Connect with us

Fitness

5 Ways to help prevent the spread of illness

The similarities between cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms can be confusing, and a spike in the seasonal flu could place additional strain on already tight health care resources. To help ease confusion and provide guidance, Dr. Darria Long-Gillespie, ER physician and Clorox spokesperson, outlined these best practices that can help keep you and your family healthy.

Published

on

Photo by @thetonik_co from Unsplash.com

This year, as cold and flu season converges with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take precautions to help prevent the spread of illness and infection both in and out of the home. 

The similarities between cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms can be confusing, and a spike in the seasonal flu could place additional strain on already tight health care resources.  To help ease confusion and provide guidance, Dr. Darria Long-Gillespie, ER physician and Clorox spokesperson, outlined these best practices that can help keep you and your family healthy.

Develop a Household Plan: Make sure everyone in your household and immediate family is on the same page about how to best prevent the spread of illness within your home. Consider an informal “household contract,” where each member will alert the household if he or she comes in contact with an infected person or starts showing symptoms. This is important to help protect everyone in the house as well as visitors to your home, particularly those who are at-risk (such as older relatives) and can allow you time to prepare should any family member need to self-quarantine.

Don’t Skip the Flu Shot: Your first line of protection against illness is a flu shot, which not only reduces your risk of getting the flu, but also helps protect your community and conserve health care resources. This is especially important this year, since some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu overlap and can be difficult to tell apart. Because accessing the flu vaccine may be more challenging this year for many Americans due to the pandemic, Clorox has donated $1 million to Direct Relief, Visiting Nurses Association of America and Families Fighting Flu to help provide access to, and spread awareness of, the importance of flu vaccinations.

Maintain Regular Healthy Habits: One of the best defenses is a good offense, and the same is true when preparing for cold and flu season. Aiming for a well-balanced diet full of non-processed foods, staying hydrated, exercising and keeping a regular sleep schedule are all keys to keeping illness at bay. Disinfecting high-touch surfaces with a disinfectant that’s approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can also help support prevention, especially if you have members of the household leaving frequently for work or school.

Attend Necessary Medical Appointments: It’s important for you and your family to attend annual physical exams and other necessary medical appointments – whether it’s virtually or while following appropriate safety precautions in person. These checkups are crucial for keeping up to date on your prescriptions and general well-being, identifying any potential medical issues and monitoring recurring issues. Contact your doctor’s office to see if it is open for in-person or telehealth appointments in order to make the best decision for receiving care for you and your family.

Create Prevention Packs: Keep illness prevention items, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and disinfecting wipes, in one centralized spot at home. Also keep additional kits in easy-to-reach areas like the center console of your vehicle or inside your purse or backpack for when you’re on the go.

Find more tips for fighting illness this cold and flu season at Clorox.com.

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

Fitness

6 Exercise safety tips

Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Published

on

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are more aware of their health and wellness. Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Sprains, strains and injuries can happen to even the most seasoned athletes. When you’re testing your limits, even a minor injury can alter your performance. Consider products and supports like these from the CURAD Performance Series product line, available at Walmart and Amazon, to help you get back in the game quickly and safely.

Find more resources to support your fitness journey at CURAD.com.

Keep Dirt and Germs Away

The more active you are, the harder it can be to find a bandage that stays with you all day or all game long.

Spray Away Sore Spots

Controlling mild pain can help keep you at the top of your game, and a topical analgesic works fast to heal common pain brought on by fitness and exercise, such as pain in knees, feet, shoulders and backs.

Put Pain in the Past

When recovery becomes the name of the game and pain relief is needed after daily workouts or bodily injuries. Cold packs work to heal bruises, reduce swelling and relieve headaches and general pain points while microwavable heat packs provide satisfying heat therapy to address sore and stiff joints, muscle cramps and tension.

Reduce Impact of Knee Strain

Weak, injured or arthritic knees can come from many sources, including tendonitis and a wide range of conditions that result in strain or overuse. An adjustable band can provide support for on-field sports and during workouts or everyday activities.

Manage Pain and Relieve Pressure

If you participate in endurance and strength exercises or certain sports, you may ask a lot of your joints. Kinesiology tape can be configured a multitude of ways to help reduce pain and improve blood circulation, as well as relieve tension and pressure.

Control Back Strain

When your back is strained, your body and performance can suffer. A mild or moderate sprain can benefit from strong support and compression.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Exercise can provide relief for dry, itchy eyes

A significant increase in tear secretion and tear film stability after participating in aerobic exercise can be another remedy for relieving dry, itchy eyes.

Published

on

Photo by Quinten de Graaf from Unsplash.com

A team led by researchers from the University of Waterloo discovered that a significant increase in tear secretion and tear film stability after participating in aerobic exercise can be another remedy for relieving dry, itchy eyes. 

Every time we blink, our eyes are covered in tear film—an essential protective coating necessary for maintaining healthy ocular function. Healthy tear film comprises three layers–oil, water, and mucin–that work together to hydrate the ocular surface and protect against infection-causing irritants like dust or dirt.

When any part of the tear film becomes unstable, the ocular surface can develop dry spots, causing eye symptoms like itchiness or stinging and burning sensations.

“With so much of our activity tied to screen usage, dry eye symptoms are becoming increasingly common,” said Heinz Otchere, a PhD candidate in vision science at Waterloo. “Instead of having to use eye drops or other alternative treatments, our study aimed to determine if remaining physically active can be an effective preventative measure against dryness.”

Fifty-two participants were divided into two groups—athlete and non-athlete—to participate in an exercise session. Participants in the athlete group exercised at least five times per week, while non-athlete participants exercised no more than once per week. Researchers, which included experts from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, performed visual examinations before and five minutes after each exercise session, where tear secretion and tear break-up time were assessed.

While participants in the athlete group showed the largest increase, Otchere says all participants experienced a meaningful boost in tear quantity and tear film stability after the exercise session. 

“It can be challenging for people to regularly exercise when the demand is there to work increasingly longer hours in front of screens,” Otchere said. “However, our findings show physical activity can be really important for not just our overall well-being, but for our ocular health too.”

The study, Differential effect of maximal incremental treadmill exercise on tear secretion and tear film stability in athletes and non-athletes, was co-authored by Otchere, the University of Cape Coast’s Samuel Abokyi, Sekyere Nyamaah, and Michael Ntodie, and Ghana’s Our Lady of Grace Hospital’s Yaw Osei Akoto. It was recently published in the Experimental Eye Research journal.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Late-life exercise shows rejuvenating effects on cellular level

Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging.

Published

on

Photo by Caley Vanular from Unsplash.com

For people who hate exercising, here comes some more bad news: it may also keep you younger. Not just looking younger, but actually younger, on an epigenetic level. By now, the benefits of exercise have been well established, including increased strength of bones and muscles, improved mobility and endurance, and lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

But younger?

A study recently published in Aging Cell, “Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging,” suggests this could be the case. The paper was written by a team of seven researchers across three institutions, including Kevin Murach, an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the U of A. Murach’s grant from the National Institute of Health funded the study, and he was one of three co-first authors.

Bootcamp for Mice

While the paper is dense with data, reflecting the use of several analytic tools, the experiment that generated the data was relatively straightforward. Lab mice nearing the end of their natural lifespan, at 22 months, were allowed access to a weighted exercise wheel. Generally, mice require no coercion to run and will do so voluntarily. Older mice will run anywhere from six to eight kilometers a day, mostly in spurts, while younger mice may run up to 10-12 kilometers. The weighted wheel ensured they built muscle. While there isn’t a direct analogue to most human exercise routines, Murach likened it to “a soldier carrying a heavy backpack many miles.”

When the mice were studied after two months of progressive weighted wheel running, it was determined that they were the epigenetic age of mice eight weeks younger than sedentary mice of the same age — 24 months. Murach noted that while the specific strain of mice and their housing conditions can impact lifespans, “historically, they start dropping off after 24 months at a significant rate.” Needless to say, when your lifespan is measured in months, an extra eight weeks — roughly 10 percent of that lifespan — is a noteworthy gain.

Methylation, My Dear Watson

The science behind this, while complicated, hinges largely on a biological process known as DNA methylation. A recent New York Times article discussing Murach’s work on muscle memory described methylation “as a process in which clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach themselves to the outside of genes like minuscule barnacles, making the genes more or less likely to turn on and produce particular proteins.”

As the body ages, there tends to be increased DNA methylation, or even hypermethylation, at promoter sites on genes in muscle. “DNA methylation changes in a lifespan tend to happen in a somewhat systematic fashion,” Murach explained, “to the point you can look at someone’s DNA from a given tissue sample and with a fair degree of accuracy predict their chronological age.” Due to this, researchers can use one of a number of “methylation clocks” to determine the age of a DNA sample.

DNA Methylation, Aging and Exercise

While the paper strengthens the case for exercise, there is still much that needs to be learned. Though the connection between methylation and aging is clear, the connection between methylation and muscle function is less clear. Murach is not yet prepared to say that the reversal of methylation with exercise is causative for improved muscle health. “That’s not what the study was set up to do,” he explained. However, he intends to pursue future studies to determine if “changes in methylation result in altered muscle function.”

“If so, what are the consequences of this?” he continued. “Do changes on these very specific methylation sites have an actual phenotype that emerges from that? Is it what’s causing aging or is it just associated with it? Is it just something that happens in concert with a variety of other things that are happening during the aging process? So that’s what we don’t know.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.