Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Busy Social Life Keeps Aging Minds Sharp

Live a healthy lifestyle living. Be Active. As we age, we tend to lose interest in some of the things we used to love doing when we were younger. This is not a good symptom of aging, for keeping a very inactive social life can lead to earlier memory complications in aging adults.

According to a new study conducted by lead researcher Karen Ertel of the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, maintaining a socially active lifestyle can help boost our self-esteem and self-worth, thus, resulting to a sharpened mind and memory. The study also showed that a consistently busy social interaction can also give aging individuals new challenges, hence, keeping their brain active and responsive.

Ertel and her team focused on a collected data on more than 15,000 Americans, age 50 and above who were part of the health and Retirement Study. During the research, the participants were made to memorize a list of 10 words to test their mind and memory. The researchers tested a recall of the words for six years in order to evaluate any decline and delay recall.

The memory scores showed a decline from 11 in year 1998 to 10 in 2004. Researchers said that aging adults who were more socially busy at the beginning of the study have slower memory loss as compared to those who were socially inactive.

Researchers of the said study concluded that social activity can significantly help preserve or maintain an aging adult's cognitive functioning. Apart from boosting an elderly's cognitive abilities, keeping a busy lifestyle can also result to a better physical health condtion.

With this latest news, I have come up with a short list on how to help our elderly relatives in maintaining the sharpness of their mind and memory:

Encourage them to join social or community development groups.
By joining social or community development groups, our aging folks will surely be busy in planning activities and meeting new people.

Help them develop a productive hobby and practice a new sport.
A new hobby or sport can keep their minds busy and occupied.

Let them join exercise programs for aging adults.
Almost all communities have exercise programs fit for all ages. Letting your aging adults join an exercise program that accepts elderly members is a good move to keep their cognitive and physical functioniong continously active.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Asthma Affects Healthy Lifestyle

Asthma is perhaps among the more common childhood ailments. It can sometimes be debilitating, particularly for younger children, but is only rarely truly fatal. However, despite this, it is not a condition that should be underestimated. There are some things that parents with asthmatic children should be aware of that goes beyond what medications the child needs to take. For example, most parents are usually shocked when they learn that their child has asthma, as opposed to just a minor cough. While a persistent cough might be just that, parents are typically unaware that episodes involving a shortness of breath can indicate asthma, and that there are instances when this shortness of breath can only be heard through a microscope.

One parent might wonder just how severe the asthma of their child is. In such a case, it is usually best to actually ask the doctor. Moderate cases of this condition can be put under firm control through the regular use of inhaled corcicosteroids, usually delivered by asthma inhalers. More severe cases can require regular doses of corcicosteroids. The most severe of cases tend to involve the use of long-acting beta2-agonists, which are used to dilute the patient's airways. Children that suffer from severe cases also tend to be advised to learn to avoid that which might trigger an attack, and parents are encouraged to have the appropriate treatments on hand just in case.

With that in mind, what, exactly, can trigger asthma attacks? Well, these attacks can be triggered by a wide variety of allergens, with dust mites, roaches, mold, and cigarette smoke being among the more common ones. Specific allergies sometimes vary from child to child, and testing for them would often be a necessity to determine which ones apply. Note that these may be inherited, and there is usually a good chance that the allergy that triggered asthma in a parent would manifest in the child.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toddler Adjust to the Presence of a New Baby

Healthy Lifestyle with a new healthy baby. When you have a new baby, most, if not all of your attention is likely to be devoted tohim or her. This is all right for new parents but not so much for those who have another child. As your attention leans toward the younger baby – understandably since he orshe’ll need more special care – your older child may feel neglected and threatened by the presence of his or her sibling. Here’s how to help your toddler adjust to the presence of anew baby:

1. Give him a “big brother” job.

Your older kid may feel left out now that you have another child to focus on. Instead of pushing him out of the way, include him in caring for the baby. Give him a role like fetching diapers or holding the bath towel when the baby bathes. He can sing the new baby lullabies or even prepare his new sibling’s bed. This way, your older child will feel that he is still part of the family; it’s just that the roles have been changed.

2. Continue bonding with your older kid.

While the younger child definitely needs more of your time, he or she cannot consume all of it. Make use of your free time by bonding with your older child. If you used to bake cookies together, do it. Better yet, find story books about siblings and read it to your toddler. There are also books that teach kids how to be good big brothers or sisters. Make this your when-the-baby-sleeps bonding moment.

3. Acknowledge his feelings.

Babies are cute. Often this quality alone is enough to make adults coo with delight. But this doesn’t usually work for toddlers. Take time to ask your older child how he feels about having a new sibling and respect that. He’ll outgrow it soon enough with attention and love from you. A tip though: Do not force your child to do big brother duties when he’s not yet comfortable about having a new sibling. He’ll come around in time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How To Deal With The Blues

healthy lifestyleHealthy Lifestyle? Experience the blues at one time or another, but that doesn't mean that we deal with it the same way. Everybody has their own way of dealing with the blues. But sadly, some people are just clueless about how to react to depression that they just choose to submit to it.

I, myself, have been through a phase where I just wallowed in my misery. But I found that it didn't do me much good. So, instead of letting the blues overpower me, I chose to stand up and deal with it head on.

Here are some of my tried and tested ways of dealing with depression:

Tell somebody. You can choose to tell a friend, a family member, a significant other, or even a stranger about what is depressing you. You may find that letting it out on a listening ear can be very comforting.

Write it off. Start a journal. Write down what it is about the day that got you depressed. This works perfectly for those times when you think that you cannot tell anybody the reason why you're feeling depressed.

Be creative. Take your expression out on art. Write songs or poetry, something that lets you get your depression out of your system. Put up a blank canvass and start painting your way out of your depression.

Give your mind something else to think about. Get yourself out of bed and start looking for something new to do. It can be a new craft or a new hobby, anything to keep your mind off of the reason you're depressed.

Exercise. Scientifically, exercise helps your body kick depression out of your system. When you exercise, your brain produces endorphins. Endorphins are primarily responsible for having a good mood.

Go straight to the source. Do something to resolve the reason why you're depressed. If you're depressed about your weight, get up and start working out. Moping will not help you lose weight.

Talk to a professional. If you've been feeling depressed for no clear reasons, it would be best to see a counselor or a therapist. Do not take random, chronic bouts of depression lightly because it may already be something serious.

Keep in mind that no problem gets solved on its own. If the source of your depression is something workable, don't waste time sulking on the corner. Face it head on.

How To Handle Everyday Stress

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Living a healthy lifestyle is difficult to find when you are stress all the time. Are you stress with your daily life? Stress is all around us. Everywhere we go, everything we do, and everybody we know can cause us stress in different ways. A lot of people will say that

their stress is becoming too much to handle, that they're just about ready to explode, or that they're getting to the point where they want to breakdown. I understand how that feels. I, for one, feel like that sometimes. But personally, I think it's just a matter of handling the different kinds of stress that come your way.

Let's start with the things that stress me out:

Work. Unless you have the power to clone yourself, there are just some tasks that are difficult for you to handle by yourself.

Relationships. Arguments are unavoidable, be it with a family member, a friend, or a significant other.

Responsibilities. There will always be bills that need to be paid, and obligations that need to be fulfilled.

Schedule. There are just those lucky days when you four appointments at once, but you can't ditch any one in particular because they are all equally important.

Now, if I were to take the easy way out, I'd just sit at home and surrender to stress. But that wouldn't be any fun, now, would it? Over the years, I've tried to develop my own way of coping with the various stress that come my way. Here are some tips to cope with different everyday stress:

If you're given a difficult task, allot a specific amount of time for every aspect of the project you've been given. Pace yourself in order to manage the time you've been given.

Never feel shy about asking for help if you know that the amount of time you've been given will not be enough to finish the task if you do it alone. Keep in mind that if you rush to finish the project alone, you might miss on important details that may be essential to the project you're working on.

When in an argument with a loved one, try not to make it a shouting contest. Nothing is ever resolved by raising voices. Try to get your point across in a calm manner. The more you shout in contest with one another, the more stressful the argument is going to be.

To avoid being pressured by monthly obligations like utility bills, do not overspend. When your paycheck comes in, set aside money for the upcoming bills. Budgeting is the key to eliminating bills-related stress.

If your schedule is fully booked, make sure to evenly space appointments. Set aside enough time for traveling in order to ensure that you get to each item in your itinerary on time. Keep in mind that other people's time is just as important as yours.

I've learned to live by these simple guidelines and have proven them effective to keep my life free from stress, or at least keep it to a minimum.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The High Risk Of Having Diabetic Neuropathy

To maintain a healthy lifestyle is difficult especially when you experiencing pain. Like chocolates and roses, diet and diabetes go together for better or worse. When you have diabetes, you are forced to watch what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat to keep your blood sugar from shooting up or plunging down.Diabetes is a health condition in which the body fails to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is essential in converting sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

While the cause of diabetes remains to be a mystery, both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise may seem to play important roles. Diabetes can put you at high risk of having nerve pain and damage called diabetic neuropathy. It usually starts as a little numbness in your feet which develops into a full blown problem with walking, working, and leading an active lifestyle. Diabetic neuropathy can also cause major problems with your digestion and sexual response, making it difficult to feel normal body sensations such as the signs of high blood sugar or a heart attack. According to Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, a balanced diet that helps treat nerve pain is really no different than the standard diet advised by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

ontrolling your blood sugar can protect the health of your nerves and may even help prevent diabetic neuropathy. Since you only visit your doctor every once in a while, and eating is done several times a day, your diabetes diet will obviously have a high impact on your health and well-being.

A balanced diet includes a variety of foods found in the food pyramid, such as carbohydrates (starches), fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy, meat, poultry, fish, and healthy fats. Having a balanced diet keeps your glucose within target levels, controls your weight,and reduces the risk of complications like neuropathy, heart disease, and stroke.

Whether you skip meals or overeat, it will cause the rise and fall of your blood sugar.
Diabetic nerve pain and damage can decrease appetite and make it harder to digest food.
That is why smaller meals spread throughout the day may work better for you. Also, some
diabetes medications are more effective when taken together with regularly scheduled

Since carbohydrates takes more time to digest, they don't affect your blood sugar the way sugars do. Carbohydrates can also fill you up faster, so you're less likely to overeat, and they give you more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Do not be surprised by how small the “official” serving sizes are. The habit of reading food labels can help you find out the real portion sizes for the foods you enjoy. If you double up on a special dish one day, be sure to subtract that from your next day's diet planning.

According to ADA, alcohol is toxic to nerves. It is the job of the liver to clear your body of toxins like alcohol and to convert carbohydrates into blood glucose to be used by your body. Since drinking is bad for your liver, it will hamper its work in levelling out blood sugar from your bloodstream until it the alcohol is cleared. For those who have diabetic neuropathy, drinking may trigger pain, tingling, and other symptoms.

Overweight people can lower blood glucose by losing weight. It does not only give you more energy, it also lightens the load on their feet which may already be sore from nerve pain. Losing weight also lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Anti-Smoking Medication Is A Literal Killer

healthy lifestyle
If you really a want a healthy life, then stop smoking. Living a healthy lifestyle is difficult when you cant stop smoking. It is usually a good thing for someone to quit smoking. There are countless campaigns being run to help convince smokers to kick the habit, usually citing benefits for their own long-term health. However, there are also a few problems with quitting. Aside from the fact that it can be very difficult to go through, there is always a high risk of someone relapsing. There are medications that can help a person slowly withdraw from smoking, but a recent suicide case has brought to light the dangerous side effects of anti-smoking medication. You see, Omer Jama, a perfectly normal, well-adjusted father and husband, killed himself shortly after going off smoking and going on the anti-smoking medication Champix.

Champix, which Jama had been taking for a period of about two months, has long been a cause of concern for some groups. The list of side effects of anti-smoking medication like Champix is not very long, but very dangerous. Depression and suicide attempts related to the drug are nothing new, but most have been dismissed as coincidences in the past due to the victim’s previous psychiatric history. The reason that Jama’s case is different from previous cases is because, unlike many others, he did not have any signs of depression or anxiety. He also did not, according to the coroner who examined his body, appear to have any concrete idea of what he was doing at the time he died. From all indications of the people that knew him and spent time with him, Omer Jama was not acting any differently than normal on the day he died.

Jama’s family had no known history of depression or any other mood or behavioral disorders. While he was experiencing a trial separation from his wife, both his wife and children did not see any noticeable changes in his behavior. The couple also met regularly and was largely on good terms with one another around the time he died. From all angles, there was no indication that he was suicidal, that he was contemplating such a course of action, or that he was in any way depressed. Had this been the first case, it likely would have been ignored. However, I the UK alone, there have been five suicides and four failed attempts that have all been similar to Jama’s case – no prior history of depression and nothing that would drive them to kill themselves. The only common factor was the drug Champix.

The side effects of anti-smoking medication have never really been too prominent in the public eye until this case. Nausea was listed as the most common side effect of the drug, but any pharmaceutical product that affects the central nervous system’s chemical balance can cause worse problems. That, in essence, is what Champix was designed to do. It was designed to stimulate the same receptors in the brain that nicotine does, making the brain think that the person was smoking. Julie Evans, a forensic toxicologist, worked with the coroner and found that it was likely Jama had killed himself under the influence of the drug’s side effects and was not effectively in control of his actions – with some doubt on whether or not he was even fully aware of what he was doing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

We’re All Much too Attached towards the Internet

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Geeks and computer fans have been “personifying” their gadgets since the whole computer movement started, as a sort of mirror to how some men name their cars. It isn’t unusual to find someone so attached to his computer hardware that he’s actually given “her” a name and a personality. You might even find a few that talk to their hardware the same way you’d expect others to talk to a lover or close friend. Then, there’s the phenomenon known as the Internet, which has even more people unable to leave their computers. However, while naming inanimate objects and joking about how they have personalities is one thing, excessive time spent on the Internet is now considered a completely different thing, according to studies on social health.

Internet addiction has now officially been recognized as a mental disorder, currently being listed in the same category as things like anxiety and depression. Studies on social health have found that the Internet has become the largest temporal sinkhole the world has ever seen, with more and more people spending more and more time on the Internet. The listing and recognition stemmed from reports coming in from Asian countries, which have long ago developed a reputation for being rather connected to the Internet. Not surprising, considering the fact that the Internet economic bubble didn’t so much “burst” in Asia – like it did in the West – as it did “shrink.” The disorder is divided into three sub-categories, which cover excessive gaming, sexual preoccupation, and communication and connectivity “issues.”

For the first one, countries like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are obvious targets. Those countries have populations of players that are substantially larger than the gaming population such games experience in countries like the US or England. In South Korea alone, the average number of hours spent by the average player playing any given game is about 23 hours a week. South Korea, along with Japan, has experienced the problem of students and young employees literally dropping everything – social and professional lives included – to spend more time playing games. Studies on social health are confident that the numbers in the US are similar, though they are much harder to accurately obtain. Time spent on the Internet in Asian countries is logged in rental cafes for the most part, while Western gamers prefer to do their playing from home. Of course, the case is slightly different when it comes to pornography, the second sub-category listed above.

It is arguable whether or not pornography is harmful or mundane, but it is difficult to argue with the industry’s financial success. The Internet trade in adult materials is particularly large, taking in billions of dollars worth of revenues every year. That alone serves as enough proof that a lot of people are spending a lot of time and money looking for pornography on the Internet, where it is more readily available than it would be on the street. However, numbers outside of the ones provided by looking at the profits of pornographic websites can be difficult to obtain. Reluctance, shame, and many other social and cultural factors can make it impossible to get an accurate number from surveys and statistical studies.

It gets even worse when one looks at the most mundane aspect of the three: communication. E-mails, instant messages, message boards, and social networking sites are the activities and areas where people on the Internet spend the most of their time. They are also easily the most addicting aspect of the Internet, as the environment creates a paradoxical situation where people are allowed to voice out their most controlled, innermost natures while still remaining relatively safe from any true scrutiny. While they have been found to be beneficial for those with anxiety, for those who do not, addiction can be a risk. It doesn’t help that denial and obliviousness tend to go hand-in-hand with this problem.
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