8 Steps To Healthy Living

download-8Take these eight steps to heart and live longer, enjoy life more, and feel good in your body and mind all of the time.

Routine screening

You cannot know what the solution is unless you know the problem. Routine screening for cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and diabetes can prevent complications that are costly to your health and your wallet. Set up a schedule of routine screening with your physician or take advantage of the free ones offered by many hospitals.

Weight

One-third of the world is considered to be overweight or obese. Being overweight can lead to stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. Weight can be controlled and reduced. You do not have to spend a fortune on programs to lower your weight if you need to.

Activity

Your body wants you to exercise. Physical activity produces a cascade of chemicals in the body that not only make you feel good physically but also make your mood better. Physical activity is more important as you age. You cannot grow lost muscle after you are 50 but activity will allow you to keep the muscle and strength you have.

Diet

Everything in your body, brain, and even your emotions is a product of your diet. You need a diet that minimizes the amount of fat, cholesterol, processed sugars, and salt. Be sensible about your diet from the perspective of wanting a long useful life. A little cake once in a while does no harm but eating a whole cake in a day will.

Mood

You must learn to manage your mood. Your mood can make your brain change chemically and can make your body feel differently. You have to learn to recognize your moods and use a tool like meditation or simply talking to someone to work through the damage bad moods can do to you.

Stress

Stress is rated as a more frequent killer than car crashes or terrorists. Excess stress damages the heart and brain. You lose your ability to be creative due to stress. There are many stress management techniques that work. Pick the method that reduces your stress level and use it every time you feel stressed and you will live longer.

Relationships

Relationships can heal you and kill you. Most relationships have patterns. You must learn to recognize the relationship patterns that cause stress and anger. Learning how to change your mood or response can save your life and relationship. You will get angry with your spouse or children but that anger cannot control you. Friends can heal you simply by talking to you.

Sleep

Your body demands eight hours of sleep. The healing mechanism that is in your body does not work unless you get enough sleep. Rest is just as important. You need to relax and enjoy things to be mentally and physically healthy.

Challenge your mind

You can avoid dementia and other mental issues by keeping your mind active. Try a new activity that forces you to use your mind to the fullest. Stimulating your creativity, emotions, and thinking regenerates abilities that you may have thought that you had lost.

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Tips to Keep Cool This Summer

download-7Summer is a great season to get a good tan, go to the beach and have your fill of activities. However, it can get really hot sometimes, especially when you’re in places like Qatar and the Middle East. Unfortunately, you can’t just stay in your air-conditioned room all day like a hermit, right? So don’t let the heat put you down. You can still have fun, get fit and keep the summer heat away by using some clever tricks. Check out these tips to keep you cool this summer.

Level up your water
There’s nothing like drinking a cold glass of water to quench your thirst. Add some ice, and it’s like Antarctica just visited your mouth for a few seconds. Of course, you want the cool feeling to linger, right? But ice cubes melt and even the warmth of your hand can easily temper a cold glass. Here’s a neat trick: place mint sprigs on you glass or a pitcher of water. Mint has menthol, a natural chemical, which tricks the brain into perceiving its cold and helps prolong the cold effects of foods, even though in reality the temperature is the same. That’s why when you chew gum, which has menthol, it is not cold but gives off a cooling sensation when you chew it. Awesome summer science.

Go light and technical
Despite the heat, you really need to get your fitness fix. But it’s hard to stay focused when it seems like you’re in a sauna. It could be dangerous too! Since too much sweat could cause slips and other accidents. What’s the best way to keep cool while working out, doing sports or doing outdoor activities? One is to choose shoes with breathable materials. Such shoes are typically lightweight and made from porous yet durable materials to provide good airflow as you move. If you’re not familiar with such shoes, I suggest you try Reebok shoes. Besides the said features, Reebok shoes, which can be conveniently bought at an online shop, have outsoles with good grip to prevent slips.

On the other hand, when it comes to summer fitness, its best to avoid cotton cloths. Despite its light and soft features, cotton soaks up moisture too well. You can be left soaking in your own sweat and uncomfortable while working out. Choose technical wear with sweat-wicking properties. This features allows the clothes to channel sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry, while letting it evaporate at the clothes’ front, effectively cooling you off in the process. Another great thing about technical clothes is their trendy design which makes them suitable as lifestyle wear, as well.

Avoid ice cream… as well as these other foods and drinks
Summer seems so sad without ice cream, but dietitians recommend staying away from ice cream and other sugary foods when it’s hot. This is because ice cream, doughnuts, candy bars, sweet breads and similar foods are usually high processed foods. And believe it or not, these foods are dehydrating and their high but simple carbohydrate content can keep your body warm. Don’t worry, to curb your summer ice cream cravings just read on…

Reach for that fruit basket
Thirsty? Eat a fruit. Those four words may not make sense to most people, but there are certain fruits which have a high water content that can quench your thirst when you eat them. Watermelons, for instance, have a water per volume content of over 90 percent. So do strawberries (bet you didn’t know that). Pineapples, oranges, melons and cucumbers (yes, cucumbers are fruits!) also have high water content. Place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or more before eating them for a nice cooling effect. And yes, you can puree fruits and make them into sorbet to curb your ice cream craving.

Finally, keep a positive outlook. Yeah, it’s hot (and possibly humid) so no need to pile the negative vibes. Keep things light and always look at the bright (but not hot) side.

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The Walk-In Clinic: Changing the Face of Medicine

download-6“Walk-in clinic” is a loosely defined term that can encompass some non-traditional medical care facilities. The common thread, as the name suggests, is the fact that these institutions accept people who come in without an appointment. They can be urgent care facilities that treat immediate medical needs that don’t quite warrant a trip to the emergency room. Or, the term can refer to convenient care kiosks or departments housed within pre-existing businesses. An example would be a pharmacy, supermarket, shopping mall, or drug store that also provides health screening, preventive care, vaccinations, and other services. Depending on how you categorize it, community health centers may also fall within the umbrella definition of a walk-in clinic.

No matter how exactly you define it, one thing is clear: the walk-in clinic is changing the way people in the United States receive medical care and the way they interact with the medical profession. In 1995, there were less than 1,000 medical centers in the United States that didn’t require an appointment. Twenty years later, in 2015, there were nearly 11,000 such facilities. The rapid growth is mainly spurred by the twin factors of convenience and cost. First, most urgent care and retail facilities are open past five in the afternoon, and many are also open on weekends. For people who work regular nine-to-five jobs Monday through Friday, these hours are a huge advantage.

To see a traditional general practitioner, a patient ordinarily has to schedule an appointment in advance and miss part of their workday to receive care. At a walk-in clinic, a patient has a broader range of hours and can fit their visit around their schedule, rather than rearrange their schedule to accommodate the visit. Further, because many of these medical care centers are co-located with retail locations, patients can tick a few items off their shopping list while they wait. Another convenience is that a person can receive care the same day. With traditional physicians, even regular patients might have to wait weeks before they can get an appointment. For someone suffering from, for example, an ear infection, immediate diagnosis and medicine are necessary to alleviate the pain.

Cost is a more tenuous advantage since both the purpose of the visit and the level and type of insurance coverage can change the calculus. On average, a visit to a primary-care physician runs around $120 while a visit to a retail care center only costs around $75. Urgent care can be slightly more expensive than going to a clinic because they have an attendant MD on hand at all times, and doctors demand higher salaries. A study, however, showed that urgent care is still slightly less expensive when factoring in the cost of prescriptions.

General practitioners contend that you can’t put a dollar value on the personal relationship between a doctor and those she treats. This is undoubtedly true, but with the cost of health care continuing to rise, intangibles might have to take a backseat to budgetary restraints.

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Sports Medicine Tips: When To Use Hot And Cold Therapy

Sports medicine professionals see all types of injuries, and orthopedic ones are particularly common. In many instances, these types of injuries are treated with either hot or cold therapy. There are important differences between hot and cold therapy, and it is crucial to know which ailments require these treatments. For those who are treating their own orthopedic sports-related injuries, it is important to keep the following considerations in mind:

What is Cold Therapy?

Cold therapy simply refers to applying a cold compress to an injury. Sports medicine professionals use this process, sometimes called “cryotherapy,” to constrict the blood vessels to encourage healing. After getting hurt, the body naturally tries to begin healing itself. In order to accomplish this, it will rush blood to the area and provide additional oxygen and other nutrients to heal the wound. This process also activates the immune system by rushing white blood cells to fight the injury. The downside to this process is that it causes swelling, which can lead to pain and the inability to move the injured area. Applying a cold compress to these areas can slow the swelling and decrease pain.

Cold therapy should be used to treat anything that is acute. This includes areas that are red, warm, or swollen. It should not be used to treat any residual soreness after the initial injury.

What is Hot Therapy?

Heat therapy, also known as thermotherapy, has the opposite effect of cold. Heat causes blood vessels to expand and open. It relaxes the skeletal and soft muscle tissue by increasing the flow of important fluids through the vessels that supply oxygen to the wound so that it can heal. The open vessels also provide a way to dispose of damaged cells that occur when a wound is healing. Heat is typically used on aches that are at least one or two days old or on chronic pain. Take care when using heat, as burns to the skin can result if the compress is left on the area for a long period of time.

Is a Doctor Necessary?

Seeing a doctor or sports medicine professional for these types of injuries will depend on their severity. Once function in the extremity is lost, it is most definitely time to seek medical attention. Chronic pain should also be dealt with medically. If a bone could possibly be broken, it is crucial to seek the advice of a doctor. Any wound that seems as if it is not healing in a reasonable manner should also be examined to ensure that further damage to the body does not occur.

When it comes to orthopedic injuries, the best route to take is to see a doctor or sports medicine professional. However, for those who prefer to take treatment into their own hands, it is important to know when hot and cold therapy is appropriate. Understanding the reasoning behind theses processes will improve the patient’s chances of a full recovery.

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