Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Seven Habits That You Don’t Want to Break

November 1, 2016

Nearly all men and women in their 20’s and 30’s have a sense of invulnerability and immortality.  I know when I was that age someone who was 50 was considered old. Today I consider a 50-year old as youthful.  So what advice do I have for millennials?  In order to enjoy good health as a septuagenarian or octogenarian, you have good health habits during your younger years.  Here are 7 tips that I have taken from an article in a recent New York Times about developing good health habits.  They are easy to do and will make all the difference in the world on how you feel today and how healthy you will be tomorrow.

#1. Make the bathroom scale your new best friend. Nothing is more deleterious to your long-term health than being obese or overweight.  Give yourself an acceptable range and when you approach the higher end of that range, cut your calories or increase your exercise.

#2 become your own chef.  Your focus should be on ways to add variety to your diet and to boost the intake of vegetables and fruits. Cut down on unhealthy fats, sugar and excessive salt, i.e., no more than 1200 mg\day.

#3 Sugars, like those found in candy bars, sweetened cereals, and sugared soft drinks.  Excessive sugar has been shown to be one of the main culprits obesity and diabetes.  Excessive sugar represents empty calories with no important nutrients needed in a balanced diet.  Giving sugar to children can make them addicted to sugar which can be more addictive than heroin or cocaine!  Instead consume more fruits and vegetables.

#4 Get off the couch and get moving.  Excessive sitting is the new smoking.  Even if you can’t find time to have an exercise program you can still walk the stairs several times a day.  BTW going up is good exercise, going down is exercise but harder on your hips and knees.  You can also park your car a few blocks away from the office or on the top floor of the parking lot and then walk to work.  Ideally, you should find a way to get 20-30 minutes of activity that increase your heart rate every day.  This includes biking, brisk walking or swimming.

#5 Pay the piper if you play.  If you engage in having a good time with drinking and snacking, then promise yourself additional exercise before or after your party.

#6 Cut the portions or let the palm of your hand be your guide.  An ample serving of fish or chicken should fit into the palm of your hand.  If you find that you are gaining weight or a few more pounds than you would like, cut the portions and cut the alcohol and you can lose 3-5 pounds in just a few days.

#7 Drink plenty of water.  There are so many advantages of drinking lots of water which include:

A perfect thirst quencher  There is no better liquid to quench your thirst than water.  Many people are incorrectly informed that you only need to drink water in hot weather.  The truth is large volumes water are lost through your breath in cold, dry weather.  Although you can substitute other beverages such as colas, coffee and electrolyte drinks, there is no other drink that contains fewer calories and more nutrients than water.  In fact, affricated beverages can act as diuretics and cause the body to excrete water and important chemicals like potassium.

Water aids digestion. Water dilutes the acidity in the stomach and causes the release of enzymes necessary for digestion. Water is also a natural laxative and relieves constipation.

Water cools the body during exercise. As the body heats up during exercise, the internal thermostat promotes perspiration. Internal body temperature can be decreased with the consumption of cold water.  Cold water is best because it is absorbed into t he circulation more quickly than warm water.

Water promotes waste excretion. The kidneys are the paired organs used to remove metabolic bodily water material.  Water is essential for these incredible filters to do their work an flush out the body’s waste products.

Water carries nutrients to the cells. All of the body’[s cells are bathed in a saltwater solution. Blood moves nutrients to the cells and removes the waste products to the kidneys and liver.  Water is necessary to maintain the blood volume to carry out these vital functions.

Water reduces kidney stones. If too much calcium, oxalate or uric acid is excreted in the urine, crystals will form and start the growth of kidney stones. The best treatment to reduce kidney stones is to drink enough water to keep the particles from hitting one another and staring the crystallization process.

Water lubricates the joints. The bones glide against one another with minimal friction because of a lubricant called synovial fluid. Drinking plenty of water incases the synovial fluid and reduces e4h wear and tar on the joints.

Water promotes good skin tone. Skin elasticity is maintained when the body is well hydrated. Chronic fluid loss lead to dry, wrinkled skin.

Water is a diet aid. Drinking a glass of water before each meal leads to a sensation of fullness before you sit down to the table, thus acting as a natural appetite suppressant. Water helps the body metabolize stored fat.  If there is not adequate water to rid the body of waste through the kidneys, then the liver must be called in to do the kidney’s work.  If the liver is doing the kidney’s work, it cannot metabolize body fat and weight loss is slowed or stopped.

Water is a natural relaxer. Water is an excellent way to wash away tension. Swimming induces a feeling of calmness and exhilarates the body, similar to a jogger’s high.

How much water is enough?  The time-honored advice of drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day still holds true.  However, the more you exercise, the more you need to drink, especially if you live in New Orleans in July, August, or September.  A good rule of thumb is to drink approximately one quart of water for each hour of exercise.

Water remains one of life’s greatest medicinal drinks.  It really does keep you healthy and fit and it is good for most of life’s ailments.  Drink up!

Although these 7 suggestions may not guarantee good health, it will certainly lead to an improved lifestyle.  And as my wonderful Jewish mother might say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

Advice on Daily Living From Lululemon Athletica

August 24, 2012

Cover of Lululemon carrying bag

I seldom go shopping but I did visit Lululemon Athletica with my wife and I was very impressed with the carrying bag that was given to each shopper. I would like to share the wisdom on Lululemon with my friends, family, and followers.

That which matters the least should never give way to that which matters the most.

Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.

Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.

Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

Life is full of setbacks.

Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.

Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life

Do one thing a day that scares you.

Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.

Dance, sing, floss and travel.

Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters or floors. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter or a baby will crawl on the floor.

Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.

Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.

Friends are more important than money.

Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.

Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.

Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.

Wake up and realize you are surrounded by amazing friends.

Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.

Coke, Pepsi and all other pops will be known as the cigarettes of the future. Colas are NOT a substitute for water. They are just another cheap drug made to look great by advertising.

SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.

Choose a positive thought. The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time

Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.

Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce.

Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.

Move your body and your heart will follow.

DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW! The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you two steps behind.

lululemon athletica was formed to provide people with components to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.

Want To Live To a 100? Here’s Some Advice

July 2, 2011

WORDS TO LIVE BY— Japan Times Author/Physician Shigeaki Hinohara At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself. Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime. All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat. Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics! There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100. Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong. When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine. To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

Bottom Line: We are living longer.  Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is providing advice on how live with a admirable quality of life as well as achieve longevity.  Who would have thought that it all begins with climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator?

 

Water, Wet and Wonderful

May 3, 2010

Water is one of life’s best elixirs; there are few things as available, inexpensive and health-giving —so drink up.

Even though it is readily available, tasteless and free, most Americans do not drink enough water. And water remains one of nature’s most perfect medications. In fact, water is the most essential component of your diet.

While you can live for several weeks without food, you can live only a few days without water. Water loss of three percent of the body weight or approximately two quarts without replacement can result in weakness and lethargy. A 15-20 percent water loss can be fatal.

Nearly half the total body weight consists of water. To ensure good health, the average person requires two to three quarts of water per day because this is the volume that is lost in perspiration, urine, feces and breath. Nearly half of the food we eat consists of water.

Water is necessary for nearly all bodily functions such as digestion, circulation, excretion, nutrient transmission and temperature regulation.

More specifically, there are thirteen ways that water works in the human body:

  1. Water quenches thirst. There is no better liquid to quench your thirst than water. Many people are incorrectly informed that you only need to drink water in hot weather. The truth is large volumes of water are lost through your breath in cold, dry weather. Although you can substitute other beverages such as colas, coffee and electrolyte drinks, there is no other drink that contains fewer calories and more nutrients than water. In fact, affricated beverages can act as diuretics and cause the body to excrete water and important chemicals like potassium.
  2. Water aids digestion. Water dilutes the acidity in the stomach and causes the release of enzymes necessary for digestion. Water is also a natural laxative and relieves constipation.
  3. Water cools the body during exercise. As the body heats up during exercise, the internal thermostat promotes perspiration. Internal body temperature can be decreased with the consumption of cold water. Cold water is best because it is absorbed into the circulation more quickly than warm water.
  4. Water promotes waste excretion. The kidneys are the paired organs used to remove metabolic bodily water material. Water is essential for these incredible filters to do their work and flush out the body’s waste products.
  5. Water carries nutrients to the cells. All of the body’s cells are bathed in a saltwater solution.  Blood moves nutrients to the cells and removes the waste products to the kidneys and liver. Water is necessary to maintain the blood volume to carry out these vital functions
  6. Water reduces kidney stones. If too much calcium, oxalate or uric acid is excreted in the urine, crystals will form and start the growth of kidney stones. The best treatment to reduce kidney stones is to drink enough water to keep the particles from hitting one another and starting the crystallization process
  7. Water lubricates the joints. The bones glide against one another with minimal friction because of a lubricant called synovial fluid. Drinking plenty of water increases the synovial fluid and reduces the wear and tear on the joints
  8. Water promotes good skin tone. Skin elasticity is maintained when the body is well hydrated.  Chronic fluid loss leads to dry, wrinkled skin.
  9. Water dilutes alcohol and relieves headaches. There is no better remedy for a hangover than several glasses of water. Water dilutes the alcohol content in the blood stream and decreases its effect on the brain and central nervous system alleviating headache and hangover associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
  10. Water decreases pre-menstrual fluid retention. Some women experience salt retention during their menstrual periods. This leads to excess water retention as well. Diuretics or water pills only offer a temporary solution. Paradoxically, you can promote salt excretion by drinking more water. As the water is passed through the kidneys, it excretes the excess salt as well as the excess water.
  11. Water is a diet aid. Drinking a glass of water before each meal leads to a sensation of fullness before you sit down to the table, thus acting as a natural appetite suppressant. Water helps the body metabolize stored fat. If there is not adequate water to rid the body of waste through the kidneys, then the liver must be called in to do the kidney’s work. If the liver is doing the kidney’s work, it cannot metabolize body fat and weight loss is slowed or stopped.
  12. Water is a natural relaxer. Water is an excellent way to wash away tension. Swimming induces a feeling of calmness and exhilarates the body, similar to a jogger’s high.
  13. Water aids pregnant women. A pregnant woman should be especially conscious of getting eight to ten glasses of water a day. Water will clear her system of added metabolic body waste contributed by the fetus. It will also help prevent dehydration that may result from morning sickness.

How much water is enough? The time-honored advice of drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day still holds true. However, the more you exercise, the more you need to drink. A good rule of thumb is to drink approximately one quart of water for each hour of exercise.

Drinking too much water is rarely a problem. Too much water, more than six quarts a day, can dilute body minerals and electrolytes producing lethargy, confusion and if not corrected, convulsions and coma. The treatment is simple: Decrease the water intake and allow the kidneys to flush out the excess.

Bottom Line: Water is truly the elixir of life.  So enjoy one of life’s greatest medicines and it’s free.  Drink up!

Self Care for Women With Urinary Incontinence

March 30, 2010

Incontinence is a condition that results in the involuntary loss of urine without the owners’ permission. It is a condition that affects millions of American men and women. There are many changes that occur in the human body as we get older. Like many other bodily system, the urinary tract undergoes changes with age. These changes make middle age and older men and women more likely to become incontinent of urine as they grow older. It is important to remember that incontinence is not a necessary part of the aging process but it is more common in older men and women. There are a number of actions that women can take to decrease or even limit this embarrassing situation.

The skin around the outside of the vagina in women is called the “vulva”. This area includes the skin around the urethra and the vaginal “lips” or labia. Frequently, in incontinent women this area is red, raw, and sore from urine irritating the skin. If this is a problem for women, these tips may help make women more comfortable and avoid irritation of the bladder, urethra, and surrounding skin.

  • Women who are incontinent should wear cotton underwear instead of underwear made of synthetic material such as nylon. I also suggest that women do not wear synthetic pantyhose, especially not under pants or jeans. Women will also find that the underwear will be less irritating to the vulva if the underwear is washed in pure soap or soap flakes and not in harsh detergents or with the addition of fabric softeners. I suggest that women wash the vulvar area no more than twice a day, using only plan water or mild soap such as Ivory or Dove.
  • Women who are incontinent should avoid bath oils, bubble baths or bath salts. All of these can be very irritating to the already sensitive skin of the vulva. Vaginal deodorants or douches should also be avoided. Tampons should not be used as they may irritate the bladder and the urethra.
  • After bathing, the vulvar area should be gently dried with a towel, and then use a hair dryer on cool or low setting to dry the vulva completely.
  • If you need a powder to help keep the vulvar area dry, I suggest using ordinary cornstarch and not talcum powder.
  • Finally, try drinking pure water as much as possible and avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola beverages. Avoid alcohol especially in excess as alcohol may irritate the bladder and the urethra.

Nearly every woman with incontinence can be helped and most can be cured. If this is a problem that is affecting your quality of life, I suggest you contact your physician.

Choosing a Doctor – Finding Doctor Right

March 21, 2010

After selecting your spouse\significant other and your vocation, the next most important decision you may make is finding the right physician who will take care of you in sickness and in health.  You may have limited choices as your insurance plan will give you a menu of doctsors to choose from.   These doctors have signed contracts with the insurance company and have discounted their fees in order to attract patients to their practices.  As a result, these doctors are part of a network and you will pay less if you use them. However, most plans will allow you to “go out of network” and select another physician, and this will usually raise your co-pays or the percent of the fee that you will be responsible for. You can ask doctors you know, medical societies, friends, family, and coworkers to recommend doctors. You may also contact hospitals and referral services about doctors in your area.

Now you need to do a little homework.  First, call the potential new doctor and make sure they are accepting new patients. Here’s how to check doctors out:

  • Ask plans and medical offices for information on their doctors’ training and experience.
  • Look up basic information about doctors.  There are a number of medical directories on the Internet.  One of the most robust is on the WebMD website.  (http://doctor.webmd.com/physician_finder/) The WebMD ‘Physician Directory’ is provided by WebMD for use by the general public as a quick reference of information about physicians.
  • Use “AMA Physician Select,” which is the American Medical Association’s free service on the Internet for information about physicians (http://www.ama-assn.org/aps/amahg.htm).

You may also want to find out:

  • Is the doctor board certified? Although all doctors must be licensed to practice medicine, some also are board certified. This means the doctor has completed several years of training in a specialty and passed an exam. Visit the American Board of Medical Specialties at http://www.abms.org/. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a not-for-profit organization, assists 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians. ABMS, recognized as the “gold standard” in physician certification, believes higher standards for physicians means better care for patients.
  • Have complaints been registered or disciplinary actions taken against the doctor? To find out, call your State Medical Licensing Board.
  • Have complaints been registered with your State department of insurance?   You can also visit Healthgrades.com and find out about the malpractice issues associated with your doctor.

Once you have narrowed your search to a few doctors, you may want to set up “get acquainted” appointments with them. Ask what charge there might be for these visits, if any. Most physicians who are seeking new patients would welcome a visit and an interview.  Prepare the questions you would like to ask the doctor about his\her philosophy of care.  Questions you might consider are:

How long does it take to make an appointment for new problem that is not an emergency?

Can I be seen immediately if I have an urgent or emergency problem?

How soon can I expect a call back from you or your nurse if I call with a question?

What is your philosophy on prescription refills?

Will I be seen by the physician or a physician assistant or nurse practioner?

What are your fees for an office visit, emergency room visit, and a phone call?

I have a certain medical problem, do you take care of patients with this problem?

Bottom Line:  There is no better way to find the right fit for you and your family than to take a little time and do a background check on your physician and then make an initial visit to see if you will be comfortable having him\her provide you with medical care.

The Circumcision Decision –The Prime Cut

March 9, 2010

The first concern most men will have about their genital organs occurs right after birth when he undergoes a circumcision….and, unfortunately, the young boy has no part in the decision whether to lop off that precious piece of real estate!

Removal of the foreskin of the penis is one of the oldest surgical procedures known, dating back well over 5000 years. Hieroglyphs picturing ritual circumcision were found in ancient Egypt, and the religious significance of circumcision is described in the Old Testament.

Medical Risks and Benefits

Parents should be assured that the great majority of circumcisions are trouble-free. But circumcision is surgery, and all surgeries run the risk of complications.  The most common complications, which occur in only about 1 percent of circumcisions, are: bleeding, which can easily be controlled with pressure, and minor infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.

The medical benefits of circumcision are small. Uncircumcised boys have a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) than circumcised boys, particularly in the first six months of life  However,  the overall risk of a UTI is still less than 1 percent. Generally, physicians will recommend circumcision for any boy who has two UTIs in the first year of life. A circumcision performed months or years after birth is done surgically under anesthesia, and seems to be associated with fewer complications and less pain and trauma.

Circumcision also has small but measurable benefit in preventing penile cancer, a very rare disease that strikes only about 1 in 100,000 men. Uncircumcised men are three times more likely to develop penile cancer than circumcised men.

Uncircumcised men are also reported to be at greater risk for developing sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and HIV infections than circumcised men, but behavioral factors, such as not practicing safe sex, are far more important risk factors.

Overall, the increased risk of developing UTIs, sexually transmitted diseases, or penile cancer is extremely low, regardless of circumcision status.

A Kinder Cut

For those parents who elect to have a circumcision performed on their newborn infant, it is important that the parents select an experienced surgeon to perform the procedure.  The AAP recommends that pain relief with a local anesthetic should be used during the procedure.  Safe and effective forms of analgesia for circumcision are easily accomplished using a local or topical anesthetic consisting of a gel or cream applied to the foreskin before the procedure.  This method has been found to provide adequate pain relief during the 5-10 minute procedure.

Parents considering circumcision should talk with their doctors, and make sure that they are comfortable with whoever will be performing the procedure. Specify in advance what type of anesthesia will be used, and notify the doctor if there are any bleeding disorders in the family.

Parents who choose not to circumcise need to receive instructions on how to care for an uncircumcised penis. The foreskin should never be forced to retract, nor should objects such as swabs or cotton balls be used to clean underneath it. Although most boys will have retractable foreskins by age 3, in some cases, it may take 7 to 10 years. Parents must be patient and allow the process to happen naturally.  All boys who are not circumcised need to be instructed on proper hygiene of the foreskin.  Failure to do so can result in inflammation of the penis and a foreskin that is even more difficult to retract and clean.   Occasionally, this condition, phimosis, or tight foreskin requires a circumcision as an adult.

So if you are considering the “prime cut” for you or your newborn son and have any questions, I suggest you contact your doctor.

Dr. Neil Baum is a urologist and can be reached at 504 891-8454 or on his web site www.neilbaumcom