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It's late April, months since you dedicated yourself to those New Year's resolutions, one of which was to get off the couch and get into the best shape of your life. So, how are you doing four months into 2013? Chances are you're like too many other resolvers who gave it their "best" shot for a few weeks in January, then hit... Read More
Back pain is a major health issue, so much so that is was recently confirmed as the number-one cause of disability worldwide. Add to that the shocking statistic that the average person has only about a 20 percent chance of not experiencing back pain at some point during their lifetime, and you can appreciate that low back... Read More
PMS is something we as women have had to deal with every month for most of our young adult and adult years. While we become concerned if we miss a period for obvious reasons, we are also not very happy to see our monthly friend as well which usually comes with some bloating, pain, and mood changes. So, how can we manage our... Read More
Vitamin D has earned its way into the spotlight, and rightfully so. Research has confirmed the importance of vitamin D to our health, and it's likely that we are just beginning to understand the diverse ways this nutrient, actually a hormone, supports our body. We do know that it plays a vital role in the proper synthesis... Read More
When it comes to discussing fiber, most people will think of weight loss and better digestion. Now, researchers are attributing a diet high in fiber with it being a protection against a stroke in the future. Incorporating high fiber foods can actually help you reduce your risk of having a stroke, according to research from... Read More
All-too-commonly prescribed for back pain – despite evidence that nondrug options are equally, if not more effective – steroids have taken a justifiable beating over the past several months. A tainted batch of epidural steroids produced by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy led to hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis and... Read More
It's been said that "movement is life," and from a health perspective, there's no better example than the dramatic impact consistent physical activity has on disease risk. In fact, regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing many forms of cancer, including breast cancer. But exercise isn't the only form of "movement" that may affect breast cancer risk, according to a recent study. Results of the investigation, presented at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in San Francisco, suggest that applying physical pressure to malignant breast cells helped the cells regain a normal growth pattern, rather than triggering cancer.
Guatham Venugopalan, one of the study researchers, emphasized that, like other studies, this investigation emphasizes the health benefits of physical movement / activity:
"People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies," said Venugopalan. "When we lift weights our muscles get bigger. The force of gravity is essential to keeping our bones strong. Here we show that physical force can play a role in the growth – and reversion – of cancer cells."
An estimated one in eight U.S. women develops breast cancer, making it one of the most prevalent cancers and a serious public health issue, to say the least. Yet if caught early, more than 90 percent of breast cancer victims survive, making prevention, early diagnosis and treatment strategies critical. That's why regular self-examinations are encouraged, along with periodic mammograms. For more information on breast cancer prevention and screening, click here. For more detailed information regarding the study, click here.
Upwards of 80 percent of adults suffer at least one episode of back pain in their lifetime, which means you've already felt the pain, are feeling it now or will feel it before you know it. And chances are good that, like so many others, your first thought will be to get off your feet, lie down and rest. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that unless the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain radiating down the legs, rest is exactly the opposite strategy if you're trying to relieve your back pain. Read More
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and research suggests it's no coincidence that the average American suffers from high levels of daily and long-term stress. While the precise connection between the two isn't clear, we do know that stress encourages the release of cortisol – the so-called "stress hormone." In a 2010 study, subjects with high cortisol levels had a fivefold increase in cardiovascular-related death (heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular causes) compared to subjects with lower cortisol levels. Read More
Gaining weight may have to do more with how many zzz's you are getting rather than how much you are consuming. New research has found that losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain. Just how much?
Recently, researchers from the University of Colorado recruited 16 healthy men and women for a two-week experiment tracking sleep, metabolism and eating habits. Read More
You've been working out for the past three months and you're feeling great. You're losing pounds, dropping inches off your waistline, and toning and tightening muscles you didn't even know you had - and that thought you'd forgotten them. Then you hit the proverbial workout wall and your enthusiasm starts to go downhill. Every workout feels the same, you don't seem to be making any strength or muscle gains, and the scale's stuck at the same place it was last week – and the week before that. Read More
When it comes to nutrition, kids need the most variety in order to ensure they grow properly. There are many vitamins out in the market, but what exactly do kids need to be focused on getting when it comes not only to their nutrients but also their food? Read More
Glucosamine with chondroitin is a very popular supplement to support healthy joints. Something that most people don't realize, though, is the amount of adulteration that is occurring with this specific supplement. Unfortunately certain manufacturers, in an attempt to maximize their profit, add cheaper ingredients that are not listed on the bottle, which generally are not harmful, but you are not getting what you purchased. Read More
Your Health ~ March, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 03)
Gaining weight may have to do more with how many zzz's you are getting rather than how much you are consuming. New research has found that losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain. Just how much? Let's find out.
Recently, researchers from the University of Colorado recruited 16 healthy men and women for a two-week experiment tracking sleep, metabolism and eating habits. The goal was to determine how inadequate sleep over just one week affects a person's weight, behavior and physiology, according to the study.
During the first week, half the people were allowed to sleep nine hours a night while the other half stayed up until about midnight and then could sleep up to five hours. Everyone was given unlimited access to food. In the second week, the nine-hour sleepers were then restricted to five hours of sleep a night, while the sleep-deprived participants were allowed an extra four hours.
According to the study, researchers found that staying up late and getting just five hours of sleep increased a person's metabolism. Sleep-deprived participants actually burned an extra 111 calories a day, according to the findings published last week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
However, the light sleepers ended up eating far more than those who got nine hours of sleep, and by the end of the first week the sleep-deprived subjects had gained an average of about two pounds. During the second week, members of the group that had originally slept nine hours also gained weight when they were restricted to just five hours. And the other group began to lose some (but not all) of the weight gained in that first sleep-deprived week, according to the study.
It is always recommended to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, if you are looking to lose some pounds, make sure to get your sleep. It might help you get rid of those extra pounds.
By Editorial Staff of To Your Health Navember, 2012 (Vol. 06, Issue 11)
It's one thing to fall asleep; it's another to stay asleep all night and even another to enjoy a full night of peaceful, restorative sleep that gives your body and mind an appropriate setting to repair, recharge and renew. Too many Americans don't get enough sleep and when they do, it's often interrupted or punctuated by constant tossing and turning. That's bad news from a health perspective, both in the short and long term. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, "a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality [death]."
Suffice it to say that sleep is a big deal, which makes ensuring you get enough sleep of prime importance. Here are five ways you can get better sleep tonight and every night thereafter:
1. Wind down: Transition from your busy, hectic day at least an hour before bed so you're not up half the night. Stress and sleep are bad partners, to say the least, so your pre-sleep routine should emphasize calmness and relaxation. Take a bath or shower, listen to soft music or meditate – whatever it takes for you to leave your stress-filled day behind you (at least until morning).
2. Exercise early: Physical activity has plentiful health benefits, but if you work out before bed, it can make sleep difficult. On the other hand, exercising first thing in the morning will make sleeping at night easier because your body will be fatigued after a long day. Exercising right before bed can leave you amped up, sore and/or unable to settle in for a long, relaxing night's rest.
3. Shut the fridge: Put police tape around the fridge after dinner and you'll likely get better sleep because your inability to pursue late-night eating (cheating) will let your body relax and doze off. The premise is simple, if you think about it: The body is a factory, processing and burning food all day. If the factory doesn't close for the evening, it keeps on processing – and you stay awake while it does. Try eating a cheeseburger and fries an hour before bed; your eyes may feel sleepy, but your stomach will stay wide awake – and so will you.
4. Timing is everything: Ever heard of a circadian rhythm? As sleep goes, it's our body's internal "clock" and it runs on a 24-hour schedule. To maximize restorative sleep, regulate your internal clock by going to sleep and waking up at around the same time every night and morning, respectively. It might be difficult to go to sleep on a regular schedule because of various factors, but you can usually control when you wake up – it's just a matter of willing yourself out of bed.
5. Don't push it: One of the worst habits of chronically poor sleepers is the tendency to push it; to stay up longer than the body is willing. Sometimes that's unavoidable, but too often Americans spend hour after late-night hour glued to the television (or these days, the computer), fighting off sleep and suffering the consequences. When the body says rest, listen and go to bed. You'll be thankful you did.
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about these and other simple ways to enjoy better sleep naturally.
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You may have been awakened in the night by your 5-year-old child crying from the pain in her legs that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. This condition, usually referred to as “growing pains” (despite having nothing much to do with the growth process), is relatively common.
Growing pains normally appear in approximately 25% to 45% of children, both boys and girls, and usually show up within two age ranges: between 3 and 5, and between 8 and 12. Though it is such a common condition, surprisingly little is known about what it really is and what causes it.
There is no evidence that growing bones cause growing pains. The bones and joints are generally not the reported source of the pain, but rather the muscles of the legs (and sometimes the arms). Most children report feeling pain that originates in front of their thighs, in their calves, and sometimes behind their knees. There are no outward signs of inflammation, such as warm, red, swollen and tender joints, but the pain can range from mild to excruciating.
One theory is that the pain is due to the normal active running and jumping that most children do every day. Symptoms most often show up in the late afternoon or just before bed, when sore and tired muscles may begin to make themselves known. Sometimes the pain will even wake the child from sleep, though the pain is normally gone by morning. Poor posture and emotional upset have also been linked with some cases of growing pains, but this is not the case in all children.
There is no particular cure for growing pains, and children with the condition may experience it on and off for a few years. There are, however, a few things you can do to help ease the pain. Massaging the child’s legs and getting them to do some stretches has been shown to be effective. A warm bath or heating pad also helps to relax sore muscles, and if the pain is bad you can try a dose of acetaminophen. By the time your child reaches his or her teenage years, the growing pains should vanish naturally.
As pain in the legs may be caused by other conditions, such as arthritis or an infection, if your child has a limp, fever, swelling, or is not able to walk and play normally, you should take him or her to a doctor to rule out other possible causes.
We seem to hear different things from the medical community every few years about either the positive or negative effect that coffee has on our health. So what is the most current information? Is coffee good or bad for your health? The answer, in short, is that it’s a little of both.
Too much coffee can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, anxiety and upset stomach, in addition to its ability to become addictive. And don’t forget that added cream and sugar contribute to weight gain. For example, a 24-ounce Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappucino contains a mind-boggling 520 calories!
Despite these drawbacks, moderate coffee consumption can actually have a protective effect, helping to reduce your risk of many problems, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and Type 2 diabetes, to name a few. It can also lower the risk of stroke in women.
Current research has indicated that there is no increased risk of heart disease or cancer from moderate coffee drinking. The studies done earlier that reached that conclusion were flawed in that they did not take into consideration other lifestyle habits that went along with increased coffee drinking, such as smoking and lack of exercise, two major causes of these diseases. In fact, coffee has been shown to protect against many kinds of cancer.
A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that there was a 25 percent reduction in cases of endometrial cancer in women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day. Scientists believe this may be due to the fact that coffee has the ability to lower concentrations of free estradiol and insulin, in addition to the cancer-fighting effect of coffee’s antioxidant phenols.
Even a few cups of coffee every day can cut men’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 30 percent, with those consuming six cups of coffee a day reducing their risk of a dangerous form of the cancer by a whopping 60 percent.
Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drink coffee (four cups per day) have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who drink no coffee at all.
It is recommended that you get no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine intake per day, the equivalent of about 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee. Obviously, the amount of caffeine in a cup of espresso will be more than that in the equivalent amount drip coffee.
The key point to keep in mind is to consume coffee in moderate amounts, especially if you are pregnant. But all in all, the benefits of coffee consumption far outweigh the risks for most people, so grab a café grande and drink up!