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Healthy Living: Osteoporosis Warning Signs

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Osteoporosis is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 50 and it is a problem that people do not want to live with.  Weak bones lead to fractures and many other scary problems that could leave you disabled. 

Before turning into full-blown osteoporosis, osteopenia – the process of thinning bones - precedes the ailment.  There are some warning signs to look for to determine if your bones are in fact thinning.

 

Here are some warning signs for osteoporosis: 

  • Warning Sign #1 - You have had more than one fracture in the past two years or a fracture that seemed severe considering the circumstances.
  • Warning Sign #2 – You are naturally a small or thin person.
  • Warning Sign #3 – You have an autoimmune condition that causes you to take prednisone or another corticosteroid.
  • Warning Sign #4 – You are a smoker and have been throughout your adult life.
  • Warning Sign #5 – You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
  • Warning Sign #6 – You do not drink milk, or you have a lactose intolerance that prevents you from drinking milk.
  • Warning Sign #7 – You have an eating disorder.
  • Warning Sign #8 – You are an Asian or Caucasian female over the age of 50.Warning Sign #9 – You have a family member who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

Fitness for All: 10,000 Steps a Day: Where did it come from?

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Whether you are an avid fitness guru or just your “Average Joe” you have no doubt at some point in your life heard that the key to being healthy is getting in your “10,000 steps” daily.

But have you ever wondered why 10,000 steps? And is it working? Or is it just causing us unnecessary stress?

Here is what the experts say…

Back in 1965, when the Summer Olympics was held in Tokyo, Japan, a local professor was working on coming up with the best way to fight obesity and heart disease. He calculated that walking 10,000 steps a day – or the equivalent of 5 miles – would translate into a 20% increase in calories burned for the average person.

The professor, Yoshiro Hatano, then came up with a pedometer-like device called the Manpo-kei, to encourage people to get up and moving during the Olympics when fitness was on everyone’s mind.

The popularity of the pedometer and taking 10,000 steps continued in Japan and has since spread to the U.S. and other countries, becoming the standard that World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still follow today.

While 10,000 steps a day might be an achievable goal for some, experts note that everyone’s fitness ability is different and their steps per day should be adjusted accordingly.

One way to figure out the number of steps that would work for you is to track how many steps you normally take in any given day, then set an achievable goal based on your baseline steps. If you are a person who typically gets in 5,000 steps a day, then shoot for 7,500. Already reaching 10,000 a day? Why not try for 12,500? Even though this theory has been around for decades, there is no need to stress yourself out about reaching this daily goal. Just take it one step at a time.

Healthy Living Top 10 Healthy Living Tips

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Not everything having to do with diet, exercise, and healthy living must be complicated or time-consuming. There are plenty of things that you can easily do to help shift your mindset towards living healthier.

Here are the top 10 things that you can do to live healthier and feel good about yourself. 

  1. Eat Fresh Foods. Eat fresh rather than processed foods. Ask yourself, “Does this come from Nature?” If the answer is NO, then eliminate it from your diet.
  2. Take up a sport. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just something that you are comfortable with and gets you moving.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are a parent always on the go, ensure that your healthy choices fit into your busy schedule.
  4. Start a food diary. Write down everything you eat and once you do you can see where and what you need to cut from your diet.
  5. Avoid fad diets. Opt for a healthy lifestyle. Fad diets are a quick fix, whereas overall good health will sustain you.
  6. Set goals. Give yourself a sensible time-period to cut fast food from your diet.
  7. Get active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, use the furthest parking spot away from where you are going, and get moving daily in some way.
  8. Five-a-day rule. Follow the five-a-day rule when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
  9. Socialize with like-minded people. You’ll start to think like them and be inspired by them.
  10. Be good to yourself. Take your time and reward yourself regularly for achieving your goals.

In the News Signs You’ll Live to 100 – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Continued from Part I…

 

You’re a calorie counter.

Researchers in St. Louis reported that men and women who limited their daily calories to 1,400 to 2,000 (about 25% fewer calories than those who followed a typical 2,000-to 3,000-calorie Western diet) were literally young at heart—their hearts functioned like those of people 15 years younger. 

You prefer to drink tea.

Both green and black teas contain a concentrated dose of catechins, substances that help blood vessels relax and protect your heart. 

You skip cola (regular and diet).

Scientists in Boston found that drinking one or more regular or diet colas every day doubles your risk of metabolic syndrome—a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, and excess fat around the waist, that increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes.

You eat purple food.

Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine: They all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols—compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to research. 

You’re not a burger-eater.

A few palm-size servings (about 2½ ounces) of beef, pork, or lamb now and then is no big deal, but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week ups your risk of colorectal cancer—the third most common type, according to a major report by the American Institute for Cancer Research. 

You run at least 40 minutes a day.

Scientists in California found that middle-aged people who did just that—for a total of about 5 hours per week—lived longer and functioned better physically and cognitively as they got older.

In the News Signs You’ll Live to 100 – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Thanks to advances in health, education and disease prevention, people are living longer – many people hitting triple digits – more so than ever before. 

But there are also some everyday habits, or circumstances in your past, that can influence how long and how well you’ll live. 

Here is a two-part article of some science-based signs that you are on the long-life path. 

You love to work out.

Studies have shown that staying physically active can help improve your longevity and help reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

You have a relatively flat stomach after menopause.

Women who are too round in the middle are 20% more likely to die sooner (even if their body mass index is normal), according to a National Institute on Aging study. At midlife, it takes more effort to keep waists trim because shifting hormones cause most extra weight to settle in the middle. 

You were a healthy-weight teen.

A study in the Journal of Pediatrics that followed 137 African Americans from birth to age 28 found that being overweight at age 14 increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. 

You like raspberries in your oatmeal.

Dietary fiber helps reduce total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost weight loss. 

Continued in Part II…