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Health And Wellness

Hometown Hall Health Tip of the Day June 15

Troy Warren


 

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Health And Wellness

5 ways to beat the summertime blues

By Barton Goldsmith, Tribune News Service

Troy Warren


 

For those who suffer from depression, more time in the day isn’t a bonus

Longer days and warmer weather are on the way. For most people, summertime is a good time of year. It can also be very helpful for people with seasonal affective disorder.

But many others may feel pressured by the extra time in the day and feel guilty for not enjoying themselves. For many depressed people, going to bed is the best part of their day.

Here are some things you can do to combat the summertime blues.

1. Be grateful this isn’t last year

Remember how we were locked down in many areas, and even Disneyland was closed? Many states are lifting their mask mandates and expecting things will mostly be back to normal this summer. And that’s something we can all be at least a little happy about.

2. Plan some kind of a summer adventure

Maybe it’s in your own town, or maybe you will travel to a place that holds fond memories or somewhere you’ve never been to create new ones. Whatever your choice, a lot of joy can be found in the planning process. Whether you are going to travel on your own or with a group, your family or just your partner, figuring out everything you’d like to do once you get to your destination is a big part of the fun. It’s also a good way to lift you out of a funk. Happiness comes from making plans, so try it.

3. Honor any concerns about the virus

It’s understandable to still be nervous about COVID-19. If you are, then continue your protocols and stay safe, but look to taking more walks in your hometown, and commit to discovering new things in your own backyard. It is amazing how just planting a few flowers and watching them bloom helps you blossom internally as well. If that doesn’t work for you, there is always the option of a good garage cleaning. Once you start on home improvement projects, it can become a fulfilling part of your routine.

4. Add a new dimension to your lifestyle

If you didn’t learn a foreign language or invent the next big thing during the lockdown, welcome to the biggest club in the world. This summer is your chance to do something fun that makes you feel good about yourself. You can take up the guitar and have campfire singalongs or learn one of the new soft sports like paddleboarding. The idea is to do something different from the norm but that’s relaxing as well as a little exciting.

5. Reconnect with good friends and loving family

What a difference being around other people can make. I found that the first handshake I received in a year actually made me feel good, and an unexpected hug even better. Socializing and working with fully vaccinated people makes this a little easier.

Adding joy back into your world, while still being appropriately cautious, is going to make the summer of 2021 a lot more fun than last year. Most all of us need to play a little bit, and summertime brings up thoughts of jumping off piers and walking along a beautiful trail. This is the stuff of life. Being in nature or bringing it to you is a natural healer for the summertime blues.


 

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Health And Wellness

Hometown Hall Health Tip of the Day June 14

Troy Warren 


 

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Health And Wellness

AHA: Sit less to lower mildly high blood pressure, cholesterol

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren


 

The American Heart Association say more exercise is the first step to treat hypertension

Before taking medication or adjusting diet, the American Heart Association says adults with mild to moderate hypertension and high cholesterol should get moving.

More exercise is recommended as the first step to treat these conditions in adults with otherwise low heart disease risk. The AHA announced this in a June 2 scientific statement published in the journal Hypertension.

“The current American Heart Association guidelines for diagnosing high blood pressure and cholesterol recognize that otherwise healthy individuals with mildly or moderately elevated levels of these cardiovascular risk factors should actively attempt to reduce these risks. The first treatment strategy for many of these patients should be healthy lifestyle changes beginning with increasing physical activity,” said Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., chair of the statement writing group and associate professor in the department of health and human development and clinical and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

People with a blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg/80-89 mm Hg meet the criteria for lifestyle-only blood pressure treatment. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Guideline outlines these standards for people with otherwise low heart disease or stroke risk.

It’s estimated that 21% of U.S. adults meet that criteria. Meanwhile, an estimated 28% of U.S. adults, have an LDL cholesterol score over 70 mg/dL and a low risk of heart disease or stroke. Such adults would meet the 2018 AHA/ACC Cholesterol Treatment Guidelinescriteria for lifestyle-only treatment. These include more physical activity, weight loss, diet improvements, smoking cessation and reducing alcohol consumption.

“Increasing physical activity can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, along with many other health benefits,” Gibbs said. Such benefits include improved sleep, lowered risk of certain cancers and boosted brain and bone health.

An analysis of 36 studies showed physically active people have a 21% lower risk of developing heart disease, according to the statement. They also have a 36% lower death risk from heart diseases compared to physically inactive people.

Last year, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines to recommend that adults between ages 18 to 64 should get “at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity.” This deviated from AHA’s recommendations of 150 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

Still, benefits can be seen even with a small amount of physical activity.

“Every little bit of activity is better than none,” Gibbs said. “Even small initial increases of 5 to 10 minutes a day can yield health benefits.”


 

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Health And Wellness

Hometown Hall Health Tip of the Day June 13

Troy Warren


 

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Health And Wellness

Study: You may be less likely to get diabetes if you eat whole fruit

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren

There’s more evidence that increasing your fruit intake can lead to health benefits.

A recently published study from the Endocrine Society said that two daily servings of fruit are linked to 36% lower chances of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to people who eat less than half a serving.

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“Fruit, but not fruit juice, intake is inversely associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, questions remain about the mechanisms by which fruits may confer protection,” the authors wrote in the abstract.

“These findings indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle which includes the consumption of whole fruits is a great strategy to lower your diabetes risk,” study author Nicola Bondonno, Ph.D., of Edith Cowan University’s Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, Australia said in a press release.

More than 34 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, which affects over 10% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes diets recommend plentiful fruits, vegetables and whole grains. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy eating plan can lower blood sugar, control weight and regulate heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure.

The Endocrine Society study saw researchers analyze data from 7,675 participants. Those involved were from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute’s Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. They filled out a food frequency questionnaire to give information on their fruit and fruit juice intake. Researchers discovered participants who consumed more whole fruits had 36% lower chances of having diabetes in five years. A link between fruit consumption and insulin sensitivity markers was also found. That meant those who ate more fruit had to produce less insulin to reduce their blood sugar levels.

“This is important because high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes but also to high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease,” Bondonno said.


 

 

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Health And Wellness

Hometown Hall Health Tip of the Day June 12

Troy Warren 


 

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Health And Wellness

Study finds men with sight, vision loss more likely to have obesity

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren

A recent study has found a link between men with sensory loss and obesity.

In particular, hearing loss has been associated with men being less physically active and more likely to have obesity than women.

The results were published last month in the European Journal of Public Health.

“Although women were overall less physically active than men, we found an association between physical inactivity and obesity in men, but not in women. This indicates that, especially in people with vision and hearing losses, exercise and being active has a very important role in preventing obesity for men,” lead author professor Shahina Pardhan, director of the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University said in a press release.

The study analyzed data from over 23,000 Spanish adults. It evaluated links between not being physically active and obesity in people with hearing and vision loss. It also examined differences between men and women.

Findings indicated people with hearing loss who are physically inactive had a 1.78 times greater possibility of obesity compared to people without hearing loss. People with vision loss had 1.375 times greater chances of obesity compared to people who didn’t report vision loss. For men with hearing loss, the link between physical activity and obesity was greater. They were more than twice as likely to be obese as women who said they had hearing difficulty. If they had sight loss, physically inactive men had over one and a half times greater risk of obesity compared to women.

The greatest rate of physical inactivity and obesity was seen in people who had sight and hearing loss. The rates were 44.8% and 26.1% respectively. A noticeable connection to physical inactivity and obesity was found in men with vision or hearing difficulties, but not in women, the analysis showed.

Of those surveyed, 11.04% self-reported vision loss, nearly 7% reported hearing loss, and almost 4% reported vision and hearing loss.

“Adults, especially those with sensory losses, should be encouraged to be as physically active as possible but there are obviously challenges, strongly suggesting that intervention and encouragement would play a very important role,” Pardhan said. “An effective strategy to increase the levels of physical activity in this population group would be through targeted intervention programs based on health awareness on the importance of physical activity.”

In Spain, about 62% of adults are overweight while 26% are obese. Obesity affects 37.7% of U.S. adults while overweight affects 32.5%, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


 

 

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Health And Wellness

Hometown Hall Health Tip of the Day June 11

Troy Warren 


 

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Health And Wellness

Older adults may improve sleep with calming music, study says

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren

Older adults who need to enhance their sleep can do so using music, according to a Taiwanese study.

National Cheng Kung University Hospital researchers analyzed five study results to determine how listening to music can affect sleep quality in older adults.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers scoured studies that evaluated how listening to music affected older adults facing sleep issues who live at home. Five studies with 288 participants were evaluated. Half of the participants listened to music while the other half received their typical treatment for their sleep issues. Or, they had no treatment. Those treated with music listened to rhythmic or calming music ranging for 30 minutes or up to an hour. This lasted anywhere from two days to three months. Every participant completed a survey about how well they believe they slept. Ultimately, they had a sleep quality score ranging from 0 to 21.

Then, researchers compared the differences in average scores for people who did and didn’t listen to music. They reviewed differences in people who listened to calm and rhythmic music. Time was also evaluated. Researchers compared scores of people who listened to music for four weeks or more and four weeks or fewer.

What they found indicates adults 60 and older who live at home sleep better when listening to music for 30 minutes and up to one hour at bedtime. Calm music was found to better improve sleep quality compared to rhythmic music, which is faster and louder. It’s also suggested that older adults listen to music for more than four weeks for maximum benefit.

“Music therapy is safe and easy to administer and can effectively improve sleep quality among older adults, particularly those listening to more sedative music for at least a four-week duration,” researchers wrote in their conclusion.

According to MedlinePlus, sleep habits tend to change with age. Oftentimes, older adults wake up during the night an average of three or four times. They also awake earlier. Total sleep time may slightly decrease and there’s often an abrupt transition between sleeping and waking. That can make older adults feel as if they sleep lighter than they did before.