Can Small Changes Affect Your Health

When seeking a routine that can bring wellness to your entire being, you don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet or strip away all the food you love.  Experts say that the best way to bring a wellness routine into your life is through a series of small changes that will gradually make a difference.

Changes such as:

  • Meditation – Take a moment in the morning to meditate.  It will set the tone of the day and clear your head to prepare for what the day may bring.
  • Music – Play calming music.  The body’s internal rhythms sync with the rhythms of music.  By focusing on the music and its melody, you will start of feel your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down, bringing you to a much calmer place.
  • Plan a trip – According to research, happiness spikes when planning a trip.  Shut down your smartphone – When the impulse to pick up your phone comes, and you resist it, you may feel a wave of anxiety.  Don’t panic!  Breathy through the anxiety and you will see that there is a calm that will follow.
  • Breathe deeply – Sit in a comfortable place, breathe naturally and settle your attention on your breath.  With each inhale and exhale, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.”  Even if your mind wanders, don’t get distracted; just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Email – Don’t check your email when you first wake up.  Instead, sit silently and allow your mind to wander.  Take 10 minutes to just center yourself before you start your day.
  • Walk – Use part of your lunch break to take a walk.  This activity will aid with digestion, keep you active and relieve stress.

No one likes change and it rarely comes easy.  That’s why slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals overtime can lead to huge changes in the long run.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion

With the mercury rising, you have to think about what you can do to keep cool.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common maladies during the summer months. The main symptoms of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion are an altered mental state or behavior, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and a racing heart rate.  The main difference is, when you are experiencing heat exhaustion you will experience profuse sweating.  Conversely, when you are experiencing heat stroke, there will be a lack of sweat.

The best way to combat heat stroke and heat exhaustion is by hydrating with cool water when it is hot and humid; this will help you stay clear of dehydration. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16 – 20 ounces of water before moderate intensity summer exercise (8 – 12 ounces of water 10 – 15 minutes before going out into the heat and 3 – 8 ounces every 15 – 20 minutes during activity when active for less than one hour).

Some the most common signs of dehydration are:

  • General  fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps

Other means of keeping cool during the summer months is to wear lighter, breathable fabrics, slow down your pace, exercise indoors, and by using common sense when planning your day outdoors.

Please speak with your physician to determine your specific needs to avoid dehydration since it can vary from person to person.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Yoga Naturally Lower your Blood Pressure?

Practicing yoga can give your overall health an added boost.  Studies have found that it is also helpful in fighting hypertension when combined with other methods of management such as a healthy diet, medication and aerobic exercise.  Research indicates that on average patients who incorporated yoga into their care management routine saw a notable reduction in their systolic blood pressure (top number) and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).

It is believed that yoga is an effective complementary treatment for hypertension because it increases and strengthens the body’s ability to take in oxygen.  Additionally it can help improve resiliency to stress; a trigger in elevating blood pressure levels.

If you decide to include yoga as a part of your care, it is important to know that not all yoga poses are created equal in high blood pressure management. There are some poses that are helpful and there are others that can be harmful.

Yoga poses that can be beneficial are:

  • Bridge pose
  • Posterior stretch pose
  • Savasana pose
  • Child pose

Yoga poses that should be avoided or modified include:

  • Bow pose
  • Camel pose
  • Feathered peacock pose
  • Balasana pose

It is important that you speak with your physician before trying yoga.  Your physician will assess your health and advise if you are physically capable.  If your doctor has given you the green light, inform your yoga instructor about your hypertension.  This information will help in the prevention of injuries or the exacerbation of your medical condition.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Stress Awareness Month

Afro American couple doing yoga

In 1992, the month of April was designated as Stress Awareness Month.  During this time, health professionals join together to increase the public’s awareness about what causes stress and what can help cure the growing stress epidemic.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is participating by reaching out to our social media community and sharing some helpful techniques that can assist you in managing your daily stress, such as:

  • Meditation – is helpful to the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress
  • Breathing Deeply – triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling
  • Exercise – all forms of exercise can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain releasing feel-good chemicals giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress
  • Eating Healthy – choosing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber may reduce the chance that stress can boost the body’s natural defense system

Prolonged, excesive periods of stress is unhealthy for any individual. A change of mindset can bring about a healthier lifestyle.  That positive change can help you manage stress and bring far-reaching improvement to your health and well being.

For more information and to find out ways you can make a difference visit – http://stressawarenessmonth.com/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Managing Your Stress

erasing stress, hand written word on blackboard being erased concept

For many, dealing with excessive stress has become a way of life.  We often hear the words “just relax,” but sometimes we find it difficult to take that advice and de-stress due to every day hassles.

When you are stressed the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline- which causes the fight or flight reaction. This can speed up the normal function of several organs, including the heart.  The fight or flight reaction is appropriate when we face immediate threats but can be damaging if prolonged; as our bodies are only designed to deal with the effects of stress for short intervals.

Extended periods of stress can take its toll on our health in many ways. Long-term stress is known to negatively affect several systems of the body, including:

  • The Nervous System– High levels of cortisol and adrenaline can impair the nervous system, which regulates heart rates, the excretion of waste, breathing rates and the dilation and constriction of blood vessels.
  • The Immune System– Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, which increases the risk of infections, infectious diseases, skin problems such as eczema and can slow down wound healing rates.
  • The Digestive System– Excessive levels of stress can stimulate the muscles of the intestines and cause diarrhea or constipation. It can also lead to indigestion or nausea and increase the risk of ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The Endocrine System– Stress hormones can cause the liver to increase blood sugar levels. This is particularly dangerous for diabetics.

Some helpful techniques that can assist you in managing your daily stress are:

  • Meditation – is helpful to the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress
  • Breathing Deeply – triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling
  • Exercise – all forms of exercise can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain releasing feel-good chemicals giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress
  • Eating Healthy – choosing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber may reduce the chance that stress can boost the body’s natural defense system

It is important to reduce excessive and prolonged periods of stress. A healthy lifestyle that helps manage stress often requires changing your mindset. But, if you are willing to make the changes that will improve your health, the impact can be far-reaching.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Senior Health and Fitness Day

Older couple on bike ride in park

May 25, 2016, is National Senior Health and Fitness Day.  This observance is designed to shed light on the importance of the health and fitness of older adults.

Exercise is essential to improving health at any age, and seniors are not an exception.  A low-impact exercise routine can benefit your health by stretching and strengthening muscles, reducing stress and can even help to lower high blood pressure.

Staying fit doesn’t have to require a gym.  You can work out, at your own pace, with an instructor in class, on a home gym machine such as a treadmill, or utilize the great outdoors by taking a walk.

The four categories of Low –impact exercises are:

  1. Endurance –walking, swimming, or cycling.
  2. Strength –light weight training
  3. Flexibility –  Yoga
  4. Balance –Ti Chi

No matter what workout routine you choose, adding some gentle stretches will improve flexibility and range of motion.

After speaking with your physician and identifying what type of exercise is safe for you, an appropriate exercise regimen can lessen your visits to the doctor, lower your chance of being hospitalized and reduce the need for medications for a variety of illnesses.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What do you rely on most for maintaining a healthy heart?

 

health-mind-map-jane-genovese

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.   Exercise

2.  Balanced diet

3. Getting plenty of sleep

4.  Reducing stress

5.  All of the above

Answer – 5- All of the above

Although the American Heart Association recommends for overall cardiovascular health – at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes with a moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional benefits, best results are gained when exercise is combined with a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and reducing stress .

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Arthritis and Exercise

Man Exercising On Stationary Cycle

 

Did you know that if you have arthritis, exercise may benefit your bones, muscles and joints?

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or swim with the intensity of an Olympic competitor.  Low impact exercise can help improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. These exercises may include raising your arms over head or rolling your shoulders.

In conjunction with a treatment plan, exercise can:

  • Strengthen the muscles around your joints
  • Help you maintain bone strength
  • Give you more energy to get through the day
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you control your weight
  • Improve your balance
  • Enhance your quality of life

Exercises can relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion.  It is always good to speak with your doctor about fitting exercise into your treatment plan.  The types of exercises that are best for you will depend on your type of arthritis and which joints are affected.

If you have arthritis and would like to explore adding exercise to your treatment plan, you can speak with one of the dozens of trained physicians at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center.  To make an appointment with a physician, call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.