Top 10 Health Problems and Prevention

The US is in the midst of a health crisis! It is unavoidable that we all get sick at some time or another, but when it happens it’s always costly. It causes you to miss work and sometimes that can mean you forfeit income. And Medical bills add up and can create further strain on your household income! It definitely costs employers as well to not have you at work.

The good news is that many of the prevalent illnesses and diseases that affect US citizens are ones that can be avoided! How, you ask? By taking the correct preventative measures!

What Top 10 ailments that affect the US population?

Heart Disease

Heart Disease is by far, the most ruthless disease that affects Americans. It impacts 631,636 individuals per year and doesn’t discriminate between men and women. This disease is the leading killer of all American between the age of 35 and 65. Heart Disease costs the nation well over $290 Billion dollars each year! It is quite staggering to learn the Heart Disease kills more people than all the types of cancer combined!

Prevention

The risk of Heart Disease can be drastically reduced by:

Quitting smoking,
Cutting out alcohol and
Maintaining a healthy weight
Regular Exercise
Balanced diet.

Cancer

Cancer is the second greatest killer amongst Americans with it affecting 559,888 people per year. This includes all forms of cancer. Lung cancer is the leading form of this disease that affects both men and women. Women are also significantly affected by breast cancer

Prevention

Studies have shown that you are less susceptible to cancer if you follow a healthy diet, are regularly physically active and do not smoke. You can further reduce the odds by:

Using sunscreen
Attend regular cancer screenings

Stroke

Stroke (also known as Cerebrovascular Disease) impacts 137,119 Americans yearly. It is caused by problems with arteries that supply blood within or to the brain. It primarily affects those who have diabetes, smoke or have heart disease.

Prevention

Simply by altering your lifestyle, you can experience amazing results, with regards to reducing your risk of stroke and many other illnesses at the same time!

Give up smoking,
Exercise regularly
Maintain healthy food habits
Lose any excessive weight

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases affect 124,583 people, within the population, each year. This disease damages the airways and lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The two main diseases that result from this are Bronchitis and Emphysema.

Bronchitis – Caused by the obstruction and narrowing of the airways usually caused by mucus.

Emphysema – Refers to the damage inflicted upon the air sacs within the lungs. This makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to acquire required levels of oxygen.

Prevention

Cigarette smoking is the main culprit for Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases. The chance of falling victim to lung cancer also increases if you suffer from these diseases. It is shocking to learn that smokers are 12 times more likely to suffer from Respiratory Diseases than someone who does not smoke!

It is easy to see that the best way to avoid this type of disease is to:

Stay away from cigarettes
Avoid inhaling second hand smoke

Accidental Injuries

The main cause of this type of injury is caused by motor vehicle accidents. It equally affects men and women with 121,599 harmed a year!

Prevention

Vehicle accidents can be greatly reduced by doing the following:

Do not consume alcohol or drugs before or during the operation of any vehicle
Wear a seatbelt
Drive carefully and always be on alert

Diabetes

An estimated 72,449 Americans fall victim to diabetes every year! It is a condition where normal blood glucose levels cannot be maintained. This problem affects both men and women and can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, limb amputation and blindness.

Prevention

It is helpful to realize that this disease is greatly influences by our lifestyle. By making changes it can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Even small changes can have a positive effect in reducing your risk!

Healthy eating
Active Lifestyle
Lose excess weight.

Alzheimer’s disease

This is a progressive disease that impairs the high brain functions such as thinking, personality and memory. Alzheimer’s disease strikes 72,432 Americans. The cause of this disease is mostly unknown but a link has been found between head injuries as well as heart disease.

Prevention

Reduce the risks of Heart Disease

Influenza and Pneumonia

To most healthy people, a case of influenza is something that is easily recovered from. However, for around 56,326 Americans the complications such as Pneumonia can arise.

Prevention

Good hygiene
Healthy Diet and Exercise
Vaccinations

Kidney Diseases

Kidney Diseases including Nephritis, Nephritic Syndrome, and Nephrosis, refer to the disorder where the kidneys are damaged and leak large quantities of protein. It inflicts 45,344 Americans and has been found that Kidney Disease can occur as a result of Diabetes or High Blood Pressure.

Prevention

Have your blood sugar checked regularly
Balanced diet
Physical activity

Septicemia

This condition is also known as blood poisoning. It is caused by the presence of bacteria within the blood that often accompanies sever infections throughout the body. 34,234 people suffer from Septicemia every year.

Prevention

Good hygiene practices
Seek treatment for any infection as soon as possible
Visit your doctor if you have come in close contact with someone with Septicemia

Start implementing healthy changes to your lifestyle today, and you will reduce your risks of so many of the diseases and health problems discussed today. Replace old habits with new healthy ones…and the new behavior will become second nature in about 30 days!

Aging – Posture and Gait Changes

As you gracefully pass your 50’s you may come across a strange discovery. Don’t be surprised, if upon measuring your height, you find that you have shrunk!

“What is going on?” You may ask. Well the process of aging involves many different changes and one of the most obvious ones is in the way we move and also our posture

So what exactly happens?

As we age the body loses calcium and other minerals more readily than before, which can cause the bones to reduce in density and therefore become increasingly brittle.

The vertebrae, within the spine, becomes thinner and more curved, causing a reduction in overall height

The arches of the feet decline

Muscle tissue shrinks and regeneration occurs at a slower rate

Joints may become stiff and painful because of less fluid and cartilage to cushion the joints

Effects

All of these changes can contribute to an alteration in posture and gait. A major difference is in the reduction of height, which is mainly due to the compacting of the spine.

You may notice that your posture may differ quite considerably and become more bent over than in previous years. Along with this, movement can become slower and changes in balance can cause many to feel increasingly unsteady. This is a time when extra care needs to be taken to avoid unpleasant falls and injury.

Due to the reduction of muscle tissue, the level of strength can decline but it may be a surprising to learn that endurance commonly increases as we age, so take advantage of it!

Can anything be done?

Of course there can! There is no point in giving up and allowing time to take its toll! There are many things that can be done to slow or even eliminate problems with posture! The best course of action, which can be started today, is to ensure that you incorporate moderate exercise into your daily routine. This assists in encouraging flexibility and strength. However, consult with your doctor before commencing any exercise program that you have not previously been involved with. You don’t want to overdo it! Start slow and gradually build up the intensity and duration.

Specific balancing and posture exercises can also be applied to enhance strength and awareness of your body and how you move.

Monitoring your diet is another highly effective way to ensure that your bones and posture remain at their very best. A balanced diet that is abundant in calcium will do wonders for maintaining healthy bones. Women and men over the age of 65 are advised to have an intake of calcium ranging between 1,200 – 1,500 mg a day.

Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or would like more information on how to improve and maintain a healthy posture!

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Aging

Are you experiencing incontinence, difficulties with bathroom visits or pelvic pain? Well you may be one of the many who is displaying symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. PFD is a common occurrence amongst aging women but can sometimes affect men.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) is the condition where the Pelvic Floor does not function as it should and includes prolapse of the bladder, rectum, bowel or uterus. This condition is often embarrassing and can leave many suffering from low self esteem and depression as a result. It is commonly undiagnosed and it is quite staggering to find that that an estimated one third of the population of women suffer from PFD, at some point! The likelihood of PFD occurring increases significantly amongst women as they age. Other contributing factors are diabetes, hernia, obesity and hormone imbalance.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The most common symptoms of PFD include one or more of these:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Frequent incontinence
  • Pain during urination
  • Rectal Pain
  • Pelvic Pressure
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Pain when sitting, walking or standing
  • Urgency to urinate then difficulties emptying the bladder

What can be done?

If you have any of the symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical guidance because it is a condition that does not necessarily need to be endured! If diagnosed early, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can often be treated successfully using non surgical procedures. These options are available and provide excellent results:

Pelvic Floor Exercises and Rehabilitation

These exercises are incorporated to strengthen the muscles to perform more efficiently and effectively.

Medications:

With the guidance of a doctor, you may find that there is a variety or medications that can be administered to provide relief and a reduction in PFD

Education and Behavior Therapy:

Changes in lifestyle or behavior can have a dramatic effect in minimizing the occurrence of PFD.

– Managing a healthy weight. (This also reduces risk of Diabetes, which can also aggravate Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.)
– Controlled fluid intake
– Bladder training

Biofeedback:

This therapy is designed to retrain patients how to co-ordinate the abdominal muscles with the pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback training successfully reduces the symptoms in 70% of cases.

Relaxation:

Relaxation is a powerful therapy when dealing with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, as stress is a major contributing factor in worsening PFD symptoms. Stress causes muscles to tighten, so take the time to do something you find relaxing. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are renowned for their ability to reduce stress and tension.

Surgery

If the symptoms are more severe or continue to occur over an extended period of time, more invasive and surgical procedures are an option and have high success rates. Pelvic Floor Reconstruction surgery, slings for incontinence and other options are available to reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

What Next?

If you suspect you may have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, speak to your doctor to find out the best course of action to ensure you feel comfortable, happy and healthy no matter what your age!

Aging and Body Pains

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Do you wake up in the morning expecting to feel refreshed only to discover you’ve found yourself with a stiff and sore back or knee or hip? We’ll you’re not alone!

You may have found that in earlier years, such pain would be the direct result of a strenuous sports game or other vigorous activity but now seem to receive the same result from a short errand or light gardening.

As we age we are more prone to feeling aches and pains throughout the body. Sometimes these require medical attention. Severe inflammation of the joints, known as arthritis, is a very common condition that is experienced amongst the older population. This can cause tremendous pain but luckily there are many avenues for treatment and relief available, with the help of a doctor.

Most times, general aches and pains can be dealt with at home with fantastic results!

Prevention

Before I continue, it must be said, that prevention is better than cure! Sure, aging and aches are inevitable, however, these pains and stiffness can be greatly reduced if your body continues to stay physically active! I’m not talking about running a marathon but am referring to gentle walking or other non strenuous activities to keep your body flexible and therefore less prone to injury and pain!

Pain Relief

Stretching

Activities such as Pilates and Yoga are a wonderful and gentle exercise program that increases strength, tone and flexibility. With increased flexibility, comes reduced risk of injury! These exercises are also renowned for their stress relieving effects!

Massage Therapy

A good massage not only relaxes and relieves muscle pain but is also a highly effective stress reliever! Massage is ideal for dealing with chronic pain.

Products

A trip to your local chemist will provide you with a range of products that are readily available to ease the discomfort of body pain. Topical analgesic creams and muscle relaxants provide tremendous relief for cramps and aching joints. Many doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medication to relieve severe muscle pain. However, this should be used with caution and with the guidance of a doctor due to its slight blood thinning effect.

Holistic Medication

With the increased awareness of chemical and medicinal side effects, more and more people are turning towards holistic alternatives and have found great results! Many people swear by nutritional supplements, TENS therapy and seek relief through Acupuncture and Chiropractors.

If you are concerned about unusual aches and pains, seek advice from your doctor.

Staying safe and keeping your pride while working out!

Blonde Moment

Be afraid, be very afraid!  I say that with the intention to humor you mostly, but also to alert you to a very real and present fact: people are doing themselves – not to mention their pride – injuries in their quest to get fit.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s great to throw yourself (not literally!) into a healthy lifestyle of regular fitness.  But if you haven’t worked out for a long time – maybe several months or years – you’re going to have to heed a few warnings from a personal trainer.

Of which I am one!

Over the course of my personal training career, I’ve seen my fair share of injuries to both body and pride for many a client.  In fact, just recently, I read an article on the internet that revealed to me these very alarming facts:

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  • Last year in this country, there were more than 50,000 people treated in the ER for fitness equipment injuries!
  • Treadmills are the most dangerous pieces of fitness equipment!
  • People often injure themselves whilst checking their iPhones or iPods, the equipment computers or watching the TV or others working out!
  • The biggest causes of injury on fitness equipment: lack of attention and not knowing how to use the equipment properly.

In short, these injuries are 100% preventable and personal trainers can help you avoid injury to both body and pride!

Imagine having to face your gym colleagues again after cart wheeling off a treadmill. Don’t laugh – it’s happened more than once!  And unfortunately, injuries like this which involve bone fractures and sprains keep even the most determined health-kicker out of action for weeks!

Even the most accident-prone, clumsy person can master fitness machines with the expert assistance of a personal trainer.  It’s always rewarding for me to introduce somebody completely new to fitness, to equipment that gets results.  Once they are properly taught how to use the equipment, it’s always great to see the individual bask in the satisfaction of real results!

Once you know how to use fitness equipment the right way, you will never forget.  It’s like riding a bike!  You’ll be well on your way to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, conducive to good health and wellbeing.  Your local gym will have 24 hour fitness trainers on hand ready to show you the ropes, without the risk of injury.  Trial and error definitely can come with pain in this game!

It’s really worth working with a personal trainer from day one, because you avoid silly injuries like the ankle sprains and leg breaks from pushing yourself too hard on a treadmill or falling off a stepping machine.

We don’t just teach people how to use exercise equipment – we also help every individual we work with to start slow in the beginning.  How many times have you decided to really throw your efforts into getting fit?

Perhaps you’ve bitten off more than you can chew with the weights machine and done your shoulder or back?

Maybe you’ve torn muscles by running on a treadmill without adequate warm up?

It’s painful to your body, and definitely to your pride.

Getting fit takes time.  It will take you at least three months to really get your body fit.  There are no overnight fixes.  No magic pills.

A good personal trainer will get you on track to achieving your fitness and health goals from day one.  No more trial and error.  No more falling off the wagon because you’re losing motivation.

If you’re 100% serious about achieving your goals when it comes to fitness, talk to a qualified personal trainer today.  Save yourself an injury to your body and to your pride – and get well on your way to your goals today!

Check out the local 24 hour fitness trainers in your area!  You won’t regret it, and you’ll get fit without all of those silly injuries to body and pride!