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Walk Park

Essential Exercise Hints and Tips

People usually exercise for two reasons: to stay fit and healthy, or to trim excess fat and reach their physique goals. Either way, there are many other health benefits that go hand in hand with working out.

The US Department of Health and Human Services reported that on a national scale, the average percentage of people who exercise regularly is only 51.6%. 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity is recommended, however, to minimize your risk of certain diseases like cardiovascular problems, hypertension, colon and breast cancer, and diabetes mellitus.

And for older adults, doing exercise lowers the likelihood of suffering from dementia by about 30% and hip fracture by 68%.

Types of Exercise

If you have any condition that might affect or hinder you from performing certain physical activities, it’s best to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Strength Training

Strength training helps tone your muscles, increase bone density, improve balance, posture and coordination, reduce stress in your joints, and increase muscle mass. These routines are built around the concept of working against resistance. It makes use of free weights, resistance bands, and weight machines while incorporating moves such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.

Aerobic Exercises

These workouts speed up your breathing and heart rate as well as strengthen and improve the condition of your heart and lungs. On top of that, doing aerobic exercises also build your endurance in the long run. Some examples include jogging, dancing, running, swimming, biking, and brisk walking.

Flexibility Exercises

Especially for older adults, being flexible and having a full range of motion can reduce the risk of injuries to the muscles and joints. Even if you’re still young, it’s still advisable to do stretching exercises before and after every workout to prevent injuries.

Balance Exercises

Improving your balance can help keep you steady and prevent fall-related injuries. A few examples are heel-to-toe walking, standing on one foot for 10 seconds on each side, and walking in a straight line.

Maximize Your Exercise With The Following Tips

Do not exhaust yourself
It’s okay to push yourself, but you should also listen to body cues. Instead of reaping various health benefits from the workout, your body might become too busy repairing all the damage it sustained. It might even lead to an injury, such as muscle strain and shin splints. If you feel pain in your shin, stop your workout and apply ice to the area. Wearing shin compression sleeves is good for injury prevention, but it can also help you recover faster by reducing pain and inflammation. As a rule of thumb, increase your workout intensity gradually.

Cool-down and stretch for 10-20 minutes
This is to relieve muscle tension and facilitate the return of your breathing and heart rate to their resting levels. You can walk in place for a few minutes to regulate your breathing. When stretching, make sure to focus on the muscle groups you used during your workout.

Eat bananas or potatoes
These are good sources of potassium (which aids in muscle recovery) that can replenish the mineral lost during the workout and prevent painful muscle cramps.

Drink at least 8 ounces of water
You need to rehydrate after the workout but no matter how thirsty you are, you need to drink it slowly. Sports drinks are good alternatives, but as much as you can, opt for water.

Don’t forget to rest
Just because you’re determined to bulk up doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend all 7 days of the week working out. Resting for at least one day will help relieve muscle soreness, give your body time to heal, and prepare you for another week of exercise.

Reward yourself the right way
After a grueling and intense routine, you may be tempted to grab a soda or eat those glazed donuts. You should keep in mind that what you eat post-workout can have a positive or negative effect on your body, specifically when it comes to your muscles. Reward yourself by eating something healthy. Protein, vitamin C, and omega-3 are all important in muscle build-up and tissue repair so incorporate these into your diet. This is most crucial 30-45 minutes after your workout.

Get a good massage
A massage can promote circulation, remove stress and stiffness from your muscles, and relax your mind and body.

Ditch the alcohol
Again, this falls under the ‘reward yourself’ mistake. Although alcohol isn’t exactly prohibited, it’s also not recommended to consume a glass or two post-exercise.

Exercise and a balanced diet go hand-in-hand to help you reach your fitness goals. The fact that you already took the first step by exercising is commendable, but remember that your post-workout routine is also crucial!

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.


Everything You Need to Know About Acid Reflux Disease

Have you ever experienced an unpleasant burning feeling in your chest after eating? How about frequent belching? Do you also find it difficult to swallow your food? If you have these signs and symptoms, you might be having an acid reflux.

Acid reflux disease is a common health problem that happens when the acid in your stomach flows back to your esophagus. That’s why the condition is more specifically referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Reports have shown that in the United States, 25-40% of people experience the signs and symptoms of acid reflux at some point in their lives while 7-10% have to deal with the symptoms every day. The disease can affect all age groups but the risk is higher in people who are over 40 years old.

The Stomach and the Esophagus

To further understand the signs and symptoms of acid reflux, you need to be familiar first with the structure and function of the body organs affected by the disease.

  • Your stomach and esophagus are part of your digestive system.
  • When eating, the food that you swallow travels through your esophagus, a hollow and muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach.
  • The esophagus has lubricants and moves in wavelike movements to propel food towards your stomach.
  • Before the food reaches your stomach, it has to pass through your lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that relaxes to allow food entry into the stomach and tightens to prevent food from coming back up (regurgitation).
  • The food enters your stomach where it is digested.
  • Food is broken down by the aid of your stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

What Happens in Acid Reflux Disease?

Your stomach acid can regurgitate to your esophagus when your lower esophageal sphincter becomes dysfunctional or when there is a delay in the emptying of your stomach.

Your lower esophageal sphincter prevents acid and food from going back into the esophagus. When it becomes dysfunctional, the regurgitated stomach acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus.

Lower esophageal sphincter dysfunction can happen in several ways such as when it relaxes temporarily (the most common mechanism), when it relaxes permanently, and when the increased pressure inside the stomach becomes higher than the pressure in the sphincter, forcing it to open.

Delayed emptying of stomach contents can also increase the pressure inside the stomach. The building pressure will push at your lower esophageal sphincter. When it cannot resist the pressure any longer, it can lead to acid reflux.

Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

The signs and symptoms of acid reflux generally get worse after eating, when bending over, and when lying down. These include:

  • Heartburn (uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest)
  • A sour taste in your mouth
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Feeling bloated or feeling sick (the high pressure inside your stomach makes it distended)
  • Frequent belching
  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Painful and difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarse voice (the acid irritates your vocal chords)
  • Excessive saliva production (your body’s attempt to neutralize the pH in your esophagus)

What are the Risk Factors for Acid Reflux Disease?

The following conditions can predispose you to have acid reflux disease:

  • Being overweight. When you are overweight or obese, the excess fat can increase the pressure in your stomach.
  • Being pregnant. Symptoms of acid reflux disease are common in pregnant women primarily because the growing baby can compress the stomach, increasing the intragastric pressure.
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke. Whether you are the smoker yourself or you are only exposed to secondhand smoke, you are at risk of developing the disease. The nicotine found in cigarettes relaxes your lower esophageal sphincter, making it dysfunctional in preventing the reflux of acid to your esophagus.

How to Manage the Symptoms?

  • Eat small, frequent meals instead of large meals
  • Avoid drinking coffee and alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid eating chocolate, spicy foods, and fatty foods
  • Stop smoking and avoid inhaling cigarette smoke
  • Refrain from eating at least 2-3 hours before sleeping
  • Lose weight and strive to maintain a normal body-mass index (BMI)
  • Do not sleep with your body lying flat on the bed. Make sure that the head of your bed is elevated by 6-8 inches. You can do this by putting durable risers for low beds under the head of your bed.
  • Opt for loose clothing. Wearing tight clothes can compress your stomach and push stomach acid into your esophagus.

When to See Your Doctor

If these home remedies and lifestyle modifications do not relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about further treatment. Seek consultation if you observe any of the following:

  • Recurring symptoms that occur several times in a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent vomiting, most especially if accompanied by blood
  • Sudden weight loss

Early treatment is important when dealing with acid reflux to prevent the development of serious complications.

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.


Walking Can Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is a chronic medical condition characterized by widespread pain that can sometimes include symptoms such as fatigue, memory problems, sleep disturbances and mood changes. It is believed that fibromyalgia affects the way your brain receives pain signals and causes pain sensations to be increased above normal levels. There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia and doctors are only able to try to treat the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. Medications and lifestyle changes can help to improve the quality of life of those people affected by this condition. Walking is considered by many experts to be one of the best ways to manage many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Let’s start by taking a look at the symptoms of fibromyalgia and then discuss how walking can help.


Symptoms of fibromyalgia can include:

  • Chronic widespread pain
  • Tender points throughout the body
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory impairment
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia
  • Tingling and swelling in the hands and feet
  • Frequent headaches and migraines
  • Stiffness upon rising
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Reproductive issues
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

As you can see above many of the symptoms that accompany fibromyalgia make it difficult for sufferers to have a desire to do any physical activity-even if it is just walking. However, experts agree that including some type of exercise in a patient’s treatment plan will be very useful in symptom management. When exercise is included with other treatments such as medication, physical therapy, dietary changes, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage, there can be a significant improvement in the quality of life.

Starting your walking routine

Walking is considered to be one of the best low-intensity workouts for people with fibromyalgia. It is one of the easiest exercises for people to start with when trying to increase physical activity. Before starting any exercise program, you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist. They may be able to help you come up with an exercise plan that is tailored to your needs. A custom plan may help you be more successful at sticking to the program in the long term.

First, you will want to make sure that you have a good pair of shoes. They don’t have to be super expensive, just quality shoes that will protect your feet and joints while walking. A good pair of shoes will help prevent painful blisters and calluses. Consider where you will be doing most of your walking. Will you be hitting the pavement or walking on trails in the woods? There are different shoes for different surfaces, so make sure you pick the right one. You will want a shoe that has light to medium flexibility and good arch support. Try on several different shoes that fit your needs to see which one provides the best overall fit. Your feet may still be sore and swollen the first few times you go out, but you can always use ice packs for feet to help get relief.

One of the most important things to remember is to start off slow. If you haven’t been physically active for awhile because of your pain and other symptoms, it will be easy to overdo things and cause more pain than when you started. Don’t rush into anything. You can always increase your activity level as you become more comfortable. It’s probably best to start off with short walks of approximately 10 minutes, three times a week. You want to get your heart rate up, but don’t walk so quickly that you feel out of breath. The next week you can try increasing your time out to 15 minutes and go up 5 minutes each week for the first month. Starting in the second month you will want to keep walking for 30 minutes, but increase the frequency to five times a week. It may not seem like a lot of physical activity, but it does help you keep a routine, and you can always increase the duration or intensity of your walks later.

Benefits of walking

Walking has many benefits for fibromyalgia sufferers. It has been shown in recent research to have the same pain relieving benefits as non-opioid pain relievers in controlling pain. Getting regular physical exercise may take more time for pain relief to kick in, but it is much better for you than taking medication. Exercise helps increase the levels of serotonin in your brain which are decreased in fibromyalgia patients. Walking will also help loosen and condition your muscles which can improve ease of movement.

Cortisol is a hormone in your body that is released when your body feels as if it is being threatened. The chronic pain and stress that fibromyalgia sufferers undergo cause cortisol levels to rise which can help lead to a host of medical symptoms which are very similar to the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Regular physical exercise can help lower cortisol levels, which in turn may help you to lose weight. You may also notice that you are sleeping better once you get into a walking routine.

While walking will not cure your fibromyalgia it may help you in more ways then you can even imagine. The feeling of accomplishment that you will have will make you feel better about yourself. That alone is worth putting on your shoes and getting into the great outdoors.

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.


Shower Safety Tips for Seniors

According to CDC, people over 75 are twice as likely as younger people to have a nonfatal injury in the bathroom. The risk for people over 85 is four times higher. Every year, more than 400 people drown in bathtubs, while thousands fall, which leads to fractures and injuries. There are three main reasons behind this: firstly, seniors have limited mobility, moreover many medicines they take can also cause hypotension or dizziness. Lastly, many surfaces in the bath, such as metal, porcelain, tiles, etc., are slippery, and even with very little moistures on them, they can turn into a skating rink.

You can do a few things to minimize the risk of injury, which might otherwise lead to permanent disability or even death.

Make sure the water isn’t too hot

Seniors are at a twofold risk from hot water. The ability to feel heat decreases with age, and certain medications or neurological damage can further diminish this ability. Besides, older citizens have a comparatively thinner skin, which means even a brief exposure to hot water can result in burns. Therefore, make sure your water heater temperature doesn’t exceed 120F degrees.

Make your bathroom a skid proof zone

The biggest culprit behind bathroom injuries are the slippery surfaces. Some people use non-slip decals to address this, however, they don’t cover the entire bathroom. Your bathtub can be extremely slippery because it stays wet most of the time. Seniors can not only slip while stepping into it but also when trying to get up. A CDC study shows that seniors are more like to fall when sitting down on or getting up from the toilet. In addition to your shower stall, the bathtub and the whole bathroom floor should be covered with a mat and rugs with rubber backing.

Ensure better accessibility

Remove any obstacles that are close to the bathroom door, and ensure adequate lighting. Many seniors will feel the urge to urinate at night; poor lighting can be a significant hazard in this case. Remove anything that can easily be tripped over. Also make sure that the commonly used items such as shampoo, soap, towel, etc. are within easy reach. Consider getting door locks that can be opened from the outside as well, so they can have privacy and caregivers can reach out in case of any mishap.

Install safety fixtures

This can be an extremely beneficial investment as it can help older citizens move around without risk of falling. Consider shower grab bars, raised toilet seats, and non-slip grip tape to help prevent falls. Grab bars are particularly beneficial as they can be used as an anchor point when moving in or out of the shower. Also, grab bars can help you loved senior brace themselves in case of a fall.

Offer supervision

If possible, have someone at the ready when your senior is in the bathroom. This can be hard, but you don’t have to stand outside the bathroom all the time. Just make sure you are attentive when they’re in. Seniors with mobility issues might be aided by someone who can assist them with bathing like a caregiver or home health aid. At the very least, they should be assisted in and out of the bath tub to prevent a fall.

Some of these tips are easy while others require more effort, however, they can all go a long way in ensuring the safety of your loved ones and minimizing the risk of injuries in the bathroom.

Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.