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Archive for September, 2013

Your Weekly Inspiration: Give Your Life Wings

September 30, 2013

Your heart has a major influence on your life – both physically and emotionally. Did you know that your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body in under a minute? This fist-sized muscle beats about 100,000 times per day to transport 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. It’s a pretty amazing organ.

By making an effort to keep your heart physically and emotionally healthy, you’re keeping your whole body healthy. Everything falls into place. Focusing on optimum heart health through your life – whether it’s by eating nutritious foods, laughing with friends, exercising, having a positive attitude, or getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked – can boost your well-being. It just might give your life wings.

 

heart gives life wings




4 Benefits of Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

September 27, 2013

As we grow older, our health becomes even more of a concern to ourselves and those around us. One of the growing threats to individuals of increased age is Alzheimer’s disease – a cognitive condition with no known cure. The good news is early detection and treatment can help slow the debilitating effects, or in some cases even reverse the damage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease across the world are staggering. Depending on how each case is identified, there are anywhere from 2.6 to 5.2 million people living with the disease right now. The bad news is the CDC expects that number to grow exponentially over the coming decades, estimating that nearly 16 million will have the disease by 2050.

 

Why Early Detection Matters

Catching any condition early is better than waiting until the disease has progressed to the point of catastrophic health consequences. Studies have yet to produce a clear-cut cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but there are a number of ways all people can be on the lookout for Alzheimer’s disease warning signs so it can be caught early.

Specific benefits of early detection of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Beginning medical treatment right away. Early identification allows for aggressive therapies that can slow or even arrest the advancement of the disease.
  • Comfort with treatment plans. If caught early, an Alzheimer’s disease patient can have an open dialogue with their healthcare provider about treatment options and even experimental therapies.
  • Awareness about the road ahead. Individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can educate themselves and their families on what they can expect in the future.
  • Fast action to slow the progression of the disease. Lifestyle changes involving physical and mental exercise, diet and other healthy habits can be adopted that may help slow the effects of the disease.

No matter what the health condition might be, from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, or even Alzheimer’s disease, early detection is beneficial. The sooner a disease can be identified, the sooner treatment can be sought, and the less likely the disease will result in catastrophic, life-threatening consequences.




Study Finds Yoga May Help with Atrial Fibrillation

September 26, 2013

Yoga is known to offer a host of psychological and physical health benefits. Recently, studies have shown that the popular exercise can ease the burden of people with atrial fibrillation.

According to researchers from the University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center, yoga appears to enhance the quality of life for those with atrial fibrillation. Published a few months ago in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the findings hint at something promising. Yoga, the researchers found, improved symptoms of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. The training also enhanced their general health, (particularly blood pressure, arrhythmia burden and heart rate), and decreased depression and anxiety.

Atrial fibrillation is a common type of abnormal heartbeat, which means that the heart cannot pump enough blood for the body’s needs. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, people may not be aware that their heartbeat is regularly. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation may start or stop suddenly on their own.

Some of the symptoms include palpitations, rapid or pounding pulse, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of ability to exercise. These problems can affect everyone but they are especially common among older men and women. People with hypertension, coronary artery disease, alcohol abuse problems or heart valve disease are likely to show the symptoms.

While atrial fibrillation isn’t fatal in and of itself, if left untreated, AFib can lead to major health complications such as heart failure and stroke. This is why people at risk for the condition should consider an atrial fibrillation screening, and those who have the condition should seek treatment from their physician.

This study shows that yoga may have a positive impact on people already diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. For those hoping to prevent the development of this condition, healthy lifestyles are especially important. Yoga alone won’t help you avoid the condition. Take a proactive approach by learning about screening for atrial fibrillation, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, avoiding cigarettes and heavy alcohol consumption, and striving to live a healthy life.




Did You Know? What You’ve Always Wondered about Yawning

September 25, 2013

Your boss catches you in a yawn and thinks you’re either tired or bored. You see your spouse yawning and it makes you yawn just seconds later. Have either of these situations ever happened to you?

Many people think that yawning is simply a sign of fatigue or boredom. This may be true, but what are the reasons behind yawning? Why do we do it, why does it seem to be contagious, and what does it signal about our health?

 

Why Do We Yawn?

There are many theories behind why we yawn, but there is little evidence to support them. One thing we do know, however, is that we don’t just yawn when we’re tired. Some scientists believe that yawning occurs to boost deep breathing, which our lungs need periodically to stay healthy.

The most recent research on yawning points to its role in cooling down the brain. An open-mouthed yawn makes the sinus walls expand and contract, pump air into the brain and lowering its temperature. Studies have shown that people tend to yawn more in the winter, when the air coming into the lungs is cooler, compared to summer when the air doesn’t have as much of a cooling effect on the brain.

 

Why is Yawning Contagious?

The belief that yawning is contagious is true. One study, highlighted in a Huffington Post article, found that when an audience was shown videos of yawning, about half of the audience also began yawning. Other studies have even shown yawns being contagious among animals.

Research has revealed, however, that yawning is more contagious among people who are close either genetically or emotionally. The closer you are to someone, the more likely you are to “catch” their yawn.

As far as the reasoning behind contagious yawns, researchers believe it’s a similar phenomenon to laughter. Rather than being a psychological occurrence, contagious yawning is more of a social occurrence.

 

Yawning and Health

Yawning is a perfectly natural and normal occurrence. However, excessive yawning can be a symptom of an underlying disorder or disease. Excessive yawning has been linked to the stimulation of the vagus nerve caused by a heart attack or aortic dissection. It can also be a sign of heart disease, epilepsy, stroke, a tumor, or even multiple sclerosis.

Always check with your doctor if you are experiencing strange symptoms like excessive yawning. We all yawn now and then, but excessive yawning could indicate a much bigger health issue.

 




Your Top 5 Motivational Quotes of Summer

September 24, 2013

September 21 officially marked the end of summer and the start of the fall season. Whether you’re happy about the start of fall or sad about the end of summer, hopefully you agree it was a good past couple of months.

While summertime does provide the convenience of more outdoor activities, like going for walks and runs, biking, swimming, hiking and more, your motivation for staying active doesn’t have to end just because summer is.

That’s why we thought we’d bring back some of the weekly motivation quotes from the Life Line Screening Facebook page  that inspired you. These are the posts you ‘liked’, shared and commented on the most. Use them to start your fall season off strong by staying motivated to exercise, eat healthy and avoid bad habits. You can do it!

 

#5: Guard Your Heart

#4: Live Longer

#3: Make Good Habits

#2: All You Need is One Reason

#1: Choose Happiness to Choose Health




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