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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.

Healthy Living: It’s Swimming Season!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

With the warm weather comes the opening of public pools and home pools and people break out the bathing suit for another season of swimming. For many people, swimming is a good way to wind down after a long day.  But others are using swimming as another means of exercise, and they are finding that exercise in the spring and summertime can be fun!

 

Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and strength train all the while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. 

Exercise experts recommend swimming as a form of exercise because of the great cardiovascular workout you get from swimming.  It is considered a great aerobic exercise because it is an action that maintains an elevated heartbeat for a minimum of 20 minutes. 

You can simply add swimming to your pre-existing aerobic workout to help switch things up and keep your workouts fresh.  Alternate days that you decide to use swimming as your cardio for that day, so you don’t get bored with any one workout.

Like any exercise, you should also start any swimming workout routine by stretching first. You may not realize the affect swimming has on your entire body until it is too late, so be sure to stretch appropriately before you begin. Then start off slow by swimming strides and gradually increasing your speed in the pool.  This will help to elevate your heart rate at a safe pace and help you to last longer during your workout.

Swimming, and using swimming as your key workout, is more about endurance than quickness.  Experts suggest starting out swimming laps for approximately 20 minutes for women and 30 minutes for men.  You can begin to increase your time as necessary and as you continue your workout over the course of weeks or months. 

Again, this will prevent you from getting too tired, too sore, wore out or disappointed in your swimming workout. Try out different strokes when you are swimming, too.  Do some laps using the breaststroke, then switch up and do the backstroke, or even the doggy paddle.  Each swimming stroke using a different variety of muscles and therefore will give you the best overall workout.

Beat the Winter Blah: January Fitness Challenge

Written by Lisa Jillanza

This 31-day challenge is a great way to beat the winter blues and stay motivated during the long, cold January. 

 

Day 1: 25 squats

Day 2: 10 burpees

Day 3: 30-second plank

Day 4: 10 push-ups

Day 5: 1-mile walk

Day 6: 25 walking lunges

Day 7: 30-second bridge

Day 8: 20 donkey kicks

Day 9: 50 high knees

Day 10: 2-mile walk

Day 11: 15 burpees

Day 12: 15 push-ups

Day 13: 150 jumping jacks

Day 14: 45-second plank

Day 15: 50 jump squats

Day 16: 30 jump lunges

Day 17: 45-second bridge

Day 18: 30 donkey kicks

Day 19: 20 push-ups

Day 20: 3-mile walk

Day 21: 60-second plank

Day 22: 20 single leg bridges

Day 23: 150 skiers

Day 24: 40 walking lunges

Day 25: 50 squats

Day 26: 20 burpees

Day 27: 60-second bridge

Day 28: 100 high knees

Day 29: 25 push-ups

Day 30: 75-second plank

Day 31: REST

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 Your Skin Cancer Risk Revealed

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Here are some surprising clues that could mean that you are more apt to being diagnosed with skin cancer than others…

 

Clue #1:  You wear flip-flops often.  If you wear flip-flops most of the spring and summer, your feet are prone to more sun exposure and sun damage than those who wear socks and shoes. 

Clue #2:  You wear baseball hats.  While baseball hats protect your head from sun damage, your ears are constantly exposed and are often overlooked when your skin is checked for signs of skin cancer. 

Clue #3:  You are a male.  Whether it’s habits, hormones, or genes, or even a combination of these three, men have three times as many squamous cancer cells and twice as many basal cancer cells as women.  Also, white men over the age of 50 have the highest incidence of melanoma. 

Clue #4:  You have dark skin.  While skin with more pigment has a natural shield against UV rays, many African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Indians get a false sense of security and 

typically do not pay much attention to protecting their skin from these harmful rays.  Skin cancer is also detected much later in dark skinned people, therefore making it harder to treat. 

Clue #5:  You live in the South or in the Mountains.  Rates of skin cancer are obviously higher in places that receive more sunlight, like in the South or in the Mountains.  Altitude is also a factor as UV radiation increases about 4 to 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level. 

Clue #6: You are a runner, cyclist, or swimmer.  The more miles men and women run the greater their chance of acquiring skin cancer.  The same goes for swimmers and cyclists who spend countless hours out in the climate. 

Clue #7:  You have a lot of moles.  The average Caucasian has 30 moles – relatively round spots that are brown, red or pink.  But the moles that are asymmetrical, with raggedy borders, discoloration or changing size, are the ones that are more likely to develop into melanoma.  People over the age of 20 with more than 100 moles or people under the age of 20 with more than 50 moles are also at risk.