(ARA) – Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine knows how debilitating it can be. When you’re suffering from a migraine, it’s likely that you have a hard time focusing on anything else besides the pain you’re enduring.
If migraines are interfering with your daily life, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor who can suggest the best ways to combat your headaches. But there are also some practical steps you can take to avoid migraines. Here are a few ways you can minimize the onset of migraines and ease your pain and nausea during a migraine episode:
* Get good and regular sleep. Migraines often follow sleepless nights. Do what you can to establish a consistent sleep schedule. If you’re having trouble sleeping, remove distractions such as a TV or radio, which can prevent you from entering a deep sleep when left on all night.
* Try acupressure therapy. Similar to acupuncture, but without the needles, acupressure can provide natural pain relief by applying pressure to certain points in your body. This can be done with your hands, or through a device you can wear, such as Sea-Bands, which can be worn to apply pressure to a point just below your wrist. A recent study conducted by Berolina Clinic in Germany concluded that 83 percent of its participants – all chronic migraine sufferers – experienced a reduction in nausea when wearing Sea-Bands.
* Establishing consistency in your diet can also help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, according to the medical experts. Also, if you suspect a certain food is causing your migraines, try eliminating it from your diet and see if it helps. Eating at different times each day or skipping meals can also trigger migraines.
* Try relaxation techniques. Stress is a major cause of migraines, so anything you can do to eliminate stress from your life will help. In addition, you may want to try deep-breathing exercises and muscle-relaxing routines designed to help your body deal better with stress and tension. If you are looking for a place to get started, ask your doctor which types of exercises he or she recommends.
* Get regular exercise. Perhaps nothing reduces stress and promotes good sleeping habits more than getting a good workout on a regular basis. Being physically active for at least a half hour a day can go a long way toward reducing your headaches.
* If you do experience a migraine attack, try to get to a dark, calm place. Lie down and sleep if your pain and schedule allows you to. Applying hot or cold packs to the affected area or the back of your neck may also help relieve your pain.
The pain caused by migraines can be extremely unpleasant and affect your ability to participate in normal daily activities. By doing what you can to avoid migraine attacks, you’ll help ensure that the disruption they cause is kept to a minimum. For more information on migraine relief, visit www.sea-band.com/blog.
(ARA) – If our teeth ache, most of us will quickly head to the dentist for treatment. But if your feet hurt, do you just chalk up the pain as a discomfort of modern life? Sadly, most of us do.
Most Americans say they have foot pain at least some of the time, and more of us have pain in our feet than in any other part of our bodies we consider vital to health, such as skin, teeth or even the heart, according to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Yet feet rank lowest on the list of body parts and functions that Americans consider important to their health, the APMA study shows. Additionally, many Americans don’t seek foot care from a podiatrist – a doctor specially trained to care for feet.
Foot health directly affects the quality of our lives. When our feet are healthy, feeling good and working well, they can enable us to go about our normal routines. But injured, ill or just plain old sore feet can undermine the foundation of our good health. Feet are often indicators of our overall health; signs of arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory problems can all be detected in the feet. People suffering from foot pain are also more likely to suffer from a variety of other health issues, including back, knee and joint pain, and weight and heart problems.
So how do you know if your foot pain is just annoying, or serious enough to merit a visit to a podiatrist? Persistent pain or sudden severe pain should definitely raise warning bells, experts agree. Beyond that, keep in mind that there are many sources of foot pain, and many foot ailments that can be treated best by a podiatrist, including:
* Arthritis * Athlete’s foot * Bunions – an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe * Wounds or nerve damage due to diabetes * Foot and ankle injuries * Heel pain, especially if it is chronic * Nail problems, including nail fungus * Pinched nerves * Peripheral arterial disease – a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs * Skin cancer * Warts
Today’s podiatrist is a true expert, trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. The country’s 15,000 practicing podiatrists work in a variety of disciplines, from sports medicine and pediatrics, to dermatology and diabetes. Podiatrists can:
* Perform surgery * Provide complete medical histories and physical exams * Prescribe medicine * Set breaks and treat sports-related injuries * Prescribe and fit appliances, insoles and custom-made shoes * Order and provide physical therapy * Order and interpret X-rays and other imaging scans * Work as a member of your health care team
To find a podiatrist near you, log on to www.todayspodiatrist.com.
Yeah, yeah, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that jazz. Is that why apples are available in the executive locker rooms and in the club’s upstairs cafe? Do they really keep the doctor away?
The old saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.” Henry David Thoreau called apples, “the noblest of fruits.” They were so important to Martin Luther that he proclaimed, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” And The Sporting Club understands this and insures the executive locker rooms are always stocked with apples.
But yes, they really do keep the doctor away. It’s the fiber pectin that lowers levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps our digestive systems. It’s the boron that supports our strong bones and healthy brains The quercetin has some promise of reducing the risk of various cancers and may neutralize free radical damage which may help in Alzheimer’s. It’s the vitamin C and phytonutrients that helps with heart disease, diabetes and asthma. It’s a veritable cardio protective, anti-inflammatory, metabolism improving “miracle fruit” according to the latest research at The Florida State University.
Oh, and on top of that, apples have been shown to lead to weight loss. I just said the magic words. That’s right, weight loss. An apple a day not only keeps the docs away but also helps keep your weight at bay. Eat an apple before each meal and you will lose weight. It’s not magic—it’s common sense.
A normal size apple has 80 calories, not too bad considering the fiber pectin leaves you feeling much fuller than those calories would otherwise suggest. But you are also getting about 20 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of fat, protein, and sodium. The glycemic index on apples is relatively low so it won’t shoot your blood sugar levels through the roof. Eat an apple and drink a glass of water and you are going to feel like you just chowed down an entire meal. By the way, apples are best eaten with the peel, since most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel.
I find Fuji’s, Braeburns , Granny Smith’s and Gala’s in the men’s executive locker room. Not too sure what’s in the women’s executive locker room. Fuji’s to me are the Maserati’s of apples. When you consider the average person eats about 20 pounds of apples a year, or about one per week, that’s like exercising once a month or so. Not much good is going to result. Why limit yourself to only one per week?
When you consider the health benefits, only one per week? They are just sitting there in the executive locker room waiting for you to get healthier!
Here are ten reasons to heed the advice of that old “apple a day” proverb: 1. Bone protection 2. Asthma help 3. Alzheimer’s protection 4. Lower “bad cholesterol 5. Lung cancer protection 6. Breast cancer protection 7. Colon cancer protection 8. Liver cancer protection 9. Diabetes management 10. Weight loss
It takes an apple tree four to five years to grow its first fruit. That’s a long time for a tree to produce something so healthy. And when you think that two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie, it takes 36 apples to make one gallon of apple cider, and 42 pounds of apples yields 20-24 quarts of applesauce, isn’t it amazing that one simple apple a day can offer so much in health benefits?
So whether you are a “compulsive-wedger” who must have perfect core-free wedges neatly arranged on a plate, a “top-to-bottom” eater who methodically munches from the stem to the bottom, an “equator eater” who chomps from the center all the way around, a “stem-plucker” who must pull the stem out before taking a first bite, it doesn’t matter. Just be sure to eat at least an apple a day. Not only will you feel better, look better, and be healthier but you’ll make the folks who purchase and stock the apples in our club very happy.
(ARA) – Today’s baby boomers are growing older gracefully. And although more than 10,000 boomers each day will turn 65, most are not letting their age stop them from maintaining active and healthy lifestyles.
Here are a few ways to ensure that you (or the ones you love) stay healthy, active and safe:
* Maintain regular health screenings and immunizations. While it is important to have regular check-ups with your family doctor, it’s equally important to monitor vitals more frequently. Luckily, most local pharmacies offer free blood pressure and cholesterol checks, as well as seasonal flu shots.
* Fight against falls. Falls are the most common cause of hospital visits for those older than 65, according to the Home Safety Council. To help prevent falls in the bathroom – while maintaining stylish decor in your home – add new Grab Bars with Integrated Accessories from Moen Home Care. These unique products combine functional accessories, such as a shelf, towel bar and toilet paper holder, with the safety of a grab bar.
* Travel safety. Once you’ve updated your own bathroom with safety features, be sure that you are surrounded with these safety devices when you’re visiting others or on vacation. Products such as the Suction Balance Assist Bar from Moen Home Care offer a suction design that easily attaches directly to smooth, flat surfaces for a firm, secure grip in danger zones – and easily unlocks from the wall for convenient transport when traveling.
* Ensure help is a call away. Cell phones are not just for social uses, they are a valuable emergency response tool – and they don’t have to come with a pricey monthly bill. In fact, plans are available for as low as $10 per month without a contract to AARP members .
* Cease bad habits. Smokers will die 14 years sooner than non-smokers, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No matter if you’ve been smoking for years or decades, your body will be better off if you kick the habit.
* Instill healthy habits. Being healthy doesn’t have to involve major lifestyle changes. For example, swap high-fat or high-calorie versions of your favorite foods with lower-fat, lower-calorie versions. Or, stock your fridge with healthy fruits and vegetables for snacks. These small diet changes can make big differences in your overall health.
* Boost your activity levels. This doesn’t mean running a marathon – but it does mean getting your body moving. Walking, playing golf or any other enjoyable activity that boosts your heart rate is a step in the right direction.
* Keep your mind moving. Cognitive performance levels drop earlier in countries that have younger retirement age, according to a study published by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the University of Michigan. But if you’re no longer in the workforce – don’t fear. Just be sure to keep your brain busy by engaging in activities that combine social, physical and intellectual stimulation.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure the golden years will be happy, healthy and safe. For more information on Moen Home Care safety products, visit www.moen.com/homecare.
By: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
Did you know that if you belonged to The Sporting Club last year, you are one in 50.2 million people? That is what the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced as the total US health club membership number in 2010, a figure more than 10% higher than the previous year. Fitness club membership is growing and for good reason. We all want to improve and maintain our physical and emotional health and well being.
Regardless of age, we all need to be reminded of the value of exercise, and several prominent national associations have joined together for a universal health care call to action under this month’s, “Exercise is Medicine” campaign. In an attempt to celebrate the health benefits of exercise, physicians are being encouraged to become “exercise advocates” and patients are urged to talk with their doctors about “exercise prescriptions.”
Interestingly, May is also “Mental Health Month,” sponsored by “Mental Health America,” a celebration founded over 60 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health.
The mind-body “oneness” that exists is not only in these coincidental (?) national May celebrations. You know, and research backs it up, that when you think well, you feel well, and when you are feeling well, you have a greater sense of happiness.
After all, unless you live under a well hidden pile of rocks with no WiFi access, most adults know that proper exercise is essential for the prevention, management and treatment of many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and other medical and emotional problems.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that many docs, often out of shape themselves, are not educated enough to begin writing specific “exercise prescriptions,” assessing physical activity or going further than simply recommending more medically appropriate exercise. Instead of, “Ask your doctor if medicine x is right for you,” I suggest, “Ask your trainer which exercise is right for you.”
Most of us want our lives to be easier, healthier, happier, and we want to add increased longevity. Simply lifting weights or running on a treadmill won’t do it. Health, fitness and performance begin with a base of functional, tri-planar and integrated movement training, the type The Sporting Club’s GRAVITY trainers offer, among other types of core and functional training you see around the gym.
Moving from core and balance stabilizing exercises to movement training in order to avoid compromising balance, and then to more traditional resistance training for hypertrophy, strength or endurance, and then perhaps to sport specific training, is a traditional integrated approach recommended by the American Council on Exercise. Cardio aerobic base training, then slowly adding increased duration, frequency and interval training for aerobic efficiency is the best preparation for training at high levels of cardio aerobic endurance.
Our club’s professionally educated personal trainers are well anchored in the healthiest prescriptive exercise programs, tailored to your unique health and fitness needs.
Where fitness psychology enters is on the emotional side. There is a well-known formula developed by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., pioneer of the Positive Psychology movement at the University of Pennsylvania. It is: “Pleasure + Engagement + Meaning = Happiness.” I would add, “+ Exercise.”
Here are the 10 tools “Mental Health America” suggests you use to enhance your emotional wellness. The overlap with the “Pleasure + engagement + meaning = happiness” formula is clear:
- Connect with others…people who feel connected are happier and healthier
- Stay positive…change your thinking and you change your feelings
- Get physically active…exercise definitely leads to a healthier and happier you
- Help others…serve others soup at a shelter instead of sipping your own martini
- Get enough sleep…being tired hurts your health and well-being
- Create joy and satisfaction…have a laugh, find a hobby, chill
- Eat well…the right foods fuel your mind, boost your mood and fight disease
- Take care of your spirit…prayer, meditation or just connecting deep inside of yourself enriches your life
- Deal better with hard times…write it out, talk it out, change your thinking, and get support
- 1Get professional help if you need it…don’t hesitate to seek professional help
So with May being “Exercise is Medicine” and “Mental Health” month, and research showing that exercise helps treat and prevent more than 40 chronic diseases including emotional upset, isn’t it time for a quick check-up with one of the club’s fitness health experts to see if you are doing all you can for your well-being?
Oh. One more point. May is also Family Wellness Month. Be sure you get your kids moving, active and healthy too, especially with physical fitness programming being cut in schools. Yep, our trainers can even help you design and implement a well-balanced family fitness program!
(ARA) – Everyone reaches for comfort foods and junk food when stressed out. You know you shouldn’t, but you probably feel you need something to help you during that intense period of time when stress is king.
“In moments of stress, people tend to reach for foods they know, sometimes even favorite foods from childhood. It is certainly not a time when we choose to experiment,” says Chef Odette Smith-Ransom, chef instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
If traveling, you may often search for a familiar restaurant or fast food place. It’s easier to reach for food that you know provides a level of comfort to balance out the uncomfortable moments of stress, Smith-Ransom says.
It all comes down to food choices where stress and food are concerned. When stressed, you are more likely to make a quick, bad choice. “The vicious cycle of guilt regarding our eating habits steps in and worsens the current stress situation,” Smith-Ransome says. “Add guilt to the situation, and the stress levels increase – compounding the problem.”
Chef Smith-Ransom warns that when stressed, one should stay away from caffeine and sugar. It’s easy to grab an energy drink or a candy bar because they’re accessible and in every convenience and drug store in America.
Once the rush is gone from sugary, caffeine-packed foods, you’re facing a crash unless you continue to eat and drink to keep your body in the high. Continuing to eat and drink these products will compound the situation even more because you then become sleep-deprived, which raises the levels of anxiety and slows you down.
The best way to attack bad eating choices during a moment of stress is to maintain your body and mind at equilibrium. Before an important interview, presentation or exam, try eating whole foods and complete meals, and forget about the bag of cookies. While these satiate the appetite at the moment, it certainly won’t keep your blood-sugar levels stable, making it difficult to cope with your initial problem: high stress.
“Eat dark, leafy greens, high fiber foods and lean cuts of protein as a complete meal,” says nutritionist and public health expert, Nicole Dowsett, a nutrition instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charlotte. She recommends staying away from heavily seasoned foods and eating four to six small meals a day. “Take time to eat and avoid grabbing something on the go to just stuff your face.”
It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your mind that you are full. Making time to eat is very important. If you can, share meals with friends or loved ones, Dowsett says. Sharing meals helps you to take your time and deters you from making bad choices, or even worse yet, hiding your unhealthy food choices – which can lead to an eating disorder.
“High stress mixed with bad food choices can cause and increase behavioral issues, sleep deprivation, problems focusing, over-thinking tasks without developing a clear focus, inability to prioritize, reduced cognitive skills, heightened sensitivity and heightened emotions,” Dowsett says.
By making informed, careful food choices during times of stress, you can help ensure what you eat doesn’t add extra calories, fat and poor nutrition to your worries.
To learn about The Art Institutes visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.