Tips to stay healthy during summer’s heatwaves

By Michael Eagan, M.D.

Hot summer days offer tons of fun and everyone enjoys the break from winter. But fun in the sun can be overdone.

Vacationing and playing outside in hot summer weather often leads to serious sunburn, insect bites, dehydration, heat exhaustion or worse.

It’s important to stay aware of rising temperatures on hot summer days. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on infants and young children as well as older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or respiratory conditions like COPD.

Temperatures in the high 90s — above-normal body temperature — can be especially dangerous. Keep these top hot weather safety tips in mind, and have a happy and healthy summer!

  • Eat several light meals daily, with plenty of summer’s fruits and vegetables and healthy lean protein.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, which cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Reduce activity levels in very hot weather.
  • If you must exercise outdoors, do so in the early morning or evening, and drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • Take a cool shower, or bath, to help lower your body temperature.
  • If your house or apartment is too hot, spend at least a few hours in an air-conditioned mall, public library or movie theater.
  • Monitor medications: check with your doctor or pharmacist to learn if your medications, including over-the-counter items, increase your risk for heat stress.

Source: MyCentralJersey | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

7 ways to improve your posture, and why it actually matters

Most of us grew up accustomed to hearing our mothers tell us to stand up straight, but we probably didn’t do much about it over the years. Although most of us know that good posture helps us look better, we likely don’t think about the number of other ways our posture affects our health.
Bad posture can lead to problems such as back, shoulder, and neck issues, while on the flip side, good posture can help improve your energy levels, your confidence and even your digestion.
Maintaining good posture doesn’t happen overnight, but if you take the proper steps, you can have good alignment and improve your life in ways you might not have imagined.
1. Stand Taller
The first step to good posture is to avoid slouching. Lift your whole head upward and lengthen your spine. Widen your shoulders, and support your body by standing with your feet firmly pressing into the ground.
2. Sit Better
According to this handy guide from Greatist, sitting matters just as much as standing does. If you sit at a desk all day, make sure you get an ergonomic chair. Keep your eyes aligned with the height of your computer so you aren’t looking down. Rotate your shoulders back and keep your arms at a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs uncrossed and align yourself vertically so that your shoulders are over your hips.
3. Change Your Sleep Position
Falling asleep on your side or your back helps keep your spine more neutral. Sleeping on your stomach puts the most strain on your spine.
4. Get A Better Bag
Carrying a heavy bag can wreak havoc on your posture, leading to neck and back pain. Lighten the load of what you carry, and try to wear something with two straps to distribute weight evenly. If you use a bag on one side, be sure to switch shoulders to even it out.
Check out this Healthy Back Bag, which is less clunky than a backpack and comes in a variety of materials. Prices start as low as $28.00
5. Stop Looking Down At Your Phone
Constantly staring down at your phone  can affect your spine and neck. Looking down at your device is like having a 60-pound weight on your neck, according to Life Hacker. Instead of always looking down to text or browse through Instagram, hold your phone straight in front of you.
6. Pick The Right Shoes
Ditch those stilettos and put on a good pair of sneakers instead. Shoes that support proper walking lead to better posture and less injury, and if you have any foot or knee issues, get orthotic inserts to help reduce pressure on the joints.
7. Build Strength
Building muscle strength can help give your body the support that it needs for proper alignment. Exercises such as squats, shoulder rolls and side bends can help improve your posture.
Source: KMTV.com | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

This food can help you burn more fat during workouts

By Lauren Mazzo

Oranges have long been a favorite halftime snack for athletes, from pee-wee leagues to the pros. Turns out, citrus fruits are more than a healthy, hydrating snack. Ingesting a compound called p-synephrine (which is found in many citrus fruits) may help boost fat burn if ingested before exercise, according to  British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study.

Eighteen people took a supplement before exercising on a static bike. Researchers measured the cyclists’ energy expenditure (aka calorie burn) and blood pressure both before and after cycling. In one trial, the cyclists took a dose of p-synephrine, then waited an hour before exercising. In another trial, they received a placebo dose before undergoing the same testing and exercise. Ingesting the compound had no effect on calorie burn, heart rate, or blood pressure compared to the placebo.

Now here’s the interesting part: The researchers ~ did ~ notice that the alkaloid increased the rate of fat oxidation and reduced carbohydrate oxidation at low and moderate intensity exercise. Translation: The cyclists burned more fat, instead of carbohydrates, when exercising at a low or moderate intensity. The data shows that ingesting the substance increased the participants’ maximum capacity to burn fat, and even suggests that p-synephrine supplements could increase fat oxidation by 7g per hour of exercise.

 It’s worth noting that the active ingredient is found in super low concentrations in the fruit itself, which is why the people in the study took a supplement. While you can find p-synephrine in slightly higher concentrations in processed products like bitter orange extract, there’s not enough scientific evidence to suggest that it’s effective for weight loss purposes or safe for consumption, says the National Institutes of Health.

So, no, citrus fruits aren’t a miracle fat-loss food. But snacking on a few orange slices before your next workout couldn’t hurt! (Or sneak more citrus into your pre-workout meals with these creative citrus recipes.)

Source: Shape Magazine | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

4 Easy Exercises That Can Help Get Rid of Cellulite

By Taryn Brooke

For most women, cellulite is a given. Some reach for creams while others look to clothing to camouflage the dimples. These options are good, but physical activity might be an even better way to fight cellulite. “Getting rid of cellulite requires proper exercise, nutrition, proper circulation and the control of fat-storage hormones [that are] more prevalent in the lower body,” personal trainer Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camptells CNN.

While there’s no way to truly spot-reduce cellulite, some moves can help by improving muscle tone. Here are four easy exercises to help you fight cellulite.

 1. Clockwork lunge

lunging with weights

Los Angeles-based fitness expert, Doris Thews some lower-body moves for Prevention that will target your hips, butt, and thighs. All of the moves are great, but we especially like the clockwork lunge.

Begin standing with your hands on your hips, feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot forward and lunge until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and your left knee is just above the ground. Push back to the starting position. Nest, step out to the right in the same manner. Finally, repeat the same lunge going backward. Repeat on the left side and continue to alternate until you’ve performed 15 sets on each leg.

2. Romanian deadlifts

female lifting weight bar in gym

This easy exercise, courtesy of POPSUGAR is more effective than it looks, targeting two key cellulite areas: your hamstrings and your  glute. Feel free to use either dumbbells or a barbell.

Once you have your weight (not too heavy or light), evenly distribute the weight in both hands as you stand with your arms at your sides. Keeping your knees slightly bent and keeping your core tight, hinge at the hip as you lower the weight as far as possible. Your back should remain flat throughout. Squeeze your glutes, then pull back up to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 12 repetitions.

3. Booty push

As great as the name of the exercise is, it’s made better by the fact that it was created by celeb trainer Tracy Anderson. The booty push, which was featured in Cosmopolitan, is also a great way to tone your rear while also strengthening your arms.

Start by sitting on the ground with your feet in front of you and your hands just behind you, then raise yourself off the ground. Keeping your left knee bent, lift your right leg off the ground. Keeping your foot flexed, extend your right leg all the way out as you bend your elbows so that your butt ends just a few inches above the ground. Push back up as you pull your leg in, then repeat. The story recommended three sets of 10 reps per leg.

4. Lying inner-leg lift

Working your inner thighs will help to tone as well as prevent injury. Why? Because weakness in these muscles often leads to groin strains during activities that involve quickly changing direction. Get stronger, leaner legs with the lying inner-leg lift, which you can see over at Prevention.

Start by grabbing a light pair of ankle weights. Attach one to each ankle, then lie on your left side, preferably on a yoga or exercise mat. Allow your head to rest along your arm. Place your right hand on the ground, just in front of your chest for support. Bend your right knee and arrange your leg so your right foot is just in front of your left knee. Keeping your left leg extended, slowly raise it up as high as possible. Hold briefly, then lower back to the ground. Complete 15 total repetitions on each side.

Source: Cheatsheet | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Your Modern-Day Diet Is Robbing You Of Calcium And Healthy Bones

By Marc Davis

Are you setting yourself up for brittle bones (i.e. premature ageing) without even realizing it?

Well, you are if you consume lots of sugar and salt, which tend to interfere with your body’s absorption of calcium. And carbonated soft drinks can be even worse because they’re loaded with a corrosive, calcium-depleting mineral called phosphoric acid.

The biggest culprits for robbing your body of calcium are processed foods, including fast foods and beverages. A majority of them are full of unhealthy levels of sugar and/or salt, as well as excessive calories in most cases.

But how exactly do acidic foods and drinks make your bones increasingly porous? This happens when calcium is leached from your bones, according to medical literature.

Furthermore, if you regularly rob your bones of calcium in this manner, you may end up with a calcium deficiency. This may set in motion a cascade of other health problems, including the following:

• High blood pressure
• Fatigue
• Sleep problems
• Nervous tension
• Calcium deposits in arteries and joints
• Kidney stones or gallstones
• Susceptibility to bone fractures
• Osteoporosis
• Muscle cramping
• Restless leg syndrome

The remedy to the damaging effects of calcium leaching foods is to replace them with bone-building foods. Good sources of calcium include the following:

• Fish, nuts, milk, cheese, yogurt (preferably unflavoured organic), and grapefruit
• Leafy green vegetables (especially kale and spinach), broccoli, and kelp
• Tofu, soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk (preferably the organic kinds)
• Powdered spirulina and chlorella (found in health food stores)
• Fish oils that are rich in essential fatty acids

Alkaline foods that you should also incorporate into your diet include the following:

• Fruit, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic
• Brown rice, wild rice, potatoes, and oats
• Protein powder made of hemp or whey
• Apple cider vinegar (which becomes alkaline in your body)
• Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and green tea

By avoiding or at least cutting down on acidic foods, especially junk foods, you’re taking an important first step towards reversing the accelerated aging of your skeletal structure.

The next step is to start replacing bone-weakening foods with ones that are natural and calcium-rich, as well as plenty of alkaline foods (mostly veggies).

Now you’re well on your way to restoring your bones to optimal health, which will help keep your body structurally strong for decades to come. In the process, you’ll benefit from better posture, well-supported muscles, good balance and more overall vitality.

Source: Huffington Post | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

How correct posture while walking is key to good health

By Gaurav Sarkar

A niche and relatively new discipline — Gait correction and analysis — seems to be the buzzword in modern medical sciences. Aimed at inculcating the right posture while walking, this has been studied for the first time in Mumbai by 18 fitness trainers from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

“The manner of human movement from one place to another is known as gait,” says 26-year-old Swapnil Suryakant Kokam, a fitness trainer and resident of Malad, who began physical training as early as 17. He is among the 18 who completed the gait correction workshop from ACSM a fortnight ago. “Eighty per cent of us have bad posture; they are not aware of out incorrect posture while we walk. The concept of gait correction is to make the individual move in the right manner by enhancing their posture, or by making him/her aware about the involvement of the right muscles while walking.”

What is gait correction?
Since he was a teenager, Kokam has struggled with flat feet syndrome, which in turn, led to frequent knee and back pain. “I was curious why my flat feet were causing me pain in my lower back and other body parts. After studying gait correction, it became evident that this was because certain muscles were being overused while walking (because of bad posture), whereas in other cases, it is because some muscles are completely ignored.”

His study after finishing his course revealed that the prime cause of bad gait is lack of awareness about correct posture. “It is something that I like to call the Domino effect,” he said. “The bones in the leg and feet are stacked  one on top of another; if one of these bones (or dominos), metaphorically falls, others follow.”

According to him, there are three main focus points that pressure should be applied on, while walking: the ball of the foot, the spot just above the little toe, and the heel. “One should create a gap of three fingers at the arc of the foot (located on the sole of the foot i.e the gap between the inside of your foot and the ground) while walking, so that the shin muscle experiences  the required pressure,” he says.

“This is the muscle that is supposed to be used while walking-not your hip or other muscles. Improper posture of the feet can put stress on the hip, which in turn, leads to stress on the back and shoulders.”

Physical VS psychological
Proving that incorrect gait is as much a psychological problem as a physical one, Kokam pointed out that the brain itself creates a “comfortable environment” for the human body in a manner that doesn’t utilise all muscles. “If you are stressed, the brain tries to make you feel at ease by reducing involvement of required muscles. But this causes under-utilised muscles to degenerate over a span of time and causes damage to the overused muscles.”

He also points out that a normal walking speed involves the arms and trunk (stomach region), providing stability and balance, whereas the speed of walking depends on the propulsive movement provided by the legs.

“The body’s centre moves both, from side to side and up and down, during gait,” he says. “The degree to which the body’s centre of gravity moves forward defines the efficiency of your gait. Analysis of a client’s walking and running mechanics proves a valuable tool in the assessment and rehabilitation of injuries as well as prevention of future ones.”

How does it work?
Gait correction is a two part procedure. It involves gait analysis, which is an assessment of what the person is doing wrong, followed by implementing correct posture and working on degenerated/overused muscles. “We (trainers) make a person walk on the treadmill and monitor body movement from three angles — side, back and front,” says Kokam.

“If you have more than a five degree tilt in your upper body when walking, it is abnormal and needs to be fixed. The person also develops a tilt in the hip because the hip muscles aren’t that strong due to improper gait, and hence tend to droop.”
Trainers often record their client’s walking, and later view it in slow motion to pinpoint which part of their gait was wrong.

Differs from physiotherapy
According to Dr Rajani Patil, a spine and sports physiotherapy specialist with 15 year’s of hands-on experience at injury prevention, management and performance enhancement, gait analysis is a niche area of physiotherapy, but is treated as a different subject. “Physiotherapy deals with treatment using physical manual therapy,” reasons Dr Patil.

“On the other hand, gait analysis is a niche area that analyses the physical issues people might have, and then focuses on improving them. Gait analysis is done by sports trainers; an analysis that looks at what areas of your gait are strong, and those that are weak and need improvement,” she adds.

“Anyone who regularly walks or runs should do gait analysis as a screening process to ensure that everything they are doing is right.”

Source: Midday | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Flat Tummy Detox Water

If you’ve been having a little too much fun this summer and are finding yourself bloated and sluggish, you need to show your liver some love! Too many fatty foods, too much alcohol and not enough water can leave the liver feeling overloaded. In addition to taking a break from the indulgence, this detox water is a great way to help de-bloat and flatten out that puffy summer belly. It’s easy to make, tastes good, and is a great way to keep yourself hydrated too.

Recipe:

  • 2 L of Water
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Ice

Mix all ingredients, store in refrigerator and drink as needed. The longer it sits, the more flavor will diffuse into the water, so be sure to let it sit AT MINIMUM one hour before you drink it.

 

Getting a HEALTHY Tan

Most of us love that healthy, sun-kissed glow that comes with summer. The question is, how do you get that glow while avoiding some of the risks of skin cancer? As a teenager I used to go to the tanning salon quite a bit (cringe) to maintain my tan. Now, we are bombarded with commercials, articles and other media that preach the dangers of excessive sun exposure. So how do we find a healthy balance? How do we get that glow without putting ourselves at risk? Here are a few tips to help you get that healthy sun-kissed look….

Repair The Damage

  • If you have been guilty of hitting the tanning salon, stop ASAP.
  • Repair your skin with natural treatments containing vitamin A and vitamin E to help regenerate skin.
  • Regularly exfoliate your skin to remove damaged cells.

Manage Your Unprotected Sun Exposure

  • You can spend 20 minutes a day in the sun, unprotected and without sunscreen. This will help you get some vitamin D naturally rather than having to supplement. After 20 minutes, apply sunscreen to be sure you are protected.
  • Be sure to reapply after swimming and/or excessive sweating.
  • Take breaks in the shade. Don’t bake yourself on the beach for hours straight. Stay active, enjoy the outdoors, but be sure to give your skin a break from the sun every hour our two.

Choose Natural Sunscreens and/or Protective Clothing

  • Opt for sunscreens that have natural ingredients to avoid lathering yourself in dangerous chemicals.
  • Mineral based sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide are the best options.
  • Some of my favorite brands include: Babyganics, Badger and ThinkSport or ThinkBaby.
  • Opt for long sleeve beachwear that contains SPF. This will help you protect yourself without having to bother with applying sunscreen in those areas.

Organic Self Tanners

  • Organic self tanners are a great alternative to give you that glow without needing any sun exposure at all.
  • Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after applying to avoid getting “orange” hands.
  • Be sure to exfoliate before applying self tanner.
  • Choose a daily face lotion that contains SPF30 as well as natural tint to give you a bit of a glow.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Natural Remedies for Menopause Actually Work: Study

By Mandy Oaklander

Currently, there’s no surefire way to ease the symptoms of menopause: the hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness that herald the end of a reproductive era. Hormone replacement therapy once seemed like a good idea for many women, until the medical treatment was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

That’s one reason why, despite a lack of conclusive evidence, 40-50% of women in Western countries use complementary and plant-based therapies to help ease the symptoms of menopause. Now, a new review published in JAMA shows that some of these therapies may actually help.

Researchers from Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. analyzed a ream of randomized clinical trials—62 in all—that involved a total of 6,653 women. The studies looked at how certain plant-based therapies, including eating soy-rich foods, taking soy supplements, using herbal remedies and Chinese medicinal herbs, affected symptoms of menopause. (The analysis was funded by the supplement company Metagenics Inc.; the authors say it had no role in the design of the study or how it was conducted.)

Approaches using phytoestrogens—chemical compounds in plants that exert a similar action to the female sex hormone estrogen—were linked to a modest drop in daily hot flashes and vaginal dryness. These include whole-food sources of soy, soy extracts and red clover herbal supplements. The benefits didn’t extend to night sweats.

The researchers didn’t find any beneficial effect of Chinese medicinal herbs or black cohosh.

During menopause the sex hormone estrogen declines, which may be the reason why therapies using phytoestrogens appear to be effective against menopausal symptoms. Phytoestrogens connect with the receptors of estrogen, and therefore exert similar functions throughout the body, says the study’s leading scientist Dr. Taulant Muka, postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus University Medical Center.

Plant-based foods made from soybeans, like tofu, miso, tempeh and edamame, are rich in these soy isoflavones. “But when it comes to Western countries, the dietary intake of isoflavones is very small, around 2 mg per day,” Muka says, while women in Asian countries eat 25-50 mg per day. “What we found is most of the studies that have looked at isoflavones and menopausal symptoms had a dosage of 10-100 mg per day.”

More research is needed, especially the kind with a longer follow-up. Many of the studies kept track of women only for about 12-16 weeks, Muka says, and “we don’t know the long-term efficacy and safety.” Before adding these supplements, Muka recommends that women speak with their doctor and report any other medications they’re taking, since plant-based therapies used in combination with other treatments may have adverse effects.

“A healthy lifestyle is the backbone for easing menopausal symptoms and keeping you healthy in the long run,” Muka says.

Source: Yahoo Health | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Could Your Gut Bacteria Be Making You Tired?

By Charlotte Hilton Andersen

Exhausted all the time? You’re not alone. According to the latest data from the CDC, more than one million people in the U.S. currently suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the vast majority of these are women. Many patients say that the debilitating illness is excruciating, not just because of the characteristic pain and exhaustion but also because it’s so hard to get doctors to believe they have it in the first place! But a new study published in Microbiome, not only shows that CFS isn’t “all in your head” but rather that it might actually be all in your gut.

When people first start experiencing signs of CFS—depression, joint pain, excess sleepiness, forgetfulness, weakness, and of course life-altering fatigue—most often doctors will start looking for the source of the problem from the top down, starting with their mental state. But researchers from Cornell took a new approach, starting from the bottom up—literally. They looked at a bunch of stool samples.

They found that they could identify more than 80 percent of people with CFS based on their stool samples alone all because of bacteria. Results found that people with CFS have a different gut bacteria profile than people who don’t suffer from the illness. Researchers were also interested in inflammatory markers in the participants’ stool and blood.

“Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn’t normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms in victims of the disease,” said Maureen Hanson, Ph.D., a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell and the paper’s senior author. Hanson went on to say that this basically proves that CFS is a very real, biological illness, and certainly not just a case of someone who needs another excuse to stay in bed. (Read: 6 Ways Your Microbiome Affects Your Health.)

The fact that gut bacteria can make you tired may sound far-fetched, but the researchers say it actually adds up when you look at the results. First, people with CFS had a higher amount of bad bacteria and fewer “anti-inflammatory” species, leading to inflammation, pain, and poor digestion in the gut. All of this creates systemic inflammation and lowers immunity. Second, when researchers examined blood samples, they found certain inflammatory markers that would lead them to believe those with CFS were experiencing “leaky gut,” a condition where the gut is more permeable, allowing bacteria to seep into the blood stream. This forms a dangerous cycle with bad bacteria crowding out the good guys, pushing more and more icky stuff into your blood, which triggers your immune system to try to fight this off leading to exhaustion and other CFS symptoms. It’s no wonder you’d feel sick and tired all the time!

Researchers say that improving your gut microbiome by adding healthy bacteria to your diet through foods or probioticsupplements could help boost your energy, whether you have CFS or just feel like all the coffee in the world won’t save you. So pick up some extra kefir or kimchi the next time you’re at the market.

Source: Shape Magazine | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide