Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seven Signs You’ve Been a Victim of Medical Negligence

When you or one of your loved ones needs to visit the doctor or spend some time in the hospital, you expect the health professionals to be there to help you and make your situation better. However, unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. Sometimes, medical professionals do not always provide you with the due care and attention that you are entitled to whilst receiving medical treatment. Medical professionals do not always take the appropriate action or can make mistakes which result in illness, injury, or even death. When this happens, you have experienced a medical malpractice incident. 

However, the good news is that after going through such an experience, it’s possible to get help from a qualified solicitor to seek justice in your case and gain the compensation that you deserve from the medical provider who let you down. Here are some of the biggest signs of medical negligence UK to look out for.

#1. You Didn’t Receive Proper Treatment:

If you suspect that you or somebody close to you has been a victim of medical negligence, the first thing to do is think about whether or not proper treatment was received during the healthcare experience. If you feel that the treatment fell short of what is expected, this is a strong indication that you should speak to experienced medical negligence solicitors to determine whether or not medical malpractice has actually taken place. Medical negligence during healthcare could include being prescribed the wrong medication, having the wrong type of surgery, or simply your needs going ignored.

#2. You’re Experiencing Complications After Surgery:

Bear in mind that the recovery process from a surgical procedure is different for everybody and it’s sometimes normal for certain complications or issues to arise after going under the knife. However, this should only be within the given recovery time and it will usually not cause any serious health problems for you. For example, temporary pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising or immobility after surgery tends to be a normal part of the healing process. However, if you have had surgery and feel worse, or are still experiencing major complications long after the given recovery time, this could be an indication of serious medical malpractice.

Don’t suffer in silence – speak to professionals such as those at the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk, who provide contact details for an expert that will be able to provide you with all the information that you need on medical negligence claims UK and what you should do to get the compensation that you deserve.

#3. You Received an Incorrect Diagnosis:

Another strong indicator that you may have been a victim of medical malpractice is if you received the wrong diagnosis for a condition that you are or were suffering from. If you have spent a long time receiving treatment for one condition, only to find that it’s not working or even making you feel worse, then it’s likely that you have the grounds to make a medical negligence claim. This is especially true if an incorrect diagnosis prevented you from getting the correct treatment for your condition or ended up causing you some sort of harm. If you were taking prescribed medication that you did not need, it’s certainly worth speaking to the best medical negligence solicitors to determine the best next steps for you to take.

#4. You Were Given the Wrong Treatment:

Did something feel ‘off’ when you were prescribed medication or given another course of treatment for your illness or injury? Whilst the right medications, surgeries, and treatments are usually given to patients, there are occurrences where medical professionals can make mistakes, which results in the patient receiving the wrong type of treatment for their condition. In most cases, this is an example of gross medical negligence, as not only can the wrong treatment prolong the suffering of the patient, it also has the potential to worsen their condition or cause further complications that would not have arisen otherwise. If you think that you’re taking the wrong tablets or have been given an unnecessary type of treatment for your condition, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from another medical professional before speaking to experienced medical negligence lawyers about the potential to make a claim.

#5. Your Treatment is Ineffective:

For certain health conditions, there isn’t always one treatment option – often, medical professionals will need to use their skill and expertise to make an informed decision when it comes to prescribing the right course of treatment for you. However, this should be closely monitored to ensure that you are receiving the benefits of treatment, and further alternative options considered if the results are not as expected. However, this isn’t always the case – many medical malpractice claimants go to court because they have spent a long time receiving treatments that are ineffective.

If you have recently received medication or undergone some type of treatment that doesn’t appear to be providing the expected results for your health, this could be a sign that medical malpractice has occurred. However, bear in mind that certain treatments take a while to start working. For example, antidepressants are notorious for taking a long time to work. Make sure that you have been receiving the treatment as directed for at least a few weeks – if there is still no improvement, contact medical negligence solicitors to get information on making a claim.

#6. You’ve Never Had a Follow-Up Appointment:

When your doctor or other healthcare provider orders a new course of treatment for you, they should always advise you to make and attend a follow-up appointment. At this appointment, they will talk to you about the progress of your treatment and listen to any concerns that you may have about it, before providing you with advice on the best steps to take for the future, whether that’s to continue with the original treatment or consider switching to a new one.

Being left on your own with no follow-up appointment after being prescribed a new treatment can often translate to medical malpractice, particularly if you have been given a treatment with known side effects or have found it difficult to make your concerns heard after taking the treatment. If you’ve been left to deal with a new treatment by yourself, medical negligence lawyers can help you determine if you have a claim.

#7. You Still Haven’t Received a Diagnosis:

If you’ve been for all the examinations and tests that your doctor ordered but still haven’t received a solid diagnosis, then you could be a victim of medical negligence UK. Although certain conditions may take a while to properly diagnose, if you feel that your diagnosis is taking too long and preventing you from getting the right treatment for your condition, then you may have grounds to make a claim. In some cases, taking too long to reach a diagnosis means that the patient’s condition worsens, resulting in them requiring further and more intensive treatment once a conclusion has been reached. If you feel that your diagnosis has taken so long that you’ve gotten worse, it may be worth reaching out to a medical malpractice solicitor for advice on what to do next.

These are just some of the most popular reasons for medical malpractice claims in the UK. If you feel that you’re not receiving the care that you deserve from your doctor or another healthcare professional, seek legal advice today.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Five Surprising Ways to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Low back pain plagues much of the country, with nearly two-thirds of adults complaining of it at some point in their life.

If you’re not interested in taking traditional painkillers to relieve your lower back pain, you might want to consider trying one of these five surprising treatments instead.

1. Meditation

Regular meditation has been shown to reduce the severity of all types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. Experts believe that meditation can be beneficial because it helps practitioners direct their attention away from the pain and calm their minds.

Meditation also helps reduce muscle tension, decrease the heart rate, and slow respiration. All of these things can help naturally minimize pain as well. Meditation can be intimidating at first, which is why many people tend to shy away from it. If you’re interested in giving it a try, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Download a guided meditation app, or simply set a timer for one minute and spend that minute sitting quietly while focusing on your breath. That’s all there is to it! Over time, you’ll get more comfortable and be able to increase the duration of your meditation sessions.

2. Low-Impact Exercise

This may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, isn’t exercise going to make your pain worse?

Not necessarily.

Research shows that moderate exercise helps reduce low back pain. There are several reasons for this. First, regular exercise can help lower your body weight. This, in turn, decreases the amount of pressure being placed on your lower back.

Exercise can also help improve your strength and flexibility, so you’ll be better able to support yourself and avoid injuries during day-to-day tasks like cleaning the house or carrying groceries. Some good, low-impact forms of exercise to try include brisk walking, swimming, moderate resistance training, yoga, or tai chi.

3. Improving Your Office Ergonomics

Do you spend hours a day hunched over your computer? Practicing proper ergonomics at work will help you keep your shoulders, back, and neck healthy and mobile.

Start making efforts today to improve your office ergonomics. If you can, invest in a quality stability ball chair to help you improve your posture. Some other good changes include:

•    Keeping your computer monitor at eye level
•    Keeping your monitor at least 20 inches away from your face
•    Sitting with your head and neck in line with the torso while relaxing the shoulders
•    Keeping the elbows close to the body while you type, with the wrists and forearms parallel to the floor

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that involves inserting thin needs into pressure points throughout the body. By doing this, acupuncturists are able to remove energy blockages that may be causing pain.

One recent study found that of 20,000 chronic pain sufferers, those who received acupuncture saw a 50 percent reduction in their pain. To treat low back pain, an acupuncturist will insert needles directly into the lower back. They may also focus on these other pressure points:

•    Backs of the knees
•    Feet
•    Hands
•    Hips
•    Stomach

5. Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Like meditation, cognitive behavior therapy is another option for indirectly treating low back pain.

A one-year study found that patients who combined traditional treatment methods with three months of group cognitive behavior therapy saw twice as much relief in their chronic low back pain compared to those who only used traditional methods.

Researchers don’t believe that back pain is purely a psychological problem. However, they do believe that, by changing the way they view their pain, patients can do a better job of managing it.

During group cognitive behavior therapy, patients focused on identifying negative beliefs about themselves and their pain and changing those thoughts to reframe them in a more positive light. After the study, nearly 60 percent of participants said that they no longer had any low back pain, and 65 percent said that they were satisfied with their treatment and the reduction of their pain.

If you’re struggling with low back pain, consider one of these five unique treatment methods. Sometimes, you need to look beyond the physical problem in order to find the right solution.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How To Recover From A Car Accident Injury Quickly

Thousands of people are injured in car accidents every year. With the number of drivers on the road, it can be really tough to avoid becoming one of the statistics. However, you do not have to suffer like those who are injured with low back pain. Rather, you can take a proactive approach to healing yourself quicker and getting back on the road to recovery. By using these ways to recover, your medical complications after an accident will be significantly reduced.

Go To The Hospital

Many vehicle owners try to avoid the emergency room. Even for minor accidents, an emergency room can do all the proper checks required to ensure the best treatment possible. Sometimes, there are “hidden” injuries (e.g., a broken rib) that are not identified until weeks later. Rather, an initial visit to the hospital could reveal any potential injuries that could get overlooked at a regular doctor’s office.

Identify Traumatic Emotions

Immediately, you will feel a rush of emotions. It’s important to keep yourself in check. Yes, accidents can be a traumatic event. If you would like to get past these emotions sooner, you must make the effort to identify any anger, irritation or sadness. Remember, accidents happen to everyone and the situation should get better. One goal should be to learn from the experience and move forward. It is important to be conscious of your emotions in an attempt to try to get over the emotional trauma.

Take Time For Yourself

After such an event, you need to just take time to yourself. Sometimes, you need to rest, relax and let time heal things. Focus on how you are feeling, eating well, and sleeping properly. Do the basics right to ensure that your body and mind can recover from the event. It will help you heal faster and start doing things that make you feel better. 

Follow Your Recovery Plan

Next, you should follow the plan set out by your doctors. They will give you medications, exercises, therapy and other strategies to help your recovery. Of course, these will only work if you follow the plans strictly. A proactive and sincere approach to your health is essential. Make a schedule and document all your information. This will help you in case you decide to contact an Atlanta car accident attorney later on. Stick to your prescribed plan and you’ll start feeling better sooner.

Stretch & Breath Consciously

With the approval of your medical practitioner, practice stretching your muscles and breathing deeply. These two activities will focus your mind, keeping you calm. Additionally, they relax the body which can facilitate recuperation. Stretching and breathing may also reduce soreness and take your mind off of any discomfort when doing lower body exercises. Surely, these practices can have lasting positive effects on your health as well.

Injuries of any capacity can be demoralizing. In this case, it might be a very traumatic experience. Take care yourself by getting properly checked out. Then, win the mental battle and follow your plan for a full recovery. Get plenty of rest and the recovery process will go much quicker compared to if you are worrying about it the entire time. Here’s to your successful and fast recovery.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

4 Myths About Dentists in Tijuana

Are you thinking about getting a dental treatment in Tijuana, Mexico? If yes, there are some myths about dentists in Tijuana that you should know about. Whether you need veneers or dental implants in Tijuana, it’s best that you see the truth behind some of these myths and misconceptions. Let’s see 4 of the more familiar ones.

Myth 1: Clinics in Tijuana are Sub-Standard

The lower dental prices in Tijuana cause many people to doubt the quality of clinics there. This is a common misconception which to some extent is understandable – price often does signify quality. Thankfully, this isn’t the case in dental tourist destinations such as Tijuana. While there may be some clinics that aren’t up to the mark, there are plenty of top-notch quality clinics in this Mexican city.

Myth 2: Dentists in Tijuana are Not as Qualified or Experienced

Similar to the myth about the clinics, this one has people questioning the competence of Mexican dentists. The reality is that there are a lot of exceptional dentists working in Mexican destinations such as Tijuana. Many of them have received all or part of their qualification and qualification in the US. This goes to show that you can be in good hands when you travel to Tijuana for your dental procedure.

Myth 3: Finding a Good Clinic in Tijuana is a Gamble

While some people question the existence of reliable dental clinics in Tijuana, some believe that it’s almost impossible to find a good clinic. This is also understandable to an extent. But thanks to online resources such as Dental Departures, you can easily research, shortlist and choose the most suitable dental clinic for your needs.

Myth 4: Tijuana is Unsafe Because Mexico is Generally Unsafe

This myth targets not just Tijuana but Mexico in general. It implies that Mexico is an overall unsafe country and that you’re risking your life by traveling there. And this misconception is also often highlighted in popular culture, like in movies and TV shows.

In reality, Mexico is safer than ever. For instance, consider the fact that the number of tourists to Mexico keeps increasing every year. Or that Mexico’s economy continues to evolve into on important one. Moreover, the drug-related violence is mainly restricted to drug gangs who target each other, not tourists.

Before you choose a clinic, you should also know the Tijuana dentist prices and how they compare to prices back home. Here’s the comparison for a couple of dental treatments:

Dental Implants Price in the US: USD $3,915
Dental Implants Price in Canada: CAD $5,030
Dental Implants Price in Tijuana: USD $1,250, CAD $1,567

Dental Crowns Price in the US: USD $1,164
Dental Crowns Price in Canada: CAD $1,483
Dental Crowns Price in Tijuana: USD $500, CAD $630

Dental tourism is becoming increasingly popular as more people are realizing the reality behind myths such as those discussed above. Every year, more people from the US visit dentists in Tijuana and return home quite satisfied by the dental treatment and savings.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Importance of Tracking Your Weight

Keeping track of your weight is important for your overall health, especially if you’re already overweight. While obsessing over the numbers on the scale isn’t necessarily healthy, having a scale around can boost your desire to keep fit as well as alert you if you’ve recently gained some extra weight.

Benefits of Weighing Yourself
A 2017 study conducted at West Virginia University showed that those who kept track of their weight at least five days a week experienced sustained and significant weight loss over a period of time compared to those who were inconsistent in tracking their weight or had done it fewer than five days a week.

When it comes to tracking your weight loss at home, there are many scale options available to you - from the digital bathroom scale to a wireless Bluetooth body weight scale paired with a weight tracking app, or a scale that tracks hydration, muscle and bone mass.

Going Beyond the Scale
Self-monitoring by maintaining a daily calorie log and sticking to a regular exercise routine, along with self-weighing are great tools that can be beneficial for weight loss. Setting small milestones and goals for yourself like losing one pound a week may give you a sense of accomplishment that can snowball into greater positive benefits over the course of your weight loss program.

Making it to the gym and or playing a high-intensity sport three times a week is a good start too. After you have achieved this goal, you can boost it to four and then five days a week. With each achievement under your belt, you might feel a great sense of empowerment. Stronger mind equals stronger body and vice versa.

Make It a Sport
When you record your diet and track weekly weight loss it can tend to become a sport in your mind. This can serve as a motivational tool for you to succeed and compete against yourself or compete against your goals so to speak, which could possibly push you to go above and beyond and get results faster. Think of your daily calories as your opposition, and your scale as the last defender before you score the winning goal. Approaching each week as one game can go a long way in helping you to achieve your weight loss goals.

Peaks and Valleys
Keeping track of your weight loss can also help to avoid hitting peaks and valleys. Maintaining a steady course during your weight loss program can help reduce the “yo-yo” effect, which may lower the risk for developing type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Your scale is another way to protect against the “yo-yo" effect. You’ll be able to see any spike in weight gain and subsequently make the right adjustments before it becomes a bigger issue.

Instant Gratification
The world today has become one of instant gratification. Perhaps tracking your weight loss and daily fitness routine can provide you with instant gratification in a positive way. Seeing the results of each and every day of hard work and discipline can only help to motivate you for the next day and so on while giving you a sense of accomplishment. 

Higher Learning
Keeping a daily food diary can help you become more educated about your health. You may see differences in what certain types of foods do to, and for your body. You’ll also learn how to gauge portion size which can be a great tool in reducing weight gain. You could also possibly realize that you’ve been taking in double the grams of carbs you should be ingesting. Coming to this realization may help you lose excess weight.

As always consult your physician before starting any diet or fitness program.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Five Quick Travel Tips For The Mobility Impaired

Already this winter, many Americans have endured much colder weather than normal. With sustained warmer weather still several weeks or months away, a quick trip to some place warm and sunny is often just what the doctor ordered, especially for people with limited mobility.

The Americans with Disabilities Act gives mobility-impaired individuals the right of equal access to all public facilities. However, a company may not necessarily give it to you just for the asking. So, before you book those travel plans, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Talk to Your Doctor

Describe the trip in detail, including destination, travel time, length of stay, mode of travel, and possible activities. A family physician is a great resource in this area, especially if you aren’t used to traveling with mobility impairments.

Ask the doctor for a letter describing your condition and your physical limitations. This letter could be important both for hotel/transportation facilities and any planned activities. The correspondence should also have the doctor’s emergency contact information and the name and number of a local physician who’s aware of the situation.

Make Advance Preparations

In a perfect world, mobility-impaired individuals would show up at airports or hotels and all their needs would be met. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Many times, there’s a choice between complaining about the situation later or handling it proactively. The latter usually works best.

Do more than just mention the situation when you make the reservation. Be very specific about your condition and your needs. Do not minimize either one of them and do not use specialized language or acronyms that many people do not understand. Use email or written confirmation if possible and voice verify the arrangements a day or two before you arrive at the facility.

Avoid Connecting Flights

Most airlines are very good about giving mobility-impaired individuals extra time to board and deplane. They’re also very good at ensuring that wheelchair passengers are the first ones on and first ones off. However, multiple connecting flights are often a hassle that’s just not worth it.

There are always exceptions, most notably if a direct flight would be very long and you have extreme difficulty navigating to an airplane’s restroom and back. If you do use connecting flights, allow at least an hour and a half, and maybe two hours, to get from one gate to the other.

Bring Spare Parts

Murphy’s Law isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you always assume that something will go wrong, you are at least prepared. That’s especially true with regard to rollators, walkers, and wheelchairs. Bring spare parts and tools. Furthermore, many airlines will ask individuals to dismantle these instruments in flight, so be prepared for that.

Once you reach your destination, be sure there is suitable transportation waiting for you. If that means a hotel shuttle, be sure the driver knows what to expect.

Splurge a Little

First class has a lot more room than coach. For some people, that’s just a luxury, but in some cases, it’s almost a necessity. Furthermore, upgrading to a lounge will make those airport waits a lot more bearable. In some cases, the airline might be willing to upgrade you at a lower cost. Remember, you never get anything unless you ask.

The flight to and from that tropical locale or warm, sandy beach may be what you remember more than the vacation itself. So, take a few minutes to ensure that your transportation is as seamless as possible and be prepared for some bumps in the road.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

How To Recover After An Illness

Major illness can occur at any time. A heart attack, a stroke, a big operation, perhaps. Or maybe you have been involved in an accident – a vehicle crash or falling from a horse. There are a lot of ways and reasons for the human body to be damaged. In many cases, you can go back to living a full and happy life even if you have had serious trauma happen to you. However, it will be hard work. There are some important things you should do to try and regain your strength and mobility. Here are some of them.

Keep Positive
A positive mental attitude is one of the most important elements of getting better after a major accident or illness. If you feel sorry for yourself, you are actively encouraging your body and mind to remain in a negative state. Don’t let other people pity you either. There is nothing to pity. It is a shame that a bad thing happened, but that’s over now. It’s time to look to the future with a positive outlook. Believe that you will feel more like your old self again and you will. Don’t believe it and you won’t. It’s a simple process. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should not let your emotions out; a rant now and then is good for you as long as you pick yourself up again afterward. Plus, allowing friends and family to help take care of you is important too; don’t start thinking you can do this alone just yet. Let them help you, and you will heal faster.

Get Into The World
For many people recovering from a major illness, staying in and hiding from the world is their preferred option. They don’t want other people to see them in their ‘weakened state’. It’s understandable, but it’s not good for you. It’s essential that you get out into the world as soon as you are able. Breathe in the fresh air as it is good for you body and your mind. You don’t have to do too much; a quick stroll around the block or to the local park and back is fine. It’s just important to get outside, away from the comforting surroundings of your home, and experience the real world again. Once you’ve had a taste, you’ll want to keep trying it, and that’s good for you. Try to make your journey outside longer each time you go, and this will help to strengthen tired muscles and brighten weary minds.

Keep Your Mind Active
As you recover, it’s crucial to keep your mind active as well as your body. In fact, having a healthy brain is one of the most important steps to having a healthy body. If you can’t go outside just yet, then try doing puzzles like crosswords, word searches, sudoku, and other ‘brain training’ games. You can do these on paper or online. You can even read murder mysteries and try to work out who the killer is – write your theories in a notebook as you go and figure it out before you get to the end. If you are up to leaving the house then why not try an escape game with friends? Not only will it get your mind working, but it will get you socializing again, which is hugely important to recovery.

Learn New Things
As well as puzzles, it’s a good idea to learn new things, particularly if you are not yet active enough to do much in the way of exercise. You can sign up for a class, possibly an online one if you can’t yet leave the house, and learn a new skill such as a language, a musical instrument, or artistic techniques. Some courses will let you learn at your own pace, which can fit in perfectly with your recovery schedule too. If you can leave your home and attend a class, you will meet people who enjoy the same things as you, and this kind of stimulation can boost your recovery after illness or trauma too.

It goes without saying that if you have had a traumatic accident and your limbs, back, neck or muscles were damaged, then you will need to do specific exercises to strengthen those areas once they have healed. They will be weak from disuse, particularly if it has taken you a long time to recover. Understand that you may need to push your body further than it feels you can go to get results, but that you should also be careful; go too far, and you might find yourself needing to spend more time recovering and less time exercising, which is not the point at all. If you are under the care of a physiotherapist, it is important to do as they say as they are the experts. If you don’t have a physiotherapist, then you may wish to consider hiring one because you’ll then know that what you are doing is making a difference and not causing you additional harm.

Sleep Patterns
Trying to get back into a normal sleeping pattern routine is another important element of recovery. It’s a simple step to regain normality in life, and it will help you both physically and mentally as well. At first, you might be tired because of it, but if you set yourself a bedtime and a specific number of hours of sleep then eventually that pattern will become a habit, and your body will get used to it. Even if you are tired earlier in the evening, try to stretch bedtime out to a more usual time. It might be earlier than you are used to, but that’s fine; you still need to recover after all. Once you arrange your sleeping patterns, your circadian rhythm will start to get back to normal, which will make the rest of your recovery go much more smoothly.

Listen To The Experts
Finally, whatever you do, listen to what your medical experts tell you. They know the best ways for your body and mind to recover after something traumatic has happened, and they have your best interests in mind when they give you a list of instructions. It may not be what you want to do, but it’s important to do it anyway if you want to have the best chance of a speedy recovery.

This is a guest blog entry.

Common Signs of Addiction to Look Out For

People are introduced to drugs at different phases in their life. For some, it may have been friends in high school, for others, it may have been at a college party, while for someone else it could have been a response to personal challenges. While some people try drugs or alcohol and eventually stop using it for various reasons, others, unfortunately gradually become addicts. Once addicted, it can be an extremely difficult task to break the addiction and can cause a great amount of damage if not quickly dealt with.

There are several signs to look out for if yourself or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse. This article will mention a number of them as well as what to do in order to break the addiction.

How Does Addiction Work?

When you take drugs, a rush of a neurotransmitter called dopamine goes to the brain. It then triggers feelings of pleasure which the brain remembers and then wants to feel repeatedly because the part of the brain that regulates movement, emotions, motivation, and pleasure is overstimulated. The craving can then become uncontrollable which is when it often begins to affect other areas of your life negatively. It is often because satisfying the craving becomes a number one priority. It is believed that there isn’t truly a defining moment in which using drugs or alcohol crosses over to becoming an addiction. However, there are definitely common and noticeable signs of addiction which will be mentioned below.


One of the most common signs of addiction is said to be withdrawal. Once substance abuse begins, feelings of guilt, fear, and shame can begin taking over which can cause an abuser to hide and withdraw. They may not want friends or family to see the number of drugs or alcohol they are consuming, so resort to hiding and using in secret. It is one of many ways which addiction can spiral out of control as it becomes harder for people to notice.

Issues in Relationships

Following on from the first sign, withdrawal can cause issues in relationships. It could be because friends and family don't hear from you like they usually do, or because you’re standing people up and avoiding contact with them. On the other hand, it could also be a result of them suspecting that there is a substance abuse problem and them becoming increasingly frustrated with the behavior that ensues as a result. Substance abuse can also cause the abuser to become physical and verbally abusive, behave irrationally, or become completely withdrawn altogether.

Challenges at Work or School

Seeing as drug or alcohol abuse can affect the brain, it is one of many ways it can cause challenges at work or school. The user may find it difficult to pay attention and concentrate and may also find themselves making more mistakes than usual. Additionally, they may even begin missing days and stop going altogether. It could create a series of issues with management and colleagues as well as concern for the cause of the unusual behavior. If issues in the workplace escalate it could also result in being suspended or dismissed which could trigger greater substance abuse. Before it gets to this point, however, it’s worth trying to seek professional help by visiting a recovery facility such as The Recovery Village Ridgefield.

Financial Issues

Financing an addiction can be extremely expensive. It can cause an abuser to go to any lengths to find money to feed their addiction. It could mean spending all of their income, dipping into their savings pot, selling their assets, and even stealing and borrowing from others. This also means that many important bills could end up being left unpaid which could result in the loss of their home as well as a large amount of debt. If it seems you or someone you love no longer has control over their finances, then this is a sign that addiction could be taking over.

Physical Changes

Substance abuse can cause noticeable physical changes. These could include bloodshot or glassy eyes, a runny nose, the loss or gain of weight, bags under the eyes, looking extremely untidy, dilated or constricted pupils, as well as bruises or infections on the skin near the site of entry. You may also notice in terms of substance intake, that the amount which is being used is increasing in quantity. It is because the more that you abuse the drug, the higher tolerance your body has for that drug. Increased quantities are then needed to achieve the previous effects or higher, which can be the source of the addiction. Increasing intake is also often one of many things that can lead to a substance overdose.

Managing Addiction 

If one or more of these signs seem familiar to you, it could indicate that you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. It can be a difficult thing to come to terms with for several reasons, however, the sooner it is accepted and addressed the better. For one, once it is addressed, the road to recovery is more likely to happen which means that the user can get their life back. It will also bring peace of mind to family and friends knowing that the person they love is getting better. If addiction isn’t controlled, it could destroy many lives and lead to serious health issues and death in extreme cases. Treatment centers which address the individual’s needs, offer behavior therapy, medication, and constant assessment may, therefore, be the best way to manage an addiction.

The repeated use of drugs or alcohol can be detrimental to an abuser’s health. It can affect the way the brain works, cause other serious health issues, and if not well handled, resulting in death. Also, along the way, it can cause emotional damage to family and friends. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the signs and seek help as soon as possible. By doing so, you could save yourself or your loved one a lot of heartaches and perhaps even their life.

This is a guest blog post.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

How to Age Well - 5 Tips for Staying Independent As the Years Advance

Staying healthy is a worthy pursuit, no matter one's age. But for many seniors, living on their own and staying out of a care facility is the goal they strive for. Sound familiar?

Are you among those who want to enjoy their independent living accommodations for as long as possible?

Here are the mindsets and actions you can take that will help you stay independent, even as the years pass.

1. Know your limits.

Just because you have a youthful outlook doesn't mean that you are physically capable of everything you could do when in your twenties.

Believing that you have physically remained unchanged could be literally setting you up for a fall. And, according to the CDC, falls are one of the number one causes of injury and death in older individuals.

While you do not want to place limiting beliefs on yourself that could curb your potential, it pays to be realistic. Having a firm grasp of reality will help you work within your capability and not do something to threaten your future mobility.

In some cases, this could mean turning to a home care agency to help with certain tasks. In other situations, it might mean lowering the intensity of your gym sessions to keep your heart rate in check. Counsel with a doctor and be open to their suggestions.

2. Keep your brain agile.

Mental decline is common for seniors, but it is not a given. There are ways you can keep your brain young.

Harvard Health Publishing lists 12 actions that could prevent cognitive impairment. They cite mental stimulation at the very top of their list. Why? When you engage in activities that stimulate the brain, your brain continues to form new connections. This action and its results can go on to prevent future brain cell loss.

What does that mean for you? Anything that keeps your brain on its mental toes gets two thumbs up from your doctor. But you need not only turn to crossword puzzles and sudoku. Aerobic exercise provides the brain with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at its best.

3. Have a network - and use it.

Do your children live close by? If not, do you have friends or a network you can call when needed? Do you talk with your neighbors? Do you have friends over weekly?

Your friends and those in your reading club are all part of your social circle, but they are also your network.

Take a moment to consider if you have someone you can call within your circle of friends if you needed a ride to a hospital immediately. What if you suspect you were a victim of fraud--who would you call? The network of people in your phonebook can act as a support system for you. Not only that, they can keep tabs on how you are doing emotionally and physically.

If no one immediately springs to mind, consider boosting your social circle or signing up for a support group.

You should also be sure to check out  internet safety guides for seniors which highlight what are the top scams targeted to seniors, how important it is to be aware of the current threats, and how to deal with them to name a few.

4. Be optimistic.

Researchers reviewed 80 studies and found that optimism had a marked impact on one's health. The studies covered a wide range of health situations and outcomes, including longevity. Their findings? A positive attitude can provide a physical boost.

How can you cultivate more optimism in your life? Try gratitude as a path that can lead you toward a brighter outlook.

Start or end your day with an acknowledgement of everything that you are thankful for. And you just might be surprised by all the added benefits that accrue due to this shift in thinking.

5. Stay active in ways you enjoy.

If you don't use it, you lose it. The saying is doubly true for seniors desiring to stay independent. Exercise is one of the best ways to prolong your independent lifestyle. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, and then stay moving.

If you have tried to stay active in the past but have failed, consider a moderate approach. Look for ways to engage in an enjoyable activity that will also have you moving about. Make mall walking dates with your friends. Making exercise a social activity can help get you out the door when you are feeling like staying on the couch.

Be careful to not over do it. It's better to start off slow and safe then hurry toward an injury which gets harder to recover from as you advance in years.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

What Are The Pros Of Laser Liposuction

One of the popular methods of fat removal includes laser liposuction. There were traditional methods in place prior to the invention of the laser liposuction procedure. Thanks to the popularity, the procedure has become safer and more reliable. If you’re thinking about having a laser liposuction cosmetic procedure, here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons.

Advantages of Laser Liposuction

• FDA Approval - The procedure has been approved for use by the FDA. Therefore, it is considered safe for patients who are minimally overweight and looking to have some fat removed from their bodies. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no risks involved entirely. However, the approval means that the risks have been assessed and concluded to be inconsequential or minimal. It also means that the analysis and testing of the procedure has been done thoroughly to allow public usage.

• Less Scarring - Laser liposuction has been introduced in the cosmetic surgical niche since the traditional liposuction procedures always caused excessive scarring. The procedure reduces scarring and the results are less disappointing to the patient. The incision is only large enough to accommodate the laser used during the procedure thus it is not a standard incision. Therefore, regardless of the amount of scarring, it will definitely not interfere with the overall appearance.

• Minimally Invasive - Since the procedure doesn’t use the standard surgical techniques, it is considered minimally invasive. In any surgical procedure, there should be general anesthesia which comes with its own risks. However, laser liposuction uses localized anesthesia where the only area being treated is numbed. Therefore, all the risks associated with general anesthesia are completely removed from the equation.

• No Downtime - If you undergo traditional liposuction, you need general anesthesia, hospital admission and 2 or 3 weeks of downtime after the procedure with limited activity. Thanks to laser liposuction, you can resume normal activities within hours. Since local anesthesia is used, the patient will be alert and awake during the procedure. Also, there’s no hospital admission necessary since the procedure is not invasive. Patients are also not limited to activities once the procedure completed.

Disadvantages of Laser Liposuction

• Costly - Just like any cosmetic procedure, you should prepare yourself for the cost associated with laser liposuction. Although it’s considerably cheaper than traditional liposuction, it is still costly and most insurance providers will not cover it. You should expect to pay a considerable amount for it but the overall cost is determined by various factors such as where on the body the procedure is being performed, the amount of fat removed, the underlying health conditions and where in the world you’re getting it done. For instance, laser liposuction of the upper abdomen is costly than the lower abdomen.

• Burning Sensation - Most of the patients who have undergone the procedure often report a burning sensation once it’s completed. It is a painful feeling and can be worse if the procedure is done on a large area of the body since the laser tool will be applied for longer periods. However, most of the cosmetic surgeons will provide you with medications and ointments that prevent this feeling depending on the degree of pain.

In conclusion, laser liposuction is one of the answers that many people are looking for in the cosmetic surgery niche. If you have been looking for effortless ways to lose some fat in specific areas of your body, you can enjoy the benefits of choosing this procedure.

This is a guest blog entry.

How To Quit Smoking and Stay the Course till The Habit is Quit

Smoking is a terrible habit and also extremely bad for your health. Quitting could be one of the best things you ever did and here are some tips on doing so.

1. Make a Plan to Quit.

If you fail to plan, you won’t have the checkpoints and performance indicators that let you know you’re still doing well even when you feel your worst. A plan makes it easier to stay focused on the quest and motivated toward your goals. You can create a quit plan for your specific needs or get help coming up with one by contacting a quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or taking advantage of the many apps and other resources available online. Be realistic about your goals and consider slowly easing out of the habit within a given time frame. Nicotine replacement therapy has had many results.

2. Keep your mind occupied

Keeping yourself fully occupied is one way that you can keep yourself from falling into older habits. By having your mind focused on some engaging task or activity you can keep your mind too busy to wander off to cravings. Consider getting into anyone of the following activities.

--Go to a delicious dinner at a nice spot
--Take time out of the house
--Spend time with non-smokers
--Chew gum or a preferred candy
--Go to a movie.
--Drink lots of water.
--Keep your hands busy with a pen or toothpick,
--Practice deep breathing exercises
--Many people find that vaping helps them quit and it tastes good. Check out this Grape Reds Apple eJuice.

Be sure you take your progress slowly and one day at a time. The progress you build today will make your efforts tomorrow all the easier.

3. Avoid Smoking Triggers

There will be certain elements of your environment, people you know and even certain situations that will set off your urges and impulses to light up. The best way to begin your new life is to eliminate all the triggers you can. People and neighbors can’t simply be eliminated, but you can begin by throwing out all the ash trays, lighters and cigarettes that you have in your environment.

--Caffeine can make you feel jittery and goes well with a smoke so it is better to steer clear of both.

--Spend more time with non-smokers and those that will be considerate of your efforts.

-- Hang around places that don’t allow smoking

--Get plenty of rest and focus on maintaining a healthy diet during the transition.

-- Change out elements of your routine that urge you to smoke.

4. Stay Positive

Quitting smoking will be no easy feat. There are many urges and impulses to control as well as an entire lifetime to look forward to. But you must keep your focus on the moment and keep positive at all times. Your first day will be tough, but make the commitment to not smoke at all, not even a single puff. Then be sure that you give yourself a pat on the back and a special detail that reminds you of your accomplishment.  Don’t be discouraged if you end up smoking a few days later. You can totally ease your way out of smoking with a plan that is exact for you. Just get up and try again, soon you will find your resistance is building.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dealing With The Effects Of Dizziness

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

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

Some Common Causes Of Dizziness

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

Tools Around The House To Help

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

When To Be Concerned About Lightheadedness

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

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

Controlling The Symptoms

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

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

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tips to Ensure Quality Sleep in Seniors

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

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

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

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

Importance of a Good Sleep

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

Sleep Quantity vs. Sleep Quality

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

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

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

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a guest blog entry.

What to Expect on Your First Prenatal Checkup

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

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

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

When to Schedule an Appointment

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

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

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

Preparing for Your Initial Checkup

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

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

Getting a Physical Exam

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

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

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

Laboratory Tests to Be Done

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

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

Take Note

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

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, January 29, 2018

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

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

Signs It’s Time to Consider Professional Care

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

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

Tour a Variety of Facilities

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

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

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

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

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts for Elderly Women

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

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

Use It or Lose It

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

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

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

Best Home Exercises for Elderly Women

Upper Body

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

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

Lower Body

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

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

Feet and Legs

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

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

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

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Five Best Lower Body Exercises for People with Bad Knees

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

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

1. Glute Bridge

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

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

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

Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps.

2. Static Squats

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

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

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

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

3. Single-leg Deadlift

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

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

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

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

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

Try holding a dumbbell for extra resistance.

4. Reverse Hyper

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

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

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

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

Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.  

5. Banded Lateral Walks

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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

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

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

Standard E-Liquid Ingredients

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

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

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


This is a guest blog entry.