Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

9 Ways to Whittle Your Waist and Boost Your Back

Has your doctor suggested you shed some pounds to ease your low back pain?

Carrying extra weight is bad news for your back. Each pound puts more stress on the spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments. If the weight is carried in the stomach, the pelvis can be pulled forward, further straining the lower back.

What You Can Do About It
You’ve probably been told that losing weight is simple: just take in fewer calories. If you’d like some more specific ideas, read on:

  1. Check with your doctor first.The last thing you want is to make your pain worse by charging into the wrong kind of physical activity. Ask your doctor which kind of exercises are best for you and which should be avoided. Low-impact moves, such as walking or water therapy, are often recommended at first if you haven’t exercised in a while.
  1. Target both diet and exercises. It can be tempting to focus only on food, or only on exercise, but tackling both is likely to have the biggest payoff. It’s also best for your body: You need nutritious food for energy, and physical activity is required to deliver nutrients into the spine.
  1. Let your phone be your workout buddy. The number of fitness and diet apps available could make your head spin. There are fitness apps to track your steps, stairs climbed, and miles walked or biked. You can also watch instructor-led workouts on your smartphone. Diet apps help you compare calories in menu items, set goals, and track your progress. If apps aren’t your style, check online weight-loss calculators and goal-setting resources. Search for “weight loss calculators” to get started.
  1. Consider a personal trainer.Do you prefer the personal touch? If you worry your motivation will waver—or feel intimidated at the gym—a trainer could be just what you need. You’ll learn which exercises burn fat the fastest, how to build muscle, and which weight machines fit your needs. If cost is an issue, ask whether small-group training sessions are offered. Even a single session with a trainer can teach you plenty.
  1. Cut back on sugar. Many of us are eating much more sugar than we realize. Take a look at the nutrition labels on your “healthy” granola bars, cereal, and yogurt. This may be the time to switch to healthier alternatives.
  1. Keep a food log. Tracking your food online or on paper is a good way to pinpoint food pitfalls and find ways to sidestep them. Maybe you nibble on potato chips while watching TV, or can’t resist a midnight snack. Once you see the pattern, you can be ready for these cravings by having some low-calorie snacks handy. Hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, or a low-calorie cheese stick may work well as replacements.
  1. Make exercise part of your routine. If you have a dog, grab the leash and go each morning or when you get off work. No dog? Head out for a walk on your own or with an exercise-minded neighbor.
  1. Take a class. You don’t want exercise to be a chore—or a bore. Classes can be great for procrastinators who can’t seem to fit exercise into the day. Pilates, yoga and tai chi are all exercise approaches that can help strengthen the back while burning calories.
  1. Drink more water. Staying hydrated helps in two ways. First, the spinal discs are mostly water and need fluids to function well. Second, drinking a glass of water before a meal may help you feel full faster and eat less. Replacing soft drinks with water or other calorie-free drinks is a quick way to cut calories.You’re likely to feel more motivated some days than others. Keep in mind that any weight loss is better than none. Even losing 10% of your body weight—16 pounds for a 160-pound person—can make a difference in your health.

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health care training courses

Guide on Health Care Training and Courses

Health care training courses are fast becoming a great route into employment, with many companies expecting their staff to be well versed in subjects such as first aid and resuscitation.  First aid alone is a desirable skill as it is often a necessary course for many jobs.

Other careers which may involve health care training could be those within the wider care industry such as elderly care homes, social residential care for children and other day care centres.  Courses offered in dementia awareness can help those working within the elderly care homes as this is often a part of the job which does not have enough funding ordinarily.

Individuals can also take healthcare courses, for example parents of children with autism, Asperger’s and other social developmental difficulties can find courses in childhood behaviour useful to better understand their child’s needs.

Overall, health care training courses are in high demand because many employers see these skills as highly valuable.  First aid within the workplace is often an important course because it equips staff to be able to save lives should the time come.  Another useful course is that of fire risk and safety.  This enables the trained staff to be able to deal with workplace fires and hazards.

Health and safety courses can benefit the workforce immensely, in addition to health care training courses, because they offer the option to learn more about risk management and preventing accidents from occurring in the first place. Many workplaces require their staff to be trained in health and safety at least to a minimal standard in order to fit in with national requirements set by the government for safety.

Taking healthcare courses can be done online, which saves the trainee much time when it comes to looking for and booking a course.  Online training allows them to work on their healthcare courses in their own time, often around any work responsibilities and requirements.  If the trainee has to travel to a college or other institution, it can make working much harder as they would have to take time off in order to complete the course.  This is often against the wishes of both the trainee and the employer!  Much better that they have the opportunity to study online when it suits them.

The breadth of courses available within the healthcare industry is immense – there are courses suitable for all levels, ages and employment status.  In fact, it is often worth checking with employers if they will be prepared to put you through training in your relevant subject in order to get a better understanding of the job role in hand.

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How Yo-Yo Dieting Is Dangerous for Your Health

More than half of Americans are trying to lose weight at the moment, and this is the main reason why we see so many weight loss programs on the market. The promise of fast and effective weight-loss seems tempting, but is this possible in real life? If weight-loss programs worked, then logically, there wouldn’t be such a high number of people struggling with excess body weight. Instead of successful weight loss, what most people experience with these diets is the yo-yo effect. Other than sheer disappointment, yo-yo dieting also leads to a host of health problems. In case you were wondering how exactly yo-yo dieting is bad for your health and how a popular diet called the low-carb diet could prevent the yo-yo effect, then keep reading.

About yo-yo dieting

Yo-yo dieting is known in the medical community as weight cycling. It refers to the rapid weight gain followed by weight loss of several pounds in a short span of time. The phenomenon is very common with most people trying to lose weight experiencing it at some point. Survey data shows that 17% of people trying to lose weight are also severe weight cyclers while 30% of people were moderate weight cyclers. When adding these numbers together, you get more than 50% of people attempting to lose weight that go through what is known as weight cycling. So, as we can see, successful weight loss is not easy, and half the people are trying to lose weight experience it coming back after initial success. Finding the best diet plan to lose weight is tough, and you should consider the possibility of your weight returning after initial success.

Yo-yo dieting and greater weight gain

The problem with yo-yo dieting is that it seems to be much more confusing to the body than when you remain overweight for most of your life. What is even more concerning is that studies show that dieting can lead to greater weight gain when not done properly. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that dietary restraint increases a person’s risk of weight gain. The main reasons for this being metabolic changes caused by dieting and binge eating. Our body likes to hold on to its fat reserves. So, any time you restrict your calorie intake, the body will make metabolic adaptations such as lowering resting metabolic rate and wasting muscle tissue before it will turn to fat reserves. These things all lead to easier weight gain following a bout of starvation.

The risk of cardiovascular disease

Research has long found a strong link between yo-yo dieting and increased blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. For instance, one study found that women with normal weight who’ve been weight cyclers for a part of their life had a three time greater risk of sudden cardiac death than women with stable weight. The same research noted a 66% increased risk of coronary heart disease from yo-yo dieting. The exact mechanisms behind this are unknown but may have to do with DNA damage caused by this type of dieting. People with relatively normal weight who go through weight cycling do not have the same adaptive mechanisms to weight changes, and this is the main reason why yo-yo dieting leads to heart disease in this group said the study’s lead author Somwail Rasla, MD, at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Yo-yo dieting and whole-body inflammation

Being overweight and obese is now recognized as an inflammatory disease. Adipose tissue is an organ that becomes inflamed with excess fat accumulation. Overweight individuals are known to have greater markers of inflammation in their body as a result, and this increases their risk of chronic diseases. This is one reason why overweight people are encouraged to lose weight. But now, research shows that losing and gaining weight in cycles through yo-yo dieting may cause even greater whole-body inflammation than when a person remains the same weight. Inflammation in the body is associated with systematic diseases, cancer, depression, autoimmune disorders, and even memory problems. If you were wondering how to reduce your risk of these diseases or how to improve memory, then steer clear of yo-yo dieting.

Healthier alternative

For those seeking fast and effective weight loss, there are many alternatives that were approved by medical experts. A good example is a low-carb diet which became increasingly popular ever since the WHO recommended that people reduce their consumption of sugar and starches for better health and weight loss. Diets low in carbohydrates lead to a process called ketosis, where your body uses fat stores and turns body fat into ketone bodies which are essentially a substitute for glucose. The result is rapid weight loss but without the risk of the yo-yo effect. In addition to this, most low-carb diets recommend a higher intake of fat. Although this can seem counterintuitive when trying to lose weight, the truth is that fat increases your satiety and is higher to digest than carbs, so there’s no danger of fast weight gain with a low-carb but moderate fat diet. The efficiency of this diet in inducing rapid and effective weight loss was even confirmed in a recent study published in The British Journal of Nutrition.

Conclusion

With so many people trying to lose weight, the risks of weight loss become even higher. Although weight-loss is important for overweight people in improving their overall health and well-being, the risk of the yo-yo effect is far too real. Yo-yo dieting is associated with even worse health outcomes than being overweight. Developing a careful diet strategy is one way to avoid rapid weight regain following weight loss. Sticking to moderate and slow weight loss may be your best option if you need to shed some pounds. A good way to do just that is with a low-carb and moderate fat diet which was scientifically-proven to buffer the yo-yo effect. Speaking to a nutritionist may also help avoid adverse health outcomes. Keep in mind that your body does not like the idea of giving away fat reserves and that weight-loss comes after careful manipulation of the body’s metabolism.

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waist pain causes

Waist Pain Causes and Tips You Need To Know

Waist pain is quickly becoming a common health problem. For the most part, elderly women are more apt to suffer from waist pain; however, due to modern lifestyles, the problem is emerging in the younger set, as well. Waist pain is troublesome due to the fact that it restricts the movement of the body. Sometimes, it makes it so you are not able to move at all. Waist pain can happen due to a plethora of reasons, however, there are some common reasons that waist pain occurs.

A slipped disc can cause waist pain. In between each vertebra of the spine is a spongy structure that is known as the disc. As we move, this disc expands and contracts; however, constant strain on a disc that comes from having the same posture for long periods of time can cause the disc to bulge out. This bulge gives unneeded pressure on the nerves coming out of the spine, and thus causes waist pain.

Surgery can also cause waist pain. Any type of surgery to the stomach or the back can weaken the muscles of the spinal column and body core. This can cause the vertebra to become imbalanced. Nerves could become compressed. Waist pain at this point could come from sore muscles as they work to regain their strength.

Carrying around excess weight can cause waist pain. The excess weight puts extra pressure on the spongy discs between the vertebrae and causes them to bulge, or rupture. This, in turn, compresses the nerves in the spinal area and results in waist pain.

Pregnancy and childbirth are two things that go hand-in-hand to cause waist pain. In pregnancy, core muscles are challenged due to the extra weight that is being carried. Also, if delivery of the baby is by cesarean, the core muscles can become weak post-surgery and require work to regain strength. This is due to the fact that a cesarean is major abdominal surgery.

To avoid having problems, consider some simple preventative measures. Change posture often, as it is not good to keep the same position for long periods of time. Sleep on a firm mattress, because a mattress that is too soft or too hard can cause even more pain. Bending from the waist to pick up an object is harmful to the spine. It is better to kneel, or squat to pick up an object. Reduce the weight you carry in the waist and hip area. Engage in activities like yoga or exercise under the guidance of your doctor. Eat a healthy diet. Use hot-cold therapy if pain is bothering you. It can be better to use topical medications to help relieve pain, instead of using oral painkillers.

Waist pain is no longer centered on elderly women. Suffering from waist pain can start early in a woman’s life and can actually get worse over the years. There are simple ways to keep the pain from getting worse; however, if the pain feels beyond control, then it is best to see a medical professional because they can give you a solid diagnosis, and an effective treatment plan, too.

Author bio:

Dr. Atif  writes health articles for body pain tips. His articles have appeared in a number of e-zine sites, including EzineArticles, ArticlesBase and HubPages. Learn more about how Dr.Atif’s health articles by visiting his blog at http://bodypaintips.com

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get water out of your ear

How to get water out of your ear quickly and safely

Normally after swimming or taking a bath, water will be trapped inside your ears. However, it might happen some other times as well. It is perfectly natural that the water will sooner or later drain out of the ear. However, in some other cases, when it does not, there might be the trigger for a type of infection which is called swimmer’s ear.

A person who experiences water trapped inside his ears may feel a tickling sensation that comes from the throat as well. In some serious cases, there might be issues related to hearing. Therefore, people should prevent putting anything such as pens, bobby pins, fingers or cotton – tipped swabs into the ears because these tools may damage your ears tissue and raise the risk of getting ear infections as well. So it is highly recommended that you follow these below remedies to get the water out of your ear as soon as possible.

How you should prevent water to come inside your ear:

The best way to prevent the water from being trapped inside your ear is that you should wear a cap or use ear plugs when swimming or bathing. Alternatively, you may use a dry tower to clean the ears after bath or swimming. It is recommended by doctors that those play water sport or those are usually in water should wear earplugs or caps.

Why you should get water out of the ear as soon as possible?

If water is trapped in the ear for a long period, one may develop an ear infection. Generally, the infection is caused by bacteria which normally found in polluted water.

If you suspect the signs of ear infection, you should probably go to see doctor as soon as possible. It is reported that people are more prone to ear infection if they are playing water in place such as a lake or river because that water contain more bacteria than swimming pools. Swimming pools are much safer since the bacteria and pH levels are regularly checked.  In addition, the risk of developing swimmer’s ear may also rise for people who suffer from chronic skin condition of the ear like eczema or psoriasis. The ear has a few defense mechanism to prevent infections, however when these defenses are collapsed, the infection may invade. Excess moisture, scratches or cuts in ear canal and allergies can lead to infection as well.

Here are numerous ways to get the water out of the ear in the safest way it might be.

  • Tilt your head on one side and tug or jig the earlobe so that water can gradually flow out of the ear. Alternatively, you may try to shake your head from one side to another to get rid of the trapped water.
  • The second method is that you may create a vacuum by tilting your head on one side and keeping a palm cupped over the ear to let the water escape. By quickly flattening and cupping the palm towards the ear, the vacuum is effective in creating a force to pull the water out.
  • You might want to apple heat compress to the ear. The compress should be done in the intervals of half an hour and it should take a break about 1 minute before being repeated for 4 – 5 times. Remember to lie down on the side of the ear gets water trapped so that the water may drain out faster.
  • Evaporating the trapped water is another effective way to get rid of water in the ear. Ones should set the blow dryer at the lowest level and keep it 10 – 12 cm away from the ear. By tugging the earlobe while moving the dryer in the rounding motion, the heat from the dryer will dissolve the water.
  • When other remedies are not effective, you may want to add some alcohol and vinegar together to create a solution. Drop some of them into your ears so that the alcohol helps you to evaporate the water while the vinegar will kill the bacteria in case they can create ear infection. Using a sterile dropper, you may put 2 – 3 drops of this fluid into their ear. Wait for 30 seconds and tilt your head sideways to let the solution drain out.
  • Alternatively, you can dilute hydrogen peroxide ear drops with some water. It should be 3 – 4 drops of the solution to get rid of trapped water. After 1 – 2 minutes or more, you can tilt your head with the affected side is heading towards the floor so that the water being trapped may drain out.
  • Another warm compress is that soaking a clean cloth in warm water. Squeeze out the excessive water and hold it towards the affected ear while put your head with the affected side heading downward.

Hope you can apply these methods to get water out of your ear as safe as possible.

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