g., a fall) is reduced. Stairlifts are one of the best examples of home adaptations that help the elderly and prevent dangerous situations. Here’s a guide to stairlifts prices.

To facilitate the carrying out of activities

An adequate organization of a house or room may favor the elderly person to move freely. A house organized according to the person’s physical and cognitive capacity will allow, to a greater extent, that they can continue carrying out many activities by themselves, which will enhance their autonomy.

To increase the quality of life of people

By means of certain environmental modifications, an environment can be achieved that results in the privacy and comfort of people. The comfort of the environment influences positively on the emotional state of the elderly person. A comfortable and quiet place, with pleasant temperature, with good light, etc., helps to a great extent ensure that the person feels good.

To optimize the use of the functional capabilities of the person

An adapted environment can make it easier, especially for people with cognitive impairment, to continue exercising skills that otherwise would disappear (e.g.,, cleaning, moving, etc.). So much so that, sometimes, the adaptation of the environment can delay or avoid the decision to have to resort to a residence.

To avoid problematic behavior

A suitable environment can also curb the appearance of behavioral problems. A known environment (or with known elements) allows the person not to feel disoriented, confused or worried. If you feel safe and able to control the environment, it is more difficult to behave in a hectic way, wander, etc.

Because it gives benefits to the caregiver

Such an environment also favors caregivers, since they will have to pay less attention to the elderly or will not receive the same amount of demands. Therefore, the relationship with the elderly will be more pleasant and the caregiver may have more time for himself (walking, visiting relatives or acquaintances, etc.).

For psychological benefits

All the advantages obtained by modifying the environment contributes to the person feeling good (without worries), maintaining their self-esteem, fixing or increasing the feeling of control of the person, etc. All in all it would mean a lot for the elderly!

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, July 03, 2017

HIIT: An All-Purpose Training Program

As many of you already know, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. HIIT is an exercise program where you alternately do short bursts of intense exercise with short periods of active recovery, such as slow-paced exercise. The activity pushes your heart rate up. At the same time, you are able to burn more calories in the process.

Since the 1990s various studies have been done comparing cardio workouts versus HIIT.  A study was done in Canada regarding the fat-loss effects of traditional cardio training versus high intensity interval training. While the traditional cardio regimen burned twice the amount of calories as HIIT, more body fat was lost by those who did interval training.

The continuing popularity of HIIT attracts many health buffs, body builders, athletes and even occasional exercisers. On their own, they find that HIIT is an all-around training program, for beginners and professionals. For the same reason, HIIT continues to be the subject of various researches, to determine its effects on people's health.

Benefits of HIIT workouts

1.  Promotes blood sugar regulation
HIIT helps reduce abdominal fat and lowers the level of sugar in your blood, thus it lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Even a single HIIT session has the effect of modulating the increase in blood sugar after a meal, according to a research published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal in July 2014. Research leader and author of the study, assistant professor Jonathan Little from The University of British Columbia Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences explained that the muscle fibers work hard when you do HIIT and after exercise, your muscles suck up the blood sugar.

It is for that same reason that HIIT is considered beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. In a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology published in March 2017, Type 2 diabetics who underwent 12 weeks of HIIT through running or walking uphill, increased their aerobic capacity. Moreover they had significant reduction in their hemoglobin A1C levels, compared to those who performed moderate-intensity walking continuously for three months.

2.  Improves function of blood vessels

In the Sports Medicine May 2015 issue, there was a review of seven random trials, where they found out that vascular function improved in exercisers that performed HIIT three times a week for three to four months. The study results were very important because good vascular function promotes the relaxation of blood vessels. Prof. Little said that this helps regulate blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart attacks.

3.  Anti-ageing benefits

In a study published in Cell Metabolism (March 2017 issue), it was revealed that HIIT helps reverse the decline of muscles, thus it slows down the ageing of skeletal muscles. This is due to the increased production of protein for improved mitochondrial function, explains Mayo Clinic's Dr. K. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and senior author of the study.

Aside from HIIT preserving more muscles and increasing the burning of fat, the exercise regimen also improves the production of HGH (human growth hormone) by more than 450% within the 24-hour period after the workout. This also helps your body to slow down the ageing process.

These are just some of the top reasons why HIIT has become a training program of choice by many athletes in all fields of sport, exercise enthusiasts and body builders. It has also been made more accessible to the public, with “consumer-facing” high intensity workout programs becoming more and more available for the masses.

The numerous studies that have been and continue to be done to assess the many benefits of high intensity interval training reveal that it's an all-around training program. It helps in losing body fat, regulating blood sugar levels, increasing metabolism and improving a person's endurance. HIIT makes you stronger and leaner faster compared to other slower cardio workouts. You also continue to burn calories after you've finished your workout, which is a major plus.

This is a guest blog entry.