Tips on living heart healthy at any age

Article courtesy of American Heart Association

Heart disease can happen at any age, which is why Go Red For Women wants you to consider your heart health at every age. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action. Education means understanding the numbers that effect heart health, which are: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Action means encouraging women to make simple lifestyle changes like eating better, and getting active.

Tips for the 20s

  • Start practicing heart-healthy habits in your 20s, including healthy eating and fitness habits.
  • Know the numbers that impact your heart health. This will make it easier to spot a possible change in the future.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Talk to your doctor about birth control and heart disease so that you can make a fully informed decision based on the risks and benefits. Oral contraceptives along with other birth control options can cause an increase in your blood pressure.

Thriving in the 30s

  • Work to reduce your stress. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls.
  • Part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle means getting enough sleep. The American Heart Association recommends adults get six to eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Continue your healthy eating and fitness habits.

Flying into the 40s

  • Get regular checkups. In addition to blood pressure checkups and other heart-health screenings, you should have your blood sugar level tested by the time you’re 45. This first test serves as a baseline for future tests, which you should have every three years.
  • Regular physical activity (40 minutes three to four times per week) can improve your blood pressure and HDL “good” cholesterol, reduce your chances of developing diabetes, and strengthen your heart.

Feeling Fine in your 50s

  • As women age, we lose some of our body’s natural defenses against heart disease. This can happen because of changes in hormones from menopause, which can affect your cholesterol levels.
  • Regular heart screenings are important to maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Hopefully you have a regular fitness routine at this point in time, but if not, this is the time to begin! You should also incorporate core strengthening exercises and exercises to increase bone density once a week, both of which diminish as we age.

Setting your sites on the 60s, 70s and the 80s

  • The more risk factors you can keep under control, the less likely you are to have a future heart attack. But as you age, your blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-related numbers tend to rise.
  • Keep moving! Even short brisk walks for as little as 10 minutes throughout the day, can provide enough physical activity to keep your heart in shape.

No matter what your age, you can take matters into your own hands to help reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s never too late to live heart-healthy.

 

Source: WOTV4Women | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Five mental tips for great exercise

By Kusal Goonewardena

Huge numbers of people embark on new exercise resolutions during the New Year, yet the first half of the year is where they are most vulnerable to giving up.
Most best laid exercise plans fall over due to the mental battle.

If you can get through these next few months, the chances of you persisting with a new healthier lifestyle improves dramatically. But for most people the mental battle must be overcome.

The big challenge for people with exercise is the mental struggle between expectations and reality. This makes people more vulnerable to adversity when it inevitably appears during a new exercise regime.

The good news is anyone can face and beat their mental demons provided they are aware of them: after many years working with elite athletes and the general public, I’ve noticed the big difference between elite athletes and the rest of us is they are prepared for the mental battle and understand it won’t always be easy.

What are the main things to consider? These five mental tips for getting the most out of exercise could give you that edge to commit to exercise and flourish:

Be flexible

Many exercise regimes falter at the first injury or setback, as people struggle to cope with a break in routine. There is a good chance you will encounter roadblocks and some obstacles will require a change in routine, but if you stay positive and see it as part of the journey then you’ll be able to accommodate these changes and persevere.

Embrace effort

There are times when the effort seems overwhelming, particularly if you have set yourself big goals. If the task seems overwhelming – for example, preparing long-term for a big event – then break it down into smaller, achievable lots. This can give you a big psychological boost. Progress may not always be as fast as you like, but by always remembering where you came from you’ll appreciate the effort and be positive about keeping it up.

Welcome criticism

In your journey you may encounter some criticism, perhaps from trainers, team-mates or exercise partners, but provided it’s constructive, and from someone you trust then a positive mindset will enable you to take it on board, learn from it and improve. This is something elite athletes are particularly good at.

Enjoy others’ success

Ego can be very destructive in fitness. A healthy mindset will always appreciate and admire our peers’ achievements, and understand that it is no reflection on us. In fact, we can use it for inspiration.

Find like-minded partners

Having a workout buddy can be a huge help, but it’s vital that you’re working out with someone who is on the same page as you, who shares a positive mindset and can help push you to new heights. Avoid adopting workout buddies who are negative or drag you down.

 

Source: Starts at 60 | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin

By American Skin Association

They sound like simple, common sense steps for your daily routine, but they can make all the difference in ensuring healthy skin for people from birth to 100.

American Skin Association (ASA) announced today the official launch of its Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin:

  1. Minimize exposure to UV light. Limit time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., apply broad spectrum sunscreen daily, wear sun protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds and similar artificial tanning devices entirely.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular water intake, sleep and exercise. Do not smoke.
  3. Visit your dermatologist once a year or as needed.
  4. Examine your skin daily, and report concerning changes in skin condition and/or color to your dermatologist or Health Care Professional as soon as possible.
  5. Hydrate your skin daily, especially after bathing or showering.
  6. Maintain good hygiene for skin, hair and nails by giving gentle and constant attention to avoid irritation.
  7. Immediately attend to wounds. To avoid infection and scarring, never pick or squeeze blemishes.

“Our skin is our largest organ and protects us from harmful bacteria, pollution, and toxins in the environment,” explained Dr. Jean L. Bolognia, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “As we age, those defenses weaken, making us more susceptible to infection, pain, and hospitalization. The need to establish skin healthy behaviors and protect our skin throughout our lives is more critical today than ever before.”

The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin are part of a growing worldwide understanding of the importance of skin, beginning with the inclusion of skin health in the World Health Organization’s groundbreaking new Health and Aging Strategy. Skin diseases — including skin cancers —not only have a significant effect on quality of life, they can lead to additional health issues in both children and adults.

“A child born today will live to be 100 years old,” said Dr. David A. Norris, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the newly elected president of the ASA. “Our expected 21st century longevity creates a whole new set of imperatives for how we treat our skin to ensure that it lasts for 100 years or more.”

In 2016, ASA partnered with Derm101, a leading and comprehensive digital resource for healthcare professionals, to create a survey asking dermatologists, family practitioners and pediatricians what they believe are the most important tips for a lifetime of healthy skin. The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin were developed from the input of over 800 physicians who completed the survey and through a consensus of expert members of the ASA Education Council.

The Seven Principles provide guidance for today’s young as well as address the more acute needs of today’s old,” said Dr. Jeannette Jakus of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “Nearly half of all primary care visits are due to skin disorders, and this burden grows significantly as we age. The Seven Principles are tools that everyone can use, at every stage of life, that will improve our quality of life today and as we age, and reduce healthcare costs for years to come.”

Source: PRNewswire | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Foot Health: Sock it to me — but make sure to properly cover your feet with the right materials

By Dr. Jamie Settles Carter

As you know, socks are a staple of everyone’s wardrobe.  Socks come in a variety of colors, lengths and materials.

If you sit down for any amount of time to watch television, you will more than likely see commercials for socks made out of materials such as copper, acrylic, Lyra and Isofil.

Sock History 


They have certainly come a long way from the earlier materials of animal skin and fur, as the Romans preferred to wrap their feet in leather.

 

The Elizabethans liked to wrap their toes in silk. Our ancestors did all of this for one main purpose, warmth. We know now that none of these materials are good for the skin on our feet.

Sure they kept the heat in, but they also kept the sweat in. I’m fairly positive there were some raging cases of athlete’s foot back in the day.

Sock Shopping

When shopping for socks, it is important to get the correct fit for your feet. There’s nothing more irritating than a sock being too small and slowly falling down into your shoe.

The length can vary from short, tall, crew, to “no-see” lengths, whichever is your preference. The material of the sock is the most important aspect. You want to look for a soft material that says “moisture wicking.” This takes the sweat away from your skin and locks it into the material.

Some good materials include bamboo, copper fibers and wool. Yes, that’s right, bamboo! All of these materials help wick away the sweat. Poly-blend material socks also are good at absorbing moisture.

This winter time, don’t neglect your feet! Keep them warm and sock it to ’em.

Source: KyForward | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Getting ready for spring training? Here are tips to help your routine

By Joni Latham Griffin, RN

Ahhhh…Spring! Sunshine, spring flowers, green grass, magnificent outside smells! Winter is finally gone and we can’t wait to get outside again after a long winter inside. But before you don those new sneakers and shorts, make sure you’re prepared with the following tips:

Schedule a physical: While you might look and feel just fine, it’s important to keep up on regular blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings and other important health screenings before getting back in the exercise routine. Be sure to discuss with your physician the kind of exercise routine you would like to start.

Set a schedule: Be realistic when doing this. If you haven’t been working out this winter, start small with 15 minutes daily and progress weekly to a goal of 30 minutes or longer per day. Incorporate daily reminders about exercise on smartphones, calendars at home or on your desk at work.

Get a workout buddy: Choose someone who has similar goals and whose schedule fits your own. This workout buddy can help hold you accountable plus it’s a great way to spend quality time with a friend if you have a busy schedule!

Clean out your pantry: Get rid of all of the leftover Valentine’s Day candy, chips, and sugary cereals. Fill your kitchen with fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Protect your skin: Even though it’s not blistering hot yet, the spring sun can still damage your skin. Always apply waterproof sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or more over exposed areas of your body before going outside.

Warm up and cool down: To get your body prepared and to avoid soreness or injury, a good warm-up of 5-15 minutes is necessary. This can be done by doing whatever exercise you plan to do at a slower rate. Warming up dilates your blood vessels, which in turn supplies your muscles with the necessary rich oxygenated blood they need, while also providing for more flexibility. It will also reduce the stress on your heart by allowing your heart to beat faster gradually. Cooling down in the same manner allows the cardiovascular system to return to its normal state, thus preventing possibility of dizziness or feeling faint.

Stay hydrated: The more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace, so drink up. Think about purchasing a totable water bottle to carry along with you.

Hit the farmers market: Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. There are numerous markets to choose from in the Quad-Cities. Search online to find one near you.

Source: Quad-City Times | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

The #1 Workout That Keeps You Young, According to Research

By Lauren Mazzo

This type of workout has been shown to keep your cells young more than any other.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training, if you’ve been hiding under a fitness rock for the last year) has already been well established as the queen of all cardio. Its benefits include boosting your metabolism, burning a ton of calories in a crazy-quick amount of time (and even after the workout is over), preserving muscle, and boosting your aerobic fitness. (Read up on those and the other benefits of HIIT.)

But brand-new research shows that HIIT might have an even more exciting benefit: keeping you young. Scientists analyzed three groups of people exercising via HIIT, resistance training, or a combination of strength/cardio over the course of 12 weeks in a new study published in Cell Metabolism. The researchers found that all three types of exercise improved their lean body mass—but only the people doing HIIT had improvements in 1) aerobic capacity and 2) exercise capacity of their muscles’ mitochondria (the powerhouses in your muscle cells). As you age, mitochondria become less efficient, which is linked to insulin resistance and lower cardiorespiratory fitness, according to the researchers. The HIIT regimen actually appeared to reverse the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins needed for muscle building.

Based on current research, there’s no substitute for exercise when it comes to delaying the aging process, said study senior author Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., in a release. “These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine.”

The 36 men and 36 women participating in the study fell into two groups: young (18–30 years) or older (65–80 years). In the HIIT-only group, people did cycling intervals three days/week and walked on the treadmill two days/week; the resistance training group performed weighted upper and lower body exercises two days/week; the combined group did five days/week of moderate-intensity cycling and four days/week of strength training (with fewer repetitions than the resistance training-only group). The researchers took biopsies of their thigh muscles and compared the cells to samples from sedentary volunteers.

In both young and older adults, HIIT training increased aerobic capacity, insulin sensitivity (which reduces diabetes risk), mitochondrial function, lean muscle mass, and muscle strength. Adults who only did resistance training increased insulin sensitivity and lean muscle mass, but not aerobic capacity or mitochondrial function. The group who did both types of exercise had modest gains in lean muscle mass and aerobic capacity, as well as modest gains in insulin sensitivity in young people.

The most exciting finding, though, is that HIIT increased mitochondrial function in young people by about 49 percent and in older adults by 69 percent—effectively “catching up” to the cellular function of the young ‘uns. (Bonus benefit: Science says that hard exercise is actually more fun.) In the combined training group, however, only the young people saw an increase (38 percent) in this type of cellular function. And that’s not the only cellular-level wizardry that happens with exercise. The researchers found evidence that exercise encourages cells to boost mitochondrial proteins and proteins responsible for muscle growth, as well as increase muscle protein content. (This is big because muscles cells don’t reproduce easily, according to the researchers.)

The overall takeaway: Exercise is good for your body (duh), and to get the biggest anti-aging cellular boost, HIIT is the way to go. However, because you lose important muscle strength with age, a combo of HIIT and strength training might be the golden ticket to staying healthy into your golden years, says Nair. (Better yet, pick a HIIT routine that uses weights, like this dumbbell HIIT workout that maximizes your afterburn.)

 

Source: Shape | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

How to Use Bath Salts: From Body Scrubs to Foot Care

By Sushmita Sengupta

 

Bath salts aren’t just another indulgent addition to your bathroom, but they come with a host of benefits as well. These benefits not only enrich your bathing experience but your skin as well, provided you know how to use these bath salts and extract maximum benefits out of it. Bath salts can also bring of several health related benefits like treating muscle soreness, or treating itchiness and insomnia. Nutrients like calcium, bromide, magnesium, potassium present in these salts help radiate your skin, and also eliminate all impurities in your skin. But, if you have sensitive skin then you may want to stay away from processed bath salts that may end up giving you allergic reactions. Go for natural bath salts containing essential minerals and nutrients which can do wonders for your skin. These scented salts need not always be purchased from luxury stores and can, in fact, be made at home as well.

However, to reap the benefits from these salts, it is important to know how to use them. Here’s a list of all the different ways in which you can use bath salts.

Make your own makeshift salt bag or pouch.

A cheesecloth or any porous or loosely woven cotton material you have on hand would work best for your own salt pouch. Take about a 7 inch square of the cloth and pour a few tablespoons of bath salt in the centre of the cloth, draw the corners of the cloth together and make it into a bag by tying a piece of string around it to seal the salt. Now fill your bathtub with warm water, and drop and swirl the bag of salt into the water to dissolve the salt into your bath water. This way would ensure a better distribution of salt in the water. After your fresh bath experience rinse the bag out and dry it.

Can’t manage to get hold of a salt bag?

Don’t worry. Here’s a simple way to reap the benefits and indulge in a relaxing bathing experience without a salt pouch. Fill your bathtub halfway and just pour a few tablespoons of salts into the water. The bath salts tend to dissolve quickly with warm water, the warmer the water, the quicker the process. So you might have to pour a handful of salts in the water before you start to bathe. To mix the fragrance of salts with the steam hold some salt in your hand under the faucet and let the salts fall into the water, this is essential to leave the calming effect on your nerves and mind that you are looking for in your bath

Bath salts for other purposes:

They might be called as bath salts in the market, but these salts can be used for other skin and beauty purposes too.

1. Exfoliation: Make a paste with some fine grain salts and water and apply it on your skin for an energised experience.

2. Natural scrub:Bath salt pastes can also work as amazing natural scrubs. By adding ¼ cup of essential oil to your bath salts you can have your very own spa treatment at home.

3. Foot bath: Bath salts can also be used for a quick yet refreshing round of footbath. Add Epsom salt in half a cup of water and use it to wash your feet, your feet will start smelling fresh and would also protect your toenail from fungus.

Here’s a word of caution:

Though a warm compress of Epsom salt and water is said to do wonders for a bruise. Direct exposure to open sores on your skin might turn risky for your skin.Finally, if you are new to the world of bath salts do a quick ‘test’ by dipping your feet in the bath-salt water for a little while to be sure this isn’t something you are allergic to. Stop using the salts if you are prone to allergies.

Source: Smart Cooky | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

7 Can’t-Fail Expert Tips for Treating Dry Winter Skin

By Molly Ritterbeck

Unpredictable weather, especially dry air and freezing temps, can wreak havoc on your skin. “Our skin has natural mechanisms to maintain healthy barrier function and hydration, but those are put to the test during extreme weather in the winter,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. These seasonal stressors challenge the skin’s ability to maintain its own state of health, resulting in that dry, tight, flaky, and even itchy feeling. Ick.

But spring is right around the corner, which means relief is in sight. It also means that bare legs and sleeveless tanks are in your future. So if you’re suffering from dry skin, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few easy tips from top derms.

1. Exfoliate first.

Before you buy 27 different moisturizers for every body part, stop for a second. The first thing you need to do is gently exfoliate dry skin. “The dry, dead flakes are not going to allow any moisturizer to get in, so if you want to increase the skin’s moisture and hydration, you need to make sure there’s no impediment,” says Neal Schultz, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and founder of BeautyRX Skincare.

Schultz recommends a chemical exfoliator over a physical one (the kind with beads or granules). If the word “chemical” freaks you out, don’t panic. “Chemical” just refers to the active acids (alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, or retinoids) that eat away the dead skin cells in a Pac-Man fashion, and these can be found in “natural” forms, such as the lactic acid in soured milk.

For dry skin, the best vehicle for a chemical exfoliator is a cream or lotion, which does double duty by exfoliating and moisturizing. Schultz suggests one with no more than 10 percent glycolic acid, “the gold standard” for effective exfoliation. We love: BeautyRX Daily Exfoliating Body Therapy Lotion, which contains 10 percent glycolic acid (true story: We didn’t realize how well this worked until we ran out), or C.O. Bigelow Derma Remedy Intense Dry Skin Body Lotion, which contains 6 percent lactic acid.

2. Rehydrate right.

When your skin is dry (particularly in dry climates, during low-humidity winter weather, or even on an airplane), it’s in need of water—not oil. So next, you need to replenish the water content, then lock it in with oil. How the heck do you do that? Start by understanding the different kinds of moisturizers.

“There are three classes of moisturizing ingredients: humectants, which attract additional water; emollients, which seal the cracks between cells; and occlusives, which lock moisture in as an absolute stop,” Schultz explains. He recommends a moisturizer that contains humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Our top picks above from BeautyRX and C.O. Bigelow both contain hydrating humectants.

Once you’ve replaced the water content, there’s an optional second step. If you’re dealing with cracked skin, reach for an emollient-rich product. Look for natural lipids, like argan oil, shea butter, and ceramides, on the label. Or you can apply a protective barrier with an occlusive (think: greasy ointments like the classics Vaseline and Aquaphor) to lock in moisture.

3. Try for twice a day.

Ideally, you’d moisturize twice a day, but if that sounds ambitious (because seriously, who’s got time for that?), skip the morning. Your body undergoes normal circadian rhythms, patterns that occur morning and night, and your skin’s hydration level dips while you sleep, Zeichner says. “So one trick is to keep a moisturizer next to your bedside to make it easy to hydrate before bed,” he says. Plus, moisturizing is a much more relaxing (and beneficial) bedtime ritual than scrolling through your phone.

4. But don’t skip after a shower.

We’ll let it slide if you don’t lotion up in the morning, but you should never skip moisturizing immediately after a shower or bath. “That’s when your skin’s moisture content is highest,” Schultz says. The prime time: within five minutes of getting out. Pat (don’t rub) skin dry then apply lotion or cream generously until absorbed. Showering and moisturizing before bed will earn you bonus smooth skin points.

5. Go easy on the heat.

With that said, make sure your shower routine is a smart one. Showering too often can further exacerbate a dry skin issue. “Especially in the winter, we may enjoy long hot showers, but our skin does not,” Zeichner says. “Hot water, especially when exposed over long periods of time, can strip skin of what it needs to keep itself healthy.” He recommends opting for showers over baths, keeping them short (10 minutes or less), and using lukewarm water (about the temperature of a heated swimming pool).

6. Step away from the soap.

The one place that it’s totally acceptable—in fact, it’s advised—to be lazy: the shower! Make it quicker and easier by ditching the suds, which can be extra drying in the winter. “You actually do not need soap on your entire body,” Schultz says. “Soap removes the precious oils your skin is making to maintain its health.”

He recommends using soap as needed on your face, underarms, and personal areas, but the rest of your body (like your arms, legs, and stomach) likely doesn’t need it every day, especially if you’re clean but just sweaty after a workout. “Sweat is just water and salt that comes off with a spray of water,” Schultz says. So simply rinse and jump out to save time in the locker room.

7. Try a DIY.

Super-stressful week? Take 10 minutes to unwind and rehydrate your skin with a milk soak bath. Try this recipe from The Beauty Department:
  • Pour one half gallon of vitamin D milk into warm bath water (the lactic acid will exfoliate, while vitamins A and D soften skin).
  • Fill a fabric satchel or pouch with loose chamomile tea and tie it up tight (or use 5-10 tea bags). Let that soak in the water—it’s like a big tea bag.
  • If you’re feeling extra fancy, float a few flowers like gardenias on the surface. The steam will bring out the scent.
  • Slather your skin with your favorite moisturizer afterward.

Source: Greatist.com | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Foot care: No pain is ‘normal’

By Bianca Bina

Feet are often given little consideration before an ache, pain or noticeable change occurs. But podiatrists warn that the overwhelming neglect of feet could cause Americans a number of serious health issues over time, particularly in seniors.

“There are so many reasons seniors need foot care,” says Dr. Shoua Lo, a podiatrist in advanced orthopedics at Altru in Grand Forks. “There’s always something that could be done better for a senior’s feet, whether it’s advising them on the type of shoes they wear or type of medication they use. Seniors are just like anybody else, but do require a little bit different care.”

As we age, circulation in the body slows, nails become brittle, there are metabolic changes and the skin is drained of moisture. It is with these changes that a focus on foot care becomes even more important, especially when pre-existing health issues are present.

Lo says seniors will become aware of a topical problem — a scratch, a bump or redness — but won’t realize there is actually an underlying issue leading to the surface problem. He says any pain or abnormality should be analyzed by a doctor.

“Seniors can tolerate a lot of pain,” he says. “They can have the pain and ignore it, or just give the pain a timeline for relief. But when you have pain in your feet, it isn’t normal. It’s a warning that you have to see somebody, at least the family doctor.”

Sometimes it’s hard for seniors to seek help, Lo says, but it’s important to see a professional at least once per year.

Problems, solutions

The activity level of seniors is not necessarily a concern with foot care, though activity does help improve circulation and manage weight. Even active seniors need to be wary of sprains, fractures and falls, and he recommends choosing comfortable, wide-toed styles of shoes that support the feet of active and inactive Americans to help prevent some of the possible issues that can come from ill-fitting footwear.

But shoes aren’t the only source of foot pain and problems. Oftentimes, there is a predisposition because of the shape of the foot and health of the person — diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, prior injury, weight gain, cellulitis, etc. — that makes orthopedic visits more necessary. TV commercials, health gurus, drug stores and even family members claim to have the answer to these problems, but when it comes down to it, doctors are the only solution to the problems.

“Bunions, fitting our feet into fashionable shoes — we get these bumps and callouses and people accept what the media or their children are telling them,” Lo says. “But some of this guidance is useless, whether it’s over-the-counter medication saying they can get rid of the toenails or corns, they actually open up another can of worms.”

Senior skin becomes thinner over the years, making it susceptible to burns and lesions when strong acidic or caustic products are applied to remove skin annoyances, such as calluses or corns. The over-the-counter products can cause further damage or infection.

“It’s a waste of money to begin with,” Lo says. “Nothing like that will ever give seniors relief from pain.”

Prevention

There are plenty of simple steps that can be taken to keep feet as healthy as possible, outside of the doctor’s office.

The most important rule: “Every one of us needs to keep our feet clean,” Lo says. Particularly for seniors, he says, soaking or washing feet at least a few times a week, but not enough to dry out the skin. Using a moisturizer after washing is key.

He also recommends cleaning under the nails, and trimming nails to an appropriate length to keep ingrown nails and bacteria at bay. Lo recommends asking a family member to maintain the feet once a week or more, because loss of eyesight and ability to reach toes often becomes a problem for seniors. If family isn’t an option, a doctor or foot care specialist should be contacted.

The Grand Forks Senior Center and the East Grand Forks Senior Center have foot care clinics available for area seniors. Appointments can be made with nurses who are equipped to handle daily upkeep and specific questions. Contact the Grand Forks Senior Center at 701-772-7245 or the East Grand Forks Senior Center at 218-773-0821 for more information.

Having a family member, doctor or specialist conduct a review of the feet will help in the early detection of issues, including the presence of scabs, scratches, discoloration or infection.

Lo says foot care is nothing to put at the bottom of a to-do list. If there’s a change in the foot, a new pain or discoloration, at least make an appointment with a primary care doctor.

“Things out of the ordinary? Look for help,” he says. “Pain is pain.”

Feet facts

  • 75 percent of Americans experience serious foot problems
  • All foot pain is considered a health concern
  • Women have about four times as many foot problems as men
  • Neglect, ill-fitting shoes and improper care cause most feet problems
  • Income and foot health are directly related; increased income decreases foot issues
  • About 5 percent of Americans visit a podiatric physician each year
  • About 19 percent of Americans have an average of 1.4 foot problems each year
  • Feet have 25 percent of all bones in the body
  • Walking is the best exercise for feet to improve circulation and control weight
  • Feet mirror general health, so minor aches and pains could be a sign of other health issues

Source: Grand Forks Herald | Not Affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

5 top foods for optimal heart health

By Melissa Breyer

A new report written by 12 cardiovascular researchers for the nonprofit Physicians Committee recommends – wait for it – whole food, plant-based eating patterns for optimal heart health. Surprise!

Heart disease is the number one cause of death across the globe. Around 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease each year, and almost half of Americans have at least one controllable risk factor, including blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s actually an issue that concerns us all in terms of economics: By 2030, annual direct medical costs associated with cardiovascular diseases are projected to rise to more than $818 billion, while lost productivity costs could exceed $275 billion, according to the CDC Foundation.

With this in mind, the team analyzed the latest research behind popular food trends to create “an evidence-based prescription to provide clinicians with a quick guide to relay to patients in a clinical setting.”

Here is what they recommend

1. Olive oil
2. Blueberries and strawberries
3. 30 grams of nuts daily
4. Leafy green vegetables
5. Plant-based protein (like lentils and beans)

The researchers praise these items for supporting cardiovascular function, noting that, when consumed whole (as opposed to in juices or supplements) they, “combine into a plant-based dietary pattern that lowers blood pressure, stabilizes blood sugar, and breaks down arterial plaque, the early formation of atherosclerosis.”

The only caveats of the five above are that nuts should be limited to 30 grams per day because of their high caloric value. 30 grams of nuts looks like this:

Almonds: 20 – 24
Brazil nuts: 6 – 8
Pecans: 18 – 20 (halves)
Cashews: 16 – 18

Likewise, healthy oils offer great sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but should also be used in moderation with their high calories in mind.

On the no-no list

1. Coconut and palm oil
2. Eggs
3. Juice without pulp
4. Southern diets

While I continue to hear mixed message on eggs, these researchers gives them a no. (For the record, I happen to be on Team Yes-To-Eggs, as long at the hens are kept 100 percent humanely…) Juice without pulp gets the ax for its concentration of calories and lack of fiber compared to whole fruit. And the Southern diet speaks for itself … it says added fats, fried foods, organ and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

And then there’s the middle-of-the-road inconclusive list, which is interesting for its inclusion of four items touted by their enthusiasts for their purported health benefits.

The murky maybe-ok-maybe-not list

1. Virgin coconut oil
2. High dose antioxidant supplements
3. Juice with pulp
4. Gluten-containing foods (for people without gluten-related disease)

 

“In addition to eating colorful, plant-based foods, it’s important to make time for sleep, exercise, and stress management, which could come in the form of social support or even listening to music,” says nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., president and founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and one of study’s authors. “Diet comes first, but what we eat should fuel a healthy lifestyle.”

OK, no surprises here at all. More fruits and vegetables, more sleep and exercise, less fried foods and organ meats. But with cardiovascular disease skyrocketing, maybe we can’t be reminded enough.

 

Source: Treehugger.com | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide