June 21, 2010

Five Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease

high blood pressure, heart attack, cholesterolEvery year, approximately two hundred and fifty thousand people die from a heart attack or heart disease, before they even reach the hospital. If any of your family or friends has ever had a heart attack, you’ve seen the drastic impact that it can have not only on their own life, but also in the lives of those around them. Heart disease and the risk of having a heart attack is easily attributed to certain factors, all which can be readily changed with a few lifestyle adjustments.

Five Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease:

  1. Manage your blood pressure – Researchers estimate that having high blood pressure doubles your risk of having a stroke. High blood pressure can easily be managed by taking medication and implementing exercise routines and a healthy diet into your lifestyle. If you haven’t gone to the doctor in a while, it might be a good idea to check up on your blood pressure, as this condition rarely has any symptoms.
  2. Stop smoking – If you smoke cigarettes, you’ve likely heard this phrase many times in your life. Due to pharmaceutical development and new methodology, it’s easier to quit smoking today than it was ten years ago. There are several different methods to quit smokingmedication that doesn’t contain nicotine is available, in addition to lots of new methods and support groups.
  3. Work off the beer belly – Researchers have attributed a significant amount of risk with abdominal obesity, so it might be a wise idea to try and work off those few extra pounds. Try exercise, or talk to your doctor about a weight loss medication.
  4. Eat healthy – Having a healthy diet will benefit you in ways you never imagined were possible – you’ll have more energy, less weight gain, lower cholesterol, and more happiness!
  5. Increase you physical activity – If you aren’t currently physically active, don’t worry – I’m not recommending that you run a marathon. You can easily incorporate exercise into your life by walking your dog around the block or walking to the local convenience store for whatever’s missing in your refrigerator. If you’re serious about getting back into shape, you may want to consider attending a boot camp or seeing a personal trainer, it’ll help you to stay accountable and ensure that you aren’t going at it alone.

Unfortunately, heart disease has become a rather common condition that almost anyone can develop. If you are concerned or have any questions about heart attacks and heart disease, contact your healthcare provider for more information.

January 4, 2010

Lack of Sleep in Teens Could Lead to Depression

Dark and Lonely Teenager
There’s no denying that each and every one of us need proper amounts of sleep to function properly every day, but not all of us get the necessary amount of sleep every night and this is particularly true among teenagers.

Teenagers experience a change in their internal clocks and this tends to cause them to go to bed at later hours and wake up later as well. However because of school in the morning most students find that they do not get enough sleep and often feel tired throughout the day. Some high schools have adjusted to this and set their start times later to allow students to sleep longer in the mornings. However, those students that must wake up early need to be aware that getting little sleep can result in more than just a cranky attitude.

Along with a nasty attitude throughout the day, inadequate sleep can result in many harmful effects. Some things caused by lack of sleep are impaired memory and physical performance, increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, problems with insomnia, impairment to the ability to stay alert, inability to stay focused, troubles solving problems, difficulty retaining information, and a lack of ability to deal with stress. Additionally, teenagers who find they’re lacking sleep on a consistent basis are more at risk for fall-asleep car accident, tobacco and alcohol use, poor impulse control and violence, and lower performance in academics and athletics. Now, a new study has found that teens that lack sleep are much more likely to suffer from depression and have thoughts of suicide.

Generally, teens require about 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep every night, but most are getting less than 7 hours. These teens need to try to go to bed a little earlier to give their bodies some much needed rest. The lower the amount of sleep a teen gets results in a higher risk of depression and other very harmful effects. If you are a parent try anything you can to get your child to bed at an appropriate time. This doesn’t have to mean sending them to bed before 8 at night, but try getting them to sleep at maybe 10 or 11 at the latest. Teens really need the extra sleep and without it they will definitely know something is wrong, even if they never admit it.


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