Are You Really Getting Enough Exercise?

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An interesting topic from this past May courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

BikingWorkouts that promise fitness with as little as four to seven minutes of high-intensity exercise a day are alluring. But can you really stay fit with such a small time commitment? “No,” says Dr. Howard Knuttgen, research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Dr. Knuttgen has a file of articles and ads dating back to the 1960s promoting exercise regimens that offer to keep you fit with little investment of either time or effort. “This is exercise quackery. If a program sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he says.

Exercise is any activity that uses muscles to generate force. The more force exerted, the more exercise. In general, aerobic workouts (also called cardiovascular workouts) call for moving the body by walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, or another activity. Strength-building workouts involve moving an object like a weight or working against resistance.

It doesn’t work to skimp on either intensity or amount of exercise. So how much aerobic activity is enough? Current guidelines suggest 150 minutes a week of “moderate aerobic exercise.” But a brisk clip for some people can be a snail’s pace for others. Using the talk test can help identify moderate activity: Not being able to carry on a conversation during the activity means it is strenuous. Being able to sing easily means it is too easy, and warrants stepping up the pace.

Strength training two to three times a week is also helpful. Always rest a day in between strength-training sessions.

Read the full-length article: “Are you getting enough exercise?”

Also in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* New options for treating menopause symptoms

* Easier colonoscopy preps

* 6 ways to use the mind to control pain

* How to get personalized healthcare

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Does Acupuncture Really Work Or Is It Just A Placebo?

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By Jesse Hughes

stressBeing in pain is never a pleasant experience, and trying to find a way to get rid of the pain is generally a priority. Many people see acupuncture as a viable option; but is it really effective in relieving pain or does it just have a placebo effect? The fact is that several physiotherapists recognize the value of acupuncture, and receive training in it so they can offer it as a treatment to their patients.

Physiotherapists are not the only professionals who can provide acupuncture services; there are many acupuncture specialists in existence, such as Alban Acupuncture. These specialists are extremely popular with many people who are suffering from problems such as lower back pain and muscular aches and pains. It would seem that acupuncture treatments do offer them relief from their discomfort.

What is involved in acupuncture?

If you have never undergone acupuncture treatment before then you may be wondering what it actually is. The origins of acupuncture lie in ancient Chinese medicine. It is based on the theory that an energy force runs through each person’s body; this force is often referred to as Qi. The channels that carry the Qi through the body are known as meridians. It is believed that pain presents itself where blockages occur, and the Qi cannot run freely. The aim of acupuncture is to remove the blockages so that the Qi can again run as it should.

Traditional beliefs overlap with modern day beliefs as today’s experts have found that there is evidence to support the fact that manipulation of the body’s tissue can help to relieve pain; this happens during acupuncture.

How acupuncture works

If you undergo acupuncture treatment you will have fine sterile needles inserted into your skin at various points which follow the paths of the channels or meridians in your body. The needles will then be manipulated by the acupuncturist. You may experience a dull ache during treatment. The manipulation of the needles is aimed at releasing the blockages which are preventing the effective flow of the Qi.

Is acupuncture as effective as physiotherapy?

It certainly seems that there is far more to acupuncture than just a placebo effect

The reason why we asked our question at the outset of this article is that some people do see acupuncture as more of a placebo, and treatments such as physiotherapy as more genuinely effective. The truth is that acupuncture is now considered as more of a mainstream treatment, with genuine benefits. It can often be used in conjunction with physiotherapy in order to provide the best possible treatment to a patient. Many patients have experienced good results from acupuncture sessions when other types of physiotherapy have been less than successful.

It certainly seems that there is far more to acupuncture than just a placebo effect; both the ancient Chinese and today’s experts agree that it has been shown to be beneficial in relieving chronic pain in many patients. There may be some difference in opinion about how this actually happens, but the results are clearly there to be seen.

Antibiotics: How Too Much Of A Good Thing Really Is Bad For You

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By Katherine Smith

pillsNobody doubts that there are times when medicine is really and truly needed. A cancer patient, for example, often needs chemotherapy and radiation to beat his disease (though there is some fascinating new research about the use of cannabis oil in treating cancer). A person suffering from a DVT needs blood thinners to help break up the clot. A person with a bacterial infection needs antibiotics to keep that infection from spreading.

The problem is that we have allowed ourselves to believe that we are dependent upon a lot of these medicines, especially antibiotics, to stay healthy when that really isn’t the case. And, because a lot of doctors want to treat an illness as quickly and completely as possible, they are likely to over-prescribe medications to patients who don’t really need them, all in the name of “playing it safe.”

Causing More Harm than Good

It seems like a fairly harmless thing to do but this over-dependence on antibiotics isn’t helping people. In many cases, it is actually hurting people. In Australia, a toddler with an ear infection (a disease seemingly easy to treat) came close to losing his hearing when the infection was too strong for regular dose antibiotics. Luckily he’s fine, but it took a few tries to find the right strength and dose of the right medicine to clear out his infection.

Some antibiotics have caused problems on such a large scale that there are now class action suits against their manufacturers and prescribers. Cipro, for instance, is a drug that is prescribed equally as an antibiotic and as a treatment for anthrax exposure. The problem is that patients who took it as a simple antibiotic started developing a condition called peripheral neuropathy. You can learn more at BaronandBudd.com.

“Life Always Finds a Way”

The reason the overuse of antibiotics is a problem is that bacteria, for all of their single-celledness, are pretty smart and viruses know how to adapt to their surroundings. The more exposure these bacteria and viruses have to antibiotics the more they learn about the drugs and the better able they are to adapt themselves to fight the drugs off. This is what “antibiotic resistant” strains are: bacteria, viruses, etc that have “beefed themselves up” and now the antibiotics that used to take them down are having little to no effect.

In and Out of Your Control

It seems like an easy enough situation to avoid. For example, to help counteract this dependence on “just in case” antibiotics prescriptions, doctors in Denmark have developed a quick test to help a physician determine whether or not her patient really does have a bacterial infection or is simply suffering from a cold.

Even so, some antibiotic ingestion happens without our express knowledge or consent. We take them in via our food. The use of antibiotics on livestock has been spiraling out of control for years. It has gotten so bad that a Federal Plan of Action is being put in place to help curb their use on livestock. Instead of allowing ranchers and farmers to just administer these drugs whether or not the animals truly need them, trained veterinarians will be tasked with that job and will only be able to write prescriptions for herds with which they already are familiar.

What You Can Do

There are, of course, things that you can do to help reduce your own ingestion of antibiotics:

• Wait out a cold or flu; only see your doctor if your fever lasts for more than three days or if your symptoms are still severe after a week.

• Try natural methods of curing your illnesses first. Healthicine is often more effective than medicine.

• Pay attention to your food. Make sure that your animal products are labelled “antibiotic free” before you buy them and eat them.

It is going to take time to reduce our dependence on antibiotics but hopefully, if we all start paying more attention to what we eat and how we’re treated we’ll stop teaching those viruses and bacteria how to beat us.

What It’s Really Like To Live In A Care Home

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By Nisha Sharma

seniorcitizenMany older Americans are opting for assisted living facilities that provide a number of different levels of care, as the need arises. Though many people find these care homes a good solution, others may find it difficult to adjust to an institutionalized setting. In addition, the quality can vary widely from facility to facility. Experts advise that you talk to residents about the quality of care and other features of the care home.

Types of Services
Care facilities can offer a broad range of services, including all daily meals, housekeeping, laundry services, help with grooming, dressing and medical monitoring. In addition, some facilities may offer care for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which requires more intensive interaction and supervision. Most frequently, help with these daily chores helps the resident to feel safe and secure. However, when facilities reduce staffing to save money, it can leave residents feeling without proper support, especially with the physical assistance that can be critical to them. People researching care homes, as well as family members, should pay attention to the particular needs of the individual to ensure that the facility is set up to provide the services they need.

Living Space
livingroomThe resident’s living space is often one of the most critical factors in his satisfaction with a care home. The type of living space can vary widely. Some offer whole apartments for residents, while others may only have a private bedroom with a shared space as a cooking and living area. Still others may provide a roommate for the resident. The needs of the resident should be fully understood before choosing a living condition for their needs. Many people require more privacy than others. On the other hand, other people may enjoy the company of someone who shares their living space. Most facilities offer attractive decors for their residents. However, the cosmetic appearance of the facility should never be the sole consideration for your selection.

Food
Food quality can vary widely in care homes. Some facilities keep a close eye on costs in the area. As a result, both the quality of food and the variety of dishes can suffer. One resident of a care home expressed her displeasure by saying, “It’s the same thing over and over—and everything is too bland.” Variety is a common complaint among residents in these facilities. However, other facilities take special care to ensure that their residents get a broad range of foods and may have ethnic food nights and culinary treats for special occasions. Many care homes may engage residents in cooking meals as a way to encourage group interaction. This action can be a good way to spark appetites and ensure that residents feel engaged in their own care.

Housecleaning and Laundry
Care home facilities generally provide housecleaning for residents, along with laundry services. These tasks are often too burdensome for those in advanced years or individuals with memory problems. Leaving the chores to others is frequently a relief to residents and their families take great comfort in the knowledge that these tasks are no longer on the shoulders of their loved ones.

Activities
seniorcoupleexercisesmallIn many facilities, keeping resident engaged in social activities of many kinds is an important concern because it aids in both physical health and emotional well-being. Music, plays, crafts, exercise, pet therapy and speakers on current issues are often featured to keep residents active and involved. Field trips to shopping malls or nearby museums may also be scheduled. However, though some care homes advertise enriched activities for residents, they do not always deliver on their promises, and residents may end up feeling bored and restless from lack of stimulation. Always inquire about the frequency of activities and talk with current residents about how often these activities occur.

Social Interaction
A care home facility will take an active role in getting residents together for movie night, birthday celebrations, holiday festivities and field trips. They will take proactive steps to cajole and persuade residents to interact with others to prevent isolation and depression. They will closely monitor residents’ behavior to ensure that they are in good mental and physical health.

– Nisha represents a site called mhaauchlochan.org.uk. She has been writing about dementia care for the last two years.

Whole Foods Vs. Supplements – Are Whole Foods Really Enough?

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By Jordan Layton

vitaminsSupplements have become tremendously popular in recent years, not only among athletes, but also among everyday people seeking the keys to youth, vitality and longevity. It seems there isn’t a disease or ailment in existence that can’t be prevented by regular consumption of a specific vitamin, mineral, herb or other nutrient. With so many different products on the market, you might find yourself wondering if it’s even possible to optimize your health without the use of supplements.

The Benefits of Whole Foods

Fortunately, the answer to that question is yes. By eating a variety of the right whole foods, you can achieve high levels of dietary health and physical fitness. In fact, research finds that whole foods are actually a far better option than supplements alone. The reason for this is what is known as Food Synergy or Nutritional Synergy.

Food Synergy

The vitamins and minerals found in a given food are not the only ingredients that offer health benefits.

The vitamins and minerals found in a given food are not the only ingredients that offer health benefits. They are interlinked with various other biological compounds. This interactive system of commonly known nutrients and their counterparts is believed to be the real source of nutrition, not just the vitamins and minerals themselves.

For example, the phytonutrient Lycopene (most notably found in tomatoes) was discovered to help prevent prostate cancer. Interestingly, studies tracking the use of synthetic Lycopene supplements have provided inconclusive results with regard to cancer prevention. But studies focusing on the consumption of tomato sauce consistently showed that just two servings a week could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 23%.

The Biological Web of Nutrition

Essentially, what researchers are finding is that calcium, vitamin C and pretty much all other nutrients are not solely responsible for the benefits they are expected to provide. It is the combination of said nutrients and their entire biological web of interlinking compounds that give our bodies the nourishment they need. Supplements offer just one link in that complex chain. You wouldn’t expect a plant to grow without sunshine and water. Likewise, you can’t expect five oranges worth of vitamin C tablets to provide you with the same nutritional benefits as five actual oranges would.

Supplements Step In

That’s not to say that supplements are unhealthy or even useless. It’s just that they were never meant to replace nutrients that are available in whole foods. The intended use of a supplement is communicated in its name. It’s meant to supplement your diet and provide some nutrition where there might be a deficiency. Used in this way, they make an excellent addition to your whole foods diet.
Bio

– Jordan Layton is a professional health and wellness writer for Sports Nutrition.

Ten Minutes A Day Of Exercise – Can It Really Make A Difference?

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By Lorne Holden

swimWish you had more time to exercise? Wish you had any time to exercise?

Take heart. It is possible, even in just ten minutes a day, to get enough exercise to significantly impact your health and well being.

Recent research has taught us that frequent exercise, even if done for short periods of time, is far more beneficial that the occasional huge blast of exertion. Ten minutes a day of walking, running or yoga can significantly change how you feel in your body and thus how you feel in your world. Incredibly, ten minutes a day adds up to seventy minutes a week, four hours and twenty minutes a month and sixty hours a year! That’s a lot of exercise to get or to miss.

Last year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association,Dr. Timothy S. Church, of the Louisiana State University System, published research confirming that ten minutes a day of moderate activity significantly improved the fitness levels and heart health of the participants in his study. 1

Additionally, the association between small amounts of physical activity and longer life also holds true. Steven Moore, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute states that “a very low level of activity, equivalent to 10 minutes per day of walking, was associated with a gain of almost two years of life expectancy.” 2

Amazing, right?

rollerbladeA simple, wonderful way to grab ten minutes of exercise is to take a short walk. Keep it simple: walk five minutes out, and five minutes back. A brief walk in the fresh air can do wonders for how you feel in both your body and mind. And remember – a ten minute walk every day adds up to over an hour of walking a week. That’s a a great boost to your system.

If you can’t leave your office or home for a walk, there are many Ten Minute fitness programs that can be done indoors, even in small spaces. A quick, yes, ten minute search on the internet will offer up a variety of choices. There are even Apps you can get for your phone.

What matters is frequency and consistency.

“You mean now?” Yogi Berra once famously answered, when someone asked him the time.

Yes, now.

Get Ready. Get Moving. Ten Minutes a Day.

“Those who think they have no time for exercise, will eventually have to make time for illness.”
Edward Stanley

References

1. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10192772

2. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/07/exercise-daily_n_2089038.html

– Lorne Holden is an award winning artist and author based in New England. Her new book about the benefits of daily endeavors can be found at www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com. Her favorite ten minute daily exercise is yoga.