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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: Snore free Night's Sleep

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Studies show that 30 to 40 percent of the general population snores, which means there are an awful lot of people out there not getting a good night's sleep.  Whether you snore, or your partner, there are some easy ways to alleviate snoring and catch some zzzz's before you know it.

Snore-free night's sleep

Tongue exercises : believe it or not there are exercises that you can do with your tongue that will help “train” your tongue where to stay in your mouth while you are sleeping to prevent snoring.  One good tongue exercise to practice is making the “t-t-t-t-t” sound : sort of like you are scolding someone.  This strengthens the tip of the tongue.  You can also let your tongue hang out relaxed, then tense your tongue by pointing it and holding this position for three seconds.

Buy a mouthpiece : one of the most effective anti-snoring techniques is using a “boil and bite” mouthpiece.  These mouthpieces form to your upper and lower teeth and pull your lower jaw and the back of your tongue forward.  This process allows your airway to be opened and you to breathe easier.

Wear an air mask : commonly used for severe sleep apnea, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask pushes air into the nasal passages and throat, allowing the airways to be opened.  Unfortunately, only 50 percent of users use their machine correctly, as they cannot keep a mask on throughout the night.

Sleep with a tennis ball : say what? Hear us out on this one, because most people snore while sleeping on their back if you provide a barrier between your body and your back while you are sleeping you will be less likely to sleep on your back throughout the night, thereby reducing your snoring.  Some people suggest putting a tennis ball in a pocket T-shirt then sleeping with the T-shirt on backwards.  You can also put the tennis ball in a fanny pack and then wear that backwards.  If you happen to turn onto your back during the night, the ball, whether it is in your shirt or in your fanny pack, will cause discomfort and you will roll onto your side.

In the News All About Monkeypox – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

You can’t turn on the television anymore without hearing about the latest infectious disease: Monkeypox. While there is a lot of information all over the Internet about Monkeypox, here we break down what you need to know, what you should do and how to prevent the spread of this disease.

So, what is Monkeypox?

According to the CDC, “Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It leads to rash and flu-like symptoms. Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in groups of monkeys being used for research. It’s spread mainly through human contact with infected rodents but can sometimes be spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.”

How common is it?

Monkeypox is actually rare. But the number of cases is increasing in Africa, as well as in regions that haven’t seen these infections before. 

Where is it found? 

For decades, Monkeypox was only found in Africa. But 2022 has brought outbreaks to regions outside of Africa, like Europe, the Americas and Australia. 

Who is affected by Monkeypox? 

According to the CDC, “Anyone can get monkeypox. In Africa, most cases are among children under 15 years old. Outside of Africa, the disease appears to be more common in men who have sex with men, but there are numerous cases in people who don’t fall into that category.” 

(Continued in Part II…)

In the News Summer Health Tips – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Continued from Part I…)

Health Tip #4: Dehydration 

Dry mouth and eyes, dry skin, a condition where sweating nearly stops, muscle cramps, nausea, heart palpitations and light headedness. To prevent dehydration, drink water, clear broths, and any other water replacements that contain electrolytes, like Gatorade. To combat dehydration, try fluid replacement and control through diet and fever medication. 

Health Tip #5: Foot Infections 

Sweating and humidity can increase your chances of foot infection during summer.
To remedy a foot infection, there are several anti-bacterial powders available in medical stores. And scrub your feet and the toes thoroughly to wash off the bacteria. For severe cases of infection, consult a dermatologist.

Health Tip #6: Summer Diet 

It’s always a good idea to switch up your diet in the summertime to eat foods such as watermelon, yogurt, berries and other fruits and vegetables. Such foods are low in calories and additionally require very little energy for digestion. These foods taste better when chilled and are therefore traditionally eaten that way. Naturally, eating chilled low-calorie foods feel good in the summer months, too. 

Health Tip #7: Food Hygiene 

Many dangerous bacteria and viruses thrive in the summer months as the temperature is conducive for their growth. The bad bugs usually enter the body through food and water. This is why maintaining good food hygiene is crucial in this season.