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Monday, 15 December 2014 14:10

The Top Health Stories of 2014

In particular order, here are 5 of the most important health related news stories of 2014.

Ebola Outbreak
Health officials first reported an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa back in March. As healthcare workers and others travelled to other countries the outbreak became a dramatic example of how infectious diseases do no respect geographic or cultural boundaries, and can travel globally in just a matter of hours.

Influenza Reaches Epidemic Levels
It became clear early in the year that this year's vaccine would not be a good match for this season's influenza strain. This dominant flu strain is H3N2, a type of the virus that tends to be more serious.

The Affordable Care Act
The ACA is reshaping the American healthcare landscape. Many people who have never had health care insurance are getting covered and persons with pre-existing conditions are no longer denied coverage.

The Return of Measles
With more than 600 cases reported in at least 24 states measles was more prevalent in 2014 than in any year in the past two decades according to the CDC. One reasons for the return is the decline in measles vaccinations in recent years which has allowed the disease to regain a foothold in the U.S.

Self-Monitoring Applications
Mobile apps for iPhone and Android devices are changing how people monitor their well being. There are over 40,000+ healthcare apps available for download from Apple's iTunes app store alone. Most of these apps track overall wellness with diet and exercise making up the largest category. While many of these apps have simple functionality, in the future we expect them to provide an important link to your healthcare provider.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 05:05

Maintaining Healthy Bone Density

Maintaining Healthy Bone Density

It is estimated that over 50 million American adults have low bone density or osteoporosis. One in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to have low bone density or osteoporosis.

The health implications of low bone density

Weak bones decrease the ability to do daily activities and broken bones, particularly major breaks such as hip fractures, can cause disability and ongoing pain. Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone,” is a disease that leads to fractures and breaks due to loss of bone mass and strength.

Risk Factors For Osteoporosis

  •  Being over age 50
  •  Being female
  •  Menopause
  •  A family history of osteoporosis
  •  Low body weight/being small and thin
  •  Broken bones or height loss
  •  A diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  •  Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  •  Consuming too much sodium and caffeine
  •  Having an inactive lifestyle
  •  Smoking
  •  Drinking too much alcohol
  •  Weight loss
  •  Certain medications
Taking steps to improve bone health

Preventing bone loss starts as early as childhood. Children who do not get the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D while their bones are developing can have bone density problems starting later in adolescence and young adulthood.

Get the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D in your diet by drinking milk or eating calcium-rich foods such as cheese, yogurt, almonds and broccoli into your diet.

Regular, weight-bearing physical activity is also very important. Running and walking are the best weight bearing activies, swimming and biking are not.

When to see a doctor

Bone density testing is recommended for certain individuals who are at greater risk for osteoperosis:
  • Postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis
  • Men between the age of 50-70 who have risk factors for osteoporosis
  • Women age 65 or older, even without any risk factors, a man age 70 or older, even without any risk factors or a woman or man after age 50 who has broken a bone.
Bone density tests are simple painless and covered by most insurance plans and Medicare. Knowing the strength of your bones can help your physician recommend steps, and medications if necessary, to prevent additional bone loss.
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:20

4 Tips For a Healthier and Happier Holiday Season

4 Tips For a Healthier and Happier Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of year when we all want to feel our best. But they can also be a time when our health can be comprimised by colds and flu, stress and over indulging in holiday treats.

Here are 5 tips to stay healthy this holiday season:

1. Avoid Germs

Most cold viruses are spread from hand to mouth. When traveling by air or out at the mall shopping and dining during the holidays, there are coutless points of contact with germ covered surfaces. By carrying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and using it regularly, you can reduce the risk of catching a cold.

2. Stay Hydrated

Low humidity during the winter months makes our airways more prone to viral and bacterial infections. Flying on airplanes and traveling to high altitudes further decreases the humidity in the air.

Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine will keep your mucous membranes moist so they can better keep the germs out of your system. When flying, drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you're in the air.

3. Eating Healthy

The holidays are time when we want to endulge in holiday treats food and deal the consequences of a few extra pounds until after the new year. To control over your caloric intake, use a salad plate to keep the portions smaller. Sucking on hard candy will add fewer calories than rich cookies or cakes.

4. Stay Well Rested

A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven. Staying rested will help your body's immune system fight off infections, reduce your stress level and improve your mood.
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00

Experience The Health Benefits of Walking

Experience The Health Benefits of Walking

Physical activity doesn't have to be a complicated. Taking a daily, brisk walk is a great way to improve your health and well being.

Walking has many benefits, including:
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthens joints and bones to reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Can improve your mood
  • Improves balance and coordination
Getting Started

Start your walking routine with the right gear. Make sure your shoes have proper arch support and sufficient cushioning. If you walk in the early morning or evening, wear clothing with reflective tape for visibility. Start by walking slowly for several minutes to warm up your muscles. Finish your walk by slowing down for several minutes to help your muscles cool down. Stretching can be performed prior to your walk or after the cool down.

Walking Technique

To gain the most benefit from walking, walk as briskly as you are able to do comfortably. Maintain a straight, yet relaxed posture, looking forward not down at the ground. Roll your feet smoothly from heel to toe.

Maintaining A Walking Routine

For healthy adults, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you haven't been exercising regularly start slowly with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.

Keeping track of the distance you walk (or how many steps you have taken using a pedometer) will help motivate you to continue by tracking the progress you are making over time. Those short daily walks will add up to many miles over the course of a year.

By starting small with realistic goals you'll be surprised how quickly walking becomes part of your daily routine while controlling your weight and gradually improving your overall health and sense of well being.
Published in Blog