Are you feeling isolated or flat out lonely? If so, here are four ways to enrich your social life, connect with others and alleviate loneliness.
1. Adopt a pet
Caring for a pet can mitigate feelings of loneliness. If your situation allows for it, welcoming a furry friend into your life could be a great idea. You might even meet other pet owners, especially if you take your animal companion out for a walk from time to time.
2. Leave the house
Venturing outdoors will help you feel better both mentally and physically. Make a habit of running a few errands every day or visiting your local library, movie theater or park. If you’re limited in terms of mobility, leaving the house regularly may require a mobility scooter or going on seniors’ trips with a trusted organization.
3. Join a class or group
Rekindling your interest in an old hobby or adopting a new one can be a great way to push the cobwebs of loneliness away. What’s more, joining clubs and taking classes will allow you to meet new people. If you prefer, there are plenty of courses and groups that cater specifically to seniors.
4. Reach out
There are a number of organizations that help seniors improve their quality of life. Some may be able to provide individual counselling to help you move beyond your loneliness. Additionally, there may be group counselling sessions where you can connect with others going through a similar experience.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to rush anything. The best way to move beyond loneliness is at your own rhythm.
The different types of muscle injuries
Muscles are susceptible to many different types of injuries. A cramp is a sudden and involuntary tightening of a muscle. It tends to be painful and can occur either at rest or during exercise. If it persists for more than several days, it’s considered a contraction.
A muscle contusion occurs when there’s a direct blow to a contracted muscle. It’s accompanied by pain and swelling that will vary according to the force of the blow. Bruising might occur as the force of the impact can sometimes rupture small blood vessels.
Pulls (stretching or tearing of a few muscle fibers) and strains (a lot of overextended or torn fibers and some bleeding) occur when the muscles are overstretched. These injuries are characterized by intense pain that can affect mobility. The affected muscles become stiff, painful to the touch and difficult to stretch and contract.
If stretched or pulled too far, muscles can eventually tear. In this case, the muscle fibers are completely ruptured and might require surgery to be repaired. Consult a physical therapist to learn more about muscle injuries and how to treat them.
Study finds hot flashes could herald heart problems
Hot flashes are a well-known symptom of menopause. While they’re not dangerous in themselves, they may be more than an annoyance. Indeed, a recent study found that they may indicate a higher risk than average of cardiovascular issues.
What the study found
The 20-year study followed over 3,000 women. It found that those who experienced hot flashes earlier in menopause were twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and those that experienced persistent hot flashes throughout menopause had an even higher risk.
What this means
Cardiovascular issues are a serious concern in women’s health, especially considering the lack of research on the way they may manifest early on. The discovery of a link between hot flashes and an increased risk could be the first step in developing new preventive strategies.
What you can do
If you remember experiencing early and intense hot flashes or are currently dealing with them, don’t be alarmed. While they could signal a significant increase in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, the author of the study suggests interpreting the correlation between hot flashes and heart issues as a call to action for women to take steps to reduce their risk level.
If you’re worried, speak with your doctor. They’ll be able to make recommendations to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and thus lower your chances of developing heart issues as you age.
Physical therapy and arthritis pain
Physical therapists play a crucial role in the treatment of arthritis and can help you reduce the pain that comes with this ailment. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles around the affected joints, which helps preserve their shape and flexibility. Therefore, physical therapists can help you maintain and even improve joint mobility, as well as reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. They’re also able to recommend various physical activities — which are critical in managing arthritis — that best suit your current condition.
Physical therapists can provide you with a wealth of useful advice and recommendations to improve your quality of life. They can recommend less strenuous physical activities and instruct you on how to protect your joints while you move about. They can also teach you how proper posture and body mechanics can prevent deformities. Consult a physical therapist to find out more about what physical therapy can do for you and your arthritis.
Use high-quality equipment to get in shape!
Do you want to get toned? Be more flexible? Enhance your endurance? For quick fitness results that you can see, the right performance equipment is key.
If you’re planning to work out at home, you’ll need the right equipment. What you require, however, will depend on the type of training you do and the space you have available. Your local sporting goods store or exercise equipment retailer is sure to have everything you need.
At the gym
Alternatively, if you’re motivated by working out with other people or simply want more space, consider joining a gym. Whether you prefer a no-frills experience or want access to a full range of classes and facilities, there’s a gym that will suit your needs.
4 must-have health apps
Are you trying to take better care of yourself? These four free apps, available for both iOS and Android devices, are sure to help.
1. Medisafe. Thanks to this handy medication tracker, remembering to take your pills is a cinch. It also provides prescription refill reminders and can even contact someone if it seems you’ve forgotten to take an important dose.
2. American Red Cross First Aid App. This app will help you keep your first aid skills up to date with videos and quizzes. It’s also integrated with 911 emergency services. It provides simple instructions for dealing with emergencies so you can help delay complications until help arrives.
3. iSleeping. The iSleeping app provides users with a wealth of information they can use to improve sleep quality. It monitors and analyzes nighttime movement, snoring, and periods of wakefulness to provide helpful data and tips tailored to the individual.
4. Mindfulness with Petit BamBou. This app offers many mindfulness and guided meditation programs based on positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be used by adults and kids alike and is suitable for both beginner and more experienced meditators.
While there’s a bounty of free health apps available, always confirm that they’ve received approval from specialists. In addition, keep in mind that they can never replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
Aging at home: 10 ways to adapt your environment
Aging can impact your mobility, balance and strength. In many cases, modifying your home is necessary if you wish to continue living in it. Here are 10 ways to help you make your environment safer and more comfortable.
1. If you have rugs, fix them in place with double-sided adhesive tape. You should also make sure your furniture doesn’t impede your movements.
2. Make certain your rooms are well-lit and install nightlights in the bathroom and along the path that leads to it.
3. Install anti-slip stair runners, both inside and outside the home.
4. Wear slippers that adequately support your feet and have grippy soles.
5. Place a small chair or bench near your front door so you can sit down to put your shoes on and take them off without risking a fall.
6. Get a firm mattress and adjust your bed so that it sits at the ideal height for you to get in and out of comfortably.
7. Install a lamp or switch that you can easily reach from your bed. Make sure the light emitted fully illuminates your bedroom.
8. Use light dishware and store often-used kitchen tools and appliances somewhere that’s easy to reach. This way, you won’t have to frequently bend over or reach high shelves to get what you need.
9. Place your living room coffee table against a wall instead of in the middle of the room so that you’re less likely to trip on it.
10. Install grab bars in the bathroom, especially near the bath and shower.
Everything you need to make your home safer can be found at your local hardware store or pharmacy, as well as at medical supply stores.