March 11th, 2014
Good balance requires strong ankles. With the right workout regimen, you can improve your muscles and stabilize the entire joint. This is particularly important after a sports or overuse injury such as a sprain or strain but is also necessary for anyone who wants to enjoy better athletic performance or focus on fall prevention.
Start by stretching. Roll your foot around using circular movements to loosen tight tissues and increase range of motion. Then begin proprioceptive exercises. Proprioception is your body’s ability to identify its position and stabilize its movements. Proprioceptors are located inside the joints and offer feedback about your body’s position and stability that allows you to improve your performance in daily activities, recreational activities and athletic events.
Static activities include balancing on one foot and then the other. Begin in a seated position and move one leg up and down, and then work out the next leg. Sitting allows you to reduce the amount of weight that you put on the affected joint. After you have had time to heal, Work your way to performing these movements while standing on one foot. Close your eyes for more of a challenge, or use an uneven pad that forces your body to work harder. As you become stronger, you will have improved mobility, stronger balance, better agility and enhanced coordination.
Dynamic exercises further improve proprioception. Anchor elastic resistance bands to a doorknob or other stabilizer. Pull back on the band gently at first and with increasing speed. This helps strengthen core muscles in your back and abdomen and forces your body to work harder to maintain its position. After you become adept at the simplified workout, begin using just one leg during the workout. Begin with just a few repetitions and work your way up to several sets.
Other activities that can strengthen and build balance and coordination include hiking, walking along uneven or moving terrain such as gravel, grass or sand and balancing on a trampoline. Wear supportive, properly fitting shoes to prevent injuries to your feet and shins during any workout, and stop if you feel pain. Your physical therapist may make personalized recommendations that can help strengthen your core and ankles and keep your body strong and balanced.
February 11th, 2014
Every February 14th, we celebrate a special day dedicated to love and the close relationships that make our lives meaningful. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, making it even easier to plan a fun date night with your very own special someone!
When you think of traditional Valentine’s presents, what are some of the first things that come to mind? A beautifully wrapped, heart-shaped box of chocolates? Perhaps it’s a gigantic bouquet of sweet-smelling roses all tied up with a bright, red bow. Jewelry and perfume are also popular choices, which is why you’ll find that television ads for these products are far more prolific at this time of year. Greeting card aisles at the store are packed with men, women and even children all throughout the week, each looking for the perfect message for their Valentine.
While flowers, cards and chocolates are the most typical Valentine’s Day gifts, the enduring sense of love and togetherness are truly the best presents we can give on this day. Whether you’re surprising your significant other with a romantic evening at home or treating an elderly family member to a nice dinner out, the meaning behind this day is the same. We want to express how fortunate we feel to share our lives with the people that mean the most to us.
Even if you’re not in a relationship at the moment, you can still take advantage of this opportunity to make someone feel special. See if any of your friends or coworkers might need help celebrating the evening; the simple action of extending a helping hand is incredibly rewarding in and of itself. You could volunteer to babysit for a couple that doesn’t get to go out often, or you could give someone in your office the gift of a hot lunch on a cold day. You’d be surprised at how even the smallest gestures can make some of the biggest impacts.
One great way to celebrate V-Day when you are single is to spend it with a large group of like-minded friends. Take time to revel in the happiness you feel when you’re together. Find unexpected stress relief in a delicious dinner, fun conversation, champagne and plenty of laughter. As you review everyone’s hilarious tales of Valentines past, you’ll find that this one-of-a-kind holiday can be just as fun when you’re unattached.
January 16th, 2014
Varicose veins are large, swollen veins with a twisted appearance near the surface of the skin. It is most common to find them in the lower legs. Genetics may play a role in development, and risk increases with age. While they themselves are not threatening, they can lead to other health issues.
The condition is caused when valves in the legs become weaker. The valves are meant to be one-way, allowing blood to travel up to return to the heart. When they grow weak and stop working properly, blood pools in the area and pressure builds. This causes distortion of the vein, leading to the swollen, twisted appearance. Risk factors include genetics, obesity, and pregnancy. The condition is more common in females than males, and occurs with more frequency as we get old.
Aside from appearance, symptoms may be mild to more severe. Some people may not experience any at all. Others may feel a painful burning sensation, especially when sitting or standing for long periods. The skin over the affected vein may become tight and itch. More severe symptoms include swelling of the leg, dermatitis, and severe pain in the calf.
While the condition itself isn’t serious, it can lead to dangerous health problems in some cases. Small wounds in the damaged skin can be difficult to heal, leading to ulcers and infection. More seriously, it may be a sign of thrombophlebitis due to a deep vein thrombosis, or clot, deeper in the leg. This type of clot can break loose at any time and travel to any of the arteries, blocking oxygen flow and causing a heart attack or stroke. It’s important to see a doctor to discuss the condition rather than brush it off as merely a cosmetic irritation.
Treatment includes both surgical and nonsurgical options. Lifestyle changes to reduce risk, such as exercise and diet for weight loss, may be suggested. Compression socks and elevation to increase circulation are common. Medical procedures include surgery or radiofrequency treatment to close off or destroy the affected vein.
Varicose veins affect mostly females as they approach old age, though genetics and other factors do come into play in some cases. While many think of the condition as a merely cosmetic annoyance, the truth is that it could be masking a far more serious situation, such as a blood clot, that could lead to stroke or even death. For this reason, it’s important to see a doctor to discuss treatment options as well as lifestyle changes to reduce the risk.
December 24th, 2013
The motivation to exercise can be difficult to maintain. Once you get going, you might not want to stop a healthy habit. However, seasonal illnesses have a way of putting a halt to even the best laid plans. When a winter cold comes along, should the workout routine be put aside for the duration? Activity levels during illness vary depending on individual comfort levels and even more so depending on the severity of the sickness.
In general, a person can continue with an exercise routine during seasonal sickness as long as he or she does not have a fever and still feels comfortable. In the case of a winter cold, most of the symptoms shouldn’t inhibit a standard workout routine. While a sore throat and fatigue without a fever may not make for the best gym performance of all time, they won’t necessarily require a day off. When congestion is contained mostly above the shoulders, such as nasal or sinus congestion, it’s still fine to engage in a fitness routine. Scale back to a less intense level if necessary for comfort.
However, there is a difference between a winter cold and the flu. Once a fever, body aches, and the fatigue associated with the flu set in, it’s probably time to consider staying home to rest rather than hitting the gym. The stomach upset and vomiting alone are enough to keep most people home, but for those who truly have trouble losing a workout, consider the effects of cortisol on the immune system. Cortisol is a hormone released during exercise. Over time, it improves the body’s response to stress. In the short term, though, it suppresses the immune system. That’s the last thing the body needs when trying to recover from the flu.
In short, keeping up with regular workouts when struck with a simple cold virus is okay without a fever, dependent on individual comfort. However, when the flu comes calling, it’s time to rest. Get extra sleep, watch television on the couch, or read books in bed. Drink plenty of fluids and enjoy some warm chicken soup. Get back to the gym and regular routines when the illness has completely cleared in order to avoid prolonging the downtime. While those who monitor progress closely may notice a small dip in performance upon return to the gym, taking the time to recover fully is best.
November 26th, 2013
Hypertension affects approximately 1 out of every 3 Americans, making it one of the most common medical conditions in the United States. More commonly referred to simply as high blood pressure, it is a leading cause of mortality in elderly men and women. Because being affected by this condition puts you at an increased risk for stroke, heart attack and peripheral artery disease, it is important to learn how to manage it properly before it results in potentially life threatening complications.
Blood pressure is considered unhealthily elevated when the diastolic number, or the one on top of the equation, is higher than 140 and the systolic number, or the figure on the bottom, is above 90. Most people affected by hypertension do not experience any symptoms until the condition has reached a dangerous level. When symptoms do appear, they are usually limited to bouts of dizziness, increased frequency of nose bleeds and a persistent but dull headache.
Managing blood pressure begins with talking to your doctor about your options. Depending on your age, the severity of your condition and any other medical problems you might have, it may be necessary to take a variety of medications to keep the problem under control.
Not everyone with HBP must be treated with medications. Certain lifestyle changes can save lives as well. Talk with your doctor about how smart changes to your diet and exercise regimen could possibly help keep your systolic and diastolic numbers in the healthy range. Even 30 to 60 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise three or four times per week could reduce your chances of developing HBP. If you’re overweight, losing the extra pounds can be incredibly beneficial, especially if you are already at risk. In addition, people who drink alcohol and eat a diet high in salt are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition, so limiting both of these things is a good idea as well.
Getting enough sleep at night and engaging in regular stress relief activities can have an immense effect as well. Many people suffering from hypertension find that daily meditation, yoga, swimming, walking and massage therapy help them relax and keep their condition in check. Individuals who are less stressed are at a significantly lower risk of heart attack and tend to be happier in general.
October 29th, 2013
A muscle cramp is an involuntary spasm or contraction that is usually accompanied by pain. They are often associated with exercise, but sometimes they just happen. Some can be prevented, and all will typically go away with stretching and time. However, in the case of severe pain, it may become necessary to see a doctor and get treated for the underlying cause.
Muscle cramps often occur in the legs. The hamstring, calf, and thigh are common locations for a sudden pain, but the hands and feet aren’t exempt. A hand might suddenly spasm after a long period of writing, or a charley horse might crop up on an easy jog. These occurrences are common, and sometimes they just happen. Other times, however, there is a reason for the involuntary contraction. Common causes included working out without a warmup, neglecting proper stretching, a depletion of electrolytes, or the body becoming dehydrated. Certain medications may also make some people more prone to muscle spasms. Additionally, both poor circulation and being calcium deficient both increase the likelihood of painful contractions.
While a charley horse won’t last forever, prevention is best. Most people learn quick when it comes to what types of movements or exercises are most likely to lead to cramping, so avoid any activity that tightens the hamstrings or thighs beyond comfort. Don’t jump in to strenuous exercise without a warmup, and be equally sure to cool down properly. Be cautious of getting dehydrated. In addition to replacing water lost through sweating, consider using a sports drink to replace depleted electrolytes as well, especially during endurance sports. Even though the discomfort isn’t permanent, taking time to work toward prevention is best to skip the unpleasantness all together.
When it comes to exercise, measures like stretching and not getting started without warming up can help to fend off the worst muscle contractions. However, sometimes they just happen. In these cases, they will typically go away with a simple treatment of rest and alternating heat and ice. A massage may be helpful. If the involuntary spasms are frequent, severe, and seemingly without cause, see a doctor. There may be underlying conditions that need to get treated for full relief.
Most people are no strangers to the occasional charley horse or knot of tension in the calf. When faced with this discomfort, it’s easy to learn quick what causes it, how to avoid it, and how best to treat it at home. They typically go away easily, but a few simple steps toward prevention is best.
October 1st, 2013
Fall is one of the most abundant seasons for delicious and diverse produce, offering up the bounty of the land for all to enjoy in innumerable autumn recipes. From your town’s biggest grocery store to its quaintest local farmers market, you’re sure to find all of the healthy, hearty ingredients you need to plan dozens of perfect family meals.
The vegetables and fruits associated with this season are well known for their brilliant colors, seen in every hue and shade imaginable. The greens, yellows, oranges and whites of luscious autumn squash, for example, make for a casserole that’s as beautiful as it is savory. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, squash is also an excellent source of fiber. To get the maximum nutritional benefit from this particular family of vegetables, be sure to leave the skin on and cook it with the flesh, basting it in olive oil and sea salt for a delicately rustic flavor.
Some other popular vegetables of the season include cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and Brussels sprouts, all with their own nutritional advantages as well. Steam or saute with a pinch of your favorite simple seasonings and enjoy the succulent aromas of the season as they waft through your kitchen. If fall fruits are more your speed, you’ll love the plentiful supply of sweet delights that await you this time of year. Apples, oranges, pomegranates, pears, cranberries, grapefruit and red grapes are only a few of the most popular fruits on display this autumn.
If you’re planning on purchasing any of your produce in bulk for a big holiday meal, talk to the people at the farmers market about pricing for larger orders. Sometimes, bulk purchases come at a reduced cost, making it even easier to stock up on all of the best autumn has to offer without breaking the bank. If you really want to have fun exploring the bounties of fall with family and friends, plan to make a day of visiting various markets and stores. When you’ve found the best few sources of fresh produce in your area, you’ll know that your pantry and refrigerator will always be fully stocked with the goodness of the land. Experiment with different recipes and swap meal ideas with your neighbors, sharing the uniting experience that is autumn.
September 4th, 2013
In today’s bustling, hustling, often chaotic world, an act as seemingly simple as socializing with friends and family can quickly become complicated. Though an integral part of everyday life, being social has gradually begun to fall by the wayside for many of us, taken over primarily by work and related obligations. We tend to forget how important being social actually is until we stop one day and realize that we’ve lost friends or inadvertently lost contact with loved ones.
The fact of the matter is that remaining social throughout our adult years is more important than many of us know, that it’s good for our health, both mental and physical. People who describe themselves as social are more active, report feeling happier in general and typically have stronger, healthier hearts than those who refer to themselves as loners or homebodies.
Being social allows us to open up in essential ways, gives us the otherwise missed opportunity to share in a random laugh or smile. We feel happy with ourselves and therefore feel more content with our partners, more satisfied with life overall. We argue and fight less frequently when we enjoy friendly relationships with people outside of marriage. Fewer stressful interactions lend themselves to decreased risk of heart attack and high blood pressure as well, doubling the many benefits of getting out more for the mere fun of it.
In order to ensure that we’re providing ourselves the ideal circumstances in which to socialize and reap all of the associated benefits, we must learn to stay away from negative thinking and the tendency to remain in isolation. It’s completely normal for someone who has endured negative social experiences to crave solitude, but escaping the outside world entirely is rarely the answer to any of our major problems.
As humans, we tend to seek out and pursue approval, acceptance and socialization. Even when times are hard and our circumstances prove less than ideal, we must remember that many new things come along when we least expect them. Should we receive the odd invitation to go out for a walk, for example, and we pass it by, we may be missing out on a bigger opportunity than we know at the time. So take the time to come up with new and exciting ideas, plan spontaneous trips and look forward to tomorrow with optimism. You never know what sorts of surprises lie in store for you when you open yourself to the outside world and all that it has to offer.
August 7th, 2013
Septic arthritis is caused by an infection inside of a joint. It can happen in the knees or hips, and should be considered as a possibility whenever sudden acute joint pain appears. This condition is considered to be a medical emergency and for increased odds of positive outcome, a prompt visit to a doctor is essential.
When bacteria gets into a joint and causes an infection, the pain can be immense. When these microorganisms in the blood invade the space between bones, the onset of discomfort is sudden and severe. A patient suffering from this disease may have a fever and is likely to hold the affected joint stiffly, as it is the type of discomfort that motion makes worse. It is common in those who have a weakened immune system and the elderly population. The elderly are more likely to have artificial joints, which can be more susceptible to infections caused by microorganisms and bacteria in the blood.
Though it can be difficult to diagnose, if septic arthritis is suspected, treatment must begin immediately for increased odds of positive outcome. Without prompt attention from a doctor, the bacteria may travel through the blood to infect other parts of the body. Of more concern, however, is the fact that without medical attention for the condition, a joint can be destroyed within days. This is why it is considered to be a medical emergency. Additionally, depending on the type of bacteria or microorganism present, the condition may even become chronic.
In most cases, treatment is straightforward. Antibiotics are chosen based on the type of infection, and are usually given intravenously. Then, a doctor may aspirate the joint, removing all infected fluid. In the case of artificial joints, however, surgery is generally required due to an antibiotic-resistant film that forms over the pieces of the joint. In surgery, the joint will be removed and the area cleaned. The artificial joint is not usually replaced right away, but instead done in a later surgery, to ensure proper healing. In cases where surgery is not possible, long term antibiotics are necessary to treat the potentially chronic disease.
After initial medical intervention, a slow return to activity is generally fine. The RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can be used to treat any ongoing joint pain. Gentle exercise approved by a doctor or physical therapist will help the knees, hips, or other affected joint to return to top form.
While it may be strange to consider arthritis as a medical emergency rather than a simple chronic disease of the elderly, the septic version absolutely is. Prompt medical attention is essential in all cases of sudden onset severe joint pain in order to begin a treatment that will lead to increased odds of positive outcome.
July 9th, 2013
Peripheral arterial disease, or P.A.D., is a vascular disease in which large arteries are obstructed. It is considered peripheral because it is generally contained to the extremities, not the structures of the heart, head, or major organs. While the disease can be medically treated, it is a serious disorder with many risks.
Peripheral arterial disease occurs when plaque builds up in an artery. It can harden, causing the area for blood flow to narrow or even be obstructed partially or completely. Another common cause is atherosclerosis. In the case of atherosclerosis, the walls of the arteries themselves thicken, causing the narrow space. This is common in the legs of people suffering from P.A.D. When the blood cannot flow freely, oxygen is not delivered to the extremities efficiently, causing pain and numbness.
The symptoms of pain and numbness are often what will cause someone suffering from P.A.D. to initially seek out a doctor for a diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease. The disease is graded in four stages, and by the time pain and numbness upon movement and standing occur, it is likely to have already reached stage two. Stage three usually includes pain in the feet at rest, while stage four involves infection, necrosis, and gangrene of the limb.
While some people may not be able to prevent the onset of peripheral arterial disease, there are groups who are at increased risk for developing P.A.D. Anyone with a family history of artery or heart disease may be at increased risk. Obesity is a factory in the development of plaque in the arteries, as well as a risk factor for atherosclerosis, which can cause this condition. Additionally, smoking increases the risk that arteries will harden, as do diets high in fat and cholesterol.
Treatment of the disease can vary depending on the severity and the method each doctor prefers. Quitting smoking and diet management are major tools in the fight against peripheral vascular disease. Exercise is helpful, and several prescription and over the counter medications have been found to be effective. In severe cases, procedures up to and including surgery are called for. Angioplasty and stent placement can be utilized, and amputation may be considered in cases where gangrene is present.
Avoidance of risk factors is key in the prevention of any arterial disease, and prompt attention to symptoms such as pain and numbness in the extremities is key to a quick diagnosis. With medical guidance, symptoms can successfully be managed without serious surgical intervention.
June 11th, 2013
An important way to improve overall health that is often overlooked is targeting your gut bacteria. Science has shown that the bacteria found in the digestive tract has an impact on more areas of medicine and well being than previously believed, and paying attention to some simple diet items can make a world of difference in health problems like arthritis, joint pain, digestion, energy and much more.
The intestinal tract is full of both good and bad types of microbes. People may be surprised to find, even, that microorganisms outnumbers cells in the body by 10 to 1. It’s in managing the balance of the types of bacterium found in the lining of the intestinal tract that many people have found a key to digestive health and even the relief from some troubling medical issues. Using the method of careful diet choices and nutrition management, the growth of good bcteria can be encouraged, helping to heal and repair any damage to the lining of the digestive tract, as well as protecting it from infection, parasites, and other environmental toxins that may pass through the body over time.
Diet and exercise have long been the two top ways to keep the body and working order, and they go a long way to improving the gut flora as well. Along with avoiding antibiotics whenever possible, small diet changes or additions are going to be the best and most effective way to improve and increase the good microorganisms in the gut. To help the digestive system’s absorption of nutrients, try working on adding the following vitamins and nutrients to the menu.
- For good sources of Vitamin D and calcium, add diary like milk, eggs and cheese.
- Vitamin K2 can be found in dairy, too, as well as chicken, salami, and ground beef.
- Vitamin B 12 is also important and is found in many seafoods like shellfish.
- Fiber is necessary for overall digestive function and is abundant in beans, whole grains, and dark, leafy vegetables.
- Glutamine is an amino acid that is specifically important to cells in the small intestine. It is found in high protein foods like meat, beans, and dairy, but bone broth is an especially efficient delivery method for this nutrient.
- Yogurt is another popular diary product for those looking to improve digestive health, as it often contains probiotics that help reverse the damage of infection or disruption caused by a course of antibiotics. Fermented foods are another excellent option.
Diet changes and additions are the easiest and most effective way to improve gut bacteria, and improving gut function is one of the easiest, lowest impact steps someone can take to improve overall health today.
May 14th, 2013
There are several over-the-counter medications that can relieve swelling and inflammation and can help provide pain relief after an acute injury. These same medicines can also be useful during a flare-up of chronic pain of the joints or muscles.
However, a much faster method for pain relief that is often overlooked is ice therapy. Ice therapy works more quickly than oral medications, and it does not have side effects. Combining both might be the most effective, depending on what your doctor recommends.
As soon as ice comes into contact with the injured area, is instantly begins to numb pain and reduce swelling post injury. It is also a highly affordable method for treating the discomfort of chronic conditions such as knee arthritis or painful compression fractures of the spine.
How to Use Ice Therapy
Many weekend warriors buy a freezer pack at a local pharmacy and keep it ready to go in the event of an injury. If you don’t have a freezer pack, you can also use a package of frozen vegetables like peas or corn.
If you decide to use ice cubes, make sure there is a layer or two of protective covering between the ice and your skin. Experts advise this to ensure you don’t get frostbite, which can be even more painful than the original injury.
In general, ice therapy should start relieving pain, swelling and inflammation almost as soon as it is applied to the sore area. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, get in touch with your doctor. He or she may want to evaluate the injury or the sore place before suggesting additional treatment.
Ice therapy has very few negative side effects. Because the ice pack tends to numb the areas it touches, however, you may notice impaired reflex activity and impaired motor function for 20 minutes to 30 minutes after you complete the treatment. Taking a half hour or more off before the next round is the correct method.
If you’re looking for fast relief of pain and swelling after an injury, or if you have chronic pain from a condition such as arthritis, an ice pack may be just what you need to get rid of annoying symptoms and get back to feeling like yourself again.
April 16th, 2013
Mother’s Day, celebrated on Sunday, May 12, 2013, is fast approaching. Whether you’re anticipating a big event or just a small family get-together, it’s best to plan early. There are many ways you can honor your mom on her special day.
Take Her Out to Eat
We all know that no one cooks quite as well as Mom, but it’s not really fair to ask her to prepare a meal on Mother’s Day. Instead, take her out to her favorite restaurant and treat her to a meal she loves. Don’t forget that many restaurants offer special brunches to celebrate this special occasion. Because so many families celebrate by going out to eat, be sure to make reservations early.
Create a Memory Book
This is one of the best gifts you can give your mother. Have several loved ones send you their favorite stories of your mother’s life. These stories can be serious or funny – a mix of both types of stories is ideal. They should acknowledge her love, caring, sacrifice, and hours of service to her family and to her community.
Once you have the stories, select some of your favorite pictures of your mother and arrange the stories and pictures in a scrapbook. This is a warm hearted gift that she can enjoy looking at for the rest of her life.
Throw a Party
If your mom has always enjoyed a good celebration, throw a party in her honor. Pick a theme she will enjoy, buy decorations and refreshments, and send out invitations to her family and friends.
On the big day, make sure you recruit someone to take pictures of your mother and her guests enjoying themselves.
Share a Quiet Day Together
Sometimes the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to plan a quiet day with family and close friends. You can fix snacks or have food delivered to the house. Small get-togethers are great times for sharing favorite memories and stories. You may learn things about your mother that you never knew before.
March 26th, 2013
Millions of people suffer from chronic knee pain every day. For many, even the nighttime offers no relief from the aching and stiffness, especially if they can’t seem to find a sleeping position that offers comfort for their tired muscles and joints. Discovering the sleeping posture that is most comfortable for you is incredibly important to your health, happiness and general well being.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, there is one thing that you can do to decrease discomfort in bed. Popular on back solutions include keeping your bad knee elevated with the use of a firm pillow. Prop the pillow under the knee so that your leg is slightly bent and the joint itself is higher than the rest of your body. This places the least amount of weight on the region and reduces pressure, allowing for more efficient circulation to the area and reducing discomfort caused by inflammation.
On the other hand, if you find it necessary to sleep on your side, make sure that your mattress is relatively firm rather than plush. This gives your spine and hips the support they need to position your legs in the most beneficial manner possible. Place a regular or body pillow between your thighs and knees to keep them apart and to align your body properly.
Take time to unwind and get your mind and body in a restful state. Enjoy some warm herbal tea about one hour before bed, making sure that it is free of stimulants like caffeine which could inhibit your ability to relax. Read tips to calm knee pain at night so you can learn about ways to get relief and hopefully make it through the entire night without interruption.
March 6th, 2013
While achieving and maintaining some level of fitness is important at every stage of life, it becomes an especially significant factor in health as we age. Unfortunately, fitness motivation for seniors is often not as simple as it may have been in earlier years. Even though the task of adding regular exercise to the daily routine may be met with more obstacles for seniors, those who have the drive and desire to accomplish the task will reap huge benefits over those who prefer to remain inactive.
The major stumbling block most people meet when trying to add regular exercise or weight training to their daily lives is motivation, and those over 65 are no exception. After all, it is much easier to remain inactive, staying home to watch television, for example. It almost seems as though laziness and inactivity are part of the common culture. As the body ages, energy is in shorter supply, and it almost seems easier to choose to be inactive.
However, when searching for that certain drive needed to get up and keep up with grandchildren or participate in the active lifestyle preferred by many seniors these days, there is a wealth of information and research available listing the many and varied benefits of developing that motivation. From the reduction of risk of falls and certain types of cancer to relief of symptoms from some chronic diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis and constipation, regular exercise and physical activity have virtually no end of positive benefits.
Gaining the desire and drive necessary to add regular exercise to a daily routine isn’t always as simple as knowing it is a good idea and going out and doing it. For many, especially those over 65, depression and associated lower levels of certain hormones may play a role in decreased desire to get up and moving. In these cases, family support can be extremely helpful and important. Enlisting friends and family members in plans to introduce new activities can lead to things to look forward to, new hobbies, and something to live for.
Getting over the mental block associated with the introduction of these new routines can be almost as daunting as the physical obstacles in the path of many seniors. In time, though, getting up and getting the heart pumping leads to a cycle of increased beneficial hormones, decreased depression, and positive health outcomes, all leading to a healthier life.
February 6th, 2013
Hammer toe is a deformity in which the ligaments and tendons in the foot have been excessively tightened, causing the second toe and maybe the third and fourth to curl into a contracted claw position. People who suffer from this condition may experience acute pain in flexing the toe, in wearing close-fitting footwear, or even knee pain or other discomfort while walking. Severe cases can therefore greatly interfere with everyday life. Thankfully, with proper diagnosis of your condition, this deformity can sometimes be resolved without serious treatment.
While the affliction sometimes arises due to genetic causes, hammer toe is most frequently encountered in persons who have worn excessively small, ill-fitting, or high-heeled shoes for extended periods of time. Therefore, this painful condition can usually be resolved with a few minor lifestyle adjustments.
The first and most obvious step is to purchase appropriate footwear. For example, orthopedic sneakers that offer well-balanced support are an ideal choice. Women should avoid high heels whenever possible as these shoes tend to both aggravate the malformation and encourage the development of corns on top of the toe.
While the toe is still tender, you may consider protecting it with specialized padding or shoe insoles in order to expedite the healing process. This will also help to relieve your foot pain.
Finally, gentle exercise can help to loosen the tendons and ligaments around the toe. Light stretching and flexing may restore some of your toe’s flexibility, thereby decreasing discomfort when walking.
Severe cases of this condition usually necessitate surgery. Your podiatrist can provide you with a proper assessment of your affliction in order to determine the specific procedures that you will require. Surgery typically involves adjustment of the toe structure and/or fusion of the bones surrounding the toe joint. Occasionally, doctors will also remove parts of the bone in order to straighten the toe.
January 2nd, 2013
New Years resolutions are always created with the best of intents. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to adhere to their goals; in fact, most drop off of their improvement journey about a week after creating their objective. But don’t lose hope; with smart strategy and perseverance, this year can be different. The following tips will help you to follow through with your desired plans and change your life for the better.
Your Fitness Goals:
Health and fitness pursuits are overwhelmingly popular New Years resolutions for 2013. Unfortunately, they are also some of the hardest to achieve because they require constant vigilance and dedication.
A successful way to achieve a positive outcome is to set goals and adopt a new lifestyle rather than undergo a drastic weight loss plan. The alterations that you make to your diet and exercise habits must be maintainable; if you severely deprive your body of calories or demand too much of your muscles, not only will you lose your motivation, but your body will also be unable to cope. Instead, you should enact small, manageable changes such as reducing your intake of sugary treats or going for a walk every afternoon. While your progress might be slower, these alterations will have a significant impact on your health over time.
Strategies for Any Resolution:
Certain strategies can be applied. For example, no matter what your working towards achieving, you will always benefit from the input of a support network. Regular encouragement provides you with essential motivation, and an extra set of watchful eyes keeps you honest.
You should also try to establish a healthy relationship with what you are going to achieve. If it seems impossibly arduous, you will dread its associated tasks and will find it incredibly difficult to maintain your motivation. Conversely, if you associate fun with your endeavour, you will enjoy the pursuit of your new lifestyle.
Finally, it is crucial that you set small goals. You should acknowledge all successes during the course of your journey because each step is essential in achieving your overall objective. To provide yourself with further encouragement, you can reward yourself upon achievement of significant milestones.
December 12th, 2012
Baker’s cysts can pose a significant hindrance in your everyday life. These fluid-filled bulges, also referred to as popliteal cysts or posterior herniation of the knee, can be acutely painful, especially after you have participated in high-impact exercise. Such pain can prevent you from engaging in the everyday activities that you love. Thankfully, with proper diagnosis of the cause, a treatment can be implemented for the medical problems underlying your condition and relieve your discomfort.
While you should consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis, several clearly detectable symptoms can indicate its presence. For example, the fluid-filled sacs oftentimes cause inhibited or painful extension and mostly flexion of the knee. Many people who suffer from them also experience stiffness at the back of the joint. In many cases, the cyst is visible, and its contained fluid can be detected when targeted with a direct light.
A baker’s cyst typically forms as a result of some knee-related injury. For instance, knee arthritis can cause the body to create excessive amounts of fluid around the joint, leading to the formation of a synovial sac. Tears or irritation in the tendons connecting to the joint can also result in the formation.
In many cases, this condition will relieve itself over time. However, if it is especially painful, your physician may suggest one of the following treatments.
Most doctors will recommend that you attend to the underlying cause of. For example, if it is formed as a result of arthritis, your physician will first choose noninvasive treatments for your arthritis with lifestyle changes designed to help you find relief.
If an positive outcome is not achieved with the above actions, you will still have several options available to you. Many people choose to have the sac aspirated, although the cyst could refill if irritation around the problem area persists. Certain medications and surgical procedures are also useful in alleviating this issue.
November 15th, 2012
While the advent of winter is a time of joy to many, the season’s delicate days are almost invariably punctuated by hazardous storms. You should always prepare for winter emergencies as the frosty months approach. With proper precautions, you can ensure that you and your loved ones are safe from the upcoming dangers.
Some of the most beautiful aspects of winter can also be the most dangerous. When chilly weather sets in, you should take extra steps to prevent accidents associated this season.
For example, icy conditions pose innumerable hazards. Even strong, able-bodied adults are admitted to hospitals after falls on slippery ice. Driving becomes more cumbersome and dangerous due to hindered visibility, obstructed lanes, and reduced road friction. People face several risks when outdoors; when freezing temperatures fall upon your city, people are prone to frostbite and/or hypothermia, both of which are serious medical conditions necessitating professional attention.
Of course, you can still enjoy the pleasant aspects of the season as long as you protect yourself. Snow and ice should be cleared from pathways and highly-frequented areas. When you must hit the road, allow extra time so that you can practice cautious, patient driving habits. Finally, never allow your loved ones to venture outdoors without proper gear, such as shoes or boots with traction, gloves, hat and a heavy wool or goose-down coat.
Most will be faced with a major storm at some point in their lives. It is crucial that you do not wait to receive notification of a storm approaching before you prepare; you might not have access to the supplies that you need on an immediate basis. Be proactive and have emergency sources of food and water on hand; canned and bottled goods are ideal. To safeguard against lost electricity, you should also possess a backup source of heat such as a power generator.
When one arrives, don’t be alone if at all possible – a second person should be around to fetch emergency aid if an accident were to occur. If nothing else, make sure that you have access to a working phone so that you can call for help if needed.
May 23rd, 2012
When we get hurt the first thought that enters the mind after the initial shock of what just happened is how to get back to normal. Who knows what one could desire to return to doing? It might be playing golf, tennis, gardening or even just simply being able to walk normal. It’s human nature to want to participate in hobbies and activities such as these. What hardly goes through our heads it the fact that there is a possibility that there is more harm than good going on and quickly re-adjusting and putting the trauma immediately behind us. It almost has to be treated like when a chair breaks, the time is taken to put all the pieces back together and glue them on to a perfect fit with a strong brace to hold it together, after that it is either let to air dry or even placed where the is a strong wind blowing like a fan, making sure that everything dries up, and then not really using it for a few days until everything feels comfortable and solid. Overuse injuries happen from additional stress placed on the joints, tissues and even muscles since getting back on the horse as some would say does not fully allow them to recover completely.
This type of problem does not typically happen on older people, children are extremely prone because of their involvement in recreational and organized sports. Osteoarthritis of the knees is common in those over the age of forty five, Osteo Relief Institute reviews the entire past history of each patient as to the possible causes, every piece of information helps form an accurate diagnosis. Those that are older can be parents of extremely active children or adolescents. A good rule to go by is the ten percent rule, which means that one should increase the training program no more than this number. Watch them and drive to see their games and practices, be over cautious and take note when there is a small limp or other abnormality. Doing this could save them from days to months of being at home after the overuse injury has occurred. Accidents happen, especially with sports such as soccer, baseball, and football. We all want to live a healthier and have more fruitful elderly years, so by taking the extra couple of weeks to heal correctly, there is a ton more to gain then to lose.
To prevent them use common sense, listen to the doctor. Physical therapy often is needed and be sure to review the amount of time that is advised, it should be fully understood and not to be taken lightly. Adopt an easier workout schedule and cross training with other activities to maintain fitness levels while using proper warm-ups before and after. Use ice for minor pains and anything else the physician recommends. Taking this advice could decrease the odds of developing Arthritis later in life, however there are many other factors that contribute to its formation.
January 17th, 2012
Life is busier than ever, even though technology has helped human kind enormously the quality of life and improving the speed of completing things in a more effective way, our lives are just super busy full of tons of work, stress, family and so many other things that we consider to be more important. For these reasons we tend to put off today what should be done and it’s not good since our health which should take priority is placed on the back burner. More than ever information has made it to us to make educated decisions about it but often we tend to neglect ourselves and it is in reality a selfish thing to do. What more selfless action like taking care of ourselves could be done? This is the way to ensure no one else has to worry or think about our problems and complaints, but instead we can invest in helping others and being the strong person that our family needs.
Today needs to be the day where your problem should be conquered and start documenting discomfort so that the knee pain caused from Arthritis that has been ailing for weeks can finally be put to rest. Start writing down exactly what area is irritated the most, and if its worse after going to bed or during the day, also what makes it better or causes a flare up. Everything that you think and share will help the doctors of the Osteo Relief Institute center location where you can call to schedule an appointment, to finally get the results that will not only bring personal happiness but help improve activity levels and increase positive feelings and actions. If we graphed our lifetime the areas of enjoyment should outnumber those of illness, disease, and sickness; and no better person to help but yourself. Follow the treatment plan meticulously and expect great results.