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

Study finds moderate-vigorous physical activity is the most efficient at improving fitness

Dedicated exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) was the most efficient at improving fitness. Specifically, exercise was three times more efficient than walking alone and more than 14 times more efficient than reducing the time spent sedentary. Additionally, they found that the greater time spent exercising and higher steps/day could partially offset the negative effects of being sedentary in terms of physical fitness.

Published

on

In the largest study performed to date to understand the relationship between habitual physical activity and physical fitness, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that higher amount of time spent performing exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) and low-moderate level activity (steps) and less time spent sedentary, translated to greater physical fitness.

“By establishing the relationship between different forms of habitual physical activity and detailed fitness measures, we hope that our study will provide important information that can ultimately be used to improve physical fitness and overall health across the life course,” explained corresponding author Matthew Nayor, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.

He and his team studied approximately 2,000 participants from the community-based Framingham Heart Study who underwent comprehensive cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) for the “gold standard” measurement of physical fitness. Physical fitness measurements were associated with physical activity data obtained through accelerometers (device that measures frequency and intensity of human movement) that were worn for one week around the time of CPET and approximately eight years earlier.

They found dedicated exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) was the most efficient at improving fitness. Specifically, exercise was three times more efficient than walking alone and more than 14 times more efficient than reducing the time spent sedentary. Additionally, they found that the greater time spent exercising and higher steps/day could partially offset the negative effects of being sedentary in terms of physical fitness.

According to the researchers, while the study was focused on the relationship of physical activity and fitness specifically (rather than any health-related outcomes), fitness has a powerful influence on health and is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death. “Therefore, improved understanding of methods to improve fitness would be expected to have broad implications for improved health,” said Nayor, a cardiologist at Boston Medical Center.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Tips to avoid common running injuries

Injuries are very common among runners. Recent research estimates that 82% of runners will become injured during their running career and up to 90% will experience injury while training for a marathon. Some of the most common include a stress fracture, plantar fasciitis, hamstring tendinitis, ankle sprain, runners’ knee, and Achilles’ tendonitis.

Published

on

Photo by Malik Skydsgaard from Unsplash.com

Whether training for a marathon or preparing for your first community race, being knocked off course with pain can be hard to handle mentally and physically.

Injuries are very common among runners. Recent research estimates that 82% of runners will become injured during their running career and up to 90% will experience injury while training for a marathon. Some of the most common include a stress fracture, plantar fasciitis, hamstring tendinitis, ankle sprain, runners’ knee, and Achilles’ tendonitis.

Injury prevention is critical. Here are some safety tips from Dr. Joshua Blomgren, a 15-time Chicago Marathon team physician and sports medicine physician, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush:

Don’t over-train

Don’t increase weekly mileage or intensity by more than 10 percent each week. Build up slowly and let a good training schedule determine how much you run.

Invest in good shoes

Go to a specialty running shop to be properly fitted for running shoes and/or orthotics. Replace them every 350-500 miles. Incorrect shoes can affect your gait, leading to injuries in your feet, legs, knees, or hips.

Choose the best running surface

Look for running surfaces that absorb shock. Opt for asphalt over concrete. Find grass or dirt trails, especially for higher mileage. Avoid uneven surfaces and seek paths with slow curves.

Stretch!

Training causes tight muscles, leading to strain and changes in your gait. Commit to a stretching program. Just 5 -10 minutes after each workout can make a big difference.

Strengthen muscles

Runners have tight hip flexors because their quads are overtrained. Strengthen your hamstrings and glutes to reduce chance of injury and abductors, adductors, and core to create stability.

Watch out for heel striking

Heel striking occurs when your feet land in front of you and your heel hits the ground first. This is common among new runners but can lead to injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, and joint pain. Land mid-sole with your foot directly underneath your body.

Prioritize posture

Good form means staying upright and keeping your shoulders back and relaxed. Work core exercises into your training and do posture checks every so often. Hold your head right above your shoulders and hips.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Postmenopausal women can dance their way to better health

After menopause, women are more likely to experience weight gain, overall/central body adiposity increases, and metabolic disturbances, such as increases in triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Together, these changes ultimately increase cardiovascular risk. Around this same time, women often are less physically active, which translates into reductions in lean mass and an increased risk of falls and fractures.

Published

on

Photo by Olivia Bauso from Unsplash.com

Women often struggle with managing their weight and other health risk factors, such as high cholesterol, once they transition through menopause. A new study suggests that dancing may effectively lower cholesterol levels, improve fitness and body composition and in the process, improve self-esteem. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

After menopause, women are more likely to experience weight gain, overall/central body adiposity increases, and metabolic disturbances, such as increases in triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Together, these changes ultimately increase cardiovascular risk. Around this same time, women often are less physically active, which translates into reductions in lean mass and an increased risk of falls and fractures. As a result of all these changes, postmenopausal women often suffer from decreased self-image and self-esteem, which are directly related to overall mental health.

Physical activity has been shown to minimize some of the many health problems associated with menopause. The effect of dancing, specifically, has already been investigated with regard to how it improves body composition and functional fitness. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of dance on body image, self-esteem, and physical fitness together in postmenopausal women.

This new study was designed to analyze the effects of dance practice on body composition, metabolic profile, functional fitness, and self-image/self-esteem in postmenopausal women. Although the sample size was small, the study suggested some credible benefits of a three-times-weekly dance regimen in improving not only the lipid profile and functional fitness of postmenopausal women but also self-image and self-esteem.

Dance therapy is seen as an attractive option because it is a pleasant activity with low associated costs and low risk of injury for its practitioners. Additional confirmed benefits of regular dancing include improvement in balance, postural control, gait, strength, and overall physical performance. All of these benefits may contribute to a woman’s ability to maintain an independent, high-quality lifestyle throughout her lifespan.

Study results are published in the article “Dance practice modifies functional fitness, lipid profile, and self-image in postmenopausal women.”

“This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem in postmenopausal women. In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of camaraderie from the shared experience of learning something new,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.