If you want to remain healthy, regular checkups with your doctor, dentist, optometrist, and other health-care professionals are essential. These appointments help ensure that problems are detected early, which maximizes your chances of receiving timely treatment and making a full recovery. The frequency of your visits should be based on your age and risk factors, although you should also book an appointment if you experience pain or other worrying symptoms.
In the meantime, there are plenty of ways you can lead a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you remain in peak condition.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when you’re outside and use safety goggles while playing certain sports, handling dangerous substances, or working in a dusty environment. Additionally, remember to blink often and take regular breaks if you use a computer all day. This will help prevent eye strain and dry eyes.
To preserve your hearing, favor headphones over earbuds, listen to music at a reasonable volume, and wear noise-canceling earmuffs in loud environments. Never use cotton swabs to clean your ears, as doing so can create earwax blockages and damage your eardrums.
Keep your teeth and gums healthy by adopting good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and flossing daily. It’s also a good idea to limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are bad for your teeth such as sticky candies and soft drinks.
Muscles and joints
You should always warm-up before you exercise, stay hydrated before and during physical activities, and listen to your body to prevent injuries. At work, be sure to maintain an ergonomic posture and vary tasks as much as possible to avoid prolonged repetitive movements.
To protect your feet, choose comfortable footwear that fits properly, avoid shoes that scrunch your toes, and save high heels for special occasions. These practices will help you avoid aches, blisters, and other common foot problems. You should also regularly wash and dry your feet, and don’t cut your nails too short.
There are numerous ways you can reduce the risk of heart disease. Among other things, you should exercise regularly, limit your consumption of alcohol, get enough sleep, manage your stress, and eat a healthy low-sugar, low-sodium diet.
To keep your skin healthy, wash with mild soap and warm (rather than hot) water. Take care to pat yourself dry, as rubbing can cause irritation. You should also moisturize daily, take steps to protect your skin against the sun, and eat plenty of berries and other foods rich in antioxidants.
In addition to getting your daily dose of fiber (which should come from a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains), there are several ways to promote healthy digestion. Eat slowly, drink plenty of water, use antibiotics only when necessary, and avoid restraining yourself from going to the bathroom when you feel the need.
Keeping your genitals clean is a must, but women should avoid douches and other types of scented products. Men should protect their testicles when playing contact sports by wearing a protective cup. Both men and women should practice safe sex, get tested for sexually transmitted infections, and find out if they’ve been vaccinated against HPV, among other things.
To help prevent kidney disease, you should reduce your salt intake, drink plenty of water, and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You should also limit your use of over-the-counter medications and respect the dosage of any prescription drugs you take.
You should familiarize yourself with the look and feel of your breasts so that you’ll notice if something changes. However, breast health goes beyond self-exams. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, learn to manage your stress, adopt an active lifestyle, and take steps to maintain a healthy weight.
To keep cognitive decline at bay, make sure to regularly challenge yourself. Solving crossword puzzles, playing strategy games, and learning a new language are ways you can keep your mind active. It’s also important that you maintain a social life that allows you to regularly connect with others. Additionally, make sure to wear a helmet if you cycle, ski, play contact sports, or work in a hazardous environment.
Eating foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D (fatty fish, eggs, milk, mushrooms, etc.) will help keep your bones strong. Consult your doctor to find out if you should be taking a supplement. Additionally, be sure to exercise regularly and limit your consumption of coffee and alcohol.
Wash your hands frequently and take steps to prevent the spread of germs that target your respiratory system. You should also avoid smoky and dusty environments, and improve your home’s indoor air quality by opening windows, vacuuming often, and getting your ducts cleaned regularly by a professional.
You can tame heartburn with a healthy lifestyle, study suggests
Five factors appear to prevent about 40 percent of symptoms of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
That conclusion comes from a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers found those who followed five healthy lifestyle choices had 40 percent fewer GERD symptoms every week:
– Healthy body weight with a body mass index of between 18.5 and 24.9.
– Not smoking.
– Limit coffee, tea, soda limit to 2 cups per day.
– Healthy diet.
– 30 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Carrying extra weight is a key factor since weight at the waist can push on the stomach, forcing stomach acid into the esophagus, according to Harvard Health.
How to choose sunglasses that will protect your eyes
Did you know your eyes can get a sunburn?
In addition to damaging your corneas, exposure to the sun’s rays increases your risk of developing cataracts and other serious eye conditions. This is why it’s essential to wear sunglasses outdoors, even on cloudy days. Here are some tips to help you choose a pair that will provide adequate protection.
• Opt for close-fitting sunglasses or frames that can easily be adjusted. Choose wide lenses or wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from every angle.
• Check the label to ensure the lenses offer full protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember that it’s not a question of color, darkness, or price.
• Favor sunglasses that have a scratch-resistant coating on the lenses. This will help prevent imperfections from hindering your vision.
• Select a pair with mirror-coated or gradient lenses. These features will reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes without compromising your ability to see.
• Be mindful of the activities you’ll be doing when wearing your sunglasses. For example, brown lenses are ideal for driving because they don’t affect how you see colors.
• Make sure the lenses don’t cause too much distortion. Test them out by looking at a tiled floor while wearing them to see if the lines look straight.
For more advice and to help you make an informed choice, consult an optician or other eye care professional.
Photochromic vs. polarized lenses
Photochromic lenses can be useful because they darken in response to exposure to UV light. However, this means they don’t darken properly in cars, since windshields block some UV rays. Polarized lenses, on the other hand, are ideal for driving and outdoor activities, as they reduce glare off flat surfaces such as roads, water, and snow.
Good reasons to get moving outdoors
If you’ve been staying in shape by working out at home, kudos to you for prioritizing your health. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to also move outside regularly. Here are a few reasons why you should commit to getting more exercise outdoors.
To reduce your level of stress. Being active outside is one of the best ways to mitigate the effects of stress. There’s a direct correlation between contact with the outdoors and a reduction in cortisol levels, which is the hormone associated with stress. Additionally, being outdoors stimulates the production of mood-enhancing hormones.
To improve the quality of your sleep. Exercising outdoors generates healthy physical fatigue and mental relaxation, two essentials for having a restful sleep. In addition, receiving an ample amount of natural light has a positive effect on your circadian cycle. The result? You sleep soundly and wake up feeling energized.
To connect with your loved ones. Being active outside with others is a great way to foster moments of togetherness and to strengthen your ties with the people you care about. Consider walking with a family member, playing golf with a friend, or cycling with your kids.
To make your immune system stronger. Regular physical activity stimulates the immune system. However, when it takes place outdoors, the benefits are maximized due to you being exposed to contaminants present in the air. It’s therefore in everyone’s best interest to get into the habit of exercising outside.
To slow down the development of osteoporosis. Being active outdoors has a beneficial effect on your bones. This is because thanks to the sun, you fill up on vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. The combination of calcium and vitamin D helps keep bones strong. To prevent osteoporosis without taking supplements, all you need to do is get moving outside for just a few minutes every day.
Visit your municipality’s website to discover what parks, sports fields, trails, bike paths, and swimming pools are located in your community.
Speech and language delays: What’s normal and when to call your doctor
Most people have a good idea of what to expect when it comes to their two-year-olds. Some tantrums, a new desire for independence, getting into everything — but what should parents expect when it comes to speech? Is it really a problem when children are slow to start communicating?
According to Stanford Children’s Health, every child is different and develops at his or her own pace. It’s normal for children to reach developmental milestones at their own speed. But parents should expect something like the following for most kids:
* Six to 11 months: Babbling, says the first word, communicates with actions or gestures.
* Twelve to 17 months: Vocabulary of four to six words, answers simple questions nonverbally.
* Eighteen to 23 months: Vocabulary of 50 words (pronunciation is often unclear), simple two to three-word phrases, begins to use pronouns.
* Two to three years: Knows pronouns, descriptive words, can speak in three-word sentences, and can answer simple questions.
* Three to four years: Knows colors and can group objects, uses most speech sounds (but may distort some of the more difficult sounds), has fun with language, expresses ideas and feelings, can answer simple questions.
To see the complete list of milestones, visit: https://tinyurl.com/3n42cpur
If your child hasn’t met these milestones, make sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician, but don’t panic. According to Healthline, speech delays do not always mean something is wrong. And many types of speech delays can be effectively treated, whether they’re due to hearing loss or other problems.
According to KidsHealth, kids with speech or language delays should see a speech-language pathologist (SLP) right away. The SLP can perform a more extensive battery of tests to determine a child’s needs and work with parents to create a treatment plan.
What can parents do at home? According to KidsHealth, parents are crucial when it comes to helping kids develop their communication skills, whether delays are present or not. Communicate with your kids, read to them and use everyday situations as teaching opportunities, such as naming objects and explaining daily tasks.
4 medical conditions that can affect your driving
A variety of medical conditions can affect your ability to drive. Depending on the severity of your ailment, your license may be suspended or conditions may be added to it. Here are four medical conditions you should report to the driving authority in your state since they may lead to unsafe driving.
1. Sleep apnea
This disorder can cause drowsiness, make it difficult to concentrate, and slow down your reaction time. You should avoid driving alone until your condition can effectively be managed.
Stiffness, swelling, and joint pain can make it difficult to do certain things like checking your blind spots and use the brakes. To ensure you can drive safely, you should undergo a medical exam or consult with an occupational therapist.
3. Macular degeneration
This eye disease can prevent you from seeing things like road signs and painted markings on the highway. At its onset, you may be able to continue driving. However, as the disease progresses, you’ll be required to regularly meet with an optometrist.
This condition must be taken seriously as it can cause confusion and blurred vision. If you’re diabetic, make sure to regularly check your blood glucose level and never drive if you’re hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic.
If you don’t feel fit to drive, ask someone to accompany you, call a cab, take public transit or use a volunteer transportation service.
Arthritis Awareness Month: Regenerative medicine offers hope, but few results today
The hope of regenerative medicine research as a treatment or even cure for arthritis has outpaced results, but new therapies aimed at repairing or rebuilding are the subject of intense research.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis, according to the National Arthritis Foundation.
Treatment of the painful joint and tissue disease usually centers on a healthy diet, weight, and lifestyle, supplemented by a stable of pills and steroid shots for pain.
New therapies do offer some hope, according to the NAF:
* Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Not covered by most insurers, PRP has shown relief of symptoms for three to six months. The patient’s own platelets are injected into problem areas. Cost: $500 to $2,000.
* Autologous Conditioned Serum. The patient’s blood is supplemented with anti-inflammatory proteins and injected into affected joints for symptom relief. Might slow osteoarthritis damage. Cost: $10,000 a session.
* Stem cells. The hope is that stem cells can cause lost cartilage and tissue to regrow. Some evidence suggests that stem cell therapy improves pain and function in joints. No evidence that stem therapy restores lost cartilage. Not covered by most insurance, the cost for one knee is about $5,000.
* Cartilage transplants. Currently, best for young athletes, cartilage is transplanted from the patient or donated source. Cost: $11,000 to $14,000 for grafts. The cost of lab-grown new cartilage for a graft is about $40,000.