Wednesday, December 26, 2012

10 Tips for Raising Healthy Kids

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 02:54 AM PST

Having two children I was always immersed into searches for the matter of raising healthy kids. Tons of books and studying materials, advices, suggestions and other are overwhelming. But most of us are looking for the very simple, "quick and easy" reading tips. I found one at US Department of Health and Services, and I thought they may not cover all the aspects and not so deep, but still it worth to read. You may continue your exploring this topic and you may find your own recipe which you will gratefully share with others.

Monday, December 17, 2012

5 Ways To Improve Your Vitality at Christmas

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 10:42 AM PST

Cold winter days, winter blues, and boozy winter nights – these are all part of the winter season.
Low mood, being over-worked and not sleeping enough can lead to us feeling somewhat under the weather during the Christmas season. Although, you may have your Christmas and New Years parties to look forward to, you may not feel quite up to it or as full of life.

Here's a few ways you can improve your vitality in the winter season, enabling you to be fit and well in time for Christmas and New Year's eve.

1. Use heart-beats music for exercises

Use upbeat music, such as pop Christmas hits, to exercise to. Using music that is a similar beats per minute to your heart when running should naturally encourage yourself to work harder. Christmas songs will not only then get you into the Christmas mood; they will encourage you to work yourself harder on the treadmill without much effort.

2. Enjoy winter sports

Enjoy the festivities of Christmas, including ice skating. Ice skating is very good for core strength and stimulates those sleepy muscles that are not used in other sports and exercises.

3. Take dose of "sunny" and "orange" vitamins

As well as getting all you need nutritionally – plenty of vegetables and fruit – make sure you get your daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a key factor in weight loss as well as raising your mood, so it's vital to body and mind in darker seasons with less daylight. So when you can take a run or walk, whether it is in your lunch break or before work, to get your daily dose of vitamin D. In winter months, because of all the viruses around, we need to raise our protection against colds and flues. Of course taking vitamin C will improve our ability to defend ourselves against viruses. Don't not only take a supplement, add an orange to your lunch box per day and peppers to your nightly meal, which are even higher in vitamin C than oranges!
4. Be a temporary sleeping beauty

It's one of the top tips for a healthy lifestyle – sleep well. The average human needs 7-9 hours sleep to regenerate and to remain concentrated the next day. Those who get a good amount of sleep per night are also more likely to have a faster metabolism and thus, are likely to have less problems with weight gain.

5. Smile and laugh

It may seem silly but laughing on a regular basis can burn calories! It also lifts your mood, improving your vitality levels. Smiling regularly over frowning could be far better for your face, as well as lift your mood. Happy person may mean your health will be far better than someone who is unhappy, so do things to keep yourself occupied and happy in winter as it can be easy to feel the blues in these cold and icy months.

7 Most Common Sport Issues

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 09:53 AM PST

Sometimes preventing common sports injuries is beyond our control, but many times sports injuries are preventable. Some injuries we bring on ourselves because we’re not conditioned for the activity.

Every workout should start with a gentle warm-up to prevent common sports injuries, says Margot Putukian, MD, director of athletic medicine at Princeton University. Getting warmed up increases blood flow to the muscles, gets you more flexible, and could decrease injury. Whether it’s hiking, running, or team sports, do some "pre-participation training" first by lightly working the relevant muscle groups in the weeks before the activity.

Usually, common sports injuries are mild or moderate — there’s some damage, but everything is still in place. But you should expect that some common sports injuries may take months to heal, even with good treatment. If a sprain or strain is severe, however, the entire muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn away, and surgery may be needed.

Here are some tips for treating 7 Most Common Sport Issues:

1. Ankle sprain

Most athletes have experienced a sprained ankle, which typically occurs when the foot turns inward. This turning stretches or tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which are relatively weak. With an ankle sprain, it's important to exercise to prevent loss of flexibility and strength — and re-injury. You can ask your doctor or physical therapist to help you know what kinds of exercise you should do.

2. Groin pull

Pushing off in a side-to-side motion causes strain of the inner thigh muscles, or groin. Hockey, soccer, football, and baseball are common sports with groin injuries. Compression, ice, and rest will heal most groin injuries. Returning to full activity too quickly can aggravate a groin pull or turn it into a long-term problem.

3. Hamstring strain

Three muscles in the back of the thigh form the hamstring. The hamstring can be over-stretched by movements such as hurdling — kicking the leg out sharply when running. Falling forward while waterskiing is another common cause of hamstring strains. Hamstring injuries are slow to heal because of the constant stress applied to the injured tissue from walking. Complete healing can take six to 12 months. Re-injuries are common because it’s hard for many guys to stay inactive for that long.

4. Shin splints

Pains down the front of the lower legs are commonly called "shin splints." They are most often brought on by running — especially when starting a more strenuous training program like long runs on paved roads. Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medicine are the mainstays of treatment.

5. Knee injury: ACL tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the leg bone to the knee. Sudden "cuts" or stops or getting hit from the side can strain or tear the ACL. A complete tear can make the dreaded "pop" sound. You have to see a doctor, if you suspect an ACL injury, as completely torn ACL will usually require surgery in individuals who wish to remain physically active.

6. Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome

Patellofemoral syndrome can result from the repetitive movement of your kneecap (patella) against your thigh bone (femur), which can damage the tissue under the kneecap. Running, volleyball, and basketball commonly set it off. One knee or both can be affected. Patellofemoral pain can take up to six weeks to clear up. It’s important to continue low-impact exercise during this time. Working out the quadriceps can also relieve pain.

7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

Repetitive use of the elbow can irritate or make tiny tears in the elbow’s tendons. Epicondylitis is most common in 30- to 60-year-olds and usually involves the outside of the elbow. Epicondylitis can usually be cleared up with help of the tips in the article "6  Tips To Treat Tennis Elbow Without Steroids".

Friday, December 14, 2012

6 Tips To Treat Tennis Elbow Without Steroids

Posted: 14 Dec 2012 11:23 AM PST

It is not true that only those who played tennis may get tennis elbow pain. Actually the overwhelming percentage of men develop the tennis elbow symptoms when they do activities that require them to repeatedly rotate the elbow or flex the wrist, usually while gripping a heavy object. Tennis elbow symptoms usually begin gradually and occur in the dominant arm. The first sign is usually soreness or a dull ache on the outside of the elbow joint that gets worse when you grasp something. Pain increases when that area is pressed or when you are grasping or twisting objects. The condition may further progress to pain with any movement, even during everyday activities, such as picking up a coffee cup; lifting a jug of milk; turning a jar lid or simply starting your car. Pain may spread to the hand, other parts of the arm, shoulder, or neck. Other parts of the arm, shoulder, and neck may also become sore or painful as the body tries to make up for the loss of elbow movement and strength.

1. Don't overdo even if you don't feel pain

You can ease back into your normal routine when your elbow no longer bothers you. As a general rule, there should be no pain associated with day-to-day tasks before you move on to something more demanding. Give yourself time to see how your elbow reacts. Don't overdo it just because you don't feel pain right away.

2. Massage the full length of the forearm

Relaxing the surrounding muscles can take some of the pressure off an aching elbow. Gently massage the full length of your forearm muscle from your elbow to above your wrist, not just where you feel pain.

3. Use ice to relieve your pain

Freeze some water in a paper cup, then peel back the top of the cup and rub the ice on your elbow in a circular motion for 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat this treatment at least two times a day for the first five days that you have pain.

4. Go for natural remedies

The homeopathy remedy Ruta graveolens can help soothe a sore elbow. It is recommended taking a 6X dose every hour while your pain is severe, then three or four times a day as your condition improves. You will find Ruta graveolens in health food stores and wherever homeopathic remedies are sold.

5. Do some gentle strengthening and stretching exercises

Once your elbow is on the mend, gentle strengthening and stretching exercises can help rehabilitate the joint and protect it from reinjury. It is recommended to give this move a try, but only after any pain and inflammation subsides. While holding a 2-pound dumbbell, rest your forearm on a tabletop, with your wrist extending over the edge and your palm facing down. Slowly raise and lower the dumbbell, moving your wrist through its full motion. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then change hands. Do the exercise three times a day. If you experience any pain, try switching to a lighter weight.

6. Use an elbow support

Try an elbow support. It prevents you from contracting the extensor muscle when you move your hand. It also reminds you to give the injured area a rest. You can buy one of these devices in a drugstore or a medical supply store.

You will find a lot of useful information on the Internet, explaining more about tennis elbow, healing, symthoms and other.

4 Tips To Look Younger

Posted: 14 Dec 2012 09:22 AM PST

There are thousands of different ways to look younger. But this time I would like you to think of your teeth. White, straight teeth reflect younger age, when crooked, discolored, worn, or missing teeth are associated with an aged look. Even the adage "long in the tooth" used to describe older persons reflects the fact that gum disease causes gums to recede and teeth to appear longer as a result. And one more thing in the list – it is a bad breath. More than 50% of the adult population has had bad breath at one point or another, but everyone has it is the morning, as bad breath mostly caused by bacteria. At the same time your mouth is more than just a pretty smile, beautiful lips and wise words. It’s also a gateway to your overall health. Keeping that gateway clean (in all senses) will keep you healthier longer – and looking younger.

Consider four simple, proven and practical steps to make you look younger:

1. Brush and floss daily

"Taking the time to brush and floss is what's needed,” says Anthony M. Iacopino, DMD, PhD, dean of the dentistry faculty at Canada’s University of Manitoba, professor of restorative dentistry, and an American Dental Association spokesman. “Brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist is so easy to do, it's not expensive, and everyone should be doing it."

2. Change the toothbrush/head

Remember to replace your brush head after 3 months of use, or if the brush is damaged, or if parts become loose. Your toothbrush is loaded with germs, as “that plaque – the stuff you’re removing from your teeth – is bacteria,” says dentist Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “So you’re putting bacteria on your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth.” In addition, extended usage, loose parts or excessive wear could lead to brush head breakage, generation of small parts and possible choking hazard. You may read more about it here.

3. Take tooth whitening procedures

Tooth whitening – over-the-counter and in dentists’ offices – has become increasingly popular in the U.S. and is often marketed as a way to look and feel younger. Nevertheless experts say although artificial whitening can temporarily improve a smile, you still need consistent brushing, flossing, and routine dental care to have a lasting impact on how well you age.

4. See your dentist every six months

Looks aside, there’s another reason to make time for dental care. Bacterial buildup, inflammation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease happen quietly and slowly. That’s why so many people don’t know it’s happening. Inflammation can happen when bacteria and debris, such as bits of food, enter the blood vessels around the teeth. Inflammation is your body’s response to such invaders. And if it happens over and over again, you could wind up with long-term (chronic) inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Only regular visits to the dentists may help you to stop or to treat your invisible decease.

AND – Change your entire lifestyle, not as a step # 5, but as an advice.

Of course, you need to do more than brush, floss, and see your dentist to stay young. Your entire lifestyle matters. “If you want to slow down your aging clock, getting enough sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and keeping down your levels of inflammation are all key," Iacopino says.  The fact remains that there are no shortcuts to getting and staying healthy, and oral health is no exception.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Ways to Break the Fever without Medication

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 02:00 AM PST

A Fever is thought to be present when a person's body temperature rises above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.00 degrees Celsius. It may or may not be accompanied by aches, pains, colds, coughs, chills, nausea, vomiting and a sore throat. There are many causes of a fever but regardless of the reason, is the body's natural response to infection or other illness and will subside when the underlying process gets better. Knowing ways on how to break a fever is essential in reducing the discomforts accompanied by fever such as pain, redness, swelling and many other symptoms, however, it must be noted that the cause of the fever should always be discovered and treated as soon as possible.

Here are the most common ways to break the fever without medication:

1. Cold compresses

Apply cold compress directly over the forehead or the nape of the neck to be very effective in reducing fever. The hypothalamus is located at the base of the neck and placing cold compress on the site may significantly reduce fever.

2. Tepid sponge bath

For very high fever, tap water or tepid water may be used; just soak a small towel with water and apply on the large areas of exposed skin like the arms, legs and abdomen. Do tapping motion, never stroke the skin with the wet towel. Stroking increases heat through friction while gently tapping the towel will let water evaporate faster to cool the body effectively.

3. Lukewarm bath

Another method of lowering a fever is a lukewarm sponge bath, or a lukewarm bath. Make sure the water is not cold. If person shivering, he has to get out of the bath and dry out quickly as shivering increases the body temperature.

4. One layer of thin clothing

Never wrap a person with fever, dress him up in dry, soft and thin fabrics to allow heat to escape the body but never undress him. Do not wrap with blankets except when experiencing chills. Do not place a person with fever near a fan or an air conditioning unit to reduce body temperature; just allow heat to escape normally from the surface of the skin.

5. Fluid intake

Increase fluid intake with water, juice, fruits and fluids that contain electrolytes. Hydrating from the inside the body can totally reduce body temperature faster. Provided the person drink plenty of liquids, it won’t matter too much he eats very little for a couple of days.

6. Rest

A person with a high temperature also needs rest and sleep. He does not have to be in bed all day, but he must have the opportunity to lie down. Fevers are generally the result of an underlying infection; the body needs more sleep and rest in order to fight off the viruses or bacteria causing it.

7. Cooling the place

Make sure the room is ventilated and cool, but not draughty. Turn up the air conditioning or a fan, but do not place a person with fever near a fan or an air conditioning. If person shivers while their temperature is rising, it’s okay to cover him with a duvet or a blanket. But as soon as temperature has stabilized and he starts sweating, he needs to cool down.

8. Attention

Give lots of ‘TLC’ (tender loving care) to the sick person, particularly to the child. Sick children are often tired and bad-tempered. They sleep a lot – and when they are awake, they want their parents around all the time. They might whine and act younger than their age. It’s okay to give in and spoil a child a little when they’re sick. Read to them, play with them and spend time with them. This is not the time to teach a child good manners.

9. Simple food

Do not give the sick person fatty foods, as the stomach activity declines due to fever and fatty foods are difficult to digest. The chicken bouillon is the best light and healthy food for this period. 

10. Homeopathy and Herbs

Using herbal and homeopathic remedies is one method of naturally reducing fever gently and effectively without the risks often associated with over-the-counter medications. Herbal ingredients such as Yarrow and Meadowsweet have long histories of use in reducing fevers and relieving a number of symptoms that generally accompany a fever. Another beneficial herb that can be used to help is Passiflora incarnate which helps to ease irritability, anxiety and pain, while promoting slumber. As a fever is generally caused by an underlying illness or infection, it is also useful to explore herbal ingredients that work to support the immune system such as Echinacea purpurea and Astragalus membranaceous.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

4 Tips for Planning Happy Christmas Holidays

Posted: 10 Nov 2012 09:34 AM PST

Christmas tree with photo framesMany of us love the celebrations, family gatherings and friendly parties. Although all those cookies decorations, presents hunting, trees illuminating, gift wrapping, candles fairing, visitors accommodating, travel planning  makes you overloaded and exhausted, if you do it with an intentional planning, you enjoy your cherished memories and get things done. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Remember, you have to slow down, bring to the balance your thoughts and energy, and focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Use these tips to plan it in advance so you will enjoy every minute of your holiday season:

1. Smart shopping

Save money by offering foods that fit your budget. Plan in advance and buy foods on sale, or in-season produce when it costs less and tastes better. Shop online as now we’re lucky enough to have the Internet and free shipping, so there is no reason to fight crowds, waste money on gas and come home frazzled and too tired for anything else.

2. Simple plan

There will be too many activities you would like for yourself or your children to participate. But try not to be over scheduled. Choose one or two activities, and stick to it for the holiday season. If you prefer to travel, or participate in a Christmas play – just remember that any of it will involve other tasks as well: to find a hotel, to book the tickets, to choose the places of interest or to participate in daily play rehearsals.

3. Prioritize tasks

Lists all the activities, parties and tasks you would like to perform. Number them according to the importance, time consuming and resource challenging. Tackle the most important things and then don’t sweat the small stuff. This list is a key to staying organized; therefore allowing peace of mind. Be mindful of how much time you’re spending online or in front of the computer. And learn how to say no to the tasks which are not in your list just to please others.

4. Spend time with purpose

Get rid of stuff, clear wardrobes, give away unused items, reduce your supply of Christmas items. Prepare fun crafts, activities and traditions to spend quality time with family and children. You want your family and guests to know the true meaning of Christmas, feel the spirit and have joyful memories. Plan to volunteer even just a few hours, as baking cookies for a retirement home, wrapping a present for a giving tree or playing with reminds you that you’re part of something bigger. Remembering there’s a bigger perspective highlights the purpose of the celebrations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

6 Truth and Lies about Influenza Vaccination

Posted: 10 Dec 2012 09:25 AM PST

Like many others, you may be wondering whether to be vaccinated against influenza. You know that elderly people and those with compromised immune systems can suffer life-threatening complications from the flu—but you're healthy, so shouldn't you be able to weather it if you catch it?

According to the CDC, up to 20% of Americans get the flu each year. More than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized each year, and about 3,000 to 49,000 deaths are flu-related. But at the same time, there are numbers of scientists who insists that the risks of serious complications from the flu for healthy people are extremely low, likely around the same as the risk of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself and these risks are real and accepted by the medical community.

1. Some studies indicate that when the match between the vaccine and the circulating viruses is good, there are 70-90 percent fewer cases of the flu among healthy vaccinated adults under 65. Even when there is a mismatch, there were 50 percent fewer cases of the flu in those who were vaccinated. Young adults who get the flu shot take fewer days off work, visit the doctor less often, and take fewer antibiotics and over-the-counter medications. They are also less likely to end up in hospital.

2. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used since the 1930s in a variety of medications and cosmetics. It is used to prevent bacterial infections, which can be an issue in multi-dose vaccines. Because mercury is a known neurotoxin, controversy has swirled around this additive, raising suspicions that it might be linked to autism. However, studies that have looked at thimerosal in routine childhood immunizations could not establish a link. The form of mercury in thimerosal, ethylmercury, is flushed quickly from the body (unlike its cousin, methylmercury, which accumulates and causes neurological damage). Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical industry is working on removing thimerosal, to increase patients' confidence. It has already been removed from most vaccines—however, hepatitis B vaccines and most flu vaccines still contain it.

3. Some other studies found virtually no evidence to support flu shots as a public policy reduced flu transmission rates. What the researchers found was the vast majority of studies drug companies used to demonstrate the effectiveness of vaccines were so flawed that drawing conclusions from them was impossible or problematic. The studies often had no control groups, had a health bias (used really healthy lifestyle people) and methodologies were not well explained etc. Compounding this is the fact that almost no medical follow-up exists for people who get the vaccines.

4. Flu shots and the nasal flu vaccine work by causing antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the flu virus. This antibody reaction may cause fatigue and muscle aches in some people. Sometimes people who get vaccinated during flu season catch the flu in the two weeks before the vaccine has a chance to work. While it’s human nature to see a link between the two events, there’s no medical evidence that flu vaccines cause flu or make people susceptible to flu.

5. Each year, the flu vaccine contains several different kinds of the virus. The strains chosen are the ones that researchers say are most likely to show up that year. Recently, however, some influenza strains have developed resistance to an antiviral called amantadine, so NACI no longer recommends its use. Last winter, some flu strains, mainly in Europe, developed resistance to another anti-viral drug, oseltamivir (Tamiflu). So far, it is still considered effective against strains circulating in other countries.

6. Some people who gent the flu shots, may experience some side-effects, for example soreness and/or swelling in arm after getting a flu shot. Some people have cold-like symptoms, including sniffles, headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and body aches for a day or two after getting the flu shot. In some cases, patients may also experience a low-grade fever. Sometime serious side effects from the flu vaccine may occur.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

5 Tips for Healthy Christmas Celebrations

Posted: 08 Dec 2012 09:06 AM PST

Christmass table plateThe season of holiday parties, the family gatherings, and the annual temptation in delicious food have been open with Thanksgiving. Nevertheless food and beverages, even healthy ones, should be a part of an event and not the center of the occasion. Unforgettable gatherings are easy to do when tasty, healthy foods combined with fun, active tasks. Try to focus on activities to get people moving and enjoy being together. Some other tips may help you to reach your goal:


  • Please the eyes

Your offered food should look festive. You may cut your vegetables, fruits or bread into new shapes; serve colorful fruit pieces to old-fashioned recipes; add eye-catching tomato, green onion, dills or other herbs to brighten a plain dish; draw with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup or other colorful sauces on your finger food.
Make fun shapes ice cubes from juice of different colors (orange, grape, carrot, mango etc.) or add slices of fruit to make water drinks more attractive.


  • Please the setsations

You want to please not only the eyes but other senses too. Pay attention to the taste of your offered food. Make small changes in your old recipes, add new spices, veggies, fruits, herbs or grains. Be adventurous and try dishes from other cultures. Learn to combine healthy groups of food with others you are used to. Offer whole-grain crackers, veggie trays, fruit kabobs, and salads with whole grains and veggies etc.


  • Train the muscles

Being physically active makes everyone feel good. Prepare dancing music, active games involving a lot of moving, wiggling, and giggling and it will add fun to any gathering. Take a group walk around the neighborhood after eating, instead of going straight to the couch. Prepare tasks when your guests have to run around the house searching for the gifts or other special treats. And forget about TV – it is not a time to watch it, you may do it later when everyone gone.


  • Distribute the tasks

Remember to focus on being healthy and happy, and keep the stress low! Have others participate by contributing a prepared dish or preparing the program to keep the guests active and happy. Ask for help in cleaning up, buying foods or treats, decorating the table or the room.


  • Enjoy the celebration

It is your holiday as much as event for your guests. Enjoy it and learn to set an example for others. Your guests follow what the host around them does, particularly at parties. Your upset, tired or existed face expression will not add much fun to your holiday celebration. Have some rest before it, even if something is not ready for the party. You will catch it with help of your guests and performing the group activity on the kitchen will bring you closer!