Last week a young college student drowned.
Normally I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the media surrounding this tragic event—Dartmouth swimmer dies in pool mishap on vacation—but sadly the young man happens to be the son of friends.
He was a life-long swimmer and was on his university’s swim team; the least likely person, you would think, to drown.
But I learned something about a potential danger to young swimmers, and want to help raise awareness about “shallow water blackout.”
Experienced and competitive swimmers are most at risk, as they may challenge themselves or others to do … Continue reading
I’m not a gadget person, and I don’t embrace the “quantified self” movement, which seeks to keep track of everything measurable about the human body—weight, body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate, calories consumed, miles walked, jogged, biked, etc.
But ever since I wrote the post Why sitting is bad for your health I’ve been more committed to racking up 10,000 steps every day.
Now, the 10,000 steps a day recommendation is not an exact science, but it’s a reasonable goal for a healthy adult. Also, to reach that goal, I have to move a lot throughout the … Continue reading
I sit too much. I always have.
By nature, I guess, I am a sedentary person. I’m not fidgety. I can sit for long periods of time reading a book or working at the computer.
I exercise every day, going for a long walk or working in my garden or doing yoga, and I thought that was enough.
But I just watched an episode of the excellent HealthCare Triage series ominously entitled: “Sitting vs. Standing. Is Your Sedentary Life Killing You?”
Wow, I need to move a whole lot more!
We all understand that … Continue reading
Chronic neck pain can be, well, a pain in the neck.
Usually caused by overuse, poor posture, tension or arthritis—or a combination—neck, shoulder and upper back pain can interfere with almost all routine activities.
But some simple yoga moves can help, and I think this particular YouTube video is great. The moves are well explained, and they can be done either standing or sitting at your desk. And it’s short, only 4 minutes, so these exercises can be done almost any time if your neck muscles are feeling tight or painful.
The Clinical Journal of … Continue reading
My husband sent me a link to a short Ted Talks video about aging. After watching it, I’m wondering if I’ve been going about aging the wrong way.
The video is about an inspiring woman, Olga Kotelko, who took up amateur track and field at the age of 77. At age 91, she was competing in the long jump! She had more than 50 world records!
How did she think about growing old? And how might our own perceptions or biases about aging affect us physically?
What if age is just a state of mind?
Earlier this year, I posted about the study out of Harvard that showed headaches are being overtreated in America.
Over a 10-year period, the number of patients being referred to specialists, or sent for special diagnostic tests, has doubled.
With more CT scans and MRIs, and more prescriptions medications, headaches are costly. Also, all the extra tests and drugs don’t necessarily help, and they might just cause more problems with side effects.
Related post: Home remedies for headaches
Luckily, some headache specialists are leaning away from the trend to overtreat, and are prescribing exercise and dietary changes instead of drugs. … Continue reading
It’s no secret that as we age we have to be more diligent about exercise to keep our muscles toned and flexible, and maintain a healthy body weight.
The same is true of the tissue inside our throats. Flabby throat muscles and fatty tissue cause snoring and sleep apnea. Poor quality sleep affects not only the patient, but anyone sleeping (or trying to) within hearing distance.
The typical solution given to most patients seeking help is the CPAP, a bulky machine that applies air pressure through a nasal mask as you sleep. It keeps the airways open so you can … Continue reading
Huh. Sitting down too much increases our risk of cancer.
A new study out of Sweden tells us that women who have sedentary jobs and don’t get enough exercise outside of work have the highest increased risk of breast and uterine cancer.
This study looked specifically at those two cancers, but other similar research has linked the lack of exercise to other types of cancer, as well.
And heart disease. And diabetes. And depression.
I don’t need a study to remind me that I probably sit too much in front of my computer and it would benefit me physically and … Continue reading
I like all things snarky so I enjoyed reading a recent post by a physician poking a bit of fun at health and wellness fads.
Remember the old aphorism You are what you eat? Well, forget it. In today’s busy world who has time for “eating in moderation” or “being heart healthy”? I think that if there’s one thing that the health and wellness industry has proven time and time again is that miracle cures and gimmick diets work. Every. Single. Time. Not only are they logical and effective, but also completely safe.
(Don’t forget he’s kidding here!)
… Continue reading
Use it or lose it
There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
- Challenge your brain
Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:
- Learning a foreign language
- Learning to play an instrument
- Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
- Playing games
I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading