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Saturday, March 3

Top Tips For Looking After Your Mind & Body

Saturday, March 03, 2018 0
Top Tips For Looking After Your Mind And Body


Half of all women will break a bone because of a weakened skeleton caused by osteoporosis.

A vitamin D supplement helps promote calcium absorption and bone health.

Weight-bearing exercises such as working out three times a week with light weights can strengthen bones too.


Stress contributes to every disease, directly or indirectly. It shrinks the brain and increases the waistline.

So find a way to deal with it. The best option is to try meditation.

However even a few minutes of relaxed deep breathing several times a day can be a big help.


Regular exercise has many benefits, from improving muscle mass and boosting your mood to helping prevent memory loss.

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking each day can stimulate the growth of new brain cells and cut the risk of heart disease and cancer.


The only skincare product that is guaranteed to slow ageing and prevent skin cancer is sunscreen.

Use a broad spectrum cream with a minimum SPF20 every day come rain or shine and increase that to SPF50 when you're on holiday.


Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain, weakens the immune system and accelerates ageing.

You need two and a half hours of sleep before it becomes restorative.

Aim for seven hours every night. Also avoid caffeine after 5 pm and moderate your alcohol consumption.


After the age of 50 you should know your key health statistics including weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels.

Have a check-up with your GP and ensure you have regular eye and dental checks too as both can pick up early health warnings.


A balanced diet with fewer refined carbohydrates (anything with sugar and/or white flour) and which features plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, white meat and fish and smaller quantities of red meat can help you reach a healthy body weight.


A positive attitude can boost feel-good hormones so laugh more, socialise with friends and enjoy life.

Research shows that a good laugh can help manage stress and prevent the release of damaging hormones in the body.


The brain needs exercising to avoid becoming sluggish so learn a language, read a challenging book or do a daily crossword puzzle.

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E-Cigarette Users at Risk of Brain and Heart Damage

Saturday, March 03, 2018 0
E-Cigarette Users at Risk of Brain and Heart Damage

E-cigarette users are inhaling significant amounts of lead and other toxic metals linked to heart and brain damage with each puff on their devices, a new study warns.

The last several years have seen a surge in vaping - especially among teenagers and young adults - as health officials, doctors and even tobacco companies have touted it as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking.

- E-cigarette vapor contains dangerous levels of toxic metals including lead, chromium and manganese, a Johns Hopkins study found.
- These substances raise risks of cancer, heart disease and brain damage.
- The authors warn that the levels of metals vapers are inhaling may well be even higher than the medians they measured in their study.

But, many experts have cautioned that the health effects of vaping remain largely unknown.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found dangerous levels of toxins - including lead, chromium and arsenic - in e-cigarette vapor.

E-cigarette vapor contains dangerous levels of metals from the devices' coils, a study found.

As e-cigarettes become more popular, research on their health effects is slowly emerging.

Vaping is thought to be as much as 95 percent safer than cigarette smoking, but mounting evidence suggests that the devices could still pose serious risks.

Most studies thus far have focused on the flavored 'e-liquids' that fuel the devices. Some of these have shown that certain flavors - particularly the sweet ones popular with teenagers - contain toxins that can damage white blood cells and raise cancer risks.

Part of the purported safety advantage of e-cigarettes over combustible tobacco is that they use liquid vapor instead of smoke from burning plant, paper and chemical products.

But their heating mechanisms - battery-powered atomizers, or heating coils - have been the subjects of little research.

In the new study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers examined the health effects of the heating coils that power e-cigarettes.

They tested the smokeless devices of 56 people who vaped daily.

First, they tested the levels of 15 different metals in the e-liquid dispensers where the substance is contained on the device and in the tank where the liquid is filtered to be heated and vaporized.

They also measured the amount of levels in the heated vapors produced by the e-cigarettes. 


How they work:

E-cigarettes use a mixture of flavored liquids and nicotine to create a vapor.

This vapor is then inhaled by the user similarly to how one would smoke a regular cigarette.

Are these devices safe?

Since these devices don't use traditional smoke, people are under the assumption that they are safe for you.

But the liquid in the e-cigarettes can contain harmful toxins and carcinogens including anti-freeze.

The nicotine in the e-cigarettes also had addictive components and can lead to other tobacco use. This can hinder brain development in teens.

Also, the devices can overheat and explode if defective.

The Food and Drug Administration does not certify e-cigarettes as a product to get over smoking regular cigarettes.

The levels of metals in the dispensers - where the e-liquid is kept before it is heated - were nominal and of little concern.

But once the liquid reached the tank where it was exposed to the heating coil, levels spiked significantly.

But most worrisome were the types and quantities of metals found in the vapor that the e-cigarette-users were liberally puffing on every day.

The vapor had high levels of lead, chromium, nickel and manganese.

Nearly half of the e-cigarettes were producing vapor with lead concentrations over the maximums considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

'These were median levels only,' says senior study author Dr Ana María Rule. 'The actual levels of these metals varied greatly from sample to sample, and often were much higher than safe limits.'

Inhaled lead attacks the brain, central nervous system kidney, liver and bones.

It can stay dormant in teeth and bones, and be reactivated during pregnancy, seeping into the blood where it can reach and poison a developing fetus with the potential to cause significant brain damage.

They also found high levels of arsenic - which can cause many illnesses, including cancer - in vapor from 10 of the e-cigarettes, though it is unclear how it found its way into the vapor.

'It's important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals - which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale,' Dr Rule says.

'We've established with this study that there are exposures to these metals, which is the first step, but we need also to determine the actual health effects,' she added.

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Facebook Does Not Decrease Social Interaction

Saturday, March 03, 2018 0
Facebook Does Not Decrease Social Interaction

Facebook does not decrease the amount of time people spend with each other, a new study claims.

Researchers found that social media use was not associated with changes in direct social contact, and may actually improve social well-being.

- Researchers found social media use does not decrease face-to-face interactions
- The University of Missouri team found Facebook may improve social well-being
- Experts have expressed concern that social media use reduces the quality of in-person social interactions.

The adoption of new technologies from smartphones to social media, has led to concerns about their potential for reducing happiness and social interactions.

The current study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, is the latest to suggest social media does not negatively impact face-to-face interactions.

Social media use does not decrease face-to-face social interactions, according to a new study.

'People tend to assume the worse about the emergence of technology,' said researcher Mike Kearney, assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. 'The assumption that social media use has a universal and negative effect on face-to-face social interactions is tenuous at best.'

Investigators, led by Kearney, conducted a long-term and short-term experiment for their study.

The first experiment, which followed the social media use of 2,774 individuals from 2009 to 2011, found that increased use of social media was not associated with changes in direct social contact.

The second study, which surveyed 116 adults and college students through text-messaging over the course of five days, found that social media use earlier in the day did not have any impact on future social interactions.

There's been controversy about whether people are using social media to replace face-to-face interactions.

A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that social media use was associated with feelings of social isolation.

Meanwhile, a 2016 study published in New Media & Society found that although people use social media to 'people-watch', they still seem to enjoy and engage in face-to-face interactions.

The current study, published in Information, Communication and Society, suggests time may be an important element to consider when it comes to studying the effects of social media.

For example, Kearney said that while time spent using social media sites like Facebook doesn't take away from other social interactions, it is likely that using any type of media borrows time that could be used for face-to-face interactions.

'People are spending increased amounts of time using the internet and other media that may replace the time they could use for speaking face to face, but that doesn't mean that they are worse for it,' Kearney said.

'People must ultimately be responsible for maintaining their relationships, whether that's through social media or other means.'

Researchers in the second, shorter and smaller study found that passively looking at social media, where users scroll through conversations without actively taking part, did lead to lower levels of happiness if that person had been alone earlier in the day.

'People who use social media alone likely aren't getting their face-to-face social needs met,' Kearney said. 'So if they're not having their social needs met in their life outside of social media, it makes sense that looking at social media might make them feel even lonelier.'

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Tuesday, January 30

Dementia: You're More At Risk Of Alzheimer's If You Frequently Wake Up During The Night

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0
You're More At Risk Of Alzheimer's If You Frequently Wake Up During The Night

Dementia is more likely to occur in people that have fragmented sleep patterns, according to US scientists.

Disruptions in the natural body clock could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease.

Just because you get eight hours of sleep a night, doesn't necessarily mean you won't develop the neurodegenerative condition, the scientists warned.

Detecting Alzheimer's disease earlier could help doctors to slow the condition's progression.

The scientists tracked sleeping patterns of 189 cognitively healthy adults.

They were searching for certain proteins that signal Alzheimer's development.

139 of the adults had rhythmic body clocks, and didn't show signs of the Alzheimer's protein.

But, 50 of the adults all had fragmented sleep patterns, and showed signs of the dementia biomarkers.

"It wasn't that people in the study were sleep-deprived," said author of the research, Dr Erik Musiek.

"But their sleep tended to be fragmented. Sleeping for eight hours at night is very different from getting eight hours of sleep in one-hour increments during daytime naps."

Senior author, Dr Yo-El Ju, added: "We found that people with preclinical Alzheimer's disease had more fragmentation in their circadian activity patterns, with more periods of inactivity or sleep during the day and more periods of activity at night.

"At the very least, these disruptions in circadian rhythms may serve as a biomarker for preclinical disease."

Dementia is the name given to a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain.

Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are both types of dementia.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, repetition, feeling more withdrawn, and difficulty finding the right words.

There is currently no cure for dementia, for certain treatments could help to slow down symptoms' progression, according to the NHS.
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Norovirus Symptoms: Signs Of Winter Vomiting Bug To Look Out For After UK Cases Rise

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0
Norovirus Symptoms

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug - is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, according to the NHS.

Symptoms of the virus include suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

Patients have also reported fevers, headaches, muscles aches and stomach cramps.

While the condition can be unpleasant, symptoms usually disappear within a couple of days.

If you become infected with norovirus, the best thing to do is to stay at home until symptoms disappear, the NHS said. Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and take painkillers to ease any fevers or muscle aches.

"You don't usually need to get medical advice unless there's a risk of a more serious problem," it said.

"There's no cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.

"Visiting your GP surgery with norovirus can put others at risk, so it's best to call your GP or NHS 111 if you're concerned or feel you need advice."

You can be infectious for about 48 hours after the symptoms of norovirus have passed, so stay away from school or work for a couple of days.

Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap could limit the spread of the infection.

You could prevent infection in the first place by avoiding raw, unwashed produce.

Oysters can carry norovirus, so only eat the shellfish from a reliable source.

Since the beginning of October, there have been more than 2,700 reports of norovirus in England and Wales, Public Health England figures revealed.

The number of cases has increased over recent weeks, and is now above the five-year average for this period.

The rise in norovirus cases coincides with the UK's worst flu season for seven years.

The deadly Aussie flu virus has swept across the UK, and a total of 120 have died from the influenza virus in the UK since October.
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Sunday, January 28

Aussie Flu Symptoms: NHS Reveals Secret To Lowering Your Risk Of Deadly Infection

Sunday, January 28, 2018 0

Aussie Flu Symptoms: NHS Reveals Secret To Lowering Your Risk Of Deadly Infection

Aussie flu has hospitalised almost 500 people since the beginning of October, latest Public Health England (PHE) figures have revealed. The deadly viral infection has swept across the UK, and has been recorded in every postcode of the country.

But, you could prevent infection from the H3N2 virus by simply keeping warm, according to the NHS. Cold weather increases the risk of flu, pneumonia, hypothermia and heart attacks, it said.

"Keeping warm over winter helps prevent colds, flu and even more serious health conditions," tweeted NHS Choices. "Several layers of clothes are better for staying warm than one chunky layer."

The NHS added: "If you're not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18°C [65°F]. "If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist."
The advice comes after claims that the Aussie flu epidemic could continue for another three months. Australian scientists revealed that outbreaks of H3N2 typically last for about 15 weeks.

The number of people visiting GPs over flu-related illnesses increased 42 per cent during the second week of January. The best way to prevent infection is to get the flu jab, PHE said.
Aussie flu symptoms include sore throats, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, headaches and difficulty sleeping. Symptoms are similar to normal flu, but they tend to be more severe and last longer. You could lower your risk of infection by regularly washing your hands, and by avoiding crowded areas.

If you think you're infected with Aussie flu, you shouldn't see your GP, as you could spread the virus further. Only see a doctor if you're over 65, are pregnant, or have a long-term medical condition.
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Getting Yourself Motivated To Workout

Sunday, January 28, 2018 0

Getting Yourself Motivated To Workout

The hardest part of working out is getting started. We all know we need to do it. Often, we're glad we did. We feel energized and better for having done it. Finding just the right motivation for you may be the secret to working out and staying with it.

Path to improved wellness

Everyone has a different reason for working out. Some might exercise for their physical health, while others work out for their mental health. Some do it to look good. And some just enjoy being active. If you want or need to work out and are having trouble getting started, one of these reasons might be the motivation for you:
  • Health and wellness. If living longer and living well is important to you, working out is a priority. Endless studies have shown that working out on a regular basis can reduce, delay, and maybe even prevent the onset of certain diseases. Diabetes, cancer, and dementia are some of the most common medical conditions positively affected by exercise.
  • Mental health. Regular exercise helps your body release endorphins (hormone). This hormone helps reduce stress and can improve your mental outlook. Exercise has proved to be an important contribution to the treatment of depression and anxiety.
  • Weight management. If you're struggling to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, exercise is crucial. The combination of aerobic (running, dancing, walking) and weight-bearing exercise is especially helpful in building your muscles. This helps your body burn calories and fat.
  • Recreation. Working out is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family. And depending on the weather, it's free. Activities such as walking, jogging, biking, tennis, basketball, and soccer are great group work outs. These activities also can get you laughing, which is important for your mental health.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) promotes safe and healthy fitness. This includes exercise as an essential part of health throughout life (and in preventing disease) and participation in recreational and competitive athletics.
Tips for getting started with a work out and staying with it include:
  • Set reasonable goals. If you're just starting, plan to exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week and work up from there.
  • Record your progress. Whether you're checking your BMI, your weight, your clothing size, or your mood, track it to see if you are making progress.
  • Give yourself a break. Try to work out on a regular basis, but don't feel guilty if a day of personal and work obligations causes you to skip a work out.
  • Make it all about you. Plan this time for you. You work hard for your employer and your family. You deserve to treat your mind and body.
  • Seek support from friends and family. Ask your friends to encourage you or to be understanding when you choose to work out.
  • Make it fun. If you don't like to jog, don't do it. Do you like to dance? Do you like yoga? Do what makes exercise fun.
  • Mix it up. The same old routine can get boring. Consider doing different kinds of exercise. Alternate by the day, by the week, or by the month. Do what works for you.
  • Work it into your daily life. Consider skipping that heavy lunch and working out instead. Take the steps instead of the elevator. Try waking up 30 minutes earlier once or twice a week to get your work out in and over with.
  • Focus on the future. Don't worry about past failures with weight and exercise. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Pat yourself on the back. Don't forget to celebrate your exercise success. While it's okay to splurge on your diet once in awhile, focus on other kinds of rewards. Consider a movie, downloading a new song, or a hot bath. Choose something that makes you feel good about your accomplishment.

Things to consider

While exercise is a good thing, most people should talk to their doctor before starting an aggressive routine. This is true for people with existing health conditions, such as heart disease or other chronic illnesses. Other things to consider when motivating yourself to exercise include:
  • Safety. Choose public areas or gym facilities that are safe.
  • Expense. If you can't afford a gym membership, look for less expensive alternatives. This might include community recreation centers (less expensive than most commercial gyms), a safe park, or dusting off your old bike.
  • Age/ability. Talk to your doctor for recommendations on the type and level of exercise you should aim for at your age and ability.
  • Type of activity. Consider what activities may be too much for you age and ability. For example, playing team sports, such as basketball, might be harder on your body as you age.
Questions to ask your doctor
  • What type of exercise is good for seniors?
  • How long after a heart attack or surgery should a person wait to exercise?
  • What does it mean if I feel sick after working out?
  • Can I exercise while pregnant?
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Thursday, January 25

Flu May Be Spread By Just Breathing

Thursday, January 25, 2018 0
Flu May Be Spread By Just Breathing

In the midst of an especially tough flu season, here's more bad news: Researchers say it may be possible to spread the virus simply by breathing. Until now, it was thought that people picked up a flu virus when they touched contaminated surfaces or inhaled droplets in the air ejected by an infected person's coughs or sneezes.

But the new study finds coughs and sneezes may not be necessary to saturate the air with flu virus. In the study, researchers analysed air around the exhaled breath of 142 people with the flu. "We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing," said study author Dr Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland.

"People with flu generate infectious aerosols [tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time] even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness," he explained in a university news release. "So when someone is coming down with influenza, they should go home and not remain in the workplace and infect others."

In fact, nearly half (48 per cent) of the airborne samples captured in the air around flu patients who were just breathing - not coughing or sneezing - contained detectable influenza virus, the researchers noted. What's more, when patients did sneeze, that didn't seem to add much to the viral count in the samples, Milton's group added.

Of course certain steps - "keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing," can still help lower your odds of catching influenza, said Sheryl Ehrman, dean of the College of Engineering at San Jose State University, in California. But if an infected person's breathing spreads flu virus, even those precautions do "not provide complete protection from getting the flu," she added.

That means that if you are unlucky enough to get the flu, "staying home and out of public spaces could make a difference," Ehrman said. The researchers believe their findings could help improve mathematical models of the risk of airborne flu transmission and could also be used to develop better public health flu prevention measures.

For example, improvements could be made to ventilation systems in places such as offices, school classrooms and subway cars, to reduce the risk of flu transmission, the team said.

The United Kingdom and United States is in the middle of a particularly nasty flu season, with nearly all states reporting high levels of severe flu, and hospitals swamped with cases. Experts blame the severity of this year's flu season on a particularly virulent strain of flu and prolonged periods of very cold weather.

The study was published Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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