Category Archives: health care

4 Things to Take Care of Before Foot Surgery

It is very common for anyone about to undergo foot surgery to have questions and concerns, since setting out on a plan of corrective foot or ankle surgery can be a huge decision in one’s life. The best physicians and surgeons will not only evaluate and diagnose your foot and ankle, but will also discuss the procedure with you, addressing any concerns you may have. However, you can also make your surgery a success and speed your recovery by following a few of the following simple tips.

1. Schedule Your Surgery

Although this should go without saying, one of the first steps in making your surgery a success is scheduling it properly. While you may have some preference in mind for when you would like to have your surgery and when you plan to recover, a good rule of thumb is to avoid surgery within three months of any travel plans you may have. While you may prefer mornings to afternoons and evenings, or vice versa, usually the actual time in which the procedure will occur is not set until a day or two before the procedure.

2. Pre Operative Visits

Pre-operative visits are crucial to making sure that your surgery is a complete success. The purpose of these visits is multi-fold. For one, your surgeon will review your general health to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery, and will give you information and a detailed plan about the procedure. He or she will also give you instructions for things you should do both before and after the surgery. Likely, this is when you will also be prescribed any pain medications for after the operation, so that you can have them ahead of time. You can make the most of these visits by being very forward and open about your health and medical history.

3. Check Your Existing Medications

Another thing you need to be completely open about with your surgeon is any medications you are currently taking. The reason for this is that some medications can have a negative effect on certain anesthetics and medications, or can cause excessive bleeding. Avoid any blood thinners or aspirin, as these are known to thin the blood. Additionally, you will want to stop taking anti-inflammatories, any corticosteroids, methotrexate, Enbrel, plaquenil, or any chemotherapy medications, as these have been shown to slow the healing of bone and wounds.

4. Lay Off Alcohol and Smoking

If you smoke or enjoy a drink here and there, you will likely want to put a stop to these habits prior to the surgery and not resume until well after you have healed. The reason for laying off the vices is that they can increase your risk of complications in the heart and lungs for cigarettes, and because alcohol can have adverse effects when mixed with many post-operative pain medications. Additionally, both of these vices interfere with your body’s absorption of the nutrients and minerals you need to recover fully.

Are Your Flats Too Flat?

In everything in life there is an opposite; there is yin and yang, night and day, combs have brushes. When most think of flats they think of a happy alternative to heels. Flats are thought of as a safe haven for your feet or so most think.

There are flats that can be considered too flat and cause more harm than good. They don’t provide adequate arch support, cushioning or shock absorption, which all feet need especially those with flat feet. Without that support, you can get inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains. Ballet flats or foldable flats are very common in lacking support.

Overcompensating with too much cushion, like certain running shoes for example, can be just as bad. When there is a lot of cushion, your brain is not getting the direct feedback from your foot because your sense of ground is thrown off which can cause stress injuries, especially to the heel.

Flips Flops are also on the caution list. Most are too flat, too thin and too open. This exposes the foot to the environment and doesn’t provide arch support or cushioning.

The thong that sits between your toes is also dangerous, it forces your toe muscles to over-grip. Plus, when your big toe hangs off the flip-flop, you increase your risk for toe fractures. The risk of getting splinters or other foot injuries is higher when the feet are exposed. People with diabetes should not wear flip-flops, because simple cuts and scrapes can lead to serious complications.

The solution is here.

For Flip Flops you can try fitted flip-flops for arch support, and the height of the sole better protects your foot from outside debris

If you love the look of ballet flats, over-the-counter inserts may help prevent mild foot pain. Heel pads can provide extra cushioning for achy heels. And custom orthotics can ease a whole range of foot pains and problems. Podiatrists prescribe these inserts to provide arch support and reduce pressure on sensitive areas. A trip to your podiatrist would be helpful to find out the pressure points on your foot or where you place most of your weight. If you want to avoid the doctor then possibly Dr. Scholl’s foot pads are available. If the pain is consistent no matter the insert, a trip to the podiatrist may be beneficial for your health. There may be something deeper than just back arch support.

Most common causes of foot pain – Caution ladies

Plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs between the heel and the arch of the foot

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is the most common cause of foot pain. It’s so common, in fact, that almost everyone will deal with a case of PF in his or her lifetime. Certain stressful exercises or constant standing, over-training, tight calf muscles, flat feet, high arches, weight gain, or jobs that require may increase the possibility of an inflammation. It is most common in middle-aged people men or women but anyone can get Plantar fasciitis is a very easy affliction if you are not conscience of the strain you put on your feet.

The pain can present as sharp, dull, aching, or burning. Classic symptoms to look out for:

– Notable heel pain or stiffness in the morning that recedes during the day.

– Pain that goes away when you exercise (as the muscles and ligaments get warm and stretchy) but comes back when you’re done working out.

– Increased pain when you climb stairs or stand on your toes.

– Pain after sitting or standing for an extended period.

The best ways to alleviate or hopefully avoid PF are stretches:

30-second stretches, five times a day.” Foot stretches may help, but it’s far more important to stretch your calf

Always stretch your feet, calves, and Achilles after a workout (or a long day on your feet).

Become aware of the strains you put on your feet.

– When going for distance, walk or run on soft surfaces.

– Alternate activities to prevent over-stressing the plantar fascia.

– Ice at the first hint of pain.

– Take rest days!

– Always wear supportive shoes (or over the counter inserts in your non-supportive shoes), whether or not you’re working out.

– Avoid long periods of barefoot walking or standing. Even at home, try slippers or comfy shoes.

– If you’ve recently gained weight, gotten pregnant, or started a new fitness routine, take extra care to support your feet. Sudden changes like these can increase your risk of plantar fasciitis.

The Importance Of Having The Best Personal Trainer

Most of us desire to stay fit and healthy. However the big question is whether or not, you can really attain it. Fitness isn’t the easiest things because of the different obstacles that you will face. This is why a lot of us choose to have personal trainer as they can give you an insight into the right exercises that can help you get in the groove.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

If you are wondering as to what is the main job of a personal trainer, you need to know the following. Having a personal trainer will ensure that he/she will understand the details of how your body operates. With this knowledge and understanding, they will help you spot the best exercises that can truly work upon your body muscles and flex it in the right manner.

Sometimes, even after putting in hours and hours of exercising, you may fail to get the right results and this is when you will need a trainer who can look into the matters or you. If your way of carrying out the exercises is not up to the mark, it is not going to assist you and this is why you will need someone who is skilled and expert enough to handle the matters for you.

You can check out the fitness boot camp programs too. These boot camps are so programmed that your tensile strength of the body is going to improve a great deal too. When you are opting for a bootcamp, you should ideally check out the different ways by which you can improve your performance.

A bootcamp is going to cover a lot of different aspects and you should dig all these details thoroughly. When you have explored these points in advance, it will give you some of the key insight into the things you will learn and the ways by which you will be able to improve your performance.

With the right type of fitness bootcamp, you can bring about a change in your energy levels and train your body vigorously. When you are opting for such boot camps, you will be able to derive the right benefits.

You can always ask your personal trainer for the right kind of opinion regarding the best boot camps which you should participate in. You have to be sure that you are enrolling in such camps and you should take the lessons seriously. If you are unaware of the key aspects, put in the right kind of effort. With the finest insight in the best ways by which you can train your body, you will be able to improve the way you work.

When your body has been toned in the right manner, it is going to help you enjoy the best benefits of health. The perks of a healthy body are too many and with the best trainer to help you improve your fitness, you can have the perfect body and this is definitely going to improve the way you feel about yourself.

Tips For Getting Started in the World of Cardio Exercise

Aerobic exercise (sometimes called just “Cardio”) is any exercise that condition your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) for a better performance.

So, anything that makes your heart pump and your breath pant is aerobic exercise.

It means that if you go running right now and you start panting after few meters you need to train with aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise is VERY important. You can’t actually think you can avoid it. You must make time for it as an important part of your life.

Let me give you an example to let you understand the importance of this kind of workout.

If your heart was the engine of a car, you know that if you never change the oil, or the filter, or you don’t do the proper maintenance, that engine will break down and your car will be unusable.

Aerobic exercise is the maintenance your heart needs in order to keep the blood and your body clean for the best performance.

So, what aerobic exercises are out there? Well… many! Many ways in different forms and likes, what ever you feel comfortable with, it’s your exercise. Just go for it.

I will name a few of the most popular in a moment but before you get in to hyper fitness Rambo mode you should consider how hard should you train at your age for your heart using your Target Heart Rate (THR).

Cycling

Cycling is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. If you like biking this is your treat.

You can use your bicycle or a bicycle machine you can find in your gym (or maybe you have if at home)

Cycling burn up to 900 calories per hour when done properly. Works on legs and cardiovascular system and is relatively safe because does not impose much stress on the joints of your body.

Of course if you have a bicycle to ride outdoor you will enjoy the freedom of space and the awesome view you may have around.

However if you live in the city you will not be able to enjoy much of fresh air in the middle of the traffic. If you count also the possibility of any accident you should consider very clearly if is more convenient for you to train indoor or outdoors (not considering the weather of course).

An important point I would like to make sure you understand is the adjustability of the seat. The bicycle or the machine you are going to use for your training should have adjustable seat to allow your leg to be slightly bent when extended.

The position of your body when working out is not much important as you will change it anyway during your training, but the most important point is that you reach your THR.

Running

Like Cycling, Running can be performed outside in the fresh air or indoor on a treadmill. Even if I would always prefer training outdoor sometimes the treadmill can offer some pretty good reasons to workout indoor.

Running is very popular and is difficult to see a gym without a proper set of treadmills for its customers.

On a treadmill you can set a constant speed and an inclination to have a steady intensity of your workout and it’s easy to monitor different information about your body and your performance on the display (Heart rate, speed, averages, distance… ) and record your progresses.

Beside the fact that you are running on an even surface you can also benefit of a clean air and no weather problems, avoiding any excuse to workout.

Compared to other forms of exercise, running have a certain amount of orthopedic stress and the trauma to your joint can range between 1.5 to 3 times your body weight each foot step.

I highly suggest running as your aerobic workout only if your knees and joints are in good health.

Stair Climbing Machine

In the last ten years became the most popular in most gym.

The stair climbing machines have 3 main characteristics: Safe, Time efficient, Functional

These machines come in 2 forms:

  1. Independent stepping action: Each step operates independently from the other step
  2. Dependent stepping action: They are non-functional by design and they can cause orthopedic trauma to your knees, hips and low back.

Of course you should go only with the first one. Independent stepping action machines are the most used in therapeutic medical facilities.

It doesn’t really matter where you put your hands while working out on these machines, but I suggest you to try to keep them down straight like in a walking motion. In this way you will also train your core (abs and back) improving your balance at each step.

Rowing

Rowing is my favorite aerobic exercise (just because I like it) and it burns calories like any other exercise.

It’s another excellent choice for develop aerobic fitness and it does a fantastic workout.

It conditions heart and lungs without any orthopedic trauma like jogging or stair climbing machine and it’s a good workout for the muscular system too.

When properly performed this exercise involves most of the major muscular groups of your body. Around 70% legs and 30% arms are engaged at every row strike.

If you are looking to develop your upper body this workout will place a considerable demand on your back muscles (lats, posterior deltoids, rhomboids) and simultaneously improve your aerobic fitness.

However I have to say that you should take your time to learn the correct position and technique to properly perform this exercise. Make sure you check with a fitness professional about the correct movement and different kinds of machines available.

Cross Training

Cross training is not one exercise or “one machine’.

Cross training is the mix of different exercises during your workout session.

It’s good to mix up exercises in order to train different muscles to perform different movement.

While your heart and lungs will be well trained if you switch between one exercise to another (let’s say from cycling to running for example) your muscles may not be able to perform their best on running because they were trained for cycling.

Alternating exercises will develop all muscles involved in any activity and help to avoid injury during training while giving a more complete workout.

Considering that the aerobic workout should be performed minimum 20 minutes per session 3 times a week, you can easily come up with your own program as follow:

Monday: 10 minutes running + 10 minutes stair climbing

Wednesday: 10 minutes rowing + 10 minutes cycling

Friday: 10 minutes stair climbing + 10 minutes rowing

I would recommend of course to start with what you like the most. Follow the guidelines on how hard should you train at your age for your heart using your Target Heart Rate (THR) for the best results.

Remember that it’s only up to you to make your change. Now you have few more suggestions on how to get started.

Keep going, don’t stop, make it a lifestyle!

Home Health Care – Eat To Beat The Common Cold

Feeling like you might be under the weather? If a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract has taken you out, chances are the last thing you feel like doing is eating. Your appetite is down, your throat is scratchy, and if you have a stuffed up nose, eating means the only way you have to get in the air is now blocked temporarily. It’s not a pleasant experience at all. That said, if you want to make a speedy recovery, eating will be a big part of the plan. Food gives your body the fuel it needs to fight off the viral infection, getting you on the road to recovery.

What’s more is particular foods can help cure a common cold faster than others. Let’s look at the best foods to be eating if you want to beat that infection…

1. Garlic. While not classed as food, if you add garlic to as many dishes as you do eat, you will be much better off. Garlic is a potent immune booster and can also help kill unwanted infections in your body as well. Garlic kills unwanted viruses and bacteria thanks to the level of allicin it contains: allicin is an active component that offers antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

2. Sweet Potatoes. To help give you an energizing boost, sweet potatoes should be your go-to. You do need to eat some carbs while trying to beat a cold even if you aren’t very active right now; it’s these carbs that will give you the energy you need to fight the infection.

Sweet potatoes are great because not only will they help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, but also they’re also a very rich source of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining your mucosal surfaces. Since these mucosal surfaces are your first defense against infection, they’ll help prevent any further unwanted viruses or bacteria from entering your body.

3. Kale. Preparing yourself a kale salad is another excellent idea when you are down with the common cold. Kale is very rich in vitamin C content, which plays a crucial role in restoring a healthy immune system.

A high intake of vitamin C while you are suffering from a cold can help you lower the overall duration of your cold, helping you get back to feeling better.

4. Chicken Noodle Soup. Finally, the old saying is true: “chicken noodle soup can cure a cold.” The hot liquid will help soothe your sore throat as well as clear up some of the congestion. The recovery is thanks to the fact the hot liquid will raise your internal body temperature which helps loosen mucus secretions in your airways.

Five Ways to Help With Home Care From a Distance

As children get older, they often begin to stress about their parents’ health and well-being. Particularly, when adult children live far away and not just down the street, the fear and worry about how a parent is doing can feel almost overwhelming. By planning ahead and doing a little bit of research, home care from a distance can be as easy as providing it from next door. Here are five steps to address a loved one’s home care while out-of-town.

1. Assess

Determine all of the needs of the parent. Is driving still an option? Are bills being managed? Has grocery shopping become burdensome? Are personal hygiene, eyesight, and weight being maintained? Has cooking and keeping house become difficult? Check on medications and make sure all are being taken on time. As parents age, asking an adult child to take on additional responsibilities can feel complicated and burdensome. Be better prepared to step in, offer help, and find solutions by gaining a greater awareness of daily life and personal habits.

2. Modify

On the next visit, make minor adjustments on an as-needed basis. Perhaps a bathroom grab bar can be installed, or a non-slip mat for the bathtub can be purchased to make bathing easier. Clean hard-to-reach appliances and vacuum behind heavy furniture. Check light bulbs and replace any that have burnt out. Complete a quick assessment of property conditions. Do gutters need to be cleared of debris? Is the lawn overgrown? Will an apartment on a lower level be available in the near future? Taking on big-picture tasks can significantly improve a living environment and relieve stress.

3. Connect

Build relationships and engage with an extended community at parental social functions or religious events. Go ahead and meet neighbors. Ask to leave contact information and inquire about the possibility of routine check-ins. If some form of home care is already being provided, get to know those who are assisting. Attend doctor appointments. Be involved and ask questions. Being present and letting the doctor put a face to a name will communicate health advocacy.

4. Stay in Touch

Understand that support extends beyond the visit. Add the loved one’s friends to an existing social network. Communicate via email, social media, text, and video chat. Consider purchasing a device that would make talking easy, fun, and accessible. Send photos, greeting cards, and kids’ artwork-anything to increase engagement.

5. Plan

Be proactive and develop a document that clearly outlines a course of action. Develop an arrangement for handling emergency situations. Create a shared calendar of doctor’s appointments, due dates for bills and account information, important dates, and upcoming events. Share end-of-life wishes, even if it is a difficult topic to bring up. Discuss important matters with siblings and listen to feedback. Enable everyone to voice concerns and suggestions. Finally, consider hiring home care specialists, discussing long-term finances with an estate planner, and looking into local advocacy services for the elderly.