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Tag Archive | "Health"

Fighting the five most common foot woes


(ARA) – From eating better foods to getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise, we’re a very health-aware society. So why is it that many Americans routinely overlook one of the cornerstones of good health?
While nearly 70 percent of Americans say they want to be healthier five years from now, just 51 percent recognize that foot health can be a key to achieving that goal, according to a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
“Nearly eight in 10 adults have experienced some type of foot ailment in their lives. Yet despite the pain, close to three in 10 do nothing about it, simply choosing to live with their pain,” says Dr. Michael King, a podiatrist and president of APMA. “Meanwhile, more than half of those surveyed said they had endured foot pain at some point in their lives but have not sought treatment from a podiatrist.”
So what are the five most common types of foot problems and what causes them? Here are some tips from today’s podiatrists:
* Nail problems are one of the most prevalent foot woes in both men and women. These problems can range from ingrown toenails to fungal infections. Ingrown toenails—a condition in which the corners of sides of a nail dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves—is the most common form of nail problem. To avoid ingrown toenails, trim nails straight across and don’t dig into the corners. If a toenail becomes infected, see a podiatrist immediately for treatment. Those with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and other circulatory disorders should seek a podiatrist’s care on a regular basis to help prevent complications.
* Sweaty feet and foot odor are two-foot conditions that are often experienced together. While stinky feet are definitely embarrassing, feet that sweat excessively can lead to other foot problems, even creating an environment conducive to the development of athlete’s foot. Closed shoes make feet sweat, but in the winter you can’t avoid wearing them. Instead, practice good foot hygiene. Wash feet daily with soap and water, keep shoes and socks dry, and choose socks that wick away moisture. Change shoes and socks regularly and consider rubbing cornstarch or applying antiperspirant directly onto the soles of your feet.
* Pain in the ball of the feet. Nearly one-third of adults have reported pain in the balls of their feet. Pain in this location can be caused by over-exertion, injury or ill-fitting shoes. To avoid, always wear well-fitting, supportive and activity-appropriate shoes when walking, running or engaging in other physical activity. If necessary, replace the insoles that came in the shoes with ones that provide additional cushioning.
* Heel pain. This type of pain can have many sources, including weight gain, excessive foot flattening, muscle imbalance, injury or even improper footwear. To kick heel pain to the curb, always be sure to warm up and stretch properly before and after exercise. If wearing high heels, opt for heels that are no more than two to three inches in height. For persistent pain, treatment can range from prescribed orthotic devices and medications to cortisone injections, physical therapy and rarely, surgery.
* Bunions – A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. Treatments range from self-remedies such as using a bunion pad around the bony prominence, to ice packs to reduce the swelling, and avoiding shoes that could irritate the bunion and even make the problem worse. For persistent pain, see a podiatrist for a full range of treatment options.
“While foot problems are common, that doesn’t mean people should be resigned to living with pain,” King says. “Consulting today’s podiatrist can help people feel better sooner, and get back to living healthier lives.”

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Women’s Health


A Healthy, Happy 2012!

By James N. Martin, Jr, MD
President, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The beginning of a new year is a great time to get your priorities in order and to set goals for the next 365 days.  ACOG urges women to put health at the top of their 2010 to-do lists. Remember these healthy living tips:
Eat Healthier. Aim to eat a balanced diet rich in a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy, and lean protein. According to the US Department of Agriculture, a 35-year-old woman who gets 30–60 minutes of exercise per day should eat a 2,000 calorie daily diet consisting of 6 ounces of grains (at least half from whole grains), 2 ½ cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of low/nonfat milk or milk products, and 5 ½ ounces of lean meat, fish, and beans. Additionally, cut back on sodium, fats, processed sugar, and refined grains.
Get Active. Regular physical activity helps increase overall well-being while lowering the risk of diabetes, osteo-porosis, some cancers, and other illnesses caused by inactivity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week to lower the risk of chronic disease; 60 minutes on most days to maintain weight; and at least 60 to 90 minutes on most days to lose weight. A well-rounded exercise regimen should be fun, sustainable, and include cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility components.
Quit Smoking. Despite the numerous dangers of smoking—increased risk of heart disease, infertility, early meno-pause, and more than 10 different cancers, to name a few—one in five American women still smoke. Quitters gain an improved sense of taste and smell, better circulation, easier breathing, and less hoarseness. They also reduce their risk of heart attack by 50% within a year of quitting.
Drink in Moderation. Alcohol has been linked to both positive effects such as improvements in heart health and bone density, and negative ones including an increased risk of breast and other cancers. If you drink, try to keep it to less than one alcoholic beverage a day.
Get Some Rest. Your body repairs and regenerates tissue, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens its immunity while you sleep. Not getting enough sleep may cause short-term problems such as irritability and memory loss and long-term conditions including diabetes and heart disease. The average adult should aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Visit Your Ob-Gyn. Women should see their doctor regularly for preventive care. Routine visits to the ob-gyn help ensure women receive age appropriate screenings, exams, and immunizations, and they allow physicians to identify and treat common problems before serious health risks develop.
For more information, ACOG Patient Education Fact Sheets are available at http://acog.org/For_Patients.aspx.

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Herbs for health


By Perry T. Hopkins, Naturopath (TBWP)

Proper health comes from proper nutrition. The body will function at its ideal level when fed the right nutrients. It will build bones when given the right amount of calcium and silica; the muscle will naturally relax with adequate amounts of magnesium and potassium. The body can combat inflammation with vitamin C; Our eyes will function properly with Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. A healthy immune system relies on a healthy intake of nutrition. The brain requires adequate amounts of essential fatty acids—Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, and E, essential amino acids, bioflavonoid, melatonin, many trace minerals and more. Most of today’s illness can be attributed to lack of good nutrition as a leading cause.
Herbs are super foods! Herbs are foods that contain high amounts of nutritional value. Most have therapeutic properties to them as well. If we use herbs in our daily diets it will help sustain a health immune system and body. Combining the sea vegetables kelp or spirulina with rose hips helps give the body multiple vitamins.
Spirulina is a super food used in many green drinks. It is recommended to consume spirulina when doing a fast so your body still gets its needed nutrients while you are not eating. It contains a Vitamin B complex, B 12, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, all eight essential amino acids, ten non essential amino acids, Vitamin E, folic acid, digestive enzymes, chlorophyll, iron, and many more. Kelp is a similar alternative to spirulina.
Kelp contains a little more iodine than spirulina, which helps with thyroid issues. Most of your natural iodine and sodium gets depleted from a diet high in table salt. Table salt is a synthetic source of iodine and sodium. Synthetics tend to leach the natural nutrients from the body. Kelp will help replenish these loss minerals.
The leaves from parsley and nettles are good hydrating herbs. These two herbs, besides giving nourishment, help support the urinary tract. There are literally thousands of herbs that you can eat or drink to gain nourishment and get the body back on track to functioning properly. Herbs, sometimes, are easier for the body to uptake than supplements because herbs are a whole food and not an altered substance.
There are people who can help you be healthy without the use of pills. If you are tired of feeling ill and tired of popping pills to feel better, look for different help. With more people looking towards natural health, just about every town and city has a Nutritionist, Naturopath, Herbalist, or something similar to those titles. These people can help you in your efforts to getting healthy in a more natural way, through eating and drinking. If you have been going to someone for help with your health and you are not seeing results, it may be time to seek help elsewhere. Try herbs for health.

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Summer is here: tips to kick your soda routine


Kick soda for health(ARA) – We all do it—it’s the middle of the day and you just need a flavorful pick-me-up to get you to that 5:00 hour. You drag yourself to the vending machine, scan the options to make sure you’re making a sensible selection, pop in a few quarters and out rolls a diet soda to give you that boost of energy you need.

Soda may have the fizz and the caffeine you’ve been seeking, but are you really making the most tasteful selection?

Now that summer is here and the temperature is heating up, it’s the perfect time to break up with your soda. Try these simple tips to help you ditch your soda and experience the new you.

  • Whether you’re planning to be outdoors or jumping in the car for a road trip, bring along a reusable water bottle. Facilities often have water fountains where you can easily refill your bottle.
  • Caffeine and soda may go hand in hand, but sipping water throughout the day is the easiest way to stay hydrated and keep your energy up in the heat.
  • If you get bored with plain water, add flavor. Add one of the water mix-ins found in your local grocery store. With an assortment of flavors and most at five calories or less per serving, you can drink all the water you want without having to compromise.
  • Grab a friend. An accountability partner can keep you on track and motivated. What’s even better, now you can share the experience with a friend so you’ll both feel better.

Now that you’re prepared to kick the soda routine, fill up your water bottle, grab your friend and toast to drinking more water all summer long. This small change can help you have a vibrant, flavorful summer.

Need even more motivation? Crystal Light is sponsoring the Flavor Over Fizz Challenge to reward consumers who choose flavor over fizz this summer. Join the movement on Facebook to declare yourself soda free for a chance to win fun prizes this summer.
To take the Challenge and declare yourself soda free, connect with Crystal Light on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/CrystalLight). No purchase necessary. Visit the Facebook page for complete details and official rules (http://bit.ly/l5LIA8)

Content provided by
Crystal Light

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Houseplants — good for home and health


(ARA) – Bright blooms, the smell of fresh cut grass, and a warm breeze may be missing this time of year, but there are ways you can brighten up the indoors and bring some summer gardening back into your life.

Houseplants create a fantastic distraction for passing the winter doldrums as we eagerly await summer. In addition, they also provide valuable health benefits during our harsh cold months. Most houseplants add oxygen and humidity back into the air and some can even rid an area of toxins expelled through materials used to build, decorate and furnish a house.

Indoor plants are ideal to keeping the summer spirit alive, adding a splash of color or texture in your home and providing wonderful health benefits for you and your family. By following just a few simple steps, you can host healthy and beautiful houseplants in your living space.

Location, location, location

After plants are arranged appropriately in their containers, you’ll need to find a suitable location for them. The first step in keeping a plant healthy is to situate it away from any drafty areas or heat sources. For instance, do not place a fern by a front or back door, or on top of a heating vent. Heat sources such as fireplaces will also cause plants to dry out.

Keeping hydrated

Many of us overwater our plants. Using a product that regulates overwatering and infuses soil with oxygen, like Safer Brand Oxygen Plus Plant Food, will allow you to avoid the woes of overwatering, which result in wilting, dulling and death of the houseplant.

Catching rays

Placing houseplants indoors where the sun will hit them only about four to six hours a day is sufficient. Sunlight results in denser, greener foliage and overall healthier plants.

Moving time

Like us, plants would much rather be outdoors than stuck inside during warm and sunny days. Houseplants can be moved outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. This timing is dependent on where you live and the time of the year. Moving houseplants outdoors is easy and will add a great decor element to your entryway, porch or back deck. Before moving plants outdoors, add about 2 inches of potting soil to their containers, as this amount has probably decomposed in the container during the winter months. Once outside, you should soak your plants from top to bottom.

In the initial stages of a houseplant’s conversion outdoors, it is important to gradually introduce them to nature. Placing plants in direct sunlight for the length of a day will put them in shock, so it is best to acclimate them over a one to two week period. Introducing them to the outside under shade of a tall tree will ease them into this transition.

The outdoors offers a houseplant many elements that allow them to thrive, but also exposes them to residents of nature they may not have encountered before. Using an organic insect killer, like Safer Brand Houseplant Insect Killer, will keep your plant from being eaten in the outdoors. When you notice that leaves or petals have been snacked on, or you actually see a bug on the plant, you can spray the entire plant to ensure the bugs will be killed organically and your plant will not be harmed.

Not only do potted plants add design elements to interior and exterior living spaces, but they are also beneficial to your health. So go ahead, indulge in a houseplant or two. A little green can really do the body good.

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Health department announces influenza activity


(Grand Rapids, MI) — “It’s not over yet.” says Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department (KCHD). “The typical flu season is November through April with a peak during the middle of February. The number one way to protect people from the flu is with the influenza vaccination. I encourage anyone who would like a vaccination to make an appointment with their doctor, a pharmacy, or the Kent County Health Department.”

That’s right! It’s not too late to get your flu shot and KCHD offers flu shots by appointment at all six of its clinic locations. Clinics are in Wyoming, Kentwood, Rockford, and multiple Grand Rapids locations.

Appointment times for each location vary, but appointments can be made by calling (616) 632-7200 or by visiting www.stickittotheflu.com.

Since the beginning of February there has been a significant increase (from 7% – 10%) of influenza-like-illness symptoms in emergency room visits in Kent County. Please note that influenzalike-illness complaints are not always lab-confirmed cases of the flu. As of February 5th, there have been 63 reported cases of lab-confirmed influenza since the first case on September 1st of 2010. This year’s flu season is a very typical season and trending very similar to past flu seasons (compared to 2006-2008 data).

For most recent data reports, please visit www.stickittotheflu.com. It is extremely difficult to predict if this is the peak, or if we are going to continue to see a rise in reported flu cases. But one thing is for sure, it’s definitely not over yet. This year’s influenza vaccine happens to be a great match with the influenza virus that has been most common in Kent County. So protect yourself during the duration of this year’s flu season, get vaccinated and stick it to the flu! Call KCHD at (616) 632-7200 or make an appointment online at www.stickittotheflu.com.

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New Year new you!


scaleAre you setting some New Year’s resolutions? We want to help you succeed! Whether you are looking to lose weight, get debt-free, get fit, healthy, improve your looks or relationships, we are bound to have some hints that can help. All month long, starting in today’s issue, you’ll find articles in our special sections to help you along the way. We’d like to hear what types of goals you have, and any tips you can give to others! Log on to our website at cedarspringspost.com and click on “comment” to let us know what you are doing. Let’s get a community conversation going and help each other out! In the meantime, click here for this week’s “New Year New You” section.

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Beauty basics to help you embrace autumn


HEA-Beauty-basics_rgb(ARA) – Fall is a time of transition. Not only do you need to prepare your skin for the cold months ahead, but it’s time to transform your look from light and airy to soft and classic.

Focus on a few beauty basics – skin, make-up, fashion and fragrance – and you’ll have all you need for a fantastic fall.

Great skin is always in

As the weather gets cooler and drier, your skin needs extra moisture to keep it supple. Keep warm weather memories alive with a scent reminiscent of summer and try Coconut Milk Body Lotion from The Body Shop. Treat yourself to the finest ingredients – ethically sourced community trade virgin coconut oil from Samoa – and get soft, smooth and deliciously scented skin.

Pucker up

Autumn lips are washed in soft color. International make-up artist Chase Aston says this fall is all about the perfect pout and recommends Colourglide Lip Color from The Body Shop.

Aston shares his tips for luscious and gorgeous lips:

  • Use a lip liner for added definition and to help prevent feathering.
  • Enhance the natural color of your lips by gently gliding on lip color. For added pout power, use a lipstick/concealer brush.
  • Look for a shade that complements your skin tone. With 37 shades, you can easily find Colourglide Lip Color that works for you.

Ultra-modern eyes

This fall, dramatic smoldering eyes are what’s fabulous. To achieve fall’s hottest eye looks, Aston gives these sizzling tips:

  • Smudge together forest green, shimmering grey and lilac to create a chic, modern, smoky eye.
  • To create an intense, sultry eye look, look for a palette that features a warm trio of rich brown, golden copper and shimmering sand hues.
  • Try a metallic eye definer. Alone, it can be used to line and define or use it to complement your favorite eye shadow. “Choose shades that contrast your eyes to make them pop,” says Aston. “Apply color to the eyelid or along the lash-line as an accent for impact.”

Bundle up

Classic, “back to basics” clothing was all the rage on the fall runways. This season’s must-have piece is the crisp white jacket that works with everything from jeans to a little black dress. The key accessory to sport is perfectly fitting with the chill in the air – gloves. Half gloves, fingerless gloves and long gloves are gracing the arms of starlets walking the red carpet and go with everything from rugged parkas to dainty and ladylike skirts. If you’ve got a special occasion to dress for, or if you’re just plain feeling glam, the gold dress, inspired by the rich tones of autumn, is the choice for your holiday parties.

For more information on fall beauty basics, visit TheBodyShop-USA.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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