Are you looking to get into running? If so, signing up for a 5K race is a great way to motivate yourself. It’s a distance that’s achievable for most people, even those who are completely new to running. Here are five tips that will help you train for your first 5K.
1. Get the right gear. Good shoes are a must for running. Visit a sports store that specifically sells running shoes so a professional can help you select the right pair. Additionally, invest in clothes made from moisture-wicking materials so that you stay dry while you train.
2. Find a training program. There are many online programs, classes and smartphone applications available that can help you reach your running goals. Most 5K training routines for beginners involve a walk-run regimen that will allow you to slowly build up your endurance.
3. Always warm up and cool down. Before you start running, get your muscles primed for action with a five-minute walk or jog. Finish your run with a couple of minutes of walking followed by several minutes of stretching.
4. Maintain proper running form. Keep your upper body upright but relaxed, look towards the horizon and take short strides. If you want to go faster, don’t take longer steps, take more of them.
5. Fuel yourself properly. Drink lots of water before and after every run. Eat healthy meals packed with complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. Stay away from junk food and sugary drinks.
There will be days when training for your goal will be more difficult than others but stay motivated. All your hard work will pay off when you finally cross the finish line.
OK one more. Breathe easy
Breathe deeply from your diaphragm when you run. Short, shallow breaths reduce the amount of oxygen you take in, which will make your workout harder. If you find yourself running out of breath, slow down. Always aim to keep a conversational pace when running.
4 reasons to swap your tampons for a menstrual cup
While menstrual cups are increasingly popular, many women hesitate to make the switch. Here are four arguments that may convince you.
1. They’re affordable
Purchasing a menstrual cup means you won’t need to allocate part of your monthly budget to pads and tampons. A single menstrual cup costs around $30 and can last for as long as 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
2. They’re eco friendly
3. They’re comfortable
When inserted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a menstrual cup. Plus, cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, meaning you can sleep through the night without ever worrying about leaks or having to get up and change your tampon or pad.
4. They’re easy to maintain
Most cups are made of either silicone or latex and require minimal maintenance. Simply wash yours with mild soap and water whenever you empty it. After your period, sterilize the cup by boiling it in water for a few minutes.
Additionally, menstrual cups are hypoallergenic and a less abrasive type of product than disposable tampons and pads. But regardless of what product you choose, to prevent infections, make sure to always wash your hands before and after you use it.
STIs: a blind spot in elderly care
It’s estimated that by 2030, over 20 percent of American citizens will be 65 or older. The growth of the senior population is likely to come with a number of challenges, one of which will be managing the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among this group.
Seniors and STIs
According to a 2007 study, three quarters of seniors aged 57 to 64 are sexually active, and over half of those aged 65 to 74 are. (The availability of performance-enhancing drugs is likely driving the increase in sexual activity among seniors.)
At the same time, the rate of STIs is climbing in adults who are over 45 years old. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that people aged 50 and over account for 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.
A difficult topic for seniors
There are many factors that make it difficult to address the issue of STIs in seniors. For starters, they typically don’t consider themselves as being at risk for STIs and HIV/AIDS.
Furthermore, some individuals feel guilt or shame when noticing symptoms such as a rash or discharge. Others may mistakenly blame aging for signs of a health problem and therefore disregard them.
Finally, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors may face social stigmas when discussing their sexual health.
Institutional and social barriers
Most concerning is the lack of resources devoted to the sexual heath of the elderly population. According to some reports, seniors are excluded from close to 75 percent of clinical trials related to STI treatment and risk reduction. What’s worse is that healthcare professionals themselves often avoid discussing elderly patients’ sexual health.
Finally, though information is key in fighting the spread of STIs among seniors, there’s a noticeable lack of sexual education programs tailored to them.
Seniors need to practice safe sex and remember to discuss matters pertaining to their sexual health during doctors’ visits. As uncomfortable as it may be, there needs to a change in the way we deal with aging and sexuality. Doing so will ensure that our elders receive the care they deserve.
Can you drive if you have epilepsy?
Individuals afflicted with a seizure disorder may be able to drive in some cases, either with a regular license or one that imposes certain restrictions. While the specifics are regulated by state legislation, in general, those with epilepsy may be able to drive if:
• They’re on medication that prevents seizures
• They haven’t had a seizure in a certain number of months (it can range from three to 24, depending on state laws)
• Their seizures don’t impact their consciousness or cognition
• They submit medical reports attesting to their competence
In all cases, those with a seizure disorder should confer with their doctor when determining whether or not it’s safe for them to drive. However, even if the doctor attests that the individual can drive safely, the final decision rests with the state licensing agency.
5 facts about testosterone
Testosterone is often associated with stereotypically male traits like impulsiveness, competitiveness and a high sex drive. However, this hormone is a lot more complex than you think. Here are five interesting facts about it.
1. Peak levels. Testosterone levels peak at around 30 years of age. After that, they drop off steadily at a rate of about one percent a year.
2. Not just a male hormone. Women also produce testosterone. However, they do so at a rate of six to 10 times less than men.
3. Anabolic steroid. Testosterone is often used in supplement form by athletes looking to increase their muscle mass quickly. These supplements come with a number of serious side effects, many of which are life threatening.
4. Role in fetal development. Fetuses developing into baby boys will begin producing testosterone during the seventh week of pregnancy, around the time the testicles begin to form. Before this, there’s no difference between a male and female fetus.
5. Production. Testosterone is chiefly produced by the testicles, with the adrenal glands also producing a small amount. Hormone production itself is regulated by two glands located at the base of the brain: the hypothalamus and the pituitary.
Worries about low testosterone levels are common, especially as men get older. However, keep in mind that it’s a complex hormone that performs multiple functions within the human body. Many conditions can affect your testosterone levels, so always consult a doctor if you have concerns and steer clear of herbal remedies and fad diets that purport to boost its production.
4 ways to contribute to Movember (without growing a mustache)
Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has helped raise funds for research initiatives involving men’s health including those pertaining to prostate and testicular cancer, mental health issues and suicide prevention. Today, over 5 million people take part in the movement, and there are many ways to do so other than growing a mustache.
- The Move program
Run or walk 60 miles over the month of November. That’s one mile for every man who commits suicide every minute of every hour. Alone or in a group, do it at home, outside or at the gym. Tell friends and family members about it. Some of them might join you or make a donation.
- Host a “Mo-ment”
Get together with friends, family members and colleagues and organize a fundraising event for the foundation.
- Participate in a Movember challenge
Visit the Movember website to sign up for one of the many challenges listed. They’re separated by industry type and you’re very likely to find one that’s right for you.
- Make a donation
Make a donation to someone involved in the campaign or give to the foundation directly by visiting us.movember.com.
This November, help raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues by participating in or contributing to a Movember initiative.
Ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with exercise
Exercise is a common recommendation for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Here’s why staying active can help you manage the condition.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative condition that affects the central nervous system in general and motor functions in particular.
Common symptoms include tremors, slow movement, rigidity and postural instability. As the disease progresses and more areas of the brain become involved, symptoms such as sleep problems, mood disorders and digestive issues can also develop.
How does physical activity help?
Performing a variety of physical exercises early in the course of the disease contributes to the formation of new neural connections, which could slow the progression of symptoms.
Studies show that two and a half hours of exercise per week is enough to delay disease progression, especially with regards to symptoms that impact quality of life such as mood issues and loss of energy.
What’s the best kind of exercise?
The best type of exercise to do if you have Parkinson’s disease is the one you’re most willing to partake in regularly. Pick something you enjoy doing so you’ll stay motivated.
While even a simple walk will benefit you, keep in mind that many sports organizations, municipalities and kinesiologists offer activities specifically designed for seniors and people with motor issues.