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Viewing posts from: December 2020

Holiday Health and Safety

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The holiday season is fast approaching. Regardless of what you celebrate, this time of year is a great opportunity to appreciate the gift of health, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To stay safe and healthy this holiday season, the CDC suggests: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Stay dry and dress warmly in several layers. Balance responsibilities, seek support if needed and get enough sleep. Don't drink and drive. Always wear a seatbelt in a motor vehicle. Avoid smoking. If you smoke, quit today! Get check-ups and vaccinations. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep a watchful eye on your kids. Handle and prepare food safely. Eat healthy and stay active.

Hand Exercises to Improve Strength

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Canva Image From texting to cooking, we use our hands often. There are many exercises that can strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion and provide relief. It mentions five exercises to improve flexibility, dexterity and strength: Squeeze a soft ball in your palm as hard as you can for a few seconds. Repeat ten times. Make a gentle fist and wrap your thumb across your fingers. Hold for one minute, release and repeat. Warm up before exercise. Use a heating pad or soak hands in warm water for five-to-10 minutes. Place your hand flat on a table. Gently lift each finger at a time off the table. Hold for a few seconds and lower the finger. Stretch your wrists for 15-to-30 seconds. Repeat two-to-four times.

Weightlifting and Arthritis Experts have discovered a cheap, powerful tool that can relieve pain, improve motion, and generally make life a little easier for people with arthritis. At any age, people should be aware that there's a right way and a wrong way to lift weights, Resnick says. Here are some tips for a safe, productive weight-lifting routine. Get your doctor's go-ahead. He or she will probably be thrilled to hear about your plan to start strength training. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may want to run a few tests to make sure lifting weights won't cause a dangerous rise in your pressure. Get professional advice. A personal trainer or physical therapist can teach you proper weight-lifting techniques. An expert can also help tailor a program that matches your needs and abilities. Before grabbing your weights, always warm up your muscles with a good stretch. Resnick recommends slowly stretching a joint until it feels a little uncomfortable. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Start with a weight that allows you to do three sets of eight to 10 repetitions with moderate effort. (Some people start with no weight at all.) When these repetitions became easy, move up to a slightly larger weight. Lift weights slowly and evenly. Sudden jerks or bounces can damage cartilage. Expect a little discomfort. Your joints may complain at first, but they'll thank you in the long run. Try to go through your joint's entire range of motion. If bending the joint in a certain way causes too much pain, stick with movements that are more comfortable. Over time, you should try to gradually push your joint until you regain its full range. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, give your joint a rest during a flare-up. As soon as the pain subsides, you can go back to lifting. Consider isometric exercises, workouts that involve pushing or pulling against walls or other immovable objects. Such exercises strengthen muscles without putting any stress on joints. Isometric exercises can be a good alternative if regular weightlifting causes too much pain. Listen to your body. If you start pushing yourself too hard, your body will let you know loud and clear. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis patients should stop an exercise program if they notice unusual or long-lasting fatigue, increased weakness, decreased flexibility, increased swelling, or pain that lasts for more than an hour after exercising. With any exercise program, the first step is always the hardest. If you have trouble getting motivated, keep this in mind: Your sore joints won't get better on their own. A good exercise program that includes weightlifting can give you the strength and flexibility you need to keep up with life. The alternative is too painful to consider.

Resolutions for a Healthier New Year

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Canva Image The new year is an exciting time for fresh starts and new beginnings. As 2021 rolls around, you should recommit to your health and well-being, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. The school mentions these resolutions for a healthier new year: Practice mindful eating. Slow down and pay attention to your food. Get enough sleep. Take time at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on what you're grateful for. Find at least 30 minutes each day to take a walk, or get another form of exercise. Make small changes to be more active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Commit to a 30-day fitness challenge, such as yoga or fitness classes.

Winter Nosebleeds

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Canva Image If you're susceptible to nosebleeds, the dry winter air may bring them on more frequently, according to a report from the Medical College of Wisconsin. A dry environment can make the lining in your nose thinner and more vulnerable to minor irritations. Reduce the likelihood of your nose bleeding by: Drinking more water. Using a salt-based nasal spray as frequently as necessary. Gently applying a small amount of petroleum jelly to the lining of your nose. Using a home humidifier. Avoiding regular use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications. They diminish the blood's ability to clot.

Coping With Winter Nose Bleeds Wintry climates and cold viruses can lead to frequent nosebleeds, says the National Hemophilia Foundation. To prevent nosebleeds during winter, the foundation suggests: Use a humidifier to moisturize the air. Use a nasal saline spray or water-soluble gel for your nose. If you have a cold, wipe gently. Don't clear your nose with hard blows. Avoid vigorous activities after a nosebleed. Don't pick your nose.

Causes of Hoarseness

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Canva Image Hoarseness describes abnormal voice changes, according to specialist from the Cleveland Clinic. Your voice may sound raspy or strained. Most causes of hoarseness are not serious and go away within two weeks. Cleveland Clinic mentions these potential causes of hoarseness:

  • The common cold or an upper respiratory infection.
  • Using your voice too much or too loudly.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Smoking.
  • Allergies.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Trauma to the voice box.

Avoid Hoarseness Hoarseness tends to happen when there is a problem with the vocal cords, the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery says. Common reasons for hoarseness include laryngitis, non-cancerous vocal cord lesions, pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions, neurological issues, smoking or reflux. The academy offers these vocal wellness tips:
  • Refrain from speaking while there's loud background noise.
  • Be aware of how much and how loudly you are talking.
  • Use a microphone if your job requires a lot of talking.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid large amounts of caffeine.
  • If you smoke, quit. Also, avoid secondhand smoke.