Monthly Archives: October 2011
|October 31, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health, Obesity|
There’s a new trend on the block this Halloween and it could help fight childhood obesity. With nearly one in three children in the US being overweight or obese, we have to take the proper steps to help steer them towards a healthier lifestyle.
It only makes sense to make that change on the holiday that promotes childhood obesity. Halloween is known for the excessive amounts of candy collected by children every year. This year, it is predicted that Americans will spend nearly $1.8 billion on candy for Halloween, and our annual obesity-related medical costs are up to about $168 billion.
By promoting excessive unhealthy eating, we are leading the children of today down a path to a possible future of type-2 diabetes and a shortened life span. We don’t suggest going to an extreme and trading a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate for a bag of apples, but here are some helpful tips to treat yourself to a healthier Halloween.
Healthier treats: Take advantage of the 100-calorie pack fad. Give out granola bars in yummy flavors, or sugar-free candy.
Get creative: There are more options than just food. Kids love little trinkets, toys or little puzzles.
Conduct a trade with the kids: You can’t buy their love, but you can buy their candy! Let them keep some of their favorites and trade them money or a new toy for their candy.
Set boundaries: A holiday does not mean a holiday from being the boss. Set rules for your kids as to how much candy they can eat each day or week, and enforce it.
Candy for a good cause: Help your kids find a homeless shelter or soup kitchen to donate their candy to. It’s a tooth saver and great life lesson!
|October 28, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Aging, Fitness, Health, Parkinson's Disease|
Don’t be surprised when you see your loved one with Parkinson’s disease playing video games. Chances are they are just doing their therapy.
A new study has tapped into the cyber world as a way to help treat Parkinson’s patients with active gaming. Those with the disease regularly have to find ways to cope with bad balance, stiffness in their limbs, tremors and slowed movements. With this newly developed gaming system that operates similar to a Wii system, patients can have fun while honing in on their needs through specific movements in the game.
The key for patients is to find their gaming “sweet spot,” where the activity is not too challenging or too easy. By choosing the right level in the physically active video game, participants can play according to their abilities and help to improve their gait and balance.
But researchers did find one flaw in their study; the games are too fun! Those conducting the study gave strict limitations to the amount of time patients could play the games in order to get accurate results. They found that participants were playing more than instructed and having a great time doing it.
After 12 weeks, 65% of the patients shows improvement in their stride length, 55% improved in their gait velocity, and 55% showed improvement in their balance and confidence (As reported on MedicalNewsToday.com).
So caregivers, next time you are telling someone, “enough with the video games,” they may not be from the generation that you expected.
|October 27, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health, Health News|
It looks like that morning cup of coffee might be doing more than just giving you that little boost. We have all received the many mixed signals of the benefits and risks of drinking coffee, but lately is seems as though the pros out weigh the cons.
The benefits have been popping up in the news, especially in reference to certain cancers. Not long ago, we started to hear claims that drinking coffee helped to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The latest studies are saying that America’s caffeine addiction may be benefitting our skin.
Recent studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of having one of the most common forms of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas, a cancer that rarely spreads or comes back once removed, is the type of skin cancer that was found to be the most affected by caffeine.
Women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day were found to be 20% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than women who drank less than one cup per month. In men, the study showed that those who drank more than three cups of coffee were 9% less likely to develop the disease than those who only drank less than one cup per month (As reported on Foxnews.com).
For those of you who like the taste of coffee minus the jitters from caffeine, you are out of luck. Decaffeinated coffee did not yield the same positive results. The studies done previously on caffeine consumption in animals showed that the caffeine helped to eliminate skin cells damaged by ultraviolet radiation.
So don’t be afraid to enjoy that beloved cup of coffee in the morning, but remember that it doesn’t replace your sunscreen!
|October 26, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, Health|
If you are a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you most likely fear the day your loved one becomes lost to the disease. For some, that fear can become all too literal when they may wander away from safety.
Luckily, medical professionals and innovators have developed several devices to keep your loved one safe, eliminating the level of stress and fear that may occur from leaving them alone. Bedrooms can be equipped with motion alarms and door alarms to ensure your loved one does not wander at night. House alarms can be connected to a handheld device, allowing you to stay attune to when they leaves the house. Most recently, the ease and accuracy of GPS has been added to shoes. Now you’ll never have to worry about your loved one’s location without putting an obvious device around their neck or wrist.
GTX Corp has developed a $300 pair of shoes with a built in GPS device to help locate Alzheimer’s patients who wander off and lose their way (As reported on NYDailyNews.com). The risk of wandering is highest for those in the earlier stages of the disease. Loved ones are more apt to continue daily activities that bring them comfort, but often become disoriented.
The idea of a shoe with a tracking device could prove beneficial to seniors who tend to reject other forms of tracking devices that are more foreign to them. A pair of shoes is something familiar, regular and comfortable for them, making this a seamless transition for your loved one while reducing stress and fear for you.
|October 25, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health, Health News|
There is a new finding that says BPA could be affecting your child’s behavior. Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in several products including food and drink containers, could be related to behavioral and emotional troubles in young children.
For several years, links to BPA and your health have been under close scrutiny. After a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, that link is appearing to be a bit stronger. The study tested BPA levels in the urine of 244 women throughout their pregnancies and then tested the urine of their children at ages one through three. According to the findings, they found BPA in over 97 percent of the urine samples. (As reported on ABC.com)
The chemical found in different containers could be causing depressive, anxious and hyperactive behaviors in children three years of age. These results were found to be more common in girls. But, there is much more work to be done. Skeptics of the findings say that more research must be done to look further into whether low-level exposure of BPA could affect children negatively.
The FDA has concerns about BPA exposure in children but also says they are not sure as to whether these findings can be confirmed.
Because there is a chance that BPA could be harmful to a child in utero, try using glass or stainless steel products to store your food while you are pregnant or for your young children.
|October 24, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Health|
Here’s a video from abc.com that will bring a new perspective to what marraige and your waste line have in common…
You love your spouse, but could they be adding more than just marital bliss to your life? A recent study says yes, and that addition could be to your waste line.
A series of factors could lead to weight gain in a marriage. Sometimes spouses get more comfortable with one another and pay less attention to their appearance. Other times life just becomes busier with work, kids and paying the bills.
This same study focused on divorce as well, and it seems that weight gain is also a problem for people going through a split.
No matter what your situation or your excuse, we want to give you good ideas for ways to stay healthly.
Consider your lifestyle: Take into account the way your life has changed after getting married or divorced. Do you cook more or less? Do you work more hours or have a longer commute? Do you still go to the gym? Be aware of your surroundings and life style changes and plan accordingly.
Get back to the gym: If you’re married, this is a great opportunity for you and your spouse to do something together. Join a gym and make it a point to set aside time to go workout together a few days a week. Newly divorced? The gym is a great place to go to meet new people and start to feel healthy again.
Discover new interests: If you’re a couple looking for ways to keep things interesting, figure out some active things that you have always wanted to do, and do them together. Go for a hike on the weekends. Go for a walk before work. Go play tennis. Single and on the couch? Not anymore! Join a sports league or get some of your friends together to play some golf.
Ordering in or eating out a lot?: Couples may find themselves going out to dinner more, but restaurant food tends to pack more of a punch on your waste line. Buy a cookbook and make an evening of cooking healthy foods together. Are you now without your spouse that usually did the cooking? Take this as an opportunity to learn something new! Join a cooking class. You may find a new passion and meet new people while doing it.
|October 21, 2011||Posted by Ronni under Health, Wellness|
Recently, I have been trying to make a case to adopt a dog and extend my family of two to a family of three. I tried for months to down play the responsibility and added expense of caring for a pet, but none of it worked.
My winning argument, surprisingly, was tied to the health benefits of owning a pet. Before my research on the topic, I was unaware that pets do indeed increase healthy living in several ways.
Here are Six Top Health Benefits to Owning a Pet…
- Stress Relief – Pets are great listeners! Recent research shows, when conducting a task that is stressful, people experienced less stress when their pets were present compared to a close friend or spouse. Everyone can do with a little stress relief now and then.
- Social Circle Grows – Socializing is not only necessary for a well-trained pet; self-confidence and communication skills of pet-owners also benefit enormously from a thriving social circle. No matter where you go with a pet, you will most likely get attention. Many say a pet even does wonders for their love life! I don’t think I’d use your pet boa constrictor as a wingman, however.
- Pets for Every Age – Studies show no matter your age, dogs and cats prove to be great companions for your health. As a child being around dogs and cats can build immunity to pet hair and dander. Also, “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious burst if there is an animal in the home, says Lynette Hart PH.D., associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (as reported on WebMD.com).
- Good for the Mind – Study after study has shown that pets reduce depression among adults. For people suffering with AIDS, pets can act as a strong source of comfort. For people without a disease, cuddling or playing with a pet can often eases the mind from personal troubles.
- They Protect You – Pets with a strong intuitive nature or great reaction skills can often save people in life or death situations. Like a woman in Massachusetts this week; she was walking her two dogs when the three walked over downed power lines. One of her dogs was unfortunately killed by the electricity, but the other pulled her away from the lines and barked to signal help was needed!
- More Fun and More Exercise – Having a pet is a lot of responsibility; pets like dogs require a lot of energy release. By playing with or walking a pet can benefit you as well as your furry friend. Not only does it force you to stay active and get in shape, but the exercise also releases endorphins in your brain that physically make you happy!
|October 20, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Health|
Having a better understanding of the 5 different kinds of headaches will help you to treat your pain properly. Each headache is unique and requires different medication or treatment.
Sinus headaches: Sinus headaches are caused when a sinus becomes inflamed, typically through an infection. It can lead to pain and sometimes a fever. This kind of headache can be treated with an antibiotic.
Cluster headache: This type of headache occurs in attack form, where it comes on unexpectedly and quickly causing severe pain usually on one side of the head. Other symptoms are nasal congestion, and a watery eye or a runny nose on the same side of the face where the pain is. Cluster headaches are more common in men and their cause remains unknown. Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure, but medications can be prescribed to help with the pain and frequency of the attacks.
Tension headaches: Tension headaches are the most common among headache sufferers. The pain is usually described as an aching or pressure in the head or neck. They are milder than some of the other headaches and can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
Rebound headaches: Rebound headaches are an interesting breed because they are caused by the overuse of painkillers, both over-the-counter and prescription. This kind of headache can be a vicious cycle for those suffering from them because the medications that they are taking to ease their pain are the same ones that are causing their pain.
Migraine headaches: Migraines are known as the one of the most debilitating of all the headaches. There are certain classifications that make it a migraine.
- You have had at least 5 previous episodes of headaches
- They last between 4 and 72 hours
- They have at least 2 out of 4 of the following: one-sided pain, throbbing pain, moderate to severe pain, and pain that affects or prohibits routine activity
- They have at least one of the following associated with it: nausea and/or vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound (As reported on Health.com)
If you want to know what triggers the pains in your head, take the Health.com Migraine Quiz!
Find out how to help with headache pain!
|October 19, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Food and Nutrition, Health|
It’s salt, and it’s one of our biggest weaknesses. Since there don’t seem to be quite enough sodium support groups out there, we want to help you understand the risks of high sodium intake and how to avoid it.
Salt is the most common form of sodium that we ingest, and it can lead to high blood pressure putting you at higher risk for stroke or heart attack.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are four factors that heighten your chances of high blood pressure in combination with high sodium levels.
Stays Close to Home: If your family has a history of high blood pressure, you could be at a greater risk for high blood pressure. This means that since you can’t change the past, you should work to change your future with a healthier lifestyle
Your Age: Often times, blood pressure increases with age. Come 40, your risks increase, making it time to reevaluate what your putting into your body
Higher Weight Percentile: If you are overweight, chances are that you have higher blood pressure than someone who is in a healthier weight category. Losing weight could help you to lower your blood pressure
Drinking to Excess: There’s no shame in having a drink to relax, but overdoing it could actually be doing just the opposite. Drinking too much alcohol is shown to increase blood pressure. So make sure you think before that second drink (As reported on CDC.gov)
It is recommended that American adults do not intake more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and no more than 1,500 if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
So remember what is at stake before you shake.
|October 18, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Breast Cancer Awareness|
Clinical trials can be a little intimidating. Some may feel helpless or unsure about partaking in something with so many unknowns. Advancements in breast cancer research lead to clinical trials that open doors to new worlds of treatment.
These trials allow researchers to test new breast cancer treatments that are not yet offered to the general public. Instead, these treatments are administered in a controlled setting where data can be closely recorded and analyzed. In order for people to be able to participate in these trials, the tests have to go through significant animal testing, helping to ensure the safety of the trials. If the test leads researchers to believe that there are safety concerns for the participants, trials are stopped.
But, like all things in life, there are benefits and risks. Let us walk you through them to help you feel better educated before making any decisions.
- Feeling like you are taking the reigns on your treatment and health
- Having access to special treatments that are not available to the public
- Having the undivided and constant attention that you deserve
- Helping to ease the blow to your wallet by having some of your medical expenses covered by the trial (As reported on Everydayhealth.com)
- Sometimes when agreeing to participate in a clinical trial, you are also agreeing to be in the dark a bit. For example, if the researchers are comparing two treatments, you do not get to choose, or sometimes even know, which treatment you are receiving
- Since the trials are typically new, you may not know of the side effects until you are experiencing them
- The treatment is not guaranteed to work
- The trial may require some leg work on your end including travel and time
- There still may be an out of pocket cost if your insurance does not cover it or if the trial doesn’t cover all of the costs (As reported on Everydayhealth.com)
It is always important to consult your healthcare professional about any trials that you are considering. Along with these tips, they will guide you towards an educated decision.
EasierLivingis staying dedicated to keeping you abreast on breast cancer awareness!