Showing posts from September, 2017

Kegels: Women vs. Men

Since kegels made their major debut a few years ago, they only continue to gain in popularity. With promises that they can help do everything from preventing urinary incontinence to improving orgasms, women—and men—of all ages are giving them a try. So while it may seem like everyone and their mother is doing them, kegels shouldn’t necessarily be taken lightly.
On the surface, kegels seem simple enough. All you have to do is squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles, which are located between your hips and help to hold your reproductive organs in place. Overtime, the pelvic floor muscles naturally weaken which can lead to urinary and bowel incontinence, which is where kegels come in.
There’s no denying that kegels are an important part of any health regimen for both men and women. But before you go kegel crazy, Sheila Warren, RN, GMC's Health Navigator, provides a few cautions and helpful tips that you should know—even if you consider yourself a pro.
So, what exactly causes a …

5 Workouts That Do Your Back Justice

Aches and pains are old news for most of us. Once you reach a certain age, you’re accustomed to a little discomfort here and there. Heck, you probably expect it. And while knee, hip and shoulder pain are among the most common types, the reigning champ continues to be back pain. Whether it’s an uncomfortable bed, sitting for long days at the office or forgetting to stretch before a workout, your back will likely pay the price. So, why is it that back pain is so common? Well, it’s complicated—literally. Your back is made up of bones, ligaments and tendons, muscles and most importantly, nerves. It’s important to note that while the spine is the primary structure in your back, it houses a majority of the major nerves of your body, making your back especially susceptible to pain. Unfortunately, though, when back pain strikes, the response that most people have is to limit physical activity, when the opposite may be more beneficial. Light exercise, like walking, can help promote circulation…

Are You Keeping Cycling Safe?

Riding a bike isn’t something that’s just for kids anymore. Whether its riding down to the local farmer’s market, going on a challenging trail ride or taking the whole family out for an afternoon of exploring, bicycling is back. And for good reason, it’s a fun, healthy and efficient way to get around. Heck, even if you haven’t been in a while, you can still head out for a ride. After all, you don’t just forget how to ride a bike. And now that you’re an adult, you can skip the dorky training wheels and helmet, right? Not so fast. Recent statistics continue to show that the number of accidents involving cyclists continues to rise, as does the average age of people involved in these accidents (with 45 being the average age). But between other cyclists, pedestrians and cars, there are several potential dangers you may encounter while out and about. So, what can you do to stay safe? Well, it’s as simple as strapping on a helmet before you head out. This is important for cyclists of all age…

Stroke Under 30? It's Not So Far Fetched

Despite the common belief that strokes only happen in people over the age of 65, this isn’t at all the case. In fact, in the midst of declining stroke numbers, one statistic continues to grow—the number of strokes in people between the ages 18 – 34. While the jury is still out on what the cause of this surprising trend is, experts agree that the following risk factors are likely major contributors.
High Blood Pressure:Hypertension is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, and that goes for all age groups. It can cause the blood vessels to weaken and increase your chance of developing blood clots in the brain.
This risk factor is especially significant for younger age groups because many of them are entirely unaware that they have developed the condition. Ignorance is bliss—right? Well, not in this case. Remember, it’s important to have your blood pressure routinely checked, regardless of age.
Smoking: With over 4,000 chemicals in each cigarette, it’s no wonder smoking increases th…

Why Does Fun In The Sun Leave You Feeling Exhausted?

It’s that time of year. Where we exchange the hot, summer temperatures with the crisp, fall air. And while fall in Georgia is undeniably hard to beat, with apple orchards, football and colorful trees, many of us are still soaking up every bit of warm, summer sun that we can get. Although there’s no denying time outdoors is one of the best ways to spend any afternoon, it can leave you feeling pooped. Nap anyone?
Even with the energizing impact that fresh air and fun activities can have, a day in the sun never fails to leave you dog-tired and sprawled out on the couch. So, what is it about the sun that makes it so draining? And is there anything you can do about it?
It’s dehydrating. It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. When you spend ample time outdoors, especially in the sun, your body runs through water quickly in an effort to stay cool. Not only does dehydration lead to headaches and lethargy, it actually forces your heart to work harder, too, which is a recipe for exhaustio…

Are You In The Know About Vertigo?

The power of your ears is pretty amazing. They not only make hearing possible, they also help to keep you balanced. These are two big jobs for such a small body part. And when things are running smoothly, you hardly give your inner ear much thought, but even a slight change can impact this delicate system.
Whether it’s standing up too quickly or an exhausting workout, the result is the same—a case of the spins. So, what exactly causes these feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness?
Lightheadedness vs. Dizziness:
Oftentimes, lightheadedness is described as a feeling of unsteadiness or weakness. If you’re feeling faint, the likely culprits are dehydration, low blood pressure, low blood sugar or medication side effects.
On the other hand, dizziness usually causes feelings of imbalance or false movement and/or spinning. This is often the result of an inner-ear condition, including vertigo, Ménière's Diseaseor labyrinthitis.
Vertigo 101:
As an extremely common medical condition, it is es…

What's Actually Causing Your Heartburn (It's Not What You Think)

Do you remember the first time you got heartburn? Maybe it was after a particularly spicy meal or during a night when you had one or more drinks? The unexpected chest pain can be a bit scary the first time you experience it, but experts say acid reflux and its primary symptom, heartburn, is one of the most common health conditions in the US. A common misconception about heartburn is that it’s caused entirely by what you eat. Spicy and fried foods, tomato-based foods and high-acid fruit juices are often assumed to be the culprits behind any uncomfortable flare-up, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While there’s no denying that certain foods may increase your likelihood of reflux, experts agree that the amount of acid in these foods hardly compares to the liter of hydrochloric acid that your stomach naturally creates to breakdown what you eat. So, if it isn’t your food choices that are causing your heartburn, what is it? Chances are, it’s how you eat and other lifestyle choices are the…

Workaholics Rejoice: 6 Tips To Boost Your Health

For most of us, a 40-hour work is a thing of the past. In fact, it is estimated that the average work week is roughly 49 hours or more. With so much to do in so little time, it may feel like you don’t really have a choice when it comes to time spent in the office. But what are those extra hours costing? They may have a surprising impact on your health.
A recent study found that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by a whopping 42%, and working 71 to 80 hours increased it by 63%. And because heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide, with more than half a million deaths each year in the United States alone, this study provides important insight.
On top of a higher risk for heart disease, yet another study found that people who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours.
Now you may be asking, are the long work hours worth it? Unfortunately, it seems like extra time spent in the office may not eve…

Yummy Veggies That’ll Satisfy Your Starch Cravings

Who doesn't love a big serving of creamy mashed potatoes or a side of steamy rice with their chicken? There’s just no denying it, starchy foods are downright delicious, making it easy to overindulge. And if you fill your plate with your starchy favorites, you be falling short on healthy vegetables.
Making Smart Substitutions
Try these simple ideas for lower-calories options that will keep both your taste buds and your tummy happy.
Start with cauliflower, a non-starchy vegetable that easily mimics starchy ones, both in flavor and texture. You can mash, whip or rice cauliflower just like potatoes, and even use it to make pizza crust.
Or try spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti and top it with a fresh tomato sauce.
For a great mac and cheese alternative, grate yellow summer squash and bake it with a sprinkling of low-fat zesty cheese. It's a great source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium, plus you'll get calcium from the cheese.
When summer's over, roast winter squas…

Does Cardio Make You Gain Weight?

Before we go any further, it’s important to clarify that exercise—of any kind—is beneficial and important for your overall health. With that being said, depending on your unique risk factors and your exercise goals, there are some activities that may be more or less beneficial for your specific needs.
So, if your goal is weight loss, like it is for many routine exercisers, is cardio your best bet? After all, weight loss should be as simple as burning more calories than what you take in—right? Well, not exactly.
Instead of helping you drop pounds, cardio may actually be increasing your weight, but not necessarily for the reasons you think. But before you give up on cardio completely, let’s take a brief moment to highlight the many benefits cardio offers, even if weight loss isn’t at the top of the list.
Just a few of the many benefits include improving your… ·Heart health ·Lung health ·Bone density ·Energy levels ·Sleep
So when it comes to weight loss, why isn’t cardio your best friend?