Healthy Lifestyle
Types of Physical Activity Matter
Three main kinds of physical activity are important in achieving the most health benefits. They are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone strengthening. Aerobic Activity In this kind of physical activity (also called an endurance activity or cardio activity), the body’s large muscles move in a rhythmic manner for a sustained period of time. Brisk walking, running, bicycling, jumping rope, and swimming are all examples. Aerobic activity causes a person’s heart to beat faster than usual. Aerobic physical activity has three components: Intensity, or how hard a person works to do the activity. The intensities most often examined are moderate intensity (equivalent...
Importance of Physical Activity For All
Everyone should be physically active on a regular basis to improve overall health and fitness and to prevent many adverse health outcomes. Studies have always looked at the role of physical activity in many groups—men and women, children, teens, adults, older adults, people with disabilities, and women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. What researchers found was that it doesn’t matter whether you are generally healthy, at risk of developing a chronic disease, or have a current chronic condition or disability, physical activity can provide you benefits. Health Benefits Associated With Regular Physical Activity Children and Adolescents Strong evidence Improved cardiorespiratory...
Syphillis Strikes Back
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can have very serious complications when left untreated, but it is simple to cure with the right treatment. The disease is divided into three stages with primary and secondary (P&S) being the most infectious stages of the disease. Without appropriate treatment, long-term infection can result in severe medical problems affecting the heart, brain, and other organs of the body. Having syphilis also makes it easier to get HIV. During 2014-2015, syphilis rates increased in every region, a majority of age groups, and across almost every race/ethnicity. Men in general, and gay and...
Preventing the Spread of Flu and Flu Like Illness
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round, however, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and March. Take time to get a vaccine. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests...
Mistakes Commonly Made When Taking Blood Pressure
How and when your blood pressure is taken can make a difference in your systolic reading by 2 to 20 points, according to the American Heart Association and other experts. If you have hypertension, the error is more likely to be at the higher end. When visiting the doctor or checking it yourself at home, make sure these common mistakes are not made to ensure your blood pressure reading is accurate: 1. Don’t sit on an exam table or chair with no back support.  That can raise your diastolic pressure. (That’s the lower number.) 2. Don’t sit with your legs dangling...
Taking Control of Opioid Abuse
The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Opioids are a class of drugs used to reduce pain. CDC reports that an estimated 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly two decades ago, physicians were  encouraged to be more aggressive about treating pain, often without enough training and support to do so safely. This coincided with heavy marketing of opioids to doctors. Many of whom were even taught – incorrectly – that opioids were not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain. We now know that overdoses from prescription...
Mental Stress and Cardiovascular Disease in Women
Emotional stress, researchers are learning, is an under-appreciated risk factor for cardiovascular disease in younger women. When under stress your body responds by releasing adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These reactions prepare you to deal with the situation — the “fight or flight” response. When stress is constant, your body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time. Although the link between stress and heart disease is still being studied, chronic stress may cause some people to increase unhealthy...
Two Drinks or Not To Drink?
Recent studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits. It may: Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease Possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow) Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes Even so, the evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol isn’t certain, and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks. Most importantly, the latest dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits....
Exercise Myths
Getting Americans off the couch and onto their feet could save an estimated 200,000 lives a year. Yet most of us are either sedentary or only minimally active. Exercise myths may keep many couch potatoes from getting into shape. Here are some common exercise myths. 1. Strength training will make women too muscular The first of the exercise myths is about strength-training. “Many women are afraid that strength-training will make them bulky,” says Miriam Nelson of the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. “They think strength-training is only for men.”...
Health Department Encourages Physical Activity Through Playground Stencils
One of the key factors in weight gain is not getting enough moderate to vigorous physical activity. In recent years, schools have been pushed to increase amount of academic time, which leaves decreasing amounts of time left available for physical education. Obesity rates in Missouri have steadily risen to a little over 30% of the state’s population. However, according to the recent 2016 Community Health Assessment, Butler County reported an even higher 36.6% of its population having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 30, indicating obesity. The National Health and Nutrition Examination survey reports national childhood obesity rates holding...
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